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    Entries in zola jesus (3)


    It Surrounds Everything: Russ's Best Records of 2011

    2011's coming to a close, and it was an absolutely brilliant year for music, a year that I had a handful of records actually attach themselves to me in ways that formed new permanent favorites. Compiling ten albums that had serious meaning to me in 2011 and ranking them, though, was difficult as hell: who can say if the revelation at the gym had to one upbeat record is more or less impactful then the solving of an existential crises brought about by wandering the streets to another? 

    Regardless, the iPod playcount and the amount I've talked about these albums cannot and do not lie: here's my top 10 favorite records of 2011. Sorry, Jay-Z and Kanye, but having that one good song on Watch The Throne does not a top-10 record make. And +10 to Kate Bush for fucking a snowman, -20 for so much of that record being boring. Special mention goes to John Maus who has an album that's literally number 11 of my top 10, sorry bro, part and parcel to making a list is leaving things off a list. Apologies if there's some overlap between here and there...actually, no, no apologies. This is what I loved and felt and breathed in 2011's music. 


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    Zola Jesus @ LPR

    You'll eventually have the whole show at NPR, but for now here's the epic, transcendent encore from Zola Jesus's, well, come-to-jesus show at LPR in NY last night: "Run Me Out".


    At the end of the night

    I'm absolutely enthralled to a seriously disturbing degree with Zola Jesus' recently-released Stridulum E.P. There's something magical in the blackness of these 6 songs, where Zola's Nika Roza Danilova, a 20-year old with a voice aged and weary beyond her years (and beyond this existence) punched by tribal percussion, loses herself to total immersion in cavernous synth washes. Stridulum is a glorious sound of night-time soul, and now there's a video for its kickoff track, "Night".



    Danilova gets transported into a land of darkness, black and silver, like an electric Alice in Wonderland for the Glasslands set (and, to wit, she'll be playing Glasslands on June 19), visually narrating her tale of love that can never be.  "At the end of the night," she sings, "when all we have is through." It's a finality that lingers like the moment the song ends.