2010 sounds like a scary year. Especially for us grandpas who lived in the 1900s and remember how people thought the 90s didn't have any defining characteristics. Remember Y2K? And CD players in cars? Luckily now that our brains control the internet and television is extinct, we can move on with our telekinetic work days and raise our android children in peace on Neptune.
But hey! There is a ton of amazing stuff to look forward to in the world of music this year, before the king of the world declares art illegal and enslaves our children's children. But enough future humor (because it isn't funny, yet). Let's get real. It isn't the year 3000 (yet).
There are plenty of lists out there, including a rather comprehensive one from Pitchfork, and a still lengthy but more discerning one from Stereogum. Everyone is throwing in their hat about this what to look forward to business, and we'd like to contribute as well. You know, like ones we've already heard. You know that expression, foresight is 20-20 when you already are in the future telling the past about your future before they pass it (what?).
So this is our wishlist of music! Because we need something to look forward to besides the first three-day weekend of the year (which is never, probably).
OUR THREE MOST ANTCIPATED ALBUMS OF EARLY 2010
Spoon Transference (1/19, ANTI)
WHY? They are one of rock's most consistently awesome bands. Spoon never really broke the surface as far as arena rock goes&mdash this is a good thing. No label pressure, no mainstream corruption, and certainly no cries of "sell-outs" to unsettle fans. Thanks to the fickle tastes of the average consumer (a stupid, stupid market), and some minor tussles with major label mistreatment and droppage, Spoon remains one of the great untainted acts of the decade. "I Turn My Camera On" was a great great song, even if it got play on Veronica Mars. "Written In Reverse" is still streaming at NPR, so go check it out to get pumped for the full release in a few weeks. It's full of sticky lyrics, lopsided piano, and and jumpy drums; the same stuff that makes Spoon so much fun every time. Keep checking back to the internet, because NPR claims they'll have an exclusive stream of the whole thing sometime soon.
Local Natives Gorilla Manor (2/16, Frenchkiss)
I saw these guys at CMJ, and they were awesome. A combination of the yelps of a more organic Yeasayer (we'll get to them) mixed with a little jungle-ish boogie and a distinctly collective feel, the song "Sun Hands" remains on repeat in my stereo (read: iTunes). The group dynamic is no joke; these guys all live together in a big house, the same dwelling that the album is named after. The band was one of the highlights of The Aquarium Drunkard LA showcase, and apparently they've got quite the following on the west coast. Come February, we'll find out if that will translate to a national indie obsession. Personally I'm excited to hear the variety of the album and what their other work sounds like recorded and processed... I know I loved what I heard on stage but as we all know, these things can vary greatly when forced into a studio. Time will tell... but I'm definitely antsy about it happening already.
Yeasayer, Odd Blood (2/9, Secretly Canadian)
This is really unfair, mostly because I've heard the entire album already, but I think that this will be a huge release for the Brooklyn band. We've been following them since their awesome performance at The Fader Sideshow in 2007, but no one could have predicted the shift in sounds that Odd Blood would take... a futuristic mind melt of a record that sounds, in the words of our production manager, "exactly like what we should be listening to in 2010." The "Ambling Alp" video embodies that weirdness, effectively establishing the new Yeasayer as simultaneously psychedelic, pop-addled, and percussive (good to see that part remain). The warped vocals and distinctly eighties synth pads all melt together to create an experience that seems both familiar and advanced. "Love Me Girl" later confirmed that "Ambling Alp" was just the beginning of how great Odd Blood could be. At this point, I can safely say that this is my favorite thing I've heard all year (so far). Wait with bated breath (or do something about it).
Honorable Mentions (i.e. stuff we're pretty pumped about as well, but know less about): Owen Pallet, Heartland (1/12, Domino)
Los Campesinos!, Romance Is Boring (1/26, Arts and Crafts)
Morning Benders, Big Echo (3/9, Rough Trade)
Titus Andronicus, The Monitor (3/9, XL)
LCD Soundsystem, TBA (DFA)
Gorillaz, Plastic Beach (TBD, Virgin)
I can't wait to post about my favorite albums of 2010 on YouTwitFace! Until next time, Holmes. - joe puglisi