December 23, 2007

"And evere honoured for [their] worthynesse."

That's right, I'll drop some Chaucer references on our fuckin blog. You a-holes can nerd out about fonts and I'll do so about really liking to read the C-Tales in their original Middle English.

I'd like to throw my dissenting hat in the ring, most because I disagree with the title "unworthy" for this years' release schedule. All of these listed "noteworthy" albums fall short of "worthy" because, well, most of 'em aren't even in the top ten.

+ Battles – Mirrored
+ Black Lips – Good, Bad, Not Evil
+ LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
+ Gogol Bordello – Super Taranta!
+ Justice – Cross
+ Sunset Rubdown – Random Spirit Lover
+ !!! - Myth Takes
+ Daft Punk – Alive 07

So, sub-par? Battles might have recreated rock'n'roll as we know it.

Black Lips take it back about 40 years and they do it brilliantly.

James Murphy has released 2 albums in the past 18 months. One was a single track (45:33 minutes long) of beats, blips, and bombast. It's a workout mix, but it is also sweet. The other one was Sound of Silver.

Gogol Bordello is authentic Eastern European stomp/ punk/ dub reggae/ a drunken night on the town with some Ukranian sailors (as opposed to Beirut, who just sounds like Stephen Merritt anyway).

Justice said "Let there be rock and roll, and then once they created it and called it good they actually renamed it dance.

Sunset Rubdown IS BETTER THAN WOLF PARADE. Which might not be a legitimate criticism, but considering how much all of our friends love it, begs the question WHY HAVEN'T ANY OF THEM BESIDES ME HEARD IT?

!!! debases rock'n'roll to sexual urges and impulses. Yes, this has been done before (see: Chuck Berry, Elvis) but !!! do it in such a way that you feel like fucking, dancing, taking mushrooms AND playing air guitar. Eat your motherfucking heart out, Jimi.

And Daft Punk takes all of their already awesome songs and combines them. Like, not just one after another. But into one another

But wait. That's only 8. What's left?

+ Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
+ Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Self-parody, maybe. Cell phones and Outback steakhouse, yes. But the most fun I have ever had listening to an album on repeat without getting old? Yes. 12 minute dance epics about depression? Yes.

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is not Kill the Moonlight. No. Of course not. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is a different record than Kill the Moonlight. That's the point. KIll the Moonlight was sexy, immediate, sparse. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is romantic, a gradual incinerator - full. Did you hear those horns? If you listen close, you can hear him talking and them humming the guitar line before the guitar line starts.

It does, indeed, humanize the vacuum.

There's some goddamned progress for you.

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Blogger Chase said...

I'll probably come back later and add more, but I don't really like the idea of pitting Beirut and Gogol Bordello against each other, using authenticity as an argument. Do you actually see them trying to achieve the same things?

While The Flying Club Cup WAS 'stompless', Gulag Orkestar's stomp was always different from Bordello from the get-go, and I liked it quite a bit.

In the end, I don't see authenticity coming to play here. You have two different Eastern European groups doing their own thing. In this case Bordello had stomp, Beirut didn't.

Also, I'm not seeing much similarity between Merritt and Beirut. The voice a little bit. Maybe. But other than that I think that was a pointless comparison.

December 23, 2007 at 11:09 PM 
Blogger JHitts said...

I only offered it as a counter. Had Tony not called Beirut (a record with which I admittedly need to spend more time) stompless, I would not have made that direct comparison.

But he's fair game with Merritt. Just listen to 69 Love Songs.

December 23, 2007 at 11:16 PM 
Blogger Chase said...

In a round-about way you challenged his authenticity and then trucked over him by saying there's already someone else out there with his sound. It's just too heavy-handed for my liking.

After listening to more Merritt I agree that there are some similarities. Although, I still think Beirut is different enough to stand on his own turf.

December 24, 2007 at 12:18 AM 
Blogger Tony Gonzalez said...

Listen Jack, I was going to conclude with the following disclaimer before I was distracted by Feist:

"Then again, I don't want to fall into the trap of lamenting this year in comparison to 'the good old days.'"

Forgot to put that. But I'll stick to what I wrote, which to recap was, "yeah, I didn't hear much new stuff, but some stuff getting attention shouldn't be."

Then I'll reiterate my Spoon comment, which is that it's not their best album, but still pretty good, and that that's not an insult.

I tore people down, you gave us good ideas. Thanks, Jack.

December 24, 2007 at 1:26 AM 
Blogger JHitts said...

I'd like to add an addendum: The National is real good. I just downloaded it the other day and spent some time with it. Chalk up another one.

I will agree that some of this stuff shouldn't be getting the attention it has been getting. Take, for example, Radiohead. I think it was Nick Southall, or maybe Ian Mathers, that said that Radiohead are at the point where a new Radiohead record is just that, a Radiohead record. It sounds like Radiohead (it was Southall).

I got bored by it real quick. Same with Arcade Fire. And the White Stripes.

And yet, I think some of the stuff I mentioned is getting just as much attention as these guys, and it deserves it. LCD Soundsystem, for example has been in every top 10, as has Justice.

What annoys me is that records like Super Taranta and Random Spirit Lover have been given jack shit as far as attention and noteworthyness goes. And I hold both of these records in very high regard.

At least Queens of the Stone Age are still Queens of the Stone Age, and that's never a bad thing.

December 24, 2007 at 5:24 PM 
Blogger Tony Gonzalez said...

Thanks for bringing up Queens of the Stone Age, another band with a subpar offering this year.

December 25, 2007 at 2:21 AM 

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