Houston Calling

Houston Calling‘s top local favorites of 2007

December 28th, 2007 · 4 Comments

There were a lot of good releases by Houston artists this year. For my local favorites list of 2007, I excluded singles since there were so many the list would be seemingly endless. Plus, have you seen The Skyline Network’s top 50 list?

So — here are my favorite Houston releases of 2007:

1. Arthur Yoria, Handshake Smiles

While I probably listened to these top two picks equally throughout 2007, I have to give Yoria extra credit for foregoing the easy route by creating I’ll Be Here Awake 2 and instead crafting a wonderful album that is vastly different than his previous releases. With strong classic rock and folk influences, Handshake Smiles proves that Yoria and his band are among this cities’ most talented musicians. www.myspace.com/arthuryoria

2. Pale, Mandatory Ambulance EP

After a single listen, these six songs grabbed me and still refuse to let go. Much like Tody Castillo’s 2005 release, Mandatory Ambulance is one of those releases that sometimes, no matter what I’m listening to, I’ll change it and put it on instead. That says a lot. www.virb.com/palerocks

3. Bring Back The Guns, Dry Futures

This album was definitely worth the wait–they’ve been playing these songs for years–and Dry Futures is, as a friend put it, “the best Pixies album of 2007.” www.feowrecords.com

4. Motion Turns It On, Rima EP

Every year I’m amazed by bands I know little about. Motion Turns It On caught me off guard with this release, and I’m happy to say I cannot stop listening. www.myspace.com/motionturnsiton

5. Orange Is In, Come And Take It

The best thing about Orange Is In is that their music is straight-ahead rock’n’roll. Nothing pretentious or fake here. www.orangeisin.com

6. Dizzy Pilot, Shit Out The Bones EP

Raw and gritty, with just the right touch of psychedelia and garage rock. You can read my review of the EP in the January 2008 issue of Envy magazine. www.myspace.com/dizzypilot

7. Listen Listen, Self-titled EP

They get my vote for best packaging, for sure, but their music puts them right up there among the city’s finest. It’s the banjo and laid-back style that gets me. www.listenlisten.org

8. John Evans, Side Show
Recorded live at Mucky Duck, Side Show captures rockabilly rocker Evans in an acoustic setting. His trademark humor and redneck swagger intact, the musician performs an impressive set that showcases his underappreciated talent. www.johnevansband.net

9. The Western Civilization, Letters of Resignation

Beautifully melodic and well-played, this album was one of new-ish label Mia Kat Empire‘s many releases this year. Space City Rock had this to say about the album: “The Western Civilization…have managed to meld electronics, teenage heartbreak, and shimmery-sweet twee-pop into a melancholy, gorgeous whole that evokes the best moments of that whole Saddle Creek/Omaha scene while remaining pretty unique.” That sums it up for me.

10. Hollywood Black, Two Thousand Years Of Progress

Another Mia Kat Empire release, Hollywood Black blurs the line between modern punk and emo. Their songs are positive, sometimes controversial, and just plain rock. I am looking forward to hearing what these guys do next.

So there you have it. I hope you check out the albums and enjoy.

There are too many honorable mentions to list, although I particularly enjoyed Something Fierce‘s single and the latest By The End Of Tonight release. It was a great year for local music and a lot of new bands popped up on the radar. Please be sure to check out and support local music by purchasing their albums.

For 2008, I am looking forward to new releases by Flowers To Hide, Tody Castillo, Mansion, Buxton, Fondue Monks, and Southern Backtones. I am sure there will be many more…

Tags: Music · Reviews

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David A. Cobb // Dec 28, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Please leave your list of local favorites.

  • 2 Shane // Jan 5, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Deep Ella – Empty Seas and Memories – http://www.deepella.com

  • 3 Houston Calling » Blog Archive » The weekend in Houston rock // Jan 18, 2008 at 9:21 am

    […] Saturday, Orange Is In–whose Come And Take It made my top 10 Houston favorites of 2007 list– play at Rudz with Lee Alexander and The Phlegmatics. Should be a good time. Showtime is […]

  • 4 antonio // Oct 14, 2008 at 8:16 am

    whoa. cool list david. but legendary htown phuz not cracking your top 10 with their 07 EP? please phuz come out of your shell.


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