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DJ Betynka - It's 12 O'Clock Somewhere writesElizabeth Ramborger’s Best Of 2010

Throughout December CHIRP Radio presents its members’ top albums of 2010. The next list is from CHIRP Radio DJ and treasurer Elizabeth Ramborger.

(Click here to get the complete list of CHIRP Radio members’ picks.)

My first year of DJing on CHIRP has brought a lot of new and different music my way and I’m glad to say this by-no-means-exclusive-or-even-in-any-particular-order list is influenced by the wealth of new music I’ve been exposed to from fellow DJs. It’s also been an incredibly busy year and odd that I haven’t had as much time to really process music coherently. No matter! Spending Xmas day on my couch, looking out on the snow in Ukie Village and cataloguing some of my favorites from 2010 is about the best way I could hope to spend an afternoon.

  1. Stornoway – The Beachcombers’ Windowsill (4AD)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    first heard this release one afternoon when I was getting frustrated working on some paperwork at the studio. Billy Kalb threw it on and quietly backed out of the office and it did the trick. There’s something about Stornoway that makes me think of other great British songwriters…it led me to dig out some old Kirsty MacColl and Billy Bragg. Beautiful stuff that just hits me the way music should. They’re also a nice group of lads who can pull off their lyrical sincerity, raising mundane moments up into simple grandeur.
  2. The Fresh & Onlys – Play It Strange (In The Red)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    The prolific Fresh & Only’s brought us their best yet, improving on their previous lo-fi neo-surf-garage-psych-jangle releases with an album that haunts and twinkles and stomps.
  3. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening (DFA)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Ironically it’s with his supposed last LCD Soundsystem record that I fall completely in love with James Murphy. One of the best moments of the summer was LCD Soundsystem taking the stage at Pitchfork—the Chicago skyline, the moon coming out…Murphy brings a warmth to his shows that took me completely off guard. Swoon.
  4. Robyn – Body Talk (Konichiwa_
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    I’m listing the whole she-bang of EPs here, too. From hipster guilty pleasure to full-on pop star, Robyn’s come a long way.
  5. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (4AD)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Great hooks and beauty all over this one with a good dose of jangle.
  6. Sonny and the Sunsets – Tomorrow Is Alright (Soft Abuse)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Sonny Smith strikes me as being a modern-day Jerry Lee Lewis. The Sunsets emerge from the San Francisco scene along with favorites the Fresh & Onlys and Thee Oh Sees, but with a humor and swagger all their own. “Love Among Social Animals” will put a smile on your face.
  7. Beach House – Teen Dream (Sub Pop)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    I hate to admit I didn’t realize the lead singer was a girl. Sort of like Yaz? The “dream pop” categorization sums it up. A beautiful album you can listen to over and over and over again
  8. Judson Claiborne – Time and Temperature (La Société Expéditionnaire)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Solid local folk rock. A gorgeous album from start to finish.
  9. Jonsi – Go (XL)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    “Go Do” is my inner indie Nike slogan, propelling me out into the sun to just do it. Whatever it is, it will be good.
  10. Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush To Relax (Goner)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    It seems appropriate to close out this list with a band that formed at a work Christmas party (at a vinyl pressing plant!). I overlooked them awhile back when recommended to me by a friend, but this release led to an immediate purchase of their back-catalogue. Infectious garage punk. An unfortunate middle-booking at the Empty Bottle just led them to steal the show.


Other Odds and Ends

The Liminana’s – “I’m Dead” 7” (HoZac)
ooo! French pop at it’s new best! And on a local label!


Radar Eyes – “Not You Again” (B-side, HoZac Hookup Klub Record 12)
my favorite little local release, this has a nice shambolic indie pop vibe.



Black Tambourine – s/t (Slumberland)
best reissue



Posies – Blood/Candy (Rykodisc)
my favorite band ever but this wins worst Thax Douglas reference award. Oh Jon and Ken, what were you thinking?

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2010

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