2007 Music Year in Review

It's all in the stars.

John Ralston, Sorry Vampire

Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Bruce Springsteen, Magic

Ivylise Simones
DJ I-Dee on “Chocolate Rain”: “Best song of the year.”
Among Dave Navarro’s favorites this year: Mickey Avalon, Datarock, and Daniel Johnston.

Say Anything, In Defense of the Genre

Against Me!, New Wave

Kanye West, Graduation

Motion City Soundtrack, Even if It Kills Me

Minus the Bear, Planet of Ice

Chuck Ragan, Los Feliz

Albert Hammond Jr., Yours to Keep

Guitarist Jon Wilkins has had a whirlwind year. As a member of South Florida indie darlings the Postmarks, he was on the road for most of 2007 pushing his band's self-titled debut album. Lucky for him, constant touring also means finding lots of new record stores and under the radar releases.

"Most of my picks are from the various tours I've been on this year, exploring new record stores and meeting other musicians with great recommendations," he says. "The Jonny Greenwood mix for Trojan is my favorite. And I've been a big fan of Mavis Staples and all the women of soul. As for pop music, it was an amazing year, most notably the Clientele record. Touring with the Apples [in Stereo] really got me into their latest and also turned me on to Aqueduct, both incredibly great records and the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. And I can't help but put John Ralston's record on there.... I really do listen to it and it will always be special to me.

Trojan Records, Jonny Greenwood Is The Controller

Mavis Staples, We'll Never Turn Back

John Ralston, Sorry Vampire

The Clientele, God Save The Clientele

The Apples in Stereo, New Magnetic Wonder

Aqueduct, Or Give Me Death

Sondre Lerche, Phantom Punch

Jason Falkner, I'm OK, You're OK

The High Lllamas, Can Cladders

Josh Rouse, Country Mouse, City House

Born in Montreal as Andrew Yeomanson, the internationally acclaimed DJ Le Spam is a South Florida legend when it comes to spinning rare grooves and Latin soul cookers. He's known as one of the best salsa fusion DJ's in the nation, and always keeps his ear out for quality compilations and reissues that make people dance. Aside from his monthly residence at SOB's in New York with the Spam Allstars and getting writeup's in Rolling Stone and the New York Times, he was recently tapped by Fania Records (former home of Héctor Lavoe and Willie Colón) to record Fania Live 02, which was released in November. In between working on fresh mixes, Spam hit us with his favorite albums of the year:

Various Artists, Florida Funk: Funk 45s from the Alligator State: "This is a great sampling of rare early-Seventies funk 45s from around the state. It goes a little deeper than the 'Miami Sound' compilation from Soul Jazz a few years back. All of these 45s are obscure gems."

Various Artists, The Outskirts of Deep City: Eccentric Soul: "Here's another great compilation of rare soul 45s from Miami's legendary Deep City label. This is the second Deep City comp that the Numero label has put out; they do an excellent job of researching and remastering their reissues."

The Budos Band, The Budos Band II: "Great second album from this band in the Daptone stable. Daptone is recording soul, funk, and groove music the right way, and has been one of my favorite labels for years. Get it on vinyl!"

Eddie Palmieri, Azúcar Pa' Ti (Sugar for You), Molasses, and Recorded Live at Sing Sing with Harlem River Drive: "Here are three essential Eddie Palmieri albums reissued in the past 12 months by the Fania label, which is remastering many long-unavailable albums from its huge catalogue. Live at Sing Sing is like a funky Latin version of Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison. Crazy bottled-up energy on that recording! I know most of these are older recordings, but that's what I listen to!"

Los Angeles: Dave Navarro covers the spread, and Margaret Cho shows her true musical colors.


Looks like Dave Navarro is going to be all about instant gratification in 2008. The L.A. native guitarist, who launched his own Internet TV show and directed his first porno in 2007, has obviously become inspired by both the immediacy the web provides and the adult film industry's quick turnaround.

"These things come out during that burst of inspiration," he explains. "That's one of the things I'm looking forward to with future music projects. I'm just going to immediately put out stuff online as I record it, song by song."

And although Navarro's most recent proper band, the Panic Channel, featuring his former Jane's Addiction bandmate Stephen Perkins, is "up in the air" after a less-than-well-received Capitol release late in 2006, Navarro still has music to make and fans eager to see what he'll do next. That might include performances with his all-star cover band Camp Freddy (also the name of his radio show on L.A.'s Indie 103.1 FM), jamming on live guitar over his pal DJ Skribble's scratch attacks for select club dates, or one day (maybe) even reforming Jane's.

Right now Spread TV, the talk show he launched this past spring on Mania TV (the same web station Tom Green calls home), is definitely his main focus. Airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern, the show features everyone from actors to local freaks to people with problems, for whom he often brings on psychotherapists to help. Think Dr. Phil, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jon Stewart with a rock and roll twist. Up-and-coming bands often play live on the show, and a few have become favorite artists for Navarro's off-air listening as well. Here are his current musical addictions:

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