Top Albums of 2010 – Brian Garcia

Every day this week, Impact 89FM will post a list of favorite albums from a different member of our music staff.  The author of the list featured today is Brian Garcia, host of Sit or Spin that airs on Sundays from 8 to 10pm. To hear more from Brian, you can keep up with his blog at hateyouransweringmachine.com.


1. Flying Louts – Cosmogramma
The true test of a record is what the perceived “life” of it will be. What I mean by that is how you can listen to it before getting sick of it, whether it is two weeks or 5 years from now. There are a lot of records I’ve enjoyed in 2010, some quickly forgotten about after my hard drive crashed last spring or I just heard something else. But if there had to be one record that burrowed deep into my music listening consciousness this year, it is undoubtedly Flying Lotus’ third LP, Cosmogramma. Whether it was driving around blasting it on my crappy speakers in my Ford Focus late at night, waiting on an L stop in Bronzeville, Chicago, or letting it be the background music while studying on the second floor of the library, it fit every situation. This record is 2010.
Stephen Ellison, the Echo Park DJ otherwise known as Flying Lotus, creates a complex universe of space rhythms that loosely resemble what you could call hip-hop. But if you did, that’d be dramatically undercutting it. I like to think of it as the true modern take on Electro-funk, something Afrika Bambaataa could have only dreamt about. The deeply interwoven layers of music in Cosmogramma consist of elements of jazz, dub, funk, dance and hip-hop straight from the school of J Dilla. And if you look at the album cover long enough, you might just “see your entire future in front of you” – or whatever that quote from Almost Famous is.

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Top Albums of 2010 – Matt Revers

Every day this week, Impact 89FM will post a list of favorite albums from a different member of our music staff. Today’s list comes to you courtesy of Matt Revers.  Matt is our on-site correspondent, reviewing shows and interviewing artists like Dan Mangan, Chris Bathgate, and Mountain Man.

Author’s Note: This is not a list of the best albums of the year. This is not a list of what I think are the best album of the year. This is a list of my favorite albums of the year.

Beach House - Teen Dream
Beach House has been making consistently dreamy, far-off music that shimmers intimately ever since their self-titled debut in 2006. Teen Dream is a logical progression following their last two albums, and is their best release to date. Their magic is continually powerful, even if a bit formulaic (electronic drum beat, sparkly synth, electric guitar picking, reverb vocals). Every track feels like it belongs, and the bedroom feel never gets dull after repeated listens.

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Top Albums of 2010 – Nick Van Huis

Every day this week, Impact 89FM will post a list of favorite albums from a different member of our music staff. Today, we check in with Nick Van Huis.  In addition to co-hosting The Progressive Torch and Twang on Tuesdays from 8pm-midnight, Nick helps manage the music review team.


Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

No album that featured vaguely African guitars or close knit vocal harmonies (trust me there were plenty to come out this year) mesmerized me more than Local Natives’ debut album Gorilla Manor.  Engaging you from the beginning, there are no sleepers on this album.  Gorilla Manor, named after the house that the band members shared, sounds just like that: a band who knows each others’ ins and outs.  Though the band features three songwriters, the album works as one cohesive unit shifting seamlessly from the epic blues stomp of “Sun Hands” to the instrospective “Airplanes”, and from the folk rock rambler “World News” to the epic indie pop of “Who Knows, Who Cares”.

See also my interview with Local Natives here.

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Top Albums of 2010 – Autumn Maison

Every day this week, Impact 89FM will post a list of favorite albums from a different member of our music staff. Today, we take a look at the favorites of our music director, Autumn Maison.
This year, I was listening to music for two!  In August, I had a baby, and so that kind of changed my perception of music.  Emotional preggo hormones made music more enjoyable, and having a son makes it more fun to dance like a fool and sing really stupidly. I am an entertainer now!  Basically, a lot of my reviews are going to mention him or being pregnant, and now you have context.

1.    The Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt (Dead Oceans)
Easy choice. Hands down, my favorite album that was released this year. I think this strays so far from what I normally consider appealing that once I heard it, I just fell in love with it.  The Wild Hunt is really simple musically, and so it was a great album to get crazy-emotional-hormone-crying over.  A lot of the criticism I hear regarding this album is that “Dylan did it so much better”, and while I’m not refuting the similarities, I think that The Wild Hunt is fantastic in its own regard.

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