Same crap, different year

Hooray, it’s a new year. It’s cold and it sucks outside. You’ve gained seven pounds. It’s three days in and you’ve already quit on your New Year’s resolution. The new socks your aunt got you are too small and the sweatshirt your mom got you is too big (which is good considering you might gain more winter weight). Now you get to go back to school or work, in the cold, with the extra pounds. Happy New Year, indeed. I say, to hell with 2008. The Northern Hemisphere should get to celebrate the new year in June. Think of how lucky those bastards down south are. It’s warm and the days are long. Bah.
But, I suppose there are some things that will make 2008 worthwhile. Instead of adding another “best of 2007” list to these pages, trying to out-pretentious the overly pretentious, I’ll instead offer some things that I am looking forward to in the coming year:
A new album from Headlights — Since the days of Absinthe Blind I’ve been an Erin Fein fan. Crazy fan, even. I could listen to her sing anything. She has a sense of both melody and harmony that most musicians dream of having. She is matched in the band by two other incredibly smart musicians (sex-fest Brett Sanderson and tender lover Tristan Wraight), and the three compliment each other perfectly on record and onstage. 2008 should be an exciting year for CU’s little indie band that could. If the rest of the new album is anything like the little bit I’ve heard, we’re all in for a treat.
Finding out what the hell is going on with Cowboy Monkey — In a year in which downtown Champaign music venue Cowboy Monkey was named in a national magazine (NYLON) as being a part of the great CU music scene, news also started to circulate that the room would stop hosting live music in 2008. Rumors flew and half-answers were given and now even the people involved seem to be as confused as everyone else. Will the venue live to see another day? All signs seem to point to the space being revamped and having a little music here and there. Can you imagine how great the space could be if the kitchen was taken out and the place was turned into a real bar/venue, though? Man…
Radiohead’s In Rainbows hitting stores — How will 2007’s big musical talking-point end up faring once it hits shelves? Sure, everyone’s tired of hearing about how they’ve doomed the record industry and all of that, but it has been fun to watch it all unfold.
The Death of Amy Winehouse — Looking more and more likely every day now. As good as she can be, I think it’s best for everyone involved.
Kathleen Edwards Asking For Flowers — In March, Canada’s Edwards will release her fourth album, following two incredibly strong efforts. 2003’s Failer was a bit uneven, but offered some fantastic tracks in the female alt-country vein. Back To Me (2005) is a perfect album that lead to much praise from publications like Rolling Stone. Edwards writes honest lyrics and sings in a gravel-tinged, almost Neil Young-ish voice. She has been posting songs from the album on her Myspace page ( late at night for fans to preview. If she manages to improve upon her last album, I don’t even know how I’ll handle it.
A real record from Gentleman Auction House — The St. Louis band has gone through some serious changes musically since releasing their The Rules Were Handed Down EP. The band spent weeks in Washington D.C. this fall recording a new full-length for Emergency Umbrella Records — an album that will likely see its release in April.
Temple of Low Men fever — Could the Dec. 27 and 28 reunion shows spark renewed fan demand for the band’s unfinished second album, tentatively titled Swing? Well, even if it did, the record is probably unsalvageable, with much to still be recorded. But a boy can hope.
Well, there it is folks. Happy 2008. See you at the gym.

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