Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A List

My year in music...


Favorite Swedish crooner: Jens Lekman
Favorite British crooner: Richard Hawley
Favorite Canadian chanteuse: Feist
Favorite Pakistani/British chanteuse: Natasha Khan aka Bat for Lashes
Favorite French chanteuse: Charlotte Gainsbourg
Favorite folk chanteuse: Marissa Nadler
Favorite indie multi-instrumentalist "wunderkind" who's not Sufjan Stevens: Annie Clark aka St. Vincent
Favorite brash/bratty British pop singer who's not Lily Allen: Kate Nash
Three rappers whose albums/mixtapes I liked better than Kanye West's: Aesop Rock, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne
Favorite new garage band revivalists: Black Lips
Favorite "old" garage rock revivalists: White Stripes

You're so cute, Jens; photo by Emma Svensson

Favorite song about not getting any (man's perspective): No Pussy Blues by Grinderman
Favorite song about not getting any (woman's perspective): Another Weekend Without Makeup by The Long Blondes
Favorite song about New York: Myriad Harbour by The New Pornographers
Favorite song about Paris: Paris Is Burning by St. Vincent
Favorite guilty pleasure song: I'm a Flirt by R. Kelley (not quite "Trapped in the Closet," but its pleasures are more, um, subtle?)
Favorite song that gets the hipsters dancing: D.A.N.C.E. by Justice
Favorite song that gets the rebelz dancing: Boyz by M.I.A.
Favorite song that gets the teeny-boppers dancing: Lip Gloss by Lil Mama
Favorite song about dancing: I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You by Black Kids
Favorite song that kind of freaks me out: When Under Ether by PJ Harvey
Favorite song about loss: Someone Great by LCD Soundsystem
Favorite favorite song: The Underdog by Spoon

St. Vincent photographed by Tod Seelie

Favorite album by a sexually ambiguous violinist/violist: The Magic Position by Patrick Wolf
Favorite album by a band I don't normally like: Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer by Of Montreal
Second favorite album by a band I don't normally like: Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective
Third favorite album by a band, er, musician I don't normally like: The Shepard's Dog by Iron & Wine
Favorite album by a reunited band: Beyond by Dinosaur Jr.

The song that really needs no superlative: Umbrella by Rihanna

Favorite Albums (in alpha order)

Bat for Lashes: Fur and Gold
Deerhoof: Friend Opportunity
Feist: The Reminder
Jay-Z: American Gangster
Jens Lekman: Night Falls Over Kortedala
M.I.A.: Kala
Radiohead: In Rainbows
Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
St. Vincent: Marry Me
Patrick Wolf: The Magic Position

Richard Hawley has cool glasses; Patrick Wolf has a cool jacket

Other favorite music moments

The reissues of Leonard Cohen's first three albums
The reissue of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation
Seeing David Byrne at The Blow concert (I know he's supposedly at every show in New York, but it was still terribly exciting)
The Blow concert
Skipping class to drive to New York to see Bjork

The new wave/post-punk revival fever subsided a bit in 2007. (Finally! I mean, I like New Wave and angular rock just as much as the next child of the 80s, but most of the new stuff was so uninspired.) Instead, we heard bands dabbling in 1960s psychedelic garage rock. The most compelling of these bands (that I've heard) are The Black Lips for their sloppy, raucous, unhinged sound. (Their live shows are the stuff of legend: apparently, vomiting, urination, and nudity are de rigueur.) Bloggers are comparing Finnish four-piece Cats on Fire to The Smiths and Morrissey (the lead singer's voice does recall Morrissey's quivering, fragile baritone), but the Hammond organ on the song "The Smell of an Artist" makes me think of 60s psychedelic group The Zombies. (By the way, I love virtually anything with Hammond organ.) Pittsburgh (holla!) band Black Moth Super Rainbow creates hippie freak-out music so trippy and otherworldly with Moog and ostinato flutes and trance-inducing ennui-ridden vocals that I can't help but wonder if I actually really am on drugs when listening to it. Their label provides this description for the band: "Deep in the woods of western Pennsylvania vocoders hum amongst the flowers and synths bubble under the leaf-strewn ground while flutes whistle in the wind and beats bounce to the soft drizzle of a warm acid rain. As the sun peeks out from between the clouds, the organic aural concoction of Black Moth Super Rainbow starts to glisten above the trees." Far out!


Dave Allen said...

I saw St. Vincent at Mercury Lounge back in April. Amazing.

You misspelled "de rigueur" in your post. I misspelled it in my capstone and no one noticed.

I don't blog anymore, but your energy and output make me wish I... had the energy.

Raquel Laneri said...

I totally thought that looked wrong, but blogger spell check didn't catch it. Should have googled it. Anyway, it's corrected now, so Thanks!

Btw, so jealous about St. Vincent.

Kathleen said...

Dude, Raquel! The first time I heard Myriad Harbour I thought to myself, "This song reminds me of Raquel..." No lie! That is so weird. But cool!

Also, thanks for the comprehensive list... lots if things for me to check out :)