Honestly, I spent most of 2011 obsessing over mod music and glam rock from the ’60s and ’70s, and so I don’t feel quite equipped to compose an authoritative or complete list of the year’s best new sounds. (Besides, the Internet is populated by young bloggers on the hipster tip who are doing just that for me—not that I was into Real Estate, Youth Lagoon or Lana Del Mar in the slightest.) I did, however, spend hours obsessing over certain songs. Below are the five I repeated to an embarrassing degree.
Bitch is a multi-instrumentalist—electric violin, ukulele, bass, keyboard—and solo performance artist. The one-woman band was once upon a time half of Righteous Babe Records alumnus Bitch and Animal. On her own, the exuberant, Technicolor, gender nonconformist singer released her first solo album on Kill Rock Stars and now runs her own label, Short Story Records. Trained as an actor as well, she starred in acclaimed feature film Shortbus by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Her music has appeared on “The L Word,” and she’s worked with the likes of JD Samson, Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls.
On 6 Times around the Sun, hubkaphonist Mark Weber presents an abundant collection of strange and wonderful music, teaming up with nine adventurous musicians on 38 improvised duet tracks recorded over six years.