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2010: Everything is Amazing and Nobody’s Happy

For my requisite year-end wrap-up I ganked the title from Louis CK’s recent appearance on Conan. This was a year of reassessing our relationship with technology, and that’s part of Louis’ aim in the clip (embedded below[runtime: 4:12]; with thanks to Linda Stone). I rounded up most of the books on the topic for 21C Magazine, and I don’t feel any closer to figuring it out (It’s really not something to figure out).


Anyway, here’s my list:

Record of the year: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West. As pedestrian as it might seem, I have to give it to Mr. West. He may be a douchebag, but if he is, he’s the most talented, honest douchebag ever, and this record proves it over and over again. It’s not flawless, but it’s easily the best of 2010.

Runners up: High on Fire Snakes for the Divine, The Sword Warp Riders, Camu Tao King of Hearts, Deftones Diamond Eyes, Brian Eno Small Craft on a Milk Sea, School of Seven Bells Disconnect from Desire, Peter Gabriel Scratch My Back, Blonde Redhead Penny Sparkle, Antipop Consortium Fluorescent Black, Black Milk Album of the Year, and 65daysofstatic We Were Exploding Anyway.

Verse of the year: Nicky Minaj on “Monster.” This seven-minute posse jam includes Jay-Z, Kanye, Rick Ross, and Bon Iver (for whatever reason), but Nicky’s sixteen makes them all look straight silly. As good as this album is, hers here is easily the best verse on the whole thing.

Live show of the year: Atari Teenage Riot. I was supposed to see Atari Teenage Riot in Seattle at a club called DV8 on December 15th, 1997, but broke up with my girlfriend of six years and just drank with friends instead. I remember the date also because it was my birthday.

I finally got to see them in Austin at Red 7 on September 27th, 2010. the show was well worth the thirteen-year wait. I lost my freshly-purchased ATR t-shirt attempting to delete myself in the pit, but I got it back thanks to ATR’s nice fans. Start the riot!

Finds of the year: Cloaks and Yelawolf. The noisiest dubstep out (Thanks to Justin Broadrick for the tip) and another Alabama boy does good. Enough said (Thanks to El-P for the tip). Hollerrrrr!

Event of the year: Geekend 2010. Yeah, SXSW was fun (thanks to Dave Allen, Ume, Frosty, Jah Furry, and Bruce Sterling), but Geekend was better.

Movie of the year: Inception. You all know nothing else came close.

Book of the year: Program or Be Programmed by Douglas Rushkoff. Ignore it at your peril.

Site of the year: 900 Bats. Aesop Rock, Alex Pardee, Alexander Tarrant, Chrissy Piper, Colin Evoy Sebestyen, Coro, DJ Big Wiz, Jeremy Fish, Justin Metros, Kimya Dawson, Nick Flanagan, and Rob Sonic, among others are behind this rogue burst of creative energy. Jeremy Fish did the illustrations for the site, and Alex Pardee supplied the logo. The site was named for the 900 bats that were killed by renovation workers at Bala Fort in Alwar district who put them on fire to avoid disruption in work. Boooo…

Speaking of, mad thanks to my mans Aesop Rock, dälek, and Aaron Berkowitz for helping me coordinate what would have been the party of the century. Sorry it all fell apart at the last minute. Instead, I spent the end of my fortieth trip around the sun with the fam. It’s all good.

Video of the Year: “Miracles” by Insane Clown Posse. The clip that spawned a thousand “think” pieces, leave it to ICP to remind us that we all need to take pause and realize how amazing our world is. As Violent J puts it, “Magic everywhere in this bitch.” Belie’e dat [runtime: 4:23].