In 2010, I have really been digging into Podcasts and Audiobooks more than listening to records. The good news is that I made it through Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, but the bad news is that I seem to be listening to less music nowadays.
The below Platter Chatter should be digested with that knowledge.
1) The Walkmen- Lisbon
For no other reason that it is the one that I listened to the most. I got hooked on the song “Stranded,” but “Angela Surf City” and “Victory” are equally triumphant. I had never really listened to these guys before, with the exception of “The Rat”, but will have to dig into some back catalog pronto.
2) Deerhunter- Halcyon Digest
In which Brian finally discovers the fuss over Deerhunter. Sort of a distillation of everything this guy has done, and has been criticized for trying to be something for everyone. That bothers me not at all- this is a great album that could have taken the top spot if I had had it for longer.
3) The National- High Violet
Like Deerhunter, this album was a perfecting of the albums that came before it (Alligator and Boxer). The thing is, this one is better, I think. If I had to pick one song that stuck with me from this record, I’d go with “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.” I always try to have a glass of Scotch in hand while listening to this.
4) LCD Soundsystem- This is Happening
This would make the list for the opening track (Dance Yrself Clean) alone, which to me is the song of the year.
5) Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
Not as great as Funeral, but don’t hold that against it. I listened to this while driving through Oregon this past August, and many of the songs are tied to that scenery. I mention that because that trip was a fantastic one, and any songs that provided the soundtrack are instantly bumped up in terms of importance in my mind.
Close But No Guitar (in no order):
Broken Bells- Broken Bells, MGMT- Congratulations, Janelle Monae- ArchAndroid, Grinderman- Grinderman 2, Broken Social Scene- Forgiveness Rock Record, Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang- The Wonder Show of the World, The New Pornographers- Together, Yeasayer- Odd Blood
Top 10 songs for A Compilation (Without using any songs from my top
list) “Rill Rill”- Sleigh Bells, “I Didn’t See it Coming”- Belle & Sebastian, “Power”- Kanye West, “Good Intentions Paving Company”- Joanna Newsom, “Crash Years”- New Pornographers, “My Gap Feels Weird”- Superchunk, “Palaces of Montezuma”- Grinderman, “Chase Scene”- Broken Social Scene, “The High Road”- Broken Bells, “Congratulations”- MGMT
Belle and Sebastian Write About Love– It’s not that it’s a particularly bad record, its just that there were no surprises to be found here. None. At all. Still, the opening song is great B & S.
Spoon- Transference– Anyone remember anything from this record? Man, was this one a snoozer.
Top Live Show
Loved the New Pornographers show at LA’s Music Box Theater, as I always do. I had never seen them with Neko Case before, and she didn’t disappoint. The MVP, however, as Dan Bejar, who wandered onstage and left when he felt like it, drank like a fish, and provided a bit of an antidote to the sugary pop of AC Newman.
Worst Live Show
Sorry to say, Ween takes the title. I’d like to say that the problem was entirely the venue, as the Aragon in Chicago is notoriously shitty. I have to say, though, the band seemed a bit tired and uninspired. Still have high hopes for the LA show I have coming up, but I have to call ‘em like I see ‘em.
I find myself still plowing through that last Flaming Lips album (Embryonic). I can’t take too much at once, but there are some catchy Easter Eggs hidden within. And with all the hoopla surrounding the Darkness on the Edge of Town documentary, I was happy to dig into my favorite Springsteen album again.
Thankfully I Did Not Give Up
From what I’ve heard from the new Joanna Newsom album, she has been able to take care of all the sticking points that have given me problems on her previous stuff (you know, the voice and the endless songs). Yeah, Have One on Me is a three-record (!) set, but I’m not sure they are supposed to be listened to in one sitting. And what I’ve heard is great.
To Do List (Need to give it more time or a real first try)
Kanye’s new one- I rarely spend too much time with any hip-hop, so I have to force myself to listen to this. Which I am, and I have to say… not yet. I mean, its OK, but I haven’t heard why this is topping so many Best Of Lists. The same goes for Big Boi’s new record- I have yet to hear anything bad about it, but its probably not a good sign that I have yet to fully process Speakerboxx, is it?
Gorillaz- Plastic Beach– I love what I’ve heard so far, but have yet to listen to the whole thing. Is it any good?
Sufjan’s Age of Adz– I really liked his EP this year, but have yet to check this out.
Frightened Rabbit- Winter of Mixed Drinks– I think this one will reveal itself to me eventually, but I just haven’t had the time to listen to it yet.