My Top 5s of 2010 – the year in music, movies and more

I’m a firm believer in Top 5 lists. It’s a great snapshot of not only what a person likes, but what a person is like. Here’s what I liked in 2010:

Top 5 People to Follow on Twitter in 2010 (that you might not already be following)
1. Tracey Thorn (@Tracey_Thorn)
2. BT (@BT)
3. Kelly Lux (@KellyLux, @SyracuseU)
4. Chris Pinckney (@cpinck)
5. The Kirkegaards (@andCKsays, @RexyMamaK and @BabyRex)
Thorn is the voice behind Everything But The Girl (“Missing”) and still does solo albums, but her tweets are the cutest/funniest things you could expect from a 50-year old woman who loves posting about her kids, TV shows, her DJ husband (formerly the other half of EBTG) and how weird it is to hear remixes of her old songs played during group classes at the local gym. BT tweets about music, his beautiful daughter Kaia, spirituality and genuine positivity. Kelly Lux is the wisest lady in Central New York’s social media clique, and she balances sharing wisdom, interesting stories and local information (she also runs Syracuse University’s Twitter account). Chris Pinckney usually doesn’t post more than 2 or 3 times a day, but he’s always cracking me up with observations like “I wonder if bi-curious cats have to pay double for life insurance.” The Kirkegaards are the proud parents of the too-cute-for-words BabyRex and his Look Who’s Talking-esque inner monologue, but I get a kick out of what mom and dad add to my daily conversation, too.

Top 5 Albums of 2010
1. The Black Keys – Brothers
2. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
3. Scissor Sisters – Night Work
4. Tracey Thorn – Love & Its Opposite
5. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

Eels put out two great albums this year, and I also loved the latest releases from BT, David Gray, Robyn, Bettye Lavette, and Ben Folds’ ambitious co-writing project with Nick Hornby. The most interesting music of 2010 had to be David Byrne & Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love, a double-disc mega-collaborative dancefloor-musical ode to Imelda Marcos.

Top 5 Songs of 2010
1. Cee-Lo Green – “F*ck You”
2. Ray LaMontagne – “Beg Steal Or Borrow”
3. Katy Perry – “Firework”
4. The Band Perry – “If I Die Young”
5. John Legend & The Roots – “Wake Up”
(cover of Arcade Fire)
Picking my favorite songs of the year is impossible, but these five are damn good tracks. I also enjoyed new artists like BC Jean (she wrote Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy”), Carolina Chocolate Drops (love their cover of “Hit ‘Em Up Style”), and Mumford & Sons (their album was the #5 most downloaded on iTunes in 2010).

Top 5 Movies of 2010
1. “Inception” (I couldn’t dream of a better movie. Could I?)
2. “Toy Story 3” (Instantly made me regret every toy I ever threw out. I cried.)
3. “Machete” (Violent, bloody, sexy, dirty, funny, AWESOME.)
4. “Kick-Ass” (Spider-Man meets Kill Bill)
5. “Up In The Air” (technically came out December 23, 2009, but we’ll let it slide)
This list is pretty self explanatory and, while you may want to object to “Kick-Ass” and “Machete,” both movies actually exceeded my expectations in awesomeness. A good movie doesn’t have to make you cry (like “Toy Story 3”) or tear yourself apart mentally (like “Shutter Island” and “Inception”). In fact, “Saw 3D” was a great movie too – a trifle unnecessary in its third dimension, but a great finish to one of the best horror franchises of all time, and it even redeemed its subpar non-Jigsaw-focused sequels with the final twist. “Up In The Air” barely made 5th place as I don’t think I’d enjoy repeat viewings, but Clooney was fantastic as you’re constantly torn between believing in love/family or the freedom of getting rid of your baggage. I was NOT impressed by “The Social Network,” and it appears I’m the only one. They stretched the true story of Facebook’s beginnings to be more dramatic, but the parts that really needed to be dramatic were, sadly, left unchanged. Movies I didn’t get to see but wanted to: 127 Hours, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, The Fighter, The Kids Are All Right, True Grit.

Top 5 Weirdest Sites I Found in 2010
1. Hot Chicks With Stubbed Toes Making Sex Faces (um…)
2. Jesus, Kirk & Vinny (Jesus Christ, Captain Kirk, and Vincent Van Gogh)
3. Sleep Talkin’ Man (woman blogs husband’s crazy talking in his sleep)
4. Godzilla Haikus (17 syllables of Tokyo-terrifying poetry)
5. My Ex-Wife’s Wedding Dress (revenge is a dish best served with a blog)
That’s not to say I didn’t also discover some useful sites this year, such as Tone Check, which scans your emails to make sure there’s no room for misinterpretation or inadvertent sarcasm. The Man’s Guide To Love provides some interesting perspectives from all different age groups and types of guys on what love and relationships should be like – the best advice comes from strangers. My favorite viral video was probably the Worst Wedding DJ Ever! video – makes me laugh every time. And Young Me, Now Me was my favorite way to waste time; I could look through those photos for hours.

Top 5 TV Shows in 2010
1. “Modern Family”
(funniest show since “Seinfeld”)
2. “The Walking Dead” (best zombie production on TV, and maybe ever)
3. “The Office” (it might still be awesome even without Michael Scott)
4. “I Can’t Believe I’m Still Single” (50-year old Eric Schaeffer still can’t settle down in 3rd season on Showtime)
5. “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (Conan wishes he was as funny as Fallon)
I don’t watch enough TV to really do a Top 5 list, but if I did, I promise you “Modern Family” and “The Walking Dead” would be at the top of it. Not only is “Modern Family” constantly clever, but they manage to sneak in those awww! moments where you’re reminded that family is difficult and complicated, but you still love them. I still love “The Office,” but some episodes are too involved in moving characters’ lives forward to develop a plot when the show should just focus on being funny and relevant. (Speaking of relevant, while it totally makes sense, WHY would they have an entire episode revolve around the co-workers getting together to watch “Glee”? It’s on a different network.) Speaking of which, I’m not impressed by the plot-weary “Glee,” which is starting to focus entirely too much on big budget spectacles and not enough on solid music performances or acting. I’m still a fan of the semi-famous NYC actor-writer Schaeffer, who’ll probably never meet a girl who can simultaneously understand his quirks and hold his short attention span. And while I never watch late night TV live, I’ve watched more highlights (Neil Young, Zack Morris!) and music performances (my god, The Roots are amazing) from “Jimmy Fallon” than any other show all year.

Top 5 Non-Top-5 Lists of 2010
1. 100 Boldest Moves of All-Time (#1 Dave Chappelle quits TV, turns down $50m)
2. 20 Secrets Your Waiter Probably Won’t Tell You (#4 “Don’t order the special”)
3. 10 Things I Don’t Like About The Internet (#6 Passive-aggressive status updates)
4. 20 Real Names of Fake Characters (Pillsbury Doughboy’s name is Poppin’ Fresh)
5. Top 10 Music Videos of the 90’s (#3 Spice Girls “Wannabe”)

Click here to see more of my Top 5s. What did your 2010 look like?