It’s 10:10 AM on 10/10/10. A perfect 10. These tri-numeral dates come around once a year and this year it falls on the number 10. Is it an auspicious day or a bunch of hullaballoo? There is a certain completeness of order with the number 10. For the Chinese the number is lucky, representing perfection or completion. We’re born with 10 fingers and 10 toes after all. Perfect beauty is measured on its scale. Top 10 lists are ubiquitous. And any respectable album contains at least 10 songs.
If you’re technologically-inclined, today is a “binary” day. The ones-and-zeros representing the binary code or the mathematical language “spoken” by computers to create all things digital. Converting the date 10/10/10 to binary code gives us 101010. And in the binary counting system, that number translates to 42, which means…absolutely nothing.
But hey, it’s a nice theme for a post isn’t it? And everyone loves a top 10 list. So, here’s mine. The 10 albums I’m obsessed with on this month, this day, this year. The albums I have on heavy rotation right now and keep coming back to again and again. Ten, in a long list, of albums you should most definitely own. Listed in no particular order, they are:
Danger Mouse strikes again. This time with The Shins’ James Mercer in the self-titled debut, Broken Bells. Do I really need to say any more? Okay, the two met at a Danish music festival way back in 2004 and began secretly working on the album late 2008. The pair released “The High Road”as the debut single late December to promote the album that’s due out March 9. But the full album leaked that same month anyway. Are these things really accidental? Hmmm, I wonder. Regardless, it’s fantastic and I love it. Experimental and melodic, chalk it up to another Danger Mouse masterpiece. He truly is the man with the Midas touch.
The minimalist album title, IRM, (French for MRI) was inspired by Gainsbourg’s frequent MRI’s she endured after suffering a brain hemorrhage from a water-skiing accident in 2007. ”I had to do so many [MRIs] and every time I was in that tube I was thinking it would make great music,” she’s quoted as saying. And great music it did make. Her lyrics on the album’s single, “IRM”, offer a detailed, psychedelic journey into her experience and sets the tone for the album. Which, you can hear, is amazing.
Take the locomotive tempo and percussion of The Dodos and add the layered harmonies of The Fleet Foxes with some rapturous chorus outbursts a la Arcade Fire and you pretty much have the sound of Local Natives, an LA-based group whose debut album is an absolute gem from start to finish. Get to know this band.
Artist: Pavement Album: Quarantine The Past- The Best of Pavement Featured Track:“Stereo”
Should I even have to explain this one? No, I shouldn’t. You should understand, however, that this is it for me – the foundation of my lo-fi love, the source. All roads lead to Pavement. And they are finally reuniting this year. So get this remastered best of collection. Learn it, love it, live it.
Let me just say that I’ve been drowning myself in this album since it was released. Drowning, rolling, wallowing, surrendering myself to all of it. I just love it. The first LP from the Saratoga Springs, NY-based duo, it’s the perfect combination of electronic beeps and boops, hazy guitars and spacey synths. Give me more, please. Take a listen yourself and you’ll be begging for it.
Artist: Twin Tigers Album: Gray Waves Featured Track: Everyday
There are times when you hear a new band and just know they are going to be huge. Athens-based, Twin Tigers is one of them. Their debut LP, Gray Waves, is an epic assault of psychedelic, shoegaze rock. Jaw dropping good. The kinda stuff that’ll make you swoon. The kinda band that “could dismantle The Silversun Pickups from their perch.” The kinda sound that will keep you coming back for more. Get into this band is all I have left to say.