This was a really fun, interesting year in music, which is good because it was also a year in which I was particularly interested in listening to some new albums. I reached a breaking point with all of my old playlists and favorite artists and decided to dedicate myself to searching out a lot of new stuff this year, and I wasn’t disappointed. To be fair, there were a few great new albums from my old favorite artists as well.
As always, this is not a list of the best albums of the year, but a list of my favorites. Although, to be honest, I’ve listened to most of the stuff that is showing up on other best of 2010 lists, and I feel pretty good about this.
15) Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz (October 12th)
It would be wrong to say that I’m disappointed in this album; I actually like it quite a bit when I sit down and listen to it. The problem is that I rarely put it on. It was a pretty crowded year of music for me, and for some reason I’m always in the mood to listen to something else. For now it just barely makes the list, but I suspect that it when I get some more reps in it might climb.
14) Beach Fossils – Beach Fossils (May 25th)
Man, a lot of bands sounded like this band this year. Or this band sounded like a lot of bands. Whichever it is, this is definitely a good sampling of 2010 in sonic form. Beach Fossils stand out from the pack a bit, though; they’re slightly catchier than similar-sounding groups, and the guitar lines here are great. The guitar parts sound a little like Johnny Marr from the Smiths, except slower and hazier.
Perhaps in response to my previous post about Daft Punk doing the TRON: Legacy soundtrack, my friend Paul sent me a link to the following video. It starts a bit slow but then, at the one minute mark, becomes one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in my life.
If I were trying my best to combine two things I love to make something that I REALLY love, it would have taken me years to come up with a Cosby Show and Daft Punk mashup. The person who made this is a visionary. This is like someone getting his chocolate in someone else’s peanut butter or vice versa.
Seriously, though, why is that girl walking down the street eating a huge tub of peanut butter?
Image via Wikipedia
OK, I’ve never seen the original TRON, and I have no idea if TRON: Legacy is going to be any good. I suspect I might get tired of the non-stop blue and gray. That said, I’m probably going to see it, for one main reason: Daft Punk. Whoever thought of the idea of having them not only do the soundtrack, but cameo in the film is the biggest genius since the person who scored the first two trailers for The Social Network to the choral version of Radiohead’s “Creep” and “Power” by Kanye West.
I was thinking to myself the other day, you know what might be a fun thing to do for the blog? Pick a year, do some research on it, write down my thoughts on the major events, and dig around on YouTube for corresponding videos. And you know what? It was absolutely as fun as I thought it would be, mostly because of the videos. Old videos on YouTube are unbelievably great. God bless the people that not only hold on to their old VHS tapes, but also willingly spend their time putting them online. Or however it is these things find their way to my computer.
It seemed like 1982 would be an appropriate place to start; after all, that’s when I got my start. If I do muster up the energy to keep this going, though, I don’t plan to go sequentially, because that seems like it would be really, really boring.
I came up with the idea of beginning this entry with the first video that showed up for me when I searched for “1982.” I was pretty convinced that this would end up being a terrible idea, as I assumed that the first result would be something terribly dull. Boy, was I wrong. I think if I looked up “how to start a blog entry about 1982” in the dictionary, this video would start playing:
I was hoping to work things into a seamless narrative, but that would be too much work, so let’s just take things a category at a time.
I debated how to best represent the decade in music in list form. Eventually, I decided on songs over albums; it seemed more fitting in the era of iTunes.
This list shows that my musical tastes, like my politics, are pretty middle-of-the-road. I like the most mainstream and accessible indie rock and I’m a sucker for the occasional pop song.
I should also point out that I think this might be longer than anything I wrote in college. It’s entirely possible that the length of this will make it completely unreadable. But whatever, brevity has never been my strong suit. Here they are, my 150 favorite songs of the decade (music videos when I was able to easily find one that I liked that allowed embedding):
150) Cannibal Ox – “Iron Galaxy” (2001)
This album has such a singular sound that it’s weird hearing Vast Aire rapping over any other production. I think that’s why I could never really get into Look Mom…No Hands. The Vast Aire verse at the end of this song is sort of the end of the golden age of underground hip hop for me, a topic that will definitely be more thoroughly discussed if I ever do a list of my favorite songs of the 90s.
149) Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – “Johnny Appleseed” (2001)
The best part of John from Cincinnati. Almost makes me want to check out the rest of Joe Strummer’s post-Clash career.
148) Air – “Universal Traveller” (2004)
The only song from Talkie Walkie that holds up for me. Really the only Air song that I listen to on a regular basis. Pops up on the occasional Rick Steves podcast, so that’s a plus.