Don’t Hold Out Hope for a Clever Name
You’ll forgive me for losing my sense of humor at this late stage of 2007. I just listened to two of the worst color commentators I’ve ever heard stumble their way through the Pats’ shellacking of the Steelers. I have lost my patience with those who don’t take pride in their work, those who just do the minimum job necessary and go home. The music I’m listing below, gladly, didn’t take an easy way out.
As you might sense from the list of runners-up, this has been an extremely healthy year for new music and reissues. Wasn’t too bad for me, either. I moved in with my girlfriend and we promptly got engaged. I went out on the road with Clockcleaner and Times New Viking, and attended SXSW for the first time. I started work on the first mix CD for my monthly DJ night in Brooklyn, and reviewed more records than I’ve ever covered in a single-year stretch. Speaking of which, if you’re looking for Still Single, you’ll have to wait until January. I’m taking a well-earned break until then.
Top 10 albums of 2007
40 or 50 years of pop music led to this, one of the most sweetly divine repurposing of others’ music of our times.
Appalachian-tinged folk pop hymn bong rips that have remained stuck firmly within my head since the first time the needle hit. 500 copies are now long gone; make a wish and maybe you’ll land a copy (and check out their collabo CD-R with Josephine Foster if you can’t find one of your own).
Essentially the tour program of one of the greatest live performances we’ve seen in decades, this gives us a chance to focus on the music that drove it all, revealing Daft Punk to be some of the most successful programmers in modern music, dance or otherwise, not to mention helping us to find the good in the stinker that was Human After All. Their best since Homework; if you’re not feeling it now, just wait.
Here’s the sleeper of the year, the narcoleptic wanderings of one Honey Owens, who crafts tense 5 A.M. psychedelia with an assured sense of purpose, lifting her on a green sunbeam above just about anyone else working in this idiom. Much more solid and song-oriented than most of them, as well, and all the better for it.
Can’t really count Daft Punk as a mix CD (even though it is), so the best one this year will go to Germany’s Modeselektor, bouncing through Detroit techno, Spank Rock, and Radiohead like Super Mario.
Their best yet; a stunning restructuring of rock music from the inside out.
Didn’t seem like it at the time, but Mouse on Mark E. Smith has longer legs than any of us could have thought. Can’t stop listening to this one.
High-minded dollar-bin epiphanies, strung together with voices and technology to create a dystopian epic like we haven’t heard in a while. Just bonkers, onstage and off.
The return of the lonesome sound, the way some of us prefer it.
Furiously chugging basement Krautrock/punk/avant skree, breathless and diffuse; a signpost for the times which spawned them.
Prinzhorn Dance School - Prinzhorn Dance School (DFA)
Label of the year:
It’s like Tom Lax never left, like the forward-thinking insanity that once poured forth from his imprint was just waiting for him to get started again. Almost everything this label put out in 2007 was a sure shot. Dig ‘em out.
Magma @ Club Europa, Brooklyn, NY
Top 10 singles:
You’ll have to wait for the next Still Single for these. Come on, you can’t expect me to give it all away at once.
Top 10 reissues (no order):
Bobb Trimble - Iron Curtain Innocence and Harvest of Dreams (Secretly Canadian)
10 album tracks deserving of mention (no order):
LCD Soundsystem - “All My Friends” (Sound of Silver, Capitol)
By Doug Mosurock