Pretty Lights - Making Up a Changing Mind, Spilling over Every Side, Glowing in the Darkest Night (All EPs)
Been listening to this Boulder, CO producer quite a bit. All very heavy, blippy bass. Free downloads from his site, too! http://www.prettylightsmusic.com/#/downloads Megasoid - Tank Thong Mix Tape & Remix Runners Mix Tape
Turbo Crunk! Maybe my favorite new find this year. These 2 mixtapes will slay you - and again free. Megasoid is from Montreal. http://megasoid.net/downloads/ Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues The first time you hear the title track it won't leave your head for days. And that's a good thing. A very good thing. Black Keys - Brothers
an early favorite of the year. I had to start my list early to make sure I didn't forget it at the end of the year. Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
I was lucky enough to pick up the early release of this on clear vinyl (600 copies pressed) on Record Store Day. I really got into this one and it's stayed on my deck all year. Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Preservation
This is certainly a gotta-like-NOLA-jazz kind of thing. With Tom Waits, Yim Yames, Jason Isbell, Richie Havens, Merle Haggard, Steve Earle and many others. My wife groans each time I put it on, but a great release. Tom recorded a second track on the deluxe version "Corinne Died on the Battlefield" which ain't on the vinyl version I got. *sniff*, though he did release his 2 tracks on limited edition 78rpm vinyl for $50 which I did not pick up. Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom
One of those that came out last year, but I really started listening to it this year. I brought one of my turntables up to work and a selection of music my wife generally doesn't like, so I listen to a lot of that. Really like Fannin Street of of this as I grew up in Houston and know the street well. Also really like "Falling Down" off of here. Tricky - Half Breed
Grabbed this one for my wife as she's a fan. I surprised myself by really, really liking it. For some reason never got into his earlier stuff or Massive Attack, but this one got me. Fitz & the Tantrums - Pickin' Up the Pieces Was lucky to catch them play a free in-store at Sonic Boom not too long ago. I grabbed the record then. What a great, great band.
Shows: Fitz and the Tantrums - Seattle, WA Sonic Boom Records
Not quite a full set, but a solid 40-45 minutes. The stage was about chest-high and I realized that the record store just built these rickity particle board stage pieces and places them on top of their vinyl racks. The entire 5 piece band was up there jumping and going nuts. I so thought they were going down. They Might Be Giants - Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo
Went to this one alone and I'm so glad I did. They played Flood in its entirety, but as opposed to the Pixies Doolittle show, it was not a yawning start to finish affair. The Johns really know how to work a crowd. They did play the album in order, but mixed in a few other new and old tracks along with them. Made me realize it was the first time I'd seen them play an entire show. My previous 2 TMBG shows were an in-store at a record store and once when they came and played the Amazon.com offices - I know, sick. Guided By Voices - Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo
Another show I went to alone. I tend to not like to go to shows alone, but I was a late comer to GBV and had never seen them live. Since I was alone, I just camped near the front of the stage. Killer, killer show. In Seattle, bands aren't allowed to drink on stage anymore and no one is allowed to smoke. GBV came out drinking tequila and cases of beer and immediately lit up. I was surprised how many songs I recognized since they have zillions of them. Justin Townes Earle - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
Always had thought Justin refrained from the booze, but he was kind of lit this night. The music didn't show it. He's one of my favorite new artists. He's back on tour (after a recent rehab stint).
Enda's Top Ten
1. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
2. The National - High Violet
3. Jim O'Rourke - the visitor
4. Strands - Strands
5. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
6. Legion of Two - Riffs
7. the Redneck Manifesto - Friendship
8. Four Tet - There is love in you
9. Adebisi Shank - This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank
10. Somadrone - Depth of Field
Great sets by LCD Soundsystem and the National at Electric Picnic,
Godspeed You Black Emporer live finally and worth the wait, multiple,
mind -blowing gigs by Legion of Two (the best band in the country for
me right now).
Missing LCD Soundsystem, Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire and the
National concerts in Dublin, Road Records closing, Daniel Linkous, Vic Chestnut, Henrik Gorecki and Leslie Nielson RIP, everything to do with politics and economics.
2010 - Was at 5 gigs in 3 weeks for the first time in years. Signed up for Road Records 'Album of the Month' and enjoyed the new aspects of my listening, unfortunately stopped with the closure of the shop in the Summer... Missed Roxy (again) at Electric Picnic....... Destined never to see them. Really the only act that are still on the go that I really, really want to see. Oh.... shouldn't admit to this but.... real sign of age when you start using ear plugs at gigs..... and try to convince everybody else that they're mad not to do the same
Have a great Christmas and all the best in 2011......
Blocker's Top 10 Albums 2010
Phosphorescent - Here's to taking it easy
Field Music - Field Music
Four Tet - There is Love in You
Drive By Truckers - The Big To-Do
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
The Black Keys - Brothers
Gil Scott Heron - I'm New Here
Vampire Weekend - Contra
LCD SoundSystem - This is Happening
Midlake - The Courage of Others
Broken Bells - Broken Bells
Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
The National - High Violet
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Hot Chip - One Life Stand
The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards
Owen Pallet - Heartland
Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
Gigs and live events
All Ireland hurling final, Croke Park
Not one for hyperbole but possibly the greatest sporting event in the world this year.
Meath vs Dublin, Croke Park
First win over the old enemy since 2001..... worth waiting for!
Gorillaz - O2
Arcade Fire - O2
LCD Soundsystem - Tripod
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Whelans
Pavement - Tripod
Icebreaker perform Brian Eno's Apollo accompanied by NASA footage - NCH
The Black Keys � Brothers
Loved their earlier albums but a more soulful & rounded sound makes for their best album yet.
Broken Bells - Broken Bells
Is there anything Danger Mouse can�t do? Collaborating with The Shins� James Mercer he's produced a spaced-out pop gem.
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Been lucky enough to see them twice this year and the stage filled with rappers, brass bands, strings & endless guest stars effortlessly switching genres, all coupled with Jamie Hewlett�s exceptional animations makes for quite an experience.
Beach House - Teen Dream
Zebra is a strong tune of the year contender, and the rest of the album maintains the shimmering, hazy style to great effect. Lovely.
Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno - Dog On A Rope
Saw Will Holland and his Combo Bárbaro at this year�s Moseley Jazz Festival who were exceptional, but it�s this Jamaican, Columbian, Cuban crossover album I�ve listened to the most. Who knew Latin Reggae worked so well.
Caribou � Swim
Been following Dan Snaith since his Manitoba days, but this is the album where he�ll finally get some recognition and deservedly so. Sun, Sun, Sun, Sun�
Sufjan Stevens - Age of Adz
Much more electronic that Illinoise, he seems to have the ability to throw anything into the mix and it still comes out sounding right. An album filled with more ideas that most artist�s careers.
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
For me all of their albums have been growers and this is no exception, and it ends up being more consistent than its predecessors without perhaps quite hitting the heights.
Sleigh Bells � Treats
An aural noise assault from the off, particularly opener �Tell �Em� as well as the bit in �Infinity Guitars� where despite everything seemingly belting along at maximum all the elements suddenly get one louder. All contrasted with the biggest surprise on the album the superb �Rill Rill�.
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - I Learned The Hard Way
Their most accomplished album to date, producing funk & soul of the calibre of their influences.
Aloe Blacc - Good Things I Need A Dollar is probably my tune of the year, rest of the album is a great listen too. Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens - What Is This? The Budos Band - III Four Tet - There Is Love In You !!! - Strange Weather Isn't It
Keb Darge & Little Edith's Legendary Rockin' R & B Daptone Gold Tru Thoughts Funk
Chris Nolan has to be the greatest Hollywood director working today.
The Social Network
Biggest surprise of the year, great direction, snappy dialogue and accomplished performances.
Mesrine: L'instinct de mort & Mesrine: L'ennemi public No 1
Vincent Cassel is just superb in this epic biopic of French gangster Jacques Mesrine.
Two French criminal dramas in the top ten, this is just as good.
Up In The Air
Jason Reitman follows up Juno with a masterclass in how to make a comedy-drama.
Pixar do it again, from laughter to tears and back again.
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Be interested to see how the Hollywood remake can live up to this.
A film actually better than it�s comic book source material is a rarity these days & one featuring a great Nic Cage performance is even rarer.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Not as good as it�s source material, but Edgar Wright�s version is about as good a film as you could wish for. Great fun from the 8-bit Universal theme onwards.
The Mist (the black and white version)
Frank Darabont is currently wowing the small screen with The Walking Dead, but here he takes a deft hand to 50�s scifi B movies. Best seen in his preferred black and white version.
Toots & The Maytals - Glastonbury, West Holts Stage
Live highlight of the year by a mile, surrounded by beaming smiles and feverish dancing by all ages. A lesson to many younger bands on how to put on a performance.
Quantic & His Combo Barbaro - Moseley Jazz Festival
Will Holland has put together one hell of a line-up from his worldwide travels. To see such consummate musicianship up close was amazing.
Fantasy Funk Band - Glastonbury, WOW Tent
Created for Craig Charles' funk & soul show featuring James Taylor on Hammond Organ, John Turrell & Dionne Charles on vocals, The Haggis Horns and members of best funk bands in the country. My legs ached for days from dancing so much!
Gorillaz - Birmingham NIA
Glastonbury was good if a little underappreciated by the Pyramid crowd, but 5 months later they'd refined it and perfected an audio-visual treat. With support from De La Soul!
Breakestra feat. Chali 2Na - Glastonbury, West Holts Stage
Breakestra were great but it was Jurassic 5's Chali 2Na that had the whole crowd in the palm of his hand.
Flight of the Conchords - Birmingham NIA
Despite a the huge venue did not disappoint.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Glastonbury, The Park
9 piece brass ensemble (8 of them brothers) performing hip-hop influenced pieces. Incredible.
