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Best of 2011 Staff Picks

Our favorites from what we've put on the radio this year.

Scroll down or jump to:
Rita Houston | Claudia Marshall | Darren DeVivo | Dennis Elsas | Corny O'Connell | John Platt | Russ Borris | Alisa Ali | Sarah Wardrop | Kara Manning | Eric Holland | Marshall Crenshaw | Ben Sisario | Anthony DeCurtis | Josh Baron | Bob Sherman | Ceol na nGael | Laura Fedele | Jim O'Hara | Joe Grimaldi | Shari Rosen Ascher | Joey Delvecchio | Josh Briseno |

See: Listener Poll | 2011 Releases

Rita Houston

Music Director/The Whole Wide World Host

Favorite Albums (alphabetical):

  • Adele, 21
  • Amos Lee, Mission Bell
  • Diego Garcia, Laura
  • Elbow, Build a Rocket Boy
  • Gillian Welch, The Harrow and The Harvest
  • Iron and Wine, Kiss Each Other Clean
  • kd lang, Sing it Loud
  • Nikki Jean, Pennies from a Jar
  • The Head and The Heart, The Head and The Heart
  • Wilco, The Whole Love

Favorite songs (alphabetical):

  • Childish Gambino, "Bonfire"
  • Cults, "Go Outside"
  • Dawes, "A Little Bit of Everything"
  • Givers, "Up Up Up"
  • James Blake, "Limit to Your Love"
  • James Maddock, "Beautiful Then"
  • Kids These Days, "Darling"
  • Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"
  • M83, "Raconte Moi Une Histoire"
  • My Morning Jacket, "Holdin' On to Black Metal"

 

Claudia Marshall

FUV Weekday Morning Host

Albums: (alphabetical)

  • David Bazan, Strange Negotiations - This record kinsa rips my guts out. Don't know if you want to listen to it based on THAT. But DO please listen to "Wolves at the Door," and see if it resonates.
  • David Wax Museum, Everything is Saved - I. Love. This. Group.
  • Mike Viola, Electro De Perfecto - Perfect Power Pop!
  • Mocean Worker, Candygram for Mowo - The song Sistas And Bruthas is enough to blow my mind, but so are the other 13 songs on this disc. To say nothing of the special guests including Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter and Steven Bernstein - to name a few.
  • NRBQ, Keep This Love Going - Terry Adams keeps the NRBQ name alive with three terrific sidemen. Keep it going, guys!
  • Spampanato Brothers, Pie in the Sky - The OTHER half of NRBQ makes an amazing album that sorta got released last year. It's just SO good. Now, if SOMEBODY would SUPPORT this band!
  • Teddy Thompson, Bella - There outta be a law
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band, Revelator - Solid, soulful and consistenly enjoyable
  • Wilco, The Whole Love - America's best band
  • Willie Nile, The Innocent Ones - Real rock. Real love. The real thing.

Songs: (alphabetical)

  • Bell X1, "Velcro"
  • Bob Schneilder, "Let The Light In" - Let your hair down. If you have it. If not, act accordingly.
  • Booker T. Jones, "The Hive" - ?uestlove's drumming drives this one HARD. Just try to tell me soul music is dead. Just try.
  • Brett Dennen, "Sydney" - This entire CD, Loverboy, is solid - to say nothing of the live show that had us dancing all night.
  • City and Color, "Fragile Bird" - Oh, my!
  • Edie Brickell, "On the Avenue" - Try to sit still. Just try.
  • G. Love, "Milk and Sugar" - Ostensibly a song about coffee - one of my favorite vices.
  • Gaddabouts, "Feelin' Better" - Edie Brickel releases two records AND gets two songs on my best-of list this year. Plus, her 'FUV Live at Zankel show with this all-star band was a revelation!
  • Givers, "Up Up Up" - I literally downloaded this the MINUTE I first heard it from SxSW
  • Hayes Carll, "Another Like You" - A classic country duet. Wish I had room on my top ten for his CD KMAG YOYO. It deserves it!!
  • James Blake, "Limit To Your Love" - I know, I know, he didn't write it. But STILL.
  • Jill Sobule and John Doe, "Darling Underdog" - John's ex wrote it. This version knocks me out.
  • John Doe, "Never Enough" - Also check out the version of this song on A Day at the Pass. In fact, check out the entire John Doe record, Keeper John Doe can do no wrong!
  • Jolie Holland, "Rex's Blues" - Transcendent, luminous. Also, Check out her version of "Little Birds" which you know as "The Littlest Birds," by her former band, The Be Good Tanyas.
  • Old 97's, "I'm a Trainwreck" - Guilty as charged.
  • Ollabelle, "You're Gonna Miss Me" - You have NO IDEA.
  • Raphael Sadiiq, "Stone Rollin'" - See, also "Movin' Down the Line"
  • Ryan Adams, "Dirty Rain" - Subtle, soulful keyboard work from Benmont Tench brings this song to a soulful simmer.
  • Scala & Kolancy Brothers, "Creep (live)" - A Belgian women's choir does a haunting Radiohead cover. Trust me on this.
  • The Civil Wars, "Poison and Wine" - Just stick a knife in my heart, why don't you?

PLEASE don't miss!

  • Various, FUV Live 14 - Compilations: do they belong on Best-of Lists? Surely this one belongs in your collection.
  • Fountains of Wayne, Sky Full of Holes - The OTHER best band in America
  • OK Go, 180/365 - Live records: do they belong on 'best of' lists? This one sure made me happy this year.
  • Grouplove, After only a couple listens, I'm hooked
  • Black Keys, El Camino - Too soon to put it on the top ten? Or is it?? So darned catchy!
  • Steve Cropper, Dedicated - Don't be deterred by the whole 'legend' thing. This is terrific, vital and NOW.

How could I overlook: Paul Simon, The Decemberists, Trombone Shorty, Susan Werner, Joe Henry, Low Anthem, Wood Brothers, Gillian Welch.

 

Darren DeVivo

FUV Weekday Host

Albums: (alphabetical)

  • Tori Amos, Night Of Hunters
  • The Black Keys, El Camino
  • Edie Brickell, Edie Brickell
  • Lindsey Buckingham, Seeds We Sow
  • Kate Bush, 50 Words For Snow
  • Larry Carlton, Plays The Sound Of Philadelphia A Tribute To Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff
  • The Gaddabouts, The Gaddabouts
  • Bob Geldof, How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell
  • Joe Jackson Trio, Live Music Europe 2010
  • The Jayhawks, Mockingbird Time
  • Garland Jeffreys, The King Of In Between
  • Nick Lowe, The Old Magic
  • Paul McCartney, Paul McCartney's Ocean Kingdom
  • Pat Metheny, What's It All About
  • The Steve Miller Band, Let Your Hair Down
  • Willie Nile, The Innocent Ones
  • Radiohead, The King Of Limbs
  • Real Estate, Days
  • R.E.M., Collapse Into Now
  • Robbie Robertson, How To Become Clairvoyant
  • Paul Simon, So Beautiful Or So What
  • The Smithereens, 2011
  • Matthew Sweet, Modern Art
  • Tom Waits, Bad As Me
  • Yes, Fly From Here

Songs: (alphabetical)

  • City and Colour, "Fragile Bird"
  • Fleet Foxes, "Grown Ocean"
  • Ben Harper, "Rock N' Roll Is Free"
  • Will Hoge, "When I Get My Wings"
  • Laura Marling, "Sophia"
  • The North Mississippi Allstars, "This A'Way"
  • Ollabelle, "Wait For The Sun"
  • Portugal. The Man, "Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)"
  • R.E.M., "We All Go Back To Where We Belong"
  • The Wood Brothers, "Shoofly Pie"

 

Dennis Elsas

FUV Weekday Host

I like these albums:

  • The Jayhawks, Mockingbird Time
  • Fountains of Wayne, Sky Full of Holes
  • The Head and The Heart, The Head and The Heart
  • The Bridge School Concerts - 25th Anniversary Edition, Various
  • John Wesley Harding, The Sound Of His Own Voice
  • Ray Davies, See My Friends
  • Adele, 21
  • Paul Simon, So Beautiful Or So What
  • The Decemberists, The King is Dead
  • Wilco, The Whole Love

And I like these songs:

  • James Maddock, "Beautiful Now"
  • Gregg Allman, "Just Another Rider"
  • Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, "Danger"
  • Deer Tick, "Miss K."
  • Smithereens, "One Look At You"
  • Dawes, "Time Spent in Los Angeles"
  • The Damnwells, "Werewolves"
  • Blitzen Trapper, "Love The Way You Walk Away"
  • Wilderness Of Manitoba, "November"
  • Imelda May, "Mayhem"

 

Corny O'Connell

FUV Weekday Host

Albums:

  • Adele, 21
  • Asa, Beautiful Imperfection
  • Haley Bonar , Golder
  • Edie Brickell , Edie Brickell
  • Cults, Cults
  • Death Cab for Cutie , Codes and Keys
  • k.d. lang , Sing It Loud
  • Nick Lowe , The Old Magic
  • Tom Waits , Bad As Me
  • Wilco, The Whole Love

Songs:

  • Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
  • Edie Brickell, "Pill"
  • Gary Clark, Jr., "Bright Lights"
  • Cults, "Abducted"
  • Death Cab for Cutie, "You Are a Tourist"
  • Foster the People, "Pumped Up Kicks"
  • Mayer Hawthorne, "The Walk"
  • John Hiatt, "Damn This Town"
  • Nick Lowe, "I Read a Lot"
  • Tom Waits , "Back in the Crowd"

 

John Platt

Sunday Breakfast Host

Albums:

  • Brother Sun, Brother Sun - A trio of independent singer-songwriters (Greg Greenway, Joe Jencks, and Pat Wictor) forms a bond based on harmony in their music and their lives.
  • Jonathan Byrd, Cackalack - This North Carolina native draws on his home state for inspiration on these beautifully-crafted songs.
  • The Decemberists, The King is Dead - Some Decemberists devotees may miss those long suites, but isn't a superb song cycle about the seasons more than enough?
  • Indigo Girls, Beauty Queen Sister - The Queens of Consistency deliver an album that's a beauty from start to finish.
  • James Maddock, Wake Up and Dream - He left England as a semi pop star and reinvented himself as a downtown NYC singer-songwriter. Their loss, our gain!
  • Willie Nile, The Innocent Ones - For years he's been writing great songs without the recognition he deserves. Maybe he'll get it for this album of rock anthems.
  • Over the Rhine, The Long Surrender - Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler took a collection of smart and sophisticated songs to producer Joe Henry, and the result was this stunning, rich CD.
  • Red Molly, Light in the Sky - The addition of a new Molly (Molly Venter, replacing Carolann Solebello) slightly alters the harmonies, but not the signature mix of well-chosen covers and original tunes.
  • Sarah Siskind, Novel - What started as demos became a totally self-produced, polished CD where her voice (a cross between Beth Orton and k.d. lang) soars over shimmering guitars and pulsing piano lines.
  • Susan Werner, Kicking the Beehive - No radical agnostic gospel/new American songbook departures here, just a first-rate collection of songs worth hearing over and over again.

Songs:

  • Brother Sun, "What Must be Done"
  • David Wax Museum, "Born With a Broken Heart"
  • Dawes, "Time Spent in Los Angeles"
  • The Decemberists, "Down By the Water"
  • The Jayhawks, "She Walks in So Many Ways"
  • Garland Jeffreys, "Roller Coaster Town"
  • Wille Nile, "One Guitar"
  • Ron Sexsmith, "Love Shines"
  • Susan Werner, "My Different Son"
  • Lucinda Williams, "Blessed"

Honorable Mentions:

Dawes, Nothing Is Wrong; Steve Earle, I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive; Ana Egge, Bad Blood; The Head and The Heart, The Head and The Heart; Anne Hills & David Roth, Rhubarb Trees; Eilen Jewell, Queen of the Minor Key; Diana Jones, High Atmosphere; Alison Krauss & Union Station, Paper Airplane; Lisa Marling, A Creature I Don't Know; John McCutcheon, This Land: Woody Guthrie's America; Tom Russell, Mesabi; Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What; J.D. Souther, Natural History; Amy Speace, Land Like a Bird; Spuyten Duyvil, New Amsterdam; Tom Waits, Bad As Me; Gillian Welch, The Harrow & the Harvest; Wilco, The Whole Love; Pieta Brown, Mercury.

 

Russ Borris

Assistant Music Director and Host of The Alternate Side on FUV

Albums:

  1. Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Bon Iver - Ambitiously beautifully, nothing came close to this one. Nothing.
  2. The Weeknd, House of Balloons - The first mixtape from this Toronto guy is a modern spin on R&B filled with songs about girls and drugs and clubs. Oh, and girls doing drugs in clubs.
  3. James Blake, James Blake - I promised myself I wouldn't use the word dubstep when describing this record. Damnit.
  4. Girls, Father, Son, Holy Ghost - A big leap forward with album #2 filled with sadness and hope. "Vomit" is the best song with the worst title of 2011.
  5. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake - Just so solid. It's amazing how she makes a different and compelling record every time.
  6. The Mountain Goats, All Eternals Deck - John Darnielle is one of the most intelligent writers going and this one only adds to his extensive resume here. Plus the in-studio session was a blast.
  7. M83, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming - A giant double album that is always moving, keeping you hooked in.
  8. The Shivers, More - Their most cohesive record yet, a cool twist on the classic "guy loses girl" story.
  9. The Roots, undun - Brilliant and possibly their best album yet. Maybe The Black Keys are actually the second best band in the world.
  10. The Black Keys, El Camino - Somewhere along the line, The Black Keys became the best band in the world.

