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Monday, January 10, 2011

Burn and Shine's Top 26 of 2010.

Snow day today. We woke up to about eight inches of the white stuff on the ground this morning, which means I've got a little time to finally post my best of 2010 compilation. I know my timing isn't great. With the tragedy that happened this weekend, the year in music seems pretty fracking insignificant. But here goes anyway.

I spent a little more time listening to old music this year, but I still managed to find some great new bands. And, of course, some of my old favorites came through with some nice records. If you've been following my blog this year, you know that I kept a running list of new releases that I liked. Here's the list I had circa my last update, which I think I last modified in early November:

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
Best Coast - Crazy For You
Black Francis - Nonstoperotik
Corin Tucker - 1000 Years
Damien Jurado - Saint Bartlett
Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be
Eels - End Times
Fresh & Onlys - August in My Mind
Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks
Goodnight Loving - The Goodnight Loving Supper Club
Harlem - Hippies
John Cunningham - 1998-2002 (Reissue)
Jonathan Richman - O Moon, Queen Of Night On Earth
Len Price 3 - Pictures
Magnetic Fields - Realism
Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts
Mark Sultan - $
matt pond PA - The Dark Leaves
Miles Kurosky - The Desert of Shallow Effects
Moonhearts - Moonhearts
New Pornographers - Together
Pernice Brothers - Goodbye, Killer
Phosphorescent - Here's to Taking It Easy
Plimsouls -Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal
Posies - Blood/Candy
Robyn Hitchcock - Propellor Time
Roky Erickson & Okkervil River - True Love Cast Out All Evil
Sadies - Darker Circles
Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
Soft Pack - The Soft Pack
Spoon - Transference
Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
Sweet Apple - Love & Desperation
Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt
Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
Teenage Fanclub - Shadows
Television Personalities - A Memory is Better Than Nothing
The National - High Violet
Tobin Sprout - The Blue Birds of Happiness Tried to Land on My Shoulders
Top Surprise - Everything Must Go
Ty Segall - Melted
Wild Nothing - Gemini

If I had to pick a favorite record this year, then I would probably go with the one at the top of that alphabetical list. Followed closely by Len Price 3, Surfer Blood, Robyn Hitchcock, Tobin Sprout and The Soft Pack. Sweet Apple, The Fresh & Onlys, Damien Jurado, and Harlem would round out my top 10.

A few more records that I got into late in the year (some as recently as the last couple of weeks):

Bottomless Pit - Blood Under the Bridge
Edward O'Connell - Our Little Secret
Retribution Gospel Choir - 2
The Greenohornes - ****
The Volebeats - The Volebeats
Versus - On the Ones and Threes

So if you'd like to take a break from the awful news this weekend, here's a compilation of 26 of my favorite songs from 2010.

Top 26 of 2010

01. Robyn Hitchcock, “Ordinary Millionaire” [3:52] RH can do little wrong in my book, and when he hooks up with Johnny Marr . . . well then, the sky is the bloody limit, as this song clearly shows.

02. The Fresh & Onlys, “Waterfall” [3:12] These San Francisco garage rockers got the two slot on last year’s Burn and Shine Top 26 compilation. They are quickly becoming my favorite band.

03. Len Price 3, “After You’re Gone” [2:58] As much as I like Power Pop, I hate to admit, I had never heard of LP3 until this year. If you like your PP sprinkled with an ample dose of Kink-isms, then this band is definitely for you!

04. Veronica Falls, “Found Love in a Graveyard” [3:49] I blogged about VF earlier this year, and this song still slays me every time I hear it. Looking forward to a full length by them soon.

05. The Greenhornes, “Underestimator” [2:33] The first album in eight years by these Cincinnati garage rock revivalists does not disappoint.

06. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti, “Bright Lit Blue Skies” [2:25] I remember reading a few years ago that Ariel Rosenberg’s masterpiece was 2004’s The Doldrums—meh, that album seemed a bit too ambitious and sprawling for my taste. The new album, Before Today, is my favorite album of 2010 and should be considered the crown jewel in the APHG discography.

07. Harlem, “Be Your Baby” [2:12] Nothing new here, but damn if this wasn’t one of the catchiest albums of the year. Reminds me of Royal Trux but at their poppiest.

08. The National, “Lemonworld” [3:24] High Violet is getting a lot of year-end praise. I haven’t made my mind up on the album, but I do love this song.

09. Tobin Sprout, “Pretty (Demo Version)” [2:54] I don’t think Tobin Sprout has released a track that I don’t like. This version of “Pretty” is not actually on the new album, but was given away by Magnet in anticipation of the new record.

10. Sweet Apple, “I’ve Got a Feeling (That Won’t Change)” [2:31] A super group of sorts, this track has J. Mascis all over it = Greatness.

11. Eels, “Mansions of Los Feliz” [2:49] Mark Oliver Everett put out two Eels records this year. This is from the first one (End Times), and finds E in a very dark place. Stunning album.

12. The Gaslight Anthem, “The Diamond Church Street Choir” [3:12] The ’59 Sound, from 2008 is one of my favorite albums of the last five years—I don’t care that it is a complete Springsteen rip-off. The new one, is not nearly as memorable, but has its moments.

13. Best Coast, “Boyfriend” [2:30] After a slew of 7” records in 2009, Bethany Consentino finally delivered a full length album to an eagerly awaiting public. You should see the looks I get when I’m singing along to this one at the Y on the treadmill.

14. Blitzen Trapper (Feat. Alela Diane) , “The Tree” [3:35] I’ll admit, Blitzen Trapper’s fifth album, Destroyer of the Void, is a bit unfocused, and I guess the jury is still out on whether it is masterstroke or a well-intentioned flop (I vote the latter), but this duet with Alela Diane is heavenly.

15. The Candles, “Let Me Down Easy” [2:43] Wilco and the Youtube series Yacht Rock have managed to make 70’s soft rock cool. The Candles debut, Between the Sounds, takes this and runs with it.

16. Damien Jurado, “Rachel & Cali” [3:01] Damien Jurado really should have a bigger following. 2008’s Caught in the Trees was my favorite album that year, and Saint Bartlett makes my top 10 this year.

17. Dum Dum Girls, “It Only Takes One Night” [2:02] I’m a sucker for lo-fi, indie pop. Again, nothing new here, just well written melodies and a little tape hiss.

18. The Grip Weeds, “Twister” [1:54] Okay, I’ll admit. I have yet to hear the Grip Weeds new double album, Strange Change Machine. They gave away 8 tracks via their website before the album came out, and that’s all I’ve heard. I do like all the freebies though and will eventually order the vinyl—I promise.

19. The Magnetic Fields, “You Must Be Out of Your Mind” [3:14] At this point, I think there are more Burn and Shine compilations with a Stephin Merritt tune, than without.

20. matt pond PA, “Sparrows” [2:50] Another splendid offering from one of the most consistent bands of the new century.

21. Pernice Brothers, “Jacqueline Susann” [2:18] It’s hard to believe it has been four years since the last PB album. This excellent new album features the return of Bob Pernice, but sees the departure of long time collaborator Peyton Pinkerton.

22. The Sadies, “Another Year Again” [3:22] Canada’s favorite country rockers put out another fine collection of psychedelic-tinged, alt-country.

23. The Soft Pack, “C’mon” [2:13] San Diego’s the Soft Pack (formerly known as the Muslims), have studied their rock history well. Poppy, garage-rock at it’s loveable best.

24. Surfer Blood, “Catholic Pagans” [3:13] I know, I’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for the current indie trend which harkens back to the glory days of surf rock. Sue me.

25. The Volebeats, “We Don’t Like to Forget” [3:29] It seems like every year, someone mentions an album on their best of list that had gone completely under my radar. I didn’t know the Volebeats had a new one out till a couple of weeks ago. It is well worth hearing if you are at all a fan.

26. Teenage Fanclub, “Dark Clouds” [2:43] Scotland’s finest power poppers put out a mature record, that didn’t seem to get much attention this year. I loved it.

Download it here: Burn and Shine's Top 26 of 2010

Total time: 1:14:46

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