Lists of 2007 – Part 1

This post commences a series of lists o’ 2007 on The Truth Hurts. I don’t quite have my “favorites” or “best of” music list finalized (and my film best of list won’t be done until January or February probably), so I thought I’d start off with the things I know for sure.

Musical Disappointments

Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala: The thing is, I only got to know Jens beautiful music earlier this year. I loved its simplicity over the often paradoxical and highly amusing lyrics. But this one is a chamber pop orgasm, sort of the European, straight-but-not-narrow, Rufus Wainwright. Under different circumstances (if I had heard this album before his other stuff), I’d probably adore “Night Falls Over Kordula.” But I simply don’t.

White Stripes – Icky Thump: Maybe the word “icky” in the title led me in a certain direction, or maybe it was the cringe-worthy guitar riff on the title song that turned me off. I listened to it for about a week then forgot all about it. Leading up to “Icky Thump”‘s release, I gave “Get Behind Me Satan” another listen. I didn’t like it the first time around either, but I liked it more this time around. So maybe I’ll just always be an album behind from now on.

The Shins – Wincing the Night Away: I was really looking forward to this one. Maybe, like Badly Drawn Boy (“Hour of Bewilderbeast”), The Shins will only make one album that I’ll really love (“Chutes too Narrow”). None of the songs stood out for me. I don’t even remember any song titles. This album made absolutely no impression on me.

Interpol – Our Love to Admire: Disappointing new album and live show. You’re dead to me, Interpol.

Favorite Shows

  1. St. Vincent @ Fine Line: I actually saw St. Vincent twice this year. The first time, I thought she was a bag lady. This time, I thought she was a beautiful woman doing an awesome Andrew Bird impression (sans violin). Whenever I tried to think of my favorite shows this year, St Vincent opening for The National was always the first show I thought of. Maybe it was because she covered a slightly obscure Lennon/Beatles song (“I Dig a Pony”), or maybe it was her killer voice and guitar skillz, but her live show far surpasses her overproduced album, “Marry Me”.
  2. Bruce Springsteen @ Xcel: I am now a converted Boss fan, and I think it’s mostly thanks to Levi’s.
  3. The National @ Fine Line: My new favorite band for both recordings and live shows. Passion always wins me over. Most of their songs may be on the verge of balladering, but The National are one of the best rock n’ rollers out there today.
  4. Heartless Bastards @ 400 Bar: More proof that just three instruments and one voice can surpass bigger bands. I think the Hold Steady have a run for their money in the “best bar band” department.
  5. Retribution Gospel Choir @ Turf Club: This Alan Sparhawk-led band does Low covers, but rocks them just a bit more. Al can really belt it out, and he’s a hell of a showman — attributes I was unaware of after the many times I’ve seen Low. The male drummer’s voice somehow sounds a lot like Mimi, making the sound even spookier than Low in some ways.
  6. Arcade Fire @ Roy Wilkens: Need I say more? Ok, I will. They’d be at #1 if not for Win Butler’s wifey annoying the crap out of me any time she opens her mouth.
  7. Loud +2 @ 400 Bar: Led by a kid named Ben Stein, these local high schoolers surprised everyone at the 400 Bar that night. And it wasn’t just because they’re all super cute — they’re actually a great band, too.
  8. The Redwalls @ Triple Rock: Sure, it’s regurgitated British garage rock, but they know their shit and work their asses off on stage. What more do you want from a band?
  9. Liars @ State Theatre: I was totally unfamiliar with these guys when I saw them open for Interpol. I was very impressed, but their albums don’t live up to their show. So be it.
  10. Andrew Bird @ First Ave & Guthrie: The Guthrie show hasn’t happened yet, but it’s safe to assume that the Birdman will not let me down. The dude does a million things at the same time, how can anyone not be impressed?
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