Hey, it’s 2012 everyone! Here’s a pretty bare-bones list of my personal favorite things from 2011. I’m going in more detail about the concerts because I really didn’t have another outlet for talking about those other than right here. As for games/movies/albums, I’ve talked about those on other sites or on Twitter significantly, so just peruse through there and figure it out yourselves. Otherwise, enjoy!
Favorite Games of 2011:
- Shadows of the Damned
- Dark Souls
- Rayman Origins
- Ms. Splosion Man
- Uncharted 3 (so far)
- Trine 2
- Mortal Kombat
- Battlefield 3
- NHL 12
- LittleBigPlanet 2
Also deserving of some merit: LA Noire (haven’t got into it yet, but so far it’s neat), Jurassic Park: The Game (enthralled the entire way through), Rock of Ages, Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
Favorite Movies of 2011:
- Midnight in Paris
- The Adventures of Tintin
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes
- Super 8
- Fast Five
- “Best” movie of 2011: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Also deserving of some merit: Horrible Bosses, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Thor, Captain America, The Muppets, Arthur, The Mechanic, Cars 2, The Lincoln Lawyer, Hobo With a Shotgun
Favorite Albums of 2011:
- Girls- Father Son Holy Ghost
- Adele- 21
- Various Artists- Drive Original Soundtrack
- Chemical Brothers- Hanna Original Soundtrack
- Wye Oak- Civilian
- Tyler the Creator- Goblin
- Feist- Metals
- Bon Iver- Bon Iver
- Bad Meets Evil- Hell: The Sequel
- St. Vincent- Strange Mercy
- Special Award for Best Video Game Soundtrack: Sonic Generations
Also deserving of some merit: Florence + The Machine- Ceremonials, Beastie Boys- Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, Dum Dum Girls- I Will Be, The soundtrack to Catherine, Flogging Molly- Speed of Darkness, The Raveonettes- Raven in the Grave
Favorite Concerts/Sets of 2011:
- Prince at The Forum- One of the best performers of all time, every single minute had everyone off their seats and joining into the party. Prince is a must-see before you die, no matter what you think of his more contemporary music. It’s exactly what you’d expect from one of the seminal musical acts of our time.
- Rush at the Concord Pavilion- Totally saw this same show a year ago at a different venue. Still amazing live.
- The Hold Steady at Treasure Island Music Festival- directly in front of the stage. Rocked so hard that I couldn’t even go see Death Cab following.
- St. Vincent at Treasure Island- also amazing live. Annie rocks my socks.
- Explosions in the Sky at Treasure Island- I’ll always remember how Explosions quite literally just came up on stage, said “We’re Explosions, we’re from Austin” and immediately just started rocking out after. I’ll never forget this one.
- Anamanaguchi/Peelander Z at The Roxy- one of my favorite venues in Los Angeles for not one but TWO crazy fun rock sets back to back. Saw them both separately this year but couldn’t compare to the awesomeness of their joined forces
- Avenged Sevenfold at the HP Pavilion- if it wasn’t for the awful, aggressively and offensively bad openers, this would be higher on the list. Brilliant live
- MC Chris/MC Lars/ Mega Ran/ Adam Warrock at The Catalyst- due to some poor planning, I missed all but Chris’ set at Slims’ the previous day, so I made the trip to Santa Cruz to see the entire set. No regrets- all performers were on point. Had a blast watching them perform.
- The Raveonettes at the Troubadour- my favorite venue in LA and one of my favorite bands ever. Close to perfect. As my roommate (who wasn’t too familiar with the band prior to going) said, it was ” the chillest concert I’ve ever been to”, and I’m likened to agree with her.
- Buckethead at Hardly Strictly- whatever man, Buckethead’s awesome, and his set here, while it kinda just came and went due to the lull of the crowd, was spot-on, full of guitar prowess. And “Jordan”.
- Best Concert that I didn’t see live but watched the livestream of so it totally counts: LCD Soundsytem’s last concert ever.
Also deserving of some merit: Standing Shadows at Brick & Mortar (weak crowd but fun set), MC Frontalot at Cafe du Nord (same, but also neat cameo appearance by Unwoman), Del The Funkee Homosapien (terrible sound system and one of the worst crowds I’ve ever had to deal with, but Del’s still a fun performer), Weekend (first performers I saw at Treasure Island- groovy in all the right ways), K. Flay & Teddybears at Rickshaw Stop (Teddybears are weird as hell but cool live, K. Flay’s a hell of a live presence on stage), Jim Campilongo at Yoshi’s (randomly got invited to see him for the first time an hour before the show started & loved it), Arsis/Firewind at Slim’s (Arsis is always interesting, even with the replacement singer, Firewind had a fun set).
Biggest surprises/disappointments for some reason in 2011
- Randy Savage died- FUCK MAN
- The remake of Arthur wasn’t horrible- It wasn’t! And normally I hate Russell Brand!
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon wasn’t an abomination- I actually own this movie on Blu-Ray, that’s how much I liked it. Wow.
- Duke Nukem Forever was released, finally- and it sucked! A game so nice I bought it twice! How does that work?
- Catherine wasn’t as amazing as it could’ve been- huge disappointment, but I’ve said too much already
- Steel Panther was both hilarious and hugely disappointing live- set was late, the in-between song banter was fun more often than not, but there was a HUGE lack of actual Steel Panther songs besides “Community Property” and another song, rest were covers. I liked the comedy and all, but I kinda wanted them to talk less and rock more. We couldn’t get “Death to All But Metal” at least?
- Dum Dum Girls aren’t that interesting live- I like their music, but when you think about it, it’s full of pretty maudlin lyrics and simple instrument backing. It truly showed live. The band just kinda came in and played their stuff and there wasn’t all that much interesting about it. Considering that The Raveonettes have a similar type style and killed it live, this came up short in comparison.
- Tha Carter IV- I’ll just let you figure this one out yourselves.
- 2011 was a huge year for platformers- Trine 2, Ms. Splosion Man, Rayman Origins are all in my top 10, and that’s that I haven’t even touched Kirby, Super Mario 3D Land and a bulk of others.
- Beach House at Treasure Island came up short- IN MY OPINION, that is. Of course. Dreamy and calm and whathaveyou, but much like the Dum Dum Girls set, nothing grabbed me, and I felt underwhelmed by the end of it all.
- Honest surprise that I forgot to add until now- The TNA House show I attended in San Francisco was fun as hell, with really only one mediocre match of the bunch (Jeff Hardy’s return match, at least he’s on the up-and-up). Heel Bobby Roode vs. James Storm was an absolute delight the entire way through, and seeing Mickie James in action was fan-friggin’-tastic.