Friday, December 3, 2010
"Faves Of 2010" : THE WEEKEND MIX
I thought I'd take a different approach with the customary year-end, "best of" list. Yes Virginia, there will be a post featuring my 10 favorite records of the year. But today, I thought I'd compile 20 songs for the "Weekend Mix" that for me, have been major musical novas of 2010.
I can't get enough of these tunes. These are songs that found their way onto more than one playlist. Songs that make me sing along, get out the air instruments, and make me want to be nice to that nasty lady with the too-tight ponytail, who sells handbags in my neighborhood. Songs that continue to give me great pleasure, from the pin atop my head, right down to the foot that is occasionally in my mouth. And as many of you witness on these pages, "great pleasure" isn't always a given.
TOUGH LOVER- NICK CURRAN & THE LOWLIVES
I loved this record right out of the box. The production is flawless. Sandwich this between Little Richard and Gene Vincent, and you'd have no idea it was recorded this year.
Sirius Satellite station number 25 recently announced its nominations for the coolest song of 2010.
I say we all vote for Nick Curran's "Reform School Girl," since "Tough Lover," my fave, isn't up. Besides, that track is also a KILLER!
Voting requires no registration and can be done here: http://littlestevensundergroundgarage.com/csw/
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT- THE HOT RATS
The boys from Supergrass, a band I never really got, cover their fave hits of the 70s and 80s, with a clever and unique attack. Here is the Beastie Boys hit via Cream & The Who.
NO TEARS TO CRY- PAUL WELLER
One of the many brilliant tracks off his 2010 release, "Wake Up the Nation."
LORD HELP- TOM JONES
The man has still got it. This track off his 2010 release "Praise & Blame" rocks hard. (The rest of the record kicks butt, too.)
FLESH (LIVE)- TODD RUNDGREN
This track is here because seeing Todd Rundgren perform this song live with a choir this past September was without question, my favorite 4 minutes of music this year.
MIDNIGHT RENDEZVOUS- INGRID LUCIA
Miss Lucia from New Orleans released the finest record of her career this year with "Midnight Rendezvous." This song in particular makes me happier than the others. (No offense, others.) Its mood, the players and its groove hit all the right spots.
LITTLE LION MAN- MUMFORD & SONS
I've been accused of being less than kind to the youngsters. Sorry kids. It's not always your fault. I blame the idiots in the press who like to slap a 5-star review on anything, just to appear hip.
Now that I've got that out of my system, I'd like to say, I think Mumford & Sons is one of the best new bands out there. Their album "Sign No More" is wonderful and this track is the wonderfullest. It may have even been the "single," whatever that means these days.
I LEARNED THE HARD WAY- SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS
Another solid effort from the ex-corrections officer and her kings of dap. Not my favorite album by the band, but could be my favorite song.
F**K YOU- CEE LO GREEN
You know it! You love it...I hope. If you don't, please see a stick removal specialist.
FISTFUL OF MERCY- FISTFUL OF MERCY
Dhani Harrison, Ben Harper, and Joseph Arthur makes some bee-YOU-teeful music together. Good album, but a great song.
TRAGEDY- PETER WOLF & SHELBY LYNNE
I can't say enough about this song. If it was 1975, Peter and Shelby would be carting off mad Grammys presented by Louise Fletcher and Kenny Loggins. And that BRIDGE....damn.
(Did I use "mad" the right way there? You know, like the kids?)
SHE'S COMING DOWN AGAIN- THE POSIES
Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, the kings of power pop, are back with their strongest release in years. Great lyrics...if you care to listen.
ORE D'AMORE- MIKE PATTON
I'm sorry I didn't make a bigger stink about this when it was released. As a matter of fact, I don't think I even noticed it at the time. Mike Patton, formerly of Faith No More (and about 109 other bands and projects---some good, most unlistenable), really got my attention with "Mondo Cane," a collection of Italian pop tunes that mostly stay faithful to the original arrangements, with a little rock and roll pepper, of course.
I've loved Patton's voice from the first time he served up that earnest performance of The Commodores' "Easy" sometime in the 80s. On this record, he really shows that voice off. This was a genius move.
I'M LEAVIN' IT UP TO YOU- JIMMIE VAUGHAN & LOU ANN BARTON
It's always good to hear Jimmie and Lou Ann together, and once again, smart production is the reason I love this record so much.
TROUBLE IN MIND- PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND W/ RICHIE HAVENS
I can't say enough about this brilliant release. The legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band recording at home, with guest vocalists such as Tom Waits, Ani Difranco, Del McCoury, Pete Seeger, Jason Isbell and more. This track with Richie Havens leaves me breathless. Gorgeous.
HIGHLIFE- SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS
These guys are rock solid. They have been around for a long time, and they are getting better and better. Mary Huff takes the lead vocals on "Highlife" and she's a heartbreaker. This is from their recently released "The Kudzu Ranch." I strongly suggest everyone picking it up.
TEARDROPS- LI'L BAND O' GOLD
The Traveling Wilburys may have included some big time names, but if you love New Orleans, then you know the supergroup that is Li'l Band O' Gold. Here we have C.C. Adcock, David Egan, Steve Riley, and Warren Storm serving up "swamp pop" at its finest.
FAITH- ROB LAUFER
As Mr. Steve Simels once said over at the always necessary Power Pop site, Rob Laufer "should-be-a-household-word power pop god." This is from his 2010 release "Excruciating Bliss," and it's one of those songs that makes me close my eyes and sigh. .
SIDNEY WELLS- RICHARD THOMPSON
My vote for best guitar solo of the year. (The wholeband is on fire here...actually.)
YOU ARE NOT ALONE- MAVIS STAPLES
Written and produced by Jeff Tweedy, I can say without equivocation, this is my favorite song of the year.