Wincing the Year Away

2007 in albums, mostly

What do Arcade Fire, Devendra Banhart, Chamillionaire, Steve Earle, Feist, the Frames, Fiery Furnaces, Gogol Bordello, Interpol, Kings of Leon, Bettye LaVette, LCD Soundsystem, Manu Chao, Spoon, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Tinariwen, UGK, Mary Weiss, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, and the Wu-Tang Clan have in common? In 2007, albumwise ... well, they put on great live shows.

Many of them here in Austin even.

In related news, on Dec. 10 in Stockholm, France's Albert Fert and Deutschland's Peter Grünberg won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their independent manipulation of electromagnetic fields allowing for storage of astronomical amounts of data onto minuscule hard drives. That's right, the iPod won the Oscar of the science universe. At the ceremony, accepting honors from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, it wore white. ...

Back on planet rock, Radiohead's beatific work of science fiction, In Rainbows – one of the year's best albums – never even bothered with a physical storage vessel, a free download, if you like, from cyberspace. Its Austin equivalent, meanwhile – Top 10 best – Okkervil River's The Stage Names put on a show of epic proportions without ever really acknowledging that the deluxe version of the album came packaged with a bonus disc of demos in some cases more compelling than the main attraction. Red River kids White Denim, on the other leg, stitched their triangular exuberance into local-music-scene nepotism not on outdated aluminum bit but rather on dazzling, 7-inch red-and-white vinyl. Let's Talk About It when you get your turntable fixed.

If the medium truly remains the message, "albums" will one day again be played at 33 revolutions per minute on 12-inch petroleum product, while you lie on your floor reveling in the LP art and reading liner notes/production credits without trifocals.


Top 10 National

1) Radiohead, In Rainbows

2) Band of Horses, Cease to Begin (Sub Pop)

Wincing the Year Away

3) The Shins, Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop)

4) Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum)

5) Lupe Fiasco, Lupe Fiasco's the Cool (Atlantic)

6) The Good, the Bad & the Queen (Virgin)

7) M.I.A., Kala (XL/Interscope)

8) Panda Bear, Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)

9) Sea Wolf, Leaves in the River (Dangerbird)

10) Boris With Merzbow, Rock Dream (Southern Lord)

Top 10 Austin

Wincing the Year Away

1) Okkervil River, The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar)

2) Voxtrot (Playlouder)

3) White Denim, Let's Talk About It

4) Explosions in the Sky, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone (Temporary Residence)

5) Bill Callahan, Woke on a Whaleheart (Drag City)

6) The Golden Boys, Whiskey Flower (Emperor Jones)

7) Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog (Sub Pop)

8) The Gourds, Noble Creatures (Yep Roc)

9) Brownout, Homenaje (Freestyle)

10) Krum Bums, As the Tide Turns (TKO)

10 Locals to Dig Out

Wincing the Year Away

1) Mark David Ashworth, Viceroy (Autobus)

2) Two Nice Girls, 2 Nice Girls (Seasick Sailor)

3) Gulf of Mexico, Rooms You've Never Seen Before

4) American Graveyard, Rough Around the Edges

5) Baby Robots, 10 Year High (Bunkhaus)

6) The Strange Attractors (Rare Dust)

7) Mothfight, Hopscotch 7-inch

8) Peter Stopschinski, Chamber Music (Pecan Crazy)

9) Suzanna Choffel, Shudders & Rings

10) Bettysoo, Little Tiny Secrets


Top 10 National

Wincing the Year Away

1) P.J. Harvey, White Chalk (Island)

2) M.I.A., Kala (XL/Interscope)

3) Battles, Mirrored (Warp)

4) Pissed Jeans, Hope for Men (Sub Pop)

5) Panda Bear, Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)

6) Thurston Moore, Trees Outside the Academy (Ecstatic Peace!)

7) King Khan & the Shrines, What Is?! (Hazelwood)

8) Radiohead, In Rainbows

9) Grinderman (Anti-)

10) Deerhunter, Cryptograms (Kranky)

Top 10 Texas

Wincing the Year Away

1) St. Vincent, Marry Me (Beggars Banquet)

2) Bill Callahan, Woke on a Whaleheart (Drag City)

3) UGK, Underground Kingz (Jive/Zomba)

4) The Golden Boys, Whiskey Flower (Emperor Jones)

5) Ringo Deathstarr (Spoilt Victorian Child)

6) White Denim, Let's Talk About It

7) Jana Hunter, There's No Home (Gnomonsong)

8) Lomita, Downtown Mystic (Indierect)

9) ST 37, And Then What (Noiseville)

10) Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)

Local Chorus Line

Wincing the Year Away

1) Yellow Fever EP

2) Coma in Algiers, This Is Your Justice

3) Baby Robots, 10 Year High (Bunkhaus)

4) Foot Foot, Everything Cool Has Been Canceled (Bunkhaus)

5) Brazos, A City Just as Tall (Autobus)

6) My Education vs. Dalek (Thirty Ghosts)

7) The Strange Boys, Nothing 7-inch (Dusty Medical)

8) Sparkle Motion (Super Secret)

9) The Ugly Beats, Take a Stand (Get Hip)

10) Headdress, Turquoise (Totem Songs)

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Top 10 2007, Radiohead, Okkervil River, Nobel Prize, iPod

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