December 7, 2011
Josh Vanek’s Total 2011

Our first local dude’s list was delivered to Weird Missoula by none other than Josh VanekThe initial idea was to combine all the invitee’s lists into one local “barrage of opinions” but Mr. Vanek’s best-of was long enough and seemed fully developed as a single post so there ya go.

p.s. That picture up above is Midwestern weirdos Skoal Kodiak playing at one of the recent Art-a-Whirl celebrations in Northeast Mpls.  They’re on Josh’s list so it kinda makes sense.

p.p.s. I’m also really jealous that Josh got to see Omar Souleyman this year…asshole…



Mordecai — Ejaculating Squat Marmot or S/T or whatever it’s called (Killertree): Like the Fall, with a little less jauntiness, or something, and great, shitty guitar/bass tones.

Dead — Thundaaaah (Wantage): Yeah, yeah, I put it out. But does that mean I can’t like it? No. I don’t think so. Part Nomeansno, part… er, I don’t know exactly. It’s got an Australian flavor, smells like diesel fumes and is utterly satisfying in its deep grooves.

The Blind Shake — Seriousness (Learning Curve): This is on my overall top records of the 2010s already. Powerful and perfect in damn near every way. I’m a rock and roll fan, and a punk fan, and a fan of riffs and simplicity, and the Blind Shake are masters of all of the above. I also love the lyric: "gonna wash off with a hose."

Arctic Flowers — Reveries (Inimical): Perfectly executed punk rock that nods its head probably more to Polski bands like Post Regiment and Dezerter than anybody around here. Don’t expect to be wowed with a brand new approach, but expect something approaching genre perfection.

Skoal Kodiak — Kryptonyn Bodliak (Load): Dude! A dance record, by a Minneapolis band who play a bleach bottle. Cohesive, fun and weird.

Goddammitboyhowdy — 7” (Minor Bird): did that come out this year?…Regardless, it’s going on the list. Punk rock with guts, and from here.

Bombino — Agadez (Cumbacha): Part of the New Wave of Sahelian Heavy Mellow. Bombino’s record was better than Tinariwen’s this year. He’s a dude from Agadez, a desert town in Niger, a Tuareg, I think, and a shredding guitar player and crooner. If you haven’t heard this, please do.

The Men — Leave Home (Sacred Bones): Bonafide ’90s worship done seemlessly. Good live too.

Obits — Moody, Standard and Poor (Sub Pop): I’m a sucker for anything Rick Froberg touches.

Underground Railroad to Candyland — Knows Your Sins (Recess): I’m a sucker for anything Todd Congelliere touches.

Total Abuse — Mutt (PPM): Despite trolling around Terminal Boredom and other shitty internet behaviors, I like the nihilistic and miserable hardcore these dudes produce.

Arrington De Dionyso’s Malaikat Dan Singa — Suara Naga (K): Despite some shittiness about not getting paid enough last time he came through, this dude makes some of the weirdest, greatest music around.

Broken Water — Peripheral Star EP (Label?): Not sure what makes me like this band so much, but I do. They’re pretty 4AD, but with some kind of nice Unwoundy roughness around the edges.

The Arrivals — Volatile Molatov (Recess): I credit my brother Ian for getting me into this band whom I’d probably never have checked out otherwise. The Earnest Punk genre’s one that generally makes my skin crawl, but something about Isaac, David and Paddy’s voices and tunes just takes this stuff to the next level.The song Frontline, about Isaac’s grandfather’s war experience, nearly made me cry walking to work.

Omar Souleyman @ Chaos in Tejas, Austin.
Lazy Dogs @ Trailer Park Records (Chaos in Tejas).
Perdition, Beerland,  Austin (Chaos in Tejas).
No Statik @ Chaos in Tejas,
Universal Order of Armageddon (Chaos in Tejas)
Shellac @ The Palace, Missoula.
10YOGF @ the BSMT, Missoula.
Thee Oh Sees @ the BSMT, Missoula.
Big Business, White Shit and Milk Music @ Total Fest X, Missoula.

Top late discovery 2011:
Andres Landero, Colombian cumbia guy.