Monday, January 31, 2011

HSW Newsflash: New Fleet Foxes Album On the Horizon!

News has finally arrived that the Fleet Foxes--makers of HSW's favorite album of 2008 and, had it existed at that time, that year's Vinny Award--are readying their second LP. Back in June of 2010, those bearded teases posted a picture on their Facebook feed that led many of us to believe that the album was ready. But it'll be about a year from that post before the album actually drops; May 3rd, to be exact. The sound you just heard was Will Sheff huffing at the fact that Okkervil River's new record won't be the most-hyped of May '11. Still, this is a promising sign for a second edition Indie Music MAYhem... hopefully a few more contenders will emerge in the next couple of months.

The masses are obviously anticipating this one--a fact made that clear in our reader poll from late last year. There's a tour, too, including a stop in Atlanta, and you can bet your sweet ass I'll be there! Oh, and here's the lead single. Which is awesome, of course:

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues by subpop

Friday, January 28, 2011

Whathaveyou - Friday, January 28, 2011



Various and Sundry Goings On About Music:
  • Wilco just announced that they're starting their own label. The boys have spent the last decade on Nonesuch, after their legendary parting of ways with Reprise that preceded the release of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. This will obviously allow them to release their own records, but also to accumulate their own roster. If the band is reading this, let me know if you're taking submissions. Anyway, I think it's a good move--Wilco's big enough to do something like this. Kind of like a head chef starting his own restaurant--who wouldn't want to work for themselves if they've got the means to do it? Also, this move goes further to prove my point that they've become something of a brand...and a fine brand at that!
  • I like to make fun of the Kings of Leon, but I do love their first two records (and I like the third one OK.) No matter their current degree of wankiness, I've got to take their side in this whole Glee fiasco. KOL turned down an offer from the producers of Glee to have one of their crappy new songs featured on the show, and now the main Glee guy has very publicly dressed the band down. KOL's response was pretty much a yawn and a bird, but it's annoying because you know legions of easily entertained tweeners are going to side with the show. To me, it seems pretty cut and dry: The guy isn't used to being snubbed, so now he's throwing a temper tantrum. Dude: Your crappy show is a cash cow, you're still raking in the dough, and it's their right to turn you down. Move on to the next band and STFU.
  • Real sad news to report, as Charlie Louvin passed away this week. I mentioned the Louvins in my Late As Usual post back in December. Louvin was a country/folk legend, and he kept on recording and performing right up to the end. Please do yourself a favor and check out Tragic Songs of Life for some of the most immaculate harmonies you'll ever hear.
  • Landed 4th row tickets for the Avett Brothers' upcoming performance at the Savannah Music Festival. It's at the same venue (Johnny Mercer Theater) where I caught them last year. They put on a helluva show then, and I don't doubt that I'm in store for more of the same this year. They'd better snap their streak of not playing "Talk on Indolence" when I'm in attendance...
Recent Listening:
  • Bob Dylan - The Times They Are a-Changin'
  • Jason Isbell - Here We Rest
  • David Bowie - Hunky Dory
  • Iron and Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
  • Smith Westerns - Dye It Blond
Upcoming Releases of Import:
  • Bright Eyes - The People's Key (February 15)
  • Drive-By Truckers - Go-Go Boots (February 15)
  • The Low Anthem - Smart Flesh (February 22)
  • Toro y Moi - Underneath the Pine (February 22)
  • Felice Brothers - Celebration, Florida (March)
  • Strokes - Angles (March 22)
  • Cass McCombs - WIT'S END (April 12)
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Here We Rest (April 12)
  • Okkervil River - I Am Very Far (May 10)
My Upcoming Concert Schedule:
  • Dr. Dog (Charleston, February 3)
  • Bright Eyes (Asheville, March 5)
  • The Avett Brothers (Savannah, March 30)
  • Iron and Wine w/Low Anthem (Savannah, April 23)
A Tube For You:
In honor of Charlie, here he is with brother Ira (who died in 1965) playing "Love Thy Neighbor" on a variety show of some sort. Charlie is the shorter one on guitar. Again, pay special attention to those harmonies. As someone who sings harmonies every now and again, it blow me away how effortless they make it seem.

 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Cass McCombs!


