In no particular order:
1. Nelsonville Music Festival’s recently announced 2011 lineup
Coach-who-lla? After pouting for a good few weeks over my pennilessness and therefore lack of resources to travel to Indio come April, good old Nelsonville Music Festival came in for the save. The Flaming Lips? Neko Case? George Jones? Yes, yes and yes.
2. Sons of Anarchy theme song: “This Life” by Curtis Stigers & the Forest Rangers
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the song. Maybe it’s because I spent the majority of my winter break watching the entire series and wishing I was in an outlaw motorcycle club, or maybe it’s because the song is appropriately smoky, ride-or-die and rock-n-roller all at the same time. Either way, it wins.
3. “Under Cover of Darkness” by The Strokes
What a sensational tease for upcoming Angles. I needed to own that entire album, like, yesterday. This single is exactly what I’d expect from The Strokes after a five-year hiatus.
4. Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream on vinyl
I have to thank my brother for this gem of a Christmas gift. For me, there is truly nothing like listening to “Today” with the scratchy, slow-drip drone of a turntable in the background while indulging in some hot chocolate and peppermint mocha creamer. Double yum.
5. Scala & Kolacny Brothers
This Belgian girls’ choir is nothing short of supernatural. Whoever thought “Smells Like Teen Spirit” could sound eerily ethereal? And yet, Scala & Kolacny Brothers nails it. Every cover they perform, from Radiohead’s “Creep” to Rammstein’s “Mutter,” gives me the best kind of goosebumps.
6. Soundtrack to Winter’s Bone
Winter’s Bone (which should, in my opinion, win all four Oscars for which it has been nominated – including Best Picture) released while I was living in Brooklyn over the summer. Whenever I felt an ache of nostalgia for Athens, I would go see the movie to get my fix, as much of its soundtrack is reminiscent of original Appalachian music and its setting looks strangely similar to rural Athens.
7. The Parlor Mob’s upcoming album
I don’t even have a Tumblr (or really understand how they function), but I am totally about to Tumblr-stalk these dudes until I get more concrete information about their record-in-progress. I fell in love with their debut, And You Were a Crow, in the spring of 2008 when it initially released and have since been waiting with bated breath for a follow-up.
8. Dharohar Project, Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons collaboration
It’s epic and delicate and absolutely riveting. They released an EP and performed together, the videos of which are all over the Internet. The tactful interweaving of British folk rock and traditional Rajasthani sounds produces an otherworldly sonic experience. My recommendation: “To Darkness/Kripa.”
9. Anything and everything by the Vitamin String Quartet
And trust me, there’s a lot of it. Midterm week brings out a favorable need for tranquility in me, and where better to turn than to the soft covers of my favorite hard songs by the Vitamin String Quartet? When I say there’s a lot of it, I mean it – the group has produced more albums than I have hairs on my head. Okay, maybe not that many, but I certainly wouldn’t be upset if they had.
10. Super Bowl XLV’s Halftime Show
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EW. LOL WUT. This would be something I don’t recommend. Actually, I do, but only for the sake of comedy. Wait, like, did this actually happen? I refuse to believe it. Black Eyed Peas is the most irritating band in existence, and I, for one, am ready for their stint to end. Fergie is the absolute death of decent music, as evidenced by her annihilation (the bad kind) of sexy Slash’s beautiful riffage. It was probably taking everything in him not to reach over and smack her and those disgusting glittery football shoulder pads off the stage with his Les Paul. Rollingstone.com said it best: “For better or worse, it was the kind of pop spectacle you would expect to see in a dystopian future.”
--Courtney Baldasare, Editorial Director