Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

On behalf of everyone at Officially A Yuppie, I just want to say HAPPY NEW YEAR and THANK YOU for everything this year. As we celebrated our five years, I realized how fortunate we are as a music website to have such great readers and have been fortunate to speak with so many legendary artists and rising bands. Thank you to all the artists, labels, publicists and of course YOU for making 2011 our biggest and best yet!

We can't wait to share what we have in store for you in 2012! Stay tuned, the best is yet to come!

Stay safe and have a Happy New Year!


-Salvatore Bono
Officially A Yuppie - Owner and Editor-in-Chief.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Quick News

The Screaming Females will release their new album in April. The yet-to-be-titled album was produced by Steve Albani. Read our 2010 interview with the band HERE.

Being the king of narcassism, Morrissey released his top 10 list of his Top 10 Albums that he has released as a solo artist and with The Smiths. Take a look at the list below, which he calls "OF WHICH I AM MOST PROUD":
1) Years of Refusal
2) Ringleader of the Tormentors
3) You are the Quarry
4) Vauxhall and I
5) Strangeways, Here We Come (Smiths)
6) Rank (Smiths)
7) Louder Than Bombs (Smiths)
8) Bona Drag
9) Southpaw Grammar
10) Your Arsenal

Speaking of Moz and The Smiths, longtime Smiths fan Noel Gallagher has of course, backed the band for a reunion. Noel spoke to Sky News Australia and said ""The one everybody would like to see is The Smiths and they say it's not going to happen but they said the Roses wouldn't happen and they said Led Zeppelin wouldn't happen." Noel then commented on fellow Manchester legends, Stone Roses plans for their 2012 reunion and said "I'm happy for them, it's great for the fans. It's going to be great, what can I say?"

NOW speaking of reunions some thought would never see...Slash tells Esquire Magazine that he is "trying to put the feud with Axl Rose to rest." Slash, along with his fellow and former members of Guns N Roses are set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 with Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Slash says to Esquire "The split between Axl and I was a quiet one. But because there was so much attention on the break-up - and are we going to get back together - it got built up into this monster that led to a kind of animosity that wasn't the focus for me. Neither one of us wants to be down each other's throats for no reason. At this point, I'm trying to put it to rest." Maybe we will see the original GNR link-up for the special Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one-off gig.

LOST Pearl Jam Demo Uncovered!

Cameron Crowe guest DJ'ed Pearl Jam Radio this week and spun a lost demo from Pearl Jam, circa 1991 called "Chinese." Take a listen!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quick News

On a sad note to start off with, legendary jazz musician and composer, Sam Rivers passed away. Rivers was 88.

The cause of death for legendary rapper, Heavy D who passed away in November has been released. According to TMZ, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has said that the rapper died after suffering a pulmonary embolism, more commonly known as a blood clot, in one of his legs, which was brought on by deep vein thrombosis. The rapper also suffered from heart disease, which could have also been a contributory factor.

To celebrate his 30th birthday and his epic year, Frank Turner along with Jon Snodgrass have released the free song, "New Years Day," to celebrate, well, new years! Get the song HERE.

Scissor Sisters will release the follow-up to 2010's dance-tacular, Night Work. The band will release their fourth album in 2012 and their new single in the coming weeks.

In the next few days, producer and DJ extraordinaire, Diplo will release his new EP, Express Yourself. Diplo is giving the EP away for free via Mad Decent and will feature Datsik, Sabi, Elephant Man, GTA, Excision, Nicky Da B, LAzer Disk, and Billy the Gent.

As a Christmas gift to fans, The xx released a demo from their forthcoming sophomore release which will be out in 2012. Take a listen to it below:

Manchester Orchestra are already at work on the follow-up to this years, Simple Math. Take a look at a video of them in the studio that they tweeted earlier today:

Monday, December 26, 2011


As Britpop shined its bright light in the 90's and England hit a cultural Renaissance through music, film and politics, no one came to capture the moments like Brian Cannon. Cannon, who photographed iconic album covers and sleeves for The Verve, Oasis, Groove Armada, Ash, Inspirational Carpets and many others became the man with the "eye" for Britpop. His unique style of photography was like capturing the feeling of what it is like to be enhanced by heavy drugs and a state of euphoria. This past year, Cannon had his work displayed at the British Music Experience at the O2 in London and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Global Annual Design Awards this past November. Aside from hismassive success as a music photographer, Cannon also is the owner of Microdot, a graphic design company that celebrated its 21 years in the business this past year.

We spoke with Cannon about his work and accolades and who he would still love to work with and what he considers his favorite work. We also discussed his favorite music and seeing if there is any hope that Oasis or The Verve would ever reunite again...

Your iconic work will be featured as part of the British Music Experience at the O2, how excited and proud are you to have your work displayed?

I am honoured and flattered to have my work displayed alongside some of the all time greats, it really is a wonderful feeling to think people are interested in my creations.

Your company, Microdot has been going strong for 21 years now. How do you think you have managed to stay on top of your game and successful after all of these years?

The thing with me and Microdot is passion. I absolutely live for what I do and every job that leaves the studio is done to the absolute best of my ability, don’t forget, my name is on these works and some of them will be around forever so they have to be good.

Back to theO2 exhibit, was it difficult picking certain works to showcase? Did you leave something out that you felt was important but could not feature?

Everything I wanted to include was in there more or less so I was very happy with the presentation.

Like Annie Leibovitz photographed American rock and roll of the 70’s, you made your mark on Britpop of the 90’s. What was it like to be apart of that now infamous and notorious era?

It was a riot, looking back I’m amazed we actually got any work done let alone the calibre of stuff we were turning out. For about 3 years in the mid 90’s it seemed like one long party. I lived in Noel Gallagher’s old flat in Camden Town, North West London – it was like being at the eye of the hurricane, it was fantastic.

Do you ever feel Britpop will ever make a big comeback, or was that just a moment in time?

Britpop was just a label made up by the music press, in reality there were very few bands who were any good and with the exception of Oasis and The Verve, none of them really had much to do with each other. If it does make a ‘comeback’ it’ll be just another invention of the media.

Of all the sleeves you have done, which is your favorite?

Easily Verve’s first album, A Storm In Heaven.

Of all of your photos which one was the hardest to create?

Putting a Rolls Royce in a swimming pool for Oasis Be Here Now was no easy feat I can tell you!

Oasis and The Verve were two band’s you spent the most time photographing for. How much to do you miss them?

It’s not a case of missing them, that was then and this is now, I’m obviously grateful for the exposure it gave my work, but you have to move on.

