Pittsburgh Union of Record Geeks electronic

Friday, November 30, 2007

Best of 2007: Short ones

After 50 years of being twisted around and dragged through the mud, the term "ep" really doesn't mean a damn thing anymore. Here are the best records of the year that were too short to really be albums...

PURGe icon Will Oldham (that's Bonnie "Prince" Billy to the record-buying public), after making the best album of 2006, brings the geeks to their knees once again with Ask Forgiveness (Drag City). Assisted capably by Meg Baird and Greg Weeks of Espers, Will covers Mickey Newbury, Bjork, Danzig, Phil Ochs, Merle Haggard, Sinatra, and R. Kelly (seriously), all to great effect--plus throws in a top-notch, toe-tappin' country-ish original.

Also on the heels of one of last year's best, Vancouver's Ladyhawk offers up the ragged Fight for Anarchy (Jagjaguwar). The 'hawk does ragged as well as anyone, but well-crafted tunes and monster hooks easily wend their way through the racket.

Mysterious North Dakotan indie guy
June Panic returned to the lofty heights of his 2000 magnum opus Horror Vacui with Bellybuttonlessboy on the Spanish Acuarela imprint. His edgy indie-folk is at its best here with hooks to spare, especially on "Over the Edge."

(June also released
Songs from Purgatory this year, a 3CD compilation culled from his voluminous home recordings, on Secretly Canadian.)