Scott Wotring’s Top 10 Albums and Things from 2010

Top 10 Albums:

1. Surfer BloodAstro Coast
What struck me as nothing more than a simple rock record, transformed with each listen into a collection of the year’s best pop songs.  The hooks are abundant, the lyrics are genuine, and as a bonus, I saw them drink Four Loko on stage before it was cool!

2. The Tallest Man on EarthThe Wild Hunt
This album is more than King of Spain, although most songs have that element of folksy twang that make it both unique and accessible.  I play this stuff when I’m alone and mumble the lyrics all day.  It’s bold and beautiful, like the doggone TV show.

3. The DrumsThe Drums
I first heard this album while jogging.  By song four I was wondering Is This It?  I’m a sucker for that shimmering New York City garage rock sound, and this album nails it.  See them live if you get the chance.  The singer is a jazzy wonderboy.

4. Miniature TigersFortress
A smattering of happy-go-lucky pop songs, perfect for a lazy afternoon in the sun.  Guaranteed to show up on a Chevy Volt commercial next year.

5. WavvesKing of the Beach
‘Cause I’m just having fun… with you! — that pretty much sums it up.  Jess and I blasted this album on the way to the beach.  It was the right sound at the right time this summer.

6. Chihei HatakeyamaGhostly Garden
Best ambient music of the year.  Ghostly Garden is 48 minutes of nothingness, atmospheric sounds that fade into the background and becalm Scott Wotring.  Good music for reading and writing.

7. LCD SoundsystemThis is Happening
Though not as original as Sound of Silver, this album kept with the long-form, satirical, indie dancerock that makes LCD so fucking cool.  Twice this year I danced publicly to this album, once at the beach, and once in front of a camera.

8. Beach HouseTeen Dream
Beach House is sentimental without being sappy.  Their songs evoke sadness, but only tease with the deathblow.  This album would drown in sorrow if not for the band’s considerable talents as musicians.

9. Gold PandaLucky Shiner
Best electronic album of the year.  In the crowded genre of chill electronica, Gold Panda (born Derwin Panda) stands out with his eccentric beats and spiffy synth hooks.  The sound is both adventurous and agreeable.  Four Tet with a longer shelf life.

10. Titus AndronicusThe Monitor
This album makes me want to guzzle a bottle of whisky and punch someone right in the face.  It’s modern and raw, with an unrestricted view into the mind of a man contemplating the truths and evils of everyday life.  Punk rock for the middle-aged.  The walk home is gonna be a real shit show!

Top 10 Things:

1.  Hopscotch Music Festival
2.  Raleigh to London to Paris to Amsterdam to Hamburg to Raleigh
3.  Brussel sprouts with sriracha and lime
4.  Stuff You Should Know podcast
5.  Warrior Dash
6.  The Room
7.  Caribou at Cats Cradle
8.  Google Maps
9.  Linville Gorge Backpacking Trip
10.  Six-pack Challenge

Advertisements

December 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

Knife City Creamery’s Top 10 Albums of 2010

Knife City Creamery’s Top 10 Albums of the Year:

1. Shabazz Palaces – Shabazz Palaces

2. Shabazz Palaces – Of Light

3. Menomena – Mines

4. James Blake – CMYK (EP)

5. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

6. Future Islands – In Evening Air

7. Walkmen – Lisbon

8. Wolf Parade – Expo 86

9. Freddie Gibbs – Str8 Killa No Filla

10. Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner

December 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Sundog – Do You Like Donuts?

[via Drew Toothpaste]

December 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Nemo Németh’s Top 10 Things He “Thumbs Up”

Nemo has ten thumbs?  Weird.  Here are his top 10 in no particular order:

  • A hot tea and a warm helmet on a cold day.
  • Slamming the weight down after a successful heavy clean and jerk or snatch
  • Scoring goals
  • The sweet scent of lingering perfume of tall brunette women with curly hair
  • Skydiving on breezy summer days
  • Daft Punk

Daft Punk – Derezzed [via Le Touch]

  • Lake Balaton

[images via Sunshine Estates and Destination 360]
  • A big bite of a green apple that makes that crunchy noise
  • The smell of crisp air when winter turns spring
  • The feeling of full throttle acceleration on the motorcycle

Hungarian teen idol.

December 17, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

The Cringe at the Heart of Christmas

[image via TV by the Numbers]

Giles Fraser from the Guardian blasts it.

Christmas can be a bad time for those of us with an allergy to all that Jesus-is-my-friend theology. As the angels sing, the eternal mystery pulsing through all things becomes a human being. Yes, this is orthodox Christianity. But what too many Christians take from this is theological permission to get terribly chummy with the divine. As God turns into Jesus, mystery can be replaced by sentiment, eternity forced to the scale of the domestic imagination. God becomes my best buddy. It’s the cringe at the heart of Christmas. […]

Evangelical Christianity, with all its emphasis on Jesus as friend, risks domesticating the divine, pulling God too much within the dimensions of the human perspective. With this sort of Jesus at hand, God becomes just too easy.Yes, of course, one can read the incarnation very differently. I would argue that the idea of God as a baby is one of the most disruptive theological suggestions ever made. After all, isn’t God supposed to be omnipotent? Here, Jesus is a supreme form of denial – a denial of God as power. And this powerlessness can be as much intellectual as anything else. To be a Christian is not to have the answers. Sometimes it’s just about living the questions.

Word.

[Giles Fraser @ the Guardian via the Browser]

[Animated GIF via If We Don’t, Remember Me]

December 14, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 1 comment.

Who Cares About Kanye West?

[image via the Bygone Bereau]

Passion of the Weiss is my favorite rap blog.  Last month their host of contributors held a roundtable discussion on Kanye West’s new album.  The idol worship you’ll find at Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and PopMatters is absent here.  Let’s get into it.

Floodwatch:

Kanye West and his music perfectly encapsulate everything that is fundamentally wrong with pop music and pop culture right now. It’s the reason why I occasionally gnash my teeth in my sleep, why I refuse to watch television anymore, and why my gaze never strays from my shopping cart when I’m standing in the checkout line at the market. It’s unwarranted and self-made celebrity; it’s endless, narcissistic self-isolation on a Facebook page. Its bloated, glitzy splendor is the equivalent of a gated subdivision full of vacant McMansions. It’s everything I’m trying to eliminate from my life in 2010: unnecessary noise and excess.

Jeff Weiss

For my wooden nickel, the best rap music is usually menacing and minimal. This has neither, but it succeeds because Kanye is the only person with enough vision to pull it off. As much as I enjoy this record, I’m loathe to consider the impact it will have on the next generation. […]

If this is the album that American culture deserves, it’s not what we should aspire to– no matter how tongue-in-cheek or self-aware our jokes are.

Aaron Matthews

The album is simultaneously layered and shallow. […]

But Kanye excels at excess. He makes the sprawling personal and compulsively listenable. He’s pulled the strange trick of becoming more relatable as he’s gotten more infamous. […]

Yeezy reupholstered my brain.

Doc Zeus

I’m pushing my entire stack of chips onto black at the roulette table and going to call this the finest album of his career. I’m going all in. No joke. I love this record.

Cleaning up the floor after spitting my most venomous bile on it (you happy now, Jeff?), I still find the record to be uniformly excellent.

Disco Vietnam

Kanye West is a space cadet. I can’t relate to him. It’s unfortunate because my ability to relate to him was the very reason I’d first supported him. I found his passion endearing. I admired his self-assuredness; he seemed to know how to balance it with a sense of humor. […]

To hail it as perfection is beyond foolish, reckless. When the stakes are this high the critical community has a responsibility to be more judicious with its praise. Yes, this album is important; it’s also indulgent, exhausting, ponderous, all the things we tear less fashionable albums to shreds for being. […]

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy believes itself to be perfect; it’s shallow at best and at worst contrived. […]

This album is a triumph in every conceivable way but the one that matters most: is it an effective piece of art?

Sach O

So it’s officially Kanyemania out there today. Pitchfork gave the album a 10.0, Slate’s got it as album of the year and the mainstream press seems officially content to anoint Kanye as the superstar demigod he wants to be perceived as […]

I’d been avoiding getting caught up in the hype surrounding this thing in the goal to listen to it as a whole and to see how I feel about it as a complete album. Since dude thinks he’s a world-class artist making some genius shit, I figured I’d rate him to his desired standards: harshly and mercilessly based on the full record as he conceived it.

To be honest, I was ready to tear into My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but despite it’s masturbatory song-lengths, overcooked sense of self-importance and the fact that it’s made by a man who’s evolved into one of the most annoying celebrities of all time (of all time!)…This is a great album.

Douglas Martin

It’s almost like on this album, Kanye actually has enough money to cater to every impulse, and it’s not always pretty.

Though it ranks in the lower-half of Kanye’s catalog, one thing I can say about this record is that it’s the complete opposite of formulaic, which is downright heroic for a pop star. Although I agree that ambitious failures should not be placed higher in value than modest successes, I think both are commendable.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, even in its flaws, shows that Kanye really cares. Every note– all two-billion of them– seem carefully considered, and you can almost hear Kanye in the background of one of those choir breakdowns saying, “This would sound DOPE if I put a didgeridoo right here!” Pop music is supposed to be formulaic, disposable. Pop stars aren’t supposed to put this music thought, this much effort, into a pop album. Or maybe it’s not and they are, and it takes a record as ambitious as this one to show everyone what pop music could be like if everybody just tried harder.

Abe Beam

This album will age.

December 7, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.

Sundog

[via Drew Toothpaste]

December 5, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. 1 comment.

F___ You if You Don’t Like Christmas

[Drew Toothpaste via Rats Off!]

It’s always OK to dance.

[via Julia Segal]

December 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. 1 comment.

Roger of the Month

I used to like skateboarding videos.

I like skateboarding videos.

I will like skateboarding videos.

[via Kottke who has a misunderstanding about what parkour is and isn’t]

November 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. 5 comments.

The Re-Arranger

[Kim Rugg via GOOD]

Appropriate song: Mates of State – The Re-Arranger

[via Pretty goes with Pretty]

November 11, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

« Previous PageNext Page »