A quick rundown of my favorite records and shows of 2010. Once again, my top records don’t seem to overlap with most of the other lists I’ve read. In fact, I only bought 1 record on Pitchfork’s Top 50 and 2 on Stereogum’s list this year. Once again proof I would never make a good A&R man.

Top 10 Releases of 2010


1. Kisses – The Heart Of The Nightlife
I’ve been a Kanye fan from waaaay back in the day and I think this is his best record yet. Wait, hold on, I just assumed from reading nearly every other indie Top 10 that Kanye would be #1. Oh, Kisses, that’s right! My most listened to record of 2010 by far. Starting with the 2 7”s that came out before the full length late this year, the only way it could get any better would be to ditch some of the cheesy lyrics: “I would like to take you out. For a nice steak dinner…”, yeah, no.

2. Alex Winston – Choice Notes 7”
Technically not a “full” record, but the 2 songs on the 7” are probably the two best songs I heard all year. Definitely my summer jam.

3. Phantogram – Eyelid Movies
I thought I would see this on a lot more Top 10 lists, but I guess it wasn’t to be. I thought it was a stellar record.

4. oOoOO – oOoOO/NoSummer4U EPs
I’m counting both oOoOO EPs as one record here, but the NoSummer4U EP was the one I preferred.

5. Eux Autres – Broken Bow
I really enjoyed Eux Autres new record and was pretty upset when I found out I missed their only performance in LA this year. I was looking forward to hearing the new tracks live.

6. Keepaway – Baby Style EP
This was a great debut from this Brooklyn band.

7. Mystery Pills – Demos
Jason from The Weather Machines goes in a little different direction. You didn’t hear the tracks, so do yourself a favor and go listen to them here.

8. Undersea Poem – Undersea Poem
My love for bossa nova runs deep and Undersea Poem definitely tapped into it.

9. Tender Forever – No Snare
Melanie put out yet another superb record.

10. Abe Vigoda – Crush
A little love for the locals.

Top 10 Concerts of 2010


1. Bear In Heaven – The Echo (see August 2 TSOI post)
When thinking about the top show there was absolutely no question what it was. Bear In Heaven put on the most memorable show all year.

2. Phantogram – Bordello (see March 8 TSOI post)
I though I was one of the only people “in the know” when Phantogram came through earlier this year. When we showed up, the bar was packed and everyone knew all the lyrics. An awesome show to a very appreciative crowd.

3. The Bird And The Bee – Mondrain
Any set that ends with the singer doing a swan dive into a pool only 3 feet away from a powerstrip full of plugged in electronics gets serious kudos. Note to new bands, death defying encores rank high with most crowds.

4. Belle & Sebastian – Hollywood Forever Cemetery
The rain cleared up just about the same time Belle & Sebastian started their set with Suki in the Graveyard, of course.

5. Dappled Cities – The Echo (see March 15 TSOI post)
Even though they were stuck on a bill with 7 other bands and played at 2:30 in the afternoon, with no soundcheck, they still put on a great show. Their record “Zounds” was my favorite of last year, so it was a thrill to see the songs performed live.

6. Love Of Diagrams/Beaches – The Smell (see March 29 TSOI post)
Love Of Diagrams is always a live favorite of mine, though a little longer set would have been appreciated. I was very jealous of NYC that saw them play 3 (or was it 4) shows on this tour, where LA only got one.

7. The Wedding Present – Troubadour
Bizzaro played in its entirety, enough said.

8. Jens Lekman – Mondrain
Jens playing an intimate show. This show was far better than his previous outing at The Echo earlier in the year.

9. Red Sparowes – Echoplex
You can never go wrong with Red Sparowes live.

10. Abe Vigoda – The Smell
More love for the Los Angeles locals.


  1. Thanks for the recommendations. I went and listened to Mystery Pills. “Anti-Pattern,” the leading track, gives me a stripped down “Oingo-Boingo” feel. Which, in my opinion, is good.

    I dig side projects that have a colored noise to them. You know, when you can actually tell it’s home-grown.

  2. RE: Mystery Pills

    Stripped down Oingo Boingo feel?!? That I gotta hear…
    Just did listen…I could see the OB reference a bit, especially with the brainy math references and vocal delivery.
    Wow this is good. TSOI gots to get a post up on these Mystery Pills dudes in the new year…

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