Monday, December 31, 2007

A Bunch of Darn Good Songs from 2007

Well, the miracle has occurred and The Gil Meche Experience has way outlived and blown away it's brilliantly conceived yet poorly executed predecessor, Apartment 618. I would like to think myself for doing so many posts, but also extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who pitched in. Bushido, Tex, Ush, Slammer and Hot Stove Pete, good job one and all. And I guess Pat too, even though I can't remember right now whether or not he even posted anything. Special thanks go to Annie and Rob, our two most devoted readers. We'll remember you when we get snapped up by the first people to buy our loyalty.

286 posts in just over 365 days isn't bad when you consider we all had jobs or law school and don't make one red cent off of this venture. Therefore, 286 times, we graced you fine people with our thoughts, all for nothing at all. Pretty good if you ask me.

We've also had out own adventures in the blogging world. We've been rejected as a link on the prestigious St. Andrew's Net feature on With Leather. We've been on Deadspin twice and made it on to the DC Sports Bog and the Sports Illustrated baseball blog, thanks to the fact that I went to middle school with the guy who broke Chase Utley's hand. We made it on to the Faith and Fear in Flushing blogroll, were found by In Dayton We Trust and got a couple shout outs on the always fantastic Can't Stop the Bleeding. All in all, quite a year for our humble blog.

And now for a bunch of songs I really liked in 2007, with my favorite movies to follow tomorrow-ish.

"New York I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down", LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver

The best song on Sound of Silver was "All My Friends". But since I love to play the iconoclast (read: contrarian asshole), I will declare "New York I Love You" as my favorite song off the album. All you need to do is walk around Times Square or the luxury condo sprouting Lower East Side to know that the melancholy ballad to New York's former seediness is long overdue. Bonus points are awarded for taking a shot at Mayor Bloomberg, who managed to become a nationally recognized and incredibly popular mayor without 3000 people dying on his watch.

"Wanderlust King", Gogol Bordello, Super Taranta

On an album that's excellent from top to bottom, sometimes it's tough to pick your favorite from it. For now though, let's just go with "Wanderlust King", a high energy ode to traveling around for no reason other than to see shit and kill time. And also to become a man or something important like that. Gypsies are weird.

"The Way To There", Au Revoir Simone, The Bird of Music

These three Brooklyn-based synth-pop girls aren't going to change music, but that's OK. Sometimes it's nice to drift of to sleep listening to an odd, sprawling song about broken relationships set to a soothing chime background with a sinister yet sweet main synthesizer line.

"Running Away", The Polyphonic Spree, The Fragile Army

God, did I ever love this album. One of the main reasons being this fantastic opening song about the same shit every other Spree song is about: being way happy and in love. I saw the Spree live three times in six months and still never got tired of their decision to open with this song. It just makes me want to run up and hug someone and kiss some pretty girl on the street. One of those will get you hauled off in cuffs though.

"Jesus Saves, I Spend", St. Vincent, Marry Me

From an artist that came out of nowhere to hit me right in the sweet spot of my eardrum, St. Vincent (the stage name of the extremely talented Annie Clark), comes my arbitrary pick for the best song of Marry Me. What is "Jesus Saves" about? Great question, because there are no lyrics online. It's playful and catchy though, which is good enough for me. Really, you should just go pick up the whole album, this chick can fucking shred.

"Off the Grid", The Beastie Boys, The Mix Up

The Beastie Boys brought the pain in their all instrumental album The Mix Up, and no track was finer than "Off The Grid". Some folks were disappointed with the album, but if you want a soundtrack for maxin' and relaxin' at a summer barbecue, it's tough to look past this album. Especially on this track, the Boys show they haven't lost a bit of their chops as musicians, combining sprawling, funky guitar with a strong synthesizer backbone and rump shaking drumming. Well played Boys, well played.

"Alfie", Lilly Allen, Alright, Still

For all the love given to "LDN" and "Smile" (both of which I dug), the song that really turned me on to Lilly Allen was this jaunty little tune about being more successful than your younger brother, something I thus far have not been able to accomplish. It's poppy third-wave ska, but it's done with care.

"(Antichrist Television Blues)", The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

What an album. On the one hand, I want to pick "Keep the Car Running". Then I want to pick "No Cars Go". Instead, I'll pick the track I've been listening to lately. A rockin' tune about a God fearing man and his golden voiced daughter and the tension and calamities that ensue, it could taken as a song about Joe Simpson and his two daughters. But why the fuck would Win Butler and company give a shit about them?

"Fireworks", Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam

My friend Teller called this the best song of the year. I'm not in the business of those kind of declarations, but Animal Collective should feel just peachy about making my "Bunch of Darn Good Songs" list. The drumbeat is just hypnotic, the vocals are passionate and the lyrics are odd but not opaque. A song that lives up to its title, it does in a way make me feel like I'm on the beach watching fireworks.

"Down To Rest", O'Death, Head Home

We need a couple more bands like O'Death in the world. Not that many more, just a couple. These city boys fuse punk, bluegrass and country seamlessly, allowing you to have a down home experience at the hootenanny while simultaneously punching someone in the back of the head. By far my favorite song off of Head Home, it conjures up nothing but trouble when I think about it, but sometimes you need a song to do that.

"23", Blonde Redhead, 23

I must admit, I got on the Blonde Redhead scene rather late. However, thanks to a tip from Tex, I will miss out no longer. Hypnotic vocals and lyrics from Kazuo Makino give 23 a bold, strong opening that carries through the rest of the album. You can dance to it, you can sit and analyze the lyrics, you can even stand around and look cool while it plays. One hell of a track from one of my newly discovered favorites.

"D.A.N.C.E.", Justice, Cross

Now this is fucking party music. From French newcomers Justice, we have one of the most fun dance songs of the entire year. Hopefully this will become a DJ staple all over the country, because people need to hear this song.

And with that, we come to the end of a the list. There's an implicit weakness in it, considering that I left out all the hip hop from this year. I haven't gotten around to grabbing the new Wu-Tang or Ghostface and just haven't listened to Talib Kweli's Ear Drum yet, so yeah, bollocks to me. If you think I missed anything, don't be afraid to recommend it in the comments.

Happy New Year all, and remember: Gil will be watching over all of us, so don't party safe, party hard.

2 comments:

Annie said...

Wow, a shout out. Thanks, Pulp. Though we are wondering now if being devoted readers makes us special or pathetic?

Happy New Year!

Rob said...

Hey Pulp,

Thanks for the mention.

Also, thanks for the song picks from 2007. Gave them all a listen and will probably add three or four of those artists to my collection. Incidentally, my younger daughter just loves Gogol Bordello; she saw them live here in Edmonton a while back and has been a loyal fan ever since.

I think I found "the experience" using that "Next Blog" button that blogger has early this year. I found the posts at the time to be hilarious as hell and sent the link to Annie. Since she and I are kind of alike, she found your musings to be funny also. At any rate, one more thanks to you for keeping us entertained throughout the up and down times of 2007.

Can't promise to continue being a loyal reader, but will try to look in from time to time.

All the best to you and everyone else at "the experience".

Rob