Friday, December 28, 2007

Mike's 2007 In Review

It's almost mandatory to do one of these. If you write about music, people always ask what's your favorite, who broke out, who sold out, who fizzled. I'm doing things a little different. This isn't just a list of my favorite's. I decided to encompass the whole of music, regional and national. Not just releases, but music found in other media and the live shows that accompany the recently released albums and EPs. Now, these are not the opinions of Joe or Chris, but mine alone. I am sure that they would both cringe at some of these, but their individual posts are on the way. Let the flaming begin!

Albums of the Year: Pretty simple, these are my favorite nationals released this year, in no particular order.

Neon Bible - Arcade Fire

I have been waiting for this album since I saw them at the 2005 ACL Fest and bought Funeral and the original EP the next day. Dark, brooding, and much more polished. Lyrically and instrumentally, the songs grab you and never let go.

Black Mirror

Cease to Begin - Band Of Horses

Although I enjoy their previous work more, it is still a great album. Indie rock at it's finest. These guys should be around for a long time.

Detlef Schrempf

The Shade of Poison Trees - Dashboard Confessional

Chris Carrabba gave up the electric guitar and over-the-top production and is back to his old tricks with angst and an acoustic guitar. It reminds me of his earlier albums, and that is a great thing.

I Light My Own Fires Now

The Shepherd's Dog - Iron & Wine

Sam Beam is one of the greatest singer-songwriters alive. This album just continues what he started with his previous releases.

Boy With A Coin

Under The Blacklight - Rilo Kiley

Moving to a 'newer' sound is always difficult, but Jenny Lewis and friends take the 70's rock sound of Fleetwood Mac and make it their own.

The Moneymaker

The Stage Names - Okkervil River

Emotional indie-rock tinged with southern style, they are slowly taking over Spoon's place as Austin's indie-gods.

Savannah Smiles

A Weekend In The City - Bloc Party

Much like Arcade Fire, saw them at ACL 2005, fell in love, and waited with much anticipation. Though some of the b-sides are better, I was not disappointed.

The Prayer

Wincing The Night Away - The Shins

Ever since Garden State, these guys have been the buzz. Most people will forget this album, because it was released way back in January. I'm making sure people remember.

Phantom Limb

Live Album

Live - R.E.M.

Yeah, I'm partial. They are my favorite band, but nothing has made me feel more charged up than a live show by Stipe and the boys. This takes me back to the 5 times that I have seen them. Now if only they could make a good studio album again.


Oh, By The Way - Pink Floyd

Recently released, this is THE Pink Floyd set for anybody who has an interest in listening to the greatest psychedelic rock band ever.

Reissue That Should Have Happened

Disintegration - The Cure

It is the next logical step in the progression of double-disc reissues that Robert is doing. After three straight in 2006, there were none in 2007. Darn it, it is the best album ever! I am waiting with an-ti-ci (say it!) pation.

Welcome Comeback

Duran Duran: Losing Andy Taylor led Simon and the others to re-create the entire album that was originally slated for summer 2006, using the talents of Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. My take is it was for the better.

Welcome Comeback, but Good Lord, You Guys Look Old


Led Zeppelin: All rockers wanted this to happen, but maybe 10 years ago or so. See that Rolling Stone cover? Jimmy Page, nice hair. Robert Plant's face is melting. John Paul Jones actually looks pretty good. But hey, its always a good time to get the Led out.

Nice Try, Hot Shots (Least Welcome Comeback)


Smashing Pumpkins: Trying to recreate lost glory, eh, Billy? Some liked it, I sure didn't.

Sell Out! (Music in Ads)


Click Click Click Click - Bishop Allen (Sony Commercial): It works and its catchy, I'll give it that.

In Local News (The Best of The Philly Region)


Jukebox the Ghost: Now claiming Philly home, originally from D.C., they leave one of IA's regions to come to the other. Thank God we didn't lose these guys. Great songs, catchy melodies, piano rock at its best. And the thing is, the energy from the studio work carries over into their live shows. The full length will be out in late January and I cannot wait.

Hold It In

Creeping Weeds: One of the few Philly-based bands to play Indie at The Abbey, they are indie-pop incarnate. Another band that is worth the price of admission.

Billy Pilgrim


The Sky Drops: I love a good shoe-gaze sound and this duo produce just that.

Now Would Be


Papertrigger: Sound, sound and more sound! See these guys live, buy their EP, do whatever you have to do to hear them!

We Are Nations Now!


Hoots and Hellmouth: A religious experience in concert.

Want On Nothing

Honorable Mention (not quite in our area, but they play here enough)

Shade (from Pittsburgh): Their album Arms Raised on Rooftops is stellar and their live show is a sonic experience that must be heard. If you are near Pittsburgh this weekend, go see these guys play with Creeping Weeds on 12/29!

Broken Ribs

Up Close and Personal (Live Shows)


Best National Tour: Morrissey. Yeah he cancelled some shows, but he did his best to do those shows at a later time. If you saw him, you know what I am talking about. Philly show started with "The Queen Is Dead!" Holy Hell! Always the showman, he ripped through new and old, giving a fan of whatever period of his career, a reason to smile and sing along.


Best Local Show: Jukebox The Ghost. It is just a fun show. They chat up the crowd, give little insights about the songs, and they sound great live.


Close Second Local Show: Middle Distance Runner. Another fun band to watch. They sure seem to have a good time up on stage.


Most Anticipated Show of '08: The Cure. This would rival Morrissey, but much like Moz, Robert and the gang changed dates on their tour from late 2007 to early 2008. May cannot come soon enough.

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Blogger Chris said...

Don't forget that Band of Horses also has "The Funeral" in that car commercial.

Friday, December 28, 2007  
Blogger piers said...

To be fair, Sony said to Bishop Allen "well, we can't quite offer you Feist money, but you'll be happy," and I'm sure they were! I'm sure it was great exposure for them too.

Great review of a great year!

Friday, December 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally believe that Billy Corgan's ego is getting a bit inflated since that robot TV show he was in......haha!

Thursday, January 03, 2008  

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