J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Playlists, podcasts and music from WQFS Greensboro's J's Indie/Rock Mayhem - alternate Friday mornings 10 AM - 12 PM EST at 90.9 FM!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

J's Indie/Rock Mayhem - 8th December 2010
The Top Singles of 2010


[Welcome to the Best Singles of 2010 here on J's Indie/Rock Mayhem. This podcast very nearly didn't make it.

I got home last night and put the flash drive in my computer to upload when a sudden power surge knocked the computer off and back on. Irritated, but not really caring, I proceeded to reboot everything and then go look at the drive to get the show.

It was empty.

I panicked. Had I forgotten to record? I had gone through all the proper steps and everything, including the proper removal procedure from the recording board and all that. Yet, no show seemed to exist. I was crestfallen. Thankfully, I could tell that there was something on the drive, even if it wasn't showing up. After doing some digging, I was able to recover the show from the hidden depths of the drive and get it up. I was not about to let one of my two favorite shows of the year slip away into the ether.

These are my absolute favorite songs of the year and next week, we'll take a look at my favorite albums of this year. I put a lot of thought and work into these shows, I think it shows, and I know you'll enjoy it.

Now, onward.]

J's Indie/Rock Podcast: 8th December 2010 show

Theme Song - Peaches - "Rock Show"
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Decoration Ghost - "Father's Fists" [from the haze of wine and age. one of my favorite songs of this year due to the excellent use of the drum fill behind the phrase "pounding like the drums of the Cold War." just fantastic.]
the Gaslight Anthem - "American Slang" [the title track from this year's album. i was really won over by this song from the very first time i heard it. not quite as much as i was "the '59 sound" the other year, but man, all the same. good stuff.]
Blonde Readhead - "Here Sometimes" [from penny sparkle. the album, on the whole, felt a little weak in spots, but overall it was buoyed by songs like this lead track. really good.]
Portugal the Man - "The Dead Dog" [from american ghetto. i really enjoy this entire album quite a bit, but this song really caught me from the beginning also.]
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the Black Keys - "Everlasting Light" [from brothers. another one of the songs in this year that got me with its chugging beat. love the way this song opens.]
the Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Say No to Love" [i want to celebrate this song because a) it's good and b) it's a band releasing a true single. it was this, a b-side song and that's it. no new LP (not 'til next year at least) and i think that deserves some attention as well.]
Lake Inferior - "Johnny B" [from pegasaur. it's sad that this band called it a day earlier this year after just two fantastic EPs, but that's the nature of bands and working with other people. still, thanks for the music, guys.]
Antoine Dodson and the Gregory Brothers - "Bed Intruder Song" [one of the feel good stories of the year is also one of the great singles..]
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the Posies - "She's Coming Down Again!" [from blood/candy. i was initially underwhelmed by this album (not by this song though), but when i saw the posies live, the whole record came to powerful life. it's made me appreciate it a lot more sense.]
Adam Thorn and the Top Buttons - "Life's a Bummer" [from the self-titled sophomore record. i'm really impressed with this genre exercise of a record and this song especially. adam is a complex and engaging songwriter when his songs are seen put together - they have this engaging, snotty snark that occasionally reveal their maudlin truth, but this song hits all those notes just perfectly.]
the Tallest Man on Earth - "King of Spain" [from the wild hunt. this was the first leaked song off of this record and there's a reason - it's engaging and rowdy and uplifting and it's just one guy and a guitar. fantastic.]
Caribou - "Odessa" [from the excellent swim. this song grew and grew and grew on me. i'd forgotten how much i really liked it when i played it tonight since it'd been awhile since i'd played it.]
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Vampire Weekend - "Horchata" [from contra. this is a band that has slowly grown on me as well, but it was a hype backlash that initially had me not paying attention to them. well, this record fixed that.]
the Soft Pack - "Cmon" [from their self-titled album. just a great rock song. don't you agree? the whole record is like that. we need those.]
Clem Snide - "Denver" [from the meat of life. a person i follow on twitter was talking about this song earlier this year, so i grabbed it just to see, and man. it's one of the most haunting and beautiful songs of 2010.]
Conrad Plymouth - "Here to There" [from their self-titled EP. and then this band and this record i just can't get enough of. seriously. if you haven't heard them, do it.]
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Superchunk - "Digging for Something" [from majesty shredding. superchunk return, guns blazing; this album is utterly killer and this song is it's lead arsenal.]
Delta Spirit - "Golden State" [from history from below. another great album from a truly fantastic band. last new album they had landed a single in my top 5 singles, but that's not to say this song isn't as good. the album, on the whole, is better.]
Josh Ritter - "The Curse" [from so runs the world away. another of the great ballads. ritter flexes some serious storytelling chops in this song and it's mesmerizing in a way few things were this year.]
Gorillaz - "Stylo" [from plastic beach. fantastic song from a pretty good record, though the definitive performance of this, for me, was on the colbert report. i think you'd agree.]
Jens Lekman - "The End of the World is Bigger Than Love" [a single released this year on its own. a great single, only released earlier this year, not attached to any album. pretty awesome. hopefully heralding a new album next year. it's good.]

