The best of 2011 – A “Wales” of a year

The small nation of Wales left an indelible mark on the music scene in 2011, as The Joy Formidable have emerged as one of rock’s most exciting and energetic acts. The band and their debut full-length album, appropriately entitled The Big Roar, have literally scorched music charts and concert venues around the globe.

But, there were other exciting aspects to 2011 and my list of the best are provided below. For 2012 I am very excited about new albums due out by Metric and Garbage.


Album: The Big Roar by The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

Honorable mentions: Codes & Keys (Death Cab for Cutie); Delay Trees (Delay Trees); Belong (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart); Father, Son & Holy Ghost (Girls); Bon Iver (Bon Iver); Raven on a Grave (Raveonettes); King of Limbs (Radiohead); and 11:11 by Ember Swift


Song: “Whirring” by The Joy Formidable

Honorable mentions: “In February” (Delay Trees); “You Are a Tourist,” “Doors Unlocked and Open,” Unobstructed Views,” and Underneath the Sycamore” (Death Cab for Cutie); “Too Tough” and Even in Dreams” (Pains of Being Pure at Heart); “Cradle,” “Llaw = Wall,” and “A Heavy Abacus” (The Joy Formidable); “Turn Off This Song” (The Lonely Forest); “Codex” (Radiohead); “Recharge & Revolt” (The Raveonettes); “Anti-D” (The Wombats), “Is it Me?” (Kooks); and “Simple Math” (Manchester Orchestra)


Best previously released song heard for the first time in 2011: “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie

Don’t know how I missed this song previously, but it is now an all-time favorite.

Honorable mentions: “Does Me In” (Frontier Ruckus) and “Hellhole Ratrace” (Girls);


New bands: The Lonely Forest and Delay Trees


Music video: “Anti-D” by The Wombats

Honorable mentions: “Is it Me?” (Kooks); “Perth” (Bon Iver); “Simple Math” [geometric video with lyrics] (Manchester Orchestra); and “Whirring” (The Joy Formidable)


Concert: Death Cab for Cutie at the Fox Theater in Detroit

Honorable mentions: U2 at Spartan Stadium and Ember Swift at the Pumphouse


Book read: The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid (Bill Bryson)

Honorable mentions: Makeshift Metropolis (Witold Rybczynski) and Crossing the Heart of Africa (Julian Smith)


Movie: 50/50

Honorable mentions: The Descendants and Hugo


TV Drama: Person of Interest

Honorable mentions: Fringe and Unforgettable


TV Comedy: Modern Family

Honorable mentions: Two Broke Girls, Big Bang Theory, Suburgatory, How I Met Your Mother, and Last Man Standing


Sports moment: Britain’s Dan Wheldon winning the Indy 500 (though his death near the end of the racing season was the saddest moment in sports in many years. So tragic – first time I ever recall crying at the passing of a sports icon).

This entry was posted in art, entertainment, fun, movies, Music, reading, sports, video, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The best of 2011 – A “Wales” of a year

  1. Donn Trexler says:

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  2. Pingback: ‘The Joy’ of ‘Formidable’ new music from Wales | Panethos

  3. Pingback: Some ‘formidable joy’ is due in January | Panethos

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