Angus's 2010 Music Guide
I decided to go with a different kind of top ten list this year:
1. Great music not found on many year-end lists.
Big Troubles: “Worry” If I had to pick one work as “album of the year” this would be it. Simply fantastic. “Bite yr Tongue”, “Georgia” & “Freudian Slips” are my current favorite songs from this album, but it is an absolute monster! You can stream the whole thing here, and buy it here.
Harlem: “Hippies”. Harlem blew me away with their debut album “Free Drugs” and “Hippies” is even better. Here's a video from the album:
No Joy: “Ghost Blonde” If it wasn't for Big Troubles, this would be my record of the year. Kevin Shields should be very proud. You can buy it here, and here's a video:
2. Great music that is on many year-end lists
The National: “High Violet” I still can’t decide if I like this better than “Boxer”. I think “Boxer” is more consistently great, but the high points of “High Violet” are incandescent.
LCD Soundsystem: “This is Happening”. James Murphy outdoes himself. I loved “Sound of Silver” but have now grown to believe that “This is Happening” is even better. Not sure where Murphy can go from here.
Joanna Newsom: “Have one on me”. It’s a bit un-nerving how she keeps changing her voice, but this triple CD is a nice step forward for her.
3. Good music from old favorites
Clinic, Spoon, No Age, Teenage Fanclub, Wolf Parade, Phosphorescent & The Fall all put out very good, listenable albums. Just not their best work ever.
4. Biggest disappointments
I can’t put Arcade Fire as a disappointment; I expected them to stink it up and they did. So my two biggest disappointments are M.I.A.’s “Mia” and Sufjan Stevens’ “Age of Adz”. These are artists who’ve made some of my alltime favorite music and this year’s works are crap. Sufjan is a particularly troubling case; I guess he’s now “too good” for the kind of music he’s made in the past and wants to be a freakin’ composer or something.
5. Best 2010 discoveries of existing artists
Kurt Vile (discovered from “Eastbound & Down”). This guy is awesome! Highly recommended to buy his whole catalog and soak.
Radar Brothers (discovered by arriving unfashionably early to the Vaselines / Teenage Fanclub show in DC). The above advice also applies here.
6. Best live shows I saw in 2010
Dan Mangan / Wooden Birds
Radar Brothers / Vaselines / Teenage Fanclub.
7. Winter 2011 release I’m most looking forward to
Deerhoof: “Deerhoof vs. Evil”
8. Best re-issues
Orange Juice: “Coals to Newcastle”, and the double CD versions of Galaxie 500’s three albums.
9. Best rap/hip-hop (NB I am not an extremely qualified person here)
Earl Sweatshirt: “Earl Sweatshirt” All I can say about this is “wow”. Pretty amazing stuff.
10. Favorite artist on Twitter
Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips from right up the road in OKC. You should definitely follow him.