How did you first get introduced to those bands?

I met both Richard [Ashcroft] and Noel [Gallagher] purely by chance six years apart, Richard at a party and Noel in an elevator! They liked what I was doing visually and invited me to work with their respective bands.

Who, of any bands of today would you like to work with?

Arctic Monkeys

Aside from the work that you have done, what is your favorite album sleeve that you wish you had done?

There’s two, Pink Floyd Ummagumma and Never Mind The Bollocks by the Sex Pistols

Many of your images have your signature trademark of an item or person coming at your right in the foreground and smaller decreasing images in the background. Almost like a fish-eye or extreme wide angle. Was this done on purpose to make your mark?

Now you mention it – it’s the first time I’ve actually noticed that!

Aside from photographing and working with musicians, Microdot has done various ad campaigns for major companies. Are those just as fun and creative?

On the whole no – you have to deal with a team of people all trying to have their say – creative decision by committee just doesn’t work

What is next for you?

All sorts going on at the minute, working with bands, doing some lecturing in Universities, lots of overseas clients, many in the US – exciting times.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mariachi El Bronx on Letterman

Mariachi El Bronx hit up Letterman this week to perform "Revolution Girls." Take a look!

Another Look at 2011

As we posted our Top 10 list earlier this month, in keeping with tradition, we asked our magnificent correspondents their opinions on their favorite albums of the year. Take a look at the different flavors of 2011.

Correspondent Leah Marchesano aka Leah Lovecat's Top Albums of the Year:

Grouplove - Never Trust A Happy Song
The Horrors - Skying
Miles Kane
The Vaccines- What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
The Strokes- Angles
White Lies- Ritual
Foster The People-Torches
The Joy Formidable- The Big Roar
Cat's Eyes

Thank You's:
As always, Sal Bono, who continues to be a beacon of light to music lovers, Mike Hindert, Ann Marie Weis, Kimmy Grace Santos & The Sour Mash Blog, Wyldlife, SHAPES, Maverick Inman, The Twees, everyone at Merrifield Records, The Van Doo's, The Narrows, Stateside Menace, Gem and the Deadheads, Julian Harding, Dave Cromwell, new friends and old...lets have a great 2012! Love-Leah Lovecat

Our special UK correspondent and New Addition to the team, Linn Branson's Picks:

Wild Beasts - Smother
Chapel Club - Palace
Other Lives - Tamer Animals
The Horrors - Skying
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
The Antlers - Burst Apart
Washed Out - Within and Without
Elbow - Build A Rocket, Boys!
I Break Horses - Hearts
Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

Our British Muse and Close Friend, Simon Mason's Top 10:

Ghostpoet - Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam
White Hills - HP-1
Radiohead - The King of Limbs
Parking Lights - 939
John Maus - We Shall Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
Balam Acab - Wander / Wonder
Delta Swamp Rock - Sounds From The South: At The Crossroads Of Rock, Country And Soul
Burial - Street Halo EP

Our Photo Correspondent, Videographer and Primer NYC DJ RICH D SMOOV's List (Broken Down by Genre):

Indie Album: Radiohead - The King of Limbs
Commercial Hip-Hop: Raekwon The Chef - Shaolin vs Wu-Tang
Latin/International: Davilla 666 - Tan Bajo
Hardcore: Atari Teenage Riot - Is this Hyperreal?
Indie Hip-Hop: Apathy - Honkey Kong
Black Metal: Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
Turntablism: J-Roc- Some Cold Rock Stuff
Instrumental: Clams Casino - Rainforest EP
Prog: Opeth: Heritage
Experimental: Wagonchrist- Tomorrow

Honorable Mentions:
Retro/psych Rock: The Black Lips - Arabia Mountain
DJ Album: DJ Shadow - The Less You Know, The Better
Mix Tape Of The Year: Danny Brown - XXX
Electronica: Mr Oizo - Stade 2
Dubstep: Bassnectar - Divergent Spectrum
Metal: Krallice - Diotima
Commercial Metal: Mastodon - The Hunter
Best Brooklyn Black Metal Band: Liturgy - Aesthethica
Alternative: The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar

Now, Our Loud Rock Correspondent, The ROCK(jock)'s list:

You Yuppies ready to make your ears bleed?! Here are the ten best albums from the past year to help you get your headbang on.

10. The Human Abstract- Digital Veil – Despite being a band close to the ROCK(jock)’s heart, there’s no bias here. The band experimented a little too much on their sophomore effort, Midheaven, but took the lessons learned there, applied it to the sound from their stellar debut, Nocturne, and returned to form in 2011 with their best album yet. Fans of Between the Buried and Me, take notice—Digital Veil may have been the best full-length progressive album of the year.

9. Fallujah - The Harvest Wombs – This might win the award for the most overlooked record of the year. Right out of the gate on their debut LP, Fallujah sets the standard for what death metal can achieve through smart songwriting--something a number of their contemporaries seemed to realize in 2011. Instead of blasting us to death with repetitive chugs like every other uninspired death act, The Harvest Wombs couples intricate rhythms with melancholic and apocalyptic melodies (that’s right, MELODIES) to keep things heavy yet diverse and interesting.

8. Volbeat - Beyond Hell/Above Heaven – Thank you Officially a Yuppie for introducing me to this band. If only all radio rock could be this sophisticated and fun.

7. Kvelertak - Kvelertak, The End – I named this the Best Debut record on Episode #9 of The SIDESHOW Podcast despite the fact it was released internationally last year and there’s actually a full-length debut ranked higher on this list. But as The SIDESHOW’s listeners have come to realize, the ROCK(jock) is not a man of logic. Besides, Kvelertak deserves to be singled out. Just like iwrestledabearonce two years ago, this record is an extremely promising, totally fun, and completely different offering that metal and music in general needs to keep moving forward.

6. Between the Buried and Me- Hypersleep Dialogues– I referred to The Human Abstract’s Digital Veil as the best FULL-LENGTH progressive album in 2011. That was an important distinction because BTBAM is still the torch-bearer and part one of their two-part concept album shows why. Honing the heavier sound they returned to on The Great Divide following the brilliant departure into the unclassifiable Colors, this year’s EP features everything that makes Between the Buried and Me the best at what they do. Over the course of just three tracks, which still clock in at a whopping 31 minutes, BTBAM ties together disparate musical elements with a story about “two human characters who live in different planes of existence, separated by millions of light years.” (Courtesy: Gun Shy Assassin). Besides being a sucker for concept albums, BTBAM took a chance experimenting with the EP format that could soon become the future of the record industry and for that, they should be commended.

5. August Burns Red - Leveler – For those who weren’t in love with ABR’s last offering, Constellations—you’re an idiot. Regardless, Leveler gave you exactly what you wanted as the band brought back the breakdowns and applied them to the experimentation that made Constellations so great. However, this album has slowly but continuously fallen farther and farther down my Top Ten since its release back in July. While no other metal album this year was as infectiously catchy as Leveler, the preachy lyrics get tiresome. Sadly, between songs like “Salt & Light” and tour partners like Silverstein, all the hallmarks of a band on the verge of selling out are there. Enjoy Leveler while you can—it’s likely August Burns Red’s last great album.

4. TesseracT - One – It took a while, but no album grew on me more this year than TesseracT’s debut LP. It’s beautiful and ethereal and shows why the rise of progressive djent as the next big scene in metal is the best possible thing. Not to mention, you know an album has some chops if the label decides to re-release it instrumentally. (Well, in most cases. I’m looking at you Darkest Hour.) By the way, notice how this marks the THIRD debut to make my Top Ten? Yeah, 2011 was pretty disappointing for the heavy hitters but that opened the door for a ton of new talent to step up, just like TesseracT did on One.

3. Glassjaw - Coloring Book – Considering the crowd reaction to the band’s new music, it seems odd Glassjaw only released this EP as free handout at their concerts. Well, it’s time you “real” Glassjaw fans faced facts and got over your teen angst. Darryl’s all grown up now and it shows on Coloring Book—hands down the best music the post-hardcore legends have ever crafted. Instead of another collection of spastic, disjointed mishmashes, Glassjaw coherently mixed its signature elements into tight and memorable performances which haunt you long after you’ve finished spinning the record, something their older material never quite achieved. Add to that the lyrical fodder Palumbo’s rejection of his former lifestyle makes for and Coloring Book finds Glassjaw boldly evolving with the times, regardless of fan outcry, and doing it in a way that lives up to the mythic status they’ve cultivated over the years.

2. Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual – Black Dahlia Murder has been at the top of the death metal subgenre for years now but had yet to make that career album—the kind so good it defies genre borders and earns universal acceptance and praise. Ritual is that album. Long among the most technically gifted musicians in all of heavy metal, their music was often too focused on ability, not to mention their sonic assault made it difficult to listen to one of their albums all the way through. Just like Fallujah though, Black Dahlia flexed its songwriting chops on Ritual to deliver not only the most memorable and diverse songs of their career, but maybe in the history of death metal. Virtually any other year, this would be a #1 album.

1. Machine Head - Unto the Locust – If you’ve listened to The SIDESHOW at all, this should come as no surprise. Hell, if you have ears then this should be a no-brainer. Four-and-a-half years after composing the greatest metal album of the new millennium and one of the all-time classics, Machine Head had no chance of living up to the anticipation surrounding Unto the Locust. But somehow, not only did they meet expectations, they vastly exceeded them with this instant classic to make one of the greatest back-to-back album tandems in metal history, rivaling Metallica’s Ride the Lightning/Master of Puppets. Every song is unforgettable and unique, each displaying one of the band’s innumerable strengths. “I Am Hell” may be the heaviest intro in the band’s already incomparably heavy repetoire, “Locust” is the perfect live song, and “Darkness Within” shows a range few of Machine Head’s contemporaries share. If you Yuppies are anything like Sal, then you recognize and appreciate good music regardless of genre. Do yourself a favor this holiday and gift yourself what is surely one of 2011’s best, no matter what you listen to.


..and Finally, Bill Reese, Managing Editor and Host of Our Podcast, OFFICIALLY A PODCAST. Here is his End of the Year List:

Honorable mentions:

Bon Iver
Bess Rogers
- Out of the Ocean
Candy Hearts - Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy
Death Cab for Cutie - Codes & Keys
The Jayhawks - Mockingbird Time
Radiohead - The King of Limbs
TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light

Top 10:

10. Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! - Hello
Their yet-unfinished sophomore effort would have placed much higher, but it won't see release until 2012.

9. Mastadon - The Hunter
A prog rock album that's not afraid to bear its teeth.

8. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Title track is one of the best pieces of songwriting put out this year. Flawless production.

7. Cults
Catchy as fuck, a fantastic record to put on at a PBR-drenched party.

6. Decemberists - The King Is Dead
Proof that a hyper-literate band can follow up a bona fide opera with a low-down Tom Petty-ish record of country/folk jams.

5. Arctic Monkeys - Suck it And See
Turner, The prodigal son is back, singing another fooking Sha-La-La-La

4. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
Remember what I said about the Cults disc being catchy? This one puts it to shame, especially the first 2 tracks.

3. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
The most musically ambitious record of 2011. Chilling and mesmerizing.

2. Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip
Shoegaze and synth pop, two dynamic genres forged together by these surprising newcomers.

1. Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
4 acts. 76 minutes. 18 songs. It's brutal. It's poignant. It's got the sharpest hooks in punk or any rock and roll this year. An unequivocal masterpiece. Sure to be in the top 5 of the decade.

Friday, December 23, 2011

LOST Lykke Li Sessions Surface

A three-song demo collection of tracks from Lykke Li's current release, Wounded Rhymes has surfaced online. The collection, Lykke Li: The Lost Sessions Vol. 1 seems to indicate that more are on their way. Take a listen to the early versions of "I Follow Rivers,""Jerome," and "Youth Knows No Pain."

Childish Gambino on Letterman!

Childish Gambino hit up Letterman last night to perform "Heartbeat." Take a look!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another LOST EARLY Radiohead Song Surface!

Just last month, two songs from the band, before they were Radiohead and known as On A Friday surfaced.

Now, Radiohead fan site, says the song with the title(s) "Putting Ketchup In The Fridge" and "How Do You Sit Still." The song was discovered by and the site wrote: "A track surfaced today with vocals sounding like Thom Yorke's together with a Radiohead sound that could’ve been recorded in the early nineties. Think 'Pablo Honey', 'The Bends'."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Last week in New Zealand, Foo Fighters cause the ground to move - literally. The band were performing at West Springs Stadium in Auckland and fans were jumping so much that a small earthquake registered at a seismic station two kilometers away.

Dillinger Escape Plan have begun writing material for its fifth studio album reports The band plan to have the record out at some point next year.

Phantom Planet have reunited since their 2008 hiatus. The band, who struck a major hit in 2002 with the song "California," are working on a new EP and will tour in 2012.

Miike Snow will release their new album, Happy to You on March 26.

