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***December Twenty Third First Two Thousand and Ten***

    

Both festive Snoop Dogg and the whole staff of Dog in a Sweater Enterprises welcome you to the 139th installment
of our "Records of the Year" update!  Certainly, no other people or magazines or websites have thought to rank music
in this fashion, and we'll be looking to patent this fantastci idea forthwith. 

Top 10 Albums of 2010


1.   Future Islands - In Evening Air
Honestly, this was my runaway favorite record of the year.  When I listened to this album the first time I didn't know any-
thing about them other than that they played here in the Triangle a lot.  I was not prepared for the hold this release would
have on me...I listened to it obsessively for months, and still go back to it quite often.  It doesn't hurt that their live show
is also phenomenal.
Tin Man
Vireos Eye


2.   Les Savy Fav - Root for Ruin
The Fav have been around so long that I sorta keep expecting them to drop off as most bands inevitably do.  But this
albumis just as strong and fresh as anything they have released.  I think they might have just entered that rare pantheon
of acts thatnever release any bad material. 
Appetites
High and Unhinged


3.   Harlem - Hippies
The best debut record of the year to be sure, and probably the catchiest.  I find I get a lot of their songs stuck in my
head for days.
Be Your Baby
Faces
Friendly Ghost


4.   Midlake - The Courage Of Others
I was honestly indifferent to this album on the first few listens...it definitely didn't have a "Roscoe" on it like it's pre-
decessor.But it didn't take long to get under my skin, and now I listen to it as often as anything else they've released. 
Acts Of Man
Rulers, Ruling All Things


5.   Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot...The Son of Chico Dusty
It wasn't until seeing Big Boi live at Moogfest that I really spent any time with this record.  It's got more hits than
Foreman versus Ali.  And like anything Outkast related, it manages to be inventive and fresh but still accessible to
any level of fan.
General Patton
You Ain't No DJ


6.   Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Rush to Relax
Their last album "Primary Colours" was my favorite record of last year.  At least I think it was last year, I'm too lazy to go
look it up.  Anyways, it's not surprising to me at all that their newest release isn't as good as that record, but it's still
really damn good.  Lots of strong, catchy songs.
Second Guessing
Tuning Out


7.   Superchunk - Majesty Shredding
Let's be honest, Chunk could release an album of Laura Ballance farting and it would make my top ten list (Jon
Wurstermight have actually put out an album like this).  But this, their first record in nine years, is a real throwback to
their mid-nineties days when they had the perfect balance of aggro punk crunch and catchy hooks. 
Digging for Something
Learned to Surf


8.   Crusaders of Love - Never Grow Up
Let's be honest, these guys are pretty much a French version of Exploding Hearts.  But if you're going to pick a band to
sound like, you'd be hard pressed to make a much better choice. 
Can't Get Enough
Shot to the Heart


9.   U.S. Christmas - Run Thick in the Night
I briefly gave having this album on my list a second thought, as I've been friends with the front man of this band for nearly
twenty years.  But then I'm friends with a number of other people in bands who aren't on this list, so I suppose I'm not
being too biased.  There's really not anything else out there like this record...it's as if William Faulkner made a southern
space metal album after listening to a lot of Crazy Horse.  And like Faulkner it can be at times perplexing and confusing,
but they payoff is stellar.
Maran
Wolf on Anareta


10. John Grant - Queen of Denmark
John Grant solo is not as good as John Grant with the Czars.  It's just a fact.  But good goddamn, that voice is mesmer-
izing to me, and no matter the material I'll always gravitate towards anything the man is singing. 
Queen of Denmark
Where Dreams Go To Die


Honorable Mention
Best Coast - Crazy For You
Crooked Fingers - Reservoir Songs II EP
Danger Mouse And Sparklehorse - Dark Night Of The Soul (included in my list last year, but since it
didn't get officially released until this year I suppose I will include it again)

Gayngs - Relayted
Jonsi - Go
Magic Kids - Memphis
Mount Moriah - The Letting Go EP
Nobunny - First Blood
Teenage Fanclub - Shadows
Three Mile Pilot - The Inevitable Past Is the Future Forgotten
 
 
Top 10 Shows of 2010
1.   Bandway at Kings, August 28th
2.   Big Boi at Moogfest, October 29th
3.   Future Islands at the Berkeley Cafe, May 4th
4.   Harlem at Hopscotch, September 10th
5.   The Rosebuds at the Beaufort Music Festival, May 8th
6.   Pipe at the Cave, August 27th
7.   Best Coast at Hopscotch, September 9th
8.   Midlake & John Grant at the Cat's Cradle, April 3rd
9.   Superchunk at the Cat's Cradle, May 21st
10. All of the times I saw Light Pines and Mount Moriah in multiple venues...every single time was amazing.


Top 10 "Almosts" of 2010
You just can't get to everything in a timely fashion.  This is a list of things that may have made my list if either others or
myself were more on top of our game. 


1.   Lovers - Dark Light.  I literally just heard this a day or two ago and really liked it.  Looking forward to more listens. 
2.   Admiral Radley - I Heart California.  I had no idea Jason Lytle from Grandaddy even had a new band until I read
       about them on Magnet's Best of 2010 list. 

3.   The Drums - The Drums.  I've been on a fence about this band for a while...some songs are great, others plenty
       boring.  I think mostly I just wish all of their record was as good as the track "Down by the Water".

4.   Various Artists - Hawkwind Triad.  Three different bands, including U.S. Christmas, and a whole mess of
       Hawkwind covers.  Pretty good compilation if you're in the mood for a little space metal. 
5.   NAPS - NAPS/Two EPs cassette.  Not really sure what to call this one, all I have is the cassette that dMike of the
       band gave to me one night after playing basketball (he's a pretty damn good basketball player).  Even though my
       tape has some weird distortion on it from a botched replication process, it's still a damn interedting release. 
6.   Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager.   I've not even heard this yet, but given how much I
       loved the last one I'm sure this one would have panned out nicely. 
7.   Allo Darlin' - Allo Darlin'.  They have this one song that sounds exactly like Stephen Merritt guest singing on a
      Camera Obscura song.  It's awesome.  I really need to listen to the rest of the album. 
8.   The Love language - Libraries.  I can't really explain why it took me until last week to listen to one of the most
       popular and well regarded bands in the Triangle, but that's what happened. 

9.   Light Pines.  Put out a damn record already so I can listen to it over and over and over like a giddy schoolgirl. 
10. Short Shorts.  Maybe they haven't written any songs or even played together, but you should watch out for them. 
       Plus I needed one more item to make an even ten.

I was going to make a list of music that's popular with all of the kids and hipsters that doesn't make a lick of sense to
me, but then decided against it as it would probably be longer than all my other lists added together.  Let's just say
most of the shit out there is...well, shit.  You know you are.  You've been put on notice!


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Moogfest 2010
with Big Boi, MGMT, Van Dyke Parks, Panda Bear and Girl Talk
Asheville Civic Center & Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
10/29/2010

So months ago my friend Brian and I jumped on tickets to the opening night of Moogfest because one of very favorite
bands, Devo, were slotted to play the festival.  Getting these tickets was no small feat in my book - I don't go to big
shows or festivals because they're too expensive and I generally don't enjoy them.  But this was Devo, and all rules go
out the window when it comes to them.  Fast-forward to the week before the concert, and Devo gets in a wreck causing
the band to miss the gig.  We were devastated.  But as we were already in the hole 75 bucks, might as well go anyway
and make the best of it...


Despite the loss of Devo, the festival offered a pretty good consolation prize - Big Boi.  Originally I was bummed as he
was scheduled to play on a different stage the same time as Devo, but obviously now that wasn't an issue.  So we got
into the Civic Center just as he started up, and immediately blew the doors off the place.  This wasn't the typical cruddy
DJ/MC/hype men live hip hop gig that we're all used to, this was a complete band experience.  I dubbed it "Parliment
Hiphopidelic" and then was all proud of myself for being so clever (even if it isn't really clever).  It was quite simply one
of the best show I've seen in ages.  Big Boi just released a solo record and as you might expect played a few songs off
of that - "Shine Blockas", "General Patton" and "You Ain't No DJ" come to mind.  But the bulk of the set was pretty much
Outkast's greatest Hits - they played all or at least the Big Boi portions of every fan favorite song by the legendary hip hop
duo..."So Fresh, So Clean", "Mrs. Jackson", "B.O.B.", "Ghetto Musick", "The Way You Move", and many more.  The
crowd was electric, singing along, bouncing on every word and beat like a bunch of half-drunk teenagers (to be fair, a lot
of the crowd were half-drunk teenagers).  Not only was there a full band (including horns and back-up singers), there were
dancers!  A group of four young men all dressed in matching outfits, stepping to the beats like it was a black fraternity
pledge party.  I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say Big Boi made up for us missing Devo, but he came as close as I think
about anyone could. 


After that gig I was counting anything good that happened the rest of the night as gravy.  I've never really been particularly
enthusiastic about MGMT, but Brian really likes them and they made the stage after Big Boi.  They seemed like two
bands - part psychedelic pop band ala The Zombies or mid-period Kinks, and then part popular dance pop band, kind
of like Hot Chip but with less Prince covers.  I liked both parts, but it was clear the crowd preferred their upbeat dance
numbers, especially the super-catchy "Time to Pretend"...you know, that one MGMT song everyone knows that has been
used in commercials, most likely to sell computers or phones or some such shit.  I enjoyed the gig, and it prompted me
to revisit their albums after we got back home. 


Honestly, there wasn't much left that either of us was overly excited about.  We ended up watching Van Dyke Parks,
who most folks know from his work with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys in their later days.  The man was a great
storyteller and an unbelievably talented piano player, but for the most part I was pretty indifferent about the baroque pop
music.  He did end it on a bang though, bringing Clare from Clare & the Reasons out to help him sing the Beach Boys
tune "Heroes & Villains" that he co-wrote with Brian Wilson. 


The only note I took from the set by Panda Bear: "meh".  Pretty fitting actually.  One man standing still in front of a bank
of electronics and a guitar, with a lot of back lighting and the sound cranked up WAY too loud does not make for a great
show in my book.  When he first started I couldn't believe how loud it was...my ears were literally hurting.  I've never had
that happen.  We stood strong for a few songs but nothing ever took our fancy, and we strolled back towards the Civic
Center.


The Civic Center had one big act in it that night - Girl Talk.  And by "act", I mean one guy with a couple of laptops and
a couple of his friends blowing toilet paper rolls into the crowd using leaf blowers.  I enjoy Girl Talk's sugar crack mash-
up songs as much as the next guy, but seeing him live wasn't really much to speak of.  After a few minutes the stage
flooded with kids dancing and having a good time, and no doubt the fairly full Civic Center were really enjoying them-
selves, but I've never felt so old and out-of-touch in all my life.  I suppose I'm too visually fixated, because it basically
boiled down to watching a guy look at his computer screen.  But I fully admit I'm probably not the target audience for
this one, so we peaced out and called it a night.



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Mount Moriah
Tir Na Nog
10/21/2010

There's something I've always found very impressive when a band has a rotating cast of members, especially when all
those members are in a bunch of other bands.  I'm not entirely sure how they can remember all those songs, but then
again I maxed out my memory years ago by memorizing all of the GI Joe character names and members of hair metal
bands.  Mount Moriah is very much one of those bands, with Heather, the beautiful driving voice behind the act, seem-
ingly the only mainstay.  This version of the band featured both of the Cook brothers, best known as two-thirds of
Megafaun.  I'm pretty sure at least Brad Cook has played with the band before ( I feel like I saw a photo of this some-
where), but this was my first time with either of them performing in the band.  Not that it changed anything - they were
just as fantastic as they always are, playing one incredibly catchy song after another, songs that would be hits if there
was any justice in the world.  They really REALLY need to release an album so I can listen to it over and over and over. 


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A few interesting links...

I meant to post this last month, so it's kinda old by now, but I'm thinking any dog owner will find great delight in this
"cartoon" about moving two dogs across the country
.  You've got to especially love that it is animated in MS Paint. 

True American Dog
- honestly, I have no idea what is going on here, but it is some of the most hilarious photoshop
work I have ever seen.  Yes, even more hilarious than the Kardashian Christmas card

My good man Nate-ass from U.S. Christmas got bored and decided to interview a bunch of his fellow musician friends.
And then he put them on a blog he calls The Negative Trip, only the url name is "savage throat" so when I try to remem-
ber what the damn thing is called I can never remember. 
 
If you're not watching the masterfully editted madness on Everything Is Terrible you're not leading a complete life. 

my instagr.am photo of the month...some wet leaves in my backyard.  How very emo of me. 


Oh yeah and there are a couple of new photo journal entries at the link at the top, forgot to mention that until now.  And
yeah I'm creating this damn thing in some 1996 technology and could move it higher, but fuck it. 





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