PopWreck’s Favorite Albums of 2007 Part 2

Feist The Reminder

Few albums can top The Reminder in musicianship and instrumentation. These qualities are as important to a songwriter and canvas and brushes are to a painter. These up tempo gems highlight the arrival of a very promising and brilliant women. Who would have thought that the highlight of her career wouldn’t have been being a member of Broken Social Scene?

The Raveonettes Lust Lust Lust
On Lust Lust Lust, The Ravonettes manage to settle comfortably into a sound that most people never find the courage to attempt; simple straight forward rock. This band sees no reason for hiding behind bullshit, letting their surf rock meets new wave riffs speak of themselves on a cut that would make even The Pixies proud. Dead Sound alone is worth the cost of this disc. A Ramones influenced guitar progression bleeds into a brilliant new wave vocal pattern. Beautiful chime piano, which personally reminds me of something E from the Eels might write, creates a very charming chorus, before switching back into the top heavy verses.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Is Is

It is important that we use the word “new” very loosely when discussing the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s newest EP Is Is. The song which appear on this five song collection were all written during the band’s 2004 American tour to promote the full length album, Fever to Tell. Four of these five songs have appeared in the band’s DVD Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow. However, it has never been implied here that to be good you must also be obscure.
While Karen O and her boy toys have seemed to have mellowed a touch on IsIs, there remains plenty of amped up clinched fist women’s rock to go around. It is safe to say that Karen O still has bigger balls than most male lead singers in the business. If IsIs was reviling secrets as to what the next Yeah Yeah Yeah’s full length will represent, you can shove me on the waiting list now.

Sigur Rós Hvarf/Heim

Theoretically I shouldn’t like Sigur Rós. This is because musically I tend to rely on an artist’s lyrical strengths to determine how influential their works are on my life. That being said, we have a problem. I simply don’t speak Icelandic or whatever made up language that this band is singing in. Honestly, that proves something doesn’t it? The fact that Sigur Rós’s new album Hvarf/Heim doesn’t leave my car CD player makes it very apparent that emotion bridges the gap of language barriers. There is no need to know the exact wordings of the stories to sense the perceptual picture of what Jon Por Jonsi Briggison is painting.

Stacy Clark Apples and Oranges

If nothing else, Stacy Clark wins the award for being the most charming of the artist PopWreck has stumbled across in 2007. Clark, who speaks on behalf of agencies like Music Saves Lives, has a heart as big as her voice. That passion and emotion carries through on her album, Apples and Oranges. Clark brings to the table the impressiveness of Regina Spektor’s vocal range with the creativity of Imogen Heap’s riff progressions. An underlying composition seems to borrow pages from the Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service styling that feature somewhat passive and breathtaking songs featuring depressing heartbreaking lyrics over comforting and positive orchestration. The albums final track, “Strange,” is a prime example of this. Clark focuses lyrically on pulling the pieces of her life together, and the haunting feelings surround the act of doing so. As she’s letting go of busted parts of her past, background riffs seem to highlight the happiness waiting in her near future. Stacy’s voice is tailored for the radio; the album’s first track, “Matter of Time,” fits the general radio format, full of catchy head-nodding compositions. Apples and Oranges is just different enough from typical Clear Channel albums to lend Clark her well deserved street-cred. The highlight of the album for example, “Empty Bottles,” borrows Copeland’s unique vocal sound, as Aaron Marsh lends backing vocals to the heartbreaking duet. Marsh blends with Clark flawlessly without stepping on her toes and adds a haunting feel to an already depressing song about drinking away the hardest days life can offer. The mixing of Clark’s perfect pitch with Marsh’s signature vibrato makes for a strong enough to push its lyrical meaning, the emotions to make it cling to you, and the staying power to help you never forget it was made. These factors contribute to Stacy Clark’s ability to make one of the best albums of 2007.
And no amount of production could overshadow that.

