Ohmpark’s Top 25 Albums of 2011

Back in 2009, I listened to approximately 75 records that came out of Atlanta that year. This year, I blogged about roughly 75 records, and for every album I discussed, there were at least five I listened to and didn’t blog about. The quantity of music being made in this city is growing exponentially, and the Atlanta music scene runs extraordinarily deep. So needless to say, this was the most difficult year-end list to put together yet.

On a technical note, my 2011 year-end list eligibility extends through the 2010 holiday season because I like to be able to spend enough time with a record to properly evaluate it. So, any record that was not widely available before Thanksgiving this year will go into consideration for 2012.

Here are my twenty-five favourite albums from Atlanta this year:


25. Cassandras : Hari Pari Mandala Gosthi




24. Dark Room : Gothic Picnic




23. We The Lion : Boy Oh Boy




22. Easily Suede / Carey : Good Health Guide




21. Cassandras : Cassandras: 3 Songs




20. Book Club : Ghost




19. Warning Light : Wild Silver




18. Djarum : Don’t Let Me Down




17. Places : The Future




16. Nomen Novum / Magicicada / Tree Creature : Three Way Split




15. The Back Pockets : Fast Cloud Slow Cloud




14. Lid Emba : Terminal Muse: Blue




13. Vocabulary : Faded Days




12. Time Wharp : later.




11. Atlas Sound : Parallax




10. Mastodon : The Hunter




9. Places : Half-Dones




8. New Animal : Eleven Songs




7. Places : March




6. Spirits and the Melchizedek Children : We Are Here To Save YOU!




5. Lyonnais : Want For Wish For Nowhere




4. The Electric Nature : Mount Analogue




3. Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun : Wildfire




2. Little Tybee : Humorous To Bees




1. New Animal : New Animal

The story of Atlanta’s independent music scene in 2011 was the rise of a new wave of artists that came out of nowhere and upped the ante on everyone else. Only four acts on this list (veteran mainstays Mastodon, Atlas Sound, The Back Pockets, and Nomen Novum) have appeared on my best Atlanta album lists in either 2010 or 2009. That’s a symptom of the fact that there’s a new generation of local musicians dominating the scene. And at the head of this new class is New Animal.

New Animal‘s meteoric rise over the course of 2011 is unparalleled. Without a label backing them, with very little major publication support, and without even playing a single show ever, New Animal became one of the Internet’s buzziest bands early on in the year solely based on the strength of their 75-minute self-titled masterpiece. It’s hard for me to think of another record with fifteen songs where I love each and every single one. And what’s even more impressive is that they continued to output new material seemingly on a monthly basis, creating a catalog in one year vaster and more compelling than most artists do over a lifetime. There is simply no musical artist in the world that’s had a more impressive year.

My #2 and #3 spots went to outfits that have been on their own upward swing lately, each respectively creating an epic record that delivered on all the brilliance and potential they had displayed in recent years. My #4 is probably the most inaccessible record to come out of the city this year, but if you can find your way inside, it’s a monster. And my #5 goes to a band that I had previously written off, but there’s no denying what an amazing album they’ve put forth.

Of course, everything on this list is spectacular, and if you missed one, be sure to pick it up.

[Review] Animal Collective @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater @ Encore Park (7/8/11)

Dear Animal Collective,

WTF, dudes? I thought we had an understanding, or at least some sort of non-verbal contractual agreement going. All I can say is that you really let me down. Big time. Major huge super big time.

