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2010: A Year in Review
12/05/10 at 07:25 PM by Adrian Villagomez


2010: A Year in Review

Financial hardship is a common conversation point these days, and I didn't survive 2010 unscathed. Part-time retail hours, a layoff, unemployment checks, and an unhealthy heaping of disillusion were all on my mind this year. What does that have to do with my end of the year list, you ask? Well, when you're living on PB&J sandwiches, you can't really spare money for music. But my musical drought has ended (60-hour workweeks... thank God), and I made a late run to devour as much music as I could. I didn't reach my goal of thirty albums, but twenty-five isn't a bad consolation. I know I missed some albums I'll fall in love with later, and you should tell me what I still need to pick up. Of course, if there are some albums on my list you haven't listened to yet, get on it! Cheers to the new year.

Top Albums

Top AlbumsKevin Devine, where have you been all my life? Sure, I knew your duet "Cotton Crush" with Jesse Lacey was rockin' stuff, but I did not expect Brother's Blood to be my best musical experience of 2009. And why isn't everyone gushing over how very impressive Audrye Sessions' Radiohead/Muse inspired debut album is? Spread the word! I could blab about all these albums, but I'll save you the time - spend it listening to this excellent music instead.

Top Tracks

15. As Tall As Lions - "Is This Tomorrow?"
14. The Swellers - "Do You Feel Better Yet"
13. Paramore - "Where the Lines Overlap"
12. Portugal. The Man - "Do You"
11. Nightmare of You - "Hey Sweetheart"
10. Jay-Z - "Run This Town"
09. fun. - "Be Calm"
08. Brand New - "Bought a Bride"
07. Audrye Sessions - "Dust and Bones"
06. Manchester Orchestra - "Pride"
05. Third Eye Blind - "About to Break"

Third Eye Blind - "About to Break"I was walking alone on the ocean.
I felt a fever burning up all I am.
'Cause if there's one thing that I can't stand,
It's standing next to my fellow man.

04. Wale - "Shades"

Wale - "Shades"From a light skin girl to a dark skin brotha,
Shade doesn't matter, heart makes the lover.
Boy, you so beautiful.

03. Kevin Devine - "All of Everything, Erased" (this spot could be taken by any of the first five tracks off Brother's Blood)

Kevin Devine - "All of Everything, Erased"I prayed for providence,
God said, "Don't pray no more.
You went and made your mess.
Keep your blame off my feet."

02. P.O.S. - "Low Light Low Life"

P.O.S. - "Low Light Low Life"It seems we've fallen out of favor, the era ended on us.
Now the money's just paper, the houses all haunted.
We had a hell of a run before it caught up.
For all the corners cut we got an avalanche of sawdust.

01. mewithoutYou - "A Stick, a Carrot & String"

mewithoutYou - "A Stick, a Carrot & String"The horse's hay beneath his head
Our Lord was born to a manger bed,
That all whose wells run dry
Could drink of his supply.

Artist of the Year

P.O.S.

Artist of the YearWith one of the best albums of the year (featuring some of the most creative limited edition packaging I've ever seen), P.O.S. breathed new life into our scene in 2009. He earned himself a new group of loyal fans, and we're all looking forward to new music from the punk rocker turned hip-hopper.

Best New Band

fun.

Best New BandWipe those tears, fans of The Format, because fun. is pretty much the sweetest musical candy you could ask for. With its catchy pop hits ("All the Pretty Girls", "Walking the Dog") and heartfelt ditties ("Light a Roman Candle With Me", "The Gambler"), fun. came roaring out of the gates with Aim and Ignite. I'm thinking fun.'s freshman album is better than either of The Format's albums.

Most Disappointing Album

Say Anything - Say Anything

Most Disappointing Album...Is a Real Boy is full of wit, vulgarity, and young honesty; some may dub it a modern classic. In Defense of the Genre overextends its reach, but at least it hits its fair share of high points. Say Anything is simply forgettable. We should all be glad that Max Bemis is happily married, but his latest album is a pretty sad effort.

I Don't Get It

The Dangerous Summer - Reach For the Sun

I Don't Get ItI bought Reach For the Sun because Julia Conny seemed to really dig The Dangerous Summer. I have to admit, I don't see what the fuss is about. The album isn't bad, it just isn't very creative or special. The lyrics don't do much for me at all.

Releases I Rocked in 2009 That Weren't Released in 2009

AFI - Sing the Sorrow
Alkaline Trio - Crimson
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
The Beautiful Mistake - This Is Who You Are
The Benjamins - The Art of Disappointment
Bush - The Science of Things
Butch Walker - Sycamore Meadows
Cartel - Chroma
Cary Brothers - Who You Are
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
The Early November - The Acoustic EP
Eve 6 - Eve 6
Frank Sinatra - Songs For Swingin' Lovers!
The Format - Dog Problems
The Format - Snails
Green Day - Nimrod
Gym Class Heroes - As Cruel As School Children
Incubus - Make Yourself
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced?
Jimmy Eat World - Static Prevails
John Anderson - Seminole Wind
Jonathan Vassar - The Hours and the Days
Lifetime - Jersey's Best Dancers
Midtown - Save the World, Lose the Girl
Muse - Absolution
MxPx - Teenage Politics
The Narrative - Just Say Yes
Ramones - Greatest Hits
Ramones - Ramones
Saves the Day - Can't Slow Down
Various Artists - La Bamba Original Soundtrack
Weezer - The Lion and the Witch

Released I Rocked in 2009 That Weren't Released in 2009Here are the quality albums and EPs I listened to for the first time in 2009. Well, a few of them I'd heard before (Green Day - Nimrod), but for the most part they were brand new listens for me. Pet Sounds is the first MP3 album I've purchased, and it opened up a new door for me when it comes to buying music. Gotta love Amazon MP3's awesome sales.

Crazy F@&%ing Song/Video I Couldn't Help But Love

Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance"

Crazy F@&%ing Song/Video I Couldn't Help But LoveLady Gaga fascinates me. The outfits, the lyrics ("disco stick" is a hilarious euphemism), the fact that she actually sings live - what kind of pop artist does she think she is?? She's definitely an oddball, a throwback to some great showmen who came before her, namely Freddie Mercury and David Bowie. Besides all that, songs like "Bad Romance" are way too catchy not to enjoy. Electro-funk verses combined with a traditional pop hook - consider me sold. And how about that video? It's like something Tool would think up, only less frightening and with more choreography. Yes, I am a bit googoo for Gaga.

Favorite Film

(500) Days of Summer

Favorite FilmJoseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the top young actors in Hollywood (alongside such greats as Ben Foster), so it's no wonder his performance helped catapult (500) Days of Summer to such critical acclaim. It's easy to smile from ear to ear when Gordon-Levitt's character dances through the streets after spending the night with his new lover, and it's just as distressing to watch that same joyful character's heart drop. (500) Days of Summer is a story about love that breaks away from cliche, replacing it with fresh narrative technique and a real relationship to delve in. It's lovely.

Best New TV Show

Modern Family

Best New TV ShowModern Family shines using the mockumentary format made famous by The Office, and the show's writing is near perfect. Its characters are interesting, likable, and pretty hilarious. If you haven't fallen in love with this not-so-traditional sitcom yet, you don't know what you're missing. Ed O'Neill picked the perfect time to return to the forefront of television.

Historic TV Moment

The Seinfeld Reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm

Historic TV MomentHere's something I learned in 2009: Curb Your Enthusiasm is prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay good. I'm a huge Seinfeld fan, so when I heard there was going to be a Seinfeld reunion on the HBO series, I knew it was time for me to become a Curb Your Enthusiasm fan. "The Seinfeld Reunion" actually extends to multiple episodes (not just one moment), and that's definitely something to be thankful for. Oh, and here's one more reason to check out Curb Your Enthusiasm: Leon Black is comedic gold.

Smiley That Should Be Renamed :adrian: in the Future



Keep Up with Me in 2010

AP.net Profile | Blog | Last.fm | Twitter

--

View my list from last year.

View other staff and band members' end of the year lists
Tags: absolutepunk business, aoty, best of 2010, eoty
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2009: A Year in Review
01/16/10 at 01:00 AM by Adrian Villagomez


2009: A Year in Review

Put aside that Star Trek Blu-ray, it's time to reflect on the great music that was released in 2009. I think my list of top albums this year is pretty varied, so maybe it'll help you discover some new music that tickles your fancy. Next year I hope to listen to more hip-hop (new and old) and tons of Beatles songs (want!). If you think of an album from 2009 that is sorely missing from my list, let me know.

Top Albums

30. Alex Day - Parrot Stories
29. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
28. Weezer - Raditude
27. Fake Problems - It's Great to Be Alive
26. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
25. Clipse - Til the Casket Drops
24. John Nolan - Height
23. We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls
22. Mansions - New Best Friends
21. The Swellers - Ups and Downsizing
20. As Tall As Lions - You Can't Take It with You
19. Third Eye Blind - Ursa Major
18. Little Boots - Hands
17. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
16. Ace Enders and a Million Different People - When I Hit the Ground
15. Wale - Attention Deficit
14. Heartsounds - Until We Surrender
13. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
12. Paramore - brand new eyes
11. All the Day Holiday - The Things We've Grown to Love
10. Brand New - Daisy
09. Portugal. The Man - The Satanic Satanist
08. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
07. mewithoutYou - It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright
06. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing
05. Audrye Sessions - Audrye Sessions
04. Nightmare of You - Infomaniac
03. P.O.S. - Never Better
02. fun. - Aim and Ignite
01. Kevin Devine - Brother's Blood

Top AlbumsKevin Devine, where have you been all my life? Sure, I knew your duet "Cotton Crush" with Jesse Lacey was rockin' stuff, but I did not expect Brother's Blood to be my best musical experience of 2009. And why isn't everyone gushing over how very impressive Audrye Sessions' Radiohead/Muse inspired debut album is? Spread the word! I could blab about all these albums, but I'll save you the time - spend it listening to this excellent music instead.

Top Tracks

15. As Tall As Lions - "Is This Tomorrow?"
14. The Swellers - "Do You Feel Better Yet"
13. Paramore - "Where the Lines Overlap"
12. Portugal. The Man - "Do You"
11. Nightmare of You - "Hey Sweetheart"
10. Jay-Z - "Run This Town"
09. fun. - "Be Calm"
08. Brand New - "Bought a Bride"
07. Audrye Sessions - "Dust and Bones"
06. Manchester Orchestra - "Pride"
05. Third Eye Blind - "About to Break"

Third Eye Blind - "About to Break"I was walking alone on the ocean.
I felt a fever burning up all I am.
'Cause if there's one thing that I can't stand,
It's standing next to my fellow man.

04. Wale - "Shades"

Wale - "Shades"From a light skin girl to a dark skin brotha,
Shade doesn't matter, heart makes the lover.
Boy, you so beautiful.

03. Kevin Devine - "All of Everything, Erased" (this spot could be taken by any of the first five tracks off Brother's Blood)

Kevin Devine - "All of Everything, Erased"I prayed for providence,
God said, "Don't pray no more.
You went and made your mess.
Keep your blame off my feet."

02. P.O.S. - "Low Light Low Life"

P.O.S. - "Low Light Low Life"It seems we've fallen out of favor, the era ended on us.
Now the money's just paper, the houses all haunted.
We had a hell of a run before it caught up.
For all the corners cut we got an avalanche of sawdust.

01. mewithoutYou - "A Stick, a Carrot & String"

mewithoutYou - "A Stick, a Carrot & String"The horse's hay beneath his head
Our Lord was born to a manger bed,
That all whose wells run dry
Could drink of his supply.

Artist of the Year

P.O.S.

