Year End Review Archive


ETS Top 10 of 2011


Behold! The best albums of 2011.

What a year it has been for music and Enter The Shell! Here is my personal list of the top 10 albums of 2011! I wish I could name all the acts that have been on the website, but then the writers would kill me! BTW, Thanks to Matt, Morgan, MAILO, and Andy!!!! I hope 2012 is as versatile as 2011! I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m glad your along for the ride! -Turrtle

Honorable Mentions:

Dylan Champagne -Love Songs Of The Apocalypse vol 1

The Wellspring-The Wellspring EP

A House For Lions -I want us to be remembered

10) Annie Crane – Jump With A Child’s Heart (This was the album Denim Dan would play before a show to get me into the mood!)
9) Wolves Like Us – Late Love (Morgan, you’ve done it again! I’m so glad you introduced me to the future of music!)
08) Jam Stain -Droppin’ A Duce (Jam Stain truly defies vocals! Please see them live, you won’t regret it!)
7) The Cool Kids -When Fish Ride Bicycles (Thank You Matt for introducing this band to me!)
6) Y Luv -How Chill Can You Let Go (I truly Love Y Luv! Your resolution should be to get on their mailing list!)
5) Greg Holden-I Don’t Believe You (This Album was great and his video “Bar On A” was the best video! It took a while for another album to replace it from cd player!)
4) Katie Costello -Lamp Light (Katie Costello inked my most favorite song of the year “Dig A Hole”)
3) Van Hunt -What were You Hoping For (I was waiting for this album!)
2) 200 West -The Season (I cannot contain my love for this band! I cannot wait for their next release)

1) Tha Boogie – Steal this sh*t (I seriously stole it!)












It was quite difficult to whittle my list down to just 10 albums. Repeater, Anthrax , Wolves Like Us, Peter Murphy, Blutengle, The Active Set and a host of other bands released some killer albums this year. But, I must do what I must do. Here are my top 10 albums of 2011.
10) Ghost – Opus Eponymous
9) DEVOLVED – Oblivion
08) The Rope – S/T EP
7) The Boxer Rebellion –The Cold Still
6) Anthrax – Worship Music
5) Adele – 21
4) 40 Watt Hype – Push
3) Nick 13 – Self-Titled
2) The Dreaming – Puppet

1) VNV Nation – Automatic
I’ve gushed about this album previously so I’ll keep this highlight brief. VNV Nation continue to evolve and always seem to evolve successfully. There hasn’t been an album yet that I simply can’t listen to. Automatic is spectacular for the simple reason that the band accurately created a feeling of warmth with “cold” instruments. If you’ve never heard the band before, this would be a solid jumping off point into their previous material.









10) Greg Holden- I Don’t Believe You
09) Coldplay- Mylo Xyloto
08) Feist- Metals
07) Little Dragon- Ritual Union
06) the Black Keys- El Camino
05) Raphael Saadiq- Stone Rollin
04) Adele- 21
03) My Morning Jacket- Circuitial
02) Katie Costello- Lamplight

01) Florence + The Machine- Ceremonials

Although this album was just released, it blew me away! Florence’s haunting voice, with that deep goth/pop sound gets me every time! “Never Let Me Go” is the song that got me at hello!










Honorable Mention:
Foster the People – Torches
Lykki Li – Wounded Rhymes
Kasabian – Velociraptor
Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
The Cool Kids – When Fish Ride Bicycles
Young the Giant

10) Death Cab For Cutie – Codes and Keys
9) Arctic Monkeys – Suck it and See
08) My Morning Jacket – Circuital
7) Adele -21
6) Peter Bjorn & John – Gimme Some
5) Childish Gambino – Camp
4) Jay-Z and Kanye West -Watch the Throne
3) The Black Keys – El Camino
2) Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

1) The Strokes – Angles
This year, the Strokes brought to the table an album that was not only the best of their career; it was the best album of the year as well. An impressive compilation of melodies, lyrics and clever songs, Angles brings a lot that has kept it in heavy rotation in my car/iPod/iTunes/ with my own voice in the shower since its release. It is certainly one of the most underrated albums of 2011, which is one of the reasons I have to rate it so highly…a chance to see one of my favorites make it to the top. I think it is one of those albums you may have to listen to a few times to fully appreciate, which may have led to its poor ratings, however it deserves to be appreciated since it is the best album of the year.








