Friday, January 04, 2008

Xmas Spectacular 2007

Here is the first half of my Xmas Spectacular for 2007. This isn't really a best-of kind of list, it's just a bunch of songs that I thought sounded good together and wanted to share with my friends.

1. The Now – Mouthful of Bees

I knew from the moment I heard this song, the first track on my mix CD would belong to this group of youngsters. A frenetic, warbling, lo-fi song filled with a propulsive drum beat and guitar hooks to make Doug Martsch jealous.

2. Diggin’ on You – Stook!

I don’t know if this is the best song on Stook’s newest record, When the Need hit the Wax. The whole album is great with tracks like “Lovesick Firecracker” and “Hennepin Avenue” traversing the heart-on-sleeve lyrics of Stook and the musicality of The Band. What I do know is that driving home after a bad day at work, there is nothing to make you feel better than screaming along with the lines, “Hey, Hey, Baby, Baby/ Don’t you know you drive me crazy.”

3. Trampolining – Ice Palace

I was racking my brain, thinking off all the bands we covered in the HWTS podcasts this year. This is one that I kind of forgot about, but listening to it again, I have to say this is just catchy-as-hell pop song. And that is pretty much all I know about Ice Palace, except that their album, Bright Leaf Left, came out on Darren Jackson’s (Kid Dakota) label, Speakerphone Records.

4. Soulful Automatic – Little Man

Last year, when Duplomacy’s album, All These Long Drives, came out, I told people it would be in everybody’s year-end best-of list. They made it to mine, but not many other peoples. I said the same thing this year when Little Man’s album came out. It’s definitely on my list, and I’ve seen it on a few others. A classic-rock infused record, the songs are just plain good, and that’ll get me every time.

5. The National Side – Romantica

I was a big fan of Romantica’s first album; It’s Your Weakness that I Want. When I first heard the new album, America, I was a little disappointed. I think I was in the minority on that one. It took me a few listens to understand what was different. Romantica’s first album was a bit more eclectic, in my opinion. America is more focused and given time, I now realize that the songwriting is better, it’s just that the little R&B flourishes of the first album are abandoned for a pretty straightforward roots rock sound.

6. Clifton BridgeMark Olson

I haven’t always been a fan of Olson’s work outside of the Jayhawks. The Creekdippers seemed a bit too hippie for me. This album, however, features Olson’s intimate and fragile songwriting without a lot of pretext. This is what I love about music—the artist laying his or her feeling out on the table and saying, “have at it.” This song has nothing to do with the 35W Bridge, of course, but after that tragedy, this song certainly took on a deeper meaning to me.

Here are some previous spectaculars: 2006 2005

Part two is here.

1 comment:

Little Man said...

Thank you Juan! Glad you like it.
Chris Perricelli