Welcome to 2011, everybody. I think we can agree that while 2010 had some rough spots, at least as far as music goes it was a pretty good year. “Drunk Girls”? “Teenage Dream”? Nicki Minaj’s verse on “Monster”? That really killer Reading Rainbow record that HoZac put out? All of those amazing things (and many more) happened in the span of just a few months. That’s kind of insane.

As long as we keep up the good work and don’t have panic attacks over the mass animal die-offs that are suddenly being reported everywhere, I think we can make 2011 a fine year too.

In the new year’s first issue of the Reader, I profile former Make Believe drummer Nate Kinsella, who recently put out his excellent second solo album as Birthmark. The inimitable Sam McPheeters contributes an essay on the domestication of Laurie Anderson, who performs at the Harris Theater on Tuesday. Gossip Wolf’s got all the second-wave-emo news you need and more. Photo Pit takes us into the sweaty fray of the New Year’s Day show at the Bottle with Hot Machines and Nobunny. There’s a handy guide to the ever-expanding Tomorrow Never Knows festival, and a few of those shows turn up among the picks on this week’s List, which include Weezer, Pieta Brown, the Vulgar Boatmen, and Houses.