It's always exciting when an artist I like announces a new album, but it's especially exciting when their last album was my favorite of the year. I present as evidence my current state of titillation at the announcement of WIT'S END, the new record from Cass McCombs. As noted, Cass's 2009 LP Catacombs was HSW's (re: my) #1 album that year. In fact, I was just listening to Catacombs, as you may have seen in the revamped Whathaveyou from last week.

The album drops in April, so keep an eye and an ear out. Cass joins Iron & Wine and (hopefully) the Fleet Foxes as past HSW Album of the Year winners who are releasing an LP in 2011. Will we have our first repeat winner? Find out in December.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1564: The Validation

Way back when, I wrote up a sort of an essay on the "I-V-vi-IV" chord structure, a.k.a. the 1564. While I have no stats to back this up, I'd blindly claim it to be the most overused chord structure in the past two decades. The 1564 was rehashed ad nauseum to yield a wealth of Top 40 hits--most of them lazy reconstructions of the same song.

Lest you think I'm off my rocker, someone went and made this handy Youtube clip, stitching together snippets from a bevy of tunes that make prominent use of the 1564. Behold:



You may recognize a few genuinely fine songs in that medley, and rightfully so. It should serve to underscore the fact that employing the 1564 isn't a strictly offensive act. In fact, on the Decemberists' fan-damn-tastic new album The King Is Dead, the penultimate track, "This Is Why We Fight", sports a flourishing 1564 chorus. It's a tad overfamiliar, but the song thrives regardless.

So anyway, hopefully that video proves that I'm not just spouting baseless gibberish...at least once, anyway.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekly Whathaveyou - Friday, January 21, 2001


I'm going to try to maintain a steady schedule of info-dump whathaveyou, a feature that's been around about as long as this blog has. But it's due for an overhaul and an upgrade, so here we are. I'm going to try to get one up every Friday, although you and I both know that won't happen. But I'll do my darndest to humor that intention. It'll be a 5-section post: I'll provide the usual musings and links that I've always done (now known as Various and Sundry Goings On About Music [or VASGOAM]); list some stuff I've been listening to recently; then, I'll list some upcoming releases that are on my horizon, followed by my personal show schedule (which anyone living in a larger market will ridicule), and finally a YouTube clip that will allow me to puff up this post without doing much extra work.

Various and Sundry Goings On About Music:
  • Three big record announcements this past week or so (two are really only big as far as my tastes go, and the third has a bit of a broader appeal.) First, my two: Jason Isbell will release his third solo album (2nd as leader of the 400 Unit.) This time it's called Here We Rest, and it'll drop in April. I wasn't blown away by his last album--just a bit too safe, I think. High hope for the new record, and hopefully it'll lead to another stop in Charleston for the gang. I'll go ahead and start a new bullet for the next one.
  • The Felice Brothers haven't made it official, but Ian Felice announced onstage that the band's next album will drop at the end of March. It's called Celebration, Florida, which refers to the only coporate-owned town in the United States (Disney owns it.) Very excited for this, the official follow-up to Yonder Is the Clock, which was my 2nd favorite album back in 2009.
  • The big one that you probably already know about is The Strokes. The garage rock titans will release their fourth LP on March 22 (way to steal the Felice's thunder, asses.) It'll be called Angles, and hopefully it'll be better than First Impressions of Earth.
  • For the hell of it, I'll mention another one that's actually been on the radar for a while. The Low Anthem drops Smart Flesh on February 22. Tremendously high hopes for this one. Don't let me down, LA!
  • Been listening to that new Smith Westerns album, Dye It Blonde, and I'm ready to call it a winner. It's lo-fi indie rock, tons of guitars but with the wide-eyed appeal and pop-sense of MGMT. Consider it recommended!
Recent Listening:
  • Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
  • Gram Parsons - GP/Grievous Angel
  • Cass McCombs - Catacombs
  • Iron and Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
  • Smith Westerns - Dye It Blond
Upcoming Releases of Import:
  • Iron and Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean (January 25)
  • Bright Eyes - The People's Key (February 15)
  • Drive-By Truckers - Go-Go Boots (February 15)
  • The Low Anthem - Smart Flesh (February 22)
  • Toro y Moi - Underneath the Pine (February 22)
  • Felice Brothers - Celebration, Florida (March)
  • Strokes - Angles (March 22)
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Here We Rest (April 12)
  • Okkervil River - I Am Very Far (May 10)
My Upcoming Concert Schedule:
  • Dr. Dog (Charleston, February 3)
  • Bright Eyes (Asheville, March 5)
  • Iron and Wine w/Low Anthem (Savannah, April 23)
A Tube For You:

