1. Woodhands. One of the most exciting acts I have seen this year. They are a Canadian Indetronic band on Paper Bag Records and they make your night sweaty and glorious. You just can’t resist the option of staying still and watching. “I Wasn’t Made for Fighting” is one of my electro dancefloor anthems for 2009.
2. The xx. I saw them at CMJ and at the Bowery Ballroom. Simply SUPERB. Their song “Intro” is epically baller.
3. Casiokids. With irresistible Norwegian beats that I first heard at the Oya Festival Show at the Bell House pre-SXSW, they are a band I’d like to see at every party. “Togen Hules” and “Fot I Hose” are tracks I’d definitely recommend to any DJ.
4. The Antlers. I booked a secret show for them at Surreal Estate (a small DIY venue in Bushwick) before “Hospice” came out. Their praise is absolutely well deserved and I’m glad they have been doing well for themselves.
5. Rumspringa. Their name is from the Amish practice of releasing teenagers to the outside world. This band will swing your soul through their whole set. I can’t go for one week without listening to “Goldmine” or “Shak’em Loose Tonight.”
6. Royal Bangs. Hailing from Knoxville, Tennesse, this act will bamboozle you with their quirky electro garage rock songs and remind you why you started going to parties in the first place.
7. Bear in Heaven. This is a band to absolutely see in 2010. I’m sure we will be hearing a lot about them. “Love Sick Teenagers” has been playing on my iPod on repeat for the past two weeks.
8. Darwin Deez. I stumbled on Darwin (Pop Genius) at an apartment party on the Lower East Side last winter and since have fallen in love with his sincere and splendid tracks. “Constellations” might just be the most underrated indie pop song of 2009.
9. Calypso. Members of former Blonde Acid Cult have formed a new great rock and roll group that deserves a lot more New York love. “Casually Sad Mercedes” and “Post 100 Pills” are pure bliss.
10. Dinosaur Feathers. I saw this band for the first time at Northside and fell in love with their positive catchy pop songs. Their album is to be released in March. Can’t wait to get a hold of it!
Rami Haykal is the founder and co-owner of PopGun Booking– an Indie, Brooklyn-based bookings agency– and is the talent buyer for the music venue Glasslands. He currently lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn.