My top three are better than your top three

A look at the locals’ favorite tunes of the year

2010 ends this week and, for those of us who actually still listen to (and purchase) new music, this has been an exceptionally good year. Barring all the recent data that physical sales of music are fast coming to an altogether disastrous and timely death, there are those who have the foresight and wherewithal to look beyond their local radio station to satiate their musical appetite.

I’ve taken it upon myself to ask various members of the musical community—from band members to talent buyers, industry folk to local legends—what releases or individual songs hit them the hardest this year. This by no means is an all-encompassing map of the entire scene’s tastes. But, at the very least, it’s a litmus test with some results one might never expect. Without further ado, let’s see what some of Sacramento’s finest, in alphabetical order, think of this year’s crop of music.

Random Abiladeze, artist

Who Cares, Teenage Ego Trip
Macklemore, The Language of My World
Black Star, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
Bilal, 1st Born Second

David Watts Barton, Sacramento Press

Girl Talk, All Day
The Black Keys, Brothers
The Arcade Fire, The Suburbs

Sam Coe, musician

Grinderman, Grinderman 2
Beach House, Teen Dream
Sea of Bees, Songs for the Ravens

DJ CrookOne

Black Milk, Album of the Year
Gangrene, Gutter Water
Chico Mann, Analog Drift
Flying Lotus, Cosmogramma

Marty DeAnda, owner, Dig Music

Kevin Seconds, Good Luck Buttons
Jackie Greene, Till the Light Comes
The Mother Hips, Pacific Dust

Kevin Dockter, musician

Rufus Wainwright, All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu
Autolux, Transit Transit
Yann Tiersen, Dust Lane

Rick Ele, KDVS

Tyvek, Nothing Fits
The Whines, Hell to Play
Drunkdriver, self-titled

Derek Fieth, Pets

The Black Angels, Phosphene Dream
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Crocodiles, Sleep Forever

Ross Hammond, musician

Peter Gabriel, Scratch My Back
Zach Hill, “The Primitives Talk”
Phillip Greenlief, Lines Combined

Laurence Herman, engineer, Electron Pro Audio

The Books, The Way Out
Voivod, Infini

Sarah Huang, manager, The Beat

The Black Keys, Brothers
The National, High Violet
Beach House, Teen Dream

Ryan Lindow, producer

Shed, The Traveller
Scuba, Triangulation
Janelle Monae, The ArchAndroid

Terra Lopez, Sister Crayon

Flying Lotus, Cosmogramma
Warpaint, The Fool
Baths, Cerulean

Marc Malakie, promoter, curator

La Plebe, Brazo en Brazo
Killing Joke, Absolute Dissent
Disappears, Lux

Nick Miller, SN&R

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Before Today
F, Energy Distortion
Shad, TSOL
Honorable mention: Antoine Dodson, “Bed Intruder”

Robby Moncrieff, producer

How to Dress Well, Love Remains
Mayer Hawthorne, I Need You 12-inch single
Appetite, Scattered Smothered Covered
Pregnant, “Uphill Divination”

Dave Park, CEO, Recombinant

Cee Lo Green, “Fuck You”
Broken Bells, “The High Road”
LCD Soundsystem, “Drunk Girls” (song and video)
Honorable mention: The Black Keys, Brothers

Barry Prickett, Portmeirion

Girl Talk, All Day
Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening

Evan Schneider, Tha Fruitbat

Meat Beat Manifesto, Answers Come in Dreams
Opiou, Slurp and Giggle
Bassnectar, Wildstyle EP

Amy Scott, photographer,

Doom Bird, DoomBird
Sea of Bees, Songs for the Ravens
Musical Charis, People, People

Danny Secretion, the Secretions

The Queers, Back to the Basement
Bastards of Young, California Redemption
Semi-Evolved Simians, End Holocene

Shaun Slaughter, deejay, producer

Favorite dance release: Azari & III, “Into the Night”
Favorite indie-rock release: El Guincho, Pop Negro

Jae Synth, producer

DLRN, The Bridge
Wacka Flocka Flame, Flockaveli
Taylor Swift, Speak Now

Adam Whitley, the New Plague

Triptykon, Eparistera Daimones
Dio, At Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987
Forbidden, Omega Wave

Sherman Baker, Musician

Doom Bird, DoomBird
Portugal. The Man, American Ghetto
Dusty Brown, This City Is Killing Me

Paul Wilbur, manager, Armadillo Records

Gaslight Anthem, American Slang
Inquisition, Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult (reissue)

Dennis Yudt, writer, musician

High Wolf, Ascension
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Kollaps Tradixionales
Pan Sonic, Gravitoni

And while the glut of new releases that clog up the music pipeline continue to be force-fed down our throats (by major labels and independents alike), there are still viable releases coming out with each successive year. Upon further inspection, 2010 has not been any worse (nor any greater) than the previous years. Visit your local library if you want to check out new music, or make the effort to keep up with your favorite labels or artists.

Finally, in case you’re wondering, my favorite records of the year were, in no particular order: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Kollaps Tradixionales; The Books, The Way Out; Joanna Newsom, Have One on Me; and honorable mention for Bonnie “Prince” Billy & the Cairo Gang’s The Wonder Show of the World.

Now go figure out your own list and buy an album or two, damn it!