Songs: (alphabetical)

  • Alexander, "Truth" - I can never hear this song the same way after the "Box Cutter" episode of Breaking Bad.
  • Blitzen Trapper, "Love the Way You Walk Away" - This song stuck with me from listen one.
  • Bon Iver, "Beth/Rest" - Memories of junior high school dances filled with cheesy keys and filthy guitar solos. Uh, the song, not the dances.
  • Elbow, "Lippy Kids" - A flawless recording. Just perfect.
  • Fool's Gold, "Wild Window" - One of my favorite lines of the year..."no, you have not ruined me...yet, despite your best efforts."
  • M83, "Midnight City" - The hookiest synth-line of the year.
  • Man Man, "Haute Tropique" - Hands down, the best video performance in Studio A in 2011.
  • Nerves Junior, "As Bright as Your Night Light" - This band from Louisville flew under the radar a bit this year, but I expect to hear more from them in the future.
  • tUnE-yArDs, "Bizness" - Merrill Garbus approaches recording like no other. This song is crazy.
  • Tyler, The Creator, "Yonkers" - When I first saw the video for this, I was sold. Interesting, controversial, ambitious.

Alisa Ali

The Alternate Side Host, Producer & On-Air Interviewer for WFUV

Albums:

  1. Beirut, The Rip Tide
  2. Wye Oak, Civilians
  3. M83, Hurry Up We're Dreaming
  4. Milagres, Glowing Mouth
  5. Shabazz Palaces, Black Up
  6. tUnE-yArDs, whokill
  7. The Antlers, Burst Apart
  8. Washed Out, Within and Without
  9. Wild Flag, Wild Flag
  10. Real Estate, Days

Songs:

  1. tUnE-yArDs, "Bizness"
  2. Beastie Boys, "Make Some Noise"
  3. The Head & The Heart, "Lost In My Mind"
  4. Beirut, "Santa Fe"
  5. M83, "Midnight City"
  6. The Antlers, "Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out"
  7. Amor Fati, "Washed Out"
  8. The Naked and Famous, "Young Blood"
  9. Metronomy, "The Bay"
  10. Friends, "I'm His Girl"

 

Sarah Wardrop

Assistant Program Director, FUV Music Weekend Host

Albums: (alphabetical)

  • The Black Keys, El Camino
  • Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Bon Iver
  • City and Colour, Little Hell
  • David Wax Museum, Everything Is Saved
  • The Decemberists, The King Is Dead
  • Feist, Metals
  • The Head and the Heart, The Head and the Heart
  • Colin Stetson, New History Warfare, Vol. 2: Judges
  • Gillian Welch, The Harrow & The Harvest
  • Wild Flag, Wild Flag

Songs: (alphabetical)

  • Adele, "Rolling In The Deep"
  • Nicole Atkins, "Cry Cry Cry"
  • James Blake, "Limit To Your Love"
  • Bon Iver, "Holocene"
  • David Wax Museum, "Born With A Broken Heart"
  • The Decemberists, "January Hymn"
  • The Head and the Heart, "Down In The Valley"
  • M83, "Midnight City"
  • The Rapture, "It Takes Time To Be A Man"
  • Wild Flag, "Romance"

 

Kara Manning

Web Editor for The Alternate Side, On-Air Interviewer for WFUV/The Alternate Side

Albums:

  1. Elbow, build a rocket boys! - Four stunning singles also came tumbling off of this near-perfect album, including the masterful "Lippy Kids."
  2. Metronomy, The English Riviera - Joseph Mount's sly, sexy and self-deprecating ode to his native Devon established Metronomy as one of Britain's most thoroughly delectable bands.
  3. Laura Marling, A Creature I Don't Know - Marling's masterpiece at the mere age of 21. Ferocious, tempestuous and heartbreaking.
  4. Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost! - Brooklyn's Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel's terrific debut which includes "Wait & See" (best video of the year) and the bittersweet "Jam for Jerry," a tribute to late drummer Jerry Fuchs.
  5. Gruff Rhys, Hotel Shampoo - The enigmatic Welshman (and Super Furry Animals frontman) releases his most tender, intimate and candid solo album to date.
  6. Megafaun - Megafaun, Proving that they are far, far more than merely Justin Vernon's former bandmates, Megafaun pushed the reset button on their approach to songwriting and released one of the most beautiful albums of 2011
  7. Yuck - Yuck - A wildly eclectic, assured and mesmerizing debut. Made me sentimental for the 90s too.
  8. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake - This might be Polly Jean Harvey's most brilliant and resonant album. Life during wartime: unflinching, brutal and unforgettable.
  9. Butcher The Bar, For Each A Future Tethered - Manchester singer and songwriter Joel Nicholson often gets compared to Elliot Smith and for good reason; handsome tracks like "Silk Tilts" and "Cradle Song" blur both shadows and sunshine.
  10. Cornershop with Bubbley Kaur, Cornershop & The Double 'O' Groove Of - It took six years for this album to see the light and it is, appropriately, positively luminous. Cornershop's collaboration with Punjabi singer Bubbley Kaur, a Lancashire housewife.

Singles:

  1. Everything Everything, "Photoshop Handsome" - Everything, everything about this song makes me happy. Even the jabberwocky nonsense of the lyrics.
  2. Little Dragon , "Ritual Union" - Really, is there anything that Little Dragon's Yukimo Nagano sings that doesn't sound sexy?
  3. DJ Shadow w/Little Dragon, "Scale It Back" - See above. Plus, is it wrong to admit that the song reminds me of vintage TLC?
  4. Friends, "I'm His Girl" - Brooklyn upstarts mine a super-sultry bass line with tasty insolence (plus the B-side is their fabulous cover of the Ghost Town DJ's' "My Boo").
  5. SBTRKT, "Pharaohs" - London producer SBTRKT recruited Roses Gabor for this sleek little number.
  6. Boys Noize & Erol Alkan with Jarvis Cocker, "Avalanche (Terminal Velocity)" - True, Jarvis Cocker could read the ingredients off a cereal box and make it sound brilliant, but this explosive deconstruction of Leonard Cohen's song is particularly compelling
  7. Michael Kiwanuka, "Tell Me A Tale" - Like a long-lost vinyl single from the early 70s. Gorgeous.
  8. The Naked and Famous, "Young Blood" - Soaring, summertime perfection and one of several excellent singles off of this New Zealand band's debut.
  9. Bombay Bicycle Club, "Shuffle" - Bombay Bicycle Club's A Different Kind of Fix just missed my top ten album list, but that excellent release was led off by this brisk, breezy canter of a single. Wonderful.
  10. The Horrors, "Still Life" - The Horrors' Skying is another album I wish I could have squeezed into my top ten. "Still Life," like the balance of the album, is a wondrous wash of synth-pop grandeur.

 

Eric Holland

Host, WFUV, FUV Music and The Alternate Side

Albums:

  1. Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What - Paul contemplates life, love, and death with his inimitable wit.
  2. Tom Waits, Bad as Me - Tom in touch with all parts of his persona and stages in his career
  3. Danger Mouse & Danielle Luppi, Rome - A little album in some ways but enormously successful
  4. Wilco, The Whole Love - Favorite Wilco album ever
  5. Wild Flag, Wild Flag - Women who often evoke CBGBs talent like Patti Smith & Television
  6. Feist, Metals - Unlike Bjork this year, managed to successfully balance her weird experimentation with song structure.
  7. Real Estate, Days - It was a good year for power pop but this was even better than Greenhornes, FOW, Kooks, & Matthew Sweet
  8. Girls, Father, Son, Holy Ghost - Charming, infectious, clever, funny, ambitious, epic
  9. John Hiatt, Dirty Jeans & Mudslide Hymns - An especially great batch of songs from one of America's great songwriters
  10. Radiohead, The King of Limbs - I miss guitars and enough with the deconstruction; still...they're genius

Songs:

  1. Lykke Li, "Get Some"
  2. Amy Correia, "Powder Blue Trans Am"
  3. Garland Jeffreys, "Roller Coaster Town"
  4. Mr. Heavenly, "Bronx Sniper"
  5. The Drums, "Money"
  6. Foster the People, "Pumped Up Kicks"
  7. Paul Simon, "Rewrite"
  8. Jimmy Cliff, "Guns of Brixton" (favorite cover #1)
  9. Norah Jones, "Jesus Etc." (favorite cover #2)
  10. James Blake, "Limit to Your Love" (favorite cover #3)

Essential NYC albums of 2011

  1. Thurston Moore, Demolished Thoughts
  2. The Strokes, Angles
  3. Battles, Gloss Drop
  4. Mike Doughty, Yes and Also Yes
  5. Tre Williams & The Revelations, Concrete Blues
  6. Steve Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra, MTO Plays Sly
  7. The Gaddabouts, The Gaddabouts
  8. KJ Denhart, Album Number 9
  9. Kirsten Thien, Delicious
  10. Asobi Seksu, Flourescence

