Thursday, January 27, 2011

The 10 best songs that should been in 2010's Greatest Hits but we forgot

We're stuck at the airport. Yes... all of us. So this has become a golden opportunity to work on some quick updates... First and foremost, these 10 songs probably would have been fine replacements for the least impressive songs .. most of which were discovered (or, mostly re-discovered) throughout the past week after the Pazz & Jop results were posted and other various end-of-year nonsense...

#1 Superchunk "My Gap Feels Weird"
A third Superchunk track in the list wouldn't have hurt.. After a few more listens this one turned out to their best new song.

#2 Surfer Blood "Floating Vibes"
These dudes are still overrated, but this is the song that should have been included instead of sleepy "Harmonix."

#3 Bat For Lashes feat. Beck "Let's Get Lost"
Finally got around to seeing New Moon last night and holy fuck is this movie awful... I would almost rather not see Eclipse at this point as the decent songs within the movie's context might taint their goodness. For example, I might never again be able to hear Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole" ever again without thinking of those damn Twilight kids fuckin around on the softball field. Yeah anyway...

#4 Some of that Flying Lotus shit.

#5 Willow Smith "Whip My Hair"
Somehow this wasn't obvious right away. It shouldn't be long before someone decides to turn her into a "career artist" and forces her to sing boring bullshit.

#6 Pill "On Da Korner"
Fuck, there just wasn't enough Pill in this year's list... We called WXCI's Sunday hiphop show recently just to see if they really knew what was up, and we're like "Do you guys have any Pill?" And to our surprise the DJ called him one of the best new artists to watch for in 2011, and that they apparently featured him on last Sunday's show. Swag.

#7 Ke$ha "We R Who We R"
The earworm wins. Fuck, this should've been top 30 at least. Late Night Noise is still on the hunt for our big Ke$ha interview in 2011. Details are on the way...

#8 More shit from "Bastard"
Tyler's coming to NY Feb 15. I got my tix good and ready.

#9 Mary Kate & Ashley Olson "Gimme Pizza Slow"
How exactly did the #1 best thing that happened on the internet in 2010 slip our minds?? Not only is this the apex of Youtube's existance, but the beat is kinda like hot cum and if it were by Ween this would have easily made Top 10.

#10 Justin Bieber "U Smile (Ambient Version)"
This was technically cited but did not place. Whatever.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

oh shit.. theyre gonna free earl

...when Odd Future plays Coachella (we're fairly certain that's a "when" and not an "if") word is that missing member Earl Sweatshirt, rumored to be "away" in some kind of boot camp situation, will be performing with them.

Again, before the final lineup is released, quite possibly soon, this is at the level of rumor. But it's a kind of rumor we've had from pretty reliable sources and we think the official poster will vindicate our going out on a limb.

Monday, January 17, 2011

20 Worst Songs Of 2010

There's a few really really horrible songs from this year that I totally hated but whose names I cannot recall... whatever. let's do this...

The song titles are youtube links...

20. Owl City “Fireflies”
Yo, fuck this dude. "Fireflies" somehow elluded our writers as among the worst of 2009, but it's been determined that this is worse than "My Humps" or anything by Nickelback... It's arguably the worst song of the entire 2000 to 2009 decade. This is currently up for debate. What we do know at this time: A few songs on last year's worst-of list eventually ended up actually growing in the lulz category.. and lulz still count for something. For example, every song by Ke$ha... or like BrokeNCyde for example... If a song is hilarious, even if it's terrible, it contains merit. "Fireflies" has no humor whatsoever. Only annoyance. It probably should have been last year's #1 (although we still stand by "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" as our choice overall...)

19. Angelina Pivarnick “I’m Hot”

The bitch is back! Watch out guys! You thought you could get rid of her, but she's still here! Or that's probably what she thought would happen by trying to go viral with this guido-humor meta-tongue-in-cheek whatever it's supposed to be...

18. Kid Rock “Born Free”

The vocals are the real deal breaker here, which is a shame since this is hardly Bob's worst song... But Jesus... I have a feeling this dude's singing on full blast could shatter all the ice on my driveway. In fact, I might try that later.

17. Enrique Iglesias feat. Ludacris “Tonight (I’m Fucking You)”
Excellent subtlety. You win Enrique.

16. Santana feat. Scott Stapp “Fortunate Son”
Santana's guitar style hasn't changed in 40 years, so that's hardly anything cringeworthy that we haven't heard before. For all intents, "Fortunate Son" sounds exactly the same as everything on that huge record from late '99 which was probably Clive Davis produced if I had to take a guess without referring to wikipedia... However the immortal Stapp does what Rob Thomas never could, taking that bull by the horns and riding it into that certain area of the stratosphere just above the garbage dumps of New Jersey. Halfway through this banger, Stapp starts doing some "funky vocal improvisation" which really gives the track that extra zing. Santana ended up cutting this from the final tracklisting and included "Fortuante Son" as a bonus track/download only type of thing. Stapp got bummed about this and he called up Santana crying, "Why Santana?? Why'd ya do it, huh??" There was no one on the other end because Stapp was too drunk to dial the phone. Poor Stapp.

15. Bruno Mars “Just The Way You Are”
I kinda feel bad making fun of Bruno Mars because he's probably just a normal dude with a lame hat that his record company forced him to wear so that he doesn't look quite so ordinary. The drums are the only slightly sorta passable element of this song... Everything else is just annoyingly contrived and calculated.. The chick in this video is super hot, which is somehow also annoying due to the shittiness of the song. Sorry Bruno Mars. Put out some good music and then you won't end up in the worst-of list anymore. Simple enough.

14. Orianthi “According To You”
A few weeks after Michael Jackson died, I recall CNN's Wolf Blitzer presenting The Situation Room with "Breaking News" regarding a tape from the last rehearsal session for Michael Jackson's "This Is It" tour. They showed the clip probably 15 times over the next 3 hours. The clip ended up being used in the movie, and Orianthi was the blonde chick playing guitar who kinda stood out amongst everyone else (besides MJ obviously). It was only a matter of time before she was given a recording contract to release a bunch of "Since You Been Gone" ripoffs. "According to you, I'm ugly. But according to me, I'm attractive. But according to her, I'm happy. But according to him, I'm sad. But according to Mom, I'm good. But according to Dad, I'm bad."

13. Jackyl “Just Like A Negro”
Apparently Jackyl are friends with members of the band Mother's Finest, a rock group of funky black dudes who originally recorded this in the 70's. But since nobody knows this is a cover, Jackyl ends up looking racist as shit. To be honest, this song isn't completely vile, but is mostly here based on principle. I mean, honestly... Who do they think they're kidding?

12. Lil Wayne feat. Nicki Minaj “Knockout”

Lil Wayne picked up a guitar and the 1st four chords he learned just happened to be the same four chords in Avril Lavigne's "Sk8erboi." Nicky Minaj just happened to be hanging out in the studio down the hallway. They made up a shitty uninspired chorus on the spot, and a future classic is born. Apparently that's all it takes...

11. Big Time Rush “Halfway There”
More boy-band shit... House music's recent huge influence on the Top 40 has resulted in boy bands sounding more gay-friendly than ever. Lou Pearlman is now watching this video from prison planning his escape Shawshank style, digging with a spoon and chanting to himself, "I must pound that ass." He's motivated. I'll bet this happens in 2011. EDIT: Apparently they have their own TV show on Nickelodeon like The Monkees. I swear I'm not that out of touch.. Back in like 1986, Nick used to show The Monkees every afternoon. Now they show Big Time Rush. I'm not that old. I swear to gald.

10. The Ready Set “Love Like Woe”
I don't care if I'm dating myself. It happens. So yeah, the story goes like this: As a 5th grader back in 1990, it was cool for boys to hate New Kids On The Block, calling them "gay" or whatever.. We were little kids. It was 1990 and we didn't know any better. It just made sense, even though I secretly had a "greatest hits" mixtape that I enjoyed, comprised of their singles which I copied from the girls who lived next door who owned every NKOTB album. I would imagine the same situation is applying these days regarding Justin Bieber's relation to straight 12-year-old dudes who simply appreciate decent pop music. In a perfect world, "fight the real enemy" concepts apply. Why hate on Bieber when The Ready Set is obviously just so fucking appallingly worse?

9. Train “Hey Soul Sister”
After these results had been compiled, the Village Voice's list was noted as placing this song as the #1 worst song of 2010. Well, they were close. Oh by the way THERES AN ENTIRE BLOG DEDICATED TO HOW BAD THIS SONG IS.

8. Nickelback “This Afternoon”

I love muh country. I love muh guns. This was Nickelback's 9th Top 40 hit. My word, there's a lot of lovely ladies in this video, who strangely enough have a combined IQ of 10, which actually beats the number of singles that Nickelback's had in the Top 40 by 1 whole point. Congrats to the ladies. Don't forget to vote Palin in 2012.

