Monday, December 31, 2007

Traci's Top 20

All the usual year-end favorites list disclaimers apply to this list: I've arranged this list several times, ranking is somewhat random past the first few albums, ranking varies depending on mood and time of day, please do not consume ranking on an empty stomach. There are a few debut albums on my list, but most are from familiar names.

1. The National - Boxer
The National - Slow Show
The National - Fake Empire

2. Stars - In the Bedroom After the War
Stars - Take Me To the Riot
Stars - The Night Starts Here

3. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Arcade Fire - Antichrist Television Blues
Arcade Fire - Intervention

4. Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
Jens Lekman - Your Arms Around Me
Jens Lekman - Into Eternity

5. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Spoon - The Underdog
Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

6. Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
Iron & Wine - The Devil Never Sleeps
Iron & Wine - White Tooth Man

7. Architecture in Helskinki - Places Like This
Architecture in Helsinki - Hold Music
Architecture in Helsinki - Red Turned White

8. Menomena - Friend and Foe
Menomena - Weird
Menomena - My My

9. Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
Beirut - Guyamas Sonora
Beirut - A Sunday Smile

10. The Rosebuds - Night of the Furies
The Rosebuds - I Better Run
The Rosebuds - Cemetery Lawns

11. Feist - The Reminder
Feist - I Feel It All
Feist - My Moon, My Man

12. The New Pornographers - Challengers
The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbour

13. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
Andrew Bird - Heretics

14. Pela - Anytown Graffiti
Pela - Anytown Graffiti
Pela - The Trouble With River Cities

15. The Broken West - I Can't Go On, I'll Go On
The Broken West - Down In the Valley

16. The Ladybug Transistor - Can't Wait Another Day
The Ladybug Transistor - Always on the Telephone

17. St. Vincent - Marry Me
St. Vincent - Paris is Burning

18. Blonde Redhead - 23
Blonde Redhead - 23

19. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
Band of Horses - The General Specific

20. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
Okkervil River - Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe

Honorable mentions:
Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Field Music - Tones of Town
Eleni Mandell - Miracle of Five
Through the Sparks - Lazarus Beach

And a few of my favorite songs of 2007 (excluding any included above)
Loney Dear - I Am John
Calvin Harris - The Girls
The Virgins - Rich Girls
Josh Ritter - Rumors
Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew - Lucky Ones
Illinois - Screendoor
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/Lovesounds
Amy Winehouse - Rehab

Have a happy New Year!

PSA from Jackson the Fantastic Bear: Don't drink and drive or you may be my first afternoon snack of 2008.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jackson's Top Ten (x 2)

Red Blondehead presents:
Jackson the Fantastic Bear's 2007 Top 10 (x 2) - straight from his honey-encrusted claws to your computer screens!

When Traci asked me if I wanted to do a write-up of my favorite albums of 2007, I didn’t even know where to start. I have listened to so much music this year that I couldn’t even remember what was released this year, let alone how much I liked it. So I did what needed to be done… I sorted my music by year, pulled out all the music from 2007, and listened to every single album again. So if the Red Blondehead ladies were wondering why the hell my list was taking so long, that’s why.

After my listening fest, I found myself split between a number of amazing pop records and an even longer list of experimental/electronic/noise/ambient music. I mean, how can you compare Jens Lekman with Boris? You just can’t. No way, no how. So, I made it easy on myself and made two lists that were, nonetheless, just as hard to narrow down.

Albums my father would wear earplugs to:

10. Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
Jens Lekman - If I Could Cry (it would feel like this)

9. Akron/Family - Love Is Simple
Akron/Family - Ed is a Portal

8. Prints - Prints
Prints - Blue Jay

7. Caribou - Andorra
Caribou - She's the One
Caribou - Melody Day

6. Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
Beirut - A Sunday Smile

5. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam

4. Panda Bear - Panda Bear
Panda Bear - Bros

3. Le Loup - The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly
Le Loup - Canto Xxxiv
Le Loup - To The Stars! To The Night!

2. Low - Drums and Guns

1. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends

Albums that would give my father diarrhea:

10. Burial - Untrue

9. Andrew Pekler - Cue

8. Black Dice - Load Blown

7. Stars of the Lid - And the Refinement of Their Decline

6. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam

5. Wzt Hearts - Threads Rope Spell Making Your Bones

4. Battles - Mirrored
Battles - Race In

3. Boris with Michio Kurihara - Rainbow

2. The Field - From Here We Go Sublime
The Field - A Paw In My Face

1. Pantha Du Prince - This Bliss
Pantha Du Prince - Saturn Strobe

And as a bonus, Jackson did some tinkering on our banner to make it even more awesome!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Leah's favorite albums of the year

It's that time of year again: drunk Santas, reindeer, presents, decorated trees, best-of lists... I'm happy to go first on that last item!

I've got ten favorite albums this year. There were many to choose from, but the way I look at it, the smaller the list, the more prestigious. Or at least rare. I'm going with that, anyway. I tried to choose albums from this year that I'll most definitely be listening to next year (and hopefully beyond that if they hold up as well as others have).

10. CocoRosie - The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn
9. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova - Once soundtrack
8. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
7. Levon Helm - Dirt Farmer
6. The Roadside Graves - No One Will Know Where You've Been
5. Akron/Family - Love is Simple
4. Through the Sparks - Lazarus Beach
3. Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
2. The Real Tuesday Weld - The London Book of the Dead
1. The Felice Brothers - Adventures of the Felice Brothers Vol. I

Looking back, I've posted mp3s from most of these albums. Here's a few from the list that were overlooked, though. Oh, and Happy Holidays to you all!

The Real Tuesday Weld - It's a Wonderful Li(f)e
The Real Tuesday Weld - Last Words
The Real Tuesday Weld - Bringing the Body Back Home
Levon Helm - Calvary
Levon Helm - Got Me a Woman
CocoRosie - Japan