Saturday, August 18, 2007


Every so often, pop hits an especially fruitful patch—a passage of time in which several artists simultaneously appear with records that raise the bar for everyone else. It last happened two springs ago, when Beck’s balmy Guero, Spoon’s minimalist epic Gimme Fiction and Coldplay’s grand X&Y brightened the landscape with their comparably delectable juxtapositions of slam-dunk hooks, phat grooves and overall inventiveness. Happily, it’s happening again, and has been since the very beginning of 2007, with a combination of young bands that are growing—Kings of Leon, for starters—and old-timers who have revitalized themselves. Here’s a playlist, which also fits onto two CDs—but doing that would be so 2006. Check it out—the titles are compelling all by themselves.

/ Midway 2007
The Shins
, Sea Legs
Spoon, Don’t You Evah
Fountains of Wayne, Strapped for Cash
Mark Ronson f/Amy Winehouse, Valerie
Arcade Fire, Keep the Car Running
Crowded House, Don’t Stop Now
LCD Soundsystem, Get Innocuous!
Kings of Leon, Knocked Up
Wilco, Walken
Amy Winehouse, Rehab
The White Stripes, Rag and Bone
Feist, My Moon My Man
The Shins, Phantom Limb
Spoon, Rhythm & Soul
Wilco, Impossible Germany
Kings of Leon, Trunk
Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová, When You’re Mind’s Made Up
Crowded House, Nobody Wants To
Spoon, The Underdog
LCD Soundsystem, Time to Get Away
Fountains of Wayne, Someone to Love
Kings of Leon, Fans
The White Stripes, Bone Broke
Arcade Fire, Intervention
The Shins, Sleeping Lessons
Feist, 1234
Peter Bjorn & John, Young Folks
k.d. lang, Help Me
Crowded House, Silent House
Wilco, Side With the Seeds
Kings of Leon, Arizona
The Honeydogs, Heads or Tails
Markéta Irglová, The Hill
Wilco, Either Way
Neil Young, Tell Me Why (live, 1971)
The Shins, Red Rabbit
Fountains of Wayne, Michael and Heather at the Baggage Claim
Jackson Browne, Oh, My Love

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