Bernard Sumner: Records That Changed My Life

May 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just came across this article on SPIN by Adrienne Day about Brian Sumner of Joy Division and New Order:

“I picked the records I got before I became a musician, because I listened to music in a completely different way then,” he says. “We just spent seven months making a new record [Waiting for the Sirens’ Call], and the last thing you want to do is hear music when you come out of the studio after a 14-hour day.”

Read the rest at SPIN


The 2010 Top Lists

December 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Raking through all the opinions and picks for the best albums of 2010.






So the year is winding down and it’s that time again when the lists all come out and I’m not talking about Christmas lists — all the major music mags, blogs and sites are putting out their top picks for the albums of 2010 and they all have one thing in common, reply comments of disappointment. With every list from Rolling Stone to Stereogum, every Dick, Tom and Harry has their two cents to add about what crucial indie album was left out or which mixtape is not getting represented so GypsySphere decided to delve into a handful of these lists to see who’s really getting recognition this year. So instead of heading to the forums with a list of complaints, maybe the answer is just finding an outlet that speaks your language. The following is our take on the lists out there as of now.

Rolling Stone is all about the lists: Top Record Stores, Top Beatles Songs, Top Guitarists, most of which are disappointing, especially when they rank Jack White twenty spots higher than Eddie Van Halen. Rolling Stone gave a dignified nod to the indie scene with The National’s High Violet (#15) and Vampire Weekend’s Contra (#6) with a spattering of some still-kicking rock legends including Robert Plant’s Band of Joy (#8) and Neil Young’s Le Noise (#20).  Rolling Stone usually represents the classic-rock generation as seen in last year’s list too which included Bruce Springsteen and U2. What didn’t surprise me about Rolling Stone’s list was their placement of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at #1. They always seem to go for the blockbuster or the household name. It’s a letdown when a veteran musician gets a good review or top recognition just because they’ve been doing it longer or because they’re the most famous.  Shouldn’t it be about the music? “Runaway” is good, but #1 good? Rolling Stone seems to have lost touch with the music biz in general by always going with the safe, hit factory artists, but then we looked at other lists and there’s Kanye, sittin’ pretty at the top of the heap.

SPIN’s list had him at #1 as well, with a commanding majority of indie-rock bands right behind him in the top twenty. But SPIN also had Drake, Kid Cudi and MIA (who sort of fills the gap between hip-hop and indie-rock) in their top twenty so there’s a little more continuity of genre in their list, whereas Rolling Stone seems to be trying to please too many people. SPIN’s is also pretty consistent with their 2009 list which featured Animal Collective at #1 along with Drake and Mos Def in the top ten.

NME took a stand and dropped Kanye down to #34. Their list was the most eclectic and spanned the most amount of genres including Mathcore (Dillinger Escape Plan’s Option Paralysis at #67) and Diva Pop (Kelis’ Flesh Tone at #53) and featured a lesser-known band at #1, These New Puritans with Hidden.

I was most impressed by Stereogum’s list. They featured The Morning Benders’ Big Echo at #36 which I thought was a great album and I didn’t see it anywhere else. And, what I really liked, was that Stereogum included an intro to their list that explained their ranking system:

our Top 5 consists of a handful of sturdy veterans. The Top 10 expands to include a couple newcomers, newbies amid, again,
three established crews.

They also explained that a bunch of the writers over there got together with their top lists and collaborated on one for the blog. I can appreciate that process and it feels way more authentic than other outlets who just throw out a list as if to say, “this is the only list worth reading” when clearly there are so many opinions and genres to take into account.

Hopefully this gives you all some insight into the great albums that were released this year and reminded you of any that you forgot to give a listen.
Here’s some last minute thought to leave you with.

  • Some lists include Mumford & Sons’ album Sigh No More which came out October 2009 in the UK but February 2010 in the US. There does not seem to be a general consensus on whether to count the album as a 2010 release or not.
  • Pitchfork is currently compiling a Reader’s Choice List of top albums in 2010
  • We’re really shocked about the vast absence of Gorillaz – Plastic Beach on this year’s lists
  • Here’s what the top albums seem to be for 2010 based on all the lists (not in order)

Kanye – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
The National – High Violet
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Sleigh Bells – Treats
Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
Jonsi – Go
LCD – This Is Happening
Vampire Weekend – Contra
MGMT – Congratulations
Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

I am personally going to check out Jonsi, Sleigh Bells, Janelle Monae and These New Puritans

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