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”

Hot Hot Heat @ Public Assembly – Brooklyn, NY – May 19, 2010

Hot Hot Heat never seem to cool down….as a band that is. The indie synth dance punk pioneers have been taking the stage every Wednesday night this month at Public Assembly in Brooklyn to sold out crowds of eager fans. Catching the band on the third show of their residency in this charming little neighborhood, HHH sure knows how to put on a show.

Oddly enough I have never seen the band live though I’ve been a fan since Make Up the Breakdown (SubPop) was released in 2003. This was about three record labels ago and a slight change in lineup. One thing is for certain though, the band hasn’t lost the energy that makes them a great group to begin with.

Hot Hot Heat will release their newest record Future Breeds (Dangerbird) on June 8th, and from the sound of it, the guys somehow managed to top their previous efforts.  My personal favorite new song of the night was the first singlem “20 @ 12,” which was about them being with a friends of their’s who was turning 21 and midnight. This is only a tastes of what Future Breeds have to offer.

I must admit that I went into the show thinking that only new songs would be played. I was mistaking. Though several new tracks were played, they were blended perfectly with our old favorites. Songs like “Naked in the City Again” and “Bandages,” brought back college memories of listening to the band while studying. The guys are not old by any means as they are only in their early 30’s, but it seems like they have been around forever.

This shows especially on the stage as they are old pros at the game of charming an audience. Frontman Steve Bays rocks his keyboard stand back and fourth on an angle, while playing mind you! He doesn’t miss even the slightest note. Heading directly into the face of the crowd several times, you can tell the fans were really eating it up in this most intimate venue. You can see that Hot Hot Heat was eating it up as well. There was plenty of dancing going on in the place and everyone, and I mean everyone, was having a blast and singing along to the classics, hoping to soon learn the new ones.

The group did a short encore as Bays came out saying “I think we’re running out of time,” which was the perfect cue for them to play “Running Out of Time.” To make a perfect ending of the night the band ended the set with “Goodnight Goodnight,” which couldn’t have been any better. We didn’t want them to go, but we all know there is one more night we can relive it in New York.

Hot Hot Heat plays the last night of their Public Assembly residency tonight, Wednesday, May 26th, before heading to play a month in Los Angeles in June. My word of advice to L.A. residents, is to get your tickets while you can, because these shows are selling quick, and it is truly an amazing experience.

Hot Hot Heat are on fire!

Check back to Modern Mystery in the next few days for our exclusive interview with the band!

Look at More Pictures from the Show HERE

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Secondhand Sunday: The Fever ‘Grey Ghost’

This morning I was thinking about how much I used to love the band, The Fever. The Kemado signed indie band broke out around the time of The Strokes, The Rapture, Elefant and all of those good things, but sadly disbanded in 2006 after a few albums and EPs under their belt.

Known for making music that would get your ass out of the seat dancing, it makes you wonder what the band would be creating if it was still around today. ‘Grey Ghost’ from 2004’s ‘Red Bedroom’ nearly makes me have flashbacks. I recall getting it after intern orientation at college when I was working at a major music company. Afterwards I headed to the nearby record store in the city to pick up The Fever’s record and it stayed with me constantly in my college years. Damn  that is still such a good record.

Enjoy your Secondhand Sunday and watch The Fever ‘Grey Ghost’

Of Montreal Go GaGa for Gabba

Of Montreal will be appearing in the Nickelodeon kid’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba” this year. You may have to read that sentence again. They will be one of the great bands stopping by on the show with others like MGMT and Hot Hot Heat (who were appearing this morning).  The Shins already performed earlier this year.

I would have killed for great musicial guests on my morning television shows when I was 4. Sorry Mr. Rogers, the puppets creeped me out a bit. Of Montreal will apparently be exploring dental hygeine with the toddlers, performing a song called ‘Brush Brush Brush’. I wonder if Kevin will wear his short shorts and fishnets. I hope so.

Download ‘Brush Brush Brush’