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LITERATURE» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
MUSIC» The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
MUSIC» Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
1. Spoon- Kill the Moonlight (Merge Records) -Somehow, Spoon follow up 2001's best record of the year with this stripped down, but no less engaging, hooky, or charming, collection of ageless melodic triumphs, making handclaps and tambourines sound hotter than the new Missy track.
2. Liars- They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Mountain on Top (reissue) (Mute/Blast First)
-I'm not a huge fan of including reissues when composing year-end lists, but the summer of '02 really belonged to the Liars (if you were riding around in my van, that is). With a sound that rumbles like the New York subway system beneath their feet, the Liars are the type of band that not only start a party, but put an end to it with one noisy, grinding, halt.
3. Simian- We Are Your Friends (Astralwerks)
-What if Beck's record collection got together, decided to take a lot of drugs, watch "Head" by the Monkees, and then jumped around on a trampoline for 5 hours? Well, it might sound a little like Simian's We Are Your Friends, a record where Timbaland beats, George Michael-esque vocal stylings, and dirty garage rock guitars unabashedly GET IT AWN.
4. Beck- Sea Change (Geffen)
-Sad Becky Beck makes a sad album of sad songs sung in a sad voice, that no matter how happy you might be, can manage to make you sad as hell. What might be truly sad, however, is not owning this brilliant recording of our generation's most creative mind taking one for himself.
5. Interpol- Turn on the Bright Lights (Matador)
-The thin white dukes of Interpol prove that a band can simultaneously make a deliciously dark, daring, and dangerously catchy record of early R.E.M. like mood-pop AND dress like runway models. This band not only gets it, but they get away with it too.
6. Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch)
-There isn't a whole lot more that can be said about this record's trials and tribulations that hasn't been said before. Honestly, I'm hard pressed to say anything new about this record at all. So I'll say something old: it's weird, it's good, it's weird, it's great, it's weird, and, um, it's weird. But, it's good!
7. Radio 4- Gotham! (Gern Blandsten)
-Post-punk. New York. Gang of Four. Words heard almost as many times this year as "Did you see the new Christina Aguilera video yet?" The production duo known as DFA help Radio 4 bridge the gap between the Clash and Primal Scream, making these fellows the respected elder statesmen of New York's new wave.
8. French Kicks- One Time Bells (Star Time International)
-Like an indie-rock Hall & Oats, the French Kicks take blue-eyed-soul and filter it through a grinder of punchy guitars, comforting Rhodes keyboard, and more three part harmonies than a Prince record. Oh, and they have the best singing drummer since… um… yeah.
9. Brendan Benson- Lapalco (Star Time International)
-Six years in the making, Brendan Benson returns with a mesmerizing power-pop album, that not only nods to mainstays like Big Star and the Beatles, but ventures out of the box, giving props to Bowie and the Cars along the way.
10. The Flaming Lips- Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner Bros.)
-While not as instantly great as their masterful "The Soft Bulletin," the Flaming Lips keep on proving that there is a better life beyond one-hit-wonder land. Yoshimi can function on various levels, whether as the perfect soundtrack for a science project, or for the moments when one's mortality is truly realized. Do you realize?
1)…Trail of Dead - Source Tags and Codes
2)City of Caterpillar - S/t
3)Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Yanqui u.x.o.
4)Minus the Bear - Highly Refined Pirates
5)Denali - S/t
6)Hot Snakes - Suicide Invoice
7)Q and Not U - Different Damage
8)Enon - High Society
9) Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
10)Oxes - Oxxxes
Here are albums that just missed the cut-off:
11)RFTC - Live From Camp X-ray
12)Engine Down - Demure
13)Botch - An Anthology of Dead Ends
14)Casket Lottery - Survival is for Cowards
15)764-Hero - Nobody Knows This is Everywhere
16)Ugly Casanova - Sharpen Your Teeth
17)Jurassic 5 - Power in Numbers
18)Dillinger Escape Plan - Irony is a Dead Scene EP
19)The Mars Volta - Tremulant EP
20)UpUpDownDownLeftRightLeftRightBAStart - And Nothing is #1
I was a little formulaic in deciding what albums to list in my Top 10. Key factors were how much time it spent in my CD player, the amount of quality time recorded on disc, whether or not the album grew on me after time, whether I got sick of the album relatively quickly, and the degree to which the album exceeded my expectations. I did not include EPs in my Top 10, but I was impressed by those released by Dillinger Escape Plan, Mars Volta, and Botch. I would've included Jawbreaker's Etc. if most of the songs hadn't already been released on various formats. Overall, it was a good year from music, although next year will probably be better and last year was better.
1. In Flames - Reroute to Remain : Listen to it. You'll like it. It's good.
2. Solo Mono - The Dead Shall Rise
3. Beck - Sea Change
4. Audio Explorations - Action Reaction
5. The Failures - The Failures
6. Rancid/NoFx - Split
7. Satanic Surfers - Unconsciously Confined
8. The Slats - Great Plains of San Francisco
9. Milemarker - Anasthetic
10. Aloha - Sugar
1. Tom Waits - Blood Money
2. Quixotic - Mortal Mirror
3. The Mountain Goats - Tallahassee
4. Bobby Bare, Jr. - Young Criminals' Starvation League
5. Sinkcharmer - Stars in Winter
6. Spoon - Kill the Moonlight
7. Deerhoof - Reveille
8. Bright Eyes - Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
9. Rilo Kiley - The Execution of All Things
10. Town and Country - C'mon
1. Glifted- "Under and In"
2. Wilco- "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"
3. Sparta- "Wiretap Scars"
4. V/A Grand Theft Autumn- "Soak Your Shoes in Red Wine and Strike the Angels Dumb."
5. Everybody Uh-Oh- "Man am I Brad"
6. Jurassic 5- "Power in Numbers"
7. Centaur- "In Streams"
8. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead- "Source Tags and Codes"
9. Flaming Lips- "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots"
10. Interpol- "Turn on the Bright Lights"
11 King Creosote - Kenny and Beth's Musakal Boat Rides
12 The Darkness - Permission to Land
13 TV on the Radio - Young Liars
14 Manitoba - Up In Flames
1) Liars - They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top
Fuck the hype, this record is amazing and makes me want to have sex.
2) My Morning Jacket/Songs: Ohia - Split EP
MMJ has finally mastered the art of production and written some songs more emotionally complex than ever before, while Jason Molina belts out his best.
3) Pretty Girls Make Graves - Good Health
Remember that feeling when you were 16 and you got really excited about an album...
4) Pedro the Lion - Control
Dark, brooding, pretty, rockin', storytelling.
5) Jim Yoshi Pile Up - Homemade Drugs
Sometimes it feels good to feel bad.
6) El-P - Fantastic Damage
The future is scary, El-P isn't helping any.
7) Rainywood - Collection EP
Real hick backwoods folk, not that fake indie crap.
8) The Roots - Phrenology
The legendary Roots crew is back with what might be their best record.
9) Califone - Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People
OK, not backwoods folk, but folk put together in a junk yard fused together with scraps of technology and emotion.
10) Ugly Cassanova - Sharpen Your Teeth
How could this be number 10? Isaac is such an amazing songwriter and presence that I had to give him a handycap... this might actually be one of my favorite records of the past 6 years. Drug hazy nihilism. Worth the wait.
01. Clinic - Walking With Thee
02. DJ /rupture - Minesweeper Suite
03. The Notwist - Neon Golden
04. Liars - They Threw Us All in a Trench
05. The Black Heart Procession - Amore del Tropico
06. Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Yanqui UXO
07. Sonic Youth - Murray Street
08. Queens of The Stone Age - Songs For the Deaf
09. Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
10. Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
1. destroyer - "this night"
2. j.vanderslice - "life and death of an american fourtracker"
3. liars - "they threw us all in a trench"
4. sleater-kinney - "one beat"
5. pedro the lion - "control"
6. beck - "sea change"
7. ugly casanova - "sharpen your teeth"
8. interpol - "turn on the bright lights"
9. notwist - "neon golden"
10. matt pond pa - "nature of maps"
1) Doves - Last Broadcast
2) Sigur Ros - ( )
3) pAper chAse - Hide the Kitchen Knives
4) Aloha - Sugar
5) Sparta - Wiretap Scars
6) 90 Day Men - To Everybody
7) The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
8) Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
9) Oxes - Oxxxes
10) Do Make Say Think - &Yet &Yet
Biggest Disappointments of 2002
1) Michael Jordan - from role model to bottom-feeder scum
2) Nirvana - money money money, and you can't tell me this is because Kurt Cobain wants to be heard
3) Chicago Professional Sports Teams - more noted The Cubs and Bears, but they all pretty much suck
4) Desoto Records / Burning Airlines - one of the more prestigious indie labels going into retirement unexpectedly, and J.Robbins calling it quits again.
5) George Lucas - for allowing that hideous Yo-da Man commercial in advertisement for episode II
Most Anticipated for 2003
1) The Matrix - Reloaded
2) The Fire Theft - LP
3) The Chicago Cubs - because there is always next year!
