Friday, January 28, 2011

The 2010 David Music Poll Results

The 2010 David Music Poll Results

1. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs (37 votes)
2. The National, High Violet (32)
3. Robyn, Body Talk (28)
4. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (24)
5. Beach House, Teen Dream (16)
LCD Soundsystem, This is Happening (16)
7. Vampire Weekend, Contra (15)
8. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More (14)
9. Janelle Monae, The ArchAndroid (13)
10. Broken Bells, Broken Bells (11)

Runners up: (10 votes:) Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz; (9 votes:) The Black Keys, Brothers; (8 votes:) Joanna Newsom, Have One on Me; Yeasayer, Odd Blood; Cee-lo Green, The Lady Killer; (7 votes:) Local Natives, Gorilla Manor

Notes: 81 people responded to this year’s DMP – up from last year. The results? We had our first repeat winner in the history of the poll – Arcade Fire, which topped 2007’s poll with their last album, The Neon Bible. It was a tight race again this year, with many people putting three or four of the top five on the same list. For those who track such things, this was the third time Arcade Fire made the top ten, and the second visit for The National, Kanye West, LCD Soundsystem, and Vampire Weekend. Mumford & Sons charted the highest debut. MGMT only got two votes, but if more of you had listened to Florence + the Machine last year, odds are she would have won last year’s poll. Maybe if she releases a new album this year she’ll take the crown.

Me, Dancing On My Own

The top three are rather close together.

(1) Robyn, Body Talk (Parts 1, 2, and 3)

Skip the first song of the first E.P. – great title (“Don’t F***ing Tell Me What To Do”), not so great song. But. man, after that, it’s three albums of pure pop pleasure. Robyn owned my iPod this year, no contest. I was always in the mood for her. And, bizarrely, the songs are just as fun on the 100th listen as they were on the 1st. (With the exception that I now know she’s slurring the word “girl” in “Dancing on My Own” and not saying “guy” – R.I.P. gender confusion.) I will confess that I expected a creative dip on part three, but then she went and hit me with “Time Machine” and “Call Your Girlfriend”. I don’t understand why she isn’t at the top of the pop charts, but at the same time I’m glad she’s not, so there can be a not-so-secret society of us admirers. Pop is at its best when it goes for the honest truths in an honest way. And for that alone, Robyn takes the crown this year.

Best tracks: “Dancing on My Own”, “Hang with Me” (fast version), “Time Machine”

(2) The National, High Violet

Miraculously, The National make a follow-up that’s almost as amazing at Boxer, my album of the year from two years ago. I feel like The National have followed through on all of the feelings I had for R.E.M. when I was in college – absorbing music, lyrics that are cryptic in an interesting way, phrases that crash well on the swell of the tune.

Best tracks: “Bloodbuzz, Ohio” “Terrible Love”

(3) Jonsi, Go

A hard thing to admit: I think I like Jonsi’s solo album even more than any of Sigur Ros’s albums. There’s an element of bright color that’s here that I found utterly captivating – whenever I found myself wandering this year, this was the soundtrack I wanted. One of my big regrets this year is that I somehow managed to be out of town every time he played NYC

Best tracks: “Go Do”, “Boy Lilikoi”, “Animal Arithmatic”

And the other essentials are:

(4) Vampire Weekend, Contra
In a weaker year, this could’ve been a #1. Just as good as the first album. Best tracks: “Horchata”, “Giving Up the Gun”

(5) Katy Perry, “Teenage Dream”, “Firework”, and “California Gurls”

The rest of the album is nothing special, but any collection that includes these three songs deserves some sort of nod. So I am bending the rule a little to include three singles that alone were as good as most albums I heard this year.

(6) Kate Nash, “My Best Friend is You”

Some critics really didn’t like this, but I really did. Granted, one of the songs (I think it was called “Mansions” – I deleted it from my iTunes”) was the most unlistenable thing released by an artist I like who isn’t named Liz Phair. But the rest of the songs held up to many, many listens. Is it much different from Nash’s tart-slice-of-life debut? Not really. But I’m happy to listen to more of the same, with some sonic inventiveness every now and then.

Honorable mention:

Freelance Whales, Weathervanes
Frightened Rabbit, The Winter of Mixed Drinks
Local Natives, Gorilla Manor
Rogue Wave, Permalight
Soundtrack, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz
KT Tunstall, Tiger Suit

Album That Last Year I Rightly Labeled “Album That I Bought Late in the Year That Could Eventually Become Essential”:

The Avett Brothers, I and Love and You

Songs of the Year (not counting those already mentioned above):

Arcade Fire, “We Used to Wait”
Sarah Harmer, “The City”
The Hold Steady, “The Weekenders”
Bruno Mars, “Just the Way You Are”
Owen Pallett, “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt”
Perfume Genius, “Learning”
The Script, “Breakeven”
The Tallest Man on Earth, “The King of Spain”

Favorite Trend: Female Anthemic (Katy Perry’s “Firework”, Ke$ha’s “We R What We R”, Pink’s “Raise a Glass”), which will no doubt reach its apotheosis with this year’s “Born This Way” from Ms. Gaga.

Looking Through Jen H.’s Kaleidoscope

1. Sara Bareilles: Kaleidoscope heart
2. Michael Franti and Spearhead: The Sound of Sunshine
3. Robyn: Body Talk
4. Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday
5. The Hold Steady: Heaven is Whenever
6. Neon trees: Habits

Kirsten H. is ultra Violet

Most essential album of the year:
High Violet by The National.

Forgiveness Rock Record by Broken Social Scene

Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons

The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
A Chorus of Storytellers by The Album Leaf
Fields by Junip
Sainthood by Tegan and Sara

Olivia B. Learned the Hard Way

This is hard!

Here are my picks in no particular order:

Robyn—Body Talk 

The National—High Violet 

Kanye West—My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 

Esperanza Spalding—Chamber Music Society 

Dead Weather—Sea of Cowards 

LCD Sound System—This is Happening 

Band of Horses—Infinite Arms 

Vampire Weekend—Contra 

The National—High Violet 

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings—I Learned the Hard Way

Among many others I wanted to include:

Justin Townes Earle—Harlem River Blues 

Mavis Staples—You Are Not Alone 

Broken Bells--Broken Bells

And I always like The Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens, but their albums didn't seem super revolutionary (for them) this year....

Patrick R., Wizard of Adz

Hands-down, the album I was most excited about in 2010 was Sufjan Steven's THE AGE OF ADZ.

Kate H., God Willin’

My essential album for 2010 is Ray LaMontagne - God Willin' And the Creek Don't Rise (even though I just got it last month). My "2010 albums I haven't bought yet but desperately want" are The Black Keys - Brothers and Four Tet - There is Love In You. The "song that I can't not dance to" is definitely "Tightrope" by Janelle Monae, and the "albums that didn't come out this year, but came into heavy rotation at my house in 2010" are Florence + the Machine - Lungs, Grizzly Bear - Vecktamist, Lady Gaga - Fame/The Fame Monster, and The National - Boxer.

I'd better stop there or we'll be here all day.

Andrea C. Goes National

I'm going with Best Album: The National - High Violet with Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More and Broken Bells coming in close second and third.

I can't pick just one Best Single (too much love), but here are some faves: Sufjan Stevens - I Walked (I love this song, but sadly am not a fan of the rest of the album), Jonsi - Boy Lilikoi, The National - England, Cloud Cult - Running with the Wolves, Janelle Monae - Wondaland, Yeasayer - O.N.E., Beck & Bat for Lashes - Let's Get Lost

Nico W., Really Rosie

Top Music Discoveries

1. Coco Rosie: Grey Oceans, Ghosthorse and Stillborn
2. Arthur Russell: World of Echo
3. Little Dragon: Little Dragon
4. Yoko Ono: Yes, I'm a Witch
5. Dirty Projectors + Bjork collaboration
6. Fever Ray: Fever Ray
7. Omar Souleyman: Jazeera Nights
8. Vashti Bunyan: Just Another Diamond Day
9. Karen Dalton: In my own time
10: Toumani Diabate: King of the Kora

Top Songs:

- Stillness in the Move: Dirty Projectors
- Wat Pomp: Die Antwoord (feat. Jack Parow)
- Lily Pond: Vashti Bunyan
- Brandy Alexander: Feist
- Revelations: Yoko Ono (feat. Cat Power)
- Queen Bee - Toumani Diabate
- Fairy Paradise: Coco Rosie
- Werewolf: Coco Rosie
- Lemonade: Coco Rosie
- Horchata: Vampire Weekend
- +81: Deerhoof
- Your Love: Nicki Minaj
- Me and Jane Doe: Charlotte Gainsbourg
- Tone Bone Kone: Arthur Russell
- Twice: Little Dragon

Eugene’s a Big Boi now

Favorite albums:

Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot...The Son Of Chico Dusty

After languishing in record label limbo (and perhaps benefiting from the long gestation period), 2010 finally saw the release of the OutKast member's solo record. With rubbery beats and a funk backbone descended from Bootsy Collins and the Godfather (the title references the southern slang phrase "gettin' out on the good foot" and, no doubt, James himself), Big Boi kept bottoms bouncing.

