Modern Mystery’s Top 30 Albums of the Year

The time is finally here where we announce our favorite albums of the year. Yes, it took a whole lot of thinking and a whole lot of relistening, but in the end we figured it out.  Trust us, it was no easy task this year. Take a peek at what kept our interest in 2010.

1. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Let It Sway”

This will forever be known as the album where SSLYBY fully matured. Working with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla,  the band produced a stunning record full of pop hooks and catchy lyrics. The result, Let It Sway (Polyvinyl), one of the greatest pieces of work our ears have heard by any indie band in a long time. We loved it so much we made a tribute  video celebrating the record which you can watch below. Congrats SSLYBY!

2. Vampire Weekend – “Contra”

A nearly flawless album, the VW boys started off 2010 with a burst of energy that continued througout the year. Neck in neck with the Yeltsins, Contra (XL) also shared the tale of a too-good-to-be-true indie band growing up in the public eye.

3. The Morning Benders – “Big Echo”

Another record that was running with the big boys on this list, The Morning Benders released Big Echo (Kanine) early in the year and exploded like no one could ever have imagined. It’s ab out time. They deserve it.  This is one of the catchiest albums we heard this year and it never gets old.

4. Of Montreal – “False Priest”

Of Montreal are always evolving. That is what we love most about the band. False Priest (Polyvinyl) takes them to a whole new level, dabbling in R&B and dueting with Solange Knowles. We may have been skeptical at first but it quickly won over our hearts and the dance floor.

5.  Surfer Blood – “Astrocoast” 

Everyone’s favorite “IT” band of the year produced a promising debut album called Astrocoast (Kanine). We followed the boys around CMJ 2009 and knew they were about to blew up huge. We were right, and now Surfer Blood has taken over the world.

 6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Before Today”

A chilling record filled with reverb and haunting vocals proved to be just the thing for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Before Today (4AD) stunned the indie music world and makes us wonder what the next Ariel Pink chapter has to hold.

7.  Jukebox the Ghost – “Everything Under the Sun”

A thriving piano backed by a guitar and drums made an unexpected assault in the indie world this year. Everything Under the Sun (Yep Roc) dropped jaws quickly this year and had Jukebox the Ghost playing with big name bands and appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman.

8.   The Love Language – “Libraries”

Much different from their first record, The Love Language stunned us with a near perfect record, Libraries (Merge) this year. There was a lot of buzz about this album and as the tracks leaked, we could feel the greatness building up. We were right.

9. We Are Scientists – “Barbara”

Without a record label in the U.S., We Are Scientists broke through this year with Barbara. They haven’t changed too much since the last time we heard from them, which is a good thing. They still have their driving 80’s vibe, W.A.S. charm and brilliant tunes.

10. Magic Kids – “Memphis”

This was an unexpected treat this year that had us putting Magic Kids on repeat. Memphis (Goner/True Panther) often has a lo-fi and retro vibe, and that is what really makes it special.


The rest of the list….

11. Miniature Tigers – “Fortress”

12. Matt Pond PA – “The Dark Leaves”

13. Wavves – “King of the Beach”

14. Sufjan Stevens -“Age of the Adz”

15. Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”

16. Free Energy – “Stuck on Nothing”

17. Javelin – “No Mas”

18. Best Coast – “Crazy for You”

19. The Drums – “The Drums”

20.  Tokyo Police Club – “Champ”

21. The New Pornographers – “Together”

22. Spoon – “Transference”

23. Hot Hot Heat – “Future Breeds”

24. Kids of 88 – “Sugar Pills”

25. MGMT – “Congratulations”

26. Harlem – “Hippies”

27. Broken Social Scene – “Forgiveness Rock Record”

28. Born Ruffians – “Say It”

29. Caribou – “Swim”

30. Interpol – “Interpol”


Modern Mystery’s Top 25 Songs of 2010

1. Of Montreal – “Sex Karma” featuring Solange Knowles
2. Vampire Weekend – “Cousins”
3. Love Language – “Heart to Tell”
4. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Everlyn”
5. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti -“Fright Night (Nevermore)”
6. Morning Benders – “Promises”
7. Jukebox the Ghost – “Half Crazy”
8.  The Drums – “Let’s Go Surfing”
9. Surfer Blood – “Swim”
10. We Are Scientists – “Rules Don’t Stop”
11. Wavves – “King of the Beach”
12. Free Energy – “Bang Pop”
13. Magic Kids – “Hey Boy”
14. Robbers on High Street – “Electric Eye”
15. Beach Fossils – “Youth”
16. Javelin – “Oh! Centra”
17. Matt Pond PA – “Starting”
18. Miniature Tigers – “Gold Skull”
19. Ra Ra Riot – “Boy”
20. Best Coast – “Boyfriend”
21. Sufjan Stevens – “From the Mouth of Gabriel”
22. Hot Hot Heat – “21@12”
23. Tame Impala – “Alter Ego”
24. Caribou – “Odessa”
25. Jenny and Johnny – “Big Wave”

Free Energy Set to Join Weezer on Tour

Over the last 8 weeks or so, DFA’s Free Energy have been rolling out a series of videos entitled “Free Energy’s Power Hour.” An odd mix of comedy and music, the the series was written and directed by the band with help from director, producer and friend Ben Nabors.

Lest we forget what the Free Energy boys are actually known for, they’re currently in the midst of a SPIN Magazine sponsored tour with Foxy Shazam. And, later this month they’ll join Weezer for a handful of shows. A full list of dates can be found down below.


Free Energy Tour Dates

12/07: Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theater Buy Tickets #
12/08: Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews – Buy Tickets#
12/09: Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose Tap – Buy Tickets #
12/14: Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre – Buy Tickets ^
12/15: Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre – Buy Tickets^
12/17: New York, NY @ Roseland Ballroom – Buy Tickets^
12/18: New York, NY @ Roseland Ballroom – Buy Tickets^

* = Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine
^ = w/ Weezer (Memories Tour)
# – Headlining Date
$ = w/ Hollerado

NYC’s Weekly Show Roundup!

Callers, Janka Nabay, Buke and Gass, People Get Ready @ (le) poisson rouge

Idlewild, Happy Hollows @ Bowery Ballroom CANCELED

Hank & Cupcakes, Kenan Bell, Biker Daughter @ Brooklyn Bowl

Joanna Newsom @ Carnegie Hall

Diamond Doves, Vandaveer, The Nico Blues, Open Road Love Affair @ The Glasslands

Matthew Dear, Games, Noveller @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Robbers on High Street, My Cousin, The Emperor, Only Living Boy, Hey Battlefield @ The Bowery Electric

Delta Spirit, Darker My Love, The Fling @ Webster Hall

Idlewild, Happy Hollows @ Bowery Ballroom CANCELED

Free Energy, Foxy Shazam, Hollerado @ Bowery Ballroom

Junip, Lost in the Trees @ Irving Plaza

Delorean, Lemonade, Light Pollution @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Computer Magic, Hooray For Earth, The Vandelles, Paul and the Patients, Twin Shadow (DJ Set) @ Pianos

Midnight Juggernauts, Bikini, Chappo  @ Bowery Ballroom

Free Energy, Foxy Shazam, Hollerado @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

The So So Glos, The Rassle, Devin Therriault @ Studio at Webster Hall


Free Energy Announce New Tour Dates… With Weezer!

Free Energy are on a roll. Their debut album, Stuck On Nothing,  which came out in March on Astralwerks/DFA Records, was produced by Mr. James Murphy, Rolling Stone’s words to describe it are, very simply, “It totally fucking rules”
and Pitchfork calls them “totally rad.” Not bad for a first album.

Things are getting bigger now as they will be joining Weezer’s Memories Tour for the band’s Boston and New York dates in December! We have all the dates below! Meanwhile, they still have a good month accompanying Foxy Shazam around the country (we have those dates too) but are making a point to keep those who cannot follow them on the road entertained with the “Free Energy Power Hour.” During this express TV show, the band shows off their comedic skills with mock tape repair ad and parodies of tacky buddy sitcoms, among others. You can view the second episode right HERE!

Here are their upcoming tour dates:
11/11: Seattle, WA – Crocodile Café (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/12: Vancouver, BC – Media Club (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/14: Edmonton, AB – Pawn Shop (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/15: Calgary, AB – The Republik (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/16: Saskatoon, SK – Amigos (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/17: Winnipeg, MB – The Pyramid (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/18: Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/19: Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/20: Indianapolis, IN – Radio Radio (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/21: Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/22: Albany, NY – Valentines (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/23: Boston, MA – Paradise (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/24: New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/26: Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/27: Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
11/30: Lancaster, PA – The Chameleon Club (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
12/01: Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel (Foxy & Free Tour, Sponsored by SPIN Magazine)
12/07: Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theater
12/08: Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
12/09: Iowa City, IA – Blue Moose Tap
12/14: Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre  (with Weezer)
12/15: Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre (with Weezer)
12/17: New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom (with Weezer)
12/18: New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom (with Weezer)

New York City’s Weekend Show Round Up


Electric Six, The Constellations, The Fake Problems @ Bowery Ballroom

Parallels, Erika Forster (of Au Revoir Simone – DJ Set), Alex English, Michael Trundle @ Brooklyn Bowl

The Library Is On Fire, Bad Cop, Total Slacker, My Teenage Stride @ Don Pedro

SHAPES, Night Manager, Sex Beet, The Static Jacks, Dirty Faces @ Shea Stadium

Eels, Jessica Hoop @ Terminal 5

The Boxer Rebellion, Amusement Parks on Fire, Augustines @ The Bell House

Titus Andronicus, Free Energy @ Webster Hall


Merzbow, Xiu Xiu, Ecstatic Sunshine, Gentle @ (le) poisson rouge

Margot and The Nuclear So & So’s, The Lonely Forest, Cameron McGill & What Army @ Bowery Ballroom

They Might Be Giants @ Town Hall

Teenage Fanclub, Radar Brothers @ Bowery Ballroom

Hurricane Bells, A Million Years, Overlord @ The Rock Shop