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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My 5 favorite bands, November 2007

It's been 6 months, so it's time again to run down my favorite bands, since they change fairly often. Except at the top, where for the past seven years my favorite band has either been Radiohead, the Dresden Dolls, or the Dave Matthews Band.

The Dolls were fairly quiet this year, releasing only one cheeky music video, "Shores of California," whose video featured the "Shoes" girl. But they've just announced a late December mini-tour, featuring a New Year's Eve show in New York City, and Amanda Palmer is busy recording her solo album in Nashville with Ben Folds, so that is likely to keep the Dolls in the top position throughout much of next year. Amanda's introspective songwriting has always been the cornerstone of the Dolls' success, and I can't wait to see how that translates to a solo record.
MP3: Dirty Business

They returned to the radar this fall with their name-your-own-price In Rainbows CD, and although I'm not joining the host of critics who think it's their best release in years (I actually believe it's their weakest since their debut), it is still great to have the world's greatest rock band back on the scene. The two best concerts I've ever seen are both Radiohead shows. Let's hope they launch an extensive U.S. tour next year.
MP3: 15 Step

The wacky dance duo released their second album Hey Hey My My Yo Yo in 2005, but only in Japan (!) Back then, I downloaded a few tracks and waited patiently for it to see the light of day here, and finally this summer the disc came out. It was worth the wait. There are a ton of happy silly pop bands around these days, but none do it as well as Junior Senior.
MP3:Itch U Can't Skratch

The more I listen to Alison, the more I adore her. Her angelic singing voice blends perfectly with her easy-on-the-ears bluegrass style. She's performed with an amazing list of people (James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Shania Twain, Sarah McLachlan), but she's just released her most shocking collaboration to date, an album with Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant. I can't stand him, but I owe it to Alison to give it a shot.
MP3: Crazy As Me

I blogged about how amazed I was by Ghostland Observatory's performance at Lollapalooza 2007, and after that show I tracked down a bunch of songs from their recent release Paparazzi Lightning, which is still in heavy rotation on my laptop. Their live show is something to behold. Aaron Behrens' dancing is transfixing. Just released: A live DVD!

Other contenders for this list: Fiery Furnaces, Architecture in Helsinki, New Pornographers, Sigur Ros, Mickey Avalon, World/Inferno Friendship Society

Link: My 5 favorite bands, May 2007

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