The New Year is always exciting for me. I love to look back and make lists of some of my favorites of the previous year. It has been a ritual of mine for a while as a way to keep a nostalgic record of the years. Music is obviously a big part of how I experience life. A favorite covers list is actually something I had yet to do until now, but I already feel that it’s going to be a necessity moving forward. That said, this was an extremely difficult process. After a couple weeks (or a few months) of repeatedly listening to hundreds of tracks, I was able to narrow my engorged list down to 15. Here they are below in no particular order – to rank them would have delayed this article until the Spring:
The passing of Labor Day means that fall is officially here, but summer is still lingering like a bad hangover. It’s time to strip down all the excess you indulged in and get back to basics. But basics does not mean boring – that would be tedious. Much like Oscar Wilde, Aural Fixation abhors tediousness. So we recommend you take something familiar, a tried and true friend, and make it better. Behold: the simple, sweet snickerdoodle now with 100% more chocolatey goodness and therefore BETTER. (more…)
Navigating the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, congested with both cars and billboards everywhere you look, staring up Jack Black’s crotch or being forced to accept that Khloe and Lamar are indeed “famously” in love, it’s often hard to remember that being a celebrity used to look quite different.
It’s not that the old Hollywood is gone, you just have to pay attention. Just glance past the flashing lights at the Hollywood sign, drive by Culver Studios, grab a bite at the Formosa Cafe, and even if it’s cheesy, go to the Walk of Fame and see if your hands are as small as Gloria Swanson’s. I might work at a film studio, but sitting in a cubicle under fluorescent lights day in and day out, I often feel as close to “Hollywood” as Ron Livingston in Office Space.
So when composer/orchestrator/arranger/all-around-great-guy, Joe Trapanese asked that I meet him on one of the great old studio lots for our interview (I would tell you which, but I’m sworn to secrecy), it was painfully hard to act cool about it. While I probably said something to the effect of, “Great. Please send over parking instructions. Looking forward to it.” In my mind, I was squealing like a tween.
DJs have always fascinated me. It’s a job that seems so easy from the outside – how hard can it be to make a playlist and crossfade from song to song? – but just stand behind a really talented DJ for a few moments and you can’t help be overwhelmed by how much is actually going on. So many moving parts that all need to be perfectly balanced lest the flow be ruined. Being a DJ is an art requiring intense concentration, a delicate hand, and real musical sensibility.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t going to put a list together – it just seemed too daunting, I was bound to forget important ones, definitely haven’t gotten a chance to listen to many of the most lauded – but then a friend called me out and I naturally I had to rise to the challenge.
I don’t want to call this a “Best of 2010” list, because I feel kind of like a fraud saying that. Music is so subjective. To this day I still don’t really understand the mad mass love of Beach House. Maybe I’ll discover what I’m missing in 2011, but for the moment it is not music that grabs me personally.
That being said, I now present my favorite 25 albums and 5 EPs of 2010…