Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My year in music: 2007

According to itunes, I have over a thousand songs on there that were released in 2007. I have bought a pretty decent amount of music this year, as well as using my emusic downloads conscientiously. I never did a 2006 list or wrap-up, but here's a go at 2007...

I could do this in the style of All Songs Considered...

Biggest Surprise
(take 1)
Elephant Six Related Bands Get Sort of Really Popular on Really Pretty Great Albums
Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
Apples in Stereo - New Magnetic Wonder

(take 2)
I end up liking more female vocal products this year than in previous years:
Lavender Diamond - Imagine our Love
Meg Baird - Dear Companion
St. Vincent - Marry Me
Marissa Nadler - Songs 3: Bird on the Water
and yes,
Feist - The Reminder

Biggest Letdown
The New Pornographers - Challengers
The White Stripes - Icky Thump
Their big arena rock show kind of encapsulated how I feel about the White Stripes right now. The recordings seem to be about providing more material for the shows rather than leaving a really great statement. At the show I enjoyed the old stuff and then the new stuff and then I found myself wanting to go for a walk while the new stuff kept coming.
Most Innovative
Grizzly Bear - He Hit Me
Creepiest song of the year, for sure.
Best New Band
Bowerbirds - Hymns for a Dark Horse

They were good when we saw them open for Mountain Goats, too.
Best Album of Bob Dylan covers that almost everyone likes
I'm not there

A few more things...

If I was just making a "best of list", these would probably be in there too:

Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
Bill Callahan - Woke on a Whaleheart
Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity

Best Album by a Band that Doesn't Really Sound Like Anyone Else but Still sounds like the Same Band but in a Non-stagnant, Impressive Way
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Album that converted me from "not impressed"
Okkervil River - The Stage Names

Album that I didn't understand why it was getting deluxe reissued until I actually listened to it
Shearwater Palo Santo (rerelease)

Album I Wasn't All That Into at first But is Actually Quite Enjoyable to Listen To
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
It's a really a shame that Wilco shows are kind of impossible to get tickets to nowadays.
I wish I liked these more quickly than I am liking them:
Times New Viking
No Age
I bet these bands are really fun live. I just haven't spent the time really getting through to the songs that seem to be in the recordings somewhere.
Albums by bands that I have liked at one time or another that just haven't compelled much listening this year:
Antibalas - Security
Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
The Ponys - Turn the Lights Out
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Living with the Living
Vic Chesnutt - North Star Deserter
Fiery Furnaces - Widow City
This list is of stuff that is currently "underwhelming", not as disappointing as the "letdowns" but not what I'd hoped for. Although I tend to hold out hope that if I give a few more listens, I'll enjoy them more.
Xmas gift that I'm looking forward to listening to
the Robyn Hitchcock Box set

Irritating and Probably Dumb Record Label Maneuvers

Drag City and Anti taking their stuff down from emusic.
FYI, record labels for things I'm curious about but not sure about, I'm probably going to wait and buy it used rather than new or itunes, if it's not on emusic.
Fun and Smart Use of a Music Website
Stereogum's Cover Projects - tribute albums to OK Computer and Automatic for the People
And the price was right for these tribute albums--free. Probably what the going rate for tribute albums should be.
As for the past year's shows seen,

Most enjoyable
Yo La Tengo's Freewheeling Show

Seen It Before But Still Surprisingly Fun
The Hold Steady and Art Brut (alone or together)

Other shows that I remember as being especially good
Mountain Goats
Okkervil River

You have to go see this band to see how dedicated their fans are
Drive-By Truckers

Most surprisingly amazing show
Shearwater at Pace University
yes, it sounds strange to me, too.
Good free shows in parks
Apples in Stereo
Hopefully next year's free shows are as good.
Shows that made me enjoy seated venues
M. Ward


5 Red Pandas said...

"It's a really a shame that Wilco shows are kind of impossible to get tickets to nowadays."

I thought that was true too, but then we went to Berkeley this summer and discovered that some fans will give you free tickets, and others won't try to gouge you on the other tickets you need. Somehow we scrounged up enough tickets to get 6 people into the show, and only spent about $12 per person. But, don't expect that in NYC.

blucarbnpinwheel said...

I saw that on your blog...I don't think that would happen in NYC, either. Wilco hasn't done much to make shows easy to get into here, recently. I've seen them a bunch of times but maybe not for four or five years now. I'm always kind of surprised when their tour schedules come out that they don't play a whole string of shows here at the bigger places. It would seem a bit more fan friendly than doing one night appearances that sell out in minutes or complicated ticket selling approaches for places like Irving Plaza.