2011 album trainspotting: Why not start now?
Fiona Apple, TBA (Epic, TBA)
Aquarelle, Sung In Broken Symmetry (TBA, TBA)
Black Pus, Primordial Pus & Botanical Body (Load, TBA)
A little birdie told me that Black Pus - aka manic Lightning Bolt stickman Brian Chippendale - has not one, but two new discs of furiously frantic, gear-abusing fuckery coming from Rhode Island noise-factory Load. We hope this rumor bears out; you should, too, because Black Pus' teeth-rattling brand of tinnitus hits harder than a six-pack of Jolt in the morning. Don't believe it? Sweat the technique here. (Please know that Gimme Noise is emphatically not the poster who wrote "I want Brian Chippendale inside me.")
The Cool Kids, When Fish Ride Bicycles (TBA, TBA)
That insipid title - they've been teasing their debut full-length for like three years or something now, damn - never stops feeling prophetic, does it? But now we know that this midwestern hipster-rap duo were stuck in label contract hell, and now they're out of it, so this should-be masterpiece can see the light of day instead of all the shitty, half-assed mixtapes they've made us settle for in the interim. Seriously, guys? This had better be awesome. Like "Black Mags" awesome.
Curren$y, Muscle Car Chronicles & Pilot Talk III (Def Jam, TBA)
Do your dealer a favor and believe the hype.
Dr. Dre, Detox (Aftermath/Interscope, February)
Don't hold your breath. (Well, maybe hold it if you're waking and baking as you read these words. And if you are: dude, it's afternoon.) Under construction since early 2003, Detox has become the Chinese Democracy of rap albums: a myth more than an album someone might actually buy someday. But recent leaks and interviews suggest that the end of this particular blunt really is nigh, though Gimme Noise won't believe it until he starts seeing huge green fuzzy pot leaves on tees and baseball caps again.
Esben & The Witch, Violet Cries (Matador, 2/8)
Ethereally-echoed-forever, haunted-Bavarian forest pop that's kind of like lying prone and helpless in sub-arctic temperatures at dawn as alien crafts descend from the sky. Which is the Gimme Noise way of saying that you need to get up on this now. Has nothing to do with this creepy-ass children's book that I enjoyed as a boy; it's Esban, not Esteban!
Eternal Tapestry, Beyond The 4th Door (Thrill Jockey, 3/22)
Prepare to have your skull smoked like a hooka. This is Grade A, gravel-in-the-gears drone-noise pollution from Portland, Oregon. Signing to Thrill Jockey ought to bring a lot more listeners into the band's dank, cloudy tent, and one of them should be you. Cop some older mp3s here.
PJ Harvey, Let England Shake (Island, 2/14)
Jay Millz, Nothing Is Promised (Cash Money/Young Money, TBA)
Conventional wisdom says that 2010 was Drake and Nicki Minaj's year. But Gimme Noise would argue that it was actually the year of Jay Millz. Despite being less visible than anybody else in the CM/YM stable, Harlem's Millz worked overtime this year to fortify his rep and lay the groundwork for a full-length next year, overcoming what some might consider a deficit of imagination or virtuosity with an outsized passion for rap and a gruff flow that simultaneously resembles and eclipses that of MIMS. Gudda Gudda? Mack Maine? Lil Twist? Forget them. Millz's mixtapes were on repeat in my car and on my iPod all year long, and I can't wait to hear what he's got up his sleeve for an encore.
Rye Rye, Go! Pop! Bang! (N.E.E.T., 1/11)
N.E.E.T. momma hen M.I.A. continues to play tastemaker, this time catering to Blaqstarr-worshiping, Baltimore Club-addicted hipsters. (But in a good way. Really!)
Juelz Santana, Born To Lose, Built To Win (Def Jam, TBA)
Fuck a Dipset reunion. Santana's rapping has become so urgent and door-rattling and - am I really saying this? - crucial, and now he's shuffling himself back into the Dipset deck? Bullshit - as is a five year wait between solo major-label Santana albums, even if the last one sucked.
Kanye West & Jay-Z, Watch The Throne (Def Jam, TBA)
Wild Flag, TBA (Merge, TBA)
Young Prisms, Friends For Now (Kanine, 1/18)
Hydroplaning, goosebump-triggering nu-shoegaze from San Francisco twentysomethings whose best days lie ahead of them. Nobody else is making being down in the dumps sound quite this Narcotic Anonymous-celestial right now - albeit with righteous low-end ba-doink-a-doink. And to think: this is just their first album, and they've got us feeling all high and mighty about the state of inspired mimicry/hommage already. (But mostly just hgh).
Honorable Mention: Deakin, The Strokes, Amy Winehouse, that rumored Dream/Kim Kardashian LP.