More on these albums, including reviews and podcasts…


The Strokes
Fleet Foxes
The Black Keys
Jay-Z and Kanye West-Watch the Throne
Childish Gambino
Lykke Li
Arctic Monkeys
Death Cab For Cutie
The Cool Kids
Foo Fighters
Florence + The Machine
Katie Costello
Raphael Saadiq
Greg Holden
VNV Nation
The Dreaming
Nick 13
40 Watt Hype
The Rope
Tha Boogie
200 West
Van Hunt
Y Luv
Jam Stain
Wolves Like Us
Annie Crane


Year End Review Part 4- The Year in Pop Culture

So, we’re here. The last few hours of 2009, what better way to end the New Year than to sit in front of the computer and read my article! Sara & I reviewed a lot of music this past year, so here are my thoughts of the best songs and album of the year in 2009! Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t listen to the radio, so I listen to indie music, so here are the top 5 songs I feel were the best of 2009:

Top 5 Songs of 2009

5. It’s Not Fair- Lily Allen: Too bad she’s retired! This song was released on March 20, 2009. I know Sara reviewed her album, It’s Not Me, It’s You and felt her first album was better. I have to respectfully disagree. I thought this was one of the best albums released last year. This was such a catchy tune, I love everything about it. Especially that cowboy-line dancing sound it evoked! I love how she is not afraid to express herself and tell her fans that she is not afraid of telling people that she likes to have sex. Although it isn’t as taboo today as it was several decades ago, females don’t really do that too often!

4. Already Gone- Kelly Clarkson: So the world now knows that Kelly Clarkson is my guilty pleasure, I’m not afraid to admit that! This song was released on my birthday, August 11, 2009, and I had no idea until I researched it! This song sounds a lot like Beyonce’s “Halo,” but this is even better. Kelly has been in our lives several years now, and it seems as though she always puts out quality pop songs! This one is no different. This song is taken off her 2009 release, All I Ever Wanted.

3. Morning Light- Ida Maria: Ida was my first ever Artist of the Week, and deservedly so! As a matter of fact, she was the first blog I had ever written! Her album, Fortress ‘Round My Heart came close to getting the Album of the Year nod, but just came up short. Nonetheless, it is a spectacular album with a great rock edge. If I said it once, I’ll say it again: I Love Chicks That Rock! Her album was released in 2008 in the UK, but released in March, 2009 in the US. This chick is so good, you’ll have to read my blog about her! You’ll see that my writing has improved!

2. French Navy- Camera Obscura: Ah yes, the final two! This was a hard choice, because this song is so good! It just feels so good! Camera Obscura was also featured on my Artist of the Week segment earlier in the year. Their infectious pop 60s sound made a real impact on me in 2009. This song was released in April 2009, and I have loved it ever since. The album and the song were produced by Björn Yttling of Peter Björn and John. I cannot tell you how much I love this song. I wish I could scream out at the top of my lungs! But there is one song that I feel is just a pinch better.

1. Blinking Pigs- Little Dragon: So here it is, the Song of the Year 2009! So how did I determine the song of the year? Was it by album sales, was it by radio airplay, or by a sophisticated algorithm? No! I determined this to be the song of the year because I constantly played it in my car and at home! I have a playlist on my iPod called “Recent.” Every time I get something new, I put it there, but my rule is that I have to remove old tracks. This is the only song that I NEVER removed! It has been there from day one. It doesn’t hurt that lead singer Yukimi Nagano is super sexy and that they have a killer video!

Album of the Year

My Maudlin Career- Camera Obscura: Well, they may have lost the battle for best song, but they definitely won the war for supremacy in 2009! This was one of those albums that you could play and walk away, you didn’t need a remote to forward any track. The album is made up of hit after hit after hit! Their track James is the highlight of the album, while French Navy kicks the album off. This has been an excellent year for Camera Obscura in 2009. They were given the Artist of the Week, 2nd in Song of the Year and won Album of the Year! Not too shabby for a group of Scotts! Well done lads! Please check out this album, I feel you’ll really enjoy it!

Things of Note in 2009:

-President Barrack Obama was sworn in as President, becoming the first Black President in our history.

-“Octo-Mom” became part of our culture/vocab. Nadya Suleman gave birth to ocuplets, while already having 6 kids.

-The Pittsburgh Steelers win Superbowl XLIII

-The iPhone 3GS & Palm-Pre are released

-The Lakers win the NBA Finals

-Kris Allen beats Adam Lambert in American Idol, and Paula Abdul is fired/quits.

