ETB’s Favorite Music of 2011

I have mixed feelings about end-of-the-year lists: I enjoy reading them, mostly because I’m curious about what records friends and other critics enjoyed throughout the year, and I love that they help me catch up on music I missed or didn’t spend enough time with (because I obviously have listened to every single record that was released in 2011…).

What I have a hard time with is the argument of who made the “best” record. That’s not to say I refuse to participate in the list-making at work — I certainly suggested certain albums should be higher or lower on our list — but it can get a little ridiculous. When I make my own year-end list, it’s just my personal favorites: I don’t mean it to say that one album is definitively better than another in terms of music, lyrics, whatever, or that my picks are better than everything else that came out during the year, but this was the music I connected with, what I listened to the most and what had the biggest effect on me.

Also, because I do use other people’s lists to catch up on what I’ve missed, that means there might be music that came out this year that I’m just now starting to fall in love with (see: Kurt Vile). And if we’re talking about my favorite musical discoveries of the year, there are quite a few artists whose music I heard for the first time in 2011, but they haven’t released anything recently (Patty Griffin, everything Mark Kozelek, Kathleen Edwards — the latter has already made one of my favorites of 2012). And if you ask me in a few months what my favorite 2011 records were, my response might be a little different than the following list. But for now, these were my favorites; my top 10 are in an order that could easy change over and over again, and then a bunch of others I loved listed alphabetically.

ALSO: Here is a mix of 27 songs I really liked this year — from many of these bands — for your downloading pleasure. Enjoy!

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Spring Galettes + Songs for the Season

It’s the end of March and it’s 30-some degrees outside. This is not how I’d like New York to feel right now, and it’s not what I consider to be spring — so let’s call this week’s posts wishful thinking, since they are both meant to celebrate the new season that hasn’t arrived quite yet.

The dish — two kinds of galettes (a pie-like tart), one sweet and one savory — is very springy; the playlist is some recently released (and a couple soon-to-be-released) songs I’m into, that I’ll likely be listening to well into the season.

THE DISH
Galettes are pie-like tarts, and my friend Sarah and I made two different kinds: Half with asparagus, mushrooms and Fontina cheese, and the other half with blueberries, raspberries, fresh mint and mascarpone cheese. The asparagus and blueberries are the most spring-inspired ingredients, and both of these were super tasty. Recipes at the bottom.

THE PLAYLIST
http://listen.grooveshark.com/widget.swf

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