John Parsell’s Top Twelve (12) Albums of 2010

John:

Greetings!  From where I’m standing, this was a pretty great year for music.  So much so, that I felt inclined to make a list of my favorite albums that came out this year.  At first I resigned myself to a top 10 list, but I have created a top 12 because they are all such strong records.  I included ‘honorable mention’ to cover albums that I’ve just recently heard or that came very close, but didn’t quite win my heart this year.   One quick note about the album that occupies the number one spot – it is rare that I find an album that I feel compelled to play in so many different contexts…it’s so good, I definitely recommend it!

2010 Top 12

12. The Black Keys – Brothers

11. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

10. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

9.  Superchunk – Majesty Shredding

8.  Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me

7.  The Roots – How I Got Over

6.  Girl Talk – All Day

(Check out Mashup Breakdown found via GOOD)

5.  Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid

4.  Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son of Chico Dusty

3.  Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

2.  LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

1.  Beach House – Teen Dream

Honorable Mentions:

  • Hot Chip – One Life Stand
  • Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here
  • Kings Go Forth – The Outsiders Are Back
  • Robyn – Body Talk Pt.1 & Pt. 2 (I still haven’t heard the Body Talk full length)
  • Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
  • Sleigh Bells – Treats
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December 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

Paul Potorti’s Top 10 Songs of 2010

1. Cee-Lo Green – Fuck You

2. Darren Criss – Teenage Dream

3. Sufjan Stevens – Too Much

4. Arcade Fire – Ready To Start

5. LCD Soundsystem – I Can Change

6. Lady Gaga – Telephone (Feat. Beyonce)

7. Justin Timberlake & Matt Morris – Hallelujah

8. Jonsi – Hengilas

9. BT – The Emergency

10. Crystal Castles – Not In Love (Feat. Robert Smith)

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

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

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.

Julia GP Haupt’s Top 10 Knife City Creamery Posts

So lucky to have Julia as a reader! What a lady!!

Julia: The following is not a Top Ten List of your ten best blog posts. It’s my top ten list of posts that stuck with me (some for good reason, and some for no apparent reason). But I read and loved all of your posts (all as in 90%).

1. Yoke Cake!

[image via Amyland Cake Company]

2. And I’m Proud to Be an American

[image via fieq mayhem]

3. Freddie de Boer’s Digital Book Club

[image via flixter]

4. 10 Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia

[image via xkcd]

5. Favorite Poemer Delivers Again

[image via Luke Johnson]

6. Smaced in the Privets

[image via gconnect]

7. The Cringe at the Heart of Christmas

[image via fandango]

8. Professional Packer

[image via mtbr]

9. Refurbished Bicycles Make Good Gates

[image via dude craft]

10. Incredible McDonalds Burger Experiment

[image via snack girl]

December 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

Liz Selbst’s Top 10 Pieces of Unsolicited Advice She Wanted to Give in 2010 but Bit Her Tongue Instead

10. if you’ve spent more than an hour on the internet researching symptoms, it’s time to stop reading and make a doctor’s appointment.

9. you can use your smartphone’s accelerometer to collect data on your sleep cycles. check out “smart alarm clock” for android or “sleep cycle” for iphone.

8. if you want to break a bad habit, head to http://www.stickk.com. give them your credit card number and pick an “anti-charity” that will receive your donation if you don’t stick to your goal for 30 days.

7. it is much easier to dress appropriately for the weather than to complain all day about the sun/rain/wind/snow/cold/sand/etc.

6. a communication failure is almost always a two-way street.

5. spice up a powerpoint presentation by using the ‘b’ or ‘w’ keys to black out/white out the screen. surprisingly effective at snapping the audience back to attention.

4. refusing to admit you’ve made a mistake is usually worse than whatever the mistake was.

3. if you want to find out how something works, try to make it yourself. if you get too cocky, take apart something complicated and try to put it back together.

2. remove unnecessary information from your email signature.

1. think broadly and resist social self-sorting. befriend people who are different from you, talk about current events with those whose political views you do not share, and explain your research to people who work in different fields.

December 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. 3 comments.

Charlie Deal’s Top 10 Great Beers of the Year

[image via Off the Broiler]

I know Charlie best as a whippersnapper snapper.  In other words, he regularly outperforms younger athletes such as myself.  His real job though, is as Chef and Owner of both Jujube in Chapel Hill and Dos Perros in Durham.  I’ll let him take it from here.

I wouldn’t go so far as call this the 10 best beers I had.  Rather, some combo of “the best” and ones that were far tastier than I expected.

1. Stone Imperial Russian Stout- This was released at the same time this year as the much more heralded Founders KBS and Rasputin Oak Aged, and it was so much more enjoyable right away.  Those other two may come around but the Stone is rich, balanced, and completely delicious.

[image via Core Brewing]

2. Unibroue Quelque Chose- Really a dessert wine barely masquerading as a beer, but who freaking cares.   The stuff is flat-out glorious.  Mind you, you’ll want at least a few friends around to share the bottle, because I can’t see drinking more than 6 oz or so of it.  Cherry deliciousness.

[image via Bob Woodshed]

3. Bruery Saison Rue- It was the belle of the ball in a tasting of American Wild Ales.  It just had such clarity and finesse.  Ripe rye flavors with a bright finish and amazing texture.

[image via Core Brewing]

4. Stone Cali-Belgique- This one gets the nod over other Belgian-style IPAs simply because it was the first I tried.  It is such a delicious style that is really catching on.  Ripe fruit with high aromatics and an assertive, bitter bite.

[image via Drunken Polack]

5. Dogfish Head Festina Peche- Certainly makes the list under the, “surprisingly tasty” category.  I could not get over how charming, clean, and fresh this beer tasted.  Great acidity and immensely refreshing.

[image via Brewed for Thought]

6. Allagash Interlude- Borrowing a touch of ripe fruit and polish from time spent in oak barrels that previously saw Syrah and Merlot, this otherwise tangy wild ale is a stunning example of how profound beer can be.

[image via Captain’s Beer Blog]

7. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid- First off, Lagunitas beers are such an amazing value.  Price wise, it’s them and everyone else.  What I liked about this beer in particular is that, unlike so many other double IPAs, it’s not crazy malty.  I really find it odd.  Guys jack up the IBUs to dizzying levels, and then cram so much malt into a beer that you can barely tell.  Not this one.

[image via Hampton Roads]

8. The whole Mikkeller Single Hop Series- My favorite was the Nelson Sauvin, and I’m not even sure I like the idea of these things existing, but sitting down and trying all 10 was illustrative to say the least.

[image via Nath’s Beer Gallery]

9. 2008 Southampton Saison- My first aged saison and one that was so amazing I made sure to put some down.  Tons of fig and caramel and a beautiful copper color.

[image via Home Brew Talk]

10. Ommegang Rare Vos- Maybe it was tasting it there.  But I think it’s because it’s what Fat Tire would taste like if Fat Tire was actually good.  There’s that rich toast, but it washes clean and refreshing behind.

[image via Benne Keith]

I know this made you thirsty so I’ll likely bump into you at Sam’s after workThey’re doing a tasting with Stone Brewing Co. (who Charlie picked twice here) this Friday from 4:30-7pm.

December 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. 2 comments.

Your End of the Year Top 10 Lists

I want to publish your list here.

I’ve already had some excellent submissions.

I’ve said this elsewhere, but your top 10 list doesn’t have to be albums and it doesn’t necessarily have to consist of 10 items.

Also, you can submit more than one list.

Also, no rules.

Email your submission(s) to philliposophy at gmail.com

[via If We Don’t, Remember Me]

Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with.

December 15, 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.

Sundog

Lick Lick.

[via Drew Toothpaste]

December 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

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