Friday, December 28, 2007

The Year in Music

The end of the year is finally upon us, and I, like every other hack out there, has a self-indulgent year-end list. Of course I would start off with music. If this blog has any running themes or topics, it’s definitely music.

Best Single that many of you probably are annoyed with by now because of all the commercials and air play it’s received: “1 2 3 4” by Feist

Yes the lyrics are simple and repetitive. Yes the video is too wholesome. But, damn, has a song ever been bigger for a Canadian songstress? Close second: “Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn and John

Come on. Enjoy it one more time…

Best song that almost uses a dirty word in the title only to scream it in the chorus with legendary indie rockers backing a soon-to-be legendary indie rocker: “Backed out on the…” by Kevin Drew
Dinosaur Jr backs the Broken Social Scene front man on this happy rocker.

Best cover of a Dylan song (right now): “I’m Not There” by Sonic Youth
This may change tomorrow, but the title track from that weird Dylan movie is a dead-on interpretation. It really connects Dylan to punk in a way I had never fully realized.

Best song that carried a much weaker album: “23” by Blonde Redhead
This song has urgency, beauty, and mystery…all the things the rest of the album failed to deliver.

Best Spoon song that should cause feet to move, critics’ heads to explode, and units to shift: “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”
Kiss Britt Daniel’s ass, Poison!

Band that Pitchfork loves that I’ve been too slow to ride the bandwagon but feel that I will take the plunge any day now: Black Kids
I don’t know if I’m offended or aroused by the band’s name, but I do know that their sound excites me in a way the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah did when I finally gave in to their will.

New act that I missed this year that NPR thankfully reported in their year-in-review feature: Taken by Trees
I think I have just discovered the next Swedish Cat Power.

Best band that all the critics love that I’ve liked in the past but have yet to purchase this year’s release: Animal Collective
Difficult indeed.

Best Video – Classic Format: “Elephant Gun” by Beirut
This sad, dance-heavy video takes me back to all those vagabond Brit-pop vids back in MTV’s early days.

Best Video that didn’t make me go out and buy the band’s record: “What’s a Girl to Do?” by Bat for Lashes
Rarely has a dance routine been so expertly executed as in this super-cool video.

Best fan video: “My Body Is a Cage” by Arcade Fire, video by J. Tyler Helms
2007 was the year of green screens and fan videos. I don’t know whether this is a smart marketing ploy or a cheap way to make videos, but this is the best of the year by far.

Funniest video: "Can't Tell Me Nothing" by Kanye West

New dance music genre that will be old by February…I hope: Progtronica
I have had it with anything that sounds like Battles or LCD Soundsystem. Why is it that the hipsters get so happy over dance music that will be forgotten in six months when head-bobbing doesn’t count as dancing? There is a reason disco, trance, big beat, and techno all died.

Best show - Large Venue: Arcade Fire in KC

Best show - Medium Venue: Camera Obscura at The Blue Note

Best show - Small Venue: The Thermals at Mojo's

Best Albums from 2006 that I discovered late and listened to all throughout 2007: The Thermals' The Body, the Blood, the Machine, Beirut's Gulag Orkestar, and Band of Horses' Everything All the Time

Top five albums on my best 31 of 2007: Stay tuned...

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