Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Best of 2010: Music

Okay, let’s get this Best of 2010 wrap-up rolling, shall we? I’ll be doing a Top Ten movie list with Baron Von Doviak for Nerve (just as soon as we both have a chance to see back-to-back Dude spoilers True Grit and, of course, mofokin TRON). And my top TV shows, books and theatrical experiences of the year will take a bit more thought.

So let’s just start things off slow and super subjective with my 2010 soundtrack, bearing in mind that I’m even less qualified to write about music than all the other things I write about (and some of the following recordings didn’t even come out this year).

2010 Theme Song: “Spacious Thoughts” by Kool Keith & Tom Waits

And the best of the rest, in no particular order:


Vampire Weekend, Contra -- Almost as catchy as their first album, which means this prep-rock follow-up was pretty damn catchy.

Amanda Palmer and friends, Who Killed Amanda Palmer? (2008) & Evelyn Evelyn (2010) -- One self-titled solo album and one faux-Siamese Twin side project (long story) from my favorite new punk-cabaret singer-songwriter obsession.

Laurie Anderson, Homeland (2010) -- I barely made it through one entire listen of her last album (Life on a String), but my favorite performance art chanteuse was back in fine, Vocoder-y form with this haunting elegy to the smoldering wreckage of post-W America.

Liz Phair, Girlysound (2010/1991) -- The Guyville gal may no longer be a critic’s darling (and, in fact, I’m still undecided on her weird 2010 Bollywood fever dream, Funstyle), but the bonus CD that came with her new album is filled with vintage lo-fi Phair goodness from 1991.

Hans Zimmer, Inception soundtrack -- Sure, I understand that Zimmer’s thudding, portentous whale song of a score may not be everyone’s cup of meat, but for me it was the perfect soundscape for a long, strange year trapped inside the machinations of virtual world creation for a start-up video game company!

Amy Correia, You Go Your Way -- A great new album from a talented singer-songwriter I just happen to know personally (and be sure to check out her 2004 release, Lakeville, with its title song tribute to the littler town right next to my own little hometown)!


Jesca Hoop, “Four Dreams” -- This Haysi Fantayzee-esque charmer jumped out of my radio and into my heart.

Antoine Dodson & Auto-Tune the News, “Bed Intruder Song” -- Not only is the song great, but I also love the fact that its success is bringing the charming Mr. Dodson ever closer to his hair styling you can run and tell that!

The Royalty, “Vampire Graffiti” -- My favorite song from a free SXSW promo CD that turned out to be packed with lush, lyrical goodness. Find it if you can!

Sade, “Soldier of Love” -- The downbeat, ominous rhythms of this 2010 release gave me a whole new appreciation for this smooth operator.

Commodore Snerd, “I’m Bored” -- Okay, so I recorded this one myself, but look for the lovely vocal stylings of Amy Jeglinski-Osborne on the Society for the Advancement of Hearing Loss website in’ll be glad you did!

Worst Album of the Year: Cyndi Lauper, Memphis Blues -- Sure, I love Cyndi. But she and I both should have known an album of her screechy blues covers was a bad idea.