Top 10 New Albums of 2010

#1:Sufjan Stevens — “Too Much”
{Age of Adz}

#2: Joanna Newsom — “81”
{Have One On Me}

#3: Tallest Man On Earth — “Where Do My Bluebird Fly”
{Shallow Grave}

#4: Broken Bells — “The Ghost Inside”
{Broken Bells}

#5: The National — “Lemonworld”
{High Violet}

#6: Woods — “Suffering Season”
{At Echo Lake}

#7: John Vanderslice — “I’ll Never Live Up To You”
{Green Grow the Rushes — a free ep}

#8: Sharon Jones — “Better Things To Do”
{I Learned the Hard Way}

#9: Peter Wolf Crier — “Crutch & Cane”
{Inter-Be}

#10: No Kids — “I Want To Be Around”
{Judy at the Grove}

{See also: top 10 listens on last.fm; the all songs considered list}

On Music & the Seasons

As soon as the weather dips below 60 degrees, I break out the long sleeve t-shirts, stock up on apple cider and soup, and take all the cheery crap off my iPod. I have three seasons of music: winter, summer, and the transitional periods of spring and fall. I stick to my weather-based music whims pretty consistently – a habit I’m going to try to break out of this winter. If it’s dark and cold, the last thing I want to do is listen to cheery music. But doesn’t that just exacerbate my gloom?

The transitional stuff can go either way – music like Port O’Brien, the Lucksmiths, Koufax, John Vanderslice. Not too happy, not too sad.

John Vanderslice — “I’ll Never Live Up to You” {from the free Green Grow the Rushes ep}

The summer is for bouncy music like the Shout Out Louds, Grizzly Bear, Sharon Jones, the New Pornographers, Stephen Malkmus.

No Kids – “The Jazz Singer” {from the Judy at the Grove ep}

The winter is a lot more mellow and wallow — Elliott Smith, Little Wings, Julie Doiron, Sufjan Stevens —  music that hangs like the lack of sunshine. It’s not stuff that’s particularly downbeat, just a little more heavy.

David Bazan — “Bearing Witness” {from Curse Your Branches}

Is it just me? Or does what you listen to change with the seasons?

Long/ Live/ the/ Bobblehead

Issue #20 of my electric zine, “Long/ Live/ the/ Bobblehead” is here, and it’s the first-ever issue to feature a guest writer, my buddy Craig Schlanser!

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It’s my first time doing a collaboration like this, with Craig doing the writing and I the drawing. It must be hard to do this sort of thing with a partner via the Interweb on a regular basis; Craig first wrote the story and sent it off to me, then I drew my part, sent it back, and published it – without much intervening communication. It’s a leap of faith on both ends, which makes it all-the-more exciting, eh?

but-first-bubble copy

Since it’s been awhile, I made a mix! It’s called “Summer’s not over ’till I say it is” and features music by the No Kids, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Nurses, and eight other great summer bands. Peruse the tracklist, download the mix {60MB zip file}, and please support the bands if you like their stuff.

tracklist