The Bouncing Souls are currently working on their new studio album. The band posted a video a Youtube to announce their new material.

RARE David Bowie Top of the Pops Appearance Surfaces!

A lost performance of David Bowie that has not been seen in three decades and a performance no American has ever seen, surfaced on Youtube today.

The clip is Bowie, in his Aladdin Sane alter-ego performing "The Jean Genie," the performance only aired once originally on January 4, 1973, the day after it was taped for Top of the Pops. After it aired, it was lost when hundreds of shows that were erased on tape and those tapes were reused by the BBC, because of the tapes high cost, admits the BBC on their website. The footage was found by a former Top of the Pops cameraman, John Henshall, who had no idea how rare the performance was.

Henshall posted the footage online and the performance shows The Thin White Duke backed by The Spiders from Mars performing an extended version of the song. Take a look!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


As December brings itself to the holiday season, here are some non-holiday songs to close out the month.

- Incubus - "If Not Now, When?"
- Biffy Clyro - "The Captain"
- Jimmy Cliff - "Ruby Soho"
- The Vaccines - "Wetsuit"
- Pulp - "Disco 2000"
- Atari Teenage Riot - "Black Flags"
- Mumford and Sons - "Roll Away Your Stone"
- Elbow - "Mirrorball"
- U2 - "Out of Control"
- Suede - "Animal Nitrate"
- Bjork - "Crystalline"
- The White Stripes - "Hello Operator"
- Tim Fite - "Line by Line"
- Hodgy Beats - "Ignorant Shit"
- Tyler, The Creator - "Golden"
- Jill Scott - "Blessed"
- Adele - "Set Fire to the Rain"
- Primal Scream - "Movin' on Up"
- Kool Moe Dee - "Go See the Doctor"
- EPMD - "You Gots to Chill"
- Fitz and the Tantrums - "Rich Girls"
- REM - "That Someone is You"
- Common feat. Nas - "Ghetto Dreams"
- The Horrors - "Chasing the Rain"

LISTEN to this Playlist on SPOTIFY!

Follow me on Spotify

Monday, December 19, 2011

Live Pix - Swedish House Mafia @ MSG

Our ears are still ringing from the pulse pounding performance from Swedish House Mafia on Friday night at Madison Square Garden or as we dubbed it - "Club MSG." Take a look at correspondent RICH D SMOOV's pix of the night.

For More Photos of Swedish House Mafia PLUS opener A-Trak, LIKE us on FACEBOOK:

Quick News

Sir Paul McCartney is set to release a new album in 2012. The yet-to-be titled LP will be released in February and will feature the help of Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder. Macca plans to have the record be full of songs that inspired his childhood, as well as two new songs.

After the break-up of Grinderman earlier this month, Nick Cave is going to link up with The Bad Seeds again. Bad Seed / Ginderman member Jim Sclavunos told Faster, Louder that "We have kind of neglected Bad Seeds of late... It’s been about four years since we have done anything and I think it's high time we made some beautiful music together, again." The band's last record was 2008's Dig, Lazarus, Dig!

Blur member Alex James has given some big news to fans of the band, confirming that the Britpop band will play at next year's Brit Awards. The Blur bassist told XFM that "We're going to play, which is brilliant, it's like putting the Blues Brothers back together."

Sunday, December 18, 2011


In June we named Reptar our Rising Artist for that month, in August we saw the band blow everyone away at Lollapalooza and release their debut EP - Oblangle Fizz Y'All. Now, Reptar have gained the momentum and popularity that will bring them right into the new year with a bang. As 2012 peaks its head around the corner, we predict Reptar are going to be one of the break-out bands of next year. The Athens, Georgia quartet just know how to have fun and not take themselves too seriously and with this philosophy, Reptar will have the success they are yearning for. We spoke with guitarist, Graham Ulicny about the bands roots, discovery and being an Athens band. Take a look at our interview with Graham below:

Hailing from Athens, Georgia and having such magnificent music always come from that city, do you feel any pressure to live up to any expectations, due to the city’s legacy?

Well personally I don't feel pressure. Making music is not supposed to be a competitive thing. I think seeing other great bands can really aspire people to write and practice and stuff but in the end everyone must do their own thing. Athen's is a cool place to be in a band and we have been really lucky to meet the musicians that we have.

Has Athens influenced you as a musician, as a band?

I think the people there have. Like I said, I feel really lucky to have participated in the music scene there. It's very nurturing for young bands I think. There is obviously a lot of music that has come out of Athens that I love, but I couldn't begin to trace how that has influenced the music we make. I guess we started out playing a lot of house shows. That definitely has had a big effect on our energy onstage.

Who is your favorite Athens band?

Fuck. I can't answer this. Seriously I just can't. Check out Powers, Bubbly Mommy Gun, CoCo Rico, Quiet Hooves, Grape Soda and New Sound of Numbers. There are so many more........

You linked up with Ben H Allen, who took notice of your music. How did he hear about you?

He came to one of our shows and really dug it. He was waiting for a friend at a bar and stumbled in to the Drunken Unicorn where we were playing in Atlanta. He came up to me after the show and asked if we wanted to record some stuff.

Your music is very exciting and different than most bands out there today. NME calls it “cartoon acid – wave,” not exactly sure what the means but how do you classify or define your sound?

I like that description. I like the fact that people have a hard time pinning our music down. It means that at the very least we are being creative. I think we are too young for a genre right now. I guess I'd say: we'll see.

The band is rather young, how long have you been together?

We played our first real show in May of 2009. We lived together over that summer and wrote a lot of our first songs.

You received a ton of buzz at this years SXSW festival, what is it like to be one of the buzz bands to come from that experience? How was that experience for you?

SXSW was a fucking trip. The first year we went, no one knew who we were. Honestly, the showcases are kind of a let down. You see a lot industry people who show up at shows because it's their job. A lot of tweeting and other silly shit like that. The best part for us is getting to hang out with new friends and friends we've made in other citys. Our shows went well though for the most part. Our best show was a house party we played at our friend Ramona's house. We played on the back of her neighbor's flatbed truck and had a bonfire. It was really nice.

Prior to SXSW or CMJ showcases, your live shows have gotten you so much attention. What are you doing that is making you the talk of the town?

Well I'm not exactly sure. All I can say is that we fucking love playing music for people. Nothing in the world makes me happier than playing music for people and when they dig it there is this connection that is just incredible. We just want people to have fun and maybe have an intense existential experience. We are constantly trying to make the musical aspect of it better. Other than that we just have a lot of fun.

You take your name from the Rugrats cartoon character (very awesome), any other pop culture references that you love that we should know about?

Pacman eating handcuffs, eating a pizza.

How much fun are you having doing this and performing with this band?

Words fail. It's incredible to be able to share our music with people. That's why people play music in bands.

Are you working on a debut album?

Yes, we are currently finishing writing songs for a full length. That will be out sometime early next year (vague enough?).

How would you describe your band to someone who has never heard of you before?

It's like being stranded on an alien planet without food or water. You are really bummed out at first but then you find a race of sentient being who proceed to throw you a pizza party and hand you an instant orgasm orb like the one from that Woody Allen movie.

20 Best Gigs of 2011!

2011! What a year for us! As we ran around the boroughs all year to capture the action in New York City, we still stretched our outreach over to Chicago for the summer for Lollapalooza and this past month to London for Smith & Burrows only UK apperance. We felt like we were all over the musical map with the only massive gig of the year that we missed was LCD Soundsystem's final bow. However, we managed to get to Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Swedish House Mafia, U2 and so many others - plus all the private shows at Ed Sullivan Theater. We reviewed and captured the vibe of 98 concerts in 2011! Plus reviewing four major festivals - Lollapalooza, Rock the Bells, Mad Decent Block Party and 4Knots. Here is a list of the 20 Best Gigs of the year. Put your cursor over each gig for said concerts review.

1) U2 @ New Meadowlands
2) Paul McCartney @ Yankee Stadium
3) Radiohead @ Roseland
4) Foo Fighters @ Ed Sullivan
5) Robyn @ Radio City
6) James Blake @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
7) Portugal. The Man @ Terminal 5 / Webster Hall
8) The Vaccines @ Bowery Ballroom
9) Noel Gallagher @ Beacon Theater
10) Beady Eye @ Ed Sullivan / Webster Hall
11) Titus Andronicus @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
12) Adele @ Ed Sullivan
13) Fitz & the Tantrums @ Bowery Ballroom
14) Coldplay @ Ed Sullivan
15) The Strokes @ Madison Square Garden
16) Deftones / Dillinger Escape Plan / Funeral Party @ Best Buy Theater
17) Swedish House Mafia @ Madison Square Garden
18) Company Flow @ Santos Party Haus
19) The Hold Steady @ Terminal 5
20) The Heartbreaks @ Fashion Night Out

Quick News

Radiohead have confirmed that they will be playing "new" material on next years tour. The band, who released one of this years best albums - The King of Limbs in February, already have a new batch of songs they will be playing on their 2012 world tour.

Trent Reznor's other band - How to Destroy Angels will release their long awaited debut LP in the "first quarter" of 2012 says Reznor to Rolling Stone.

Foo Fighters, who are currently on a massive world tour are confirming they will write a new album next year. It will be the immediate follow-up to this years Wasting Light, which we named as one of the years best albums.

The Vaccines, who also released one of the years best albums, have already begun writing their sophomore record and follow-up to What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? The band tells NME that they "not to make the same record again."

The Beach Boys have announced a reunion! The band will reunite with Brian Wilson for their 50th anniversary and will create a new album. Wilson says on the band's website that "This anniversary is special to me because I miss the boys and it will be a thrill for me to make a new record and be on stage with them again." The Beach Boys will be performing at this years Grammy Awards.

Late poet and musician, Gil Scott-Heron, who passed away earlier this year will release his autobiography posthumously. The autobiography entitled, "The Last Holiday: A Memoir" will be released next month.

..and in a great way to close out the week, watch Jeff Tweedy of Wilco do the weather forecast for a local Chicago news station.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Live Review - Swedish House Mafia @ MSG

It's official - DJ's are the new rockstars. For the first time ever, electronic music headlined and sold-out Madison Square Garden, a feat that has never been accomplished by some of the pioneers of the genre, people like Chemical Brothers, Paul Oakenfold, Tiesto, Daft Punk and others. Yet, thanks to all of those artists, the road was paved for Swedish House Mafia to come in and headline. From Miami to Ibiza to LA to London to New York, Swedish House Mafia have spent their time together playing the hottest clubs and festivals for years but now the time is theirs and seizing a moment like this is not only amazing but also a benchmark in the genre's history.

Swedish House Mafia is a supergroup one can say comprised of three respected producers and DJ's - Axwell, Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, the trio started working together in 2009 and now, just two years later, thanks in part to their non-stop touring schedule, remixes and popular production they headlined the world's most famous arena. Starting their set just before 11pm, a giant screen in front of their stage was projecting images of the history of the arena and leading up to the moment their beats would reign supreme. With explosions, pyrotechnics and loud sirens - that screen hit the floor to unveil the superstar DJ's hard at work in their massive booth. In a sight that had to be seen and difficult to describe, Swedish House Mafia single-handedly turned Madison Square Garden into "Club MSG," there were moments where you had to remember where you were. With tens of thousands of people waving their arms, fist pumping, dancing around - it was the biggest party to ever hit New York City and somewhat awe inspiring that an entire room of that many people are moving in unison to the same sound. With massive screens and fireworks, Swedish House Mafia upped the ante considering the room they were in with effects that could never work in a club. As the confetti, smoke and streamers being blasted into the crowd, they audience just got wilder. With remixes from Adele, REM, Coldplay and special guests Tinie Tempah and John Martin, this gig will be one for the history books. Swedish House Mafia's two hour set was enough to give fans a taste of their new status, but the boys were not done yet as they would go uptown after their massive night to perform again at Roseland. With electronica acts headlining major festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza and their own festivals like Creamfields, Ultra, Electric Daisy and Electric Zoo and now Madison Square Garden - this is the new rock and roll and we are only seeing the beginning.

Opening was New York DJ and Fools Gold record label owner - A-Trak, was the perfect warm-up for such a hot night. A-Track, decked out in a tuxedo looking like James Bond spun from his booth a great set of remixes from Kanye, Adele, Jay-Z, Daft Punk and enough fan favorites to have the arena move. With his set that looked like a giant letter "A," and enough sub-bass to make your jugular rattle in your throat, A-Trak had a smile from ear to ear as the hometown boy who made it to the big house. By the end of his near hour and a half set, A-Trak took to old-school methods and began scratching on his vinyl decks, a nice touch to a truly epic set.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Live Pix - The National @ The Beacon

The National played night four of their six night run at New York's Beacon Theater last night. We were on hand to capture the action! Take a look at our live pix!

For WAY MORE Photos of The National & openers Wye Oak at The Beacon - LIKE US on Facebook

Live Review - The National @ Beacon Theater

If someone told The National a few years ago that they would be headlining six pact nights at New York’s legendary Beacon Theater, they would have probably laughed in your face. The Brooklyn via Midwest band have been rising stars since the release of their 2005 release, Alligator, yet as they conclude the touring cycle of their most successful release, one of last years best, High Violet, they return back to their roots in New York City for an epic week of close-out specials.

For these special concerts at the Beacon, The National wanted to take fans through a timeline of their music and make each night special and separate from the last. Night four of their six night stay the band dug deep in their catalog but also showed-up to play fan favorites. As the lights dimmed just after 9pm, and Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” was blaring through the speakers, the giant screen that is behind the bands gear began showing live video of The National backstage getting ready, mixing drinks and walking to the stage. As they strutted onto the legendary stage and backed by a horn section and small four-piece orchestra, the bands front man Matt Berninger leaned into his microphone and gave a deep “thank you” before walking to the drum kit to fix himself a drink. Opening with the somber “Thirsty,” then going into “Anyone’s Ghost” and “Baby, We’ll Be Fine,” The National were only getting their feet wet. Then as “Bloodbuzz Ohio” the Beacon, as one would expect with such a bombastic song, erupted. With support from Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak (who opened) on guitar for “Bloodbuzz” and many of the songs from the night, the song was even more thunderous than usual.

In between songs, Berninger would talk more than I have personally ever witnessed and seeing the band seven times, this was unusual but welcomed banter between songs. His stories would range from how he had gone running earlier in the day and cannot move to the bands first appearance at SXSW in 2002 and forgetting the lyrics to nearly every song he had written. The stories brought the audience closer to the band that remain very tight and quiet about their private lives and their inner realm. The National took fans back to their beginnings with old songs like “Driver, Surprise Me” and “Son” then erupted in the fury again with “Abel.” With a majority of songs coming off High Violet, The National did spread their wings. As they walked off the stage after their closing staple, “Mr. November,” the audience was content with what they had just gotten.

As they emerged from the wings for their encore, The Nationals lush and layered sound was brought to an acoustic level when they played a brand new song, “I Need My Girl.” It was an encore that also saw a B-side “Exile Vilify,” performed as well as “Terrible Love.” Yet, to close out this show in a fashion only The National could, guitarist and musical arranger Bryce Dessner told the crowd how they were really going unplugged and wanted everyone to sing-along for “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks,” again with support from Wye Oak, the band stood on stage playing and the crowd sang the words – a beautiful and perfect way to close out a beautiful and perfect night.

As we mentioned earlier, Baltimore duo Wye Oak opened the show. With each night of The Nationals six night stay, different support acts were hand-picked by the band. Wye Oak have had a great 2011, as they opened the year opening for The Decemberists at the Beacon, they close it opening for The National. The duo consists of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack and plays a very cerebral and layered form of indie rock. With Wasner’s haunting vocals and interesting guitar playing and Stacks drumming and simultaneous keyboard playing, he looks like Ray Manzarek and Bonzo all over the kit and keys. With his legs flopping around like a fish controlling his multi-pedals and Wasner shredding during the break-downs of their music, Wye Oak have developed a sound that is very special and the Beacon was the perfect setting to experience it.

The National 12/15/11 Beacon Theater Set List:

Anyone's Ghost
Baby, We'll Be Fine
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Slow Show
Squalor Victoria
Afraid Of Everyone
Conversation 16
Driver, Surprise Me
Fake Empire
Mr. November


I Need My Girl
Exile Vilify
Terrible Love
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Great Soundtracks - A Hard Day's Night

1964 - the year the biggest band in the world got even bigger. Hard to imagine, but if there was a way for The Beatles to create more of a movement in pop culture as they were already on the quick rise to infamy, it happened in 1964. The Fab Four starred in their very first film, A Hard Days Night, a story that pretty much is more documentary than narrative, it follows The Beatles on a train to record in a London TV studio but as they dodge their fans, press and try and not loose Paul's uncle in the process, it is a time-capsule of true Beatlemania.

Since the marketing behind The Beatles was so precise and so brilliantly thought out, the film, which ended up being a box-office and critical smash, saw Capitol Records and United Artists release two albums called A Hard Days Night. One of those albums ends up being the actual album of the same name, which on vinyl - all of Side A is half of the films soundtrack and Side B is all original material. United Artists released a 12 song soundtrack which made fans buy the album or songs twice. No wonder the music business boomed back then! A Hard Days Night - the soundtrack - still stands as one of the greatest musical achievements of all time and holds high remarks as some of the greatest pop tunes recorded. The songs were featured in the film and enhanced the sound and style of Liverpool's favorite sons even more. The actual album of the same name is just a further step toward great records as the album is re guarded as one of the greatest of all time and one of the greatest early-Beatles albums.

The Shins Cover & Tracklisting!

After a five year long wait, The Shins - with a new line-up will release their new album, Port of Morrow in March. Take a look at the cover above and the tracklisting below:

01 The Rifle's Spiral
02 Simple Song
03 It's Only Life
04 No Way Down
05 September
06 Bait and Switch
07 Fall of '82
08 For a Fool
09 40 Mark Strasse
10 Port of Morrow

Wild Flag on Letterman

Watch Paul Schaffer go apeshit after Wild Flag rocked Letterman last night after performing "Romance." Take a look!

Magnetic Fields Cover & Tracklisting!

On March 6, The Magnetic Fields will release their latest album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea. Take a look at the cover above and the tracklisting below.

God Wants Us to Wait
Andrew in Drag
Your Girlfriend's Face
Born for Love
I'd Go Anywhere with Hugh
Infatuation (with your gyration)
Only Boy in Town
The Machine in Your Hand
Goin' Back to the Country
I've Run Away to Join the Fairies
The Horrible Party
My Husband's Pied a Terre
I Don't Link Your Tone
All She Cares About Is Mariachi

Live Review - Smith & Burrows @ Union Chapel

Smith & Burrows Live at Union Chapel, London
December 12

by Linn Branson*
Photo by Alistair Burns

It was the hottest ticket in town for this, the only live UK date for Editors’ Tom Smith and ex-Razorlight (now I Am Arrows) drummer Andy Burrows, coming together as Smith & Burrows. Even the blustery, wet December weather did not deter a full congregation in north London’s Union Chapel. And a more perfect setting to display the Christmas-themed ware from their critically acclaimed debut Funny Looking Angels album would be hard to find.

