I started them in 2003 (my junior year of high school going into my senior year) and continued up to 2006 but somehow forgot about '07, '08, and '09.
I always feel like 2005 and 2006 were awesome years for music and I suppose after that, there wasn't anything exciting enough going on that was noteworthy enough for a mix CD.(There probably actually was, but I was unenthusiastic at the time.)
My mix CDs are all about telling a story, in a way, of the year. Some songs are attached with specific events, some are a new artist I was excited about, some are songs that came out that calendar year... a true mix CD. This past year was all about be delving deeper into artists I had for many years overlooked. I finally got into New Order via Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr's side project in the early 90s, Electronic (their self-titled was on repeat on my iPod maybe 3 months solid of 2011), got further into more electronic-based music (Chateau Marmont, still collecting Saint Etienne records, Toro Y Moi with his sampled collages), enjoyed a bit more chillwave, and punctuated it all with the ever-present 60s throwback sound of the likes of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, The Gris Gris, King Khan and the Shrines.
This past year saw releases from basically all of my top 5 bands/recording artists as well as going to shows of some of them. My all-time favorite band Sloan released an album in May (the day after my birthday!), my first time seeing (and meeting) French band, Tahiti 80 released The Past, the Present, and The Possible and then I saw them in March, two Toro Y Moi releases (one early, the second in September) and a show in April, as well as my dear friend Scott with his project Glossies finally releasing an album I provided some backing vocals to tracks in 2010 but released in 2011... it overall was a good year for music.
By the end, I was obsessed with the Radio Dept.'s album Clinging to a Scheme - a band a friend had recommended I should listen to probably well over a year ago but for some reason, I took my time. Perhaps I wasn't ready for them earlier.
I do believe that sometimes in order to understand what's going on currently in music, you need to dig deeper, back to those band's influences and predecessors to fully understand how the sound may have mutated or where inspiration struck. In a way, if this doesn't happen (at least a little bit) it's much like reading a book out of order and the meaning may get lost on you. Other music is easily enjoyed without the background information either way.
I also finally got into Broken Social Scene almost right as they broke up (how timely of me). This tends to happen to me a lot.
So after all that.... here is the official mix I created. I kept more songs on here than I normally would, but it's fine as now we don't have to worry about fitting it all onto a CD and can create playlists in the land of the internet. Just for fun (and for past-referential reasoning) I also included my 2005 mix.
Whatever the reason, these are the songs that meant the most in 2011.
Enjoy and hopefully, find some new music along the way.
Comprehensive 2011 Mix