Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Andy Mulkerin of Pittsburgh's City Paper
This time, Andy shares his Top albums for 2010. Take it away Andy! ....
Here are a few things you ought to know about me:
- I hate quantifying my favorite music. Or, generally, my favorite anything.
- I don't really care that much about telling other people what to like. (I know, I know, it's my job, sort of.)
- I've always liked paying attention to the microcosmic function of the local music scene more than I like paying attention to what big buzz indie band X is up to.
- I'm not very good at following directions.
With all that out there in the open, while I was asked to provide a top ten list of the best albums of 2010, I instead present to you a dual list: five new albums by local bands that I really liked in 2010, and five new albums by not-local bands that I really liked in 2010. In no particular order. Are they the best albums that were released this year? Maybe, maybe not. But they were the albums that spent the most time in my car and/or being pumped on my MP3 player.
My local faves:
Lohio, Family Tree - A light, fun, well-written collection of pop songs from the local stalwarts. Their most exciting material to date.
Meeting of Important People, Quit Music - A more eclectic collection than their first album, this release revealss the trio's versatility and showcases some spot-on pop songwriting.
Satin Gum, EP2 - This is one of my favorite local bands: messy, fun, none too self-conscious, often profane without being overbearing. Most underrated local release of the year.
The Ceiling Stares, S/T Cassette - A great debut from a band that's doing accessible rock (maybe art rock?) that's not formulaic.
Mariage Blanc, Mariage Blanc - An immaculate-sounding full-length from the reserved local indie-pop band.
My not-local faves:
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Let It Sway - This album has seven songs I absolutely love, three that are okay, and two that I just can't get through, but that I'm glad to skip in order to get to the good ones. It's just good, hooky pop-rock.
Beach House, Teen Dream - I wasn't sure if Beach House could keep it up after 2008's Devotion; their dreamy pop could get old pretty quickly. But solid songwriting saved them from losing me.
Aloha, Home Acres - Aloha has long been one of my favorites, and Home Acres didn't disappoint: the subject matter of the songs has slowly progressed to more grown-up themes, but Tony hasn't lost his ability to find magic in the mundane.
Secret Cities, Pink Graffiti - This one came out of nowhere; I wasn't familiar with Secret Cities until this album hit my desk, then it became a spacey, weird favorite.
Poison Control Center, Sad Sour Future - It's a double-LP that probably could've been a little shorter, but I forgive Poison Control Center because a good three-quarters of the material is stellar. Add an energetic live show to the mix and you've got a band that I hope finds the audience they deserve.
New Music Personal Picks
Aloha Andy Mulkerin Beach House Lohio Mariage Blanc Poison Control Center Satin Gum Secret Cities Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin The 9:13 Buzz The Ceiling Stares