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We gathered our imaginary staff to determine our collective Northwest favorites for 2007. It was hard work. Imaginary battles were fought, alliances formed, and finally, winners emerged.
You should have seen the way that imaginary Liz can arm wrestle, and how Erik Gonzalez can duke it out for his favorite bands. It was fierce and fun, and we think our final list was well worth the effort.
Narrowing down my favorites for this year was HARD! I’m sure I’ll find even more 2007 releases I adore in 2008... but here’s what has been in obsessively high rotation this year.
Note: I still battle with how I can rank EPs versus full albums, or collections of previously unreleased material… but using my current logrhythm, here’s what it came out to today...
I have so many favorites for 2007 that narrowing the lists was tricky. Plus I'm preggo as a house and have NO memory at this point, so I'm sure I've inadvertently omitted some really great releases and songs. Forgive me and my wacked out hormones.
But that said, here are some Top of 2007 lists from me, to you. Feel free to leave comments both nasty and supportive. I likely deserve both for some of my erratic tastes.
The official results of the TIG Best NW Releases of 2007 Readers' Poll are coming VERY soon... stay tuned! In the meantime, some of my personal picks for a wonderful year in music past:
Favorite Releases of 2007:
Favorite Northwest Releases of 2007:
2007 was the first year I really got into shooting live music. Its a great form of photography that you cannot fully apreciate until you have shot it. Every show is a challenge. You often cannot be sure of how much time you will have, lighting conditions, how many other photographers are shooting, where you will be able to shoot from, etc.
That being said, I have seen countless amazing Live shots from our talented NW Photogs. I decided to include five shots from other photographers and five of my personal favorites I shot from the past year. Aww the memories. In no particular order...
On the off chances that 1) anyone cares what their friendly neighborhood imaginary film and theater critic thinks about the year's music releases, and 2) anyone is doing anything at all during the dead 'tween-holidays week, much less reading top-ten lists, here are my favorite albums of the year, alpha by artist:
My films-of-the-year feature (coming early '08) will be far more compelling. Promise.
Anyone who knows me outside of the HTML world knows two things:
In order to thwart my big-guy status, I've done many things over time. First, I enjoy minimalist art a lot more than big, bombastic art. This carries to music as well: I think the Arcade Fire are gloriously over-rated (too big) and prefer the more subtle stylings from big bands like that of Broken Social Scene. Arena rock was great. But it's over. Let's move on.
In any case, given that I like minimalism and I don't know my way around HTML very well, I've opted to display my lists for 2007 WITHOUT the bombast of YouTube videos and such. You want to hear a sample of something? Ask Google. They're small guys and they know their way around HTML. I'm sure they can find you a YouTube video or free MP3.
That said, here are my lists for the TOP SEVEN best albums of Oh SEVEN (in general) and the TOP SEVEN best albums out of the Northwest:
Best of 2007
Best Northwest of 2007
I normally listen to music while driving/riding my bike/working. During any of these activities, my mixes are super random and I'm a big fan of Shuffle mode on the iPod.
Instead of listing off albums, I decided to share ten of my favorites songs from 2007, both local or otherwise. It was a great year for music, one that expanded my musical tastes. Attending festivals and shows to shoot photos exposed me to some bands I would never have known otherwise, ones that are now in constant rotation.
In no particular order (and with photos I've taken this year, where applicable):
The Arcade Fire - "Antichrist Television Blues"
Brother Ali -"Walking Away"
Japanther -"River Phoenix"
The Lonesome Rhodes - "Sunshine"
Siberian - "Belgian Beers and Catholic Girls"
Mewithoutyou - "Messes of Men"
Andrew Bird - "Imitosis"
J Tillman - "Steel on Steel"
Kevin Drew - "TBTF"
One Be Lo - "Gray"
Every December I go through over 80 albums and try to codify them some way. Though it may take until after Christmas before my final top list (and mix cd) is ready, my favorite albums of the year are always fairly obvious to me by now. These are the ones that meant the most to me.
Top NW Albums
1) Grand Archives - s/t
2) Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
3) Menomena - Friend & Foe
4) Tullycraft - Every Scene Needs A Center
5) Shake Some Action - s/t
6) Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
7) The Cave Singers - Invitation Songs
8) Welcome - Sirs
9) Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
10) Awesome - Beehive Sessions
11) Carolyn Mark - Nothing Is Free
12) Grand Hallway - Yes Is The Answer
13) The New Pornographers - Challengers
14) Ghost Stories - Quixoticism
15) The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Overall Top 10 Albums of 2007
1) Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
2) Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
3) Emma Pollock - Watch The Fireworks
4) Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
5) Feist - The Reminder
6) Menomena - Friend & Foe
7) Blonde Redhead - 23
8) Shellac - Excellent Italian Greyhound
9) Apostle Of Hustle - National Anthem Of Nowhere
10) Radiohead - In Rainbows
Sometimes I think it takes me waaay too long to come up with my Top 20 albums of a given year. There are a lot of internal debates and arguments that really have no right answer. Really, you reach a point where all the albums are good but how to rank them gets to be quite the challenge. This year was chock full of good music (not matter what the naysayers might groan). I counted something like 175+ albums worth mentioning in 2007, and that is only a tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything that was released in the year. However, I did whittle it down to 20... well, 22 if you count my 2 EP exception (EP's don't count as real albums).
If you're interested in some sub-lists, like my albums "with apologizes" (albums I didn't hear but should have) or "best imports" or "most disappointing" (hint, the band who made it rhymes with Milo Biley), check it out here.
So, here we go:
#21 The EP's - Two EP's made me happy this year, and really, they would be in the top 20, but it seems unfair to me to include EP's versus albums. They're both UK pop, and they're both brilliant in their own cute way.
Los Campesinos! Sticking Fingers Into Sockets (Thanks to igLiz for this band!)