Best Music of 2011

2011 has been a remark­able year. It has seen vol­canic erup­tions dis­rupt glob­al trav­el, polit­i­cal upris­ings in the Mid­dle East and North Africa, an offi­cial end to the US occu­pa­tion of Iraq, the emer­gence of a gen­uine polit­i­cal protest move­ment in Occu­py Wall Street, incred­i­ble flood­ing in South Asia and South­east Asia, the end of the sec­ond Steve Jobs era at Apple, the return of The Mup­pets and a con­tin­u­ing effort in the US to dis­man­tle due process and replace the “will of the peo­ple” with the prof­it motives of cor­po­ra­tions.

It has also been full of inter­est­ing musi­cal activ­i­ty — intrigu­ing new releas­es prac­ti­cal­ly every week of the year. So much music that it would be impos­si­ble to spend the time to give each a fair shake. So here I have gath­ered my favorite releas­es of 2011 which had attract­ed my con­tin­ued or repeat­ed atten­tion. There are many omis­sions, to be sure, but that is why I read oth­ers’ lists.

Selections in alphabetical order (mostly)

Burial — Street Halo

Bur­ial returned this year with a stel­lar 12-inch and sev­er­al choice col­lab­o­ra­tions. Expand­ing on his strengths as a pro­duc­er of atmos­pher­ic and emo­tion­al sound design, Bur­ial also played with some dif­fer­ent tem­pos on Street Halo.

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New Release: détournement

Just post­ed a col­lec­tion of old mate­r­i­al on band­camp. Sam­ple-based pro­duc­tions that have been hang­ing around on my com­put­ers for the last 10 years or so. Please enjoy and share.

Favorite Music from 2010

Anoth­er list. I look for­ward to skim­ming through oth­ers’ lists to see what I missed or dis­missed too eas­i­ly in 2010 or what nev­er made it to my ears.

My picks, in alpha­bet­i­cal order:

Aki­ra Rabelais — Caduceus
The lat­est from Aki­ra Rabelais delves fur­ther into his fine­ly tex­tured sound­world. Hav­ing built a del­i­cate and detailed son­ic vocab­u­lary since the 1990s, this com­pos­er con­tin­ues to impress me with his skilled dig­i­tal manip­u­la­tions. Fine­ly tuned grit.

Arcade Fire — The Suburbs
Still liv­ing with this one… I imme­di­ate­ly liked about half of the album while the rest took time to grow on me.
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Hip Hop is Read presents The Beat Tape, Volume #1

The Beat Tape, Volume #1 I am hap­py to announce that two of my beats have been select­ed for inclu­sion on The Beat Tape, Vol­ume #1.

Big thanks to Ivan for putting the effort into solic­it­ing and com­pil­ing the mate­r­i­al from his read­er­ship. And thanks, espe­cial­ly, for pick­ing my stuff for vol­ume one. Con­grat­u­la­tion to all the oth­er pro­duc­ers, too.

More info and download:

Music faves from 2009

It seems that 2009 is the year when I shift­ed my atten­tion back to rock and pop music. Dub­step still holds my atten­tion but not to the extent that it did back in 2006 when it took over my brain. Here are the things I enjoyed most in 2009, in no par­tic­u­lar order.

Best Albums

Thanks to my friend, Tony, who first men­tioned this band to me. The XX are a young bunch who make lean pop music con­sist­ing of boy/girl vocals, hand-played drum machines and per­fect­ly placed gui­tar lines. This album quick­ly became a habit.

The XX — Islands: 

The XX — Night Time: 
The XX — VCR
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Solution to “display:table-row” causing pain and suffering with IE

I recent­ly came up against a sit­u­a­tion where I want­ed to add rows to a table via javascript.

Not a prob­lem with jQuery, EXCEPT that my table rows were being added with ‘style=“display:block“‘.

What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, in Fire­fox the row was being append­ed to the table but it looked all scrunched into the first cell like so:


OK, fine. Let’s give it a dis­play prop­er­ty of “table-row.” That should work, right? Yes, it works here but not in IE. IE hates this, in fact. IE wants to get a dis­play of “block.”

The solu­tion turns out to be to set the dis­play val­ue to an emp­ty string. Then, each brows­er will give the row its default val­ue and every­one is happy.