2011 Music Favorites

All you grammar pedants can rest easy: I’m not about to try to delineate over two thousand items. I mean that colloquially, this is my favorite music from last year.

(Why not call them “the best of…”? Well, I guess because I know these are just my opinions. Just because I liked these things doesn’t necessarily mean they were the best of that category. On the other hand, these are the ones I like best, so maybe I should call them that… Probably better to just move on…)

Thanks largely to Sirius/XM radio, I heard more new music in 2011 than I have in a long, long time. Or at least music that was new to me. My top new (to me) bands, in no particular order:

The Naked and Famous

Cage the Elephant

Airborne Toxic Event

The Civil Wars


Neon Indian

Neon Trees  Seriously? 2 bands with “Neon” in their title?! How does that happen?



Snow Patrol

The Joy Formidable

Lots of really good music there, hard to go wrong with any of them. Still, as good as those were, they didn’t quite make final cut as my favorite song in 2011.

My 2011 Three Favorite Songs:

3. Florence + the Machine – “Shake it Out.” I just discovered this song late in the year, but I can’t stop hearing it in my head. It’s just so catchy. It even makes a terrible dancer like me want to get up and move. Though, for whatever reasons, I find I like this song better with just audio. The video weakens it for me. See what you think:


2. The Decemberists – Their The King is Dead album was my favorite of the year. I liked it all, from first track to last. “This is Why We Fight” was my introduction to them, a song I liked a lot. But after listening to the album a bazillion times, I’ve settled on “Down by the Water” as my favorite song. But, again, you really can’t go wrong with any song from this offering.


1. Mumford & Sons – “The Cave.” I liked their album a whole bunch too, just not quite as much from top to bottom as I did The King is Dead. “Little Lion Man” and “Roll Away Your Stone” were really good. But the song that I just can’t stop playing – both out loud and in my head – is this one. “But I will hold on hope.. And I’ll find strength in pain/ And I will change my ways/ I’ll know my name as it’s called again…” So. Good.


Finally, a different sort of song. Because hard rocking and social commentary get me every time. This is my most important song of the year: Rise Against – “Make it Stop.”

This video is a little hard to watch, and might contain triggers for those who’ve experienced bullying and/or had suicidal thoughts.

It is my most important song of the year because I’m absolutely convinced that the global Christian church is at the core of most of the homophobia in the U.S. That must stop. And it must reverse: the church needs to now be at the forefront decrying violence and discrimination against the LGBT community. This song can help:

But, hey, I’m no music critic, I just like what I like. How about you? What was your favorite music from 2011?

Similar posts coming soon: 2011 Favorite Movie, Picture & Post

9 thoughts on “2011 Music Favorites

  1. Ken Black

    Shake it out sounds a little bit like Annie Lennox. Do you know who that is Pastor Dave? Ha Ha
    See (every once in a while) I do read you blog! 🙂

  2. Ken Black

    Down by the Water was good! Thanks. Reminded me a bit of “Take me to the River” by the talking heads circa 1978. Let’s say Pastor Dave, were you even born then? Ha Ha KBB 🙂

  3. Ken Black

    I liked the Mumford and Sons song (The Cave?). I also like the Sargent Pepper’s costumes and I wish I had the yellow scooter. The song was MUCH better than the weird video. I liked how it started out simple and built a crescendo. Guess Who…..no it did not remind me of the Guess who…..guess who wrote this?

    1. Well, Ken, I don’t have to guess because your name appears with your comment. 🙂

      You’re probably right that it’s a bit of a weird video. For whatever reasons, it seems to me it’s easier to watch something happening even if it’s odd rather than just sit there and listen to audio.

  4. Ken Black

    You are right, the last video was disturbing…but the song was strong (heavy metal in my day would be the term) but it needed to be a strong song to get the message “Make it Stop” across. Not sure when you meant by the global christian church being at the core of the problem. I hope you meant that we should be at the core of the solution. Expressing love, support, kindness, and hope to those that we know who are troubled I really like the end of the video. There are always alternatives…..sometimes people don’t always see that but the kids in the video did! Good job.

    1. I guess for me, heavy metal connotes eighties hair bands like Def Leppard (who were my favorite band for a long time!), Poison, or Mega Death. Though this gets me wondering… iTunes labels Chevelle as ‘metal’, but Rise Against as ‘rock.’

      Both The Decemberists and Mumford & Sons are labeled “alternative.” So who knows what all that means. Tomato, tomato, I guess.

      As for you question about the church and the gay community, I do think the church can and should be (and in some instances is) at the core of the solution.
      But I do mean what I write, that the church has been, and in many ways still is, at the core of the problem. This probably deserves it’s own post, but think about it this way: if so many self-identifying Christians (individuals, churches &denominations) weren’t so vocal about how evil and wrong they find homosexuality, would our society as a whole still be so anti-gay?

      I say, no, it wouldn’t be. That must change.

      Thanks for engaging here, Ken!

  5. Pingback: 2011 Favorites – Picture & Post | All That I Can't Leave Unsaid

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