Archives For 2010

Top 20 Albums of 2010

December 31, 2010 — Leave a comment

1. LCD Soundsystem- This is Happening– Clear choice for #1 due to its ability to rattle windows, ravage headphones, and contain more songs in my top 50 of 2010 (#2 Home, #24 All I Want, #46 Dance Yrself Clean) than any other album

2. Cotton Jones- Tall Hours in the Glowstream– This record completely caught me off guard. The way that it blends Americana with soul acted as a sno cone in July and completely moved mountains for me this year. I obviously like sno cones. I’m willing to bet you do too.

3. Beach House- Teen Dream– Oh, Victoria Legrand, I don’t think Oysseus would’ve been able to withstand your voice.

4. Phosphorescent- Here’s to Taking it Easy Twangy, heartfelt, and honest. This album starts on a high note and doesn’t let up until it’s finished. .

5. Titus Andronicus– The Monitor– This band and this record make me nostalgic for the times when I used to ink up my Chuck Taylors with punk rock bands and their lyrics.

6. Futurebirds- Hampton’s Lullaby– Coming out of Athens, Georgia FUTUREBIRDS are a many headed monster that utilize their surroundings well by blending the boogie and soulful aspects of southern rock with the experimental and reverb heavy elements of the alternative music that sprouted there.  Songs like opener “Johhny Utah,” “APO” and closer “Hamptuhn’s Lulluby” are full of those head clearing southern/country/swampy/gospel guitar moments that are as raucous as they are beautiful.

7. The Radio Dept.- Clinging to a Scheme– Another record that came out of nowhere or found its way to my ears courtesy by CJ Foeckler. These Swedes make a unique blend of dream pop with hushed backbeats and bells.  It’s not quite dark but it often danceable.  At some points the production is a little muddy and there’s some interspersed noise but it’s the kind of noise my ears crave.

8.WoodsAt Echo Lake– Effect ridden and dark imagery laden folk rock rock that sounds like it could’ve been recorded under water, At Echo Lake was my dark horse for #1 album of the year after the leak. Super catchy and creative, this album will be a steady burner for years to come.

9.Vampire Weekend- Contra– I had a pretty negative first reaction to this album, but repeated listens from January until the ice melted allowed me plenty of time to reevaluate our first meeting. Possibly the album that I listened to the most, cut up or in full, I found that ‘Contra’ blended all of the savory elements of their s/t debut with the programmed pop wizardry of VW producer and band member,Rostam Batmanglij’s other project, Discovery.

10.Strand of Oaks- Pope Killdragon-Catching my personal top ten two years in a row, Timothy Showalter aka Strand of Oaks, flat out knows how to write a song. On his second effort, heartfelt words are still the nucleus of his work but this time around he’s updated his resume with tall tale telling, bone chilling metal instrumentals, and a slew of synth sounds that couldn’t be found on Leave Ruin. Nice work, friend.

11. Arcade Fire- The Suburbs

12. The Black Keys- Brothers

13. Horse Feathers- Thistled Spring

14. Sharon Van Etten- Epic

15. Sufjan Stevens- The Age of Adz

16. Lower Dens- Twin-Hand Movement

17. Harlem- Hippies

18. Four Tet- There is Love in You

19. Yeasayer- Odd Blood

20. The National- High Violet

 

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Top 50 Songs of 2010

December 26, 2010 — Leave a comment

******UPDATE****** Check out this top 20 and others from my friends at Seizure Chicken (w/zip.s of all) here—–> SC BEST OF 2010

2010 was an insanely good year for songs. While it was hard to keep mainstream fodder from meat dress wearing princesses out, I somehow managed to nail down 50 songs that entered but never really exited my ear canals.

From looking over and immersing myself in the top twenty for the past couple of weeks, I discovered that I’m drawn to two types of songs: Those that spark nostalgia and end up wreaking havoc on both my nervous and cardiovascular systems. And others that would act as a perfect soundtrack for my own dream sequences. Here goes—->

1.Taos- Menemonea// ‘Taos’ is a layered masterpiece that is as cinematic as it sonic. Songs this explosive shatter earth(s) and blow minds. Earlier in the year, I called ‘Taos’ a “fucking onion” and also knew it would be my favorite track of the year before I heard the second change.