Madness - Camp Bestival, Main Stage
After a slow start, a final run of one massive single after another proved why they're still so loved.
i thought these were all pretty good....not sure my pop music listening would be so comphrensive these days.....happy 2011 to everyone...
janelle monae - the archandroid
richard thompson - dream attic
spoon - transferance
deerhunter - halcyon digest
the national - high violet
sun kil moon - admiral fell promises
the roots - how i got over
laura marling - i speak beacuse i can
canibus - c of tranquility
also, kevin coyne marjory razorblade (a reissue)
these are all great if you like jazz...
tom harrell roman nights
rudresh mahanthappa kinsmen
jon hassell last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street
enrico rava, stefano bollani the third man
Reviewing my google calendar compiling this list I saw no gig, film, dvd entries for 4 months from April on. Why? New baby, new town, new house, new job! Saved again by the Electric picnic - I just wish they would bring it back a week so it would not clash with the all-ireland hurling and the first week of school. I thought it was a phemomenal year for Irish music, we have a brillaint diverse array of talent at the moment, the Villagers, Two Door Cinema Club and And So I watch you from Afar are all in my top 10. The real sickner for Irish music was the close of Road Records. Though I bought no CDs this year and downloads did make the majority of my purchases, I did buy Vinyl and will continue to, it'a an unmatched medium. I'd rather buy my vinyl in a shop rather than via Discogs.
Have a listen if you want to put a smile on your face, seruiously infectious pop songs.
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Vinyl of the year. The album was mastered in vinyl so buying it in another form was not an option for me.
Vampire weekend - Contra
Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist hotel
There was a Gray Numan which I thought for years went "Hairy Molka", it was "Here in my car". Well similarly, thjis exciting Northern Irish band mistook the name "Tudor Cinema club".
Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
This one is a grower. Try and get Texico Bitches out of your head.
Redneck Manifesto - Friendship
Eminem - Recovery
I have a soft spot for Em. "Go find a white crayon and colour a fucking zebra".
Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
This came with a unique code for a mp3 download copy of the album. This is surely the way forward. A serious piece of work that keeps opening up.
And So I watch you from Afar - And So I watch you from Afar
Larent Garnier - Tales of a Kleptomaniac
Going mountain biking in Portumna at the end of January, Christine said why don't you take my iPhone and listen to the Laurent Garnier album. I was like what an awesome idea - my first time mountain biking to tunes and my first time hearing this album. Highly memorable! The track Pay TV is incredible.
Welcome to the pleasuredome
I always have regretted trading my vinyl copy, the first vinyl LP I bought, for a cassette, to a school friend in 1985. This year I decided why regret anymore and picked up a vinyl copy on ebay for a few quid.
Martin Hayes, Body & Soul, Electic Picnic, 3 September
Wow. Mind blowing. Thinking the energy might be fading at 3am, we got a shot of ripping fiddle that you just were compulsed to move to. Electrifying and spine chilling as I write. First trad ever for me in 6 picnics and very possibly the highlight of the festival. I guess I have just given it that honour.
Villagers, Electric Arena, Electic Picnic, 3 September
Never heard their music before the gig - the hype and friends' advice not to miss proved spot on. Sensational. The song Pieces was electric! Best blind gig ever surely.
Villagers, Daghdha Space, St Johns's church, Limerick, 17 December
Completely different show to the picnic, but no less brilliant. You never knew what was coming next with Conor O'Brien reinterpresting the songs. Madly talented lad.
Arcade Fire, Point, Dublin, 6 December
Pavement, Tripod, 4 May
When their reunion was announced I got all excited and bought tickets for the then first gig in Central Park, New Work in September! I realised too late that these tickets had to be collected so it was too late to pass them on! It was special to see them play again, here's a review I found.
Jonsi, Electric Arena, Electic Picnic, 3 September
Leftfield, Main Stage, Electic Picnic, 3 September
It was a prefect outdoor late night vibe. It caught me by surprise as I had not been keeping up with Leftfield, they finished up with some fantastic dubstep, a festival highlight for me.
National, Main Stage, Electic Picnic, 5 September
Saw them 2 years ago in the Olympia when they were still playing songs of Aligator. Have not listened to their last 2 albums, but damn, the crowd had and you got the feeling loved these songs even better. They played a totally different version of the Mr November I knew too. There was some drizzle falling now. Very Good.
The Frames, Main Stage, Electic Picnic, 4 September
And So I watch you from Afar, Electric Avenue, Waterford, 13 January
There I was sitting on the couch ready for bed at 12.15am and I get a text from John saying they were on in 15 minutes. The benedits of living right in town! What energy from the first chord, the 4 lads going nuts, completely vibing. Picked up their CD afterwards, the only one I got all year I think.
Gil Scott Heron, Crawdaddy stage, Electic Picnic, 3 September
Two Door Cinema Club, Elecric Arena, Electic Picnic, 4 September
Low Anthem, Crawdaddy stage, Electic Picnic, 4 September
Mary Ann Hobbs retiring from the BBC was a huge disappointment as her radio show was massive for me. Some very good news was that Today FM introduced a media player, so now Donal Dineen Small Hours slot: 12:00am - 2:00am - Tuesday to Friday, can be listened backed to during more social hours. It's great to be accessing Small hours again regularly and he's already introduced me to some quality tunes.
Soma FM, I listen to SOMA FM via my squeezeboxes, the SOMA channel has 20 odd channels, sheer class Groove Salad is my stable.
Irvine Welsh and Roddy Doyle, Literary Stage, Elctric Picnic, 4 September
I'm a big fan of Irvine Welsh and it was a huge treat to hear him read one of the stories from Acid House. He came unprepared and found Acid House in the 2nd hand book shop across the way in the mindfield. Roddy doyle read a story that was surely Irvine Welsh inspired, a memorable drug infused trip involving Mexico's Fighting Irish, the The San Patricios.