The Honorable (Mention) 12

  1. Mr. Heavenly, Out of Love
  2. The Kills, Blood Pressures
  3. Black Keys, El Camino
  4. Gillian Welch, The Harrow & The Harvest
  5. Greenhornes, Four Stars
  6. Fountains of Wayne, Sky Full of Holes
  7. Vaccines, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
  8. The Head & The Heart, The Head & The Heart
  9. Wye Oak, Civillians
  10. Beirut, The Rip Tide
  11. Mocean Worker, Candygram for Mowo
  12. Ray Davies, See My Friends

Top Ten Concerts:

  1. Paul Simon at Webster Hall
  2. LCD Soundsystem at Terminal 5
  3. Deervana (Deer Tick playing Nirvana) at Brooklyn Bowl
  4. FUV Holiday Cheer w The Head & The Heart, Dawes, Josh Ritter, & Mavis Staples at the Beacon Theatre
  5. Shemekia Copeland at Allen Room, Lincoln Center
  6. Mose Allison at Jazz Standard
  7. Gang of Four at Irving Plaza
  8. Matthew Sweet at City Winery
  9. Peter Gabriel at Ed Sullivan Theater
  10. Steely Dan (Royal Scam Night) at Beacon Theatre

 

Marshall Crenshaw

The Bottomless Pit Host

Albums:

  1. Hayes Carll, KMAGYOYO
  2. Wyatt, Atzmon, and Stephen, For the Ghosts Within
  3. Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues
  4. Stephon Harris, David Sanchez, Christian Scott, Ninety Miles
  5. Bootsy Collins, Tha Funk Capitol of the World
  6. Phil Spector, The Philles Album Collection
  7. Bobby Charles, self-titled (beautiful record from 1972)
  8. Party Store, The Dirtbombs

Song:

  1. Paul Simon, "The Afterlife"

 

Ben Sisario

WFUV Music Reviewer; Writer, The New York Times

Albums:

  1. Cass McCombs, Wit's End
  2. James Blake, James Blake
  3. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
  4. Tune-Yards, Whokill
  5. Laura Marling, A Creature I Don't Know
  6. Wye Oak, Civilian
  7. Tinariwen, Tassili
  8. Low, C'Mon
  9. Beirut, The Rip Tide
  10. Matthew Herbert, One Pig

 

Anthony DeCurtis

WFUV Music Reviewer; Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone Magazine

Albums: (alphabetical)

  • Adele, 21
  • The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow
  • The Decemberists, The King Is Dead
  • Amos Lee, Mission Bell
  • Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play the Blues
  • My Morning Jacket, Circuital
  • Robbie Robertson, How to Become Clairvoyant
  • Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What
  • Teddy Thompson, Bella
  • The Wilderness of Manitoba, When You Left the Fire

 

Josh Baron

WFUV Music Reviewer; Editor-in-Chief, Relix

  • Blind Pilot, We are the Tide
  • Cave Singers, No Witch
  • Fool's Gold, Leave No Trace
  • Gillian Welch, The Harrow & The Harvest
  • Joan as Policewoman, Deep Field
  • My Morning Jacket, Circuital
  • Real Estate, Days
  • Ryan Adams, Ashes & Fire
  • Telekensis, 12 Desperate Straight Lines
  • Wilco, The Whole Love

 

Bob Sherman

Woody's Children Host

  • Janet Bates, The Little Spinner
  • Hugh Blumenfeld, Dad
  • Brother Sun, Brother Sun
  • Andrew Calhoun, Grapevine
  • Beth DeSombre, At Home in This Town
  • John McCutcheon, Woody Guthrie's America
  • Naming the Twins, Sweet Transitions
  • Stan Rogers, The Very Best
  • Cosy Sheridan, The Horse King
  • Jim Stricklan, Blues for Stephen Foster

 

Ceol na nGael

Celtic Sunday afternoons

  • Battlefield Band, Lineup
  • Cherish the Ladies, Country Crossroads
  • John Doyle, Shadow and Light
  • Frankie Gavin and De Dannan, Jigs, Reels & Rock n' Roll
  • Girsa, A Sweeter Place
  • Jameson's Revenge, While Yer Up
  • McLean Avenue Band, Easy and Free
  • Screaming Orphans, The Jacket's Green
  • Tommy Sands with Moya and Fionan Sands, Arising from the Troubles
  • Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra, Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley

 

Laura Fedele

New Media Director

Albums:

  1. The Decemberists, The King is Dead
  2. Wilco, The Whole Love
  3. Iron & Wine, Kiss Each Other Clean
  4. Gillian Welch, The Harrow & The Harvest
  5. The Head and The Heart, The Head and The Heart [live session video]
  6. Amos Lee, Mission Bell [live session video]
  7. kd lang and The Siss Boom Bang, Sing It Loud
  8. Diego Garcia, Laura [live session video]
  9. Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, Rome
  10. Radiohead, The King of Limbs

