2010 favorites?

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Offline Allison

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2010 favorites?
« on: January 14, 2011, 06:33:53 PM »
Here are my favorites from 2010. I write a list like this every year, for those of you who maybe were not here this time last year.

Normally I'm far more thoughtful when I do these. After Phoebe died I lost all sense of wanting to even finish listening. I basically went two weeks without listening to music at home (still did in the car to pass the time).... and yesterday I just decided to finish it. Cause I'd be mad at myself if I hadn't finished/written this by February. So two weeks into the new year, I give you my top 35 of last year.

This year I have no downloads, no pictures, no nothing. Just no motivation (on top of being still sick) to do all the research. BUT I did listen to my entire list.

35. Bad Books - Bad Books: It's a "supergroup" of Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine. Love both of their records from 2009, and Bad Books is good, but I surely prefer them on their own.

34. Belle & Sebastian - Write About Love: Dunno what happened here, or if I've just moved on from Belle and Sebastian or, just not in a lovey mood? Doesn't grab me the way other records of theirs did on first listen. Then again, they've set the bar pretty high for themselves.

33. Old 97's - The Grand Theater, Vol 1: Love the idea behind this record. It sounds like it would be a live album based on the title, and in a way it is, just minus the audience. There are some great tracks on this record, though kinda feels a bit reused of their older stuff at times.

32. Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid: The record is great. But then falls apart after you've seen it live. Does that make any sense? No, probably not, but there is so much more energy behind these songs that just does not translate to the record, which is kind of sad.

31. Guster - Easy Wonderful: Grabbed me right from the start. Good record from a great band that has long been around and putting out great records. I have a feeling it will grow on me as I give it time.

30. Plants & Animals - La La Land: Surprise love on first listen. This was a random suggestion from a former co-worker. There is some great saxophone work on this record. Didn't know what to expect and found a new band to keep up with.

29. Uniform Motion - Life: A little half hour record that was recommended through indie_exchange that only is 8 tracks long, but I dare you not to be endeared by them. Folky, indie, goodness.

28. Jonsi - Go: Exactly what you'd expect from a partition of Sigur Ros. Love having some English in there. That being said, I still pick Sigur Ros tracks before this record.

27. The Weepies - Be My Thrill: A great record from this band. Have always loved them and both their vocal styling and the lyrics.

26. Drive-By Truckers- The Big To-Do: Pretty awesome Americana, pretty awesome record, pretty awesome lyrics.

25. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs: I know the mass public loved this record. It still hasn't grabbed me like they should be. I still prefer Neon Bible. Shrug. What're you gonna do?

24. Spoon - Transference: I read something really poignant about this band. (Don't know where I read it though)... wherever it was though, basically said that Spoon has been putting out flawless records since the beginning, but because they're flawless we don't love them as much as we love our flawed bands. I think I agree. There's nothing at all wrong with any Spoon record in my opinion, but they've yet to give me a huge reason to love them. But like mentioned, this record is totally solid.

23. The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever: The Hold Steady is not for everybody. Hell, they're not always for me. They've got a distinct style (however, they seem to be a great way to get people off of Kings of Leon into better taste)... anyway, this record is good. But I feel it falls just short of where it was trying to go.

22. The Thermals - Personal Life: I have really liked this record each time I listen to it. Better than their previous work. I have a feeling I'll like this record more and more each listen. There's just not simply enough time.

21. Tokyo Police Club - Champ: Champ is right. This record makes me understand the hype. It's good. It's certainly worth picking up. First song and I was hooked.

20. Deerhunter - Halycon Digest: A great, solid, just what you'd expect, record. Really love Helicopter.

19. Hot Chip - One Life Stand: Great dancey, get you off your butt music. And I can remember it weeks after listening.

18. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor: I know this is one of "those" records of the year. I've only, honestly, listened a few times. Maybe if I'd been listening since the record came out it'd rank higher.

17. Midlake - The Courage of Others: I love this record. But it just cannot compete either with their previous record (granted Trials of VanOccupanther is probably their quintessential record, Courage probably ranks second) and other records in 2010. Unfortunately. It is a good record. A really good record.

16. Cloud Cult - Light Chasers: Pains me to rank a favorite band so low, but Light Chasers is just so so so low key for them. And I expect a certain level of songs like Washed Your Car and Alien Christ on records. Wolves is a fantastic track, but LC was not the first place I heard it.

15. Ben Folds/Nick Hornby - Lonely Avenue: This is actually a surprise to me that it makes it into the top 15 records. Hell, top 30. When the record first dropped I was actually very underwhelmed. It has taken several listens for me to love 80% of this record. There are a few tracks that just make me skip them. That's awful. That being said the fun and poignanticy of Saskia Hamilton and Picture Window, respectively, save the record from non-inclusion.

14. The Old Ceremony - Tender Age: Another band (seems to be a category down here) that it kills me to rank so low, but for The Old Ceremony their only downfall here was that it's a bit too long of a record. And there are records that blew my mind more. Sorry Django and Co.

13. The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards: Talk about picking up right where you left off. Great record. As always Jack and Alison (I believe she's a one Ler).

