Keenan's Top 10 Songs of 2010 (with Videos)

It’s hard to believe 2010 is already over (which is probably why this list is so late), as it was one of the biggest and craziest years of my lifetime. I quit working full time to start a business with my fiance, and, as some of you know, mid-way through last year I decided it was time to bid Seattle a temporary farewell, and by the end of the year, I was packed up and across the country, living small-town style in Athens, GA. I’m a life-long Seattleite, and will continue to think of myself that way, despite the distance, for at least the time being.

These songs of 2010 were the ones that counseled me through the tough decisions of leaving and provided respite in scream-alongs to remind me that everything was going to be OK. Some of these win brownie points for unbelievably adorable videos, and some of them the songs were just too great to not post something, so bear with the fake youtube videos that just have a photo and the album version of the song. Trust me, it’s worth it.

1. Nana Grizol “Cynicism”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po2mYxrbhW0]

This song probably had the greatest effect on me of any throughout the year as a mantra to be a better person, with the line “Cynicism isn’t wisdom/It’s just a lazy way to say that you’ve been burned”. It’s the kind of line in a song that breaks you down to a pulp only to build you back up even better than you were before. It’s a rare occurrence that I can listen to this song without bawling.

2. Standard Fare “Fifteen”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPZoGuwxyeQ]

This is probably the song I listened to most, on constant repeat for mid-work dance parties at home alone (much more fun and less sad than it sounds). Also, the best potentially statutory song ever.

3. The Poison Control Center “Being Gone”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GrFnxjpQB0]

Another on constant repeat, from my four favorite dudes from IA. PCC spent most of 2010 on the road, and will probably spend most of 2011 that way as well. Check them out if you get a chance, as I can’t possibly recommend their live show enough.

4. Thermals “I Don’t Believe You”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNhlR7v3LkA]

Definitely in contender for one of the best videos of the year, if not ever. What can’t Carrie Brownstein make awesome? That’s right, nothing. I pegged this song as an early favorite at the end of 2009, and when Personal Life came out, I knew I hadn’t been wrong.

5. Darren Hanlon “All These Things”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwsWs0sImwk]

The only thing that could possibly beat the Thermals video. This was another life-affirmer, oft screamed while driving to work to remind me that things weren’t so bad.

6. Math and Physics Club “We’re So DIY”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_LMGTKhRfI&feature=related]

An absolutely perfect indie-pop song, featuring one of my favorite devices, dropping band names (using an extra inside joke, considering, it’s something that Tullycraft does quite often).

7. Allo Darlin “My Heart Is As Strong As A Drummer”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57eii7Bdf3g]

This song gets serious brownie points for the video. Allo Darlin were a bit of a surprise for me. Me and twee-ish indie pop were a bit on the outs until while recording a podcast, imaginary liz played “Kiss Your Lips” and I fell instantly in cardigan and converse love. I was lucky enough to be at their super-sold out October Rendezvous show and was surprised at how energetic their live show was, unlike many other bands of the genre. I predict great things for this band in 2011.

8. Gold-Bears “Tally”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNnE63d8m3E]

This video has a serious, but awesome, 120 minutes vibe. Another on constant repeat. The first time I heard this song happened to be one of the worst days I had in 2010, and I sat in my living room bawling, listening to this song on repeat for about an hour until the crying stopped (with how short this song is, I’d put it around at least 30 listens straight) and my life felt re-affirmed.

9. Sourpatch “I Want You Either Way”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d07AnZ3q4b8&feature=related]

This video has a serious 90s vibe, but so does this band. Think classic indie pop: Tiger Trap, Cub, Rocketship – distill all of their perfect, heartbreaking melodies, and combine it with four rambunctious California kids and you’ve got Sourpatch. They put out an amazing album, Crushin’, and an amazing single, Mira Mija, in 2010, and I’m sure they’ll be continuing to melt hearts all over 2011.

10. Apples In Stereo “Dance Floor”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C66yhRwpt7s]

Many classic Apples fans don’t really dig the new stuff, but as a bit of a closet dance music fan, I just can’t get enough (of these songs). Ignore the fact that Elijah Wood looks incredibly awkward in this video, this song has a serious groove and a great melody, just like all the best apples songs.

Bonus 11th song!

11. Jaill “Everyone’s Hip”
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjfTX8ce_RE]

This one hit me a bit late in the year, as for whatever reason, despite Chris Estey’s glowing review, and the fact that I saw them play in the Spring, I kept forgetting to pick up this record until I finally got to Athens and listened to it on in-store play at Wuxtry, and it’s been killing me ever since.

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