Tuesday, December 6, 2011


2011 is coming to a close and "we" at Love Lion have assembled our favorite albums, shows, and fellow labels of the year. We hope to offer quite a few more releases this coming year and, per request, repress the out of print cassette Lady of the Waterpark by Angel Olsen. Also, look for the score to the German film Anni by Woodpecker Wooliams coming early in 2012. Both masterfully ambient and rewarding, this lengthy two-track burner has been engaging us since we heard it  this fall and we cannot wait until you do as well. After those two projects mark metal's return to Love Lion with a brutal offering from Montreal's To the Cliffs.

Now, if we had to pick a favorite of these favorites, Clams Casino's EP Rainforest muddled the electronic-dance music genre which we enjoyed greatly and Deathspell Omega's - Diabolus Absconditus/Mass Grave Aesthetics, albeit not new music, was the most complex metal on LP. The live performance that will stick with us for years to come is the stunning Steve Reich piece Music For 18 Musicians as performed by Eighth Blackbird and Third Coast Percussion live at Millennium Park. ... ughh, Stevie Nicks, too!

As always, thanks to our friends, artists and purveyors of fine music everywhere for keeping the music world interesting, pleasantly exhausting, and beautiful.

Love Lion


The Best Albums of 2011 (in no particular order)

Krallice - Diotima (Profound Lore)
Brain Idea – Cosmos Factory (Mexican Summer)
Craft –Void (Southern Lord)
Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow (Anti/ Fish People)
Yuck - Yuck (Fat Possum)
Dirty Beaches - Badlands (Zoo Music)
Pure X – Pleasure (Acephale)
Belong - Common Era (Kranky)
Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World (History Always Favours the Winners)
Ga'an - Ga'an / Black Equus (Captcha)
Wishgift – Folk Twain 12” (Sophomore Lounge)
Disappears - Guider (Kranky)
Bitchin Bajas – Water Wrackets (Kallistei)
Telebossa – s/t (Staubgold)
Harold Budd – In the Mist (Darla)
Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica (Software)
Burzum - Fallen (Back on Black)
Fielded - White Death 7 (Sophomore Lounge)
Merchandise - (Strange Songs) In the Dark (Drugged Conscience/Katorga Works)
Julian Lynch - Terra (Underwater Peoples)
John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (Upset the Rhythm)
Geffika – II cassette (Love Lion)
Bjork – Biophilia (One Little Indian)
Sleep Over – Forever (Hippos in Tanks)
Marisa Anderson - Golden Hour (Mississippi)
Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Domino)
Bleached – Think of You/You Take Time 7 (Art Fag)
Bloodiest – Descent (Relapse)
Grouper – AIA: Dream Loss/ AIA: Alien Observer (Grouper)
Alex Barnett/ Fielded split (Nihilist)
Broken Water – Peripheral Star (Perennial)
Deathspell Omega - Diabolus Absconditus/Mass Grave Aesthetics (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
Angels in America – Narrow Road to the Interior (Ehse)
Blouse - Blouse (Captured Tracks)
Wolves In the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage (Southern Lord)
Holy Other – With U 12” (Tri Angle)
Clams Casino – Rainforest 12” (Tri Angle)
Absu – Abzu (Candlelight)
Caethua - The Summer Is Over Before It's Begun (Water Wing)
Broken Water – Whet (Night People) 2010
No Joy – Ghost (Mexican Summer) 2010
Anika - Anika (Stones Throw) 2010
Beach Boys – Smile Sessions (Reissue) (Capitol)
Ramases – Space Hymns (Reissue) (Mexican Summer)
Enslaved - Yggdrasill (Reissue) (Peaceville)
You – Electric Day/ Time Code (Reissues) (Bureau B)
Angel Olsen - Strange Cacti EP (Reissue) (Bathetic)
Craig Leon – Nommos (Reissue)
Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden/ Laughing Stock (Reissue) (Ba Da Bing)
Mark Hollis - Mark Hollis (Reissue) (Ba Da Bing)

(So many) Performances
Big Freedia - Beauty Bar, Chicago
Valis/ oOoOO - Berlin, Chicago
Burial Hex/ Oakeater - Reuben's Palace
Absu/ Immortal – the Bottom Lounge
Lee Relvas/ Ancestral Diet/ Ono/ Tabou/ Mayor Daley - Situations
Thou - Albion House
Mars - Dragon's Den, New Orleans
Cacaw/ Supersonic Piss/ Mayor Daley - White Lightning Warehouse, Iowa City
Broken Water - Fair Grinds, New Orleans
Anna Calvi - Schubas
Zath/ Fielded/ Verma – the Hideout
Zath – the Dustbowl (x2)
Zath – the Empty Bottle
Alex Barnett/ Brain Idea/ Implodes – Lincoln Hall
Motorhead - the Congress
Tinsel Teeth/ Cacaw – Crown Liquors
US Girls/ Noveller/ Talk Normal – the Empty Bottle
Brett Naucke/ Alex Barnett/ Streetwalker – S Blue Island
Joan of Arc/ Implodes Tour 
Angels in America/ Fielded – Mortville
Enslaved/ Alcest – the Bottom Lounge
Kurt Vile/ Yuck - Pitchfork Festival
John Maus/ Geneva Jacuzzi – the Empty Bottle
Dusk Variations: Chicago Counterpoint: A Steve Reich Celebration featuring Eighth Blackbird and Third Coast Percussion – Millennium Park
Stevie Nicks – Rosemont Theatre 
Brain Idea/ Zath - Mortville 
Anika - the Empty Bottle
Ken Camden/ Winged Victory for the Sullen – Lincoln Hall
Angels in America/ Angel Olsen/ Bill Orcutt - Cropped Out Festival, Louisville, Kentucky
Danava/ Thrones – the Empty Bottle
Hoax/ Culo/ Crazy Spirit – W Huron
Oozing Wound/ Psychic Steel - the Empty Bottle 
Meeting the Raincoats & Steve Shelly

Reckless Records In-store Performances
Raw Nerve
Dirty Beaches

Hippos In Tanks
Sacred Bones
Dust to Digital
Tri Angle


  1. Angel Olsen was listed in the "Avant Rock" best of the year in THE WIRE magazine.