Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Best of... (what year was it again?)

2007!!! Damn that seems like a long time ago.

Well, I suppose it's 2008 now. And before I get into what made me super frothing wet in 2007 I want to tell you that 2008 is already shaping up to be a contender. New sludginess from 5ive and Lento. Stoner indie pop gems from Black Mountain. And A Silver Mount Zions ab-soul-ute best album yet. Surely people will balk at such an idea. But its okay, you just don't know it yet. New Boris albums, new stuff from Ampere, supposedly.

Also, an addendum slash correction. Theres an album on this list that I now feel differently about. Radioheads In Rainbows. Its good. Don't get me wrong. But I've since heard about 3 or 4 albums that easily surpass Radiohead's latest effort. I had already made the mixes and I didnt feel like going back and changing them, so they suffice for what they are; a glimpse of some of my favorite albums from '07.

Please be aware that A) I didnt hear everything that was released this year, as is evidenced by my revocation of Radiohead on the list. B) My list is not numerically based for any other reason than for me to keep a count. With that said, what's at the top of the list is better than what's at the bottom, but what's at 5 isn't necessarily worse than what's at 1. and 3) or C) I listened to alot of music this year that wasnt from this decade. And with that said, the Shotmaker / Max Colby split is still better than almost anything on this blog. and 13 songs and Blood Sweat and No Tears basically run circles around the best this year has to offer.... ahh. sweet digression.

Here is the list.

1. Caspian - The Four Trees


Post-Rockish, with a bit more rock than post. This is a welcome idea.

Greatness, greatness, greatness. You had to have come across this if you listen to good music. Uplifting, awakening and shimmering with inner life, this band is the goods. They record well and they kill live. Walls of sound man, walls of sound.

2. Baroness - The Red Album



Progressive Sludge Metal Sabbath Maiden Metal Freakout Meltdown Metal.

Did I mention this shit is metal? Im talking galloping horses, riders of the apocalypse metal, but no, no, no, not power metal. They dont wield swords, they wield giant clubs of doom leaving trails of swirling smoke eddies. This album grew like wildfire on me and I still find new things to like about. A solid album and another killer live show.

3. Iron & Wine - The Shepherds Dog


Yeah, so what, I listen to folk music. I wear pink too. Real men wear pink

Sam Beams best album. The orchestration gives it a lush feel and the variety of song structures keeps the album from falling into the self exiled murk that so much folk falls into. Sams voice is incredible and his words truly ring with heart-string- pulling emotion. You want to talk "emo". Yeah, what the fuck does that word even mean? This is the most emotional record I've heard in years. Perfect summertime drives upstate with this in the deck.

4. Grails - Burning Off The Impurities


Mind bending psychedelic rock.

I went to see this band twice last year, and each time was different, and they practically ruined live shows for me. If hardcore didn't exist, Grails would've officially been one of the best live shows I've seen. Ever. Both times. The eastern feel of these songs is not hokey in anyway and goes a long way to legitimizing these songs as mantras for spiritual understanding. Yeah, that sounded like some new-age shit. Grails are not new-age. They are incredible-age.

5. Explosions In the Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone


Do you really not know already? Instrumental rock of the highest caliber.

Really, I am disappointed at the lack of love this album had gotten last year. It seemed to be universally slagged as their weakest effort. And while I cant think of any way to reach higher than Moon Is Down or With Tired Eyes, this is still a fantastic album and got voted out over a bunch of bands that aped their style. I'm not naming names, but as a long time fan of this band, it may just be my loyalty, but I really think this album is just beautiful.

6. Bongripper - Hippie Killer



Massive psychedelic space rock doom sludge mind fuck.

I mean, come on. How can you go wrong with something with that title? Really, this album is suffocatingly heavy and light as air at the same time. Where did Isis go wrong? This is where its at these days. Ripping bongs, killing hippies and hailing Satan.

7. Les Savy Fav - Lets Stay Friends


Post-punk, shake dat azz, hug your hairy fat friends and sweat the hate out.

L-E-S-S-A-V-Y-F-A-V!

Damn... best album. By far. This album just does not stop. They did everything right (okay, almost everything - Comes & Goes is just plain forgettable, sorry guys)

8. Brainworms - Which is Worse


Fuck you, this is punk.

Brainworms officially owned with the best show of all last year. I haven't moved like that since 1997 at the VOD OKD (Vision of Disorder / One King Down) show at the QE2 in Albany (or was it 96?). Brainworms remind me exactly why I liked punk in the first place.

9. Rosetta - Wake/Lift


Astral Sludge. New genre? I think not. Dont go there.

I hate to say it again. But where, oh where, did Isis go wrong?
Check out Rosetta rewriting the books on atmospheric sludge. The ambiance lurking behind every roar is the subtlety that makes this album shine. Not to mention repetitive, ever cycling riffs, propelling past the stratosphere with little regard for gravity's tenacious hold. And the opening song seems like sludgier older brother to the next number on the list...

10. Cease Upon the Capitol - s/t EP


Astral Hardcore. Haha... come on you gotta laugh. If some journalist ever uses that as a descriptor then we're all going to hell


CUTC completely rocked me with this ep. I cant say I'm a huge fan of their prior stuff. I mean, its got its moments, but this is an ultimate blend of frantic hardcore craziness with throat shredding vocals and post-rock moodiness that isn't too unlike the Rosetta album above. In fact, if you slowed down this album or sped up the Rosetta album then they might sound quite similar. But as it is, this makes a good breakneck version of some really spacey guitar work.

11. Kevin Drew - Spirit if...


Indie rock sweetness.

If you like Broken Social Scene (and I do very much) then its pretty much a given that you'll like Kevin Drew. After all, he sings a good portion of the male verses of that bands work. His solo album is a bit more reflective but still using that same trashy endearing manner of speaking. Lines like "too beautiful to fuck" somehow drips with sweetness. In a fucked up world of self obsession, theres something very real about his approach. Dirty enough to stir you up, but sweet enough to keep you listening.

12. Meneguar - Strangers in Our House


Danceable post-punk goodness

I hate to be so simple, but its getting really late, and I typed everything below this before getting back here to number 12. So no offense to you Meneguar, oh ye of strange name. There are so many hooks on this record its hard to pick a favorite, but Scrape and Pull keeps sticking out to me, with herky jerky guitar leads that arent too far removed from their city mates Les Savy Fav. I also hear a little bit of Modest Mouses whammy bar moments and some of Q and Not U's propulsive bass work. All together an infectious record.

13. Grinderman - Grinderman


Dirty trash rock and crooner ballads

It's Nick Cave back at his dirtiest in years. Cave tends to be pretty divisive among underground music fans and I'll admit, it took me a long time to come around to appreciating him. My ex girlfriend loved him in high school and I just thought he was some artsy fartsy goth freak. I was for more concerned with Drive Like Jehu. But years later (and a few relationships later) I find myself strangely drawn to his open heart surgery delivery. I feel like I get him now, and its a treat to be this late to the party and still get to experience Nick doing what he does best. His backing band is amazing too. For this line up its Bad Seeds all the way. Martin Casey, Warren Ellis and Jim Sclavunos (who played drums for Sonic Youth for a short time) bring the hurtin and give Nick room to delightfully damage ears with his squealing guitar attacks.

14. Kidcrash - Jokes


Chaotically precise hardcore with proggy and post-rock flavor.

Kidcrash was another hardcore band that just blew minds this year. Rehashing some of their demo songs from last year and actually ratcheting up the tension by at least double, Kidcrash emerge with an incredibly complex far reaching schematic for future hardcore generations.

15. Mammatus - The Coast Explodes


Psychedelic Stoner Rock

Pierce the darkness, man, pierce it dude. Right on.

16. Souvaris - A Hat


Post-rock, math rock, ambient

Another album that just wouldnt leave my iPod. I think Nobody Is Fine and Everybody Needs a Drink is one of the best songs of the post-rock genre. I did a review a little while back describing the various passages, and while I wont recount that right here, I will say that I rarely pick apart songs and discuss their various movements. That song makes me feel happy and sad at the same time and it makes me feel completely okay with that duality.

17. Sea and Cake - Everybody


Saccharine pop goodness

Honestly, this is so poppy and so sunshiney bright in its delivery that it seems very far off from the tense and moody stuff I get my kicks from. But I seriously am in love with this band. This album makes their last album forgivable and also houses some of their best material. As and album I would have to rank this right after Oui. Crisp, clear and crystalline, not unlike the photograph on the cover. You may want to save these guys for summer. Who knows, maybe you'll meet some chicks, and then scare them away trying to explain what the C in Cake means..

18. Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs


More indie pop goodness

Considering that Three Mile Pilot is one of my most favorite bands, it should come as no suprise that I am a huge Pinback fan. Sure, everyone talks about Rob Crowe this and Rob Crowe that, and dont get me wrong, hes incredible, but what about Zach Smith aka Armisted Burwell Smith IV? I feel he often gets overlooked, but hes a giant reason why Pinback is so good. His basslines are some of the most memorable basslines in history. Together with Crowe they create some of the most pointilistic indie rock ever. Like stippled drawings of daily life with ever present darkness lurking in the background.

19. Radiohead - In Rainbows


Duh

Yeah, I was pretty psyched about this when it came out. I mean, its a new Radiohead record. But once my excitement wore off I didnt return to this place. I am sure I will visit it again and find delight. 15 Step is a great song and Weird Fishes/Arpeggi is a great song (or songs) but I think hype actually got the best of me on this one. OK Computer this is not, and I even think Hail to the Thief is stronger than this. For 5 more bands that couldve filled this slot, see the below section "What Shouldve Made This List". Ive left this as is for posterities sake, cuz as off January 1st I was happy with this list.

20. Minsk - The Ritual Fires of Abandonment


Massive Tribal Progressive Sludge

This is one hell of a suffocating record. Spaced out and tribal drumming lurches and launches into a swirling magma pit of psyched out sludge. Great vocals on this one. The singer actually sings which is a nice change from the typical howling known well to this genres fans. The drums are seriously fierce. They stick out, a roiling beacon on a scorched landscape, leading the listener futher into the flames. Its actually nice to take the headphones off after listening to this and realizing that the world still has color and life in it. Then you put the headphones back on and descend the ladder once again.

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So, with that all said and done. I'd like to present these two mixes I made for you. The bands are presented in the order I've listed above, which makes for some strange shifts at times (Baroness > Iron & Wine? Yeah) but overall it flows somewhat well and I've been enjoying the mixes with a critical ear and I think they are worth sharing. There are two because in almost every case I had trouble picking just one song to share. I also made some cover art for your iTunes and iPods.
(These are Megaupload files... If this is going to be a problem then maybe I can be persuaded to use a different server, but I am not splitting them to put on a smaller server. So its either this or Gigasize.)



