Filed Under:Best of the Best

Best New Nonrequired Listening 2010

Eric Deines, Project Manager

Eric Deines, Project Manager

Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch — “Take It Easy on Kathy, At Least She Can Dance”

Hard to believe that Mexican Summer’s annual output has grown so dense as to already include lost gems like this. But alas, this stunner from Columbus, OH’s Andrew Graham dropped early this spring to absolutely no avail. For shame! Young Lou Reed (Graham) is drunk and feeling punchy. He’s leading Mo and the gang through a site reading of Vince Guaraldi, dropping a low-end riff that has just as much of a Stones swagger as it does some motorik fever. He ties little, colorful yarn knots that connect honky-tonk and beach music, Smog and Sesame Street. My loosey goosey romper of 2010. Fun Fact: Kathy is also the name of my lovely copdesk buddy and the glue of this label. And yes, she can dance.

Nite Jewel — “Tonight”

LA’s Ramona Gonzalez burst into summer with guns blazing, firing off this herky-jerky, faux-slick synth-R&B digital one-off. It’s a cover of Prophet, a crate digger lost ark of sorts, and Nite Jewel gets about 25 cool things going on here at any given moment. If everything sits just behind the beat, including the beat itself, then where the hell is the beat? And how do I look so great dancing to this? Lock-n-pop bass, Casio record-scratches, new age synths. If Beck’s way-underrated Midnite Vultures predicted the future of pop, this is the Delorean within which we will/have been travel/traveling (and hotboxing). Back To the Future 2: The Ride: The Song.

Gardens & Villa — “Orange Blossom”

Pop-guru Richard Swift produced some tunes for Santa Barbara’s Gardens & Villa earlier this year and posted “Orange Blossom” to his blog not too long ago. What a gift! I’ve been hooked since, playing it on end around the pad with the lady. And dudes, it’s melted the snow around our house’s foundation, a four-foot perimeter of Spring, all bursting green buds and fertile animalia. The band just put out a 7″ on Cool Summer Records, and “Orange Blossom” is the b-side to the also-excellente jammer “Black Hills.” Mega-warm, big-bliss pop-hookery.

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Sagres by The Tallest Man on Earth
Dark Bird Is Home by The Tallest Man on Earth
War Machine by Bill Fay
A Page Incomplete by Bill Fay
Primrose Green by Ryley Walker
Sweet Satisfaction by Ryley Walker
Straight by A Place To Bury Strangers
We've Come So Far by A Place To Bury Strangers
Me Liquor and God by Night Beds
Los Angeles (Live) by Phosphorescent
Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly) (Live) by Phosphorescent
Another by Greylag
Yours To Shake by Greylag

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Sweet Satisfaction by Ryley Walker

What We Don't See by A Place To Bury Strangers

We've Come So Far by A Place To Bury Strangers

Noctilucence by Mark McGuire

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Bill Fay
Who Is The Sender?
CD / 2XLP
The Tallest Man On Earth
Dark Bird Is Home
CD / LP

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