I’ve inquired a few musicians to give me their own “best of” lists. When I asked East of The Wall’s Kevin Conway, he replied as follows:
Instead of a proper “Best Albums of 2010″ list, here’s a list of the records I spent the most time with this year. I honestly didn’t listen to enough stuff that was released this year to compile a legit list otherwise. This isn’t a condemnation of the music that came out this year. I’m just a little slow on the uptake and haven’t gotten around to checking out all of the records that I wanted to hear in 2010. Anyways…
Sailors With Wax Wings- Hey! A record that came out in 2010!!! This is a really surprising melting pot of a bunch of different styles, and it’s executed flawlessly. It’s also further proof that if Colin Marston plays on/records an album, it’s good and you should purchase and listen to it immediately.
Bjork, Homogenic- Still a really haunting record.
The Book of Knots, Book of Knots- One of the more unique records I’ve ever heard. The guitar parts on “Tugboat” make me dizzy, in a good way.
Charles Mingus, Charles Mingus- “Lock Em Up” is probably the craziest piece of music I’ve ever heard. Hearing Mingus yelling in the background for no good reason always gets me pumped up.
Flat Earth Society, Isms- These guys are absolutely terrifying. Everything they do is just so fucking grimey. Check out the song “Zonk.” It makes me want to smash things.
Dysrhythmia, Psychic Maps- This came out in 2009, but it might be my favorite record ever. The things that this band does melodically are on a whole other level that I haven’t heard a rock band approach before.
Keelhaul, Keelhaul’s Triumphant Return to Obscurity- Another record from 2009 that I still haven’t been able to stop listening to. These guys really know how to write music that’s intricate but still has balls.
Rashaan Roland Kirk, (I, Eye, Aye)- This is a live performance from the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1972. Kirk is one of the most underrated geniuses of the last century in my opinion. People get a little too wrapped up in his whole playing 3 horns at a time gimmick. There’s a unique presence to all of his live recordings that I don’t think anyone else ever came close to replicating.
The Thing, Action Jazz- Listening to this record is like getting punched in the face. That sort of thing appeals to me.
Radare, Infinite Regress- We toured with these dudes in Europe. There’s a lot of bands trying to pull off what these guys are doing, but I think they do it way better than anyone else who’s attempting it. I guess a lot of people would lump them in with the whole Cult of Neurisis thing, but I think they go way beyond that. I hear lots of Bohren and Der Club of Gore and Twin Peaks-ish melodies in what they do, and I think that’s pretty unique.
Al Green, I’m Still In Love With You- This record makes me want to have sex all day.
Records that actually came out in 2010 that I haven’t heard enough of yet but probably would have made the list if I had gotten around to listening to them more:
Intronaut, Valley of Smoke
Cephalic Carnage, Misled By Certainty
Deathspell Omega, Paracletus
Murder Construct, S/T
Broughton’s Rules, Bounty Hunter 1853
The Melvins, The Bride Screamed Murder