Wrapping things up for the Year in Music here. I can never seem to get these things done before Christmas, which is when everyone else is doing it. I like to let the year truly end before I get into the bests and worsts and, well as in today’s case, the stuff that deserves special mention. Call it the Completely Made Up Awards section, here for your pleasure.
Most Disappointing Album Of The Year: Smashing Pumpkins – ZeitgeistI can’t understand it. I actually liked Corgan’s last couple of efforts, but this was supposed to be the thing where he returned to his element–a chance to flex hius muscle and recreate the magic that made Siamese Dream an instant classic and still keeps Gish in rotation. But no. While it’s always a treat to hear Jimmy Chamberlin’s chaingun drumming and Corgan’s technical prowess is still razor-edged, it’s a wash of samey-ness that, upon first (and even second) listens felt like a party you really were looking forward to but turned out to be just some dude and a couple friends playing X-Box. I saw myself out pretty quick.
Best Band Whose Two Releases I Can’t Seem To Find In Any Music StoreLove Like Fire
I stumbled across these cats on the Net, as I so often do, and lucky I did. Theirs is a style that I find immensely satisfying. Ann Yu’s confident vocals are backed by a solid lineup of Dave Farrell on drums, Ted Parker on guitar and Robert Kissinger on bass. They hint of shoegaze, but rein in the indulgent impulses with a tight song composition and nifty playing. But then I love the shoegaze stuff. Visit their MySpace presence and check out the phenomenal “Delusion” for a taste of what this band is capable of. Can’t wait to see what shows up from them in 2008.
Love Like Fire: official site
Song Of The Year From An Album That Actually Came Out In 2003“We Used To Be Friends” by The Dandy Warhols.
By itself, the song kicks some meaty rock ass. But it dominated my airspace this year because it happens to be the theme song for Veronica Mars. You see, I waited until the series was canceled before actually picking up the first episode. Since then it’s been Ms. Mars on repeat. As my friend Ryan says, the show is “methadone for Buffy addicts.” Yeah, that’s about right. It’s a bout a precocious teenager who gets into situations way more complex and dangerous than the average high school girl and happens to learn something about human nature in each episode. Toss in a pair of Buffy alums and we’re deep into Joss Whedon territory.
Anyway, it’s tempting to imagine the show’s success was due entirely to its canny choice of theme music, but the show itself was well-written, well acted and featured Charisma Carpenter wearing far less than she ever did in Buffy or Angel, so yes, one must downplay the role of the theme song when weighing the show’s success.
Except… for some reason when the third season kicked off, someone thought it would be a good idea to take that kick ass rock song, siphon out its steely guts and replace it with marshmallow. What had once been an energizing sprint off the cliff of danger at the beginning of each episode became a soporific hello and a lackluster beckon. And then the show was canceled. Draw your own conclusions.
Best Album By A Band Whom I Love Because They Were My First Concert And I’ll Always Love Them No Matter How Irrelevant They Become To The Younger Generation:Rush – Snakes & Arrows Without a doubt. Those three dudes are still cranking out tunes. Wish I could have seen them on their last tour, because really, how many more of those have they got in them? The album itself was fine, but we’re talking about someone who knows all the basslines, the lyrics and album credits by heart for every album between 1973 and 2003, so how do you blame me? Best in class of 2007. Hands down.
Albums I Was Apparently Supposed To Like But Just Didn’t For Whatever Reason Five Way Tie:
Scott Walker – The Drift
Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
Prinzhorn Dance School – Prinzhorn Dance School
Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
Albums I Might Have Liked Had I Not Been Tricked By Pitchfork’s Implication That There Is Time In A Year To Listen To Everything And Actually Gotten Around To Trying:
Chromatics – Night Drive
Pylon – Gyrate
Bishop & Allen – The Broken String
Josh Ritter – The Historical Conquests Of
Little Dragon – Little Dragon
Daphne – Carmin
Uusitalo – Karhunainen
Minus The Bear – Planet Of Ice
Cassius – 15 Again
Richard Hawley – Lady’s Bridge
Arrested Development – Since The Last Time
And these, because I’m tired of typing: Ohmega Watts, Castanets, Avenged Sevenfold, Film School, The Fiery Furnaces, Oakley Hall, Percee P, Low, The Sadies, Nick Lowe, Shocking Pinks, Devendra Banhart, The Twilight Sad, Rogue Wave, Black Francis, Clipse, Kanye West, Stereo Total, Good Bad Not Evil, Shout Out Louds, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, The Horrors, Bjork, Sarah Shannon, Julie Doiron, The Loose Salute, Rihanna, Talib Kweli, A Place To Bury Strangers, The Perishers, Kathy Diamond, Interpol, Aesop Rock, Rilo Kiley and a couple others.
And that’s it for 2007. I’m done.
Unless I get around to typing up all the runners-up in the Ten Tracks That Mattered list, but that’s more typing than I want to do without copious booze.