Are there still year-end lists coming? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-30-2007, 06:01 PM
You're almost out of time. Okay, I got a lot of stuff right at the end and don't really have the proper perspective to rank anything, but I'm going to anyway:

10. Oxbow - The Narcotic Story - crunchy, heavy, unsettling. I was not into a lot of the heavy stuff that people were hyping this year-- the popularity of Pissed Jeans mystifies me, and I bought the Clockcleaner LP and immediately regretted it, but this hits that spot just right.
9. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends - just insanely catchy. If I put a year-end comp together (we'll see), "Patty Lee" will be on it for sure. Propulsive, clever, and never sounding forced.
8. Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter - I'm not sure about the "next coming of Springsteen", but Mr. Ritter is still one hell of a songwriter. A lot of his lyrics skate the line of being gimmicky, but he manages to craft them with just enough pathos to avoid it. The tunes ain't bad either.
7. Ted Leo - Living With the Living - This one seemed to get lost in the shuffle with most people but it spent a lot of time in my player. Yet another release from Mr. Leo marrying fiercly compassionate lyrics with incredibly hooky power pop.
6. Skoal Kodiak - Three People Are Having Grape Emergencys - I've been waiting for these guys to make a record for a while and this one didn't disappoint. I don't even know what to call this genre. Organic noise trance punk something. The perfect soundtrack for a sweaty warehouse pogo party. Plus the LP is practically art in itself-- amazing sleeve drawn by an autistic man and a record with several lockgrooves and reverse threading. Mind-blowing!
5. Electrelane - No Shouts No Calls - Thanks Davey for not shutting up about these guys. I had heard some earlier stuff from these ladies but something extra clicks on this one. Like they had been on a long journey through a tunnel and are now emerging into glorious sunlight.
4. Jens Lekman - Night Falls on Kortedala - Super great. This is just pure Scandinavian pop bliss.
3. Nina Nastasia & Jim White - You Follow Me - It seemed to be a big trend this year for female singer-songwriters to make spare, haunting records. Everyone wants to be the next Cat Power. Feist & Scout Niblett both turned in fine efforts, and PJ Harvey got the most notice (because she's famous, guys, not really because it was that good, right? but that's just my opinion), but my personal favorite was this one. Like it was recording in an attic with only a flickering flame to read the scribbled lyric sheet by.
2. Panda Bear - Person Pitch - is it possible that Brian Wilson's ghost can possess someone even though he's still alive? Maybe we can just call this the ghost of Smile. Taking that inspiration to the logical extreme, Panda Bear has made a symphony of ambient gurgles and grooves. A record that already sounds timeless.
1. Dinosaur Jr - Beyond - I'm as surprised as anyone to find this record at the top of my list, but every time I listen to it, every song just seems perfect. Even the original Dinosaur records weren't this consistent. Far from a nostalgia trip or a money grab, this is the sound of a band that's finally letting go and just reveling in the amazing rock they can make together. These hooks will worm their way into yr brain and never let go. The fact that it's a triumphant return for a band with one of the most troubled and acrimonious histories in modern rock is just icing on the cake. Masterful!

Other stuff that got plenty of spins included Shellac, Vampire Hands, Gay Beast, Scout Niblett, Talib Kweli, Aesop Rock, the Knocked Up soundtrack, and the Once soundtrack.

Anyone else holding out?


12-30-2007, 08:40 PM
Whattup Rae Rae,

I've already stated in one of Davey's threads that any Top 10 List for 2007 from these parts would be disingenuous, if only because the vast majority of what I buy and consume is much older. And, while I still manage to grab the occasional indie/rock/jinglejangley outing, some of them there titles sound kinda foreign to me. Maybe I need to get out more.

Just for the sake of convo, have you heard the Control soundtrack? I admit to not having heard Knocked Up (I know, heresy) but I have heard Once and in my humble opinion I'll take the modern twist on the sullen and lugubrious tip. Even the Killers are decent...sort of. Worth checking out if that's your bag.


PS. How are your adventures in jazz coming along?

12-30-2007, 09:34 PM
It was good reading your list, Rae. I intend to check out a couple of those. I didn't really listen to enough new albums this year to make a Top 10 list meaningful, because it wouldn't leave out enough. But let me quickly give my favorite album of the year, and some honorable mentions:

Favorite album of the year by far is LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver. I posted on these guys back in the Spring I believe after their album had come out and I had seen them live for the second time. Completely hot live band, although maybe you wouldn't guess it. I can't say enough about the album. I had liked this band since I first heard their singles on the DFA records compilations, but, although I was excited enough about this album coming out to have it on pre-order, I wasn't prepared for such a rich and wonderful album. I feel predictable in saying that, because the album did very well with critics, but there it is: From my perspective they are following the most promising musical path among the prominant acts in the "indie" scene; they don't foget about the groove, they learned the right things from Talking Heads and Bowie and a bunch of other bands, they're mature but still a little disreputable and not too sincere, not afraid to sound stupid, and they're not too attached to Rock.

Two honorable mentions are as follows (also predictable for me, since these are two acts that have been favorites for a while didn't stray too far afield this year because I didn't spend a lot of time listening to music, unfortunately):

Jay-Z, American Gangster
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Favorite album I purchased because of recommendations on this board this year: The National, Boxer. Really like the classic sound of this one. Wife loves it too. A real grower, I've been listening to it a lot in the last couple weeks. Thanks to Davey and whoever else had been talking about this.

I'm glad that favorites of mine like Bruce Springsteen and Kanye West released albums this year. Also Wilco. Some great stuff on those albums, although not among my favorites for those artists.

For pop singles, it was another great year and there are too many great ones I heard for me to list without spending some real time on it, and also too many I have heard about and want to check out but have yet to hear. The rebirth of pop singles over the last few years, in my view, is the best thing about the MP3 era. Personally, I have to give special mention to Amy Winehouse's luscious hits from this year as well as that addictive Rihanna "Umbrella" song and Kanye West's "Good Life". I actually recommend folks taking the time to download some of the songs that you don't know that are listed on the Rolling Stone Best 100 Singles of 2007 list; you will be musically richer for it -- not that I'm personally vouching for all the stuff on here, but it's a good indication of some of the good stuff that's out there that you don't have to buy a whole album for:

12-31-2007, 09:10 AM
5. Electrelane - No Shouts No Calls - Thanks Davey for not shutting up about these guys. I had heard some earlier stuff from these ladies but something extra clicks on this one. Like they had been on a long journey through a tunnel and are now emerging into glorious sunlight.

Yea, good stuff, I thought it might do a little better than it did. I guess some thought it just wasn't as distinctive or experimental enough compared to some of what they've done in the past. Shame too, that's probably their last record. They just finished what turned out to be their farewell tour the beginning of December in London and Brighton. I think Verity still has her Vera November band going though.

Oh yea, year end list. I have kind of done it in bits and pieces, but really didn't hear enough stuff to do a real one with ratings .... or maybe I'll adapt the comp description I did with some ratings and edit it in later. No real surprises ... probably something like ...

1. Richmond Fontaine (because it's the best, lyrics, music, players, complete package .. and that $87 song is one of the best things ever)
2. Magnolia Electric Co (because it came in a pine box with a medallion ... and Black Ram is really good)
3. Electrelane (because they're so groovy and playful and cute and charming and enchanting and it is so well recorded and mastered and comes with a cool Lecia Dole-Recio poster - one or two more great songs and it would easily be my #1)
4. PJ Harvey (because she's famous :))
5. Caribou (because it makes me smile a lot)
6. The National (because they are so dark and moody, but so completely grand)
7. Augie March or Shearwater (because I don't care that both are technically 2006 since both say 2007 on my copies)
8. Spoon or Andrew Bird (because I like, but don't love both albums...but I do love both artists)
9. Blonde Redhead (because there's still a bit of magic hidden in the fluff, and I like magic)
10. Josh Ritter or Blanche (because both have a couple songs I don't really like, but so does everything else I heard that isn't listed)

Best CD (perhaps) that I will spend a lot of time with in 2008 cause it reminds me some of that early Tricky stuff I like so much, but more like a cool soundtrack: Burial - Untrue

Best CD (maybe) that I wish had been released this year, but the wait continues: Wayne Robbins & the Hellsayers - All You Need To Sleep

Best CD (likely) that I didn't buy but trust my buddy Slosh that it's the greatest and I should hear it, and probably will at some point before long: Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog

Best CD (probably) that I didn't buy cause I'm just not young and cool enough anymore, but do respect what they are doing and am glad so many people love it (including Darius), and I'll probably be smiling to it next year after I do finally break down and buy it: LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

Best CD (doubtless) that wasn't yet released to the general public except for a crappy mp3 download or expensive box set, but still topped many lists, and that I haven't heard yet: Radiohead - In Rainbows

Best CD (definitely) that I just got and love and will probably listen over and over until it makes me sick, but it's all live music from the early 00's by a band that gave up after their debut: Life Without Buildings - Live at the Annandale Hotel

Best CD (cool still) I bought used this year of a favorite I already had on LP: Palace - Viva Last Blues

Best LP (yea baby) I bought this year of a favorite that I already had on CD: Califone - Roots & Crowns

Best excuse offered for not doing a top ten list this year: Slosh - Reason: well, I tried but it didn't work

12-31-2007, 03:40 PM
2. Panda Bear - Person Pitch - is it possible that Brian Wilson's ghost can possess someone even though he's still alive?

I don't know but I guess I'll find out. I got this album in the mail direct from the record company and didn't even know what it was. Why am I getting free stuff? It's not the first time that's happened either. Remember that singer/songwriter dude that I sent to you and you sent to Audio Girl? Same thing. Weird.

Are you really having jazz adventures?

01-01-2008, 10:18 PM
Had to give a couple Christmas purchases some spins to see if they passed muster (its not passing Mustard is it?...never knew what that meant).

1. Panda Bear - Person Pitch so much already said. the album's brilliance is epitomized with the shift halfway thru Take Pills from this abstract, harmonized, windy beach gurgle to a groove that bubbles through into a head-bobbin' Beach Boys chant.

2. Robert Wyatt - Comicopera Haven't heard this enough to swear it deserves a #2 spot but it is Wyatt through and through. I love most of his work from Soft Machine on, but this feels like it'll outplay most everything else he's done. bit jazzy, just 'off' enough, and gorgeous.

3. Grizzly Bear - Friends ep for the first 4 songs. Little Brother is one of my fave songs of the year (as is Dirty Projectors 'Rise Above' which the Griz-boys had a hand in). Apparently this year is all about the harmonies for me...

4. Joanna Newsom & the Ys St. Band - ep I really love the acoustic-vibe of this album. She's love or hate but if 'Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie' doesn't make you pause and listen, you're heartless and, possibly, deaf. get that checked out.

5. Life Without Buildings - Live @ the Annandale Hotel an out-of-left-field one for me. I'm a long-time fan of the Raincoats, the Slit, Liliput, and the like and somehow never heard of these guys. Not quite as primal or raw but it scratches that same itch.

6. Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond what Rae said.

7. Fire On Fire - ep an odd release from Young God. old-timey Appalacian tunes ala' the Carter Family raised up on VU, Wire, and weed.

8. Robert Plant & Allison Kraus - Raising Sand almost a lil' too 'Starbuck-sy' for me but leaves enough dusty grit between my teeth to work. The Allison Kraus-led tunes are incredible and assure this many a late-night, whiskey-sippin' listen.

9. Burial - Untrue this's only grown on me. Bored me at first but after keeping it on the phones in my studio for the last couple weeks, I find myself craving these odd thumping grooves, ghosty voices and wonder what movie is showing in Burial's head 'cause its spooky, lonely, beautiful, probably b&w...

10. mv & ee - Gettin' Gone my wife says this sounds like Creation (funny if you watch Freaks and Geeks). This is odd, questionably played bluesy-stonesy-ness ala' Royal Trux raised in a Vermont commune instead of some rat-hole in NYC (w/ a bit too many nods to Neil Young). It seems like its just genuinely fun stuff to play but just dark and mysterious enough to keep me intrigued.

11. Angels of Light - We Are Him too dark to play very often but I love this band and this is only surpassed by last years Angels of Light Play Other People. This vote includes a big nod to Akron/Family and their Love Is Simple from this year who were part of Michael Gira's backing band for this.

Electralane - No Shouts, No Calls
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Feist - the Reminder ...all pretty darn good but don't get too much play lately.

Haven't heard but suspect I'll really like: Animal Collective, LCD Soundsystem, No Age (ordered this after hearing a couple songs...)

Odd collaboration that works at points: not Kraus/Plant...that didn't surprise me too much and think most every song works, but Vic Chesnutt and A Silver Mt. Zion. This works on a handfull of the songs but falters on a bigger handfull.