2010 was an interesting year for me. To say there were a lot of highs and lows would be kind of an understatement. There were a lot of issues I needed to work through and a lot of closure that I needed to experience before moving on with my life. I moved to a new state to pursue my career, and I started dating a wonderful person. All these ups and downs needed some kind of expression and I figured making a mixtape would be my best bet.
I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I have. They mean a lot to me.
There’s a picture in a family album somewhere of me as a diaper-clad youngster dancing around the TV whilst in cowboy boots. That’s probably the earliest memory I have of MTV. Growing up, music videos were always something I would turn to whenever I had the chance. These days I turn to the internet for my music video needs and I thought I would share my top ten with you.
Whether or not this is technically a music video is up for debate. Frankly, the song is good enough to where I don’t really care. It’s cut from a larger video which features at least two performances from Belle & Sebastian’s album Write About Love. I like seeing the visuals of the band playing and the song is way too distracting to do much in the way of nitpicking. This is just a great song!
If you hadn’t heard, or were maybe just living under a rock, Zooey Deschanel is in a band. She sings and dances around while her cohort, M. Ward looks cool and plays his guitar. That’s essentially the plot to this music video and I’m quite fine with that. While the album itself has fallen some from my interest, this song remains a favorite and this video complements it nicely!
I never gave the new Warpaint album enough of a chance to give it a place in my top album list, but their music video for Undertow is top notch. Directed by Shannyn Sossamon, the video elicits a kind of whimsical dreamy state that’s fitting for the music. Definitely a favorite. Plan for 2011: Get acquainted with Warpaint!
While this won’t go down as my favorite New Pornographers music video ever, it’s a nice complement to the Neko-fronted song and features a bunch of cool umbrella choreography! Don’t know about you, but I imagine that the entire band is down there twirling the umbrellas around. WAVE TO DAN BEJAR!!!
This music video from Gorillaz is a rather striking departure in that it ditches the 2D animation from the band’s previous outings in favor of creepy-CGI. Bruce Willis joins the fun as an antagonist with a great car and a huge gun. The result is a really fun and engaging music video.
This is perhaps my favorite song off of Contra, and as such is my favorite music video thus far for this band. There’s a low-fi quality to the video that’s endearing and the editing is smart. I much prefer this video to “Giving Up The Gun,” which relied WAY too heavily on slow-mo and a slew of cameos.
I love love love Mates of State, which makes having their music video at the #1 spot on my music video list a bit of a given. The idea behind the video is fun and the husband and wife team can’t help but exude adorableness as they prance around the city projecting themselves onto other people, places and things.
This is it. The year is winding down. Everyone is declaring their most favorite things of the year and preparing their new year’s resolutions, knowing full well that they won’t keep them past January. I’ve had this blog for a few years and each year I’ve tried to do something along the lines of a best of or a list of some kind. This year I thought I would up the ante a bit and give you a couple days’ worth of posts about the top ten things I really really liked in 2010. Let’s start with the top ten albums of the year.
HERE WE GO!
10. Contra – Vampire Weekend
The sophomore effort to Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut. Very peppy music set to great guitars. There were many a day spent singing along to “Cousins” or “Holiday.”
9. Imaginary Friends – Freezepop
I found Freezepop kind of by accident. I had played their game Amplify way back in college, but didn’t really pay them much mind. Fast forward to my time in Chicago. I was in a bit of a dark place and not in much of a music-enjoying mood. But at the behest of a co-worker, I went to The Subterranean to see his band open. They were special. Anyway, I stuck around after and decided to see what this headliner Freezepop was all about. I’ve been a fan ever since. Their newest album sees them with new bandmates and a mature sound. I quite like it.
8. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
I’m sure a lot of people started liking Arcade Fire after hearing that one song of theirs on the Where The Wild Things Are trailer. I say this because I admittedly fall in that category. Their latest is perhaps my favorite entry in their discography and I like the theme they stick with in each of their songs.
7. Broken Bells – Broken Bells
I love The Shins. I’ve been jonesing for a new album from them for quite some time. Broken Bells came at just the right time and gave me the Mercer fix I needed. While it lacks much of what made The Shins so great, it’s a great direction for Mercer and his lyrics really fit the stylings of Danger Mouse.
6. Crushes (The Covers Mixtape) – Mates of State
A cover album made my top ten list. I generally wouldn’t consider an album of covers or even a mashup album (*cough*girl talk*cough*) but Mates of State bring such a love and warmth to these songs it’s hard not to find yourself at the end of the album before you get a chance to say “Hey I liked that!”
5. Romance is Boring – Los Campesinos!
Los Campesinos! deserve their place on my list for A) their awesome music stylings, B) their gloomy lyrics set to poppy music and C) the fact that they work so FUCKING hard at what they do. I barely had time to breathe with their last album and suddenly Romance is Boring hit. Granted, it could just be that I’m really not much for paying attention to music news, but having this album come out was like finding a $20 bill in a wallet you had packed away. SCORE! Missed out on seeing these guys this year, but I have hopes for the next.
4. Together – The New Pornographers
Wasn’t a huge fan of Challengers when it first came out, and then each song kind of found it’s place in my psyche, especially Myriad Harbour. When I heard that they were coming out with a new album, I got super excited. Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed in the least by this latest outing. It’s a much more subdued and mature sound than Twin Cinema and the other albums before it, but it still has the energy of them and this time everything worked in perfect harmony.
3. The Five Ghosts – Stars
Stars was kind of an accidental find for me. NPR had a “First Listen” segment with them and I gave it a try just to see what all the jazz was about. I became quite hooked and instantly messaged my girlfriend about this GREAT NEW BAND I’VE DISCOVERED, only to find that she’d heard of them before and that this band was an off-shoot from Broken Social Scene. Let’s just say that my mind was blown. This album is great, and it’s a really focused effort on the band’s part.
2. I’m Having Fun Now – Jenny And Johnny
Jenny and Johnny are number two on my list, but they were number one a few weeks back. I’ve been undecided until recently and you can hear why when you sample the music below. This new effort from Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice is addictive. You finish listening to the album and you want more. The lyrics are strong and the music is memorable. It’s hard not to crush on either Jenny or Johnny after hearing this album. Still haven’t washed the hand that Johnny shook, either.
1. Write About Love – Belle & Sebastian
I’ve had a relationship with Belle & Sebastian for as long as I can remember, which is right around the early college years. Their new album is amazing and it was just good enough to usurp Jenny and Johnny for the number one spot for me. I wish I could just beam to you over this hear internets the way in which this album makes me feel. This is the album to define the year for me.
There were a bunch of albums that vied for a spot on my top ten list, and these were the ones that deserve a shout out for being better than the rest. In no particular order: