[BEST & WORST ’11] Jonny B’s Picks The Best And Worst In Music In 2011

Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the year again. Or should I say, the time of the end of the year again? BA-ZING! Oh how I love to jest (poorly, I might add)! But in all seriousness, it’s been an awesome year with some bumps along the way. There have been some amazing releases, some fantastic concerts, and news of new albums coming in 2012 that make me happier than I can say. However, there have also been some missteps along the way, some tragic losses, and some moments that just left me scratching my head in sheer confusion and disbelief. 
So, having said that, please join me below for my Best And Worst of 2011!
Bloody Disgusting 2011 Best and Worst Horror Movies

Clarification: I am only putting items on this list that were reported on Bloody-Disgusting Music.

Tragic Losses Of 2011

Seth Putnam – Anal Cunt

The enigmatic, offensive, hilarious frontman of Anal Cunt was never one to shy away from an opportunity to push someone’s buttons. But this is precisely why he was so necessary to the music world. To him, there was no such thing as “crossing the line. For him, there was no line. Nothing was sacred, nothing was safe. Just like how music should be.

Amy Winehouse

If you haven’t heard of the 27 Club, it is a collection of musicians who have died at age 27. Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and more are “members” of this “club”. Unfortunately, Amy Winehouse, who had battled for years with drug and alcohol addiction, passed away at the age of 27, joining the ranks of the 27 Club. Though she doesn’t really fit into the theme of Bloody-Disgusting Music, her unique voice and powerful persona could not be denied and her loss is keenly felt.

Cory Smooth – GWAR

Tragically passing away at only 34 years old, GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot’s death shocked the metal community. Here was a man who was in a seemingly healthy condition. Hell, he even played a show the night before he passed away. Friends, family, and fans contributed to a family fund to support his wife and their unborn child. The passing of Cory Smoot brought the character of Flattus Maximus to an end, sealed away in the vaults of GWAR history.

2011 News Stories That Shocked

Gibson HQ Raided By Federal Government

The musician world was stunned and shocked when federal agents raided the Gibson Guitars Headquarters located in Nashville, TN. The reason? Apparently some of the materials being used in the manufacturing process (namely the Indian Rosewood) was not being finished by Indian workers. That’s right, because the wood was finished in the US and not in India, it was being used illegally. Gibson is supposedly taking the fight all the way to the top. Being the owner of an Epiphone Les Paul, go get ’em Gibson!

Indonesian Police Arrest And “Rehabilitate” 64 Punk Concertgoers

In what can only be seen as a gross violation of human rights, police in Aceh, Indonesia arrested 64 punk concertgoers and subjected them to 10 days of intense boot camp interlaced with heavy Quran study sessions. Their hair was shaved off, any body jewelry removed, and their clothes were taken away to be replaced by something more “respectable”. Utterly despicable and horrifying.

Major Labels Ceasing Production Of CDs?

Having grown up buying cassettes before moving onto the bright and shiny CDs, the thought of these thin, round pieces of plastic no longer being available in stores fills me with sadness. There is something special about having a jewel case in your hands and looking through the booklet while the music plays in the background. Unfortunately, we are now entering the age of the Cloud, which means physical media will quickly become a thing of the past or mainly for collectors.

Best Debuts Of The Year

Wolves Like Us – Late Love

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This album came out of left field and slammed me with its infectious riffs, deliciously thick tones, and incredibly tight songs. I cannot wait for their next album, though I must admit that my bar is set incredibly high. Best of luck Wolves Like Us!

Runner Up: Ghost – Opus Eponymous

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Oh Sweden, you constantly put out amazing music and Ghost‘s Opus Eponymous is no slouch. A brilliant homage to NWOBHM, this album is fantastic debut that left me craving more. Bring it on Ghost, bring it on!

Most Eclectic Album Of The Year

The Real Tuesday Weld – The Last Werewolf: A Soundtrack

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When I was first approached to write a review for an album that was the soundtrack to a book, I was very skeptical. Now I can’t get enough of it. No two songs sound the same and yet there is a wonderful flow and sense of continuity. Snatch this album up and spread the word. This album definitely deserves it.

Runner Up: Puscifer – Conditions Of My Parole

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I will stand by the my opinion that the first Puscifer album did absolutely nothing for me. In fact, I kinda hated it. But Conditions Of My Parole was another beast entirely. From bluegrass twang to eerie minimalistic electronica, this is a fantastic album with a wide variety of sounds to offer.

Electronic Album Of The Year

VNV Nation – Automatic

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I just need to copy and paste one line from my review to express my thoughts on this album: “Automatic is beautiful, violent, sublime, fierce, and never once holds back.” If that doesn’t convince you, then I don’t know what will.

Runner Up: David Lynch – Crazy Clown Time

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Director David Lynch is a legend amongst horror fans for his work on films such as Mulholland Dr., Lost Highway, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, and many more. So it’s only natural that his debut album bears the same haunting atmosphere that pervades his films. If you’re a fan of his films, it’s almost certain that you’ll be a fan of his album.

WTF Of The Year

Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu

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When it was first announced that Lou Reed and Metallica had collaborated on an album, the music world was beside itself with curiosity. What was it going to sound like? What could these two musical titans come up with? Well, the answer came out in the form of Lulu, a nearly 90-minute garbled, incoherent, rambling mess that was quickly reviled and scorned (for very good reason). What had the possibility of being something amazing and powerful became a source for Internet memes. Ah well, at least we have a new Metallica (and no one else!) album to look forward to in the next year or so. Fingers crossed!

Honorable Mentions

In Flames – Sounds Of A Playground Fading

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Look, I love old In Flames as much as any metalhead. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy their new album. Hell, I love it! It’s full of badass songs with catchy, melodic passages and a kick ass attitude that I can’t get enough of. Say whatever you want, but these guys are going strong and I can’t wait to see their next move.

Machine Head – Unto The Locust

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Talk about an album that makes me want to go on a rampage and cause destruction left and right. Machine Head sure brought their A-game when it came to Unto The Locust and I loved every second of it.

Opeth – Heritage

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Did you really think I’d let one of my favorite bands slip by unnoticed? Of course not! Opeth‘s Heritage was met by some with confusion and anger. Where’s the distortion? Where are the screams? Yes, this isn’t Deliverance or Blackwater Park. However, it is a natural evolution for the band and carves them a solid place amongst the great prog rock bands in the history of music. If you didn’t like it the first time through, do yourself a favor and give it another shot.

Album Of The Year

Leprous – Bilateral AND White Willow – Terminal Twilight

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Now before you go into a fit saying that I can’t have two ‘Album Of The Year’s, let me do a wee bit of explaining.

Leprous‘s Bilateral is a prog metal/rock masterpiece that can only be described as roller coaster of a ride. From brutal screams and heavy riffs to atmospheric synth passages to some funky bass lines, this album kept me coming back time and time again. Honestly, I don’t think a week goes by since I got this album that I haven’t listened to it from beginning to end in one sitting.

So why did I have it tie with White Willow? Because Terminal Twilight is the perfect accompaniment to Bilateral. Almost like a black-to-white situation, Terminal Twilight has the same vast variety of tones and interesting sonic palettes. However, it uses them to paint some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful aural landscapes I’ve heard in a long time. This is another album that I listen to entirely at least once a week since I got it.

To make this a Twin Peaks analogy, you can have damn good coffee and you can enjoy a slice of Norma’s cherry pie. But wouldn’t you rather have them together?

And there we have it BD Music readers. Another year gone and a new year about to start. What were some of your favorite music moments of 2011? Share them below!

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