Every year this guy and I trade top ten, or fifteen, or whatever lists and then make fun of each other. He used to write review for a web 'zine called Losing Today, but now he blogs. My top 15 albums of 2011 are up over there, along with links to some of the music. You like music, don't you?
8. Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die...: By embracing Krautrock and baroque, among other styles, Mogwai have made their best and most vital album in just about a decade. I placed it here because it doesn't sound like Mogwai.
9. The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar: Overproduced to the point of murder, but damn if it’s not the best sounding album of the year on computer speakers, which is the point of that overproduction.
10. Clams Casino - Instrumentals: Picture a cross between Moby’s Play and DJ Shadow’s Entroducing, if it were composed by someone who drinks too much cough syrup.
You know you want more, don't you?
The other concerns beer. 21st Amendment Brewing out of San Francisco makes a seasonal called Bitter American. It's low in alcohol, 4.4% by volume, but big on flavor, plus it comes in a can, which is convenient when going someplace where glass isn't allowed. Bitter American is going year-round, good news for fans of good beer.