Well, I knew i would end up thinking of more discs that possibly deserved a spot on my top 10 of 2010 list, as soon as i finished and posted it online and sure enough they’ve been trickling back into my memory at a steady enough rate that i created a secondary list. These releases shouldn’t be considered like the junior varsity or the B-team because they are as good as anything on my first list but they just hadn’t occurred to me then. In other words, I should have made a Top 20 musical releases of 2010, or refrained from discussing with all of my DJ, Musician, and audiophile friends what their top 10 list would include because my tasteful and talented friends have been coming up with lots of good ones. I love that, people i know who really give an informed opinion on music because they, like myself, love, worship and live for it. So here we go again, more greats from 2010–with a bit less writing about them. enjoy
A unique combination of searing and loud guitar riffs, angelic female vocals and programmed drum machine rhythms have propelled this male/female duo to the top of many year end lists and gave indie rock a much needed slap in the face with something sorely lacking in most of this years musical releases, BIG LOUD HOOK-Y GUITAR RIFFS!
I bought this CD at a live show at The Eagle Tavern for only $5 after The Intelligence, from Seattle, had played a truly great set of mostly short and very clever wordy little ditties in a post-punk art-school style that brought to mind a less earnest Talking Heads but with more of a garage rock-ish keyboard infused sound. Lars Finberg is the vocalist/guitarist and also runs the indie label Dragnet Records. He was a member of The A-Frames and Males is actually the 7th (!) full LP by The Intelligence. I love the lyrics he writes like this verse from the song “Estate Sales” “I wanna ticket/ I wanna walk/ I want my body outlined in chalk/I wanna measure / I wanna pour/ I wanna pal around with judges and a whore.” Below is a video from the show at The Eagle that night. I continue to like this record more with each listen
This is a great record by one of those mysterious bands that I become intrigued with and then end up learning that they are actually from San Francisco. They also recently graced the cover of the SF BayGaurdian’s Music Issue with a great article by Johnny Ray Huston. I’m really glad to see Johnny writing a bit more about rock and roll music these days like he used to. Weekend packs a very complete, noisy, rich and beautiful punch with this debut disc, full of dark layered guitar virtuosity and moody atmosphere. It’s a big sound for just three young men to make. I dunno how i missed that they are local, and no doubt soon to be heroes. Have a listen to “Endtimes” below
The Vaselines haven’t recorded for 23 years and they came back strong with Sex With An X. It’s a surprisingly clever collection of songs, my favorite being “The Devil Inside Me.” It’s all about the songs here, they are good and I like them, simple as that.
Massive Attack just rule on so many levels and this is their strongest release since their unforgettable classic Mezzanine, a record that stayed at the top of my personal top 10 list for two consecutive years. I couldn’t let it go. Horace Andy does some some amazing vocal performances here, as usual and the final cut “Atlas Air” is 7 minutes of pure moody classic Massive Attack brilliance. This isn’t as solid or even as some of their greater works but it’s still very good.
I learned about this band on The Hype Machine an incredible source for new and interesting music posted on blogs from all over the world. They are from France and their sound is very retro-60’s go-go with bits of angst-y fuzzy guitars ala Velvet Underground and other more cheery psychedelic pop influences. Lyrics are sung in french and english and their content is sometimes pretty dark for such upbeat and happy sounding music. This is a fun record.
It’s been about ten years since this band, formerly from Sacramento, burst onto the scene with a wildly danceable yet aggressively D.I.Y. punk rock/post punk guitar sound and expletive lyrical content and a name that no one can pronounce, the only thing i didn’t like about them. They disbanded briefly after their first release and reformed and relocated to New York, to be closer to their white funk hero David Byrne I heard. They continued creating funky dance groove party music and this is their 4th full LP Release. They have a bunch of interesting EP releases, live recordings and interesting side projects as well and I’ve liked all of them. In some ways Strange Weather Isn’t It? is their best work to date.
This has been a big year for all-girl groups, many forming, splitting up and forming four more, many with the word “girls” in their name. There’s even a local band called Girls who dont have any female members at all. Well, out of the many all-girl groups popping up this year, locals The Splinters are definitely one of my favorites. Their debut disc is so much fun i can play it end to end and not get tired of it. They are also very good live and deserve a bit more recognition for this record.
I learned about this band on The Hype Machine too. Identified as a duo with this huge twisted stoner rock and metal sound and high pitched vocals that bring to mind Janes Adiction and sometimes the Bee Gees and even Rush. I also learned that the duo are actually brothers and are produced by Deaf Nephews- Dale Crover and Toshi Yasai of the Melvins. They add some interesting flourishes like saxophone solos and complex and meandering compositions you wouldn’t generally find in the heavy rock canon and it oddly works very well