A pilgrimage to see Messi. He did one trademark run on the left, the side we were sitting that was worth the price of admission alone.
Shawn White, Gold Medal, Half Pipe, Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010
Having retained the Olympic half pipe gold at the age of 23 with his first run, Shawn White performed his second run anyway, as a victory lap, ending his run with a new trick, landing the never tried previously, Tomahawk. Frustratingly, his run can�t be seen on YouTube for copyright reasons.
A big childhood memory was visiting Germany when I was 10 and Axel, a friend of my parents served us pea soup. It has always frustrated me not being able to buy pea soup? Why did it take me so long to make it...this year it became a mission and I can highly recommend Jamie Oliver's pea soup recipe as outstanding.
The gadget of the year is the Android phone. And the app of the year is Endomondo
I just got version 2.2 of the android OS on my phone last week, which added an app which makes your phone a wifi spot, I am writing this on the train fully online as a result, class. The downside is battery life, you need to charge every day, generally that's not a problem and I have a spare battery I can use for when it is. This year I had to leave the Electric Picnic on a Sunday night, coming out of the field I was directed one way through the breathalysers and I had no idea where I was going. I quickly downloaded a voice app to use for navigation with google maps and "Shiela" brought me home, superb, potentially eliminating the need for a sat nav. These are the android apps I have installed at any given time.
Endomondo. What a superb app. So my friend Tracy did a marathon and you could post live messages which she got read out to her in real time by a synthetic voice as she ran, interupting any music that was playing.
1. Gorillaz, O2
2. Electric Picnic - Imelda May, Villagers, The Frames, Jonsi.
3. Ray Davies, Grand Canal Theatre
4. Joanna Newsom, Grand Canal Theatre
5. Sting, O2
6. Paul Weller, Olympia
1. Death of a Salesman, Gate
2. Time Stands Still, Alicia Silverstone, Laura Linney
3. The Gods Weep, Jeremy Irons, Swiss Cottage
4. John Gabriel Borkman, Ibsen, Alan Rickman, Abbey Theatre
5. The World Cup � Germany v England!
Top 10 Albums
1. Jonsi - Go
2. Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
3. Scott Walker - The Drift
4. Ray Davies - The Storyteller
5. Eels - End Times
6. Kinks - Everybodys in Showbiz
7. Paul Weller - Wake up the Nation
8. The National - High Violet
9. Sting - Symphonicity
10. Joanna Newsom - Have one on me
Top 10 Albums 2010.
1. The Unthanks - Here's The Tender Coming (2009 release)
2. The National - High Violet
3. Surfer Blood - Astrocoast
4. Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?
5. Teenage Fanclub - Shadows
6. Phosphorescent - Here's To Taking It Easy
7. Perfume Genius - Learning
8. Four Tet - There Is Love In You
9. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
10. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Top 10 Gigs 2010
1. The Unthanks @ GreenMan
2. Belle & Sebastian @ Grand Canal Theatre
3. Band Of Horses @ Tripod
4. The National @ Olympia
5. Janelle Monae @ Tripod
6. Teenage Fanclub @ Academy
7. Pavement @ Tripod
8. Tallest Man On Earth @ Whelans
9. Midlake @ Vicar St.
10. Greg Dulli @ Whelans
Back after a hiatus of (quick check) 7 years. No music festival this year for the first time in a long time
but managed to get in a fair few gigs. Thanks to Lisa Hannigan's review in Road Records (a moment's silence please) for putting me on to Dan Auerbach's solo album. Actually just generally thanks to Lisa Hannigan :-) *sigh*
Some old...some new. Keep it Hid is the album of the year for me. Never been a Final Fantasy fan but gotta say I love Heartlands and keep coming back to it.
I put the second-last Eels album on rather than this year's "End Times" but there are great tracks on both. The Decemberists and Iron & Wine tracks are tips to the
fact that they both visit our shores in 2011. Loving the Silent Shout album. Picked up the Chequerboard album at a gig in The Sugar Club and it's really strong.
1. Tori Amos @ Iveagh Gardens
2. Greg Dulli @ Whelan's
3. Scroobius Pip vs Dan Le Sac @ The Workman's Club
4. Godspeed You Black Emperor @ Tripod
5. Henry Rollins @ Vicar Street
Amazing Tori gig (could it be anything else?) and Greg Dulli made me a believer again with a brilliant night in Whelan's
after his car-crash gig with Mark Lanegan in The Academy. I don't really rate the Scroobius Pip album but for pure noisy,
sweat-soaked, energy gigs like we USED to go to years ago it couldn't be beaten. Savage curfew-breaking set by Godspeed and
as always Henry Rollins is the man. And what about The Workman's Club? Venue of choice! Crawdaddy intimacy with the bar in a
separate room and another room for sitting and chatting.
Since I shuffled my way out of a music job and started something new, most of my picks are from earlier in the year when I was still on the promo feed. Since then I've gone back to listen to stuff I missed in the promo piles from previous years, so there are a couple catchy ones on repeat shuffle from 2009 in here as well:
Here's my top 10 albums of 2010 (in no particular order!!!)
1) Grasscut - 1 inch / 1/2 mile
2) Mitchell Museum - The Peters Port Memorial Service
3) The Soundcarriers - Celeste
4) Ratatat - LP4
5) RJD2 - The Collossus
6) Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle
7) Grinderman - Grinderman 2
8) Junip - Fields
9) Jim Jones Revue - Burning Your House Down
10) Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra - Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra
My top ten rated movies I've watched in 2010 (again in no particular order and not necessarily from this year!!!!)
1) Bunny & The Bull
3) Scott Pilgrim vs The World
4) Toy Story 3 (Hugo's first trip to the cinema!)
5) Talk To Me
7) The Fantastic Mr Fox
9) District 9
10) Whip It!
This year seemed to spin around particularly fast, it must be one of the symptoms of getting older. Lots of great music this year and I still
didn't get around to listening to all I wanted to. Here's the top ten and a few more that I enjoyed this year.
The lawyers finally caught up with Final Fantasy, their loss, they could have done with some superb music for their soundtrack. This album
is just as good as anything he has done before, Owen's talent knows no bounds. Some epic tunes such as The Great Elsewhere and Tryst with Mephistofpheles. Even the tracks I disliked originally I like now, it's a true laster.
Very catchy tunes which I was humming from the moment I heard them. Lots of obvious influences from the eighties, the good eighties, The Smiths, Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division. Great live show, lots of superb moves you'll be trying to copy.
Becoming a Jackal
It has all been said about the very talented Mr O'Brien, the mercury nomination was no accident. Still listening to this now and it still sounds great.
Dreamy melancholic sounds from this American outfit, Norway was one of my favourite tunes of the year. This is their third album but they only came to my attention because this year because the album was on the
Les Inrockuptibles albums of the year last year.
Falling Down a Mountain
The reformed Tindersticks are getting better with the help of a few additions to the lineup including David Kitt. This is an excellent album, with only one disappointment, the painful duet with
Mary Margaret O'Hara, I had such high hopes for that song, pity. Factory Girls stands up there with some of the great Tindersticks songs, the sadness in Stuarts voice is heartbreaking.
Total Life Forever
These guys have filled the gap left by The Rapture, bodypopping math rock, lots of layered tunes with catchy melodies, robert smithesque vocals, even some Talking Heads hidden in there. Spanish Sahara is one of the top tunes of the year.
All Delighted People EP
This EP was released just before the Age of Adz, which meant I never got around to giving Age of Adz a proper listen as this is so good. Two great versions of the title track and then the most amazing heart wrenching song The Owl and the Tananger
Broken Social Scene
Forgiveness Rock Record
Although it doesn't reach the heights of some of their previous albums (including Kevin Drews album) I did find lots to like about this. The usual cachophony of sounds they appear to be able to conjure up into a melody. A couple
of stand out tunes in Forced to Love and All to All.
Belle and Sebastian
Write About Love
There are 3 exceptional songs on this album, 3 good songs and the rest is a bit disappointing considering it is over 4 years since their last release. However, some people will never write
as good a song as those 3 exceptional songs.
This is a value for money album and we like that in these recessionary times, moving from soul to funk to hip hop it's all covered. At times like prince when he was at his brassiest funkiest best and other times like Lauren Hill back in the day.
Loud antics from this Irish outfit vocals not the best but certainly made up for by the great driven tunes.
Cast of Cheers
The cheapest album of the year, free, and it still is available to download for free. I am Lion was performed live on Under Ether, lots of angular guitar rhythy like the Foals
More high energy youthful guitar driven pop tunes from this Portland outfit, very enjoyable.
I'm a latecomer to this band, I liked this album but I'm still amazed at their popularity, it's a good thing, but how come it never happened in the same way for the Tindersticks?
A return to form for these crazy ladies, Lemonade is a top tune
Blurry Blue Mountain
More of the same from the God Father of alt country, it's 25 years since Giant Sand formed, a few line up changes along the way but Howe still controls all the buttons. Monk's Mountain is an epic tune.
Crystal Castles II
Not as good as I but still some great beats, screaches and noises to help with the tinnitis.
Not an album dedicated to the north dublin town, but one of b-sides over the last few years, includes the great Ganglord and Don't Make Fun of Daddy's Voice
Sure Fire EP
This lady is going to be huge, she has the most amazing soulful voice and backs it up with Jeff Buckley esque tunes. Once she appears on Later with Jools it will be a done deal.
Gig of the year for me, band were in great form, we think that stuart may have even smiled. Great mix of old, stuart solo and new stuff. Check this site for the setlist just to prove: setList kilkenny
What an incredible venue, perfect for these guys and they knew it.
Owen Pallet @Whelans
Accompanied by a guitarist this time and there was some great back and forth between them. I also picked up his first album at the gig which is incredible, contains some live favourites such as
The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead and That's when the Audience Died.
DM Stith @Torture Garden Living Room and Whelans
Great seeing this guy close up on consequtive nights, hard to believe he was a supporting act, astonishingly talented, cut from the same stone as Owen Pallett
Cocorosie @Button Factory
All the fisher price toys were there plus the two mad sisters, great seeing them live, they put in a really great show.
