My Top Stuff of 2010

now that we’ve all gotten used to writing 2011 on our checks and everything, i’ve finally compiled my list of top stuff from 2010. i’m really good at making these so ludicrously long that no one ever has the time or the interest to read through them. but maybe your thing’s on it! i like taking til the end of january to make these lists, since it affords me some time to look back on the year from some distance, and also to catch up on a few things i might have missed out on. i realize it costs me some relevance, but since this list isn’t really for anyone else, it doesn’t matter much. as always, i never claim stuff on this list is the ‘best’ of the year. art is impossible to grade on an objective scale, and it’s insulting and ugly to posture as though one could do so (btw, did i tell you i started writing for PopMatters this year?). anyway, these are just my favorites.

top 20 albums of 2010:

  1. pomegranates – one of us

  2. the extra lens – undercard
  3. xiu xiu – dear god i hate myself
  4. childish gambino – culdesac
  5. matthew dear – black city
  6. the brunettes – paper dolls
  7. tunng – …and then we saw land
  8. electric president – the violent blue
  9. fred thomas – night times
  10. hot chip – one life stand
  11. sufjan stevens – the age of adz
  12. shrag – life! death! prizes!
  13. the wailing wall – the low hanging fruit
  14. ted leo and the pharmacists – the brutalist bricks
  15. lcd soundsystem – this is happening
  16. eux autres – broken bow
  17. wolf parade – expo 86
  18. the pharmacy – weekend
  19. tobacco – maniac meat
  20. the national – high violet

honorable mentions (in alphabetical order):

    beach house – teen dream; best coast – crazy for you; brian eno – small craft on a milk sea; belle and sebastian – write about love; candy claws – hidden laws; .colour revolt – the cradle; drake – thank me later; dungen – skit i allt; frightened rabbit – the winter of mixed drinks; his name is alive – the eclipse; jonsi – go; the knife – tomorrow, in a year; les savy fav – root for ruin; the light footwork – national historic landmarks; lightspeed champion – life is sweet! nice to meet you; los campesinos! – romance is boring; matt & kim – sidewalks; mc chris – mc chris goes to hell; mt st helens vietnam band – where the messengers meet; ok go – of the blue colour of the sky; owen pallett – heartland; peter peter hughes – fangia; the ruby suns – fight softly; sacred spirits – some stay; the seven fields of aphelion – periphery; shapes and sizes – candle to your eye; shout out louds – work; sleigh bells – treats; someone still loves you boris yeltsin – let it sway; stars – the five ghosts; title tracks – it was easy; vampire weekend – contra; warpaint – the fool; wild moccasins – skin collision past

top eps/comps (non-album releases):

    michael cadiz – i saw u
    oh! pears – e.p.
    childish gambino – i am just a rapper 1 & 2
    good luck – demonstration 2010
    grouper/roy montgomery – split
    parenthetical girls – privilege pts 1 & 2
    peter peter hughes – fangio 7″
    white sea – this frontier
    electricity & lust cover songs

as always, band mom/LIFT releases were ineligible for these lists. but hey, dc pierson, night driving in small towns, melaena cadiz, and mermaids: i love you.

top 15 shows (concerts):

  1. jason anderson @ silent barn (brooklyn ny, may)

  2. andrew wk @ sxsw purevolume tent (austin tx, march)
  3. the extra lens @ cmj mercury lounge (manhattan ny, october)
  4. pavement @ central park (manhattan ny, september)
  5. pomegranates, oh no! oh my!, eux autres @ sunset tavern (seattle wa, november)
  6. childish gambino @ the creek and the cave (queens ny, june)
  7. fatty dearest @ redwood bar (los angeles ca, november)
  8. melaena cadiz, matt bauer @ pete’s candy store (brooklyn ny, august)
  9. the mural and the mint @ ‘here’ (manhattan ny, december)
  10. (the) tony castles, dale earnhardt jr jr, bear hands @ bowery ballroom (manhattan ny, december)
  11. sonic youth @ prospect park (brooklyn ny, july)
  12. mermaids, christmas, darlings @ union pool (brooklyn ny, september)
  13. girls in trouble @ pete’s candy store (brooklyn ny, december)
  14. oh! pears @ littlefield (brooklyn ny, december)
  15. malaikat dan singa @ the northern (olympia wa, november)

top 50 movies:

