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Daniel Folmer's Top Ten of 2007

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I've always been intrigued by other "best of" lists, but this year I decided to take it to a whole new level. I e-mailed a handful of bands that I've seen this past year in order to unearth what exactly captivated them in '07. As music listeners, it is our duty to take a keen interest in our favorite musician's influences. After all, they rocked our little world, might as well see what rocked their little world. Therefore, this is an act of paying it forward to those hardworking, underpaid musicians who truly made a difference within the music scene this year.Daniel Folmer

First off, 3 Texas bands I do not want to rank out of objectivity.

sean kirkpatrick - turn on the interference
Sean Kirkpatrick (ex Spoon keyboardist) is the piano player in the pAper chAse, a Dallas based band on the killrockstars label who creates manic and fit-filled art. Sean's solo release is a roller coaster of expression centered mostly around his avant piano stylings.

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new science projects - storm drain
NSP is a creature from Texas who creates soundscapes with whatever instruments happen to be lying around. NSP will haunt you in your sleep. NSP's sound completely embodies the morning commute when you finally do it - you finally blow the brains out of that fucker that cuts you off.
Definitely different, definitely beautiful.

parata - heads! heads! heads!
Timothy Jarrod Smith has been writing songs in North Central Texas for years and years. Parata is his latest project and portrays the disgusting underbelly of humanity that cause most to grimace. Through his lyrical hyper-analysis on songs like "high dollar whore" and "pot to piss in," he takes listeners on a journey through disgust, neglect, dependence, and just plain spite. But don't take him as a whiny bitch - a highly charged instrumental section gives these songs a steel toed boot to kick you in the nutsac.

Alright, now my national top 7.
7. blonde redhead - 23
I don't know what to say. Words can't describe a band like this.

6. little wings - soft pow'r
Kyle Field. Need I say more? Magic Wand had me itching for more, and though this is short, it definitely qualifies.

5. sky blue sky - wilco
From the nico-esque guitar tone on the intro riff of this album to the last note Jeff Tweedy somehow finds a way to melt my heart with his oft-casual "aw shucks!" vocal tone and lyrical stylings.

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4. elliott smith - new moon
Basement was great, but left me longing for solo ES material. Just him and his guitar at a fourtrack, dealing with his issues in solitude. "high times" is probably my favorite track and is a portrait of the struggles faced in substance abuse.

3. stage names - okkervil river
Will Sheff seems to have grown into his big boy pants, somehow making traditional rock innovative again. A clever concept album with an appropriately depressing ending.

2. radiohead - in rainbows
Thom Yorke. Need I say more? Plus it was free. super.

1. Emerald City - john vanderslice
John Vanderslice is not only a genius songwriter, but the fact he can somehow translate that via his sloppy hi-fi analog production at tiny telephone boggles my mind. How one can maintain an objective viewpoint and still put your songs through the industrial process of assembly line production amazes me.