2010: The Year In Music Photos

The year in music, circa 2010, started at the Cake Shop, with a shred-down to the New Year courtesy of Siren Festival MVP-to-be Marissa Paternoster and her band Screaming Females. After a tour through the NYE fetes of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, that night ended amidst a marathon show at Bushwick's Shea Stadium, right around the time the Blastoids' drummer poured paint on his kit and started splattering away.

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The 20 Worst Songs of 2010, #10: Die Antwoord, "Orinoco Ninja Flow (Wedding DJ's Remix)"

F2K10 is a countdown of the 20 worst songs of 2010. Track our progress here.

How to be a rock critic in 2010 in two steps:

1. Use the safety of the internet to laugh and point at people who look and act different than you.

2. When these people hit critical mass, proclaim them "secret geniuses" to mask your childish xenophobia.

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Die Antwoord Were Immortalized In The Guggenheim Last Weekend

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What a pleasant surprise to stagger into the Guggenheim Saturday and, in the midst of the museum's YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video exhibit -- an elaborate display of 25 clips guest-curated by a panel featuring everyone from Laurie Anderson to most of Animal Collective to Ryan McGinley to Takashi Murakami -- encounter the famously mesmerizing Dark Side of the Moon-referencing shot from Die Antwoord's "Zef Side" video. Yes, everyone's favorite South African meme-rappers were, albeit briefly, hailed as High Art.

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Live: Fortunately, M.I.A. Was Not The Only Performer At Governors Island's Hard Festival

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Skream and Benga (below) warm us up for the theoretical star attraction. Pics by Jens Joller.
"I'm MIA's protégé: My name is Rye Rye!" yelled the young rapper from Baltimore at the onset of Saturday's Hard Festival. Unfortunately, it's been a long, long, terribly long year for her mentor. Between the great truffle-fry debacle, a painfully disappointing new album, and her getting the boot from MoMA onstage at her own album-release party, things just aren't going Maya's way in 2010. Watching the beloved singer's slow decline has been uncomfortably heart-wrenching, a mix of bad luck and bad decisions. This was a little of both: an eight-hour waiting game at Governors Island marking the pop star's "debut performance" since the release of /\/\/\Y/\, and inadvertently clearing up any lingering doubts: Not only is Maya overexposed, overworked, and overpaid, she's also in desperate need of a vacation.

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Live: Die Antwoord Kick Our Writer In the Head at the Music Hall of Williamsburg

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Music Hall of Williamsburg
Sunday, July 25

Yo-landi Visser, one-half of the notorious internet phenom South African rap project Die Antwoord, has a thing for spanking her own gold, spandex-plated butt. Naturally, this is a distracting spectacle to see onstage at the Music Hall of Williamsburg--so much so that I am caught off guard when the other half of Die Antwoord dropkicks me in the skull. Ninja, Visser's scowling, six-foot-something male counterpart, has somersaulted off the stage, mid-"Enter the Ninja." As Visser had said at the beginning of the song: "He was the wrong Ninja to fuck with." Duly noted.

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Die Antwoord Is Coming To The Music Hall Of Williamsburg (!)

Splendid: From Brooklyn Vegan comes word that the South African rave-rap Meme to End All Memes known as Die Antwoord has booked their first NYC headlining show, at MHOW July 25. Tickets on sale Wednesday. This just one day after that big-ass Hard Festival thing at Governors Island with M.I.A. and such -- given the draconian contracts most artists have to sign to play such festivals, forbidding them from playing any other show in the area for months in either direction, this is a bit of a surprise. As was, quite frankly, DA's set at Saturday night's Vice Creators Project blowout, a shockingly raucous jumble of crowd-surfing, rampant profanity, ninja imagery, and inexplicable crowd delight. Still no way to calculate the actual irony levels involved here, from both the folks onstage and in the audience, but this isn't as big of a crock as you might've feared. Or hoped, I suppose.

Photos: Hello From Vice's Ridiculously Grandiose Creators Project Fete At Milk Studios Saturday Night, Starring M.I.A., Sleigh Bells, And The Victorious Die Antwoord

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M.I.A. and Die Antwoord, respectively; you'll never guess who was better. All pics by Rebecca Smeyne, way more below.
I'm still not 100 percent sure what the Creators Project is, exactly, other than a perfectly fine excuse to cram a ton of big-shot artists (and Salem!), a few film screenings (Spike Jonze!), and multiple tremendously colorful and technologically imposing art exhibits (The xx: A Sculpture of the Album!) into multiple floors of Milk Studios Saturday, providing lucky guests with plenty of shit to point their iPhones at. Luckily our own Rebecca Smeyne has a slightly better camera. Here, a mostly visual recap of the overwhelmingly hip proceedings.

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Die Antwoord, Mark Ronson, Interpol, and Sleigh Bells Are Playing Vice's Free Creators Project Thing

Last time this happened, Vice blew threw $250,000 and Titus Andronicus's Patrick Stickles ended up with red handprints on his neck and a sad, outraged story to tell. This time, semiconductor manufacturing unit Intel will foot the bill, and it's hard to imagine crazed South African rappers Die Antwoord being much fazed by a surly bouncer. Those dudes would seem to be the most exotic musicians on the bill for Vice's free Creators Project New York show June 26th, which also features locals Gang Gang Dance and Sleigh Bells, a newly revamped Interpol, Mark Ronson, Neon Indian, the Rapture, Salem, and "very special guests." Why not guess M.I.A. for that last one, in order to complete the chillwave-downtown-joke rap zeitgeist trifecta? Register here; ogle endless pictures of cute girls from the announcement event over at Brooklyn Vegan, where the hipsters/coke/Rapture-are-still-a-band? jokes are already well underway down in the comments section. [Creators Project]

Are South African Internet-Rap Sensations Die Antwoord Really Second On The Bill At That M.I.A./Hard Festival/Governors Island Show?

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So the lineup for July 24's much-anticipated Hard Festival (not clashing with Siren!) has filled out somewhat, and... ????!!!!! Did anyone expect to see Die Antwoord's name in that giant a font that fast? Is this perhaps profoundly ill-advised? Have we even decided if these people are actually any good? Was their grand Coachella debut that well received? Will they bring this guy? Should redheads risk going to this? Should anyone?

"Then The Doos Mentioned That He Was Not Actually Mike D, Just Some Other Mike D From Brooklyn": In Praise Of Pitchfork's Die Antwoord Interview

It exists: South Africa's thoroughly bewildering "zef rap rave" crew Die Antwoord, in conversation with dear friend-of-SOTC Ryan Dombal over at Pitchfork. Topics include their abrupt surge of Internet fame ("A lot of people suddenly like me a lot"), whether or not they're performance artists ("We do perform live and we do make art, so you can call it what you want. It's cool, we don't mind."), the movie they're working on ("This final scene is going be sort of like this hallucinogenic erotic nightmare"), and the whole fake-Mike-D thing, which someone should go ahead and take credit for. Ryan, incidentally, translates "doos"' as "lady's shy part."