Onrait: Jay and Dave Hodge's Top 25 albums of 2011

Jay Onrait with Dave Hodge
12/9/2011 2:56:39 PM
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I know what you're thinking, if I spent as much time thinking about just sports and not sports and music I would be a lot better at my job. I can't disagree.

Still, I ended up listening to a lot of music again this year. This is largely because I spend the first five hours of my day doing nothing. I realize in saying that I've already lost those of you with children...

I also want to apologize for the number of times I use the word 'Chillwave' in this list considering I still don't know what the word means.

So let's move on to my Top 25, along with the Top 25 of another TSN personality and avid music lover - Dave Hodge:

25. Washed Out, Within and Without - Bands: Putting 2 people having sex on the cover of your album is never a bad idea.

Dave's No. 25: Foo Fighters - "Wasting Light"

24. Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part II - This week the Beasties were named to the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class along with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns n' Roses. What this means is that I am old. It's not their best but it's a lot better than To The Five Burroughs and The Mix Up.

Dave's No. 24: Richard Buckner - "Our Blood"

23. Smith Westerns, Dye It Blonde - The album sounds like something Oasis should have put out instead of Be Here Now.

Dave's No. 23: Baseball Project - "Vol. 2 High And Inside"

22. The Antlers, Burst Apart - When your band is from Brooklyn and you call yourselves The Antlers you're asking for trouble in my opinion. That's how good this record is, I'm willing to overlook that.

Dave's No. 22: Real Estate - "Days"

21. The Skeletones Four, Gravestone Rock - I wandered in to Soundscapes on College Street in Toronto and this was playing. I asked the very helpful sales associate what it was and she told me, and then I bought it and enjoyed it. Lesson learned: It's still worth talking to humans.

Dave's No. 21: Jim Cuddy - "Skyscraper Soul"

20. Say Hi, Um, Uh Oh - This guy apparently records all his albums in his basement on his computer or something. He's not a hockey-blogger, nor is he "Chillwave", and his band used to be called Say Hi To Your Mother. So apparently Mark Wahlberg must have sued him for copyright infringement.

Dave's No. 20:  Cowboy Junkies - "Demons"

19. Shotgun Jimmie, Transistor Sister - Good solid Canadian lo-fi rock music from Jim Kilpatrick, who used to be in Shotgun and Jaybird. It was on the long list for the Polaris Prize. Kinda like everyone in Toronto is on the long list for Leaf tickets.

Dave's No. 19: Middle Brother - "Middle Brother"

18. Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues - This is a good one to play on Boxing Day for your hippie parents while you make pancakes and wait for the World Junior game to start.

Dave's No. 18: Bry Webb - "Provider"

17. Black Keys, El Camino - I know it's not cool to like them anymore, but I really do think their last three records have been their best. Don't hate them because they're willing to accept money to use their songs in commercials, I'm not sure there's any other way for a band to get paid these days.

Dave's No. 17: Butch Walker And The Black Widows - "Spade"

16. Bon Iver, Bon Iver - I know you think I've gone soft, but if Paul Bissonette can sing their praises then I can too. Thanks Biz Nasty for making this band safe for all to enjoy!

Dave's No. 16: G. Love - "Fixin' To Die"

15. The Sheepdogs, Five Easy Pieces EP - I've already begun my campaign to make this band the halftime entertainment for the 2013 Grey Cup in Regina. Yes I know they're from Saskatoon. Lead-singer Ewan Currie is really one of the nicest people in the world and also a huge sports fan. Hoping to get him to fill-in for me on Sportscentre when I receive my inevitable 2-week suspension this year for exposing myself on-air.

Dave's No. 15: Elliott Brood - "Days Into Years"

14. Wilco, The Whole Love - A brilliant return to form. I know Dave Hodge would agree. Actually Dave would say they never lost their form. I don't argue with Dave.

Dave's No. 14: Yuck - "Yuck"

13. The Feelies, Here Before - Their first album in over 20 years. They must have gotten tired of newer bands stealing their sound.

