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2007 - In Summary

Best music of the past year always give me pause…there’s so much great music, and so little time to have caught everything. In addition to new releases, I like to go back and pick up music that has been on my mind. This is a compilation of albums and songs that have caught my attention in the last year.

record graphic #10. The Roches - The Roches (Rhino). I first heard this 1979 song back in 1990. There is a faint reminiscent glow exuding from this song, in a Horton-Hears-a-Who kind of way, the Roches heart-felt warnings managed to come forth from the depths of my mind and have manifested back into my daily play lists. www.roches.com
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#9. Crime and the City Solution - The Adversary Live (Mute). I’ve been looking for any Crime and the City Solution album for as long as I can remember. First seen in the movie Wings of Desire, I managed to pick up Paradise Discotheque on cassette back in ’92. I’ve been scouring record shops for over a decade and finally found this live album. Call me crazy, but I prefer a well-produced studio album. Downloads from the internet don’t seem to exist. Crime and the City Solution, please come back! I can’t find any official sites for this band! Internet searches bring forth a multitude of unofficial band sites… get on the grid!
record graphic #8. Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady (EMI). Blame it on commercials. “Why Can’t I Touch It” was recently used in a car ad, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. I was 14 the first time I heard most of the songs on this album, and listening to them again brought back the memories of those damn teenage angst attacks. Man I hated school… I can’t believe I’m at that age where companies are marketing directly to me…is that a little left-over angst I’m sensing? www.buzzcocks.com
record graphic #7. Great Lake Swimmers - Ongiara (Nettwerk). This was the first album I played in my new house. Soft, lilting, reflective poetry. Saw this band recently – and I have a question Victoria – why would you pay money for a ticket to see a band and stand there in front of them trying to name all five Great Lakes at the top of your voice? And if you are familiar with the band at all – tell me if it makes sense to holler “Great Lake Swimmers Rule” from the back of the crowd? No. Listen to the friggin' band, people! One episode of Weeds this season ended with “Your Rocky Spine”, and I watched with a sense of self-satisfaction—I can name that song in two notes! www.greatlakeswimmers.com
record graphic #6. Calvin Johnson & the Sons of the Soil - Calvin Johnson & the Sons of the Soil (K). Makes me wonder - what ever happened to Heather from Beat Happening? “Sand” is fun. In the car the other day, someone asked, “Did he just say Banana Meltdown?” And, yeah, he did. Calvin throws in a HaloBenders treat with a one-sided version of “Love Travels Faster”; I like to yell my own Doug Martsch backup. In fact, these are all re-recordings of previously released tracks. First saw Calvin at a Nardwaur hosted event in Vancouver, and fell in love. His smoky, gazing stare - like a hypnotic taxidermist… scary, beautiful man. www.krecs.com
record graphic #5 Damien Youth – Phantoms of Fables (Zygote). I’m an idiot, I swear. What the hell? This guy has been around since the 80’s and I’m just finding him now? Yeah, yeah, yeah he gets compared to Syd Barret and Robyn Hitchcock, and I found him web slinging Robyn Hitchcock, but BRILLIANT! He goes places, man. Places you probably shouldn’t go, but he goes there… touching, scary scenes. Is this the reincarnation of half of the Brothers Grimm? With a back catalogue of over 30 albums (throughout various band incarnations), this is definitely my best discovery of the year. www.members.cox.net/damienyouth/index2.htm
record graphic #4 Sparklehorse – Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (Astralwerks). Hooray! A return of the imaginings of Mark Linkous, with the full-on production value of Mark, Danger Mouse, and Dave Fridmann. There is something deep under the electronic peeps and pops - a static foundation bearing landscapes and emotion. Click your visualizations on, and all mysteries are revealed, all questions are answered, all those around you will wonder why you are staring at the computer like a zombie… www.sparklehorse.com
record graphic #3 Ben + Vesper - All This Could Kill You (Sounds Familyre). I’m in love with this album. There are certain shades of The Cake Kitchen and Swans in here. It’s a menacing night time drive, or is it a beautiful still pond? What is it with me and former art student band initiatives? Yeah, so it has a bit of a Perry Como lackadaisical balance, but it croons with purpose. www.benandvesper.com
record graphic #2 Film School – Hideout (Beggars Banquet). This was one of my most awaited albums of the year, and so worth it. Film School hits some certain feedback of My Bloody Valentine, but accomplishes to own their sound. It is a step up from the eponymous previous album, which makes it a pretty steep climb. www.filmschoolmusic.com
record graphic #1 +/- - Let’s Build a Fire (Absolutely Kosher). As with their first album, +/- has managed to provide a timeless sense of pop accomplishment. +/ is truly the only band, in my opinion, that effectively pulls off the chameleon mask dictating the arrangement of most “great” bands today. Let’s Build a Fire comes in with a ghostly echo from long ago, and eventually reveals the true nature of the song, the album, and the artist. “Summer Dress 2 (iodine)” is a throwback to the Self Titled Long Playing Debut Album that brought this band to the foreground for me. www.plusmin.us
Most anticipated releases in 2008:
  • Ida – Lover’s Prayers
  • Cat Power – Covers II
  • The Breeders – Mountain Battles
  • Doves
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Mates of State
  • jim guthrie (where the hell are you jim? you left me hanging here…all I have are soundbites from commercials)
Upcoming Articles in 2008:

Commercials - wtf? Why am I finding more songs I recognize in ads for expensive cars? I don’t have any money…

Memories - Ok, so I’m walking and listening to music… what made this a memorable listen…

Ample Opportunity - I walk in to the record store and my mind goes blank… then my nose starts running…

Out of Reach - Music I could download… if only I lived in another country…

More - Bands I love… bands I miss…

Discovery! - The road to discovery… a how-to for the curious…