Tag Archives: Augustana

The Best Music of 2011

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After reading a few of my favorite music bloggers Top 10 of the year, I realized I couldn’t let 2011 go by without compiling my very own list. This was an AMAZING year for music, no doubt- so many artists released new records… I’m actually pretty disappointed at the sheer number of records I FORGOT to listen to, there were just so many! I’m really not sure how I’ll be able to narrow it down to ten favorites. But I will definitely try.

    

    

#10 Death Cab For Cutie- Codes & Keys
Released: May 2011

Why: I got this one pretty late (as in a few weeks ago) but it’s an awesome album. I had a lot of trouble picking a 10th album to be honest, but I really liked this one best out of all the potential candidates.

#9 Adele- 21
Released:  February 2011

Why: Because who doesn’t love Adele? I could listen to ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ on repeat all day.

#8 Feist- Metals
Released: October 2011

Why: I wasn’t ever a huge Feist fan, but this album changed me. I loved listening to it when it was still warm outside in October. It was the perfect mix of cute, relaxing, indie, and sing-songy.

#7 Automatic Loveletter- The Kids Will Take Their Monsters On
Released: June 2011

Why: It’s no secret that I love Juliet Simms’ unique voice, and I love how it’s highlighted on this acoustic EP.

#6 The Decemberists- The King is Dead
Released: January 2011

Why: I got this album after interviewing one of the band members this year and I’ve been completely smitten about them since! They are so cute and fun live, and I just love the sound of this record.

#5  Foster the People- Torches
Released: May 2011

Why: The entire album is just as catchy as their single Pumped up Kicks

#4 Hedley- Storms
Released: November 2011

Why: Probably the best Hedley album so far, it has a depth to the songs and lyrics that I’ve never seen before from this band. I listen to this record over and over again. And over.

#3 Marianas Trench- Ever After
Released: November 2011

Why: If you haven’t heard Marianas Trench, they might be one of the easiest bands to love. Their newest record is no different; it’s everything I’ve always loved about them, and then some.

#2 Augustana- Augustana
Released: April 2011

Why: After the scare this band gave me RIGHT after releasing the best album of their career- you know, the whole “we broke up for a few months thing”- it definitely deserves to be in my very favorites. Glad they’re back together, and I am still totally in love with everything about this CD.

#1 Jack’s Mannequin- People and Things
Released: October 2011

Why: Well, besides the fact that they’re my favorite band and it was my most anticipated CD of the year, it’s awesome. Definitely not my favorite by them, but I still had it on repeat for a really long time. I love Andrew McMahon’s voice and everything he creates is amazing.

Notable: All Things Bright and Beautiful- Owl City (THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN in my Top 10, but I remembered it after this post was all done! Sad face.) Bon Iver- Self Titled, Blink-182- Neighborhoods, Foo Fighters- Wasting Light, The Arkells- Michigan Left, The New Cities- Kill the Lights, New Found Glory- Radiosurgery, Britney Spears – Femme Fatale (by far one of the best of her career!)

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I’m sure I missed about a dozen albums that I LOVED but I just couldn’t remember everything that came out this year! I still have a few that I just didn’t listen to enough, but overall these are the records from 2011 that really made an impact on me.

I have SUCH a varied taste in music, sometimes I feel like I don’t do all of it justice and that I don’t listen to enough new stuff. In 2012 I’m going to make a conscious effort to keep track of upcoming albums and really giving them a good listen, instead of just throwing them into the vast world of my iTunes.

What were your favorite albums of the year?

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Weekends and Concerts

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Well the weekend is over & although it was partially uneventful (work) I did a few fun things worth sharing:

Saturday: After work my mom picked me up and we drove an hour and a half up to my sister-in-law’s uncle’s house for a huge family dinner party. Her aunt is a professional chef and had this AMAZING dinner planned for 30+ people, and it most certainly did not disappoint. It was also a 4-person birthday party, so there was lots of wine, gifts, chocolate cake and good times. Best part? The table was literally neverending, so the adults were curious how the game ‘broken telephone’ would work out… So we played a couple rounds and died of laughter. Someone’s 2 sentences turned into 3 words, and so on. It’s hilarious how easily amused adults can be sometimes when a little bit of alcohol is involved.

Sunday: My day was fairly uneventful, but at night I headed downtown with my friend Mel and we met up with a bunch of our friends for the Augustana concert.

I don’t even know what I could possibly say to do justice to this band. The first time I saw them live was in 2006 opening up for Snow Patrol and I had NO clue who they were, but I completely fell in love with them. Dan Layus has one of the most gorgeous voices live that I have EVER seen. Almost 5 years later and I literally could not soak up enough of the band on-stage. I wanted to record all of it so I didn’t forget, but I wanted to enjoy it, but I wanted to take pictures… I was very overwhelmed to say the least. I can’t tell you all enough to GO LISTEN TO THIS BAND and go see them live if you get the chance. It’s one of those concerts that you can be standing anywhere and it just doesn’t matter- everyone gets completely lost in the music.

Me & Jenn ❤

Mel Squared. Ha!

Dan Layus. Hands down one of the best voices… Ever.

Chloe & I were VERY excited after Augustana’s set. Yay!

After Augustana, the co-headlining band, The Maine, performed for about an hour and I was actually really impressed. They were a TON of fun and the lead singer was really great with the crowd. They sing really fun, dancy, summer kind of music. Check them out:

Basically, I need more concerts in my life. I wish I could go to every single one because there are so many good shows coming to Montreal.

So how was your weekend? Are you going to any concerts this summer?!

Steal. Your. Heart. <3

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I need to take a minute to talk about this band that I’m in love with. They recently released a brand new album that I can’t stop listening to. I love all three of their albums; I first saw them perform live when I was 17 and they were playing all the songs off their first record which I completely fell in love with. To this day, when I hear any of those songs, I think of that time in my life when I first started going to concerts & loving music the way I do.

I kind of forgot about them for a while, but the talk about their new album had me remembering all the things I just love about them! They’re also coming to Montreal in less than TWO weeks and I just cannot wait to see them. I wasn’t sure if I was going to the show or not (because to be honest, I can’t afford it!) but I haven’t seen them live since that first time and I just MISS them. They’re great.

This is the song, back in the day, that put their name out there:

How beautiful?! I can never get sick of it. The piano at the beginning is just so fantastic. I kind of love piano-heavy music.

Here’s the single off their newest, self-titled record:

Man, Dan Layus (the singer) got so much more bad-ass looking. I’m liking the hairstyle!

One more? Well okay. Here’s an acoustic version of a single from their 2nd album:

His voice just makes me SO happy. He has one of those voices that I could recognize ANYWHERE. Like if they started playing on the radio I would just know right away it was Dan’s.

Enjoy, and happy Monday!