Dan le Sac vs Scourbious Pip @Workmans club
Best venue in the city now and what a great place to see these guys, they were up for it and so were the crowd lots of laughs and singalongs
Belle and Sebastian @Grand Canal Theatre
A brilliant selection of tunes, 5 from if your feeling sinister, Stuart was in great form, plenty of dancing, they enjoyed the gig a lot too.
The Drums @Academy & Le Cigalle
Fresh and full of energy, some cool moves and both crowds really lapped it up.
Jennifer Evans @ Workmans Club
Awesome talent, amazing voice and great guitar playing, even better live than on recordings, she is going to be big.
Foals @ Academy
Brilliant performance included crowd surfing and audience participation with the guitar solos, old and new stuff sounded great.
Midlake @ Vicar Street
Great to see these guys belt out their guitar laden 70s tribute show, only downside having to sit through the painful John Grant, bemused at what people see in this guy.
Bell X 1 @ Vicar Street
The lads went all acoustic on us with great results. The night also included some ramblings on one of my favourite sbjects, biscuits.
2010: I just can't believe it's top ten time again. What a year - banking collapse, recession, bailouts, IMF, snow, more snow. But it wasn't all bad - another memorable Electric Picnic, with old friends. Milo arrived in June. More snowboarding in the Dublin Mountains - twice, and that mightn't be the last of it. Wicklow Adventure Race - Glendalough and Glenmalure, two fantastic days out. Right, here're my faves of the year.
Albums of the Year
Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here. Simply brilliant
Mew - No More Stories. The best band you've never heard of, all of this Danish collective's albums are worth checking out
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs. Loved this from almost first listen, and even better live
LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening. No problem with the third album here, another classic
Massive Attack - Heligoland. Fantastic album, seven years after the disappointing 100th Window - worth the wait
Katell Keineg - At the Mermaid Parade. What's the opposite of prolific? Her 3rd album in 16 years. This one got lots of plays
The National - High Violet. They just keep chugging them out
Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo. Debut from this Californian band, really enjoyed it - reminded me of Wilco
Janelle Monae - The Archandroid. Where the hell did this lady come from? A sprawling album - a bit long, but loads of great tracks
Yann Tiersen - Dust Lane. The Am�lie guy, but this is very different. Fantastic album
Albums: Honourable Mentions
Didn't quite make the cut, and some older releases...
Roxy Music - Roxy Music. One of the best albums ever made, but since it was released in '72, I'm relegating it to this list
Villagers - Becoming a Jackal. What a talent, and the best Irish album I've bought in years
Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz. A departure from previous albums, no bad thing - good, but didn't quite do it for me
Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me. As you might guess, this triple album has some filler
Neil Young - Le Noise. No one does feedback better
Jonsi - Go. Good, not great. But what a performance at EP
Duckworth-Lewis Method. An album about cricket. Much better than it sounds
Peter Gabriel - Scratch my Back. A covers album, some great tracks, but a few dodgy ones too unfortunately
Electric Picnic. Brilliant & memorable weekend, my faves were: Janelle Monae, Marc Almond, Jonsi, Roxy Music, Redneck Manifesto, Villagers (highlight), Ardal O'Hanlon, Paul Brady (amazing), The Frames (finally saw them), LCD Soundsystem, Gil-Scott Heron. Other highlights: the company, our campsite setup, Tom's pancakes, and the hot tubs!
Pavement - Tripod. What a night, and the red carpet treatment for a pregnant Richenda and I
Arcade Fire - O2. Awful venue, but a flawless performance, if not quite attaining EP 2005 level
LCD Soundsystem - Tripod. Needed the earplugs for this one - a great Saturday night performance, worth waiting for after April postponement
Leonard Cohen - Lissadell House, Sligo. A magic evening
Belle & Sebastian - Grand Canal Theatre. Fourth time I've seen them, and they did not disappoint - fantastic venue too
Paul Weller - Olympia. Brilliant energy
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Whelans. The most fun you'll ever have at a gig
Willard Grant Conspiracy - Whelans. No band unfortunately, but still a nice show
Joanna Newsom - Grand Canal Theatre. Not exactly rock n roll, but enjoyed it
Got to see Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and Death of a Salesman at The Gate. Two classic plays, and they were both excellent
Events, Activities, Sports...
My first live snooker, an exhibition with Jimmy White, Ken Doherty and John Virgo just down the road. Great fun.
Another year of the boxset.
Deadwood - watching series 1. It is class so far
The Wire - 4 and watching 5 right now - dragging it out :)
Dexter - series 2, as before, I enjoyed this more than I probably should have
True Blood - series 2, disappointing
Less time for reading than before, but still chugging away
Collapse - Jared Diamond. A brilliant book which chronicles civilisations such as the Mayans, Easter Islanders and why they died out
The Twin - Gerbrand Bakker. A subtle and poignant novel, set in the Netherlands
The Crossing - Cormac McCarthy. Second installment of the Border Trilogy, not quite as good as All the Pretty Horses
Tomorrow we Ride - Jean Bobet. Amazing book about biking, written by the brother of Louison who was the first man to win 3 Tours de France
The Motel Life - Willy Vlautin. Better known as Richmond Fontaine, this is a brilliant and stark novel set in Reno, Nevada
Fallen Angel - William Fotheringham. Biography of Fausto Coppi, first cyclist to win Tour de France and Giro d'Italia. An amazing life
A Tale of Love and Darkness - Amos Oz. Set in Jerusalem in the 40's, these memoirs are beautifully written
Freakonomics - Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner. A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything - highly informative and entertaining
This concludes the votes of the McG jury. Over and out.