Not that Messrs. S&B exactly dressed up for the evening, the pair looking like two slightly indie-worn cherubs in street casual jeans and wings – yes, those cutely cherubic protuberances from the album’s cover – were the order of the night. Not that it detracted from proceedings one iota. If the intent behind Funny Looking Angels was to ‘conjure images of friends coming home from the pub and reflective winter evenings’, then they brought it to life here: two comrades having a merry old time of it with a ‘few friends’ – aka the audience – who’ve popped round for a get-together, a few songs and plenty of cheer. There was even a raffle with prizes to be had, just to complete the air of all round bonhomie.

Throughout a set that took in much of the album’s content, there were also the inclusions of REM’s ‘Half A World Away’ and covers of Razorlight’s ‘America’ and ‘Before I Fall To Pieces’, with a guest appearance from Editors’ own drummer Ed Lay, deftly chiming sleigh bells; S&B’s own cover version of Yazoo’s ‘Only You’ also gets a look in. Not to be left out, Editors’ own ‘Papillon’ and ‘Walk The Fleet Road’ from the In This Light And On This Evening album were also thrown in the mix – neither of which sounded any less stirring performed as they were without full electrics, in an acoustic style; in fact, the opposite could easily be said, with more weight being handed over to the vocal and resonance given to the lyrical content.

Of course, the set’s honours had to go to the songs that have become familiar from the album, such as ‘The Christmas Song’, a short, poignant duet between Smith and band cellist, Isabelle Dunn; and ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’, with Smith taking up guitar midway, complete with a trumpet finale. Playing inter-changeable roles, on ‘If I Had A Heart’ (a Burrows work), it is Andy Burrows upon whom the light shines, taking charge of vocals and piano for this heartfelt little song.

Moments of magic there were in plenty. The album title track setting applause ringing, as does ‘As The Snowflakes Fall’ where Burrows’ vocals complement and balance Smith’s higher ethereal pitch. It sets a shiver down the spine, accompanied as it is by Dunn’s delightful cello and a trumpet solo. To round of the set comes ‘When The Thames Froze’, a five-minute-plus song, on which Smith this time plays keyboards to Burrows’ taking centre stage on guitar. Its lyric of ‘Goddamn this snow/Will I ever get where I want to go?’ may have set minds racing back to the UK’s last harsh snowbound winter, but on this particular night it could only gladden the heart. As the band take their bows at its end to ear-shattering applause and cheers, let’s hope we have not seen the last of these particular ‘funny looking angels’.

*Linn Branson is our special London correspondent. This is her first article for Officially A Yuppie, we are very happy to have her on board.

Watch Death Cab For Cutie on Kimmel!

Death Cab hit up Kimmel last night to perform "You Are A Tourist" and "Under The Sycamore." Take a look!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Live Review - Graffiti6 @ Rockwood Music Hall

During the holiday season for everyone, not just in New York City, it is hard to find time in your day to be inspired and find something that will excite you. The hustle and bustle does not allow for it and maneuvering around the tourists in this town, well, it is enough to make anyone lose their minds. Yet, for a half hour tonight, a packed room at the intimate Rockwood Music Hall in the Bowery, saw people take time out of their busy and hectic schedules to get inspired and find what could be one of the most talked about new artists of next year - England's Graffiti6.

The band, which is a collaboration between British producer and DJ TommyD and singer Jamie Scott have grown from their beginnings in 2008 as something new to try into a full band. Bringing just the trio of the full Graffiti6 experience to the US for a small tour, the band wowed a crowd of onlookers in less than an hour - and that, is an accomplishment all in its own. Graffiti6's style is a cross between Simon and Garfunkel mixed with a much more romantic sound of Mumford and Sons with an Irish folk flair thrown in. "Our songs are about the aftermath of a break-up and heartbreak," Scott told the crowd as he was addressing the band's moody lyrics, but while their lyrical content maybe a bit dark and down, it is something we can all relate to. Heartbreak is, after all, part of our human condition, without it we would not feel anything and with a band like Graffiti6, we are certainly feeling something and welcoming that feeling whole heartedly.

The bands debut, Colours on January 24. This is a band to get on now and brag to your friends you heard them first.

For More Pictures of the bands set, LIKE Us on FACEBOOK:

Noel Gallagher on Conan!

Noel Gallagher took Conan by storm last night performing "AKA...What a Life!" from one of our picks of albums of the year. Take a look!

The Kooks on Kimmel!

The Kooks hit up Kimmel last night to perform "How'd You Like That." Take a look!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Live Review - Oh Land / Savoir Adore @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

It was a Sunday night in Brooklyn and the packed crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg were dressed as if it was the night before and they were going out in full force to make the night memorable. Yet, everyone was dressed to impress because Denmark's fashionable singer, Oh Land was in two for the first of two sold out shows in the area. The Copenhagen based singer, who's real name is Nanna ├śland Fabricius has been stirring audiences around the world this past year with her bouncy Euro-pop. Oh Land's sound is a cross between early Bjork meets Robyn meets Lykke Li, it is very catchy and of course something you can dance to but also very ethereal. Arriving on stage in a red jumper with fringes on the sleeves and backed by a cluster of balloons that projected her face on each ballon, Oh Land opened with "Perfection," and the crowd was smiling from ear to ear awaiting more of the magic. She is supported by two other musicians on stage, a live drummer and programmer / keyboardist while Oh Land herself does all the singing she also plays electronic drums and keyboards and dances around on stage like a fairy. She seemed to have gone in order of the track listing of her debut, which was released earlier this year, as her set list. For her third song it was her massive international hit "Son of Gun," which seemed odd to have not been the set closer and played so early on. Yet, the crowd did not seem to mind, they were having fun. For the hour that Oh Land was on stage, it was as if a European disco was erected in Brooklyn and a dance party to kick off the week.

Opening the show was Brooklyn natives, Savoir Adore. The band, who are actually a two piece outfit, were backed by a full band and it seems this is the format and line-up they will be using from now on. Savoir Adore play a Euro-pop meets electronic rock style of music, think Charlotte Gainsbourg fronting New Order is the best way to describe their sound. The main core of the band consists of Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro, who had a smile from ear to ear during the bands half-hour set. It was a big hometown show right in their backyard and the crowd were loving every minute of them, so much so that Muro had such a command over the audience that when she waved her arms like a bird during her performance, the crowd did the same. Savoir Adore have been a Brooklyn buzz band for a while and it will be any moment before they headline Music Hall on their own. The true highlight of the bands set was during their last song, "Dreamers" a remote controlled flying shark flew over the audience and turned the atmosphere into a massive fish tank. A truly magical moment to close out a truly impressive set.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 The Albums - Top 10

What a year 2011 has been for music. It was a year that guitars and the British conquered again and hip-hop hit an unfortunate slump. It was the year that we lost Amy Winehouse, LCD Soundsystem, White Stripes, REM, Heavy D, Thursday, Rilo Kiley, Grinderman but gained back Stone Roses, Black Sabbath, Black Star and The Rapture. It was the year that both Gallagher's squared off against year other and dubstep hit the mainstream. What a year indeed. Now we look back before we push forward at the 10 best albums of the year.

