Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 On My List

First, the biz:

I'm spinning tonight (NYE) at:
Draft Bar
157 Ludlow St (LES)
10pm, $5 (includes a glass o' bubbly)
Link for more info here

I'm not such a fan of making year-end lists as they're usually prone to faulty reasoning (are you really going to judge something released 11 months ago the same way something from last week?). But I like the end results as they're a quick, easy way to share ideas, so here are a handful: best albums, songs and videos.

You can find my top 15 albums over at Prefix (scroll down, the lists are alpha by writer's surname). A few factors skewed my list: 1) we had to have 15; 2) we were limited to 1 reissue; and 3) I excluded (Hold Steady) or dropped (Kanye) the ranking of certain albums b/c I figured other writers would rank those same choices higher. So, here's a more representative list:

Top Albums
Laura Marling I Speak Because I Can (Astralwerks)
LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening (DFA)
Flying Lotus Cosmogramme (Warp)
Brad Laner Natural Selections (Hometapes)
Das Racist Shut Up, Dude Mixtape (self-released)
Brian Eno Small Craft on a Milk Sea (Warp)
Dirty Projectors and Bjork Mount Wittenberg Orca (self-released)
She and Him Volume 2 (Merge)
DaVinci Day the Turf Stood Still (self-released)
Walter Gibbons Jungle Music (Strut)
The Method Actors This is Still It? (Acute)

Top 10 Songs
My song choices are laughably light. I suppose this has more to do with how I divide my music between personal listening and mass consumption (i.e. DJ sets or blends). But this is what I can remember liking:

Sleigh Bells "Tell 'Em"
Admittedly this got old after a month (wow! it's loud!) and the linked clip summarizes the band's entire live set, but I still thoroughly enjoy the heroic quality of the main guitar riff. I usually equate Superman entrance cues with horns or orchestral swells, but Derek Miller took a choice page from the Angus Young/Jimmy Page comp book.

She and Him "In The Sun"
Abnorml said he put this on repeat when it came up in the spring 2010 blend. I think that about sums it up.

Yeasayer "O.N.E."
I recently realized that I used to play gigs with the Fool's Gold guitarist back when he was in the Americanas. So cool that he's continuing to do such interesting music now. This Yeasayer joint reminds me of the Afro Pop that FG references. Very fun video, too.

Marcus Price and Carli "Mat Bira Kvinnor Weed"
There's something perverse about the voice modulation. And then offset by the "Keeps my fire burning" lick. Very odd. Another funny video.

Katy B "Katy on a Mission"
She reminds me of that singer that Ronny Fazer produced/slept with in Skins. And this song is lighter than powder, but everyone lost their shit to its bass on my bachelor night. Those are the cards sometimes, right?

Hold Steady "The Weekenders"
Thirtysomething struggles are way better than twentysomething angst.

Gyptian "Hold Yuh"
Neat trick: right-hand piano lick, snare hits and a looping lyric. Linked to the remix w/ the Nicki verse as it adds some needed spice.

Gucci Mane "It's Gucci Time"
Swizz Beatz updates "Touch It" by moving down the block from Daft Punk to Justice.

Eminem "Won't Back Down"
I forget that I saw him pre-Aftermath deal when he was a bespectacled freestyler performing for a befuddled Bay Area crowd. Even then he was hungry. Over ten years later he actually looks hungrier now. Anyone know who is the gray-haired keyboardist at stage left?

Wyatt, Atzmon and Stephen "Laura"
Compendium to Charlie Parker with Strings.

Top Videos
I actually don't spend a lot of time watching videos as I barely have enough time to listen to music, read, etc. So this is probably better described as a list of videos I actually watched from start-to-finish.

BIG BOI "SHUTTERBUG" from BEMO | Brandon Hirzel on Vimeo.

Big Boi "Shutterbug"

What's not to love? Ok, the Tron promo is a bit much, but keep in mind this came out months before the film's marketing blitz started. Anyway, back to the pros: Puppet versions of the band -- playing talk box, no less (1:15); and inexplicably surreal bits, including shoe-mountain-climbing (1:09), a mouth of rhyme pages (1:52) and a Rothko-esque (or is it Warhol?) wall of red plastic cups (1:34). Nice to see a slight inversion on the live performance video.

Grum - Through The Night from The General Assembly on Vimeo.

Grum "Through The Night"

'80s parodies, buddy/cop action and ironic homoeroticism are all pretty well-trodden fare. But Dangerous Minds hit the nail on the head by captioning this "Gay Glock Rockin' Cops and New Wave Dance Beats..."

Kanye West "Power"

I watched the premier with my in-laws. Mind you, I think we were in between episodes of Jersey Shore or some house-flipping show. I don't think this changed anyone's opinion of Kanye.

Rusko "Feels So Real (Douster & Savage Skulls Jersey Shore Remix)"

Speaking of Jersey Shore, the show and every stereotype of Italian-American culture that it manages to not just perpetuate but somehow magnify have all become a convenient punchline. That said, how many of you dance with this kind of abandon and lack of self-consciousness?

Dam Funk "Things That Dreams Are Made Of"

I loved Major Lazer's "Keep It Goin' Louder" video and Dam Funk came through with an improvement. And a great reminder of an awesome Human League record.

Hot Chip, Bernard Sumner, and Hot City “I Didn’t Know What Love Was” 

It's not that I really like this video as much as I was reminded how much I would like to see new Michel Gondry work. That said, I'm pretty sure Green Hornet will not be like this.

Blaqstarr "Pressure"

More creepiness. The use of CCTV visuals in mass media has probably desensitized us to how it is actually used on an everyday basis. Blaqstarr brings us back to reality by adding some psychedelic effects and focusing on an intimate moment.

Daft Punk "Derezzed"

Got super excited by this clip. For the song and the film. Thankfully, I didn't see the full-length video 'til now. The original Tron low-bit effects are neat, but a bit one-note. But I'll take either over the disappointing fight sequence in the actual film.

Mark Ronson & the Business Int'l "Somebody to Love Me" (Feat. Boy George)

YT comments are always hilarious: "Is that Diane Kruger as Boy George?"

Cassius, I Love you so from WE ARE FROM L.A on Vimeo.

Cassius "I Love You So"

A summation of hip-pop culture: synths, sped-up vocals, iPhones, apps, beautiful people using iPhone apps, vague references to cross-culturalism (black female lips over white male?), and, of course, shameless self promotion.

Rita Indiana y Sus Misterios "La Hora de Volver"

Technically from 2009, I believe, but caught this on Generation Bass a month back. It's a better version of M.I.A. and Major Lazer's Y2K-era throwbacks. Why is Rita better? The Klaus Nomi look.

Thanks again for all the love and support. See you on the other side of tonight!

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