How to Dress Well, Love Remains 

An album that sounds like it was recorded underwater, the sounds just seem to surface before being washed back under the waves. Much has been made of Tom Krell's R&B interests, and this deconstruction of the genre, filtering it through indie rock's lo-fi lens (with echoes of William Baskinski's Disintegration Loops), produced one of the most haunting and haunted records of the year.

JJ, Kills 

A Christmas gift from JJ, this mixtape places Elin Kastlander's ethereal voice over beats by Dre, et al. It's goofy and and somehow a lot more fun than their official release of 2010, No3, which would have made this list if it weren't for this more enjoyable record.

Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 

While there's no ranking on this list, make no mistake. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy tops the charts (as evidenced by the artwork, above). A baroque exploration into West's psyche that proves more is more, this album is relentless in its pursuit of ideas, browbeating one into submission. It didn't quite hit me on the first listen (though my mother actually commented that she liked one of the songs), it grabbed my ears and still hasn't let go after I watched the 30 minute video for "Runaway." Somehow, I love even the songs I don't like. The only album I actually purchased on vinyl this year (even tho it's already on backorder after having dropped on Tuesday).

Nicki Minaj, Barbie World (The Mixtape) 

Before showing up all over Kanye West's album (and releasing an album of her own) Minaj set the stage with this mixtape. Barbie World manages to bring back Aqua and Annie Lennox in the span of the first two tracks. Maybe it's the nostalgia that those tracks garner or maybe that it manages to burnish the reputation of tracks I had all but forgotten when resequenced in this mixtape, but it poised Minaj to take over.

Robyn, Body Talk Pt. 1 

In a year that saw no less than three EPs by pop queen Robyn (plus an LP that cherry-picks tracks from the three), my favorite continued to be the first EP. Driven by the propulsive "Dancing on My Own" (in a version I prefer over that released on the album) followed the rocking "Cry When You Get Older" I found myself returning again and again to this introduction to the pop project that Robyn would be working on through the year.

The Tallest Man on Earth, The Wild Hunt 

Kristian Matsson's second album manages to improve on his first as he steps more firmly out from under Bob Dylan's shadow and into his own. The slightly ragged production highlights his voice and the sparse arrangements, leaving space for the sentiment contained therein to burrow into your emotional subconscious.

Wild Nothing, Gemini 

The promise and release of summer run through this album, which manages to hit so many dream-pop touchstones and references that it would take paragraphs to outline them all. High school memories abound. I just want to get in my car and drive on empty roads thorugh wide open spaces, top down, radio up.

Favorite tracks of 2010

Drake "Karaoke" from Thank Me Later 
An easy-going synth jam that speaks to the difficulties of relationships, I found myself listening to this on those long evening bus rides through the various parts of the world.

The Dream, "Yamaha" from Love King 
The type of jam Prince would have tossed off in the 80s (I would die 4 u?, maybe?) it captures the thrill and excitement of street club love.

Iyaz "Replay" from Replay 
Before trying to lay claim to an autotuned Chris Brown on his album, Iyaz released this single with a difficult melodic line that winds its way around chorus. The tricky melody hooked me and didn't let me go for weeks. Just ask Karen.

Justin Bieber, "Baby" from My World 2.0 
Somehow, when Michael Jackson sang in his pre-teens he already had managed to exhude a certain amount of bass and sex and danger. Not so, Beiber, who is all treble and puppy love. Still, this pop confection managed captivate my aural sweet tooth. The Luda appearance rapping about his 13-year old first love seems, well, ludicrous, but somehow it all adds up to the fun.

Kanye West, "Runaway" from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 
Opening with a single repeated piano note that suggests Terry Riley's "In C" on prozac, "Runaway" builds into an a dark heavy indictment of his own failings. And just when you think it might be over along comes a coda reminiscent of Eric Clapton's "Layla" or B.Fleischmann's hidden cover of "Torn" at the End of Pop Loops For Breakfast. It's over indulgent and over the top but like almost everything else on the album it works magically and majestically.

LCD Soundsystem "All I Want" from This Is Happening 
It's just a sliding guitar and a steady beat, but it comes together in such an amazing way that I found myself returning again and again to this song that was more of a "rock song" than the dance music for which they're known.
Mos Dub, "History Town" from Mos Dub 
Max Tannone's mashup of Mos Def with dub reggae wasn't a total success for me, but I couldn't resist this combination of Mos with Desmond Dekker.

The New Pornographers, "Moves" from Together 
Crunching guitars lead to slightly off-beat keyboard ryhthms in this entry. It's a highly produced track, with a lot of aural tricks sprinkled throughout the track, and I thoroughly enjoyed them all. Unfortunately, the rest of the album didn't prove quite as memorable.

Nicki Minaj, "I Love You" from Barbie World Mixtape 
Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for the Annie Lennox sample that brings me back to my first year in NY or maybe it's just the sweetness in the lyrics, but this track managed to keep my heart in thrall and my hopes held high for the coming year.

Rihanna, "What's My Name" from Loud 
Remember Ja Rule and Ashanti? Mesmerize? Something about this song takes me back to what I remember being the early days of rappers and R&B singer collaborations. At any rate, there's something about Rihanna's voice that I really love, and this song suggests the warm nights and late night relationships that keep the memory of summer alive in the cold winter months.

Robyn, "Dancing On My Own" from Body Talk Pt. 1 
A driving song that commands your attention from the first pulsing synths, Robyn's fraught declarations of herself in the face of lost love are both painful and yet amazingly danceable. I prefer the version on the first Body Talk ep, but I can't argue with the album version either.

Shakira and Freshlyground, "Waka Waka" 
This year's World Cup saw Shakira joining forces with South African Afro-fusion band Freshlyground to create an anthem from which you couldn't run. My favorite parts are actually the Freshlyground verses and the highlife-ish guitars.

Tallest Man on Earth, "The Wild Hunt" from The Wild Hunt 
The beautiful (and somewhat Dylan-esque) opening track of that sets the stage for his latest album, it suggests the wide open cover art with just enough banjo to scratch that itch I have.

The Very Best "You Got The Love (remix)" 
I missed the XX boat last year (though I did see them in concert) but this remix brought them back to me with a Very Best bonus.
Wild Nothing "Summer Holiday" from Gemini

For Fiona S., Life on Mars

No real order

1. Bruno Mars -- Doo-Wops and Hooligans
2. Kanye West -- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
3. She and Him -- Volume 2
5. The Decemberists -- Hazards of Love and The King is Dead (okay one comes out in 2011 and the first one came out in 2009 but I discovered both end of the year. Love them!)

The rest of what I "discovered" is sort of old and embarrasing -- Like I never listened to Florence and the Machine until late in the year. I guess if it isn't on Glee . . .

Steven M., just Drawn this way

10. Sigh No More - Mumford and Sons: What a strong debut, from this London bluegrassy folk band. I haven't heard a record that sounded like this in a while, totally unique. The playing is great and the songs organically go places. I love the instrumentation, and can be really lyrically, vocally and instrumentally powerful. Love the banjo and upright bass. I'd love to hear them back Springsteen, remind me of a British Avett Bros.

9 A+B. Release Me - The Like; Pictures - Len Price 3: I couldn't choose between the two retro bands (playing original tunes), and they reminded me of a female/male version of each other, so they share the #9 slot. The Like are an LA all-girl band, not in the Bangles girl-band sense, but the Crystals/Ronettes sounding group. Why has it been so long since we've had that kind of group?
Some of the finest American music are the Phil Spector-produced groups, I miss that! The songs are great - not surprisingly, two of the band members are daughters of Mitchell Froom and Pete Thomas! Very fun record, can't wait to see them on tour. The Len Price 3 are also a revelation, sounds like the Jam if Paul Weller left and was replaced by the combination of Joe Jackson and Dave Davies. Very British Invasion-Kinks era songs. Both are fun records and
consistently tight and good throughout., their videos are cool, they deserveanother's

8. The Winter of Mixed Drinks - Frightened Rabbit. This record gets me fired up. Many thanks to Dan Jackson for getting me into this band, who hail from Selkirk, Scotland. The thick accents and damp sound would make this the ideal soundtrack to driving through the Northern UK. In the singer/songwriter's words, "The theme I'm going for is pushing yourself out to the edge of things and being alone, feeling lost and not knowing where you are, which is how I've felt recently. It's not all fun and games, but hopefully it'll just be less obviously personal and brutal than the last record."

7. Big Echo - Morning Benders. Finally, a new local band I'm into. From Berkeley, my favorite local new band since the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. My favorite song of the year:

6. The Ghost Who Walks - Karen Elson: I'm not sure I've ever been as pleasantly surprised as I am with this one from Jack White's British model/musician wife, recorded in Nashville. A real interesting mood, helped and created by the unique instrumentation including organ, pedal steel, accordion and White himself
on drums. Each song is interesting - "old-timey", country, folky, gothic, and rocking, often at the same time. A prime example: "A Thief At My Door" (starts at 4:52, a Sandy Denny song before that) -

5. History From Below - Delta Spirit. I have to thank my friend Darcy for getting me into this SoCal band, and for her, Stephen and Delta Spirit for getting me into their show at the Bottom of the Hill a few years back (editor's note: I"m a music whore). I was a fan of their last record, but this is a big step up. Musically, they're right up my alley, a bit, rock, americana. They have improved musically, both in playing and writing. This is the record Ryan Adams had been trying to make, and never was able to, in my
opinion. The first side of the record is great, but I'd say it starts to run out of steam after "Scarecrow" - otherwise, no complaints. Really well paced and the songs go places, the tempos are perfectly chosen, I say that because some of the songs would have been ruined at incorrect pacing.

