100 Greatest Guitarists

Rolling Stone has a new greatest guitarists list compiled by an impressive number of musicians. A few personal highlights:

Keith Richards at #4.
Enough said. Take that Scott Wilson.

Jonny Greenwood at #48.
Radiohead are the consummate 21st-century rock band, and in Jonny Greenwood, they have one of the 21st century’s defining guitarists: an effects-loving wizard whose endlessly mutable style has powered the band’s restless travels – from the interstellar pomp of “The Tourist” to the misty shimmer of “Reckoner.” Like the Edge, only farther out in the art-rock stratosphere, Greenwood is a guitar hero with little apparent connection to the blues and little interest in soloing. He’s been known to attack the strings with a violin bow, and plays so maniacally that at times he’s had to wear a brace on his arm. It was Greenwood’s gnashing noise blasts that marked Radiohead as more than just another mopey band on 1992’s “Creep” – an early indicator of his crucial role in pushing his band forward. “I’ve admired him for a long time,” says Rush‘s guitarist Alex Lifeson. “The way he weaves his parts through the melody of a song is really exceptional – just amazing.” ‘

Rory Gallagher at #57.
‘”It seems a waste to me to work and work for years,” Rory Gallagher told Rolling Stone in 1972, “and just turn into some sort of personality.” Instead, the Irish guitarist, then only 23, became legendary for his nonstop-touring ethic and fiery craft. Playing a weathered Strat, often wearing a flannel shirt, Gallagher electrified Chicago and Delta styles with scalding slide work and hard-boiled songwriting. His fans included the Edge and Bob Dylan, who was initially turned away backstage at a 1978 show because Gallagher didn’t recognize him.’

Nels Cline at #82.
‘A true guitar polymath, Nels Cline has tackled everything from gothic country rock with the Geraldine Fibbers to a full remake of John Coltrane’s late improvisational masterwork, Interstellar Space. He’s best known, of course, as Wilco’s gangly guitar hero, lurching into extended seizures (“Spiders [Kidsmoke]”) or spiraling into lyrical jam flights (“Impossible Germany”). “Nels can play anything,” Jeff Tweedy said. “We struggle with his spot in the band sometimes – but we always come to a place that’s unique and interesting because we did struggle.”‘

More Vinyl Recommendations

From the comments of my previous post on vinyl, Gabe Francis adds some great recommendations:

Here are a few vinyl records I can’t stop listening to:
1. The Best of Nina Simone
2. Remain in Light by Talking Heads
3. Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan
4. Post War by M Ward
5. Moon Pix by Cat Power

Gabe and I met this past summer in Costa Rica while he was working there as a Kiva Fellow. For those who don’t know about Kiva, it’s a community-based micro finance organization that connects potential lenders around the world, such as you and me, to low income individuals and organizations that need small loans. Unlike donating to a charity, when you give money through Kiva in the form of a loan, you generally get paid back. In fact, 98.91% of all Kiva loans have been paid back. So if you can afford to, help someone buy a pig.

Gabe has a great blog that he kept while working in Costa Rica that details many of his experiences and includes some sweet pictures.

Thanks for the recommendations, Gabe.

Top 7 Albums of 2010

All of my favorite bloggers are posting their year end lists, so on day three of this site, I figured I’d post my own. I’ll be honest. My original plan was to put together a full top 10 list, but I just couldn’t come up with 10 albums from this past year that I’m actually excited about. But I really enjoyed these seven (in no particular order):

1. Acrade Fire – The Suburbs
2. LCD Sound System – This is Happening
3. The Black Keys – Brothers
4. Broken Bells (Self Titled)
5. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
6. Monsters of Folk (Self Titled)
7. Ok Go – Of the Blue Colour of the Sky

The best music video goes to Ok Go for doing ridiculous things with dogs:

And the weirdest video goes to Kanye. I don’t even know what to say. But I do know I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall when he tried explaining this idea to his producer.

On a side note, I’m pretty sure nobody is actually reading this, but at least I now have a nice record of what music I enjoyed over the past year. And if anyone out there found my blog (mom?), post anything I missed in the comments.