the following albums have been in heavy rotation over the course of 2011. these were all released last year. (i believe) this is presented in no particular order and i’m sure there’s stuff that’s been in correspondingly heavy rotation which missed the list.

mason jennings :: minnesota

we’re big mason jennings fans in our house. that a mason jennings album should be in heavy rotation is really of no surprise to anyone. what was probably in even more rotation this year was the recent mason jennings live album i picked up on amazon a while back. i don’t think it was released this year, so i’ll elide it from the list.

adele :: 21

yes, i know that this is on the hitlist of every suburban mom in the u.s.. sue me. this album just keeps going and going. there’s the stuff that’s been getting copious amounts of airplay, then there are those album only gems that you have to love.

atmosphere :: the family sign

how can you not love slug and co.? dark, cool and funny. “just for show” has to be one of the more entertaining songs of the last year. come on you’ve been there, you know it.

bon iver :: bon iver

they should classify this man’s voice as a national treasure or something. between this album and “skinny love” from the previous album you should have a pretty strong case.

death cab for cutie :: codes and keys

this album rocks on so many different levels. if you don’t love this, you’re a terrorist.

dessa :: castor, the twin

it would have been sweet to make it to the fitz to see this show. first rate musicians performing mindblowing renditions of dessa on ’ludes. dessa didn’t really work for me solidly until this year, this album was like backing off on the threads for something til you get the click and then everything just lines up.

doomtree :: no kings

i have such a soft spot for the doomtree crew it’s not funny. P.O.S., dessa, lazerbeak, etc. this album just rocks. there’s a little bit of something for everyone on this album even if you’re not a huge fan of minneapolis hip-hop.

pert near sandstone :: paradise hop

i ran across this band when watching some current in-studio performances online. i was completely blown away. a $5 sucking sound was nearly instantly emitted from my wallet. the aforementioned online video is available here. that dude’s dancing as an instrument. boom.

wilco :: the whole love

i’ve had this on again, off again thing with wilco. lately it’s been on again. there’s a lot to love in this album, particularly the title track, which just oozes cool. then there’s born alone, and i might, and well, you get the point.

89.3 the current :: live current vol. 7 (various artists)

this is an annual thing. i can’t help it, when it shows up in the mail, it immediately gets ripped and onto the phone. i have an addiction to these particular compilation albums. the production is immaculate, the performances rock and i’m supporting the station. ’nuff said.


the decemberists :: the king is dead

WTF was i thinking forgetting about this. poor kathy had to endure my anticipation of this album and with manic episodes of checking to see if it’s available on amazon or not. this pretty much got all 5 stars upon touching my itunes. silly me.