Thanks to last.fm, I can tell you what my personal favorite music of 2011 has been!
Top 10 Artists of 2011
1. The Beatles (1,156)
I’d say the number of tracks in my collection that are by The Beatles or by the Rx Bandits far outweighs the number of other tracks. It’s not a coincidence, since I love both bands, but I don’t think you’ll see these positions change much in the future.
2. RX Bandits (571)
The Bandits split up this year. It’s tragic, but that concert was amazing and I’ll always love their music.
3. Jonathan Coulton (343)
Coulton’s new release sparked way more interest in his work than I’d had last year. Adding in the band allowed his music to grow in a great way.
4. Arctic Monkeys (328)
The Monkeys are a pretty solid band and I got to see them live for the first time in 2011. Their new tracks are pretty solid, especially “Black Treacle”
5. Sambo Master (277)
I’ve written thousands of words about why I love this J-Rock band. They’ve got so much energy and emotion in their lyrics (that I can’t even understand!) and their place on this list is well-earned.
6. Kanye West (185)
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was an incredible album. It got lots of playtime throughout the year, but the final push that put it above OK Go happened as a result of the Giant Bombcast and their obsession with “Power”. I literally listened gave Kanye the listens he needed to get #6 in the last two days of the year.
7. OK Go (184)
OK Go is just a solid rock band. They’ve got great lyrics, great hooks, and they’re always great fun to listen to.
8. Rita Indiana & Los Misterios (172)
I ran into this fantastic merengue band thanks to Alt Latino. Rita makes merengue even more frantic and fun than you remember it being and I love her for it.
9. Sondre Lerche (163)
Everyone’s favorite Norwegian crooner. I like this guy because he’s got a clean
10. Janelle Monáe (161)
Janelle gets funkier than any human has any right to. Her latest, The ArchAndroid, was so well put together that I’m on the edge of my seat to see what she does next. A definite can’t miss.
11. Vampire Weekend (154)
I think these listens were front-ended on 2011. Not that I dislike VW now, but I can’t remember listening to their stuff all that much in recent months. I like busting out Contra in the cold winter to warm me up, but it’s been a mild one so far.
12. The Civil Wars (133)
Joy Williams and John Paul White have one of the most incredible duos I’ve ever been lucky enough to listen to. Their voices just go so well together and have this longing quality that is surprising considering they’re both happily married…to other people.
13. Alex Cuba (132)
This Cuban-Canadian crooner makes pretty chill, easy listening Spanish music that I can’t get enough of.
14. Keiichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka, Hiroshi Kanazu, Toshiyuki Ueno (127)
This would be the staff behind the music of Mother games. I picked up the soundtracks to the second and third game, but they’re so massive that this team rose quickly.
15. Wild Flag (123)
One of my favorite new bands of the past year, I still remember queuing for two hours (to no avail) on Record Store Day for a chance at their single. Their album turned out fantastically (easily one of the best of 2011) and seeing them live was awesome.
Top Tracks of 2011
1. Rita Indiana & Los Misterios – “El juidero” (27)
My go-to track for merengue that makes my legs want to move. “El juidero” was just fantastic and I remember putting it on all the time just to get my heartbeat up.
2. RX Bandits – “…And The Battle Begun” (25)
I have so many versions of the tracks on …And the Battle Begun that I listen to with such regularity that this song not appearing on this list would be weird.
3. RX Bandits – “Only For The Night” (24)
My favorite song makes the list? Shocker!
4. April Smith and The Great Picture Show – “Colors”, The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger – “Jardin du Luxembourg”, & The Book of Mormon Cast – “All-American Prophet” (22)
April Smith is awesome, we already know that, but I also fell in love with Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl’s little duo thanks to NPR. We also can’t forget how awesome The Book of Mormon‘s soundtrack is. Great stuff.
7. Wild Flag – “Glass Tambourine” & Jonathan Coulton – “Nemeses (Featuring John Roderick)” (21)
The first single of both band’s discs from this year got lots of listens from me in anticipation of the full tracks.
9. RX Bandits – “Decrescendo”, The Beatles – “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”, Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich+Fussible – “I Count the Ways”, & Wild Flag – “Future Crimes” (19)
“Decrescendo” closes off a bunch of Rx Bandits recordings I own. “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” is my favorite part of the Abbey Road medley. “I Count the Ways” is my second favorite Nortec song on that album. “Future Crimes” is the other single from Wild Flag released before their debut album.
13. The Beatles – “Happiness Is a Warm Gun”, Barenaked Ladies – “Enid”, & OK Go – “WTF?” (17)
I listen to “Enid” a lot. Mostly when I’m mad at a girl, but sometimes just to get the heartbeat up. “WTF?” is not my favorite songs on OK Go’s new album, but it was their first single and it was free. “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” is one of The Beatles’ late, weirder songs, but man do I love it. So creepy and weird and awesome.