REVENGE OF THE WRITERS: Best & Worst of 2010 (Pt.1)

 In which the folks who work in the trenches get in the last word. Hey,
nothing’s stopping you from doing your own list!




As part of our year-end wrap-up, we first yield the podium to the staffers
and writers and their personal picks for 2010. We think we have a pretty
diverse and lively crew here at the BLURT ward (it helps that we ply them
hourly with tequila and Oxycontin), and their selections reflect a true music
aficionado’s eclectic ideals. Guarantee: all dialogue reported verbatim. (Go
for Part 2 of the Writers’ lists.)


Coming tomorrow: Best Releases of 2010.


2009 Best-Of coverage is here (Artists
Top Tens), here (Revenge of the Writers) and here (The Blurt Top 50).


2008 Best-Of coverage is here and here.


Follow BLURT on Facebook and Twitter.









Top 10 New Releases

Mumford & Sons – Sigh
No More (Glassnote)
Johnny Flynn — Been Listening (Transgressive)

Peter Himmelman  — The Mystery and
the Hum (Minvan)
Band of Horses — Infinite Arms (Brown/Columbia)
Edward Rogers — Sparkle Lane
Truth & Salvage Company – self-titled (Megaforce Recordings)

Greg Laswell — Take a Bow
Carrie Rodriguez — Love and Circumstance (Ninth Street Opus)
Ken Will Morton — True Grit (Sojourn Records)
Blue Rodeo — The Things We Left Behind (Warner Music Canada)


Top 10 Archival/Reissues

Bruce Springsteen –
Darkness on the Edge of Town (Columbia)

Jimi Hendrix -West Coast Seattle Boy (Experience

Various Artists – Apple
Box (Apple/Capitol/EMI)

The Church – various
(Second Motion)

John Mellencamp — On the
Rural Route 7609 (Mercury/Universal)
The Blue Shadows — On the Floor of Heaven (Bumstead productions)

Richard and Linda Thompson
— Shoot Out the Lights (Ryko)
Strawbs – 40th Anniversary Celebration ((Witchwood Media)
Green Pajamas — Book of Hours (Green Monkey Records)

I See Hawks in L.A. — Shoulda Been Gold
(American Beat Recordings)


Music DVDs

Rolling Stones – Stones in
Exile ((Eagle)
Doors – When You’re Strange: A Film About the Doors (Eagle)
The Kinks — You Really Got Me: The Story of the Kinks (Voiceprint)

Tom Petty and the
Heartbreakers – Damn the Torpedoes (Eagle)
Brian Wilson – Songwriter 1962- 1969 (Sexy Intellectual)


Music Books
Peter Doggett – You Never Give Me Your Money (Harper)

Gerald Scarfe — The
Making of Pink Floyd the Wall (Da Capo Press)
Harry Shapiro — Jack Bruce: Composing Himself (Jawbone Publishing)

John Einarson – Forever
Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love ((Jawbone)

Paul Myers – A Wizard A
True Star: Todd Rundgren in the Studio (Jawbone)


Top 5 Concerts

Roger Waters (BankAtlantic Center
– Fort Lauderdale, FL,
Robert Plant/Band of Joy (Bayfront Park, Miami
FL, 7-31-10)

Eagles (BankAtlantic Center,
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 10-27-10)

James Taylor/Carole King (BankAtlantic
Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL. 6-5-10)
David Gray (Fillmore, Miami Beach, 3-27-10)


“Inception” – stood so far
out from the rest, everything else pales in comparison!


Best Record Label

Yep Roc – This label may
position themselves as a down home indie, but their vast roster puts them on
the same footing as any major in terms of both quantity and quality. From Robyn
Hitchcock to Steve Wynn, Paul Weller to Loudon Wainwright, Nick Lowe to Darren
Hanlon, Dave Alvin to Todd Snider, they have it covered in terms of both
veterans and feisty newcomers. Long may they roc!


Coolest Trend/Whatever

Bigger and better box sets
– This year’s release of archival efforts from Bruce Springsteen and Jimi
Hendrix, two artists who offered the impression that all their unreleased
material had already been ransacked and exhumed, demonstrate the fact that
compendiums haven’t run their course and there’s still the possibility of
sharing unreleased material of true value to collectors and enthusiasts.


Most Annoying Trend/Whatever

The continuing offering of
streams and downloads to writers and reviewers. I can add little to the
articulate riposte that editor Fred Mills offered last year. As he pointed out,
they may be a financially effective way of sharing new releases, but it’s also
a cumbersome waste of time for the reviewer who is churning out reviews every
day and seeking only a disc in return. Publicists and labels, wake up! We are
rarely paid for our efforts and usually doing what we are doing in addition to
the full time day job which pays the bills. In other words, we’re doing it for
the love! Not to seem ungrateful, but really – if we can’t get a lousy disc for
our efforts, where’s the motivation? And you want us to either sit and listen
on our computer or take the time to burn and create our own CDs? What?  You want us to do your job for you by firing
up our own enthusiasm? It ain’t gonna work! Wise up – if you want our support
in spreading the word about your clients, send a disc so we can listen at our
leisure without the burden of detracting from our deadlines. Amen (PS – Those
that get it – Love you guys!)


Most Fucked Up

See above tirade.


Best New Artist

Truth & Salvage
Company – Country Rock and Americana
reinvented in the authentic West Coast tradition.


Worst New Artist

Lady Gaga – or should we
say, Lady Gag Gag. First of all, m’lady, your name strikes three blows against
you before we even proceed to the music. Secondly, The make-up thing and silly
props idea was done to death way before you ever came along – by the likes of
David Bowie, Madonna, Elton John and even Cher. Give it up – you already seem


Best New Artist With Worst Name

Mumford & Sons – While
the name implies a torn branch off Sanford & Son’s family tree, this
British quartet provides the perfect mesh of pensive rock, wistful folk and
bleak shoegaze, all purveyed with a compelling dynamic and lots of captivating
melodies. They’re gonna go far


Sex Object Of the Year

Shelby Lynne – She’s a
no-nonsense babe and I love the way she talked dirty when I chatted with her
about her new label and indie release. Yeah, I felt that release alright…


Best Moustache

Bob Dylan – Just ‘cause it
makes him look so friggin’ weird, kinda like Ricky Rat…


Desert Island Bliss: Artist You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island With

Emmylou Harris – need I
say more? Her music would soothe my trepidation and I suspect she could be
convinced to swath us in patchouli oil.


Desert Island Dick: Artist You’d Most Like NOT to be Stuck
on an Island With

Graham Parker – Love the
tunes but Graham seems WAY too cranky. “What?
You don’t have that hut built yet? I told you to gather palm fronds…


On Facebook and/or Twitter?

No — only if someone tags
me. OK, maybe I’m a Neanderthal and not exactly as technically astute as I
ought to be, but for Chrissakes, if you wanna get hold of me, send me a goddamn
email or pick up the phone and dial my number! I can’t remember all these
friggin’ passwords and I don’t have time to take all these extra steps to
communicate with you. And what’s with the 140 character limit on Twitter? I got
too much to say to edit myself as I go along. You want me to edit this tirade
down to 140 characters? No way! And frankly, I don’t give a crap that you had a
cheese sandwich for lunch today. And while I’m at it, I also don’t want to hear
that you’re having the vacation of your life lounging about in Barcelona. I’m at work, OK? I’m working my
ass off and getting crap from my boss. I don’t have the money to go to Barcelona. Nor the time.
Don’t make me even more bitter than I already am. It’s like being forced to
watch someone’s home movies or getting those annual Christmas cards from people
you don’t talk to all year and then they include a ten page letter about what a
wonderful year they’ve had and how Buddy Junior graduated at the top of his
class and little Rebecca is a straight A student and they just bought
themselves a new Porsche and life is so fucking great… I don’t care, OK/wp-content/photos So
go twitter yourself already… (Aren’t you sorry you asked?)


2011 Release You Are Most Looking Forward To

The next Avett Brothers album.
These guys blend urgency and emotion in a way no one else can. Their recent
live album provided further proof they’ve got the goods. Humble guys with big


Favorite story or review you wrote for BLURT

The extended dual
interview with the Posies.









Top 10 New Releases

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (4AD)

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Primal Scream – Live London
11/26/10 (Delica, bootleg)

Giant Sand – Blurry Blue Mountain

Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3 – Northern Aggression (Yep

Crocodiles – Sleep Forever (Fat Possum)

Dot Allison – Room 7 ½ (Arthoused/Absolute)

Alejandro Escovedo – Street Songs of Love (Fantasy)

James Holden – DJ-Kicks (!K7)

Kim Salmon & the Surrealists – Grand Unifying Theory
(Low Transit Industries)

Neil Young – Le Noise (Reprise)


Top 10 Archival/Reissues

Dream Syndicate – Medicine Show (Water/Runt)

Saint Etienne – Tiger
Bay Deluxe Edition

Stooges – Raw Power: Deluxe Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

Various Artists – Psych Funk Sa-Re-Ga! (Psychedelic Funk in
India 1970-1983) (Stones Throw/World Psychedelic Classics)

Rain Parade – Beyond the Sunset (Lemon/Cherry Red)

Rikki Ililonga & Music-O-Tunya – Dark Sunrise (Stones Throw/Now-Again)

Was (Not Was) – Pick of the Litter 1980-2010 (Micro Werks)

The Church – Deep in the Shallows: The Classic Singles
Collection (Second Motion)

Syl Johnson – The Complete Mythology (Numero

Republic – Procession: An
Aural History 1981-2010 (LTM)

Various Artists – Ninja Tune XX (Ninja Tune)

Bruce Springsteen – The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of
Town Story (Columbia/Legacy)


Top 10 Singles /

Was (Not Was) – “Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like A
Rubber Ball)” (old track, reissued)

Coast – “Boyfriend”

Lykke Li – “Get Some”

Fitz & the Tantrums – “Moneygrabber”

Parting Gifts (Ettes & Reigning Sound) – “(Walkin’ Thru
The) Sleepy City” (Stones cover)

Eux Autres – “My Love Will Not Let You Down” (Springsteen

Cee-Lo Green – “Fuck You”

Anika – “I Go To Sleep”

Tired Pony – “Dead American Writers”

Bettie Serveert – “Deny All”

!!! – “Jamie, My Intentions are Bass”

Janelle Monáe – “Tightrope” (feat. Big Boi)


Music DVDs

Leonard Cohen – Songs From the Road (Columbia/Legacy)

Tom Petty – Damn the Torpedoes: Classic Albums (Eagle Rock)

Theresa Andersson – Live at Le Petit (Basin Street)

The Rolling Stones – Ladies And Gentleman…The Rolling Stones
(Eagle Rock)

Jack Rose & Glenn Jones – The Things That We Used To Do
(Strange Attractors Audio House)

Runaways (dir. by Floria Sigismondi)


Music Books

Patti Smith – Just Kids (Ecco Books)

Tesco Vee & Dave Stimson – Touch And Go: The Complete
Hardcore Punk Zine ’79-’83 (Bazillion Points)

Mick Houghton – Becoming Elektra: The True Story of Jac
Holzman’s Visionary Record Label (Jawbone Press)

Jeanette Leech – Seasons They Change: The Story of Acid and
Psychedelic Folk (Jawbone)

Rob Chapman – A Very Irregular Head: The Life of Syd Barrett
(Da Capo)


Top 5 Concerts

Massive Attack (Moogfest @ Thomas Wolfe, Asheville NC,
Oct. 30)

Toubab Krewe (Bele Chere, Asheville NC,
July 24)

22nd Annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam (Civic
Center, Asheville NC, Dec. 11)

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Verizon Amphitheatre,
Charlotte NC, Sept. 19)

Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich + Fussible (Moogfest @
Orange Peel, Asheville NC, Oct. 29)



Inception (dir. by Christopher Nolan)

Mogwai: Burning (dir. by Vincent Moon)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (dir. by Niels Arden Opley)

The Kids Are All Right (dir. by Lisa Cholodenko)

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (dir. by David


Best Record Label

(tie) Stones Throw/Now-Again (for that “global funk and
psychedelic grooves”); !K7 (for amazing funk/dance/archival titles and of
course their “DJ-Kicks” series)


Best Music Website

BigO Worldwide (for discriminating collectors of, er, live


Trend/Whatever why no one thought to create an
aggregator/organizer for YouTube before is beyond me, but no matter – this has
the navigational and selection ease of iTunes or Rhapsody and to a large degree
eliminates the randomness that can make YouTube frustrating.


Most Annoying

MySpace: incredibly, the recent revisions and updates to
this heavily-trafficked band portal have resulted in a navigation system that’s
even clunkier than before (not to mention more prone to pages freezing up);
worse, the pages are now so poorly organized as to be utterly incomprehensible.
I predict MySpace will be defunct within 2 years.


Most Fucked Up

Captain Beefheart dies without returning to music


Best New Artist



Worst New Artist

(tie) Sleigh Bells; Wakey!Wakey!


Best New Artist With
Worst Name

The Drums (formerly Elkland, then formerly Goat Explosion so
I guess things are improving)


Sex Object of the

Lykke Li (for 2011 too)


Favorite Video Game

LEGO Universe


Clear Channel
Presents: Corporate Asshole of the Year

Mark Zuckerberg


Best Moustache

Bianca Casady of CocoRosie


Desert Island Bliss: Artist You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island With

Bob Lefsetz: dude won’t shut up but at least he makes a lot
of sense.


Desert Island Dick: Artist You’d Most Like NOT to be Stuck
on an Island With

M.I.A.: bitch won’t shut up and she ALWAYS is talking right
out of her ass.


On Facebook and/or

No and no… well, not quite and almost… well… sorta.
Performing administrative duties for BLURT means I am on both throughout the
day overseeing our social networking. And both are incredibly effective – and
essential – tools for a small business such as ours; they’ve increased our
reach exponentially. But as a private citizen I am not “on” either platform;
the people I am interested in “sharing” with (such as sharing music biz stuff,
personal information or even photos of my dick a la Kanye West) already have my email.


2011 Releases You Are
Most Looking Forward To

1. Akron/Family – The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT
(Dead Oceans)

2. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes (LL Recordings)

3. Various Artists – Those Shocking Shaking Days: Indonesian
Hard Psychedelic Progressive Rock & Funk (Now-Again/Stones Throw)

4. Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots (ATO)


Favorite story or
review you wrote for BLURT

“Early Kurt Cobain Demos Unearthed” (plus followup)











Top 10 New Releases

Grinderman-2 (anti)

Best Coast-Crazy for You (Mexican Summer)

Titus Andronicus, The Monitor (XL)

Beach House, Teen Dream (Sub Pop)

Superchunk, Majesty Shredding (merge)

Deerhunter, Halycon Digest (4AD)

Spoon, Transference 

Ted Leo, The Brutalist Bricks (Matador)

Mt. St Helens
Vietnam Band,
Where the Messengers Meet (Secretly Canadian)

Gaslight Anthem, American Slang (Sideone Dummy)


Top Archival/Reissues

The Feelies catalog


Music Books

Cheetah Chrome – A Dead Boy’s Tale (Voyageur Press)


Best Record Label

(tie) Kemado, Merge





Most Annoying



Most Fucked Up

Where do I begin? 2010 happened.


Best New Artist

Jamey Johnson


Best New Artist With
Worst Name

Foxes in Fiction


Sex Object Of the

(tie) Zooey Daschanel, Lykke Li


Favorite Video Game

Donkey Kong Returns


Clear Channel
Presents: Corporate Asshole of the Year

(tie) Paste, Gawker


Best Moustache

Franz Nicolay, Nick


Desert Island Bliss: Artist You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island With

Lykke Li, Robert Pollard, Harry Dean Stanton


Desert Island Dick: Artist You’d Most Like NOT to be Stuck
on an Island With

Morrissey, Jack White


2011 Release You Are
Most Looking Forward To

(tie) Lykke Li, PJ Harvey







Top 10 New Releases

The Soft Pack – The Soft Pack (Kemado)

Rose — Luck in the Valley (Thrill Jockey)

– Frauhaus! (Captured Tracks)

– Similes (Temporary Residence)

–False Flag (Drag

Leo –The Brutalist Bricks (Matador)

Fall –Your Future Our Clutter (Domino)

Staples -You Are Not Alone (Anti-)

Jurado — St. Bartlett (Secretly Canadian)

Golightly and the Brokeoffs –Medicine
County (Transdreamer)


Runners-Up List

White Fence – White Fence
(Make a Mess)

Clogs — In the Garden of Lady Walton (Brassland)

Wovenhand —
Threshingfloor (Sounds Familyre)

Kelley Stoltz –To
Dreamers (Sub Pop)

Andreya Triana –Lost
Where I Belong (Ninja Tune)

Sharon Van Etten — Epic

Current 93 — Baalstorm,
Sing Omega (Coptic Cat)

Ty Segall — Melted

Frightened Rabbit —
Winter of Mixed Drinks (FatCat)

Bottomless Pit — Blood
Under the Bridge (Comedy Minus One)

Jonsi — Go (XL)

Wreckless Eric and Amy
Rigby — Two Way
Family Favorites (Southern Domestic)


Top 5 Archival/Reissues

Neu! – Vinyl Box

Jon Spencer Blues
Explosion – Orange/Orange Experimental Remixes/Acme (Shout! Factory)

The Easter Monkeys –
Splendor of Sorrow (Smog Veil)

Psychedelic Aliens –
Psycho African Beat (Academy)

Carissa’s Weird – They’ll
Only Miss you When You Leave: Songs 1996-2003 (Hardly Art)



The Hold Steady (Pearl Street, Northampton,
MA, April 6)

Rangda/Major Stars (The
Flywheel, Easthampton, MA, September 2)

Tortoise (The Iron Horse, Northampton MA
September 6)

Bob Mould and Chris Brokaw
(The Iron Horse, Northampton,
MA November 9)


Best Record Label



Most Annoying Trend/Whatever

Bedroom disco


Most Fucked Up

Russ Feingold lost to a


Best New Artist



Worst New Artist

Was Surfer Blood this
year?  So forgettable. 



Best New Artist With Worst Name



Sex Object Of the Year

I dunno…Twin Shadow


Favorite Video Game

Madden NFL


Clear Channel Presents: Corporate Asshole of the

/wp-content/photos Hard to choose


Best Moustache

Ryan Kattner (Honus Honus)


Desert Island Bliss: Artist You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island With

Eddie Argos


Desert Island Dick: Artist You’d Most Like NOT to be Stuck
on an Island With

Mark E. Smith though he’d
probably just send his wife.


On Facebook and/or Twitter?

No, already wasting plenty
of time without them.


2011 Release You Are Most Looking Forward To

The new Mogwai is blowing
me away. 


Favorite story or review you wrote for BLURT

Clogs: Song with (and
without) words










Top 10 New Releases

Laurie Anderson – Homeland (Nonesuch)

Susan Cowsill – Lighthouse (Threadhead)

Roky Erickson with Okkervil River
True Love Cast Out All Evil  (Anti-)

Hot Chip – One Life

Elton John and Leon Russell – The Union (Decca)

Janelle Monae – The

Mike Patton – Mondo

Portico Quarter – Isla (Real World)

Mavis Staples – You
Are Not Alone

Tracy Thorn – Love And
Its Opposite


Top 10 Archival/Reissues

Linda Bruner – Songs
for a Friend

Brute Force – I, Brute
Force: Confections of Love

Iggy and the Stooges – Raw

Syl Johnson – Complete
(Numero Group)

The King R&B Box

Monkees – Head (Rhino

Stuart Moxham
Personal Best

Ola Belle Reed – Rising
Sun Melodies
(Smithsonian Folkways)

Rolling Stones – Exile
on Main Street

You Baby: Words and
Music by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri
(Ace – U.K.)


Music DVDs

Leonard Cohen – Bird
on a Wire
(MVD Visual)

The Rolling Stones – Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (Eagle Rock)

The Sacred Triangle: Bowie, Iggy & Lou
(Sexy Intellectual/Chrome 

The T.A.M.I. Show (Shout! Factory)

Who Is Harry Nilsson
(And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?


Music Books

Patti Smith – Just

Keith Richards – Life ( Little, Brown)

Tommy James – Me, the
Mob and the Music

Greil Marcus – When
That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison

Sean Wilentz – Bob
Dylan in America


Top 10

Laurie Anderson – Only an Expert

and the Johnsons – Thank You For Your Love

Frog Eyes – A Flower in a Glove

The Hold Steady – We Can Get Together

Jones & the Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way

Tift Merritt – Mixtape

The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

Pomegranates – Anywhere You Go Kanye West – Monster

Paul Simon – Getting Ready for Christmas Day


Best Music Website

Blurt Magazine


Top 5 Festivals

Big Ears Festival (Knoxville,
March 26-28)

Nelsonville Music Festival (Nelsonville OH, May 15-16.)

Ponderosa Stomp (Detroit
Breakdown, New York,
July 31.)

Ponderosa Stomp (New
Orleans, Sept. 24-26.)

Moogfest (Asheville
NC, Oct. 29-31)


Favorite Story I
Wrote for BLURT

Just Walk Away, Renee: Renee Fleming vs. Barb Jungr







Top 10 New Releases
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella)
Codeine Velvet Club – Codeine Velvet Club (Universal-Island)
Broken Bells – Broken Bells (Columbia)
VV Brown – Travelling Like the Light (Island)
Nneka – Concrete Jungle (Decon Inc)
Youssou N’Dour – Music From the Motion Picture ‘I Bring What I Love’ (Nonesuch)
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Crazy Heart (New West)
The Upsidedown – The Town With Bad Wiring (Reverb)
Buddy Guy – Living Proof (Silvertone)
Girl Talk – All Day (Illegal Art)

Top 10 Archival/Reissues
Fucked Up – Couple Tracks: Singles 2002-2009 (Matador)
Jay-Z – The Hits Collection- Volume 1 (Roc-A-Fella)
Various Artists – African Boogaloo- The Latinization of West Africa (Honest
EPMD – Strictly Business (Priority)
Sweet Talks – The Kusum Beat (Soundway)
Various Artists – How Sweet It Was — The Sights & Sounds Of Gospel’s
Golden Age (Shanachie)
Lee Dorsey – The New Lee Dorsey (Rev-Ola)
Various Artists- Ouaga Affair, Hard Won Sound of the Upper Volta 1974-1978
Willie Colon – Asalto Navideno 1 & 2 (Fania)
Various Artists – A Reference Of Female-Fronted Punk Rock: 1977-89

Top 10 Singles/Tracks
Freshlyground “Chicken To Change”
Omarion “I Get It In”
Surfer Blood “Swim”
Big Boi “Fo Yo Sorrows”
Jesse Malin “All the Way From Moscow”
Janelle Monae “Tightrope”
The Hold Steady “Rock Problems”
Cee-Lo “Fuck You”
Nas & Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley “As We Enter”
Ciara “Gimme Dat”

Music DVDs
Rolling Stones – Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones (Eagle Rock Ent)
John Lennon – Lennon NYC (A&E Home Video)
Albert King/Stevie Ray Vaughan – In Session (Stax)
Beyonce – I Am… World Tour (Columbia)
Johnny Cash – Christmas With Johnny Cash (The Yule Log DVD) (Sony Legacy)

Music Books
Alex Ross – Listen to This (Farrar,
Straus and Giroux)
Keith Richards – Life (Little, Brown
and Company)
Patti Smith – Just Kids (Ecco)
Adam Bradley, Andrew DuBois – The Anthology of Rap (Yale University Press)
Greil Marcus – Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus:
Writings 1968-2010
Top 5 Concerts
Arcade Fire (Madison Square Garden, New York NY 8-4-10)
Ty Segall (Cake Shop, New York NY 8-12-10)
Flaming Lips (Central Park Summerstage, New York NY 7-26-10)
Bang on a Can marathon (World Financial Center, New York NY 6-27-10)
The Heavy (Bowery Ballroom, New York NY 6-16-10)
The King’s Speech
Terribly Happy
Ghost Writer
Get Low
Best Record Label

Matador (runner up: Duck

Coolest Trend/Whatever

Tristan Perich’s 1-Bit
playable CDs (too bad they’re not cheaper)

Most Annoying Trend/Whatever

Major labels and media
outlets still clueless about how to survive in a digital age

Most Fucked Up

FCC’s spinelessness about
allowing mergers and consolidation of huge media companies

Best New Artist

Bear Hands

Worst New Artist


Best New Artist With Worst Name

Wild Nothing

Sex Object Of the Year

Lady Gaga and her flaming
bra (not the gun one)

Video Game

Angry Birds

Clear Channel Presents: Corporate
Asshole of the Year

Irving Azoff, hands down

Best Moustache

For facial hair, it’s a
three way tie – Joaquin Phoenix, Rick Ross, Zach

Desert Island
Bliss: Artist You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island

Brian Eno, because he’d
have all these strange, interesting, wacky ideas about what to do with the
sand, coconut trees, ocean water, etc..

Desert Island
Dick: Artist You’d Most Like NOT to be Stuck on an Island

Kanye West, even though he
put out the best album this year.

On Facebook and/or Twitter?

Yep and yep. It’s where
the action’s at, baby! &

2011 Release You Are Most Looking
Forward To

Jandek’s duets album (so
far Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Jessica Simpson & Mark E. Smith have
signed on)

Favorite story or review you wrote for

Richard Thompson interview








Top 10 New Releases

Richard Bennett – Valley Of The Sun (Moderne Shellac)

Willie Nelson – Country Music (Rounder)

Merle Haggard – I Am What I Am (Vanguard Records)

Colin Hay – Deep Fried Satisfied (Ingot Rock)

Jon Langford & Skull Orchard – Old Devils (Bloodshot)

Justin Currie – The Great War – (Ryko)

Jim Byrnes – Everywhere West (Black Hen)

Wendy Bird – Natural Wonder (Beaumont Classic Records)

Jan King & Medicine Ball – Things To Hide

The Buicks – Biscuits n’ Chicken (Teletone Records


 Top 10 Archival/Reissues

Hank Williams – The Complete Mother’s Best (Time-Life)

Jimi Hendrix – West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology (Sony

Ray Charles – Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters (Concord Records)

Bob Dylan – The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964/The Bootleg Series
Vol. 9 (Columbia

The Blue Shadows – On The Floor Of Heaven (Bumstead Records)


Music DVDs

The Rolling Stones – Ladies And Gentleman…The Rolling Stones
(Eagle Rock)

The Everly Brothers – Reunion
Concert: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Eagle Rock)

Rory Gallagher – Ghost Blues: The Story of Rory Gallagher
& the Beat Club Sessions (Eagle Rock)


Music Books

John Einarson – Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book Of
Love (Jawbone Press)

Chris Salewicz-Bob Marley: The Untold Story (Faber &

Ken Sharp – Starting Over: The Making of John Lennon and
Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy (MTV)

Antonio D’Ambrosio – A Heartbeat and A Guitar: Johnny Cash
and the Making of Bitter Tears (Nation Books)


Best Record Label




 “American Idol” is
dying at last.


Most Annoying

David Gray/Ray LaMontagne style head shaking.


Most Fucked Up

The results of the mid-term elections.


Best New Artist

The Zut Alors


Worst New Artist

 Appeared on SNL


Sex Object Of the

The Merle Haggard Signature Model Fender Telecaster


Favorite Video Game

Fox News


Clear Channel
Presents: Corporate Asshole of the Year

How many ducks are in the barrel?


Best Moustache

Elisabeth Hasselbeck


Desert Island Bliss: Artist You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island With



Desert Island Dick: Artist You’d Most Like NOT to be Stuck
on an Island With

Michael Bublé


On Facebook and/or

Leaving and no. (Think: George Orwell)


2011 Release You Are
Most Looking Forward To

Wesley Snipes








Top 10 New Releases

Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Def Jam)

Neil Young  – Le Noise

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks (Matador)

The Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion
Ensemble – Miles Away (Stones Throw)/Young Jazz Rebels – Slave Riot (Stones
Throw) (TIE)

Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma (Warp)

Gorillaz – Plastic
Beach (Virgin)

Eminem – Recovery (Aftermath-Interscope)

Twin Shadow – Forget (Terrible)

Four Tet – There Is Love In You (Domino)

Gonjasufi – A Sufi and a Killer (Warp)


Top 10 Reissues

Various Artists – The Apple Records Box Set (Apple-EMI)

Jimi Hendrix – West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology

Syl Johnson – Complete Mythology (Numero

David Bowie – Station to Station: Deluxe Edition (Virgin)

Orange Juice – Coals to Newcastle (Domino)

The Cure – Disintegration: Deluxe Edition (Rhino)

Incredible String Band – The Incredible String Band/5000
Spirits or the Layers of an Onion/The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter/Wee-Tam and
Big Huge (Fled’gling)

The Dream Syndicate – Medicine Show (Water)

Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos
1962-1964 (Columbia-Legacy)

R.E.M. Fables of the Reconstruction: 25th Anniversary
Edition (IRS-EMI)


Music DVDS

Bruce Springsteen – The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge of
Town Story (Columbia)

Ladies and Gentlemen…The Rolling Stones! (Eagle Rock)

The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights (Third
Man-Warner Bros.)

Rock ‘n’ Roll
High School: Roger
Corman’s Cult Classics (SHOUT! Factory)

Michael Jackson’s Vision (Epic-Legacy)



Faith No More (Williamsburg
Waterfront July 5, 2010)


Best Record Label

Warp Records



A regression to the meaner days of indie rock


Most Annoying



Most Fucked Up

The rise of the Tea Party


Best New Artist



Worst New Artist



Best New Artist With
Worst Name

Allo Darlin’


Sex Object Of the

Brie Larson


Favorite Video Game

NOT Angry Birds


Clear Channel
Presents: Corporate Asshole of the Year

The new music editor at Billboard


Best Moustache

Jerry Fuchs (RIP)


On Facebook and/or

Yes to Facebook, because I can keep up with people in my
personal life. No to Twitter because what I have on my mind measures up to a
lot more than 140 characters (although Weingarten’s 1000 TImes Yes and Yo La
Tengo’s James McNew’s Tweets are both essential reading)


2011 Release You Are
Most Looking Forward To

The new Aphex Twin album


Favorite story or
review you wrote for BLURT

Titus Andronicus “Channeling Penny Rimbaud”










Top 10 New Releases

Megafaun — Heretofore

Holly Miranda — The
Magician’s Private Library (XL Recordings)

Holy Sons — Survivalist
Tales (Partisan)

Hiss Golden Messenger —
Root Work (Heaven & Earth Magic)

The Love Language —
Libraries (Merge)

Sin Ropas – Holy Broken

Sun Araw — On Patrol (Not
Not Fun)

Broken Social Scene —
Forgiveness Rock Record (Arts & Crafts)

Woods — At Echo Lake

Greenhornes — **** (Third


Runners-Up List

Glasser — Ring (True

The Scottish Enlightenment
– St. Thomas (Armellodie)

Wild Nothing – Gemini
(Captured Tracks)

Kings Go Forth — The
Outsiders Are Back (Luaka Bop)

Antony & the Johnsons – Thank You for Your Love

Siskiyou — Siskiyou

Secret Cities — Pink
Graffiti, Pt.1 (Western Vinyl)

Deerhunter/Halcyon Digest

Cee-Lo – Lady Killer

Bonnie Prince Billy & Cairo Gang/Wonder Show of the World (Drag City)

Arcade Fire — The Suburbs (Merge)

Swans – My Father Will
Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky (Young God)

Warpaint — The Fool
(Rough Trade)

Julian Lynch – Mare (Olde
English Spelling Bee)

Tindersticks – Falling
Down a Mountain (Constellation)

Quasi – American Gong


Top 10 Archival/Reissues

The Rolling Stones —
Exile on Main Street

Galaxie 500 — Today/On
Fire/This Is Our Music (Domino/20-20-20)

The Cure – Disintegration

Morrissey – Bona Drag

Pavement – Quarantine the
Past (Matador)

KC Accidental — Captured
Anthems For An Empty Bathtub/Anthems For The Could’ve Bin Pills (Arts &

Robert Wyatt – Rock Bottom

Iggy & the Stooges –
Raw Power (Legacy)

Springsteen – Darkness on
the Edge of Town/The Promise (Columbia)

Bob Dylan — The Bootleg
Series, Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 (Columbia)



Wye Oak (Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC

Tortoise (Hopscotch Festival,
Raleigh, NC

Bonnie Prince Billy &
the Cairo Gang (Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC  12/3/10)

Scout Niblett (Snug Harbor,
Charlotte, NC 3/7/10)

Sin Ropas (The Milestone, Charlotte, NC







, CA


Top 10 New Releases

Admiral Radley – I Heart California (Anti-)

Jigsaw Seen – Bananas
Foster (Vibro-Phonic)

Steve Wynn & The
Miracle 3 – Northern Aggression (Yep Roc)

Roky Erickson &
Okkervil River – True Love Cast Out All Evil (Anti-)

Orange Peels – 2020
(Mystery Lawn)

Apples In Stereo –
Travellers In Time And Space (Yep Roc/Simian)

Richard Barone – Glow (Bar

Frightened Rabbit – Winter
Of Mixed Drinks (Fat Cat)

Beach House – Teen Dream
(Sub Pop)

Various Artists – Through
A Faraway Window: Tribute To Jimmy Silva            (SteadyBoy)



Rain Parade – Beyond The
Sunset (Lemon/Cherry Red)

Explosives – 3 Ring Circus


Top 5 Concerts

Buffalo Springfield –
Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View
CA  10-24-10

Admiral Radley –
Somebody’s Barn, Escalon CA 7-24-10

Apples In Stereo – Blank
Club, San Jose CA 10-31-10

Teenage Fanclub – Great American
Music Hall, San Francisco CA

Avett Brothers – Mountain
Winery, Saratoga CA 7-1-10



The Social Network

Animal Kingdom

Jack Goes Boating

Get Him To The Greek

Red Riding Trilogy


Most Annoying Trend/Whatever

Audience members bellowing
out inane comments to onstage performers, the only time the “open
carry” laws might come in handy.


Best New Artist

Los Campesinos


Desert Island Bliss: Artists You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island With

Rebecca Hall and Russell


On Facebook?

Facebook is sooo boring. I
look at it once a month, why I’m not sure. If I want to know what people are
having for lunch, I’ll ask.


Favorite story or review you wrote for BLURT

Buffalo Springfield
Live @ Bridge Benefit   









Top 10 New Releases

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

The Black Keys – Brothers (Nonesuch)

Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River
Blues (Bloodshot)

Robert Plant – Band of Joy (Rounder)

Jones & the Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way (Daptone)

Sleigh Bells – Treats (Mom + Pop/NEET)

The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang (SideOne Dummy)

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (4AD)

Drive-By Truckers – The Big To-Do (ATO)

Superchunk – Majesty Shredding (Merge)


Top 10

Bruce Springsteen – The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of
Town Story (Columbia)

Richard & Linda Thompson – Shoot Out the Lights (Rhino

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew: Legacy Edition (Sony Legacy)

Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune
(Sony Legacy)

Otis Redding Live on the Sunset Strip (Stax)

David Bowie – Station to Station (EMI)

Stevie Ray Vaughn/Albert King – In Session (Stax)

Superchunk – No Pocky for Kitty/On the Mouth (Merge)

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers – So Many Roads: An
Anthology (Hip-O)


Top Concerts

The Black Keys (Classic Car Club, NYC, 5/15/10)

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings  (Prospect
Park, Brooklyn, NY

Wilco (Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ,

Allman Brothers/Gov’t Mule/North
Mississippi All-Stars: One More for Woody (Roseland, NYC, 11/22/10)

The National (Radio
City Music
Hall, NYC 6/16/10)

Arcade Fire (Bank of America
Pavilion, Boston,

The Dead Weather(Prospect
Park, Brooklyn, NY

Peter Wolf (The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY

The Hold Steady (Bowery Ballroom, NYC 4/17/10)









Top 10 New Releases

The National – High Violet

Kanye West – My Beautiful
Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella Records)

Junip – Fields (Mute)

Damien Jurado – Saint
Bartlett (Secretly Canadian)

Broken Social Scene –
Forgiveness Rock Record (Arts & Crafts)

The Black Keys – Brothers

Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame

LCD Soundsystem – This Is
Happening (DFA/Virgin)

Yeasayer – Odd Blood
(Secretly Canadian)

Everest – On Approach
(Warner Brothers)

Big Light – Animals in
Bloom (reapandsow)


Top 10 Archival/Reissues

Bruce Springsteen – The
Promise (Columbia/Sony)

The Rolling Stones – Exile
On Main Street

Various Artists – Next
Stop Soweto 1-3

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
Nirvana – Bleach (Sub Pop/Universal)

Paul McCartney & Wings
– Band On The Run (Concord)

Elliott Smith – An
Introduction To… (Kill Rock Stars)

David Bowie – Station To
Station (EM I)

Spiritualized – Ladies And
Gentleman We Are Floating In Space (ATP)

Syl Johnson – Complete
Mythology (Numero Group)


Top 5 Concerts

My Morning Jacket with
Preservation Hall Jazz Band (4/24/10 – Preservation Hall, New Orleans, LA)

Thom Yorke Atoms For Peace
(4/15/10 – The Fox Theater, Oakland,

Levon Helm Band Ramble
with Jim James & Phil Lesh (8/13/10 – The Independent, San Francisco, CA)

The Mother Hips (9/18/10 –
The Fillmore, San Francisco,

Paul McCartney (7/10/10 – AT&T Park,
San Francisco, CA)


Best New Artist

Dawes.  Though the debut dropped in 2009, in 2010 I
saw them and became fully swept up.


Desert Island Bliss: Artist You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island With

Tim Bluhm – The Mother


Desert Island Dick: Artist You’d Most Like NOT to be Stuck
on an Island With

Justin Bieber


2011 Release You Are Most Looking Forward To

Tie: My Morning Jacket and







Top 10 New Releases

Beach House – Teen Dream (Sub Pop)

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today (4AD)
Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM (Because Music/Elektra)

Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Rock-A-Fella
Records, Def Jam)

Twin Shadow – Forget (4AD)

LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening (DFA,Virgin)

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (4AD)

The Walkmen – Lisbon
(Fat Possum, Bella Union)
Girls – Broken Dreams Club EP (True Panther Sounds)
The National – High Violet (4AD)


Top 10 Singles/Tracks

Surf City”
– The Walkmen

“Dance Yrself Clean” – LCD Soundsystem

“When We’re Dancing” – Twin Shadow

“Palaces of Montezuma” – Grinderman

“Little Wig” – Ariel Pink

“Like a Tourist” – of Montreal

“Everlasting Light” – Black Keys

“Big River” – Secret Sisters (w/ Jack White)

“Who Makes Your Money” – Spoon

“Sprawl II (Mountains
Beyond Mountains)”
– Arcade Fire


Top 10

David Bowie – Station to Station (EMI)

Bruce Springsteen – The Promise (Columbia)


Top 5 Concerts

LCD Soundsystem (Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD

Spoon/Deerhunter (Radio
City Music Hall, New York,
NY 03-29-10)

Dean Wareham Plays Galaxie 500 (Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

The National (Radio
City Music Hall, New York,
NY 06-23-10)

Of Montreal (Theatre of
Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA 05-29-10)



Winter’s Bone

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

The Social Network


Valhalla Rising


Best Record Label




The Creators Project (New


Most Annoying

Elections (all of them, regardless of outcome)


Most Fucked Up

Plenty of options this year, as with any year, but, frankly,
North Korea
scares the shit out of me – more than double-digit unemployment percentages


Best New Artist

Twin Shadow


Worst New Artist

Sleigh Bells


Best New Artist With
Worst Name



Sex Object Of the

Gemma Arterton


Clear Channel
Presents: Corporate Asshole of the Year

BP President Lamar McKay… and Kings of Leon.


Best Moustache

Jim James


Desert Island Bliss: Artist You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island With

St. Vincent (for purely
artistic reasons, of course)


Desert Island Dick: Artist You’d Most Like NOT to be Stuck
on an Island With

Bono (obvious, but true)


On Facebook and/or
Twitter? Why or why not?

Yes and yes (but mostly to the latter). I like to think of
myself as a modern man using modern tools in the modern world.


2011 Release You Are
Most Looking Forward To



Favorite story or
review you wrote for BLURT

The National, Radio City Musical Hall, June 2010









Top 10 New Releases

Holly Golightly & The
Brokeoffs – Medicine
County (Matador)

The Sadies – Darker
Circles (Yep Roc)

The Black Angels –
Phosphene Dream (Blue Horizon)

The Parties – Coast Garde
(Rainbow Quartz)

Blue Giant – Self Titled

Screaming Females – Castle
Talk (Don Giovanni Records)

Nobunny – First Blood

Cheap Time – Fantastic
Explanations (and Similar Situations) (In The Red)

Thee Sgt. Major III – The
Idea Factory (Spark & Shine)

Harlem – Hippies (Matador)


Runners-Up List

The Soft Pack – Self
Titled (Kemado)

Dungeon Honey – Pacific
Motion (Scotch Tape Records)

Jaill – That’s How We Burn
(Sub Pop)

The Service Industry –
Calm Down (Saustex Media)

Wooden Shjips – Vol.2
(Sick Thirst)

The Golden Boys – Thee
Electric Wolfman (Alien Snatch/Dagger Man)

The Fall – Your Future ~
Our Clutter (Domino)

Fuck, I’m A Ghost – Self
Titled (Futurerecordings)

The Growlers – Hot Tropics
(Everloving, Inc.)

Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
(Kanine Records)


Top 10 Archival/Reissues

The Dream Syndicate –
Medicine Show (Water)

The Soft Boys – Underwater Moonlight & Can of Bees
(Yep Roc)

The Fleshtones – It’s
Super Rock Time! The IRS Years, 1980-85 (Raven)

Syd Barrett – An
Introduction To Syd Barrett (Capital/EMI)

Pavement – Quarantine the
Past (Matador/Domino)

The Beatles catalog
reissue from LAST year is still reverberating strongly. (Apple)

Cap’n Jazz –
Analphabetapolothology (Jade Tree Records)

Sorrows – Bad Times Good
Times (Bomp!)


Music Books

Jack Boulware & Silke
Tudor – Gimme Something Better: The
Profound, Progressive and Occasionally Pointless History of Bay Area Punk From
Dead Kennedy’s To Green Day

(Penguin -2009)

Davidson – We Never Learn: The Punk Gunk
Undergut, 1988 -2001
(Backbeat Books)

Earles – Husker Du: The Story of the
Noise-Pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock
(Voyageur Press)

Chrome – A Dead Boys Tale: From the Front
Line of Punk Rock
(Voyageur Press)

Simpson – The Fallen: Life In and Out of
Britain’s Most Insane Group
(Canongate UK)



Kick Ass

Scott Pilgrim Conquers The

Nowhere Boy

The Runaways

Sex & Drugs & Rock
& Roll


Best Record Label

Sub Pop


Coolest Trend/Whatever

The Beatles released on
iTunes finally. We get to pay for them all over again!


Most Annoying Trend/Whatever

The Tea Party “movement.”
The Klan’s PR person suggested the less repulsive name change.


Most Fucked Up

Sarah Palin’s Alaska on the Learning
Channel. WTF? (And we thought the “turkey incident” from two years ago was in
bad taste.)


Best New Artist

 Dungeon Honey (aka Jeremy James) – Pacific
Motion (Scotch Tape Records)


Worst New Artist

I avoid commercial music
like the plague, to avoid hearing any. My credo for decades has been, ‘the best
music is always in the underground.’


Best New Artist With Worst Name

Ferocious Few – Juices (Birdman Records) (I fingered this to be the Best Debut
album of ’10. Currently they’re on tour with Cyndi Lauper, the oddest pairing
since Jimi Hendrix opened for the Monkees.)


Sex Object Of the Year

I’ve got a major thing for
the lovely young lady in the AT&T commercial, where she appears to be
sitting in her living room, watching a movie on her smart phone, and suddenly,
a woman with a cat carrier sits next to her, and then it shows other people
sitting around the room like on a subway car. Doors open, she jumps up and goes
out to the platform and pauses the movie, then throws her head back, presents
her darling up-turned nose and marches off.


Clear Channel Presents: Corporate Asshole(s) of the

All the banks that
accepted Federal bail-out money, then sat on it and refused to lend it out to
small businesses or individuals, and refused to re-finance people’s mortgages
so they could foreclose on them. May there be a special, lower circle of Hell
for all the Wall Street group.


Desert Island Bliss: Artist You’d Like to be Stuck on an Island With

Well, as stimulating as
long, intellectual conversations around the campfire might be, I’d prefer to be
marooned with a female artist. I’d have to go with the smart and beautiful
Rachel Cox from Oakley Hall, and hopefully her guitar survived as well.


Desert Island Dick: Artist You’d Most Like NOT To Be Stuck
on an Island With

Scott Ingram, bass player for The Clash at Demonhead.


On Facebook and/or Twitter?

I’ve given in and drank
the Facebook Kool-ade finally. At least that’s where your real friends are,
while Myspace is all of your fake friends who never respond or interact. But,
Myspace is still where the music is, so I’m keepin’ it for now. As for Twitter,
your life and comings and goings just don’t interest me that much.


2011 Release You Are Most Looking Forward To

The Meat Puppets

Nic Armstrong

The promised Beachwood
Sparks reunion album from Sub Pop.


Favorite story or review you wrote for BLURT

Holly Golightly & The
Brokeoffs – Medicine




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