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Best of 2011: Kyle Miller

Today we have the top ten songs of 2011 from Churchkey co-founder Kyle Miller, in no particular order.

An Horse — “Dressed Sharply”: this one was a favorite of mine from the first time I heard it, at Mohawk in Austin during SXSW. Nearly a year later, it’s still one of the songs I sing in the car most often. I’m always amazed by how “big” this band sounds, live and on record, and I love the contrast when the guitars drop out at the end of this song. That part is also a nice reminder of how terrible of a singer I am.

The Mountain Goats — “Damn These Vampires”: I bought All Eternals Deck,  the rest of which which ended up not sticking with me at all, on the strength of this single. No mystery why: the chorus is totally unfuckwithable. Big Mountain Goats fans would probably consider this blasphemy, but hey, everyone’s got their thing. If Friday Night Lights was still on TV, “Damn These Vampires” would be the perfect backdrop to one of those season premier montages, before they cut to Slammin’ Sammy Meade on the radio, right?

Telekinesis — “50 Ways”: Loud, quiet, loud. Works every time, just like Colt .45.

Black Lips — “Family Tree”: Instant dance party. Every time. My neighbors have almost certainly witnessed some embarrassing dance moves. As did about 800 strangers at the Lincoln Theatre when I saw the Black Lips, The Love Language, Spider Bags, and Last Year’s Men live and under the influence at Hopscotch. Absolutely one of my favorite nights of the year, and one of my favorite songs of the year.

Fucked Up — “Queen of Hearts”: Man. I feel like I can do anything when I hear the opening riff. If I was going to get out of bed in the morning and take over the world, I’d put this song on in my headphones. Also, the video with the kids singing along rules.

Apex Manor — “Teenage Blood”: I totally missed the boat on The Year of Magical Drinking when it first came out. It took a $5 Amazon deal and a recommendation from Dan McCleary to get me to finally check it out. Dan used the magic words “Replacements” and “Teenage Fanclub,” so I had no choice but to check it out. It was probably the best five bucks I spent this year. Lasts a lot longer than a pint of Mother Earth Kölsch, too.

Mount Moriah — “The Reckoning”: “Lament” made my list last year, and I’m going with “The Reckoning” this year, now that the Mount Moriah album has gotten properly released. This song is just beautiful from beginning to end, lyrically and sonically. I can’t really say anything about it that hasn’t been said at this point. If by chance you haven’t listened to this song, please do.

Gillian Welch — “Tennessee”: I find myself humming the chorus at random times of day, even when I haven’t heard the song for weeks. That automatically qualifies it for this list, right?

Whatever Brains — “The Future of Porn”: In Rich Ivey I trust. For full impact, see it played live. Whatever Brains is quite possibly the best live band in the Triangle right now.

Titus Andronicus — “Breed”: This was on the Newermind tribute album that SPIN released for free online to mark the 20th anniversary of Nevermind‘s release. In contrast to the hugeness I’ve come to expect from Titus Andronicus, it sounds like your favorite punkrock band playing in your friend’s basement. Rad.

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Best of 2011: Steve Jones

Our look back at 2011 continues with input from Churchkey co-founder Steve Jones. Here are his top ten favorite records from the last year:

1. Mount Moriah – Mount Moriah (Holidays for Quince)
2. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)
3. Fucked Up – David Comes To Life (Matador)
4. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian)
5. Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread (Drag City)
6. Apex Manor – The Year of Magical Drinking (Merge)
7. King Louie’s Missing Monuments – Painted White (Douchemaster)
8. Black Lips – Arabia Mountain (Vice)
9. Jacuzzi Boys – Glazin’ (Hardly Art)
10. Telekinesis – 12 Desperate Straight Lines (Merge)