Posted by: cousinbrandon | January 19, 2011

The “Miscellaneous” Mixes: The Best of 2010

It’s now time for Cousin Matt’s Best of 2010 mix. He’s the guy who did this in 2009, this in 2008, this in 2007, and so on. In any event, here’s his self-titled “Letter from the Editor!” from the inside cover of his 2010 mix, with a couple of small omissions on my part. Unfortunately, I’m forced to transcribe it as best I can:

Well, another year is in the books and it’s time to get all snuggly with my Best of 2010 compilation.

So this year, the ordering of the songs was pretty tough. Granted, coming up with an order is always tricky, but this time around it was more challenging than usual. Reason being: parity. I guess they’re just making songs more equal these days. In fact, a Black Eyed Peas songs almost made it! Basically, whatever the strange quantifying equation is that exists in my head to rank the songs — this year it was harder to find gaps between them. So really, more so than in past years, you might find songs on Disc 1 you think should be on Disc 2. Crazy, right? Okay, on to more mind-blowing nuggets:

The seasoned observer will note… a fancy new design. Yes, for the first time in six years (the last few dodging calls from Billboard), I decided to put my “design” skills to work. Aside from just wanting to occupy my time with mindless fidgeting, I also thought my Top 12 Albums were getting a little lost. Then after I began tweaking the front, I realized the back didn’t make sense anymore, so I overhauled that as well. It might help make adhering the countdown a little easier? Adhere, people.

It may come as a surprise to you… (it did to me) that my #12 album is of the hip hop persuasion. It’s actually the first ever hip hop album to appear on my list. While I’ve had a few hip hop tracks in the past — “Frontier Psychiatrist” (by the Avalanches, #3 in 2001), “Hey Ya!” (by Outkast, #1 in 2003), and “None Shall Pass” (by Aesop Rock, #26 in 2007) — I’ve never had an album, so kudos to Das Racist. I don’t tend to listen to hip hop these days (aside from Girl Talk), but these guys got me. For all I know, there are plenty of artists that sound like them, so maybe they’re not all that novel — goofy references, hilarious (and head-spinning) wordlplay. The hooks aren’t in the melodies, but in the lyrics.

A couple bands in disguise… are making repeat appearances. What I mean by that is — the band English Words on Disc 2 is the same exact band as Smothered in Hugs (my #1 album from last year). They did a name change at the beginning of 2010, probably to separate themselves from the band they named themselves after — Guided By Voices. The song is from a free EP they released in tandem with the name change. The EP can be found for free on their site (it’s appropriately titled Customer Appreciation). Also, the band Bronze (Disc 2, too) has members of a now-defunct fave Detachment Kit. They also released a short but lovable self-titled EP this year.

And for those still playing along… as brought to your attention last year, there have been three times that two songs from the same album appeared in consecutive years: Bloc Party (2004/2005), Vampire Weekend (2007/2008), and Passion Pit (2008/2009). And this year, Best Coast makes it four — they had an EP last year and a full length this year. Apparently this is always gonna happen nowadays, so I might as well stop mentioning it.

Okay, that’s it for this year. As always, thanks for listening. Be sure to check my (yearly) blog for more ramblings — and to collect them all! Download any old mixes at

Until next year,

Top 12 Albums of 2010:

#12 – Sit Down, Man by Das Racist
#11 – Here’s to Taking It Easy by Phosphorescent
#10 – Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter
#9 – King of the Beach by Wavves
#8 – The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
#7 – Forgiveness Rock Record by Broken Social Scene
#6 – Champ by Tokyo Police Club
#5 – Lisbon by The Walkmen
#4 – Wild Smile by Suckers
#3 – Infinite Arms by Band of Horses
#2 – Teen Dream by Beach House
#1 – Transference by Spoon

As is always the case with Cousin Matt’s year-end mixes, this is a “countdown” as opposed to a compilation. (Again, Track 1, in this case, is his 41st favorite song of the year.)

The Best of 2010 front cover.

The Best of 2010 back cover.

The Best of 2010 (Disc 1):

1. Emeralds – “Double Helix” (Does It Look Like I’m Here?)
2. The Octopus Project – “A Phantasy” (Hexadecagon)
3. Liars – “Scarecrows on a Killer Slant” (Sisterworld)
4. Frightened Rabbit – “Things” (The Winter of Mixed Drinks)
5. Twin Shadow – “Slow” (Forget)
6. Local Natives – “Airplanes” (Gorilla Manor)
7. Wavves – “Linus Spacehead” (King of the Beach)
8. Free Energy – “Bang Pop” (Stuck On Nothing)
9. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – “I’ll Still Be True” (I Learned the Hard Way)
10. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Round and Round” (Before Today)
11. The National – “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” (High Violet)
12. Girls – “Thee Oh So Protective One” (Broken Dreams Club EP)
13. Phosphorescent – “We’ll Be Here Soon” (Here’s to Taking It Easy)
14. Jenny and Johnny – “My Pet Snakes” (I’m Having Fun Now)
15. Best Coast – “I Want To” (Crazy For You)
16. Tallest Man on Earth – “You’re Going Back” (The Wild Hunt)
17. The Fresh & Onlys – “Waterfall” (Play It Strange)
18. Suckers – “Black Sheep” (Wild Smile)
19. The Gaslight Anthem – “The Diamond Church Street Choir” (American Slang)
20. The Radio Dept. – “Domestic Scene” (Clinging to a Scene)
21. The Morning Benders – “Stitches” (Big Echo)

The Best of 2010 (Disc 2):

1. Bronze – “Horses” (Bronze EP)
2. Menomena – “TAOS” (Mines)
3. Surfer Blood – “Swim” (Astro Coast)
4. English Words – “RD Prologue” (Customer Appreciation EP)
5. Woods – “Suffering Season” (At Echo Lake)
6. Yeasayer – “O.N.E.” (Odd Blood)
7. Born Ruffians – “Nova Leigh” (Say It)
8. Les Savy Fav – “Let’s Get Out of Here” (Root for Ruin)
9. Das Racist – “Irresponsible” (Sit Down, Man)
10. Broken Social Scene – “Art House Director” (Forgiveness Rock Record)
11. Dr. Dog – “Where’d All the Time Go?” (Shame, Shame)
12. Chief – “Night & Day” (Modern Rituals)
13. Band of Horses – “Dilly” (Infinite Arms)
14. Arcade Fire – “We Used to Wait” (The Suburbs)
15. The Walkmen – “Woe is Me” (Lisbon)
16. Deerhunter – “Helicopter” (Halcyon Digest)
17. Tokyo Police Club – “Gone” (Champ)
18. Spoon – “Nobody Gets Me But You” (Transference)
19. Trances Arc – “Boom City” (TA)
20. Beach House – “Used to Be” (Teen Dream)

Well, it looks like that’ll do it. My thanks once more to Cousin Matt for his annual Best of mix, a tradition that now dates back for a decade between the two of us. Fuck, we’re old!

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!




  1. Glad you got “Scarecrows on a Killer Slant” on here. I tried, but in the end it didn’t work. Definately some things that I haven’t heard before which shouldn’t be a suprise, it is a Cousin Matt mix after all. Also nice to see Sharon Jones, as that was my #1 album of the year. Dap-tone just released a limited edition of “I Learned the Hard Way” in 45’s. Anywho, nice work!!

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