Luftmensch’s Best of 2010

I love arguing over and bitching about year-end Best Of lists, until I’m forced to make one.

Just Wait ‘Til Next Year:

Five Eight artists whose 2011 releases I’m eagerly awaiting. They best not let me down.

The Twilight Singers
Okkervill River
Carol Bui
Hard Nips
Shabazz Palaces
Anna Calvi
Ghostpoet
Hyro Da Hero

Songs of the Year (no particular order):
I may tire of these songs eventually, but I’m not banking on living that long.

The Hold Steady – We Can Get Together
Cowboy Junkies – I Cannot Sit Sadly By Your Side (cover)
Anthony D’Amato – My Father’s Son
Paul Dempsey – Fast Friends
Ice Cream Shout – Tattooed Tears
Revolver – Get Around Town
The Black – Throwing Away
Fences – The Same Tattoos
Aloe Blacc – I Need A Dollar
Perfume Genius – Mr. Peterson

Re/Issues of the Year:

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Damn The Torpedoes

Hate to say it, but if Damn The Torpedoes came out in 2010, it would be the top album of the year, hands-down.

Bruce Springsteen – The Promise

Not certain if this is considered a new release or a reissue or a revisionist document, but it’s frightening that Springsteen has stuff this good just sitting in the vault gathering dust.

Iggy Pop and James Williamson – Kill City

Finally, the story can be told.

The Endtables – The Endtables

Sure, there were a million bands that burned white hot, then disappeared, but Louisville’s The Endtables may have been the best of’em.

I, Brute Force – Confections Of Love

Simply the most perplexing and rewarding reissue of the year. I’ve spent way too many hours trying to make sense of lines like: Nothing could be nicer, nothing could be wiser/In this day and age/Of such advanced civilization/Than to pounce/And sit on a sandwich

Album of the Year Honorable Mentions (no particular order):

Deftones – Diamond Eyes
Danzig – Red Deth Saboath
Antony and The Johnsons – Swanlights
Valient Thorr – Stranger
Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Hawk
Gaslight Anthem – American Slang
Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song
Marco Mahler – Laptop Campfire Speed
Bad Religion – Dissent Of Man

Top 10 of 2010

10. Eminem – Recovery

Who knew Em still had it in him? Rarely has anger been so cathartic or sounded so good. Not sure what Michael J. Fox ever did to Eminem, but aside from those few cringe-worthy moments, Recovery is the must have record of the year for commuters, and a legit comeback.

9. Anika – s/t

Everything I love about those old Nico records except the crippling heroin addiction. At this point, my feeling is that Anika should be higher, but since I haven’t had time to get sick of it, I’m going to play it safe and just sneak it into the Top 10.

8. Cowboy Junkies – Renmin Park

Long-time veterans of the folk-rock scene tackle a concept record about young lovers coming to age in modern China. This record shouldn’t work for any number of reasons. It works brilliantly thanks to Michael Timmins incredible songs, Margo Timmins pipes and a few cover tunes you never would have heard otherwise.

7. Shooter Jennings and Heirophant – Black Ribbons

The year’s densest record, and one that proves two things: 1) Shooter Jennings is much more than passable second generation singer-songwriter, and 2) Trent Reznor isn’t the only artist capable of making paranoid records about the role of corporations in the near future.

6. Alejandro Escovedo – Street Songs Of Love

Nothing fancy here, just the best pure rock album of 2010. Has anyone noticed that Escovedo has been untouchable since he almost died? Just sayin’? And Tony Visconti is killing it. Tony, if you’re reading this, please call Bowie and get him into the studio.

5. Aloe Blacc – Good Things

One of the year’s best kept secrets. Is it just me or is I Need A Dollar nothing less than What’s Going On? for Generation Y. The fact that Blacc attempts Femme Fatale proves he has some major cajones. The fact that he nails it proves he has major skills.

4. Franz Nicolay – Luck & Courage

A quiet storm of a record from one of the most talented guys you’ve never thought twice about. “Anyone can be a god-fearing man on a mountain/It’s easy to be a good boy at the circus” is my favorite couplet of the year. Who knew he was the glue of The Hold Steady?

3. The Black Keys – Brothers

Awesome record helped immensely by the best concert of the year helped immensely by the woman endlessly grinding on my brother’s leg. This record is so good that I’m not even going to mention how many commercials feature songs from it.

2. The National – High Violet

The Boxer was my top record of 2007. I’m getting predictable. I keep expecting to tire of The National’s shtick, and in particular Matt Berninger’s sad sack vocalizing, but it doesn’t seem to be happening. Matt. Please. Call your voicemail, leave a message of you singing The Twelve Days Of Christmas and release that sucker as a 7-inch.

1. Perfume Genius – Learning

I listened to this a lot. A lot. And every time it kinda leaves me a little astounded. The unguarded honesty of Antony combined with Mark Oliver Everett’s eye for detail and the emotional frailty of Daniel Johnston. Learning is such an accomplished debut that I hate to even imagine Mike Hadreas trying to follow it up.

  • Lydia – Sunset in the Rearview

    January 10, 2011 [ 11:05 pm ]

    I love finding Perfume Genius at the top of another list! He was #1 on my list too, over at Sunset in the Rearview. You’re absolutely right to say you were left astounded, and the words “emotional frailty” are perfect. I sometimes wonder what it is that I love about the album so much, because it is so gut-wrenching, but I can’t ever seem to get enough of it. Listening to it on vinyl seems to be one of my favorite things to do. (Link to my Best of 2010 list: http://bit.ly/gtcF8R)

  • "Laptop Campfire Speed" on MOKB "Best of 2010" list | Marco Mahler – Music + Mobiles – Blog

    May 24, 2011 [ 6:58 pm ]

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