Songs:

  1. Elbow, "Lippy Kids" [live session video]
  2. Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
  3. The Civil Wars, "Barton Hollow"
  4. Nicole Atkins, "The Tower" [live session video]
  5. Dawes, "A Little Bit Of Everything" [live session video]
  6. Givers, "Up Up Up" [live session video]
  7. David Wax Museum, "Born With a Broken Heart"
  8. Lucinda Williams, "Blessed"
  9. My Morning Jacket, "Wonderful (The Way I Feel) "
  10. Rachael Yamagata, "You Won't Let Me"

 

Jim O'Hara

Associate Director of Technical Operations

Albums:

  1. Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Bon Iver
  2. James Blake, James Blake
  3. F*cked Up, David Comes to Life
  4. The Antlers, Burst Apart
  5. Beirut, The Rip Tide
  6. Feist, Metals
  7. Black Keys, El Camino
  8. Man Man , Life Fantastic
  9. Cut Copy, Zonoscope
  10. Active Child, You Are All I See

Songs:

  1. Bon Iver, "Perth"
  2. Lana Del Rey, "Video Games"
  3. M83, "Midnight City"
  4. Elbow, "Lippy Kids"
  5. Cults, "Abducted"
  6. tUnE-yArDs, "Gangsta"
  7. Beastie Boys, "Make Some Noise"
  8. The Lonely Island, "Jack Sparrow"
  9. Cold Cave, "Villains of the Moon"
  10. Battles, "Ice Cream"

 

Joe Grimaldi

Assistant Director of Technical Operations

Albums:

  1. The Black Keys, El Camino
  2. David Guetta, Nothing but the Beat
  3. Blue Scholars, Cinemetropolis
  4. Lil Wayne, The Carter IV
  5. Wick-it the Instigator, The Brothers of Chico Dusty. Big Boi vs. The Black Keys
  6. Wiz Khalifa, Rolling Papers
  7. Socks & Chimes, I Love You Overall
  8. Bon Iver, Bon Iver
  9. M83, Hurry Up We're Dreaming
  10. Gillian Welch, The Harrow & The Harvest
  11. Childish Gambino, Camp

Songs:

  1. Ryan Adams, "Lucky Now"
  2. Wale, "Ambition"
  3. The Streets, "Outside Inside"
  4. Atmosphere, "The Last to Say"
  5. Foster the People, "Houdini"
  6. James Blake, "A Case of You"
  7. The Lisps, "Try"
  8. Beyonce, "Best Thing I Never Had"
  9. Socks & Chime, "New Mexico"
  10. Car on the Moon, "Sea of Indians"
  11. Gillian Welch, "Hard Times"

Videos:

  1. LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock - Party Rock Anthem (dr. Mickey Finnegan)
  2. Kanye West feat. Rihanna & Kid Cudi (dr. Hype Williams)
  3. Tyler the Creator - Yonkers (dr. Wold Haley)
  4. Taylor Swift - Ours (dr. Declan Whitebloom)
  5. The New Pornographers - Moves (dr. Tom Scharpling)
  6. Watch the Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) - Otis (dr. Spike Jonze)
  7. Lonely Island feat. Michael Boulton - Jack Sparrow (Broadway Video)
  8. Lana Del Ray - Video Games (dr. Lana Del Ray)
  9. Wild Flag - Romance (dr. Tom Scharpling)
  10. M83 - Midnight City (dr. Fleur & Manu)
  11. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Wings (dr. Zia Mohajerjasbi)

 

Shari Rosen Ascher

Corporate Underwriting Sales Director

Albums:

  1. Dawes, Nothing is Wrong - These guys are exactly the kind of musicians I would want my 17-year-old, guitar-playing son to be - witty, sincere and adorable!
  2. Foo Fighters, Wasting Light - I just love these guys!
  3. Ryan Adams, Ashes and Fire - What a gorgeous voice!
  4. Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 - Old school Beasties...brings me back to Brooklyn

Songs:

  1. Dawes, "A Little Bit of Everything"
  2. Dawes, "Time Spent in Los Angeles"
  3. Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
  4. Beastie Boys, "Make Some Noise"

 

Joey Delvecchio

Traffic and Continuity Director

Albums:

