One man's opinions. I'm not even sure I had a scientific method this year. These lists certainly aren't based on any objective measure of how often I listened to a given album, that's for sure, although the titles near the top of each list definitely got more listens. But there are also some records in here that will get a lot more listens in weeks/months/years to come, and some that I'll probably put away & never hear again. Too soon to tell.

There is one glaring omission: the des_ark "Live at WXDU Vol. 3" LP. I recorded the thing, so while I'm thrilled beyond words to finally have something I did cut into actual vinyl, I'm hardly in a position to top-20 list it.

In case you don't know me, just so we're clear: The separation into NC and non-NC lists is an artifact of my interests & my mental recordkeeping, and is *not* meant to connote two tiers of quality. If I integrated the two lists, there'd be plenty of NC releases in high positions.

Links are, wherever possible, to full album streams and/or sources for listening & immediate purchase/download. 2011 was definitely the year that Bandcamp became the dominant solution for unsigned artists to both stream & sell their work, and I'm endlessly grateful for that, because it Just Works. (Oh yeah: The Reigning Sound link is to a free download of the whole album, and it's awesome, so Get It!)

Links in the live performances section are mostly to videos, many of which were shot by Karen Mann. Thanks, Karen!

I went ahead & made a movies list as well. I suppose, given the amount of TV we watched (via Netflix/Amazon), I should've made a TV list as well, but it would've basically just had Community, Parks & Rec & Luther on it.

OK, enough. -- Ross Grady, 12/31/11

p.s. let's discuss on Twitter: @rossgrady

p.p.s. If I break down later & add commentary to these, I'll tweet about it.

Top 10 Non-local releases

Top 20 NC releases

Amusing Singles/Videos

Fave Reissues

Some Great Live Performances

16 Movies I Enjoyed