Category Archives: Music

Music Monday: Top Albums of 2010

It’s finally time for me to unveil my list for the Top 20 albums of the year. Mumford and Sons just blew me away this year. How was the best Americana album of the year made by 23-year-old Brits? I was tempted to write in-depth about each of these albums, but instead I opted to make a mix so you can experience each artist for yourself.

Download the Mix

Policy Potluck Top Albums of 2010

1. Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More
2. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
3. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
5. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
6. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
7. Chemical Brothers – Further
8. Anais Mitchell – Hadestown
9. Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
10. Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
11. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
12. Jonsi – Go
13. Kid Cudi – Man On the Moon, Vol. II; The Legend of Mr. Rager
14. Beach House – Teen Dream
15. Angus and Julia Stone – Down the Way
16. She & Him – Volume Two
17. Vampire Weekend – Contra
18. Los Campesinos – Romance is Boring
19. Gaslight Anthem – American Slang
20. Hot Chip – One Life Stand

Best EPs:
1. Cold War Kids – Behave Yourself
2. Girls – Broken Dreams Club

Best Non-Album Single:
Japandroids – “Younger Us”

Best Mixtape:
Das Racist – Sit Down, Man

Best Cover:
Crystal Castles – “Not in Love” (featuring Robert Smith of The Cure)

Best Compilation:
Pavement – Quarantine the Past

Album Honorable Mentions:
Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo
Crystal Castles – II
David Dondero – # Zero with a Bullet
Drive-By Truckers – The Big To-Do
The Drums – Drums
Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
Robyn – Body Talk I
Sleigh Bells – Treats
Warpaint – The Fool
Yeasayer – Odd Blood


Pitchfork Top 2010 Tracks: 100-49

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I have compiled the rest of Pitchfork’s top tracks from 2010.  Below you will find links to songs 100-49. These are a little more obscure than the last group, but you’ll still have your Lady GaGa, Rihanna, Drake, Usher, and Alicia Keys.  You’ll also find a few bands that you can expect to see on next week’s mix featuring my favorite albums of the year (Surfer Blood, Vampire Weekend, etc…)

Part I
Part II

Pitchfork Top 50 Tracks

Ten more days until Christmas. Sixteen days until New Year’s Eve. 2010 is approaching the end of its run, which means it must be list season.  If you are a fan of year-end lists, here are great lists of lists for the best music and books of the year.

Pitchfork recently released a list of the staff’s favorite tracks of 2010. I’ve taken the liberty to assemble the top 50 tracks into three convenient downloads.  If there is interest, I’ll do the same for tracks 100-51.

Download links:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Music Mondays: Mixtape #6

To say that I’ve been listening to a lot of folk-influenced music lately would be accurate, but would give you an incomplete picture. While I devour a wide-variety of genres and enjoy the music immensely, the only music that I find myself CRAVING falls under the clunky term “Americana.” There is something I find so authentic, honest, and emotionally powerful about folk/ music that just feeds my soul. I’ve put together a mix of artists that I’ve been enjoying recently, with another batch of artists to come in a few weeks.

Click here to download

The included photographs are some snapshots I took during a hike over Thanksgiving near Sacramento.


1. Blitzen Trapper – Furr
2. Megafaun – Heretofore
3. M. Ward – Vincent O’Brien
4. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
5. Wilco – Wilco (The Song)
6. The Avett Brothers – Matrimony
7. Son Volt – Drown
8. Drive by Truckers – Carl Perkins’ Cadillac
9. The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
10. Bon Iver – Blood Bank
11. Mountain Man – Animal
12. Ray LaMontagne – Let it Be Me
13. Uncle Tupelo – No Depression
14. Avi Buffalo – What’s In It For?
15. Colour Revolt – Mattresses  Underwater
16. David Dondero – Rothko Chapel
17. Good Old War – Coney Island
18. Carolina Chocolate Drops – Cornbread and Butterbeans
19. The Mountain Goats – This Year

Music Mondays: Mixtape #5

This week’s theme is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered musicians. There are many more LGBT musicians than the ones I have included, but I chose mostly bands that you might find at Coachella. Actually, Owen Pallett joked when playing at Coachella this past year, “It’s kind of like the gay ghetto stage with me and Bradford (Deerhunter) and Jonsi.”

Download the mix

1. Bloc Party – I Still Remember
2. Of Montreal – Gronlandic Edit
3. Jonsi (of Sigur Ros) – Go
4. Deerhunter – Helicopter
5. Owen Pallett (formerly Final Fantasy) – Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
6. Antony and the Johnsons – For Today I Am A Boy
7. Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks
8. Vampire Weekend (Rostam Batmanglij) – White Sky
9. Goldfrapp – Ooh La La
10. Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position
11. The Gossip – Heavy Cross (RAC Mix)
12. Sam Sparro – Black and Gold
13. Scissor Sisters – Any Which Way
14. Tegan and Sara – The Con
15. Sleater-Kinney – I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
16. Dusty Springfield – Breakfast in Bed
17. Rufus Wainwright – Vibrate
18. The Magnetic Fields – Absolutely Cuckoo
19. The Hidden Cameras – Ban Marriage
20. Savage Garden – Truly Madly Deeply
21. REM – Man on the Moon
22. Xiu Xiu – Gray Death
23. Queen – Somebody to Love
24. Electric Six – Gay Bar (Bonus track, Non-LGBT artist)

Music Mondays: Mixtape #4

This week’s mix doesn’t have an explicit theme, but think you’ll enjoy it.

Cover for Nicktape #4


1. Fang Island – Daisy
2. Matt and Kim – Cameras
3. Ariel Pink – Hood Internet Remix
4. Tokyo Police Club – What Up (Boots of Danger)
5. Tennis – Marathon
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Simple Girl
7. Waves – Post Acid
8. Jake Troth – Material Things
9. Arcade Fire – We Used to Wait
10. Crystal Castles – Not in Love (ft. Robert Smith of the Cure)
11. Shout Out Louds – 1999
12. Glasser – Home
13. Owen Pallett – Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
14. The Drums – Down by the Water
15. La Plage – Coup de Boule
16. Straylight Run – The Miracle That Never Came
17.  Junip – Rope and Summit
18. Otis Redding – Satisfaction (Live on the Sunset Strip)
19. Weezer – El Scorcho (Live at Reading Festival)

Music Mondays: A Love Letter to Los Angeles Part II

Building on last week’s mix, I present 18 more Los Angeles-based bands for your listening pleasure. Roughly speaking, the mix starts mid-tempo, slows down a bit, and then rocks out near the end. Click here to download the mix.

A Love Letter to Los Angeles II

1. Sea Wolf – You’re a Wolf
2. The Deadly Syndrome – Eucalyptus
3. Saint Motel – Butch
4. Young the Giant – My Body
5. Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight
6. Voxhaul Broadcast – Leaving on the 5th
7. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – 40 Day Dream
8. No Age – Eraser
9. Nosaj Thing – Aquarium
10. White Sea – Mountaineer
11. Baths – Nordic Laurel
12. Flying Lotus – Kill Your Coworkers
13. Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name
14. The Soft Pack – Down on Loving
15. Bad Religion – Los Angeles is Burning
16. Oingo Boingo – Weird Science (Extended Dance Mix)
17. Nico Vega – Beast
18. Say Anything – A Walk Through Hall (Alternate Version, Unreleased)