-TV signal goes digital

-The TV Show ER ends its run of 15 years.

-Perez Hilton get his ass kicked, then cries like a bitch!

-H1N1 “Swine Flu” enters our vocabulary. We see people walking around wearing doctors masks, yeah like that little piece of cloth is really going to protect you!

-1500 Filipino Inmates do a “Thriller” dance.

– Farrah Fawcett & MJ die on the same day.

-Sara Palin announced she was quitting as Governor of Alaska.

-The most devastating news of 2009: Jon & Kate break up!

-Oprah interviews Whitney Houston about Bobby Brown, drugs and life, while totally licking her ass!

– The New York Yankees win The World Series, making them the most successful sports franchise.

-David Letterman admits to having an affair, yet still makes fun of Tiger Woods.

-The latest in the Twilight movie series New Moon is released, while legions of guys are forced to sit and watch, all the while telling their girls how great the movie is, yet wishing the movie ended as soon as they sat down!  Hopefully it got a few guys laid in the process!

-Actress Brittney Murphy dies.

-Tiger Woods get his ass kicked!

Notable Deaths in 2009

-Fantasy Island star Ricardo Montalbán (January 14), Actor David Carradine (June 3), Actress Farrah Fawcett (June 25), Singer Michael Jackson (June 25), Newsman Walter Cronkite (July 17), Director John Hughes (August 6), Musician Les Paul (August 13), Politician Ted Kennedy (August 25), Actor Patrick Swayze (September 14)

See You Guys in 2010!


Year End Review Part 3- A Look Back in Music

Merry Christmas Everyone!  Now that we’ve journeyed through Enter the Shell, we’ll take a look back at the music we loved in 2009.  That is why we do this, isn’t it?  Many things happened in 2009 that we note worthy in music, we lost some influential people, some artists became superstars and other just lost it.  So here’s a look back in music month by month:

In January, Justin’s brother Lady Ga-Ga released her second single “Just Dance.”  Why is that so important?  Because it cemented her as a real artist, a real contender, not a one-hit wonder like most of us thought.  2009 was a huge year for Lady Ga-Ga and her fans!  Sara also wrote her first blog, an announcement of the Bird & the Bee at the Museum of Natural History.

In February, Lily Allen released her excellent sophomore album, “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” then a few months later said that she was going to retire from making music.  Huh?  Adele received a Grammy for Best New Artist, while Robert Plant & Allison Krauss receive 5 Grammys.  Then we hit the mother-load of pop culture:  Chris Brown (I had no idea who this guy was) beats up the very sexy Rihanna, on February 10.  Hard to believe it was that long ago.  Other highlights (or low-lights): Blink 182 announced their reunion, Lead Singer Steven Page leaves Barenaked Ladies, and U2 released another crappy album “No Line On the Horizon.”

In March, rapper T.I. was sentenced to 1 year in prison for federal weapons charges.  Britney Spears goes on tour, so does Billy Joel with Elton John, as does Beyonce.  March was a slow month.

In April, Ringo & Paul (no last names needed) performed together in New York for the David Lynch FoundationSusan Boyle released her first single “I Dreamed A Dream.”  The super sexy Carrie Underwood had her 10th straight number 1 single, making her the only country singer to have her first 10 singles reach number 1.  The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted Metallica, Run DMC, Bobby Womack, Jeff Beck & Little Anthony & The Imperials.  Also, Justin & Turrtle begin doing podcasts together!

In May, Kris Allen wins American Idol beating Adam LambertGreen Day released another album and continued to ruin punk music, according to Justin.  Fresh off rehab, Eminem released an album that no one really cared about.  We are finally over this guy!

In June, Kylie Meyer joined Justin & DJ Turrtle in the studio and the magic began!  Conan O’Brien took over the Tonight Show.  On June 26, 2009 pop culture had a defining moment when Michael Jackson passed away.  This was/is by far the biggest story in 2009.  Please check out our special MJ tribute podcast here.  From here on out, MJ was honored at every award show and almost every concert you went to, too bad he wasn’t honored in the same way when he was alive.

In July, A memorial for MJ was held at the Staples Center.  It seemed as if time stood still throughout the ceremony.  It brought chills to my very bones sitting there watching it.  Especially when his daughter spoke, very powerful!  There was some fall-out due to the memorial, because the City of Los Angeles funded the majority of the police for this event.  Also, one of the best podcasts we did, we celebrated KY’s birthday.

In August, Enter the Shell celebrated its first Birthday (click here for the show).  Third Eye Blind released their 4th studio album (reviewed here), as do the Arctic Monkeys and Whitney Houston.  DJ AM is found dead of an apparent drug overdose.

In September, as kids went back to school, The Beatles dominated the month.  They re-released their entire studio catalog, and released a new video game.  Many artists released new albums:  Jay-Z, Madonna, Britney Spears, Mariah Scary, Nelly Furtado, Pearl Jam, Harry Connick Jr., Alice In Chains, Muse, AFI, Paramore, Kid Cudi, and Megadeth.  Wow!  If that wasn’t enough, that Bitch Ass Kanye West (Sorry Sara) runs on stage and takes a moment away from Taylor Swift at the VMA’s.  Nine Inch Nails performs their last gig in LA, and calls it quits (from performing).

In October, nothing of note really happened.  A bunch of people released albums, including: Shakira, Nelly McKay, Michael Jackson’s This is It, Backstreet Boys, Creed, and Train.

In November, DJ Turrtle helps The Film Freak raise food donations for the homeless, Rihanna does a TV interview with Diane Sawyer talking about her getting beat up by Chris Brown, she also released her album Rated R.  Many other people released albums: Snow Patrol, Carrie Underwood, Norah Jones, Lady Ga-Ga, Adam Lambert, One Republic, and Foo Fighters.

In December, Some artists who plan on delivering albums right before Christmas:  Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown (The perfect holiday gift for any low-life), Usher, Jaime Foxx, Lil’ Wayne, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Game, and Timbaland.

Well there it is, the headlines that made up 2009!  I hope you can recall some fond memories of the year that passed.  Next week, a recap of what we think are the best songs and albums of 2009.  Also a very quick look back on Pop Culture in 2009.


Year End Review Part 2- A Look A Head

Last week we took a look back at 2009 inside the shell, this week we’ll be giving you a sneak peak into 2010.  We’ll get some thoughts from some of our favorite characters as well as some new ones!  So kick back and see what lies ahead!

As we all know Enter the Shell is the idea of DJ Turrtle.  Turrtle is one of the hardest working amphibians around LA.  He works at a radio station (until recently it was 2 radio stations), hosts the ETS Music News, Drinkcast, Shell Theory, and co-hosts Tilted Talk.  That is a lot of work.  I asked Turrtle, how do you juggle all of this?  He responded, “I am still trying to figure that one out! I am constantly busy, and try to keep a schedule of podcasts. It’s very difficult, but when you love something, you find ways to make it work.”

So 2009 was great for our website, we saw more and more fans download our podcasts and visit our blogs!  We cannot thank you guys enough for tuning into us on a daily/weekly basis!  So I hope we can keep on producing the same quality in 2010!  So here are some thoughts from our cast of characters on what lies ahead in 2010:

Justin on what we’re in store for in 2010: For 2010 we’ll do it again. More great shows and more great T.V. for me Dr. J…

Kylie Meyer- Any plans to expand the “Celebrity Corner” segment?  Hell yeah!!! Hopefully we can start getting some video and pics on the website… maybe even start having some celebs on the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOT WOOT!

DJ Turrtle on the website as a whole in 2010: We will continue to expand the brand that is ETS. I am tinkering with building more programming, as well as adding a new blogger to the site. Also, I am working on other websites, to put our link, to get more traffic to us.

Sara on her blog section in 2010: As a blogger, I’m constantly trying to think of ways to keep the reader coming back so I think about what I’d like to see. I’d like to have a segment coupled with Mailo’s Legend of the Month series and review a cover of a song by that legend the same week. Also, I’ve been toying with the idea of exposing listeners to great remixes but I’m still working on that!

Domagoy of Tilted Talk on his plans for 2010:  To make the website look better, to write more political blogs, to make some videos for the site, to have the show continue to grow and make it better,  and to have DJ Turrtle back at his fighting weight of 155!

Mailo on his blogs for 2010:  I am considering getting rid of some blogs (temporarily or permanently), while doing some more editorials on pop culture or expanding on a subject brought out on a podcast.  Maybe ask KY to marry me!

So that’s what you have to look forward to in 2010!  Better blogs, better podcasts, more beer, more Meat Matt and more Aunt Berta!  To all our fans, we thank you very much for your support!  To all our Facebook fans who comment a very special shout-out:  Super Fan “The Joser”, Kinesus Beats, Helen Lara, Ricky Noreaga, Sal and everyone else.  THANK YOU!

