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KUCI DJ Picks 2010
Hand-picked with love from your favorite KUCI DJs ? it?s the Best of 2010 list! As always, thanks for supporting community radio.

Unless otherwise noted, these lists reflect the DJ?s Top Albums of the year.

Kyle ? Things that Are Square, Thursday nights 6pm-8pm
Mi Ami ? Steal Your Face (Thrill Jockey)
Mi Ami is a dub-influenced psych-dance guitar/bass/drums threesome putting down the sweatiest, nastiest dance party you've ever heard as if their lives depended on it. Six tracks of eight-minute rhythmic workouts that will not stop until you've worked yourself into a lather. I've literally hurt myself dancing to this album. Such is it's power.

The Books ? The Way Out (Temporary Residence)
Pulling from a library of found sounds, ambient textures, and strong songwriting by their guitar/cello core, the Books have fashioned an album that is at once ethereal and beautiful, clever, catchy, and totally unique. It makes experimental music incredibly accessible, and will stretch the ears of folk-nerds. This album is warm and inviting like a bed made of puppies and and cocoa (but less messy).

Xiu Xiu ? Dear God, I Hate Myself (Kill Rock Stars)
Xiu Xiu's latest album of avant-pop is easily their best since 2004's Fabulous Muscles. As usual, there's plenty of enfant terrible Jamie Stewart's abrasive and confrontational tales of eating disorders and sex crimes over discordant and noisy beds of music. The thing that makes this album a contender for album of the year is that it makes a discordant song about sex crimes something both listenable and relatable. [Spoiler alert: your grandma won't like this album.]

Captain Ahab ? The End of Irony (Deathbomb Arc)
Los Angeles "ravesploitation" duo Captain Ahab has some of the best live shows in the universe. Sweaty, speedo'd band-member Jim Merson (credited with "dancing" on the album) makes his way around the room hyping up the crowd while Jonathan Snipes (credited with "everything but dancing") creates a mix of dancefloor burners that the crowd then proceeds to lose their mind to. This album is the soundtrack to a 1,000 good times. Ridiculous, over-the-top good times.

Best Coast ? Crazy for You (Mexican Summer)
This album is just a bunch of really good, simple surf-pop songs that are as irresistible as an In-n-Out burger. Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino reps California pretty hard, and knows how to write a good song about the important things in life: love, the beach, cats, and weed.

Jarret ? The Dread Zone, Monday nights 6pm-8pm
Alborosie ? Escape From Babylon... (Greensleeves)
A white-Italian reggae artist, his vocal stylings and heavy bass production skills render him the new superstar of reggae. Highlights on this album include a reworking of Steel Pulse's "Stepping Out" with David Hinds himself.

Massive Attack ? Heligoland (Virgin)
Their 5th studio album finds Daddy G once again in the line-up, making the song "Splitting the Atom" a standout. Also in the lineup is longtime member Horace Andy plus Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz.) More trippy than trip-hop, but ever-so-spooky.

Eric Hilton ? Babylon Central (ESL)
Not a new release per se, this film soundtrack to Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation's film "Babylon Central" features the perfect blend of classic reggae from the Revolutionaries, post-punk dub from Bad Brains, and funk/soul from a host of other top artists. Fun fun fun.

Joe Gibbs ? Reggae Discomix Showcase v. 5 (17 North Parade)
In reggae, the "discomix" is a fun way of saying a 12" version of a single, mixed with a DJ vocal overdub. But this collection actually features some reggae versions of popular disco hits - like "Being with You" (George Tobin/Smokey Robinson.)

Method of Defiance ? Jahbulon (M.O.D.)
Another supergroup featuring legendary bassist Bill Laswell, accompanied by longtime collaborators Bernie Worrell (Funkadelic) and Dr. Israel, to name a few. Previous Method releases are experimental jazz; consider this release experimental reggae.

Andy ? A Midnight Anthem, Thursday mornings 12am-3am
Laura Veirs ? July Flame (Raven Marching Band)
Seasoned folk artist Laura Veirs turns out an effervescent, irresistible seventh album that's inviting on first listens and even more rewarding on subsequent listens.

Tokyo Police Club ? Champ (Memphis Industries)
Fun and summery indie rock, built on solid hooks and the warble of nostalgically sung lyrics.

Los Campesinos! ? Romance is Boring (Arts & Crafts)
The British twee-pop band really comes into its own with a more mature aesthetic and a unified album that thrives on self-reflexive lyrics that are clever but never precious.

Sun Kil Moon ? Admiral Fell Promises (Caldo Verde Records)
Acoustic folk at its best, this is Mark Kozelek's most personal album, and a truly moving one at that.

Freelance Whales ? Weathervanes (Frenchkiss Records)
Electro-pop hasn't been this artfully crafted since Ben Gibbard traded mail with Dntel. A promising start and a personal favorite.

Heather McCoy, KUCI Programming Director ? Racheal Ray's Cooking Accident, Tuesday nights 8pm-10pm
May McDonough ? Split Milk (ArtiSans Label)
Orange County's own May McDonough not only made my favorite album of 2010 but it's the best album from an Orange County artist since Save Ferris put Introducing... to tape. If you haven't heard songs from Spilt Milk on my show, the album is well worth checking out.

Various Artists ?The Minimal Wave Tapes (Stones Throw)

Goes Calypso ? MITT LIV SOM KATT (Life's Blood)
Not quite pop, not quite indie, not quite experimental but it touches on all three in interesting ways. A great album to have for a long drive.

Various Artists ? Deutsche Elektronische Musik (Soul Jazz)
If you liked the In-Kraut compilations from the previous decade, this album is the next logical place for Kraut rock to go. This double disc set contains music from well known artists like Can & Amon Duul II to artists never heard on this side of the Atlantic.

