SevenTenTwelve’s Favourite 7″ Records of 2007

This time of year we are faced with many arbitrary lists. Especially music geeks (I think we have High Fidelity to blame for this mess), who love nothing more than collecting, cataloging and ranking their music. I am no different. The criteria for ranking these 7″ records are 1) quality of the music 2) overall presentation. This is why two singles series rank so highly

10. Fabulous Diamonds – S/T 7″


This band is going to be worth following in the next year – they are doing everything they shouldn’t be, and making it sound good.

9. Wooden Shjips – Summer of Love (Sol 2007)

I came late to the Wooden Shjips party, and it is difficult to predict how this is going to hold up  – the singles thus far have been ace, but the full length was kind of a snore.

8. Abe Vigoda – Animal Ghosts 7″

“Animal Ghosts” is everything I like about music – short, snotty bursts of melody. Like I said before, these guys are going to blow up.

7. LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends (w/ John Cale and W/ Franz Ferdinand) 7″

The last thing that anyone needs at this point is some asshole online telling you how amazing LCD Soundsystem are, or how good “All My Friends” is. Yet, these are worth paying the overseas cost for the covers done by John Cale and Franz Ferdinand (whose version I actually like more than LCD’s).

6. Prinzhorn Dance School (series): “You are the Space Invader” + “Up! Up1 Up!” + “Crackerjack Docker”

These three singles are all you ever need of Prinzhorn. Listening to the full length will annoy the shit out of you; listening to the singles will bring joy to your heart. All featuring hand-made (purses?) done by Suzy Horn. These singles are a hit at house parties.

5. Pet Politics – The Spring 7″

This music here is amazing, but it is the packaging that sells this one. Circular, shell like sleeves with some really nice art, The Great Pop Supplement does it again.

4. Times New Viking – My Head 7″

Christ this is good – can’t get enough of this band, and am spending way too much time right now tracking down their other 7″‘s. Matador sold out of these before they were even released, and I do say that very few bands have got me as excited this year.

3. The Ostrich – S/T 7″


I meant it when I said that this is the best Canadian 7″ I have heard this year (from a Calgary band, no less!). Dark, world weary garage-pop, this single says everything to me about my life, and I can’t wait to hear more. Don’t sleep on this.

2. Shocking Pinks (series)

Shocking Pinks totally blew me away this year – these 7″ singles each sound like different bands, with the common denominator being that the songs are all really good. Apparently, there is a box-set of all the 7″s now, but I have yet to see that.

1. No Age (series)

This is the series that renewed my faith in record collecting. Without a doubt my favourite release this year.

Other Singles I loved this year:

The Electric Bunnies- “Eskimo” 7″

Shearing Pinx- “Caves” 7″

Blank Dogs- “Dianna (The Herald)” EP

El Jesus De Magico- “Funeral Home Session” 7”

The Retainers- “She Likes To Get Attention” 7”

Cheveu- “My Answer Is…” 7

Joy Division – Sordid Sentimental Reissue 7″

Dan Deacon – The Crystal Cat 7″

Hot Lixx Hulahan – S/T 7″ (“air guitar” 7″ no music on it!)

Crystal Castles / HEALTH Split 7″

Pink Mountaintops – Single Life 7″

LCD Soundsystem / Arcade Fire Split 7″

Mutators – Paper Words 7″

Why – The Hollows 12″ (US)

a1: The Hollows
a2: By Torpedo Or Crohn’s (a remix by Dntel)
b1: Yoyo Bye Bye (a cover by Xiu Xiu)
b2: Pre-teen Apocalyptic Film Acting (Medley) (a cover by Half-handed Cloud)
Order directly from Anti-Con! (or get the UK version from TomLab)

Listen to “The Hollows” on some random blog!

This is Yoni Wolf (cLOUDDEAD, Hymie’s Basement, Reaching Quiet) and his brother playing really dark indie-style music – and it really works nicely. Just really solid songwriting and sharp production.  There are two versions of this – the US version is the one I have, with all of the remixes being interesting enough (and the Xiu Xiu cover is worth a listen), but you are going to want this for “The Hollows,” which is worth tracking down both versions for.

The US version comes in Orange (1000 copies), and the UK  version is in Purple (500 copies).

Upcomming: Jay Reatard 7″ Series on Matador?

According to the Matador Blog:

we’re pleased to announce Matador will be releasing six limited edition singles in 2008 by the wildly prolific Jay Reatard.

Manufactured quantities of each single will diminish with each successive release. We’ve not figured out the exact scheme yet, but given our commitment to the customer-always-being-angry, rest assured the numbers will be lower than you’d like.

For those not nearly hung up on the collector skum scenery, all 6 7″’s will be compiled for a subsequent CD and LP release.

Jay is another guy who I’ve totally slept on. Is it just me, or does this “plan” of Matador’s seems pretty hairbrained (dimishing returns? Why?); at the same time, it kind of sounds like fun. Sure to lead to some A++ eBay sellers in the near future writing: “JAY REATARD!!! ALL 6 in the SERIES!!! NEVER BEEN PLAYED!!!!”

Pink Reason – S/T 7″

a: Throw it away
b1: Slate Train
b2: New Violence
Purchase re-press directly from Criminal IQ

French Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has a bit in one of his books where he talks about “selection/evaluation” – in that, with so much coming at us, it is impossible to account for all of it, so we end up tuning out large chunks of information. Pink Reason is a great example of this. Times New Viking, a band I have been really going crazy over in the last couple of months are one of the four or five bands that have put out LP’s on Siltbreeze, alongside Psychedelic Horseshit (who I have also been getting into) and… Pink Reason. Then for some reason I am on Myspace (looking for the impossible to find Times New Viking/Psychadelic Horseshit tour only 7″), and both band’s “top ten friends” (or whatever) contain Pink Reason. I was just not seeing them for whatever reason. My selection/evaluation device was selecting and evaluating this out of my world.

Finally, someone off of the message board of people who used to be into Guided by Voices (don’t ask) posted a sendspace link to some Pink Reason mp3’s, and all it took for me to check it out was the following description: “a more traditionally musical version of Jandek’s atonal folk-blues” – and suddenly I have a new favorite band this week. I’ve spent a lot of time in the interim tracking down everything I could find (I like it when it isn’t easy, more fun that way – I just got word from trickknee that I just paid for their last copy of the “By a Thread” 7″). This 7″ especially – originally released in 2006 (but reissued this fall) is, if nothing, one of the most haunting, removed and compelling pieces of vinyl that I have heard in a long time.

Finally, last night, the Pink Reason myspace page had a bit about how the band was finished, but that blog post has been removed with a post about how one should “avoid winding up the sole member of your band. The in-fighting is much more trenchant and fierce when you’re alone.”

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Thanks to all who entered in the Times New Viking contest; I am keeping all of the entries for an upcoming “Fuck Buttons” picture 7″ contest, so stay tuned for that.

Also, look for my “Top 7″ releases to waste your days tracking down” list on Friday.

Pre / Aids Wolf – Live Dates Split 7″

Purchase from Skin Graft Records

This is a crazy release, and I am not sure what is going on here except that I am a sucker for nice packaging and a good story behind a release. Apparently, is 7″ was a Russian bootleg that was seized by Austrian customs officers. The label got permission from the bands to officially release this, and so they decided to release it with crazy packaging and extras. The bootleg label SINRAFT (ok, I just got what is going on here) hyped the release as:

HERE IS THIRD RELEASE OF ILLICIT RECORDINGS OF SINRAFT RECORDS. LIVE RECORDED ON LONDON FROM KOSTYA DROBIK. INCREDIBLE AROUSE GUARANTEES. DOUBLE SUPER LIVE RECORDINGS OF NO WAVE ROCK!!! BOTH GROUPS IN SKIN GRAFT RECORDS.