Breaking News! Another Mugshot to Come

Actress and “It” girl Mischa Barton was arrested in Los Angeles during the early morning hours for driving under the influence and without a license. It’s also been reported that the Sheriff’s Department booked her for drug possession (prescription meds without a prescription). Bail was set at $10,000.00 and Mischa is still being held. I guess she didn’t wanna miss out on the ’07 action. Only Britney left. Four more days, honey! We all know you’ve got it in you.
I used to kind of resent the fact that she and I share the same birthday, only she’s a year younger than me and has accomplished, like, waaaaay more. Right now, I’m feeling pretty good.

The Year of the Celeb Crackdown: The Fellas

2007 wasn’t really the greatest year to be a celebrity. Of course celebs have been arrested prior to this year, but it seems as if 2007 was especially hard on its celebrity criminals. Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, and Foxy Brown all spent time in jail. Others like Naomi Campbell were sentenced to community service, which she made chicer than ever. Michael Vick lost millions and will serve time, while OJ Simpson is back on trial. Either the justice system is getting justice-ier or celebrities are just getting stupider.

SENATOR LARRY CRAIG
In June, Republican-Idaho Senator Larry Craig was arrested in an airport by a plainclothes police officer for cruising for men in the airport bathroom. The senator was charged with a misdemeanor of disorderly conduct in August and was fined $1,000.00 and sentenced to ten days in lockup. The jail sentence will be dropped if Senator Craig demonstrates good behavior for one year. He said that the officer misconstrued his actions in the restroom and that he wasn’t cruising for gay dudes in an Idaho airport. Buy some property in San Francisco or New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, you’ll have much better luck, Senator.

MICHAEL VICK
This September, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was accused of promoting dog-fighting, torturing and killing animals and involvement in illegal interstate enterprise. He was recently sentenced to 23 months in jail and three years probation — his scheduled release from jail is October 2009. The dog-fighting operation which took place on his Virginia estate was called “Bad Newz Kennels.” Three others were involved but took lesser sentences for testifying against Vick. The dogs used in the operation were raised and trained on Vick’s property in Virginia. Those dogs who failed to perform and lost fights were hanged, drowned and beat. Previously, in April, his estate was raided for drugs. Following all of his off-the-field misfortune, Vick was forced to return his bonuses for this season to the Atlanta Falcons. There is much speculation that Vick’s career as a quarterback will never recover from this scandal and his stint in prison.

OJ SIMPSON
Oh, OJ. What are we going to do with you? It’s actually a really adorable mugshot that was taken this September, like not scary at all. He kind of looks old, but he’s middle-aged, so for all purposes, it’s a decent photo. You kind of want to hug him and call him “grandpa,” I mean, totally forgetting all about those couple of murder accusations. Those were like sooo 12 years ago. This time around, the Juice was nabbed for armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy in a Las Vegas hotel in an attempt to recover his own football memorabilia.

MIKE TYSON
Mikey was busted for cocaine possession and drunk driving in November. He’s looking a little worse for the wear, although the tattoo in his facial section is slightly rad.

SHIA LaBEOUF – (11/07)
Monsieur LaBeouf was apprehended in a Walgreen’s drugstore for trespassing. He had entered the store late one night (or early one morning) in an apparently intoxicated state. He refused to leave at a security guard’s request and was escorted by the police to the station where this almost endearing mugshot was snapped.

Breaking News: Assassination

At the gym this morning, I watched as CNN announced breaking news that a suicide bomber had injured 14 people, including Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of Pakistan and of any Islamic nation. This morning her husband had confirmed that Bhutto was hit in the head and neck and was rushed into an emergency surgery.

It has recently been announced that Prime Minister Bhutto has died from the wound, which may have been either a bullet or shrapnel from the bombing. She was a fighter for democracy in her country, and for that came under more than one attack on her life. At least 14 others were killed.

The Year of the Celeb Crackdown: The Ladies

2007 wasn’t really the greatest year to be a celebrity. Of course celebs have been arrested prior to this year, but it seems as if 2007 was especially hard on its celebrity criminals. Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Foxy Brown all spent time in jail (even if it was mere minutes for La Lohan). Others like Naomi Campbell were sentenced to community service, which she made chicer than ever. Michael Vick lost millions and will serve time, while OJ Simpson is back on trial. Either the justice system is getting justice-ier or celebrities are just getting stupider.

FOXY BROWN
Rapper Foxy Brown was arrested for going nuts in a Florida beauty supply shop in February. She was in the bathroom using the store’s products when she was asked to leave because the store was closed. Foxy threw a fit and was later charged with battery and obstruction of justice for violently resisting arrest. Foxy pleaded guilty and during her trial, the rapper claimed to be pregnant in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence. It later came out that she was not pregnant. In May, a woman filed a complaint that Foxy tried to run her and her baby down but no charges were filed. In August, Foxy turned herself in for assaulting a neighbor with her Blackberry. She was sentenced to a term on Rikers Island and received 76 days of solitary confinement after exhibiting poor behavior during her lock-up.

NAOMI CAMPBELL
This British supermodel has a penchant for assaulting the help with her mobile devices. In March, Ms. Campbell was sentenced to a week of community service in New York City. While a mugshot of Naomi Campbell is hard to come by, the pictures of her during her community service. Truly a supermodel, Naomi showed up in top-of-the-line designer duds to serve her community in the city’s Department of Sanitation. To and from the garbage truck garage she served in each day, Naomi arrived and departed in a silver Rolls Royce followed, of course, by a slew of paparazzi.

PARIS HILTON
Media darling Paris Hilton was apprehended last year for reckless driving and later driving with a suspended license while on probation. She was sentenced to 45 days in jail which was reduced to a mere 23. Of the 23 day sentence, Paris spent 22 days in confinement, one of which was served in her home following a mental breakdown in the pokey. While in jail, Paris was forced to remove her extensions, read the Bible, claimed to have found God, and managed to get through it all thanks to the abundant fan mail she received. Gag me.

LINDSAY LOHAN
Girlfriend has had a bang up year. She and Britney seem to be in a race for biggest popwreck of ’07. In July (left), she was caught in a high speed chase and taken into police custody for drunk driving. Upon a pat down in the police station, L.Lo was found to be in possession of cocaine. The cocaine was located in the pants she was wearing, which she claimed were not her own, and therefore it must not be her nose candy. In November (right), Linds turned herself in for the charges racked up against her in July and served all of about 45 minutes behind bars. November’s mugshot is even white trashier than July’s, which is quite a feat. Brava, Linds. Brava.

NICOLE RICHIE
Speaking of looking a hot, white trash mess, Nicole Richie turned herself in in August for charges against her from last December. She was caught driving on the wrong side of the rode in her SUV and was suspected of driving under the influence of god knows how many different illegal substances.
After turning herself in, Richie served 82 minutes of a four day sentence. Later she got knocked up by boyfriend Joel Madden of the band Good Charlotte and is now the size of a house, which is a refreshing change of pace from the emaciated state she’s been sporting for the past couple years.

DA BRAT
Last month this rapper was booked for aggravated assault after smashing a bottle of rum in a waitress’s face. Bad service? She looks pretty remorseful. Those polka dots aren’t doing her any favors, though.

Project Runway

Okay, so this is the second week of Bravo airing a repeat of Project Runway. I’m pretty sure this hasn’t ever happened before, that the series went into reruns five episodes in. Is it in support of the writer’s strike? Does Project Runway employ writers or are they just that passionate about the rights of those in the industry?

Bravo runs an episode at least 20 more times in a given week after a new episode has aired, so what is the deal? Any helpful critters out there know what’s up?

Strictly Leakage

In an attempt to give back to his fans, something rarely seen in the music industry thanks to greedy labels and management, Atmosphere has released a thirteen song album free of charge to his fans. The album, called Strictly Leakage can be found here.

I guess it really is the season for giving. Nice going, Slug.