Filed under: feature, special | Tags: afrirampo, alan pedder, albums of the decade, alex ramon, au revoir simone, carina round, charlotte richardson andrews, chris catchpole, hanne hukkelberg, invincible, josephine foster, laura veirs, leila, mariza, marnie stern, múm, meshell ndegeocello, metric, mika miko, mirah, missy elliott, nellie mckay, shiina ringo, stina nordenstam, tegan and sara, the cardigans, the indelicates, trevor raggatt, trey cregan, vivian girls, wears the trousers magazine, yo! majesty, yoko ono
As other people have already noted, among the rash of lists proclaiming the best albums and artists of the ’00s, the majority all had one thing in common: a distinct and depressing lack of albums by solo female artists and by female-fronted bands. We had anticipated a representation rate of between 20% and 30%, but it turned out to be even lower. NME and Rolling Stone awarded a lousy 12–15% of spots to women, and even Paste magazine, who often champion many of the artists Wears The Trousers holds dear, could barely scrape 14%.
In mid-November, eight Wears The Trousers writers and editors gathered around a table at the Candid Arts Centre in Islington, where we spent a long afternoon debating the 300+ nominations for albums of the decade gathered from all our contributors. More than six hours later, we had come up with a rough outline of the 100 albums we thought were worthy of championing. Inevitably, some painful sacrifices were made, evident in the fact that only three artists were permitted to have two entries in the list, and some additional fine tuning was required.
This week, we’ll at last be counting down those 100 albums, 25 at a time. Here are albums #100–76. Voice your agreement/disagreement/outrage in the comment box if you please.
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: 2008, marnie stern, music, trey cregan
This Is It & I Am It & You Are It & So Is That
& He Is It & She Is It & It Is It & That Is That •••½
Kill Rock Stars
The Alan Watts-inspired title of Marnie Stern’s newest record, like the album as a whole, is a strange mixture of intensity, profundity and a meticulous attention to detail that most people only discover on an Adderall binge. The biggest change between This Is It… and last year’s In Advance Of The Broken Arm, her debut for Seattle’s legendary Kill Rock Stars label, is tunefulness. While her last album proved that she could nonchalantly play beside the likes of Ed Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen, it hinted at melody but that hinting was never fully realised. This album proves to the world that she can work as an actual songwriter. For every song on this album that shows itself to be an obvious shred-fest, there is another song that takes her sound in – and I use this term very loosely – melodic new directions.
Filed under: album, mp3, review, video | Tags: 2008, music, on!air!library!, school of seven bells, secret machines, trey cregan
School Of Seven Bells
Full Time Hobby
Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of post-rock trio On!Air!Library!, School Of Seven Bells features the harmonious vocals of twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza. Their ethereal voices are caught singing over a variety of different styles and arrangements by ex-Secret Machines guitarist, Benjamin Curtis. Despite sounding formulaic when described on paper, like yet another redux of what The Postal Service were doing in 2003, thankfully that is not at all the case with Alpinisms, SVIIB’s Full Time Hobby debut. Drawing from several uniquely audible influences, the band has created a perfect manifesto for what dream pop should be.
Filed under: EP, review, video | Tags: 2008, katie sketch, music, the organ, trey cregan
Thieves EP ••••
When The Organ broke up in 2006 at the height of their appeal, the music world had presumably lost one of its redeeming qualities. It seemed the band had become yet another casualty to the demands of the music industry, but the demise went unexplained. Until now. In a very frank and revealing interview with The Lipster, singer Katie Sketch recently described the situation vividly (“By the end I feel like everyone in the band was mentally ill”), and having recapped on their rigid touring and recording schedule, it’s not hard to see how Katie, Jenny, Deb, Schmoo and Shelby might have felt like giving up. They just never got a break, and subsequent trouble with their label put the proverbial last nail in The Organ’s coffin.