Home > Around Town > Local artists pick their faves of the year… part 2

Local artists pick their faves of the year… part 2

By Eddie Torres

Fort Wayne Reader

2011-12-19


Yes, yes, yes, small fries. We're back with the most important feature of any Fort Wayne-based publication to run all year: The Best Albums, Songs and Concerts of 2011, as selected by a corn-sweet crop of the Summit City's favorite local artists and arts-focused business types. Better block off a few hours to not only read over the insights of your fellow Fort Waynian artists, but to also check out some of the music you may have overlooked in the One One. Get busy ...

Lyndsy Rae Patterson
Lead Singer and Snake Charmer, The End Times Spasm Band
Favorite Local Album of 2011: TIMBER!!!'s EPs
Favorite National Album of 2011: Tom Waits' Bad As Me
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: New song - tUnE-yArDs' "Bizness"; Old song - Edith Piaf's "Milord"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Alyosha Het at The Brass Rail
Favorite National Show of 2011: The Kills at Lollapolloza, Chicago

Lee Miles
Singer / Songwriter
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Wooden Satellites' Let's Make Crimes and Church Shoes' Church Shoes. C. Ray Harvey of the Satellites writes some of the catchiest hooks you've ever heard. The boys in Church Shoes are magnetic and lovable, but more importantly, they write damn fine rock and roll music. My hat is off to both of these bands for their great work on these albums.
Favorite National Album of 2011: Beirut's The Rip Tide. Zach Condon is the most talented young songwriter out there today. Period. His music is dense and full of great East Coast imagery. His songs aren't blatantly hook-y, but they do elbow their way into our cold beating hearts. He's got to be a meat eater. No vegetarian can write like that.
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Bonnie "Prince" Billy's "There is No God" and Church Shoes' "High and Naked"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Church Shoes' farewell Show at The Brass Rail
Favorite National Show of 2011: Deer Tick at Reggie's, Chicago

C. Ray Harvey
Songwriter, Wooden Satellites
Favorite Local Album of 2011: So many to choose from. If I had to pick, I'd say Jon Keller's Deceiver I suppose, if only because it might be the last time I can call that local.
Favorite National Album of 2011: Bon Iver's Bon Iver
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Kurt Vile's "On Tour"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Damien Jurado and John Vanderslice at The Brass Rail (I'm biased)
Favorite National Show of 2011: The National and Arcade Fire in Indianapolis. Soon to be ousted on December 9 by Bon Iver, but that's future thinking.

Bart J. Helms
Guitarist, The End Times Spasm Band
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Church Shoes' Church Shoes. Every song deserves to be a single.
Favorite National Album of 2011: Feist's Metals. Moody and delicately textured. Some people say it's boring, but I can't stop listening for the little production details.
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: The Bengsons' "Saturdays." The song hasn't even been released on an album yet, but I forget to breathe every time they play it live. Church Shoes's "All I Do." It's hard to pick a favorite from that album, but that lead guitar part kills me.
Favorite Local Show of 2011: I can't think of one show that stands out, but I've enjoyed watching both TIMBER!!! and Slow Pokes grow as bands this past year.
Favorite National Show of 2011: The Dex Romweber Duo. What Dex and Sarah can do with so few ingredients is inspiring.

D.A. Fisher
Writer; Painter; Angerer; Druggie; Nappist
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Church Shoes' Church Shoes. Total no-brainer, ya dopes.
Favorite National Album of 2011: I really like to sleep, and I fell slumber to J. Mascis' Several Shades of Why about 200 times this year. I also liked Colin Stetson's New History Warfare, Vol. 2 more than most other things. It's especially great if you like doing soft drugs.
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Tom Waits' "Hell Broke Luce" and Tom Waits' "Bad As Me" are the anthems of my idiot friends.
Favorite Local Show of 2011: I saw a band called Slow Pokes play a show. Damn. And The End Times Spasm band seem to work incredibly hard, which is something I pretend to admire.
Favorite National Show of 2011: I saw four Guided by Voices shows this year. Yeah, the club is open.

Zachary Boyd Smith
Guitarist, Definitely Gary, The Orange Opera, Wooden Satellites, Good Time Fun Club, House of Bread
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Jon Keller's Deceiver
Favorite National Album of 2011: M83's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, because I don't have the balls to say Destroyer's Kaputt.
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks' "Forever 28" and "Stick Figures In Love"; Bon Iver's "Beth / Rest"; M83's "New Map"; Destroyer's "Savage Night at the Opera"
Favorite Local/National Show of 2011: Playing in The Orange Opera with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and opening for Eef Barzelay all wrapped up into one fantastic little package.

