So here are the much anticipated Sub Pop top ten lists. The rules were a bit loosey goosey—some are top 10 songs, some top 10 albums, and some, well, just top 10 good things of 2010.
1. Moondoggies Tidelands (Hardly Art)
2. Ted Lucas Ted Lucas (Yoga Records): Listen to the best song on it here.
3. Real Estate Out of Tune 7" (Real Panther Sounds)
4. Kurt Vile Square Shells EP (Matador)
5. Bob Dylan The Witmark Demos 1962-64 (Columbia Records)
6. Michael Hurley & Betsy Nichols Jocko’s Lament 7" (Mississippi Records) – technically came out in 2009, but in late December
7. Salah Ragab and The Cairo Jazz Band Egyptian Jazz (Art Yard/Kindred Spirits)
8. (song) Spoek Mathambo “Mshini Wam” (BBE)
9. Lazer Zeppelin American Derivative (PIAPTK): Watch this Youtube video.
10. Mariah Utakata No Hibi (Not sure?)- out in 1983, just something I’ve been super into lately
11. ONE MORE! Girls Broken Dreams Club EP (Matador)
1. Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me
2. Forest Swords – Dagger Paths
3. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
4. Gun Outfit – Possession Sound
5. S – im not as good at it as you
6. Caribou – Swim
7. The Fresh & Onlys – Play It Strange
8. Woods – At Echo Lake
9. Tyvek – Nothing Fits
10. Shimmering Stars – Demos
…though I probably listened to Irma Thomas more than anything else this year.
SONG + VID OF THE YEAR: this
Misc. Other Awesome Shit in ’10: the Aframes 333 comp, Alan Lomax series on Mississippi Records, working with Hunx!!, Derek Erdman in Seattle, getting CW back in print, Black Tambourine, Shabazz Palaces, Balaclavas, Slices, the Walkmen, Scout Niblett, Sonny & the Sunsets, going to Iceland, Beach House, Happy Birthday, No Age, Dum Dum Girls, Wolf Parade, Ruby Suns, Foals (sorry, but Sub Pop totally killed it this year), Robyn, Broken Water, Quasi, Sharon Van Etten, Ariel Pink, Benoit Pioulard, Kranky in general, ETC.
1. Ty Segall Melted (Goner)
2. Ariel Pink Before Today (4AD)
3. Colleen Green Milo Goes to Compton tape
4. Tyvek Nothing Fits (In the Red)
5. Happy Birthday Happy Birthday (Sub Pop)
I got this one for free, but Kyle is the shit and so is Ruth! I also love the Moondoggies new stuff and Golden Triangle and the Helpers, but it is unfair to pick Hardly Art artists as I get them for free. One of the perks. Man, that Moondoggies LP is killer, though.
6. Woven Bones In and Out and Back Again (Hozak)
7. Circle Pit Bruise Contellation (Timberyard/Siltbreeze)
8. The Beets (all of the Juan Wauters Tapes and unreleased LP and live etc)
9. The Witch Lazy Bones (I got it in March and it rules)
10. Jilted John Jilted John (Rabid Records)
There are so many more. Kanye and Big Boi, I am looking at you!!!!
1. Strange Boys – Be Brave
2. Tyvek – Nothing Fits
3. Weekend – Sports
4. Le Sang Song – s/t
5. Babies – Meet Me in the City 7"
6. Pill Wonder – Jungle/Surf EP
7. A-Frames – 333
8. Circle Pit – Bruise Constellation
9. Woven Bones – In and Out and Back Again
10. Abner Jay – Folk Song Stylist (reissue)
Honorable Mentions / not records – The Beets / Cassie Ramone split 7" (contains maybe my favorite song of the year, “I Don’t Know” by the Beets, and the Cassie side is none too shabby neither)… Shabazz Palaces at Neumos in January … Total Fest / birthday in Missoula – mini road trip and swimming with Unnatural Helpers, Julie & the Wolves (and Julie, generally), intro’ing PARTY JAIL with the Coconut Coolouts (maybe the coolest thing ever), “joke” / sincere crowdsurfing during Tacocats set / THE LIGHTS)… CHARLIE RICH, Sun’s Golden Treasures (the song “Time and Again” on here is the song I want played for my first dance at my wedding if I ever get married…it is that good, yes) HARDLY ART CMJ PARTY 2010 (best night ever)
LCD Soundsystem- This is Happening
Zola Jesus- Valusia & Stridulum EP’s
Sharon Van Etten- Epic
Deerhunter- Halcyon Digest
Joanna Newsom- Have One On Me
Besnard Lakes- Are the Roaring Night
The National- High Violet
Ariel Pink- Before Today
Fresh & Onlys “Waterfall”
Best Coast “Boyfriend”
Sufjan Stevens “Too much”
Cotton Jones “Somehow To Keep It Going”
Aloe Blacc “I need a Dollar”
Sharon Van Etten “Love More”
Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings " Better Things"
Memoryhouse “Lately (Deuxième)”
Kanye West “Devil In A New Dress”
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Before Today
Darwin Deez Darwin Deez
Deerhunter Halcyon Digest
Gun Outfit Possession Sound
Lower Dens Twin-Hand Movement
The Walkmen Lisbon
Ty Segall Melted
White Denim Last Day Of Summer
Women Public Strain
Woods At Echo Lake
There were only 4 things I liked this year, in no particular order:
Nels Cline Singers: Initiate
Sade: Soldier of Love
Kings Go Forth: The Outsiders Are Back
Shabazz Palaces: both EPs
1. Beach House – Teen Dream
2. Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me
3. Junip – Fields
4. Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo
5. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
6. Tame Impala – InnerSpeaker
7. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot The Son of Chico Dusty
8. Darwin Deez – Darwin Deez
9. Glasser – Ring
10. The Black Keys – Brothers
The best thing about this year
Seeing the best come out in people at the worst of times.
Top 10 Songs of 2010 (sans Sub Pop)
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Round and Round”
Crystal Castles (ft. Robert Smith) – “I’m Not In Love”
Deerhunter – “Helicopter”
Destroyer – “Chinatown”
Four Tet – “Love Cry”
Girls – “Carolina”
Glasser – “Home”
How to Dress Well – “Decisions”
Oneohtrix Point Never – “Returnal” (both the album and Antony versions)
Zola Jesus – “Night”
Top 10 Albums I am currently enjoying (sans Sub Pop)
Don Gibson – RCA Country Legends
Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna
Grinderman – 2
Lower Dens – Twin-Hand Movement
Nas – Illmatic
Shabazz Palaces – Of Light/self-titled
The Ventures – Surfing
Voice of the Seven Thunders – s/t
Various Artists – Down To The Sea And Back: The Continuing Journey Of The Balearic Beat
Various Artists – Uptown Top Ranking volumes 1&2 (Andy K’s reggae compilations)
I’m no good at fitting these lists into any set numerical order.
Top 10? Top 40? How about…This is all stuff that I liked this year.
More of a singles year for me.
None of this is in order and there is no doubt that I forgot lots. :)
CEO-Come With Me
LCD Soundsystem-All I Want/I Can Change
Porcelain Raft-Gone Blind
Fresh & Onlys-Waterfall
Museum of Bellas Artes-Watch the Glow
Best Coast-When I’m With You
Crystal Castles (feat Robert Smith)-I’m Not In Love
Reading Rainbow-Wasting Time
Kisses-People Can Do The Most Amazing Things
Beach House- Teen Dream *
No Age- Everything In Between *
Male Bonding- Nothing Hurts *
Twin Shadow- Forget
Lower Dens- Twin Hand Movement
Robyn- Body Talk
Beach Fossils- S/T
*People always give you a hard time when you list a band on your label on a year end list. I think that’s total bullshit. If we didn’t love those records then we shouldn’t have put them out. Those are some of my favorite bands. We just happen to work together and frankly I am stoked about that!
Other Good Stuff that I saw/did this year:
No Age/Pavement at the Hollywood Bowl
Beach House at the Hollywood Bowl
Grinderman at the King Cat in Seattle
Niki & the Dove at the Lexington. Finally got back to the UK and saw Jen more than once in a year. Always a good thing.
Honestly my memory of most of this year is fuzzy at best. I know a lot of good stuff happened.
I know a very bad thing happened.
Looking forward to more of the good and less of the bad in 2011.
RIP Andy K.
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Beach House – Teen Dream
Broken Bells – Broken Bells
Diamond Rings – Special Affections
Hot Chip – One Life Stand
Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs – God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise
Massive Attack – Heligoland
The National – High Violet
Unkle – Where Did The Night Fall
Vampire Weekend – Contra
Things I really enjoyed in 2010:
Alice Cooper Love It to Death: I probably listened to this album more than any other album this year. It’s good to listen to really loud while you are drinking and having a good time.
The Fresh & Onlys Play It Strange: I watched the video for “Waterfall” at least five times a day for a while there. I can still do it, too. I’m going to go do it now, even.
The Moondoggies Tidelands: “A Lot of People on My Mind” may be the saddest song ever written. It reminds me so much of all the people I know who’ve died. Unfortunately that number got bigger more than once this year.
Girls Hellhole Ratrace: I didn’t get super into this band when this record came out, and I don’t know if I am totally 100% into it still, but this song speaks to me. In fact, maybe put this song on while you are flipping over “Love It to Death” for a little bit of perspective.
Tyvek Nothing Fits: Man, these guys never cease to amaze me and I am so glad that they are my friends. I’d like to publicly apologize for bagging out on going to their last couple Seattle shows—I’m an idiot, and sometimes I can’t bring myself to leave my house. If I’ve learned one thing this year it’s that that kind of bullshit attitude is worthless, and you should be with your friends and do things you love as much as you can because some day, and it just might be today or tomorrow or fifty years from now, you will no longer be able to do those things. “If you’ve got life to live you gotta live it up.”
Lower Dens Twin Hand Movements: If pushed to name just one, this would be my album of the year.
Pizzafest 2010, Seattle : We put on this 3 day show of dumb, fun, punk rock at the Funhouse this year with a bunch of great bands from here and around the US. It was a lot of fun putting this together with my buddies, and it was great to host our friends from around the country. It’s good to be just really balls out dumb for a few days, and that’s 100% what this was. That and pizza. Lots of pizza.
Pissed Jeans’ set at the Andy Kotowicz Family Fund Benefit Show: I’m not sure if I’m allowed to just come right out and publicly declare favorites, but I can’t tell you how mind-blowingly good these guys were at the benefit show. Maybe it’s that I don’t get to see the Jeans play enough, or maybe I was still riding high on my love for their video for “False Jesii Pt. 2”, but I could watch these guys play this exact set a couple times a day and not get bored for a good solid two or three weeks, maybe more.
Unnatural Helpers Cracked Love and Other Drugs: This is their best work since their contribution to the Black Garfield comp, and this album just might be 2010’s “Love it to Death”.
Derek Erdman moved to Seattle: After much coercing we finally managed to drag our buddy Derek to Seattle, and boy are our arms tired. Derek now lives in our attic and we get to do fun stuff almost every day. For instance, we are starting a band that sounds like the Misfits with John Atkins on lead guitar. How fun is that?
And finally, African Psych Re-issues—keep ’em coming! This is my favorite music of all time.
2010 has been an unprecedentedly tough year, in a lot more ways than I could possibly describe here, were I to want to, and I do not. I am eager to see it behind me. Still, there have been good things and I count these records amongst those good things and am grateful for all of them.
LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
The Soft Pack – The Soft Pack
Phosphorescent – Here’s to Taking It Easy
Unnatural Helpers – Cracked Love & Other Drugs
Bottomless Pit – Blood Under the Bridge
Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart
The National – High Violet
Grinderman – Grinderman 2
A top something of mixed nuts:
1. Getting married. This was really cool. A huge thank you to my family, friends, and amazing wife for making this beyond incredible.
And then, in no particular order:
Dum Dum Girls — “Rest of Our Lives”.
Happy Birthday — Subliminal Message.
Driving Happy Birthday around the Northwest and getting letting them suck me into Farmville for a second.
Reducing my Facebook usage to one login every two (or so) weeks.
Dancer and Prancer.
The Shabazz Palaces EPs.
Spending 2 hours following the Rebirth Brass Band all over New Orleans in a second line.
Hanging out after hours at Domino Sound Record Shack drinking beer and spinning records with Matt and Stuart.
Seeing the Foals live at Neumos, then staying up far too late with the band at an after party in a vintage shop(?!).
Spending a fantastic evening with Andy K, wherein we hit up the Nitelite, saw Fennez and Oneohtrix Point Never (with improv, LSD-approved visuals), and then chased the show with Rancho Bravo and great conversation.
The Mayan Riviera and those crazy robes.
1. Next Stop…Soweto Vol. 3 The Giants, Ministers & Makers: Jazz In South Africa 1963-1984
2. Next Stop…Soweto Vol. 2 Soul, Funk & Organ Grooves From The Townships 1969-1976
3. Lindstrøm & Christabelle Real Life Is No Cool
4. Deutsche Elektronische Musik Experimental German Rock and Electronic Music 1972-83
5. Cloud Cuckooland
6. Wolf People Tidings
7. Thomas Fehlmann Gute Luft – Original Soundtrack from the “24h Berlin” TV Documentary”
8. Flying Lotus Cosmogramm
9. Four Tet There Is Love In You
10. Darkstar North
11. Agoria Balance 16
Happy Birthday: Girls FM
Zola Jesus: Sea Talk
Les Savy Fav: Let’s Get Out of Here
Shabazz Palaces: Find Out
Best Coast: When I’m With You
Wolf Parade: Little Golden Age
Black Mountain: Rollercoaster
Sharon Van Etten: Love More
Christina Aguilera + MIA: Elastic Love
A variety of things I enjoyed in the year 2010:
-Jeff the Brotherhood – What a great band
-Delay – Plain Language
-El Fogon tacos – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
-Four hour interisland Catamaran ride – Utila, Honduras
-Stagedive during Mudhoney set on Unnatural Helpers UK tour – London, UK
-Hobocop – the best band
-Uzi Rash – we live on trash & cave consciousness
-The Space Jam experience
-La Sera – Never Come Around and more
-Calgary Alberta Canada Sled Island debauchery
-Big Sur – the adventure
-Swimming in a variety of places with a variety of people.
-Built Burger, Seattle’s Best Burgers
(in no particular order)
LCD Soundsystem- This is Happening
Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
Beach House- Teen Dream
Sharon Van Etten- Epic
Wolf Parade- Expo 86
The Black Keys- Brothers
Tame Impala- Innerspeaker
Local Natives- Gorilla Manor
1. Maserati- Pyramid of the Moon single & Pyramid of the Sun LP
2. The National- High Violet
3. Dead Meadow Three Kings
4. Foals Total Life Forever
5. Junip Fields
6. Sharon Van Etten Epic
7. Phosphorescent Here’s to Taking It Easy
8. Mr. Gnome Heave Your Skeleton
9. Morning Benders Big Echo
10. Drive-By Truckers’ Birthday Boy from Big To-Do
10. Colour Revolt
10. Wolf Parade
10. The Head and the Heart
10. Oh No Oh My
10. Tame Impala
10. Male Bonding
10. More stuff I’m forgetting
10. I also listened to a lot of Elton John this year.
Lower Dens-Twin Hand Movement
Hannibal Burress-My Name Is Hannibal
Spoek Mathambo-Mshini Wam
Gem Club-Acid and Everything
The Fresh & Only’s-Play It Strange
Ariel Pink-Before Today
Real estate- out of tune 7"