2011 in review
Wow, another year! They are positively cascading away from me. All downhill from here… Are you reading this?
I'm doing things slightly different now. A few changes this year: I am only going to bother with the top 40 albums. Not 50.
I am not going to bother with listing my favourite mixtapes (because obviously they are the ones I made), nor best EPs nor reissues. I will still post a selection of my favourite experimental records.
I will write less about the albums. I will write more about myself. I will offer a schedule.
Dec 07: this.
Dec 08: best of instrumental & experimental
Dec 12: BO2011: 40-21
Dec 13: BO2011: 20-1
Dec 15: annual holiday music post
So what did I accomplish this year?
I spent most of my time on the Chosen Families series and am incredibly proud of them. Download them ASAP if you have not already…
The development of my "dreamer beats" aesthetic has resulted in mixes that are very rewarding for me. They are their own little worlds that span genres and conventions, but give me the emotional hooks I am looking for. All the while being as smooth as possible.
CPI - Directions To My Special Place (chosen families 1)
CPI - Glittering, Waiting (chosen families 2)
CPI - Always More Than This (chosen families 3)
CPI - Oh, Glorious Perversions (chosen families 4)
Combine that with last year's Moonchild (in memoriam) and you have over 7 hours of musical mixes that you probably can't find anywhere else. If there's anyone else doing this, I'd love to know because I would want people making stuff like this for me.
I released a new single by Lesbians On Ecstasy featuring bounce sensation Big Freedia, including my own DJ edit of it. Check the video and get the MP3s.
I have an art book collection which you can browse over at Librarything, I just set up my profile there this year. I like to get my books as cheap as possible though, so to assist I created a new tool.
Amazon Used Deals Finder scans anyone's wishlist and finds the best deals on it, and as well tracks historical trends in an item's used price.
It's pretty damn cool, even if like my mixes, I have no idea how to promote it and get it in to the hands of those who need it.
But that is how I work: focus on a project, make it as best I can, dump it online to be obscured by the sheer volume of the internet and then move on to the next.
I set up a lot of different sites. Like http://caitlynpascal.com for starters. I also got on twitter at and tumblr.
In Ottawa, in collaboration with Ad-ver-sary, I started a new noise & experimental performance series called Pitch Black. Check us out at http://PitchBlackNoise.ca if you are in to weird sounds and/or want to perform for us.
My jadedness about queer clubs/DJs in Ottawa boiled over and I decided fuck it, I'm starting my own. It will be called Q-Bounce and shall debut in January. QUEER BASS UNDERGROUND. Http://q-bounce.ca to get on board for that. CPI favourite Rae Spoon will be performing at the opening night.
I also still run an LGBT-focused underground documentary series called Divergence Movie Night, http://DivergenceMovieNight.com and we just finished our SIXTH YEAR.
Q-Bounce will be a joint fundraiser for Divergence Movie Night and the amazing people at the Venus Envy Bursary Fund. Pitch Black and Q-Bounce will be quarterly. For the next year or two I will probably move DMN to being bimonthly, just so I can fit it all in sanely.
I had the magical opportunity to score a new sound-piece for contemporary dancer Lana Morton. It debuted in May.
Posted 63 mp3 blogs.
Uploaded a bunch of youtube videos.
We had 11 Divergence Movie Night screenings.
Curated 2 art shows.
There is just SO MUCH MUSIC nowadays, it's pretty foolish to think you can ever be on top of it.
This year I spent most of my time listening to new music, let's say a few hundred albums from 2011, and still there are tonnes of BEST OF lists out there with albums I have never heard.
I found a crapload of amazing music. And that also means there is also a crapload of amazing music out there that I didn't hear.
It is exciting! And terrifying!
Every once in a while I feel I have to abdicate some internal desire to check out everything that people hold high and exclaim about. Every once in a while I have to remember to go back and listen to records that didn't just come out this year.
My joy received from hearing great music must be tempered by the realization that there is far more amazing music out there than I will ever properly consume. That the vastness of talent out there is well beyond my grasp. That I barely even listen to classical genres, that I barely watch any contemporary dance! The world spins fantastically.
Back in the pre-Internet days, the music world consisted of what the 2 or 3 awesome records shops had stocked and what ended up on traded mixtapes you dubbed. It seemed much more containable. You felt like you could hold it in your hands if you tried hard enough.
I want to feel more content with the reality that I am just scraping the surface, to just be happy with that, and enjoy that small amount with as much prescience (and fidelity!) as I can reasonably accommodate.
I do not know how much longer I will continue doing this blog. I am not really sure if a significant number of my friends use it at all. Every day 10 new music blogs spring up by people who know how to wite and have more time on their hands.
Even if sometimes I feel like a mid-size fish, the world is a gigantic pond, and so it can feel discouraging to continue. Do people still download these? Do I still bring anything to the table?
ALL I ASK
If I can ask for one holiday gift, please just pass my new mixes along to whomever might enjoy them. I put a lot of work in to them.
If you can write about them, or know someone that can, please please please any press is great. No blogs write about my mixes. The internet is a deafening silence.
The blogs are filled with mixes that just don't interest me. Bleeding-edge tracklists that aren't interesting and shoddy mixing. Poorly thought-out transitions and massive key clashes abound.
I feel like I've produced something worthwhile. The music world reflection tells me otherwise.
I've written to over a hundred music blogs in the past, but no replies. There are thousands of people flogging their unheard masterpieces out there.
If you can signal boost, in any capacity, it would be greatly appreciated.
At the very least, I am going to keep working on my mixes since in the end I make them for me and me alone. I got addicted to the joy of having other people love them too, and it is a harsh crash when expectations aren't met.
I will continue to work on producing local events here for my communities. At least with that the change can feel palpable. I'm not the anonymous millions on the internet flogging their toss-off mixes, I am actually doing real things with real people.
Real movement, real smiles.
Thanks for sticking with me for so long. Let's see what 2012 has in store.