J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Playlists, podcasts and music from WQFS Greensboro's J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

J's Indie/Rock Mayhem - 12th December 2007
The Top Singles of 2007

[tonight's show celebrates the best singles of 2007. as i mention on the show, 'single' has taken on such a different connotation in the post-CD single world of commercial music and the time of the mp3. now virtually anything is a single - and truly, 'single' now just means a single song. so, these are my favorite songs of this year. the ones you probably heard me play quite a bit (with one, very notable exception) over the last months. next week will be the top 25 albums of 2007. i don't even know where that's going to end up.

congrats to bryan who knew that thurston moore's first solo album from 1995 was called psychic hearts. he wins a $15 gift certificate to our good friends at BB's new and used CDs and DVDs in the quaker village shopping center. i give that away every week at the beginning of the third set, right around 6:30 p.m.

let's get to the singles, and leave your agreement/hatred/suggestions/etc. in the comments. i'd love to hear what your favorite songs of this year were - and go ahead and start talking about albums. now, onward.]

J's Indie/Rock Podcast: 12th December 2007 Show

Theme Song - Peaches
- "Rock Show"
LCD Soundsystem - "North American Scum" [i'll tell you this right now - this song is awesome. i've known for some time that this is the song i should lead off the singles show with, so i did. from sound of silver. it's also a great biting-of-the-thumb to the rest of the world. when it comes to rock 'n' roll, trashy americans rule.]
the Emergency - "Hey Whoopy Cat" [from doo-lang, doo-lang. their previous album was on my best of list from a few years back. will they do it again? if not, at least this song is one of the best of the year. great, wonderful power-pop from morgantown, west virginia.]
El-P - "Flyentology" [from i'll sleep when you're dead. one of the three best live shows i saw all year (including rambunctious and amazing live performances by josh ritter, jason isbell, megafaun, menomena, the whigs, jesse sykes, etc.) largely because of coming out with a live band. but this album is a dark hip-hop masterpiece. and this song holds down the back half of the record with serious style.]
Oakley Hall - "No Dreams" [from i'll follow you. i was wondering if this band was going to keep getting better, and yes, the answer is yes. this song is every bit the sonic-competitor with gypsum string's "confidence man." growling, tough and energetic rock and roll.]
Dinosaur Jr. - "Almost Ready" [from beyond. this was the first track leaked from this record before it came out and i knew it caught everyone's attention. it sure did mine. reunion albums are so rarely worth the time, but here it is.]
the National - "Fake Empire" [from boxer. this was the early leak track on this album and i haven't let go of it. it's the album's opener and man is it a stunner.]
Dizzee Rascal - "Sirens" [from maths + english. i love this song, but really the reason i love it is the video. go take a look. maybe it's just years and years (and years) of obtuse, mind-numbing hip-hop (and mainstream rock) videos, but when something really creative comes along it still stuns me. the imagery juxtaposing the old and new england are brilliant.]
Arcade Fire - "Keep the Car Running" [from neon bible. i first heard this when i saw them perform it on saturday night live earlier this year and was truly impressed. the album is a sincerely amazing thing.]
Thurston Moore - "The Shape is in a Trance" [from trees outside the academy. there's a theme here of songs being the first leaked off the record. same with this song. it's been in my brain ever since.]
Blair - "Kamakazee" [blair first sailed into my consciousness earlier this year and hasn't moved. she released an EP this year, but this song is not on any recorded release that i know of. still, her music is astounding and well worth your time.]
the New Pornographers - "All the Old Show Stoppers" [from challengers. i actually toyed with picking "myriad harbour" over this song, but i ended up back with this song. all in all i'm a bit underwhelmed by this album, but there are the usual brilliant moments as well.]
Loudon Wainwright III - "Grey in L.A." [from strange weirdos, the soundtrack to the movie knocked up. the album is solid, but this song stuck out to me. it's biting, and clever, and everything a loudon wainwright song ought to be.]
the Veils - "Advice for Young Mothers to Be" [from nux vomica. an album that truly makes it hard to pick a best single. where will it land on the album list next week? even i don't know yet.]
Josh Ritter - "Right Moves" [from the historical conquests of.. his show at the cat's cradle in november was awe-inspiring. the man is on fire like nobody's business. and this song proves it.]
Rilo Kiley - "The Moneymaker" [from under the blacklight. i've never been a huge rilo kiley fan - i like them. this song was such a departure for their sound, i was hooked instantly. apparently this is their last album as a band, but way to go out if it is.]
Art Brut - "Pump Up the Volume" [from it's a bit complicated. best guitar solo of the year. the bridge of this song slays me absolutely. i never get anything less than ridiculously excited when it gets to that part of the song.]
M.I.A. - "Hussel" [from kala. this, too, was a difficult choice. "20 dollar" is, to me, the highlight of the album, but "bamboo banga" and "bird flu" and "boyz" and "paper planes" and, well, just about the whole record is ridiculously good. this song just gets in your head for days and days.]
Matt Pond PA - "If You Want Blood" [the title track from their EP released this year. i am, most of the time, not a huge fan of this band. but this song (and "reading" from the same EP) just really got me this year. you won't see this EP, or their LP, on the album list next week, but for this song at least, they are good.]
Jens Lekman - "The Opposite of Hallelujah" [from night falls over kortedala. reminiscent of great brill building pop and clever lyric writing. an album we'll see again next week.]
the Ladybug Transistor - "Always on the Telephone" [from can't wait another day. after the tragedy of the death of their drummer, it's small solace that their album received pretty uniform praise this year. but this song especially is just gorgeous, mournful and perfect.]
Sloan - "Who Taught You to Live Like That" [from never hear the end of it. sloan hasn't sounded this perfect since..well..i don't know, one chord to another? they sell records in canada for a reason and man, it's songs like this that do it. when you've got it, flaunt it, power-popsters.]
Band of Horses - "Islands on the Coast" [from cease to begin. so, i lied. early in the show i said i didn't number the singles except for the song i dubbed number one. somewhere during the show, i changed my mind. and from here on out, i numbered them. i did a top six. don't ask me why. # 6 here is the pinnacle of the album. and yes, sarah, it is a better song than "is there a ghost," but that song is amazing as well. coming from someone who really didn't love their first album, this record was a complete stunner.]
Caribou - "Eli" [from andorra. my # 5 single is the best of the beach boys, phil spector, the byrds, all sorts of drugs..you get the picture. i played this song often and there's a reason.]
Georgie James - "Places" [from places. my # 4 single is from a record that is full of singles. i narrowed it down to three and still had a hard time settling on this one (especially over "need your needs" and "look me up"). this record will be song fodder for my show for years to come.]
Jarvis Cocker - "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time" [from jarvis. my # 3 single may take an explaination. jarvis was released in november of '06, but didn't get an american release until april of this year. thus, i'm counting it for this year and this song, and its wonderful video, are way, way on my list. no one writes 'em like jarvis.]
the Broken West - "Down in the Valley" [from i can't go on i'll go on. my # 2 single is the exception i talked about in the intro to this post. i haven't played the broken west all year because, well..because sometimes i make the wrong choices on which records to ignore. and with this one, i was way, way wrong. "down in the valley" is just an amazing, perfect pop song. the whole album is a rollicking beast of great rock and roll and, well, i apologize for not playing them sooner.]
Jason Isbell - "Dress Blues" [from sirens of the ditch. my # 1 single has been so for some time. it's easily the most touching, well-written and point-on song about the iraq war that has been written. the affecting way it's sung, the instrumentation, the small details - the funeral, especially. jason isbell has turned out a lot of great songs in his relatively-short recording career, but if he continues to write stuff like this, he will leave an impression that will never wash away. he'll be playing at the lincoln theatre in raleigh on december 30th, so go check him out if you haven't had a chance to see him live yet.]