  1. Foo Fighters, Wasting Light - Yes, it's true that even if this album had been bad, that I probably would've liked it anyway. But, the album wasn't bad, and I didn't just like this album, I REALLY liked it. After all these years, still no one in rock music can scream with the same intensity of Dave Grohl, as if someone was stabbing him to death behind the microphone. And there's a lot of screaming on "White Limo", along with the Foo Fighters signature sense of humor in this song's video. And the guitar riffs in "Rope" are through-and-through 1992. And for guys like me, that's about the best thing one could ask for. The Foos refuse to die. And there's an element of glamour to that, and, as I become old right before my very eyes, a welcome element of nostalgia on this record.
  2. The Damnwells, No One Listens to the Band Anymore - For as long as I've known WFUV exists, The Damnwells have been among my top five favorite bands, period. And it's not just because the band has a sound reminiscent of my beloved 1990s, although that's a big part of it. It's also because they're basic. In a time when music has become more electronic, more intricate, more "hip" I suppose - and there's certainly a place for all of that - The Damnwells keep it organic. It's guitar, drums, bass, and Alex Dezen's killer songwriting. He's also got a sense of humor about the tough breaks the band's had to endure over the first decade of the 21st century, as evidenced by the name of their 2011 release "No One Listens to the Band Anymore". In fact, the way I am, an album title like that makes me want to listen to the band even more. There's nothing that "stands out" on this record - there's no one track that's on the edge of glory, no attempts at "cool" cover songs - attempts that in my mind, usually fail anyway. And there's no studio gimmickry at work. It's just The Damwnells doing what they do, It's straight ahead rock music for people who like straight ahead rock music. Self-deprecating humor aside - I am proud to say that I still listen to the band.

Songs:

  1. The Damnwells, "No One Listens to the Band Anymore" - The title track on their latest release.
  2. The Horrible Crowes, "Behold the Hurricane" - A solid track in its own right, but a closer listen later revealed to me why I enjoy it so much. The guitar closely resembles my favorite 1980s track - John Waite's "Missing You".
  3. Dawes, "Time Spent In Los Angeles" - "You've got that special kind of sadness / You've got that tragic set of charms / That only comes from time spent in Los Angeles / Makes me wanna wrap you in my arms" - those lyrics are the stuff dreams are made of (well, that and a few cold ones). This describes almost every girl I've ever dated (except the "time spent in Los Angeles" part - I've only spent five days there, but this song makes me wanna spend more).
  4. Dawes, "A Little Bit of Everything" - Life is complicated. The truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. So Dawes has it right: in the end, it's the matador AND the bull.
  5. Ryan Adams, "Lucky Now" - Good to hear from Ryan again. He's waxing poetic about his youth again, and how it's escaping from him as he sings. And when he sings about these things is when he's at his best.

Josh Briseno

WFUV Music Manager

Albums:

  1. Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Bon Iver - Upon first listen I thought the great indie folk band I loved was gone. I was wrong. Bon Iver, Bon Iver quickly became the only album I listened to. Ever.
  2. Girls, Father, Son, Holy Ghost - Every song delivers a different kind of emotional punch in an all too familiar way. Listen to it and you will rediscover some of your favorite bands and memories
  3. M83, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming - M83 taps into the psyche of adventures and imagination and delivers the most epic record of the year. Each song contains a new world that is full of infinite possibilities
  4. Beirut, The Rip Tide - Who knew horns could be this good outside of film scores? Zach Condon and co deliver 33 minutes of orchestral joy
  5. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake - Polly Jean issues a call to arms in her examination of how everything changed after WWI
  6. Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues - It's darker and deeper for the Foxes but they still deliver a record to which you want to sing along
  7. Tune-Yards, w h o k i l l - Violence, injustice, intimacy and everything else that can be considered controversial is addressed in this thought provoking record
  8. The Mountain Goats, All Eternals Deck - Darnielle is arguably one of the best lyricists in the business. The song "High Hawk Season" features one of my favorite lines of the year "the summer will reveal itself to those who hearts are true, and to the faithless few"
  9. Smith Westerns, Dye It Blonde - Young and foolish but no longer innocent the Smith Westerns deliver a better sophomore record than expected
  10. Deer Tick, Divine Providence - Divine Providence is raw and in your face. It gives the listener a clear insight into Deer Tick's don't give a damn attitude

Songs:

  • Bon Iver, "Michicant"
  • Cass McCombs, "County Line"
  • Cut Copy, "Take Me Over"
  • James Blake, "The Wilhelm Scream"
  • Kanye West and Jay-Z, "Otis"
  • Lana Del Rey, "Video Games"
  • M83, "Midnight City"
  • Nerves Junior, "As Bright As Your Night Light"
  • The Black Keys, "Little Black Submarines"
  • The Weeknd, "House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls"