Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Screenwriter’s albums of the year

Not that you care, here are my favourite albums of 2010. As ever, the list is a reflection of an elitist, pretentious and generally sod-you sensibility. Then again, there is some evidence of unreconstructed post-punk conservatism in here. What are …

Sun, Dec 5, 2010, 22:12

   

Not that you care, here are my favourite albums of 2010. As ever, the list is a reflection of an elitist, pretentious and generally sod-you sensibility. Then again, there is some evidence of unreconstructed post-punk conservatism in here. What are you going to do? It’s too late to turn back now. To my serious shame, I note that one of my  10 favourite records was picked by the NME as its album of the year. Jeez. That hasn’t happened since 1980.

Spacebar! Spacebar! Ampersand! Are you digging it, man?

1. Alva Noto: For 2

The most gifted artist in bleepy minimalist electronica offers a tribute to his many idols. Screenwriter fans will particularly enjoy the nod to Tarkovksy.

2. Food: Quiet Inlet

ECM Records celebrated its 50th anniversary recently and it continues to deliver brilliant, spooky — often rather icy — improvised music. Here veteran saxophonist Iain Ballamy teams up with electronic boffin Fennesz and multi-instrumentalist Nils Petter Molvaer.

3. Sam Amidon: I See the Sign

Another great record from the strangely under-appreciated American art-folk warbler. Amazingly, the album features a beautiful cover of an R Kelly tune.

4. Marilyn Crispell and David Rothenberg: One Dark Night I Left My Silent House

More ECM. Heavens. After all these years. The improvisations between Crispell, whacky pianist, and Rothenberg, eccentric clarinetist, veer from the pretty to the harshly abstract. So there.

5. Sleigh Bells: Treats

Yeah! Fantastic blend of football chant and post-punk clatter. Why is every bloody band from Brooklyn these days? If I lived in Queens I think I’d feel quite sore about it.

6. These New Puritans: Hidden.

If the teenage me suspected that, in a few decades time, I would be recommending the contemporaneous version of Barclay James Harvest, I would have thrown myself in front of a bus. Oh, well.

7. The National: High Violet

No really. Why is every band from (or in this case, based in) stupid Brooklyn? Admittedly this does sound like something you’d hear in Starbucks. Never mind. You hear Bob Dylan in Starbucks.

8. Yellow Swans: Going Places

If they’re not from Brooklyn, they’re from Portland. This is, apparently, the last album ever from the electronic noise merchants. They really are “going places” you see.

9. Belle and Sebastian: Write About Love

Yeah, I know. It’s awfully twee, awfully white and awfully awfully. But the fragile Scottish band are writing their best tunes in years.

10. Emeralds: Does it Look Like I’m Here?

Jolly, melodious electronica from a durable, prolific Cleveland mob. You can’t get (jointly) much further from Brooklyn and Portland without leaving the Union.

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