Toad Readers’ Five Favourite Albums of 2010 (and Happy Christmas)

Happy Christmas all.  For any confused Americans out there, yes I am an atheist, and yes I love Christmas.  It’s a Pagan holiday, appropriated by the Christians so they could convert subject peoples without having to force them to give up the traditions which bound their communities together, so the idea of an atheist celebrating Christmas is no more hypocritical than a Christian doing so.  I just like the feasting and the tree and the lying in bed watching stupid movies part too much to give it up over the trifling matter of a mish-mash of sellotaped-on religious nonsense.

For any non-Americans out there who have no idea what that paragraph was all in aid of, they get awfully excited about that sort of thing over there, as far as I can tell, and try and make Christmas all non-religious by saying stupid things like Happy Holidays, when it’s not even a Christian fucking celebration to begin with.  Celebration of the Winter Solstice pre-dates Christianity by many thousands of years anyway.

Anyhow, that rather splendid cover version up there comes from the excellent LY and SO on YouTube.  They only have a couple of covers up there, but that one really is nice.  It’s funny when that sort of thing starts happening.  I can only imagine that more popular bands who get covered all the time find the experience generates a weird combination of fascination, pride, embarrassment and all sorts.

And… just to completely change the subject again, I am not going to list all the end of year’s that our bands have turned up in, because there have been too many.  I try and get them up on Facebook and Twitter as and when they turn up, so follow/friend/stalk/whatever me on there if you are really that interested.  Thanks though, of course, to everyone who has included any of our lot, because I do genuinely find and appreciate them all.

One little bit of boasting I have to do though is this: The Recommender recently asked music bloggers to nominate their favourite music blogs in the world and, somewhat surprisingly I have to confess, I finished joint fourth with Gorilla vs Bear.  That’s joint fourth favourite blog in the universe as voted by fellow bloggers.  This, I think I can say without seeming too vain, is extremely nice.

And so finally we come to our penultimate Friday Five of the year, and the official announcement of the album of the year vote last week.  As you can probably tell from this week’s posts I disagree with all but about one of you about what the best album of the year is, but no matter.  You wouldn’t need me constantly lecturing you about Acceptable Music Fun if you had all the answers already, now would you.  Anyhow, drum roll please…

5. Broken RecordsLet Me Come Home I picked this one myself so I am not at all surprised and extremely pleased to see so many readers vote for it.  The excellence of this record doesn’t seem to have entirely stopped the hipster sneering from a few quarters, but I do get the impression that once folk have started doing a band down it can become rather contagious.  Fuck these people, I say.  And so do you from the looks of it.  Good on you.

Broken Records – Dia dos Namorados!
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/BrokenRecords-DiadosNamorados.mp3]

4. Kid CanaveralShouting at Wildlife I don’t honestly know why this album isn’t in my top albums of the year, because I love it, but I think it might be down to how and when I listen to Kid Canaveral’s music, which is mostly live.  In fact, had I not spent a sizeable chunk of the festival season driving Meursault about the bloody country I would say that I have probably seen them live more than any other band this year. Also, this is generally music to encourage the having of Fun, which is not what I listen to in the house all that much. It’s not just that they write some killer pop tunes, but the album itself is really well assembled and perfectly paced.  They and the Scottish Enlightenment would probably be my Scottish bands of the year for 2010, I reckon.

Kid Canaveral – Cursing Your Apples
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/KidCanaveral-CursingYourApples.mp3]

3. Arcade FireThe Suburbs Personally I find this album pretty dull, I have to confess.  But if you look at the results of both this vote, the Readers’ Song of the Year vote and pretty much every tight-trousered list out there then I suppose I have to grudgingly admit that the majority of the internets seem to disagree with me.  A very late spurt of voting carried this into third place ahead of Kid Canaveral, who seemed to have that spot completely sewn up.  I have to confess this is something I rather resent.

Arcade Fire – City With No Children
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/ArcadeFire-CityWithNoChildren.mp3]

=1. The NationalHigh Violet As Big Fez said in the comment thread where the vote took place, it’s not so much the album of the year as the year of this album.  Even my mum loves it.  Enough said.

The National – Anyone’s Ghost
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/TheNational-AnyonesGhost.mp3]

=1. MeursaultAll Creatures Will Make Merry When Meursault did so well in the song of the year voting I kept saying to myself that of course they were going to get a lot of votes on this site of all places – it’s like the ultimate home court advantage.  And that’s true.  But if the home court advantage counted for all that much, you’d expect to see the vote full of Toad Records bands, which it just wasn’t – not even close.  So I think it’s time to stop making excuses and accept that basically this is a fucking great record, bollocks to false modesty.

Also, of all the bands we have worked with Meursault have worked the hardest, for the longest, played the most gigs, recorded the most songs, and have never ever let me down on any count.  So instead of making excuses for why they might have got more votes here than in other places, especially when that didn’t seem to count in anyone else’s favour at all, I think I should really just be saying well done and thank you.  It’s been some year lads, well fucking done indeed.

Meursault – Crank Resolutions
[audio:http://songbytoadrecords.com/media/Meursault-CrankResolutions.mp3]

So, after possibly the longest post in Friday Five history, I can’t be arsed making up five stupid questions, so just list five things you are either very much looking forward to or very much dreading over the next couple of days.  I am guessing that this will be a quiet one anyway, given it’s Christmas Eve and all.  So happy Christmas everyone, and remember to drink massively, massively irresponsibly.

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