December 3, 2010

The Year in Tweets: Music

Here's most of what I listened to this year, in 140 characters or less...

Katie Herzig: Charming singer/songwriter cuts to the bone, aided by a cello. Nothing I haven't heard b4, which is probably why I luv it.

Roseanne Cash: Smoother than Daddy, but no less haunting.

Kate Miller-Heidke = Jill Sobule + Nellie McKay + Gwen Stefani. But totes herself. Totes original. Catchy, quirky, charming, etc.

The Sundays: Why didn't anyone mention them before? 90s alt rock band w/ femme lead singer? Just like Mazzy Star? Where have I been?

Tom Waits: Growly troubadour, barroom bard. Why o why did I wait so long?

Willie Nelson: Another American treasure worth finding.

Grizzly Bear: Another party to which I finally showed up, much too late to be fashionable. Pitchfork-tested, Matthew-approved.

Scar Jo/Pete Yorn: Almost as great as She & Him. Don't understand why hipsters ignored em. Scar Jo is husky, Yorn brings the pop. Harmony!

Carrie Underwood: So loud, so sassy... so awesome?

Country music: I guess I'm a fan now. Shit.

She & Him: More vintage radio gold. Zooey wows w/ voice, woos w/ library card liner notes.

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Chanteuse seduces in English & French. A bed of lush strings & room-quaking beats. (Best Beck album since...?)

Rolling Stones: I hereby take back everything bad I ever said about em. This band rocks. Who knew?

Gorillaz: D. Albarn throws world dance party. Snoop, Mos Def, Lou Reed show up. Even tho ur not cartoon, ur wanted on the dance floor.

Lady Gaga: Overexposed? Sure. Edgy? Not as much as she thinks. Catchy? As hell. That's why I care. Monster hooks + underrated vox = fanboy.

Plus her song Speechless is Elton John-esque. Already sounds like a classic 2 me. 4 better or worse, she's here 2 stay. (Sorry, h8ers.)

Ke$ha, on the other hand, is just awful. Grating voice, uninteresting persona, sophomoric songs.

Gang Starr: Essential hip-hop. RIP Guru.

Natalie Imbruglia: International pop tart's going stale continues. Pleasant voice, pleasant tunes, but dance jam lacks the sting of Torn.

Hole: I love it, I'm disappointed, it sounds too much like old stuff & not enough, Love creaks & still sounds fierce... I am not objective.

Hole: Thinking about it a lot, listening to it a lot less.

MarioMedina/Amps4Buddha: Best instrumental experimental metal artist I've ever heard.

Mad Titans: Best instrumental surf punk band I've ever heard.

STP: Instead of ripping off other bands, they're ripping off... STP. Plus Bowie, Aero & other classic rawkers.

STP: And yet, of course, it's growing on me. I figured it would. I'm a sucker. Those chords!

Hold Steady: I finally get it! Thanks to the slide guitar and @NicholasLHoneck 's persistence. Boozy, bluesy rock.

Court Yard Hounds: Dixie Chicks + bluegrass - Maines' mouth = more rustic, less rousing sound. Not backwoods, but back-porch country.

Kate Nash: Foul-mouth Brit chick betrays her past: doo-wop, riot grrl & even spoken word. Often thrilling, often WTF. More piano please.

MGMT: Trippier than ever, 60s psychedelia, kinda sorta indie pop.

Rufus Wainwright: Stripped-down songs sound painful to write, beautiful to listen to. But I kinda miss the ornamentation.

Erykah Badu: Eccentric genius grooves accessibly.

Eminem: Guess who's back? Spits hot fire. Hungry again. Simple beats & complex rhymes. No skits, accents, pop culture jokes. Purist rap.

Big Boi: Underrated 'kast-mate doesn't need Andre. (Does need an editor, esp. for skits.) Nowhere near Speakerboxxx, but good summer fun.

The Roots: Late nite TV hasn't dumbed em down. Somehow it's made em sharper, harder. Keepin it real w/out getting preachy. Rap album of yr.

hip-hop: Luv its essence (beats & poetry), hate its devolution (autotune, party rap, sexism, etc.). Gimme the golden age! Yes, I'm cranky.

Juniper Tar: Another fantastic opener. A fantastic local band.

Arcade Fire: Grandiose, yet intimate. (You know, for the kids.) Believe every word, every chord, even hype. Great 3rd album rumbles forward.

Band of Horses: Chiming guitars, honeyed vox, lovely songs for a slow afternoon.

Kaiser Cartel: Boy/girl duo sings to me directly. After a month of heavy rotation, they're nowhere near finished revealing their secrets.

Kaiser Cartel: Who do they sound like? Swell Season + Mazzy Star. How does it feel? The rush of discovering a new fave band.

Lady Antebellum: Pleasant country pop, no more, no less.

Merle Haggard: As Haggard as his name implies, in spite/because of his age.

Christie DuPree: Eisley's lil sis sings equally ethereally. Only the production needs more maturation.

Band of Horses, Black Keys, Broken Bells: Great year for good (not great?) indie B bands. Keys: Blast it! Bells: Doesn't burn, but simmers.

Weezer: Lacks the emotional depth of first 2 & sugary superficiality of last 2. Maybe the haters r right now. Damn. Lotsa hooks, but why?

Stars, Grace Potter: 2 more good, if not great, women-fronted indie bands. This is what I listen to.

Janelle Monae: Space funk? Outkast for ladies? Jams & torch songs & other indescribables? Affirmative.

The National: Deep, dark indie rock. A better word: brooding. I shouldn't have been so skeptical.

Nick Hornby: After obsessing about music for yrs, the author tries writing it. I hope he doesn't quit his day job, but he totally could.

Ben Folds: Sounds like self, even w/ someone else's words. Sentiment, smarm & smarts combined. I expect he'll continue exceeding my hopes.

Jenny & Johnny: They're having fun now. I am too. A loose record, not a sloppy one. Garage-y & hook-y & other made-up-words-y.

KT Tunstall, Nellie McKay: Old faves return w/ new-ish sounds: dance-y (KT), vaudeville-y (Nellie). Yeah, I need some better adjectives.

Taylor Swift: can write a song about me anytime.

Taylor Swift: "Dear John": Dissing John Mayer while biting his style? Hilarious. Brilliant.

ODB + Radiohead = LOL. Girl Talk, you crazy!

Spacehog? Toadies? Girl Talk has impeccable taste in 90s 1-hit wonders. But where's the New Radicals?

Kanye West: Crazy good, or just crazy?

Kanye West: Most ambitious pop album of the yr. Best? I'm still making up my mind. Do I really need this much opulent arrogance?

Kanye West: Arrogant opulence?

My biggest problem w/ the Kanye West album will be trying to fit 1 of these 6-minute tracks on a mixtape.

Lissie: My emasculation continues. Another female singer who whispers in my ear. Another beautiful indie pop record.

Adam Lambert: A danceable Freddie Mercury? A harder-rocking Mika? Not that there's anything wrong with either.