Nate's Top 10 Albums of 2010 (in no particular order):
Pantha du Prince - Black Noise - Transcendent electronic soundscapes from critically-acclaimed German beatmaker. Flying Lotus meets Slowdive.
Jamie Lidell - Compass - After a disappointing followup to Multiply (Jim), Jamie nails it with this Beck-produced jam. Grunge-funk and off-kilter Prince-inspired ballads.
Deepchord presents Echospace - Liumin - Second brilliant release under this moniker, Rod Modell captures the beauty and loneliness of life in a foreign land. Composed of field recordings from travels in Japan. If you can, pick up the bonus disc available only with the first pressing. It may be better than the main disc.
CocoRosie - Grey Oceans - One word: "unbelievable". This album has been on constant play since I got a pre-release copy in late 2009.
Balam Acab - See Birds EP - This is hip-hop dialed down to half-pace, then spangled with conversational fragments, gurgling waterfalls and birds. The backstory (debut release of 19-year-old from Ithaca, New York) and innovative poise of this EP remind me of when Khonnor first blew me away in 2004.
James Blake - Klavierwerke EP + Limit to Your Love Single - One of the freshest new producers on the scene at the moment and third man in Mount Kimbie's live setup, Blake brings a soulfulness and precision often missing in the post-dubstep genre. This EP and the just released cover of Feist's Limit to Your Love (the video is a must see) feature Blake's piano and vocal chops more prominently.
Beach House - Teen Dream - I realize this album may have been overplayed in the US and UK, but it was a revelation for me when I first heard a leaked copy in December, 2009. I was embarrassed I'd never heard of them after their previous two critically-lauded albums. Sweet and jangled sentimental pop for those moments when bliss is on order.
Mountain Man - Made the Harbor - With everyone clambering to add an electronic glitch or warble to every song, or attempting grandiosity suitable for the label "stadium rock", the beguiling harmonies of these three ladies were a breath of fresh air.
S. Carey - All We Grow - A sleeper of an album from Bon Iver's capable drummer that somehow hit the sweet spot for kick-back weekend afternoons.
The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt - Swedish musician Kristian Matsson does something magical with his take on folk. I still haven't pinned it down yet, but this album and its predecessors have continued to impress me many listens later. Check out his live DC gig free to stream through NPR's All Songs Considered.
Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté - Ali & Toumani - Equally mesmerizing followup to their Grammy award-winning collaboration In the Heart of the Moon, and now we know Ali's last album. This album was one of Coral's favorites for afternoon playtime.
LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening - "Drunk Girls" and "You Wanted a Hit" are everything we could ask from James Murphy in what's rumoured to be his last album as LCD Soundsystem.
Sharon Van Etten - Epic - Authentic folk that just slays you at times. Check out the tune "Don't Do It"
The Soft Pack - s/t - Confident up-beat California indie rock for sunny afternoon drives.
Giant Drag - Swan Song EP - Paid for by fan donations through Paypal (including yours truly), a solid offering by one of the strangest duos in garage rock.
Various Artists - Palenque Palenque - Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975-1991 - 2010 saw a resurgence of interest in afro-beat. This is one of the best curated collections of how afro roots influenced backyard soundsystems in South America.
Sonny and the Sunsets - Tomorrow Is Alright - Bubbly throw-back and ultimately very strange garage pop.
Caribou - Swim - Caribou's danciest yet, with a couple of veritable bangers. He almost nabbed a second Polaris prize on this one. Iconic cover art as well.
Artists to watch in 2011:
WU LYF - Saw them live at Les Transmusicales in Rennes. Nothing released but a few leaked mp3 demos.
How To Dress Well - Brooklyn project that falls between shoegaze and hip-hop.
Banjo or Freakout - One half of Walls (with Allez Allez), this guy made his name decomposing and reconstituting pop songs into wash-out glimmering covers. He's making his own tunes and has several EPs on vend.
Nicolas Jaar - Freshest player in the house scene. Seriously. And don't let this "house" label throw you. This isn't anything like the house music you listened to in the late 90s. Resident Advisor listed him as their number two live act, above Booka Shade (#5), Moderat (#7), and Shackleton (#9). Not bad for a 20-year-old who's just finishing an undergraduate degree at Brown University. He's released a heap of mixes and a few EPs. Expect a full-length sometime in early 2011.
Albums I missed in 2009 that received HEAVY airplay in 2010:
Matias Aguayo - Ay Ay Ay - A banger composed almost entirely of vocal clips from this Argentinean king of dirty hedonistic techno.
Moderat - Moderat - Never cared much for Modeselektor, but this collab with Apparat is the stuff of legend. "Rusty Nails" and "Out of Sight" take me to another level. Recommended to raving runners and running ravers.
Various Artists - Snuggle & Slap - A typically eclectic and rewarding compilation from Circus Company, one of the most interesting record labels of the moment.
Benoit & Sergio - What I've Lost EP - Music that'll make your ears happy and your mind squirm a little.
Cecilia Bartoli - Sacrificium - The incomparable Bartoli tackles a collection of baroque music rarely sung because it was written for castrati (an uncomfortable subject and vocal range).
Jónsi & Alex - Riceboy Sleeps - Naptime music for Coral. Music of Sigur Ros' lead singer and his boyfriend.
Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More - I was constantly surprised by the amount of airplay this stuff got. This may have been the first mp3 album I deleted from my external harddrive even though I have plenty of space. Sorry to all of those who liked this, I just found it to be shallow, unauthentic and entirely devoid of innovation.
Magnetic Man - s/t - You would think that a collab betwen superstars Benga, Skream and Artwork would be at least as good as their individual musical ventures. Sadly not so. Don't waste your time. "Perfect Stranger" is somewhat redeeming.
MURPH's FANCY TICKLERS FROM 2010 -
- Karen O & the Kids - Where The Wild Things Are
- The Dead Weather - Sea Horses
- Grinderman 2
- Fantastic Mr Fox Soundtrack
- Weezer - Raditude
- Massive Attack - Heliocentric
- Fort Knox Five - Radio Free DC
- Devil's Brigade - Devil's Brigade
- Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
- Soundgarden - Telephantasm
- Kick Ass
- Where The Wild Things Are
- Fantastic Mr Fox
- Doctor Paranassus Imaginarium
- Zak & Meri Make A Porno (again!)
- Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts
- Her Fearful Symmetry - Thingy Niffenegger
- Last Train To Memphis - Peter Guralnick
- Porno - Irvine Welch
- Stonedogs - Craig Marriner
- Shadowmarch / Shadowplay / Shadowrise / Shadowheart - Tad Williams
- The Witches Of Eastwick - John Updike
- Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
- Random Acts Of Heroic Love - Danny Scheinmann
Thanks again Tom for giving us the chance to record our memories of the year. I am sitting in an apartment in Buenos Aires, 13000 kilometers and 11 months into a bike ride along with Nessa from Mexico, a trip I had dreamed about for years. We are blogged in at CaminoLatino, check it out. We hope to finish by the end of February in Tierra Del Fuego after riding down though Patagonia in the new year.
I don't have a music contribution this year because to be honest, I haven't listened to much during the year, so am way out of the loop. So, some of the books that kept me in a chilled out space during all that time
My Name is Red by Ohran Pamuk
Travels with Herodetus by Ryszard Kapuscinski
Resurrection by Tolstoy
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Open Veins of Latin America : Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent by Eduardo Galeano
2666 by Roberto Bola�o
I can highly recommend the last 2, each a masterpiece iin its own way.
The XX, Paradiso
Lightspeed Champion, Paradiso
Paul Kalkbrenner, A Day at the Park
Babylon Circus, Robodock
The Thermals, Melkweg
Kelis - Paradiso
Jannel Monae The archandroid
LCD Soundsystem This is happening
Bill Callahan - Rough Travel for a Rare Thing
Foals - Total Life Forever
Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yrself Clean
Foals - Spanish Sahara
Tindersticks - Piano Music
Tinie Tempah - Pass Out
Broken Social Scene - Anthems for a 17-Year-Old Girl
Tightrope - Janelle Monae
Two door cinema club - Something good can work
4th of July - Kelis
I didn't see it coming - Belle and Sebastian
Crystal Castles - Celestica
Mike Leigh - Another Year
Richard Linklater - Me and Orson Welles
Juan Jose Companella - The Secret in Their Eyes
Noah Baumbach - Greenberg
Adam McKay - the Other Guys
Marc Forster - Stranger than fiction
Sophie Hunger - 1983
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig
Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Independance
Gil-Scott Heron - I'm new here
Neu! - Allogallo - Seminal 1972 release, which I discovered following an excellent Krautrock documentary on the BBC. Now I see the lineage to Radiohead
The XX - the XX
Seasick Steve - Man from another time
LCD Soundsystem - this is happening
Doveman - the Confirmist
Little Richard - Here's Little Richard
2010 for me on an 80min cd below:
1. I Don't Care If There's Cursing - Phosphorescent
2. Used To Be - Beachouse
3. Compliments - Band Of Horses
4. Bloodbuzz Ohio - The National
5. Written In Reverse - Spoon
6. Month Of May - Arcade Fire
7. Twenty Miles - Deertick
8. The Only One - The Black Keys
9. What's In It For - AVI Buffalo
10. Desire Lines - Deerhunter
11. Tunnel Vision - Here We Go Magic
12. Round And Round - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
13. Secret Handshake - Chappelier Fou
14. Dust Lane - Yann Tierson
15. Plastic People - Fourtet
16. Sun - Caribou
17. Running - Gil Scott Heron
Best Albums: top 5
1 John Grant- Queen of Denmark
2 Fantastic Mr Fox Soundtrack
3 Caribou- Swim
4 Vampire Weekend- Contra
5 Heligoland- Massive Attack
sadly, a poor year for interesting New Zealand music
Toy Story 3 - perfection. sawit with the 2 boys. cried like a baby.
Best Live Performance
Leonard Cohen Chrictchurch Oct
Not the best but the the biggest- 7.1 Earthquake .... nearly shat myself!
Christchurch over and out