Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
40. Fang Island – The Illinois
39. Girls – Carolina
38. Avey Tare – 3 Umbrellas
37. Abe Vigoda – Crush
36. Wavves – Green Eyes
35. The Morning Benders – Promises
34. Pantha du Prince – Sick to My Side
33. Panda Bear – Last Night at the Jetty
32. Women – Eyesore
31. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Round and Round
30. Avey Tare – Oliver Twist
29. Tame Impala – Alter Ego
28. Women – Locust Valley
27. Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Upon Mountains)
26. Robyn – We Dance To The Beat
25. Delorean – Come Wander
24. Panda Bear – Alsatian Darn
23. Of Montreal – Hydra Fancies
22. Dom – Jesus
21. Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith – Not in Love
20. Gold Panda – Snow & Taxis
19. Spoon – Is Love Forever?
18. Tame Impala – It’s Not Meant To Be
17. Hot Chip – Take It In
16. Kendal Johansson – Blue Moon
15. Sleigh Bells – Riot Rhythm
14. Panda Bear – Slow Motion
13. Caribou – Found Out
12. ceo – White Magic
11. LCD Soundsystem – One Touch
10. Active Child – Voice of an old friend
9. The Morning Benders – Excuses
8. MGMT – Song For Dan Treacy
7. Beach House – 10 Mile Stereo
6. Broken Social Scene – Sweetest Kill
5. Local Natives – Wide Eyes
4. Arcade Fire – Ready to Start
3. Wavves – Super Soaker
2. Cut Copy – Where I’m Going
1. Gauntlet Hair – I was thinking…
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
1. Beach House - Teen Dream
Instant calm, peace, and relaxation. Oh and, as Gorilla vs. Bear mentioned in their list, “it has the best songs.”
2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
I loved so many different songs on this album. First “Ready To Start,” then “Sprawl II,” these two are predictable. The more I listened though, the more I loved songs like “The Suburbs,” “Empty Room,” “Rococo,” etc. But as a whole, it’s not the same listening experience as Teen Dream. The Suburbs may have better singles, but the sum of Teen Dream’s parts is greater as far as my ears are concerned.
3. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
This is just a fun album. Psych-rock rooted in an instantly recognizable throwback style, however, they put their own unique spin on this familiar, classic rock sound. Similar to Beach House, the album flows incredibly well, each song an integral part of the mix.
4. Wavves – King of the Beach
Finally an alternative rock album that I can actually rock the F out to, it’s been a while.
5. Robyn – Body Talk
I really am surprised to be putting this album up here, but honestly it could have been even higher. There isn’t a better collection of 15 songs that came out this year, but since it’s more of a greatest hits collection for the year, it doesn’t feel like an album. In the end, that really doesn’t matter.
6. The Morning Benders – Big Echo
A beautifully laid back, grand album that can’t help but have greatly benefited by Chris Taylor’s (of Grizzly Bear) production. Just like GB, every little note, voice or prick of an instrument seems expertly aimed at creating a different mood for each song, an attention to detail that is rare to hear.
7. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
Speaking of “grand” albums, this one may take the cake. But it’s BSS and they can basically do no wrong. Any number of songs on this album may be considered favorites among fans, for me I always enjoy “All to All,” but tracks like “Highway Slipper Jam,” “Ungrateful Little Father,” and especially “Sweetest Kill” really stand out.
8.Caribou - Swim
This album was self-described as “Underwater Dance” music, and is a completely new direction for Daniel Snaith (who is Carbiou), yet somehow he makes it seem like he’s an old pro at creating electronic dance music. Undoubtedly, this still feels like a Caribou album, and its the allure of the mystical north that he somehow intertwines in his music that keeps me coming back for more.
9. Avey Tare – Down There
Another album described as “underwater,” Down There is a much darker journey than Swim. On “Heather In The Hospital,” the bass begins by mimicking your own heart beating, but soon takes a chase-scene pace, propelling your heart rate forward with it, "It brings me down / machines of modern magic keeping folks above the ground / a nurse's scribbling pad, shadow, shape / a mother going mad."
Really not fun stuff to be singing about, but this mood pervades the entire album. While you may think that would just be depressing, it only strengthens the cohesiveness of some of the most interesting (and enjoyable) songs to be released this year.
10. Crystal Castles – S/T
Tracks like “Doe Deer” and “Birds” make this album for me. There are standouts like “Celestica” that most people can get down with, but if you enjoy the songs that string the singles together, these dirt-covered gems that chug by, chewing glass along the way, then you really will rock out to this album.
11. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
12. Delorean - Subiza
13. Of Montreal – False Priest
14. Spoon – Transference
15. The Radio Dept – Clinging To A Scheme
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
With Ron Santo, a man with such optimistic conviction, one would have thought there would be justice of some kind before he died. While the Hall of Fame dream has been dying a long, agonizing death for Santo and all those rooting for his induction, I feel that even beyond this piece of recognition that Santo was owed more before his time was up on this earth. A Cubs World Series obviously would have been the ultimate gift for him to receive. Many have come before him, though and have never seen the Chicago National League Ball Club even reach a World Series, much less win one, but in some strange way I had really thought that he would be alive when it finally happens.
I’ll never forget the play calls. Whether calls of ignorance, forgetfulness or shear bliss, no one could bring out the emotions of fellow die hard Cubs fans like Ron Santo could. Sure, to the casual baseball fan or listener on the radio, he was not the best color coordinator in the business. In fact, he may have been the worst. But to the those whose emotions imitated Santo’s, the audience that truly cared, there is no one those fans would have rather listen to on the color commentary than Ron.
Santo was loved, and will forever be loved by Cubs fans and baseball fans as long as this great game continues to be played. When the Cubs retired his number 10 in 2003, he said to the fans, “This is my hall of fame.” While it’s likely that he did not mean that entirely, the #10 will fly above Wrigley Field for as long as it stands and Ron Santo will always be remembered. As for the Hall of Fame, there is still a chance he can be inducted in 2012. What a shame it will be if he is finally inducted and is not there to accept the award. For that reason I almost hope he is not inducted, but if there is any justice left for this man, he deserves this final recognition. A 9-time All Star selection with 5 straight Gold Gloves from 1964 to 1968, a .277 career batting average and 342 home runs at the hot corner, his resume stand up to many at the position who have already been inducted.
I will miss you Ron, it will never be the same listening to a Cubs game without you.