Monday, December 19, 2011

News and Reviews 2011

I've been writing Arcane Radio Trivia since April of 2005. That's over 1,600 posts, written over the course of more than 300 weeks.It's a strange hobby.  2010 has been a good year for this radio man. I sold some of my original photography. I put up a website for the band, VPN.  I wrote a book. I moved. I digitized dozens of acetates. I read several dozen books. I read, I wrote, I published; ergo: I came, I saw, I conquered. So it has come time to reflect and review.  It's a good time to look at my previous top 10s, and "Best Of" lists.
Best Posts:
My favorites are never my readers favorites. I really liked that post on the Alarm Klok Klub. back in September I wrote a mini thesis on the unstoppable march of voice-tracking. My absolute favorite was probably too tedious and dry for non-radio people. I spent a weekend collating raw license data for the last 10 years to tack the growth of satcast religious stations. The resulting post proved in statistics what I think everyone already knew.

Most Popular Posts:
Over the last six years, a post about a long closed radio school continues to be the most popular: Career Academy School of Famous Broadcasters.  In 2011 the title goes to Vacuum Tubes and Thallium, a post I didn't expect would be so heavily read.What can I say, people just like vacuum tubes. The Cancer Inside Wikipedia continues to be a heavily read article, as does a short peice I wrote on radio exec Kevin Metheny. a bluegrass forum also sent me a large volume of traffic owing to a post I wrote on the tradition of barn dance style radio programs.

Best Music Blogs:
I really enjoy Noise for Zeros but it posts once a month at best.I more regularly read Built on a Weak Spot,  honorable mentions go to Shiny grey Monotone and Enemy Lines Music. There is a world of music out there we never hear. Because of these bloggers I spend way too much on it.

Best Radio Station:
I have been very impressed lately with AFK M94.5, the student radio station of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany. I listen to them via the Tunein.com channel on my Roku. I have no idea what the DJs are saying of course, but now I use a cellphone app; either Soundhound or Shazam to identify the songs. That may sound very web 2.0, but I still refuse to use twitter.

Best Radio Show: 
The Funk Hub on 88.7 WLUW-FM from Loyola University in Chicago, IL. It runs Monday afternoons from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. It's a perfect fit for a crappy commute. The playlist is a mix of rocksolid, riff solid, international funk from the past present and future. It's not to be missed.

Best Record Store:
Criminal Records in Atlanta started the brilliant marketing campaign "Record Store Day" for that alone I give them the nod in 2011.

Best Record Label:
Hozac Records hands down, no contest, no explanation necessary.

Top 10 Records of 2011
1. Russian Circles - Empros
2. Graviton - Massless
3. Boris - Heavy Rocks
4. Noxious Foxes -Légs
5. Bass Drum Of Death – GB City
6. Will Haven - Voir Dire 
7. Batrider - Pile of Lies
8. KK Rampage - Away From the Sunrise
9. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Scandalous 
10. The Black Lips  - Good Bad Not Evil
Honorable mentions: The Fall - Greenway, Tom Waits - Bad As Me, Badbadnotgood - BBN, Plum - Hoax, Man Man - Life Fantastic, Battles - Gloss Drop, Young Widows - In and Out of Youth and Lightness, Mastodon - The Hunter, Gazebo Penguins - Legna, Cave In - White Silence, Skinny Puppy - Handover, The Psychic Paramount - II