Hope you enjoyed this list of my favorite singles of this year. Next week it's the Top 25 Albums of 2007. Tune in for a great countdown and the final J's Indie/Rock Mayhem of 2007. Below is the rest of my favorite singles of this year - there just wasn't enough room for them all during the show. Check back on Friday for Notes From Underground and for album reviews next Monday and Tuesday. Take care.

The Best of the Rest - Singles 2007

John Doe - "The Golden State"
Fountains of Wayne - "Yolanda Hayes" / "New Routine"
the Rosebuds - "Cemetary Lawn"
Pela - "Waiting on the Stairs"
49 Admiral - "The Art of Giving Up"
Buffalo Tom - "You'll Never Catch Him"
Queens of the Stone Age - "Sick Sick Sick"
Pharoahe Monch - "Welcome to the Terrordome"
Future of the Left - "Manchasm"
Brother Reade - "Let's Go"
Little Brother - "Good Clothes"
Jim Bryson - "Pissing on Everything"
Spoon - "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb"

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  • At 12:11 AM, December 13, 2007, Anonymous S. said…

    Better song? Really? *buzzer sound* Not hardly!

  • At 5:16 PM, January 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "If You Want Blood" is definitely a track worthy of remembering from '07, as is Last Light, the album that followed up this limited EP. Also, "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb" is in contention for best song of the year...for me it'd be between that and Fake Empire by The National

  • At 1:50 PM, January 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that matt pond PA EP was good and you're right...If You Want Blood is a great track...(personally...as a new fan of mpPA...i do like their LP Last Light...but to each his/her own...right?) as is arcade fire...that album (neon bible) is amazing

  • At 4:37 PM, January 08, 2008, Blogger J. Neas said…

    I have thought about giving Matt Pond another shot - they've never flat out turned me off, afterall - but feeling mediocre about a band is as damning as outright hating them, if not more so. I'll have to give Last Light another go though, since the If You Want Blood EP was overall very solid.

  • At 1:12 PM, January 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    yea...i'd say it's worth the shot...u know?...i really liked foreign bedroom and taught to look away...but i thought the overall sound of the album was pretty solid...it's been in my cd changer since i put it in...haven't taken it out...it'll be in my rotation for awhile...


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