Editor's Pick: I'm tempted to say myself on this one. I just didn't connect to a lot of music this year. Especially new music, most of which I was either indifferent to or outright loathed. I'm not really the navel-gazing type, though, so I'll just chalk it up to an off year and move on. I doubt you could find a whole lot of critics who could make a case 2010 was the best year for music ever anyway. Or would want to.
On the other hand, I could not be prouder of the work Rocks Off as a whole did this year. I read a lot of other music blogs, and I think we have the best in the city (easily), the state, the region and maybe even the entire U.S. I just want all of them, and all of you, to know that.
Marc Brubaker: People talking at shows! If you paid good money to go see a show, shut the fuck up and watch the show. No one wants to hear you jawing away in the crowd, talking about whatever the hell you think is more important than the band on stage. Take it outside, or in the next room at least. It's amazing how Houston is perfectly content to waste its money talking through a show they paid to see.
John Seaborn Gray: Four letters: MGMT. Their sophomore album, Congratulations, was terminally boring. I'm fine with bands that take risks and change up their sound, but I expect that change to be due to passion and artistic integrity, not just as a "fuck you" to fans.
Congratulations embraced rambling, psychedelic stoner-rock at the expense of MGMT's earlier success with catchy dance-rock, and that wasn't even the problem. The problem was, it wasn't good rambling, psychedelic stoner-rock. Every song was completely forgettable, and I mean completely; I listened to that album five, maybe six goddamned times and I can't recall a single note or phrase.
Not a crescendo nor a catchy riff nor even a pleasing confluence of tones existed on Congratulations. It droned, it staggered, it stopped. That last part was the only thing I liked about it. I might as well have listened to hornworms chewing on my tomato plants for all I took from that album.
Craig Hlavaty: I didn't care for the Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, at least not as much as I loved Neon Bible.
Jef With One F: In my case, 2010 has been made up of a lot of little disappointments. It's another year without Kathryn Hallberg putting out an LP. It's another years without a new, non-remix based Asmodeus X album. It's another long wait to see how The Brown Dog Affair finally ends. It's one less awesome venue with the Meridian gone - though how a club that charged that much for well drinks went out of business we'll never know.
It was also a year of skipping shows in the name of being there to say goodnight to my one-year old daughter. Wife With One F and I wouldn't trade her for all the rock and roll on Earth, but we do miss standing in the front row and letting the magic wash over us.
Matthew Keever: Against Me!'s White Crosses. I had high hopes for White Crosses, and after hearing "I Was a Teenage Anarchist," their first single, I really thought Against Me!'s new album would be amazing. Unfortunately, even after forcing myself to listen to the entire CD three times through, it came across as boring. I really wanted to like it, but I just couldn't.
Shea Serrano: I was so heartbroken when I listened to Z-Ro's Heroin. I look forward to his albums like a kid from a broken home looks forward to his dad picking him up on the weekend to take him camping.
So when I heard it, heard all of the retreads and half-heartedness, it was devastating. It was like he drove up, saw me sitting there waiting for him in the driveway with my sleeping bag and everything packed, slowed the car down, rolled down the window and was like, "Uh, I'm not gonna be able to take you this weekend, son. Maybe in about a month we can. Oh, and by the way: You're ugly."
2011 has to be a better year for him.
William Michael Smith: The Pogues called it quits. Not the Rolling Stones, who haven't made a decent record in ages; not Chuck Berry, who, at 84, is playing a New Year's show in Chicago and just may be too tough to die; not Best in Texas magazine, which should be euthanized for the public good; no, the Pogues called it quits in 2010.
Unique and totally irreplaceable. Someone please play this song at my funeral.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.