1. El Perro Del Mar, “Glory To the World.” Sweden’s Sarah Assbring (yes, you’d use a pseudonym, too) uses a magic telescope to peer into her fellow scientists’ psyches while serenading us with child-like rhymes that make Jonathan Richman sound like Slayer.
2. The Lovely Feathers, “In the Valley.”
3. Radiohead, “Electioneering.”
4. The Ark, “This Piece of Poetry is Meant to Do Harm.”
5. The Long Blondes, “Guilt.” (clap. clap. clap-clap-clap. clap-clap-clap. clap.) Dog Show! Sadly, Couples, which was released in April, is likely to be it for the Long Blondes. The band’s guitarist, Dorian Cox, suffered a stroke last summer, has had a difficult recovery and announced three weeks ago the band was packing it in as a result. A sad end to a promising band.
6. Lewis Black, “The Fall, Hurricanes and Weather.”
7. The Dirtbombs, “Sherlock Holmes.”
8. Todd Rundgren, “Mighty Love.”
9. St. Vincent, “Your Lips Are Red.”
10. The Brand New Heavies, “Dream On Dreamer.” A classic case of Band, Interrupted. An interracial British group that came up through the acid jazz scene in the ’80s, the Heavies joined up with American R&B singer N’dea Davenport in the early ’90s, only to see her leave after the band’s 1994 breakthrough, Brother Sister, truly one of the greatest collections of neo-soul to come out of that period. She was replaced by session singer Siedah Garrett for ’97′s Shelter, but the chemistry was off. In 1998, Davenport put out an extraordinarily sexy album of bedroom funk, Underneath the Red Moon, while the Brand New Heavies drifted into “big in Japan” obscurity. They reunited with Davenport in 2006 with Get Used to It, and stylistically had not skipped a beat, but commercially, this strong band had lost momentum.