Zweitausendzehn — My Favorite Music from 2010

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Here are the liner notes for this year’s CD. For those who don’t speak German, “Zweitausendzehn” means “Two thousand ten.” These are my favorites songs discovered in 2010.

1. Kiss with a Fist

Florence & The Machine, Lungs (2009)

You thought you had relationship problems? This is truly an anthem from a love-hate relationship.

2. The Spirit of Jazz

The Gaslight Anthem, American Slang (2010)

These New Jersey rockers returned with a second album this year. Not as catchy as the first one, but still filled with quality songs. Also recommended: American Slang, The Queen of Lower Chelsea, She Loves You

3. Rock Problems

The Hold Steady, Heaven is Whenever (2010)

4. Broke Down on the Brazos

Gov’t Mule, By a Thread (2009)

My favorite bass line of the year.

5. Don’t Miss Me

Derek Trucks Band, Roadsongs (2010)

Derek Trucks is always better live, and this album is no exception.

Also recommended: Afro Blue (see “Bonus Tracks” below), Down Don’t Bother Me, Key to the Highway

6. Jenny in the Middle

Cornmeal, Live in Chicago, IL, Vol. I (2010)

Cornmeal is my favorite live band from 2010. This short song shows a little bit of their string prowess. Many of their live songs are long drawn-out jam band affairs, transitioning from country to funk rhythms in mid-song, with great banjo, fiddle, and guitar solos. Also recommended: When the World’s Got You Down

7. Hustle and Cuss

The Dead Weather, Sea of Cowards (2010)


The Dead Weather is Jack White’s latest project, with Jack playing drums and splitting the singing duties. Raw blues-rock.

8. Old Mary

The Dead Weather, Sea of Cowards (2010)

Creepy- with bass

9. 300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues

The White Stripes, Under Great White Northern Lights (2010)

The other Jack White band, this album is just packed with raw live energy. Like a regular White Stripes album, without the polish. This is one of the quieter songs. Also recommended: Black Math, Blue Orchid, I’m Slowly Turning Into You, I Just Don’t KNow What To Do With Myself, Seven Nation Army.

10. Friend of the Devil

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Live Anthology (2009)

I’ve always been a bit indifferent to their hits, but they sound much better live. This four-disc compilation is filled with both more interesting versions of their radio hits and fun covers. This cover of the Grateful Dead is my favorite from the collection. Also recommended: Even the Losers, Breakdown, Drivin’ Down to Georgia, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Green Onions, Melinda, American Girl, Runnin’ Down a Dream, I Won’t Back Down, The Waiting (yes, I liked this compilation!)

11. My City of Ruins

Eddie Vedder, My City of Ruins benefit single (2010)

Eddie covers the Bruce Springsteen gem from The Rising.

12. Shine Along 128

The Black Crowes, …Until the Freeze (2009)

This is the second CD of a two-disc set. “Good Morning Captain” from the first disc was a favorite from last year.

13. I’ll Follow the Sun

The Beatles, Beatles for Sale (1964)

Obviously I’ve heard this song before 2010. However, this year I listened to the remastered box set. One often thinks of remastering as something that only the audiophile with $2000 headphones will notice. Not so in this case, the quality between the remastered songs and the original CD recordings is stunning, and readily apparent even when ripped to MP3 and heard through cheap earbuds. So I’m going with “It’s like I heard this song the first time” to justify putting it on this compilation. Also recommended: Everything by the Beatles

14. Out of the Blue

Julian Casablancas, Phrazes for the Young (2009)

Julian is the lead singer of The Strokes.

15. Tik Tok

Ke$ha, Animal (2009)

The inclusion of this song is going to surprise a lot of people. That’s OK, it surprises me too. This isn’t my kind of music, and Ke$ha isn’t my kind of musician- she makes Britney Spears look classy. I got this song as a free iTunes download, and thought about deleting it multiple times throughout the year. By year end, I’ve been forced to admit that the tune has burrowed it’s way into my skin and won’t let go- kind of like some kind of African parasite. Also recommended: If I liked any of her other songs, I certainly wouldn’t admit it.

16. Reptiles

Them Crooked Vultures, Them Crooked Vultures (2009)

Talk about a super-group- Them Crooked Vultures is made up of drummer Dave Grohl from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, guitarist Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age, and bassist John Paul Jones from some small 1970s rock band. Also recommended: Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take, Dead End Friends, Bandoliers

17. Abwärts

Unheilig, Grosse Freheit (2010)

The title of this German song means “Downward,” and the word they keep repeating “Tief” means “deep.” So the submarine sonar sounds fit right in. Also recommended: Seenot, Gebornen Um Zu Leben

18. Mystery Zone

Spoon, Transference (2010)

19. Twist and Shout

The Beatles, Please Please Me (1963)

This song was from the Beatles first album. They recorded it in one take- they had to, as it ruined John’s voice. In the remastered CDs, you can practically hear Lennon’s vocal cords ripping as he shreds through the vocals of this classic.

Bonus Tracks

Alas, CDs only hold 80 minutes of music. Here are some other songs that I really liked, but that didn’t fit.

Muerdete la Langua

Francisca Valenzuela, (Single) (2007)

Catchy Spanish single from an American-born Chilean pianist.

July Flame

Laura Veirs, July Flame (2010)

Singer-songwriter appeared in 2008’s Zweitausendacht CD.

Your Shining Eyes

Biel Ballester Trio, Vicky Cristina Barcelona soundtrack (2008)

Great soundtrack of Spanish guitar music. I’ve always preferred Woody Allen movies that don’t star Woody Allen, and this is a great one.


Frazey Ford, Obadiah (2010)

Mournful folk

Rye Whiskey / Time to Switch to Whiskey

Corb Lund, Losin’ Lately Gambler (2009)

Rollicking tune from Canadian country singer.

Afro Blue

Derek Trucks Band, Roadsongs (2010)


At over 14 minutes, it was too long to fit on the main CD.

A Day in the Life

Jeff Beck, Performing this Week – Live at Ronnie Scotts (2008)

Jeff Beck does a great cover of the Beatles tune from St. Pepper.

My Favorite Things

John Coltrane, My Favorite Things (1961)

I’m not sure I’ve heard the original before this year.

March of the Caterpillar

RX Bandits, Mandala (2009)

I hate everything else this band has ever done.

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