Apparently all the popping noises we keep hearing over at Rolling Stone is the pleasant sound of every RS music critic pulling their head out of Kanye West's ass. It's a disappointing truth that West is a nothing more than desperately sensational pick. It's what a print media icon does when they're catering to advertisers and 8th graders in an effort to stay relevant. Here at the DRB, we actually take the time to listen to these records, repeatedly, so the subtle nuances that are often lost in the Ipod shuffle have more time to sink in. Don't cry and wail because the list isn't completely comprised of Detroit area acts, Indie rock heartthrobs, or national megastars. We go with what makes an impression, what sticks in our souls, and the music we firmly believe deserves praise. In other words, we do what the hell we want and recommend what we please. So, without further adulation or pontification, the DETROIT ROCK BLOG presents: Our heavily researched, heavily debated, and battle tested BEST OF 2010 (and 2009) LIST:
BEST DETROIT RELEASE: CRUD On Monster Island
Goddamn it, CRUD!! I'm sick to death of having my expectations exceeded! You fiends set the bar too high with this noisy, sex rock masterpiece that defies the typical industrial cliches on every track! Just when we think it can't possibly get better, in come the horns, the HORNS, and sex bomb Danielle reciting Hail Mary's. No kidding around, at the next CRUD concert, I fully expect guitarist Dave Black to drop his guitar, raise his hands up to the ceiling, and reveal his secret identity: Ultraman.
On record and on stage, electrifying.
LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
I tried hard to purposely not like this band. Even in my sleep, I fought it, imagining myself in a brawl with Hunter S. Thompson or whether this classifies as 'music'. However, after, we here at the Blogs headquarters saw a copy of the video for 'Drunk Girls', there was no turning back. Sigh. This is a record that gets under your skin from the first listen. It's so fucking irritating that I almost chose to not include it. But the truth is, it's nearly the best national release of 2010.
The Black Keys – Brothers
Each of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney's albums age like a Chateau Chantal Merlot (that's red wine, you savages!), although on a song for song comparison, nothing yet has matched the sheer crotch rock audacity of earlier single 'Your Touch'. This album, as a constructive whole, certainly comes close, and many critics seem to agree with the DRB for once.
The National - High Violet
You know what ? Fuck the descriptions. Download this one, buy it, on my personal recommendation. Put it on, listen to it all the way through, three times, and remember what you felt like the first time you listened to Tommy. It's that good.
Jessica Ripka – Don't Listen To My Face
A torrent of angry emails from my hard rock/punk rock/anger rock minions will result from this selection. Yes, I know it's Mcglachlan-esqe pop. But two things: One, sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone. Jessica has a White Stripes garage rock streak hidden underneath all the charm. Two, listen to the gentle harmonies and lush majesty (typical adjectives for this type of DIY daydream pop album) and you will be irretrievably hooked.
The Ruiners – Happy Birthday Bitch!
Some contentious office debate rose up over the inclusion of this album. However, the DRB's chief department of fist fighting simpletons were able to agree on one thing: this is the album Ruiners fans have been waiting for. With Bitch, Rick Ruiner and his rock and roll family have successfully captured their ferocious live energy on record. Just listen to fun they're have with 'Sugar Buzz' and 'Broken Halo', and I truly believe that's what's so enjoyable about bitch. The fun arrives nonstop across this record. It may not be U2, but on Friday, at 5pm, when the good times are about to go napalm, it's the first, best choice for the CD player or Ipod.
Best New Artist:
The Fabulous Miss Wendy – The Fabulous Miss Wendy
It's been a loooooooong time, since we've been completely blown away with an artist's level of raw talent, natural beauty, and infectious enthusiasm for music and life. Laying it on a bit thick, are we ? First, contemplate the fact she covers Iggy & the Stooges AND The MC5 in concert. Then go listen to this disc. The Fabulous Miss Wendy makes Taylor Swift look like the prissy ex-girlfriend you dumped in ninth grade for her hot girlfriend with the powder blue Mohawk.
Best EP: The Eeks – The Ladykill Award EP
This band has yet to get the attention they deserve, but it will come. 'She Screams' was narrowly beaten out for best song by ONE VOTE!! Were anxiously awaiting the release of their upcoming full length album.
Joe Hertler – Sleeping Giant EP
Glitter Trash – Glitter Trash
Best Song: Glitter Trash – "I Need Sex!"
There's an entire punk rock revolution going on this very moment in Detroit, that the masses are missing out on. The spirit of that revolution, is contained within the flawed brilliance of this jagged piece of iron. Those of us fortunate enough to document the forefront, will look back and remember with sensual affection these furious days and furious singles.
The Eeks – 'She Screams'
The Ruiners – 'Fix That Broken Halo'
CRUD – 'We'll Not Be Broken'
These albums were released in 2009, but we stumbled upon them (drunkenly) in 2010:
The Black Ryder - Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride
Shoegaze masterpiece. When our kid's kids are talking about music, the discussions will include Austrailia's sexiest musical export: The Black Ryder. Imagine your grandchildren discovering 'Gone Without Feeling' for the first time, as they light up their first . . cigarette.
The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning
Whatever the hell the title means, The Joy Formidable will win you over with their half-shoe gaze, half-drone heartache anthems. Their sadness is saved from approaching The Cure's level of wallowing self pity by the ethereal vocals of Ritzy Brian
Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue
I was the biggest skeptic of this album that could exist. How can it be Alice with Layne? Well, in all honesty, it is and it isn't. I'm still not pleased with Cantrell's lack of originality. Tribute or not, how difficult is it finding a Staley-sound alike ? However, lyrically and musically, this album is head of the class for 2009.
The Hard Lessons – Arms Forest
In one unlikely album, The Hard Lessons summarize what it means to be Detroit. They demonstrate how a pop rock daffodil can grow from grit, desolation and despair.
Best Detroit Album of 2009.
for the DRB
for the DRB