2007 was a great year for hardcore music junkies such as myself. Today, as the year comes to an end, I wanted to highlight some of the best songs to pass through my ear canals. So here it goes...
Best Live Performance: Daft Punk's Alive 2007
Daft Punk will probably come to be known as the best electronic music artist of my generation. Their albums should be a staple to anyone's music collection. You have to respect these guys as artists; they perform because they love what they do. Remaining largely anonymous, other from knowing their actual names, the general public knows very little about these two. We only know them as the robots, appearing in a giant laser-light-show-adorned pyramid, putting on one of the greatest shows you'll ever experience.
I was lucky enough to see Daft Punk at Lollapalooza and I have to say: if you think a live DJ show might be boring think again. There is a reason they call their tour Alive - that's exactly how you'll feel.. to the 10th exponent. I chose the encore set they played as my favorite live performance - it mixes some new music with their older Stardust songs and was new to this year's tour.
Best House/Techno: D.A.N.C.E. by Justice
Leaving right off from Daft Punk. Justice is the artist on Daft Punk's label Ed Banger records that got loads of attention this year. Probably the best house to come out of France since Daft Punk, Justice's album Cross is indeed worthy of your music collection. One of my favorite track's from the Album was D.A.N.C.E. which is intended to be a tribute to Micheal Jackson back when he was in the Jackson 5. ABC 123 ring a bell?
Best Folk: Paranoia in B Flat Major by The Avett Brothers
Watching the Avett Brothers guys perform live here in Phoenix and again when I was out in Seattle was a real treat. These three guys can really rock out! Sporting a banjo, guitar, and bass the three brothers sing, play, and perform foot percussion in a high energy style. Their 2007 Emotionalism was my favorite album from this year, Paranoia in B Flat Major combines their excellent lyrics with the fascinating dynamic of their new music.
Best Rock Song: Cruiser by The Valley
If you want a song you can totally rock out to look no further. The Valley is another new artist popping out of Seattle and their song cruiser is one of the sweetest rock songs ever. I don't need to say much about this one. Just download the MP3 off the KEXP blog you'll see what I mean.
Best Hip-Hop: Certified Air Raid Material by DJ edIT
I didn't hear this one until recently. I hadn't heard much unique hip hop music and up until hearing this album was pretty much dead set on nominating Brother Ali as my choice for this year. However, once being subject to the aural roller-coaster ride this LA based DJ has produced there is no denying that this is one of the coolest hip hop records you'll hear from this year. Don't pass this one up, if you're a fan of experimental hip hop artists like Prefuse 73 or RJD2 you'll definitely enjoy this album.
Best Brit-Pop: Backfire at the Disco by The Wombats
The Wombats are a brand new band coming out of Britain. I first heard this track on KEXP's music that matters podcast and got addicted to their signature howling. You can find this song on The Wombat's debut album that just came out last month.
Overall Favorite Song of 2007: White Winter Hymnal by the Fleet Foxes
The Fleet Foxes are an up and coming band from Seattle. This song really took me by surprise. I can keep listening to it and it doesn't get old. The band has a great relaxed sound that's truly unique to them. White Winter Hymnal creates a vibe that just let's you kiss all of your worries goodbye. This was hands down, my favorite song from this year and I'm looking forward to much more from the Fleet Foxes next year.