In Short Form:
10 - M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming!
9 - Radiohead - The King of Limbs
8 - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
7 - Florence & The Machine - Ceremonials
6 - Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
5 - Adele - 21
4 - James Blake
3 - The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
2 - Portugal. The Man - In the Mountain, In the Cloud
1 - Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See.

In Long Form With Explanations:

10. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Double albums are always an ambitious product and undertaking and are always hit or miss. Yet, when an artist crafts a double album that hits, the result is material of legend. For Frenchman Anthony Gonzolez aka M83, his latest effort - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming is a concept record about the endless imagination a child has. It is not only a record you can dance to but a record that captures the spirit it is to be a kid when the whole world is your oyster. A simply beautiful and brilliant album that will have you hitting repeat over and over and over again.
Key Tracks: Intro, Midnight City

9. Radiohead - The King of Limbs
The masters of mystery return with their shortest record to date but in typical Radiohead fashion, it finds them getting deeper and deeper into the unknown. Dabbling with the electronic blips and sonic selections they have crafted through the years and mixing it with dubstep and grime, Radiohead rework themselves into a whole new territory. Then again, that is why we love them so much.
Key Tracks: Lotus Flower, Giving up the Ghost

8. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
In the year that saw both Gallagher's pin themselves against each other as if it was a Heavy Weight Boxing match for a title belt, Noel and Liam released albums in the same year after the 2009 break-up of Oasis. While Liam and Beady Eye managed to create a solid debut record of rock and roll hits, Noel showed off his musicianship and crafted some of his best work in years. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is a record that even if you were not a fan of his work before, you will find yourself falling for it.
Key Tracks: The Death of You and Me, AKA...What a Life!

7. Florence & The Machine - Ceremonials
Defying the sophomore slump, Florence & The Machine returned with a record that is not only far superior than their debut but a record that shows the longevity of Florence Welch. Filled with layers of beautiful sounds and deep lyrics, not to mention Welch's powerful voice, the woman from Wales has gotten our attention and we cannot wait for more.
Key Tracks: Shake it Out, No Light, No Light

7. Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
In the age of computers and digital recording, hardly anyone ever dares to go analog anymore. Well, hardly anyone unless you are Foo Fighters. One of the biggest rock bands in the world decided to record in Dave Grohl's garage and strickly to tape to release not only one of the best rock albums of the year but one of the best albums of the band's career. Reuniting with Nirvana's Nevermind producer, Butch Vig, Grohl and the boys flexed their heaviest muscles and went for broke on a record we will be talking about for years to come. Also, getting a hand from former Nirvana bassist, Krist Novoselic and Husker Du front man Bob Mould also doesn't hurt to have in your corner.
Key Tracks: Bridge Burning, Walk

5 - Adele - 21
The years most talked about artist and one of 2011's biggest selling artists, Adele has become the new voice for the broken hearted. Their was no escaping Adele in 2011 and no one seemed to mind, finally a singer that cared less about appearances and more about content and most of all, finally a singer that could actually sing! 21, much like Florence and the Machine's Ceremonials, Adele defy's the tragic sophomore slump and blows her debut out of the water.
Key Tracks: Rolling in the Deep, Turning Tables

4 - James Blake
We named James Blake our "Best New Artist" for a reason, just listen to his self-titled debut and you will understand why. The seductive album that brings forth emotions of heartbreak, loss and yearning for something bigger can only come from a talent that has more to say. His simple, lo-fi and dubstep sound maybe minimal but it packs a severe punch. A sound that is joyously uncomfortable and is that album that will settle you into the end of your night or the album you will toast to with a glass of red.
Key Tracks: The Wilhelm Scream, I Never Learnt to Share

3 - The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
Exactly one year ago this month, we labeled The Vaccines as our "Rising Artist," now they have a top 5 album on our countdown. The reason for all of this is simple, The Vaccines just want to have fun and play good time rock and punk. Taking influences from doo-wop, hardcore, punk, rockabilly and Motown, this London band has had a tremendous year and will only get bigger and better over time. When we said to believe the hype, we meant it, this album is a testament to that.
Key Tracks: If You Wanna, Wetsuit

2. Portugal. The Man - In the Mountain, In the Cloud
There is something truly special about Portugal. The Man and it goes beyond their music, it is their commitment to making themselves better and better each time. The only band to EVER appear on our Top 10 list three years in a row says something. These art rockers are more concerned about pleasing their fans and making great art and could care less about record sales that with this philosophy in mind, they are the band they are and have achieved the success they have. With their major label debut, In the Mountain, In the Cloud released on Atlantic Records this year, the band still managed to make the record they wanted to make and did not compromise anything for the major label, which is why, Atlantic of all places is the perfect home for them, it has always been the philosophy of that label thanks to it's founders. Portugal. The Man are showing why they are one of the most important bands of our time and this album is further proof.
Key Tracks: Head is a Flame (Cool With It), Sleep Forever

1. Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See.
In the months after England's Arctic Monkeys released their much talked about debut, Whatever People Say I Am Is What I Am Not in 2006, they released an EP entitled Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys? and heard singer Alex Turner say "In five years time will it be 'Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys?!" Well Alex, it has been five years time and people know who the fuck you are and are coming out in droves to see you. The band has gone from playing their instruments at 100 miles-per-hour with their first two albums to taking it down a few notches with their interesting and ambitious 2009 release, Humbug to now crafting their best record to date. Suck It and See has been the album this band was born to make, everything they have done before has lead them to create this album and these sounds. A record that shows Turner's brilliant songwriting and the bands craft in proper form. Suck It and See is not only the best album of the bands career it is the best album of the year, summing up 2011 perfectly. Roaring and swelling guitars played by British musicians who have a lot to say and much to make you feel.
Key Tracks: She's Thunderstorms, Suck It and See

So that is it folks, the 2011's 10 Best. See you next year, in the meantime take a look at the other awards we gave out for our annual end of the year music lists: