John Schaefer's Top 10 of 2010


For this New Sounds program, John Schaefer throws his annual, highly subjective, completely opinionated list of the ten best new-music releases of 2010 into the ring. Listen to the contenders for this year: a chamber ensemble (ahem, feat. members of the National)  in collaboration with an indie vocalist, a Genius-award-winning jazz pianist and his trio, a classical ensemble with a rock rhythm section made of members from an influential post-rock band, a singer-speaker-storyteller with an alter-ego, an indie-classical song cycle for the same vocalist as mentioned above, and an unexpectedly beautiful combination of poetry, singer-songwriter and avant-jazz ensemble.  Plus some of the usual suspects...

PROGRAM #        3155, John Schaefer’s 2010 Top Ten            (First aired on 1-5-11)                                                         





10. Jason Moran & the Bandwagon


Feedback Pt. 2 [4:54]

Blue Note

9. Valgeir Sigurðsson


Dreamland [3:45]

Bedroom Community HVALUR8

8. The Young Scamels

The Tempest

Be Not Afeard [3:41]

FT 74

7.  The Unthanks

Here's the Tender Coming

Annachie Gordon, excerpt [4:00]

Rough Trade RTRADCD548

Honorable Mention: Osvaldo Golijov

La Pasión Según San Marcos

Excerpt [1:00]

Deutsche Grammophon 477 7461

6. Steve Reich/Bang on a Can All-Stars

Double Sextet / 2 x 5

2 x 5: Fast (3), excerpt [4:30]

Nonesuch 524583

5. Sarah Kirkland Snider, SIGNAL, Shara Worden


This Is What You’re Like [5:07]


4. David Karsten Daniels & Fight the Big Bull

I Mean To Live Here Still

All Things Are Current Found [3:27]

Or download from

3. Sam Amidon

I See the Sign

How Come That Blood [3:31]

Bedroom Community Records HVALUR9  OR

2. Laurie Anderson


The Beginning of Memory [2:51]

Nonesuch 524055

1.  Clogs

The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton

Last Song (feat. Matt Berninger from the National) [3:59]

Brassland HWY 021