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Lovely people who read The Streetlamp

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The 2011 Streetlamp Festive Thirty

Your attention, please! This is Ray speaking, which means that it's that time of the year again; that's right, the Streetlamp Festive Thirty! As is now customary, this gives me the chance to temporarily take over the blog and present to you the thirty outstanding tracks featured on the blog this year. Before I do so, I'd also like to give a short 'state of the nation' address:

"Seasons Greetings to all the readers and musicians who have made The Streetlamp blog what it is today. It's because of all of you, that we here at The Streetlamp are encouraged and inspired to keep this blog going, and hopefully to give something back in return to the music that we love, and which continues to shape our lives.

I was thinking to myself at the beginning of the year that, if we as blog writers were to encounter the same difficulties that bands go through in their own creative process, i.e. the creation of the 'difficult second album', then this would manifest as the 'difficult second year blog' for us.
Thankfully, we were in safe hands with those twin professors of obscure pop trivia, Gordon and Griff. Not only have they continued to delight and surprise me in scouring the globe and the annals of history to provide us with even more truly amazing music than they did last year, but, in addition to this, this year has seen an expansion of the blog in new and unpredictable directions. Last year, The Streetlamp was merely a music blog, this year Gordon and Griff have delved deeper into their own expansive hinterlands and covered visual arts, poetry, sculpture, film, and, of course, politics (although admittedly at times it's been like reading 'Marxism Today'!). I would personally like to thank both of them for bringing to light all the wondrous cultural phenomena that have not only expanded the blog but also my own knowledge. I look forward to further enlightenment next year."

OK, that's quite enough praise for those two for the time being, let's proceed to the issue at hand. The Streetlamp Festive Thirty presented its usual problems this year, i.e. so much good music, so few spaces available on the final list. As always, it has been a terrific struggle to settle on our final 30 songs. Without doubt, a few excellent bands had to be left out, which either Gordon or Griff would ideally have loved to have seen included, but I am a strict taskmaster and insist that only the very cream of the crop make the final list.

So, without any further preamble or self-congratulation, ladies and gentlemen, is my pleasure to finally present to you

- in alphabetical order -

The 2011 Streetlamp Festive Thirty

A Love Song To Evelyn McHale - Anton Rothschild

A Woman's Worth - ZuKrewe

Apples & Oranges - Olympic Swimmers

Baby's Fine - Alice Martineau

birds in a supermarket - Palms on Fire

Both Sides, Now – Syd Lane

Bouffant Headbutt - Shampoo

Don't Destroy Me - Golden

Don’t Look At Me (I Don’t Like It) - The Lovely Eggs

Dos Policías - Los Punsetes

Dream for Julie - Kaleidoscope

Farewell - Soda Shop

George & Tracy - Gaffa

Guadalajara - Doble Pletina

Hallam - The Spook School

Horo Bhodachain - The MacDonald Sisters

I Am (If You Are) - Murder Mystery

I Heard You Say - Vivian Girls

Let Her Go - Birdie

Lights In The Sky - The Moth & The Mirror

Love in December - Club 8

My Darling Grace - Berlinist

My Lonesome - Two Wounded Birds

Myself - Columbus and Crusoe

No Boys No Girls - First Fatal Kiss

Sorrow - Life Without Buildings

Strongmen & Acrobats - Laura Hocking & The Long Goodbye

Você Corre - Parallèles

Winter of Discontent - Stanley Odd

Year of the V-Neck - Elizabeth City State

Looking at that list what strikes me most is its sheer eclecticism. Gaelic girl singers from the 60s rub shoulders with modern, US, street, hip-hop; sensitive singer-songwriters vie with garage bands. All life is here, and pleasingly, there is a good strong Scottish contingent on the list too.

Now all that remains for me to say is; 'Have a very Merry Christmas, and see you in 2012.'


Gordon writes: Personally, I found this to be quite a strange year. I felt that we moved away from music to an extent and found ourselves writing and commenting on political issues and Socialist culture, but this was more through necessity of the times, rather than any pre-ordained plan that we had. Who knows what next year will bring and where we'll find the heart of the ~Streetlamp~ resting.
But this was still a good year for music, and I'm hoping for even better next year.
Have a good Christmas.

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