1. Caspian - Moksha
2. Baroness - Isak
3. Iron & Wine - Innocent Bones
4. Grails - Soft Temple
5. Explosions In The Sky - Catastrophe and the Cure
6. Bongripper - Reefer Sutherland
7. Les Savy Fav - Brace Yourself
8. Brainworms - Heart-Shaped Hickey
9. Rosetta - Lift (Part 3)
10. Cease Upon The Capitol - Tracks 9 and 10
11. Kevin Drew - Farewell To The Pressure Kids
12. Meneguar - Scrape & Pull
13. Grinderman - Get It On
14. Kidcrash - Life Was Real. Vital. Important
15. Mammatus - Pierce The Darkness
16. Souvaris - Nobody is Fine and Everybody Needs a Drink
17. The Sea and Cake - Exact to Me
18. Pinback - Good To Sea
19. Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
20. Minsk - White Wings



1. Caspian - Crawlspace
2. Baroness - The Birthing
3. Iron & Wine - Carousel
4. Grails - Silk Road
5. Explosions In The Sky - The Birth and Death of the Day
6. Bongripper - The People Mover
7. Les Savy Fav - Patty Lee
8. Brainworms - Born With A Beard
9. Rosetta - Lift (Part 1)
10. Cease Upon The Capitol - Tracks 5 and 6
11. Kevin Drew - Back Out On The ...
12. Meneguar - Paint You
13. Grinderman - No Pussy Blues
14. Kidcrash - A Conduit Rather Than A Vault
15. Mammatus - Dragon Of The Deep Part Three (Excellent Swordfight)
16. Souvaris - Hand or Finger
17. The Sea and Cake - Crossing Line
18. Pinback - Barnes
19. Radiohead - 15 Step
20. Minsk - Embers


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What shouldve made this list?
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21. The National - Boxer


This is the album that should truly have displaced Radiohead. In fact, it deserved to be way higher than #19, but ce'st la vie, I only heard it at the end of the year. Beautiful beautiful stuff. Great words and an awesome voice that isnt too different from a slightly more stable Nick Cave (But we like Nick Cave just the way he is)

22. Bitter End - Climate of Fear


Frankly, this should also be on the list, but I dont think it deserves to displace anything other than the Radiohead album. And yes, this present hardcore masterpiece definitely rules harder than In Rainbows. I also heard this too late from Aversionline (thanks!) and it has pretty much owned my skull whenever I felt like I wanted to karate chop my desk in half... which happens about once a week. Sometimes for anger and most times for the sheer delight of destruction whilst listening to NY styled hardcore.

23. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer


This album is a pop clusterfuck of Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Shuggie Otis and Sgt Peppers-era Beatles, on meth-amphetimines, at a dance club, filled with giant stuffed animal versions of famous people...kind of like that Phil Collins video on MTV, but an enjoyable, strangely attractive version of those terrifying images.

24. Giraffes? Giraffes! - More Skin With Milk-Mouth


Math-rock, what a term. I suppose that what G?G! is, and this is another late entry to the list, but a fine example of what two people can do with a drum and a guitar and some odd time signatures. There are some incredible moments on here, and despite my bias towards giraffes, I really think this album stays afloat on its own merit and leads the pack as far as math-rock goes these days. Unless you consider Russian Cirles math-rock...which I dont... but this notion is really unimportant. More Skin With Milk-Mouth shows a promising band on the rise. Lets hope they get the recognition they deserve this year.

25. Okkervil River - The Stage Hands


This album, yet another late entry, has the particular nagging feeling that I will probably be listening to this album far more as the years go on. Theres is something really mature and unpretentious about the vocal delivery. The lyrics are great and I keep thinking of The Cure, who I always wanted to like more than I do, and somehow I think The Stage Hands fixes whatever may have been missing for me to enjoy that massively recognizable band. Well, I guess that means I'm saying that I like Okkervil River more than The Cure, and I feel okay about that.

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What wouldve made the list if it were longer?
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Nadja - Radiance of Shadows / Touched / Thaumogenesis
Awesome ambient doominess. Like Godflesh on quaaludes. Yes, that description is incredibly tongue in cheek. It's also entirely true. Three albums in one year, plus a few more an Aiden Baker doesnt seem to be showing any signs of slowing down.

Maps - We Can Create
Electro-poppiness that I really did not like at first. Somehow it caught me at the right time, and its actually a really good record. Its no my usual style, but when the mood strikes it fits nice.

Lifetime - s/t
Lifetime, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... 1. Background, 2. Tinnitus, 3. Hello Bastards, 4. Jerseys Best Dancers, 5. self-titled.
Switch Background with Hello Bastards and thats my rundown of Lifetime albums from best to least-best.

Kongh - Counting Heartbeats
Disgustingly harsh swedish doom. Very proggy and tribal, also very scary. This is a pretty challenging record due to its song times running past 10 minutes every track, but if youve got the masochism to sit and listen to it all the way through, then you will be rewarded.

Johnnytwentythree - JXXIII
For being the second best rip-off of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, you earn quite a few points in the post-rock camp. (The first rip-off is Yndi Halda, and yes they are very good too, better in fact)

Graf Orlock - Destination Time: Tomorrow
Who doesnt like grind? Well, to bad for you, cuz Graf Orlock (named after the vampire in Nosferatu) is ready to eviscerate you with no remorse. What? You dont like being torn limb from limb? Pussies. (anyone catch the Slayer reference?....eh)

Escapado - Initiale
Germany produces its answer to Envy and Daitro and frankly comes out a little in front. Yeah. I know you all get juiced over Envy, they aiite.

