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My 2010 in Music [Feedback]
Dec 31st, 2010 by Dan

last.fm t-shirt

Thanks to last.fm, I can tell you what my personal favorite music of 2010 has been!

Top 10 Artists of 2010

1. The Beatles (989 listens)

The re-release of the entire catalog reinvigorated my love for The Beatles as I more thoroughly explored their catalog and loved songs I’d never realized were by the Fab Four. Heaping praise on The Beatles is almost ridiculous, so I’ll leave it at that.

2. April Smith and The Great Picture Show (385)

This one doesn’t make as much sense to me. I think there might be some miscounting by one of my tagging services, but, regardless, I’ve loved April Smith since the first time I heard her singing “Terrible Things” on All Songs Considered. She was absolutely my breakout sensation of this year. There will be more on her in the New Year…

3. Rx Bandits (370)

“We get it, Dan. You love the Bandits, even though almost no one on earth has heard of them…”

4. Arctic Monkeys (295)

Kees van Dijkhuizen’s fantastic Youtube video Cinema 2009 featured “Crying Lightning” and I was hooked. Then I gave Favourite Worst Nightmare and I knew that these kids from Sheffield really knew what they were doing. We’ll see if 2011 will bring a new album.

5. Sambomaster (268)

“Shut up about Sambomaster already, Dan.”

6. The Zutons (179)

A fine band whose plays came mostly because I made “Put A Little Aside” the anthem for visiting a girl I was quite taken with. It’s a song about a guy having an affair, so I’m proving that we really only hear what we want to out of our favorite songs.

7. Jonathan Coulton (177)

Everyone’s favorite nerdy singer of songs about robots, monkeys, zombies, and evil geniuses continues to get tons of plays from me. Great stuff.

8 Glee Cast (165)

No comment.

9. Lucky Boys Confusion (163)

An old staple that will never get old. Too bad they broke up.

10. Girl Talk (147)

Talk about making a fast impression. With only two months of the year to make an impact, Girl Talk still finds itself in my top ten. Props.

Top Tracks of 2010

1. Felicia Day – “Penny’s Song” (88 listens)

Whoa, really? Wow. Didn’t realize I loved this song that much. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is one of my favorite musicals, but “Penny’s Song” isn’t really my favorite track from the movie. Oh well, I’m still happy to see this top the list.

2. Glee Cast (featuring Kristin Chenowith) – “Fire” (79)

I love this song. I’m just barely not embarrassed to admit it.

3. Sambomaster – “Ohベイビー” (70)

More Sambomaster love.

4. Stars – “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” (68)

Another song I wouldn’t have heard if I never listened to All Songs Considered. Their episode on break-up songs featured this track by Stars and it blew me away. Always makes me think of Ashley. Nearly makes me cry plenty of times. This song is brutal and awesome at the same time.

5. Glee Cast (featuring Kristin Chenowith) – “One Less Bell to Answer/A House Is Not a Home” (65)

Kristin Chenowith’s voice is amazing.

6. Rx Bandits – “Mientras La Veo Soñar” (60)

A great song on a great 2009 album.

7. Lucky Boys Confusion – “Not About Debra” and April Smith and the Great Picture Show “Wow and Flutter” (58)

Probably my favorite song by LBC and one of April Smith’s best. Smith currently uses “Wow and Flutter” as the last song in her set and the band all plays fantastic solos. Love both of these songs.

9. The Zutons – “Oh Stacey (Look What You’ve Done!)” (55)

It’s weird to have this so high when I love at least four or five Zutons songs more than this one. Guess that’s how it goes when you do a lot of random shuffling.

10. April Smith and The Great Picture Show – “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (54)

Brilliant song, because, really, “If you’re just drop dead gorgeous, you should just drop dead”

Arctic Monkeys Reviews [Feedback]
Jan 21st, 2010 by Dan

Hey, hey, we're the...

Damn good Brit-Rock

For a band that’s only been around since 2006, the Arctic Monkeys have made quite a splash in England, setting all kinds of sales records and winning tons of awards. As someone who is officially late to the party, here are some words about their three albums released since 2006

Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not

This is the way you debut a band. The Arctic Monkeys came out swinging hard in their first offering with a high octane offering filled with edgy lyrics and seriously upbeat, fast-paced guitar riffs and drums. If you’ve heard any recent Brit-Rock, you probably have some idea what to expect. It kind of reminds me of a moodier version of The Fratellis in that way that only British rock can really sound. If it weren’t for the fact that I’d heard their next two albums, I’d probably give this album greater props, but they’ve clearly grown some since their debut, which has a really same-y feel throughout the entire disc. Speaking of their next album…

Favourite Worst Nightmare

Yet another band that avoids the sophomore slump, Arctic Monkeys somehow managed to grow leaps and bounds from WPSIATWIAN. I mean, this album goes almost everywhere and is solid the whole way through. I can’t get “505”, “Old Yellow Bricks”, or “Fluorescent Adolescent” out of my head most days. Of the three albums, this is the real MUST HAVE. I wish I had a better musical vocabulary to describe it, but Favourite Worst Nightmare should be on everyone’s playlist.

Humbug

The most recent 2009 offering is actually a bit of a step back from FWN. Humbug isn’t bad at all, it’s just not spectacular and its songs aren’t anywhere near as catchy. The band has still retained the maturity it gained in FWN, but I think they went a little too far in trying to make their music seem older. Getting back in touch with the lyrics and music from FWN without regressing too much will be a challenge for the band, but I’m sure they can do it. Heck, they’re about my age anyway, so they’ve got a ways to go. All that said, “Crying Lighting” is an absolute gem and “Cornerstone” rocks almost as hard, while “Dangerous Animals”, “My Propeller”, and “Dance Little Liars” are also fine tracks that round out their second best album.

If you can only buy one, go with Favorite Worst Nightmare, but the latter two are both solid purchases and their debut album is also plenty awesome to listen to if you’ve got spare cash.

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