Friday, December 31, 2010

The hits (and misses) of 2010

Yes, it's time for some generic 2010 recap. This probably won't be as comprehensive as it should be. I'm basically gonna shoot off some albums, movies, etc in 2010 that I saw and that I enjoyed. I'm sure this will differ from other people's, but whatever.

Btw, I made this post primarily pictures so you didn't have to read the whole thing.


I got to experience a lot of really cool live music in 2010. I went to some good Buzz shows. Manchester Orchestra, Coheed and Cambria, and Weezer rocked Buzz Under the Stars. Manchester was great and really should've gone on longer, but their sound was a little ... darker? than the other bands, and so their place in the lineup was hard to justify.

Oh baby
Coheed was amazing, and I've seen them before, so that was a real treat. I exhausted myself in the mosh pit and barely had energy to last through Weezer, but I did.

I wish I was older when you were still cool.
 I wasn't "disappointed" in Weezer but they weren't the best band I've ever seen live... Not because they're Weezer, but because of the music they've been putting out lately. If I had been able to see Weezer 10 years ago I'm sure I would've shit my pants from all the awesome.

Another Buzz Under the Stars was The Crash Kings, Against Me!, Devo, Silversun Pickups, and a little bit of Ben Folds. Crash Kings kicked major ass for being an opening band. Definitely should've been on longer. Against Me! was also very good, probably could've been on longer.

 Devo, though... DAMN. Those guys freaking rocked. Could probably be old enough to be my grandpa up there, but damn.

Woops, too late.

Silversun was amazing. I was skeptical at first because I saw them play live on Jimmi Kimmel or something and I was less than impressed, but they were really cool and super energetic. Last up was Ben. Oh, Ben. I love you to death but your show sucked.

I saw Mae's "Goodbye, Goodnight" tour. It was a little less energetic than the last show I saw them play, but understandably so. It was bittersweet to know I would never get to see them live again. But it was a great show none-the-less.

:( Bye guys..
Honorable mentions go to MGMT and Weird Al Yankovich. MGMT was really fun (despite being by myself) and Weird Al will never cease to impress me. Taking my kid neighbor along was really awesome too. Nothing like passing the torch. Saw some good local/lesser known talent, too, such as The Wheelers, One Blood, Poison Control Center, Unicycle Loves You, The Kinetics, and a bunch others that impressed me. KC has some good stuff.

As far as albums go, this sections gonna be a little biased. I know I didn't experience a lot of really great albums that came out this year, but I did my best to grab some good stuff.

Just picked this album up (literally) and I can tell this is one of the best albums to have come out this year. It rides along on the "Hipster/Indie/Folk" wave, but it's much, much more than that. Catchy, melodic, varying, deep, and rich are elements missing in a lot of this ridiculous Folk craze going on in music right now, and that's what this album captures in a tear-jerking way. The lyrics are wonderfully written, and the singer's voice is passionate and unique. I highly recommend it (which goes without saying seeing as how it's on this list...)


Oh baby. The female singer scene is a rich one, but this band really goes into a new world with it. Sleigh Bells - "Treats" is an album I was not expecting to love as much as I did when I started listening to it. I'm warming up to the genre of "noise rock", and anyone else with me needs to get this album in order to start falling in love. Rock - noise - electronic - industrial is a good way to describe it, and if that sounds "sweet" to you, I highly recommend this little "treat". HAH!

Plastic Beach (Eco-Pack)

With every album the Gorillaz come out with, I fall in love a little more. Their past few albums have been great and getting better, but I'd always manage to only really like about %50-%75 of the album... But this one is really top notch. When I got it, I could do nothing but listen to the whole thing, from start to finish, no stops or skips along the way. That, my friends, is an experience, and the depth of this album will lead you into a whole new world. The Plastic Beach.

A Thousand Suns

Linkin Park's newest shimmering diamond-encrusted masterpiece "A Thousand Suns" is also an experience. This album is best served going from start to finish with no stops or skips along the way. Although the album art kind of looks like a cartoon of a black face in profile screaming (look at it -- look at it -- got it? see it? RIGHT?) it's depth is something not to be ignored. I know I keep using that word "depth", but it's really important. Great art is something that gets digested over time, that's impossible to "understand" at first glance, and this album is a perfect example of something that cannot be ignored. I look forward to seeing them live in late January.


Oh. Oh my. Oh my goodness. The Arcade Fire has come out with some doozies in their day, but this one is a knockout. Their predominate theme so far as artists has always kind of been "suburbs", but when they finally titled their album "The Suburbs", they really took it and blew it out of the water. Catchy, timely, layered, varied, indie - a recipe for something exquisite, and it certainly satisfies. In my humble opinion, their best work to date.


I'm not the biggest MGMT fan on the planet, but I certainly enjoy their work. Seeing them live was a pretty rad experience (albeit lonely) and really led me to respect their work further. This little gem is something for the hippie that resides in all of us. The tripped out surfer dude with refinement that we all hold dear in our hearts. If you know that part of you has been ignored, give this lil thing a spin.

Now for some misses... Now, when I say "miss", I don't necessarily mean "total flops." These albums gave it a good shot, certainly had some good tracks, but overall, lacked a little something for me. I won't go into detail because what I just said is basically the case for all of these.

Neon Trees - "Habits"

This Is War
30 Second to Mars - "This is War"

Year Of The Black Rainbow
Coheed & Cambria - "Year of the Black Rainbow"
Forgiveness Rock Record
Broken Social Scene - "Forgiveness Rock Record"
This one's going to be a bit difficult. I see a lot of movies, but not always the year they came out. Before anyone who's a crazy movie buff gets all up in my Kool-Aid about my list, there were LOTS of movies I KNOW I haven't seen yet that I know would make this "list". Let's list a few of those right now:
  • Rabbit Hole
  • Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • 127 Hours
  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • True Grit
Just to name a few. I'm sure I would've loved these movies, and I definitely plan on seeing them eventually.

 Let's give it a shot anyway. (In no particular order..)

If you saw this movie, it needs no explanation. If you didn't.... I dare you. I double dog dare you.

A surprise hit indeed. Don't yell at me just yet. It's funny, it's fast, it's wonderfully and creatively written and filmed, it's a spectacle to watch, and it's funny. It's very, very, fucking funny. Don't hate until you've seen it.

BESIDES the fact that it was directed by David Fincher, BESIDES the fact that the music was done by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, BESIDES the fact that it stars Jessie Eisenberg -- this movie was just a great experience. An emotional rollercoaster of love, hate, sympathy, and disgust, you'll never get on facebook the same way again after seeing this film.

This one's more for posterity's sake. I liked it a lot, don't get me wrong, but it was just really "good", I didn't think it was "fantastic." Nothing will ever top the first movie - from plot to writing to voice acting, it was one of -- if not THE -- most well rounded animated film I've ever seen. But I definitely cried like a baby during Toy Story 3 (twice, same scene both times I saw it) and that's something I can't ignore when making this list.

and... in case you've been living under a rock or haven't talked to me this year... my ... favorite... movie...

It needs no introduction. It needs no explanation. It just needs you to see it if you haven't already.

As far as disappointments go, I don't have too many, because I don't really see movies unless I know they're going to be good. Or at least have a good feeling. The only two that pop into my head at the moment (movies that I thought might be good or at least o.k. but were kind of really not):

Tim Burton's slaughter of "Alice in Wonderland"
Shyamalan's mediocre debacle


You know what else rocked this year? And will continue to rock?

And ...


So this post is HELLA long and it's time to wrap it up. Thanks to all the awesomeness of my friends this fun little transition year (graduation into the real world, etc) and I look forward to kickin' it with ya'll for many more years to come.

Corbin Hernandez

1 comment:

  1. I didn't think you'd like something like Mumford & Sons. I mean, you explained why you did... I guess I didn't think you'd like folk anything. But... cool! Gonna have to pick up that album then.