The Best 2011 List You’ll Read ANY Year

The end of 2011 and start of 2012 has been marked – as the transition between years often are – by a lot of “best of” lists. Top 5s, Top 10s, Best Hairstyles, Worst Celebrity Moustaches, Hottest Chicken Wings, Biggest Plates of Nachos, Coolest High-Fives – the lists go on and on.  I’ve seen a lot of great music lists too, but unfortunately they’ve all been missing one 2011 release. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry: it’s even more obscure than a hipster’s plaid shirt. You’ll probably recognize what it was inspired by – but if you don’t know that, well…yikes.

That’s right. The release missing from all the Best of 2011 lists was inspired by the nearly Oscar winning Patrick Swayze film Roadhouse, also starring Sam Elliott and Jeff Healey. The reason you might not have heard of this release, from Edmonton musician Tyler Butler, is because you didn’t go to the Wunderbar Folkraiser back in November 2011.

Butler watched the film, wrote four songs about it, and then performed them at the Folkraiser – where you could also buy a copy of the Roadhouse EP to show off to your friends. If you weren’t at the show, don’t worry – you’ll never have another chance to hear the songs live, or buy the record. Take that, Pabst Blue Ribbon drinking hipsters!

Yup, you missed out on four great songs that delve deep into the heart of the Roadhouse story, and its characters. Here’s some examples:

Track 1: “Dalton”
Down in the roadhouse, violence is master/
Every night, there’s blood on the floor/
Men come standing, throw them out screaming/
Cross your arms, don’t feel the pain

Track 2: “Wesley”
A bad, bad man/
Rules the town where I live/
He saps the blood from the young men/
Leaves them to die

Track 3: “Diner”
The great weight came to shops of the town/
The fire came and lit up the night/
But my friend is dancing and twirling my girl/
Squinting in morning light

Track 4: “Jasper”
All I know is the cost of a hard fought day/
And the weight of a man in a fight/
The cool summer water will wash off my sins/
And I’ll never be leaving again

Yup, Butler cut to the core of the film. He also pulled off a pretty innovative DIY move. Just like Patrick Swayze’s character James Dalton taught us, sometimes the important thing isn’t doing what everyone expects, like getting on year-end best of lists…although that can be pretty good too.

It’s about doing what’s right. Sometimes that’s ripping out the throat of your opponent, and sometimes it’s releasing an interesting, creative, and unique four song EP that you can only buy at a fundraiser for a local music venue.

This was also on the cover of the EP, by the way

Oh, and if you do want to read a good list, here’s LA WEEKLY‘s number one musician from The Top Musicians EVER.

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