2010: My Albums of the Year

Castevet and Into It. Over It. (really just one dude-bro with mad skillz) released, what might be, my favorite split of the year. Both are amazing and worth checking out.

As the year winds down, I thought I’d share my favorite albums of the year. You’ll probably be disappointed by my exclusion of a lot of stuff, but my year was mostly spent reading books/articles on ridiculously specific topics, like Guatemalan Mayans, acculturation, and immigrants’ eating habits. I, apparently, didn’t have a second to spare for Kanye’s new album which still sits in my long “New Music” queue. Also, also, also, I liked the Arcade Fire’s new album for a total of about 5 minutes. I think it was during the first time I heard “Ready to Start”. Also, there are things I’m almost certain none of you will even believe I like or would put on this list, but what can you do? Nothing.

My list might not be as inclusive as many as y’all’s might be. I’m obviously no music journalist. I’m pretty much writing as a fan boi. Be gentle with me. Anyway, all of these things, I feel, are pretty established if we know each other personally. Ramblllllle.

Some that almost made the list were Beach House, The National, Ben Folds’ project with Nick Hornby, and Bob Nanna’s project Certain People I Know. I loved the EP, but will anything ever come out of it? Snowing‘s new album JUST came out. I’m sorta undecided (You should listen to that link regardless because they’re fucking amazing). Anyway. Here we go.

RVIVR – S/T – I’m really bad at explaining what music sounds like or what I liked about music without sounding like a complete moron. Despite this impediment, I’ll say that RVIVR is the punk band I always wanted to be in. They’re gritty, strong, and have a great sense of melody and arrangement. The musician’s personalities shine through their music. It’s something that a lot of people can’t pull off. This isn’t the reason you should listen to RVIVR. It’s just a good reason to root for them. You’ll find yourself singing these songs to and from work.

Circa Survive Blue Sky Noise – This was probably the most surprising album of 2010 for me. I was expecting a giant pile of shit to be completely honest. On Letting Go was nothing in comparison to Juturna, which is one of my favorite albums ever, and I thought the trend would continue. But, something happened. Something beautiful happened. This album seems to have put Circa back on track, and I’m loving it.

Das RacistShut Up, Dude – All I gotta say is, if you sample Billy Joel we can be besties.

Grown Ups More Songs – Probably one of my favorite bands in recent memory. 2010 was the year Grown Ups released their first LP after the promising Songs EP. Although being substantially more polished and missing some of the quirkiness from the EP, the album is a great example of what a great punk band is in 2010.

CastevetThe Echo & Light – The first I ever heard of Castevet was last year after the release of Summer Fences. Their first album was good effort, but it missed something. It missed a sort of cohesion that I feel they gained in The Echo & Light. Maybe it’s because Echo & the Light attacks more that we can hear how tight Castevet’s musicianship really is. I was really impressed.

Joie De VivreThe North End – I’m pretty sure Joie De Vivre got me through my Summer semester. It’s emo at its best. That’s definitely not a bad thing… well, maybe to some of you. They gingerly step through beautifully crafted soundscapes crafted through intricately layered arrangements. It’s really great schtuff, and awesome to read to.

The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza Danza III: A Series of Unfortunate Events – A silly band with serious musicians, Danza is just fucking brutal. I can’t stress how much I love brutal shit. The more ridiculously bone-crushing and absurdly heavy, the better. Danza is out of control in concert and in the studio. You just have to listen to it.

Shapes Stars Make These Mountains Are Safe – Every time I show someone this band, they immediately mention Explosions in the Sky. I think it’s really unfair. These guys actually make an effort to make their music interesting. It shows too. Their second album is a fantastic study aid. :)

Dillinger Escape PlanOption Paralysis – After I saw Dillinger for the first time this year, I should have just gotten a shirt that said “I saw Dillinger Escape Plan, and then I fucking died.” The musicianship is just incomparable. Calculating Infinity will always be one of my favorite albums of all time, but this Dillinger Escape effort doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.

Alright, well, I hope you guys check some of this stuff out and enjoy all of it! :D Yes, even Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza. I would love to write more about what happened this year in music, but there just isn’t enough time.

Happy Holidays,

dago

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