Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Best-of 2007:: Top Ten Canadian LPs

Well, well, well. It's another list. With the overwhelming amounts of comments on our Best-of EPs (0!), it's obvious that we are either 100% right or that you don't actually care about lists. I'd lean towards the latter, but what do I know.?

10.) Cuff the Duke - Sidelines of the City - review
"While their first two records were country-fused tracks the common man could relate to, Sidelines of the City is a record almost anyone can enjoy. Remarkably, even with the new styles the band embraced, I can't imagine any existing fan would ever complain. The first big switch is the album is way more rock-centric, but this is all accomplished with less guitar.

Wayne relies heavily on his acoustic this time around, and it adds a catchiness to the record you wouldn't expect, but the band also dives deeper into the country sound by using some lap steel. The Ballad of a Tired Old Man could easily show up on a Calexico or Richmond Fontaine record and the long bended notes they add to the folky When All Else Fails and Fades sound great."

HH:: Sidelines of the City is really an interesting combination of sounds. On the surface it’s more rock heavy, but you actually use a lot more acoustic and you guys add a distinct roots-y feel with the nice lap steel work and strings. So I’m wondering what was the band’s goal when you went into the studio for this release?
WP:: Foremost, we wanted the songs to be natural. On the last record, we tried to write songs a certain way and we wanted to make sure we didn’t do that again. It really allowed us to just write. I’m glad you noticed the subtleties. I think that resulted from just writing what we felt. Before we used the acoustic as over dubs, but having Dale in the band let me really focus on the acoustic. He’s such a great guitarist. It’s funny that you think it’s more rocking, and other people have said the same thing because when we recorded it and I used mostly acoustic, I thought it’s the least rocking record yet.

MP3:: If I Live Or If I Die


9.) Wintersleep - Welcome to the Night Sky - review
"I think most people will agree the album's centerpiece is Weighty Ghost, which is clearly the catchiest song about losing one's identity I've ever heard. Organ, strummed guitar, handclaps, and community backing vocals are not only a break from the band's heavy, electric sound, but it's also the perfect recipe for a sing-along inducing crowd pleaser at future Wintersleep shows."

MP3:: Weighty Ghost




8.) Handsome Furs - Plague Park - review
"Initially, when I heard "fiancée", I assumed this project was going to be:
1) fun
2) second rate

I was wrong on both counts. The trademark yelps and surging energy we've expected from WP are gone, but the open hatred of technology driven society are not. The songs are dark, Orwellian and weigh heavily on your thoughts. The record moves at a consistent, restrained tempo, eliminating any desire to get up and move from the equation. The record attacks you slowly, like a plodding heavyweight champ leaning on you while delivering a slow barrage of body shots until your legs give way."

MP3:: What We Had


7.) Basia Bulat - Oh, My Darling - review
"Oh, My Darling is as close to a perfect folk record as you can imagine for someone at such a tender age. Her voice is mature and her song writing ability is well beyond her years. When the ukulele starts Before I Knew, you are instantly intrigued and when the three part harmony hits you, well, like she sings 'it's the first time you fall in love.'"

MP3:: No actual legal MP3s. Sorry. We love giving Basia her credit, but the powers that be @ Universal are not to be trifled with.




6.) Jim Bryson - Where the Bungalows Roam - review
"This is a record I should have talked about before, as it has spent hours on repeat when I write and enjoy the morning quiet. The record is filled with beautiful sadness, the type that might overwhelm you on gray Vancouver mornings, but seems somewhat comforting when accompanied by the warming sun."

Best moment of '07::
So many fun moments this year. But I have to say, the show at Blue Skies with all the dancing and the Halloween opening set for the Weakerthans at Webster Hall in New York sure immediately come to mind.
Worst moment of '07::
I had a pretty good year all in all, so finding the worse moments in for another time perhaps.
Resolution (music wise) for '08::
Record with upright bass and learn more about recording at home.
Favorite record of '07::
Le Savy Fav: Let's Stay Friends comes to mind. I think there are others too, but that one is one I love for sure.

MP3:: If By the Bridge
MP3:: Jim and herohill fav David Myles make tofu scramble on Let's Get Baked


5.) Two Hours Traffic - Little Jabs - review
"Heroes Of The Sidewalk is awesome. It includes the line "Fill our bags up with booty, they won't know what to think about us cutie, we'll be the heroes of the sidewalks in our town", which makes it the best song about Trick or Treating that I've ever heard."

Best moment of '07::
Hillside Festival was probably the best time we had this year. The setup there is so great, you just swim all day since it¹s 30 degrees outside, then you go watch your favorite bands. Being asked to play was a real honor. I seem to remember Alec dancing around a large bonfire in a towel at one point - I can't be sure.
Worst moment of '07::
We did our first cross-Canada tour this fall, and all was going to plan until we reached Edmonton and our beloved Caravan got crushed between a parking meter and a big brown Bronco. Luckily Edmonton's finest (on bicycles no less) caught the drunken cowboy before he could flee the scene. Apparently when he was pulled out of his truck, liquor bottles tumbled out with him. That was pretty funny but overall it was pretty not funny. If you want to watch an awkward video of us reacting to the crash, here's a link.
Resolution for '08::
I think in 2008 we'll finally kick out Liam. His free ride is over.
Favorite record of '07::
We all have our own personal favorites, but if we had to pick one album Spoon¹s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga would likely take the cake. Justice and The National aren't far behind.

Video:: Jezebel



4.) Nathan Lawr & the Minotaurs - A Sea of Tiny Lights - review
"It's easy to go song by song and point out the highlights, of which there are many, but looking at the record on a whole you see the perfection of imperfection, as Lawr shows confidence, insecurity, scorn, love, and jealousy as he looks at the world around him and deep inside himself. Quite simply, and most accurately, the record is real."

Best moment of '07::
My first day of school.
Worst moment of '07::
The death of Daniel Ferguson Heighton.
Resolution (music wise) for '08::
Expand, explore, excursions into unknowns.
Favorite record of '07::
Antibalas' Security

MP3:: The Glass


3.) Weakerthans - Reunion Tour - review
"If Tom Waits has been anointed the king of the vagabond troubadours (which is quite deserving), John K. Samson should be known as the voice of rural, blue collar Canadians. His unique, descriptive portrayals are always spot on and heartfelt."

MP3:: Night Windows (live early version - 2005)






2.) Amos the Transparent - Everything I've Forgotten to Forget - review
"The record, written over the course of a few years by Chandler and Wilson, was recorded in true collective fashion but there is one major difference from the traditional definition. Amos the Transparent is really the vision of two people, and they employ friends to realize that vision. The songs are tight, the arrangements crisp and succinct. In most cases, too many cooks spoil the broth and too many guitars spoil the sounds. Huge crescendos are all well and good, but endless meandering that is all too common in today's indie scene is another thing. AtT never wastes a note."

Best moment of '07::
The best moment for me, musically speaking, of 2007 was probably the release of the record. It seemed to be a long stretch of anticipation and curiosity of how it would be accepted prior to it's release and needless to say, i think we all had a big weight lifted off our shoulders come Sept.
Worst moment of '07::
The worst moment(s) i found to be those when we were shifting members. It wasn't all that easy trying to rearrange the songs for the live setting. However, in the long run I think it turned out for the best.
Resolution for '08::
A resolution for 08....well, I've always been told that I'm impatient. And if there is one thing that I've learned with Amos, it is that patience is somewhat a kin to double-knotting your shoelaces. So, I suppose I would like to practice my patience skills. I've also been told that I'm lazy...but that's a whole other questionable analogy in itself.
Favorite record for '07::
I don't think that asking for one favorite record of the year if fair, I'm the kind of person that would analyze this question for weeks.
1. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
2. Wilco- Sky Blue Sky
3. Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
4. The Shins- Wincing the Night Away
5. Radiohead - In Rainbows (because if I didn't mention this one people would think I'm ill)

MP3:: Ok,Ok,Fine,Okay


1.) Miracle Fortress - Five Roses - review
"The band doesn’t allow itself to get stuck in one riff, one sound. Tracks like Poetaster drift effortlessly into the straight ahead pop realm. The gentle traces of steel drum sounds that creep into the channels triggers an old Jane Says flashback (this is said without any sarcasm). I’ve ignored this record way too long, and have a feeling it will be one I play to death and for that reason alone it’s a perfect showcase for the Canadian scene."

MP3:: This Thing About You

Posted at 3:05 PM by ack :: 3 comments

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At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

Kudos on making Amos The Transparent number 2. More people should seek this album out.

 

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous matthew i(heart)music did sayeth:

I have a feeling my Top 10 is going to look a lot like this. I haven't sat down and properly written mine out, but at least 6 of them will be up there for me...

 

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

nice picks here

Here are my Top 10 Canadian Albums Of 2007

http://rateyourmusic.com/list

 

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