Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Real Talk: Complete Singles of the Year List

Alright, let's just get this year-end stuff out of the way. I ended up posting my top albums list over at donewaiting, where I've been writing about a post a week on topics local or current or just a little more universal that what I attempt to do at this space. Check out that list HERE. I will continue to write there for the time being, even if it does take up some of my time for pop:doug, but honestly I need to devote more time to writing in general, so hope for more on both fronts in 2008. I mean it this time.
Anyway, right now, it's time for some seven inch talk. What a great year for singles. I'm still gathering a lot of what came out this year, piecing together my paypal account and dishing it out in intervals across the land. So in that regard this list is incomplete. There will always be that one great single that I forgot about or didn't know about or didn't care for at the time. Shit, I'm still catching up with 2006 singles. And for some reason a lot of great stuff was just release this December.
If you're not buying these puppies up, I hope that you are at least checking out these bands' pages, or soulseeking your life away tracking down the music, because these go beyond the mere fetish object of the vinyl single. All are on par with the best music being made anywhere, on any format, in 2007. So here goes, my top singles for the year:

1. Eat Skull - Eat Skull 7" (Meds)
A perfect debut EP. Eat Skull flail around like it's code: red at the mental ward, medicating themselves enough to get three songs down. Here's to hoping they don't change a damn thing for their upcoming Siltbreeze LP.

2. Blank Dogs - Blank Dogs 7" (Sweet Rot)
It took me the better part of the year to get past all the blog hype and finally listen to a Blank Dogs release. I'm glad this Sweet Rot 7" was the first to stick, a perfect introduction to Mr. Blank's alien synth-pop jangle. "Outside Alarmer" is the year's prettiest tune, pretty enough to be the only song I played for ten straight days in November.

3. Tyvek - Summer Burns 2x7" (What's Your Rupture?)
Four more nails in the diy/post-punk totem pole. Tyvek warrant your immediate attention but have been doing just fine without it.

4. Factums - Factums 7" (Polly Maggoo)
Yes, the Siltbreeze LP is great, but these bad dudes seem more in control with the limited format of a 7" - much like their obvious heroes in Cab Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle.

5. Pink Reason - By A Thread 7" (Trick Knee)
I think I've written enough about Pink Reason this year. FIY.

6. Nothing People - In The City 7" (S-S)
Psychotic glam-punk for nervous nobodies, with a Roxy cover on the back side. Their single on Hozac is just as good. Another band due for a big LP next year(?).

7. Blank Dogs - Diana (The Herald) 12" (Sacred Bones)
A little more to chew on this time around, the better of two Blank Dog 12"s. It seems like he's clustering recording sessions with each release, putting 'em out as soon as they hit the tape, and this is a good thing for someone as prolific and consistently great as he is. Can't wait to see what he does for the Troubleman album.

8. El Jesus de Magico - Funeral Home Session 7" (Columbus Discount)
Finally, a piece of El Jeezy's recorded output worthy of the worship they demand on stage. Probably the most overlooked single of the year on a national level. New demos for the LP are freaking amazing.

9. Sic Alps - Strawberry Guillotine 7" (Woodsist)
It wasn't until I caught Sic Alps' transcendent live show that I understood their intentions. They take chunks of 60's gold and slather it in 90's fuzz BBQ until your eardrums pop. Much like with TNV, the juxtaposition is irresistible.

10. Times New Viking - My Head 7" (Matador)
A teaser for the front-runner of album of the year, '08. "My Head" and "RIP Allegory" now go together like weed and coffee, but you're pre-ordering this one for the B-sides. "Western Civ" was a favorite of mine when I got a copy of the Rip It Off demos, and I was surprised they left it off the album.

11. TV Ghost - Atomic Rain 7" (Die Stasi)
The youth of America? There is hope. TV Ghost ripped through '07 with this single and a house show-ready live set. One time I saw the guitarist smile. Their upcoming LP should redefine Midwestern angst.

12. Wooden Shjips - SOL '07 (Sick Thirst/Holy Mountain)
In hindsight, the LP was a tad disappointing. I admire what they attempted with the opportunity: a high-fi version of their Les Rallizes-Kraut-Summer of Love hybrid. Sometimes trying to satisfy all of Julian Cope's sensors doesn't always work out. But the Shjips had two heady doses of 7" in them, this being the best of 'em, a single fuzz stretched over two sides. Still, they've yet to re-capture the perfection of their first 10".

13. Catatonic Youth - Piss Scene CDR (Fuck Jazz)
You could call '07 the year of the mystery myspace band. Dozens popped up, potentially all helmed by the same person, each group with a focused sound and aesthetic. I like the idea honestly, come up with a batch of two or three songs, give it a name and make it "real" online. Post-modern pop at its finest. That said, CY tapped into the stoned 80's West Coast hardcore fringes, shorts and flannel and Sweet records. I want more.

14. Los Llamarada - The Very Next Moment 7" (S-S)
Mexico's answer to....everything? I hear something different every time I play this. They seem like such nice, unpretentious, youthful individuals for kicking out such dirty, sexy stuff. If you don't like this and the LP I suggest you...go listen to your Liars records or something (I'm out of cute things to say today).

15. Night of Pleasure - Night of Pleasure 7" (Columbus Discount)
Awesome single no. 3 from the CDR HQ. NoP smother Columbus' punk past and spit on its inbred corpse. They are better than ever and have been stretching out their sound over 30 minute sets lately. Could bring a banger of an LP in '08.