Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Top Five Tuesday:
2008 Wishlist

Another day, another new weekly theme to introduce to all of you. This one, like so many other blog posts and random points of conversation around the office, was inspired by the movie High Fidelity. Each week one of us Rangers will bring you a new top five, and honestly, if we haven't proved to you just how geeky we are yet, these Top 5's will probably seal the deal. Feel free to geek out with us with your comments though, just so we know we're not alone.

Now, on to this week's Top 5. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm a little 2007'd out right now, so initially I thought about doing a top 5 of 2008 albums I'm most looking forward to hearing, but even that seems a bit redundant considering you've probably read the same thing over at Stereogum or your neighbor's blog. Instead, my list consists only of artists that really ought to release an album this year, whether any of them are actually planning to or not. So, without further ado, here's Range Life Music's first Top 5 of 2008.

5). Belle & Sebastian
Yes, I'm aware that Life Pursuit isn't quite 2 years old yet (though it is getting awfully close...), so naming Belle & Sebastian in this list is merely based on my current obsession with them at the moment. It started with the inclusion of "Your Cover's Blown" on a New Year's mix that I made, and has snowballed from there. But even though I've been digging their whole catalog as of late, I'm still overly crazy about this particular song, so what I personally would love more than anything is for an album with more dance songs like this, because if you've ever heard "Your Cover's Blown" you know that even though the song is quite a departure (or was, then came The Life Pursuit, which was all over the place), it's also quite brilliant. Hell, I'd even take a Books style EP, as it seems Belle & Sebastian are one of those bands that hides their gems on singles and collections.

4). Sufjan Stevens
Like Belle & Sebastian, Sufjan's latest proper effort isn't even two years old, and if you count Avalanche and his Christmas box set, the releases are even more recent. Still, if Sufjan plans on ever finishing the Herculean task of recording an album for every state, then he's got some major catching up to do.

3). David Bowie
Mr. Iman may be decades removed from releasing his best material, but that's a moot point. This is David Bowie, after all, does he really have to prove anything to anyone at this point in his career? Still, I'd be the first to admit that Bowie's last album was in need of a spark, so ideally this hypothetical David Bowie album would be produced by Dive Sitek, and have guests like TV on the Radio, Arcade Fire, of Montreal, and any other relevant band that has ever been influenced by a Bowie album at some point (which would be, like, everyone). I know, I'm really reaching with here, but if Johnny Cash can re-invent himself with Soundgarden covers and Fiona Apple collaborations, David Bowie should have no problem with Flaming Lips covers and duets with James Murphy.

2). Broken Social Scene
If 2007 was the year of the "other" bands (Kevin Drew, Feist, Do Make Say Think, Apostle of Hustle come to mind), then surely 2008 would mean the return of Broken Social Scene, right? Doubtful, as most of those bands/artists will probably (and rightfully) build on their own successes into this new year, while Jason Collett and (supposedly) Brandon Canning will release their own albums early on as well. Still, I'd be lying if I didn't say that as much as I like the "other" bands, I'm still lying in wait for a fourth Broken Social Scene record to come along and blow me away.

1). Olivia Tremor Control
In 2005, Olivia Tremor Control, which I still regard as one of the most underrated bands to ever put songs to tape, reformed for a brief tour, and rumors quickly swirled that they would finally record a follow up to 1999's excellent Black Foliage. For yours truly, seeing them in concert alone was a dream come true, but the rumors of a new album nearly made my heart stop. For starters, the fact that they actually reunited for a time made these rumors seem plausible, unlike the quickly rebuffed Neutral Milk Hotel reunion rumors that circulated in the summer of 2006. Also, unlike Neutral Milk Hotel, I feel like Olivia Tremor Control have some unfinished business to settle. Don't get me wrong, I love Neutral Milk Hotel with all my heart and soul, but you can't tell me that the final noises you hear on Aeroplane, Jeff Mangum setting his guitar down and walking away, wasn't the perfect ending considering Jeff Mangum has essentially walked away from making music again (at least in terms of recording/releasing/performing his own material). "Hilltop Procession," the final track on Black Foliage, is a great ending track too, but not one that gives closure the same way "Two-Headed Boy Part 2" does. Granted, there are plenty of bands that break up without ever granting any closure to their fans, or even themselves, and I realize that I'm being incredibly selfish in stating that Olivia Tremor Control should release a new album this year. But fuck, they really should release a new album this year. Really.


Femme Fatale said...

I've been listening to a lot of Belle & Sebastian lately, too... although that Christmas song they did kind of turned me off to them in recent weeks ("Are You Coming Over for Christmas?"... or whatever it's called). I guess, what Christmas songs don't suck?

Olivia Tremor Control...this is a wishlist, huh? :) Hey, if MBV lives up to their claims of a new album, who knows what other long lost bands might follow suit?

Femme Fatale said...

P.S. Thanks for the graphic, Josh!

The Moon said...

The Circulatory System should be releasing a new album this year... check out www.cloudrecordings.com

SonicRyan said...

Nicole - Yes, this is essentially a wishlist. And I thank you too, Josh.

Moon - Not a huge fan of Circulatory System. They're good, but to me they're like a robot lion where OTC is the fully formed Voltron.