Ten Favorite Songs of 2010


The project continues with my favorite songs of 2010.  Read the first post for the detail on this project.

2010 was the second time I published a year-end list of favorite songs, offering a chance to see what’s changed in the intervening years.

Bloodbuzz Ohio – The National 

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The Cave – Mumford & Sons 

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Down By The Water – The Decembrists

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Horchata – Vampire Weekend 

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Howlin’ For You – Black Keys

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MC’s Can Kiss – Uffie 

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Money Grabber – Fitz and the Tantrums 

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Rill Rill – Sleigh Bells 

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Rolling in the Deep – Adele

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The Sweetest Thing – JJ Gray and Mofro 

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And three songs from 2010 worth of an honorable mention:

Fuck You  – Cee Lo Green

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Good Day Today – David Lynch 

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Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) – Arcade Fire

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2010 Year in Review: Favorite Songs


Seeing that it’s almost the end of February, it’s about time I posted this list of my ten favorite songs from 2010.   Unlike 2009 when I seemed to have a list of ten songs I was really excited about ready-made, I found that there wasn’t as much I was enthused about in 2010.  Nevertheless, there are some great songs from the year past.  Here they are in alphabetical order by artist.  I’ve embedded official videos where available and linked to unofficial videos otherwise.  Really creepy videos seem to be in this year so maybe just turn of the screen and listen to the songs.

  • Adele – “Rolling in the Deep” – Recent years have seen a revival of classic soul styles much of it coming from the united kingdom.  I like the interplay between Adele and her backup singers.  I also like that Adele has a great voice but doesn’t seem to have the attitude and substance abuse problems of Amy Winehouse.
  • The Decemberists – “Down By The Water – Having spent many years channeling the spirit of Edward Gorey into music, The Decemberists now bring back the soul of R.E.M. of 20-years ago in this short, jangly piece.
  • Fitz and the Tantrums – “Money Grabber” –  More soul music, this time from the U.S., reminiscent of Hall & Oates jamming with Merry Clayton and rockin’ out.  I’m just wondering if they’re going to regret naming themselves “The Tantrums.”
  • JJ Gray and Mofro – “The Sweetest Thing” –  This is the first song introduced to me by my son, who was two at the time he adopted it as his favorite song.  It’s a good bluesy, bar-band tune which makes me wonder if he’ll be in a frat when he’s older.
  • David Lynch – “Good Day Today” –  The famed director surprised and delighted me when he released this electro-pop concoction last fall.
  • Mumford & Sons – “The Cave” –  I like banjos and this is the first song I’ve heard that sounds like it has heavy metal banjos.  I also like how it builds from a gentle sing-song to a loud rocker.
  • The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio” –  The baritone voice and the inscrutable lyrics (“I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees”) really do it for me on this song.
  • Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill” –  I didn’t really get the Sleigh Bells bandwagon, but I warmed up to this song over time.  It’s got the noise and it’s got the percussion of their other tracks — not that these are bad things — but it’s also got a melody that sets it apart.
  • Uffie – “MC’s Can Kiss – Raunchy hip-hop that sounds like it’s from 1985, and I love it.  Who’da thunk?
  • Vampire Weekend – “Horchata – I still like Vampire Weekend and I like this song for its mix of percussion, African-style guitar, and dynamic range.

Honorable mentions:

  • Beach House – “Norway” – Early in the year I thought this was a shoe-in for my end-of-year top ten, but the song grew less interesting over time.  Still I like it’s sound, kind of Concrete Blonde with a cool wobbly turntable effect.
  • The New Pornographers  – “Moves” –  One of the better songs of the New Pornographers great new album and one of the most sharply satirical music videos ever filmed.
  • This American Life – “Bet Against the American Dream” – The fiscal crisis of 2008 explained Mel Brooks style.
  • Cee Lo Green – “Fuck You –  An upbeat soulful pop song with some really foul language.  I should be more mature than this, but I crack up when the backup singers echo “ain’t that some shit!”

And one more:

  • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes  – “Home” – This song received a lot of exposure in the spring and fall of 2010, but alas was released in 2009 so I retroactively place it on that year’s list.  It sounds to me as if Johnny Cash and June Carter returned from the grave to create this buoyant celebration of love.  It’s also another one of my son’s favorite songs.  And don’t miss this cute father & daughter duo cover of this song.

So now that I’ve finished that list, I’m reminded that I was making a top ten list for every year of my life.  I made it to 1986, but alas I’m a dozen years older than that so look for some more retrospective top ten lists coming soon.

Other  best-of 2010 music lists:

2010 Year in Review: Favorite Books


Here’s my annual list of my ten favorite books read in the year.  As always, this is merely the best books I read this year not books published in 2010.  For previous years see 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006. You may also want to check out My Favorite Books of All Time or see Every Book I’ve Ever Read cataloged in Library Thing.

  1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  2. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  3. A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin
  4. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  5. Netherland by Joseph O’Brien
  6. Coop : a year of poultry, pigs, and parenting by Michael Perry
  7. A City So Grand by Steven Puleo
  8. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
  9. Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr by Nancy Isenberg (A)
  10. From the Pews in Back: Young Women and Catholicism by Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens

Every Book I Read in 2010

Books published in 2010 in bold. (A) is for audiobook.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2010 in review (according to WordPress)


The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 45,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 231 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1172 posts. There were 390 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 396mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was October 28th with 247 views. The most popular post that day was Book Review: The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, google.com, books.google.com, twitter.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for favorite books of all time, the blind side book summary, the blind side book review, jesus before christianity, and cadillac mountain.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Book Review: The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis October 2008
7 comments

2

100 Favorite Books of All Time (10-1) March 2009
3 comments

3

Book Review: Jesus Before Christianity by Albert Nolan, O.P. March 2008
5 comments

4

Book Review: The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham January 2007
4 comments

5

Saint Brigid February 2007
1 comment

2010 Year in Review: Memorable Events


Each year since 1996, I’ve made a list of the twenty most memorable events in my life of  the year just past.  The events may be good or bad,  silly or sad, life-changing or mundane, but mostly just memorable.

  1. Firehouse – We took our firefighting-obsessed 2-year old son in January on a visit to the East Cambridge Fire House where a friend of ours works.  There were many shrieks of delight and jumping up and down in excitement.  Peter enjoyed it too.
  2. Max – In February we adopted a 4-year old, black domestic short hair cat from a local family who had to part with him due to allergies.  A gentle and forgiving cat, Max has quickly become a beloved member of our family even if he does wake us up every night by scratching a the kitchen cabinets.
  3. Lenten postcards – I gave up Facebook (and some other social media) for Lent and instead updated my status by sending out a postcard to a different person each day from Ash Wednesday to Easter.  Although I only received 2 postcards in return it was a lot of fun to connect in an “old-fashioned” way.
  4. Professional development – work this year included managing a massive project to prepare archived case studies for scanning as well as attending the New England Archivists meetings in the spring and fall and a couple of recent ARMA Boston events.
  5. Patriots’ Day Weekend –  Three generations of my family enjoyed watching the runners in the Boston Marathon as we ate doughnuts.  I also saw the BSO at Symphony Hall for the first time that weekend.
  6. Wake Up the Earth Parade – stilt walkers, dragons, cute kids, drummers, left-wing political banners, and chickens on bicycles.  Must be spring in Jamaica Plain.
  7. Amsterdam – a wonderful family trip courtesy of the Boston By Foot Flansburgh Traveling Fellowship.  Blog posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6, 7, & 8) and a photo album begin to sum it up.
  8. Bicycling – this year I got back on my bike for commuting to work, this time with my son on board in a child seat.  We also enjoyed renting bikes on vacation in Amsterdam and Martha’s Vineyard and the great Hub on Wheels community bike ride in September.  Peter also got very good at riding his own balance bike.
  9. They Might Be Giants family concert – They Might Be Giants were one of the rock bands I ever saw in concert.  Nearly twenty years later I took my family to see them in a fundraiser for Boston By Foot.
  10. Audubon Nature Festival – Whoo cooks for you, whoo cooks for you all!
  11. Boston Pride Parade – we went to celebrate peace, equality, and justice and Peter left with a lot of loot.
  12. Independence Day Weekend – another visit from my Mom, The Greater New Bedford Summerfest, swan boats, the zoo, a Ben Franklin tour, and splashing in the wading pool.
  13. Football at Fenway – seeing the beautiful game take over the lyric little bandbox was the highlight of a soccer-filled year where I watched almost every game of the World Cup, saw the Boston Breakers in action, made a commitment to following the sport in the US and Europe, and even played a little soccer with my son.
  14. Boston By Foot Avenue of the Arts tour – For the first time, I participated in proposing, researching, and writing a tour of the month for Boston By Foot which went off successfully in July and will return on October 30, 2011.  As an added bonus, I took a tour of Symphony Hall while researching the tour.
  15. Pee Paw’s Birthday – a week long trip to North Carolina to celebrate my father-in-law’s 70th birthday.  The best part was seeing my son and nephew playing together.
  16. Providence – my son and I took a day trip by commuter rail to the Rhode Island capital and had a fun day at the Providence Children’s Museum.
  17. Martha’s Vineyard – we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary with a family vacation to the island town of Oak Bluffs.
  18. Topsfield Fair – Enjoyed a day out with my wife, son, and mother at America’s oldest fair in October.
  19. Thanksgiving – more family travel to North Carolina and Virginia so that Peter could visit with all his grandparents and play soccer with his oldest cousin.
  20. Christmas holidays – a beautiful Christmas tree, an indoor playground, religious observance, dinner with family and friends, the Christmas Revels, a ton of snow, visiting with friends, the New England Aquarium and the Edaville Railroad.

Previously: