ZACH COWIE’S BEST OF 2007
2007 was rough and weird, but these things ruled. (Apologies in advance to any person, place, experience, record, movie, tv show, or puppet-fueled entertainment I’m forgetting…)
* Finally being 100% California. After spending the last half of 2006 in California, but either on tour or living on an air mattress in the loft of Noah’s room (and turning completely Grey Gardens with him) – settling into a room with a door I could close and a normalish life was a welcomed situation. I’m in love with California. I don’t think anything pumped me up as hard in 2007 as passing my CA driving test (after failing it twice- apparently there’s a book you’re supposed to read) and having the license in hand.
* Robert Wyatt “Just As You Are”. I haven’t listened to a single song on repeat for days at a time since my 5th grade obsession with Zep’s “Goin’ To California” (see above).
* Robert Plant & Alison Kraus “Killing The Blues”. Agreeing with your parents on jams = 2008.
* Panda Bear and Animal Collective. Blah, blah, blah Person Pitch…what hasn’t been said at this point? This album is so far above and beyond ANYTHING that happened this year it’s not even funny. IT JUST FEELS SO GOOD!
Hearing it for the first time with Farmer Dave SUPER loud in his car after a serious meeting with the Vapor Bros is officially a feeling I’ll never forget. My face hurt from smiling.
The A/C bros are still up to some serious radness too. Much like the G/ D, my attention has turned more towards the live experience than the studio albums (even though Strawberry Jam is pretty sweet), and their show at the Henry Fonda was hands down my show of the year. Homeboys are about five seconds away from having a tapers section.
All musical contributions, vibes and attitudes coming from this group of dudes (tour manager and merch dude included!) have always been and continue to be one of my favorite sources of hope and inspiration in this increasingly painful business of music. Nice one dudes.
* Wooden Shjips. These dudes = up to something.
* Old Records. I played these things A LOT this year:
* Ronnie Lane & Slim Chance ‘Anymore For Anymore’, Jim Ford ‘Harlan County’, Ernie Graham ‘s/t’ (Thanks Cabes)
* Fraction ‘Moonblood’, Wildfire ‘Smokin’ (Thanks Bob @ Freakbeat)
* David Wiffen ‘s/t’ (Thanks Thomas)
* Anonymous ‘s/t’ (Thanks Jess)
* Lambert & Nuttycombe ‘At Home’ (Thanks Coots)
* Jeremy Storch ‘From A Naked Window’ (Thanks Andy)
* Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders soundtrack (Thanks Mahssa)
* Birds Of A Feather ‘Blacksmith Blues’ 45 (Thanks Ian)
* Tommy Flanders ‘Moonstone’ (Thanks expensive wall at Amoeba)
* Phil Lesh ‘Searching For The Sound- My Life With The Grateful Dead’ book on tape (Thanks Barker)
* Ramases ‘Space Hymns’, Catherine Ribeiro ‘Ame Debout’, Earth and Fire ‘Invitation’ 45, Vangelis ‘Earth’ (Thanks eBay)
* Beowulf 3D. Everyone thinks I’m bullshitting when I talk about how much I fuckin’ LOVED seeing this movie. I stood up and cheered at the end of the sea monster part, sat back down to crack a snuck Tecate as a victory celebration, then laughed super hard at Erin in 3D glasses. 100% satisfaction.
* Old Movies. These all worked for me: 3 Women, Blume In Love, Pacific Vibrations, If…, The Jodorowsky box, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, The Landlord, Herzog’s Nosferatu, Meatballs 1, Dillinger, Idaho Transfer, The final cut of Blade Runner, Once Upon A Time In America, Christian Liquorice Store, The Great Ecstasy Of The Sculptor Steiner, Night Moves, Harry And Tonto…etc
* The Collected Works Of Billy The Kid by Michael Ondaatje. Jessie gave me this book and I read it twice in a week. The ‘sane assassin’ passage about Pat Garrett still blows my mind so hard….”frightened of flowers because they grew so slowly that he couldn’t tell what they planned to do”. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
* Guitar Hero. I thought everyone was so lame for playing this game but I always secretly wanted to jam out. Rob brought it into work a few weeks ago and I had a crack at it behind closed doors and now I’m totally hooked. A similar thing happened a few years ago with Sex And The City. Ask Noel…
* Desert Movie. Jed, Miguel, Chad, Jessica, Lee, Lindsay and Zach go to the desert for two days, get crazy smashed and make a slasher movie that’s probably only funny to us.
* Brooke & Fran (the huge white dog). Best roommates a dude could ever wish for.
* Mighty Boosh. The levels of jealousy I hold for anyone involved with this show is intense.
* Turbo New York Karaoke Sesh. The only thing that could have made a perfect night (free Terry Allen show at a little gallery, HUGE dinner with a gigantor table full of old and new bros) better was a karaoke room. “If You Could Read My Mind” from Gordo as a duet with Coots filled the room with levels of bromotion so thick that it took a group sing along to “Drinkin’ Bone” TWICE in a row to bring the good times vibe back!
Kevin doing air pan flute to “Father Figure” was easily the closest I came to peeing in my pants- 2007.
* Puppet Up. http://www.puppetup.com/
* New Years Eve in the redwoods as I type this is pretty awesome…
Zach Cowie works in the A&R department at Rhino. He’s also 1/3 of the Small Town Talk Los Angeles based DJ ensemble- dublab.com/smalltowntalk. We love him to pieces.