With Fresh Heirs starting halfway through the year, recapping everything that has happened so far in 2010 would be a little unreasonable and a little tedious. So instead, we’re bringing you recaps from the staff that show what caught each writer’s eye so far in 2010, providing a little snapshot as we move into the future. Here’s Kevin’s view:
Top 10 Albums of 2010
10. Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be
9. The National – High Violet
8. MGMT – Congratulations
7. Future Islands – In Evening Air
6. Autechre – Oversteps
5. Vampire Weekend – Contra
4. Toro Y Moi – Causers of This
3. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
2. Beach House – Teen Dream
1. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
Top 10 Songs of 2010
10 .The National – Terrible Love – High Violet
9. Toro Y Moi – Blessa – Causers of This
8. Double Dagger – Pillow Talk – Masks EP
7. Dr. Dog – Shadow People – Shame, Shame
6. The Drums – Lets Go Surfing – The Drums
5. Here We Go Magic – Collectors – Pigeons
4. Beach House – Norway – Teen Dream
3. Vampire Weekend – Cousins – Contra
2. LCD Soundsystem – Pow Pow – This is Happening
1. Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill – Treats
Best Set of 2010
-Dan Deacon at the Ottobar, February 19, Baltimore, MD
Dan Deacon had cancelled the original show due to his back problems, leading to some to think he would rethink his stage show, also in large part due to the menacing crowds he had played to his last two times in Baltimore. He didn’t play on the stage, but, he did pull off a huge surprise by inviting guests to join him up on stage for the traditional dance party. That, and an inspiring performance of “Snookered” off of 2009’s Bromst, made this one of the most memorable shows for the hometown hero in recent memory.
Best Show of 2010
-Deakin (Josh Dibb), Dan Higgs, Jason Urick, Zomes and Moss of Aura at the Ottobar, January 1, Baltimore, MD
Sometime in 2007, after the release of their album Strawberry Jam, Animal Collective member Josh Dibb, aka Deakin, quit the group for “a myriad of personal reasons.” This was right before the group was about to cross over into the spotlight with their album Merriweather Post Pavillion. During that time he remained in the collective working on the visual album ODDSAC, but otherwise, remaining missing from the band. It was announced that he would play his first live show, ever, before setting off to Africa for a music festival there. The set was phenomenal, not just from Dibb, but the entire crew. My friend Ross said of Daniel Higgs, “Every word he says seems like the best combination of words.” Moss of Aura and Zomes opened up with their electronic repetitions, and Jason Urick closed out with his madness. But the true spotlight was on Dibb, whose thumping percussions and guitars, which could only be described as whirling, welcomed us into the new decade.
Best New Artist
Although I didn’t enjoy the album front to back, there were a particularly few large highlights in Sleigh Bells debut album Treats, the most notable being the song “Rill Rill” which I picked as my top song so far this year. I’m looking forward to see if they can continue their harsh, loud guitar, and seemingly maxed out drums, combined with the somehow peaceful vocals.
– As I stated in my bio, I quickly become intensely obsessed with bands, and the bands for this year were the always classic Kraftwerk, and James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem, with thanks greatly due to This is Happening. It leaves me somewhat depressed that this will probably be the last LCD album before Murphy moves onto other projects. I guess you could also say I’m a big of a Baltimore homer, when it comes to my likes in music, as far as choosing local favorites Dan Deacon, Deakin, Beach House Double Dagger and Future Islands in my top lists. There truly is a Baltimore renaissance that has been going on for quite awhile now, and if you’re not familiar with it, quickly become acquainted with it. You won’t regret your decision.