4. Black Sands - Bonobo: I've had this record up and down on the list all year, possibly because its sort of rainy-day moody. Bonobo, aka Simon Green, is a British DJ/Producer/Musician, who wisely hooked up with singer AudreyanaTriana, who sings 3 songs, which are all great. She does for this record what Tina
Dico/Robyn/Sia do for the Zero 7 records. Nevertheless, all of the grooves and beats are strong throughout on this, and includes some interesting

3. Work - Shout Out Louds: I've been a fan since they put out "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff" (in my 2005 top 10). This record doesn't have the one really strong single, like "Very Loud," used so perfectly in "Nick and Norah's...", however, what it does have is consistently good songs and performances. It's unclear to me listening to their records how strong of musicians they are, since they don't solo. In fact, most of the guitar parts I could probably play despite my meager skills. But that doesn't stop them from having tasty licks and melodies which center the songs and create a ton of emotion. Also, I love how the singer creates so much emotion and passion, he's really skilled despite lacking the classic voice. Something about this band makes me think of a Swedish Cure without the histrionics, and I mean that as a compliment. I love the production choices they make - keeping things simple, but throwing in nice touches here and
there, like horns.

2. Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook - Bettye LaVette. This record came out early in the year, and I saw the show at the Great American Music Hall in SF and love everything about it. The whole record is British classic rock covers, and because there is no original material, I can't classify this as a "classic." But that didn't stop me from keeping it in my listening rotation all year. Let's face it, these are the songs I was raised on. Whoever picked and arranged these tunes for her did an outstanding job. We all know they are great songs, but they are tweaked when need to be tweaked. Interestingly, during her show, she remarked she wasn't a fan of these tunes when they came out, as she was totally into her own music and soul music at the time. My favorite tracks are Zeppelin's "All My Love," Ringo's "It Don't Come Easy," (in my opinion, a
huge improvement from the original) and McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed." If you've never heard her sing, her voice, through years of gigs and hard work, is a force of nature (and as Shelagh says, like a hot cup of coffee). Apparently, this project came together after her performance of The Who's "Love Reign O'Er Me" at the Kennedy Center Honors, which is included in this set. You can see why:

1. What I'm Thinking: Photographing Snowflakes - Badly Drawn Boy. I've been a fan of BDB/Damon Gough since I got "Bewilderbeast" and when I saw him dropkick a fan at SF's Bimbo's 365 Club ("I'm from Manchester!") on that tour. I picked
this up after watching "About A Boy" for the umpteenth time recently. His music in that film is perfect. Anyway, I didn't know what to expect, not hearing much from him since that soundtrack. Apparently, this record is the first in a musical trilogy he plans on releasing, all to be released under the title It's What I'm Thinking. There's nothing radio-friendly on this, but I"m a big fan of "records," and this one is consistent throughout, sounds great, with great
songwriting, consistency across the performances and moods, and I'm glad he's back with a big picture idea in an iTunes world. As a bonus, "You Lied" sounds like a 2010 version of "Don't Fear the Reaper," and I mean that as complement.

Phil B. rides the Suburbs

Essential Album -- Arcade Fire -- The Suburbs -- Start to finish, the best album of the year.

Runner Up -- Kanye West --My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy -- I really wanted to despise this album, instead I couldn't stop listening to it.

Video Experience -- The Google Chrome experiment with Arcade Fire's The Wilderness Downtown. Using Google Earth, your teen years home becomes the focal point of the video.

Music Moment -- Deadmau5 as the resident DJ for the MTV Music Awards. Electronica goes full mainstream.

Gayle F.’s a Teen Dream

In this era of downloads, it is so rare for me to find a whole album that blows me away. Even my beloved Sufjan fell short last year. The only entire record I loved last year is Beach House's Teen Dream (how appropriate, no?). So that is my lone entry. Lots of songs I loved. But not many albums. I'm sure Kanye West will sweep it. Everyone else has gone mad over that album.

Joseph H., the Beach House is on Fire

Here's a few of my favourites from 2010,

Antony and the Jonsons - Swanlight
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Beach House - Tean Dream
Cocorosie - Grey Oceans
Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
Jonsi - Go
Sufjan Stevens - Ages of Adz
Yeasayer - Odd Blood

My favourite song off all of those has to be Joanna Newsom Baby Birch, 9 minutes of a wailing woman with a harp!

Reading your email reminded me of when we were just hanging out in your hotel room in Auckland talking about music, and I know if there are any bands on your list that I haven't heard of then I shall be heading straight for iTunes!

I keep trying to think of my 'most essential' album, I can only narrow it down to the most essential 4: Arcade Fire, Beach House, Jonsi and Sufjan.

Strolling the Arcade with Lucas K.

1. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
2. Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot
3. Jukebox the Ghost, Everything Under the Sun
4. Yeasayer, Odd Blood
5. Surfer Blood, Astro Coast
6. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
7. Cee Lo Green, The Lady Killer
8. Robyn, Body Talk
9. The Weepies, Be My Thrill
10. Vampire Weekend, Contra

I have the feeling Yeasayer will have the least staying power of any album on here, but it was perfect for several months.

Scott D: Touch His Body

My album of the year is obviously 
Robyn's BODY TALK.

Here’s One on Brian M.

My favorite time of the year. Here's my list of favorites out of the 150 plus releases I heard from this year. (If you're interested, here's my expanded lists along with reviews: Here and Here.)


Joanna Newsom, Have One On Me


Evelyn Evelyn, Evelyn Evelyn
Karen Elson, The Ghost Who Walks
Portugal. The Man, American Ghetto
Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
Wu Tang Clan vs. The Beatles, Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers
Menomena, Mines
Midlake, The Courage of Others
Holly Miranda, The Magician's Private Library
Manic Street Preachers, Postcards from a Young Man
Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Sparrow & the Workshop, Crystals Fall
Smoosh, Withershins
Electric Wizard, Black Masses

The Wooden Sky, If I Don't Come Back You'll Know I'm Gone
Bonnie Prince Billy, Ask Forgiveness
Pink Floyd, The Man & The Journey
Jim Kwesnkin & The Jug Band, Jug Band Music
Brenda Lee, All Alone Am I
Spirogyra, St. Radigunds
Grateful Dead, Wake of the Flood
Fleetwood Mac, The Original Fleetwood Mac
David Bowie, Hunky Dory

Yeasayer, "O.N.E."
Quadron, "Slippin'"
Fitz & the Tantrums, "Moneygrabber"
Kanye West, "POWER"
Lifeseeker, "Sammy Hagar Rules"
Holly Miranda, "Ex-Factor"

Cora K. is Happening

6. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
PLEASE can they come to Australia in 2011

5. Faithless, Home
They still have it, and can show these new dj's how to do it

4. Yeasayer, Old Blood
I keep playing this.

3. Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record
I was moved to tears (twice) when I saw them in concert

2. The Drums, The Drums
How could you not love these lyrics 'I see a beautiful flower. It was trampled on the ground. And it makes me think of you. How you used to be and how you are now.'

1. LCD Soundsystem, This is Happening
The perfect album. It makes you want to dance, and the lyrics are smart and have heart.

Special mentions:

Best concert: Peaches at Hifi Bar
Best music festival: Splendor in the Grass. Special mention to Scissor Sisters on the Friday night. Lineup:
Best compilation: David Levithan, Spring 2010
Biggest disappointment: Vampire Weekend, Contra. It was just more of the same, maybe they should have made us wait longer.
Most anticipated of 2011: Cut Copy, Zonoscope

Number of concerts / festivals I'm going to between now and the end of March: 12

Matthue R. Used to Wait

Arcade Fire, The Suburbs. 
(I'm not even from the suburbs. I've never lived there and have no way, save a few memories of reading The Outsiders, to verify whether 
it really is this bleak and beautiful. But this album is.)


Nikki Minaj, Barbie World (or any other non-Pink Friday mixtape) 

The Roots, How I Got Over 

Regina Spektor, Live in London 

Kim Boekbinder, Impossible Girl 

Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 

They Might Be Giants, Here Comes Science

Best moment of music: 
Nicki Minaj switches between four different personas and about seven 
completely different vocal styles in under a minute during her guest 
appearance on Kanye's "Twisted Dark Fantasy." There are so many 
distinctive styles of genius in that moment, I can't even begin to 
fathom it. I think it's influenced my whole best-of list.

Best album of 2010 that wasn't actually in 2010: The Where the Wild 
Things Are soundtrack. Overflow from last year. Only realized it was 
awesome this year.

Best new album of 2010, according to my 3-year-old: The B-52's, Cosmic 
Thing. It's a new discovery if you were negative 20 years old when it 
came out.

