Best Albums of 2011

1. Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues — Sure, it sounds medieval, but they are great players, the tones are amazing and there are some songs on there … songs meaning actual decent songs. “Blue Spotted Tail” is a great song. The album does an excellent job of capturing the feeling of being in the Cascades.

2. Bon Iver: Self Titled — He is but a simple norsk-esque guy putting together some great melodies. The Michael W. Smith-ness of it is genius. I'm glad he's receiving recognition. This album is an artistic triumph. I loved it, then got tired of it mid-2011; now I'm back into it.

3. Mike Quinn: Magico — Great homemade record from Scranton, Pa. He's a great creative mind, on the level of Bob Dylan/Neil Young, yet also like a missing fourth Beastie Boy. Quinn writes super-solid rock and roll songs; creative purity.

4. Tyler Ramsey: The Valley Wind — Good because I played on it. Just kidding. A real vibe-catcher. Great songs, and it makes you feel an actual cold mystique. Not sure if that's because we were freezing cold temperature-wise while recording it.

5. Black Keys: Brothers — The sounds are tough and amazing. They've been doing basically this for 10 years, but something about the way they presented and recorded this record clicked with society. It's not the deepest material, but it’s good knowing the average American music consumer now has a better chance of delving into something good.

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