A Second Opinion on 2010

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Since the bossman already had his stab at a non-local music best of 2010 list in the paper, I figured I could go ahead and chime in with mine here on the blog.

I found myself listening to more new music in 2010 than I have since I was a teenager. (Working part-time in a record shop facilitated this as much anything.) And while most of the stuff I discovered this year was only new to me — i.e., not released in 2010 — there was still quite a lot of music that came out this year to get excited about. So, without further ado, I present:

Top 5 Records of 2010 (with song samples)

1. The Posies Blood/Candy (Ryko)

Seattle power-pop mainstays (and latter-day Big Star members) Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow deliver their finest collection of songs since 1993's Frosting on the Beater.

2. The Vaselines Sex With an X (Sub Pop)

This comeback record from the Scottish noise-pop duo came after a nearly 20-year drought, but it doesn't show. Big hooks, fuzzy guitars and sweet boy/girl vocals abound.

3. Tim Kasher The Game of Monogamy (Saddle Creek)

I admit to not being much of a Cursive (Kasher's main project) or Saddle Creek fan in general, but something about this concept record just grabbed me — perhaps the palpable tension and brutal honesty in dealing with the subject matter.

4. Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth For Christ Choir Like a Ship . . . (Light in the Attic re-issue)

My Lord — the band is funky, the pastor can wail, and the choir is gloriously (and just slightly) out-of-tune. A real hoot, even for secular folks.

5. Forgetters Forgetters (Too Small to Fail)

This double 7-inch vinyl EP is the long-awaited debut of former Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil frontman Blake Schwarzenbach's newest project, a power trio where he is joined by former Against Me! drummer Kevin Mahon and artist/bass player Caroline Paquita. Direct, tuneful post-punk rock that Jawbreaker fans in particular should appreciate.


Honorable Mentions: Tom Petty Mojo (Reprise), Superchunk Majesty Shredding (Merge), The Black Keys Brothers (Nonesuch), MGMT Congratulations (Columbia)

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