Leave us a comment on what you expect/want from us in 2010.


Year End Review Part 1- A Look Back

So it’s the end of the year and every website and TV Show will be doing a year-end piece and we are no different.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look back at the evolution of the website, and in the next segment, we’ll give you a glimpse into 2010!

Taking it back a moment, Turrtle had this concept many years ago.  It started during his Audio 8 Ball days.  When that went into the tank, he started sending out his shows through on Myspace.  In August 2008, Turrtle bought the domain name and began working on the website.  There was no content on the site until about Jan/Feb.  Many of you may not remember, but the first podcasts weren’t even with Turrtle as the host.  Turrtle was working on a show called Tilted Talk with Domagoy.  Turrtle would bring some comic-relief during Domagoy’s political talk.  In an effort to evolve EnterTheShell, Turrtle and Skullr Records teamed him up with Darling Nikki.  Those podcasts are still buried in the archives.

While turtle was dancing along, he brought lovely Sara on board as the first blogger.  Turrtle has a vision for the website, but it was moving at a turtle’s pace!  In May, Justin appeared on the show and instantly made the Music News 1,000,000 times better!  Turrtle and Justin had excellent chemistry and it started paying off!  Then their big break:  Kylie Meyer!  KY joined our podcast in late May/early June, and it has been magic ever since!

Around this time, I joined the ETS Nation as a blogger and Sara and I began to run features on a weekly basis.  I began with Artist of the Week, Musication, Songs We Must Have & Funk/Soul for the Week!  Sara began her cover reviews, album reviews, weekly release parties and companion blogs!  The site began to feel as one complete unit, with the blogger talking about the podcasts and the Podcasts talking about us.  Super Fan “The Joser” told me “I like how well you guys have tied the show together so well with the site. It’s come together so well, I’m really impressed with how much it grew.”

In an effort to bring more content to our fans, Turrtle added some new programming: Drinkcast, Drivecast & his latest addition Shell Theory.  Although drivecast was quickly put on the shelf, Drinkcast and Shell Theory continues to give more programming for our fans.  We have met some new characters, like Andy, who threw down 18 Taco Bell Tacos during a drinkcast.  Andy said, “For my next stunt I will be performing a disappearing act.  And before you ask:  a magician never reveals his secrets!”  We’ve also met Mr. Smith, who wanted to let our fans know, “I want to bring awareness to the masses, some form of truth, even to question what one sees – it is very important for the coming generations to recognize and understand about secret societies and how they affect our daily lives.”

We started off with a low fan base, but our numbers have been climbing steadily since we first blogged/podcast!  It has been a true grass roots movement to get this show marketed to our fans!  So what do the people behind the scenes think of 2009?  Bet you wanna hear from the real stars of the website.  I had a chance to talk to some of them and here are some of their thoughts:

Justin on his favorite podcast of the year: “My favorite show of ETS that’s easy, ‘Coming in for the Kill,‘ that show was just so easy flowing and enjoyable to do. I felt our chemistry really clicked on that show. However, I feel the shows we are doing now are some of our best. I can only see good things coming to”

Kylie Meyer on her favorite/most memorable podcast of the year:  “Probably the MJ tribute… it’s a memory in my life I’ll never forget… and I’m honored we were there to cover the show for our fans!”

Sara on her favorite blog of the year: “That’s a really tough question but I have to say that the best blogs I’ve written are the reviews that make me reminisce about the past and how music was involved. For instance, my reviews on “Music for Cougars” by Sugar Ray (because of the spaghetti sauce fight with my brother Ricky) and “The Cool” by Lupe Fiasco (because of the fond memories I have of skateboarding with my brother Danny). Also, Matt & Kim’s “Grand” was very memorable because I put aside any plans I had for a review that week and made way for that album because I had just discovered it and thought the world had to hear/read my view on this great up-and-coming band!

Super Fan The Joser on his favorite podcast & blog of 2009:  “Although I’m not a fan of his, the Tribute show for Michael Jackson stands out in my memory for being a very tasteful, very well-done show. It was quite a tribute, the guests and stories were all great.  Definitely my favorite blog of 2009 was Artist of the Week: Johnny Cash. No doubt about it.

So thanks for helping support this independent website.  We hope you enjoyed 2009, as much as we enjoyed covering it!  Leave us a comment on facebook or this blog and tell us your favorite part of 2009!  Next week we’ll take a sneak peak at our plans for 2010, so see ya’ll next week!