Belated USSM 2007 Music post

DMZ · January 17, 2008 at 9:08 pm · Filed Under Off-topic ranting 

The last off-season post was a hit with some people and annoying to others. If you’re in the latter group, please, don’t read any further.

Plug: here’s the unofficial USSM group.

DMZ’s Top Ten of 07, not in a particular order

LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver. I feel the same way I did about “Funeral” — I listened to it a couple of times and it was good, and then there was one listen where I just got it.

The National, Boxer. Mmmmmmm. Ridiculously good listening.

Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. I love Modest Mouse so much.

Neon Bible, Arcade Fire.

The Meaning of 8, Cloud Cult.

Myth Takes, !!!

Learn to Sing Like a Star, Kirsten Hersh. I really like this album, but it also kind of grates on me to the point I don’t listen to it that often.

Disclaimer on the next entries: I once listened to a lot of shoegaze. Now I’m listening to Mogwai… so bands like Explosions in the Sky and Worker Bee start off with a huge advantage.

All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, Explosions in the Sky

Divorce Your Legs, Worker Bee. Worker Bee is ridiculously obscure. They have some tracks on their myspace page.

You, You’re a History in Rust, Do Make Say Think. Yup.

Other stuff I listened to a lot: MIA’s Kala, A Weekend in the City, Bloc Party, Love of Diagrams’ Mosaic, The Reminder, Feist, Alright, Still, Lily Allen (this was hilarious to listen to while in London, War Stories, UNKLE, uhhh… I realize I could go on for a long, long time. I think the only thing super critically-acclaimed I didn’t get was Radiohead, which I haven’t even listened to. I feel like — okay, so I’m a huge beer drinker. I don’t like Mack & Jack’s at all. I’ve had it a couple of times, and I don’t hate it, it’s not disgusting, and when people tell me why they like it, I can see why, but I still don’t like the taste.

That’s how I feel when people talk to me about Radiohead. Yes, I understand that I should like them, given the other music I’m into. But I don’t.

Anyway. KEXP’s year-end list was quite good. We’re fortunate here to have KEXP in town, even if it means sometimes you tune in and get CGx44′s “Two Hours of Faint Office Noises and Anti-melodic Scratching Show”.


100 Responses to “Belated USSM 2007 Music post”

  1. A Series of Tubes on January 17th, 2008 9:21 pm

    Good list. glad to see The National, !!!, do make say think, and explosions in the sky on there. those bands dont get talked about nearly enough. And of course LCD Soundsystem will always be underrated, no matter how much people talk about them (him?)

    as for In Rainbows, if you dont already like Radiohead, its probably useless to try getting into them on this one. reminds me of Kid A a bit, but less “spooky”.

  2. daveblev on January 17th, 2008 9:34 pm

    LCD Soundsystem is great!! Is that the one with “watch the tapes”? I DJ in Norfolk, VA and have played that a few times (my setlist are posted on a blog on I’m actually deejaying a shoegaze show in March, I think I’ll just play very long Catherine Wheel songs.

    my votes are

    1. Minus The Bear – “Planet of Ice”
    2. 108 – “A New Beat From A Dead Heart”
    3. Lifetime – “Lifetime”
    4. Beastie Boys – “The Mix-Up”
    5. Fishbone – “Still Stuck In Your Throat”

  3. DMZ on January 17th, 2008 9:41 pm

    Remind me not to go to that show. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate Catherine Wheel.

    Bush:grunge::Catherine Wheel:shoegaze

  4. pdb on January 17th, 2008 9:41 pm

    I feel about Modest Mouse the same way you feel about Radiohead, DMZ. Although I can actually quantify it with Modest Mouse – I cannot STAND Isaac Brock’s voice. IT makes me want to kill things.

    The Kristin Hersh record was one of my favorite surprises from last year – not because I didn’t think she was good, mostly because I didn’t think she was still around.

  5. J on January 17th, 2008 9:43 pm

    I’m pleased that Boxer got some attention for The National, but the album itself I feel I go back and forth on.

    I was a bit leery at first when I heard about them bringing in a horns section, but they passed that test and the arrangement of their songs was as strong as ever (thank you, Padma Newsome). I think my problem with it was that I felt like the lyrics slipped up. They recycled a line here and there from their first album too. It just didn’t feel quite right to me.

  6. daveblev on January 17th, 2008 9:50 pm

    the catherine wheel thing was dripping in sarcasm..the promoter is paying me so I sold out and said sure, i’m more of a hardcore/punk guy. what does Bush have to do with Cahterine Wheel? Swervedriver, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Lush come to mind.

  7. Jeff Nye on January 17th, 2008 9:52 pm

    I think we need a fencing thread.

    At least in that thread, I’d have some idea what the heck you all are talking about.

    *dives for cover*

  8. MrIncognito on January 17th, 2008 9:55 pm

    I’m also enjoying:

    Everything All the Time – Band of Horses
    The Sun and Moon – The Bravery

  9. DMZ on January 17th, 2008 9:56 pm

    It’s an analogy.

    Bloomquist:Ichiro::Moose:Famous Chicken

  10. Bremerton guy on January 17th, 2008 10:00 pm

    Good list. Also, Band of Horses, Black Angels (still), Porter Wagoner, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Prophet, The New Pornographers, Spoon, Brandi Carlile (yes, I know), Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Silversun Pickups, The Blakes, Rilo Kiley, The Twilight Sad, Maps, The White Stripes, are all worth giving a listen to. As for In Rainbows by Radiohead, I wasn’t really into them either until I just started listening to it on my Ipod, real low. After awhile the songs become familiar, and pretty soon I caught myself really liking it. You may gain an appreciation for the album this way, give it a try. Music and baseball. That’s what life’s about, agreed?