  1. inception

  2. four lions
  3. cyrus
  4. blue valentine
  5. scott pilgrim vs the world
  6. black swan
  7. the fighter
  8. toy story 3
  9. animal kingdom
  10. it’s kind of a funny story
  11. the social network
  12. the illusionist
  13. dogtooth
  14. mother
  15. meek’s cutoff
  16. winter’s bone
  17. greenberg
  18. the extra man
  19. life during wartime
  20. best worst movie
  21. the kids are all right
  22. another year
  23. rosencrantz and guildenstern are undead
  24. wild grass
  25. the living wake
  26. 127 hours
  27. cherry
  28. holy rollers
  29. the secret of kells
  30. i am love
  31. tiny furniture
  32. please give
  33. youth in revolt
  34. never let me go
  35. fish tank
  36. the thorn in the heart
  37. jean-michel basquiat: the radiant child
  38. barry munday
  39. revolucion
  40. the girl with the dragon tattoo
  41. true grit
  42. shutter island
  43. exit through the gift shop
  44. micmacs
  45. enter the void
  46. biutiful
  47. a film with me in it
  48. the secret in their eyes
  49. red riding trilogy: part 1: 1974
  50. my son, my son, what have ye done

honorable mentions (roughly in order):

    a prophet; until the light takes us; all my friends are funeral singers; a mother’s courage: talking back to autism; let me in; strange powers; mesrine (parts 1 & 2); temple grandin; the man next door/el hombre del lado; the king’s speech; how to train yr dragon; despicable me; stone; howl; the life of the world to come; restrepo; going the distance; jack goes boating; get him to the greek; alamar; solo quiero caminar; the town; leaves of grass; joan rivers: a piece of work; the trotsky; chronicles of narnia: voyage of the dawn treader; how do you know; hereafter; the sorcerer’s apprentice; somewhere; all good things; easy a; the other guys; i’m still here; spork

some notes on movies: i saw 117 movies that came out in 2010 (62 in a theater; i paid to see both inception and black swan twice) (saw 315 movies total over the year, counting older releases but trying not to count second viewings). not every movie i saw made this list…i know it is a long list. as for movies with questionable release dates, i guess the rule i made up is basically that if i saw it in a festival in 2010, even if it didn’t get even limited release otherwise, it counts for my list, but if i did not see it in a festival before 2010 and its first limited release (any usa release that’s not a specific festival, even if it showed in fests pre-2010) was this year, then it counts. in other words it’s pretty subjective to my perspective, but it had to have its (limited or wide) release begin in 2010 OR be seen by me in a festival (i saw movies at SXSW, tribeca, BAM cinema fest, NYFF and a few assorted micro fests) in 2010.

here’s what 1.23 trips to the movie theater a week (plus a few extraneous otherwise tix) looks like, btw:

i’m gonna beat it in 2011.

there are very few movies that i intended to see and didn’t catch last year, and even fewer that would realistically have had the potential to break my top 50 anyway (i really loved a lot of movies last year!), but i am looking forward to catching up on monsters, louis ck’s hilarious, blue beard, waiting for superman, carlos, mars, uncle boonmee who can recall his past lives, the taqwacores, the tempest, undertow, catfish, today’s special, megamind, you will meet a tall dark stranger, and last train home sometime soon.


    ‘night and day’ by pixar
    ‘your lucky day’ with rider strong, sean nelson and lynne shelton
    ‘marcel the shell with shoes on’ by jenny slate & dean fleischer-camp
    david lynch’s ‘lady blue shanghai’ dior thing
    spike jonze’s ‘i’m here’ absolut thing

saw filmmakers/actors in person promoting:

    the thorn in the heart (michel gondry)
    spork (director jb ghuman jr, producer chris racster)
    the trotsky (director jacob tierney, emily hampshire)
    all my friends are funeral singers (tim rutili, angela bettis, kevin ford; califone played live soundtrack)
    strange powers (claudia gonson, gail o’hara, kerthy fix)
    the living wake (mike o’connell, director sol tryon, producer peter kline)
    it is fine. everything is fine! and what is it? (crispin glover)
    cyrus (jay and mark duplass, john c. reilly, marisa tomei)
    the social network (david fincher, aaron sorkin)
    meek’s cutoff (kelly reichardt, paul dano, tommy nelson, neal huff)
    revolucion (gael garcia bernal, diego luna, exec producer pablo cruz, mariana chenillo, fernando eimbcke, patricia riggen)
    it’s kind of a funny story (anna boden, ryan fleck)
    cherry (jeffrey and matthew fine, elk city, music supervisor lauren ross)

coolest soundtracks/scores (not in order; music docs don’t count):

    greenberg – james murphy
    scott pilgrim vs the world – beck, anamanaguchi
    blue valentine – grizzly bear
    all my friends are funeral singers – califone
    cherry – curated by lauren ross
    the trotsky – malajube
    the social network – trent reznor and atticus ross
    somewhere – phoenix

also as an aside, best sound design: BLACK SWAN DUH, come on, oscars.

movies/tv shows I saw for the first time in 2010 that came out earlier, but have since become some of my favorites (some were 2009 films that just missed the cutoff last year; others are just Important Classics i’d somehow thus far missed out on):

    imaginarium of doctor parnassus; assassination of a high school president; crazy heart; the hurt locker; the craft; jennifer’s body; the white ribbon; the vicious kind; dazed and confused; the carter; the guatemalan handshake; old joy; ponyo; breakfast club; hard eight/sydney; gummo; chinatown; new york i love you; the informant!; chop shop; police, adjective; jcvd; the education of charlie banks; disgrace; criminal; let the right one in; blue velvet; primer; glengarry glen ross; after hours; ten canoes; crispin glover’s ‘what is it?’ and ‘it is fine. everything is fine’; the apartment; sunset blvd; kinsey; the foot fist way; american graffiti; the panic in needle park; kill bill 1 & 2; willow; mary and max; butch cassidy and the sundance kid; the holy mountain; la jetee; sneakers; princess mononoke; flight of the red balloon; la haine; network; the beach; an american werewolf in london; sleepers; mr. mom; in the realms of the unreal; inland empire; and the shows 21 jump street, wonderfalls, look around you, and spaced.

favorite new tv shows:


    adventure time with finn & jake
    the increasingly poor decisions of todd margaret
    running wilde
    (i bet boardwalk empire and treme too, but i’m late to the party on those)

my 20 favorite comedy shows I saw (in chronological order):

-dave hill’s big in japan @ ucb 1/6

-benefit for haiti @ sweet (the slipper room) featuring abby elliot, donald glover, colin quinn, zach galifianakis 1/19

-valentine’s day double-header: the rejection show featuring gabes liedman and delahaye, max silvestri, edith zimmerman, sara schaefer, adam wade, katina carrao @ the bell house AND donald glover and dc pierson @ the creek and the cave

-jenny slate’s dead millionaire @ ucb 4/5

-tearing the veil of maya featuring john mulaney (his best set I’ve ever seen), murderfist (they got naked), hannibal buress, eugene mirman @ union hall 4/4 (easter)

-radio happy hour featuring jesse eisenberg, max silvestri, david bazan @ le poisson rouge 5/8

-look at this f’ing hipster book release show featuring joe mande and noah garfinkel, wyatt cenac, leo allen (and beans) @ ucb 3/31

-whiplash featuring donald glover, mike o’connell, wyatt cenac, greg barris @ ucb 5/10

-tell your friends: the concert movie taping featuring liam mceneany, rob paravonian, a brief view of the hudson, christian finnegan, kurt braunohler and kristen schaal @ the bell house 6/22

-charlyne yi’s one-woman show @ ucb 7/14

-‘ny mets monoscene spectacular’ DCM @ ucb 7/31

-doug benson’s i love movies featuring matt besser, matt walsh, amy schumer, and seth morris DCM @ ucb 7/31

-tearing the veil of maya’s 4 year anniversary show featuring eugene mirman, ad miles, leo allen, wyatt cenac, gibby haynes from the butthole surfers, kristen schaal, todd barry @ the bell house 8/1

-whiplash featuring leo allen, marina franklin, tom shillue, hannibal buress, tj miller, sean patton @ ucb 8/23

-videogum’s back to school show featuring gabes delahaye and liedman, max silvestri, jon glaser, jenny slate, joe mande, judah friedlander @ the bell house 9/9

-whiplash featuring donald glover, hannibal buress, louis katz, seth herzog, jessi klein, louis ck @ ucb 10/4

-joe mande’s overton window @ ucb 11/1

-shitty jobs @ ucb la 11/21

-comedy death-ray featuring baron vaughn, moshe kasher, chelsea peretti, randy and jason sklar, patton oswalt @ ucb la 11/23

-big terrific featuring gabe liedman, andy haynes, max silvestri, pete holmes, todd barry @ cameo gallery 12/29

and lastly, a couple stray cool things i did in 2010 that didn’t fit into any of the above categories:

david byrne lecture at the bell house (a warm-up for his ted talk)

watched the oscars w/commentary by gabe liedman & jenny slate at the bell house

videogum 2 year anniversary party at brooklyn bowl with ?uestlove djing

‘acted’ as an extra in ted leo’s music video for ‘bottled in cork’





Categories: Uncategorized


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

3 Comments on “My Top Stuff of 2010”

  1. February 1, 2011 at 2:37 am #

    Thank you so so much for the huge honor Jen. That is a really big deal to me! Can’t wait to see you again.


    • February 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

      aw thanks, pal!! i meant it, there’s no other record that i listened to more or got more out of/into. can’t wait to see you soon too!! sxsw right??


  1. My Top Stuff of 2011 | the band mom loves you - February 2, 2012

    […] my Top Shows lists. Actually, looking back at my last couple years many of my top stuff of 2009 and 2010 took place at my future places of employment anyway, so it’s not really weird that this kept […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: