Claire’s 2011 Best of: Music Edition

Hi Everyone,

I’m the least stellar example of a dutiful blogger these days. This morning over coffee and shopping, Claire was telling me about her Top Music Picks For 2011 List. I thought that maybe since it’s almost the New Year and I’m a little overwhelmed with how behind I am on blogging, I could publish Claire’s list to tide you over while I get my act together and craft a blog post. She’s the one that always introduces Charlie and me to the hippest, coolest, new music anyway.

I think that we’ll probably have some more Top of 2011 lists coming…

[Don’t worry, we didn’t kick Charlie out of the band. He’s just been home in bed, super sick, so he has not been privy to the coffee, shopping and Best of 2011 List comparisons. I did see him this morning and talk to him on the phone a few minutes ago. So, as of early evening on Friday, December 30th, he was still kicking and the flu hadn’t done him in yet.]

Keep on rocking in the free world,


 Claire’s 2011(ish)* Faves (somewhere in transferring this from email to blog, I lost one of the songs and I’m not sure which one it is… sorry!!)

If you have Spotify, you can click here to listen to her list as a playlist.

*Note from Claire: This is not a true “best of 2011” list because quite a few of these came out prior to 2011.  However, I let those slide because these songs were my soundtrack to 2011….

  • Share the Moon – Indigo Girls
  • Wilhelm Scream – James Blake
  • Go Outside – Cults
  • Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes
  • Lost in My Mind – The Head and the Heart
  • Up Up Up – Givers
  • The Way it Will Be – Gillian Welch
  • Down by the Water – The Decemberists
  • Learn How to Love – Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
  • I Will Remain – Matthew and the Atlas
  • Repo Man – Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs
  • Howlin’ for You – The Black Keys
  • It’s Not Impossible -Ben Sollee
  • Tree by the River – Iron & Wine
  • Shake it Out – Florence + the Machine
  • You are a Tourist – Death Cab for Cutie
  • How Far We’ve Come – Dawes
  • Always – Blind Pilot
  • Be Set Free – Langhorne Slim
  • American Nomad – The Apache Relay
  • Born with a Broken Heart – David Wax Museum
  • Up All Night – Alex Clare
  • Goat Rodeo – Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile
  • Don’t Gotta Work it Out – Fitz and the Tantrums
  • Bad as Me – Tom Waits
  • Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars
  • East Harlem – Beirut
  • Rolling in the Deep – Adele
  • Home – Lisa Hannigan
  • The Lion’s Roar – First Aid Kit
  • This Could All Be Yours – Guster
  • Hannah – Freelance Whales
  • Fathers Be Kind – Ivan & Aloysha
  • F*** You – Cee Lo Green

Sarah adds to Claire’s list:

I concur with most of Claire’s choices. But there are some noteworthy songs that made my 2011 Soundtrack that she failed to mention. The same * disclaimer applies (see Claire’s note above about things that weren’t technically released in 2011).

  • Tell ‘Em- Sleigh Bells*
  • Palomino- Mates of State
  • Dark Horses- Switchfoot
  • The Catalyst- Linkin Park*
  • Sugar Buzz- k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang
  • Young Blood- The Naked and Famous
  • Cough Syrup- Young the Giant*

Sarah’s “Least of 2011”:

Normally, I’m all about expressing your creativity through music. But seriously??!? Yikes!

  • E.T.- Katy Perry. Kind of freaks me out and I feel a little bit violated when I listen to it. And… the video is the creepiest thing that I’ve ever seen. Seriously.

Claire’s Favorite Live Shows of 2011:

She’s a concert goer. In fact, when we were in college and (strangely) had much more disposable income than we do now, jumping in a car with our friends and traveling all over creation to go to concerts was our hobby. Now with a few exceptions, we pretty much just watch the videos of the Tiny Desk Concerts on NPR.

  • Guster / Jukebox the Ghost – House of Blues (Orlando, FL)
  • Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs / Brandi Carlile – Verizon Amphitheatre (Atlanta, GA)
  • Gillian Welch – Georgia Theatre (Athens, GA)
  • Paul Simon – Hangout Fest (Gulf Shores, AL)
  • The Avett Brothers – Hangout Fest (Gulf Shores, AL)
  • The Black Keys – Hangout Fest (Gulf Shores, AL)
  • Amos Lee – Hangout Fest (Gulf Shores, AL)
  • Cee Lo Green – Hangout Fest (Gulf Shores, AL)
  • Dawes – Disc Exchange Record Store (Knoxville, TN)

Sarah adds to Claire’s list:

These days, I’m pretty stingy with my nights off. But there were a couple of concerts that I felt like were well worth exchanging for a relaxing night at home with a glass of wine and a good book.

  • Guster/ Jack’s Mannequin – The Ritz (Ybor City, FL) Not as good as Guster/ Jukebox the Ghost in Orlando, but it was still wonderful because I love Guster… and Claire and I got extra entertainment when we watched the totally plastered girl pass out at the bar while trying to order more alcohol and then get carried out by being thrown like a rag doll over a bouncer’s shoulder.
  • Mates of State- Club Downunder (Tallahassee, FL) Another of my favorite bands. Did not disappoint. We still talk amongst ourselves about the opening act that yelled to the audience, “How about you learn to respect the f***ing artist!” Poor form. Shocking and humorous, but still poor form, sir.
  • Bill Cosby- Ruby Diamond Auditorium (Tallahassee, FL) Not a concert per se… but just as good. He’s the greatest. So funny and so sweet and so old, it made me cry (not that such a feat is difficult).
  • The Head and the Heart- Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Telluride, CO)
  • The Decemberists- Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Telluride, CO) It actually wasn’t the greatest show I’ve ever seen, but it was fun. And I love them. And they were funny with their onstage antics. And Sara Watkins was filling in for Jenny (their accordion playing lady) while she went through cancer treatment (which was sad under the circumstances, but a fun treat).
  • Punch Brothers- Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Telluride, CO) These boys are so cute and so awesome. It excites me to see young people who are really good at playing their instrument and could do anything, but instead choose to play roots music. I definitely ran into Chris Thile in a coffee shop (literally… as in, I-wasn’t-looking-where-I-was-going –and-sort-of-crashed-and-almost-spilled-coffee-on-him…) and almost peed my pants because after I saw him play the mandolin in real life, I decided that I would need him to father my children.

Claire’s Near Miss Live Shows That Would’ve Been Favorites:

What?!? Canceling a show? They need to take a page from the Sarah Mac Band playbook. The show must go on (with the exception of maladies of the intestine, in which case, we’d rather not see them on stage).

  • Ben Sollee – Tallahassee (canceled)
  • The Civil Wars – Atlanta (canceled)
  • The Head and the Heart – Variety Playhouse (Atlanta) – The Sarah Mac Band was playing the same night a few doors down.  Got put on the list but couldn’t stay to see them because we had to head back to our venue and play for the six people in Atlanta who weren’t at the Head and the Heart show….

Sarah Adds to Claire’s List:

Shoulda, coulda, woulda. There’s always the one that got away (Yikes!! Another Katy Perry song!!). These are the ones that I would have added to the list were I Claire.

  • Mumford and Sons- Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Telluride, CO) – Technically, I listened to this live from the balcony of my condo. However, I was not in the audience because although it was the middle of summer, it was snowing and I was scared of getting wet and sick with shows to play the next week. Took one for the team.
  • Tori Amos- Cobb Energy Performance Arts Centre (Atlanta, GA) –It bled over into our rehearsal time for the Sarah Mac Band Christmas Shows. Boo, hiss. Again, took one for the team.

2 responses to “Claire’s 2011 Best of: Music Edition

  1. Sarah- FOR REALZ when you go to concerts in Atl or similar LET ME KNOW. Hangout Fest is in my backyard, I am always looking for people to go with!!!

    (Lindsay Myers)

  2. Pingback: Legolas and Gimli’s Drinking Game |

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