  11. friendofp on January 17th, 2008 10:15 pm

    While it’s certainly not his best, I’ve been playing Ryan Adams’ Easy Tiger an awful lot this year. Also not their best, but I do like the jazz feel to Sky Blue Sky (Wilco). And Brandi Carlile’s voice…

  12. dw on January 17th, 2008 10:20 pm

    “All My Friends” should be filked as “All My M’s” but I’m flying out at a stupid early hour tomorrow.

    The National, I just didn’t get into them much. They sound like an Interpol cover band playing the Coldplay catalog, and I’d rather a Joy Division cover band playing Bends-era Radiohead than that.

    Disappointing album of 2007: Wilco. So frustrating. Band of Horses is second on that list.

    I’m just starting to listen to the last Jens Lekman album. Pretty good. Pure pop for Swedish now people.

  13. DMZ on January 17th, 2008 10:21 pm

    Wow, that is a pretty brutal thing to say about the National.

  14. Orbit on January 17th, 2008 10:27 pm

    >> Learn to Sing Like a Star, Kirsten Hersh. I really like this album, but it also kind of grates on me to the point I don’t listen to it that often.

    Blatant plug – I interviewed Kristin for the KEXP blog about her new music venture, CASH. and search for Kristin Hersh.

  15. thepull on January 17th, 2008 10:30 pm

    This wouldn’t count for 2007, but I just “somehow” got an advance copy of the next A Silver Mt Zion album and it is pretty amazing.

  16. Mat on January 17th, 2008 10:34 pm

    This thread serves as a good reminder to me that I spent too much of 2007 listening to pre-2007 music.

  17. dw on January 17th, 2008 10:34 pm

    Well, it’s true. Doesn’t “Mistaken For Strangers” sound like some really sincere kid trying to write “Warsaw” and ending up with “God Put A Smile On Your Face?” Doesn’t “Fake Empire” sound like it should be done by Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow?

    Of course, I sometimes wonder if Band Of Horses is just Iron And Wine with twice the weed and three times the Jim Beam, but I’d never say that out loud in this town since it’d get me lynched.

  18. DMZ on January 17th, 2008 10:35 pm

    No! No it doesn’t! Shut up shut up shut up, I’m going to think of that every time I listen to it now.

  19. Wallingfjord on January 17th, 2008 10:38 pm

    “…Of course, I sometimes wonder if Band Of Horses is just Iron And Wine with twice the weed and three times the Jim Beam…”

    Nah, that’d be My Morning Jacket.

  20. Thom Jimsen on January 17th, 2008 10:48 pm

    Prepare to mock me: I thought Duran Duran’s “Red Carpet Massacre” was pretty good.

  21. argystokes on January 17th, 2008 10:48 pm

    Since you posted the Eleven Saints video awhile back, I thought I’d note that Jason Webley’s newest album “The Cost of Living” is another winner. Much stronger than the work he’s been doing with all the collaborators.

  22. B-hoft on January 17th, 2008 10:49 pm

    I’m right behind you on The National bandwagon as well — their back catalog (esp. “Alligator” and “Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers”) is also rad.

    I do have to protest the Modest Mouse inclusion. I’ve loved Modest Mouse dearly — among my all-time favorites, yada yada — but I think that “We Were Dead” is an absolute wretched excuse for an album, and I shake with disappointment and rage whenever I think of it (and feel the need to proclaim this to all and sundry). It feels completely mailed-in, self-parodic, half-baked…

    enough hatred. my top list runs roughly thus:

    1. In Rainbows
    2. Icky Thump (White Stripes)
    3. Boxer
    4. The Stage Names (Okkervil River)
    5. Neon Bible
    6. Random Spirit Lover (Sunset Rubdown)
    7. Pride (Phosphorescent)
    8. The Shepherd’s Dog (Iron & Wine)
    9. Cease to Begin (BOH
    10. Neil Young — Live at Massey Hall.
    11. Sound of Silver
    12. Kala

  23. derubino on January 17th, 2008 10:56 pm

    My tops:
    The Shins – “Wincing the Night Away”
    Band of Horses – “Cease to Begin”
    LCD Soundsystem – “Sound of Silver”
    Kings of Leon – “Because of the Times”
    Silverchair – “Young Modern”
    The Arcade Fire – “Neon Bible”
    Editors – “An End Has a Start”
    The White Stripes – “Icky Thump”

    Although they were both late 2006, everyone should give Cold War Kids’ “Robbers and Cowards” and Mute Math’s “Mute Math” a shot. Great music there.

    Wow, Mariners and good music. No wonder I check this site every single day.

  24. thefin190 on January 17th, 2008 11:06 pm

    4 – You should try listening to older Modest Mouse “The Lonesome Crowded West”, its a little less polished as their newer stuff, even though I do like new Modest Mouse too.

    22 – YES! good choice. The Shins album was amazing, and so was the Editors.

    I would say I like the older White Stripes, as well as the song, “You Don’t Know What Love Is” on Icky Thump, but the other songs take a little getting used to before actually like it.

    I feel people are forgetting “Carnavas” by the Silversun Pickups. I know that it came out in 2006, but I think it didn’t gain notice until 2007, so I think it should atleast get some credit.

  25. lailaihei on January 17th, 2008 11:17 pm

    The Fall of Troy – Manipulator
    Turisas – The Varangian Way
    Raintime – Flies & Lies
    Ensiferum – Victory Songs

    Those are my favs. Last year was better I think…

  26. Mr. Egaas on January 17th, 2008 11:20 pm

    I finally “got” In Rainbows when I was at the Lava Lounge in Belltown on New Years Eve having some drinks with friends. Something about that occasion.

  27. Mr. Egaas on January 17th, 2008 11:22 pm

    Although they were both late 2006, everyone should give Cold War Kids’ “Robbers and Cowards” and Mute Math’s “Mute Math” a shot. Great music there.

    Mute Math was actually a Bill Simmons recommendation for me, with a YouTube clip of them playing Reset live. Maybe I just like the fact that the drummer duct tapes headphones to his head before playing.

