Best of 2007
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to pouring over annual, best of lists (I'm still biting my nails in anticipation of the Idolator critic's poll that should be out soon), and I'm always intrigued by what the favorites of people who work in the business of music but aren't (necessarily) critics or reviewers. So, I asked Chop Suey's brand new booker Pete Greenberg to submit his list of favorite albums with the promise of posting them here - to which he happily complied.
Here's what made his list:
1. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)
2. Future of The Left – Curses (Too Pure)
3. Handsome Furs – Plague Park (Sub Pop)
4. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone Records)
5. The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (Merge)
6. Big Business – Here Come The Waterworks (Hydra Head Records)
7. Beach House – Beach House (Carpark Records)
8. Blonde Redhead – 23 (4AD)
9. Band of Horses – Cease to Begin (Sub Pop)
10. Siberian – With Me (Sonic Boom Recordings)
11. Matthew Dear – Asa Breed (Ghostly International)
12. Lavender Diamond – Imagine Our Love (Matador Records)
13. Peter Bjorn & John – Writer’s Block (Almost Gold)
There were about 1000 films given proper theatrical releases in 2007 -- and this total doesn't take into consideration increasingly popular methods of alternate distribution, or homegrown DIY works showcased in booming alt-cinemas across the land, or the countless films featured at major (and minor) festivals around the world that never got picked up by a distributor.
The ten films that made my yearly best-of list, plus the 76 honorable mentions that follow below, represent about a third of what I saw last year. So I still missed most of what was out there.
Given the sheer volume of films, and the amount of quality work on display last year, whittling down my favorites to a list of only ten was the most difficult it's been since I started writing for TIG in 2002. The masterful No Country for Old Men is undoubtedly the best I saw in '07, but (skipping a "razor-thin margin" pun) Sweeney Todd is a very close number two. It kills me not to be able to rank the wondrous Emma's Bliss, my favorite film of SIFF 2007. Same for the superbly written, sharply feminist boy-movie-for-girls Juno, Julien Schnabel's astounding Jean-Dominique Bauby biopic The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Ang Lee's nasty sexpionage drama Lust, Caution... oh, I could go on.
But I won't. Here's my list:
Being a regular contributor on here on TIG takes the show going experience from something you do on the weekends to part of your regular routine. I'll never forget shoving five shows in one week, or running from set to set during Bumbershoot trying to frantically interview all the local bands. Sometimes I still can't believe I'm here.
Very few shows I regret seeing, the vast majority were really good. But there's a distinct ten still stuck in my mind, shows I talk about to this day. The bands who made this list are not just comprised of musicians who stood up there and played -- these were performers who demonstrated how their band is more than a job or hobby, it's their lives. In each case they provided a memorable experience where I left feeling I'd just witnessed the most talented artists making music today.
2007 has been another stellar year for local music, with some Northwest artists breaking out and having significant national releases, and other local upstarts charming us with great records. We know that you, like us, had a hard time determing who to place on your end of the year mixtape -- let alone which album should be should be crowned the #1 Northwest release of 2007.
And what did all that tabulation and debate equate to? The Three Imaginary Girls Best Northwest Releases of 2007 lists! The results of our TIG Readers' Poll had some expected winners, as well as some surprises. We invite you to check it all out, and to also check out our TIG top editorial picks, as well as the lists for each of our individual writers.
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:
- Amy Winehouse Back to Black
- Okkervil River The Stage Names
- Tullycraft Every Scene Needs a Center
- Beirut The Flying Cup Club
- The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir
- Shake Some Action Shake Some Action
- Math & Physics Club Baby I'm Yours
- John Vanderslice Emerald City
- The Cave Singers Invitation Songs
- The Fratellis Costello Music
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:
- The Apples in Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder
- The Eames Era – Heroes + Sheroes
- Imperial Teen – The Hair The TV The Baby & The Band
- Just Jack – Overtones
- LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
- Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala
- Menomena – Friend and Foe
- The New Pornographers – Challengers
- Radiohead – In Rainbows
- Tracey Thorn – Out of the Woods
My films-of-the-year feature (coming early '08) will be far more compelling. Promise.