Friday, December 31, 2010

My 30 Top Artists of 2010

So this year I decided to consolidate 2010 Album of the Year and 2010 Song of the Year into 2010 Artist of the year. There were a lot of great options this year -- 110 contenders to be exact. To be a contender I had to have purchased the artists 2010 released CD or full album download. Some artists got bonus points because I saw them live. Some got bonus points because I got to meet them after the show. I know, totally unfair, but it’s my list. HA!

Numbers 30-11 can pretty much go in any order (lazy, I know…again, my list, my rules). I also purposely did not include some big-name pop and country artists that I really liked because I didn’t feel like the headache of y’all making fun of me for listening to (insert artist)…I give ya enough material to make fun of me on a daily basis as it is.

So anyway, here’s the list:

30 Adrienne Pierce
29 Audra Mae
28 Corin Tucker Band
27 Alkaline Trio
26 Bad Religion
25 Hank Williams III
24 The Eels
23 LCD Soundsystem
22 Broken Social Scene
21 Against Me
20 Fake Problems
19 Mumford and Sons
18 Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses
17 Justin Townes Earle
16 Jenny and Johnny
15 Nellie McKay
14 The Watson Twins
13 Spoon
12 Drive-By Truckers
11 Gaslight Anthem


10 Sara Bareilles –King of Anything is one of those songs that give me hope for pop radio. I was so happy to get to see her perform again this summer at Lilith.

9 Allison Moorer – Allison’s Crows disc has been in my wife’s car stereo for about 7 months now (she stole it from me before we saw her earlier this year). Great album from top to bottom and a great if not underrated performer.

8 Elizabeth Cook – I’m seeing her Welder CD pop up on a lot of top of 2010 lists…and for good reason. Easily her finest work to date. On my “must see live” list. Sadly, the stars did not align for any of the three shows she played in my area this year.

7 Chely Wright – Chely had an amazing year personally and professionally. Lifted Off the Ground is by far her finest album to date (and I was a fan of her previous work). She has shifted from mainstream country to a more confessional singer/songwriter style and it suits her and her story well. Was great seeing her perform and meeting her this summer.

6 Ryan Adams and the Cardinals – Didn’t see this one coming. Don’t get me wrong, his albums are usually solid, but the double III/IV CD brought back his more rock side which was more than welcome for me. Although I should note that after his Whiskeytown stuff my favorite record by him is the much maligned Rock N Roll so who am I to judge?

5 Court Yard Hounds – I think that this debut flew WAY under the radar which is surprising seeing that it’s the two sisters from the Dixie Chicks. Delight (Something New Under the Sun) is one of my favorite tracks of the year. They were one of the many highlights from this year’s Lilith.


4 Old 97’s – One of my favorite bands for almost a decade. As always, they brought it in 2010. Also got to see Rhett do a solo show this year and got a great photo of the two of us after the show.

3 Superchunk – Nine times out of 10 I’ll say Superchunk is my favorite band of all time. So how awesome was it for me that Superchunk not only returned this year, but returned sounding like Foolish era Superchunk?

2 Tift Merritt – Tift is my favorite singer – period. When I heard she had an album coming out in 2010 I figured that she would be my No. 1, but it was not to be. So close.

1 Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Completely blindsided me. Always liked them, but their S/T release blew me away. I’m so happy that they are really starting to blow-up. This is easily my CD of the Year. Paris (oh la la) is my song and video of the year as well. Great live band too (even if they were down to a trio when I saw them this summer due to a widespread band flu).

A.F.I. - He Who Laughs Last

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! Stay safe. Here's some classic A.F.I. to help you celebrate. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Le Tigre - Deceptacon

I'm feeling like a party, so here's some smart party music via Le Tigre. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shades Apart - Tainted Love

Save It was my introduction to Shades Apart. And what a great introduction it was. Killer melodic hardcore. Here's their cover of the classic Soft Cell song Tainted Love. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No Use For A Name - Why Doesn't Anybody Like Me?

I liked No Use For A Name the first time I heard them, but it wasn't until hearing More Betterness and their following release Hard Rock Bottom that I really became a fan. Hard Rock Bottom is actually one of my favorite Fat releases in the past 10 years (Friends of the Enemy is such a killer tune). Anyway, here's a mighty fine gem from More Betterness. Enjoy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Suck My Kiss

I can't believe how great Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chili Peppers still sounds almost 20 years after it's release. Vital music. I've seen them a few times over the years, but my favorite shows were definitely during this era. Here's one of my favorite tracks. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Smashing Pumpkins - Siva

The Smashing Pumpkins were easily my favorite band of the 90s. I was completely obsessed with them. Saw them live four times on the Siamese Dream tour (only once on the Gish tour). Bought all of the singles (many in all formats CD/12"/7" and even one 10")...yet still bought their b-sides album because I needed to have it all. Then there were all of those expensive bootleg cds...Anyway, here's the video that started my obsession. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Foo Fighters - Everlong

It's hard to think of Everlong by the Foo Fighters as being a "Forgotten Favorite." Not a week goes by where I don't here my favorite Foo song on the radio. Haven't seen this video in years. As is the case with most of their videos, there's plenty of laughs. Enjoy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand

There's not much that needs to be said about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. They are one of the baddest bands in the world and Cave is one of the finest wordsmiths in music. From the first time I heard Let Love In I was hooked. Here's something off that 1994 classic. Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kirsty MacColl - Walking Down Madison, New England, In These Shoes

Tomorrow, December 18th, is the 10-year anniversary of the tragic death of one of my favorite singers -- Kirsty MacColl. Here are a few tracks showcasing her greatness. I'll save her legendary duet with the Pogues for next week. RIP Kirsty, I miss your wonderful voice.

For more information please visit Justice For Kirsty

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Massive Attack - Inertia Creeps

A buddy of mine used to always play Massive Attack in his truck on our way to the "secret surf spot" in the Outer Banks. It's snowing today, so of course I think of Massive Attack. Here's one of my favorite tracks by them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Presidents of the United States of America - Lump

I initially thought the Presidents of the United States of America were pretty annoying. They probably are, but you can't deny that they have a certain catchiness about them. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Erasure - Am I Right?

I had totally forgotten about this Erasure video from one of my favorite tracks off Chorus. Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

They Eat Their Own - Like a Drug

Almost 20 years later and I still get this They Eat Their Own song stuck in my head at least once a month. Enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Church - Ripple

The Church may be one of my top 20 favorite bands of all time. I've been fortunate enough to see them perform a few times over the last 10 years and they are better than ever. Last time I saw them, I even got to meet both Marty Wilson-Piper and Steve Kilbey. Anyway, here's a track from their Preist=Aura cd. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stereolab - Wow and Flutter

Hey! How about some Stereolab for your Thursday evening? Consider it done. Here's one of my favorite tunes by them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Weezer - Undone - The Sweater Song

I absolutely HATED Weezer when they first came out. To this day I have no idea why, because they were and still are pretty awesome. Here's their first classic. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Aimee Mann - That's Just What You Are

My musical tastes often shift as the seasons change. Once the weather starts getting colder I always reach for my Aimee Mann cds. There's something about her smokey cool voice that just warms me up, even as her lyrics rip my heart out. Here's the song that hooked my wife and then me back when we were in college (The sound quality here is a little rough...I do suggest checking out the acoustic version with no video on YouTube). Enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Godflesh - Slavestate

I remembered being terrified the first time I heard Godflesh. OK, terrified may be going too far, but this was not music for the weak of heart. In recent years I've really become a fan of Godflesh and Justin Broadrick's other bands including his most recent -- Jesu. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blink-182 - Dammit

I got to see Blink-182 at the 2009 Virgin Free Fest for the first time in about 10 years. As always, it was a blast. Here's the song that hooked me in the late 90s. Enjoy!