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Top 10 Most Anticipated Releases of 2010

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Music is a funny thing, like water and insanity it comes in waves. Remember that whole boy band thing in the late 90’s? What was that all about? How did that even happen? Either way 2009 was an okay year in music, though some may say it was “meh” and 2008 was better, etc. Well, this year holds a lot of promise for amazing new music, and here are some of the best albums in store for us in 2010.

10. Joanna Newsom “Have One On Me” (release date: 2/23)

I like Joanna’s whimsical style, and the recent announcement of this being a TRIPLE album just makes me even more interested in hearing it. Plus the couple of tracks that I’ve heard on her label Drag City’s website are quite good.

9. Fleet Foxes “TBA” (release date: TBA)

“Ragged Wood” was a CD that instantly grew on lots of people. Something about those sweet, bearded voices coming down from high on a mountain just seemed to ease us all into a pleasant, Rip Van Winkle-like slumber. I can’t wait for that to happen all over again.

8. Arcade Fire “TBA” (release date: TBA)

Supposedly this album is pretty much done, being mixed/mastered. While their last album was good, it was no “Funeral” and maybe that’s a good thing. But where can Win Butler go now? As long as they can still put everything into their live shows, we’ll all be in a good place.

7. Broken Social Scene “TBA” (release date: 5/4)

It’s been awhile since the last BSS album, but you wouldn’t know it because they’ve been all over the place the last few years, either putting out “solo” albums and touring as a collective, or just popping up in odd places. Either way, looking forward to another BSS experience.

6. Frightened Rabbit “Winter of Mixed Drinks” (release date: 3/9)

I love this band, the heartbroken lyrical play and the solid instrumentation makes me think that 2010 is the year they really break out. Keep an eye on these guys as they near the sun.

5. She & Him “Volume II” (release date: 3/23)

I love me some Zooey Deschanel, as I’ve said before, but I really enjoy the classic Carpenters-style musings from her and M. Ward. It’s probably the best summer tunes for a nice drive in the hills.

4. The Dillinger Escape Plan “Option Paralysis” (release date: 3/23)

Still the most intense live band on the planet, any year that this band releases material is one I want to live through. Each record gets more and more diverse without losing the math influenced metal touch that puts a smile on my face each time.

3. Gorillaz “Plastic Beach” (release date: 3/9)

Anything Damon Albarn touched in the last 10 years has been gold, and his Gorillaz project has been the most commercially successful and universally loved. There are very, very few successful acts that have combined rock and hip hop well, and Gorillaz might be the only one that lets cartoons speak for them.

2. Radiohead “TBA” (release date: This year?)

Through the Thom Yorke??? band’s time in LA playing a series of shows, we’ve all heard some new material that’s aimed at Radiohead’s new album. I’ve been reading reports on the blogosphere about Radiohead spending the last few weeks in LA recording at some mansion that the Rat Pack used to hang out at. Supposedly there was a wrap party there the other night. Does this mean what we all hope/pray it means? Hopefully all will be revealed soon.

1. LCD Soundsystem “TBA” (release date: TBA)

I don’t know about you, but I still put on “All My Friends” to get pumped up for any type of occasion. The one time I got to see this band, they upstaged Arcade Fire. What does that say? The anticipation is building… Honorable Mentions: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists “The Brutalist Bricks” (3/9) Erykah Badu New Amerykah, Part II: Return Of The Ankh (3/30) Battles “TBA” (TBA) Amy Winehouse (TBA) (TBA obviously… if at all)

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Top 10 Best Albums by Bands Named After Animals in the Last Decade

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In recent years, the amount of bands that have adopted names of animals is quite staggering, which leaves one to wonder if people are just getting lazy or if our animal brothers have begun to inspire us even more. I’m more apt to think it’s the former, but either way here are the best albums from bands in the last ten years named after our furred, finned, and feathered friends. 10. Noah and the Whale “The First Days of Spring” Noah and the Whale “The First Days of Spring” So when you’re in a band with your girlfriend, and she decides to leave to become even more popular than your band, and she breaks your heart, what’s a guy to do? Write a breakup record and wow people with how deep your songwriting chops can go… obviously. 9. Cat Power “You Are Free” cat power you are free While most people didn’t really hear Cat Power until she released “The Greatest,” I prefer her darker days where she’d suddenly lose her mind on stage in the midst of playing these very personal songs. 8. Frightened Rabbit “Midnight Organ Fight” frightened rabiit midnight organ flight Another very intense, personal record that doesn’t really provide anything new to listeners in terms of innovation, but focuses on very solid songwriting and heart-on-sleeve lyrics. 7. Caribou “Andorra” caribou andorra Daniel Snaith, known as Caribou, won the Polaris Prize for this 2007 release that shows hints of early Pink Floyd among other influences. Overall, it’s a perfect record to listen to on a long train ride. 6. Tortoise “Standards”  Tortoise Standards Their best in the last ten years, Tortoise has done a lot for instrumental music since the band’s inception in 1990. Standards is more of a rock album than the band’s others, but it’s got some great songs. 5. Panda Bear “Person Pitch”  panda bear person pitch Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox gave everyone a glimpse of where his band would be heading when he released this album in 2007. It still sounds like the Beach Boys went into the studio and mainlined acid, but who wouldn’t love to hear those results? 4. Gorillaz “Demon Days” gorillaz demon days Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s virtual band really hit the mark with this album, a perfect mix of dark dub and rock-based hip-hop that had some great hits. While I usually skip “Feel Good, Inc.” because the radio ruined it for me, the album is a great one to listen to front to back. 3. Fleet Foxes “Ragged Wood” fleet foxes ragged wood Robin Pecknold and his band seemingly came out of nowhere and won people over with their beautiful live shows and recordings that sounded like they were singing on a mountain, overlooking some pleasant valley with their righteous beards. 2. Grizzly Bear “Veckatimest” grizzly bear veckatimest Grizzly Bear really hit a songwriting stride on their recent album. While at times these guys can sound also like the Beach Boys, though more on amphetamines than hallucinogenics, the talent of each member is astounding when witnessed live. 1. Modest Mouse “The Moon and Antarctica” modest mouse the moon and antarctica There are few bands that have worked as hard as Modest Mouse to get their music out to the masses. While their recent work has seen much commercial success, and for good reason, this 2000 release really sees Isaac Brock at his best, mixing dark lyrical poetry with a sound that would foreshadow future releases and solidify the band as an inimitable force. Honorable Mentions: Bowerbirds “Hymns for a Dark Horse” Freelance Whales “Weathervanes” Mastodon “Blood Mountain” Pelican “City of Echoes” Them Crooked Vultures “Self Titled” Band of Horses “Everything All the Time”

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