AIDS WOLF IS CRAZY BAND OF MONTREAL ON CANADA!!! (HEARING LIKE “ARAB IN RADAR”!) PRE IS MAD BAND OF LONDON ON THE GREAT BRITAIN!!! (HEARING LIKE “MELT-BANANA”!) TOGETHER IS TWICE INTENSITY!!!! BONUS IS IMPROBABLE RECORD SLEEVE CALENDAR OF PRE AND AIDS WOLF GIRLS AND BOYS NO SHIRTS IN FULL COLOURS!!!! IS SUPER SEXY 2!!!

For those of you who don’t know about AIDS Wolf, they play music that, if I’m being honest, scares me a little. It’s so crazy, so loud that I am afraid listening to it in my room will open up a portal to another dimension (or get me evicted, one or the other). The Russians describing Pre as sounding like Melt Bannana, I suppose that is about as accurate a description as you are ever going to get.

For $8, you get the 7″ which comes packaged in a 7″ x 7″ eight-page calendar sleeve with topless pictures of both bands in full-color, and mailorder copies also include a double sided PRE / AIDS Wolf poster and seizure sticker. Which is a pretty good deal if you ask me. Or, if you throw in another couple of bucks, they are going to send you the bootleg Strangulated Beatoffs 7″ as well. That’s what I did, so I’ll write about this again when it comes in the mail.

 

The Takeovers (Robert Pollard) – Little Green Onion Man 7″ (preorder)

a1: Little Green Onion Man
a2: Rich Man’s Girl
b1: Wigstomper 07
b2: Instigator

Pre-Order directly from Off Records

Another day, another Robert Pollard 7″ (my collection houses so much Pollard, they almost needs their own room). This one is another offering from The Takeovers features Chris Slusarenko, Decemberists drummer John Moen, Quasi’s Sam Coomes, and Brian Berg of 44 Long. “Little Green Onion” was originally on this year’s Takeover’s album “Bad Football” (which also had Steven Malkmus on it, and was easily in the top five things Pollard released this year).

The 7″ is coming out February 12 on Off Records, (950 CDs and 950 7″s. 500 of the 7″s are hand-numbered).

Also, first quarter 2008 will bring you the following Pollard releases (consider that Coast to Coast Tunnel of Love and Standard Gargoyle decisions was released only a few weeks ago) :

Robert Pollard – Superman Was A Rocker mini-cd/lp (Happy Jack Rock Records) late January

Psycho and the Birds – We’ve Moved full lgnth cd/lp (Happy Jack Rock Records) late February

Yet, of all the Pollard releases coming out in 2008, I am most excited about is “ Town of Mirrors : The Reassembled Imagery of Robert Pollard,” Pollards art book coming out June 2008 on Fantagraphics Books.

Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Ask Forgiveness 12″ EP

 Available from Drag City

Perhaps this is stretching the limits of this blog, but this is good enough to warrant attention, and allows me to reference the “Wai Notes” CD that came out randomly today (also available in “limited quantities” from Drag City). Two amazing Wil Oldham releases in two weeks? Are you even kidding me?

“Ask Forgiveness” finds Oldham playing eight covers alongside the freakfolkies of Espers, and sounds wonderful. Not as sinister as other Bonnie “Prince” Releases (save for the cover of Danzig’s “Am I Demon”), but a highly enjoyable listen none-the-less. If you get this album for one thing alone, it should be for his cover of R-Kelly’s “The World’s Greatest,” which continues to blow my mind.

Out of nowhere this am, I come accross “Wai Notes,” a collection of what sound like ghetto-blaster demo’s from when Oldham and   Dawn McCarthy were putting together last year’s “The Letting Go.” I tend to fall in the camp of Oldham’s fans who think that “The Letting Go” was way over produced, and I found it really hard to get into. One morning of listening to “Wai Notes” and I am obsessed. Very, very good.  This CD is available from Drag City on a “first come, first served” basis, with a note that this is “very limited,” with each cover coming with “handmade photo things” on the back. Amazing. Good old Drag City, randomly releasing things in limited quantity without telling anyone until they are sold out.

Update:  Apparently the “very limited” is 10,000 copies worldwide.