Welcome to my End of the Year list. Cupcakes are on the coffee table. Tell me what you agree with and what you think I'm nuts for listing. I'll tell you how to make a mean pastry, how Baltimore became my city, and why 2007 was one incredible year. Most importantly, I'll tell you that your opinion is the only thing you have in this industry, and if you sell that out, it's not worth anything anymore. Your gut is your daily planner, your keys are your Ouija board, and your ears are the map to whichever destination life takes you.
Best Albums of 2007:
1. Manchester Orchestra - I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child (re-released nationally in 2007)*
2. Say Anything - In Defense of the Genre
3. Right Away, Great Captain! - The Bitter End
4. Annuals - Be He Me *
5. The Graduate - Anhedonia
6. Weatherbox - American Art
7. The Starting Line - Direction
8. The Gay Blades - Ghosts
9. Matt Pond PA - Last Light
10. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
11. Every Time I Die - The Big Dirty
12. My American Heart - Hiding Inside The Horrible Weather
13. Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light
14. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
15. A Wilhelm Scream - Career Suicide
16. Down to Earth Approach - Come Back to You
17. Dashboard Confessional - The Shade of Poison Trees
18. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
19. Piebald - Accidental Gentlemen
20. Georgie James - Places
21. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
22. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
23. Sondre Lerche - Phantom Punch
24. Saves the Day - Under the Boards
25. Coconut Records - Nighttiming
26. Blonde Redhead - 23
27. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
28. Ted Leo - Living With The Living
29. Everybody Else - Everybody Else
30. Kiss Kiss - Reality vs. The Optimist
* I know, I know ... It's not fair to list an album that came out in 2006. Fine, whatever. But Manchester Orchestra was a late bloomer for me and technically the album still saw a 2007 release date. As per Annuals ... well, I just love it to much to not rank it up there with the rest of the year's masterpieces.
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Tegan & Sara - The Con
Feist - Reminder
The Dance Party - The Dance Party
Self Against City - Telling Secrets to Strangers
Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me
Hot Rod Circuit - The Underground Is A Dying Breed
The Spill Canvas - No Really, I'm Fine
Top EPs of 2007:
1. Matt Pond PA - If You Want Blood EP
2. The Appreciation Post - Brighter Sides EP
3. Ra Ra Riot - Ra Ra Riot EP
4. Shining Through - Man Vs. Wild EP
5. All Get Out - Spitting EP
Saddest Break-Ups of 2007:
1. Hot Rod Circuit
5. Down To Earth Approach
6. The Blood Brothers
Most Anticipated of 2008:
1. Death Cab For Cutie
2. The Jealous Sound
3. Kevin Devine
4. The Format
6. Ra Ra Riot
7. Person L
Top Songs of 2007:
1. Brand New - "Fork and Knife"
2. Right Away, Great Captain - "Badges and Badges"
3. The Graduate - "The City That Reads"
4. Weatherbox - "The Drugs"
5. The Starting Line - "21"
6. Every Time I Die - "Rendez-Voodoo"
7. Animal Collective - "Reverend Green"
8. Jimmy Eat World - "Here It Goes"
9. Coconut Records - "Nighttiming"
10. Georgie James - "Cake Parade"
11. The Spill Canvas - "All Over You"
12. Say Anything - "Sorry Dudes. My Bad."
13. Down to Earth Approach - "See You"
Favorite Shows of 2007:
1. Manchester Orchestra & Annuals @ Rock and Roll Hotel
2. Spitalfield Farewell Tour with The Forecast, & The Graduate @ The Ottobar
3. GWAR!!!! @ 930
3. Scranton, PA Warped Tour
4. Bamboozle @ Giants Stadium
5. Jimmy Eat World @ Sonar
6. Ted Leo @ 930
7. I Am the Avalanche, Four Year Strong, Daggermouth, and You Me and Everyone We Know @ Ottobar
8. All Time Low CD Release @ Recher
9. Downtown Singapore Reunion @ Ottobar
10. The Gay Blades @ Kyber Cafe
2007 Shows I'm Pissed I Missed:
1. Hey Mercedes Midwest Reunion Shows
2. Piebald & The Format @ 930 Club
3. Ace Enders, Steel Train & Kevin Devine @ The Ottobar
4. Mute Math & Eisley @ Sonar
5. Morrissey @ Rams Head Live
Favorite Movies of 2007:
1. The Kingdom
2. Across the Universe
3. Mr. Brooks
Next Big Things of 2008:
1. The Maine
2. Foxy Shazam
3. Jet Lag Gemini
4. Team Goldie
5. Down For The Count
Best Unsigned Bands of 2007:
1. The Appreciation Post
2. The Gay Blades
3. The Dance Party
Biggest/Most Influential Music-Related Moments of 2007:
1. Radiohead's In Rainbows stunt
2. OiNK and other P2P sites shut down
3. 360 deals "outed;" Madonna signs with Live Nation
4. Amazon and iTunes go head to head with DRM-free catalog
5. All the majors now recognizing/considering digital releases
6. RIAA goes to trial and wins
7. Major labels majorly downsize
8. Copyright Royalty Board locks down on online radio
9. Bloggers get legal recognition as professional journalists
10. Writer's Strike; television gets painfully boring to watch
Favorite "Other" Webzines:
1. Wired Blog
2. Ars Technica
3. Pitchfork Media
Best Record Labels of 2007:
1. Eyeball Records
2. Favorite Gentlemen
3. Doghouse Records
Under-prepared and fully-aware of the potential damage, the music industry - specifically the major labels - is headed into the mouth of the giant of the beast of the hurricane that won't stop. They say that before you succeed, you must taste the ground first, and that's just where the labels are headed. Business savvy bands will search for traditional record deal substitutes, and a sample platter of new business models will pop up. Some will see success, some will fail miserably.
The Radiohead model will backlash onto other bands that only wish they could succeed like Thom and crew, and ad-supported music technology/social networking communities might be the only model that is providing consistency (even though it does have some flaws). At least two indie labels will go all-digital. Another one or two will fold, and there will be a small rallying cry from surviving, homebody indies to their fans for support.
The RIAA will go into major attack mode, and no one with any evidence of illegal downloading will be safe. All major torrent tracking websites will go down too, which will ignite a small and relatively popular push of underground leaking blogs. Illegal downloading will not go away - nor will it ever, that is unless it is no longer illegal - but it will become harder to procure and more "dangerous." That won't stop anything. Physical music sales won't increase but live music revenue will.
Apple will roll out with something to solidify iTunes as the leading digital music distributor - lossless files, perhaps? Amazon will try to keep up but they won't, even though more people will try to cross over the other side. This may be a stretch, but I'm going to go there anyway - all iTunes music will be DRM-free.
AP.net will grow and grow and grow, and something HUGE will happen in 2008 to push us into heights we never knew we could reach. We will gain traffic rank significantly on Pitchfork Media. Brand New will either call it quits or release another album that is absolutely genius. The Movielife will reunite, and I will finally get the chance to meet Ian MacKaye/see Hey Mercedes. Bamboozle 2008 will be EPIC and in full definition of the word. I'll finally go on tour, in some form or another, and my roommate and I will pick up the pace with our baby, Passed Out Promotions. Life will be good, and I'll graduate college. I'll finish one chapter of that book I've always wanted to write.
2008 is great. Already.
Thank you guys for reading this, and thank all of your for making AP.net my favorite place to spend time, shooting around some BS.
Manchester Orchestra would have been quite high on my list too but it was a 2006 album.
What?!?!?! I thought MCS was a top-ten shoe-in, haha. Good list.
you are a CHEATER.
I couldn't agree with you more about Adelphi
Awesome list, and I too am anticipating The Jealous Sound hopefully releasing something this year
Hottest AP staff member of 2007
02) Steve Henderson
01) Julia Conny
Good list, and always a pleasure writing alongside you for another year!
Don't worry about cheating, I put Gallows in my top 10.
I love the intro paragraph. I might have to plagiarize you at some point.
Wow, that's a great intro. Julia, I'd like to hear more about this book you're working on.
That's a rad picture you used, too.
if the movielife reunites, amazing.
Brand New for best song, definatly.
but HRC as biggest dissapointment? comeee on!!!! listen to it again!
i agree with the right away great captain and manchester orchestra, i love both dearly. i was wondering is right away great captain was gonna appear on someone's list.
Psssh. Normal rules don't apply to me!!
I know, I know. I cheated, but oh wellz.
Nooo, it just didn't last the way I thought it would :-(
PS - I check your blog regularly. I've been meaning to mention that to you.
They will be missed. :bluesad: