Unnatural Helpers ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
Hey, you remember that time that Kanye West put out his first decent album since College Dropout and received a perfect rating from Pitchfork? Wasn’t that crazy? Or what about that time that the Arcade Fire put out their least memorable studio album to date and ended up on everyone’s “Best Records of 2010″ list? Wasn’t that kind of weird? Have you ever seen a pre-school child eat those goldfish cracker snacks? They devour them. You could drop them on the on a public bathroom floor and those kids would not blink. They have one goal in mind and that is to put those little golden crackers into their stomachs. I like fishes because they’re so delicious. Gotta go fishing. Music reviewers can be the same way. An artist they love can do no wrong. Ever. Before the goldfish album drops, the music critic has already decided to eat it up. What else can they do? Judge it for what it is? No way. That’s wasting food blogosphere credibility. Why think, when you can GroupThink?
This is not really a “Best of 2010″ list. Most of the music I continue to enjoy is rarely released within the current calendar year. Ever since I was a youth, I have let albums find me. Rarely do I go seek an album out. It’s a blessing and a curse. For instance, I still have not heard the National’s High Violet. I like the National’s past releases a great deal, why am I being so sluggish in giving their latest effort a listen? I don’t have an answer for that. I just know that when the time is right, I’ll have that record and hopefully enjoy it. The following couple hundred words is just a list that relates to individual songs. I’ll post additional lists that reference albums, live performances and moments that you may have missed during the past year. Actually it’s more of an awards show without live video. Maybe next year.
Local Song of the Year: “Sunshine/Pretty Girls” by the Unnatural Helpers
I know what you’re thinking, “How the hell did this song win ‘Local Song of the Year’?” I’ll tell you how. At first, I hated this song. I thought that a handful of kids that got rejected from Seattle’s School of Rock could probably craft a better tune. It’s got three chords, barely. If the lyrics were written on anything besides a two day old pizza box it would be a travesty. Everything about this song screams “novice” and “Hey, want to listen to the band I played in during high school?” However, this song rules and your high school band sucked. I can listen to this song anytime, anywhere. It has not left my head or I-Pods (plural, bitches) since I got over my initial disdain for it. Let’s dim the lights and get sensitive for a moment. The song’s subject matter of “sunshine” and “pretty girls” happens to be my two favorite things on Earth! Incredible! The author pretends not to care about them and that’s fine he can let the listener do that for him. This song is about vanity, stubbornness and fun. Incidentally, those are the only three personality traits I have. Winner.
Other local songs that I love that could have won this award:
“Simple Fates” by Ravenna Woods * “All the King’s Men” by Hounds of the Wild Hunt * “Bobby O” by What What Now * “Capital 5…” by Shabazz Palaces * “Break Bread” by Baltic Cousins * “Poisonous Witchball” by Lesbian* “I Want You To Come Home Now” by Drew Grow and the Pastor’s Wives * “Gasoline Rainbows (Jesus Is a Blackman)” by Wild Orchid Children * “Whale Song” by Lemolo * “Rivers and Roads” by the Head and the Heart * “My Oh My” by Macklemore “Floorplan” by Youth Rescue Mission * “Emerald City Dollar Bin” by Partman Parthouse
Any song that is going to appear on the upcoming Helms Alee album. If I knew the names I guarantee you that at least one song would be listed here.
My five favorite songs of 2010 that were not released this year (But I heard them for the first time this year):
“In My Wake, For My Own” by Coalesce * “Salt” by Portugal. The Man * “Victory Is In My Clutches” by Jay Electronica * “So You Wanna Be A Superhero” by Carissa’s Wierd “Freeze Me” by Young Dro f. T.I and Gucci Mane