Anica R. hits the Beach

Most essential:
Gorillaz, Plastic Beach

Other essentials:
Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang, The Wonder Show of the World
LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening
Spoon, Transference
Robyn, Body Talk

Eamon T.’s Night Work

Like I said last year, the era of the album seems to be over...this year was all about the Pop/Dance Hits for
Rihanna's "Only Boy in the World"
Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream"
Robyn's "Dancing on my Own"
Mark Ronson & The Business International featuring Boy George and Andrew Wyatt's "Someone to Love Me"

That said I still managed to discover some great albums too...

Best of 2010
Scissor Sisters - Nightwork
Beach House - Teen Dream
Robyn - Body Talk Parts 1-3
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
M.I.A. - Maya
Crocodiles - Sleep Forvever
Das Racist - Sit Down, Man
Hurts - Happiness
Sleigh Bells - Treats

Disappointments from 2010
Paul Weller - Wake Up the blah...sounds the same as always even with Kevin Shields on board
Richard Ashcroft's United Nations of Sound...terrible band name...even worse music. Disappointing considering I stuck with him through a spotty solo career.

Over It...Sorry...
Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, and Kayne

Looking forward to in 2011
Sophomore release from Himalaya
PJ Harvey...always looking forward to more
Long overdue one from the Strokes
Beady Eye...if the early tracks being released are any indication, their debut CD should be pretty great.

Cecil C. Whips Her Hair

I can't remember anything. But these came off the top of my head. So i'll just go with it.

Lykke Li, Get Some
Melissa Auf der Maur, Out of Our Minds
Come Gather Round Us, Come Gather Round Us
Coeur de Pirate, Coeur de Pirate
Rufus Wainwright, Songs for Lulu
Annie Lennox, A Christmas Cornucopia
Cee Lo Green, The Lady Killer
Willow Smith, Whip my Hair
Janelle Monae, The ArchAndroid

Kevin W.’s Parting Gift

1. Parting Gifts, Strychnine Dandelion ... Greg Cartwright teams with Coco Hames from The Ettes. As good as you might expect.

Also, of note ... I'm not sure what year this song was released but the best song I heard in 2010 is "M.R.E.s" by Black Sunday. I mean, holy shit. Easily the best thing ever written about Katrina. Not even a close second. Alicja Trout is an evil genius (do you hear me, Brant Rumble?) an evil genius.

Dan Pe. and his Girl Talk

Album of the year goes somewhat begrudgingly to Girl Talk's All Day (begrudging because this was the first year in a while that I didn't have a runaway favorite, and I think it's inferior to his last effort). Additional nods go to Release Me by The Like, Brothers by the Black Keys, The Winter of Mixed Drinks by Frightened Rabbit and The Archandroid by Janelle Monae. I haven't listened to Big Boi, Lil Wayne or Em's albums, so I'll abstain on hip hop rather than give it to Kanye on the strength of Power alone. But I'd probably give him song of the year for it.

Dan Po. shows his Age

Favorite Music 2010: In order of essentiality:

1. Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz
2. Sarah Bareilles, Kaleidoscope Heart
3. Patty Griffin, Downtown Church
4. Robyn, Body Talk Pts 1, 2, and 3

Other Good Stuff: Maybe not Essential

5. Lost in the Trees, All Alone in an Empty House
6. Joanna Newsom, Have One on Me
7. Fanfarlo, Reservoir
8. Local Natives, Gorilla Manor
9. Vampire Weekend, Contra

Favorite Ridiculous Pop Singles:
Eminem ft. Rihanna, Love the Way You Lie
Katy Perry, Firework
Glee Cast, Teenage Dream

Jon S. is Crazy for the Coast

My number one album for 2010 is Crazy For You by Best Coast. Cresting the wave of last Summer's "Chill Wave" beach rock sound, it hit the perfect blend of lo-fi grit and mellow crooning. Lead singer Beth Cosentino has the kind of frank, no nonsense charm that leaves ex-90's grunge boys like me weak in the knees. They'll need to evolve their sound if they want to be more than just the best example of a short-lived fad, but for me, Best Coast was the soundtrack to my Summer of 2010.

Although it's difficult for me to separate Crazy for You from another great Chill Wave album. King of the Beach, sophomore effort from Wavves, was surprisingly smart and catchy compared to their self-titled first album. And yet they still held on to the edgy trickster quality that made me like them in the first place.

But summer can't last forever and another music wave seems to be cresting. Grave Wave, Dark Wave, Nu Goth, or whatever you want to call it, is an interesting blend of classic 80's goth with the more recent indie lo-fi sound. At the top of the list in 2010 for this movement is Zola Jesus's album Stridulum II. Simple yet sprawling, it conjured up the perfect thoughtful melancholy for Fall.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Fang Island's self-titled debut. A mostly instrumental rock band out of Brooklyn, they describe their sound as "everyone high-fiving everyone". It totally is, and if you are in need of an injection of triumphant w00ts, this is the album to pick up.

My guilty pleasure for 2010 was Body Talk Pt. 1 by Robyn. Indie music's dance hall pop darling is at her best on the first volume of an ambitious three volume staggered release. Parts 2 and 3 were somewhat of a let down, but Part 1 perfectly expresses her early Madonna meets Ani Difranco vibe.

My surprise album of 2010 was a tie. Joanna Newsom's Have One On Me was a departure from her usual discordant folk strangeness. She seems to be channeling Joni Mitchell's Blue album, adding her own high concept design and trademark quirk. How I Got Over by the Roots is probably one of the most well made albums I've heard in a long time. It's obvious that playing every day together on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has turned them into a band that knows exactly what they do and how to do it right.

Honorable mentions to some sophomore efforts that I enjoyed a lot but felt had no real growth from the previous album:
The Winter of MIxed Drinks, Frightened Rabbit
Contra, Vampire Weekend
Crystal Castles 2010, Crystal Castles

Alaya J walks the Tightrope

Most essential album:

The Archandroid, Janelle Monae (I thought her EP Metropolis: The Chase Suite was one of the coolest things I'd ever heard and then she just did it one better. Probably the best all around performer--dancer, singer, time-traveling robot--around today.)

Other very awesome albums:

So Runs The World Away, Josh Ritter ("The Curse" is especially amazing)
Contra, Vampire Weekend
The Age of Adz, Sufjan Stevens (so I'm not entirely sure about this one yet, but I feel like I should at least acknowledge its ambition)
Dream Attic, Richard Thompson
High Violet, The National
Odd Blood, Yeasayer

Ryan C. runs Wild

1. Wild Nothing – Gemini
2. Gigi – Maintenant
3. John Adams – I Am Love Soundtrack
4. Sleigh Bells – Treats
5. The National – High Violet
6. Beach House – Teen Dream
7. Vampire Weekend – Contra
8. The Walkmen – Lisbon
9. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
10. How to Dress Well – Love Remains
11. Girls – Broken Dreams Club
12. Girl Talk – All Day
13. Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
14. Magic Kids – Memphis
15. Radio Dept. - Clinging to a Scheme
16. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
17. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
18. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

This is Megan M.

This Is Happening, LCD Soundsystem

Runners Up:
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West 

The Suburbs, Arcade Fire 
All Day, Girl Talk 

Brothers, Black Keys 

Broken Bells, Broken Bells

Matthew U. Dreams of Angels

Apparently I no longer live in the present (or am just getting old)… Literally, this may be the only album I bought this year that was actually released this year:

Black Angels, Phosphene Dream
So I guess that’s most essential

Favorite pop single of the year:
P!nk, Raise Your Glass

Recent artist I’m listening to the most:
Bob Schneider

Legend I can’t stop listening to:
Leonard Cohen

Weirdest group I’ve discovered this year:

Maybe this year I’ll ‘live in the now,’ but somehow I doubt it.

Grease is the word for Ned V.

The best album I heard this year has not officially been released. It's East Bay Grease's demos. They are a side project of Drunk Horse and Red Meat. Drunk Horse is one of my favorite bands of all time (from San Francisco); Red Meat has a guitar player who is as good as Clapton. While East Bay Grease does not have a full length yet, they released an EP "Just Head":
Reviewed here:
And their Facebook is here:

Good time honkey-tonkin bar music. East Bay Grease "Just Head" EP is my most essential album of 2010. Hopefully a full-length comes this year.

Megan S., High on 2011

This was an AWESOME year in music. Here are my picks:

1. High Violet – The National
2. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
3. Have One On Me – Joanna Newsom
4. The Wild Hunt – Tallest Man on Earth
5. Lisbon – The Walkmen
6. Gorilla Manor – Local Natives
7. Sigh No More – Mumford and Sons
8. The ArchAndroid – Janelle Monae

Steph S.’s National anthems

Here are my picks:

1. The National, High Violet
2. Angus & Julia Stone, Down The Way
3. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
4 The Jezabels, Dark Storm (EP)
5. Yeasayer, Old Blood

Best cover- very close tie between Jordie Lane and Jen Cloher's 'Electric Feel' and Boy and Bear's cover of 'Fall at your feet' by Crowded House
Best compilation- David Levithan mix- first edition
Best gig- Florence and the Machine- live at the Melbourne Laneway festival
Best festival- Splendour in the Grass

Brent C. hits the right Keys

While I was moved by a few artists this year, ( LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening & Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) my absolute "essential" album of 2010 was The Black Keys, Brothers.

