BEST OF 2011: Defining Features

As we near the top of the Just Played Best of 2011, there are a few others pieces I’m keen to fling your way. As well as some ‘Rest Ofs’ and a few particular tracks of the year, I thought it worth flagging up some of the pieces which really defined Just Played this year. Although this site is relative small fry compared to most of the big guns declaring their charts in your Twitter feeds at the moment, each year proves more successful than the last and several pieces prompted huge numbers of visitors this year, as well as the odd complaint! (That’s how you really know you’re on the right track)

In light of a substantial increase in Just Played’s Twitter following of late (@JustPlayed, if you’ve not yet had the pleasure) I couldn’t resist highlighting some pieces which relative newcomers might have missed. A number relate to record shopping and, more precisely, Record Store Day and the others are music features of note…

1. Back in February, I had a bit of a rant about how RSD needed to avoid lining the pockets of the eBay scalpers and match demand with supply.

RSD – If you’re gonna do it, do it right

2. Off the back of several responses to that first piece, I then spoke to a number of independent record shops around the UK to get some sense of how RSD operates beyond England’s capital city. There were a couple of grumbles…

RSD – Tales From The Shop Floor

(A tweaked version of this appeared on Drowned In Sound at the time, a link to which I’m posting here almost entirely for vanity reasons)

3. And then, to top it off, I have an account of a week touring record shops of the South West and surrounding areas. Lots of record shop chit-chat and reflections on RSD. Music geeks gather here.

Record Store Week – RSD and then some

4. When Radiohead thrust ‘The King Of Limbs’ upon us back in February, the internet appeared to almost eat its own head in the desperate race to be first to grumble about or even try and define this new offering. Within minutes of the downloads going live it started and I was more than a little disappointed that, given the chance to experience new music together again for the first time since leaking became as normal as urinating, this was how much of the music loving community responded. So I had a rant.

Just Played’s Verdict on ‘The King Of Limbs’

5. This isn’t a 2011 piece, I’m afraid, but I loved her album from last year and thing that she’s a candid and thoroughly lovely interviewee who more people should adore. This is a chat with Rose Elinor Dougall from around the release of her debut album.

A Chat With… Rose Elinor Dougall