FAQ | Guest Book | Mission Statement | Minions | What's Coming | What's New | What's Happened


2010 Year End Best Of

Minion Name:

The consumption of music has changed beyond recognition from what it was when i first started listening, all those years ago. It is hard to put together a Best Of list when i listened to, and i mean this literally, hundreds of brand new records this year. Hundreds. Back in the 1980s, when i was starting to explore music, it was impossible to find that many new releases in a year -- the record stores only carried so many. It was even possible that you found out about something released in a far-away land but could not actually find a copy and listen to the thing. I actually kept a list in my notebook of things I was looking for, in case I ran across them in a record store.

Now, thanks to the miracle of internet distribution, when i get curious about some artist or record i can go and listen to it. Heck, i can go and download the entire catalog from a band and dump it on my Zune. It is amazing to think that i carry with me the entire recorded output of dozens of bands, and some of those bands (like The Rolling Stones) were rather prolific. I carry enough music to fill about two months of constant listening, just because the technology has made it that easy for me to carry around that much music at all times.

And you want me to put together a list of my favorite records from this year? That is very hard to do, but in a sense the sheer flood of music available to listeners makes EvilSponge even more relevant. Since there is so much out there, listeners need even more help in filtering the chaff from the wheat. So i listen to hundreds of records, for you. Most of them don't make it past one full listen, but i do try to give everything at least one honest chance. That said, here is my feeble attempt to rank some of the releases i really liked this year.

  1. This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem. The best band in dance music today, and their records keep getting better. Shame that this is their last. Hopefully they are just going on hiatus.

  2. Constellations by Balmorhea. It should come as no surprise to readers of this site that i enjoy the fusion of classical and pop music in the post-rock subgenre, and Texans Balmorhea do this fusion unbelievably well. This is a lovely record that needs to be heard. By everyone.

  3. There Is Love In You by Four Tet. I had kind of gotten bored with Four Tet, and then last year, he did a great collaboration with Burial, and then at the beginning of 2010 came out with this. This is electronica done right: really catchy and generally fun.

  4. High Places vs. Mankind by High Places. High Places are a strange, quirky band who use an odd musical pallet to make catchy yet dreamy pop music. This sophomore release is even better than their debut, which was number 2 on my list for 2008. This is a band to watch.

  5. Sand & Lines by Venice Is Sinking. Lovely post-pop from Athens, and an album with an interesting history.

  6. Further On by Warning Light. I listen to a lot of ambient music, much of it electronic. I love to have my condo filled with strange droning sounds while i go about my day, which is close to the very definition of ambient. Further On is the ambient record i kept coming back to this year, and that really says something.

  7. North by Darkstar. This is the album where all of the weird stuff that has been happening in British electronica for the past, oh, fifteen years or so has been tweaked into pop. This is an album that i honestly think anyone could enjoy, constructed out of heavily computer manipulated sounds put together in slightly odd ways. It shouldn’t work as well as it does.

  8. Tearing Down Paisley Garden by the Purrs. I have been following The Purrs for a few years now, and am very pleased to see them back in form. This is a great rock album for all those times you need something loud and guitar-heavy.

  9. Chasing After Shadows ... Living with the Ghosts by Hammock. On the opposite end of the guitar spectrum we have Hammock, who are an ambient post-rock guitar band. They are another act i have been following for years, and they just keep cranking out consistently engaging music.

  10. Summer House by Gold Motel. I love 1960s girl pop, and Gold Motel are still carrying that banner. Happy, bouncy music.

  11. In This Light and On This Evening by Editors. Somehow Editors went from being an Interpol-esque band to doing synthpop, and somehow that made them even more interesting. Huh.

  12. It Goes, It Goes (Forever and Ever) by Halves. Godspeed meets Autechre to good effect. This band carries the banner that Hood set down when they went on hiatus, and i thank them for it.

Honorable Mention:
Uncity Nation by International Hyper Rhythmique.  I am putting this in a special category because it was released digitally last year, and physically in 2010.  Despite this confusion, this is a really solid record of great pop.

Too new to tell, but promising:
Drawing Down the Moon by Azure Ray. I just picked this up, and on the first few spins i like it. Typical Azure Ray, so it's not like they are re-inventing themselves, but it is a good, mellow listen.

Halcyon Days by Deerhunter. Another one i just picked up. On first listen, it didn't grab me like Microcastle did, but it has grown on my over time.

History of Modern by OMD. I love the early work from this band, and really didn't have high expectations when i picked up the new record. However, this is far better than an OMD record released in 2010 ought to be.

Barking by Underworld. Actually, i do not own a copy of this yet. No record store in Atlanta has bother the really stock it (Criminal Records got in 1 (one) copy, which sold out on the day it was released), and when i tried to order it from Amazon, my order got canceled because they couldn't get it in stock. WTF? On top of that, Underworld vigorously monitor to internet, keeping their work off of download sites, so i can't even find a pirated copy. Really annoying, but it makes me want to hear the record even more. Hopefully i will be able to locate a copy soon.

  1. Journal of Ardency by Class Actress. Recently synthpop has been making a comeback, and 2010 saw many bands continue to make 1980s influenced pop. Class Actress did this better than anyone.

  2. Dagger Paths by Forest Swords. This is the best dub record to be released since King Tubby died. Seriously.

  3. Faults by Seefeel. So, uh, Seefeel are back, after a fourteen year hiatus. And they still make really interesting music.

  4. Pearl Harbor by Puro Instinct, Droning spacey pop made by teenagers. You kids stay off my lawn, but keep making music.


  1. THE CHURCH on Sat.1.May.  Hands down this is the winner for this year.  One of the best concerts i have ever seen -- this one will actually make it onto my all-time top 10 list.  The four members of the band spent a few hours chatting with their loyal fans and playing music.  Such a great time.

  2. TORTOISE w/ Disappears on Sun.14.Feb. Although i enjoy Tortoise records, seeing them live is my preferred way to experience them.  Their complex music comes across surprisingly well live.  Opener Disappears were a pleasantly enjoyable surprise.

  3. THE MERCURY PROGRAM w/ Fin Fang Foom on Thu.18.Mar.  Two great bands play fun sets.  This was a good night.

  4. JUPITER WATTS on Fri.21.May.  Jupiter Watts are always enjoyable, but this set, the first one i saw with the addition of drummer Chris Jensen, stands out as their best of 2010.

  5. VENICE IS SINKING on Sat.10.Jul.  This show started off really bad, but Venice Is Sinking more than made up for the failings of any number of opening acts.

  6. THE XX w/ JJ and Nosaj Thing on Wed.24.Mar.  I went to this show because i really liked what i had heard by The XX, but i left the show with a stack of records and lots of enjoyable listening.  All three acts were interesting, even if they were very different musically.

  7. BALMORHEA on Sun.12.Sep.  I really loved their record, but i honestly did not expect them to be as good live.  Actually, they might be better live.

  8. BEACH HOUSE w/ Washed Out on Thu.29.Apr.  The show was annoyingly crowded, but the music was wonderful.  Sometimes you have to be packed in to a club in order to hear something special.

  9. CROWDED HOUSE on Sun1.Aug.  I have been a fan for a long time, and Neil Finn and company still put on a great show.

  10. FILM SCHOOL w/ Million Young and Siberia My Sweet  on Sat.25.Sep.  A weird show in a weird place (Purgatory?  seriously?) attended by almost no one, but it was very fun.

  1. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I loved the comics this was based on, and i think the movie did a really good job of capturing the humor of the comics.

  2. Despicable Me. Most of the movies i see are animated, and this was the best of them. Funny and witty, plus it had the Minions.

  3. Reefer Madness (RiffTrax) on Thu 19 Aug. RiffTrax is the current project of the three guys who did MST3K, a show i loved back in the 1990s. Well, now they do live events, where you go to a movie theater and they sit in another one and make fun of a movie in real time. I laughed so hard at this event that my ribs hurt the next day.

  4. How to Train Your Dragon. Beautifully animated and rather funny.

  5. Toy Story 3. A movie whose theme was "growing up sucks", which is why i try very hard not to grow up. Still, the part where he was Mr. Tortilla Head was hilarious.

  6. Inception. Look -- i saw an actual live-person movie! It was pretty good too.

  7. The Last Airbender. I loved this TV series, but someone at Nickelodeon needs to be fired for agreeing to the movie. They took 12 hours or so of season one of the series and compacted it into a 2 hour movie! It jumped around the plot so much that i had to fill in lots of the action with memory of the series. If you were not familiar with the cartoons, i am sure that this made no sense whatsoever.
Related Links:
  Return to the End Of Year Lists menu.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2000.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2001.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2002.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2003.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2004.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2005.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2006.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2007.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2008.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2009.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2010.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2011.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2012.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2013.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2014.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2015.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2016.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2017.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2018.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2019.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2020.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2021.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2022.
Read PostLibyan's lists from 2023.

Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Minion Roster. |Return to the End Of Year Lists menu.