I’m a little late but I’d like to present my ‘Best of’ for 2007…
Best Live Show: Manu Chao and Radio Bemba at the Los Angeles Sports Arena and Stereototal at El Rey (tie)
The best part of Manu’s show was the after party with Radio Bemba: impromptu bulerias and palmas, some Django/Manouche guitar playing, fun sing-a-longs, Leila. Drunken revelry all around. Stereototal: ditto, drunken revelry all around!
My favorite album of the year: The Knife-Silent Shout
So what if this album was released in 2006? It was my most listened to record in 2007. To be honest, I didn’t really like the album when I first heard it but it’s one of those that kinda grows on you. It goes beyond the usual electronic stuff out these days, I think it’s the bizarreness of the vocals: tweaked, modulated and at times sounding almost demonic. The structure of the songs too are very different with hooks coming in at strange places. And on top of all this, it sounds as if they have a thing for Native American music. I guess I could go and read up on all of their influences instead of speculating but the music speaks for itself.
The Best Album I Bought This Year: Son Antologia de Mexico: Huasteco
I’ve been working on a Son Huasteco post since my return from Mexico but for some reason I’ve neglected to finish it. Violins, fiddles, not sure how they are referred to in the context of Son Huasteco, all I can say is they are magnificent – listening to them gives me chills. Son Huasteco moves me in a way so few types of music can…So for now, a sample from this wonderful album:
La Rosita-Trio Renacimiento Huasteco
Favorite Song(s) of the Year: Robyn-Konichiwa Bitches, Jape-Floating, Caribou-Melody Day, Maps-You Don’t Know Her Name
Another tie! Konichiwa Bitches was a Favorite Video of the Week as well as Maps and Caribou was mentioned in the Electro-Psych post. Jape is a newcomer from Ireland, his hippie-ish, anthemic ‘Floating’ provided repeated listenings of aural joy.
Best Flamenco of the Year: Excavated Shellac’s Early Flamenco & Angelita Agujeta’s Bulerias (private juerga, Tujunga, June)
JW put together an awesome collection of Flamenco tunes collected from 78s, meticulously cleaned up, digitized and researched. Modern Flamenco wishes it could sound so good!
Dancing bulerias while a member of the Agujetas clan sings for you, how much more Flamenco can one get?
Best Party of the Year: Bookfair after party at Matt’s house in Oakland.
Cumbia dancing, comrades, hufu, discussions of the economic/cultural situation in China, 60s French Pop and drunken revelry all around!
Best Art Exhibit: Edith Abeyta’s Salty: A Tale of Three Sorrows
Tiny Sumo wrestlers clinging to sides of cups, a room made from the pages of Marie Antoinette’s diary, piles of delicately crafted ceramic bones, graffitied hankies, textual embroidery and an assortment of lovely handmade artifacts. Her work is always an inspiration. Check out Marshall Astor’s photos.
Best Blog of the Year: Chanfles!
Y’all know! His Eastside 101 posts on Metroblogging LA put the uninformed on check and plus, he has his own distinct style and voice (who hasn’t bitten his photo essay style?) that’s finally getting recognized.
More ‘Best of’ to come…