Everyone's got a best of the year list. Sorry, not here. But you do get a bunch of music that I loved this year (some of which may have been released prior to 2010, I don't care), some of which I've blogged about already, and some of which I didn't get to sharing. So here it is, Part One, come on back for the next parts.
Apex Manor's album, The Year of Magical Drinking, comes out January 25 on Merge. Apex Manor is Ross Flournoy's first project since the break-up of The Broken West, who were pretty much brilliant (download Perfect Games here or Daytrotter version here. Here's Under the Gun from the upcoming Apex Manor record.
Under The Gun by C3 Artist mgmt
The debut album North Hills by Dawes came out before 2010, but it's still on high rotation. Sunny, gentle music that is guaranteed to evoke good feeling. I'll probably still be playing this beautiful music regularly next year, too. So should you. The band will give you an mp3 of When My Time Comes if you surrender your email address and stuff.
Drivin' N Cryin' finally put out a record of new music, The Great American Bubble Machine. Not too many bands can combine big dumb southern rock 'n' roll with intelligence, but Kevn Kinney and his merry men manage it. Punk, country, glam rock, folk - these guys can throw anything into their mix and make it work. I remember when Michael Stipe threw in an a capella snippet of a Drivin' N Cryin' song live, I thought, Yes! Now more people will get how great the songs were, hearing a different interpretation. Didn't seem to happen, for some reason. As a bonus I tacked on an old live version of one of the best songs ever, Straight to Hell (no, it's not The Clash song).
Drivin' N' Cryin - Straight To Hell (Live) by Spicoli9000
Brian Dunn quietly released my favourite record of the year, Examining the Fallout, which as far as I know can still only be purchased at shows or by emailing Mark Browning at firstname.lastname@example.org. Better than Ryan Adams, cooler than Jeff Tweedy, more stylish than Neil Young? You decide. Remember, he's from Sudbury.
Listen to him play solo and try not to admit he's the bee's knees.
Brian Dunn - Listening To Myself Die by scruffy the yak
Brian Dunn - Boston Bars by scruffy the yak
Brian Dunn - Irish Sundays by scruffy the yak
Broken by Brian Dunn by scruffy the yak
Lawrence Arabia - I don't know much about this New Zealander, but this is one of the catchiest songs I've heard. Brilliant pop sensibilities. And he cuts such a dashing figure - look at that photo!
Lawrence Arabia - Apple Pie Bed by partyontadpole
Leave a comment, come back tomorrow for Part 2.