Riveting scene from the highly conceptual Dylan biopic I'm Not There, wherein Jim James sings "Going to Acapulco" by Dylan and the Band.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

11 Best Instrumentals: Conclusion

The first 11 Best is in the books. The topic was instrumentals, and the list is as follows:
11. Pixies - "Cecilia Ann"
10. Broken Social Scene - "Meet Me In The Basement"
9. Tom Waits - "Closing Time"
8. Red House Painters - "Cabezon"
7. Radiohead - "Treefingers"
6. M. Ward - "Neptune's Net"
5. The Silver Jews - "Night Society"
4. Phoenix - "North"
3. Uncle Tupelo - "Sandusky"
2. Neutral Milk Hotel - "Untitled"
1. Sun Kil Moon - "Si Paloma"
As will always be the case, this is really just a list of my 11 favorite instrumentals, not some sort of argument that they should be yours. Still, I hope you discovered a couple of new tracks, and perhaps albums, in the process.

Something I'd like to offer as a part of the 11 Best feature is a Wild Card entry, that might not have fit perfectly within the parameters of the month's edition, but deserves some credit nonetheless. This month's wildcard is:

Elliott Smith - "I Didn't Understand"



Why doesn't this fit? Probably because Smith closed his 1999 album XO with an a cappella tune--no instruments at all. But it's noteworthy because he didn't just sing the vocal part--it's a full-on composition, but using only his voice as a means of texturing the song the way a string section might. I'm intrigued by artists who are capable of using their voice as an instrument (Thom Yorke and Jim James are other examples.) Plus, Elliott Smith was a bit of a studio rat, so I could see him hunker down and spend a night layering tons of vocal tracks.

***

Thus concludes our first month of 11 Best. Ten more to go!

11 Best Instrumentals: 1

1. Sun Kil Moon - "Si Paloma"



Throughout the past two posts, I've laid out a variety of explanations why each instrumental works. I ranked "Si Paloma" ahead of the rest because it embodies these reasons better than any other instrumental in my catalog. "Si Paloma" is defined by a folk mariachi feel--it's funny (but not difficult) to imagine it scoring a Mexico City tourism video. Shakers, pizzicato violins, a thicket of quivering mandolin strums--it's a musical fiesta, but the steady build is sterling. It's surprising that Kozelek--a minimalist, through and through--was so meticulous in the song's arrangement. Countermelodies playfully interweave like swooping sparrows, and the rhythm guitar abides all these flourishes by providing a bed of unremitting open-tuned strums. Overall, it's a complex arrangement that likely took a great deal of foresight and planning.

The song would be a thing of beauty on its own, but its effect on the album is just as profound. Its predecessor is the 14-minute epic "Duk Koo Kim", which begins as a vast rocker and then seamlessly transitions into an acoustic dreamscape. It has a sedative quality, and over the course of its final half, tapers off until the final notes burn off. Then "Si Paloma's" major-key panache take flight. The slow build lifts us out of the ruminative recesses of "Duk Koo Kim" and soars for five minutes, setting up the album's finale, "Pancho Villa", a 5-star song that boasts a brilliant instrumental bridge of its own.

I've gone on record saying Ghosts of the Great Highway is my favorite album, and I'm not sure it would be if "Si Paloma" was missing. From both from an aesthetic and a practical standpoint, it deftly achieves what instrumental tracks should: plays a role in the narrative thread of the album, and sounds darned good doing it.

***

Wrap-up post coming soon...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

11 Best Instrumentals: 6-2

6. M. Ward - "Neptune's Net"



M. Ward might be the most prolific instrumental composer of any musician I know. You can expect at least three guitar arrangements per album. Neptune's Net, however, is his most ambitious, or at least fleshed-out, instrumental to date. Appearing on Post-War (Ward's best album), it's a straight beach-rock track textured by breezy acoustic, wobbly electric arpeggios, and even a whistling theramin to round out the equation.

5. The Silver Jews - "Night Society"



Sometimes, all you need is three chords. Such is "Night Society", a driving rocker with a great riff. Best played with car windows down while wearing aviators. It's a stylistic anomaly on the album though--nothing else really comes close to its overdriven attack. Makes you wonder if it was just a studio goof-off that turned out so well they kept it.

4. Phoenix - "North"



Much ado was made about Phoenix's 2009 album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix--and rightfully so. But I prefer its predecessor, It's Never Been Like That. Track eight on said album is a five minute instrumental with an anxious pace, featuring a subtle, almost untraceable build. Similar in feel to Radiohead's "Weird Fishes", it has a wintery rush about it, underscored by a bevy of synthetic wolf howls that rise out of the songs climactic final minute.

3. Uncle Tupelo - "Sandusky"

(Click to listen)

Since March 16-20, 1992 marked a stripped-down approach for the band, it isn't a stretch o imagine that they'd roll out an instrumental. The tempo of "Sandusky" is almost identical to that of "North", but the feel is more reflective. Mandolin plucks dance around an infectious guitar line, and, yes, those are drums--"Sandusky" is one of only two tracks on the album to feature any drumming.

2. Neutral Milk Hotel - "Untitled"



A musical fireworks show, "Untitled" is the culmination of an albumsworth of raw emotions. A circus organ and bagpipe take center stage on the track, bolstered by the fuzzed guitars and explosive drumming that have been present throughout the album. If you listen closely, the chord structure reprises "King of Carrot Flowers, Pts. 2-3". It's a brilliant call-back, and the song itself is a perfect penultimate chapter to such a wild ride.

***

Stay tuned for #1...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

11 Best Instrumentals: 11-7


11. Pixes - "Cecilia Ann"



The Pixie's Bossanova is one of my favorite angsty albums--nothing can boil your vinegar quite like a good Frank Black wail. You've got to wait till track #2 to hear one, though, as the album starts off with "Cecilia Ann", a high-velocity surfrock instrumental. It sounds like "Wipeout" played by hell's houseband.

10. Broken Social Scene - "Meet Me In the Basement"



It's the most recent release to make the cut (it was on last year's Forgiveness Rock Record.) Borne out of the electrohaze coda of "Sentimental X's", it's a spirited lift built around a sturdy string riff. It's as far-reaching as any of BSS's stuff, and serves as a functional intermission in the album's dense midsection.

9. Tom Waits - "Closing Time"



Because I am so cool, I've sat in a downtown Manhattan bar at last call, when the mops are out and the chairs are going up on the tables. This is what that sounds like. "Closing Time"--which punctuates the album of the same name--is  mostly drunken trumpets and lounge piano. Keen-eared listeners will note that it isn't strictly instrumental: listen close, and you'll hear an already-gravelly voiced Waits (24 years old, at this point) mumble "Alright, let's do one for posterity." 

8. Red House Painters - "Cabezon"



Ocean Beach, the Red House Painters' fourth (and perhaps best) album, begins with a mellow acoustic shuffle. It's simple enough, comprised of a bouncing baseline and a few acoustic guitars sliding over a steady rimshot beat. The warm and easy "Cabezon" deftly establishes the feel of the late-afternoon beachfront, and the rest of the album follows suit, growing darker throughout. 

7. Radiohead - "Treefingers"




Kid A was a polarizing album among Radiohead fans--no one disputes this. Detractors might point to "Treefingers" as one of the reasons they gave up on the megagroup. Did the same band that wrote "My Iron Lung" and "Electioneering" really include a four-minute synth track on an album? Actually, it isn't a synth: it's all guitar (processed and sampled, of course.) I always thought this song sounded like aquarium music--I can visualize the blacklist jellyfish exhibit in the Monterey Bay Aquarium when I hear it. On the album, it acts as a recentering device after the frantic final strains of  "How to Disappear Completely" die out.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

11 Best Instrumentals: Introduction

The primary function of an instrumental track is to perpetuate an aesthetic or theme through music alone. But its latent function is to let an album breathe. It's not uncommon to hear a nice instrumental after a particularly intense or complex track. On the heels of something like that, an instrumental can lower your pulse, recenter you, massage your ears a bit. At the same time, you'll hear of instrumentals that serve as segues*, lead-ins, and outros. You'll see examples of each on the list.

I want to add that I'm no fan of post rock. Sans-vocals bands like Explosions In the Sky  just don't do it for me. Great, you can step on your delay pedal and downstrum spacey chords for an hour. I know that's unfairly downplaying what they actually do, but my point is that it's nice in small doses, but an albumsworth of material? I don't know. It kind of loses its effect.The exception is Sigur Ros, who is something of a post rock band. While they are rarely in my steady rotation, I enjoy their music--but I'd argue that talent-wise, they're a few steps above your garden variety post-rock outfit.

But post rock bands don't qualify for this list anyway. We'll strictly be dealing with instrumental tracks by predominantly vocal-based bands. Let's look at some honorable mentions.

Two artists who don't shy away from instrumentals are M. Ward and Tom Waits. Both appear in the top 11, but I had to parse through quite a few selections. Ward prides himself on breezy guitar arrangements, which is why you'll hear at least a couple on any given album. "Afterword/Rag" from Post-War and "Duet for Guitars #3" from Transfiguration of Vincent are two to check out. There are plenty more, too.

Waits, as you might guess, gets a bit more out there with his instrumentals. "Rain Birds" is an eerie loungepiece that closes Swordfishtrombones, while "In Shades" from Heartattack and Vine is straight divebar blues. "Midtown" from Rain Dogs is somewhere inbetween--quite fittingly, it conjures the image of midtown Manhattan. Remember what I said about instrumental tracks perpetuating an aesthetic? One other honorable mention that's also by an artist who has another song on the top 11 list: "The Fool" by Neutral Milk Hotel.

Here are some others I enjoy:
On to the list itself! Look for the first five real soon. In the meantime, anyone else got some instrumental tracks to suggest?

*An excellent example of instrumental segues can be found on Dave Matthews Band's masterpiece Before These Crowded Streets. While they aren't actual tracks, there are instrumental segues that appear after the fade-out of several of the album's longer tunes. I'm a little embarrassed to even mention that I'm a fan of 90s DMB--goes to show you how that guy is perceived these days.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

11 Best: Introduction



It's the year 2011 y'all. That means Broken Social Scene's "Water In Hell" is officially out of date and we can all laugh when they sing "It's the year 2010!". That's why you don't timestamp songs. Anyway, I'm trying to cook up some new and exciting things for the blog this year--and while I don't know if I'll be able to churn out quite as many posts as last year, I still want to offer some worthwhile stuff.

I'm happy to announce a cool new feature I'm going to try to do on a monthly basis. The Deeper In will go dormant for now (I don't want its already-immense tag count to get too inflated.) I still may do a Deeper In every now and then, but this particular feature will be its own animal. Here's how it'll go down: every month, I'll choose 11 great songs (or perhaps albums, we'll see) that fit a category--for instance, January's category is "Instrumental Songs". I'll then rank them as a Top 11 list, because bitches love lists.

The format will be as follows: I'll do an introductory post where I'll write a bit about the category in question and name a few Honorable Mentions. The list itself will roll out in 3 posts: 11-7, 6-2, and then the top spot reveal. I'll conclude with a  wrap-up post. By the way, since December will inevitably be chock full of year-end type stuff, I'm gonna take this even meta-er and only do it until November. That's right: 11 songs, 11 lists, 11 months. I will also post them on the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of each month(----->this is highly unlikely.) I'll try to include Youtube links to each song, as well as attach a .zip of all the songs at the end of each list. The latter deliverable might be a bit more difficult, since my music is scattered among several computers and a whole bunch of CDs I haven't gotten around to ripping...but I'll do what I can.

As far as a name for the feature goes, I mined the ol' creative quarry and and came up with "11 Best".  *crickets* Yes, but if the name was better than that, the content would pale in comparison. Keep expectations low and you're set up for success! As always, keep in mind that I'm just drawing from my own catalog here, so odds are you'll see a lot of the same artists crop up throughout the year--although I'll try not to repeat one artist on the same list.

Keep an eye out for this month's aforementioned instillation in the next month or so.

New Poll: What Bespectacled Indie Guy Releases the Best album of 2010?

Only the most passionate HSW devotees (re: me) will remember this edition of our Musical Lookalikes feature, where we compared Pac Northwest indie rock dopplegangers Colin Meloy and Ben Gibbard. Just so happens that both those guys front bands who have 2011 releases on tap. Colin's Decemberists are on the brink of releasing The King Is Dead (spoiler: it's awesome) next week, and Ben Gibbard took enough time away from admiring Zooey Daschenel's naked body to record a new Death Cab album.

But there's more swoopy haired, black-rimmed indie nobility making new music; in fact, you needn't do more than scroll down for visual evidence. The Will Sheff-fronted Okkervil River is priming a May release. And while his hair isn't swoopy, fellow four-eye Chaz Bundick will soon release his follow-up to HSW's #12 album of 2010.

We'll call it a 4-man battle royal: who delivers the goods this year? Again, you may have already heard The King Is Dead, which could give Colin an unfair advantage. But it could work both ways: perhaps it's not your thing (I'll assume you're either deaf or crazy) and you'll vote for somewhere else.

Also, a bit of housekeeping: I've updated the Lists page with all the End of 10 stuff. Furthermore, I'm about to announce a new feature, today or tomorrow. Keep an eye out!

Going with the flow of Okkervil River

There's a funny phenomenon that bubbles up every once and a while. I completely ignore a band for a while, and then for some reason or another I hear one of their songs or albums. And then, boom: they're not only back on my radar, but they start popping up in news stories or making announcements. Perhaps it's the result of heightened senses, but it's not an uncommon occurrence.

For instance: A few weeks ago, a couple of friends of mine had a wedding. At the rehearsal dinner, the groom-to-be was playing "A Girl In Port" by Okkervil River, which happens to be my favorite OR song (and our 10th favorite song from 2007.) It was kind of nice to hear, since I can't remember the last time I heard any Okkervil River song. We chatted about the song and what a great album The Stage Names is (which was named our 21st-best record of 2007, and since that time has certainly gained ground on some of those ahead of it.)

Cut to a week later. I'm standing in front of my CD tower (I still own a CD tower) and deliberated over what album to pull for my morning commute. And there I saw The Stage Names, luminescent, spotlit by some angelic Maglite. I spent the next few commutes listening to the album. I was reminded of when and where I found it: Manifest Music...Columbia, SC...$7 in the used bin, no less than a week after its release. What a coup!

While the progression of events you've just read is nice, it certainly isn't that coincidental. But here's the kicker: Just a few days ago, Okkervil played Fallon and announced a new record; their first since 2008's The Stand-Ins (a patchy addendum to The Stage Names.) The album, due in May, is called I Am Very Far. (Might it be an entrant in the 2nd Indie Music MAYhem? Will there even be a second Indie Music MAYhem? We'll have to see how the release schedule stacks up.)


Check out OR (with houseband the Roots) playing "Wake and Be Fine," a manic waltz that puts Will Sheff's scratchy wails on full display:


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Poll Results 11: What's the Best album of 2010?

We're entering into our fifth calendar year here at HSW. We kick it off by reviewing the results of 2010's final poll. It's the People's Choice for Album of the Year:

13 - Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
8 - Beach House - Teen Dream
25 - Black Keys - Brothers
1 - Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
2 - The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever
4 - Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
20 - The National - High Violet
9 - Phosphorescent - Here's To Taking It Easy
10 - The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt
3 - Vampire Weekend - Contra
2 - The Walkmen - Lisbon


Thanks to everyone for voting. It was a close race until Brothers pulled away at the end. It may have been a wire-to-wire victory, but High Violet was threatening to take over by the end of it. Here are some factoids:
  • I listed 4 of my top 5 (only omission was Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest.) The only one of my top 5 not to finish in the your top 5 was, interestingly enough, my #1: Gorilla Manor by Local Natives.
  • May was an immense month for music in 2010, as we made abundantly clear. Three of top 5 were released in May (Here's to Taking It Easy, Brothers, and High Violet.) The Suburbs, while released in August, contributes a song called "Month of May".
  • You all need to recognize, because Local Natives deserved more than four votes!
  • This isn't the first time the popular mandate was in stark contrast with my rankings. Last year, the Avett Brothers' I & Love & You took the fan vote, despite only finishing 17th in my list.
  • The largest disparity between my rankings and yours was, not surprisingly, Brothers, which I had in the back half of my top 25. The average disparity overall was 5.5. 
  • Only Vampire Weekend's Contra aligned--we both had it 8th. 
  • Yes, I realize that because the sample size isn't consistent, that comparing our lists is flawed. 
Thanks again for participating. Onward into the new year -- will have some new content up soon.