Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010 - peter wonsowski

what a year. i have to say, i could have gladly made a mix of This Will Destroy You's "Communal Blood" ten times. i think it's the best thing i've heard by far and just what i was waiting for musically. thankfully Justin included that in his mix, so the following made the cut for 2010 (to be mixed in this order, if you like):

1) Syl Johnson - Syl was a legend who never quite broke big but worked behind the scene making the Twinight label the deep cut gold mausoleum it is. heard most often in Wu-Tang samples and one current movie trailer, this is my most recent acquisition: a cover of the great and oft-mistaken-for-Aretha Fontella Bass that i have been cracked out on all fall
2) Ayatollah - great hip hop producer, and this is one of my favorite beats by far that stands alone as a great song, and reaffirms to me that i think the man behind the turntables is infinitely more important to me than the people who MC over it
3) El Michels Affair - i excitedly went to go see singer Lee Fields on my birthday and was painfully early and alone, save a DJ on stage spinning this perfect 45. i embarrassed myself running up asking what it was he just played. the way he asked me wether i "spin records" i thought he was being a typical brooklyn snoot and said "yeah, at home", but he was actually handing me this record as a gift, like DJs never do.
4) Shabazz the Disciple - the man responsible for my favorite rap lyrics ever urgently recounts the tragic true story of survivors guilt and how it changed him over a perfect haunting loop of strings. "Before my journey after life, i'ma get even for you. Your spirit lives inside my body and I'm breathing for you" is the great summation of revenge and honor through better living
5) Guided By Voices - a philly-name-checked hit from the classic lineup i travelled across TX with my older brother to see on their recent reunion tour
6) Sharon Jones - she grows on you, but if you can see her live, she is a force of nature. i got to see her at the Apollo and meet her afterwards and it was an absolute highlight of our first year in Harlem
7) Budos Band - most Afro beat that isn't Fela absolutely fails for me. but seeing these unpretentious guys play their surprisingly dark, heavy, and concise(!) rekindles an affair with horns i haven't felt since 16 and ska
8) Ending in Ing - an anonymous sampler (i predict the name Mel Gerund) who makes all his tracks available for free. i love music that has such an indescribable Sadness that makes me so Happy
9) The Impressions - Curtis and company have long been a favorite group that i never dove too deep to find more. this was one i overlooked for too long that, like much of their catalog, is perfect
10) Al Green - i regret that a $4 bootleg of Book of Eli i bought at the laundromat had to introduce me to the best song i never heard of 2010. unable to take this 6+minute burner off of "repeat" for a month, i try not to remember that the BeeGees wrote it
+ my favorite phone call of the year

some runner ups: Red Sparrowes released their first good record, Beach House really is that good but requires gestation, Timi Yuro has some set of pipes, Alicia Keys was playing next door every time i walked outside, and again, This Will Destroy You.

(link should be good for a week or so. download button on the bottom of page)


i guess i got so excited i did a bonus 2009 mix (separate download from above). hope that's cool.
in order:

1) Tristeza - still making hypnotic bliss
2) Charles Bradley & the Menahan St. Band - was just about song of the year
3) Jorge Ben - the man who successfully sued Rod Stewart
4) Dorothy Ashby - making me really love the harp here
5) Darondo - crazy about this old man,; had to share this one
6) Jr Walker & the All Stars - cooked breakfast every weekend to this
8) Gladys Knight - never underestimate her again, even if she's backed by men called the Pips
9) Kings of Convenience - soft harmonious balm
10) The Dubliners - sometimes your collection of Irish music misses a gem
+one surprisingly lovely cover

(and sorry about the length)


  1. I love that inside of your white-dude, overly nice, apologetic frame is living a 65 year old Harlem black dude who lived in Cuba and Austin for a while.And who is unscared to break shit, sometimes.
    For serious.

    2010 mix success. Soundtrack to my workweek, all week.

  2. Just finished listening to your mix, Peter. Budos Band, Sharon Jones, The Impressions & Al Green were the standouts for me. My irrational hatred of Guided By Voices is still strong, though I did try.

  3. Awesome peter, awesome blog idea too and awesome way to discover new music, the best way, recommendations!