Dave's No. 13: Ryan Adams - "Ashes And Fire"

12. TV On The Radio, Nine Types of Light - Another gem from these guys! Seems like a good time to mention TSN Radio will soon be on TSN2. Radio On The TV as it were.

Dave's No. 12: Rural Alberta Advantange - "Departing"

11. Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, Mirror Traffic - Malkmus is also a huge sports fan and participates in NBA pools. I'm doing everything I can to tie this list to sports in some way.

Dave's No. 11: Decemberists - "The King Is Dead"

10. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Belong - Just like Yuck at #7 on my list this band sounds like a band from the early 90's. Imagine Smashing Pumpkins if Billy Corgan allowed D'Arcy to sing on a few songs. Or play her own instrument.

Dave's No. 10: Destroyer - "Kaputt"

9. Sloan, The Double Cross - No better first 3 songs on an album this year than "Follow The Leader", "The Answer Was You" and "Unkind". "Unkind" is the kind of Sloan song that will end up as the soundtrack of a Future Shop commercial someday. Once again I mean that in the best way possible.

Dave's No. 9: Frank Turner - "England Keep My Bones"

8. Alabama Shakes, Hold On EP - Imagine a super-tight Alabama blues and soul band fronted by a kick-ass woman named Brittany Howard with a kick-ass voice. Kick-ass. But you don't have to imagine it, one of their songs is currently featured in a Zales commercial. Commercials! The new MTV!

Dave's No. 8: Mountain Goats - "All Eternals Deck"

7. Yuck, Yuck - Sounds like the gang in Yuck was listening to a lot of Pavement before they put this one together. Usually I can't stand that approach to music but this really works, and I'm sure Malkmus is too busy with his NBA pools to care.

Dave's No. 7: Girls - "Father, Son, Holy Ghost"

6. Toro Y Moi, Underneath the Pine - When people ask me what "Chillwave" is, I try to explain that it has something to do with recording all your albums on computers. That's pretty much all I know. I realize that's not the best description. Just listen to "New Beat" and start dancing.

Dave's No. 6: Blind Pilot - "We Are The Tide"

5. Kurt Vile, Smoke Ring For My Halo - This guy used to be in the band that is #4 on this list, and for all intents and purposes I liked both albums equally, but everyone is so into "lists" so I have to rank them. When are we going to stop allowing lists to run our lives? And yet I contribute to the problem with this list of albums. And introducing Top Tens every night.

Dave's No. 5: Kurt Vile - "Smoke Ring For My Halo"

4. The War on Drugs, Slave Ambient - When I describe them to people I say: "Imagine if Tom Petty was a hipster and The Heartbreakers were hipsters, then they made a record." That pretty much covers it.

Dave's No. 4: Black Keys - "El Camino"

3. Library Voices, Summer of Lust - If you like the upbeat, poppy sound of The New Pornographers, multiple literary references and a great live show then this is the band for you. They are a Regina band but 5 of their 7 members are from Estevan, SK. We ended up stopping in Estevan on the Kraft Tour this year. They showed us the brand new arena for the SJHL's Bruins, and put it this way: Charles Wang would be jealous.

Dave's No. 3: Smith Westerns - "Dye It Blonde"

2. Destroyer, Kaputt - I went to see these guys and the man behind Destroyer Dan Bejar was reading many of his lyrics of a sheet. It was pretty classic. He completely ignored the audience. And yet I enjoyed every second. Damn you Bejar why do you have this hold on me? The album sounds something done by someone in 1984 who would have buttoned his shirt all the way up to the top. And it works.

Dave's No. 2: Fleet Foxes - "Helplessness Blues"

1. Real Estate, Days - I was looking forward to this record more than any other this year. I was so worried they would let me down and man, they didn't. It's just great. Mellow yet intricate and interesting tunes that you can listen to over and over. It's only a matter of time before you hear one of these songs in a commercial for backyard pools.

Dave's No. 1: Wilco - "The Whole Love"

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