Top 15 Local Releases of 2011: Jason P. Woodbury

andrewjacksonjihad620.jpg
Andrew Jackson Jihad
Welcome to another installment of Up on the Sun's 2011 Review. Over the next week, we'll be counting down our favorite songs, shows, national and local releases of 2011. Enjoy!

Okay. I'm done. Spent. No more lists.

The reissues list was hard. The show list was hard. The songs and national albums lists were hard.

But this one? This one was the toughest. Phoenix often gets bashed for not being "a music town." We're not Austin or Chicago or New York. Who cares? Anyone who's actually looking for good music in Phoenix can find it.

They'll find more than they can condense into a Top 15 list, even. Here are the 15 Arizona releases -- singles, EPs, LPs -- that moved me most in 2011. I can't wait to hear more in 2012.

roqupy.jpg
15. RoQy Tyraid, "RoQ'upy Music" single (self released)

Though technically a single, "RoQ'upy Music" is essentially an extension of RoQy's The Podium mixtape, released earlier this year. Political music is tough to pull off without sounding didactic and preachy, but RoQy does it right, defining the 99 percent movement in ways that make sense ("I do this for my children), and rapping dense, humanistic lyrics over killer drum breaks.

Listen here.





ladylikesingle.jpg
14. Ladylike, "Cinema Kiss b/w Old Young" single (self released)

A teaser for the band's forthcoming debut LP, the "Cinema Kiss/Old Young" single is a showcase of nice things to come. "Cinema Kiss" is a straight-forward guitar rocker, with a kiss-and-kick melody, while "Old Young" sounds like a Faces-outtake, with strumming acoustic guitars and aching harmonies. The two songs show two sides of the band, and both feel real good.

Listen here.





newdestruction.jpg
13. Destruction Unit, Sonoran (Volar Records)

Last year's Eclipse found Destruction Unit (which featured the dearly departed Jay Reatard in its earlier, synth-trash days) turning toward a more contemplative, blissful sound. Sonoran takes things a couple of warp-jumps further, opening with the droning, gigantic "Desert Snow," which connects desert rock mythology to German art-rock via some dusty autobahn.

Listen here.





goodamountalbum.jpg
12. Good Amount, In a Quiet Way (Holy Page)

Inspired by Miles Davis' classic jazz-fusion album In a Silent Way, Good Amount's In a Quiet Way borrows as much from pilfered therapy sessions on cassette, Steve Reich minimalism, and lo-fi noise pop as it does from the legendary trumpeter. The results can be oddly pastoral ("I Mean It"), demanding ("Orange Pack"), and almost pop ("Affection Fact"), but are always stretched and pulled in unexpected directions.

Listen here.





through and through.jpg
11. Through and Through Gospel Review (Common Wall)

The "gospel" part of Gospel Claws always felt a little cheeky, but with Through and Through Gospel Review, songwriter Joel Marquard aims for something entirely reverent. Gorgeous, distorted anthems of belief for even nonbelievers, the album feels like mixtape of holy styles, at once pretty and unsettling. Perhaps the next Gospel Claws record will be as raw.

Listen here.






Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
phxmusiclovers
phxmusiclovers

couldn't just make it an even Top 20, and include all of the best phx had to offer this year?? Cause, well, after listening to some of these releases, this just isn't it.

Joanne Yoshiko
Joanne Yoshiko

And ANYTHING Kongos recorded, be it in the studio, at a show, or on a crappy cell phone recording kicks the ass off of everything anyone else has done, save Future Loves Past.

Joanne Yoshiko
Joanne Yoshiko

Future Loves Past and Mergence put out the 2 best albums this year hands down. Additionally, The Sugar Thieves and What Laura Says put out some quality work worthy of mention.

Theyod
Theyod

Mergence anyone? Those Vibrant Young People Are Dead released 1/1/2011

:) oh well we can't win everything i guess. Congrats to All the great bands who made this list. Great show old chaps!

azLIVING
azLIVING

Fuckin BS Andrew Jackson Jihad should be #1 they put it down for DTP and AZ as a whole....

JDStooks
JDStooks

Pinky Tuscudero's White Knuckle Ass Fuck has always been one of my favorite band names.

David Blakeman
David Blakeman

Yeah... except The Technicolors record was the best local record of 2011.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...