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SIT WOLF: Top 30 Albums of 2010

The best albums of 2010, much the same as 2009, were ridiculously hard to narrow down into a final 30. But after much of the obligatory mulling over nominees and usual bits of chopping and changing positions i’ve finally got a Top 30 Countdown. It was a pretty spectacular twelve months in terms of music. Full of all sorts of aural delights.

As customary the countdown is from Numero 30 to Numero 1 and with a short little description of each album. I’ve tried to keep it to short as i’m pushed for time and it is a school night afterall so it’s early to bed tonight for me.

30. !!! – STRANGE WEATHER ISN’T IT?

A colourful return to form from the dance punk Cali-NY group.

29. GIL SCOTT HERON – I’M NEW HERE

There’s still life in the old dog yet. Putting most of todays young guns to shame with this “post-modernised” blues album.

28. FUTURE ISLANDS – IN EVENING AIR

Fresh and backed with the unique voice of Samuel T Herring this album provided Future Islands with a huge step towards global recognition.

27. NEDRY – CONDOR

Glitch laden, echo filled debut from this seemingly ever evolving trio.

26. BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD – SUMMER HEART

Released on Christmas Day, this was the perfect stocking filler from Blackbird Blackbird. A collection of dream pop classics.

25. HOLY FUCK – LATIN

Holy Fuck? Holy Funk more like. Instrumental lords at their best but with added funkability.

24. MEURSAULT – ALL CREATURES WILL MAKE MERRY

Epic, sombre, intriguing album from the Scottish lo-fi folk experimentalists.

23. BATHS – CERULEAN

A wonderfully textured body of work forms the debut of Will Wiesenfeld aka Baths.

22. WARPAINT – THE FOOL

The all girl four piece dropped one of the most anticipated albums of 2010 and didn’t disappoint with “The Fool”.

21. THE NATIONAL – HIGH VIOLET

It had been a while, so to say, since the indie kids favourite miserablists had released a full length effort and this summer release was a blinding reminder of what they’re capable of.

20. MOUNT KIMBIE – CROOKS AND LOVERS

Blending every type of music there is into just under 40 minutes may seem impossible to most. Not to these guys though.

19. THESE NEW PURITANS – HIDDEN

The sounds of a band truly finding themselves has never been more enjoyable.

18. BEACH HOUSE – TEEN DREAM

Beguilling and warm. This mysterious offering only makes me love Beach House more than i already did.

17. WILD NOTHING – GEMINI

Unmistakably influenced by the 80’s, this wide eyed debut from Jack Tatum and co is literally summer on a disc.

16. GAYNGS – RELAYTED

The compelling tribe of artists known as Gayngs were always going to give us something special with all the collective talent they have in their possession.

15. FLYING LOTUS – COSMOGRAMMA

Giving us another multi layered odyssey was always going to be the main target for one of the most consistent IDM artists out there. He succeeded in typical mesmerising fashion.

14. SALEM – KING NIGHT

Mysterious, cold yet tender and encapsulating. A chilling album from these dark hosts.

13. ERRORS – COME DOWN WITH ME

Following up debut album “It’s Not Something…” was always gonna be hard but Errors managed to seemingly effortlessly succeed. Never has electronic instrumental music sounded so cool.

12. SURFER BLOOD – ASTRO COAST

With vocal melodies and lyrics evoking a heavier Beach Boys this was one of the first albums of 2010 that made my ears prick up and pay serious attention when it came out last January.

11. TOBACCO – MANIAC MEAT

The main man from Black Moth Super Rainbow continues his solo project in style. Roping in Beck for some guest vocals on this aggressive 16 track LP.

10. EIGHTIES MATCHBOX B-LINE DISASTER – BLOOD AND FIRE

The Brighton legends returned to form and then some with this tight, well structured sonically enticing outpouring. Sprucing up a few older tracks and adding in some amazing new ones was the perfect way to keep there notoriously loyal fans more than happy.

9. FOUR TET – THERE IS LOVE IN YOU

Keiran Hebden never lets us down and last years album was no different. Maybe more tender/softer than previous releases in some areas and certainly not as complicated but still groovy enough to make you want to dance away to your heart’s content.

8. ARCADE FIRE – THE SUBURBS

The big one that everybody was and still is talking about. The album that turned Arcade Fire from indie playlist stalwarts to world renowned epic song possessing music Gods.

7. PANTHA DU PRINCE – BLACK NOISE

Another early bird, released in February ’10, that stuck around in my head all year long. An expressive and ever expanding work of art.

6. GOLD PANDA – LUCKY SHINER

Previous EP releases from Gold Panda gave us an idea of what was gonna be in store for his debut album but nothing could have prepared us for the twist and turns that “Lucky Shiner” slides through. It’s a story of an album. One that’s worth reading over and over again.

5. DEFTONES – DIAMOND EYES

There’s no doubt about it, the Deftones are timeless. Diamond Eyes was a long time coming. The band have been through a very tough time over the last few year and if anybody deserves to be praised this year it is them. Combining styles form all of their previous albums to create an elegant piece of alternative rock. Nobody does it as good as the Deftones. They’ve been around for over two decades but show no sign of slowing up and tracks like “Royal” show they still have that bite that all other modern rock bands envy. They’ve left their calling card once again.

4. MF/MB/ – FOLDED

This was a late discovery of mine last year. I’m honest enough to admit i’d never even heard of the band until a friend recommended them to me in the winter. And what a recommendation. The material on this album ranges from the simple stuff to the extravagant experimental stuff. Staying sublime the whole way through and not losing sight of the art rock/pop stylings.

3. KANYE WEST – MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY

The best word i can think of to describe this album is primordial. It’s the beginning of a new vein of hip hop and RnB. Jam packed full of special guests ranging from Jay Z to Bon Iver and full of ideas. It’s an essential listen from start to end.

2. 65DAYSOFSTATIC – WE WERE EXPLODING ANYWAY

Colossal riffs and beats as always from the Sheffield masters of post rock. Adding that little something different with each passing song. They’re gaining an ever growing fan base throughout the world and it’s easy to hear why. They’re at the forefront of everything that is modern instrumental music. They’re the pioneers of sonic brutality and this album shows that they plan on keeping that title for a long time to come.

and the WINNER of Best Album of 2010 is…..

1. O.CHILDREN – O.CHILDREN


The self titled effort form O.Children was pretty much a shoe in for Number 1 on this list from the moment i heard it. You’d need to reform Death From Above 1979 and get them in a studio with Queens of the Stone Age to make the best album they possibly could to even make me THINK about changing my mind on this one. Back to O.Children though, being named after a Nick Cave song meant they were always going to be dark/gothic but they’ve just taken dark and made it darker. Eerie in parts,atmpospheric and always moody and intense. They wear their influences on their sleeve (Joy Divison, Echo and the Bunnymen etc) and use them to carve their own niche. They embrace the miserable side of things and somehow turn it into catchy hooks and perfectly timed choruses. They’ve sombrely embraced the world and with this album as their introduction the world will surely return the favour. They deserve it.

I’ve made ZIP files with one track from each album and posted them on mediafire. Below are the tracks included and download links.

SIT WOLF: TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2010 (Part 1)
30. !!! – AM/FM
29. Gil Scott Heron – Me And The Devil
28. Future Islands – Tin Man
27. Nedry – A42
26. Blackbird Blackbird – Avalanche
25. Holy Fuck – Stay Lit
24. Meursault – One Day This’ll All Be Fields
23. Baths – Maximalist
22. Warpaint – Shadows
21. The National – Runaway
20. Mt. Kimbie – Ruby
19. These New Puritans – Attack Music
18. Beach House – Silver Soul
17. Wild Nothing – Live In Dreams
16. Gayngs – Crystal Rope
DOWNLOAD PART 1 (30-16)  here

SIT WOLF: TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2010 PART 2
15. Flying Lotus – Do The Astral Plane
14. Salem – Frost
13. Errors – Antipode

12. Surfer Blood – Floating Vibes
11. Tobacco – Fresh Hex (feat. Beck)
10. Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Monsieur Cutts
9. Four Tet – Sing
8. Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
7. Pantha Du Prince – Lay In A Shimmer
6. Gold Panda – Parents
5. Deftones – You’ve Seen The Butcher
4. MF/MB/ – 1000 Times
3. Kanye West – So Appalled
2. 65daysofstatic – Crash Tactics
1. O.Children – Ruins
DOWNLOAD PART 2 (15-1)  here

S.I.T WOLF  X

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Should I Ignore The Fashion Or Go Buy The Book?

Hello laptop, i’ve missed you.

Yes it’s been a while, almost a week exactly, since i got to sit down and even consider a post. There’s been a lot going on, mainly gigs and stuff but there was also the long awaited visit from one of my best friends Keane. He’s been studying in Dundee (you may remember i posted about going to visit him in September) and has hardly had the time to see friends back down here in Glasgow so it was a massive plus that we could go to the Deftones gig together when he was back “home”. I bought him a ticket as his birthday present.

So, to the Deftones gig.

It was a while since the Deftones last played here in Glasgow and i could feel the anticipation building in the crowd from the moment i entered the arena. The chants of “Chino! Chino!” ring around the hall before the band have even contemplated hitting the stage. In fact the mere site of a soundman coming on to clear some debris after the support act (Coheed and Cambria for those interested…i wasn’t) have finished is enough to provoke adoring screams for the Sacramento quintet. When they do finally take to the stage the roar is deafening. All 5 members look genuinely awed and grateful at the reaction of they’re adoring Glasgow public. The crowd itself is made up of all sorts of people. Old die hard fans and new fans alike. There’s the skaters, students, girlfriends who look like they’ve been forced along, rap fans, frustrated nu-metallers, young girls who have clearly only heard new album “Diamond Eyes” mixed in with the older generation who are desperate to hear tracks off “Adrenaline” but isn’t that what it’s all about? Deftones are at a really good point in their career now were they have the luxury of being able to gain new fans AND still be able to hold on to the old ones. Those girls who knew every word to every song off of “Diamond Eyes” but no other ones will now go and check out the bands back catalogue (if they hadn’t already) and immerse themselves in this great bands history. This can only be good for the Deftones future. Oh and there was one guy who looked about 70. I’m assuming he misread the sign outside the O2 Academy and thought Dick Dale’s backing band The Deltones were playing. He seemed to enjoy himself anyway. So did i. From the moment they opened with “Rocket Skates” the mood was set. This was going to be one LOUD and pumped up, throat shredding show from Mr Moreno and his gang. They plowed and blitzed their way through a perfect set that ranged from “quieter” number such as Digital Bath onto the aggressive tracks like Lotion and many more. If i was to be picky i’d only have one kinda complaint…that nothing off debut album “Adrenaline” was aired but when they play a classic mix of old and new tracks so well then how can i even comtemplate complaining really. My favourite moment was early on in the show when there was a back to back segment of “Around The Fur”, “My Own Summer” and “Be Quiet and Drive” and “Lotion”. With the album “Around The Fur” being my favourite Deftones album there was nothing more i could ask for really. Well except maybe Max Cavalera making a special appearance for a version of “Headup”. One can but dream!

There was one notable absentee from the show. Original bassist Chi Cheng is still making slow progress from his car accident 2 years ago. Sergio Vega, however, was a more than able replacement. I know i’ve posted this link before but i’ll do it again….oneloveforchi. Please help out.

MP3: Deftones – Around The Fur

There’s some footage of the Glasgow gig on YouTube at the moment but it’s not the best quality so here’s one from the recent tour of the USA and Canada a few months back before they embarked on Europe. I think this is fantastic quality for a fan made video.

The Deftones gig was on Friday passed. Last night there was the small matter of Edinburgh troubadour Withered Hand at Stereo. Armed with a sore throat and a guitar he resolutely took to the stage and single handedly stole my heart…along with the rest of the crowds too. He holds his small but ever swelling fan base in the palm of his hand during live shows. All attention is focussed purely on this fragile yet strong voice. It’s the first time i’ve managed to see him live. The closest i’d came before was YouTube clips. It’s safe to say i wasn’t disappointed. He blissfully sang his way through a performance of odes that reached out and touched people who know exactly where he is coming from with his thought provoking and sometimes darkly humoured lyrics. A one man show for Scotland to be proud of.


MP3: Withered Hand – Religious Songs

This week coming is a big week of gigs for me.

Last night i was supposed to be going to see The Blood Arm at Captains Rest but alas i was defeated by man flu and had to refrain. Which is a shame cos i was looking forward to catching these guys live.


MP3: The Blood Arm – Suspicious Character

Tonight it’s Gold Panda at King Tuts. I’ve seen him live before and his blend of weirdness and electronics should have the King Tuts crowd in a jitterbug dancey state. I’m excited. Just hope the flu clears up at least a bit.


MP3: Gold Panda – Snow & Taxis

On Friday, London’s Ex Libras roll back in to town after their successful show at The 13th Note back in May. This time it’s the turn of The Buff Club sound system to be treated to their unique blend of “post break beat” attacks as the band continue with their tour of the UK in support of the recently released “Cut(s)” EP.


MP3: Ex Libras – For Us, For Me

Saturday i’m off to Kilmarnock for the EP launch of Mechanical Smile. A few of my friends play in the band so it’s good to see the guys get another night to celebrate their music in style. They filmed their first music video a few weeks back. As soon as it hits YouTube i’ll be sure to post it. Meanwhile, here’s a live version.

And on Sunday it’s the big one. The 6 or 7 hour long relaxed eclectic minimal electro night at the O2 ABC. Headlined by Caribou who is ably backed by Four Tet, Nathan Fake, James Holden and Rocketnumbernine. I’m going to work my way through a lot of weed at this one i can guarantee that. I’ve long been looking forward to seeing Four Tet, James Holden and Nathan Fake live once again. But seeing them all together on the same night will be extra special. Caribou and Rocketnumbernine are acts as i’ve yet to experience live so that’s something to really look forward to.

MP3: Caribou – Lalibela

MP3: Four Tet – As Serious As Your Life

MP3: Nathan Fake – Fentiger

MP3: James Holden – Triangle Folds

MP3: Rocketnumbernine – You Reflect Me

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Caught In The Act

Didn’t have  much time to do a post this afternoon…… i had an important meeting with a few friends and a few pints of Tennents round the local pub.

So, i’m just gonna do a quick post on some upcoming events that i’ll be attending. Some i already have tickets for, some i’m buying on pay day. Which is this Friday coming thankfully and boy could i do with it. I do the same thing every year, spend the November/December wage on Christmas presents for people and spend the majority of the Christmas wages during the festive season (nights out, parties etc) then realise, too late nonetheless, that i have the whole of January to wait before i get paid again. Maybe i’ll finally learn this year. Probably not.

Back to the gigs though..


You Can’t Eat The Word Food @ McChuils, Glasgow
Saturday 30th January

You may think i’m being biased here (the singer/guitarist is my brother in law) but if you want jagged indie rhythms that come tinged with many different influences from ska (Soap Opera King) to mod era punk (Rudiments Of No) and with a unique vocal delivery then get yourself along to one of their shows. Or at least their MySpace if you can’t make it. They’ve been together for years now and are one of the hardest working bands on the Glasgow scene, they’ve played all over Scotland and last year managed to get a London show in and impressed the audience. They’re signed to Headhunter Records and released their debut album in November 2008. They deserve to reap the rewards for their hard work, i’m sure they will this year. This show at McChuils is already their 3rd gig of 2010 and they’ve got many more to come this year. Try and catch them if you can. Oh and bring some food along if you do, they’ll appreciate it.
http://www.myspace.com/youcanteatthewordfood



The Sunshine Underground @ ABC, Glasgow
Wednesday 3rd February
MP3:  The Sunshine Underground – Borders
The Leeds quartet have finally decided to return and give us another album. And with it another tour. They release their second album “Nobody’s Coming To Save You” on the 1st of February. Will it have been worth the wait? Judging by new lead single “We’ve Always Been Your Friends” it’s a yes. Catch them live if you can. They come across as a very different animal in the flesh. Punk, indie and they tend to show their dancier edge when performing live.



God Is An Astronaut @ Oran Mor, Glasgow
Tuesday 23rd February
MP3: God Is An Astronaut- Forever Lost
These guys are all set to unleash their new album “Age of the Fifth Sun” at some point this summer or before and are proceeding that release with a tour. I only got into them a few years back through my friend Keane, they reminded me a lot of Mogwai and i’ve liked them ever since. They are one band that i’ve never managed to see live before and quite frankly i can’t wait to get the chance to bask in their audio/visual arrangements. Apparently their live shows are immense.


Errors @ Grand Ole Opry, Glasgow
Thursday 25th February
MP3: Errors – National Prism
I’ve already seen these dudes three times before. Each time was a stand out gig in it’s own right. The first was seeing them as a support band back in 2006 and i was very impressed. The second time was a herbal drug induced haze at the Connect Festival in 2008 and then i went and seen them again in October 2008 at the Oran Mor, that night was just unreal. One of the best gigs (and nights) of my life to be perfectly honest. They have an avid fanbase and trusted live reputation and when you add the fact that they have a new album on its way then this show begins to look even more appealing than it possibly ever could. They’re definitely one of Scotlands leading musical lights and they look like burning bright for many years to come.


Japandroids @ King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
Friday 26th February
MP3: Japandroids – Young Hearts Spark Fire
Anybody who is a regular reader on here will probably have read my review of the A Place To Bury Strangers gig back in November last year. Japandroids supported that night and added to the immense volume of that particular gig. I was hooked before i seen them live. Their hook laden anthems dragged me in from the first time i heard the opening chord of their debut album “Post Nothing”. Their care free lyrics are a refreshing change from a time where too much lyrics are focussed on the negative. And after witnessing them live, even if it was just for the modest 35 minutes or so they played, i wanted more. After that support slot they announced they’d be coming back to Scotland..and well, here they are. Headlining. This is one gig not too miss.


Ex Lovers @ The Warehouse, Aberdeen
Wednesday 3rd March
MP3: Ex Lovers – Incomplete
This is another gig that i’ve been looking forward to for a while. I only discovered this band last summer and since then i’ve been waiting for them to announce a Scottish gig. I didn’t have to wait that long. The band seem to have decided to miss out Glasgow and Edinburgh right enough and have chosen Aberdeen as the destination. It’s a bit of a journey for me to make but i’m sure it’ll be worth it. If not for the gig itself then i know it’ll be worth the journey to see my friend Emma who is currently living and studying in Aberdeen.


The Unwinding Hours @ Stereo, Glasgow
Friday 5th March
MP3: The Unwinding Hours – Little One
The Unwinding Hours gig at Stereo has the potential to be gig of the year i reckon, the return of legends . I’ll start from the beginning. Some people will know Aereogramme, some won’t. For those who don’t, i’ll explain. Aereogramme were Scottish post-rock cult legends that decided to call it a day in 2007. They were held in the same bracket as Mogwai when it came to pioneering Scottish music acts. Well, anyway the man with that distinctive, delicate voice known as Craig B has went on to form The Unwinding Hours with fellow ex-Aereogramme member Iain Cook. I bore witness to Aereogrammes last show in 2007 and it’s going to be amazing to see The Unwinding Hours first headline gig at Stereo. They have a small gig on the 31st January right enough as part of the Celtic Connection shows happening in Glasgow but Stereo will be their first headline gig and after managing to get my hands on a promo of their debut album (due out on the 15th February) i can safely say that this gig promises to be immense. Ps. their debut is an early contender for album of the year.


Four Tet @ The Bongo Club, Edinburgh
Saturday 13th March
MP3: Four Tet – Love Cry
It’s all set to be a chilled out noise fest when this one man show rolls into Edinburgh. Four Tet (Keiran Hebden to his freinds) is known for being very improvisational during his live shows. He can be dark sometimes but usually sticks to his more breezy brand of electronica, it’ll be the perfect gig to stand back and just admire. However, with the release of his new album “There Is Love In You” (out officially tomorrow but it’s being doing the rounds for a few weeks online now) he has glided into an even  more ‘dancier’ sound than usual. “Love Cry”, the lead single from the new album, is more than enough proof of this. It was the perfect way to tease his fans and build up anticipation of the new long player.


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ The Barrowlands, Glasgow
Friday 16th April
MP3: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – As Sure As The Sun
I’ve seen these guys so many times now that i could be forgiven for deciding just to give this gig a miss. But i’m going, i’m despearte to see them live again. I’ve seen pretty much every single show they’ve done in Glasgow since they got together. First time i caught them live was back in 2001 at the tender age of 16 and i was taken in by the “cool”  image they so effortlessly portrayed. They were named after a motorbike gang from a Marlon Brando film right enough. Cool? No? Every time i see them though they still amaze me. Their musicianship is second to none, they’re unbelievably tight as a unit and they swap between instruments and songs structures with enviable ease. They’ve also had their fair share of problems, like most bands do eventually i suppose, but they always come back stronger. They grow with every offering, each album bringing something different from the last.

65Daysofstatic @ Oran Mor, Glasgow
Monday 3rd May
MP3: 65Daysofstatic – Retreat! Retreat! (live in NY)
I’m actually just smiling to myself with the thought of seeing these guys once more. They’re everything you want and need in a modern band and then more, the Sheffield natives are an awesome proposition on stage. Live, they have the opportunity to delve into their impressive back catalogue and use any number of amazing tracks they have at their disposal. And being brave enough to have break beat samples backing up their live shows alongside live drums only adds to the appeal. They are certainly among the elite of instrumental bands of today. Like i mentioned before their discography/output is frighteningly good, in fact, the vast amount of unreleased tracks they have recorded (remixes etc) have inspired many a mash up i’ve made. And i’m not ashamed to say i’ve “borrowed” samples from them on more than a few occasions. This will no doubt be an absolute epic gig from start to finish and along with The Unwinding Hours this is the gig i’m looking forward to the most.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Everything Is Alright

Just a little post to say that due to receiving some pretty devastating news about a friend i won’t be posting any more blogs until a week or so (maybe more) from now. Not because i don’t want to but because other things take importance at times like this and i don’t think i’ll really have the time to spend making lists or the like up.

Have a good New Year.

Hopefully i’ll be back posting next week.

S.I.T Wolf X

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