I've spent this past year writing the third installment of the Carter Series (Carter's Unfocused One-Track Mind). Channeling the heartbreak and lust of a fifteen-year-old boy requires a driving rock blues soundtrack, and this was it!

My favorite song and music video of 2010, also by The Black Keys, Next Girl

Ders H. and his Relatives

Without over thinking this one I am going to go straight from the gut this year...

Single: Aloe Blacc "I need a dollar"

The National "high violet"
Nas and Damian Marley "Distant Relatives"

Best Remaster: Black Sabath "Digipacks"

Best Record find from another year:
The Refused "the shape of punk to come".'s fucking awesome if you don't have it!!! Swedish punk/hardcore from's sick.

I want to say Broken Bells for best record but it really is a boring...

Sigh no more, Marie R.!

Most essential album of the year:
Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
Favorite songs therein: "Sigh No More," "Roll Away Your Stone," and "White Blank Page."

Other essential albums:

The National, High Violet
This one was a very close second for me, and I love it, particularly "Sorrow" and "Bloodbuzz Ohio."

Arcade Fire, The Suburbs (thanks, David, for the introduction!)
Favorite songs therein: "Modern Man," "City With No Children," "Half Light II (No Celebration)"

The Black Keys, Brothers

Bryant P.’s National-ism

The most essential albums of 2010:

9. Local Natives, Gorilla Manner
8. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
7. Katy Perry, Teenage Dream
6. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
5. The Tallest Man on Earth, Wild Hunt
4. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
3. Vampire Weekend, Contra
2. Beach House, Teen Dream
1. The National, High Violet

The most essential singles:

5. 10 Miles Stereo by Beach House
4. Little Lion Man by Mumford & Son
3. Diplomat’s Son by Vampire Weekend
2. Sorrow by The National
1. Airplanes by Local Natives

Most Likely to Make My 2010 Most Essential List Retroactively, Because I Picked Up the Album Late in the Year:

Robyn, Body Talk
Deerhunter, Halcyon Digest
The Walkmen, Lisbon

Alex R., perfumed like a Genius

This is a tough one, i felt a bit let down in 2010. Favorite acts released albums that I felt on the whole we disappointments (The National, Arcade Fire). So I can think of many albums with merits/great moments, but as an essential whole I can only think of two. So sorry if this listing doesn't really help you in terms of assigning votes/counts. If you're doing this on some kind of points system, 1 point per album except for the top two, who get a bigger weighting.

Albums of 2010

1. Perfume Genius - Learning
2. Glasser - Ring

Other good 2010 albums, in alphabetical order:

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Beach House - Teen Dream
Belle & Sebastian - Write About Love
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Girl Talk - All Day
LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening
Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
The National - High Violet
Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me
No Age - Everything In Between
Sleigh Bells - Treats
Vampire Weekend - Contra
The Walkmen - Lisbon

Song of the Year not included on any of above:
Real Estate - Out of Tune (single, no 2010 album)

Favorite song of year: Perfume Genius - Mr Peterson

Video of the year: Esben and the Witch - Marching Song

Best New Acts of 2010:
Perfume Genius
Esben and the Witch

Most Disappointing Album of the Year:
The National - High Violet

Best Live Event:
Matador at 21 - The Lost Weekend

Put it on Scott T.’s Tab

Essential Album of 2010

Super8 & Tab - Empire (yeah, I'm the only one on your whole list who will vote for it, or even an album in the genre (Trance) but this album was fun and gorgeous)

2010 Essentials

Best Coast - Crazy For You
Broken Bells - Broken Bells
The Hundred in the Hands - The Hundred in the Hands
Gareth Emery - Northern Lights

Essentials Picked up in 2010

School of Seven Bells - Alpinisms (2009) - also released a terrific album in 2010, but this one was better

Cassandra P. is living in a Fantasy world

Most Essential:
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Other Essentials (in no particular order):
Cee-Lo Green - The Lady Killer

Diddy Dirty Money - Last Train To Paris

Miguel - All I Want Is You

Jazmine Sullivan - Love Me Back

Rick Ross - Teflon Don

B.O.B. - B.O.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray

Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid

The Roots - How I Got Over

Drake - Thank Me Later

Elizabeth E., rockin’ the Suburbs

Most Essential:
Arcade Fire, The Suburbs

Super Close Runner-ups:
Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
Tired Pony, The Place We Ran From

Other Essentials:
Frightened Rabbit, The Winter of Mixed Drinks
Broken Bells, Broken Bells
Iain Archer, To the Pine Roots (came out in 2009, but been playing it non-stop since I got it a couple months ago)
Band of Horses, Infinite Arms
The National, High Violet
Belle and Sebastian, Write About Love
LCD Soundsystem, This is Happening
MGMT, Congratulations
OK Go, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky (while this is my least favorite of OK Go’s albums, still has really good moments)

If I Bought This Album When It Came Out, It May Have Been My Most Essential of 2009, But I’m Sometimes Behind:
Florence + The Machine, Lungs

Quite Possibly One of the Greatest Songs of All Time:
Cee-Lo’s “F*ck You!”

Terra M. hits a High note

High Violet, The National

They are about all I listened to in 2010 it feels like! Other stuff was just bits and pieces

Maggie S. hits the right Keys

This year was a really good year for music, so this is somewhat annoying to narrow down.

Shit. Best album? crapcrapcrap. Okay. The Black Keys. Brothers. Because anything that can make my Camaro more bad ass deserves it. But I have to say that Wakey!Wakey!'s Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said Last Time I Saw You is a runner up because when a friend's brother's suicide made me silent for weeks, they said what I needed to say.

Other fantastic albums from 2010:
1. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More -- I was given this album twice, once by my best friend from college and once by a reader at a signing. Both of them were right. Lovely, understated stuff. Who could've known I'd learn to love a banjo?

2. Broken Bells - Broken Bells -- Aside from some fantastic individual songs from the Shins dude, this album will forever be associated with a fantastic memory of bringing a condescending woman-hater to his knees.

3. Yeasayer - Odd Blood -- Weird as hell. It's like the 80s, but without the white pants.

4. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor -- Great and understated. Drink with a side of Mumford.

Best album no one's ever heard of
Jenny O - Home (EP)

Singles I Can't Stop Listening To:
"New Low" - Middle Class Rut
"When I Decide" - My Terrible Friend
"You Will Leave a Mark" - A Silent Film

Songs no one else will agree with:
"Drive it Like You Stole It" - The Glitch Mob

Songs I loved fiercely for two seconds and now hate just as fiercely:
"Bang Pop" - Free Energy

Best not2010 Songs Discovered in 2010:
"Struggle" - Ringside
"Welcome Home" - Radical Face

Annie M. gives it up for Andy Jackson

I haven’t bought much new music this year so I don’t have anything essential (maybe Robyn will become essential when I finally catch up with her latest compilation…)
But to give Broadway some representation, I’ll cast my vote for the cast album of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

Rhiannon F. speaks because she can

I have two favourite albums of 2010 and they are fairly different from each other :/

Laura Marling - I speak because I can

And slightly embarassingly....

Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

Beach House makes Jonathan V. feel like a Teen Dream

Only sorta sorted into "favorites first" order. (For scoring purposes though, "Teen Dream" is my #1.)

Beach House - Teen Dream
The first time I heard it, I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t hear anything better all year. Here, Beach House recalls the swanky tones of Getz/Gilberto while moving above and beyond them, to an outer space all their own.
The National - High Violet
They illuminate every lonely nook of city and country both, with deft lyrics and subtle, potent melodies. I think it's safe to put the word "Treasure" after the band's name now.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Like the suburbs themselves, this album is sprawling, maudlin, and hard to get out of—I wound up listening to it from its August release, straight through to the end of the year, and it's still not quite through with me.

The Chemical Brothers – Further
The mere idea of anyone finding a way to keep their sound fresh after over ten years is inspiring, especially in a genre so prone to clunk. "Further" even comes with its own album-length (and appropriately trippy) music video, the better to hypnotize you with.
Broken Bells - Broken Bells
I am pleased to report that the operation to merge Danger Mouse with James Mercer was a success. On their "Broken Bells" album, one's style complements the other's in surprising ways--such that you don't need to like either artist to enjoy what they've done here together. (If you need proof, and have not heard their song "October" yet, then get thee to an iTunery!)
The New Pornographers – Together
A.C. Newman, Dan Bejar and Neko Case “form blazing sword” once again, in a band that's even more than the sum of its parts. (And with parts like these, that's really saying something.)

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles The spirit of punk rock is alive in the body of a killer cyborg! Crystal Castles' music is worth every bit of brain it sends through the back of your skull--epic and handmade simultaneously, and truly brutal.
Shearwater – The Golden Archipelago
Another elemental stunner from Jonathan Meiburg, the choirboy with the bipolar throat. Plus, percussion by Thor. Need I say more?

Janelle Monae – The Archandroid Old-school sci-fi fandom meets new-school R&B, the theatricality of Judy Garland meets the adventurousness of Stevie Wonder...Janelle Monae is the venn diagram of so many "awesomes" that it’s impossible not to love her.
Wolf Parade - Expo '86 When they are recording as Wolf Parade, Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug enter the same hopped-up groove for a playdate, and their music practically hurtles. Do not have your blood pressure checked after listening to them, unless you want to prank your doctor.
Johnny Flynn – Been Listening
Johnny Flynn's voice has personality to spare, shaping every song he sends your way into a story worth hearing. I've been a fan since "A Larum" but this one sealed the deal for me.
Clinic – Bubblegum "Bubblegum" continues the evolution of Clinic's woozy trademark sound into something even more mysterious and distinctly theirs. If you haven't heard them in a while, it's time to check back.
The Knife collaborated with Mt. Sims and Planningrock to produce the score to a Charles Darwin opera, and I'll be dipped in the gene pool if their track "Colouring of Pigeons" was not great workout music!
Destroyer This year I decided (finally) to get into Dan Bejar's solo-project-cum-band Destroyer, though needless to say, there was no heavy lifting involved. With the impending release of their Roxy-inspired 2011 album "Kaputt", it's safe to say my ears will belong to them for some time to come. And speaking of Roxy...
Roxy Music - Roxy Music Having heard nearly every other one of their albums (save the universally-reviled "Manifesto", which I'll probably like anyway) I settled down to the first, and probably best, in the Roxy canon. Listen to them... Eno and Ferry... Children of the seventies... What music they make...
Kent – Rod Sweden's power-pop supergroup has at last perfected the nineties.

Scissors beats rock for Teri Y.

There weren't that many full albums that I really fell in love with in 2010, which is rather unusual. There were a lot more singles that I ended up enjoying.

Top Albums:
1. Night Work - Scissor Sisters
2. Body Talk - Robyn
3. Tourist History - Two Door Cinema Club
4. The Family Jewels - Marina and the Diamonds
5. Aphrodite - Kylie Minogue

Honorable Mention Albums:
Pieces - Erik Hassle
Real Blasty - Kyle Andrews
Interpreting the Masters Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates - The Bird & The Bee
The Dark Leaves - Matt Pond PA

Singles (in no particular order):
The King and All of His Men - Wolf Gang
Pieces of You - Wolf Gang
Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
Marry You - Bruno Mars
Fuck You - Cee Lo Green
Teenage Dream - Glee Cast Version (because the world needs more boys serenading boys)
When You Walk in the Room - Fyfe Dangerfield
End Love - OK Go
Club Called Heaven - Black Cards

Erich N. thanks Drake now

Here's my list from twenty-ten:
1. Drake - Thank Me Later
2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
3. Sleigh Bells - Treats
4. Vampire Weekend - Contra
5. Yeasayer - Odd Blood

And 2009 albums I was late to, but loved last year:
1. Alicia Keys - Element of Freedom
2. Metric - Fantasies

Oh, and didn't know about Florence + Machine till 2010, and at the moment I'm absolutely addicted. (I see she made last year's music poll. I feel so behind!)

Dean B., Afraid of Everyone?

Favorite Albums of 2010:

1. The National - High Violet
2. The Walkmen - Lisbon
3. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
4. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
5. Pete Yorn - s/t
6. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
7. Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
8. Spoon - Transference
9. Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown
10. Liars - Sisterworld

Favorite Songs of 2010:

The National: Afraid of Everyone, England, Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks, Sorrow
The Walkmen: Lisbon, Angela Surf City
Kanye West: Lost In The World (f/Bon Iver), Runaway, Blame Game (f/John Legend)
LCD Soundsystem: You Wanted A Hit, All I Want, Can Change
Big Boi: Turns Me On, Hustle Blood
Arcade Fire: Sprawl II, We Used To Wait
Ryan Adams: Dear Candy
Pete Yorn: Stronger Than, Precious Stone, Rock Crowd
Brandon Flowers: Only The Young
Weezer: Memories
Spoon: Nobody Gets Me But You, Out Go The Lights, Who Makes Your Money
Magnetic Fields: We Are Having A Hootenanny
Liars: Proud Evolution
Gorillaz: Rhinestone Eyes
Kele: Everything You Wanted, On The Lam
Eminem f/Lil Wayne: No Love
Broken Social Scene: All To All
Hot Chip: One Life Stand
David Gray: Forgetting

Paula M. loves her little lion man

1. Mumford and Sons - Sign No More
2. Jonsi - Go
3. She and Him - Volume 2
4. Mgmt - Congratulations
5. Teenage Fan Club - Shadows
5. Gaslight Anthem - American Slang

Discoveries of the Previous Year
Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk (2009)
Lay Low - Farewell Good Night's Sleep (2009)

Cee Lo Green - Fuck You

Lauren S. has got a bloodbuzz

Most Essential Album of the Year:
1. The National, High Violet
2. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
3. Frightened Rabbit, The Winter of Mixed Drinks
4. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
5. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, I Learned the Hard Way

Most Essential Songs of the Year:
1. Cee Lo Green - F*** You
2. Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man
3. The National - Conversation 16
4. Arcade Fire - Ready to Start
5. The Black Keys - Chop and Change / Sia - My Love

Most Essential Soundtrack of the Year (That I Am Almost Embarrassed to Admit)
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack

Best Album I Wish I'd Discovered Last Year
Florence + the Machine, Lungs

You can hang with Steve S.


1. Robyn - Body Talk Parts 1-3

2. Marina and the Diamonds - The Family Jewels

3. Plan B - The Defamation of Strickland Banks

4. Bryan Ferry - Olympia

5. Sade - Soldier of Love

6. Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

SINGLES (no particular order)

LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls

MIA - XXXO (Jay-Z Remix)

Mark Ronson and Business International (feat. Q-Tip & MNDR) - Bang Bang Bang

Far East Movement - Like a G6

Groove Armada (feat. Will Young) - History

Coma Cat - Tensnake

Martin Solveig and Dragonette – Hello

Zack C. walks a strange Landscape

Hauschka, Foreign Landscapes
Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record
Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
I’d add Sufjan, but I’m still ambivalent about him. Something tells me he’ll be well-represented, anyways. If he needs a tie-breaker, you can pretend I included him at the end of this list.

Jack M. writes about Love

Here ya go:
1. Belle and Sebastian--Write About Love 

2. Kanye West--My Beautiful Twisted Fantasy 

3. The Arcade Fire--Suburbs 

4. Deerhunter--Halcyon Digest

Top 10 Records on my floor:
The Chills--Kaleidoscope World

Orchestral Manouevers in the Dark--Architecture and Morality 

The Orchids--Unholy Soul 

Nancy Sinatra--Nancy in London 

Kitchens of Distinction--Gorgeous Love EP 

The Durutti Column--LC 

Dislocation Dance--Midnight Shift

Altered Images--Pinky Blue

Close Lobsters--Foxheads Stalk This Land 

Fra Lippo Lippi
Orange Juice, Coals to Newcastle

Jonas walks a lonely Avenue

2010 was only a so-so year for new music for me -- though there are a 
few near the top that I love.
1. Ben Folds/Nick Hornby, Lonely Avenue

2. Ray LaMontagne, God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise 

3. Jenny & Johnny, I'm Having Fun Now 

4. Matt & Kim, Sidewalks

5. Sarah Harmer, Oh Little Fire 

6. Hole, Nobody's Daughter 

7. Richard Barone, Glow 

8. The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street 
9. The New Pornographers, Together 

10. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs

Cindy D. thinks you’re not the king of anything

Sara Bareilles. Kaleidoscope Heart


Music to drink at the Tiki Bar by:
Michael Franti & Spearhead. The Sound of Sunshine.

Siobhan V. is ready to start

Most Essential: ARCADE FIRE, The Suburbs

Other Awesomeness:
BROKEN BELLS, Broken Bells
GORILLAZ, Plastic Beach
ROGUE WAVE, Permalight
THE RADIO DEPT, Clinging to a Scheme

Glenn B. is a Modern Man

Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
Spoon- Transference
of Montreal- False Priest
Broken Bells- Broken Bells
The National- High Violet
Vampire Weekend- Contra
Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Yeasayer- Odd Blood
Cee-Lo Green- The Lady Killer
The Bird and the Bee- Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1 (A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates)

Drew L. slings the Slang

The most essential, most impossible-to-live-without album that God sent us as an emblem of His love in 2010 was (obviously) --

1. The Gaslight Anthem, "American Slang"

The next bunch of essential stuff, IN THIS ORDER:

2. The National, "High Violet"
3. Titus Andronicus, "The Monitor"
4. Sundowner, "We Chase the Waves"
5. Brendan Kelly's half of the "Wasted Potential" split
6. John K. Samson, "Provincial Road 222"
7. Jim Bryson, "The Falcon Lake Incident"
8. The Weakerthans, "Live at the Burton Cummings Theatre"
9. Alkaline Trio, "This Addiction"

Nico M. gets himself together

#1: Robyn - Body Talk 
(I'd've said "Body Talk Part 2" but Part 2 didn't have "Time Machine" 
or "Get Myself Together")
Goldfrapp - Head First 

Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite 

Kelis - Flesh Tone

Andrew H. wizardly chooses Adz

Essential is such a weighty word. I don’t know if there was any new music last year that felt essential to me.
But! Let’s go with:
1. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz (because this was my favorite)
2. Robyn – Body Talk Pt. 1 (because this was my favorite to dance to)
3. Vampire Weekend – Contra (because this was my favorite to dance to alone in my room)

