Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Reissues of 2010

1. Dixie Chicks - Essential
2. Pavement - Quarantine The Past
3. Elliott Smith -Introduction
4. Bon Jovi - Greatest Hits
5. Robbie Williams -Greatest Hits
6. Brad Paisley - Hits Alive
7. Pink - Greatest Hits
8. Jay Z -Hits Collection
9. Deniece Williams - Niecy
10. Gerald Levert - Best of
11. Erykah Badu - Icon
12. Blake Shelton - Best of
13. Was (Not Was) -Pick Of The Litter

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top Singles of 2010

1. Cee-Lo Green - F**k You
2. Aloe Blacc - I Need A Dollar
3. Katy Perry - Teenage Dream/California Gurls
4. Lady GaGa - Bad Romance - Alejandro
5. Black Keys - Tighten Up
6. Arcade Fire - We Used To Wait/Suburbs
7. Train - Hey Soul Sister
8. Broken Bells - High Road
9. La Roux - Bulletproof
10. Miranda Lambert - House That Built Me
11. Adam Lambert - Whataya Want From Me
12. Sugarland - Stuck Like Glue
13. Ray Lamontagne - Beg Steal or Borrow
14. Janelle Monae - Cold War
15. Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are
16. BoB w/Bruno Mars - Nothin On You
17. Enrique Iglesias - I Like It
18. Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man
19. Temper Trap - Fader
20. Maroon 5 - Misery
21. Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill
22. Robyn - Stars 4-Ever
23. Willow Smith - Whip My Hair
24. V.V. Brown - Shark In The Water
25. Florence & The Machines - Dog Days Are Over
26. Glee Cast - Teenage Dream

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top Albums of 2010

As usual, I know I've missed many records released this year. It could take years to catch up on things. But this is a good representation of CD's I like in 2010. And what I turned into the Village Voice for my Pazz & Jop ballot.

Below my Top 10 are my Honorable Mentions:

1. Janelle Monae - ArchAndroid
2. Black Keys - Brothers
3. Arcade Fire - Suburbs
4. Elizabeth Cook - Welder
5. Cee-Lo Green - Lady Killer
6. Tom Jones - Praise & Blame
7. Merle Haggard -I Am What I Am
8. Aloe Blacc - Good Things
9. Robyn - Body Talk
10. National - High Violet

Honorable Mentions
Christian Scott - Yesterday You Said Today
Jamey Johnson - Guitar Song
Drive By Truckers - Big To-Do
Vampire Weekend -Contra
LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
Sleigh Bells -Treats
Yeasayer -Odd Blood
Johnny Cash - American VI
Hold Steady -Heaven Is Whenever
Broken Bells - s/t
Spoon -Transference
Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden - Jasmine
Roots -How I Got Over
Elton John/Leon Russell - Union
Alejandro Escovedo - Street Songs of Love
Kings Go Forth -Outsiders Are Back
Findlay Brown -Love Will Find You
Mavis Staples - You Are Not Alone
Belle & Sebastian -Write About Love
Gaslight Anthem -American Slang
Antony & The Johnsons -Swanlights
Everybody Was In The French Reisitance - Fixin' The Charts Vol. 1
Girls Talk - All Night
Keith Urban - Get Closer
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Liz Phair - Funstyle
John Mellencamp - No Better Than This
Richard Thompson - Dream Attic
Bruno Mars - Doo Wops & Hooligans
El DeBarge - Second Chance
Texas Tornados -Esta Bueno
Willie Nelson - Country Music
Fitz & The Tamptrums - Pickin' Up The Pieces
Old 97's - Grand Theatre Vol. 1
Jenny & Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now

Teena Marie

In a way it's not fair to mention race when it comes to Teena Marie, but there is no avoiding it. She was a white woman dripping Soul. She peaked in the late 80's, and made sporadic comebacks in recent years, but when I think of Teena Marie I think Old School. This was Soul Music's last great era. Finished by the 1990, and Marie was right there with the great voices of that generation.

Of all the female Soul singers who charted, she had the biggest voice, and her albums had bigger concepts. She wasn't just a hits plus filler lady.

R&B continues to lose its great voices at an alarming rate. She was only 54, with many comebacks and many more miles left on her marvelous instrument.

Right now, duetting once more with Rick James.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Disappearing Digital

File Not Found: The Record Industry's Digital Storage Crisis | Rolling Stone Culture

This is a scary article about how digital files are disappearing.

These people who are embracing downloading, and not saving their files on disc, are going to be in for a shock years from now.
I'm glad my music collection is 99.9% not digital.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Coming Year End Lists

In a few days I will be posting my Top Albums/Singles/Reissues of 2010.

Just a quick disclaimer: Although ranked, I don't in now way pretend to have heard every album released in 2010. Let alone every one that got a rave review. What I can tell you is that all the records on my lists are worth your time, however you get your music nowadays.

There should be something on the lists that you'll agree with me on.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Playlist for 12/21

Robyn - Body Talk
Rush - 2112
Coal Miner's Daughter - Tribute
Josh Groban - Illuminations
Aaron Neville -I Know I've Been Changed
Quincy Jones -Soul Bossa Nostra
Miles Davis - Porgy & Bess
Fitz & The Tamptrums - Pickin' Up The Pieces
El Debarge -Second Chance

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nashville Scene Ballot

My Nashville Scene ballot of Top 10 Country Albums/Singles of 2010:

1. Elizabeth Cook - Welder
2. Merle Haggard - I Am What I Am
3. Drive By Truckers - Big To-Do
4. Jamey Johnson - Guitar Song
5. Johnny Cash - American VI
6. Willie Nelson - Country Music
7. Texas Tornados -Esta Bueno
8. John Mellencamp - No Better Than This
9. Eric Brace & Peter Cooper - Master Sessions
10. Keith Urban - Get Closer


1. Sugarland - Stuck Like Glue
2. Miranda Lambert - House That Built Me
3. Sunny Sweeney - From A Table Away
4. Elizabeth Cook - Heroin Addict Sister
5. Ray Lamontagne - Beg Steal or Borrow
6. Josh Turner - All Over Me
7. Little Big Town - Little White Church
8. Jason Niemann - Lover Lover
9. Darius Rucker - Come Back Song
10. Easton Corbin - Roll With It

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart, who died Friday at the age of 69, pulled one of the great disappearing acts in Rock history. His last album came out in 1982 and since then he was rarely seen, didn't give interviews and tended to his artwork.