Bob Roets
Owner and Manager, Wooden Nickel
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Elephants In Mud's How The Hell Are You?
Favorite National Album of 2011: The Decemberists' The King Is Dead
Favorite Song of 2011: The Decemberists' "Down by the Water"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Record Store Day at Wooden Nickel and the whatzup Battle Of The Bands Finals at Columbia Street West.
Favorite National Show of 2011: Rush at the United Center, Chicago

Matthew McCrory
Co-Director, Producer and Editor, East of Nowhere
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Wooden Satellites' Let's Make Crimes. These guys keep getting better each time I hear them and have a great energy. Longsleeves' Elderberry. Also, not released this year, but I've always got love for Lee Miles' Heathen Blux.
Favorite National Album of 2011: I enjoyed The Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. I don't generally get into the entire album of most artists; I pick and choose songs and usually don't know album names.
Favorite Songs of 2011: The Beastie Boys's "Make Some Noise," and Chad Wells and Troy Koch's "Rest Easy." You probably haven't heard of them yet, but you will. Also, Kid Cudi's "Maniac," The Kills' "Tape Song" and Bon Iver's "Calgary.
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Fernando Tarango at C2G Live
Favorite National Show of 2011: The Foo Fighters. We got kicked out of our awesome stage-side seats early on, partially because we hadn't purchased stage side tickets, but the show still rocked and it's nice that they don't add any pre-recorded instrumentation.

Omar Afzaal
Guitarist, House of Bread and Castles
Favorite Local Album of 2011: DromemorD's Roar
Favorite National Album of 2011: Destroyer's Kaputt
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: John Maus' "Hey Moon"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Mr. Gnome at The Brass Rail
Favorite National Show of 2011: Mogwai and Errors at The Metro, Chicago

Jon Keller
Solo Artist; Sometimes Member of Illegitimate Sons, Thunderhawk and Mark Hutchins' Band
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Church Shoes' Church Shoes and Mark Hutchins' Liars's Gift
Favorite National Album of 2011: James Blake's James Blake
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: James Blake's "Give Me My Month"; Those Darlins' "Screws Get Loose"; Bon Iver's "Calgary"; and Kurt Vile's "Baby's Arms"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Those Darlins at CS3 or any Church Shoes, Lee Miles, Mark Hutchins, Sacred Broncos or Wooden Satellites shows at the Brass Rail. Also, not to be too egotistical, but my CD release show was pretty amazing.
Favorite National Show of 2011: Bon Iver at Riverside Theater, Milwaukee

Anthony Fanger
Executive Vice President, Chain Smoking Records
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Church Shoes's Church Shoes
Favorite National Album of 2011: I don't know! I really like the new Tom Waits but I just got it.
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Thunderhawk's "Gun Shy"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Thunderhawk and Church Shoes at The Brass Rail. I was out of town, but it had to be awesome!
Favorite National Show of 2011: Nobunny at The Brass Rail. That was as fun as a show can get. I mean, the guy plays catchy, high energy rock and roll - and plays it in a bunny mask, leather jacket and panties. What's not to love?

Lucas Carter
Bassist and Vocalist, Pretender/Contender; Photographer
Favorite Local Album of 2011: I'm going to use the term "local" a bit loosely here - La Dispute from Grand Rapids, MI put out Wildlife, which was hands down one of the hardest hitting records I've heard in my life.
Favorite National Album of 2011: Either Touche Amore's Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me or Childish Gambino's Camp
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: This is a really tough one, but I'd say it's a split between La Dispute's "King Park" and Childish Gambino's "Freaks and Geeks"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: John Vanderslice at the Brass Rail was mind blowing, Listener at CS3 was a close second.
Favorite National Show of 2011: I didn't make it to any national shows, but my buds in La Dispute toured with Thrice and, from what I heard, it was amazing.

Kay Gregg
Singer and Guitarist, The Elky Summers
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Timber's last EP, The Fifty-Five Dollar EP
Favorite National Album of 2011: Hands down, Real Estate's Days
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Real Estate's "It's Real"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: All of them
Favorite National Show of 2011: Yo La Tengo at the Vogue, Indianapolis

Greg W. Locke
Director, Editor and Producer, Holler and the Moan; Owner, ZeCatalist.com; Columnist and Critic, whatzup
Favorite Local Album of 2011: This was a banner year for original music in Fort Wayne, Church Shoes, Lee Miles, Wooden Satellites, Sacred Broncos, Silversmiths, John Minton, End Times Spasm Band and Thunderhawk all releasing records I liked very much. The Jon Keller album, Deceiver, though, is maybe my favorite local release I've heard, ever. That guy has really learned how to ornament a song since; can't wait to hear what he does next.
Favorite National Album of 2011: I think the new Tom Waits album, Bad as Me, is probably the most masterful record I heard in 2011. That said, I listened to the new Ty Segall, Stephen Malkmus, Yuck, Jon Keller and Beirut albums more than anything else. Great year for tunes.
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Ty Segall's "You Make the Sun Fry" was my by-far most-listened-to, but Jon Keller's "Deceiver," Tom Waits' "Back In the Crowd" and St. Vincent's "Cheerleader" are were pretty damn great. And the Real Estate and Yuck records, front to back, stand out.
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Jon Keller's two CD release shows; he's the real deal. The Church Shoes CD release show. Any Lee Miles or Thunderhawk show I was lucky enough to catch.
Favorite National Show of 2011: The John Vanderslice / David Bazan show at The Firehouse in North Manchester was pretty good. Jabin Burnworth is a local-ish treasure.

Matt Kelley
Owner and Graphic Designer, One Lucky Guitar
Favorite National Album of 2011: Credibility alert! It's Lindsey Buckingham's Seeds We Sow. Who knew the best indie rock album of the year would come from a guy that was in Fleetwood Mac, instead of a guy that was in Pavement? Lindsey strikes me as someone who has difficulty sleeping. And I love that kind of person.
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Hmm. Maybe throw a dart at the Yuck album and whichever song it lands closest to, well, that's the one.
Favorite Local Show of 2011: I don't really have one in particular. I'm a bit of an "any given Sunday" kind of guy. It doesn't matter if it's a record release or whatever. I recall a show at The Brass Rail with Thunderhawk and Good Time Fun Club, and I couldn't tell you when it was, but it was one of those shows where I rode my bike home thinking about how much I like Fort Wayne.
Favorite National Show of 2011: FORTISSIMO - Clem Snide, Metavari and Orange Opera playing with Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Brad Etter
Promoter
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Sunny Taylor's new EP. Only four songs, but a mature, polished work. Yes, Sunny is really from Fort Wayne!
Favorite National Album of 2011: No. 1: Gillian Welch's The Harrow and The Harvest. Amazing. Hopefully we will not have to wait another seven or eight years for her next release; No. 2: Tom Waits' Bad As Me. Need I or anyone else say anything more about this one?; No. 3: Paul Simon's So Beautiful or So What. I'm not a big fan of aging rock stars. But, once again, Paul Simon is at his best.
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Tom Waits' "Chicago"; Over the Rhine's "The King Knows How"; and Eilen Jewell's "I Remember You"
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Sunny Taylor's CD release show!
Favorite National Show of 2011: No. 1: Paul Simon and The Punch Brothers, Bloomington; No. 2: Over the Rhine at C2G; No. 3: Over the Rhine at C2G; No. 4. Eilen Jewell at C2G; No. 5: Guggenheim Grotto at C2G

Morrison Agen
Owner, Neat Neat Neat Records and Music; Bassist, Wooden Satellites
Favorite Local Album of 2011: Both of the Elky Summers EPs. Can't wait for a full length to hit!
Favorite National Album of 2011: Tame Impala's Innerspeaker. Technically it came out last year, but it was really only available in the U.S. this year. And Charles Bradley's No Time For Dreaming in a close second.
Favorite Local Show of 2011: We Are Hex at The Rail. R.I.P.
Favorite National Show of 2011: White Mystery at C2G. Incredible band, incredible folks. I look forward to them coming back in the spring!

Sean Richardson
Drummer, The Dead Records
Favorite National Album of 2011: I think that question is impossible for any musician, as the answer probably changes every month. But for this month, and I guess for the year, since you are making me answer, I would have to say All Get Out's The Season. I got to see these guys open for Manchester Orchestra about three years ago and they blew me away. The only album I ever had from them before this year was a six or seven song EP, so when they came out with a full length I was really excited.
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: The Arctic Monkeys's "Reckless Serenade"; All Get Out's "My Friends"; Explosions in the Sky's "Last Known Surroundings" and Kanye West and Jay-Z's "Ni**as in Paris." Those are the songs that are currently getting the most playtime on my Iphone.
Favorite Local Show of 2011: Unfortunately, unless our band is playing in the show, I don't get to make it to very many local shows, because if I don't get work off easily. I will say, however, that I always enjoy seeing Flamingo Nosebleed play, but haven't seen them recently because I know they have been traveling. We got the chance to play with The End Times Spasm Band and they were quite a treat to see live, pretty original for the Fort Wayne Scene.
Favorite National Show of 2011: This is kind of the same as with the local shows. If I am off on the weekends, chances are I am playing a show with The Dead Records. So i literally did not go to any shows all year. I know that's terrible. One tour I really wanted to go to was Manchester Orchestra in support of their most recent release, Simple Math.

Nichole Root
Co-Director, East of Nowhere; Production Assistant, WANE-TV
Favorite Local Album of 2011: The Electric Panda just released their first self-titled album!
Favorite National Album of 2011: Adele's 21 and, even though it wasn't released this year, The Black Keys' Brothers
Favorite Song(s) of 2011: Pop has had quite a year! Rihanna's a powerhouse and I loved the video for her and Kanye west's "Flashing Lights." I also like Lady Gaga's "Born this Way" and my first love of rock wasn't disappointing either, with Foo Fighter's "Walk."

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