(Josh Potter con't)
One of the great lessons from 2010 is that musical ambition is no longer being regarded as pretentious. Sufjan Stevens and Joanna Newsom each struck a difficult balance between the emotional accessibility of well-crafted pop and the evolutionary imperative of challenging arrangements‚ and I expect that each of their albums from this year will stand as major stepping stones along the way to a culture of patient‚ open-eared listeners. This is a surprising development‚ as blog culture continues to accelerate the rate of exchange and disposability of songs‚ bands and micro-genres‚ but ambition can function as a type of antidote. However‚ Fang Island and Mountain Man represent the power of this infrastructure to catapult deserving unknowns into the public eye. Each debut is raw and flawed (and totally stylistically distinct) but they arrived with the kind of unselfconscious urgency that didn't rely on posture or nostalgia and seemed to encapsulate this moment in time. The same can be said of Flying Lotus' masterly beat collage‚ which is as musical as it is party-friendly‚ and carries more ideas than most artists generate in their entire career.
Evangelos Dimitriadis

Top 10 Albums:
1. The Books - The Way Out
2. Phantogram - Eyelid Movies
3. Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?
4. Dark Dark Dark - Wild Go
5. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
6. Beach House - "Teen Dream"
7. Growing - "Pumps!"
8. MGMT - "Congratulations"
9. Deerhunter - "Halcyon Digest"
10. Crystal Castles - "Crystal Castles"
3 Mixes:
*Joker - "Ghetto Clang Mix"
*Beam&Deem - "Both For Colors"
*B.Shields - "Angel of the Bottomless Pit"
2010 Notables:
Brothers Past -- their live shows left an uproar of enthusiasm for the indie-electronic explorers. 2011 should be the year of a new studio work from the outfit (finally!).
The Coathangers -- quite a vulgar name for a girl group‚ but that's okay. Caught my eye‚ and I'm glad for it. Surf-ish post-punk with fun antics is what these Atlanta girls are about. I especially like "Tonya Harding" and "Toomerhead". Looking forward to seeing them live this year.
Soap & Skin -- her performance at LPR in Manhattan was the most meaningful show of the year to me‚ this pianist is not to be overlooked. Hoping for her new material to be released soon.
Scott McMicken - Shame‚ Shame easily could have made my album list‚ but in all honesty I listened to Fate more. Scott wrote "Happy Birthday Part II‚" which is beautiful -- songwriting at near perfection. Dr. Dog and 2011‚ word to your Mothra.
PENS and Explode Into Colors -- Now I may be cheating a bit‚ both of these bands don't play much anymore‚ but hey‚ the new year is about wishes and goals right? Well I found both bands in '10‚ and want to hear/see more from them. A couple years back PENS created "High in the Cinema‚" lo-fi pop-punk in all its glory‚ and E.I.C.‚ from the West Coast‚ got their hooks in me with their tribal drone-rock. Listen to "Sharpen The Knife."
Mike McKinley

Top 5 Albums:
1. Dr. Dog - Shame‚ Shame
2. LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening
3. Vijay Iyer - Solo
4. Jason Moran - Ten
5. Stereolab - Not Music
Other records I listened to over and over: Mostly Other People Do the Killing - Forty FortKaki King - Junior‚ and Marco Benevento - Between Needles and Nightfall. Started the year at a Phish show and ended the year at a Phish show -- yep‚ they're playing music that's worth seeing over and over again (still). Dr. Dog made an album that I'm going to listen to forever. LCD Soundsystem got me twice live‚ too many times on record. But the highlight of the year was seeing Pavement play for the first time in Central Park. In the rain and lightning‚ they played music that only the alchemy of five personalities and a lot of history could deliver.
Doug Collette

Top Records
The Derek Trucks Band - Roadsongs
Peter Case - Wig!
Los Lobos - Tin Can Trust
Charlie Hunter - Gentlemen‚ I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid
Jackson Browne/David Lindley - En Vivo con Tino
Dr Dog - Shame‚ Shame
Graham Parker - Imaginary Television
Erik Krasno - Reminisce
John Hiatt - The Open Road
JJ Grey & Mofro Georgia Warhorse
Top Concerts:
Eric Clapton & Jeff Beck - MSG‚ 2/19/10
The Black Crowes - Higher Ground‚ 10/19/10
Phish - SPAC‚ 6/20/10
John Hiatt & The Combo - Lebanon Opera House‚ 3/8/10
Sonny Rollins - Discover Jazz- Flynn Mainstage‚ 6/12/10