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  1. #1
    Stone Stone's Avatar
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    Five Releases from 2007 I Like

    I’m not putting together a top 10 list this year. It just seems like too much work, and is likely to be out-of-date/wrong minutes after I submit it. So instead, I am giving brief descriptions of five releases I liked from 2007, now that 2007 is over.



    Ben and Bruno - 100 Grim Reapers

    Finally, there is something coming out of Grand Rapids that I can be proud about (well, I also like The Icicles, but they just don‘t shout greatness to me). These guys could really have a future if they get a little exposure. This band uses nice harmonies (especially background harmonies) and various instruments to create a very nice mellow soundscape perfect for Sunday morning. The songs flow nicely from one into the next. This is a pleasant album, and an impressive one. Also, the packaging is great. It was originally only available in “vinyl only,” but comes with a “bonus” CD of the entire album. So, one gets both formats for the price of one (I think I paid $14). And, the album cover is made from an old used album cover, turned inside out and screen printed. Here’s the outside cover, and inside of my album:






    Johnny Cash - The Great Lost Performance

    This was recorded at Asbury Park in 1990, but not released until 2007. Johnny and his backers (including June Carter and John Carter Cash) put on a fine performance, and the sound quality is pretty good. The thing I really like about this album is some of the non-standard tunes included in the set, such as “Come Along and Ride This Train.” The only track here that really doesn’t do much for me is the final track, a version of “I Walk the Line” that is big on piano, and little on intensity. In my estimation, this record was really overlooked this year, and while it’s no At Folsom Prison, it’s a fine addition to the canon of Johnny Cash live albums.




    Tim Armstrong - A Poet‘s Life

    You like the reggae? This album had the potential of really bringing the suck, but due to a bunch of good songs, a short album likely cutting out the crappy tunes, and the Aggrolites backing him, the front man from Rancid and former guitarist for Op Ivy put out one hell of an album that is strictly reggae/ska. Even the tune with the teenage pop singer has grown on me. To me, this album was better than the Aggrolites’ own full length released in 2007, mostly because of the songs, but also because Armstrong’s voice really seems to fit the music here.




    Clockcleaner - Babylon Rules

    Imagine the Misfits slowed down a couple notches to sound more like Flipper. That’s a pretty accurate description of Clockcleaner’s Babylon Rules. It has an eerie, yet melodic, sound with lyrics to match (when they are intelligible). Sometimes the music is more psychobilly ala The Cramps. Summed up: it’s fun, dirty, eerie rock.




    Tulsa - I Was Submerged

    Alt-country? Country rock? Indie rock with a country influence? All of these would likely accurately describe Tulsa. I Was Submerged reminds me of some better known indie rockers, and sometimes even harkens me back to The Grapes of Wrath with their harmonies and guitar work, but they are not copycats. The do have a sound all their own. Although solid from start to finish, this outing is a bit too short (only 7 tracks), even for me, but it’s a damn good one.
    And the world will turn to flowing pink vapor stew.

  2. #2
    Rae
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    a golden ball of light Rae's Avatar
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    Man, I could just not get into that Clockcleaner record. The fact that you like it means I will probably give it a couple more tries, though.

    Nice list.

    ~Rae

  3. #3
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Whattup Stone

    He lives...

    Having grown up in Grand Rapids I always knew that behind the conservative exterior there lurked the potential for some true debauchery. I found my own personal fruition of this theory in the burgeoning "Alternative" scene in the late '80s and early 90s. You always knew there was a backlash a-comin' to the Calvinist prepsters wearing plaid pants and watering their lawns too early on a Sunday morning. Good to hear something substantial might come out of it.

    Next time you drive down Division, throw a penny at a hooker for me.

  4. #4
    Stone Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rae
    Man, I could just not get into that Clockcleaner record. The fact that you like it means I will probably give it a couple more tries, though.

    Nice list.

    ~Rae
    Thanks. The Clockcleaner record is one that I really find enjoyable, but is definitely not an everyday kind of record for me.
    And the world will turn to flowing pink vapor stew.

  5. #5
    Stone Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    He lives...

    Having grown up in Grand Rapids I always knew that behind the conservative exterior there lurked the potential for some true debauchery. I found my own personal fruition of this theory in the burgeoning "Alternative" scene in the late '80s and early 90s. You always knew there was a backlash a-comin' to the Calvinist prepsters wearing plaid pants and watering their lawns too early on a Sunday morning. Good to hear something substantial might come out of it.

    Next time you drive down Division, throw a penny at a hooker for me.
    Well, the Ben and Bruno record is not one I would call steeped in debauchery, but is good stuff nonetheless.

    Oh, and I've heard the hookers have moved over to Eastern now.
    And the world will turn to flowing pink vapor stew.

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