Albums Of The Year 2010

Another bonzer year for new music, had to whittle 75+ albums into this top 40. So, as usual, even though there is an order, just to be on here means the album is a winner and you should buy it.

The band names are links to so you can actually hear them. Get clicking!

(EDIT – and Robbie has done a Spotify playlist, whoop! Click here!)

40. Toro y Moi – Causers Of This

Floaty, like a cross between Animal Collective and MGMT.

39. Gifthorse – Mountain Of Youth

Thrumming and My Morning Jacketish indie rock. Standout is ‘Missionaries.’

38. Monty – 2010

Swedie pop, sugary and lovely. SCREAM MY NAME!

37. Kero One – Kinetic World

Solid hip hop from Cali. Niiice lyrics.

36. Zeller – Turbulences

Intense and scary in places, bassy and messy. Love it. Not really dubstep but you’ll probably like it if you like a bit of WOOB.

35. FACT – In The Blink Of An Eye

Love this band, such fucking energy! Listened to this in the car loads!

34. Darker My Love – Alive As You Are

If you love Buffalo Springfield or CSNY or mid-period Shins, you’ll probably love this. Harmonies, tunes!

33. Chaos Theory– Retaliation

Love the riffs on this. Unapologetic, hard-hitting metal. Does it every time for me.

32. Eagle Scout – New Hands

Twiddly and tasty, dunno if they’re phc or indie or what. Just know I like their tunes.

31. Citay – Get Together

Yet more Californians – ey, let the rest of the world have a chance, eh? Yeah, psychy, summery goodness. Looong songs!

30. Calories – Basic Nature

‘Orchard Girls’ is a tune of 2010. I love the simplicity of their riffery, the beauty of their economy.

29. Big Troubles – Worry

Oooh, shoegazey noisy and what sounds like classic minimal drum machine programming (but it could be a drummer). NOISE!

28. Kid Liberty – Fight With Your Fists

Pop punk greatness, check ’em out if you like FYS, SYG or suchlike. Dudes.

27. ComputeHer – Modemoiselle

Wow! I just love the way Michelle (she is ComputHer) layers and weaves and winds through her electro world. Class!

26. Discover America – Future Paths

Excellent singer-songwriterness fleshed out into a moving album, maybe a bit like early Say Hi To Your Mom? Certainly touches of Apples here and maybe even Maritime?

25. Anoraak – Wherever The Sun Sets

Oh my… this is such swoony, sweet synthpop. It’s like I’ve found a long-lost Space (of Magic Fly, not the other one) album. If you like synthiness, you’ll probably like this.

24. The Wonder Years – The Upsides

Another great pop-punk album this year. ‘My Last Semester’ is pure class and the lyrical standard is matched by the rest of the album. Really want to hear this shit out in a club!

23. Medications – Completely Removed

I love the interlocking guitar, the meandering melodies and, occasionally, a rush of nervous energy. Check if you like the twiddly.

22. Annuals – Count The Rings

This is almost over-done. ‘Eyes In The Darkness’ is disturbingly layered. Even though it’s such a sweet album, there’s something deeply weird going on. Like a psycho Postal Service. ‘Loxstep’ is genius.

21. Mesak – Dada Wheel

Mesak doesn’t seem to do much but does. I stick the album on and even though the songs are long, before I know it it’s done. Deftly arranged electronic loveliness.

20. Ellen Allien – Dust

I can’t not have Allien in here. She’s never done a duff album. And this one is right up there. If anything, she’s gone a bit more pop with the electroness!

19. Belle and Sebastian – Write About Love

‘I Didn’t See It Coming’ is another tune of the year. I’ve sung that fucker a gazillion times in the car. B&S keep writing pop standards, not just pop songs.

18. I Am Abomination – To Our Forefathers

Metal riffery, squealing solos, thudding kicks, overblown arrangements. I love this! MOAR!

17. Standard Fare – The Noyelle Beat

Any band good enough to be on Waterloo Road deserve a place in here. A bittersweet album overflowing with vulnerable, painful vignettes.

16. Four Year Strong – Enemy Of The World

Dude… really? Do I really have to tell you how much I love FYS? Killer album. ‘Suck’ is pure, refined awesome!

15. Pugs Atomz – The Decade

Intelligent lyrics, devious flows and some right good beats make this a hip hop essential!

14. Pacific – Narcissus

Not as poppy as their debut but a definite journey into sound. Retro synthpop in the same way as Anoraak but Pacific seem to be channelling Sex-era Telex. Which is just dandy with me.

13. Allo Darlin’ – Allo Darlin’

I am biased because, like most people, I’m a little bit in love with Elizabeth Darlin.’ Nevertheless, this is a great album. Full of tunes. Full.

12. We Have Band – WHB

Dancey, slightly silly and great fun to have on in the car and pretend you’re an escaped robot to.

11. His Statue Falls – Collisions

I love this band’s slab-heavy guitar married to ravey synthiness. Check if you like Shikari or similar. Yeah!

10. Anarbor – The Words You Don’t Swallow

‘Drugstore Diet,’ if there was any justice, should have been an international number one. An amazing pop punk band.

9. Best Coast – Crazy For You

Swoony and slightly loony, a bit like a more surfy Giant Drag.

8. 1000 robota – Ufo

Aw, man! I love this album. It’s classic postpunkness with a knowing Krautrock edge. Which is okay, cos they is Germans.

7. Diversion Tactics – Careful On The Way Up

Wonderful UK hip hop. Every time I’ve DJed them, peeps have come over to ask who it is. They’re that catchy. Class lyrics.

6. Faded Paper Figures – New Medium

Not just because they incorporates ‘sous rature’ into their lyrics. A sleeper of an American indie album, shimmery and wonderful.