Various Artists ? Cold Wave & Minimal Electronics Vol. 1 (101 Distribution)

Emilie ? Caf? Decay, Monday mornings 3am-6am
Blue Cross ? Demo (Capitalicide Tapes)
Goth punk from Canada. Tribal beats, UK Decay and aggressive Anne Marie Hurst-esque vocals rolled into one ? so awesome.

The Hollow Circle ? November (self-released)
Atmospheric and psychedelic post-punk goth from Italy.

Sealings ? 2010 (Clan Destine Records)
Recorded out of the closet of someone's bedroom. Lo-fi catchy garage energy.

Cold Death ? Demo (self-released)
Wave punk from Germany, reminds me of a gothic Tsunami Bomb.

Pink Turns Blue ? Storm (Strobelight Records)

DJ Captain Anarky, KUCI Punk/Ska Genre Assistant ? Dope Sick Radio, Saturday mornings 6am-8am
The Gaslight Anthem ? American Slang (Side One Dummy)
Gogol Bordello ? Trans-Continental Hustle (American Recordings)
The Black Pacific ? The Black Pacific (Side One Dummy)
The Dollyrots ? A Little Messed Up (Blackheart Records)
Mad Caddies ? Consentual Selections (Fat Wreck Chords)

Michael Payne ? The Darkling Eclectica, Sunday afternoons 4pm-6pm
The Microscopic Septet ? Friday the 13th: The Micros Play Monk (Cuneiform Records)
Harpeth Rising ? Harpeth Rising (self-released)
Rose's Pawn Shop ? Dancing on the Gallows (self-released)
Tennessee Mafia Jug Band ? Poor Leroy's Almanack (self-released)
Various Artists ? Oasis World Sampler, vol. 10 (Oasis)

George ? George Had A Hat, Tuesday afternoons 10am-1pm
Abe Vigoda ? Crush (PPM Records)
The Black Keys ? Brothers (Nonesuch Records)
The Books ? The Way Out (Temporary Residence LTD)
The Fall ?Your Future Our Clutter (Domino)
Tame Impala ? Solitude is Bliss (Modular)
White Denim ? Last Day of Summer (Downtown Records)

And because he?s awesome, here are George?s Top Bands of the Year?

Girl Talk (Illegal Art)
Gonjasufi (Warp Records)
Grinderman (Mute/Anti)
Jeff the Brotherhood (Infinity Cat Records)
Pregnant (Life's Blood)
Wavves (Fat Possum Records)

j.pulaski, KUCI RPM/Hip Hop Genre Assistant ? innamissions, Monday nights 8pm-10pm
Album: Bonobo ? Black Sands (Ninja Tune)
Track: Jamie Woon "Night Air - Ramadanman remix? (Candent)
Label (3 way tie!): Ninja Tune, Soundway, Numero Group
Compilation: Absolute Belter (Finders Keepers)
O.S.T. ? Hans Zimmer "Inception? (Reprise)

Tan, KUCI Music Director - Music for Manbabies (on hiatus)
Ceschi ? The One Man Band Broke Up (Fake Four)
The National ? High Violet (4AD)
The Drums ? ST (Moshi Moshi Records)
Sage Francis ? Li(f)e (Anti)
Freelance Whales ? Weathervanes (Frenchkiss Records)
Tokyo Police Club ? Champ (Mom & Pop Music)
HotChaCha ? Fantastic Static (Exit Stencil Recordings)

Rita, KUCI Marketing/Promotions Assistant ? The Sound Session, Thursdays nights 8pm-10pm
Top Live Shows
Special thanks to every band that played live on The Sound Session this year!

Vivian Girls, Deathday Party @ UCI Cross Cultural Center (Presented by Acrobatics Everyday? keep it up kids!)
The Big Pink, A Place to Bury Strangers, Active Child and IO Echo @ El Rey
Les Savy Fav @ The Getty Museum
School of Seven Bells, Active Child and Foster the People @ Detroit Bar
Glass Candy and Chromatics @ Club 740 (DTLA)
Sleigh Bells and Pictureplane @ Detroit Bar

Mike ? Revolution Radio, Friday mornings 3am-6am
Broken Bells ? Broken Bells (Columbia)
Kelley Stoltz ? To Dreamers (Sub Pop)
Beach House ? Teen Dream (Sub Pop)
Film School ? Fission (Hi-Speed Soul)
Groove Armada ? Black Light (OM Records)

Monique ? Electric Pop Rocks, Friday afternoons 1pm-4pm
Ratatat ? LP4 (XL)
Crystal Castles ? Crystal Castles (II) (Universal Motown
Local Natives ? Gorilla Manor (Frenchkiss Records)
Chromeo ? Business Casual (Big Beat)
Two Door Cinema Club ? Tourist History (Glassnote)

Alex ? Electric Pop Rocks, Friday afternoons 1pm-4pm
Ratatat ? LP4 (XL)
Two Door Cinema Club ? Tourist History (Glassnote)
Crystal Castles ? Crystal Castles (II) (Universal Motown)
Baths ? Cerulean (Anticon)
Jonsi ? Go (XL)

DJ Azrael, KUCI Loud Rock/Metal Genre Assistant ? Metalmorphosis (KUCI Alumni)
Misery Index ? Heirs to Thievery (Relapse Records)
Cephalic Carnage ? Misled by Certainty (Relapse Records)
Enslaved ? Axioma Ethica Odini (Nuclear Blast)
Scar Symmetry ? Dark Matter Dimensions (Nuclear Blast)
Unleashed ? As Yggdrasil Trembles (Nuclear Blast)


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