Overused but descriptive adjectives: Twangy, country-fried, upbeat.

Someone else said: "Changing Horses is coddled by dutiful touches of dobro, strummy gee-tar and a curiously Palin-esque banishment of all g's at the ends of words. The album serves neither Kweller nor country music." (Paste)

6. Kid Cudi, Man on the Moon: End of the Day

Basics: Cleveland rapper moves to Brooklyn, acquires 99 problems, all of which are bitches. His concept album also acquires three Grammy nominations.

Overused but descriptive adjectives: Introspective, melancholy, futuristic.

Someone else said: "Man on the Moon, the debut album from this rapper-singer from Cleveland, is a colossal, and mystifying, missed opportunity, misguided if it is in fact guided at all." (The New York Times, the world's most respected source for hip-hop criticism)

7. Matt and Kim, Grand

Basics: Brooklyn hipsters make spazzy, lo-fi and utterly irresistible Casio-pop record about being hipsters who live in Brooklyn, on Grand Street.

Overused but descriptive adjectives: Jaunty, DIY, hipster.

Someone else said: "Matt & Kim create deconstructed pop that retains all of the elements of truly successful bubble-gum without the manufactured resonance." (Pop Matters)

8. Throw Me the Statue, Createresque

Basics: Seattle indie-pop act sounds like a less overtly effeminate version of Passion Pit, makes killer second record that's too unlike first record for many fans.

Overused but descriptive adjectives: Smart, poppy, conflicted, easy listening.

Someone else said: "With few exceptions, including a three-song streak of lulled tempos at the album's close, the songs are unabashedly infectious, with clapping and stomping credits in the liner notes." (Paste)

9. Built To Spill, There Is No Enemy

Basics: Veteran Idaho band shows maturity, zeal with vibrant new record. Anyone who can get past singer Doug Martsch's Neil Young-esque vocals will dig it.

Overused but descriptive adjectives: Jammy, bearded, college, coda-rific.

I previously said: "Enemy feels a little like the mid- to late-period live album the band should have released by now, and that's why it's probably the most complete Built to Spill record to date. Is There Is No Enemy Martsch's masterpiece? Not necessarily, but it's closer than at least five of his six other Built to Spill albums." (Me)

10. Golden Boots, The Winter of Our Discotheque

Basics: Tucson band makes sophisticated second record that's gorgeous and achingly fuzzy with an incredible sense of place. Phoenix music critic is saddened his city did not make this.

Overused but descriptive adjectives: Alt-alt country, spacious, Southwestern, mish-mashed.

Someone else said: "Just as alt-country wove in elements of rock, punk, lo-fi folk, and whatever else was lying around on the floor into the fabric of traditional American country music, Golden Boots pulls country apart at the seams and stitches up a ragbag coat of many colors, patched up with dog-eared pop and psychedelic folksy charm." (Pop Matters)

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bea sting
bea sting

What an ass.Keep pimpin' Kinch, though. If nothing else, for the love of God, keep doing that.'Not my job'.... nice.

Martin Cizmar
Martin Cizmar


Please read what I wrote. I never said there weren't ANY good local CDs released last year, I said there weren't TEN great ones, and that if I can't make a top ten list without filler I'm not making one at all. I acknowledged some great Phoenix bands, but I'm not going to do a real list given what we had in the past year.

Also, it is nor my job to "pimp" the local scene and pretend it's something it's not - that's flat-out unethical. I'm a journalist, I report on what other people do. So do something if you want to be like Seattle...


What about Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, or Beirut? Or perhaps Lymbyc Systym's new album? Seems kind of counter-productive and anti-scene to not list any local band's new albums like Black Carl, Yellow Minute, Dry River Yacht, or Everything I've Never Seen. In Seattle they write about local music constantly just to elevate the local scene. You don't have to like it but at least acknowledge local accomplishments and promote it. That's how you build a scene. A scene is solely dependent on promotion and advertisement. The New Times always fucks that up. You guys kill the scene with pompous nonsense. You fail to treat the local scene with respect. There's something special going on here creatively compared to other places I've lived and visited.

Try to get out every once in a while and see what 20 something year olds like myself are into and tying to do. You need to pimp out the scene to make it happen.

TG for MC
TG for MC


Everyone in the Phoenix metro area really cares so much about what you have to say, especially when you write reviews of reviews about the albums of the year. Unlike local music, I'm glad the New Times has decided to finally put out a quality product. Keep up the greeeaaaaat work!


Really? Not ONE good thing that's local? Not one local effort that's a 'worthy' thing? Your taste must be completely in your mouth. Perhaps if you extended your musical reach beyond Kinch and that ilk... ah, but that seems to be too much to ask. Way to champion the local scene (Yep, one exists! Again, there's more than Kinch and Dear and the Headlights goin' on around here, sir). There's TONS going on in this town. Of course, since you only write about national acts and Kinch (yes, there's the 'K' word again!), you might not be aware of that.Dear bands that did not make this list, BE GLAD. Who hired you, Martin Cizmar? All I can say to that person is 'Way to go'.

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