WHO: Dylan Baldi from fuzz-popsters Cloud Nothings
FAVORITE NON-2010 ALBUMS HEARD THIS YEAR:
1. Seam – The Problem With Me
2. Rip Rig & Panic – Attitude
3. Hasil Adkins – Chicken Walk
4. Automatics – Walking With The Radio On
5. Stephen Steinbrink – Ugly Unknowns
WHO: Gregory Lee Boyd from big indie-rockers Clovers
FAVORITE ALBUM: Conspiracy of Owls – Conspiracy of Owls
It’s been awhile since a band made me feel the way these guys do, and even better that the record delivers the same vibe. It can go from ELO, to The Move, to the Beatles, to the greatest classic rock song you have never heard. To me, this is just a perfect record in many ways. The drums are very Ringo-esque, the vocal harmonies are incredible, and the guitar/bass work is very minimal yet very tasteful. “Raving Mad” and “Three” are the standouts for me. Everyone should take a trip to a place where these comparisons but have never been fulfilled by a band more than these fellas.
WHO: Thomas Dechristofaro from indie-pop stars Afternoon Naps
FAVORITE ALBUM: Chin Chin – Sound of the Westway (reissue on Slumberland)
Even though this is a reissue, it’s still my album of the year. In 1984, three ladies from Switzerland made this record, and it sounds fresher and more relevant than any indie-rock or pop I heard all year. Loud guitars, perfect melodies, and completely essential. (P.S. the Black Tambourine reissue, also rules, it was nice to see them get the acclaim they’ve always deserved this year!)
WHO: Matt Fish from grilled cheese heaven Melt Bar & Grilled
Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart
OFF! – First Four EPs
Both these records pretty much saved music for me this year. The OFF! record is the best “punk” record I have heard in at least ten years.
WHO: Keith Freund from soft-rockers Trouble Books
THREE FAVORITE NORTHEAST OHIO CASSETTES:
Dreaded – Working Class Death
Really inspiring, really heavy. Doom-y noise loops by Ben from Tusco Terror that make me feel like something awful is slowly circling, so great.
Moustache Mountain – Transocean
Mike really nails an awesome sound of filtered tones shifting and lets it go for almost an hour. A really pleasant place to relax for a while.
Sam Goldberg/Mark McGuire – Spring Tour 2010
Lots of incredible stuff from the Cleveland camp this year, and this tape is one of my favorites. Not sure exactly what makes these pieces stand out, but it’s been in my car for months and the beginning of Mark’s side has gotten all wobbly in a way that feels appropriate.
WHO: Helen Harry from WRUW radio program Guilty Pleasures
FAVORITE ALBUM: Vampire Weekend – Contra
I discovered this album from my dorm room neighbors right around the end of winter and the start of springtime. It hit me as a true spring/summer album and I was sure to blast it throughout my dorm when I was getting ready for class. Vampire Weekend is so fun and I wasn’t really able to get into their first album as much as Contra due to the fact that it didn’t seem as airy and exciting as their sophomore follow up. This album followed me throughout the entire year as a favorite and I still find myself singing these songs, longing for when summer will be back in Cleveland. Vampire Weekend’s lyrics make me feel as though I have transferred to prep school where classes are cancelled forever and Vampire Weekend is playing a live show constantly.
WHO: Melanie Hershberger from “Best Records and CDs” shop Music Saves
FAVORITE ALBUM: Baths – Cerulean
IT’S KINDA LIKE:
feeling alive for the first time in your life
dancing with your bad self
a secret, romantic rendezvous
singing softly to your one true love
For me, 2010 was a year that was distinguished by an influx of drastic personal change and growth. Through all of this, Baths’ Cerulean managed to provide me with the comfort, catharsis, solace, and solitude I needed to handle everything that life threw at me with grace. It was like an angel on my shoulder, a best friend holding my hand, and a muse of inspiration. In my heart, 2010 will forever be marked by this album.
WHO: Nick Tolar from 90’s revivalists Herzog
Beach House – Teen Dream
I love this band, and this record is a big leap forward.
Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
Halcyon is just a great group of songs. I really loved the new acoustic guitar/harpsichord effect as well.
The Walkmen – Lisbon
The older I get, the more I like this band. They’re classy, and they have certain sophistication that I really enjoy. I also like artists who find the thing that they do well and then constantly refine it, not copy it, but refine it.