Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top 10 Music (that mattered to me) 2010

As for running... well... I pulled up lame before Chicago. I'm still injured. I've learned not to take my body for granted anymore. Its amazing how our bodies heal, and I'm hopeful mine can reach the shape it was once in again. This is the longest I've been off of running since I first began the sport in 2006. Anyway...

Here is a list of the Ten Albums that mattered most to me in 2010 (well, 7 albums and 3 individual tracks/ 7"'s):

1. Age of Adz - Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan experienced mental and physical sickness in the last year that wouldn't allow him to work (for a period rumored to be over 6 months long), and you can hear the effect this had on his work very clearly in the song lyrics (if not titles alone, "I want to be well" for example). I can't help but to relate my personal physical and mental crisis this year to so much on the record. His performance at the Chicago Theater on 10/15/2010 was a highlight of the year for me... After opening with a bare and INCREDIBLE "Seven Swans," he dove into his new material, with a stunning visual display of dancing and projected images, and a UFO landing on stage with Sufjan covered in neon, belting (almost certainly to himself) in autotune the words:

Stupid man in the window, I couldn't be at rest
All my delight, all that mattered, I couldn't be at rest
From what I liked, from what I gathered, I couldn't be at rest
Stupid man in the window, I couldn't be at rest

If an injured runner starved of his addiction can't relate to that... then I'm not sure who can.

There are a million other reasons I love this record... but I'll spare you. Here's a link to the video for the song "Too Much" which features a lot of the visual displays that were projected on the stage. Also, I can't get enough of his dancing on Jimmy Fallon.

2. Wonder Show of the World - Bonnie Prince Billy and the Cairo Gang
I can only say that I spent a great number of days this year walking around Portland by myself listening to this. It is absolutely fragile and gorgeous. I once loved a girl, but she couldn't take that I visited Troublesome Houses.

3. Wild Hunt - The Tallest Man on Earth
This is my favorite album, lyrically, of the year. I could spend an entire day pondering just one line of these songs. Is there a song that evokes the power of love to one person, or the absolute bitter despair of heartbreak to another better than "King of Spain"?

4. Abandoned Bridges, No More Nowhere, Top Shelf - Owen
Owen is probably my favorite artist. Easily top 5. But, when the first verse of this single made a frank reference to masturbation, I was a little put off. I'm certainly not annoyed morally... but it was just to empty and real to hear:

Well I left the party pretty early. I thought I'd go home and drink some wine and fuck myself.

But over time I've gotten over it and I've found myself weighing the pluses and minuses of burning bridges. Oh... and of course, sonically this song is beautiful. Duh, its Owen!

5. All Delighted People - Sufjan Stevens
As an entire unit, I'm not crazy about this EP. But, in certain moments it shines. Djoharia especially stands out to me. I'm instantly transplanted to the edge of the Willamette river path running as fast as I can to meet a MAX train to the bridge. I spent many runs with this song in my final months in Portland.

6. Manners (Bonus Tracks) - Passion Pit
This was a 2009 release, but the stripped down versions of Moth's Wings and Sleepyhead released in 2010 were sensational.

7. High Violet - The National
I don't know. I just liked this in a lot of ways.

8. July Flame - Laura Veirs
I want to take something beautiful and make it mine. I'm human. And while I want so much more, sometimes I have to settle for this in a simple peach.

9. El Turista - Josh Rouse
Overall, I think this was a slightly poor effort (which has been happening all to often to Mr. Rouse) but I was won over with "Don't Act Tough" and "Cotton Eyed Joe" believe it or not.

10. Hey Soul Sister - Cast of Glee
Train wrote this song. So, naturally the lyrics are TERRIBLE. The whole thing is terrible. But, I just can't stop listening and smiling!!!! So gangsta, I'm so thug!!!!

1 comment:

Sam said...

I've really fallen out of touch this year because I've been reading so much, but I'm with you on Age of Adz, All Delighted People and High Violet. I also really liked Charlotte Gainsbourg's album that Beck produced.