My first complaint is lodged at the terrible choice of openers for your first “big leagues” tour. Words cannot express how super hyped I was before the show to see the Dirty Projectors and Deerhunter open for you. I kind of understand why Angel Deradoorian came out solo since apparently the rest of the Dirty Projectors are recording a cover album of The Offspring’s “Ixnay on the Hombre” from memory. I mean that’s a lot of power chords to memorize. Anyways, I thought that her set was okay, but a little short and a little boring. Plus the ecstasy hadn’t really kicked in yet so I wasn’t feeling her vibes so much. So, okay, I’ll let that one slide. My second huge disappointment was when only Bradford Cox (of Deerhunter fame) came out to perform. I kept waiting for the rest of the band to show and then laugh at what a funny indie-punk’d style joke that was. That never happened, however. I can only speculate that three fourths of Deerhunter refused to show because of low audience attendance. Just another example of rockstars being dickfaces, I guess. Bradford cox played some really good indie jams but I didn’t recognize any of them since apparently he’s not allowed to play Deerhunter songs if the rest of the band skips out and bomb threats wallgreens for oxycontin. I will say, in Bradford’s defense that he did extremely well, considering the fact that he had to come up with those songs pretty much on the spot. They were all well put together and the small crowd seemed to love them. Next time though, try and find openers who aren’t hard at work on a magnum opus of sorts and who aren’t megalomaniacs. I would really appreciate that.

My second complaint has to do with the pure shit-blizzard of a set list you guys chose. This wasn’t a surprise show at the Masquerade. At least there I would expect everything to be awful and wrong. No, this was your big moment to break out and really show the world what you guys can do in a huge amphitheater. I can’t express how enraged I was after listening to sixteen fucking songs and only recognizing three of them! After doing some intense internet research I found out that you did actually play two other old songs, one from “Feels” and another from “Sung Tongs”. So that’s it? Five songs out of your expansive catalogue is all you got to give your fans? It’s almost as if you guys don’t care about material things like tour stats or money or giving people what they paid to see. I’m talking, of course, about your hit single, “My Girls” which was all the rage two summers ago and is the reason myself and probably everyone else there came in the first place. My jeans are way too tight for a time machine, so how am I supposed to travel to the future and memorize your new songs so I can come back and enjoy the show you put on? Don’t get me wrong, I thought the way every song seamlessly blended into one another was awesome. I also totally loved the new songs. A few were a bit slow, but I feel the same way with all of your albums. I just looked at last night’s set list for Styx at the same venue. Wow, big surprise, they played all their fucking solid gold hits. You guys would do well by following the example of Styx, who apparently know how to rock.

Sorry this was so harsh, but seriously, think about the people you hurt by just playing what you want. With an album like “Merriwether Post Pavilion” under your belts, you can’t just do what feels right or natural anymore. You have a responsibility to the paying public. After all, art isn’t about the creative process; it’s about the product you create and the people you sell it to.

Sincerely, Joe.


[Mp3] Atlas Sound: “Green Glass Bottles”

The Deerhunter blog has been a bit inactive in recent times, especially compared to when new music was being released for free on an almost weekly basis. But Bradford Cox just dropped an entire collection of stuff he’s recorded over the last few months. Here’s the first song from it, and then go download the whole thing:

Atlas Sound : “Green Glass Bottles”

Download Bedroom Databank Vol. 1

Ohmpark’s Top 20 Atlanta Albums Of 2009

ohmparktop102009_5

Most of the time in this city, bands rise and fall based on who they know and how exciting they are live. But for this list, I’ve considered only what is contained on their recordings. Over the course of the year I’ve given roughly 75 records from inside the perimeter a spin, and these are the essential twenty that I recommend listening to most. There are actually many records that I really liked that just missed the cut, so this was very tough to piece together, especially the final spots.

Looking at this list and comparing it back to my favourite local stuff over the two years before, it’s apparent that music in this city just keeps getting better. Atlanta’s independent music scene is running deeper than ever both in terms of quality and quantity of music being produced. Outside of Brooklyn, you’d need quite a compelling argument to convince me anywhere else in America has a better scene right now. Promising young bands keep popping up out of nowhere, and the veterans keep delivering the goods. It sure makes my job here a lot easier to have so much great music to blog about.

On a technical note, anything that has been released over the holidays I’m grouping in with my 2010 lists, and so a couple of albums on this list were released over the holidays last year. Take a gander:


20. Noot d’ Noot: Cash For Gold

NOOT


19. Harken The Hands Askew: Thou

thou


18. Slushco: Sometime Tonight

sometime


17. Sound On Film: The Eloquent Reginald

SoundonFilm


16. Thy Mighty Contract: Thy Mighty Contract

thy


15. Club Awesome: Dynamos

club


14. Jungol: Places

places


13. Lee Harvey Oswald: Lee Harvey Oswald

leeharveyoswald copy


12. The Selmanaires: Tempo Temporal

Tempo_cover


11. Tealights: Take Us By Sea

teacover


10. Deerhunter: Rainwater Cassette Exchange

rain


9. Slushco: The Silver Surface Demos

silver


8. The Orphins: Wish You Well

orphins_cover


7. Mastodon: Crack The Skye

crack-the-skye-cover


6. Lotus Plaza: Floodlight Collective

lotus


5. From Exile: Monolith

fromexile_monlith


4. Nomen Novum: Paradises

paradises


3. Untied States: Instant Everything, Constant Nothing

IECN


2. Atlas Sound: Logos

logos


1. Nomen Novum: November

novem




In the Atlanta music scene, 2009 was the year of Nomen Novum. While most musicians take a whole year to scrap together enough decent songs to fill a good EP, the prolific Nomen Novum were able to drop two virtually perfect full-lengths, plus a great live EP, and they’re already posting new stuff to their myspace.

Although, all five records at the top of my list were legitimate contenders for Atlanta album of the year, and I would have probably been content with any ordering between them. The other 3 records to round out my top 5 each happened to be crafted over about 2 years, and the extra time and care in putting them together just right payed off. A big mistake I notice younger bands make is trying to push out a record too quickly on some arbitrary time scale and in the end get stuck with something that is less than what they are capable of producing. Atlas Sound, Untied States, and From Exile all spent more time than they probably wanted to on their respective albums, but the extra effort was well worth it in the end.

Looking back over this list after I finished it, I noticed that it is almost entirely dominated by veterans of the scene, and mostly by artists I was already familiar with before starting this blog. There is only one true first recording from its respective musicians to make the list. If I were to make a “Best Atlanta Artists of the Decade” shortlist, most of those artists would have an album included on this list, so I feel like it is a good snapshot of not just where the scene is at today, but where it has been heading for the latter part of the ’00s. There is so much diversity in sound and so much talent in this city, and if you have any interest at all in Atlanta’s music scene, don’t let anything on this list slip by you, because all twenty are well worth giving a listen.

Ohmpark Mixtape #13: Our Favourite Songs of 2009

ohmparktop102009_2

If you’ve been paying attention around here this year, there is no doubt you will be familiar with everything on this list, and perhaps even a little burnt out on some of these tracks. But each of these songs are strongly linked to different moments and memories I have of 2009, and they make up the ultimate soundtrack to an amazing year in music. So jam them out one last time:

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse w/ Wayne Coyne : Revenge
Animal Collective : My Girls
Atlas Sound w/ Noah Lennox : Walkabout
The Dirty Projectors : Useful Chamber
Grizzly Bear : Two Weeks
Bat For Lashes : Daniel
Andrew Bird : Anonanimal
Here We Go Magic : Fangela
Loney, Dear : Airport Surroundings
Mew : Introducing Palace Players
St. Vincent : The Strangers
Do Make Say Think : Do
Phoenix : Lisztomania
Nomen Novum : Miracles Come True

Videos: Atlas Sound, The Selmanaires @ The Earl (10/15/09)

atlas

I’ve still yet to replace the video camera I smashed on tour this summer, but luckily some other folks have been taping local shows. I just stumbled across hundreds of great concert videos on youtube from ifilmbands, There is a multitude of cool stuff posted, like the recent show from The Meat Puppets & Dead Confederate and a ton of Deerhunter related stuff including Lotus Plaza and Atlas Sound solo. But since I have been listening to the new respective records from Atlas Sound and The Selmanaires a whole lot lately, I decided to post some videos from their show last month at The Earl before heading out on tour together. Check these out, and then go dig through to find some really neat stuff:

ifilmbands Youtube page


The Selmanaires:


Atlas Sound:

Best New Atlanta Music: Atlas Sound – ‘Logos’ LP

atlas-sound-logos-cover

From the very beginning of this blog, I’ve been evangelizing the music of Bradford Cox. The guy is a prolific, consistent, and an all around incredible artist. He’s from another planet. And so at this point, anyone who reads this blog is either on the bandwagon with me or not. If you’re smart, you’ll get a copy of Logos and find that it is awesome, just like everything from this dude. So I’ll spare you a long-winded lovefest. Instead, I decided I would put together a little mixtape of my favourite songs that have been given away on the Deerhunter blog over the years along with other Atlas Sound rarities and such. Whether you’ve been living in an alternate dimension and have not heard of this Mr. Cox, or you need something in between daily repeats of “Walkabout”, this is for you:


Ohmpark Mixtape #12: Atlas Sounds

Atlas Sound : Danse Infernale : Two Halloween Dances
Atlas Sound : Activation : Orange Ohms Glow EP
Atlas Sound : TIme Warp : Time Warp Virtual 7″
Atlas Sound : Airedales : Maybe Logic Virtual 7″
Atlas Sound : Coffin Trick : Deerhunter Blog Music
Atlas Sound : Atlas Shrugged : Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Sound : Recent Bedroom : Axis Tour CD-R
Atlas Sound : I Slept On The Bridge : How I Escaped The Prison Of Fractals
Deerhunter : Cum Horizon (Improvisation) : On Platts Eyott Island
Atlas Sound : Danse Macabre : Two Halloween Dances


Buy Logos

Atlas Sound myspace

Deerhunter blog


atlas

An Atlanta Mp3 Trilogy: Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun, Atlas Sound, Larvae

I had been meaning to post up this incredible remix of a Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun song up for a while, but with the holiday and this tour, it fell through the cracks for a second. But if you haven’t heard this from every other blog in town yet, definitely grab it. I know I’ll be jamming this at dance parties for a long time. The remix comes from a DJ in New York called Free Magic. You can catch TTMTTS with another band I’ve been meaning to blog about, Jungol, at Drunken Unicorn tomorrow night.


Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun : Never Always Good (Free Magic Remix)

Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun myspace
Free Magic myspace



The new album from Deerhunter‘s Bradford Cox’s solo project, Atlas Sound, has finally gotten a release date. Logos will hit stores October 20th. I never managed to track down a copy of the unmastered version he accidentally leaked last year, so I haven’t really much of an idea of what to expect, but there seems to be some collaborations in store, and a live version of one of the songs has been floating around the web, so here is a preview for us:

Atlas Sound : Walkabout (Live)
Details about the new Atlas Sound LP, Logos



Larvae is a project that was off my radar until recently, although they seem to have been around for quite a while. I’ve been jamming out a copy of a recent release, Loss Leader, and am really enjoying it. The album is actually more of two EPs melded together. It’s electronic IDM at its best, as it is able to be a bit challenging and weird without being inaccessible. When I get back from tour, I’ll be digging much deeper into this act.

Larvae : Giftshop
Larvae myspace

An Atlanta Mp3 Trilogy: Deerhunter, Atlas Sound, Pistolero

Deerhunter

The new material Deerhunter has been playing live seems to be from a forthcoming EP called Rainwater Cassette Exchange. It will be available digitally May 18 and CD/Vinyl on June 8. Check out the Track List:

Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP:

01. Rainwater Cassette Exchange
02. Disappearing Ink
03. Famous Last Words
04. Game of Diamonds
05. Circulation

Here is the title track from it:

Deerhunter : Rainwater Cassette Exchange

Deerhunter myspace




Atlas Sound

The infinitely prolific Bradford Cox dropped another Virtual 7″ under Atlas Sound on his blog. On “Springtime Instrumental” he demonstrates yet again how well he can meld seasonal feelings into his own distinct sound. And I absolutely love “Time Warp”, definitely my favourite Cox tune right now:

