In 2011, music videos were as varied as the artists who made them: we saw a string of videos featuring parties you wish you’d been at. On the indie circuit, found footage and ghostly, atmospheric imagery dominated the landscape. We also saw musicians get behind the camera and make some extraordinary self-directed music videos. This week we invited a musician who's ending up on a lot of year-end lists to share with us their year-end lists — and one from a record store for good measure.

2011: Merrill Garbus’ Picks
Merrill Garbus’ tUnE-yArDs may have been embraced by the indie community, but tUnE-yArDs isn’t your average twee indie pop. If anything, Garbus is the antidote to twee: she’s got a big, blowsy voice and she explores its range with refreshing abandon, edging into abrasive territory in a way that is curiously not abrasive. She’s also profoundly influenced by African music, and you can hear itthatin the layered chirps and coos of some songs, which draw directly from the Central African pygmy vocal tradition. Yes, heady stuff -- but Garbus also loves her dance music, and that’s why her album w h o k i l l has connected on such a visceral level with so many fans this year. (It sounds like very little else in any genre.) We were intrigued to know what music inspired her this year; her choices may surprise you.



2011: Amoeba Music’s Picks
Last but not least, California’s largest independent music store employs a small army of music nerds. In one fell swoop of collective bargaining, they agreed on their 22 (22!) favorite music videos of 2011. Nobody has their fingers in as much music as these folks; consider this a quick primer on some great music that you might have missed.



See you in 2012!

Sarah Bardeen, Music Community Manager, recently watched “Favorite Albums of 2011.”