Earthless - Rhythms From a Cosmic Sky
I was raised on classic rock. Thank my parents (or blame them, youre choice), but I have never been able to ignore anything that sounds like a time capsule of the 60's and 70's. Well, this isnt really classic rock in any traditional sense. Just two 20 minute mega jams of psyched out nostalgia. The funniest part is the drummer is Mario Rubalcalba - ex pro skateboarder, and ex drummer for (ready, this is a long list) 411, Metroschifter, Clikatat Ikatowi, Thingy, The Blackheart Procession, Pinback, Hot Snakes, Rocket From the Crypt and now Earthless? I dont follow. But I do. If you catch my drift. A+ Mario.

Dungen - Tio Bitar
More psychedelic nostalgia for dat azz.

Do Make Say Think - You, You're A History In Rust
Though not my favorite of their and at times slightly disappointing, History In Rust still has moments of absolute stunning musicianship. Its sort of a new style for them and if they can hone this properly than they'll have a new lease on life.

Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond
Pretty great return to form for Mascis and Barlow and Murph. At first my favorite song was written by Lou Barlow, but I think Crumble, which is out-n-out J is the clear winner. I came to the Dino Jr. party late, but it occurs to me that a good portion of things I listen to owe their life to Dino Jr. So conisder this my repentance.

The Clientele - God Save the Clientele
Im not a huge brit-pop fan. But these guys just get right in my head. Something soft and subtle for particularly whimsical moments of fleeting joy. I want it to snow when I listen to this. In fact, I want to walk through the snow while listening to this.

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What couldnt make the list due to self imposed regulations?
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Ampere - First Five Years
As the title states, this is a retrospective of the Amherst bands short career, viewed through the medium of 7"s and EP's and the obligatory demo. While I have had most of these songs, they are presented here with much better mixes and thus listening to the intricacies of Will Killingsworths guitar trickery is just that much more exciting.

Ampere/Daitro Split 7"
As a 7" I can't rightfully put it up against a bunch of full albums. Especially since it would probably beat a lot of them out. I jammed this 7" a ton this summer. The artwork is fantastic and it represents the best of both bands.

Junius - s/t
Another retrospective of sorts. Junius collects their two previous EPs on this disc. Spanning back to 2004, it is clear this band has taken great strides in the post-rock realm. Add to that the amazing vocals and their new EP The Fires of Antediluvia and I think we'll have an obvious shoe in for a best of 08 record. That is of course if they relase a new record. Which they better.

Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today
Was this really released in '07? I mean, what the fuck, Jus? Did you smoke too much pot and forget to release this until the very last minute? Tell me, I want to know, because this album couldve easily fit on the 07 list, but now it might seem awkward to put in on the '08 list. Regardless, Witchcult Today is another band returning to fine form. Jus' vocals are tops on this record and the vintage feel is a nice direction.

Pusher - s/t
I know very little of this. I heard of it through Aversionline and it involves members from National Acrobat, Coliseum and Lords. All incredible Louisville bands. I guess this is a discography of their very short career? I dont know, man, its like 12 minutes long and its the best damn 12 minutes of punk hardcore I have heard in years. But I feel it cant be put on an 07 list of its just a reissue or a disco. Nonetheless, these guys created something fierce and you should do everything to get this.

Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
One of the best albums ever made. But its from 1988.

Rain - La Vache Qui Rit
One of the best album ever made. It was recorded in 1986, released in 1990, and re-released this year. One of the best examples of mid 80's Dischord punk. Epic ex and future members in this band.

On The Might Of Princes - Where You Are and Where You Want To Be
Originaly released in 2002, this re-release gives a better mix of some the best emotive songs in recent times. Think Mineral & early Sunny Day Real Estate.

Boris & Merzbow - Rock Dream
An awesome live set of Boris doing some of their best songs, including a 35 minute version of Feedbacker. Everything has subtle touches of electronic schizophrenia spread all over it by fellow countryman Merzbow.

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And, the serious letdowns?
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Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Seriously, WTF? No Cars Go was great though, But it was also written before Funeral.

Battles - Mirrored
I have no idea WHY people are flipping over this. I think it sucks, big time. Are people just that desperate for something different? EP C & B EP were both pretty cool and while I'm sure this is in line with where they were going, its a ride I am happy I got off early.

Bloc Party - Weekend In the City
Terrible. I liked half their last album alot. I like absolutely none of this album.

Interpol - Our Love to Admire
One of my favorite bands, and while this isnt as bad as the rest of the stuff in this section, it is easily and by far their worst record. I cant think of a song I dont love off their previous albums, and I can only think of one or two I really like on this one. Sad.

Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
I have been immensely into this band for quite sometime, and the last album hinted to me that maybe they had run their course, but then they came out with this and they are even bigger than before, and I'm not yelling "sellout" but I just cant get into any of this album. What happened to you guys?!

Pissed Jeans - Hope For Men
I saw them play with Boris and was pretty psyched at their painful Jesus Lizard lurch and quickly acquired Shallow, their first album. I had high hopes for a new band, and this just didn't deliver for me.

Shellac - Excellent Italian Greyhound
End of Radio is pretty amazing. The rest is forgettable. Then again, I havent really been into Shellac since Terraform.

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I spent almost 4 hours making this post. Dayam! its 2.56am. I turned 31 yesterday. Its feels okay.

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PS. Thanks to everyone who comes and visits, leaves comments, and starts blogs. You make this all worth it. Special thanks to my blog pals who keep things going on their pages when things fall flat here.

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PPS. If you made it this far, either you need help, or I need help.

61 Comments:

Blogger blend77 said...

Requests?

Please do not request anything not in this post.

Thanks!

3:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, good list, but you should have mentioned kinski - down below it's chaos. could be perfectly your cup of tea...

3:05 AM  
Anonymous maare said...

Brainworms
Cease Upon the Capitol
Meneguar
Kidcrash
Bitter End

:)

8:07 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Happy Birthday! Sweet list.

9:37 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

I gotta say. I tried Kinski and I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite.

thanks for the admission.

there will invariably be people that feel I should have added this or that over something else, and I completely understand. I cant think of a list I read that I thought wasnt missing something important.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Josh Brown said...

Good read there, probably the best thing to do waiting a month...whether that was meant or not! I rushed and put out some absolute rubbish of a best of. One that surprises me to miss out is Panda Bear, but perhaps you're not a fan/ haven't heard it. Keep it up!

12:52 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Yes, I've been told that I should hear that Person Pitch album... I am a fan of some of Animal Collective, particularly Feels, but not so much Strawberry Jam...

Anyway, I'll have to get around to listening to it someday.

Thanks for the comment.

Oh, and the month wait was sheer busyness/ laziness (laziness in this case = xbox 360, a girlfriend and 2 dogs... ^_^)

12:58 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

great list mang....I'm impressed.

I turned 31 in august...feels wierd even saying it, I still act as though Im 18 I guess....

12:59 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

NO SHIT! Papstar!

Everyone say hello to Papstar!

thanks for the comment, mang! yeah, its werid being in my 30's cuz i still listen to hardcore almost everyday and i dont really feel that different than the skateboard punk i was at 18.

1:51 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

hi, papstar...
happy birthday, blend.
I'll turn 21 in June, so yeah, one decade less!
you have *two* dogs?
yay, blog pals!

great list. long, but great.

I'm gonna buy 'Atlas' and 'Tonto' on vinyl now. I was dithering before, looking at them in the shops, but I think I'll do it now just to spite you.

As for Arcade Fire, I'll just carrying on listening to them; actually had Neon Bible in my headphones this morning, by coincidence, before I read this. I have to admit they sounded better in autumn, but it's still a pretty flawless album.

Props on the Dino Jr., interesting about you changing your preferences on the Lou Barlow/J. Mascis songs. Like I said before, I got into the album - and the band - through 'Crumble', and I found J. Mascis the more obvious attraction for Ramones-guitar-loving simple folk like myself. But now that I have the 7" single with a song from each of them, it's a lot harder to decide.

commiserations on your disappointment with Interpol. I don't really know them at all, but I do hear them on the radio quite often (presumably songs from their latest album) and they're good enough. I'd be interested to know what you think of Editors on my blog, as their songs sound quite similar.

omission - no love for Dan Deacon? I know it's probably not the kind of music you'd listen to, but it wasn't the kind of music I'd listen to either. Mind you, your 'letdowns' section in particular has a kind of anti-hype air; and I would say that Dan Deacon was one of the most interesting things I heard all year, along with Battles, which is an obviously self-defeating argument...

omission #2, that you probably don't know about: insofar as I listen to indie, one of the very best of last year was PJ Harvey's White Chalk. I only found about it from mr. x indeed after I posted my own list, but it's absolutely beautiful, and quite different from her previous stuff.

I'm only slightly surprised that I don't particularly like anything already in your top 20 (although I do need to give Grinderman and Kidcrash a proper listen... and maybe Spirit If..., but when I already have Neon Bible...). Definitely interested in the post-rock stuff, but I find it hard to keep up with the genre - seriously, I didn't know there was a 2007 EITS album, although I think I recognise the title - basically because the albums are so long. Nature of the beast, of course. Been working through the back catalogue of GYBE, Mercury Program, etc, since I discovered the whole stuff a year, year and half ago!

Hopefully that wasn't too whiny; I'll be back with more positive comments, I'm sure, after I listen to the mixtapes...

cheers,
gabba

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Destroyer said...

Hey.. nice list. I am downloading your compilations.
The Nation Blue "Protest Songs" was the best album last year by far. you should check them out. they are from Australia.
Peace!

5:44 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Maare, I'll get you those ups this weekend. No doubt.

Gabba, I certainly hope its understood that I wasnt singling anyone out (you most important, as you had two of my least favorites on your list). But honesty is the best policy and I dont judge anyone for the music they like. I mean, my mom likes Barbara Streisand and Kenny G, so technically I should disown her, but shes the coolest lady on the planet. ^_^

Dan Deacon? I wasnt to sure about. I may have to give it some more listens. Its certainly a new flavor to my palette, so the jury is still out on that one.

I think you'll really like Kidcrash, and Kevin Drew. Post-rock is a trickier beast. Be sure to give the mixtapes a listen and my offers of requests still stands.

Destroyer! Good to hear from you again. I hope you are doing well. I am interested in hearing this Nation Blue album... If I cant find it can you help a brother out?
Let me know what ya think of the mixes.

Cheers everyone!

9:47 PM  
Blogger mr.A said...

Damn nice tast in music you got Blend77.

And i realy really like the artwork of your compilation. What program do you use, it looks very profesional.

9:28 AM  
Blogger We Are said...

6th only? haha.

bongripper and caspian are playing a show together in april.

-nick

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Caspian's first release taken from the Juno song: "You Are The Beautiful Conductor of this Orchestra"?

6:55 PM  
Blogger Tom Hogan said...

Thanks for taking the time to make this list....I have some new stuff to check out when I'm not necessarily prone to listening to much "current" music. We seem to have a lot in common in our musical tastes!

However, I am a little disappointed the new 108 didn't even get a mention...hehe

take care.

7:33 PM  
Blogger world's greatest DAD said...

the good thing about your list for me is that i know only some of the records/bands, but that makes me think i should look into some of the others.

... so does anybody have a link for just Grails?

9:23 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

A! Thanks a ton! I use Illustrator and Photoshop. I have worked as a graphic designer for the past 8 years.

Nick! All paltry excuses aside, I have to refer to my quote above the list. "My list is not numerically based for any other reason than for me to keep a count. With that said, what's at the top of the list is better than what's at the bottom, but what's at 5 isn't necessarily worse than what's at 1."

With that, I'd have to say that the top 8, up to Brainworms were my official jams for last year. Not sure who I rocked the most. But I did see Caspian 3 times and they rule live. They are awesome guys and you will have fun hanging with them. Tell them "Tim from NYC says whatsup". Looking forward to seeing you in April. Hail the Riffs of Satan!

anon, Sorry I dont know that song (by Juno), but you should write them on Myspace and find out. I bet its mostly coincidence though.

Tom, please do check this stuff out. I would never willingly waste anyones time. Though relativity is abound, so go with a grain of salt. The mixes are a good place to sample. And yea, the 108 was pretty good. The artwork was even better.

Dad, same goes for you, please check the mixes at your leisure. And I'll work out the grails for you. Though Sordomusic is always open if you need a fix.

To all. It seems hypocritical to say, but I mean it. Buy from artists and labels you like. Go see bands. Say Hi to them. Your words mean more to them than you know. Spread the Love and keep sharing music. Lets make this whole world musical.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Saucy said...

Tim, you are the greatest man who ever lived.

2:35 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

andy beebs?

3:02 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Grails - Burning Off the Impurities
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=5P9ZJMWH

Cease Upon The Capitol - EP
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4UFX5KTO

CUTC - Trikorona split
http://www.mediafire.com/?4zxdwlrntid

Kidcrash - Jokes
http://www.zshare.net/download/27123422cf1bd1/

5:22 PM  
Anonymous maare said...

@dad

grails
http://www.megaupload.com/pt/?d=5P9ZJMWH

best album of 2007, imho.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous maare said...

hahahaha!!! that's what i call synchronicity, blend77.

tnx for the links, m8.

5:23 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Nice. Definitely some good synchronicity. Youre welcome

Bitter End - Climate of Fear
http://www.mediafire.com/?9jxmxm01xj1

Brainworms - Which is Worse
http://www.mediafire.com/?1sqx2x2irim

Meneguar - Strangers in Our House
http://www.mediafire.com/?9jlrbvmknxx

5:52 PM  
Blogger world's greatest DAD said...

thanks all!

6:42 PM  
Blogger We Are said...

tim/blend.

i was just kiddin. i didn't read much into the list cause i was at work, but it's awesome you like the ablum, we appreciate it.

also, look forward to seeing you in april. should be a good time.

the new 5ive rules too. listening to it now.

-nick

7:53 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

new 5ive rules hard. very psyched for that release.

So does Hippie Killer. I jammed that all summer long. Burt Reynolds ate up blocks and blocks of nyc.

10:16 AM  
Blogger kissmysoundsystem said...

Wow, it would be too hard for me to put up such a list, I think. Almost all great music I've heard last year was recorded years ago :) But great music is timeless, isn't it? Anyway, good to know what may be worth trying from last year's releases.

But what I really want to say is HELLO EVERYBODY :)))

I know, I know, it wasn't so kind to disappear without a word. But I'm afraid it wouldn't be easy for me to explain why :( And I know that the last time I said I'm back I was lying :( So please, forgive me if you can. I hope you were all well and have had a good time :)

Just give me a chance. KMS is trying to be REALLY back...

1:13 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

wow...welcome back KMS:)

1:34 PM  
Blogger soundweave said...

wow our tastes are closer than i thought. glad to see we had the same favorite album. I got to see Caspian (with Junius) in a sweltering hot back room of an apt building in toronto last summer with about 25 people. one of the best shows i've ever seen.
anyways you should grab Panda Bear from my blog (top 50-100 post) and listen to "Bros". that song is amazing (sometimes pitchfork is right on the money) and imo better than anything animal collective has ever done.

2:55 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

KMS!!! You are always welcome back without explanation. It's especially good to hear youre okay. Please be sure to check out the stuff on the list (ahem, the mixes. ^_~)

Soundweave, thanks for the comments on the list. Im psyched to hear Panda Bear. so thanks for that too.

Caspian rules live. Im am going to see them with Junius and Constants (another Boston area band to keep a watch for) on March 6th. These are just rumours, but exciting ones at that (and I apologize Phil or anyone else in Caspian if I am jumping the gun). There is an off-chance that Caspian, Constants and Junius may do a collaboration of sorts. That could be pretty mind shattering. Keep your fingers crossed.

3:04 PM  
Blogger sweet baby jaysus said...

holy crap kms and paps are back back. how are you guys doing? i've missed you guys.

3:13 PM  
Blogger sweet baby jaysus said...

anyone here maybe have the end of the line 12" or some spitboy - true self revealed lp? maybe their side of the crudos split, you know the clean side of the record...

