2010 Top Ten List Spotlight: DJ El Toro

When it comes to albums released in 2010, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s pored over them more intensely than a KEXP DJ. So, what were their favorites? Which CDs did they reach for the most, or, uh, “click on” the most in their iTunes players? Find out as KEXP looks at each DJ’s list through the month of December, leading up to our 2010 Top 90.3 Countdown, as voted on by YOU, the KEXP listener! Voting ends on Monday, December 20th, so let us know your favorites now.

photo by Brittney Bush Bollay

DJ El Toro’s 2010 Top Ten Albums
A short disclaimer: My annual Top Ten lists are dominated by what I listened to for pleasure. You could certainly make a convincing argument that M.I.A.’s “Maya” or “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire are “better”—aesthetically, critically, culturally, whatever—than almost anything on my list. I was happy to program those records on KEXP, too, because they are fantastic discs, and you won’t hear them on other radio stations. But these were ten records I reached for time and again when I needed a kick in the pants, a shoulder to cry on, or reassurance that someone else out there in the world was just as weird as I am.

Also: I do not think it is a coincidence that four out of ten artists on my list are members of the LGBT community (as are many of my 2010 favorites who didn’t quite make this Top Ten, like Owen Pallett, Antony and the Johnsons, Matmos, and Mary Gauthier). There has always been a high percentage of cool gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals in the music world; go check out this year’s Big Gay Podcast to sample that breadth. It’s just that it’s getting a little easier for us to live our lives openly. I hope and pray the rest of society continues to follow suit.

Rank Album Artist Label
1 This Is Happening LCD Soundsystem DFA/Capitol
2 The ArchAndroid Janelle Monae Bad Boy/Wondaland
3 Queen of Denmark John Grant Bella Union
4 Go Jonsi XL
5 Learning Perfume Genius Matador
6 Head First Goldfrapp Mute
7 Praise & Blame Tom Jones Lost Highway
8 Valusia Zola Jesus Sacred Bones
9 All We Grow S. Carey Jagjaguwar
10 The Drums The Drums Downtown

DJ El Toro hosts the variety mix show on Wednesday nights from 9 PM to 1 AM on KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle and kexp.org. His weekly rant, “Weird At My School,” appears infrequently on the KEXP Blog. Please follow DJ El Toro (aka Kurt B. Reighley) on Twitter and/or Tumblr!

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  1. kingblind
    Posted December 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Viva Dj El Toro!!

  2. Ian Anthony
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Good to see that you picked an album by my favourite singer, Tom Jones!

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