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A Look Back At 2011

Here at Grisl we wanted to provide our own version of year end list for your/our enjoyment. They are not all cut from the same mold. Some are music based, some travel based and some whatever was on the writer’s mind. 2011 was an amazing year on multiple levels. So, explore some of the music you may have missed, read some of the cool stories, reminisce on some amazing shows, get pissed you missed some amazing shows and enjoy the lists below. Most of all, lets hope 2012 exceeds 2011! That would make for an exciting year to come.

FAVORITE ALBUMS FROM 2011:

10. Red Fang – Murder The Mountains [Relapse] *BUY*
9. Portugal. The Man – In The Mountain In The Cloud [Atlantic] *BUY*
8. Modeselektor – Monkeytown [Monkeytown] *BUY*
7. And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs [Sargent House] *BUY*
6. Low – C’mon [Sub Pop] *BUY*
5. Amon Tobin – ISAM [Ninja Tune] *BUY*
4. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Mirror Traffic [Matador] *BUY*
3. Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX – We’re New Here [XL] *BUY*
2. Wagon Christ – Toomorrow [Ninja Tune] *BUY*

…and the #1 album of the year is….

Zechs Marquise – Getting Paid [Rodriguez Lopez Productions] *BUY*

FAVORITE LIVE SHOWS OF 2011:

Russian Circles, Crypts, Deafheaven @ Neumos (Seattle)
Foals @ The Wild Buffalo (Bellingham)
Le Butcherettes @ The Shakedown (Bellingham)
Freddie Gibbs @ The Nectar Lounge (Seattle)
M83 @ Neumos (Seattle)
Red Fang @ Bumbershoot Festival (Seattle)

CANNOT BELIEVE I HAD TO MISS:

Amon Tobin ISAM live @ The Paramount (Seattle)

FAVORITE 2011 VIDEOS FROM NORTHWEST BANDS:

Seventeen Evergreen – Polarity Song
Director: Terri Timely
Fleet Foxes – A Shrine/An Agrument
Director:Sean Pecknold
True Dream – The Stare of Death
Director: Ben Medina
Red Fang – Wires
Director: Whitey McConnaughy
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Wooden Shjips – Black Smoke Rise
Director: Miko Revereza
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
Director: Kahlil Joseph
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Starfucker – Julius
Director: Jason Miller
Wild Orchid Children – Ahead Of Us The Secret
Director: Nick Simmons
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Youth Lagoon – Montana
Director: Tyler T Williams
Kapowski – Section 8
Directors: The Perez Brothers
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Top 5 Most Noteworthy Water Closets of 2011:

Seated bathroom experiences only in the penggunaan closet please. -- Kuala Lumpur

5. KL Sentral Railway Station – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Kinda gross, yeah. Slightly flooded, yep. But what made this restroom particularly memorable was the lovely sign posted above the sole western-style toilet.

4. Padang Padang Beach Restaurant – Bali: Culture shock at its finest. This was the first full-on manual flushing squat toilet I had ever encountered. Even the squat toilets in Cuzco, Peru had flushing capabilities. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the drift when I saw the nearby sink filled with water and a little bucket. I guess it was because this same sink was lined with the owner’s toothbrushes, shampoo, and soap that it didn’t occur to me that I should be using it to transfer a drippy bucket over it – both to and from the grimy squatter. But what this toilet lacked in sanitation was made up for in important life lessons. Most importantly, never be caught without toilet paper in any Asian restroom. I guess the shower in this bathroom doubles as a beday.

Bali, Indonesia

3. Changi Airport – Singapore: There are so many things to love about the Changi airport in Singapore. For a complete list, be sure to check out my article on our Not-So-Sucky 17 Hour Layover. At that point in our trip I would’ve been happy with any toilet connected to running water. However, my expectations were greatly exceeded. It was cleaner and more modern than most bathrooms in the U.S. Hell, it was probably cleaner than most of the hotel rooms we slept in. But what really delighted my inner germaphobe was the little pump of antibacterial spray located right beside this most royal of thrones. Just add toilet paper and you had your own antibacterial seat wipe at your disposal. So anyone who dared doubt its cleanliness could put their minds (and behinds) at ease.

Tonle Sap Lake -- Cambodia

2. Floating Village Market – Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia: This toilet takes the number two (no pun intended) spot for its winning combination of third-world charm and unique locale. Situated in a tiny floating village on Tonle Sap Lake in central Cambodia, this toilet was nothing more than a tiny shack with a hole cut in the floor, allowing a direct shot to the waters of the lake below. The view from the makeshift windows however, was unmatched by any toilet I had the pleasure (or sometimes, displeasure) of using during our travels. If only I were a man and had the ability to stand while peeing. Then I could have partaken in a delightful view of the surrounding village, with its colorful floating houses and their inhabitants cruising by in wooden canoes.

1. My toilet – Washington, USA: Both running and potable water, a western toilet, and my own germs. Sometimes you have to leave in order to better appreciate what you’ve left behind.