Greeting Friends,

Once again, this is a taste of my favorite music…this time for the year 2007. As with last year, I decided to give you 25 songs from different artists. I highly encourage you to explore their catalogues further, and purchase some of the great albums referenced.

MUCHO THANKS to my buddy Des for hosting this year’s songs. There is a link by each song to download the MP3, and a player at the top of the page so you can listen to all 27 tracks in your browser.

Remember, I am not saying these are the “best”, just my favs. And I’m going for honesty here. These are the songs and artists I dug and played the most. So, even if I think I’d look a lot cooler if Radiohead were higher up the list, and Jordin Sparks wasn’t – well, that just wouldn’t be honest.

So without further ado, here’s what I fed my ears in 2007.


Brett a.k.a. bMg

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25 Fav Songs of 2007

1. Falling Slowly – The Swell Season (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)
[download MP3]
Once (Music from the Motion Picture) (more info)

The scene in the movie Once where this song is sung in the Piano store is essential to truly fall in love with this song (I believe). My favorite scene, in my favorite movie of the year, with two people who inspired me artistically and emotionally in 2007. This is part one of the “quadfecta” – as Once was my favorite movie, the Soundtrack my favorite album, and their first 2007 performance in SF my favorite live show.

2. Shoreline – Deas Vail [download MP3]
All the Houses Look the Same (more info)

This is one those songs – like Transatlanticism (Death Cab for Cubie) or Breathe Me (Sia) – that when I listen to it an ocean of emotions begin to swirl inside me and life around me becomes a movie with a soundtrack. It stirs the pot in the most beautiful way.

3. Detlef Schrempf – Band of Horses [download MP3]
Cease to Begin (more info)

A break-up song named after the first German-born NBA player to reach the NBA Finals. This song just pours through me, leaving behind the melody “when eyes can’t look at you any other way” to accompany me through my day. Not unlike teenage fanclub did with “what you do to me” or the aforementioned Death Cab with “I need you so much closer”.

4. Stronger – Kanye West [download MP3]
Graduation (more info)

Not much originality, and much of the credit goes to Daft Punk, but this track blarred out of my car for months when it was first released, and it still pumps me up. Just got me on the dancefloor at my buddy’s wedding last weekend.

5. This Is My Now – Jordin Sparks [download MP3]

Take your shots, and I’ll stay standing. One of the reasons I love American Idol is because all the commercialism aside, it is opportunity for people who love to perform to go for their dream. Watching Jordin Sparks sing this song after winning, and seeing and hearing the emotion of her living a dream she had pictured since being a little girl, was a beautiful sight. The song inspires me ever since, and reminds what is possible in any given moment – regardless of the last.

6. Underdog – Spoon [download MP3]
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (more info)

In an alternate universe this was the jam of the Summer of 2007. ‘You Got Yer Cherry Bomb’ is neck and neck with it as a fav.

7. We All Want the Same Thing [Acoustic Version] –
Kevin Michael (feat. Akil Dasan) [download MP3]
Kevin Michael (more info)

This track gets my head bopping, and body moving. Great groove. A close second on the album is ‘Ain’t Got You’.

8. Fit – Windmill [download MP3]
Puddle City Racing Lights (more info)

This song saved this record from execution. It was in my trash, and at the last moment this song came on shuffle on my iPod like a 12th hour call from the Govenor. How did I almost miss how gorgeous this is? This record proved the theory that my friend Des and I have that an album needs 7 listens before it can be truly judged.

9. Kid On My Shoulders – White Rabbits [download MP3]
Fort Nightly (more info)

This song goes so well with a ride through Koh Tao on a Honda Dream that I have to wonder if it was written while moving (that would explain the driving beat). My friend once said that you know a song is good when you feel cooler just listening to it. I feel cooler when I listen to this song. [And damn if they don’t leave behind another cool repeated melodic line with “We held our tongues throughout it / one day we’ll laugh about it”]

10. A Dream – Common (Feat. Will.I.Am) [download MP3]
Freedom Writers (Music from the Motion Picture) (more info)

The unofficial theme song of City of Dreams, and my hip hop anthem of year. Real beats lined with hope.

11. Big Girl [You Are Beautiful] – Mika [download MP3]
Life in Cartoon Motion

The cover that isn’t a cover. Mika’s update to Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls manages to honor one of his major influences, while producing a sickly catchy anthem for curvy ladies.

12. What Am I Fighting For? – Unklejam [download MP3]

Just a good ol’ jam out of the UK that got tons of playing time on my iPod throughout the summer.

13. Happy In Love – Dear and the Headlights [download MP3]
Smaill Steps, Heavy Hooves

One of my favorite tracks on an album that quickly became one of my favorite little gems of 2007. Still waiting to see this band live.

14. Real Girl – Mutya Buena [download MP3]
Real Girl

I love a good pop song, ok. Pop music is like ice cream; it’s like a Hollywood blockbuster. Sometimes I just want something sweet and simple. This song brings out the 13-year-old girl in me, and I think it important for me to stay in touch with her. (Besides….Groove Armada think she’s cool, so step off.)

15. People Get Ready – The Frames [download MP3]
The Cost

I got hooked on this track when I heard them perform it live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. I love the passion and performance of Glen Hansard’s voice. He is my musician of the year.

16. House of Cards – Radiohead [download MP3]
In Rainbows

The first time I heard this song live, at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, it floated off the stage like a dense fog, swirled in with the crowd, and mixed in the moonlight. Ethereal.

17. Merrymaking At My Place – Calvin Harris [download MP3]
I Created Disco

A dancefloor fav of mine. A sweet bass line and melody. Gave you the Kiss Sellout Remix here. Original is on Calvin’s album, I Created Disco.

18. Toxic (Feat. Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Tiggers) – Mark Ronson [download MP3]

There are covers that are a waste of time, and then there are covers that take the original out for a few drinks, get it sweaty on the dance floor, and wake up next it in a motel room the next morning. This is the latter. Gave you the Paul Nice Remix here. Original is on Mark Ronson’s album, Version.

19. I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You
Black Kids
Wizard of Ahhhs EP[download MP3]

Prediction: This band is going to hit it big very soon, and this song is going to make you love it. Get their EP free at

20. Nantes – Beirut [download MP3]
The Flying Cup Club

This song just casually creeps into your brain and after a few listens sets itself on repeat. And in the words of my friend Des, “If you only watch one video of a band performing their best song in a Brooklyn stairwell, it should be this one.” (CHECK IT OUT!) My live show regret of 2007, as I skipped their two-show stint in SF in the fall and heard the second show was epic.

21. 15 – Rilo Kiley [download MP3]
The Life Pursuit

I like so much about this future ‘To Catch A Predator’ theme song…the juxtaposing of the musical style with the lyrical topic…Jenny Lewis’ Patsy Cline-esque vocals…the horns…and, of course, the Theremin.

22. I Talk Too Much – Just Jack [download MP3]

This is a great little ride by Jack Allsop – through his inner Jamiroquoi, a late 80s guitar solo, a sax sprinkled breakdown, and some fantastic alliteration.

23. Here It Comes Again – Tracy Thorn [download MP3]
Out of the Woods

Tracy channels her inner Enya in this opening track from her stellar second solo album.

24. Either Way – The Twang [download MP3]
Love It When I Feel Like This

The chorus of this song feels like the late 80s in such a great way.

25. Prayer For The Weekend – The Ark [download MP3]
Prayer For The Weekend

Crank this on your way to work on Friday morning, and ride its wave through the day. A glam fab anthem with Glen Frey inspired saxophone.


Imagine – Jack Johnson [download MP3]
Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur

In my book this song was un-coverable. Untouchable. I give Jack huge props for a version that works because his heart comes through in it. A triumph, and a version that I respect as a modern alternative to the classic.

Borderline – The Chaplin Sisters [download MP3]
Through The Wilderness: A Tribute to Madonna

I’ve been covering this song for years, so I feel like my thunder has been stolen. Of course, I stole my version off my roommate in 1996, so I guess it’s all fair game.

TWO-FOUR (24) ALBUMS from 2007 that I Dig

Top Ten…
1. Once Soundtrack by The Swell Season (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)
2. Into the Wild OST by Eddie Vedder
This album is an artistic accomplishment. A score with lyrics and melody. As if Eddie Vedder crawled into the soul of Chris McCandless and pulled the music right out of him. Haunting and Beautiful.
3. Version by Mark Ronson
Party background record of this year. This is album is so extremely listenable. Put it on and just let it play and play.
4. Out of the Woods by Tracey Thorn
5. Life in Cartoon Motion by Mika
6. Cease to Begin by Band of Horses
7. Small Steps, Heavy Hoofs by Dear and the Headlights
8. Fort Nightly by White Rabbits
9. In Rainbows by Radiohead
10. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon

The Rest Alphabetically…

Children Running Through by Patty Griffin

Graduation by Kanye West

I Created Disco by Calvin Harris

Imagine Our Love by Lavender Diamond

Kevin Michael by Kevin Michael

Lifeline by Ben Harper

Nighttiming by Coconut Records

Octopus by The Bees

Overtones by Just Jack

Prayer for the Weekend by The Ark

Puddle City Racing by Windmill

Sky Blue Sky by Wilco

The Cost by The Frames

Under the Blacklight by Rilo Kiley

10 Live Shows I Saw That Stood Out Amongst the Crowd

The Swell Season, Noe Valley Ministry

Intimate. Gorgeous. Authentic. Perfect.

Daft Punk, Greek Theatre

How often do you go to a live show, and say it was like NOTHING you’ve ever seen? This show is was a spectacle of awe that most closely resembled a combination of being in the blinding lights of a speeding locomotive coming right at you, with being at ground zero of an sonic attack by a superior race of killer DJs.

Ben Harper, Paramount

Ben reminds us all that we are angels.

Wilco, Greek Theatre

It is sick how tight this band is these days. Beautifully sick.

Justin Timberlake, Arco Arena

JT puts on a show! The real deal, and deserves all the praise he receives.

Damien Rice, Paramount

Points of this show turned me emotionally inside out.

Sloan, Independent

Just always GREAT. Period. Slooooooooooooooooooan!

Tragically Hip, Warfield

I have seen hundreds of concerts in my lifetime, and this was one of the greatest ‘performances’ I have seen by a lead singer ever. Gordon Downie is the Jim Morrison of our generation…mature and better than ever.

The Frames, Great American Music Hall

Could give Wilco a run for their money in the “tight” category. A great band that has wore the road thin is finally starting to get some traction.

Cold War Kids, Great American Music Hall

A great rock band that gives you all they got.