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Best of 2007. Pt. 1

December 28, 2007

My favorite new music of the year, in four parts.

By new music, I mean music that was new to me in 2007, not just music that was released this year. If you’re wondering how some of this could have escaped me when it was first released, the answer is that I don’t listen to the radio. (I’m sorry, Ang!)

January
Betty Hutton – Blow a Fuse
The original song behind Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet,” released in 1948. I will always associate this one with a photohunt in the driving snow in Bellefontaine, Ohio.
Bow Wow Wow – Fools Rush In
A Sinatra cover, and a superior one. This comes from the Marie Antoinette soundtrack.
Joss Stone – Put Your Hands On Me

On January 31, Harry Connick, Jr. released Oh My Nola, and it became one of my favorite of his albums. I could list the whole cd here, but I’ll stick to my most-played tracks.
Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey
Working In The Coal Mine
Oh, My Nola
Take Her to the Mardi Gras
and my favorite of all,
Jambalaya

February
Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position
I downloaded this because I liked “The Libertine,” and assumed that it would be as moody; instead, I found the most upbeat, cheerful pop song I’ve heard in a long time.
Michelle Shocked – Hardcore Hornography
Her Mardi Gras single, a raw brass band tribute to New Orleans. Why can’t I find more music like this?
Susanna Hoffs – To Sir With Love
William Shatner – Common People
Once I heard this, I couldn’t be bothered with the original. Bill rocks. I love this man more every day.
Blossom Dearie – Always True to You In My Fashion
The first Dearie (yeah, that’s her real name) song I’d ever heard. Between Cole Porter’s lyrics and her presentation of them, this is 2:51 of pure wit and sophistication. I discovered this song and the vodka gimlet at the same time; together, they took the edge off a nasty winter.

March
Captain Smartypants – Xanadu
Their website blurb refers to them as “those nine homosexuals who won’t stop singing.” I love their version almost as much as Olivia Newton-John’s, and that really means something.
Blossom Dearie – Down With Love
The song used as the title music for the recent movie was actually written back in 1937; Dearie recorded this in 1958, and it’s a much shorter, faster, sparer version. I like it a lot.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Walt permalink
    December 30, 2007 5:57 pm

    I grabbed a couple of these that I didn’t have already.

    I’m sorry, and I know you love it, but Harry’s album kind of disappointed me. I don’t know what it was. Maybe the choice of songs?

    I love the Shatner version of Common People that I hunted down the original. I wish I hadn’t. It doesn’t even come close to the Shat.

  2. Dane permalink
    December 30, 2007 6:13 pm

    GASP.

    No, really, different strokes, man. Like the other one he released that day, the “Connick on piano: Chanson du Vieux Carre” – it might well grow on me, and I like his instrumentals just fine, but that one was the lesser of the two for me. It might be the choice of songs – I love the songs on it, and there are some, like Jambalaya, that I’m glad he finally got around to doing – so that might be a big part of it.

    I know, me too – I hadn’t heard Pulp’s, but people kept raving about it, so I gave it a listen, and was like, “… so what’s the big deal?” Of course, Pulp’s is just a *song*. Shatner’s is like a big musical number “with your host, WILLIAM SHATNER!”

  3. Walt permalink
    December 30, 2007 6:45 pm

    That’s a good way of looking at it. Pulp gives you a music video, but Shatner gives you an entire variety show!

  4. greg permalink
    January 4, 2008 7:40 pm

    I just want to know where that Shatner cover has been all my life (ok, since 2004). I would listen to him recite a Denny’s menu set to music.

    Come to think of it, that would be pretty awesome.

  5. Dane permalink
    January 5, 2008 2:09 am

    That would be awesome. Someone needs to get him on the phone. I can already hear the dry delivery of the menu items. I’d give him $100 just to hear him say “Moon Over My Hammy” in that bemused tone.

    I have a confession to make. I am a car singer, and during the first whole month or so after discovering his version, I pretty much just hit “repeat” over and over. Yes, I barreled down 270 singing along at the top of my lungs with Joe Jackson’s part for a month.

    Bill Shatner is my co-pilot.

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