5. School of Seven Bells – Disconnect From Desire

Finally, people are catching on to this band. With the swagger of ‘Loveless’-era MBV and more than a hint of early Cocteaus, I hope they make it into the proper charts soon.

4. Super Chron Flight Brothers – Cape Verde

It’s albums like this that make me realise why I love hip hop. The pure fun with words, the imagery, the sheer playfulness of these fuckers, you have to get this album. And the excellently-inserted presenter freak-out… oh my! 🙂

3. Huoratron – Prevenge

Massive, dirty, electroness. If you buy only one electronic album this year, please make it this one. It’s dripping in shit and used condoms. Soooo tasty!

2. MC Esoteric – Fly Casualties

My top hip hop album of this year, Esoteric is so eclectic, so omnivorous. Whether it’s Gang of Four or Numan, or Le Tigre, this album demonstrates that hip hop doesn’t need to keep trotting the same old samples out. And then marry that to his lyrics: incisive, heartbreaking, funny as fuck. A classic album

1. Everything Everything – Man Alive

I went to see this band (click here) and even though I already loved the album, it came alive in a special way.

‘Man Alive’ covers such an enormous gamut, both musically and lyrically. Yes, it’s all indie rock / pop but there’s so much else going on here. The harmonies, the integration of the electronics (never showy, always organic), the energy that seeps out of every tiny, non-repeated noise. I hear all those things that the band have put in. And I appreciate them.

They make ‘Man Alive’ the best album of 2010. 🙂

US Kills 18 Pakistanis In Terrorist Attack, Doesn’t Make The News

Above is a screengrab from the BBC News website. Notice no mention of the fact that the USA murdered 18 Pakistanis in a terrorist drone attack:

Missiles fired by a suspected US drone have struck a vehicle in north-west Pakistan killing at least 18 militants, officials say.

The strike took place in Mir Ali village, 25km (16 miles) from Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan district.

US drone attacks are fairly regular in North and South Waziristan which are Taliban and al-Qaeda strongholds.

More than 100 such attacks occurred in 2010, most of them in North Waziristan.
(Source: BBC News)

So, yesterday, Obama condemned the terrorist bombing which killed 30+ Pakistanis.

Today, his drones killed 18 Pakistanis.

Yesterday, that terror attack was on the front page of the BBC News website. Today – nothing. Oh, the article is there, if you dig for it as I do. Hidden away where the casual visitor won’t see it.

Think of those numbers: the USA has carried out over one hundred of these terror attacks in 2010 alone, killing hundreds upon hundreds of innocents and presumably maiming far more.

Yet, all we hear about is the evil Taliban and their relatively paltry body count.

How is it that some murders of innocents are terrible crimes and some are not even worth mentioning?

Obama’s Murderous Hypocrisy

US President Barack Obama has condemned as “outrageous” Saturday’s deadly suicide bomb attack on a town in north-western Pakistan.

A female bomber killed at least 43 people in the attack on a large crowd receiving food aid in Khar in the Bajaur region.
(Source: BBC News)

But the hundreds upon hundreds of innocent Pakistanis that the US has bombed to death in its drone attacks, he doesn’t seem to mention.

I’ve been trying to post every time the US has launched a drone attack. Here are some recent terrorist attacks carried out by the US: click here, here and here.

I’m only one person. Inevitably, I miss US attacks or don’t have enough time to post about them. But I can tell you this: the bombing attack that Obama is condemning made the front page of the BBC News website. And it was featured news on the TV.

The attacks carried out by the US, the hundreds of innocent Pakistanis it slaughters with its drones, those atrocities never make high-profile news. They don’t exist.

And thus, the myth of the carnage in Pakistan being solely caused by the Taliban is peddled to the masses. Yes, the Taliban are evil, yes, they are mass-murdering scum.

But they are mere amateurs at dealing death when compared to the US military machine.

Please Let Me Sleep

Absent Friends

Please, let me sleep,
That’s all I want,
To switch this all off,
To make the noise stop.
To cut the circles,
The cycles, the eyelets,
This treadmill of being.
There’s no pleasure here,
No comfort, no warmth,
No home, no you.

Pretend, so we keep
The show on the road,
The audience amused.
Or else you might see yourself,
And you’ll be undone,
Unravelled, a woman,
Naked not nude.
Would that be so bad?
Forget I asked.

Please, let me sleep,
I won’t bother you any more.
No calls, no texts,
No fake kisses and smilies.
My friend is beautiful.
My friend is strong.
She gave me a present
To give to you,
Wrapped in love and care.
She gave me a word
To give to you,
Soaked in this summer’s honey:

Contemporary Sociolinguistic Observations

I may never be Peter Trudgill but I’ll have a bloody go.

RANDOM – in observations over the past eighteen months, it would appear that in the 16 – 25 age group, random has now totally transitioned from being an adjective to a noun. Thus:

“She was getting with a random bloke.”

Has become the far more concise:

“She was getting with a random.”

The meaning of the word has also shifted from arbitrary, chance, unplanned, accidental to largely just meaning stranger or unknown.

*Note, there is also a trend replacing random with the new, hyper-signed noun, randomer. An interesting concatenation, mirroring the curtailment of parents into rents. But, like, with different letters.

AS IF – this phrase, which previously symbolised an expression of doubt or incredulity has now morphed subtly into a declaration of regret / surprise / annoyance, replacing ‘I can’t believe’ almost completely in my furshlugginer Facebook newsfeed. Thus:

I can’t believe I burnt my house down by leaving the oven on when I went out!”


As if I burnt my house down by leaving the oven on when I went out!”

I have also noticed an increase in the usage of the term clunge (vulva) which has resulted in a concomitant decrease in the prevalence of muff. Those findings, however, are ad hoc and await peer review.