Monday, December 20, 2010

News and Reviews 2010

It's almost the end of the year 2010 and time again to consider the miles we drove and days we spent in this trip around the sun. Whether it was a good year or a bad year, it always seems to be a long one. I had the good sense to start doing this in 2005 so at the very least I have some iota of what the hell I was thinking when I began. Now there is almost no other writing. This editor-free zone has become my mainstay for better or worse.
I've been making Top Tens for years longer than I've been writing Arcane Radio trivia. I started when I was in radio, kept going when I was in the biz, then continued as music critic. I now now that no one ever read that crap. But like Jingle cats, it's just part of the rich American holiday tradition of schadenfreude.You can see my last 5 years of "Best of'" at the links below:
Best Post: I was so torn on this. I got a lot of Feedback on my criticism of Wikipedia, but it's not radio-related so I excluded that one. I think My favorite was PPM Explained.  Math is hard, and not my best subject so it was a challenge for me to explain PPM in a way that I understood, and that others could as well. I also wrote a post called 105 Degrees and Rising, it covered the last few minutes of the Vietnam bug out in 1975. I got a lot of response and even some from a DJ who worked at AFRN at the time. I'm still waiting for some documents from him actually. I also wrote a history of Metal Radio that I was pleased with.

Best Music Blog: Best Blog this year goes to Dead Wax. they are a consistent source for obscure sides, old 45s, kitsch, rarities and oddities. It's been running since 2008.  Bob posts frequently but not consistently audio may go up once a week on a Saturday or three days in a row on week days. But he's got quality and quantity, I cant complain. 

Best Radio Show: While in Arizona I not only had time to eat several dozen tacos, I also had a lot of drive time to sample the local radio.  In Tucsoni I listened to "The Hub" on KXCI hosted by Bob Girth. It's a cornucopia of indie rock from this week, last week, and the last decade. You never know what's on the deck next. The show has it's own blog here.

Best Record Store:
Odyssey and Oracle in Portsmouth, NH. I've been there twice this year and raided their bins of cheap vinyl, and used CDs. There's also Bullmose records and a good pizzeria around the corner. Can't knock that. Second Prize goes to Jerrys Records in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. It was enormous, seeming to contain every permutation of every disc imaginable. The downside is that it's basically in Pittsburgh.

Best Local Paper: The City Newspaper in Rochester, NY.  Strange articles abtou music, art and malicious malingering crows... I dig it. They also pointed me at both House of Guitars and the Bop Shop. Total win.

Best Concert: Honkfest 2010!  I saw Honkfest in 2007 and it certainly made an impression. I went back for another visit to this all-day brass freak-out. My favorite was DJA Rara for sheer originality. I sat close enough to get stepped on. It was a hell of a show: What Cheer/ Brigade, Detroit party marching Band, Rude Mechanical Orchestra... it's a hell of a day. (had good curry too)

Top 10 Records of 2010
1. Killing Joke - Absolute Dissent
2. Gil Scott-Heron - I'm new here
3. Nerve City - Sleepwalker
4. White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights
5. The Fall - Your Future Our Clutter
6. Teenanger - Give Me Pink
7. Susu - R and R and R
8. Spoon - Transference
9. Dahga Bloom - Dahga Bloom
10. Maus Haus - Sea Sides

Also notable in 2010: Titus Andronicus - The Monitor,  Sleighbells - Treats, The Black Keys - Brothers, Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest, The Walkmen - Lisbon, No Age - Everything in Between, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - I Learned the Hard Way, Liars - Sisterworld, LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening, and Phosphorescent - Here's to Taking It Easy...


  1. Since the "Contact Me" link on your profile is disabled, I am using this comment form. I hope it's ok.

    Anyway, I browse your blog quite often, and just wanted to suggest a topic I've never seen you address, which is using a Tree as a Antenna!

    I thought it would be great for your blog to address the topic:

    The most well known documentation on it was published in Scientific American July 14, 1919, p.624 and Electrical Experimenter July 1919, p.204.

    "Talking Through The Trees by
    Major-General George O. Squier
    (Chief Signal Officer, US Army)
    How Transatlantic Radio messages Are Copied Via Tree Antenna"

    An online version of it (along with a couple scans from the original magazine publications) can be found at

    Again, I hope you don't object to me using this comment form for this.

    Thanks for your ever fascinating and enjoyable blog.

    Rich Powers

  2. Nws to me... let me read a bit about it. Sounds like my kind of thing.

    I'll check that contact me link, I didn't know it was disabled.

  3. Bob Girth here. I host The Hub every Monday night 10:00pm-12:00am on 91.3 FM KXCI Tucson, AZ.(
    Just saw that your favorite radio show of 2010 was The Hub. Thank you. Sorry it took two years to find this post. I'm still broadcasting the show every Monday night. If you ever find yourself munching tacos and driving in Tucson at night listening to the show call in and say 'hey' Thanks again.