Here’s to a healthy, prosperous and culture-infused 2008…and while it’s all about looking forward, enquiring minds also want to know, as they polish off the rest of last night’s cava – what were some of your favorite musical moments of 2007? A few of my high-fives, just for grins and in no particular order, after the fabled jump…
Calvin Harris – I Created Disco. Went nuts over this winsome 23-year-old Scottish DJ/producer the moment “Vegas” wormed its way into my head and wouldn’t leave for the entire summer. The rest of the album gets two thumbs up for making those trips to the gym worthwhile and bearable, especially “Acceptable in the 80’s” and “The Girls.” Mindless beats, silly refrains, lots of falsetto and overall, infectious as all get-out. Sometimes after a full day of downer headlines, I need it – badly. Goes great with Beck’s Midnite Vultures, by the way.
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black. First time I heard “You Know I’m No Good,” I think I actually had to sit down and fan myself off. Seriously. And after seeing her picture, I found another reason to adore her so: she totally wouldn’t have been out of place as the house band’s singer in some smoky Kray Twins-era London nightclub – all black eyeliner, stiletto heels and tattoos for days. Gotta love that. Anyway, here’s hoping 2008 will be a better year for La Winehouse. Standout tracks: “Back To Black,” “Love Is A Losing Game,” and “Tears Dry on Their Own.”
A Date With John Waters. OK, I’d been on this ‘Casino’ kick and Clarence “Frogman” Henry’s “Ain’t Got No Home” got stuck in my head – and then John Waters showed up on Fresh Air talking about including it on his perversely charming and ultimate Valentine’s Day songbook for the people. Cosmic. Favorites: Ike & Tina’s “All I Can Do Is Cry,” Mink Stole’s “Sometimes I Wish I Had A Gun,” and the ultra-unsafe-for-radio track “Jet Boy Jet Girl” from Elton Motello, on which the punk rock kids in the room will recognize the same backing track as Plastic Bertrand’s “Ça plane pour moi.”
White Stripes/Beck – Conquest EP. They’re back, this time with Beck – and a kinetically catchy EP. Favorites: “Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap” and “It’s My Fault For Being Famous,” which I lovingly dedicate to the Britneys, Lindsays and Amys of the pop world, while at the same time, praying like a madwoman that in 2008, some marauding and/or flush film producer might bring these three together for a remake of ‘Beyond The Valley of The Dolls.’ Wouldn’t that just rule?
Other honorable mentions: