Friday, June 27, 2008

Mr Thistle's 2007 Lament

It is that time of year again…uh, yeah…that middle time of the year when we all gasp at the fact that it has already been 6 months or that it has only been 6 months. The only way to relieve that stress is a proper list. In advance of our half year round up for 2008 I felt that 6 months time is probably as good a time as any to look back on 2007 and lament about what we missed. So without further ado here are the 13 albums that should have been on my (Mr. Thistle) 2007 year end list.

The Fun YearsLife-Sized Psychoses

Life-Sized Psychoses
is as ominous and sprawling a delusion as the album title implies. Slowly building from the remnants of distorted vinyl trickery and moody, repetitive guitars this debut album proves a ravaging mental cluster bomb as experienced in slow motion. This should have rivaled Sunset Rubdown for my #1 last year.



Gavin Bryars / Philip Jeck / Alter Ego
The Sinking of the Titanic

In a single track spanning over seventy minutes in length, Gavin Bryars, Philip Jeck and Alter Ego performed Bryar’s masterwork, The Sinking of the Titanic. Listening to it is a daunting task, but the rewards are more than worth it as my iTunes can attest (play count is in the double digits already). One of the most poignant musical experiences I have ever had.

Dose OneSkeleton Repellent

It is a shame that among all the Subtle and Clouddead fans out there (groups with which Dose One is most notably affiliated) that Skeleton Repellent will more often than not slip between the cracks. Dose One is at his lyrical and musical peak here. I’m loving on the new ExitingARM but this album is much better.



Radicalfashion
Odori

An oddly silly name for this crystalline piece of home listening, Radicalfashion’s Odori is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and forward thinking albums of classical composition that I have heard. Revolving around an absolutely gorgeous and often playful piano, Radicalfashion mixes virtuosic playing with varied electronic expressions to create something truly life-affirming.


Castanets
In The Vines

Heavy and brooding, In The Vines is the kind of record that feels like it was created from a life times worth of weighty experience. With added elements of subtle, yet intense audio experimentation to Castanets’ signature Americana, In The Vines is gigantic step forward and immensely impactful listen.



Frog Eyes
Tears of the Valedictorian

Whoever recently commented about the absence of Frog Eyes on my year end list was right to do so. It is pretty criminal to have over looked a fair listen to Tears of the Valedictorian while hailing Random Spirit Lover as album of the year. Carey Mercer’s ferociously, eclectic approach in indie rock is absolutely genius. It has steadily wound its way up my list in the past year a still manages to constantly, spontaneously requiring listen after listen. An absolute classic.

John WieseSoft Punk

It’s not very often that you are already a veteran by the time you release your “debut LP” but then again nothing about John Wiese is very conventional. After over a decade of experimentation, Wiese has finally given us Soft Punk, a cut-n-paste noise masterpiece that is punk in the purest sense of the word and anything but soft. The most gratuitous and satisfyingly brutal record of 2007 by far.

Chris SchlarbThe Twilight & Ghost Songs

I really don’t feel all that bad about missing this album on my 2007 list seeing as how it was released in December. In fact, I think it was released after my list was posted. Either way, while timing may not have been a friend to Schlarb’s debut solo outing, The Twilight & Ghost Songs is certainly friendly to the ears. A hodge-podge epic cut and pasted into a river of beautiful sound.

Shape of Broad MindsCraft of the Lost Art

Thank you Shape of Broad Minds for reminding me of why I ever loved hip hop. Inventive beats, free jazz soul, old school flare and relaxed lyricism all combine for one of the best hip hop album to run the indie circuit in ages.




A Place To Bury Strangers
– S/T

New York’s “loudest band” is also one of its best. Reviving the idea that the best way to treat any rock or pop song alike is to drown it in a sea of feedback, A Place To Bury Strangers surely make a loud swirling ode to My Bloody Valentine and Jesus & Mary Chain with its self titled debut.





Sawako
Madoromi

Sawako makes ambient landscapes that sound like a dream. Makes sense since the title of her album translates as a word for the space in-between sleeping and waking. With beautiful floating vocals and a majestic array floating tones from various instruments, Madoromi is a warm ocean of happy delusions.


Letters Letters
– S/T

For me, Letters Letters’ self titled debut feels a bit like the love child of Gowns’ Red State and Mahjongg’s Raydoncong. Using Midwestern noise, electroclash beats and ambling free folk weirdness as their experimental pop ingredients, Letters Letters is probably the coolest sound record I listened to from last year.



Dust From 1000 Years
- Buzzard

Three albums in and these guys are still churning out the best lo-fi Americana around on CDRs with little Fed Ex copy inserts. It shows some dedication for one and secondly a belief in the need for their unique, decaying pop tunes to be out in the world. I would have to agree with that belief.

3 comments:

Ranger Danger said...

take it easy on yourself mr. thistle. making lists isn't easy for any of us.

Our Tiny Servant said...

Aha! Frog Eyes is amended. Great. Now, looking at this list, it's the only one I recognise. I will have to check all the others out.

Justin Snow said...

I was trying to think of a way to do a mid-year list that wasn't lame, and then you went ahead and came up with the best mid-year list idea ever. Good job.

That's a pretty nice list, by the way. And given how big a fan you are of Dose One, I'm pretty surprised Skeleton Repellent got by you somehow. Also, definitely digging the additions of The Sinking Of The Titanic and Soft Punk.