By now, you've likely seen that OnMilwaukee.com editorial staffers have shared their favorite music, movies and more from 2011.
We also asked some local musicians and other folks from the Milwaukee scene about what they were listening to this year. Here's what they had to say.
Jamie Breiwick (Choir Fight and others)
Ben Allison, "Think Free;" Thelonius Monk, "Monk's Dream," Thelonius in Action," "Genius of Modern Music" and "Underground." I've been on a Monk kick. Joe Henderson, "In 'n Out," Walter Smith III, "Live in Paris" and "Casually Introducing;" Ambrose Akinmusire, "When the Heart Emerges Glistening," and Ornette Coleman, "Change of the Century" and "The Shape of Jazz to Come."
"Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down," Ry Cooder; "Bad As Me," Tom Waits; "Last Star," Jon Rodine; "The Old Magic," Nick Lowe; "So Beautiful or So What," Paul Simon; "Bad Man's Blood," Ray Bonneville; "Soul Time," Sharon Jones and the DapKings; "Betty Wright: The Movie," Betty Wright and The Roots; "I Wake Up Screaming," Kid Creole and the Coconuts; and "The Original Sound of Cumbia" Soundway compilation.
Daniel Holter (Burst Collective)
Bon Iver, and not just because of the Wisconsin thing. This record is the closest thing to that magical undefinable spiritual ingredient needed in all of the greatest records of all time: elusive, other, beautiful, initially alien but simultaneously like somehow it's been in the human experience forever. Adele's "21," The Naked & Famous' "Passive Me, Aggressive You," Feist's "Metals," M83's "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" and Cults.
Johnathon Mayer (Surgeons In Heat)
I love the new Atlas Sound ("Parallax").
Jess Mero (Publicist, The Rave)
Tough call, there were a lot! A couple of my favorites were My Morning Jacket, Cults, Foster the People, The Civil Wars, Das Racist, Adele ... my list could go on.
Shane Olivo (The New Loud, Bobby Peru Recording Studio, Last Dance Zombie Homecoming Dance organizer)
The Roots, "Undun;" M83, "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming;" Wild Flag, "Wild Flag;" Mastodon, "The Hunter;" The Strokes, "Angles;" Direct Hit!, "Domesplitter;" James Blake, "James Blake;" and Death Grips, "Exmilitary.
Paris Ortiz (Enemy Star)
"The Hymn of a Broken Man," Times of Grace; "21," Adele; "Iconoclast," Symphony X; "The Hunter," Mastodon; "Stone Rollin'," Raphael Saadiq; "Thirteen," Megadeth; "Relentless Reckless Forever," Children of Bodom and "Blunt Force Trauma," Cavalera Conspiracy. Gotta say the Times of Grace album really blew me away but Adele and Raphael Saadiq took care of my R&B jones.
Justin Perkins (Engineer, producer, musician)
I've been so busy working this year that I haven't really had time to check out much new music, so some of these may have come out late last year. Bruce Springsteen's "The Promise," The Greenhornes' "Four Stars," Sleeping In The Aviary's "You and Me, Ghost," Ryan Adams' "Ashes and Fire" and Beach Boys' "The Smile Sessions."
Damian Strigens (Testa Rosa, Field Report)
A.A. Bondy – "Believers;" PJ Harvey – "Let England Shake;" Crooked Fingers – "Breaks In The Armor;" White Denim – "D;" Megafaun – Megafaun;" The War On Drugs – "Slave Ambient;" Arctic Monkeys – "Suck It And See;" Twilight Singers – "Dynamite Steps;" Bon Iver – "Bon Iver;"' and Wye Oak – "Civilian."
Chris Tischler (Chief, The 5 Card Studs)
Thin Lizzy, "Live At The BBC" – It just goes without saying. More different versions – some rawer than others – of brilliant songs. Even when they've done wrong, they can do no wrong.
The Sword, "Warp Riders" – So far in my book they have done absolutely no wrong. The 5 Card Studs, "Live at Scotty's" – Self-serving, yes. ...but it's a favorite mainly because we finally got the damn thing DONE.
Lady Gaga, "Born This Way" – Yeah, I'm one of those who are on THAT side of the fence. PJ Harvey, "Let England Shake" – Not her best record, but she continues to tell a fascinating story of a life made of music, most of which is completely stellar.
Beastie Boys, "Hot Sauce Committee Pt. II" – Came out of some hard sh*t to put out some seriously well-cooked funky hard sh*t. No one comes close to touching them at what they do. Raphael Saddiq "Stone Rollin'" – Not as good as his last release, but still damn good. It's awesome and sucks at the same time that the record is so short. If Stevie could put out 10,000 short albums, he should be able to, too.
Honorable Mention: Urge Overkill "Rock And Roll Submarine" – Just the fact that they're doing anything at all that's of some amount of worth is awesome. Getting back to some pre-"Stull EP" sounding grooves, but still staying weird. Nash is still a king of rock and roll.
Mark Waldoch (The Celebrated Workingman)
Peter, Bjorn & John, "Gimmesome," St. Vincent, "Strange Mercy," Low, "C'mon," David Bazan, "Strange Negotiations," Raphael Saadiq, "Stone Rollin'," The Kills, "Blood Pressures," The Dum Dum Girls, "Only in Dreams," Jens Lekman, "An Argument with Myself," Kurt Vile, "Smoke Ring for My Halo," The War on Drugs, "Slave Ambient," P.J. Harvey, "Let England Shake" and Real Estate, "Days."
Paul Wall (Trolley)
Lesley Gore's "Magic Colors," Testa Rosa "II" and Dum Dum Girls' "Only in Dreams."
Steve Ziel (Slo-Fi)
My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, Guided by Voices – (I) heard most of the record leaked; original line-up; salivating to hear the rest – Fatty Acids, Testa Rosa, Snow Birds, Fleet Foxes, Mike Benign. Guilty pleasure of the year: Taylor Swift's "Mine" single. Not the whole record, (but) love that song.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.