7. Bo Burnham “Words Words Words”

This song didn't do too well chart-wise, which is a huge blessing since this dude was clearly trying to cash-in on the Owl City thing. In the odd case that it became a trend, we'd be in some BIG fucking trouble, people.

6. Timbaland feat. Katy Perry “If We Ever Meet Again”
This is the video where Timbaland can't keep his hand away from his chin, which was actually due to super glue getting stuck there, so it wasn't really his fault. As of 2011, I'd like to think most of the world's pop listening audience has come to accept auto-tune as a musical instrument in itself. Outstanding singles such as Daft Punk's "Digital Love" have effectively saved it from being forever associated with Cher, after people figured out the correct ways to use it. "If We Ever Meet Again" is a perfect example of how NOT to use auto-tune, as Timbaland does not seem to have the slightest clue what he's doing, turning a sloppily written verse into an even worse one, and setting us up for an outstandingly annoying chorus. The guest vocalist part is bland enough that it really could have been anyone at all, but ultimately Katy Perry was clearly chosen for the sole purpose of puttin' them big ol' titties in the video. Unfortunately, this is the same guy who produced such brilliance as "One In A Million" and "Pony." How the mighty have fallen...

5. Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars “Billionaire”
Good commentary on our nation's economic climate. For anyone who's reading along, it's probably obvious that I'm writing this while watching the videos.. I'm finding it amusing that Bruno Mars is lipsynching while making facial expression with his eyes closed and slightly nodding along to the music, which is normally expressed when a singer is really feeling the music deep down. I find this strange since "Billionaire" really contains no depth or soul whatsoever. Kids who are younger than 13 have an excuse.. Once upon a time I enjoyed that "I Wanna Be Rich" song even though it's (almost) equally abysmal.

4. Blood On The Dance Floor “Ima Monster”

Obviously targeting bi-curious teens who just saw Party Monster for the first time within the past year. If you don't think the chorus of this song is vomit, just give up on listening to music. Thanks to "Ima Monster," I'm starting to think Ke$ha's a genius. That's all I have for this one... Bland nothingness. Hardly merits a review.

3. Kid CuDi feat. Kanye West “Erase Me”
Each individual "sung" lyric is so off-key and sharp that it’s nearly equivalent to being stabbed in the eardrum. Method Man and Raekwon might as well add another torture method to their list... "I'll fuckin.. I'll fuckin.. Stab your eardrums with 'Erase Me' cranked all the way up. BLAAAA!!" If anyone would like to join, I’m considering contacting lawyers for a class-action lawsuit against Kid CuDi for assault of the ear. Honestly, Kanye’s verse in this isn’t even that great, but compared to the rest, it’s like having one’s head temporarily pulled out of the toilet for a few seconds of oxygen, only to have Kid CuDi’s voice push it back under for another 20 seconds right afterwards. This is what pain sounds like.

2. She & Him “In The Sun”
Wikipedia reveals that Zooey D descends from a well-known Hollywood family. Wow, you’re kidding? You mean she didn’t have to go through any kind of formal acting school or voice training to get where she is today? You’d never know it from listening to “In The Sun” which, based on her Kermit-The-Frog-esq vocal stylings, may or may not have been a tribute to 6th grade talent shows. Her voice also initially reminded me of a non-muppet as well, although it was hard to place until several months later, when I realized it was the giant-prosthetic-cheeks lady from Eraserhead who sings "In Heaven, Everything Is Fine." A side-by-side comparison might be necessary...

1. Artists For Haiti “We Are The World 25”

"We Are The World" was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie over the course of something like 45 minutes... It's not an especially incredible song.. In fact, it's kinda lame and mediocre overall. But if there is any single aspect that made USA For Africa special, it was absolutely the performances. Kenny Rogers, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper and Hall & Oates may not be big names in the charts these days, but their singing voices are still hugely recognizable, not to mention Dylan, Bruce, MJ, Stevie Wonder, Steve Perry, Tina Turner & Ray Charles... Everyone who even sorta knows pop music knows these voices. In the extreme opposite direction, Artists For Haiti succeeded in showing how great these original performances actually were, as the majority of the singers on the 2010 version sounds like the exact same voice, the exceptions being phoned-in awkwardness from the likes of Tony Bennett and Barbara Streisand among others.. Jamie Foxx does a Ray Charles impression for no apparent reason. Wyclef starts screaming out of nowhere. The autotune simply does not fit the song... There's no place for guitar solos in this without it sounding out of place. And when you think it can't get worse, here comes the banger outro rap unison section, featuring a who's who of the best rappers of 1996. Seven minutes of non-stop cringeworthy awkward moments, one after another.. That's really the best way to describe this shitpile.. Contributing to good causes through bad songs should really be illegal.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010's Greatest Hits #10 to #1

| #100 - 91 | #90 - 81 | #80 - 71 | #70 - 61 | #60 - 51 |
| #50 - 41 | #40 - 31 | #30 - 21 | #20 - 11 | #10 - 1 |

It's done.