2.Home- LCD Soundsystem// Sitting still renders impossible as you ponder purposes, contemplate if you truly are afraid of what you need, and wonder what  might make you feel better. James Murphy, weekend warrior-psychiatrist, has an incredible knack of refracting your image and pointing out all that is wrong with you through song. It’s ok though. The beats and synths that lace his  tracks numb your emotional capacity and make it nearly impossible to get depressed or contemplative for too long.

3. Rill Rill- Sleigh Bells// Undeniable and sugary sweet. Fistfights, braces, and snapping fingers. It was possibly this track that possessed inebriated underage gals to try and kick in the doors at Mad Planet.

4. A More Perfect Union- Titus Andronicus// I lose my voice every time this song comes on. I think lead singer Patrick Sitckles does too.  After they played this in Madison in April, he put out the flames in his throat by dousing it with Cepacol

5. Round and Round- Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti// Clearly a dream sequence track. I like to think that this song is featured somewhere in the middle of every night’s program. Accompanied by thick smoke, leaping people in spandex, and a disco ball.

6. The Suburbs- Arcade Fire// A consistent piano accompanied by Win Butler’s voice and words tear holes into my  entire being. In a good way. My clear favorite track from The Suburbs that will be a rotational standard. Forever. Most nostalgia tracks stick around like chewed gum under church pews.

7.Boyfriend- Best Coast// Not much to say except that this is possibly one of the most infectious songs I have ever  heard. And also one of the most impossible to sing along to.

8. Zebra- Beach House// This tracks the Narnia portion of the dream that I’m sure everyone experiences nightly. Sighs, large snowflakes, and talking lions galore.

9. Blessa- Toro Y Moi// Remember what I said about the Best Coast song? Yeah, this might be more infectious. Dream sequence where you’re riding in a convertible with the friendliest group of talking animals. And lots of pineapple. Mind/blown.

10. Desire Lines- Deerhunter// Layered with multiple changes and swayable harmonies, this song is near perfect. I  strongly believe that if this would’ve come out last year or if I lived in a state where it wasn’t frigid right now, it would’ve been my number one.

11. Johnny Utah- Futurebirds

12. Texico Bitches- Broken Social Scene

13. Sterling- Strand of Oaks

14. Go Outside- Cults

15. Ambling Amp- Yeasayer

16. Runaway- The National

17. Good Friday- Kanye West (feat. Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean & Charlie Wilson)

18. Wasting Time- Reading Rainbow

19. California English- Vampire Weekend

20. On Melancholy Hill- Gorillaz

21. Daddy Fat Sax- Big Boi

22. Angel Echoes- Four Tet

23. All I Want- LCD Soundsystem

24. Age of Adz- Sufjan Stevens

25. Liv Tyler- Roadside Graves

26. Heaven’s on Fire- The Radio Dept.

27. Sole Brother- Born Ruffians

28. Love More- Sharon Van Etten

29. The Mermaid Parade- Phosphorescent

30. Crash Years- The New Pornographers

31. Song For Dan Treacy- MGMT

32. Blood Dries Darker- Woods

33. Baseball Cards- Wavves

34. I Don’t Believe You- The Thermals

35. Cameras- Matt & Kim

36. Hey Boy- Magic Kids

37. I Get Nervous- Lower Dens

38. Pizza My Coat- Knight School

39. Thistled Spring- Horse Feathers

40. Harlem River Blues- Justin Townes Earle

41. The Gaudy Side of Town- GAYNGS

42. Superfast Jellyfish- Gorillaz

43. Shadow People- Dr. Dog

44.Laredo- Band of Horses

45. Vacation- Beach Fossils

46. Dance Yrself Clean- LCD Soundsystem

47. Bloodbuzz, Ohio- The National

48. Fuck You- Cee Lo Green

49. Sail of Silver Morning- Cotton Jones

50. Arkansas- Damien Jurado