Album of the Year
1. Lil Wayne - Da Drought 3
2. The National - Boxer
3. St. Vincent - Marry Me
4. Jay-Z - American Gangster
5. Kanye West - Graduation
6. Tegan and Sara - The Con
7. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
8. Pharoahe Monche - Desire
9. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
10. MIA - Kala
I realize it's highly controversial to pick a mixtape as my favorite album of the year, but put simply, there's nothing I enjoyed more in 2007. As good as Boxer and Marry Me are, Wayne took it to levels I didn't even know existed with his wordplay, references and most importantly, his unbridled enthusiasm and enjoyment for his art. His work ethic is unmatched, his excitement is contagious and for me, he's all around undeniable.
My #11-20 picks include near misses like Vampire Weekend, Feist, Marissa Nadler, Jens Lekman, Bright Eyes, Elvis Perkins, and Kevin Drew.
Gig of the Year?
1. Girl Talk - 9th February, 2007 - Studio B, New York, NY
2. Kevin Drew / Broken Social Scene - 14th November, 2007 - Webster Hall, New York NY
3. The Mountain Goats - 2nd October, 2007 - Studio B, New York NY
Three fan favorite filled encores from John Darnielle; Kevin Drew featuring Spiral Stairs (of Pavement) and Emily Haines (of BSS and Metric) for nearly two and a half hours breezing through Spirit If... and treating us to the Scene's greatest hits; Girl Talk in a packed dance club = pure insanity. 'Nuff said.
Song of the Year
1. LCD Soundsystem - 'All My Friends'
2. UGK ft. OutKast - 'International Players Anthem (I Choose You)'
3. Jens Lekman - 'A Postcard to Nina'
A truly epic and affecting song, James Murphy is a master of bottling nostalgia in a way that feels neither contrived nor conventional. While Andre 3000's opening verse in 'International Players Anthem' was one of the most joyous pop moments, never leaving me anything but elated, 'All My Friends' made me yearn for things I didn't even know I was missing.
Artist/Band of the Year
The artist of the year was Lil Wayne, without question. With innumerable mixtapes, guest appearances and random mp3s he became an omnipresent force in rap music. More importantly, he embraced the internet age -- he managed all of this without releasing an album, but through a constant stream of downloadable, shareable music all the while insisting that the only thing that mattered was people hearing it. Hear it they did and minds were blown as he reinvented the rap metaphor, manipulated his froggy voice in countless ways and built a mythic persona for himself.
Best Local album - New York
Without counting Animal Collective or the National, who occasionally call NYC home, I'll go with A Place to Bury Strangers' self-titled debut. A New York City band through and through with a terrifying roar, making shoegaze scary by devouring the pretty parts, gnashing them up and spitting them back out.
Disappointing Album of the Year
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
What are you looking forward to in 2008?
The explosion of Vampire Weekend and/or Born Ruffians, hopefully both. Dr. Dre's Detox and G'n'R's Chinese Democracy, but most of all Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III.
Main Drag All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem cover)