Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Everest's Top Five of 2011

1. The Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Everest welcomed some albums with open arms last year. No album was more loved than The Suburbs by the Arcade Fire. It was the sound of our road trip to Arizona and back, and it never got old. Hell, it's one of my favorite albums from that year. Every song is picture perfect. There's some indie whining here and there, but Win Butler just seems to have his entire body on the pulse of what inspires the battle cry in the youth. The band's infectious energy gets Everest excited. He often could be heard singing the lyrics to "Rococo" while he was busy playing. My pride would swell any time we were in a store with the radio on and two-year old Everest would boldly blurt out, "Dad! It's Arcade Fire!"  Shop clerks took notice.

2. Daft Punk - TRON Original Soundtrack
"Lissen to Daff Punk again," Everest could be heard saying in the early half of 2011. This album got played so much in our car it started to make Julia and I sick. We had to hide the CD. Whenever I hear the synth rhythms and shuffling tech drums backing up Jeff Bridges' dialogue in the opening track, I always think of Everest's quiet concentration in the back seat. Eyes sad and focused, looking straight ahead. What was he thinking?! What was so compelling to him, I wonder? It is a good soundtrack, but wears thin after about 20 listens within a week. It's Disney-approved after all, and it's probably the only Disney soundtrack our family would be willing to put up with.

3. *shels - Plains Of The Purple Buffalo
As a music nerd, it gave me great pleasure to have my Purple Buffalo vinyl arrive and show it to my son, who was already a fan of the music. Everest and I had a moment listening to the first track on this album where the vocals are screamed. We were rocking out at the time, and much to my surprise Everest began mouthing the screaming with much zest. From this point forward E. has a taste for metal music (he is known for his famous "hammer fist" while dancing to Slipknot and System of a Down). Still, the *shels album was requested a lot, and the artwork is so iconic and lovely that it must have made a lasting impression. Again, much to my delight.

4. Tycho - Dive
This album came as a surprise. I was asked to preview it on SSG Music, and while I agreed, it wasn't good timing, so the album inherently irritated me. But then after listening to it, I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Everest somehow requested it one day. I didn't even know he knew what it was., but he asked for the album with a stark image of a sun on the cover. Everest is much more careful when handling vinyl now, and we put this one on lots. It's highly attractive on all fronts, especially the downtempo boards of canada style tunes.

5. Fever Ray - Fever Ray
For the second year in a row, this album was a huge influence on E. Karin Andersson's voice is absolutely captivating. And the electronics are so poignant. The simplicity of this album left us with no choice but to actually purchase it. We ended up with the vinyl and a deluxe CD with all the videos and a live concert.  Sometimes when Everest is tired he requests to hear it. It's hard to say no, as it's such a well made, timeless and strange record.

6. Honorable mention goes to Bjork's video for "Crystalline", directed by Michel Gondry. Everest pronounced it: "Byoo - YORK." Fits of rage were had for a while when we said 'no' to repeated viewings of this video. Once a day!

Bjork, Crystalline from Peter Sluszka on Vimeo.