Best Of 2011, Guest Editors: Of Montreal On “Radiolab”

As 2011 has come to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

of Montreal’s music is hard to define, given it changes more often than frontman Kevin Barnes’ sequined and feathered outfits during a live show. One album might be heavy on the drum machine and synthesizer, while another showcases Barnes’ best high-pitched Prince wail with more traditional strings and percussion. The Atlanta band boasts a prodigious body of work; in a decade and a half, Barnes and Co. have churned out 10 albums, eight collections and 29 singles and EPs, including their most recent effort, thecontrollersphere (Polyvinyl). Barnes and of Montreal’s two art directors—wife Nina Barnes (a.k.a. geminitactics) and brother David Barnes—will be guest editing all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Nina: Radiolab is one of my favourite radio programmes. As most of my day is spent planted in front of a computer, in a fixed physical state, I tend to listen to radio nonstop to help change my intellectual landscape. I have probably listened to all of the Radiolab episodes at least five times by now. It is science and culture presented in a fun and intriguing way. If I ever feel down or uninspired, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich lift me up again within minutes. Therapy!

David: As a painter, I spend a great deal of time alone. Mostly I fill that void with music, but sometimes you need to hear another person talk. Get some new information in your head. Basically reconnect to the world that is passing you by. Unfortunately you can’t really turn to the news for that, because it’s just the crap opinions of people you honestly never needed to know existed. Luckily there is Radiolab. It’s a radio show that looks to inspire creative thinking by taking an intelligent peak behind the curtain of reality. It’s one of those beautiful things that helps you see how huge our world is by taking a closer look. It’s like taking a free, mind-blowing college course. I suggest these episodes especially: “Lucy,” “Animal Minds,” “Emergence,” “Sperm” and “Oops.”

Video after the jump.