We noticed one somewhat glaring omission so far... "Let’s Get Lost" by Bat For Lashes and Beck from the most recent Twilight CD, which would've been in the lower half of the list anyway so it doesn't really matter. Most of the other stuff that got the most spins at our offices in 2010 was late-2009 music... In fact, here’s a quick top 10 of that before moving forward (in no particular order)...

2009 Shit With Lots Of 2010 Spins
- Japandroids Post-Nothing
- DJ Burn-One & Pill 4180: The Prescription
- Neon Indian “Should’ve Taken Acid With You” & “Deadbeat Summer”
- The XX XX
- Black Dice Repo
- The Hood Internet
- Silversun Pickups “It’s Nice To Know You Work Alone”
- Clipse “I’m Good”

Can’t recall much else receiving extensive spins... Perhaps ’09 was weaker than we thought.. Moving on now with the top 10, as promised... This shit took fucking forever to finish and no one’s ever going to read it. Awesome...

10 Earl Sweatshirt “Earl”
For a lot of us, it seems like the “Earl” video may have been OFWGKTA’s gateway moment, or their equivalent to “Teen Spirit.” Mainstream hiphop needs a Nirvana very badly, and this could be it. Because of internet and faster exposure, it’s become more difficult than ever for any kind of Nirvana-moment to happen ever again in rock music. However, chronologically speaking, the history of rock and hiphop have unfolded very similarly. such as the naivety matching 50’s rock and sunshiny 80’s hiphop.. And the same goes for the “arrival” moments, when it was finally no longer just for the kids.. which happened to rock in the late 60’s and hiphop in the early 90’s. If Odd Future is any indication, the future of underground hiphop might be able to eradicate its bad name, and maybe the future will repeat itself. A huge part of Nirvana’s success was due to proper timing. If the cards are played correctly, Odd Future couldn’t have arrived at a better time. P.S. FUCK STEVE HARVEY. THAT NIGGA CAN’T READ.

09 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti “Round And Round”
“Back in the 70’s, it was all about the drugs” (From the intro of Kool Keith’s “Drugs” off the Spankmaster LP). Ariel Pink has managed to tap into all aspects of what was happening in music in 1978 (the year he was born) and place them into a single song, including but not limited to the soft rock of Paul Davis, the campiness of Bat Out Of Hell, the chill-aura of Bob Marley, the falsetto of the BeeGees, the non-conformist but more mature post-punk attitude of Wire and Television, the vocal harmonies of Steely Dan, the disco of Solid Gold, the sweeping lush and complex arrangements of E.L.O., and the saxophone solos of “Baker Street” (R.I.P. Gerry Rafferty), among many others. And this mostly persists throughout the entirety of Before Today - quite an achievement considering the strength of its songwriting. We’re tempted to label it Ariel Pink’s Sgt. Pepper.

08 Japandroids “Art Czars”
Japandroids seem to have built their own bizarro-universe with the release of “Art Czars.” In this world, Japandroids have achieved a similar fate to Green Day, in which they their punk-rock origins eventually resulted in them becoming the biggest band in the world, responding to the fans cries of “SELL OUT” with this single, containing the chorus “Here’s your money back! Here’s your punk rock back!” It might be a vengeful attack (almost as brutal as this song’s intro) against those who previously depended on them, which can also be applied to any situation of vengeful heartbreak. “I’m really sorry that you thought this feeling / Was the fire keeping your heart beating?” Also within this bizarro-universe, scientific journals have published several articles displaying proof that Post-Nothing contains the best Side B since G’N’R Lies, which is possibly true in our universe as well.

07 Big Boi “Shutterbug”
I know the issue was mostly label bullshit, but still, six years is way too long to have to wait for a new record. Outkast released four amazing albums within their first seven years. Tracks like “Shutterbug” prove that Big Boi’s still got what it takes to create some new magic. Southern rap has mostly turned to shit over the past year, and Outkast needs to understand their importance here, and produce some worthy comeback singles. Pleeeeease make it happen??