12. Dr Dog - Shame, Shame: Beautifully executed, beautifully written, beautifully recorded. Put it on your shelf. This band draws influences from so many sides and does everything just as it should be.

11. The New Pornographers - Together: I don't know if the title is meant to be ironic or what, just makes me think about how AC Newman and Neko Case put out separate records last year, and this year they're.... Together. I dunno. Crosses my mind each time I listen. The record is solid. And grows each time you listen to it. Guaranteed.

10. Elizabeth and the Catapult - The Other Side of Zero: I knew from the first note I'd love this band when I saw them open for Jukebox the Ghost over the fall. Also knew I'd heard one of their songs before (it's in a Google commercial). Honestly the record is even better than I expected. Catchy as hell. Got that driving beat through pianos (the way they should be) and vocally Elizabeth's voice is right there. Somewhere in between Regina Spektor and Sara Barellis. This lady should be right up there with those other piano ladies. Go get the record.

09. Vampire Weekend - Contra: This record came out so long ago at this point (January of 2010) that it's hard to imagine it on this list. It's a great record. I, and the rest of the world, were worried Vampire Weekend couldn't compete with their Freshman record. No Sophomore slump here. At all. Just as catchy, smoother, and developed as it should be.

08. Miniature Tigers - F O R T R E S S: yes, it's technically that way, it seems. This record put them on the map with the rest of the music world. Have loved this band for more than a year, for sure. Dark Tower, Rock & Roll Mountain Troll, and Egyptian Robe should win anyone (and everyone) over.

07. Yeasayer - Odd Blood: You cannot deny the greatness of this record. It's that perfect blend of the psychedelic and pop. Ambling Amp, O.N.E. and I Remember are tracks that should make anyone sit up and listen the first time they even hear it. Did so for me.

06. Band of Horses - Infinite Arms: a smoother record from Band of Horses. A more mature record. A record where Ben finally realizes that it's his voice that sells this band. Sure they music is great, but you know a Band of Horses song when you hear it because of his distinct voice. Which is gorgeous. See Evening Kitchen, Blue Beard, Factory, hell... the whole damn album. IA has gotten a shitton of flac from reviewers, so did Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner... and now it's like the cult favorite record, I expect the same result here.

05. Skybox - Morning After Cuts: After having heard In a Dream months and months prior to the release, I knew I'd need to get this record. Morning After Cuts blows everything else they've done out of the water. There's not a track on the record that I do not love.

04. The Black Keys - Brothers: Way to get your blood pumping. Way to keep on bluesing and rocking boys. Way to continually blow my mind. There's not much else to say about this record except it's phenomenal.

03. The National - High Violet: Continuing to do what they do best. Bloodbuzz, Sorrow, Conversation 16, Afraid of Everyone... etc, the list goes on and on for all 11 tracks. A more than solid record. A record that changed my life.

02. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz: Another record that maybe didn't go over so well with the public. But really Sufjan changing styles should not have been a surprise. In fact, I'd have been a bit upset if the next record had been "Whisling Winter of Wisconsin" or some shit like that. (Okay, a little hurt that two of my neighboring states are the two states. I know. I'll get over it.) I have easily listened to Adz as much as I've listened to Illionise or Michigan. It's right up there in my top records of his with Seven Swans (which has very little explanation as to why it's my favorite.) I love that I can dance to Sufjan. I love that I can identify with Sufjan (which was a bit harder with the state records). I love/hate that it gets so stuck in my head.

01. Jukebox the Ghost - Everything Under the Sun: This really should be no surprise. This record dominated my airwaves by probably 300%. A listen that once it ends I start it again. There's not a bad track to be seen. There's not a missed step. There's not a thing I'd change (except if it would auto repeat). Ben, Jesse and Tommy have out done themselves this time around. If you do nothing else I ever tell you to do, go. buy. this. record. See this band live. Okay, that's two things. But seriously. This band is in that poppy-almost-happy-yet-sing-about-the-world-ending category. This is Jukebox the Ghost making you want to get up and dance. Making you smile your way through a whole record, while singing along. Schizophrenia right through to Nobody is twelve fantastic, no, spectacular, tracks that make you remember why you fell in love with music in the first place. I dare Jukebox the Ghost not to find a way into your heart. If they can make it into my roommates, then surely yours. There's not a soul I've introduced to this band that hasn't come back humming their songs.
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!


Offline perthgirl

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Re: 2010 favorites?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2011, 04:06:31 AM »
I agree with your number 1.  Absolutely-tootley.  And it breaks my heart that probably all of 5 people in my country are aware of their awesomeness.  (I am changing this, one convert at a time.)
It's easy to be easy and free when it doesn't mean anything...


Offline You Dont Know Zach

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Re: 2010 favorites?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 02:44:01 PM »
Yeah I didn't much care for LA either until recently. Claire's Ninth is amazingly accurate in describing the feelings of children of divorce to me so that song stands out as one of the best of the year.
dont overplay, keep it simple and in the pocket, support the song, and you will be asked to play more than you have time to. - Chuck Folds