The music we ‘raved’ about for the past 12 months, plus other choice albums released this year.
Looking for a good best-of-2010 music list? Before you start mining the Internet for such exstensive and comprehensive lists, we have pulled out some of the best music we raved about this year in our “Raves & Faves” section, which appears each week on our “Coasting” page. Plus, we’ve added a few albums we loved this year, but didn’t have the space or time to rave about. (Scroll down to bottom of this article to see a variety of videos related to these picks.)
I’m New Here
On Gil Scott-Heron’s first new album in 16 years, the rust-voiced revolutionary sounds as vital as ever. It’s a mix of spooky futuristic blues; strange, drenched-in-synths soundscapes and a few poignant covers, including the title track borrowed from labelmate (XL Recordings) Smog.
The Way of the World
One of America’s greatest yet under-the-radar songwriters churned out his first album in a decade. The piano man’s dynamite mix of soulful blues and jazz proves he’s still one of the best links from the ’50s to the present. The majestic Joe Henry produced the set for the -ANTI label.
This Is It
A free On Demand coupon led us to check out this 2009 doc on the late King of Pop back in March. Captivating, entertaining and a glimpse into a man who will never be duplicated, the film is a must-see for Jackson fans. So is the December release Michael, a collection of 10 songs Jackson was working on prior to his death.
The new self-titled debut from the odd pairing of the Shins’ James Mercer and Gnarls Barkley’s Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) is perfect springtime music, which is equally nice during the winter we have since discovered.
The Brooklyn duo MGMT seemed to come out of nowhere with 2008’s Oracular Spectacular — or maybe out of space — but it’s been mixing crazy sounds since the early ’00s. The group’s latest is even better.
The Rolling Stones
Exile on Main St. (Reissue)
The double-disc remastered version of this classic Stones album features a whole disc of unreleased tunes and many of them are the best on the album, including the uncovered “Plundered My Soul.”
The Black Keys
One of the best albums of 2010, and one of the most creative, with a psychedelic blues sound stirred up by the duo from Akron, Ohio. The dudes’ best effort yet. Simple and startling.
The New Pornographers
The latest album from the Vancouver indie band — its fifth — is sublime power pop. Featuring the vocals of Neko Case along with a supergroup of Canadian rockers, the band is a blast to listen to — especially in the vinyl format.
John Legend & the Roots
This colaboration is one of the best-sounding in a long time. And you can tell that Legend and Philly’s Roots were having a ball tackling such songs as the title track, Curtis Mayfield’s “Hard Times” and other socially minded songs from the ’70s.
Aussie Nick Cave’s side project — featuring members of his Bad Seeds — put out its first album in 2007. This sequel continues the feel of that first album, but is even more improvisational, open-ended and sonically adventurous. The spontataiety of the writing is the key here an the result is a window into Cave’s mind like never before.
Produced by echo king Daniel Lanois, who produced Dylan’s 1997 Grammy winner Time Out of Mind, Young’s latest is by far his best since 1992’s Harvest Moon and the song “Hitchhiker” is among his best ever.
Elton John/Leon Russell
This collaboration between Sir Elton and his “biggest influence in the late ’60s and early ’70s,” singer-songwriter Leon Russell, may be the surprise “comeback” album of the year. Produced by Grammy winner T Bone Burnett and featuring a stellar band and guest spots by the likes of Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Robert Randolph and others, the album features 14 great songs, including the perfect opener “If It Wasn’t For Bad.”
West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology
After years of legal wrangling, Sony’s Legacy division has finally been able to release a compelling and much-anticipated career-spanning Hendrix collection. The deluxe 4 CD/1 DVD set includes rare early recordings, as well as some intimate hotel-room recordings that Hendrix made himself. The price tag is reasonable for all formats, including the single CD “Best of” and the vinyl box set.
The Lady Killer
The singing half of Gnarls Barkley released his third solo album in November. Before that though, the R&B-soaked album’s single “F--k You” was one of the summer’s biggest hits (censored on radio as “Forget You”). If you like honest oddball soul with some funky old grooves, Prince homages, and a Band of Horses cover thrown in, pick this one up.
O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth
Jonathan Richman, whose Boston band the Modern Lovers linked the Velvet Underground and the Sex Pistols on the band’s legendary 1976 self-titled debut, is like no other living songwriter. Richman’s latest is a spare, stark and acoustic sequel to 2008’s Because Her Beauty Is Raw and Wild. With his muchacho Tommy Larkins backing him on drums, Richman plays scrappy yet beautiful jazz chords on an acoustic guitar, while singing in English, French and Spanish.
Other favorite albums from 2010
Sade - Soldier of Love
Los Lobos - Tin Can Trust
Gogol Bordello - Trans-Continental Hustle
Beach House - Teen Dream
Robert Plant - Band of Joy
Putumayo Presents Series - All 2010 CDs (including Tribute to a Reggae Legend, South Africa, World Christmas Party, Latin Pety, Jazz Around the World, and Rhythm and Blues, among others. Fantastic CDs for children and parents to dig alike.)
Spoon - Transference
LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot ... The Son of Chico Dusty
Group Inerane: Guitars From Agadez Vol 3
M.I.A. - Maya
Bob Dylan - The Original Mono Recordings Box
Junip - Fields
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
John Mellencamp - No Better Than This
...And now for the Videos:
Live at Coachella 2010
Live performance of "My Brain"
"This Is It" Official Trailer
"The Ghost Inside"
The Black Keys
The New Pornographers
Performance of "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk" on David Letterman's Late Show
John Legend & the Roots
"Wake Up Everybody"
Live performance of "Heathen Child" on Later with Jools Holland
The Making of Le Noise, a conversation with Daniel Lanois, producer of Le Noise
Elton John & Leon Russell on CBS Sunday Morning (12/12/10)
"Fuck You" (Warning: This video includes adult language — obviously)
Who knows what will go down when Green hits the stage? Each of his concerts is different than the last. Green is an original, which is uncommon these days.
Plus other outstanding releases of the year, including several extraordinary re-issues from the Fat Boys, Velvet Underground and the soundtrack to the documentary 'Searching for Sugar Man.'
“I was a long distance runner,” Hutz says. “I was a good runner ever since I was in the second grade. I was on a very serious team. There was talk of going to the Olympics, that serious. I was that good.”
“We’re just pleased that people have responded to what we do,” Carney says. “It’s a lot different than when we started out.”
Plus Ventnor's Chef's Night Out, New Venues at Showboat and the Album of the Week
In a year that saw the return of widespread protests around the world, the power and potential of grass-roots movements, such as Occupy Wall Street, more and more bad economic news and forecasts, the music industry seemed to bounce back with a bunch of solid releases, including new albums by Kanye West and Jay-Z, Adele, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and others, as 'indie' labels such as Sub Pop, Yep Roc, and ANTI-, emerged as the leaders of a new renaissance in the music biz. Meanwhile, reissues, by specialty labels like Legacy, were among the most exciting "new" music of 2011. Atlantic City Weekly runs an Album of the Week column on the Coasting page each week, and the editors have put together a list of the best 2011 albums of the bunch, as well as several re-issues, and albums we didn't get a chance to write about yet for a total of 50 albums that you may or may not have heard yet. 2011 Albums of the Year (in no particular order. Click on links to see album review; when you get to page, scroll down to the Album of the Week column). Rock on. Gillian Welch - The Harrow & The...
‘I’m an old soul that likes classic music, vintage clothes and older women. I don’t think I have the same goals as many of my peers.’
Plus Jazz Brunch June 5 in Atlantic City, DrewToonz on Osama Bin Laden's 'Trip to Atlantic City,' Brigantine's NJ Clean Communities location, and the Album of the Week: Jamie xx and Gil-Scott Heron's 'We're New Here'
Plans were in the works to try to get Scott-Heron to perform in Atlantic City this summer, for one of the city=sponsored concerts at Gardner's Basin. I also suggested to the organizers of the Dave Matthews Band Caravan festival coming to Atlantic City June 24-26, to reach out to Gil to have him as one of the dozens of artists on the bill.
Plus Album of the Week: Raphael Saadiq; Southern Shore Music Festival in Millville, and Atlantic City's Surf School
This look at the most anticipated movies of the spring and summer season isn’t all about the Benjamins, it’s about movies that provide summer fun. Here are 10 movies that look like they are worth our collective anticipation.
“I have had some moments of authenticity,” Bonham tells Atlantic City Weekly. “I have actually played with the band. Not many of them [Zeppelin cover band musicians] can say that.”
Tunes, a music shop in Northfield — which is part of a chain of four other shops in New Jersey— participated in National Record Store day on April 16. According to co-owner Anthony Tedeschi, his small staff found themselves busier than ever with record sales.