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Destroyer said...

Yeah Blend. I've been doing good. I found a link for the album I had mentioned from The Nation Blue. Check them out, I really think this is one of those special bands with a perfect album. Intense.

http://www.badongo.com/file/5382324

10:54 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

thanks Destroyer, I actually found it on friday and started listening to it and i gotta say, good stuff. Im gonna jam some more this afternoon.

Jaysus, Sorry man, all Spitboy I have i got from you guys. And End of the Line. Nice. I dont have that either, but would love it..

Man, KMS, Paps, Destroyer, Jaybus! Its just like last spring all over again.

10:27 AM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

hey blend - I can download the mix now! (lack of stable internet connection until now). Plenty of stuff I'm looking forward to hearing - I'll get back to you in a couple of days.

to celebrate, I'll point you in the direction of this review of Neon Bible which I think you'd like: http://floodwatchmusic.com/blog2/2007/05/05/first-impression-haiku-the-arcade-fire/
I'm still listening to it, by the way.

5:22 PM  
Blogger kissmysoundsystem said...

I think I should have this Spitboy you are looking for, jaysus. I'll try to look for it tomorrow. I'm afraid I have a terrible mess in my backup cds :(

Anyone looking for some dvd's? Just recently I've run across a metal/hardcore dvd blog and found a couple of interesting titles like Converge, Botch, Refused and Minor Threat. And the two first are killer stuff. If you like Converge you know what I mean :)

Check it here:
http://metalhcdvds.blogspot.com/

But the biggest thing to me last times is Envy's "Transfovista" DVD. Have you already seen it, blend? I know you are a fan :)

I found it on some russian site and can up it somewhere if anyone here is interested, but I think it's also on rapidshare. You can find the link on Blood is Truth blog...

5:43 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

"crumble" by dinosaur jr is DEF the track off of beyond. there were days where i'd only listen to that song on my commute to and from work.

that bitter end record is good, but i felt a little lost toward the end of it. kinda like it lost momentum or something. i do enjoy the in-effect nyhc nod to it all though as opposed to sounding like a direct No Warning clone. i'm not sure if you heard the blacklisted ep "peace on earth, war on stage" but that thing shreds. definitely a top 10 pick for me.

i wanted to like that national record a lot but thought it was a total yawn. maybe i'm missing something because many of my friends with comparable taste to mine sweated that thing super hard last year.

anyway, solid list, thanks for posting it. i'm always intrigued to see what everyone liked at the end of the year.

2:57 AM  
Blogger Joakim said...

Just wanted to say hi, and big props on his blog. It's the best I've found so far, I absolutely love your personal reviews.

I'm usually not the biggest guy on hardcore (so far anyway, it's still a pretty unexplored territory for me) but the stuff you put up is awesome.

I'll be coming here again, for sure!

Thanks :)

7:47 AM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

i thought bloc party's weekend in the city and battles mirrored were two of the best cd's i bought last year.

oh well.

1:36 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

KMS. I have not actually seen that Envy video yet. I meant to check it out one time, but missed the opportunity

Stephen, I was doing the same thing with Crumble not that long ago. I cant wait for summer to hear that song. They feel like they go together.

The last song on Bitter End is my favorite, but the rest of the end isnt as strong as the beginning. Its kind of rudimentary hardcore, but I havent heard a really authentic sound like that with all my favorite touchstones of nyhc. I'll check Blacklisted.

Also, I wasnt a fan of National either. It grew on me. Hit me at the right moment. The older one, Alligator might be even better. Its more upbeat.

Joakim, thanks for the awesome comment. Sometimes I think i write absolute drivel, but generally I have fun with it and I'm not one to edit myself. At least not in this arena. What you read is what you get... ie. me. as i am in the real world. I also tend to put up more than hardcore, but weve been having a ton of fun with nostalgia for quite sometime.

Jason Quinones, aside from the fact that we live in the same city, and grew up around the same time, your name is very familiar to me. Can you figure out why that is? My name is Tim if that helps.
Sorry to dis two of your favorite records. It doesnt mean we cant still be blog friends. ^_^

9:18 AM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

i found out about this blog through a guy named glenn. i used to work with him. maybe we shared office space at one time.

anyway, no worries about the band comments. you're not the first person i've heard say they were disappointed by "a weekend in the city". i like your music choices here. i'll give that baroness cd a try. i'm a huge fan of mastodon so i think i might like baroness.

2:05 PM  
Blogger LLIW said...

awesome post tim, youre crazy
i agree with your list for the most part, i have a hard time paying attention for enough to read the whole thing though. anyway diggin the artwork you made too.

2:29 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Jason, I work with Glenn. talk with him every day. Just had a nice exchange with him concerning some dumb girl at work. He's a funny dude. One of the coolest ive met. The Baroness album is ridiculously good.. let me know what you think...

WILL!!!!! LIL BRO!!! SUP! I am crazy. and loving it.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

Blend,

I like the list of disappointments, and it's neat to see the contrariness, not something one sees so much in the blog community... I really don't like the new interpol (i thought they had things down to a science...), and didn't see what the fuss was about Battles...seems like one of those things that newspaper critics add to their best ofs to carefully cultivate the way they come across. A lot of critics also loved Neon Bible, and I do think it's fine, but I lost my shit over Funeral hard, and played it over and over, and I can't help but think "same sound, less intensity" with every half listen. Shellac is another one that seems to have few detractors, but apart from a couple of moments I don't see a lot of hard work there, and they've turned into a band that I cull tracks from rather than listen to entire albums. I do like a good half of the Modest Mouse album though, especially after that one before it...

As for the 'good' list, I've got to check out a lot of that stuff first! I really like that Explosions in the Sky a lot, and Souvaris is starting to grab me in a big way. i think I'm going to like that Rosetta a lot, and as soon as I stop laughing at the title "Reefer Sutherland" I'll check out Bongripper, which you told me a while back I should check out. Oh yeah, and I like Brainworms. Only heard the demo tape but I'll check the new one. Happy 2008!
Terry

5:40 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Whatsup Terry? Long time no speak. I will get back to you tomorrow.

but for now, i just re-read this absurd list, and damn, i write like an ESL student. I should fix some of the spelling mistakes...

12:16 AM  
Anonymous floodwatch said...

Excellent list all around, one of the best I've seen for '07. There are a lot of entries that I never even heard last year.

Good stuff.

6:36 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Thanks for comin by and checking it out.
Let me know what you think of the stuff you havent heard, or if you need a little help hearing any of it.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Nikki! said...

Killer list. You mentioned a lot of albums that I've heard of but haven't really looked into. I was a little surprised you didn't like the Modest Mouse album though--that was my top one of 2007. Granted, I got into them late, so I'm used to their newer sound as opposed to the older one...


Nevertheless, keep on writin. I like being creepy and lurking your blog.

7:35 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

nikki!! thanks for stopping by to say hi.
please continue to lurk and be creepy and say hello once in a while.

Modest Mouse is still one of my favorite bands. I may never like the new one as much as the old ones, but i may give it a whirl sometime and find something to like about it. my expectations were very high, what with Johnny Marr being present.

I should post up some of their old albums for posterity's sake.

maybe some This is a Long Drive and Lonesome Crowded. In fact, i just had a good idea.

11:29 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

by the way. Destroyer.

Nation Blue is very good! Guys voice sounds like Bear Vs Shark, but the music is more straighforward and visceral. Wish I had heard it last year. thanks!

11:32 AM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

hey, just listened to the first 2/3ds of the first mix. Some really good sounds in there - I could only be negative before because I'm unfamiliar with the vast majority of this stuff (although I do recall enthusiastic descriptions of a lot of the artists before - just never got around to listening to them!).

Anyway, I wanted to say that I found Bongripper and Brainworms really good. Bongripper, I was almost afraid to listen to, stoner doom or whatever not being something I warm to. Although it started off metally, there was this little light upstretch on each bar which caught my attention, and then the whole thing kind of enveloped me. Reminded me of Slint and Lhasa at times. I'm definitely going to check them out some more - although, like someone said above, I need to get over the track being called 'Reefer Sutherland'. At least it's closer to 12 minutes than 24!

Brainworms = punk as fuck

Caspian, Grails, EITS were all very impressive, just as I expected. Grails are very interesting; sounded like some wakcy VU song when it came on first. Oh, and on Eastern sounds, you may or may not know that 'Moksha' is the Sanskrit for 'liberation'. I remember that from reading The Way of Zen...

Meneguar are really good, too. Very Q and not U. Do you know the UK band Foals at all? Kinda similar, I thought originally they were really derivative of that QanU math-rock sound, but I'm currently reappraising them.

Sorry for leaving such long comments, but you're leaving me with a lot of material to work through!

-gabba

3:33 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Terry,
I'm glad you like the list of rejects. It's made some people defend their favorites, but all in all and honest forum of criticism is best. My only regret is that I didnt put it at the end and leave off on a sour note. Though I suppose its not that bad in retrospect, and I dont intend to change it. It's just something you dont see often and I really felt cheated in a few of those instances, especially Modest Mouse and Interpol.
Glad to hear you like the stuff. Please. CHECK OUT BONGRIPPER! LOL! all tongue in cheekness aside (which was definitely their intent) its a rip-roaring ride from inner core to outer space and back.

Gabba,
as above, your honesty is always welcome. I figure alot of people should be into that Bongripper as it has so many elements to it that are desirable.

I am aware of the term Moksha. One more reason why it hits so hard. It is a full package. Do not miss them live. It seems we are both aware of the spirituality that is present and often present in the music as well.

Have not heard of Foals. Its a formula that can easily get stretched thin, but as shown by Meneguar and Les Savy Fav, theres still territory to be mined.

Thanks for comments! Hopefully these long ones arent deterring anyone from speaking their mind.

^_^

10:57 AM  
Blogger Dying Optimistic said...

didn't la quiete's self title come out this year, or shit envy's EP as well?! lol i'm shocked they didn't make the list.

2:12 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Dying Optimistic -

La Quiete 7"? That came out last year... and I personally didnt like the Envy EP as much as many others... I also wasnt a huge fan of Insomniac Doze. My two favorite Envy albums are Dead Sinking and Footprints... which are incredible..

9:44 AM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

hey Blend, could you up Bongripper - Hippy Killer? Your original link is down.
Thanks

11:31 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

sure meng, i got ya when i get home...

3:35 PM  
Blogger Josh Brown said...

This makes an awesome read, great effort and as usual, well thought out choices. Always a pleasure to check out!

6:10 PM  
Anonymous lkn said...

hehe!

it's great that people like you are still on this world!

this blog is even greater than me, so don't stop with making it, and stay hardcore till you will be 80 years old!


peace bro!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Theo said...

thanks so much and i love your blog..

you should make MORE compilations for us!!!

7:12 PM  
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6:15 AM  

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