Weird year. It was kinda like this. But also this.

It might have turned out like this or even this. But it didn’t. And 2011 and beyond will likely bring… dead links.

Wow this is getting off to a…some kind of start.

If only I would write more instead of just pointing, gooing and gaaing. That might be a better idea. What am I saying here? I’d like to think I’m more introverted than autistic this past year. Who knows. But enough of this sentence-paragraph bullshit for right now, we need a list. Here’s a list of them:

1: Stereogum’s Top 50

A list of best albums with one song from each streaming. They should have made medley-mashup mix for each. C’mon, guys! Oh, wait I’m not doing that. That would have really raised the bar. But that bar’s just fine where it is for right now. Leave that bar alone. Let’s talk about this list and why it’s my favorite. It’s the emotion. Most lists are simply an intellectual challenge. This one really went for the gut. First, panic. I simply haven’t been paying that much attention to this general area of indie music lately. A year end list used to filled with names I recognized and didn’t really care for too much. Now over half are completely out of nowhere. Thank gob for those streams. I went through the entire page in a sitting, frantically tetrising to ease the terror of oncoming senility. Soon, I felt relief and vindication. My year of ignoring this stuff was well spent. Most of it does nothing for me. The stuff I like I already knew about and the stuff I knew I didn’t like kept doing that thing I don’t like. (Maybe I would like the Arcade Fire, for example, if they stopped trying to make me feel like I’m driving away from the school I just graduated from in the car I just bought with the girl I’m not really sure if it’s going to work with but, damnit, we’re going to try…to love. No! We’re not. Done it.)

Then there’s the stuff that’s so good I can’t even deal with it: Swans. Joanna Newsom. Maybe Flying Lotus. Janelle Monae is another level of good. All music for moods I don’t find myself in the mood to digest lately.

And I did buy the new Kanye but it’s like voting for Obama.

2: Decibel Top 40

Yes, I’m linking to Stereogum again for the list. I also like their metal list. You might even say it’s got 10 more. You would be correct. But Decibel is a magazine, so they had room to give reasons for their choices. (Why do websites have less room for text than magazines? Answer in 3 or more paragraphs. Include the question in your answer.) I don’t like the two list system. Why are guitar-bass-keys-drums indie rock bands in a list (THE list) with pop-rappers and electronic one-man acts, but if guitar-bass-keys-drums bands who turn up a little louder or play faster (or much slower) that’s a whole other list? It’s not like every one of these bands is about nun-raping or whatever. Nun-rapists…maybe you would want that not in your main list. And wtf is Salem, for real? Why was I ever mad at Chris Weingarten, cause he gets paid? He deserves it.

[What I'm saying is, I like a publication with focus.]

3: Free Music Archive: Live@WFMU

You know who doesn’t deserve it? No, the FMA is a cool idea. There’s just…sooo muccchhhh. Found some cool stuff there but haven’t found a way to mentally prioritize it. When I do I’ll make some new podcasts. If you are not hip to the concept at all or have no idea where to dive into this mess, a great place to start would be the live FMU sessions. More likely some known names in there. And all these sessions are archived on FMU, but it’s now in a convenient format chopped out of the shows which of course are still great themselves but sometimes you can’t play Tetris for 3 hours or whatever you people do. You sure can’t write a blog post and listen to someone talk at the same time. So, that’s me. Put these in yr iDoodad whatchamawalkmans.

4: Hot 97 Top 10 Best Rappers of 2010

Four guys I never heard of that know more about rap than me, via Fusion Culture

5: More Metal lists

Fenriz should get his own listing but I want to keep some more lists together for reference. One of the few Myspace blogs ever worth reading, he makes some good general points about lists. I’m not as against modern metal as he is of course, but he picks out good stuff. (The Trapped Under Vice series is a must if you like the old school stuff. Vol. III was my favorite mixtape overall this year.

So we’ve also got:

Brooklyn Vegan

…and Diane Kamikaze’s best of show, which is not all metal, but whatever. Like Decibel or Fenriz she hits that whole punk/metal-relevant area. The good stuff.

6: Village Voice: Top 10 NSFW Videos

The Voice had many epic lists, but here’s a good cross section of stuff that includes Behemoth which doesn’t happen too often. And Stereogum tried to outdo them too and maybe they did but also I can’t think of a reason to just post Sweatshirt Earl.

Somehow they both missed Cephalic Carnage’s Ohrwurm, which, without counting their lists was only the third most disturbing video I saw this year. The second was for some black metal band that involved nun rape, then got worse. (Google “communion wafer scat”, I guess. Once was enough for me.) Then there was…I can’t.

Let’s forget.

[good year for that guy with the thyroid condition]

7: Deciblog’s Random Number of Random Things

While I’m throwing Stereogum so many links, the Deciblog should get one as they tend to get fucking snubbed. Maybe they should post their lists there, but maybe some people just buy the magazine to reprint their list. I don’t know.

Obvious(?) co-sign on Slint’s Spiderland and the 33 1/3 series. Lotta good stuff.

8: Beyond the Sea: J-Albums

Here’s another whole category I haven’t been keeping up with but I’m glad someone is. It’s the more-or-less singer-songwriters of J-pop. Utada bailed this year but there’s other stuff.

Beyond the Sea was a blog I liked a couple years ago that got shut down for having downloads. Found a “beyondthesea” folder with some decent stuff on an old harddrive, looked them up and there it is. Hope they continue with writing this stuff up cause a lot of people gave up even commenting.

9: Matador’s List of Many More Lists

Haven’t even dug through this all yet. In here would be the better indie stuff. New Fall is great. New Bottomless Pit. Don’t have either yet. Yeah I guess Bottomless Pit sounds kinda 90s, unlike the fresh new sounds of… Ariel Pink? Those wacky retro novelty acts like Bottomless Pit and The Fall still putting out these novelty throwback records, quite good, believe it or not. Most people choosing ‘not’. Astonishing.


10: Records Paid For, Listened To and Enjoyed

  1. Sigh | Scenes From Hell [The End]
  2. Momus | Hypnoprism [American Patchwork]
  3. LITE | Illuminate [Transduction]
  4. Shonen Knife | Free Time [Good Charamel]
  5. 0.8秒と衝撃。| エスノファンキードフトエフスキーカムカムクラブ EP [actwise]
  6. white white sisters | euphoriaofeuphobia [real future]
  7. Marnie Stern | S/T [Kill Rock Stars]
  8. Torche / Boris | Chapter Ahead Being Fake [Hydra Head]
  9. Early Graves | Goner [Metal Blade]
  10. Ski Beatz / V/A | 24 Karate School Japan [R-RATED]

[I will of course get anything HALCALI puts out, but haven't got to it yet.]

Honorable Overall Mention: Show of the Year – Melvis/Isis@the TLA


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