2007: Music

For the past few years I've put a lot of time and thought into my year-end lists... now everyone and their grandmothers have top tens, and this year I was so preoccupied with making music myself that I barely caught up with this year's new music. For me this year was all about digging into old music, and I discovered several old records that ended up meaning a lot more to me than any new ones. But to keep up the tradition, here's my abbreviated, self-explanatory list of the records I enjoyed this year.

1. Radiohead - In Rainbows
2. Rilo Kiley - Under the Blacklight
3. Cortney Tidwell - Don't Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up
4. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
5. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
6. Peter Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
7, Coconut Records - Nighttiming
8. The Nobility - The Mezzanine
9. Silverchair - Young Modern
10. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Also liked: Aqualung - Memory Man, Air - Pocket Symphony, Amiina - Kurr, Rufus Wainwright - Release the Stars, The Clutters - Don't Believe a Word, Feist - The Reminder, Band of Horses - Cease to Begin, Panda Bear - Person Pitch

It was just aight for me: Justice - Cross, Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, The Shins - Wincing the Night Away, Caribou - Andorra, Dungen - Tio Bitar, Iron and Wine - The Shepherd's Dog

Didn't Get To: The National - Boxer, LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver, Menomena - Friend and Foe, The Hives - Black and White Album, Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity, Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala, The New Pornographers - Challengers, Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger, The Bird and the Bee - Please Clap Your Hands, Battles - Mirrored, Kanye West - Graduation, The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible, Amy Winehouse - Back to Black, Lily Allen - Alright, Still

I'd love to hear what everyone else listened to this year, so post your list below if you got one.

And if you see me, ask me for a 2007 mix CD. Just be forewarned, John Mayer is on it.


tfo said...

I want your mix CD, but I don't know what email address you're using these days. Hit me at tfo@alumni.brown.edu.

Jon Clark said...

I'm currently ironing out my own Best of '07 list and it looks like a lot of the big names on my list are here. But two albums that I DON'T see here are The Avett Bros. Emotionalism and Andrew Bird Armchair Apocrypha. Those two albums and Wilco's Sky Blue Sky definitely got the most play for me this year.

jason.jackowski said...


Honestly, I think this year's list sees probably the most overlaps between you and me in quite some time (maybe ever?). I hadn't officially written a list until seeing yours (of which I realize we didn't discuss at all during our marathon phone conversation). Here it goes:

1. WILCO - Sky Blue Sky
2. RADIOHEAD - In Rainbows
3. PANDA BEAR - Person Pitch
4. BATTLES - Mirrored
5. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - Sound of Silver
6. THE SHINS - Wincing The Night Away
7. WHITE STRIPES - Icky Thump
9. BLACK LIPS - Good Bad Not Evil
10. GRINDERMAN - Grinderman

Also dug the new DINOSAUR JR, SPOON and BISHOP ALLEN records.

I've got to say that there are songs on the new RILO KILEY that are as great as anything they've done ("The Angels Hung Around"). But, there's too much ironic pop on it for my tastes. If those songs aren't ironic pop, then, it's just painfully mediocre at times. I'm also mixed on FEIST's new record which I liked a bit when I heard it at a house party last year, but then upon further listening was let down. Can't deny that "1-2-3-4" isn't a good song, even if it does remind me of the iPod nano more than anything.

Andrew Bird's new record is indeed good. I hadn't heard the whole thing until a few weeks ago, so it missed the list due to not really having spent enough time with it. Sam, check him out -- maybe a bit too sullen for your tastes but worth checking out.

I also want to take this opportunity to say that I still don't get the hubbub surrounding THE ARCADE FIRE. Sure, they're okay, I guess. But, their mimicry of Springsteen doesn't do anything for me. Again, didn't dig their first record too much either -- except "Haiti" until I realized the melody was ripped directly from Joe Strummer's "Johnny Appleseed."

Lastly, two of my favorite highlights of the year revolved around music -- and, the drums, oddly enough. Number one, and easily my top cultural moment of 07, was the Boredom's performance of the 77-BOADRUM at Empire State Park, beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. July 7th 2007 will forever be etched in my memory as one of the most joyous experiences in my life. A day where we all came together jubilantly to celebrate the possibilities of human togetherness.

Hard to believe, a few weeks later one event nearly came close to eclipsing it... seeing one of my best friends and former roommates drum in front of a sold out crowd at the Nassau Coliseum.
Samwise, thank you.

Rock on, good sir!

Sam Smith said...

Jon - I want to check out the Avett Bros, I've heard good things.

Jason - Nice list. I did really enjoy PANDA BEAR, what I've heard of LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, and BATTLES.

The Rilo Kiley pop tracks just really work for me and are exhilarating and fun, and, in my opinion, irony free. I woulda never brought up "The Angels Hung Around" though... interesting!

The Feist is really pleasant to listen to when chilling out, but song-for-song, listening back, it doesn't do much for me. As my friend Adrian said, "We get it. You can count to four. Now shut up!" Seriously though, a pleasant listen.

Andrew Bird, pleasant also. I dig him. Just didn't spend to much time with this one.

As for The Arcade Fire, I'm still waiting for that to hit me as well. Maybe I need to hear them live? A lot of people I respect seem to think they're the best band of their generation.

Your experience with the Boredoms sounds so inspiring. That's awesome, and of course I'm glad you enjoyed yourself at my show too!

Thanks for writing all...

Christy said...

i ran into your friend joe last weekend and got to missing you and your list obsession. so i decided to track down your end of year music list to see what i've been missing out on. i haven't heard of a few of your top 10 so i'll have to check them out. it's a pretty good list although i will second some of the comments abt menomena. one of my fave new bands for sure. here is my list of top albums in alphabetical order b/c i have a hard time assigning numbers... send me your mix cd pls. i won't mock john mayer too much.

Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
Elvis Perkins - Ash Wednesday
Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
M.I.A. - Kala
Menomena - Friend and Foe
Peter Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
Silverchair - Young Modern
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Tegan & Sara - The Con
The White Stripes - Icky Thump
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

brenton said...

i say move the white stripes to #1 and find a place for amy winehouse and the shins and your list is pretty damn good

Renata Nascimento said...

Can I still ask for your mix cd?