year-end picks 2010 : Jason 'WitchFinder General' Wellwood
Jason "Witchfinder General Wellwood
Host: Blowing Up The Lakehead (loud rock) Monday’s 10pm-1am EST & Can-Knuckle Tracks (Canadian independent loud rock) Thursday Midnight-2am EST
I also host a country show and a rockabilly show, but the two metal shows are my true passion. Blowing Up the Lakehead has been my baby for 6 years now, Can-Knuckle Tracks is just over 2 months old but building steam quickly.
2010 in Review
Another great year in music has come and gone, Time to take a look back, take stock, remember the good, try to get past the over-rated and over-hyped and highlight some over-looked gems. But first we have some playlists that capture the year in music (from a personal viewpoint)...
Best of 2010 Playlists
Picks and Pans 2010
Looking back at some of the best, the over-rated, local surprises and more. Radio hosts from across the country weigh in...
Best Jazz CDs of 2010 by Jim Dupuis
Top 10 for 2010 by Scott Thomson
The Kitchen Sink by Chris Hibbard
Good Stuff. Enjoyable Things. by Kat Dornian
Key Contrast ft. Clash by Clash Contrast
Punk, Garage & lo-fi by Alicia
Anarcha-Feminist Kool Aid Acid Test (west) by Aaron Levy
Blowing Up the Lakewood by Jason Wellwood
|TW||Artist - Title - (Label)|
|1||The Arcade Fire
The Suburbs - (Merge)
|2|| Broken Social Scene
Forgiveness Rock Record - (Arts & Crafts)
|3||The New Pornographers
Together - (Last Gang)
|4||The Black Keys
Brothers - (Nonesuch)
Swim - (Merge)
|6|| Tokyo Police Club
Champ - (Dine Alone)
Heartland - (For Great Justice)
|8|| Plants And Animals
La La Land - (Secret City)
Darker Circles - (Outside)
Public Strain - (Flemish Eye)
View the full !earshot Top 200
|Specialty Charts #1s|
|Electronic:||Caribou - Swim - (Merge)|
|Hip Hop:||Shad - TSOL - (Black Box)|
|International:||Various - The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria - (Soundway)|
|Jazz:||Cory Weeds - The Many Deeds of Cory Weeds - (Cellar Live)|
|Loud:||Cancer Bats - Bears, Mayors, Scraps And Bones - (Distort)|
|Folk/ Roots/ Blues:||Old Man Luedecke - My Hands Are On Fire & Other Love Songs - (Black Hen)|
My Top 10 records of the year
Blind Guardian – At The Edge of Time (Nuclear Blast)
This record surprised me with how fantastic it was. I wasn’t expecting anything quite as over the top while being completely serious. The thing about Blind Guardian is they can make an amazing power metal record without having to resort to the ‘wink and nudge’ formula that so many others do. The songs are powerful, catchy and smart. Fantasy fiction come to life, it’s not just for us nerds, you’ll all love it. http://www.myspace.com/blindguardian
Mares of Thrace – The Moulting (Arctodus)
I was stunned by this record. I’ve known the ladies in Mares of Thrace for awhile know and I knew that they were into some heavier, more technical stuff outside of their former band (Kilbourne). I had no idea it would be this amazing, jammed out, technical doom metal that would leave me with my mouth hanging open from minute one until 10 minutes after the record ended. Pick up this record and definitely see them live. They rule. www.myspace.com/maresofthrace
Rhapsody of Fire – The Frozen Tears of Angels (Nuclear Blast)
Rhapsody of Fire write music that should be made into movies. Period. Everything on this record is epic sounding and could easily be turned into a blockbuster fantasy movie starring Christopher Lee. This is what really good power metal should sound like, the sound, the imagery, the songs. Fantastic. www.rhapsodyoffire.com
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Mojo (Reprise)
This is classic Tom Petty. There isn’t a song on this record that you wouldn’t expect to hear on classic rock radio in a few years and still love. Tom Petty for me has always been an amazing story teller with his music and Mojo stands up for me as strongly as Damn The Torpedoes does. www.tompetty.com
Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction – We Are Volsung (SPV)
Hitting his sleaziest best, Zodiac and crew haven’t sounded this good since Tattooed Beat Messiah in 1988. Zodiac is completely out of his gourd, and the lyrics on this record are further testimony to that. This is sleaze rock with an extra helping of motor oil.
Striker – Eyes In The Night (Iron Kodex)
One of many incredible Canadian bands bringing traditional metal back, Striker have produced a solid record, without a piece of filler on it. This is powerful, fun, fist pumping metal. The band are also one of the best live bands I’ve seen in a long time.
The John Henrys – White Linen (True North)
Channeling the spirit of Tom Petty, the boys in The John Henrys have written an awesome follow up to their 2008 release Sweet as the Grain. Not quite country, not quite rock, this is a story telling, beer drinking, boot stomping, catchy as hell, record. www.thejohnhenrys.com
Scythia - …Of War (Self Released)
Folk metal from Canada. Don’t laugh though this is an incredibly catchy piece of art. Dave Kahn knows how to tell a story and he’ll make you sing and dance along while he does it. Gorgeous and powerful.
Monster Magnet – Mastermind (Napalm)
Much stronger than 2008’s 4 Way Diablo, this is a terrific outing for Monster Magnet. All of the groovy, stonery goodness you’d expect from the stoner rock kings. www.monstermagnet.net
Orchid’s Curse – Voices: The Tales of Broken Men (Diminished Fifth)
Josh Hogan and company bring progressive metal to metalcore and make it their own. A truly solid record beginning to end, this is something you’ll be screaming along to in your sleep.
Most under-rated record of the year
Kobra and The Lotus – Out of The Pit (Self Released)
The album only hints at the talent in this band. The songs are there, raw but maidenesque. Brittany Paige has an incredible set of pipes (admittedly, I didn’t dig them to start but more and more, I’m astounded by her range) and the rest of the band are solid musicians. Folks in the U.K. seem to get the band and the album but they sure aren’t getting as much love here as they should have. Read the full review. www.kobraandthelotus.com
Most over-rated record of the year
Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare (Warner)
Sorry, I’ve never been a fan, and this album did nothing to change my mind. It’s not awful, but it’s certainly not worthy of all the praise it was given. It’s sad that they lost their drummer and sad that Mike Portnoy decided to leave Dream Theater to join the band. I don’t see any reason for this to have received as much attention as it did.
Best local release
It was a pretty slow year for local releases this year as last year there was a whole slew of album so most bands were in writing mode. Makeshift Astronaut completed an incredible album full of spacey indie rock goodness but it hasn’t been released as of yet. I believe the fate of the band is actually up in the air right now. Check them out anyway at: http://www.myspace.com/makeshiftastronaut . Thunder Bay’s Minotaur released an awesome demo this year full of Motorhead riffs and raw throat bellowing that is guaranteed to get your head banging and fist pumping. They’ve called it quits for now but check them out as well at http://www.myspace.com/minotaurrocks
Best personal campus/community radio moment or experience of the year.
As a station manager, overall for 2010 it was the 5th anniversary of our station being FM. At least once a week I was approached by someone letting me know how much they enjoyed the station. It’s been fantastic.
As a programmer, my 20 minute interview with Phillip H. Anselmo was probably the highlight. A close second would be my one hour (!) conversation with Zodiac Mindwarp who was the opener of my first ever parent free concert journey (Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction, Guns N’ Roses and Iron Maiden at the C.N.E. Grandstand).
Record you are most anticipating for 2011
I’d say there are two that I’m really looking forward to hearing. The first one is local boys Norris (http://www.myspace.com/rightnorris) who will be releasing their first record for label Year of the Sun in early 2011 entitled The Great White North. A healthy mix of technical death and melody without becoming ‘core’ anything, Norris are poised to break out of Thunder Bay, if they can score a new van.
Number two for me is Phil Anselmo’s solo record due out sometime in mid-2011. He’s actually writing all the songs, singing and playing everything but drums on it. He will probably have some guest lead guitarists but for the most part, this will be an actual solo record (unlike some singers I could mention).