[Now it's time for the top ten singles of 2010! Here we go.]

10. Yeasayer - "Madder Red" : I discovered this song because of its video and its odd and somewhat disconcerting imagery. But something about the song was absorbing - drawing somewhere between the echoey drums of 80s dark synth pop and the modern day. By the end of the song, you're lost in its mist, kind of hoping not to find your way out. From Oddblood.

9. the New Pornographers - "Crash Years" : I had been so disappointed in the last New Pornographers album that when this single first leaked, I was hesitant to embrace it. But though it might not be my favorite song on this album, it is, in my opinion, the best single song and that is a talent all its own. From Together.

8. Frightened Rabbit - "Nothing Like You" : This was a tough choice because this record also contains "Swim Until You Can't See Land," undoubtedly one of this year's best single songs, but the anthemic "Nothing Like You" is just slightly its better. On a record that sometimes seems unfortunately thin in overall sound, the boisterous heart rending of this song is a welcome explosion.

7. the Hold Steady - "Hurricane J" : The opening of this song still throws me off with its odd musical meter, but when it settles into its mid-tempo, chugging and brilliant chorus, this year's second best women-compared-to-storms song becomes something very unique. From Heaven is Whenever.

6. the National - "England" : Things about London and England always hit a soft spot in me because of the time I spent there in college, but not only does this song hit lyrical spots for me, it creates a musical environment that puts me there as well. On an album that is still sneaking up on me, it's an obvious highlight. From High Violet.

5. the Love Language - "Heart to Tell" : The best North Carolina song this year is something the Love Language is perfect for - delicious, dancey sing-a-long songs that also contain some wicked guitar work. The rest of this album is gorgeous and amazing, but this song just overshadows everything around it. From Libraries.

4. Best Coast - "Boyfriend" : Like a stoned girl group, this song is anything if original - cloying lyrics pining over a boy - but the way it's accomplished is infectious beyond all measure. There is a reason I managed to see this band twice this year, mainly on the strength of this song. From Crazy for You.

3. M.I.A. - "Born Free" : My jaw hit the floor when I first heard this song and it hasn't fully reattached itself still. This was one of the most abrasive and blistering M.I.A. songs I've ever heard, and even if the rest of this album didn't live up to the maelstrom on this song, this was more than enough for me to still have utter faith in her fantastic work. From Maya

2. the Drive-by Truckers - "Birthday Boy" : I'm going to let the lyrics speak for themselves here. "The pretty girls from the smallest towns / get remembered like storms and droughts / that old men talk about for years to come / I guess that's why they give us names / So a few old men can say they saw us rain when we were young." Yeah. That's why I love this band. From The Big To-Do.

1. Twin Sister - "Lady Daydream" : The only reason "Birthday Boy" isn't the best single of the year has to do with seeing this band live in Chicago this summer and just having one of the most amazing concert experiences I've ever had. This song is everything that a sultry, smoky, haunting song should be and it never, ever seems to get old. It is, without question for me, the best track of 2010. From Color Your Life.

That'll do it for this week. Join me back here next week for the 9th Annual Top 25 Albums of 2010. Until then, Go Panthers!, and take care.

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