Saturday, January 05, 2008

Peeling Off Your Jodhpurs: Year-End Music Addenda Part II

I hate making lists. It is now officially out of my system until November or so. In fact, this roundup of "other stuff I really liked in 2007" is still incomplete, and I can even name things that I've left out, but, well, fuck it.

Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends (Frenchkiss): Likable, explosive, sweet, and funny from start to finish. Would've been at least an honorable mention, had I bought it sooner. Plus, who knew that horseback riding could be so sexually charged?

Wolves In The Throne Room, Two Hunters (Southern Lord): You know you're a Slate fan, and a relative metal novice, when you let that venerable web-mag tell you what metal to buy. Then again, Slate rarely disappoints me, so why the hell not? And why is black metal so improbably soothing?

The Zincs, Black Pompadour (Thrill Jockey): It feels kind of detached at first (what with song titles like "Rice Scars" and all). The songs have a way of warming up after a while, and some, especially "Head East Kaspar," turn out to be quite comforting.

Busdriver, RoadKillOvercoat (Anti): The sarcasm is going to drive some people away before they get in the door. But in any case, rap needs a brilliant spazz-clown with a sense of humor and brain-scrambling delivery.

Bear Claw, Slow Speed: Deep Owls (Sickroom): Back in high school my friend Tony and I had an idea to start a band with two bass guitars. We had no idea that at least two awesome post-punk bands (Dianogah and Bear Claw) already had this covered. We still thought Dream Theater was cool. Sigh.

Nina Nastasia And Jim White, You Follow Me (Fat Cat): If I were one to neurotically obsess over past best-of lists, I'd declare myself a toad for not including this one. A toad, I say!

Low, Drums And Guns: See above. Sinners, never forget that Alan Sparhawk ate cake for you!

Saturday Looks Good To Me, Fill Up The Room (K Records): For such a mess of a band/collective/bedroom-pop project, SLGTM has proven remarkably consistent. "Make A Plan" and "Money In The Afterlife" count among Fred Thomas' best songs.

Bat For Lashes, Fur And Gold (Caroline): The mystery wears off after a few listens, but there's solid dark pop underneath. Plus, Natasha Khan actually pulls off the whole exotic-costume thing with some dignity intact. (Take that, Juliette Lewis!) I actually watched people attempting to dance to this song at a club in Orlando recently. Good laughs.

Figurines, When The Deer Wore Blue (Control Group): Merits both sincere appreciation and genuine or sarcastic "AWWWWW!"s.

Bishop Allen, The Broken String (Dead Oceans): This album's main single isn't its best song by far. The album glimpses at the band's very solid and agreeable songwriting—sometimes enjoyable enough, and sometimes close to greatness: