Ed: As has become tradition with the rise of a new year at TB HQ, I like to "kick-off" the Best of the Year festivities with some insight from our favorite Skull Music artists and get their take on the year that passed and what they considered its highs and lows. Usually this goes well. But as can happen with busy life schedules and such, things don't always work out as good as you'd like. Richie had a tough year. John Sharkey III was unvailable for comment. But of course Steven of Homostupids (who you might know as "Lean Steve") was forthcoming with the info. He's a lot things, and reliable is certainly one of them.

American Male

Hello Rich K.,
Thanks for the invite to to fill in you and the readers of TB about the details of my 2010. I suppose that if I really thought about it, went through a few dozen volumes of notebooks and poured over a box of snapshots, I might be able to scribble out some paragraphs of interest. I gather that youíre most interested in learning about my listening habits of the previous twelve months. Iím certain that the handful of readers who visit your website would love nothing more than to glean an insight into my psyche via a short stack of vinyl. It would seem to them that the stereo is a window to my soul. I can understand their fascination.

However, youíll have to explain to these fellows that I donít care to divulge such information as I break the spine on another calendar. I donít really have the time and Iím learning that itís best to maintain some distance from oneís public.

So Iíll leave it to one Steven Peffer to provide content on the events of 2010. Heís a respectable gentleman with a sturdy intellect and an interesting, if sometimes impenetrable, wit.

Richie in Philadelphia

Ed: Steven of Homostupids turned in the below list ahead of schedule. I've always admired his punctuality. I also admire that Gaunt makes his list every year.

The new year has begun and it's time to look back on the the year that is no longer with us. In my mind I will remember the records that played in my living room over and over and over. Now they are playing in my brain as I remember them.

Public Image Ltd. "Commercial Zone" album
This album moved P.I.L. into some more funky territory. A few of their better tunes are on here. It's fucking great.

His Electro Blue Voice "Animal Verses" 7 inch
A total monster. Great wild guitar.

Puerto Rico Flowers "4" 12 inch
What the hell kind of music is this? Is it faggy? Yes. Does almost nothing happen? Yes. I love it.

U.S. Girls "Go Grey" album
I listen to this in the living room. I listen to this in the bathroom. I listen to this at the car wash.

Neil Young "Zuma" album
For years this album did not do much for me. What was the matter with me? From beginning to end, this thing tears into the refrigerator and scrambles your eggs. Wide open tunes with oodles of intense guitar work.

Timmy's Organism "Green Gorilla Man" album
Around these parts we refer to Timmy as "The Voice". Some stellar party blasters on here as well as some cool out bathtub jams.

Gaunt "Sob Story" album
Not a stinker on here. A perfect album to wake the roommates at 4am.

Neil Young "Broken Arrow" album
One of his best. Got me through Christmas.

Zola Jesus "Stridulum" 12 inch
Drive through the snowstorm.

Konntinent "Opal Island" album
Cold music.

Clockclean Er "Auf go bye bye" 12 inch
The band delivers a needed final blow after that weird skinhead record they did. The drums have a disturbing pummel here. They pummel right into my stomach. Right up and through my chest. Up the throat. Out my mouth. Right onto the carpet.

Total Control "Paranoid Video" 7 inch
Synthetic music for synthetic Mexican-American homosexuals.

Homostupids "Night Deacon" 7" e.p.
Great music. Great lyrics. Their best record. I'm in the band too.

Ed: Thanks Steve and Richie! Tune in soon for the always timely TB staff 2010-in-review features, now that 2011 is underway. Sooner than later?! See you sooner!