The Best Local Music Of 2010: Our Annual Mixtape Starring Sweet Bulbs, Marnie Stern, Sharon Van Etten, and Special Guest Hannibal Buress

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent. This is a compilation of 2010's best local music, lovingly curated by YIMBY columnist Christopher R. Weingarten. See last year's tape here.

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R.I.P. Chris Weingarten's old blue trucker hat. Photo by Rebecca Smeyne.
Have you heard the one about how the recession is over? Uh, don't tell it to New York City's musical community. While our center-of-the-universe assembly line of hype puttered on unabated, 2010's biggest up-and-comer success stories were actually beamed from the outer limits of the five boroughs--Titus Andronicus (Glen Rock, NJ), Screaming Females (New Brunswick, NJ), Phantogram (Saratoga Springs, NY), Real Estate (Ridgewood, NJ)--places where money can go to tour vans instead of landlords, where musicians aren't paying $400 a month for the luxury of sharing a practice space with three other bands. The remaining New York City indie-crossovers all benefited from frugal one-man home-recording set-ups (Oneohtrix Point Never, Matthew Dear), stripped down line-ups (the Drums, Sleigh Bells, Matt & Kim) or simply embracing the idea that sounding mushy is smarter than buying new gear (Small Black).

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Sweet Bulbs, Midnight Magic, and Mr. Dream Play Columbia For Free This Friday

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Our pal Nick Sylvester passes along the info and flyer for a show he's curating with Columbia and Barnard's WBAR radio station, featuring his own band, the Best of New York-garlanded Mr. Dream, along with recent YIMBY honorees (and in-house SOTC favorites) Sweet Bulbs, the ex-Hercules and Love Affair disco outfit Midnight Magic, local punks Sleepies, and the suitably psychedelically named Amen Dunes. Friday in Columbia's Hewitt Dining Hall, doors at 8 p.m., and free to all. It's like the reincarnation of those charmingly lo-fi shows that happen all the time at colleges all across this country and hardly ever in NYC, where college bands just go ahead and become Vampire Weekend instead. Seriously though, Sweet Bulbs:

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Download: Sweet Bulbs, "Acid and TV"

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

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Brooklyn lo-fi newbies Sweet Bulbs run the sunrise-punk of bands like Hüsker Dü through the modern machinery of dreampop, dreamgaze, and dreamnoise--think your fave Captured Tracks band running straight from the beach to the moshpit. Their music (slated for an upcoming self-titled 12" on Blackburn) is equal parts anthemic, hazy, ballsy and sweet-toothed--No Age without the age, Best Coast without the coast. The band is cobbled together from the remains various end-of-the-aughts Brooklyn acts--drummer Ray Weiss was the mastermind behind scuzzpoppers Le Rug, guitarist Michael Sheffield was in cassette-friendly punkers Michael Jordan, and bassist Jack Wolf was in earnest power-poppers the Crayons. But the band truly finds its voice through a relative newcomer, frontwoman Inna Mkrtycheva, whose gnashing is equal parts Karen O and Florence Machine. Recorded in a friend's basement in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, "Acid and TV" is a 88-second churner that's equal parts fistpump and sugar high. Play it twice in a row.

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