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Well folks, this will be no surprise to those who frequent the Random Nation weekly, but here are my picks for 2011. It’s been a good, no a great year for music.

Wicked local stuff coming out and hitting waves, notice for the amazing underground scenes throughout Canada due to some hard working and notable new labels and some incredible musicians pushing hard and putting out incredible music. Hard to narrow it down, but with a humble bow I present to you the listener/reader my top 11 pics for 2011.

11. Ketamine’s The Ketamines

10. The Flaming Lips with Prefuse 73 – The Flaming Lips 2011

9. St. Vincent’s Stranger Mercy 

Upon greater thought, I am going to replace this with Feist’s Metals. Too solid of an album to leave off and has upstaged the wonderful Annie Clark in many of my radio playlists.

 

8. Explosions in the Sky’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

 

7. Shotgun Jimmie‘s Transistor Sister

6. Adele‘s 21

5. Battles’ Gloss Drop

 

4. The Decemberist’s The King is Dead

 

3. Jay Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne

2. TV on the Radio’s 9 Types of Light

 

(amazing hour long vid to accompany the album)

1. Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials

 

Extra special mention to the (Lethbridge based) Mammoth Cave’s Bloodstains Across… series for introducing some fine bands from across Canada to many a grateful set of ears and working so hard to serve music lovin’ folks worldwide.

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Today it was reported that venerable and inspiring director John Hughes passed away at the tender age of 59.

Growing up, I discovered Fleetwood Mac and John Hughes movies at approximately the same time. I believe that somehow one led to the other. Molly Ringwald became my idol and Sixteen Candles my 2am go-to. Lindsay Buckingham and Matthew Broderick were tied for ultimate dreamboat in my 13year old eyes. Everything I know about dancing was learned in the dance montage after that scene they cut always for TV in The Breakfast Club.

If CTV ran a 48 hour John Hughes marathon, I would call in sick to work. No tribute I can offer is big enough so please do not think of this show as a tribute, just a small token of affection.

Artist – Album – Track   *=Canadian

King Khan and the Shrines – What Is?! – Welfare Bread

*Animal Names – Oh Yes You Better Do – Rolling Paper Airplanes

Japandriods – Post – Nothing – Wet Hair

*The Famines – The Famines double disc 7inch – Gimme Some Numbers

The Breeders – Head to Toe – Freed Pig

Cymbals Eat Guitars – Likely There Are Mountains – Some Trees (Marriot Moon)

Joan of Arc – Flowers – The Garden of Cartoon Exclamations

*Sunparlour Players – Wave North – Wood Dress

Gianthand – Coming Home – The Beast

*Black Mold – Snow Blindness Crystal Antz – Finally Someone Invented a Teleporter.

Boogie Broader – Pizza Hero – Sparks

Maybe a slight exaggeration So, whats up with the weather in Alberta lately?    Amirite?

Speaking of freaks, check out Weird Music Canada. Its better than Pitchfork, but then again so is everything. Seriously though, Canadian music blog that stays true to its roots and to its name. Worth an RSS add.

Speaking of storms, my buds Myelin Sheaths are f’ing blowing up, or at least nicely settled in a forest green rising hot air balloon destined for success. To think, soon I’ll be living with these rock stars. Better start practicing doing blow off illegal sex trade workers. Updated: Weird Canada did a rad post on the released album.

Speaking of doing blow off illegal sex trade workers, next radio program is TONIGHT (ohmygawd) 7pm-8pmMST on 88.5fm in the Edmonton area or worldwide here.

From the mouth of babes:

Like all garage bands do, Endangered Ape are calling it quits.

We have three shows left – July 30 at The Hydeaway in Edmonton / July 31 at Broken City (NOBUNNY!), and then a going-away extravaganza on August 15 at Henotic featuring old friends and new friends, as well as The Famines, Sharp Ends (and surprise guests?). Try to make it pals…

Who knows what the future has in store though right?

(via Paul Lawton and Evan van Reekum)

These folks have done a lot in the last year and a half to get the Lethbridge music scene on the map and to encourage new and local bands to get out there and play bigger, badder scenes.

Plus, E Ape is just straight up rad music.

Go to thier last few shows, grab some limited edition merch and buy thier music. You will regret your life if you don’t.

Next program date:

Wednesday, July 29th. 3pm-5pm MST @ 88.5fm or ww.cjsr.com

Unrelated:

Tonight’s agenda:

Edmonton’s own, Alena Menera

Montreal darlings, The Lovely Feathers

Both at the Hideaway. Check it.

p.s. I finally saw the video for that “3oh3” song, and I am almost 100% sure that it must be a joke. Even funnier and is possible more insulting, the spoofs (they are spoofs right?! I really don’t think I understand kids these days).

Ever noticed how “really great make out music” is synonymous for the “really great make out music” you dug at 17. Further proof, making out reaches its peak of awesome at 17 and goes steady from there.

Its been a while since I posted, so quick and dirty run down of things music wise:

1. Polaris announced their 2009 short list. Overall, pretty solid choices. Personally, I’m pulling for Fucked Up’s “The Chemistry of Common Life” or VanGaalen’s “Soft Airplanes”. I still have mixed feelings about Polaris, but all in all they do a good job of grabbing genuinely good albums as well as those that are top requests or buys.

2. Jay Reatard is picking fights over Twitter.

3. This Jenny Lewis video does not suck.

4. Back on radio, sporadic visits on CJSR’s airwaves. Be posting program sets pretty soon. For some reason Aaron Levin keeps throwing these radio intern types at me every time I step into the booth. I am molding the future of CJSR.

5. Previewed the new Famines release. IT IS RAD. 7inch release parties in Calgary (with Meisha and the Spanks, Puberty and Myelin Sheaths) at the Palomino and Edmonton at the Hideaway, well worth checking it out and getting yourself a copy. Limited pressings, even less than the last one and with the buzz they have and sheer Whyte ave clout, they will likely go fast.

6. Check out this new music blog, NxEW. Good and diverse contributors from across Canada with genuine passion for music. Solid.

7. The new “it thing” in Lethbridge, the Myelin Sheaths are getting ready to record and release their first 7inch with Hozac Records. Pretty awesome, right? Don’t forget though, Lethbridge has more then one good band…. in fact there are even more than 3! Long story short, don’t forget about the ones you loved before and ones that are yet too com.

8. ‘Tis the season to get festivaled!

9. Edmonton has really amazing shows. All the time. ie. Black Francis playing The Starlight Room on the 8th of August. (Good event listing found on-line @ Vue)

10. Dinosaur Jr. video. (via @akolade/futureshock)

This month is Festival month! Shake out that grungy blanket and your bicycle. Time to get sunned.

Winnipeg Folk Fest (ft. Elvis Costello, Belle Orchestre, Iron and Wine, Neko Case…) is undergoing currently and running until the 12th of July.

Mukwah Jamboree, seeing the likes of Azeda Booth, Beija Flor, and Deadhorse in the foothills of the Rockies, awesome. Runs July 17th-19th

South Country Fair, also July 17th-19th…. This year, besides the fantastic camping the stage sees: Woodpigeon, United Steel Workers of Montreal, Twilight Hotel…

Calgary Folk Fest (ft. The Decemberists, Akron Family, Chad VanGaalen) is on July 23rd to the 26th.

Edmonton Folk Fest runs August 6th to 9th and this year the stage sees some amazing artists: Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, Neko Case, Joel Plaskett, Loudan Wainwright III, Iron and Wine, Great Lake Swimmers…

The Flaming Lips is said to be in the midst of recording a double disc album, set to be released in September. (via BBC – 6)

Hot Damn.

To celebrate, a wee clip from their Vancouver 2007 show (also known as the night I became a woman).

p.s. I was under that giant ball at one point…just saying

After a month and 1/2 of CJSR’s music director Aaron Levin’s desperate phone calls, I have finally consented to bringing my slick style to Edmonton’s air waves.

(truth – I just followed him around until he couldn’t take it anymore, plus, I can fill out SOCAN charts properly…)

Long story short, I will be back on air, this time in Alberta’s Capitol city.  No set show date, but Aaron did say that if I plugged his super rad, all-star side business (Buy shit from Cantor Records!) he would “make a sweet spot happen”* For the time being, inconsistent show times is the name of the game.

Get out those stylo pens and your moleskins. Current program times lined up:

Friday (June 19th) 11pm-midnight MST

Monday (June 22nd) 6pm-7pm MST

Monday (June 29th) 6pm-7pm MST

Get your requests in early, ’cause I am going RECORD SHOPPING this weekend.

As always, contact me on air with requests or for a friendly convo via twitter (JProssa) or the handy dandy blog comment box.

*He did not actually promise anythingof the sort, but surely a little sucking up doesn’t hurt.