Listen To This: “Some Nights” by fun.

Unequivocally, the best album of 2012 so far. I keep running into people who haven’t heard it yet, or have, but not the whole record. Trust me. This is as good as it gets.

Lead singer / creative force Nate Ruess (formerly of The Format) sounds like a man possessed on this cabaret of an operatic blast of an indie-pop treasure. “We Are Young” is ubiquitous by now, and luckily unseated Nickelback as the last song by a band to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is great, but almost takes a backseat to the fire-blast of a Freddie Mercury opener that is the title track. With lines like “WHAT DO I STAND FOR?” and “SOME NIGHTS I STAY UP, CASHING IN MY BAD LUCK” sung in Queen-like harmony and declaration, it’s impossible to not lose your shit during it.

fun. lucked out by getting Jeff Bhasker to produce the record, which I think sounds more focused and cleaned-up than Aim and Ignitecheck his credits.

With most records I like, I scan YouTube for live performances to see if the artist is the real deal. Almost every live capture of “Some Nights” (the song) is hard to hear because the crowd is going insane the whole time.

Here’s a great acoustic performance of “We Are Young” with Janelle Monáe:

Here’s a video of people going fucking apeshit at their show in Atlanta during “Some Nights”:

This record will be hard to unseat as my favorite for the year. eMusic even did a Six Degrees on it.

Listen To This: “Strange Weekend” – Porcelain Raft

2012 got off to a slow start for me as far as new music goes. By this time last year, I was already knee deep in the Akron / Family record, the new PJ Harvey, and had re-fallen in love with the last 2 Andrew Bird records. This year started off slow. Heartless Bastards released a great record, Sharon Van Etten released her first great record, but nothing was blowing my mind. I can safely say Strange Weekend is already one of the best records of 2012.

I first heard “Picture” by Porcelain Raft in this eMusic ad:

You should immediately notice how awesome the tune is. The rest of the album is equally as cool – from the eMusic review:

With their underwater acoustics, synths sparkling in oceans of reverb, and Remiddi’s high, ethereal chirp, these lovingly constructed, basement-recorded jams float by in a gorgeous haze – like a brilliant dream you barely remember, a soft drug trip you didn’t realize you were having. But for all its spacey minimalist texture, this isn’t remotely close to chillwave: There’s too much concrete pain and sweat in Remiddi’s voice, too much clarity in the arrangements, which (even at their most ambient) put melody over mosaics.

Mauro Remiddi (from Rome, Italy) went solo at 40 and made what has to be the best music of his career as Porcelain Raft.

Bon Iver, “re: stacks”

I was trying to learn this song and found so many terrible tabs online that I decided to fire one up myself. It is also impossible to keep up with what chords change when during which verse without visibly seeing the differences. The strum is consistent throughout, listen to the record.

Capo VI or VII - guitar on the record is tuned to Open D, but way sharp


D  ----0------- --------------0---- --------- ----------0---- ----0--------- ------
A  ----0------- ----0---------0---- --------- ----------0---- ----0--------- ------
F# ----3------- ----0---------1---- --------- ----------1---- ----1--------- ------
D  ----2------- ----0---------0---- --------- ----------2---- ----0----H---- ------
A  -0---------- -----------2------- --------- -------0------- -2-----(0-2)-- ------
D  ------------ -0----------------- --------- --------------- -------------- ------

----0------- --------------0---- --------- ----0---------0----- -----0----------
----0------- ----0---------0---- --------- ----0---------0----- -----0----------
----3------- ----0---------1---- --------- ----1---------1----- -----1----------
----2------- ----0---------0---- --------- ----2---------0----- -----0----------
-0---------- -----------2------- --------- -0---------2-------- -----2-----H----
------------ -0----------------- --------- -------------------- -2-------(0-2)--


Verse 1

  This my ex-ca-va-tion   to... is kumran
----0------- --------------0----- --------- ----0----- ----0------------ -----------
----0------- ----0---------0----- --------- ----0----- ----0------------ -----------
----3------- ----0---------1----- --------- ----1----- ----1------------ -----------
----2------- ----0---------0----- --------- ----2----- ----0------------ -----------
-0---------- -----------2-------- --------- -0-------- -2--------------- -----------
------------ -0------------------ --------- ---------- ----------------- -----------
				            ( 2/4 bar )

   Everything that
           happens   from now on    This is
				     pouring rain, this is paralyzed
----0------- --------------0----- -------- ----0--------0---- -----0---------- ------
----0------- ----0---------0----- -------- ----0--------0---- -----0---------- ------
----3------- ----0---------1----- -------- ----1--------1---- -----1---------- ------
----2------- ----0---------0----- -------- ----2--------0---- -----0---------- ------
-0---------- -----------2-------- -------- -0--------2------- -----2----H----- ------
------------ -0------------------ -------- ------------------ -2------(0-2)--- ------

---------------------------------- --------------------------
----0------H---------0------H----- ----0------H-----0--------
----0----0---1-------0----0---1--- ----0----0---1---0--------
----0----0-----------0----0------- ----0----0-------0--------
---------0---2------------0---2--- ---------0---2------------
-0----------------0--------------- -0---------------0--------

Verse 2

I keep throwing it down   two                   hundred at a time
----0------- --------------0----- ---------- ----------0----- ----0---------- -------
----0------- ----0---------0----- ---------- ----------0----- ----0---------- -------
----3------- ----0---------1----- ---------- ----------1----- ----1---------- -------
----2------- ----0---------0----- ---------- ----------2----- ----0---------- -------
-0---------- -----------2-------- ---------- -------0-------- -2------------- -------
------------ -0------------------ ---------- ---------------- --------------- -------

   It's hard to find
	when you      knew it      when your money's
			  		     gone and you're
						       drunk as hell
----0------- --------------0---- --------- ----0---------0--- -----0--------- -------
----0------- ----0---------0---- --------- ----0---------0--- -----0--------- -------
----3------- ----0---------1---- --------- ----1---------1--- -----1--------- -------
----2------- ----0---------0---- --------- ----2---------0--- -----0--------- -------
-0---------- -----------2------- --------- -0---------2------ -----2----H---- -------
------------ -0----------------- --------- ------------------ -2------(0-2)-- -------

---------------------------------- --------------------------
----0------H---------0------H----- ----0------H-----0--------
----0----0---1-------0----0---1--- ----0----0---1---0--------
----0----0-----------0----0------- ----0----0-------0--------
---------0---2------------0---2--- ---------0---2------------
-0----------------0--------------- -0---------------0--------


On your back with your racks as the
	stacks as your load
In the back and the racks and the
	 stacks are your load
In the back with your racks and you're
	unstacking your load

--------------------- ----------------------------------
-----0-------0------- ----------------------------------
----(3)------0------- -----0--0--0--0---0---0--0--0--0--  3Xs
-----2--------------- -----4--5--4--0---0---4--5--4--0--
-0-----------2------- ----------------------------------
--------------------- -5---5--5--5--5---5---5--5--5--5--

Verse 3

   I've been twisting
		to the sun                I needed to replace
----0------- --------------0---- -------- -----0------ ----0----------- -----------
----0------- ----0---------0---- -------- -----0------ ----0----------- -----------
----3------- ----0---------1---- -------- -----1------ ----1----------- -----------
----2------- ----0---------0---- -------- -----2------ ----0-----H----- -----------
-0---------- -----------2------- -------- --0--------- -2-----(0---2)-- -----------
------------ -0----------------- -------- ------------ ---------------- -----------
					  ( 2/4 bar )

     The fountain in the
	front yard is rusted out
			      All my love was down...
                                               in a frozen ground
----0------- -------------0---- -------- ----0--------0---- -----0--------- -------
----0------- ----0--------0---- -------- ----0--------0---- -----0--------- -------
----3------- ----0--------1---- -------- ----1--------1---- -----1--------- -------
----2------- ----0--------0---- -------- ----2--------0---- -----0--------- -------
-0---------- ----------2------- -------- -0--------2------- -----2----H---- -------
------------ -0---------------- -------- ------------------ -2------(0-2)-- -------

---------------------------------- --------------------------
----0------H---------0------H----- ----0------H-----0--------
----0----0---1-------0----0---1--- ----0----0---1---0--------
----0----0-----------0----0------- ----0----0-------0--------
---------0---2------------0---2--- ---------0---2------------
-0----------------0--------------- -0---------------0--------

Verse 4

   There's a black crow
	    sitting across from me   his wiry legs are crossed
----0------- --------------0----- ---------- ----0----- ----0-------------- -------
----0------- ----0---------0----- ---------- ----0----- ----0-------------- -------
----3------- ----0---------1----- ---------- ----1----- ----1-------------- -------
----2------- ----0---------0----- ---------- ----2----- ----0------H------- -------
-0---------- -----------2-------- ---------- -0-------- -2------(0---2)---- -------
------------ -0------------------ ---------- ---------- ------------------- -------
				             ( 2/4 bar )

   And he's dangling my
	keys, he even fakes a toss   Whatever
				     could it be   That has brought
                                                        me to this loss
----0------- --------------0----- ------- ----0---------0---- -----0-------- ------
----0------- ----0---------0----- ------- ----0---------0---- -----0-------- ------
----3------- ----0---------1----- ------- ----1---------1---- -----1-------- ------
----2------- ----0---------0----- ------- ----2---------0---- -----0-------- ------
-0---------- -----------2-------- ------- -0---------2------- -----2----H--- ------
------------ -0------------------ ------- ------------------- -2------(0-2)- ------

---------------------------------- --------------------------
----0------H---------0------H----- ----0------H-----0--------
----0----0---1-------0----0---1--- ----0----0---1---0--------
----0----0-----------0----0------- ----0----0-------0--------
---------0---2------------0---2--- ---------0---2------------
-0----------------0--------------- -0---------------0--------


On your back with your racks as the
	stacks as your load
In the back and the racks and the
	stacks of your load
In the back with your racks and you're
	unstacking your load

--------------------- ----------------------------------
-----0-------0------- ----------------------------------
----(3)------0------- -----0--0--0--0---0---0--0--0--0--  3Xs
-----2--------------- -----4--5--4--0---0---4--5--4--0--
-0-----------2------- ----------------------------------
--------------------- -5---5--5--5--5---5---5--5--5--5--

Verse 5

    This is not the
             sound of a new man 		or a crispy realization
----0------- --------------0---- ------- ------- ----0----- ----0---------- --------
----0------- ----0---------0---- ------- ------- ----0----- ----0---------- --------
----3------- ----0---------1---- ------- ------- ----1----- ----1---------- --------
----2------- ----0---------0---- ------- ------- ----2----- ----0-----H---- --------
-0---------- -----------2------- ------- ------- -0-------- -2------(0-2)-- --------
------------ -0----------------- ------- ------- ---------- --------------- --------
					         ( 2/4 bar )

    It's the sound of
        the unlocking and the lift away
				  your love will be ... safe with me
----0------- --------------0----- -------- ----0---------0---- -----0--------- -----
----0------- ----0---------0----- -------- ----0---------0---- -----0--------- -----
----3------- ----0---------1----- -------- ----1---------1---- -----1--------- -----
----2------- ----0---------0----- -------- ----2---------0---- -----0--------- -----
-0---------- -----------2-------- -------- -0---------2------- -----2----H---- -----
------------ -0------------------ -------- ------------------- -2------(0-2)-- -----

---------------------------------- --------------------------
----0------H---------0------H----- ----0------H-----0--------
----0----0---1-------0----0---1--- ----0----0---1---0--------
----0----0-----------0----0------- ----0----0-------0--------
---------0---2------------0---2--- ---------0---2------------
-0----------------0--------------- -0---------------0--------

Concerts I Attended in 2011

Here’s the full list of shows I saw in 2011:

01/18 Broken Social Scene, Terminal 5 (link)
01/29 Iron & Wine, Radio City Music Hall (link)
01/31 The Hold Steady, Music Hall of Williamsburg (link)
02/02 Best Coast / Wavves, Webster Hall (link)
02/04 Tapes ‘n Tapes, Music Hall of Williamsburg (link)
02/05 Railroad Earth, Brooklyn Bowl
02/15 Drive-By Truckers, Bowery Ballroom (link)
02/27 Louis C.K., Caroline’s (link)
03/05 Akron / Family, Bowery Ballroom (link)
03/08 Bright Eyes / Superchunk / Wild Flag, Radio City Music Hall (link)
03/29 LCD Soundsystem, Terminal 5 (link)
04/02 LCD Soundsystem, Madison Square Garden (link)
04/06 Explosions in the Sky / Low, Radio City Music Hall (link)
05/09 Interpol / Blonde Redhead, Terminal 5 (link)
05/19 Fleet Foxes, United Palace (link)
05/31 Ray LaMontagne, Central Park Summerstage (link)
06/07 Okkervil River, Terminal 5 (link)
06/19 Drive-By Truckers, Brooklyn Bowl (link)
08/10 Bon Iver, Prospect Park Bandshell (link)
09/08 Broken Social Scene / TV on the Radio, Williamsburg Waterfront (link)
09/17 The Hold Steady, Beekman Beer Garden (link)
09/22 Wilco, Central Park Summerstage (link)
09/23 Wilco, Central Park Summerstage (link)
09/25 The Shins, Bowery Ballroom (link)
09/30 Tapes ‘n Tapes, Bowery Ballroom
10/03 Explosions in the Sky / The Antlers, Wellmont Theatre (link)
10/13 Iron & Wine / The Low Anthem, Terminal 5 (link)
11/10 Louis C.K., Beacon Theatre (link)
11/22 M83 / Active Child, Webster Hall (link)
11/25 Donna the Buffalo, City Winery
12/01 Dum Dum Girls, Brooklyn Bowl (link)
12/11 The War on Drugs, Bowery Ballroom (link)
12/13 The National, Beacon Theatre (link)
12/14 My Morning Jacket / Band of Horses, Madison Square Garden (link)

If I had to rank the top 5:

#1 My Morning Jacket / Band of Horses, Madison Square Garden

This show was amazing. Anytime one is in the same room as Band of Horses playing “The Funeral,” it is a good day. MMJ were on fire.There are still no shows that have topped their 2006 midnight show at Bonnaroo – the one where they played for 4 hours and covered The Who’s “A Quick One (While He’s Away).” MMJ being able to fill Madison Square Garden really caps off their decade of being nothing but road warriors. “Steam Engine” was unreal… as was most everything else… here’s the setlist:

Read More:

#2 & #3 The Hold Steady, Music Hall of Williamsburg + The Hold Steady, Beekman Beer Garden

It’s always great to see professionals show up to work and blow the roof off of the place every time. The show at MHOW was their 8th Anniversary show, they played their first show as a band 8 years (to the day) ago at Northsix (now known as the Music Hall of Williamsburg). The first encore was perfect, the first song on their first record: Positive Jam. The show at Beekman Beer Garden was perfect. Balls-to-the-Wall from start to finish. South Street Seaport, Brooklyn / Manhattan Bridges and East River as a backdrop. Tunes were hot: opened with Ask Her for Her Adderall > Massive Nights – they played them all, including an AC/DC cover.

Read More Here:
And here:

#4 Bon Iver, Prospect Park Bandshell

The best record of the year, performed on an amazing summer night in an amazing location. We also has sick seats – Ralphie got us in the VIP section. I dare you to name a better a 3-song stretch than Holocene > re: stacks > Flume.

Read More:

#5 The War on Drugs, Bowery Ballroom

Another of the year’s best records performed pretty much to perfection. It’s rare that an NYC show with this much hype actually lives up to it. “Come to the City” was possibly my favorite concert moment of 2011.

Read More:



Best Albums of 2011 (First Draft)

Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Hurry Up We’re Dreaming – M83
The Whole Love – Wilco
S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT – Akron / Family
Only in Dreams – Dum Dum Girls
Codes and Keys – Death Cab for Cutie
Outside – Tapes ‘n Tapes
Let England Shake – PJ Harvey
Slave Ambient – The War on Drugs
Tomboy – Panda Bear
Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes
In the Mountain In the Cloud – Portugal. The Man.
Torches – Foster the People

Concerts I Attended in 2010

12.04.2010 The Walkmen, Terminal 5

10.19.2010 My Morning Jacket (performed It Still Moves), Terminal 5

09.17.2010 Vampire Weekend, Radio City Music Hall
09.11.2010 Dirty Projectors, Terminal 5

08.24.2010 Tom Petty / My Morning Jacket, Meadowlands
08.12.2010 Grizzly Bear / The Walkmen, Governor’s Island
08.07.2010 Local Natives, Governor’s Island

07.29.2010 The National, Terminal 5
07.28.2010 The Black Keys, Central Park Summerstage
07.17.2010 Dave Matthews Band, CitiField

06.20.2010 Band of Horses / Grizzly Bear, W’burg Waterfront
06.18.2010 Band of Horses, Grand Central Terminal
06.09.2010 Plants and Animals, Bowery Ballroom
06.04.2010 Stars, Music Hall of Williamsburg

05.27.2010 The Hold Steady, Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
05.26.2010 Bon Jovi, Giants Stadium
05.21.2010 LCD Soundsystem, Terminal 5
05.16.2010 Metric, Terminal 5
05.09.2010 Jonsi, Terminal 5

04.25.2010 Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Brooklyn Bowl

03.26.2010 Spoon, Radio City Music Hall
03.11.2010 Soulive w/ Questlove & Rahzel, Brooklyn Bowl
03.09.2010 Soulive w/ Charlie Hunter, Brooklyn Bowl
03.05.2010 Muse / Silversun Pickups, Madison Square Garden

02.26.2010 John Mayer / Michael Franti & Spearhead, Madison Square Garden
02.23.2010 Andy McKee, Highline Ballroom

01.23.2010 DJ Pauly D, Sutton Place
01.18.2010 Vampire Weekend, Webster Hall
01.15.2010 Julian Casablancas, Terminal 5

The Best (My Favorite) Songs of 2010

This is a much different list than My Favorite Albums of 2010. That list contains a lot of my favorite songs of 2010, but this is list is made up of songs I love regardless of the what the album sounds like. Also, I didn’t wanna repeat the YouTube clips I posted on the Albums list blog post.

Eminem ft Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie”

This video has been viewed 230 MILLION times on YouTube. 230. MILLION. Times. Wow. I don’t care what anyone says, I love this goddamn song. I got goosebumps when I just listened to it again. Cameos from Megan Fox and Charlie from Lost.

MGMT, “I Found a Whistle”

Congratulations disappointed pretty much everyone that listens to music, but I really really love this track, and it almost completely makes up for what I don’t like about the album.

Katy Perry, “California Gurls”

Katy Perry: super hot in this video. This song has “a good beat.” Girrrrl, I love a good dance tune!

Sleigh Bells, “Infinity Guitars”

Sean Powell turned me on the them. Weird. Awesome. Weirdly awesome.

Eminem, “Not Afraid”

Eminem is pretty much the best there is, at everything he does. These tunes just grab you, whether you want them to or not.

Wavves, “Post Acid”

Cool and noisy. A great album as well. Interested to eventually see them live.

Big Boi ft Cutty, “Shutterbugg”

Big Boi is still making hot records.

The Dead Weather, “Hustle and Cuss”

This album sounds amazing, the tunes overall don’t translate that well live (they can’t recreate the sonic range of the album live), but this one cuts through.

Kanye West ft Pusha T “Runaway”

I haven’t gone apeshit over the Kanye record like everyone else, but I like this cut.

Broken Bells, “The High Road”

This album is really good. Got into it way after the record came out. I like this track a lot better than “The Ghost Inside” (the one with the video with Christina Hendricks in it). James Mercer is one of my faves.

Katy Perry, “Teenage Dream”

Another solid as fuck pop anthem. Seriously, I don’t care what anyone says, love this tune. Plus she’s a doll!

Cee-Lo Green, “FUCK YOU”

One of the greatest songs ever written. One of the greatest performances by one of the greatest performers.

B.o.B. ft Haley Williams from Paramore, “Airplanes”

I actually love Paramore, mostly cuz of Haley. This chorus was in my head for about 2 months straight when I first heard it.

Matt and Kim, “Cameras”

This is by far their best record. Their Times Square nude video thing for that other whatever song was stupid and way-over-the-top hipster. This tune is great.

The Best (My Favorite) Albums of 2010

1. High Violet, The National

In July, SPIN Magazine decided to celebrate their 25th Anniversary with 5 shows at Terminal 5 in New York City – Flaming Lips, Smashing Pumpkins, Spiritualized, The Black Keys, and The National. I almost went on Wednesday to see The Black Keys but turns out they were playing earlier in the night at Central Park Summerstage so I saw them there instead. On Thursday, I went to a taping of The Colbert Report with some friends. Upon leaving the taping, I got a call from my friend Adam.

Adam had just purchased 2 tickets to see The National from a co-worker and wanted me to go with. I was a few blocks from Terminal 5… Sure! Terminal 5 was awesome that night as soon as we walked in, dressed up in a mood of celebration for SPIN.


I had never seen The National. A few of their tracks had shown up on a Genius playlist here or there, but I was only a casual listener. That changed at Terminal 5 that night in July. They walked out to the stage with little bombast and started into the opener, “Start a War.” I instantly knew they were beyond good. “Anyone’s Ghost” followed. “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and I knew it was getting crazy good then… BAM… “Mistaken for Strangers.” All night…. So. damn. good.

They are my new favorite band. High Violet is a dark masterpiece, if you can call anything they do a masterpiece after 2007’s Boxer.

2. This is Happening, LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem announced  that they were going to play shows at Terminal 5 this summer on their website, about an hour before tickets went on sale. I got tix to night #2. 2 more shows sold out. They announced secret shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Webster Hall day-of at 9am on random days leading up that sold out instantly.

One of the few concerts I have been to that felt like a true New York City experience, like you were at an event that could happen any other place, but it wouldn’t be the same. The band, their history, their hometown.

We tend to wear out albums when we listen while we work at eMusic. This album came dangerously close, but I could listen to “I Can Change” everyday forever.

3. The Suburbs, Arcade Fire

The most epic album of 2010, in every category. This is one of the few albums that gets better every single time you listen to it. What started out as being too many songs now isn’t enough. What sounded repetitive now sounds like creative genius.

The Arcade Fire / YouTube event earlier this year at Madison Square Garden would (will) make one of the great concert films of the 2010s. Arcade Fire are at their best, and in the live concert realm, they have few peers, if any.

4. Lisbon, The Walkmen

What a surprise. I tried throwing on a few of their albums in the background at eMusic at few times, never caught on. They make you work for what you get. Not on Lisbon. It is a great set of songs – like a scruffier Beirut, and with way more attitude. Grizzly Bear guitar with less esoterica.

5. Gorilla Manor, Local Natives

While Venice Beach is probably more Bohemian than Greenwich Village these days, Silver Lake is becoming (is) LA’s soiree into hipsterdom, and already seems cooler than Williamsburg. That’s where these dudes are from.

When I saw them at The Beach at Governor’s Island this summer, they remarked that it was their biggest show to date. I was lucky to be there.

These tunes are awesome. The most killer harmonies. They can play AND write hip tunes.

6. Contra, Vampire Weekend

I saw Vampire Weekend twice in 2010: in January at Webster Hall the week their album came out, and at Radio City Music Hall in September. Webster Hall was so sold out I had to buy scalped tickets outside. They were $75. No one would come down to the show with me due to the price, so I bought 2 and sold one to Jason Hammonds for $40. The only problem, they were fakes. We were at the bar for an hour before the show and the ticket scalper was long gone by the time we got in line. AWESOME. I waited outside the venue with another dude as every single in front of us went in line. Begged venue staff to let us in. Offered to bribe doormen. Nothing worked. We weren’t gonna give up. We considered scaling the roof. 5 minutes before the show… a miracle happened.

A ticket broker was supposed to have 15 people on his list. The door girl at Webster Hall fucked it up. To make up for it, she said he could bring in whoever he wanted. He walks outside, says “Who wants to get in for free?” The other dude and I almost started weeping with joy. Needless to say, we got in.

This is a solid solid disc, which is why, by September, they were playing 3 sold out shows at Radio City. A great NYC band.

7. Heaven is Whenever, The Hold Steady

I saw The Hold Steady at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta this summer. I was reminded instantly why they are one of my favorite bands. Aside from writing one of my favorite songs of 2010, “The Weekenders,” they demonstrated what being an ass-kicking professional rock ‘n roll band from Brooklyn (via MN) looks like.

8. Transference, Spoon

I’ll admit, was not a fan of Spoon’s show at Radio City at March, but that was all the front-of-house sound guy. They kicked ass at Bonnaroo in 2007. This record is no different from all of the others, just making one of the best records of the year every time they show up to work.

9. Infinite Arms, Band of Horses

I saw Band of Horses twice in 2010 (I’m lucky as fuck). The first time was an AOL-sponsored event in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal for a small crowd of 200-300 people (we were 5 people back!). The other was at Williamsburg Waterfront in a concert so epic Grizzly Bear OPENED for them.

This disc is great for people who love this band. It is no Cease to Begin (nothing is), but it sure is satisfying.

10. God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise, Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs

There are tunes on this record that make my body twist and turn from the soul in Ray’s voice. The guitars sound SICK. There are enough tunes on here that will kick your ass to make the whole album worth the effort. Does it ever get any better than “New York City’s Killing Me”?