Artist of the YearWith one of the best albums of the year (featuring some of the most creative limited edition packaging I've ever seen), P.O.S. breathed new life into our scene in 2009. He earned himself a new group of loyal fans, and we're all looking forward to new music from the punk rocker turned hip-hopper.

Best New Band

fun.

Best New BandWipe those tears, fans of The Format, because fun. is pretty much the sweetest musical candy you could ask for. With its catchy pop hits ("All the Pretty Girls", "Walking the Dog") and heartfelt ditties ("Light a Roman Candle With Me", "The Gambler"), fun. came roaring out of the gates with Aim and Ignite. I'm thinking fun.'s freshman album is better than either of The Format's albums.

Most Disappointing Album

Say Anything - Say Anything

Most Disappointing Album...Is a Real Boy is full of wit, vulgarity, and young honesty; some may dub it a modern classic. In Defense of the Genre overextends its reach, but at least it hits its fair share of high points. Say Anything is simply forgettable. We should all be glad that Max Bemis is happily married, but his latest album is a pretty sad effort.

I Don't Get It

The Dangerous Summer - Reach For the Sun

I Don't Get ItI bought Reach For the Sun because Julia Conny seemed to really dig The Dangerous Summer. I have to admit, I don't see what the fuss is about. The album isn't bad, it just isn't very creative or special. The lyrics don't do much for me at all.

Releases I Rocked in 2009 That Weren't Released in 2009

AFI - Sing the Sorrow
Alkaline Trio - Crimson
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
The Beautiful Mistake - This Is Who You Are
The Benjamins - The Art of Disappointment
Bush - The Science of Things
Butch Walker - Sycamore Meadows
Cartel - Chroma
Cary Brothers - Who You Are
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
The Early November - The Acoustic EP
Eve 6 - Eve 6
Frank Sinatra - Songs For Swingin' Lovers!
The Format - Dog Problems
The Format - Snails
Green Day - Nimrod
Gym Class Heroes - As Cruel As School Children
Incubus - Make Yourself
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced?
Jimmy Eat World - Static Prevails
John Anderson - Seminole Wind
Jonathan Vassar - The Hours and the Days
Lifetime - Jersey's Best Dancers
Midtown - Save the World, Lose the Girl
Muse - Absolution
MxPx - Teenage Politics
The Narrative - Just Say Yes
Ramones - Greatest Hits
Ramones - Ramones
Saves the Day - Can't Slow Down
Various Artists - La Bamba Original Soundtrack
Weezer - The Lion and the Witch

Released I Rocked in 2009 That Weren't Released in 2009Here are the quality albums and EPs I listened to for the first time in 2009. Well, a few of them I'd heard before (Green Day - Nimrod), but for the most part they were brand new listens for me. Pet Sounds is the first MP3 album I've purchased, and it opened up a new door for me when it comes to buying music. Gotta love Amazon MP3's awesome sales.

Crazy F@&%ing Song/Video I Couldn't Help But Love

Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance"

Crazy F@&%ing Song/Video I Couldn't Help But LoveLady Gaga fascinates me. The outfits, the lyrics ("disco stick" is a hilarious euphemism), the fact that she actually sings live - what kind of pop artist does she think she is?? She's definitely an oddball, a throwback to some great showmen who came before her, namely Freddie Mercury and David Bowie. Besides all that, songs like "Bad Romance" are way too catchy not to enjoy. Electro-funk verses combined with a traditional pop hook - consider me sold. And how about that video? It's like something Tool would think up, only less frightening and with more choreography. Yes, I am a bit googoo for Gaga.

Favorite Film

(500) Days of Summer

Favorite FilmJoseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the top young actors in Hollywood (alongside such greats as Ben Foster), so it's no wonder his performance helped catapult (500) Days of Summer to such critical acclaim. It's easy to smile from ear to ear when Gordon-Levitt's character dances through the streets after spending the night with his new lover, and it's just as distressing to watch that same joyful character's heart drop. (500) Days of Summer is a story about love that breaks away from cliche, replacing it with fresh narrative technique and a real relationship to delve in. It's lovely.

Best New TV Show

Modern Family

Best New TV ShowModern Family shines using the mockumentary format made famous by The Office, and the show's writing is near perfect. Its characters are interesting, likable, and pretty hilarious. If you haven't fallen in love with this not-so-traditional sitcom yet, you don't know what you're missing. Ed O'Neill picked the perfect time to return to the forefront of television.

Historic TV Moment

The Seinfeld Reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm

Historic TV MomentHere's something I learned in 2009: Curb Your Enthusiasm is prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay good. I'm a huge Seinfeld fan, so when I heard there was going to be a Seinfeld reunion on the HBO series, I knew it was time for me to become a Curb Your Enthusiasm fan. "The Seinfeld Reunion" actually extends to multiple episodes (not just one moment), and that's definitely something to be thankful for. Oh, and here's one more reason to check out Curb Your Enthusiasm: Leon Black is comedic gold.

Smiley That Should Be Renamed :adrian: in the Future



Keep Up with Me in 2010

AP.net Profile | Blog | Last.fm | Twitter

--

View my list from last year.

View other staff and band members' end of the year lists
Tags: absolutepunk business, aoty, best of 2009, eoty
1 Comments | Add a CommentPermalink | Share | Music
2008: A Year in Music Review
12/21/08 at 11:16 PM by Adrian Villagomez


2008: A Year in Music Review

Ah, another year with AbsolutePunk.net. I'm feeling like a veteran now. I'm Adrian (in case you don't know me), and below you'll find the music that shaped me in 2008. I'm fairly sure I've listened to more new music this year than any other year of my life, and I'm hoping to dive into even more in 2009. But in case I left out your favorite artist/release/etc., let me know what a dummy I am for missing ______. See you all in 2009, and thanks for the memories.

Top Albums

25. The Scenic - Find Yourself Here
24. Rivers Cuomo - Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
23. Matt Pryor - Confidence Man
22. Fall Out Boy - Folie ŗ Deux
21. The New Frontiers - Mending
20. Right Away, Great Captain! - The Eventually Home
19. The Matches - A Band in Hope
18. Good Old War - Only Way to Be Alone
17. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
16. Augustana - Can't Love, Can't Hurt
15. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
14. Northstar - Broken Parachute
13. Ace Enders and a Million Different People - The Secret Wars
12. Tourmaline - The Swindle
11. Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak
10. Dorsey - The Skeleton Show
09. Val Emmich - Little Daggers
08. Valencia - We All Need a Reason to Believe
07. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
06. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
05. Atmosphere - When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold
04. Astronautalis - Pomegranate
03. Lydia - Illuminate
02. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
01. Forgive Durden - Razia's Shadow: A Musical

Noteworthy EPs

03. Straylight Run - Un Mas Dos
02. Manchester Orchestra - Let My Pride Be What's Left Behind
01. A Great Big Pile of Leaves - The Fiery Works II

Noteworthy EPsI only listened to a handful of EPs this year, so here they are. Funny enough I ended up reviewing two of them. All three are worth a try, but make sure you download The Fiery Works II for free. Nothing to lose, and as you can read below, it contains one of my favorite songs of the year.

Top Tracks

10. Matt Pryor - "Where Did I Go Wrong"
09. Lydia - "This is Twice Now"
08. Forgive Durden - "Meet the King"
07. A Great Big Pile of Leaves - "Drought of Snow"
06. Valencia - "All at Once"
05. Astronautalis - "The Wondersmith and His Sons"

Astronautalis - "The Wondersmith and His Sons"I am a lover, lady,
Who sees just what you dream.
I know you're going crazy
Livin' with him and without me.
You trust me, don't you baby?
Yeah, you'd hand your life to me.

04. Conor Oberst - "Danny Callahan"

Conor Oberst - "Danny Callahan"There's no system, there's no guarantee
That the love you feel you carry inside can be passed.
But you try, I know you do, you still talk to your plants.
Ask, "How are you gettin' on alone?"