Eric J Herboth
01. Dalek - From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots : Heavy, meditative, atmospheric, powerful and experimental beyond the term "genre-bender", the eleven tracks of From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots course like a runaway steam roller for fifty minutes, laying waste to the most pristine moments of the new-school Def Jux style with more of an industrial (think Skinny Puppy) flavor; scholarly verse scaling a sheer wall of fucked up sonic bombast.
02. Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around
03. The Notwist - Neon Golden
04. Bright Eyes - Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
05. Cornelius - Point
06. Clinic - Walking With Thee
07. Spoon - Kill the Moonlight
08. And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Source Tags & Codes
09. Little Joe Gould - Like the Exorcist, But With More Breakdancing
10. (TIE) DJ SHADOW - The Private Press
10. (TIE) DJ Spooky - Optometry
01. Johnny Cash - "Hurt" (The Man Comes Around) : I'm deeply saddened when I realize that Johnny Cash's recording career will someday end. Even if Cash is mostly recording covers now, his interpretations of artists like Trent Reznor qualify as their own compositions, outshining the originals.
02. Dalek - "Spiritual Healing" (From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots)
03. Re:Rec - "Guys Like Girls Who Look Like Bears" (Bears/Ducks 7")
04. Bright Eyes - "A Lover I Don't Have to Love" (Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground)
05. The Timeout Drawer - "The Domestic Lives of Computers" (EVIL: Salvo Beta Remix)
06. Clinic - "Harmony" (Walking With Thee)
07. My Morning Jacket - "O Is the One That Is Real" (My Morning Jacket/Songs:Ohia split)
08. Spoon - "Stay Don't Go" (Kill the Moonlight)
09. Songs:Ohia - "Two Blue Lights" (Didn't It Rain)
10. Johnny Cash - "I Hung My Head" (The Man Comes Around)
1. The Walkmen Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone - It¹s rare that an album challenges you to become a better listener. This year we were blessed with at least two - The Walkmen and Wilco. The Walkmen blend '60s garage rock with militant minimalism and one wicked-sounding piano on the way to creating a record that truly sounds like none of its peers. The best of the current crop of Brooklyn bands.
2. Spoon Kill the Moonlight
3. The Flaming Sideburns Save Rock 'n' Roll
4. Liars They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top
5. Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
6. Paul Westerberg/Grandpa Boy Stereo/Mono
7. Hot Hot Heat Make Up the Breakdown
8. Thirdimension Protect Us From What We Want
9. Interpol Turn on the Bright Lights
10. Chitlin¹ Fooks Did It Again
1. My Morning Jacket "Cobra" (Chocolate and Ice EP) - A 25-minute epic that manages to sound like Neil Young, The Grifters, Funkadelic and Brian Eno in the course of one (admittedly lengthy) song. Much in the way The Flaming Lips or Olivia Tremor Control can mesh several diverse concepts together into one cohesive thought, MMJ have written quite the memorable opus.
2. Wilco "Jesus, Etc." (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)
3. Brendan Benson "Tiny Spark" (Lapalco)
4. Pedro the Lion "Indian Summer" (Control)
5. Teenage Fanclub "I Can¹t Find My Way Home" (Howdy!)
6. Luna "Astronaut" (Close Cover Before Striking EP)
7. Mudhoney "Inside Job" (Since We¹ve Become Translucent)
8. Sean Na Na "Double Date" (My Majesty)
9. Spoon "All the Pretty Girls Go to the City" (Kill the Moonlight)
10. Elf Power "The Creature" (Creatures)
1. Matt Pond PA - The Green Fury
2. Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
3. Bright Eyes - Lifted, or the Story is in the Soil, Keep your Ear to the Ground
4. ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Source Tags & Codes
5. Rilo Kiley - The Execution of All Things
6. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
7. We Ragazzi - The Ache
8. Kind of Like Spitting - Bridges Worth Burning
9. Rockets Red Glare - Rockets Red Glare
10. The Breeders - Title TK
1) The Streets - Original Pirate Material
2) Sigur Ros - ( )
3) Nappy Roots - watermelon chicken and gritz
4) Yo La Tengo - The Sounds of the Sounds of Science
5) Aloha - Sugar
6) Mountain Goats - Tallahassee
7) Yume Bitsu - The Golden Vessyl of Sound
8) Mum - Finally We Are No One
9) Beck - Sea Change
10) Ugly Casanova- Sharpen Your Teeth
1. Wilco - yankee hotel foxtrot
2. Walkmen - everyone who pretended to like me is gone
3. Sonic Youth - Murray Street
4. Flaming lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
5. Spoon - kill the moonlight
6. deerhoof - reveille
7. El-p - fantastic damage
8. Nortec collective - Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 1
9. Satanstompingcaterpillars - the most wonderfulest thing
10. Liars - They Threw Us in a Trench & Stuck Monument on Top
DJ Shadow- The Private Press
Clinic- Walking with Thee
Stereo Totale - Musique Automatique
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Source Tags & Codes
1. Queens of The Stone Age - Songs For the Deaf
2. Q And Not U - Different Damage
3. My Morning Jacket/Songs:Ohia split
4. Hayden - Skyscraper National Park
5. Notwist - Neon Golden
6. Pedro the Lion - Control
7. The Mighty Rime - Mighty Rime
8. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
9. Do Make Say Think - &Yet &Yet
10. Spoon - Kill the Moonlight
1. Spoon - "Kill The Moonlight" - If there is anything America still has to be proud of in its music scene it's these guys from Austin. This is why rock'n'roll was made and still exists today. Stripping their sound and laying their magnificent production skills bare, Spoon turned in a thoughtfully arranged and stunningly composed rock record.
2.Wilco - "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" - I didn't get into this record until October. My first listen left me rather unimpressed in the face of the "it's so experimental" hype, along with the general press frenzy. Months later, when some degree of disassociation with all saturation, and upon further review of Wilco's previous output, I found this record to be nothing short of an undeniable masterpiece. Do yourself a favor and download all the outtakes that didn't make this recording as well.
3. Enon - "High Society" - Who could have imagined that turning last years outstanding "Believo!" into a more accessible, melodic near concept record would bare such wonderful results. John Schmersal is a veteran and his new outfit is a delight.
4. Doves - "The Last Broadcast" - Epic rock songs bathed in digital melodicism. It's a testament to all that can be good about 21st century pop music.
5. Elvis Costello - "This Years Model" (re-issue) - Yeah, it's still that good. Way too many bands are still trying to write this album over again.
6. Q And Not U - "Different Damage" - Surviving a major member loss and one-upping your previous effort…priceless.
7. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - "Source Tags & Codes" - Major label money thrown at a band unwilling to disassociate their brains from their rock equals an instant classic.
8. Liars - "They Threw Us All In A Trench and Stuck A Monument On Top" - Finally a record that lifts a rather oddball middle finger to the punk rock status quo. I won't be surprised if this record is talked about as being as important, if not more so, than Refused's "The Shape of Punk To Come" to the modern state of music a few years from now.
9. Legends of Rodeo - "A Thousand Friday Nights" - I don't think any group of twenty-somethings are capturing the nostalgia of what it was like to be a teen-something in America, while still showing why it is fun to be a twenty-something. A debut record for sure, but with the promise of some great songs to come.
10. Bright Eyes - "Lifted, or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground" - This kid would be nothing more than a lyrically compelling but wholly average singer/songwriter if it weren't for the support of the community of musicians and production team that surrounds him. Still the fact remains, he has them and other singer/songwriters don't, therefore his record rises above them.
Bright Eyes/Britt Daniel - HOME split EP - The contrast is why this album works so well. The emotional angst of Conor Oberst kept in check by Britt Daniel's "cut to the chase" aesthetic produced 4 songs that makes me wish there were archives worth of albums between these two.
Do Make Say Think - "& Yet & Yet" - I really wanted this to be on the top ten, I listened to it enough to put it there, but for some reason it just got displaced. Post-rock me all night long.
Ugly Cassanova - "Sharpen Your Teeth" - Do drugs, listen to Isaac Brock.
My Morning Jacket/Songs:Ohia - Split CDep
Little Joe Gould - "Like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing"
Mum - "Finally We Are No One"
CONTINUE TO LAS COMPOSITE TOP 20
The LAS Staff
A number of the Lost At Sea staff have worked and continue to work for various publications, both independent and commercial. Often very stifling in their narrow focus, conventional media outlets left our writers hungry for something bigger, more diverse, more communal. More active, because this is the twenty-first century and it makes sense. During it's short life LAS has accomplished many of its goals (but not all) and has in turn set new ones. Everything that we accomplish is through teamwork and cooperation, both with our regular staff writers and with our contributing writers. LAS is nothing short of a collective. Another contrasting point to some of the magazines out there is that we've checked our egos and scene ethics at the door. We welcome anyone and everyone to contribute and cover a wide range of topics. LAS does not follow your guide lines.
See other articles by The LAS Staff.
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