Sunday, December 05, 2010

Bad Idea 2010 Playlist Part I

Musically speaking, 2010 has clearly been the year of the reunion.  Four regroupings inparticular triggered my interest, each for a slightly different reason.  Observe my reaction to each:

Regarding Soundgarden's pre-Lollapalooza gig: "Holy shit!  I loved them in high school and am very excited!"
Regarding Pavement's reunion shows: "Holy shit! I only got into them during the Terror Twilight phase, so I missed most of their hey day.  This will be great!"
Regarding the Guided By Voices reunion:  "Holy shit!  I've missed these guys!  And they're only playing songs from between '92-'96?!  I don't have to sit through 'Glad Girls'?!  That's so great!"
Regarding new album/tour from Superchunk:  "Holy shit!  I forgot that band still existed!"

And while Soundgarden, GBV, and Pavement were all enjoyable, the re-discovery of Superchunk was my personal highlight of the year. 2010 has not been my favorite year for a variety of reasons, but I've listened to "Majesty Shredding" more than any other record since it came out in September, for no reason other than the fact that it's one of the few things within my control guaranteed to improve my mood immediately.  And look at all the happy bouncing taking place at the video at the top of the page!  For a band that's now known more for the label they started as opposed their musical output, this is the best album they've made.  I hope they don't take another 9-year break before the next one.

On that note, Allow me to present Part 1 of my 2010 playlist, AKA the songs I dug the most these past 12 months.  Part 2 is coming tomorrow.

UPDATE:   Soundcloud took down the stream - see the main page for the zip files.

Phosphorecsent - Remember how great Ryan Adams was at the beginning of the decade?  That's what this record reminds me of.
Beach House - In my top 3 for favorite albums of the year.  iTunes tells me I've listened to this track more than any other 2010 song.  It's fun when a song's personal worth to you can be validated statistically. 
Steel Train - Liking this song might mean I'm a 14-year-old girl, but so be it.  I thought the same thing last year when it came to the band fun.  Try and get this melody out of your brain.  You will fail.
Warpaint - My newest obsession of the year.  Their album is good, but the live setting is where they shine brightest.
Superchunk - Come find me in 20 years, and I'll be a 52-year-old still singing "Slack Motherfucker."  Majesty Shredding is streaming here, and a digital download of the album is currently less than $6 on Amazon.
The New Pornographers - The Steve Nash of indie pop bands.  Always reliable.  Always consistent.  Always Canadian.
Kanye West - Great album, but it is NOT perfect.  For example, that Chris Rock bit doesn't exactly improve with repeated listens (though the line "I put the pussy in a sarcophagus" does improve with age.)  The Nicki Minaj verse is so great here that it bums me out even more that her actual album is so terrible.  
DOM - I know nothing about this band.  If you told me they were a chorus of home-schooled children, I'd happily believe it.  It sounds like a trippy jingle for a Skittles ad.
The Hold Steady - "The theme of this party's the industrial age.  And you came in dressed like a train wreck."  Boom!  Roasted!  Best steampunk-related burn I've ever heard.
Deerhunter - It seems odd that this is the only band on the list to incorporate an animal within their name, since it seems like every other indie band formed lately involves a deer, bear, panda, bird, or fucking wolf in their name.  In fact, I just invented a new band named Bear Wolf and we should have coverage on Stereogum within the week!
Cee Lo Green - The can't-miss album of the summer!  So of course it was released in November!  Score another great decision for major labels!
The Besnard Lakes - These guys did an awesome free show at Millennium Park in May.  I was looking for footage on YouTube and found this crappy cell-phone clip, where the back of my head is featured prominently in the foreground.
Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti - If any John Hughes movies had featured recreational use of ecstasy, this would be the soundtrack for the montage scene.
Bottomless Pit - Last month, John Darnielle issued an order to see this band.  I followed that order.  He was right as usual.
Justin Townes Earle - Winter in Chicago encapsulated in 4+ minutes.  From the gospel according to Springsteen.

Part 2 (and a link for download) coming tomorrow.

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