Friday, December 24, 2010

The year 2010 in music

2010 was one of the best years in music in recent memory. It was so good in fact that doing my usual top 20 proved to be impossible. What I did was pick my top 20 and put them in order with number 1 being my favorite record of 2010, 2 being my second favorite etc. I also included 20 runners up in alphabetical order. Trying to rank them proved to be an exercise in futility. All the records in the list range from excellent to near perfection. The list includes comebacks (Gil Scott-Heron), records from well established bands and a staggering amount of debut records. It will be interesting to see what 2011 brings. As usual almost all were purchased on good old vinyl. The only exceptions are the William Parker and world's end girlfriend albums. I think CDs are pretty much a dead format. I only purchased three in all of 2010 and was given just a few as freebies. Almost all of these selections can be purchased at Music Saves, Cleveland’s best record store. Big thanks to @sweetsweetjulie for turning me on to several of these bands and Melanie from Music Saves for tweeting incessantly about the Baths record. Her tweets caught my interest, I bought it and it landed at number 2. I must also thank my brother Dan for turning me on to Sleigh Bells. I saw them open for Yeasayer (who sucked) because of him. One quick mention must be made about Brian Eno's new LP. The packaging is vinyl porn at it's best. Pictures here: One final word – buy your music legally, support the bands and local record stores. They all appreciate it. As usual, comments and criticism are welcome. And now the list:

The Top 20 Records of 2010 in some semblance of an order

  1. Beach House – Teen Dream

  2. Baths – Cerulean

  3. Gil Scott-Heron – I'm New Here

  4. Sleigh Bells - Treats

  5. Little Women – Throat

  6. Best Coast – Crazy for You

  7. Suckers – Wild Smile

  8. Small Black – EP/New Chain

  9. PhantogramEyelid Movies

  10. MenomenaMines

  11. Spoon – Transference

  12. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

  13. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

  14. GorillazPlastic Beach

  15. The Black Keys – Brothers

  16. The National – High Violet

  17. Washed Out – Life of Leisure EP

  18. Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be

  19. The Arcade Fire – Suburbs

  20. Grinderman Grinderman 2

Runners up in alphabetical order

Johnny Cash – American VI: Ain't No Grave

Cocorosie Grey Oceans

Das Racist – Shut Up Dude/Sit Down Man

Brian EnoSmall Craft on a Milk Sea

Field Music - Measure

Charlotte GainsbourgIRM

Girls – Broken Dreams Club EP

Maximum Balloon – S/T

Janelle MonaeThe Archandroid

Mono: Holy Ground: NYC Live

The Octopus Project – Hexadecagon

William Parker – I Plan to Stay A Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield

School of Seven Bells – Disconnect from Desire

She & Him – Volume Two

StereolabNot Music

Marnie Stern - S/T

Surfer Blood – Astro Coast

Warpaint – The Fool

Weekend – Sports

world's end girlfriend – Seven Idiots

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Top ten records of the first half of 2010

Top 10 records for the first half of 2010

2010 has been a pretty fucking good year for music so far. Here my 10 favorite records that were released stateside between 1 Jan and 31 June 2010. As usual all were purchased on the increasingly popular vinyl format. And now, on with the list. I'll start with #1 so you don't have to scroll down to see the best record of the year so far.

1. Beach House – Teen Dream

2. Sleigh Bells – Treats

3. Phantogram – Eyelid Movies

4. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

5. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

6. Spoon – Transference

7. The Black Keys – Brothers

8. Suckers – Wild Smile

9. Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM

10. Gil Scott-Heron – I'm New Here

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Top 20 films of 2009

Yes, I know this list is a couple of months late but as I am in Cleveland I had to wait until all the 2009 films on my radar opened here. The list is more or less in order with 1 being the best. The order of the list can and will change depending on what mood I am currently in. I may have missed some films I felt were great at the time but If I can’t remember them now they couldn’t have been all that great. I just made the list from memory and put them into an order that seems correct as I type this. And before anyone asks, no, I have not seen Avatar and have no intention of doing so. And now on with the list:

1. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus dir. Terry Gilliam
2. The Limits of Control dir. Jim Jarmusch
3. Tetro dir. Frances Ford Coppola
4. Das Weisse Band - Eine Deutsche Kindergeschichte dir. Michael Haneke
5. In the Loop dir. Armando Iannucci
6. Antichrist dir. Lars Von Trier
7. L'heure d'été dir. Oliver Assayas
8. The Girlfriend Experience dir. Steven Soderbergh
9 Goodbye Solo dir. Ramin Bahrani
10. Inglourious Basterds dir. Quentin Tarantino
11. 35 Rhums dir. Claire Denis
12. An Education dir. Lone Scherfig
13. Moon dir. Duncan Jones
14. Food Inc. dir. Robert Kenner
15. Where the Wild Things Are dir. Spike Jonze
16. Away We Go dir. Sam Mendes
17. The Hurt Locker dir. Kathryn Bigelow
18. Fantastic Mr. Fox dir. Wes Anderson
19. Hunger dir. Steve McQueen
20. The Damned United dir. Tom Hooper

Most overrated movie of 2009: The Hangover. At least a dozen people told me to see this piece of crap. Didn't laugh once. Not even a chuckle or smile. Unless it wasn’t supposed to be a comedy.

Best commercial of 2009: Up in the Air. While I thought the movie was good it felt more like a long commercial for United and Hilton.