06 The Arcade Fire “The Suburbs”
Back in like 2004/2005, these dudes were pretty amazing. I recall being genuinely jealous as fuck after learning that people I know got to see the Central Park show where they were joined by David Bowie. Then Neon Bible happened... They got all dramatic. Most fans still totally dug it for some reason, even though their influences switched from awesome Echo & The Bunnymen shit to significantly less awesome Bruce Springsteen shit. And then last year they re-recorded “Wake Up” in the style of Neon Bible so that it could be included in the movie Emo Island Adventures, whose title was later changed to Where The Wild Things Are, which was incidentally the least fun children’s movie of alltime. So by the time The Suburbs was announced, a lot of people cared, but likely not those who enjoyed the rock aura on Funeral. It didn’t seem likely that they could possibly redeem themselves by borrowing some laziness from The Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon,” but oddly enough that’s exactly what ended up happening with the song “The Suburbs.” Intensified a few months later by an outstanding video, Arcade Fire are now very relevant again in our estimation. And since our opinion matters the most, we congratulate them on a job well done.

05 No Age “Glitter”
Whoever said No Age isn't for the kids? I mean, it says right in their album title.. "Everything Be Tweens." jklol. One can only imagine the excitement in the studio when slowly discovering more and more layers to add onto the intro of “Glitter,” starting with a familiar drumbeat that may or may not have been stolen from Toni Basil, but is possibly from some 60’s jam. The noise layer matches the song’s title, just before a huge distorted C-chord tops it all off. The dark combination backs up the monotone vocals, whose lyrics echo most of Everything In Between’s self-doubt and yearning... “I don’t fear nothing / unless it’s broke” and possibly longing for a time when life felt larger, returning to someone or something that physically or emotionally was felt deep down: “I want you back underneath my skin.” This muddy volcano cannot be tamed.

04 Japandroids “Younger Us”
Bittersweet nostalgia... Based on the guitar chords and the yearning vocals, we’re gonna take a wild guess that the era referred to in “Younger Us” is circa-2000, around the time of The Anniversary and Jimmy Eat World. The majority of Japandroids’ catalogue (so far) does not sound like this, although this is turning out to be one of their most popular songs, so it’s not a huge surprise that douchebag naysayers have been dismissing them with a scoff claming that they’re too emo or whatever... These people should stick to the concerts where everyone stands around with their arms folded and stay the fuck away from truly ass kicking rock.. Do the kids a favor and GTFO. One of our associates asked us to submit “Give me that naked new skin rush” as one of the best lyrics of 2010. This song might also now possibly surpass “I Quit Girls” as Japandroids’ best ballad (albeit a faster than average ballad). There’s a old story regarding John Peel: He was driving one day in 1978, previewing some music he had been sent, and he finally got around to hearing The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks” for the first time. The song so strongly affected his emotions that he could barely see the road and was forced to pull over his car to collect his composure. I’m pretty sure he would’ve dug “Younger Us.”

03 Merchandise “I Locked The Door”
Interpol’s weird bass player dude quit the band this summer, and their last 2 albums have been less than impressive. However, if Merchandise might find some good management, they could fill Interpol’s void tremendously, as they are undoubtedly the most impressive of any recent 80’s-goth-sounding group. “I Locked The Door” is driving way too fast down a vacant 3AM highway, combining the Bauhaus/Ian Curtis elements with the immense weight and loudness of The Jesus And Mary Chain and a tremendously strong vocal melody vaguely reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine’s “You Never Should,” but not so similar that it raises any suspicions. If I worked at a big label, I’d snatch these dudes the fuck up, like NOW.

02 Tyler, The Creator feat. Hodgy Beats “French”
Earl Sweatshirt’s still apparently grounded. His parents haven’t allowed him out since last summer. In the months since whatever incident resulted in this, “FREE EARL” t-shirts and tweets have been unrelentingly ubiquitous to any fans of OFWGKTA, as well as being a common chant at their concerts. His “missing in action” status has done wonders for their mystique. Earl’s brother Tyler is relatively out-of-his-fucking-mind bonkers, so Earl must be doing time for some dark shit. Whether Tyler’s antics are an act or not, there exists a strong possibility that he’s a motherfucking genius, and probably the most impressively prolific human currently producing hiphop. (And no, we haven’t forgotten that Lil Wayne released 12 mixtapes in 2008. How many people actually still listen to any of those? Besides Da Drought 2.. that one was pretty tight...) “I’m opening a church to sell coke and Led Zeppelin...” 90% of Tyler’s lyrics are strong enough that really any of them could have been considered for the best songs of 2010, but at the moment, “French” is the stand out since it’s their nastiest backing track - distorted synth-bass tones designed to vibrate cars at top volume. It’s very difficult to not turn this shit up… like all the way up...

01 The Arcade Fire “We Used To Wait”
Ali G used to call it “techmology.” Apparently it’s been improving. Was anyone aware of this? Apparently “we used to write letters,” and now we text our friends instead, because it’s infinitely more convenient, albeit far less romantic. Granted, all these constant upgrades can definitely become overwhelming after a while. Strangely enough, this seems to be a common theme on third albums... Not sure if anyone remembers this, but another weird band used a similar theme a few years back on some record called OK Computer, which may or may not have been a huge influence on Arcade Fire’s “We Used To Wait,” lyrically and structurally. On “The Tourist,” Radiohead sang “Hey man, slow down...” whereas Arcade Fire sings “Now our lives are changing fast...” While its theme isn’t exactly among the uncharted waters of alt-rock, it’s become as universally meaningful to our lives as songs about love, or say, religious speculation. OK Computer and “We Used To Wait” also both have multiple sick-as-fuck bass lines. Arcade Fire teases the listener into waiting for the amazingly all too brief chorus that appears early in the song, and then again towards the middle, never to return. However, those cheaters instead inserted a Chorus B (“Ooohh, we used to wait...”) and then close the song with a huge sweeping coda (not unlike the structure of “Karma Police”). I suppose they could have placed Chorus A just once at the beginning, which would have been almost as frustrating as the “Patience” episode of Wonder Showzen. “WAIT FOR IT!”

| #100 - 91 | #90 - 81 | #80 - 71 | #70 - 61 | #60 - 51 |
| #50 - 41 | #40 - 31 | #30 - 21 | #20 - 11 | #10 - 1 |

we'll deal with the government you have enough to worry about

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010's Greatest Hits #20 to #11

| #100 - 91 | #90 - 81 | #80 - 71 | #70 - 61 | #60 - 51 |
| #50 - 41 | #40 - 31 | #30 - 21 | #20 - 11 | #10 - 1 |

We took a quick look through Pitchfork's top 100 "tracks" of the year. Yeah... "tracks." Real cool, guys. So it turns out that our "greatest hits" share a few songs with theirs.. which is not incredibly typical, and makes us seem all the more boring. In truth, the only boring songs are the 80 or so from the P4k's "tracks" that we don't share. So in case anyone was wondering, the P4k list is shit. And ours is THE shit. Truth.

20 No Age “Common Heat”
Lots of awesome bands do this thing where, somewhere in the first half of their third album, there's one song that somewhat stands out, representing some unexpected atypical formula deviation. In this respect, "Common Heat" shares sonic parallels with The Strokes' "Ask Me Anything" from 2006's First Impressions Of Earth, sharing a musically subdued nature to present the theme of late-20’s distress. The Strokes’ only lyric of its first chorus, “I’ve got nothing to say” is only interrupted towards the end with “I’m in utter dismay.” No Age agrees, repeating “I’m in trouble.” "Nouns Part 2" would have been welcomed by fans with open arms, but instead, Everything In Between receives its own separate weight, due in no small part to the shadow cast specifically by this song, acting quite possibly as the key (or glue... or gel...) to the entire record. Also, "There's no way I can get out of debt now.." A lyric like this could easily have been thrown in as some type of economic commentary, but it cuts deeper.. There's pain involved with money issues, contributing to the moments when you actually feel your soul begin to crush itself... "Everyone around me knows..." Yes, because we're all in this together.

19 Justin Bieber feat. Raekwon & Kanye West “Runaway Love (Remix)”
A brief Twitter thread sparked the creation of Kanye’s most unheralded triumph of 2010, combining elements of mash-ups and remixes in one huge summery badass package of fun. Somewhere between RZA’s drum sampling and Kanye’s new piano section (a somewhat ingenious improvement from the original “Runaway Love”) surfaces a return to the same sunshine heard in early 90’s pop hits like Tevin Campbell’s “Round And Round” or Shanice’s “I Love Your Smile.” The results are brilliant enough to wonder if there's any shot of Top 40 production returning to this anytime soon.