Jason G. doesn’t want to be anyone’s ghost

1. The National – High Violet

2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
3. Laura Marling – I Speak Because I can
4. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
5. Vampire Weekend - Contra
6. The Black Keys – Brothers
7. Band of Horses – Infinite Arms
8. Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown
9. Grinderman 2 – Grinderman 2
10. John Mellencamp – No Better Than This

Christopher P.’s Monae shot

Best Albums:
1. Janelle Monae “The Archandroid”
2. Findlay Brown “Love Will Find You”
3. Hawksley Workman “Milk” and “Meat”
4. Robyn “Body Talk” LP & EPs
5. Kelis “Flesh Tone”
6. Magic Kids “Memphis”
7. Liz Phair “Funstyle”
8. Delorean “Subiza”
9. of Montreal “False Priest”
10. Eels “End Times” and “Tomorrow Morning”
11. Morcheeba “Blood Like Lemonade”
12. Owen Pallett “Heartland” and “Lewis Takes His Shirt Off” EP
13. Marina & the Diamonds “The Family Jewels”
14. The Bird and the Bee “Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates”
15. Goldfrapp “Head First”
16. Admiral Radley “I Heart California”
17. Beach House “Teen Dream”
18. Kate Nash “My Best Friend Is You”
19. Ed Harcourt “Lustre”
20. Scissor Sisters “Night Work”

Honorable Mentions (aka you would’ve placed if I listened to you more):
§ Chromeo “Business Casual”
§ Sufjan Stevens “The Age of Adz”
§ Vampire Weekend “Contra”
§ Yeasayer “Odd Blood”

Biggest Disappointments:
Sheryl Crow “100 Miles From Memphis”
Patty Griffin “Downtown Church”
Cyndi Lauper “Memphis Blues”

Biggest Surprises:
Macy Gray “The Sellout”
Travie McCoy “Lazarus”
Sarah McLachlan “Laws of Illusion”

Wish I Met You Earlier (older albums enjoyed this year):
V.V. Brown “Traveling Like The Light”
Paloma Faith “Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful”
Vandaveer “Divide & Conquer”

Most Listened Albums:
1. Janelle Monae “The Archandroid”
2. Findlay Brown “Love Will Find You”
3. Hawksley Workman “Milk”
4. Hawksley Workman “Meat”
5. Marina & the Diamonds “The Family Jewels”
6. Magic Kids “Memphis”
7. Eels “End Times”
8. Owen Pallett “Heartland”
9. Eels “Tomorrow Morning”
10. Kate Nash “My Best Friend Is You”

Best Songs (one per artist, no particular order):
The Bird and the Bee “Heard It on the Radio”
Findlay Brown “Love Will Find You”
Chromeo “Night by Night”
Delorean “Stay Close”
Kelis “Acapella”
Magic Kids “Superball”
Janelle Monae “Cold War”
Robyn “Hang With Me”
Scissor Sisters “Fire with Fire”
Hawksley Workman “Chemical”

Best Concerts:
1. a-Ha! @ Club Nokia, May 16
2. Slow Club @ Spaceland, March 11
3. Robyn, Kelis and Dan Black @ Music Box, July 23
4. Justin Bond @ Upright Cabaret, January 30
5. Janelle Monae @ Viper Room, March 24

Zachary H.’s owl eyes

For me, this year was very much about re-discovering old favorites than it was about downloading new albums. But anyway, here's my 2010 list:

1. Owl City - Ocean Eyes
I saw the music video for "Fireflies" the other night, and it was my first time hearing Ocean City. I immediately downloaded the full album and fell in love. It's Death Cab meets Hellogoodbye with a little bit of Sherwood adorableness thrown in. The whole album is sort of whimsical and magical, and the music carries this innocence that makes me want to believe in true love and magic.

2. Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid
I was drawn to this first for the song "Tightrope" and then, as I listened to the rest of the album, I was just amazed at the sheer range of styles she uses to tell the stories of her science fiction world.

3. Robyn - Body Talk
Fun dance music, "Dancing on my Own" is a song I can identify with. 'Nuff said.

4. Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Ah, Katy Perry. So inspiring, so fun to listen to and watch. Who else would come up with a Candy Land music video? Or one with fireworks shooting out from her boobs? I joke, but seriously. I really find her music fun.

And that takes care of all the albums I own that came out in 2010. Now, as for old favorites whose awesomeness I rediscovered, I'll give your four of those as well:

1. What Made Milwaukee Famous - Trying to Never Catch Up
They sound so earnest! I'd heard one of their songs years ago and then found it again in a dream, and downloaded the rest of the album along with it. Their music is somewhere between hopeful and sure, with such clear notes of yearning to belong and find comfort with another. This album is magnificent rainy day music, especially if you're traveling. It's thoughtful, and lends itself well to thinking.

2. Ida Maria - Fortress Round My Heart
Dear gods, I need to be friends with this woman. She crazy. Fun to dance to, and chock full of great anthems - whether it's an anthem for a night ("I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked and I Like Me So Much Better When I'm Naked") or an anthem for a year ("Queen of the World"). I love this band, this album. They will never grow old for me.

3. The Darkness - Permission to Land
Do I even really need to explain myself on this one? I don't think I do. Rawesome.

4. Murder By Death - In Bocca Al Lupo
I love string instruments, but especially I love the cello. It isn't used enough, I don't think. A lot of the songs on this album are incredibly reminiscent of old sea shantys, telling mournful stories of mankind. Wonderful background music, fantastic mood music. I so highly recommend them.

Melissa W.’s got the Power

Essential: Kanye West, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"

Beach House, "Teen Dream"
The Thermals, "Personal Life"
The Young Veins, "Take a Vacation!"
Band of Horses, "Infinite Arms"

Kanye, "Blame Game"
Beach House, "Zebra"
Rihanna, "Only Girl in the World"

Bonus: A 20-year-old guest writer for I Heart Daily's top 5 songs of 2010, really well explained, just in case you want to check it out.

Billy M.’s trip down to Hades

My picks for 2010 are:

1. Hadestown, Anais Mitchell
2. Age of Adz, Sufjan Stevens
3. Downtown Church, Patty Griffin
4. Body Talk, Robyn
5. Flesh Tone, Kelis
6. Oh Little Fire, Sarah Harmer
7. Have One on Me, Joanna Newsom

Discovered favorite in 2010: Fixin to Thrill, Dragonette (2009)

I'm sure I'm forgetting something obvious, but I don't have all my albums in my computer, so it gets weird.

Go Hadestown Go!

Chris H. gets along like a Suburbs on fire

Actually didn’t get to listen to much music last year—so I’ll be playing catch-up. But in the spirit of trying to get you to your #100, here are my top ten:

1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
2. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
3. Vampire Weekend - Contra
4. Drake - Thank Me Later
5. The Black Keys - Brothers
6. Best Coast - Crazy For You
7. Sleigh Bells - Treats
8. Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer
9. Beach House - Teen Dream
10. LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening

Nancy M., local native

Small caveat: In 2010 I pretty much exclusively listened to Jonny's band (The Loom) and the bands that they played with or are going to play with. I'm not complaining. They played with some kick ass people and I was lucky to see lots of live music in 2010 which is not something I can usually say!

In no particular order:

--Local Natives; Gorilla Manor

--Breathe Owl Breathe; Magic Central (The weirdest, most interesting show I've seen in a long time. The album is pretty darn quirky but I can't stop listening to it on repeat.)

--Rural Alberta Advantage; Hometowns

--First Aid Kit; The Big Black and Blue (The two girls made famous by their youtube video singing Fleet Foxes a capella.)

--Lost in the Trees; All Alone In An Empty House

-Forest City Lovers; Carriage

-The Loom; At Last Light (not yet released); Teeth EP

Nick E. is indestructable

Oh man, there’s a part of me that just wants to give Belle & Sebastian the top slot every time they have something new. But as much as I like the new album, it can’t match Robyn for pop perfection or Sufjan for mad genius. And though Sufjan’s album feels more like, well, an album... it’s Body Talk that’ll still be on my iPod in 5 years. Or wired directly into my brain, if technology allows!

1. Robyn, Body Talk
2. Sufjan Stevens, Age of Adz
3. Belle and Sebastian, Write About Love
4. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
5. Band of Horses, Infinite Arms

Robyn also gets my vote for best live show of the year (Webster Hall) and best single (Hang with Me).

Ronnie A. likes that Creep…

I only have a couple of best soundtrack choices this year. I don’t know if that says something about me or the movies released this year. Probably both.
Red Riding Trilogy
1974, Adrian Johnston
1980, Dickon Hinchliffe
1983, Barrington Pheloung
The Ghost Writer, Alexandre Desplat
Let Me In, Michael Giaccchino
The music used in the trailer for The Social Network, Radiohead’s “Creep” by Scala and Kolacny Brothers. Brilliant.

Kathleen P., Lost and found

Raashan Ahmad - For What You've Lost
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday
Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim - Here Lies Love
Girl Talk - All Day
Beach House - Beach House
Vampire Weekend - Contra
Broken Bells - Broken Bells

Best Single on an almost-made-it album: Baby Lee on Teenage Fanclub's Shadows. It's so adorable!
Best Single to dance to that I listened to over and over and almost made myself sick of: Dynamite by Taio Cruz (close tie with Britney Spears' Toxic)
Worst Song of the year: Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are. Just typing it makes me sick.
Best Dance Single that needs to be more popular and should be downloaded rightaway: Satellite by Lena

Veronica goes West

This is me scrolling through my iPod in 5 minutes and trying to remember which albums were released this year ... hope I'm right!

Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Owen Pallett, Heartland
Belle and Sebastian, Write About Love
Robyn, Body Talk
Arcade Fire, Suburbs
Girl Talk, All Day

That’s Brett W. in the corner…

1. Robyn - Body Talk
Tough call between numbers 1 and 2. Robyn had some misses, but she is making the most exciting pop music today. I've loved her since I heard "Be Mine!" back in 2005. She made it worth the wait. Best Song: "Dancing On My Own." Duh.

2. Jonsi - Go
Flawless--every song. And like Robyn, he was one of the best live shows of 2010. Best Song: "Grow Till Tall" or "Sinking Friendships."

3. Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite
Kylie returns to what she's best at, and every sassy gay strutting down 5th Ave is listening to "Get Outta My Way" (also Best Song).

4. Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
The thing is, I love (and sort of miss) the less-accessible, more squeaky Joanna of "The Milk-Eyed Mender," but no one can deny this epic album, especially "Good Intentions Paving Company" (Best Song).

5. Beach House - Teen Dream
Nothing against Katy Perry, but this is the real teen dream. "Norway" got a lot of deserved attention. Close to perfection.

6. Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer
Never has saying "Fuck You" been so fun, but it's his voice on "Old Fashioned" that sealed the deal for me.

7. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Finally, Arcade Fire! It's been long enough. Best Song: "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"

8. Laura Veirs - July Flame
Like Joanna, she's a poet whose words I linger on long after her songs are over. Best Song: "July Flame."

9. Stars - The Five Ghosts
Not my favorite album of theirs, but I love them too much to not give them a spot. Plus "We Don't Want Your Body" is way too much fun.

10. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday
Listen, I didn't care for this album (there are a few gems, like, say, "I'm The Best"), but everyone should be aware of her mix-tapes, which I listened to enough in 2010 to put her on the Best Of list.

Yay! Now I'm going to go back and listen to each of these albums again and again. :)

Blake N., king of the beach

Favorite singles (in order):

"King of the Beach" Wavves
"Solitude is Bliss" Tame Impala
"Me me me" Lars and the Hands of Light
"Chinatown" Destroyer
"Shake me Down" Cage the Elephant
"Bushwick Blues" Delta Spirit
"Pumped up Kicks" Foster the People
"When I Grow up" Fever Ray

John A.’s Halcyon days

Album of the Year: Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter

A list of more great music from 2010 in no particular order:

Beach House: Teen Dream
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.: Horse Power EP
Panda Bear: Tomboy, You Can Count on Me, and Last Night at the Jetty singles
Local Natives: Gorilla Manor
Mogwai: Special Moves
Ra Ra Riot: The Orchard
Suuns: Zeroes QC
Tame Impala: InnerSpeaker
Teenage Fanclub: Shadows
The Twilight Sad: The Wrong Car
The Unwinding Hours: The Unwinding Hours

Kevin K. shows us the Monae

1. The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monae
2. This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem
3. Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons
4. The Winter of Mixed Drinks by Frightened Rabbit
5. River Blues by Justin Townes Earle
6. Together by The New Pornographers
7. The Lady Killer by Cee-Lo
8. Body Talk by Robyn
9. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Motion Picture Soundtrack by Various Artists
10. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
11. Contra by Vampire Weekend
12. False Priest by Of Montreal
13. How I Got Over by The Roots
14. The Guitar Song by Jamey Johnson
15. Adrift by The Red Sea Pedestrians

2010 was a great year for music compared to 2009

Sarah D.L. is full of Joy

Robert Plant Band of Joy - because it's a great album and also because I so enjoyed posting the song "You can't buy my love" on a political blog I write for after a certain Republican wrestling executive dropped $50 million of her own money to run for Senate here in CT and LOST.

Anna C. joins the Club

TOKYO POLICE CLUB, "Champ" I didn't like TPC before this, but a 13-hour car ride with just "Champ" to listen to made me a convert. I love so much about this record. It's a fantastic road trip album & is my takealong for going home even after that 13-hour drive, you can dance to it, you can curl up on a cold day with cocoa and listen to it, you can sing it with your friends. My only gripe with them is that I wish the lyrics were better--parts are very accessible, but a lot sounds like a collage of random lines of…journals? Newspaper headlines? I couldn't tell you. But for something with such an accessible tone--the opening "Favourite Food" invites you in with a vulnerable voice & delicate pace, then kicks in for you to dance to--I wish I could understand a little more where they're going with what they're saying with their mixed metaphors, almost-narration then incoherent line collages. But! Aside from that, I love love love love love this record. Hooray!
THE RED RIVER, "Little Songs about the Big Picture" I shared the stage with The Red River a few months ago & was immediately swept off my feet by "Milk & Honey," an upbeat, folk-tale singalong (which can be viewed on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts). The songs on "Little Songs" are nostalgic, honest & precious, without being too precious. They're almost religious, yet very grounded. NPR rated it one of the top 10 of 2010. Rightfully so.
SALLIE FORD & THE SOUND OUTSIDE, "Not An Animal EP" Originally from Asheville, NC, the first time I heard Sallie on WNCW I thought the track "Not An Animal" was straight out of the 40s. It's Ella FItzgerald by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway. They have an album due out within the year I believe.
ORYX & CRAKE, "Oryx & Crake" Atlanta-based band getting love from Paste among other publications. What I loved about O&C off the bat was the Margaret Atwood reference, but then the way that name & aspects of the book play into the songs--the organic sounds of the singing saw & coffee-grinder (yes, as an instrument)--then the electro elements of the keys & drum loops.
JAMISON MURPHY, "Shape & Recollection" Jamison Murphy is 14 years old. He plays an array of instruments, from 6-string guitar to dulcimer to cigar-box instruments handmade by Southern jazz musicians, and incorporates them all into his literature-inspired songs. Homages to the Glass family, Nietzsche, Flannery O'Connor, & Faulkner are penned with a well-rounded understanding & interpretation of, and reflection on, the material. "Shape & Recollection," his second album, shows him growing exponentially as a musician & a writer.

Michael T.’s sound system

1. LCD Soundsystem, This is Happening
2. The National, High Violet
3. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
4. Robyn, Bodytalk
5. Sleigh Bells, Treats

Steve M.’s roused by Rouse

If we're talking strictly 2010, here are a few:

1. Josh Rouse -- El Turista

2. Goodnight Loving -- Goodnight Loving Supper Club

3. The Riverdales – Tarantula
4. The White Wires -- WWII

Brant R. Rings dem Bells

Most Essential:
Broken Bells/Broken Bells

Other Essentials:
Surfer Blood/Astro Coast
The New Pornographers/Together
Vampire Weekend/Contra
Cee Lo Green/The Lady Killer
Arcade Fire/The Suburbs
Katy Perry/Teenage Dream
Kanye West/My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Das Racist/Shut Up, Dude

Perhaps Essential:
Das Racist/Sit Down, Man
Sleigh Bells/Treats
She & Him/Volume Two
Belle & Sebastian/Write About Love
LCD Soundsystem/This Is Happening
Janelle Monáe/The ArchAndroid
Gorillaz/Plastic Beach
Big Boi/Sir Lucious Left Foot...The Son Of Chico Dusty

Essential Songs (Mix Order):
Broken Bells/Vaporize
Vampire Weekend/Giving Up the Gun
Kanye West/All of the Lights
God Help the Girl/Baby You're Blind
Gorillaz/On Melancholy Hill
The New Pornographers/Crash Years
Surfer Blood/Floating Vibes
Ted Leo/Bottled in Cork
Sean Bones featuring Norah Jones/Turn Them
Belle and Sebastian/I Didn't See It Coming
Best Coast/Crazy for You
Das Racist/You Oughta Know
Big Boi featuring Janelle Monáe/Be Still
She & Him/Thieves
Free Energy/Psychic Lighting
Arcade Fire/Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Katy Perry/Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
Cee Lo Green/Fuck You
Spoon/Out Go the Lights

Essential Discoveries from Previous Years:
Al Stewart/Year of the Cat [1976]
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young/Déjà Vu [1970]
Daft Punk/Discovery [2001]
Florence + the Machine/Lungs [2009]
Guided By Voices/Earthquake Glue [2003]
Larry Norman/Only Visiting This Planet [1972]
Lay Gaga/The Fame [2009]
Lou Reed/Coney Island Baby [1976]
Matt & Kim/Matt & Kim [2006]
Neil Young/Harvest Moon [1992]
Ra Ra Riot/The Rhumb Line [2008]
The Call/Let the Day Begin [1989]
The Psychedelic Furs/Talk Talk Talk [1981]
The Undertones/The Undertones [1979]
Yo La Tengo/Ride the Tiger [1986]

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