Last week, you might have caught some posts from my friends and fellow bloggers, Davy of Ohm Park, Moe of Latest Disgrace, Rube of Atlanta’s A-List, Denton of Little Advances, Tim of I’m a Bear! Etc., Chuck of Dead Journalist, and Nadia of The Moon and Pluto that revolved around something called Atlanta Music Writers Roundtable. Did you catch it? Well, if not here’s a little summary about what I said during our discussion.
Back in November Denton presented us with this awesome idea that basically involved all of us talking about our favorite local and national music related releases, acts, and events that happened in 2010.
Denton got the conversation started by asking everyone what we had been listening to this year.
The year got off to really promising start with Beach House’s Teen Dream and Local Natives’ Gorilla Manor. I completely fell in love with these albums the second I listened to them. Throughout the summer awesome releases from Free Energy, Titus Andronicus, Suckers, The Love Language, and Phantogram really proved themselves on the record player and in the venues. In fact, most of my favorite albums coincide with a tour that passed through Atlanta once or twice or in Free Energy’s case, four times. Repeatability and the live show have everything to do with how I feel about an album.
The surprise EP from Girls and the new releases from Reading Rainbow, Sun Airway, and Eternal Summers have really taken over my ears the last couple of weeks. This year just won’t give up.
Also, I can’t forget about the local lovelies that continue to make me swoon, which includes, but isn’t limited to Oryx and Crake, Roman Photos, Mermaids, Venice is Sinking, and Deerhunter. Speaking of Deerhunter, more specifically Bradford Cox, can we just take a moment to reflect on those four incredible demo albums he released on his blog? I’m pretty sure my Last.fm play count for Atlas Sound was through the roof that week. I can’t get enough. And what’s really insane is that some of those tracks were recorded and released the very next day. I’m going to have to agree with Tim, Bradford Cox for Atlanta music MVP. We are really lucky to have these amazing artists representing Atlanta. I feel like sometimes Atlanta’s hardworking rockers are overlooked. For those that say the scene here isn’t defined should definitely take a closer look.
I’d also like to mention the aid the internet has had in finding new and interesting music. Recently, I’ve been obsessed with Bandcamp and underground blogs that highlight those bedroom, garage rockers. Some gems I’ve found include Gauntlet Hair, Weed, Mutual Benefit, Waskerly Way, Hilly Eye, and Teen Daze. And that’s the short list.
This year has been insane. Absolutely insane, and very gracious. It’s overwhelming. And making sense of it all has been difficult, but very exciting.
Favorite shows of 2010:
I went to so many shows this year. In fact, it’s really hard to remember every single one.
If you know me, you know that I’m pretty much obsessed with Pavement. I started listening to Pavement my senior year in high school. They broke up when I was a freshmen. I never thought I’d see Pavement in concert. Until this year. On my 25th birthday I was lucky enough to see Stephen Malkmus and company at the Tabernacle. It was easily the best concert of my life. It was amazing.
My other favorite shows include Free Energy and Titus Andronicus at The EARL; Oryx and Crake at Wonderroot; LCD Soundsystem and Sleigh Bells at the Tabernacle; Arcade Fire and Spoon at the VZWamp; Local Natives’ in Hell at the Masquerade; The Love Language, Soft Company, and Howlies at The EARL; Twin Sister at The EARL; and finally, Miniature Tigers, Spinto Band, Pretty & Nice, and Akudama at Mercury Lounge in NYC.
Predictions for 2011:
As far as local bands, I feel like Oryx and Crake, Roman Photos, Book of Colors, and Mermaids are really going break out in 2011. Oryx and Crake’s self titled debut is excellent, they are able to pack a house in local venues, and their music is very relatable to a wide audience of people. Roman Photos also had some blog love with their releases this year. I saw Book of Colors a couple of times and I’m really excited to see what they release in 2011. I also think Mermaids will do well in 2011, their LP Tropsicle sounds great and they have proven to be fantastic live.
Nationally, I’m really excited about GOBBLE GOBBLE, Cloud Nothings, Teen Daze, and Coma Cinema. Each of those acts were able to release songs, cassette tapes, EPs, etc this past year that were very strong. They are getting lots of love on the blogs. And they are putting themselves out there. I can’t wait to see what they do in 2011. It’ll be a big year for them I think.
I’m ridiculously stoked for Smith Westerns’ upcoming 2011 release, Dye It Blonde. The single “Weekend” is great and shows a lot of promise. Another Chicago-based act, Save The Clocktower, is also winning me over. The band sent me a copy of their yet-to-be-released LP and it’s great. It should be out in February.
I think 2011 is going to be huge, I mean, it has a lot to live up to because 2010 was so incredible. I think we will see a lot of under the radar acts pop up and wow us and I think some indie veterns will release new albums that will be great. And Atlanta’s venues are starting to book shows for January, February, and March. It’s going to be a great year, I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.
Lightning Round, Best of The Best:
Best Venue(s): The EARL, 529
Best Alternative Venue: WonderRoot
Venue with Best Promotion: The EARL
Underrepresented genre: To the outside world Atlanta, Hotlanta, the ATL, or whatever is all hip-hop, all the time, but we have some real gems of the indie rock persuasion that need some loving, too.
Best concert promoter/booker: OK Productions and Tight Bros, hands down greatest in the country.
Label: Double Phantom
Record Store: Call me biased, but I’ve been going to Criminal Records since I could drive. It’s always been the greatest place on earth to me because its four walls are filled with great tunes and great people.
Music Event: Other Sound Festival
Check out the whole darn thing:
Day One, Part One :: Wholly Roller
Day One, Part Two :: Ohm Park
Day Two, Part Three :: Latest Disgrace
Day Two, Part Four :: Atlanta’s A-List
Day Three, Part Five :: Little Advances
Day Three, Part Six :: I’m A Bear! Etc.
Day Four, Part Seven :: Dead Journalist
Day Four, Part Eight :: The Moon and Pluto