Beefheart's albums were a heady mix. A stew of Rock, blues, avant-garde, jazz, and twisted, but humorous lyrics.

A true original and a profound influence.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

One More Thing...

Re: 2011 Rock Hall Class

This probably has already been mentioned. All of the 5 inductees made records before 1971 (Waits).

So, this really was a catch up year, although the Hall didn't envision that when they put 80's names like LL, Bon Jovi and the Beasties on the ballot.

Also, with Chuck Willis this year and names like the Chantels and Wanda Jackson (who got in as a wink, wink "Early Influence"), it's time the Hall comes up with a post Early Influence/pre-Beatles era category. The backlog of names that fit this era is getting pretty long: "5" Royales, Billy Ward & the Dominoes, Patsy Cline and Clovers are other names that fit this era.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2011 Rock Hall Reaction

Not to brag too much, but I predicted 4 of this year's 5 Rock Hall inductees back on a November 1 blog post.

This year's inductees, Neil Diamond, Darlene Love, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits and Dr. John were not a big surprise, to me at least. The only name I bombed out on was Darlene Love, who I consider a minor name in Rock history. Waits I predicted would get in as well, due to being a critic and artist fave.

Once again no Disco acts, but I hope the Hall keeps nominating Donna Summer and Chic until they get in. And no Rap acts this year as well. Both the Beasties and LL Cool J will keep getting nominations though.

I'm also glad for Dr. John, especially after reading snippy comments about him when his nomination was announced. The Dr. is a New Orleans legend. Let's hope this opens the door for that other New Orleans institution, the Neville Brothers, who are long overdue.

And then there's Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper. Both getting in first year nominated. Both were easy calls for me.

The only name I thought might sneak in were the Beastie Boys. I think what's keeping them out is their reputation as being a Frat-Rap act, due to their first couple of albums.

The new category of "Musical Excellence" which was formerly the Sidemen award? Elton John wanted Leon Russell in real bad and the Hall listened. The Hall says this award might go to people other than Sideman in the future. Intriguing possibilities abound.

I might as well stir it up right here. Only 1 name out of 8 inductees this year is an African-American. So, besides no Quincy Jones, we also don't get a Don Cornelius.

In the non-performer category, again, no shocking names. Art Rupe has been shortlisted for a long time, and Jac Hotzman's Elektra label just celebrated its 60th year.

As for the 2012 ballot? Guns N' Roses are the only name getting in right away. So, it should be another good year for the Hall to play catch up on overlooked names (hello Stevie Ray Vaughan, hopefully).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Playlist for 12/14

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted
Jay Z -Hits
Jethro Tull - Stand Up
Alice Cooper - Welcome To My Nightmare
Girl Talk - All Night
Kings Go Forth - Outsiders Are Back
Keith Urban -Get Closer
Bruce Springsteen - Promise
Norah Jones - Featuring
Pink - Greatest Hits

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Breed

Time for Top 10 lists again. And as I glanced over the contenders, I began to think about newer acts (last 10 years) who, when putting out a new album, I buy right away. These are the new stars. But they don't always get airplay. Yet, they have tremendous followings. And to top it off, they are just plain good.

If you haven't checked out these artists, then dive in to their catalogs:

Arcade Fire
Hold Steady
Antony & The Johnsons
Old 97's
LCD Soundsystem
New Pornographers
Vampire Weekend
Black Keys
Kings of Leon

Lots more, but that's a good start

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Lennon 30 Years Later

A Favorite John Lennon song from an okay album:

"#9 Dream" peaked at #9 in 1974 (from Walls and Bridges)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Playlist for 12/6

Cee Lo- Lady Killer
Elvis Costello -National Ransom
Now 36
Buddy Guy - Living Proof
Steve Reich -Double Sextet / 2X5
No Age -Everything In Between
Florence & The Machines - Lungs

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Christgau's Consumer Guide Returns Again

Back in the Summer, Robert Christgau gave up his monthly Consumer Guide column, and many of his fans (including me) were disappointed. His monthly reviews, some I agreed with and others not, were always a good read. And I was able to find records that even many music mags missed.

Well the good news. The Guide is back. This time in a new format, and as a blog. 4 records reviewed each week. 16 a month, Christgau is promising. Only the good ones, as well. Too early to tell if Christgau will tinker with the format the way he did with the other incarnations of the Guide.
If you've never read Christgau's stuff before, check out his web page, which is linked below.
He belong in a Music Critic Hall of Fame.

Expert Witness

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Beatles Itunes

They tried to hold out as much as they could. But the Internet is where it's at for musicians. You want to sell? You better be on Itunes. Now that the Beatles have been crossed off the list, maybe any other foolish holdovers will give in. Who's left? Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Kid Rock? Outside of the latter, not exactly today's chartoppers.

I almost have to laugh when I see artists saying they don't like the format that Itunes makes them use: buying single tracks in favor of just buying the album.

It's 2010 going on 2011, if the Beatles can confront the new Age, everyone else should as well.
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