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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Top 10 Tracks of 2010, Apparently a Good Year in S.F. Rock

Posted By on Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM

click to enlarge All hail the Fresh & Onlys, local proprietors of one of my favorite songs of 2010.
  • All hail the Fresh & Onlys, local proprietors of one of my favorite songs of 2010.
No, this isn't some not-so-sly effort at hometown boosterism. Three of my favorite songs from this year just happen to come from artists who nominally call S.F. home. Seriously. Anyway, some of the others on here are expected, some not so much, and at least one is probably pretty embarrassing (guess which!). So mock me in the comments, if you're so inclined. Here they are, then, the 10 tracks that made my 2010...

10. Tame Impala -- "Solitude Is Bliss"

Swirling, smooth Beatlesy psych from these wunderkinder of the Western Australian wilderness (sort of; they're from the isolated city of Perth). Takes a few spins to sink in, but when it does, good luck getting yourself out of its orbit.

9. Best Coast -- "When I'm With You"

After a string of seductive singles, including this, the meatiest of them all, the flatness of Crazy For You was destined to be a disappointment. But that doesn't change the fact that "When I'm With You" is still a great, utterly addictive slice of sun-baked stoner-pop.

8. Taylor Swift -- "Mine"

A big, glossy, sentimental mainstream love song that's about as penetrating as such banalities get.

7. Ty Segall -- "Girlfriend"

Segall's ludicrously pleasurable full-boil guitar-and-merseybeat onslaught was among the best stripped-down rock-outs of the year. Put it on, turn it up, enjoy, repeat. Try to save yourself some hearing.

6. Girls -- "Heartbreaker"

It's especially impressive to remember that the six songs on Girls' Broken Dreams EP aren't really new -- they're old standbys and live staples that the band recently recorded with a bigger, lusher sound. Smartly, Christopher Owens and J.R. White saved this, the EP's highlight, for those sessions; its cascading chords and warmly bendy bassline -- along with Owens mournful, breathy vocal -- oughta remind everyone that lo-fi has its limits.

5. Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi -- "Tightrope"

Earworm of the year, part one, and 2010's best pop bass hook, by far.



4. Kanye West -- "Monster"

Nicki Minaj, Nicki Minaj, Nicki Minaj. (!) I know "Runaway's" supposed to be The Song and all, but I still find myself skipping straight to this one.

3. The Fresh & Onlys -- "Waterfall"

A zenith for both the Fresh & Onlys themselves and the S.F. rock scene as a whole, this Play It Strange standout hooked us on the first listen and never let go. Possible reasons: Tim Cohen's dusty, slightly distorted and downtrodden mumbling about how "the radio never lies"; the understated, melodic, and reverb-drenched lead guitar licks; or the sort of ominous acoustic guitar shuffle at the foundation of it all. Not sure if the greatness of this one can really be parsed out, though.

2. Big Boi -- "Daddy Fat Sax"

As with Kanye and "Monster"/"Runaway," I'll take this lesser-known slam over major single "Shutterbugg" any time. Big-time hip-hop didn't get any better than this in 2010, no matter what feats Yeezy taught us.

1. Cee-Lo Green -- "Fuck You"
Track of the year, earworm of the year, smile-inducer of the year, hands down. No other catch grabbed so relentlessly and rewardingly.



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Ian S. Port

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