I do not claim to know everything. Well, sometimes I do, but when I say things like that I am being completely sarcastic and ridiculous. This list of ten artists and songs that I liked in 2010, like the songs themselves, may not be the be-all and end-all of this year’s releases. But they are a group of tunes that we should keep (or start) listening to with great frequency. Ready, gang?
Dum Dum Girls — I Will Be
Ever hear of Grand Ole Party? It was a tight three-piece group that featured the fairly normal combo of drums, bass, guitar, and vocals, except that the drummer, Kristin Grundred, also performed lead vocals as she rocked out on her kit. The band was I.N.S.A.N.E. But sadly, good things do come to an end. Luckily, the break-up came after their sole album, Humanimals went public. Now Grundred has a new band called Dum Dum Girls. This band’s influences include the Ramones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Patti Smith. The name itself is an homage to a Vaselines album and the Iggy Pops song “Dum Dum Boys.” Oh, and they can play. Swell, eh? Grundred, or “Dee Dee,” as she is known in this group, sings the lyrics with a level of nonchalance popular with the post-punk crowd years before her (check “Jail La La” and “Everybody’s Out” chorus: “My baby’s better than you”) as Bambi and Jules provide the bass and guitar and Sandy pounds a steady drum beat. See their black tight wearing, leather jacket rocking, and deep red lipstick applying ways for free at the Billiken Club in St. Louis on Wednesday, February 23. Their second album, He Gets Me High, is dropping on March 1.
The Black Keys — Brothers
Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have done it again. It is more than likely that you have already heard a quarter or so of Brothers due to heavy radio play of “Tighten-Up” and a few TV show previews and phone commercials that used a couple of their songs. Opinions on selling-out aside, this is a great album that certainly ranks with their five other studio albums. If you haven’t listened to the full album, I suggest you do so. Pay attention to “Unknown Brother” and “Everlasting Light” in particular.
LCD Soundsystem — This Is Happening
I’d like to think that at this point James Murphy is in need of no introduction. I sincerely hope that somewhere between “Daft Punk is Playing At My House” and “Someone Great,” a friend, sibling, or Internet pastime has opened your eyes to the electronically infused tracks that are LCD Soundsystem. If no bells are currently ringing to alert you of a possible contextual relationship between you and this group, please right yourself. To do so you can begin by shaking your body to the sick beats of Murphy’s latest album This Is Happening, which should make you want to dance without being likened to the raver kids still busting out to techno. This is not in any way like techno. In the couple months or so leading up to the album’s release, it was available for free streaming on the artist’s website, gaining a level of buzz around new tracks like the opening “Dance Yrself Clean” and “Pow Pow.” Overall, it is a great album, and although I would not consider it any better than Sound of Silver (check “All My Friends,”) there is still no sign of a bad track.
Girl Talk — All Day
Love it. Greg Gillis is the man behind the computer, doing all the slicing of the pre-existing songs, and he is simply awesome at it. The album is a major nod to top 40, but it’s a nod worth joining in on. The album is a free and easy one-track download of the best mash-ups found on Girl Talk’s website.
Individual songs worth listening to:
Horse Feathers’ cover of Nirvana’s “Drain You”
The folk-y tone of this slowed-down cover finds new meaning when accompanied by a cello, tambourine, acoustic guitar, ukulele, and violin. Download at killrockstars.com and check their original material while you’re there.
Crystal Castles and Robert Smith’s cover of Platinum Blonde’s “Not In Love”
I feel like it is songs like this that keep me from frequenting clubs since this is what I would want to dance to and I do not think any St. Louis clubs would deliver. It’s a bit of a downer lyrics-wise, but the hyped Crystal Castles beats that encompass The Cure front man’s quintessential melancholy moan is awesome on way more levels than one. Download it at rcrdlbl.com
Local Natives — “Airplanes”
Listen to this song. After that, watch the music video and if the end of it confuses you then I have one word for you: compost. Also check out their song “Wide Eyes” and their acoustic cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.”
Far Eastern Movement — “Like a G6”
Yeah. You heard me. I do like this song and I do think that being fly like a G6 would be super chill. So step off if you are hating on my….never mind. Happy Birthday “Girls FM.”
There is something that is silly and fun about this mildly repetitive song. I think it’s the mad vocals that are both boyish and high pitched. You can get it at Rcrdlbl.com.
Laura Marling — “Devil’s Spoke”
The pure quality of this Brit is simply divine. With an acoustic guitar and drums played by palms and fingers, not sticks, this song seems far from “My Manic and I.” However, it just shows that the musical skill and style of Marling is not contained to any one genre.
So that was some of my 2010. Keep listening to the music, friends.