Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Songs: 21 - 40

Getting to the good stuff...

21. "All Talk" by KiD CuDi ft. LCD Soundsystem, Cha Tha Ripper and Christian Bale (mixtape release)
"You're the one who runs / so I'm the one who hunts you"

Kicking off with Christian Bale's famous rant, this pre-Man on the Moon II mixtape release made use of the best parts of "Dance Yrself Clean".

22. "Hurricane J" by The Hold Steady (from Heaven is Whenever)
"You're a beautiful girl / and you're a pretty good waitress"
"They didn't name her for a saint / they named her for a storm"

Craig Finn is back with more compelling tales of Minnesotan fuckups.

23. "Empty-Hall-Sing-Along" by Woodpigeon (from Die Stadt Muzikanten)
"Thank god for you but / I don't care if we make it there / I won't be alone for long"

One of many worthy songs off of a very good and underrated album. Great song title, as well.

24. "As We Enter" by Damian Marley & Nas (from Distant Relatives)
"Nzuri sana / switch up the language and move to Ghana"

Not a huge fan of either individually, but this track is nonstop from 0:03.

25. "Dilly" by Band of Horses (from Infinite Arms)
"Dig a hole in the ground / for your wedding ring"

Ben Birdwell and his group of interchangeable bandmates keep losing ground from their debut, this jaunty track notwithstanding. Bring back Matt Brooke, please.

26. "I Need a Dollar" by Aloe Blacc (from Good Things)
"(Hey hey)"

There are probably only five songs that I knew would make the top 100 list less than 20 seconds into a first listen. This is one. Also, its another TV theme song (HBO's How to Make It in America, which I didn't watch).
27. "Get Back" by Woods (from At Echo Lake)
"Perfect time for / get back or get right"

Woods is my favorite among the current crop of mega lo-fi bands. They were also #27 on last year's list, so there's that.
28. "Generator ^ Second Floor" by Freelance Whales (from Weathervanes)
"Don't fix my smile / life is long enough / we will put this flesh / into the ground again"

I am always a fan of tracks narrated by or sung by dead people. Honorable mention to Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave", which was both.
29. "The Poor Boy Can't Dance" by Barton Carroll (from Together You and I)
"You never had your fun with an American / but I can tell you that its alright"

Just a pleasant song from a pleasant singer-songwriter. (not on grooveshark, listen here)
30. "Last Chance" by Nicki Minaj (from Pink Friday)
"Uh / gun cock / pause / and I’m well aware of the gun laws"

I was tempted to put her verse from Kanye's "Monster" on the list instead, since nothing on her debut album matches its insanity. This comes the closest, albeit with a more poppy sheen.
31. "Arkansas" by Damien Jurado (from Saint Bartlett)
"Fade out / this is where the credits roll"

Sufjan may have stalled on his 50 states project, but Jurado is working modestly more quickly through them in song titles. I count 6 states to date. All very dusty ones.
32. "Let Them" by jj (mixtape release)
"Let them stay / let them say / let them lie / let them snitch / let them be / let them die"

Strange year for jj. They follow up the uniformly excellent No 2 with the lifeless No 3, but release two excellent rap-influenced singles: "My Way" featuring a Lil' Wayne sample and the tough talking, sweet sounding track above.
33. "Only the Young" by Brandon Flowers (from Flamingo)
"And the sun will shine again"

Brandon Flowers' solo album sounds exactly like a Killers album, with all the good (hooks) and bad (lyrics) that implies.
34. "Learning" by Perfume Genius (from Learning)
"But you / will learn / to mind me"

Haunting piano and vocals. Exceptionally creepy lyrics.
35. "Folk Bloodbath" by Josh Ritter (from So Runs The World Away)
"And I'm hoping that it ain't true / that the same god looks out for them / looks out for me and you"

With its apt title, this song is a bloodstained mishmash of several infamous folk and blues killers/victims.
36. "We Used To Wait" by Arcade Fire (from The Suburbs)
"We used to wait for it / now we're screaming / sing the chorus again"

I loved Funeral, and yet I can't help but find The Suburbs kind of ridiculous. Great, great music, but far too full of itself. Pitchfork Reviews Reviews put it best: "The Suburbs is a pretty good record if you can get past the pomposity, the lyrics about hating the suburbs that would have gotten laughed out of my high school literary magazine, ... the self-seriousness, ... [and] Win’s belief in his own messianic power." Tough but fair.

37. "Burden of Tomorrow" by The Tallest Man on Earth (from The Wild Hunt)
"I drink my water when it rains / and live by chance among the lightning strikes"

One of the better Dylan acolytes recording today (Swedish division).

38. "Dark Trance" by Free Energy (from Stuck on Nothing)
"And oh / whoa / whoa / whoa"

One of the better 80's recreationists recording today (non-ironic division).

39. "The Cave" by Mumford & Sons (from Sigh No More)
"And I won't let you choke / on the noose around your neck"

A Grammy nominee for best new artist that is actually a new artist? The category, incidentally, is defined as: "For a new artist who releases ... the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist". Its hard not to have same opinion of the Grammy's as the bellhop who Homer gave his Be Sharps Grammy to.

40. "I'm Not Signifying" by The Rolling Stones (from Exile on Main Street: Deluxe Edition)
"When you're lying on the ceiling baby / And I'm gazing on your floor"

I already had an album's worth of excellent Exile outtakes, so the new material on the bonus disc to the Deluxe Edition was a wonderful surprise, even if it wasn't quite vintage Stones. This bluesy track comes the closest for me of recreating the original sound of their days at NellcĂ´te.


  1. EPR's top 5 of DSS' 2010: 21-40

    All Talk - by KiD CuDi ft. LCD Soundsystem, Cha Tha Ripper and Christian Bale
    Empty-Hall-Sing-Along - Woodpigeon
    Dilly - Band of Horses
    Learning - Perfume Genius
    Last Chance - Nicki Minaj

    * Would have included Bang Pop - Free Energy and Such a Lucky Girl - Woodpigeon

  2. EPR's bottom 3 of DSS' 2010: 21-40

    The Cave - Mumford & Sons
    Hurricane J - The Hold Steady
    Folk Bloodbath - Josh Ritter