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December 27, 2011 / jhsaeger

2011 Long After Dark Awards

    After lots of self-delibration over a lengthy holiday weekend, Long After Dark presents its best of 2011.  Album of the Year will appear on Friday to help wrap up 2011.

Top Song: “Time Spent In Los Angeles,” Dawes 
     Amidst hefty competition, this absolute gem of a song was recorded by the folk-rock group Dawes in Jackson Browne’s house in California.  Browne was not the only star to play with the up-and-coming band this year, as The Heartbreaker’s Benmont Tench sat in on keyboards for a few tracks and The Band’s Robbie Robertson sought out their services as a backing band on a recent tour.  
Apologies To: “These Days” Foo Fighters, “Gold On The Ceiling” The Black Keys, “AKA… What A Life” Noel Gallagher, “Believe It When I See It” Ron Sexsmith
Best Debut Album: The Joy Formidable, The Big Roar
   Loud guitars, thunderous drums, simple melodies, and creative songwriting mixed together well for the Welsh trio on their debut LP.  Aided by their FM Radio hit “Whirring,” the band played several notable festivals this summer before embarking on a headlining tour of North America this winter.  
Apologies To: What Did You Expect From The Vaccines: The Vaccines, Wild Flag: Wild Flag, Nikki Jean: Pennies In A Jar

 Whirring by thejoyformidable
Best Covers Project: Beyond The Sun: Chris Isaak
     After three decades in the music business, Chris Isaak seemed destined to record a covers album rooted in the rockabilly/rock ‘n roll sound which powers his own music.  This year, he and his band cut an album of straightforward covers of songs that are a delightful listen.  

Apologies To: Various: Rave On Buddy Holly, Various: (Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi) Covered, Kevin Devine: Nevermind

Most Intriguing Album Concept: Pennies In A Jar, Nikki Jean

    Manayunk resident Nikki Jean owns the distinction of recording the boldest debut album of all time.  In her debut as a solo artist, Jean pursued some of the most significant songwriters of the 20th Century as songwriting collaborators.  Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Thom Bell, Burt Bacharach, and Carole King were just a handful of the luminaries who appeared on Pennies In A Jar.  
Apologies To: The Roots: Undun, Various: (Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi) Covered, Middle Brother: Middle Brother
Comeback Album of the Year: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Noel Gallagher
     While many of the nominees for Comeback Album of the Year merely had lengthy gaps between albums, Gallagher materialized from the ashes of Oasis to give his career a major reboot.  For the first time since his heyday as a songwriter during the Britpop Era, Gallagher produced an album with impressive sonic diversity and top-notch songwriting that did not feel shackled by the expectations of living up to the Oasis brand.  
Apologies To: Feist: Metals, Daryl Hall: Laughing Down Crying, Red Hot Chili Peppers: I’m With You

Best Music Video: “Howlin’ For You,” The Black Keys
   The short film staring Tricia Helfer, Corbin Bernsen, Sean Patrick Flannery, Shaun White, and Todd Bridges details a gorgeous assassin hellbent on vengeance.  Sadly, I want this to become an actual film.  
Apologies To: “Walk” Foo Fighters, “Lonely Boy” The Black Keys, “Stone Rollin'” Raphael Saadiq

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