Friday Mix Tape: HT’s Top 25 Albums

Since we’ve spent the entire week recounting our favorite albums of 2010, and quite frankly you’re probably tired of reading about them, seemed like a no-brainer to end the week

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HT 25 Best Albums of 2010: Numbers 21-25

For the second consecutive year, we concocted an innovative little experiment for our year-end Best Albums list. Instead of picking the old fashioned way, we opted for something a little different: a collaborative, collective list that incorporates the opinions of everybody here at HT.

To begin, we devised an all-encompassing list of well over 100 nominees, whereby most everything our contributors recommended made this list. Then, we invited our crew of writers to independently and blindly vote on each album within the list on a scale of 1 to 20 (20 = epic). We ended up with varying degrees of familiarity for the nominees as some folks voted on just about everything, while some ranked just a few. From there, we deployed our egghead algorithm for rating albums: (two times the average rating) + (the total number of votes). At that point, we took the top 25 highest scores and presto: Hidden Track’s 25 Best Albums of 2010. No bullshit, no big opinions; just the results.

Let’s kick off our week long countdown of our favorite albums of 2010 with numbers 25 through 21…

25) Sleigh BellsTreats

Key Tracks: Tell ‘Em, Infinity Guitars

Sounds Like: Electric Guitars and Cheerleaders

The Skinny: Sleigh Bells came out of nowhere in 2010 to emerge as a break out of the highest order. Despite being a just a duo, the boy-girl tandem of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss manage to slug out bombs with their stomping beats, cutting guitar attacks and anthemic vocal hooks. With Treats, Sleigh Bells have created a genuinely unique twist on amped-up party music.

READ ON for the next four albums in our countdown…

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At The Barbecue: Constructive Summer – The HT Staff’s Favorite Shows of the Season

Wow, I can’t believe we’ve made almost three-quarters of the way through the year and we’ve haven’t had the time to get the HT Crew together for a solid hang to talk music, while chowing down on a tasty spread of burgers, dogs, kebabs and whatnot. With summer officially coming to an end yesterday, we thought we’d invite the gang over to HT Headquarters to enjoy the quickly disappearing last warm days of the year, throw some large hunks of meat on the grill and crack open a few Long Trail Harvest Ales for another rousing edition of At The Barbecue.


This time around we’re having everyone share with the class what they did on their summer vacation by discussing their favorite show of the summer – which we’ve roughly defined as anything seen between Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends. So with that in mind let’s get to it…

Scott Bernstein – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / MMJ – August 24 – Izod Center – East Rutherford, NJ

Picking my favorite concert of the summer wasn’t easy as there were about five concerts that all could’ve easily been my choice. While Phish’s second Camden show was fairly epic, God Street Wine’s reunion shows were a blast and catching Squeeze in the middle of Bryant Park was sublime, I’ve decided that the My Morning Jacket/Tom Petty show I saw at the Izod Center on August 24th was my favorite concert of the season. MMJ tore through all of their classics and didn’t hold anything back in tackling their best material, while Petty did a great job of presenting a mini-set of songs from his latest album smack dab in the middle of a flawless greatest hits set.

Not only was the music great but I was very surprised by the enthusiasm displayed by the concertgoers in my section. I expected a crowd of folks who were content to sit all night and instead most stood and danced with joy and excitement. I took great pleasure in watching MMJ win over Petty fans and I do believe The Heartbreakers are extremely underrated as musicians, especially keyboardist Benmont Tench. I tend to focus on the details and watching Tench come up with innovative fills on a variety of vintage keyboards was a revelation. I would’ve never guessed going into the show that MMJ/Petty would be my favorite gig of the summer, but perhaps the lack of expectations and a full, rocking arena led this night to a special place in my heart. Plus, I’m just a sucker for arena rock.

READ ON for more of the HT Staff’s favorite shows of the summer…

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SCI Fuck With The Stars @ Red Rocks

String Cheese Incident “fucked with the stars” last night at Red Rocks where they debuted covers of MGMT’s anthem for the youth, Time to Pretend, and Joe Walsh’s ode to

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