Saturday, February 4, 2012

E. Lit's Faves From 2011

The Lowdown, 2/4/12

So here's 10 albums and 10 shows that really stood out to me last year. I've got no new write-ups for these, but I'm providing links to reviews I wrote for them over the course of last year on this very blog. Enjoy the opinions, and keep in mind the numeric ordering is rough:

1) Sims - "Bad Time Zoo" (Doomtree) Review Here

2) Qwazaar & Batsauce - "Bat Meets Blaine" (Galapagos4) Review Here

3) Open Mike Eagle - "Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes" (Hellfyre Club) Review Here

4) Gel Roc - "Beautiful Tragedy" (Abolono) Review Here

5) Blueprint - "Adventures in Counter-Culture" (Rhymesayers) Review Here

6) Astronautalis - "This is Our Science" (Fake Four Inc.) Review Here

7) Void Pedal - "Omni-Colour" (Fieldwerk) Review Here

8) One Be Lo - "L.A.B.O.R" (Subterraneous) Review Here

9) Candy's .22 "A Girl And Her Gun" (Grimm Image) Review Here

10) Moka Only & Chief - "Crickets" (Feelin' Music) Review Here

Other Top-Notch Hip Hop Releases from 2011:
  • Iame - "Lame" (Taxidermy)
  • Sole & the Skyrider Band - "Hello Cruel World" (Fake Four Inc.)
  • Doomtree - "No Kings" (Doomtree)
  • Co$$ - "Before I Awoke" (Tres)
  • Senor Kaos - "The Kaos Effect" (High Water Music)
  • Noah23 - "Fry Cook on Venus" (Fake Four Inc.)
  • Knives & Gasoline - "Love Songs for Crime Scenes" (Grimm Image)

A rough listing of my favorite shows from 2011 below. Unlike the album listings, not all of these got write-ups on my blog previously, so I've providing a line or two for the ones that I didn't have a chance to properly document. Order isn't set in stone, but I'm giving them numbers cus' it's fun!

1) Awol One & Factor, Ceschi with Anonymous Inc., Cars & Trains, Kirby Dominant, Megabusive and Abadawn @ Elbo Room, SF. Review Here

2) A-Team, Xololanxinxo, Exile, Speak Easy, Omid, Spare Parts 4 Broken Hearts & Tha Conclusion at the I <3 Neila Benefit @ New Gabah, LA Review Here

3) Rec League, Fist Fam, Rhyme Force Most Illin', Z-Man & DJ Quest @ 111 Minna Gallery, SF - no write up for this one. There were soooo many Gurp City shows to choose from, but this one stands out in my mind because it was the very definition of "party." Great art, great party-driven crowd, best performance I've seen from Fist Fam to date, awesome Rec League and Rhyme Force sets, crazy after-party with Z-Man on the mic and Quest on the decks. Dancing for days. Gurped the fuck out!

4) Ceschi, Paranoid Castle, Rikolus & Kaigen @ Ear Peace Records, Berkeley Review Here

5) Bleubird, Edison & Cars & Trains in the Freeeebird Van @ 18th & Dolores, SF Review Here

6) Astronautalis, Rustangs & Crescent Banks @ Thee Parkside, SF Review Here

7) Knives & Gasoline, Avatar, Abnormal, Panik the Fatman & Nomadic Souls @ Olde Princeton Landing, Half Moon Bay Review Here

8) Qwazaar & Batsauce, Lady Daisey, Ro Knew with Mic Logik & FaGo @ Club 6, SF Review Here

9) Dessa with Aby Wolf, Sims, Lazerbeak & Lady Crayon @ Bottom of the Hill, SF Review Here

10) Hopie, Rocky Rivera, Hard Candy & La Femme Deadly Venoms @ 330 Ritch, SF - no review for this one, but it was definitely the surprise of the year for me as far as live shows go. Went just to support Hopie on the release of her new album with no expectations and was treated to an awesome all-female line-up that pretty much killed it. I didn't know any of the acts outside of Hopie prior to this show, and they all delivered! La Femme Deadly Venom had some crazy scratch and keyboard routines, Hard Candy rocked the spot, Rocky Rivera had the crowd eating out of her hand and Hopie was beside herself with joy over the turn-out and massive support. Good times!

Had a ton of fun at those shows and too many others to name here! A couple of honorable mentions though:

  • Busdriver, Dark Time Sunshine, Understudies & Max Bundles @ The Stork Club, Oakland
  • Justus Bendz, F. Stokes, Rhyme Force Most Illin @ Red Devil Lounge, SF
  • Fist Fam, Rec League, Grand Invincible & BPos @ Elbo Room, SF
  • David Ramos, Tommy V, Gel Roc, Maleko, Raj & Crescent Banks @ Olde Princeton Landing, Half Moon Bay
  • Sadistik, Sarx, A_Rival & Woke With a Plan @ Kimo's, SF
  • Richie Cunning, Pep Love & Melina Jones @ Elbo Room, SF
  • OMD, Candy's .22, K-the-I???, Avatar, Sully & Verble @ Airliner, LA
Overall, 2011 was a hell of a year for music. I'm privileged to have met so many amazing people, to have heard so much awesome music, and to have had such a great time with folks. Here's hoping we carry on the tradition in 2012!

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