  28. beef on January 17th, 2008 11:55 pm

    i really did enjoy the thom yorke solo album.

    caribou – andorra
    orgone – the killion floor
    panda bear – person pitch

    caribou and panda bear are another one of those you listen to them a few times and then during one moment the greatness clicks

  29. beef on January 18th, 2008 12:00 am

    Mute Math was actually a Bill Simmons recommendation for me, with a YouTube clip of them playing Reset live. Maybe I just like the fact that the drummer duct tapes headphones to his head before playing.

    then you have to check out dan deacon – weird freaky noise (oscillators, found electronics and the such) he refuses to play on a stage and he duct tapes his glasses to his head because he really gets into what he’s doing.

    in fact! he’s playing at nuemo’s on sunday night. saw him at the veera project last summer.

  30. rlharr on January 18th, 2008 12:12 am

    Ahh, I’m with Jeff Nye here (post 7). I think you need to post a glossary. Shoegaze? Mogwai?

    Nevertheless, I had fun skimming through the posts. Sure does make me feel old though.

  31. lailaihei on January 18th, 2008 12:12 am

    How about 2008 in preview?
    Wintersun – Time, the new P.O.S., and the doomtree collaboration album will all be amazing, guaranteed.

  32. KR on January 18th, 2008 12:25 am

    I’m surprised to have seen only one mention of Spoon so far, and none of Okkervil River’s “The Stage Names”. Other favourites of mine from this past year: Menomena, the Shins, Arcade Fire, Iron & Wine, The National, the Weakerthans (you probably haven’t heard much of them if you aren’t Canadian). Band of Horses’ new one was good, but not as good as the first. I used to be a huge Modest Mouse fan, but haven’t enjoyed the last two. “The Lonesome Crowded West” is one of my all-time favourites.

  33. thefin190 on January 18th, 2008 12:30 am

    What I don’t understand is how people like Amy Whinehouse? I mean it’s just like any other 50′s/60′s jazz type singer with more contemporary lyrics and real annoying vocals. Really, someone explain to me how she is considered good?

  34. Bremerton guy on January 18th, 2008 12:37 am

    What’s wrong with 50′s/60′s jazz? That’s good stuff. And I liked Amy Winehouse for the first couple of hundred times I heard it on the radio, but eventually it got worn out. All of it. Including the incessant trainwreck media coverage.

  35. drakelelane on January 18th, 2008 12:51 am

    Here’s some faves that I haven’t seen listed yet:

    Battles – Mirrored
    Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
    Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
    Grinderman – Grinderman
    Justice – †
    Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
    The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse
    Liars – Liars
    Burial – Untrue
    Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
    Kevin Drew – Spirit If
    Ween – La Cucaracha
    Field Music – Tones Of Town

  36. vj on January 18th, 2008 4:36 am

    thanks for doing this. Also, last year’s post led me to Neko Case so thanks for that.
    thefin: I like Amy Winehouse. I think the arrangements and tunes are pretty clever and she has a good voice.
    The Reminder by Feist is pretty good. I, too, have a hard time with Radiohead’s In Rainbows. Same goes for Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire.

  37. GD on January 18th, 2008 4:38 am

    I saw Explosions in the Sky supporting Spoon in Barcelona in November and it was no contest.
    About 250 people left after a pretty intense Explosions set, then Spoon were dogged with technical troubles and it was like the venue deflated.
    Britt Daniel’s a decent guy and the band’s tight but they were just one-paced in comparison.

    Amy Winehouse has a classic voice and her troubled soul is at least authentic.
    Shame about choosing a parasite for a husband.

  38. Jar on January 18th, 2008 5:14 am

    Nice list!

    Here are my top 10:

    10. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
    9. Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger
    8. Laura Veirs – Saltbreakers
    7. Sigur Rós – Hvarf/Heim
    6. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
    5. The Shins – Wincing the Night Away
    4. New Pornographers – Challengers
    3. Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
    2. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
    1. Radiohead – In Rainbows

    The National – Boxer
    Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
    Joshua James – The Sun Is Always Brighter
    Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog
    Derek Webb – Ringing Bell
    The Avett Brothers – Emotionalism
    Over the Rhine – Trumpet Child
    Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
    The Good, The Bad, and The Queen – The Good, The Bad, and The Queen

    And in the “I can’t believe I am admitting I like” this department:
    Alicia Keys – As I Am

    You can read my reviews of them there:

  39. bill1410 on January 18th, 2008 6:13 am

    Great list, DMZ. I don’t remember you doing this last year and didn’t realize we had the same taste in music. Maybe it’s too many beers killing my brain cells.

    B-hoft, I disagree strongly about the Modest Mouse record. I’m just about their biggest fan and I didn’t like their last album but I thought they were back on the mark with the latest. “Spitting Venom” and “Parting of the Sensory” could have easily fit in on Lonesome Crowded West.

    I do agree strongly with you about your inclusion of Sunset Rubdown (an omission by DMZ). That’s my favorite album of the year.

    Here’s my top 10. If anyone’s interested, my whole list (and many mp3s) can be found at:

    1. Sunset Rubdown – Random Spirit Lover
    2. Handsome Furs – Plague Park
    3. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead…
    4. Explosions in the Sky – All of a Sudden…
    5. Kevin Drew – Spirit If…
    6. Okkervil River – The Stage Names
    7. Do Make Say Think – You, You’re a History in Rust
    8. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
    9. Panda Bear – Person Pitch
    10. New Pornographers – Challengers

  40. LMF on January 18th, 2008 6:56 am

    Judging by general likes above, the record I didn’t see anyone note, but I think many would enjoy is Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals. That being said, I think Kala was my most played record of the last year. If you get the chance to see her live, do it.

  41. KSE on January 18th, 2008 7:30 am

    This post actually got me out of lurker status…

    For me, Modest Mouse is in a category with Built to Spill and Belle and Sebastain – they made the best music that I listened to in the 90′s – and now I still buy their albums and listen to them religiously expecting that i’ll still love em. And I don’t…..