Also narrowly missing out on the top 100 was Bieber’s 2nd best song of 2010:

18 Lady Gaga “Alejandro”
The common critique regarding "Alejandro" confuses plagiarism with inspiration. Granted, it really does sound like the three big singles from Ace Of Base's The Sign combined with Madonna's (somewhat annoying) "La Isla Bonita." The big difference lies in "Ale-Alejandro's" intricately complex song structure, which is probably LGG's most underrated talent. After hitting such an enormous artistic and commercial homerun with last year's "Bad Romance," her momentum has only increased. Now waiting for the leak of Born This Way with eager anticipation...

17 BEAK> “Wulfstan”
This band was co-formed last year by one of the members of Portishead, and they're now prolly the best Krautrock band of the past 2 decades, if not longer. Their record came out last November, and while it still kicked ass throughout 2010, mindfuck moments such as the apocalyptic brick-wall-explosion bass-guitar attack on "Ham Green" unfortunately missed out due to being released in late-'09. A similar but more groove-oriented bass attack appears in their only new song of 2010, the A-side “Wulfstan,” along with generous amounts of balls-tripping chants. Here’s hoping BEAK> sticks around long enough to release more original stuff at some point soon. P.S. This is def not a popular opinion, but we’re kinda loving this way more than the last Portishead record.

16 Robyn “Hang With Me”
If "Be Mine" and "Dancing On My Own" were both about watching a love interest from afar, "Hang With Me" might be considered the prequel to these, in which she gets some action from her desired love interest (double score!), although it sounds like she has to lie in order to make it happen, telling him it's ok for them to be just friends, and "don't fall recklessly headlessly in love with me" even though that's exactly what she wants to happen. Also, the "single" version of "Hang With Me" is the one referred to here.. The one from Body Talk Part 2 with the lovely synths (as opposed to the sorta-ok "acoustic" version on Part 1). The newer version is somehow reminiscent of "I'll Fly With You" which is only really noteworthy since no one has heard or thought about that song in probably ten years.

15 El Guincho “Bombay”
Disassociating this song from its retardedly brilliantly outstandingly NSFW-defining promo video has become somewhat of a challenge. But here goes nothing: El Guincho figured out how to beat Panda Bear at his own game. The beachy-fun summer-pop vibe is there, and the "weed" aspects are there, but the reverb is turned down (as opposed to Panda Bear who is drenched in reverb) so it sounds initially less "weed" and more "beach," which is way cool. Also since many Americans are lazy and stupid and have little-to-no time or desire to learn whatever language he's speaking, it becomes enjoyable to imagine he's singing about the same amount of lovely summeriness that the music conveys. Or maybe he's singing about titties and guns, like in the video.. Yeah, see right there.. it's a challenge. Fuck it. I just spent 10 minutes Google-image searching for a picture of the girl from the video who holds the sparklers. I'm thinking about asking her to bear my children. If anyone can help out with this, please leave a comment with the info.

14 The-Dream “Yamaha”
Fun facts regarding The-Dream: He writes songs for Bieber. He hails from the Hotlanta. He worships Prince, to the extent that most of his best songs are Prince homages, such as “Yamaha,” yet another one of these epic future-classics with multiple choruses and refrains, as opposed to a strict verse/chorus structure, with each new section better than the one before it. Also, more sick drums... The-Dream's interests veer towards the artistic and monetary aspects of the music biz, and not so much superstardom (or else there would probably be a video for "Yamaha"), which is good for those of us who enjoy our R&B talent shining brilliantly under the radar. Oh, and also he stole my wife away from me. He's a right bastard, that Dream...

13 Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith “Not In Love”
“Not In Love” will probably not be signaling a new direction for The Cure in the same way that “Wrong Number” incorrectly suggested in the late 90’s, although it’s probably the best song Robert Smith has sung since then, if not earlier. As for Crystal Castles, congratulations on justifying your career past hipster cred. Also, what's up with all the outstanding covers in 2010? It was that kind of year... (as opposed to a shitstorm of godawful covers, which usually happens every year...)

12 Japandroids “Heavenward Grand Prix”
Once upon a time, The Pixies also started a song with "HEY!" The Pixies years were a very strong period for music, when it wasn't uncommon for outstanding rock bands to follow a near-perfect album with even more brilliant non-album tracks. Remember those crazy pre-internet days (lmao) when quality control meant something? Obviously, the ways music gets released has changed, and by today's standards, Japandroids aren't (yet) quite huge enough for their B-sides to be heard. So in the interest of maximum exposure, three apparent throwaways from the Post-Nothing sessions emerged as A-Sides in 2010, with "Heavenward" displaying their most breathtaking dynamic changes, and an intro build-up that almost forces the listeners to close their eyes. Perhaps "thrill of living" music is finally back, nicely demonstrated by this song along with "Crazy/Forever" and "Sovereignty." With due respect to The Cure and Smashing Pumpkins, these are the new makeout jams.

11 Caribou “Sun”
Most of our feelings for "Sun" echo our assessment of its video. It's good to know people still listen to stuff like this, or that musicians still actually make this kind of music. Although this song's most intriguing aspect has to be its lyrics, the word "sun" repeated at least 170 times. So profound. So much meaning. The music conveys nighttime far more than daytime or sunlight.. However, it def also sounds like "warp-speed through outer space" so the "sun" referred to in this song might not necessarily be our own. Although far less superficially complex, this is 2010’s "Windowlicker." The outros are similar too.

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omg WANT

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010's Greatest Hits #30 to #21

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This is really starting to get annoying and time consuming. Why is it so difficult to finish these things?

30. Ringo Deathstarr “Imagine Hearts”

This is some of the best MBV/JAMC spirit channeling we’ve heard in years. Very excited for the full length coming in February. Austin-bound? Hmmm...

29 The Morning Benders “All Day Day Light”
Brian Wilson + Grizzly Bear + big pop choruses + radio-friendly hooks = Not commercial friendly enough. But we love them anyway. By the way, Futurama is not funny at all.

28 Big KRIT “Somedayz”

Seeing as how “93 Til Infinity” is such an alltime classic, wouldn’t anyone else sound just as good spitting some verses over it? It’s possible, but in this case, KRIT nails it, creating something of his own while paying due tribute. Best mixtape track of the year. Swag that shit out.

27 Wolf Parade “Ghost Pressure”
Krug’s keyboard attacks and Boeckner’s wail shall go down as one of the great musical combinations of the past half-decade, and were never more prominent than in “Ghost Pressure.” Leave it to a bunch of Canadians to form possibly the least egomaniacal supergroup of alltime. We’re gonna miss these guys.

26 No Age “Valley Hump Crash”

Traditional bland intro. Then comes the drums and the drone. Bury those vocals. Deep. So deep. And finally, get ready for it, here it comes.. the BANGER outro coda! “Catalina!” This has way more structure than anything on Nouns, and yet still punk as fuck, in that Sonic Youth kinda way. Still completely No Age. Always evolving; never changing.

25 Big Boi “General Patton”

“Massively fucking huge” might be a slight understatement.

24 The Arcade Fire “Ready To Start”
With a title like The Suburbs, it didn’t seem as likely for The Arcade Fire to return to their more rocked out Echo & The Bunnymen roots as opposed to the working man’s uber-melodramatic Bruce Springsteen impression from Neon Bible. They made the right choice.

23 Wiz Khalifa “Black And Yellow”
As DJ’s become more adept at pop structure, “musical hiphop” is quickly becoming a thing, increasingly the likelihood for Top 40 dominance. Wiz Khalifa fittingly banged out the catchiest hiphop chorus since “What You Know About That.”

22 Earl Sweatshirt “Stapleton”
Has there been a sloppier loop in the history of the genre? With keyboard drums barely hitting their mark underneath an amazingly off-time organ fill, dripping with rawness unheard since probably the 90’s. What’s even weirder is that it’s a fucking earworm. (For me, it was in-and-out stuck in my head for weeks, and I loved every minute of it.) And then there’s that chorus... I start to truly feel like I haven’t even started maturing past high school when I can relate to lyrics by 16-year-old rappers about trying to pick up girls with boyfriends and having them run away after seeing the white stains on my jeans. Odd Future Wolf Gang are mostly still in high school, growing up in the city, hating sports and loving horror movies. Not exactly the homophobic hazing types, despite gratuitous usage of "f*gg*t." "Rapist in training" comes from a naive place. They're very young and don't yet know the true horror of such a phrase, mostly included here to project their Eminem worship if nothing else. How extreme can they be? They already “get” the storytelling aspects of hiphop. Just dope swag.
21 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti “Can’t Hear My Eyes” Grocery store jams are back. |Continue to Page 9| | #100 - 91 | #90 - 81 | #80 - 71 | #70 - 61 | #60 - 51 | | #50 - 41 | #40 - 31 | #30 - 21 | #20 - 11 | #10 - 1 |