BBBD's Best Of the Rest, 2007
Here at BBBD, we pride ourselves for the quality of a few aspects of our blog:
(a) Regular updatesHowever, it's hard to stay on top of the blog-o-sphere ball 24/7 and we admit that we've our fair share of shortcomings and short sights.
(b) High-quality content
(c) Meaningful criticisms, endorsements, and general discourse
So here we are, in the eve of 2008, the end of the first decade of the 21st century, arms spread wide, hands laid out in the open, asking for forgiveness: we messed up, we've made a mistake!
Many great bands that were written about on this blog over the course of the past year were omitted from our slew of year-end lists, and we apologize for that! To make up for the mistake -- since we want to support all that we deem worthy! -- we've compiled a list: The Best Of the Rest, 2007. These bands are (a) not "mainstream" yet and (b) not any worse or better than the bands that made the Top 25 Unknown Tracks of 2007 List. They were just ... forgotten! To those of you on the list: our sincere apologies. Anyway, enjoy this final compendium of great music from 2007. We are officially listed out for 2007!
It's been noted before, but while there's no shortage of great pop groups hailing from Sweden, there is a shortage of uniqueness and creativity. We eagerly welcome Pacific! for this reason: the Gothenburg duo blends funky soul, Beach Boys-esque pop arrangements and harmonies, and an electronic bite that's just ... wonderful!
Pacific! - Hot Lips
Like Mark E. Smith meets DEVO. Stupendously quirky and off-kilter pop songs disguised by abrasive and noisy constructions. Go Leeds!
Cowtown - Curtis Tigers
The French have never been all that great at making rock music (erg, Plastic Bertrand), but Poney Poney shows that genres know now borders, languages, or nationalities: they crank out hooky, simple, and punk-infused tunes that render you a mere puppet dancing to their gritty bass lines and hard beats.
Poney Poney - Turbo (Demo)
I've been suffering from a Camera Obscura withdrawal. Seriously. I need more dripping-in-reverb, depressed post-punk ballads from the Glasgow group. Fortunately, Glasvegas is picking up some of the slack, reminding us all just how great a music scene the Scottish town supports and how divine a good shoegaze song can make you feel ... even if it is a little heart-wrenching!
Glasvegas - Geraldine
Aide from a few outliers (Cornelius, OOIOO, Boredoms, Boris), Japan just doesn't have that many great bands coming out of it, a is certainly suffering from a lack of boss pop groups. Avalon is an welcome exception. No one knows what the future holds for Escalator Records/Every Conversation, but if they keep signing groups like Tokyo's Avalon, they'll be in good shape. A futurist merging of electronic-driven pop, atmospheric post-punk, and just some great dance music.
Avalon - Evil Loves Devil
While I've not heard the entirety of this Danish band's debut LP, I've no idea why it's been generally panned: it's really, really good! A hybrid of twee, bedroom pop and 60s pop with a rare meticulous craftsmanship to add a unique twist to the whole package. Denmark, BBBD feels, is grossly overlooked ... so let's make 2008 the year of the Danish Invasion!
the Elephants - Obvious
Anyone who receives Erol Alkan endorsement (much less a remix by the God of Rave) can't be a half bad electronic act. LA Priest was first recognized for a stellar Envelopes remix, but stayed under the radar for too long. Now the Londoner is back with "Engine," a bouncy, robotic dance track filled with bizarre bleeps, boops, and strange computer glitches. Somehow, it all coheres into one masterfully arranged funky club banger that's too hot to handle. Get on it.
LA Priest - Engine
Metronomy has had what, a dozen times to make it? The London-by-way-of-Brighton trio remixed Franz Ferdinand's "Do You Want To" fer cryin' out loud! They've finally settled on a sound, though, and now it's time to break! The band toured the N. American Atlantic coast and simply must come back soon! They play these great lo-fi post-punk tunes with equal parts funk, disco, and house elements to them to excite a fan of ... pretty much anyone ... from Fatboy Slim to Bloc Party to New Rave kids to the Unicorns. They rock hard and mighty. Just listen to "Heartbreaked (Live in Turin)" on their MySpace page. You're convinced.
Another excellent Japanese pop outfit that sounds like Kevin Shields on a happy day or something. They've seemingly been around for years, but because of lineup alterations and an overall enigmatic existence, never really got under anyone's radar. Listen listen listen!
Greengate - Home
Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya
Is it just me or is Kitsune Records getting stranger and drifting further and further to the left (or right?) every day? One of their most recent signings, Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya, was first an annoying noise group with lofty aims to me (one of their first P.R. strategies: email all the "big" blogs), but I quickly opened my heart up to the pair and now can't let go. They've remixed CSS (nice!) and continue to churn out awesomely distorted noise ramblings that have just enough pop gusto to carry them over ... they're fresh, fun to dance to, and, quite honestly, strangely sexy in this sort of naive, infantile way. Makes me question my manhood (I kid, I kid).
Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya - Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Yeah
Did I write about this Swedish kid on one of the other lists? Ach, doesn't matter. This guy is way, way, way too good. I cannot find the words to express how much my heart melts when I hear this day-dreaming, rambling, pop maestro. He's like Jonathan Richman meets Jens Lekman meets someone who's just really good at writing pop ballads that make you feel like breaking down for absolutely no reason. Such good hooks. So infectious. Every time I listen to this guy, I get sad, wallow about in sorrow. I will continue to pay that price as long as he keeps producing. Him and Parker Lewis.
Kalle J. - Vingslag
Parker Lewis - Dirty Dancing
Finally, an American band, right?
Many, many U.S. groups have passed under my radar and I've liked -- if not loved -- a gross percentage of them. We make good music! Unfortunately, I don't see a tremendous amount of creativity or uniqueness coming out of the underground American scenes. Maybe that's just me. Maybe I'm just bored. I dunno. The Coathangers rock, though -- they're the Slits for a 2000s generation. Check 'em out.
the Coathangers - Parking Lot
Elias & the Wizzkids
Yup, another Stockholm ensemble. Their contagious sing-along, naive pop music is just too sweet to resist, though. Wish them well.
Elias & the Wizzkids - The Dance
Aside from Dungen and Architecture In Helsinki (which, need I mention, is not from Helsinki!), few bands hail from the Finnish capital and fewer know of any sort of music scene even originating in the cold Northern city. The Millioners -- yes, that is their name, no, it doesn't make sense -- make super awesome, rather chilly electronic dance tracks that are reminiscent of what was being played at the Hacienda during the Madcester days. I feel like the Millioners would be promoted by Dolce & Gabbana, but I don't know why I say that. I diamond in the
the Millioners - Most Sexiest Music