One man’s garbage is another man’s (top 10 list)
1) Battles- Mirrored
This indie super-group makes good on all of the promises of their impressive but sometimes limited EP’s. In the midst of so much great stuff in the way of noise, pop, and every other fucking genre, Battles really stood out with an album that could have easily passed as the soundtrack for TRANSFORMERS.
2) Slaraffenland- Private Cinema
Lee Ronaldo guitarscapes and awkward allusions to metaphysics are only two of the great things about this gem. The land of milk and honey (which is what their name means) is certainly a reach, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better delivered (and packaged) Danish export.
3) Videohippos- Unbeast theLeash
Synthcore that compels me to pretend I’m in high school and feign anguish because I feel ostracized. There’s something to this kind of stuff, I swear.
4) The Twilight Sad- Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
Glasgow fat-cats debut with an album of stunning authenticity. Their sprawling guitar driven songs of yearning and anguish found exceed even the most high and naive expectations.
5) Spoon- Ga Ga Ga Ga
Just when I thought I’d had enough (not to mention the ridiculous album title), Britt Daniel and Co. make it dramatically clear why they are still America’s most deserving indie faves and likely to outlast any trend or schtick hipster america may throw our way. As usual, Spoon deliver clever production as a scaffold to some very well crafted tunes.
6) The National- Boxer
I don’t know what to say about The National that doesn’t sound melodramatic or grandiose. Critics have done them enough justice this year. It’s just that good.
7) Les Savvy Fav- Let’s Stay Friends
Let’s face it- Les Savy Fav are the veritable monsters of post hardcore that just won’t die. Not that anyone wants them to, but most of us thought it was all over for them after the release of INCHES. These guys had nothing to prove…. So they went ahead and made an album of raw intensity and righteous guitar driven rockers anyway. Let’s stay friends indeed.
8) Jose Gonzalez- In Our Nature
Every year it seems we (I) fall in love with some new folk dude. Well, this year it was Jose Gonzalez. He’s like James Taylor and Nick Drake combined except he’s Swedish-Hispanic.
9) Daft Punk- Alive 2007
That last record had us thinking that they were in fact, human after all… Now I’m not so sure. You know, on an unnamed message board someone mentioned that they would rather have had new material. I’m wondering if this person actually listened to this. As my friend Steve put it, “The best thing is it manages to make songs from Human After All sound good. In fact, the album recontextualizes their entire catalog. Any song can become any other song.” He’s exactly right, which is why I’ve placed it in my best of list.
10) Grinderman- Grinderman
Dirty old men led by his majesty Nick Cave make songs that sound like dirty old men led by his majesty Nick Cave. I mean, it makes Mclusky sound like Barney and friends.
Honorable Discharge( I meant mention, but I love that word)
Radiohead- In Rainbows
Oh how the mighty have…uh…. proven themselves mighty. Fuck anyone who can’t understand why they did this.
Dan Snaith is “the new Zombies this time around”…. Huh? I swear I read that somewhere. Whatever… this guy’s versatility is very impressive…but it’s not what’s great about Andorra. Andorra delivers on a level of lighthearted craftsmanship that we so rarely see in artists these days.
Animal Collective- Strawberry Jam/ Panda Bear- Person Pitch
While neither were my favorite records of the year, there is no doubt in my mind that they are the “PEOPLE TO BE” in music right now.
Yes. Dancing is still fun.
Foreign Born- On the wing now
Dim Mak strokes/walkmen/everyone else soundalikes somehow strike a chord with their moody and not overly ambitious debut.
At Swim Two Birds- Returning to the Scene of the Crime
Quigley covers himself (with the exception of a couple amazing originals). Personally, I think this guy’s bedroom melancholy is near brilliance… but I don’t think it strikes a chord with anyone, no matter how many people I play it for (except for maybe Seanzilla).
The Aliens- Astronomy for Dogs
I hate to break it to everyone, but it’s the Beta Band.
A note: There were so many records this year that were worthy of mention… Iron and Wine is good, A Place to Bury Strangers is cool, Sharon Jones gets me movin’, That Burial record is really something else, Handsome Furs, Kevin Drew, Sword Heaven, Thee More Shallows, Phospohoresent, Black Lips, The Field, you get the idea … but the folks who made it were the honest repeated (like a monkey with a miniature symbol) listens of the year.
Enemies (friends)/////////of the state
Times New Viking- Present the Paisley Reich
Coffinberry- God Damn Dogs
Dreadful Yawns- rest
EMERALDS- every single thing I got my hands on
THE DOLBY FUCKERS- s/t
SINGLE(s) and Loving It
Battles- Tonto (FOUR TET REMIX)
The National- Mistaken for Strangers
Spoon- The Underdog
Euros Childs- Horseriding
Pinback- From Nothing to Nowhere
Grinderman- No Pussy Blues
Look, (awesome) Shit Happens
Sharon Jones finally gets her props. Thanks for coming to the party Denzel.
Ohio’s THE UNHOLY 2 marginalize themselves by virtue of racial slurs and bad emoticons. Who the fuck do these guys think they are, Robert Duffy?
My brother decided to ditch the pop thing do the best thing going for Ohio right now, which is making NoIsE.
Sam Craighead is starting a Cult. Email him here for details
No one cares about the Libertines…on a related note:
The Kooks and The Cribs and The Horrors and whole host of other brit-press darling rock knockoff whoredom did not go over like the rec execs wanted it to.
Lindsey Lohan is probably broke
Modest Mouse. Oh where do I start? The addition of a certain Smiths guitarist did nothing. Unless you consider making him look like an ass as something. Aside from that, it’s a forced and stagnant album by any measure. With the exception of a couple tunes, the tracks aren’t memorable or engaging. Ok… I could go on forever, I’ll stop. I’ll save thinking about how disappointed I am in Modest Mouse for a long drive.
The Shins turned into late 90’s “edge” less REM (in spirit and persona, not style) way before their time by virtue of a mediocre album, Starbucks, and the never ending residual effect of that dude from Scrubs.
My friends have always railed on me for maintaining my love of The Sea and Cake; Calling them “Indie Adult Contemporary”, among other things…Anyhow, their latest album, Everybody, proved my friends right. I still listen to it and their live show was amazing…but…..my defenses of this album would be useless and insincere.
Queens of the Stone Age’s Era Vulgaris. Josh, it’s time to get some quality control buddy. Lullabies was good by a thread due to some decent songwriting….but this time there’s just really no excuse for what you’re passing off as an album.
Oh yeah, that band Interpol. WTF? That album fucking sucks.
It’s alright…it’s ok…there’s something to live for, jesus told me so…
Amy Winehouse will probably die and we won’t have to deal with her or her overrated piece of dog crap music anymore.
ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT
The Black Angels
Anyone head of this Columbus band called Times New Viking?
Possible Reopening (or something) of THE EUCLID TAVERN (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)