Sometimes there’s nothing better than curling up in my bed with my headphones and just staring out the window. I have the window cracked a bit so I can feel the fresh air across my face while Sigur Ros serenades my ears over the airplane noise (the joy of living 3 blocks from the worlds busiest airport.)
I know some people will think me lame for sitting at home by myself on a Friday night, but I’m honestly happier right now than I have been in a long time. I’m able to take the time to really listen and feel the music. It makes me want to dream of a different place and time. Some songs take me to the past; cantering my pony through a field, or a dance rehearsal. Some songs make me imagine places and things that haven’t happened in my life yet; driving a moving van somewhere new, cuddling with a special someone in a fantasy apartment, writing a novel. So many images flashing into my head while the music plays.
I also have time to notice how pretty the trees look at night and how tall they are. I wonder how long these trees will be here? I’m only 3 songs into this Sigur Ros album and I can’t wait to see where the next 5 songs take me.
2010 has been an interesting year. Not necessarily bad, not necessarily good, but it was marked by several great albums/songs that came into my life and some fantastic live shows. Here’s a basic list of my favorite music from this year, because when I think of all the good stuff in this year, it generally had something to do with music.
Butch Walker & The Black Widows - “I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart”
This album came out when I needed more Butch Walker in my life. The residency in Atlanta in the beginning of the year was a wonderful precursor to all of the new live Butch Walker memories that I would make with my fellow BW fan/friends. Here’s probably my favorite memory from the tour of this album.
Jonsi - “Go”
This record kind of snuck up on me as a high point of 2010. I’ve loved Sigur Ros and when jonsi released this solo album I honestly didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. This was also one of my favorite live shows of 2010. The combination of the music and visuals at The Tabernacle combined with fantastic company made this show an experience that I will treasure for a long time. This timelapse video of the entire Jonsi concert will hopefully get some of the awesomeness across.
Fran Healy - “Wreckorder”
This is a recent high point to 2010, as in, I’ve only had the album for teh last month or so, but my what a month it’s been. I got to see Fran Healy on my birthday, and as I told him, it was the best fucking Birthday present I have ever bought myself. His songs are clever, beautiful and wonderfully crafted. This show was again was a wonderful combination of great music, great stories and great company. This video has a great story behind it, but you kind of had to be there to appreciate it.
Vampire Weekend - “Contra”
I know were all tired of hearing the songs in commercials, but I hionestly love this entire album. I was very excited for this album and couldn’t wait until it was finally available. It’s wonderful pop music that makes me happy to sing along. The concert at The Tabernacle was also an amazing experience. I went to a lot of shows by myself this year and this was one of those that made me unbelievably happy. I danced in the front row for the entire show and just basked in the wonderfulness that a good live show can bring to my heart.
Of Montreal - “False Priest”
You never know what Of Montreal will do next and they did not disappoint with this latest album. i saw them in Athens at the beginning of their tour at the 40 Watt and it was a crazy party full of dancing and weirdness that literally made me too tired to drive home. I was a sweaty, exhausted mess by the time that show was over and it was a glorious experience. Kevin Barnes cleansed everyone in the 40 Watt that night.
Cary Ann Hearst - “Are You Ready To Die” EP
Cary Ann Hearst (who also tours with husband Michael Trent as Shovels and Rope) is an amazing dynamo of southern americana attitude. I want to be her when I grow up. Seriously. Whenever I see her live, I’m reminded of how much I love her music and her lyrics. If you’ve never seen her live, do yourself a favor and get to a Shovels and Rope show now.
Mumford & Sons - “Sigh No More”
This is one of those albums that I was wary of. I heard about Mumford & Sons about a month or so before the single started getting regular play in Atlanta, but I wasn’t sure if I really liked it or not, but once I got the album, I was hooked. The harmonies and rhythyms are beautiful, romantic and exciting. The live show at the Buckhead Theatre was also a treat of 2010. I sat up in the balcony and just let the music wash over me in a way that soothed my soul.
MGMT - “Congratulations”
The second album from MGMT offers more fun techno pop that can hey a girl to dance like an idiot in the middle of the Tabernacle. I know, because, I’m living proof. I was weary of my fellow audience members (most of whom were still in high school) but I was not disappointed by the band. This album is definitely one of my happy albums for this year.
The Original Broadway Cast Recording - “American Idiot”
This has been the year of American Idiot. I saw it 3 times this year and have spent an ungodly amount of time dancing to the soundtrack in my house. I had my doubts about this show in the beginning, but I think I’m at the point where I prefer the cast recording of the show to the Green Day record that the show is based on. Every time I listen to it, I sing along at the top of my lungs (which has led to some embarrassing cubicle moments.) I can’t make up my mind which part I’d want to play, Whatsername or St. Jimmy…
Florence & the Machine - “Lungs”
OK, so this album technically came out in 2009, but it’s been in constant rotation in my life throughout 2010, so I think it deserves a place on this list. She makes music that i wish I could make. The best I can do is attempt to sing along.
A very cool timelapse video of the @iamJonsi show from the Wiltern Teatre. I saw the same show at The Tabernacle on Sunday. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the experience. The music and the images flowed through me and took me to another place. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a show like that.