2007. year of the fog.

caption: the real tuesday weld perform at my leaving do, positively 4th street, london, august 26, 2007, photo by pam berry.

1 finest live show of the year I hate to be all me-me-me! (but isn’t that what blogs are for?), but the best show I saw was the unofficial chickfactor party at the most cozy and glittering london bar (positively 4th street), starring unplanned and unrehearsed live performances from alasdair maclean, the real tuesday weld, kendall mascott, the would-be-goods (featuring indie legend and cf’s co-founder pam berry dueting on “perfect dear”), and piney gir, along with pop-tastic DJ sets from pam berry, harvey williams and tim hopkins. I had a little cava that night, and a paper bag caught fire at a table I was sitting near, and therefore we may not be welcome back at P4St (remind me to dye my hair black), but damn. what a party. I love London and it really loved me back that night! thanks to all the people who came and played and gave me beautiful expensive gifts and god I am so spoiled by my friends. (and yes, lupe, I mean you too, but where the heck were you that night again?) oh, and can someone remind me why I had to leave london?
2 most nepotistic rrkds o’the year I am not on the cutting edge of anything at the moment, and I don’t care. I can’t explain it here because it’s personal but this year was a big fog. I am grateful for music when I love it, and as usual, sometimes I love the stuff my friends are doing (I feel no shame). I listen to a lot of townes van zandt, john fahey, john renbourn, noel coward, dolly mixture, bridget st john, m ward, gal costa and the zombies. nothing has changed. I also love the international pop hit “yrrkdbk” by the madrid-brooklyn duo pipas, especially when they play it live (did it come out in 07? who can remember.) I also love that some rully famous indie nerd band called the shins wrote a song called “pam berry” this year. the shins apparently have the good sense to love black tambourine, and how great is it that you can watch pam’s old video for “throw aggi off the bridge”, that noisepop classic of yesteryear.
3 most hyped attempts to steal the wine from winehouse based on the hype that can only be manufactured by the brit press, the platinum-coiffed welsh babe named duffy should easily be able to wrestle the wine away from adele (not sure what she looks like). the music industry loves a girl who looks almost supermodelly and maybe will be the next 2008-style dusty springfield, right? I guess. the way I see it, if the united kingdom wants to find a new dusty, they should just look in islington and hand the crown over to one debsey wykes, who surely deserves it way more than these wee lasses.
4 show I really effing wish I had been at and speaking of duffy, there is really only room for one in the UK and they already have a great, great, great one! the currently bearded ex-tintin, ex-lilac time singer-songwriter and sometime music director to robbie williams made a new LP this year called runout groove, which to me didn’t sound as ace as the last one, keep going, but damn I wish I could have seen stephen duffy play “madresfield” at the royal festival hall in november. I arrived a couple days later… and speaking of those silly british men that I generally adore, the clientele made an excellent and almost happy record called god save the clientele while the former pulpsman richard hawley made a nice soul record (and made me wonder, what happened to the version of neil hannon that I used to like?). the real tuesday weld whipped up another antique beat confection called the london book of the dead that sounds ace too. when it comes to american boys, I have been listening to the demos from the legendary jim ruiz and the stuff is grand. when is this stuff being released, jim? oh and of course I have been digesting the old-school TMFs record distortion, which makes me want to take drugs and dance.
5 top keepers of the twee flame I can’t say I was all razzle-dazzled when I saw her play live, but the swedish pop boffin maia hirasawa can certainly move some derrieres with this hit tune “and I found this boy” — she’s like a girl jens lekman — how can it even be!? lupe pipas never stops rambling about her new indie faves, those cute kids with the painfully painful name, you guessed it, the pains of being pure at heart. it’s up there with the vatican cellars as the band name I would most like to see changed. oh and speaking of twee, how cute is pelle carlberg, whose song “I love you you imbecile” is a song (title) I wish I had written. so kawaii! and of course there was dreamy miss el perro del mar!
6 nu folk poster girl joanna newsom reached levels of grandeur this year I never saw coming (playing the barbican with an orchestra?) and while I don’t expect these ladies to ever be a new joanna newsom (one is enough), it seems like they’d both be good people to listen to if you’re still waiting around for another hms ginafore record: marissa nadler and rachel dadd. is nu folk old now? and big hype seems to be descending upon dawn landes, and while I would like to see her live, I’m not feeling it yet. and then there’s the new feist (or have I got her all wrong?)
(honorable mentions to jens lekman, club 8, the national and all the artists whose records I would probably like but I haven’t heard them yet!)
7 other exciting developments other music went digital. npr launched a music site (carrie, can you get me a job dude?). the worlds of music, film, and art lost a lot of titans (tom terrell, lee hazlewood, ike turner, don ho, kurt vonnegut, ingmar bergman, michelangelo antonioni, hilly crystal, grace paley, oscar peterson, tony wilson, isabella blow, and many others). the year sucked, goodbye and good riddance, year.