Top Ten Music Discoveries in 2010
This year I picked up a lot of new music. Well not all of it was new, but it was new to me. I discovered and rediscovered several cool tunes. There was a lull mid way through the year on the blog, but I promise I was busy doing stuff, writing fiction or just out checking the scene. I started involving myself a bit more in the music scene in a hands on manner. My Town had been known to crackdown on the live music, so I’ve been making moves to keep the scene alive. Sometimes I’m just too damned busy to stop and write it down. Deeds not Words, I guess. But I know how much you cats on the internet love a good list so here’s a top ten of my favorite music discoveries of this year!
Mano e Mano – Hall and Oates
After starting up at Bar Majestic this June, I came to a stark realization: The rest of the staff here really really really likes Hall & Oates. It was damn near unhealthy. Lucky for me, I really really really dig them too. Not just the hits mind you. I dove into my music snob lockbox and pulled out this gem. If you didn’t ever hear Mano e Mano, this is your chance. It’s actually quite topical for the goings on of today.
Black Sheep – Metric
The Scott Pilgrim movie will probably not win an Oscar this year. The soundtrack alone was beyond awesome. And I should know all I used to do was buy soundtracks. Seeing the movie and this scene made me wish MTV still played music videos. This single-handedly turned me on to a band I can’t understand how I was deaf to this whole time.
Red Hands – The Dear Hunter
Rolling around in Italy this year, I packed light. I did however decide to take a fair amount of music I hadn’t listened to with me for the trip. The Dear Hunter’s Red Hands opens with a line that goes a long way toward explaining most of my neurosis about about women. “Even if you’d never stray from me,
I’d question your fidelity.”
Shayfer James – The Owl and the Elephant
At the 4th Street Ball at City Hall I was enthralled by a local group of Musicians, a band called Shayfer James. I had to hear more, after a conversation with the Main man himself (Shayfer James, Piano and Vocals) I procured a copy of their album. The Owl and The Elephant is a solid piece of rock. Forget throwing the “Local” brand in front of these guys. This is as solid as anything you’ve heard all year. Give it a look and listen, then tell me you don’t have a new obsession. Bonus good news: They have another album in the works for 2011!
Murder by Death – Good Morning Magpie
Ever since In Bocca al Lupo 2006’s epic, Murder by Death has been on steady rotation on my playlist. It’s good to write to, it’s good to rock out to, and it’s good to work to. Imaginative themes and full use of Cellist, this band has continued to put out really amazing music for the past several years. Here’s the single off their new Album. If you don’t own this you probably don’t even like music… it that’s the case what are you doing on this blog in the first place. I stopped posting half naked pictures of myself in 2004. These are not the droids you’re looking for.
Eli “Paperboy” Reed
My roommate turned me on to this cat. Revivalist crooner and one of the few white dudes with enough soul to pull it off, Eli “Paperboy” Reed is too much fun to not listen to. He’s got sad songs and songs about cheating women and songs about Gambling. He even covered Ace of Spades by Motorhead. Here’s the song that got me on the “Paperboy” bandwagon
Forget You Cee Lo Green
I know very little about this song other than I was at a X-mas party, overheard it, and decided this was awesome. It’s throwback but it’s current, all the while the theme is completely timeless. And Yea it was on Glee, so what apparently someone on that show has taste… good job.
Tris McCall – Let the Night In
Another Local artist put out a great album this year. Tris McCall is Jersey City’s answer to Ben Folds, with a slightly more cynical twist. Songs like Dead After School, First World Third Rate and WFMU play in my head when nothing else is around to be heard. Songs about Fast food joints local radio stations and The cool teacher you had in High school that taught you how to be you then got caught up in some bad shit. Again, throw away that “local” tag, this was one of the best things I heard all year.
Motion city Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life
How fun are these guys. Every song on this album is a step up from their last one. Mature but still poppy. Great songs about heartache and dealing with growing up. I listen to this album whenever I’m feeling like I’m ineffectual. It’s a swift kick in the ass. Sure their new sound is decidedly more emo than previous go’s, but songs like Disappear and A Life Less Ordinary make up for the touchy feely stuff. I can be found on my loser nights rockin out in my sweat socks dancing around my tiny room to this album.
Often I’ve made it apparent, that I’m skeptical of hip hop music. That’s not to say I feel that it’s not a valid music genre or that the sound itself is not too my liking. I have a really soft spot for Run DMC, NWA, Public Enemy and tons of other groups that pioneered the genre. Mostly though what you get in the more popular zones of Hip Hop, much like rock, is out and out bullshit, and tough bubblegum pop. When you do hear something good though it goes a long long way to remind me that the only difference between rock and hip hop is that their such a huge gap in the middle of the genre. You don’t see rappers out there jobbing it at the small venues as much. And maybe that’s just part of how it is, but let me get off my soap box. WHY? Is one of those groups that does just what I was saying. Metaphors and rhyme, well thought out lyrics combined with nostalgia, lines like “I’ve been stealing my grandfathers handsome from old photographs.” And lets be honest they’re from Ohio. I’m from Ohio, a lot of great things come from Ohio, like the cash register and the Wright Bros. So, obviously most of you have been influenced by money and flight, why not be influenced by Why??
And that’s it for 2010. Ten solid leads to music. I’m sure at least one of these you’re gonna like. Bookmark this page and come back to them as you please. This is my Christmas and new years gift to you, there are still 11 days left in Christmas. I’d say Chanukah but I mean let’s be for real that was over a week ago. Either way, enjoy. And good luck in the new year.