Atlas Sound : Time Warp

Download Virtual 7″ No. 7: Atlas Sound – Time Warp for free




Pistolero

Atlanta’s Pistolero is dropping their newest album, Warface, this Saturday at their Star Bar show with North Elementary and Thee Crucials. In addition to that, you can also pick up a split 7″ between Pistolero and North Elementary where each band covers a song from the other. They are offering this free via the 200 limited edition vinyls available at the show, or digitally here. Have a taste:

Pistolero : Lovesday Dead Down (North Elementary cover)

Download Pistolero/North Elementary Spilt 7″ for free

Pistolero myspace

North Elementary myspace

My Favourite Songs of 2008: Ohmpark Mixtape #6

So here is a playlist comprised of many of my favourite songs from the year. Not all of my favs are here, but I think all of the essentials are in it. I tried my best to build this as a flowing playlist more than just a collection of songs, so the order and even some of the selections reflect that. I really need to do more mixtapes. Based on Hypemachine/elbow popularity, I know everyone loves that Fleet Foxes song, but I decided instead to treat you to a better song from one of the bands that FF is ripping off. Anyways, here is an hour and half of the best songs of 2008. Jam them hard while you can, because in about 3 days they aren’t hip anymore:

Islands : The Arm
Sigur Ros : Gobbledigook
Atlas Sound : Recent Bedroom
Kaki King : Life Being What it Is
MGMT : Weekend Wars
Department of Eagles : No One Does It Like You
Animal Collective : Water Curses
Antony And The Johnsons : Another World
Mount Eerie w/ Julie Doiron & Fred Squire : Voice In Headphones
My Morning Jacket : Touch Me I’m Going To Scream pt. 1
Beach House : Used To Be
Portishead : The Rip
Summerbirds In The Cellar : Now We Are Ugly Inside
Hot Chip : One Pure Thought
M83 : Kim & Jesse
Bon Iver : For Emma
Plants And Animals : Guru
Destroyer : Shooting Rockets (From The Desk Of Night’s Ape)
Deerhunter : Nothing Ever Happened
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead : The Betrayal Of Roger Casement And The Irish Brigade

The Top 15 Best Atlanta Albums Of 2008

It’s been a banner year for the Atlanta music scene. The international success of bands like Deerhunter, Black Lips, and Mastodon over the last couple of years has put a spotlight on our city and many other artists are beginning to reap the benefits. I still believe that too many of our best and brightest are being overlooked, but that’s exactly why I do what I do. Looking back at my favourite local albums from last year, it seems this year’s class of studio work runs substantially deeper. I felt our scene is so overpopulated by albums worthy of recognition that I extended my original top 10 to a top 15 and I’m still leaving off a ton of really good records from Inside The Perimeter.

A couple of notes, there are a few local albums that have been self-released over the holidays, but I’m rolling them into consideration for next year’s list, and one album on here technically came out in the holiday season of last year. I didn’t do write-ups for this list as many of these are going to make my top LP and top EP lists in a few days, but if you are unfamiliar with any of these acts, I urge you to click on the “tags” below to see all of our posts on the artist. I know someone is gonna complain about Bradford Cox being involved with 20% of this list, but the guy is kicking ass in both quality and quantity of work, so don’t be a player hater. Here is the best Atlanta music of 2008:


15. The Goldest : The Goldest

Get album for free


14. Gringo Star : All Y’all

Buy Album


13. Atlas Sound : Things I’ll Miss

Get album for free


12. Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun :

The Lightning Exhibit

Buy album


11. No Face : You Mean So Much To Me

Buy album


10. Nomen Novum : Mantis Man 7″

Buy album


9. Parade : Ghosts

Get album for free


8. The Liverhearts : Ornament

Buy album


7. Lid Emba & Bobcrane : We Substitute

Radiance

Buy album


6. All The Saints : Fire On Corridor X

Buy album


5. Dead Confederate : Wrecking Ball

Buy album


4. Atlas Sound : Let The Blind Lead Those

Who Can See But Cannot Feel

Buy album


3. This Piano Plays Itself : This Piano Plays

Itself

Buy album


2. Slushco : When I Met The Boss Of Nova

Buy album


1. Deerhunter : Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.

Buy album


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