Download Generation: Yes In My Backyard's Best Local Music Of 2011, An 80-Minute Mix Of NYC's Greatest Hits This Year

Tami "Making Friendz" Hart.
For New York City, 2011 was the year local musicians proved that RSS feeds didn't kill old-school ideals like "scene" or "community." Every great band seemed to come tied to three or four like-minded bands you could love for the same reasons, often on the same bill. Maybe we read (and wrote) enough trend pieces to believe it ourselves. Maybe bands are just using Facebook connections to write the narrative before writers could. Maybe retromania has led us to think everything is back in a big way?

Don't get too excited. Bloggos still continued to rally deep and hard around the cleverest, firstiest mash-ups of hypester runoff micro-genres (good luck in 2012, A$AP Rocky, Light Asylum, CREEP and Caveman). But while so many jockeyed for positions and pixels, larger stories emerged that felt refreshingly like the street-level phonecall-and-flyer scenes of yore. As, I wrote in SPIN the new hip-hop fraternity of Das Racist, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Action Bronson, Despot and a newly keyed up El-P represent the most energizing force in New York indie-rap since Def Jux's heyday. And as I wrote in the Voice, a beercan-ducking, sweat-gushing, feedback-obsessed swarm of new pigfuck bands have been laying waste to 285 Kent, including The Men, White Suns, Pygmy Shrews and Pop. 1280. Often pushing the boundaries of what modern metalheads can play and wear, there was a downright onslaught of forward-thinking, critically acclaimed extreme metal releases (Liturgy, Tombs, Krallice, Hull, Batillus), which helped turn New York into the most important metal scene in the country for maybe the first time ever. Hell, if record labels still had the money to fly people out here, they'd be swarming!

Below, the 2011 edition of our annual Yes In My Backyard mixtape—this year's encompasses 18 tracks, over nearly 80 minutes—which collects this year's greatest music from New York City.

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Download: Pregnant, "Help!"

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

Brooklyn bubblegum-bashers Pregnant may roll deep to the ickiest, grimiest pigfuckiest loft parties in Brooklyn, but their music is sticky-sweet sugar-pop euphoria. Think Hüsker Dü, think Jawbreaker, think Foo Fighters blasted on Four Loko and Twizzlers. Their self-titled debut album is out now via BurnBooks (only 300 copies in first pressing, so get moving), offering 10 rabid, rapid-fire pop nuggets blasting by in a sparse 21 minutes, utilizing quick-wristed hardcore chops for a bouncing, bursting, highly melodic fever-churn. Alongside bands like the Men and the Obits, Pregnant could easily be the leading lights of a full-on gritty, gritted, Brooklyn-belched Wipers revival. Frontman Kevin Manion calls their searing, two-minute "Help!" "probably our catchiest song," and it's not small talk: It's taut, Kaiser Chiefs-style psycho-jangle filtered through Brooklyn's most dangerous asphalt pockmarks.

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