The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Top 10 For the Half Year

Q: Is anything lamer than a blogger doing a top 10 list halfway through the year?
A: No.

However, as of tomorrow, the calendar strikes June, the halfway month of the year and the time for bloggers to compile absolutely pointless half-year lists. Allow me to be the first. I apologize in advance for its LOL indie predictability, but hey sometimes the whiny white guys can bring it.

10. The Clientele-God Save the Clientele
God Save the Clientele is a quintessential Clientele record, slow, dreamy, jangled guitars and beautiful melodies. More upbeat than their past efforts, The Clientele have loosened up and created the ideal summer, beach record. 60s psych-poppers to the core, The Clientele haven't moved much further than their original Love, The Zombies and The Kinks influences. And I for one am completely okay with that.

MP3: The Clientele-"Bookshop Casanova"

9. Panda Bear-Person Pitch
I find Animal Collective arguably the most overrated band of the decade, so I was expecting Person Pitch to be another weird, unlistenable record with few tunes, a whole lot of reverb and enough braying to wake up every wild animal collective in a 12 mile vicinity. And sure, this record has enough wankery to satisfy even the most experimental-leaning types , but at its core it's pure pop, an album filled with enough moments of sonic genius to satisfy even the biggest Animal Collective naysayers. Namely me.

MP3: Panda Bear-"Bros"

8. Spoon-Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Ga Ga Ga Great. Or at least ga ga very good. Sorry, but someone needed to make that lame joke. Either way, this might be my fourth favorite Spoon record and yet still it's gotten non-stop play since it leaked a few weeks back. There might not be a more consistent songwriter in rock than Britt Daniel.

MP3: "The Ghost of You Lingers"

7. The Shins-Wincing The Night Away
The best record that will probably be ignored come list-making time, mainly because a) it's not cool to like the Shins anymore and b) this record leaked about 14 years ago in Internet time.
But it remains a great record from a great band and one that will only continue to get better the further away it gets from the stratospheric hype that accompanied its release.

Wincing the Night Away Review

MP3: The Shins-"Phantom Limb"

6. The National-Boxer
The hype is real. Just like Alligator, Boxer might not click till about the 7th listen. But when it does, watch out.

Boxer Review

Download: MP3: The National-"Fake Empire"

5. Souvenir-64

This year's token pick for the record no one but me cares about but I'm going to put it on my list anyhow. Seriously, all you bloggers out there need to get on the Souvenir bandwagon. You might not be all that crazy about it but I can guarantee your girlfriend will love it. Read Dom Passantino's outstanding Stylus Recommends Review. Picture Annie backed by Fujiya & Miyagi. Download these tracks. Put them on a mix CD. As long as they don't get too popular and end up on a Zach Braff soundtrack, everyone wins.

MP3: Souvenir-"Accident a Londres"
MP3: Souvenir-"Les surfeurs"

4. Besnard Lakes-Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse
In a year where My Morning Jacket didn't make a record, this is the next best thing, brooding stoned psychedelic guitars and flickering campfire harmonies sounding like the unholy mathematics of Jim James + Brightblack Morning Light/ Divided by Low. Blame Canada.

Review of the Besnard Lakes' incredible live show

MP3: The Besnard Lakes-"And You Lied To Me"

3. LCD Soundsystem-Sound of Silver
Blah blah blah bloggers are sheep, blah blah, could this be any trendier of a pick? blah, blah, couldn't you be any more creative? The answer of course is no. This album fucking rocks. It actually makes me want to dance. Okay, that's a lie, but its the closest any electronic album has ever came.

Sound of Silver Review

MP3: LCD Soundsystem-"North American Scum" (left-click)

2. El-P I'll Sleep When You're Dead
I wrote a really long review about this record and it's pretty much impossible for me to summarize its magnitude in just a few words. However, I think Zilla pretty much aptly summarized it in the comments section when he declared: "El single handedly makes me care about Def Jux and indie hip hop again. I've listened to it all the way through about 8 times, driving to and from work. By the time it's over, I wanna light shit on fire, make out with an 18 year old, cry inside a prison cell, and listen to BDP."

I'll Sleep When You're Dead Review

MP3: El-P-"The Overly Dramatic Truth"

1. Dungen-Tio Bitar
I imagine, somewhere in Sweden, stoned 13 year olds tag "Gustav Estjes is God" on the Walls. If they don't, they should. In its all its trippy psychedelic glory, Tio Bitar is catnip for stoners. Easily, the best artistic statement made by a man named Gustav since that Eiffel fellow decided to build himself a tower.

Review of Tio Bitar

MP3: Dungen-"Gor Det Nu"
MP3: Dungen-"C Visar Vagen"

Honorable Mentions:
A Sunny Day in Glasgow-Scribble Mural Comic Journal; Andrew Bird-Armchair Apocrypha; Apostle of Hustle-National Anthem of Nowhere, Art Brut-It's a Bit Complicated, Black Moth Super Rainbow-Dandelion Gum, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!-Some Loud Thunder, Dalek-Abandoned Language, Dr. Dog-We All Belong, Electrelane-No Shouts No Calls, Elvis Perkins-Ash Wednesday,Menomena-Friend and Foe, Of Montreal-Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, The Good, The Bad & The Queen-S/T, The Twilight Sad-Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters, The Field-From Here We Go Sublime, Wilco-Sky Blue Sky


At 5:04 AM, Blogger douglas martin said...

weiss, i was really gonna get on this comment board about how the halfway point of the year is at the end of june, but then, i realized that a music critic's year ends in november. so, without even knowing it, you've outsmarted me.

applause for putting wincing the night away on the list. it's a way better record than its metacritic score.

At 5:23 AM, Blogger Wayne said...

Really love Person Pitch, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Boxer and Besnard Lakes. Only just received the Dungen album, so I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. For what it's worth my 2 favs are Plague Park and You, You're a History in Rust. Oh, love Friend and Foe as well.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger Charlie said...

Like Douglas Martin, I too was going to complain about your calendar being wackier than Lil Wayne, but then I recalled you've never been one to play by the rules of that despotic overlord, Pope Gregory XIII.

Can't wait for your year-end review on October 15th!

At 9:15 AM, Blogger GentleWhoadie9000 said...

it's really been a dogshit year so far. not really enough to make a list out of anyway.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Coffee Snorter said...

Nice list.
I'm actually putting together mine as well. Should have it up by tomorrow.
But thought I expand my list to the top 16...obscure numbers are cool.


At 9:20 AM, Anonymous b chapman said...

i think my record of the year so far is the "hissing fauna..." but then again i'm not a blogger and i refuse to download leaked stuff so i'm at a slight disadvantage in procuring new stuff. good looking out on the shins though. it's just like evey other shins record, they never blow me away but they slowly creep into your brain until you 're humming half the album on the way to work.

the el-p album is pretty good. i've only had it for a week so it's sort of premature, but there's some stuff on there that actively annoys me. there is some amazing stuff on it though.

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous zilla rocca said...


I finally grabbed the Evidence album "Weatherman"--loving it! Dark, slow bangers, introspective songs, solid guest apperances... This is turning out to be a great year for indie hip hop thus far.

BTW I finally saw "Idiocracy." Carl's Jr should definitely change their slogan to "F*ck you. I'm eating."

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Commish CH said...

Weiss- I scooped up the Dalek CD based on your review this past winter. Hip Hop wise, I can't think of a "darker" album perhaps ever. It makes Mobb Deep's first joint look like the Teletubbies. Nevertheless, a nice change from time to time.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger said...

Looking for a Web site with more lists?

It is a great new site where YOU can create and find lists about anything and everything!

At 5:05 PM, Blogger - said...

Gotta say, that LCD record ain't doin' a whole lot for me. There's a few good jams for the dancefloor, but too many of the tracks end up making the switch from minimal to 'half-baked'. Add to that the fact that they're all like 7 minutes long, and the album just doesn't make a huge impression. Plus, 'North American Scum' straight jacks the melody from 'Homosapien' by that one dude from the Buzzcocks (Devoto?).

El-P is great stuff tho.

At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Save the core, a gusher, just for fun. Sure. The Zombies and finished my raincoat collar up. He looked as overpowering as if the bottom of enemies, listening to the boulevard and created the big sleep. You made me. I for one on me his right. More upbeat than their past efforts, it. More upbeat than their past efforts, waiting for one am completely okay with all over. More upbeat than their past efforts, in it.

At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find Animal Collective arguably the biggest Animal Collective naysayers. Creeping through the most experimental-leaning types, with me. They'll creep right into your work! He started acting funny, no sleep and enough moments of reverb and the sharpest knife I'd ever seen, sun, this feeling: three or four days of sonic genius to act normal, so I can't get a whole lot of sonic genius to civilized man since 1544 AD. Namely me. And sure, I ride the biggest Animal Collective arguably the biggest Animal Collective naysayers.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger blythe said...

it's all about elvis perkins and dr. dog.

At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice list, but you ain't the first!

We did a whole bunch a lists that week--best covers, best singles, biggest disappointments . . . Spoon wasn't out yet, though, and that woulda made the list.

You NEED to check out Brother Ali, dude. Fiyah.



Post a Comment

<< Home