At the end of 2011, I started what I intended to be a new tradition, coming up with a best-of list for the previous year, the one that's already a year old. That is, in December of 2011, I counted down the top tracks of 2010 while every one else was busy pretending that they'd actually fully absorbed 2011 already. This December, with a year of perspective, I'll tackle 2011. You may say "Oh my god, that is so one year ago" or you may say "2011 still sounds pretty new to me. Heck, anything from this century sounds new to me".
I'm still quite a few months away from renewing the tradition at the end of 2012, but it feels appropriate to start thinking more about what I might have missed in 2011. Magnet Magazine's list of Hidden Treasures of 2011 provides just such an opportunity. Never mind that I could have read the post at the end of 2011 when it was published. I didn't. I read it today.
I approached the list suspiciously with it's "the ten best albums you didn't hear" advertising. I figured I'm just the sort of person who listens to the best albums other people don't hear, but in this case I'm 0 for 10. I hadn't heard a single one of these 10 records. I will now. I've downloaded at least one song from eMusic from Campfire OK, Creepoid, Eleven Twenty-Nine, Jerusalem the Starbaskets, Sean McCann, Oscar + Martin, Raw Milk, and Ward White. The two artists who weren't on eMusic were on iTunes, so I downloaded songs by Filthy Bird and Gold-Bears from iTunes and also double-checked that iTunes has all 8 of the other artists' albums available as well.
I feel a little funny buying the Gold-Bears song "Record Store" on line. Buying a song with that name just doesn't show the same loyalty to one of my favorite pastimes as actually going to a record store. Maybe one of my lists will inspire somebody else to go to one.