Wednesday, December 29

Best Album of 2010!

I love year-end lists! Best books, best movies, best sandwich of 2010 – I love all of it! I know of course that it’s almost absurdly subjective. “Best” is truly in the eye of the beholder and it’s almost impossible to judge art by anything resembling a universal standard. I know that, but yet I love reading the wrap-ups of what various publications or people thought was the best thing of the past year. (I’m especially interested if you had a great sandwich in 2010. Please share in comments.)

I’m not going to touch "best books" because I know way too many authors and I can’t speak with any sort of authority on best movies because I have little kids at home and they rule the DVD player. I could easily tell you what the best “Handy Manny” episode was of 2010 ("Chico Goes to Preschool," obvs.) but that’s about it. And OK, I don’t listen to music nearly as much as I used to, but I am happy to nominate my favorite album of 2010. It is ….. (*drum roll*) “The Monitor” by Titus Andronicus!

I very rarely buy CDs anymore, but I was given a giftcard to Border’s and decided to not just buy books (shocking!) but some music too. I forget when I first heard Titus Andronicus, but when I saw their disc at Border’s I was like “Oh yeah, those guys!” So I bought it and listened to it pretty much non-stop for the next few months.

Now, if you google this album, you will no doubt read that it is a punk rock concept album about the Civil War. Maybe that sounds awesome to you, maybe it sounds terrible. But I don’t think it really has all that much to do with how great this album is. There are little spoken passages between some of the songs quoting Lincoln and so on, and some of the songs do mention the Civil War, but the songs aren’t history lessons. They’re sometimes fun and sometimes sad and always well-written and they really do rock hard. There are shouted choruses, huge guitar solos, and even some good storytelling. There you go: best album of 2010.

(Note: on the album, this song is twice as long, but this is a pretty good intro to their sound if you’re curious.)

One more fun thing: One of my Twitter friends (she works at my publisher) was tweeting about Titus a while ago and I was like “I love that band!” And she was like “Yay, that’s my brother!” And I was like “Wait: what?” And she explained that her brother is the singer of the band! I was like “Tell him I love his band. And his beard.” So I feel happy about that connection. Also I feel like the possibility exists that I might get a chance to hang out backstage at some time in the future, or possibly be invited to sing with them at a show. Call me, guys: I know all the words.

Happy New Year!


9 comments:

kathryn said...

That is one of the best songs I've hear all year. I'm sold!

Josh Berk said...

Glad you liked it, Kathryn!! :)

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Wow, I haven't heard them before and they are definitely awesome! Thanks for introducing me to new music, Josh!

My favorite albums this year were from two of my favorite bands. American Slang by The Gaslight Anthem and Nobody's Daughter by Hole.

Josh Berk said...

Yay, glad you like it! Awesome for sure! And I really like Gaslight Anthem too! I got to see them this past summer when they played the Allentown Fair of all places. It's like a mile from my house! It was a good show. They opened for Weezer.

Sara Hantz said...

They're amazing!! Thanks for posting.

Greg Logsted said...

Josh, Loved the music video! BTW, can anyone tell me how to post them, I can only figure out how to post links.

Josh Berk said...

Greg - under a youtube video is usually a button that says "embed." (I say usually because the person who posted the video can turn of embedding if they choose.) If you click that button you get the html code to embed the video in the blog. The code starts with 'object width... ' You paste that whole thing in your post & it should show up! I ended playing with the width/height because the default is pretty huge. Let me know if that doesn't work. Glad you liked the video!

Greg Logsted said...

Thanks Josh...I'll give it a try.

maldives cruise said...

I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! This is a very informative post, it helps me more.