    Although their albums were 2006 – Silversun Pickups and the Cold War Kids got a heavy listen to last year.

    Heartless Bastards (the adoration I used to have for Sleater-Kinney has found a new home)
    New Pornographers (however, if Neko won’t tour anymore – I’m out)
    Bob Schneider (I went to 3 of his shows in 2006 and listen to the live recordings alot)
    Arcade Fire

    Here’s a band that had a legit 2007 album, is very good, and I haven’t seen mentioned – check out Mofro’s Country Ghetto and see them the next time they’re at Neumo’s.

    Other than that – I’m not sure if I have a lot to offer this community. However, I do own the Cheater’s Guide to Baseball and my parents live in Gorman Thomas’ old house on Mercer Island…..

    Anyways, I need to go find my copy of “this is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about” and listen to Dramamine on repeat…..

    go m’s

  42. kolson82 on January 18th, 2008 7:44 am

    Good lists by everyone.

    My list is as follows:

    Every Time I Die – The Big Dirty
    Sigur Ros – Hvarf/Heim
    Rocky Votolato – The Brag and Cuss
    Circa Survie – On Letting Go
    Look Mexico – This is Animal Music
    Portugal. The Man – Church Mouth
    Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
    Minus the Bear – Planet of Ice
    The Dear Hunter – Act II: The Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
    The Snake The Cross The Crown – Cotton Teeth

    Honorable Mention:

    Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
    Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
    Feist – The Reminder
    Two Gallants – s/t
    Saves the Day – Under the Boards
    Thrice – The Alchemy Index Volumes I & II

    Albums that I was looking forward to that sucked:

    Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklights
    Interpol – Our Love to Admire
    Ben Lee – Ripe
    The Good Life – Help Wanted Nights

    Read about ‘em all here if you’d like:

  43. xxtinynickxx on January 18th, 2008 7:53 am

    My list is kinda old/new! By the way everyone has great lists its very exciting to see so much diversity!

    I have no order for mine, so sorry:

    Botch – American Nervoso
    MC Chris – Knowing is Half the Hassle
    MC Lars – The graduate
    Sinners and Saints – Sky is Falling
    Blood for Blood- Outlaw Anthems
    Ramalla – Kill a Celebrity
    Los Mocosos – Mocos Locos
    Ill Bill – Black Metal
    The Killers – Sams Town
    The Foxboro Hot Tubs – s/t

  44. Jimmie the Geek on January 18th, 2008 8:11 am

    Learn to Sing Like a Star, Kirsten Hersh
    I was wondering if it was that Kirsten Hersh and was gonna Google it until I saw #4′s comment. I was a pretty big Throwing Muses fan in the late 80′s and regret never getting to see them live.


  45. Alaskan on January 18th, 2008 8:31 am

    A lot of similar tastes, here. I’m surprised not to see Plant/Krauss – Raising Sand on any of your lists.

    You folks, for the large part, sound like people who would enjoy NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast. In fact, that show is about the only reason I’ve heard of half the bands you guys are talking about – I know I’ve heard LCD Soundsystem, The National, Band of Horses, Porter Wagoner, Okkervil River all on the show. Anyway, something some of you may want to check out. Here’s a link to the listeners’ top 25 of the year: – a lot of familiar names.

    I heard one Radiohead song on there, and coming from someone who doesn’t get Radiohead at all, I have to say it sounded very good.

  46. marc w on January 18th, 2008 8:41 am

    Ok… in no particular order, the top 5:

    Parts and Labor “Mapmaker”
    The National “Boxer”
    Explosions in the Sky “All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone”
    A Place to Bury Strangers S/T (if you like old Shoegaze/don’t mind lots of distortion pedals, you might like this. playing chop suey in feb.)
    Pinback ‘Autumn of the Seraphs’

    Like many, I thought there were waaay too many disappointing albums this year, including many in DMZ list (Arcade Fire, Bloc Party- but you can add Band of Horses, Les Savy Fav, Maserati, Okkervil River).

    Best songs of the year:
    Mistaken for Strangers – The National (No, it absolutely does NOT sound like…whatever DW said it sounded like. An interpol cover band? I’m not seeing it at all? Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow? Seriously, is anything with a piano in it a Coldplay rip off?)
    Melody Day – Caribou
    Catastrophe and the Cure – EITS
    Pots and Pans – Les Savy Fav
    The Gold We’re Digging – Parts and Labor
    Missing You – APTBS
    Towers were Wires – Maserati (not on their disappointing album, but on a split ep)
    Get on, me – The Brother Kite
    Forgiveness – Yeasayer (afro-pop influeced, er, pop was the biggest out of left field ‘fad’ of 2007 – yeasayer, vampire weekend, extra golden, etc.)
    Lust – Raveonettes

  47. marc w on January 18th, 2008 8:46 am

    One more thing…
    I was Modest Mouse’s biggest fan for years there – I wore out the grooves on This Is a Long Drive… and Lonesome Crowded West.

    I simply don’t understand how anyone who likes older MM can really get into, oh, ‘Dashboard.’ I’d rather not even discuss ‘Float On.’ It’s simply unrecognizable to me.

    It doesn’t make me upset or anything; my favorite band from back in the day is now getting *paid.* I just rationalize it that there’s merely a karmic lag of about 4 years, and they’re just now getting paid for Night on the Sun or LCW.

  48. jmw88 on January 18th, 2008 8:47 am

    This post finally got me to register and unlurk.

    Lots of similar stuff from my end:

    LCD Soundsystem, The National, Do Make Say Think, Explosions in the Sky.

    Some others I’ve seen mentioned in comments:

    The Shins, “Wincing the Night Away” — at first, it didn’t do a lot for me, but the more I listened, the more I found it absolutely incredible.

    Menomena, “Friend and Foe”

    Radiohead, “In Rainbows” — while I still miss the days when Radiohead was actually still a rock band, this was a lot less defiantly obscure than their recent efforts. Some fantastic songs on here.

    One I haven’t seen mentioned: The Brunettes, “Structure and Cosmetics”

    A couple others I was going to mention turns out aren’t 2007 releases. Oh well. One album I found disappointing that’s getting a lot of mention is “Neon Bible”. It just doesn’t click anywhere nearly as well for me as “Funeral” did, though I enjoy parts of it well enough.

  49. patsfan on January 18th, 2008 8:57 am

    All the albums I really liked have been mentioned, except for “Anytown Graffiti” by Pela. Highly recommended.

  50. PositivePaul on January 18th, 2008 9:03 am

    Prepare to mock me: I thought Duran Duran’s “Red Carpet Massacre” was pretty good.

    Yes! I LOVE that album. I can’t get “Falling Down” out of my head…

  51. trentonkyle on January 18th, 2008 9:06 am

    5. Arcade Fire Neon Bible
    4. White Stripes Icky Thump
    3. Radiohead In Rainbows
    2. The National Boxer
    1. LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver

    For a full year-end recap click:

  52. cthor on January 18th, 2008 9:30 am

    Jesu – Conqueror / Lifeline
    Queens of the Stone Age – Eva Vulgaris
    Neurosis – Given to the Rising
    Pelican – City of Echoes
    Baroness – Red Album
    Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works

    Someone had to post some heavier stuff.

  53. Evan on January 18th, 2008 9:45 am

    I was looking forward to this post all year so I could hype the new Nightwish album…

    …but the new Nightwish album isn’t that good.

  54. Nayners on January 18th, 2008 9:51 am

    I am a lurker no more!
    Long time reader, first time writer.

    Great lists guys. I’m a little shocked that anyone could hate on “Neon Bible”.

    Here’s mine: No order.

    Brand New(God and the Devil are Raging Inside
    Me) Late 06 or early 07, can’t remember?

    Daft Punk (Alive 2007)

    Aqueduct (or Give me Death)

    High Contrast (Tough Guys Don’t Dance)One of the best broken beat albums of recent years.

    Arcade Fire (Neon Bible)

    M.I.A. (Kala)

    Boys Noize (Oi Oi Oi) Fans of Justice may like.

    Letdowns are:
    Emery (I’m only a Man)
    Chemical Brothers (We are the Night)
    That UnderOath didn’t release another album.

  55. marc w on January 18th, 2008 10:11 am

    48 -
    good call on Menomena. Not in my top 5, but I really should’ve listed ‘Wet and Rusting’ in the best songs of the year.

    I must sadly consign the Brunettes album to the ‘Disappointing’ bin. They released a song years ago back in new zealand called Polyester meets Acetate, and it was a brilliant, brilliant pop song. Nothing they’ve ever done since comes close, but that one song makes me sort of excited whenever I hear they have something new.

  56. Shizane on January 18th, 2008 10:27 am

    Ahhhhhh! Everyone and their indy music (or whatever you call it). Time for an infusion of some major label albums for consideration….unfortunately a lot of my favorite bands/artists did not release albums during 2007, so here are some that did.

    I really enjoyed: Freeway – Free At Last, Silverchair – Young Modern, Musiq – Luvanmusiq, Chevelle – Vena Sera

    I moderately enjoyed: Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist, Bloodsimple – Red Harvest

    I was disappointed by: Sevendust – Alpha

    2008 will hopefully see some new releases from Lamb of God, Nothingface, Mudvayne, Deftones, and perhaps Mastodon.

  57. DMZ on January 18th, 2008 10:47 am

    I really like Mastodon — seriously — but their last CD was engineered like shit. Nearly unlistenable to me. Out of curiousity, I loaded it into Audacity and it looks like a big sausage, chopped peaks and everything, like the last Snow Patrol album (which I also (somewhat guiltily) enjoyed and stopped listening to). Loudness Wars ahoy.

  58. xxtinynickxx on January 18th, 2008 10:59 am

    I dont think i understood this post very well cus i was still asleep when i posted so here are my fav albums of 07…… was hard to come up with this list but ya i think its a good one and 07 was not the best year for music but 08 is gonna be off the hook and has been so far!

    Comeback Kid- Broadcasting….
    Defiance OH- The Fear the Fear the Fear
    The Good the Bad and the Queen – S/T
    Hot Cross – Risk Revival
    Hot Rod Circuit – The Underground is a Dying Breed
    Love Me Destroyer – The Things Around us Burn
    Akimbo – Navigating the Bronze
    Voodoo Glow Skulls – Southern California Street Music
    Agnostic Front – Warriors
    Automatic 7 – At Funeral Speed

  59. astroboy on January 18th, 2008 10:59 am

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on the Mastadon.

  60. David* on January 18th, 2008 11:00 am

    Mastodon engineered like poop? Matt Bayles is one of the greatest producers alive and have rarely (never) found anything of his to be short of spectacular.

    My list, not in any order:

    Minus the Bear – Planet of Ice
    Low – Drums and Guns
    Menomena – Friend and Foe
    The National – Boxer
    Beirut – Flying Club Cup
    Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog
    St. Vincent – Marry Me
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Some Loud Thunder
    Portugal. The Man – Church Mouth
    Enon – Grass Geysers Carbon Clouds

    Seriously people, ENON. Thanks.

  61. marc w on January 18th, 2008 11:16 am

    Enon is great, but GGCC was…disappointing. God, but I’ve used that word a lot. High Society, now that’s an Enon album.

  62. Steven Stadnicki on January 18th, 2008 11:55 am

    Digging through the music I added this year, I’m really struck by how disappointed I was in 2007 musically. There was some decent stuff out there, but there was a stack of disappointments too. A couple of things I haven’t seen anyone mention yet:

    Abdominal – Escape From The Pigeon Hole: This hasn’t seen US release yet AFAIK, but Amazon (or Vancouver) aren’t so far away. A Canadian MC who’s done some amazing work with DJ Format; this is his official solo debut. Fantastic flow, funny and clever; he could stand to work on his hooks, but his verses rock. Check out a few tastes at, of all things, his MySpace page:

    Crowded House – Time On Earth: it’s not as good as their old stuff, of course, but Neil Finn still has it and I’m surprised this album didn’t get more attention.

    Galactic – From The Corner To The Block: Yeah, it’s a little jam-bandy, but it definitely has its moments, with all the usual guest-rapper suspects (Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab, Chali 2na) doing fine jobs.

    Jesse Sykes – Like, Love, Lust and the Open Halls of the Soul: kind of uneven, but at its best, the syrupy country on stuff like “Spectral Beings” just sucks me in.

    I spent a lot of time listening to the Okami soundtrack, and of course to “Still Alive”, but those are definitely more personal choices than stuff I’d recommend to everyone. And one last: even though I found the album as a whole really uneven, I fell in love with Patti Smith’s cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”…

  63. xxtinynickxx on January 18th, 2008 12:02 pm

    Iron and WIne are good i didnt think to put that album

  64. msb on January 18th, 2008 12:09 pm

    The last off-season post was a hit with some people and annoying to others.

    I generally find these lists fascinating, because I haven’t heard anything on the lists…

  65. vj on January 18th, 2008 12:17 pm

    re Alaskan (#45): Plant/Kraus is interesting. Sounds a lot different than I expected. And All Songs Considered seems to be a good program. You can download mp3s of various live performances, there.

  66. bill1410 on January 18th, 2008 12:31 pm

    marc w, I agree completely about “Dashboard” – not good and nothing like old-school MM. (But I am certainly more than happy about their economic success, which is predicated on songs like that and “Float On”).

    On the other hand, there’s a lot in my opinion on the latest album that is great, and very old-school. The entire second half of the record – from “Little Motel” through “Spitting Venom” and “People as Places as People” is excellent and hearkens right back to LCW or This is a Long Drive… Plus, there are some moments in the early, poppier part of the album (“Fire It Up” and “Parting of the Sensory”) that are quite good, in my opinion.

    I’m not trying to convince anyone, but I don’t think Modest Mouse has sold out or changed their sound that dramatically, at least not on this album. Does it compare to LCW? No, of course not. But it’s still a great album.

  67. DMZ on January 18th, 2008 12:57 pm

    I can’t believe that any producer worth respecting would engineer something with the clipping of that last Mastodon CD.

    You can search for more information — I looked it up after I saw it and people had posted waveforms showing the chopped peaks and stuff.

  68. Bo on January 18th, 2008 1:02 pm

    Long-time lurker, first-time poster. I thought I’d throw out my list since it’s substantially different than most on here.

    10.Sundowner – Four One Five Two Best track: “Steal Your Words”
    9.The Aggrolites – Reggae Hit L.A. Best track: “Reggae Hit L.A.”
    1960s-style dancehall reggae. Lots of fun.
    8.Defiance Ohio – The Fear, The Fear, The Fear
    Best track: “The List”
    7.Bayside – The Walking Wounded Best track: “I and I”
    6.Big D and the Kids Table – Strictly Rude
    The party album of the year. Fun,fast and danceable two-tone ska.
    Best track: “Noise Complaint”
    5.Fake Problems – How Far Our Bodies Go
    Best track: “Maestro of this Rebellious Symphony”
    4.Look Mexico – This Is Animal Music
    This album is beautiful, beginning to end. It’s low-key indie rock, and judging from most of the lists on here, a lot of you would love it.
    Best track: “You Come Into My House, While I Sleep?”
    3.The Gaslight Anthem – Sink Or Swim
    If Springsteen played punk rock.
    Best track: “We Came To Dance”
    2.Against Me! – New Wave
    These guys finally got mainstream attention this year, and it was a long time coming. Great rock album, and one of the best live bands on the planet.
    Best track: “New Wave”
    1.Streetlight Manifesto – Somewhere In The Between
    Can’t say enough good about this one. Amazing horn section, great melodies, and my favorite of the year.
    Best track: “What A Wicked Gang Are We”

  69. Chris Miller on January 18th, 2008 1:03 pm

    I don’t get that, when I record guitar and vocals on my home computer it’s really easy to avoid clipping by just turning down the inputs and using a compressor, that’s really basic stuff.

  70. DMZ on January 18th, 2008 1:12 pm

    It’s the loudness wars. I don’t at all think people who engineer these albums are shocked when they see clipping and everything sounds like mush.

  71. huelsdonk on January 18th, 2008 1:16 pm

    Wow, lots of good stuff here.

    Avett Brothers’ Emotionalism is a fantastic record. I also really liked the Two Gallants and Blitzen Trapper offerings

  72. mike on January 18th, 2008 1:17 pm

    My favorites were, in no order:

    Les Savy Fav
    Neil Young – Massey Hall 1971
    Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
    Queens of the Stone Age – Era Vulgaris
    Modest Mouse
    Thurston Moore – Trees Outside the Academy
    LCD Soundsystem

    And the best of 2008 is already being spread around: Stephen Malkmus “Real Emotional Trash” is totally badassed.

  73. Steven Stadnicki on January 18th, 2008 2:25 pm

    DMZ, have you listened to the first track off the most recent Clap Your Hands Say Yeah disc? Deliberately clipped, crunchy drums. The listener in me says it’s an interesting effect; the engineer in me cringes every time I hear it…

  74. Dayve on January 18th, 2008 2:34 pm

    Iron and Wine is pretty much Neil Young/Birds/Etc on the same amount of drugs but less polished songwriting skills and crappier recording equipment. It comes around again and again….

  75. jv on January 18th, 2008 2:43 pm

    The squashing and clipping is usually done at the mastering stage. In other words, Matt Bayles probably had nothing to do with it. The producer/engineer sends it to a mastering engineer who does the crunching. And I think the mastering engineers are pressured by the labels (who don’t want their stuff to be “quieter” than the other labels). It is a real problem these days, to the point where I find many new releases unlistenable. BTW, does anybody else think the new Arcade Fire sounds a lot like Echo and the Bunnymen?

  76. Alaskan on January 18th, 2008 2:47 pm

    74 (Dayve),

    Pretty much anything worth anything comes around again and again, music-wise.

  77. Alaskan on January 18th, 2008 2:51 pm

    Random note for music lovers:
    is a really interesting place to find live performances from various artists, free for download. I’m enjoying getting Nickel Creek, who have a history of doing some great, random covers (Short People, Morning Bell, Toxic, Up On Cripple Creek, etc). Anyway, happy hunting.

  78. Jim Thomsen on January 18th, 2008 3:00 pm

    I don’t mean to start a flame war, but it sure seems like a lot of you let John Richards do your musical thinking for you. A lot of these selections just seem to parrot KEXP playlists.

  79. DMZ on January 18th, 2008 3:10 pm



    Well, I’m not sure how much of finding music I like I owe to the people I talk to and what I read and what I listen to… but without granting your premise, I’d say “I could pick someone worse to do my musical thinking for me.”

  80. marc w on January 18th, 2008 3:12 pm

    If that were true, Jim, we’d all be talking about the Blakes.
    Here’s john’s list
    #1 The national (ok, fair, there’s some overlap, but have you fucking heard this?)
    2. Pela – Anytown Graffiti (Great Society)
    3. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (self-released)
    4. The White Stripes – Icky Thump (Warner Bros)
    5. Common – Finding Forever (Good/Geffen)
    6. Blue Scholars – Bayani (Rawkus)
    7. Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block (Wichita)
    8. Maps – We Can Create (Mute)
    9. Interpol – Our Love to Admire (Capitol)
    10. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (Merge)

    Doesn’t look like my list, or just about anyone else’s here. He’s got some overlap with DMZ, but things like Arcade fire of Modest Mouse were plugged by more than just John Richards.

    ftr, I live in Tacoma, just barely outside KEXP’s transmitter range. I would LOVE to have John Richards do some legwork for me, but it’s not an option.

  81. mike on January 18th, 2008 3:23 pm

    Hey Marc I’m in the north end and with an FM antenna on my home stereo I can pull it in cleanly. However, the car is another story.

  82. Jim Thomsen on January 18th, 2008 3:23 pm

    Then again, if we were true KEXP slaves, we’d all be spending a lot of money on Tibetian nose-flute music.

  83. beef on January 18th, 2008 3:26 pm

    I don’t mean to start a flame war, but it sure seems like a lot of you let John Richards do your musical thinking for you. A lot of these selections just seem to parrot KEXP playlists.

    whereas he plays things people like to hear? but also what do you expect living in the seattle area. access through the radio and the internets provides a wide base and easy listening experience. personally i wish john would shut up more. nothing drives me to switch the radio station more than the 15 minutes of overlap between him and cheryl when they talk about their personal lives.

    but as far as new music to listen to, there just aren’t a lot of alternatives without some serious effort and luck involved to discover them.

    here are some more – all which got significant play throughout the year on kexp and probably nowhere else :)

    sharon jones & the dap kings – 100 Days & 100 Nights (more soul than the last album but she is soul sister number one. they continue to put on the greatest shows on earth.)

    budos band – budos band II – hard driving funk, same label as sharon jones (Daptone Records)

    antibalas – security – long live Fela

    orgone – the killion fields (LA based soulfunk includes members from breakestra)

    anything with afrobeat/funk/hard driving horns is usually a winner in my book

    blah blah blah.

  84. vj on January 18th, 2008 4:11 pm

    Not really music of 2007 but related to the last season:
    The term “Funk Blast” was coined after a fine collection of classic funk that should still be available at the EMP gift store. At least that’s where I bought it several years ago.

  85. marc w on January 18th, 2008 4:20 pm

    Dude! Good call on the budos band. THAT was one of the best shows of last year. About 15 people on a tuesday night at Neumos. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

    I was actually a bit disappointed in the new Sharon Jones. Maybe I’m just not listening right.

  86. Bremerton guy on January 18th, 2008 4:48 pm

    Hey Jim Thomsen,

    Are you listening to the same KEXP I am? That kind of stuff only comes on Monday night from 6 to 9.

  87. xxtinynickxx on January 18th, 2008 5:35 pm

    and before there were followers of KEXP there were followers of KGRG and if things were reversed again, you would probably see more of a list following what KGRG plays which is somewhat the same thing haha.

  88. DMZ on January 18th, 2008 6:09 pm

    Way to contribute substantially to the discussion there, tiny nick.

  89. thirdbase on January 18th, 2008 10:14 pm

    I agree with whoever suggested the new High Contrast. Hospital records is churning out some excellent stuff. Justice’s album was damn good too.

    I see no one has suggested any Blonde Redhead. Thier album 23 is great. Shoegazer lives. Oh, speaking of which apparently My Bloody Valentine are reunited. They actually have tour dates! But only in like Britain.

    No one’s mentioned any rap either. I like Kanye’s Graduation a lot. Among other records, the last Wu-Tang record, 8 Diagrams, has grown on me a lot in the past few days.

  90. Bretticus on January 19th, 2008 12:09 am

    I have strange tastes in music, but here it goes…

    “Manipulator” by the Fall of Troy

    “Planet of Ice” by Minus the Bear (speaking of bands with Bear in the title, I re-discovered Bear vs. Shark this year. What a disappointing breakup…)

    “Tera Melos” by Tera Melos

    “Drugs to the Dear Youth” by Tera Melos

    Song: “Girls Like Status” by The Hold Steady

    Song: “Misfits and Mistakes” by Superchunk

    “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank” by Modest Mouse

    “A Natural Death” by HORSE the Band

    “Church Mouth” by Portugal. the Man

    “These are Jokes” by Demetri Martin (he’s a musical comedian)

    “Young Machetes” by The Blood Brothers

    “The Pick of Destiny” by Tenacious D

    “Blood, Sweat, and Swords” by Mon Frere (or was this 2006?)

    “Return to the Sea” by Islands

    So many more I’m probably forgetting, but these are the ones I’m listening the most to.

  91. Mike G. on January 19th, 2008 1:08 am

    Dinosaur Jr. – “Beyond”
    Blitzen Trapper – “Wild Mountain Nation”
    Ted Leo/Pharmacists – “Living With The Living”
    Modest Mouse – “WWDBTSES”
    Of Montreal – “Hissing Fauna, Are you The Destroyer?”

    Of Montreal put out my top album of the year. I thought it would get more love here, maybe the carnival atmosphere squares some off.

    And for those of you who want Modest Mouse to keep making LCW, get over it. If they stayed frozen in 1997 we would have missed out on The Moon And Antarctica.

  92. beef on January 19th, 2008 10:57 am

    Of Montreal put out my top album of the year. I thought it would get more love here, maybe the carnival atmosphere squares some off.

    i agree on that one. i had no idea who they were before this album. i went and checked their back catalog and was overjoyed. quickly bought all of their albums. i know it’s a big leap/comparison but their musical progression and multi layered fantasies give me a lot of beatlesque fantasies.

    i listened to this album so much, i forgot it was released in 2007.

    the only problem with them is the couple times i’ve seen them live it’s hard to translate the album experience into a live show at times.

    wheee. i obviously have a lot more to contribute music wise than mariner wise.

  93. andy w on January 19th, 2008 2:44 pm

    A few things I enjoyed from the past year, I think at least a couple have been mentioned earlier in the comments:

    1. Efterklang – Under Giant Trees
    2. Adjagas – Adjagas
    3. Super Furry Animals – Hey Venus!
    4. Low – Drums and Guns
    5. Tunng – Good Arrows
    6. Sigur Ros – Hvarf/Heim
    7. Andrew Bird – Armchair Aprocrypha
    8. Bill Callahan – Woke on a Whaleheart
    9. Efterklang – Parades
    10. Euros Childs – Bore Da

    As for next year, I’m eagerly awaiting the new Mogwai album…

  94. hawgdriver on January 19th, 2008 10:42 pm

    2007 was by all accounts a Sexsonsque year for me musically. Neon Bible sounded too precious, Sky Blue Sky too uninspired, WWD… …catchy but somehow flat. Wincing the Night Away was a huge drop off for me. …and you will know us by the trail of dead’s release was abysmal. Nothing stood out, everything disappointed. In August I got into Minus the Bear…in an over the top way, really, as hungry as I was for something good. But when I went to the concert I was disillusioned and unable to listen to them the same way. I mean, the keyboardist wasn’t even playing the instrument, and the mindless pothead throng didn’t notice. It was obvious to me that Matt Bayles is to them as Brock is to MM, but he’s mailing in live performances. It was disgraceful, and I felt shammed.

    The only album I can include is by Small Leaks Sink Ships “Until the World is Happy…” but I think it’s actually a 2006 release. give “Sick on Substance” a listen on // it’s ok.

    Past two years the best thing I’ve come across is Wolfparade’s lone album. But happy day! as I have some more leads from everyone here.

  95. Avery on January 20th, 2008 6:14 am

    Nice list. It’s missing Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga but otherwise solid.

  96. daveblev on January 20th, 2008 8:52 am

    nice to see Andrew Bird mentioned…and “planet of ice”…the new Dino Jr. album was good too….alot of good bands reunited last year. I have listened to “under the boards” by Saves The Day since I bought it, I liked the previous one better, but nothing will compare to their “through being cool” album.

  97. firova2 on January 20th, 2008 2:40 pm

    Most of what I buy is old (often pre-rock old), but here are some exceptions that stood out last year:

    Rock: Radiohead, In Rainbows. For anyone who can’t get into this band, just try the track “Jigsaw Falling Into Place.” I thought Amy Winehouse was fun even though we could i.d. the Motown homages/ripoffs, Wilco’s effort was indeed disappointing, hot new guitarist at all, and Bruce Springsteen’s record played well despite a muddy mix. “Long Walk Home” stood out for me.

    Jazz: Michael Brecker, Pilgrimage. It sounds to me like jazz has a smaller market share on this site than it does at large (less than 3 percent). Brecker died after making this, but it is one amazing final effort. Runner-up: Metheny Mehldau Quartet.

    Country: Lyle Lovett, It’s Not Big It’s Large. Not at the level of his classic material, but there is a ruminative quality to this that gets to me.

    Soundrack: Once. Put me onto the Frames, old news to a lot of people, but I immediately got Fitzcarraldo as an import and I’m going for more.

  98. lordbison on January 21st, 2008 12:07 pm

    Long time reader, first time poster. Looks like pretty much everyone already had their say on this, but I saw enough deviation in my list to warrant a post. Here’re my 12 favorite records of 2007:

    12. The Ponys – Turn the Lights Out
    11. Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
    10. Partman Parthorse – P.M.P.H.
    09. Love of Diagrams – Mosaic
    08. The White Stripes – Icky Thump
    07. Grinderman – s/t
    06. Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
    05. The Cave Singers – Invitation Songs
    04. BRMC – Baby 81
    03. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Is Is EP
    02. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
    01. Interpol – Our Love to Admire

    For more in-depth description, check out NW Music Blog. Hopefully, HTML is ok.

  99. Graham on January 21st, 2008 12:15 pm

    I wholeheartedly approve of any list that has Baby 81 on it.

  100. Mike G. on January 22nd, 2008 12:37 am

    I didn’t include it because I don’t consider soundtracks albums but I love the Juno OST.

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