03. The New Frontiers - "Black Lungs"

The New Frontiers - "Black Lungs"If I was blind,
Said that everything's fine,
Would you kick me out the back door?
Or would you show me what I'm looking for?

02. Atmosphere - "Dreamer"

Atmosphere - "Dreamer"Little girl was her first reason to breathe,
And her little man was the first man she believed in.
She gotta live right and do right by self.
She do for self, she don't want your help.

01. The Gaslight Anthem - "Great Expectations"

The Gaslight Anthem - "Great Expectations"I saw tail lights last night in a dream about my first wife.
Everybody leaves, and I'd expect as much from you.
I saw tail lights last night in a dream about my old life.
Everybody leaves, so why, why wouldn't you?

Best Cover Art

10. Young Widows - Old Wounds
09. Search the City - A Fire So Big the Heavens Can See It
08. The Human Abstract - Midheaven
07. Lydia - Illuminate
06. Transistor Transistor - Ruined Lives
05. God is an Astronaut - God is an Astronaut
04. Johnny Foreigner - Waited Up Til It Was Light
03. Blacklisted - Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God
02. Wolftron - Flesh & Fears
01. Sleepmakeswaves - In Today Already Walks Tomorrow

Best Cover ArtA note to bands that actually care about having their cover art make it onto my end of the year lists: if the central figures on your respective covers have their arms spread out wide, they have a good chance of landing you a spot in my top five. I haven't listened to most of these albums yet, but I sure am interested after being taken in by their covers.

Best Music Video

Manchester Orchestra - "I Can Barely Breathe"

Runners-Up:

Manchester Orchestra - "Golden Ticket"
Manchester Orchestra - "Now That You're Home"

Best Music VideoA dark spin on The Wizard of Oz, a drawn bird flying to life across pages, and a stop-motion lumberjack with one lofty goal - Manchester Orchestra's music videos are an unusual blend of creativity and graphic savvy. Enjoy them, and make sure to pick up the band's album I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child if you don't own it yet.

Band of the Year

Forgive Durden

Artists Discovered (Past and Present)

+44
Ace Enders and a Million Different People
Aqualung
Astronautalis
Atmosphere
Augustana
Autopilot Off
Blackpool Lights
Bon Iver
Conor Oberst
The Gaslight Anthem
Good Old War
The Graduate
A Great Big Pile of Leaves
The Hold Steady
The Kooks
Lydia
Matt Pryor
Modest Mouse
The New Frontiers
Radiohead
Right Away, Great Captain!
Tourmaline
Val Emmich
Valencia
Vampire Weekend
Wolftron

Artists Discovered (Past and Present)Here are the "new" artists I listened to in 2008. Some of these artists are brand new (like Good Old War), but most of them were established before 2008. I'm not attempting to pass off the older artists as newly established, I'm simply listing off what's new to me. Of course I heard some of these artists before 2008 (see: Radiohead), but it was this year that I finally listened to one or more of their albums/EPs. As you can tell by the list, it's been a great year for discovery.

Best New Feature on AP.net

Amazon MP3 Deal of the Week

Best New Feature on AP.netI'm a big fan of Amazon.com, so of course I was excited when Jason let the staff members know that we were going to be teaming with the uber-popular online retailer. Now we're working with Amazon MP3 to "bring inexpensive, high-quality, DRM free music to our readers" - how wonderful. This means we can give readers the heads up when our favorite albums (example 1, 2) are available for download at about the price of a Happy Meal. Make sure to keep up to date with these deals, and also check out AbsolutePunk.net's Recommended Listening. We know what good is.

AP.net Thread of the Year

Lol Wut

Runner-Up:

Thursday - Common Existence - Feb 17th

AP.net Thread of the YearAP.net and Amy Hopler. Amy Hopler and AP.net. It's cyclical, it's disturbing, it's funny as hell. If you're looking for a twisted romance heavily steeped in AbsolutePunk.net "epic" history, make sure to read the first post by anamericangod in "Lol Wut." And if you want to skip ahead to the fireworks in "Thursday - Common Existence - Feb 17th," check this out.

Most Anticipated Releases of 2009

16. I Am the Avalanche
15. Third Eye Blind
14. New Found Glory
13. Saves the Day
12. Two Tongues
11. Say Anything
10. +44
09. Kevin Devine
08. Radiohead
07. The Decemberists
06. Straylight Run
05. mewithoutYou
04. Fun
03. Manchester Orchestra
02. Bright Eyes
01. Brand New

Smiley That Should Be Renamed :adrian: in the Future



--

View my list from last year.

View other staff and band members' end of the year lists
Tags: absolutepunk business, aoty, best of 2008, eoty
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2007: A Year in Music Review
12/25/07 at 11:02 AM by Adrian Villagomez


2007: A Year in Music Review

June 4th, 2007 was a glorious day for me. It's the day I jumped around my apartment like a lunatic because I found out I was hired on absolutepunk.net. Now here I am making my first end of the year list; it's an exciting time. I've always been more comfortable slowly adding to my music collection, usually looking back at old material rather than checking out the latest releases. I promise I'm going to make efforts to change that in 2008. So for now please enjoy the categories found below, and if you feel especially passionate about an artist/song/release I've failed to mention, let me know so I can give them some attention next year. A big thank you goes out to everyone who made this a great year for me on the site.

Top Albums

10. Rivers Cuomo - Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
09. The New Amsterdams - At the Foot of My Rival
08. Fall Out Boy - Infinity on High
07. David Shultz and the Skyline - Sinner's Gold
06. Say Anything - In Defense of the Genre
05. Saves the Day - Under the Boards
04. Kanye West - Graduation
03. Dorsey - The Long Goodbye
02. Yellowcard - Paper Walls
01. Straylight Run - The Needles the Space

Top AlbumsThe only album that was easy for me to rank in this list was Straylight Run's The Needles the Space. As someone who was disappointed with their first self-titled release, I was blown away at the leaps this band made the second time around. I've been an advocate of John Nolan for a long time now, but his sister Michelle deserves much of the attention as well, because she has grown into her own and adds real beauty to the band's sound. I recall recommending this album in my blog one week, and backsliding two weeks later to recommend it again. It's been the number one album spinning in my car this year, and that means a lot coming from someone who looks forward to driving while listening to great music the radio is too foolish to pick up.

Band of the Year

Straylight Run

Band of the YearOn December 8, 2007 Straylight Run were dropped from Universal Records. This is further proof record labels are not to be trusted. The Needles the Space is an album I'll still be listening to years down the road; it will not be forgotten. I know this year hasn't been easy on them, but they're only going to come back stronger.

Favorite Songs

Dorsey - "Strawberries and Peaches"

Lyrics ExcerptWell I've got my head
All spinnin' in the clouds again
The lord above just took me up
Then he, then he brought me back
Back down again

Sweet devil, take me home
I wanna get back to my rose
Sweet devil, lord
Lord, take me home

Say Anything - "Shiksa (Girlfriend)"

Lyrics ExcerptI remember it vividly, love
Iíve been walking erect since the moment we met
And I caught your eye to my surprise (your white thighs)
Hebraic neuroses ceased to be
An angel's conversing with me
The new attractive to me is divine

And even if your friends donít understand
No matter what Iíll always be your man
Even if you go, you know youíll leave me feeling grand

Straylight Run - "The First of This Century"

Lyrics ExcerptAnd I yelled to my friends, "It'll all be okay"
But they didn't believe me, they still don't today
And they never do anything they haven't before
In the same solemn room with no lock on the door

And over and over and over again
The same failed solutions to all the same problems
Scream why, why, I can't understand
Why the things that I do never go as I planned

Best Album Art

Radiohead - In Rainbows

Best Music Video

Kanye West - "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (featuring Zach Galifianakis and Will Oldham)

Best Record Label

None (see: In Rainbows)

Best Record Label"And it's sort of a shame [In Rainbows didn't make more of an impact], because people in the industry ó including those major-label bastards in their ivory towers ó were watching. And the end result of all our squabbling seems to only reinforce their point of view that every artist needs a major to help guide them. But then again, it's also not, because it also showed those same industry suits just how incredibly pissy and insufferable we can be when we really set our minds to it. We've actually got the power to kill careers if we decide to (see Pitchfork's "chimpanzee peeing in his own mouth" review of Jet's Shine On for further proof of this point). We only need to get our sh-- together long enough to do it." - James Montgomery

Tour of the Year

Brand New/Thrice/mewithoutYou

Best Staff Moments

Talking Spider-Man with Jason Tate, canoodling with Anton Djamoos and Julia Conny, hiding in a bubble shield with Tom Good, hanging out with Jon Lally on Yellowcard's bus, looking for trouble with Blake Solomon, and attempting to get Drew Beringer an ap.net hookup at the To Write Love on Her Arms tent only to fail miserably.

A Fond Farewell

The Early November

A Fond FarewellAce Enders had a vision for his band. The Early November's triple disc concept album and final release The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path branched out in directions outside of the band's safe zone and actually made an effort to tell a story. It would've been interesting to find where the band would go next, but sadly, their own story came to a close in 2007. Here's to South Jersey's The Early November and all their accomplishments - hopefully we'll get a reunion out of these guys sooner rather than later.

Favorites Artists Discovered (Past and Present)

David Shultz and the Skyline
Dorsey
The Format
Manchester Orchestra
The Matches
mewithoutYou

Favorite Artists DiscoveredThis year has been fantastic for me when it comes to finding artists I've missed in previous years. According to my iTunes, I've listened to two David Shultz songs downloaded from his MySpace more than any other tracks in my music library. Dorsey are an easy going Arizona folk rock that I should be following for years to come. Everyone who knows The Format loves The Format, and I'm no exception. Manchester Orchestra are amazing. If I were a cheater like Julia, their re-release of I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child probably would have been my number one album of the year. Shawn Harris is not only a snazzy dresser, his band The Matches mix rock and pop to create some damn catchy tunes. mewithoutYou are difficult to put into words, but the words they write are some of the most refreshing I've heard all year. Their newest album Brother, Sister is close to genius. These are all artists to watch.

Thread of the Year (tie)

Attn: Adrian Villagomez
Spider-Man 3

Runner Up:

The Dark Knight

Thread of the YearAh, my initiation. The "Attn: Adrian Villagomez" thread holds a special place in my heart, and rightfully so. For those who want a summary (I get lazy, too), after I was hired Anton and Eda made a thread accusing me of locking a thread I shouldn't have locked. I plead my innocence, but they had image proof that I locked it. I was freaking out a bit, thinking someone got a hold of my password and Jason was going to fire me, when they revealed the whole thing was just a prank. I don't post in the forums as much as I used to, so this is one of the best memories I carry from the my days of posting often. It's my personal thread of the year, but I do think others could get a kick out of it.

The Spider-Man thread is self-explanatory for anyone who knows me. And even if I severely disliked the movie, the thread regulars would often shift the focus to more glorious Spider-Man works, such as the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series. For anyone wondering why "The Dark Knight" didn't make thread of the year, it's because Spider-Man is much cooler than Batman. Just ask Jason Tate.

Most Anticipated Releases of 2008

16. Modest Mouse
15. Glassjaw
14. Nightmare of You
13. Alkaline Trio
12. I Am the Avalanche
11. Kevin Devine
10. +44
09. Dorsey
08. The Format
07. Saves the Day
06. Weezer
05. The Matches
04. mewithoutYou
03. Ace Ender's solo debut
02. Northstar
01. Brand New (perhaps)

Smiley That Should Be Renamed :adrian: in the Future



--

View other staff and band members' end of the year lists
Tags: absolutepunk business, aoty, best of 2007, eoty
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