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December 28, 2007 / chrisisgross

top ten records

it seems the world has fallen into a large hole filled with lists. so why not continue piling the dead higher and higher.

the only difference that i am adding is….

video and wikipedia entries!

some came out this year some came out some other time. all are new to me

10. the monks– black monk time

a brilliant proto garage or punk or whatever term that i can come up with to describe a crazy rhythmic band of hammond b-3, banjo played by guys with the bald monk crown stationed in germany with the air force in the 60’s

9. stars– in our bedroom after the war

quite a nice progression in sound from stars. lacks some of the immediacy of set yourself on fire. however, the songs are more complex with the sound of the band coming through rather than just amy millan’s voice. a great record to sit and listen to all the way through. no obvious singles at all just a beautiful cohesion.

8. grinderman– s/t

nick cave is a scary dude. it took me a bit to really get into this, but once i did it thrills me every time i listen to it. also my favorite album cover of the year.

7. panda bear-person pitch

much ink(or i guess key strokes) have been spilled about this record. not a lot of new terrain left to cover in extolling the virtues of noah lennox’s effort. the record unfurls very slowly over multiple listens. headphones are a must.

6. kelley stoltz-below the branches and the dodo’s-beware of the maniacs

both of these guys were totally unknown to me before i moved here to sf. they get to share the 6 spot since they both surprised me and further entrenched my desire to be here and immerse myself in this crazy city. kelley was introduced to me through nick m. and than going to one of kelley’s shows i saw the dodo’s open for him and jennifer gentle(meh). the dodo’s blew me away with their live set and i have been hooked ever since.

kelley stoltz

the dodo’s

5. grizzly bear– yellow house

western massachusetts is a pretty desolate place despite the protestations of those unfortunate enough to live out there. recording this record there makes a ton of sense since it seemsthat the desolation really inspires some great stuff like this record since your mind has nothing to do but wander. yellow house is a wonderful example of this ethos. dreamy and lonesome.

4. jens lekman– night falls on kortedala

beautiful prose style lyrics surrounded by stephen merrittish/rogers and hart/andrew birdesque symphonic pop songs. his influences seem as diverse as his song styles, structures or topics. no sign of pretension til you hear him interviewed. oh jens.

3. bat for lashes– fur and gold

like joanna newsom, natasha kahn(bat for lashes) explores the template of the folk pioneers of the 60-70’s, and than turns the lesson on its head. her use of harsh rhythms is very inspiring and making an autoharp sound wonderful is an accomplishment into itself. my one musical regret of the year was not going to see her at cafe du nord when i had the chance to see her in an intimate and cheap setting.

2. lcd soundsystem– sound of silver

james murphy took his ideals and made an entire record out of them. instead of the single based world that dance music tends to live in this is truly a coherent record. “new york i love,” is one of the sadder songs from any genre i have heard all year and to have the audacity(or balls) to end a dance record with this departure made me smile to no end.

1. the black lips– good bad not evil

this record is the most fun i have had listening to anything in a long time. too many funny tightly written and completely clever songs to mention. their first proper release(their first being the live record los valientes del mundo nuevo) for vice has been my biggest surprise of the year.

katrina

bad kids

edit***

now i realize why most critics compile larger lists and than pare them down. forgot two.

lets call this one 7

el-p- i’ll sleep when your dead

hiphop has had the worst year that i can remember as a genre its all bullshit novelty songs and stupid dances. the underground is still keepin hiphop alive, but damn i miss the 90’s when it comes to hiphop. i think el-p might too though it seems like his song direction on this record is only tangentially hiphop.

and we will call this one a tie for #4 with jens lekman

black moth super rainbow- dandelion gum

the backwoods of eastern pennsylvania have spawned some weirdos. this band does nothing to dispute this fact. its the record that i think the silver apples would have loved to have made if they could have. picked this up solely on the name alone and the next thing i knew it was my jam of the summer and based on what i have seen others too.

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