The Year in Music: May 2010

May 2010, the subject of our latest look at the year’s biggest events in music, was a hodgepodge of notable cover versions, new releases, TV events, and more.

After his school-talent show performance of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” becomes a hit on YouTube, 13-year-old Greyson Chance appears on multiple daytime talk shows and receives a record deal.


Weezer covers “I’m a Believer” for the Shrek Forever After soundtrack. The Neil Diamond-penned tune was originally a No. 1 hit for the Monkees, but has since been covered by at least two dozen different artists.


American Idol winner Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox both receive record deals at the end of the show’s ninth season. Lee’s debut single, a cover of U2’s “Beautiful Day”, is released to radio stations in the same month.


The Jonas Brothers’ Disney Channel sitcom JONAS is relaunched as Jonas L.A.. Facing stiff competition from Nickelodeon’s iCarly, the series wasn’t renewed for a second/third season.


New album releases this month included Sea of Cowards by the Dead Weather, Treats by Sleigh Bells, Brothers by the Black Keys, Distant Relatives by Nas and Damian Marley, This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem, Stone Temple Pilots by Stone Temple Pilots, and Iconos by Marc Anthony.


With over 60,000 people attending, the Rock on the Range festival breaks a U.S. attendance record. The two-day event featured performances from Puddle of Mudd, Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Rob Zombie, Mastodon, Drowing Pool, Sevendust, Godsmack, and Theory of a Deadman, among others.


Rolling Stone magazine updates their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in a special issue. Declaring Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” (coincidence?) as No.1, the list adds such newer hits as Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” (No. 482), M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” (No. 236), and “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley (No. 100).


Several musicians left us this month, including jazz great Lena Horne, guitarist Ronnie James Dio, Paul Gray of Slipknot, Dave Fisher of the Highwaymen, and country singer Judy Lynn died.





90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.


Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

A Lesson from the Avengers for Our Time of COVID-19

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.


Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.


Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

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The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.


First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?


HAIM Create Their Best Album with 'Women in Music Pt. III'

On Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM are done pretending and ready to be themselves. By learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, the group have created their best work to date.


Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.


How Lasting Is the Legacy of the Live 8 Charity Concert?

A voyage to the bottom of a T-shirt drawer prompts a look back at a major event in the history of celebrity charity concerts, 2005's Live 8, Philadelphia.


Jessie Ware Embraces Her Club Culture Roots on Rapturous 'What's Your Pleasure?'

British diva Jessie Ware cooks up a glittery collection of hedonistic disco tracks and delivers one of the year's best records with What's Your Pleasure.


Paul Weller Dazzles with the Psychedelic and Soulful 'On Sunset'

Paul Weller's On Sunset continues his recent streak of experimental yet tuneful masterworks. More than 40 years into his musical career, Weller sounds as fresh and inspired as ever.

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