Looking Back at Highlights of the Arts in 2007

For Auld Lang Syne


Whether you rang in the New Year with silly hats and streamers, a glass of bubbly and a midnight kiss, or TV reruns and a bowl of popcorn, 2008 is now upon us. But should we forget last year’s highlights? We think not, and so we thought we’d revisit some of the best moments in the arts from 2007. The lists that follow represent the top five picks from staff writers and regular contributors, covering every category of the arts, from album releases to art exhibitions, and everything in between. Take this moment to reflect on the many high points of the past year, and then set your sights on the horizon-next week’s issue of The Independent is the Winter Arts Preview, introducing a new season of arts for a brand new year.

Aly Comingore, Associate Arts Editor (Pop & Rock)

Best Film: The Darjeeling Limited

Best Album: Neon Bible, Arcade Fire

Best Concert: Tegan and Sara, Lobero Theatre

Best Art Show: Made in Santa Barbara: Contemporary Photographs, SBMA

Best New Showspace: The Woodshed

Brett Leigh Dicks, Contributing Writer

Best Musical Release: After the Flood, Natalie D-Napoleon

Best Film: Once

Best Concert: Glen Phillips & Friends at Sings Like Hell, Lobero Theatre

Best Photographic Exhibit at a Museum: Made in Santa Barbara: Contemporary Photographs, SBMA

Best Photographic Exhibit at a Retail Space: Matt Straka: Notable Rejects, Samy’s Camera

Charles Donelan, Arts Editor

Best Visiting Conductor: David Robertson with the Academy Festival Orchestra, Lobero Theatre

Best Visiting Solo Artist: Pianist Ingrid Fliter, Lobero Theatre

Best Jazz Vocal Concert: Dianne Reeves, Lobero Theatre

Best Music Festival: Ojai Music Festival

Best Nonfiction Book: The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, Alex Ross

Michelle Drown, Managing Editor

Best Paperback: Thunderstruck, Erik Larson

Best Music Single: “The Story,” Brandi Carlisle

Best Live Music: Issa (formerly known as Jane Siberry), SOhO

Best Family Show: Snoopy on Ice, Arlington Theatre

Best Film: Lars and the Real Girl

Maureen Foley, Contributing Writer

Best Performance Art Event: The Peace Salon, Erin O’Brien, Anapamu and State sts.

Best Dance Performance: Ballet Flamenco Javier Bar³n, Lobero Theatre

Best Art Education Event: Teacher’s Open House at SBMA

Best Art Exhibition: Caminos, 855 at the Arts Center, Carpinteria

Best Poetry Reading: Sojourner Kincaid Rolle and Melinda Palacio at Black, White and Re(a)d, Carpinteria Community Arts Center

Palmer Gibbs, Copy Chief

Best Album: The Con, Tegan and Sara

Best Concert: Rise Against, Majestic Ventura Theater

Best DVD Release: My So-Called Life

Best Lecture/Reading: David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell, Arlington Theatre

Best Photo Exhibit: Ansel Adams Over Time: Recent Photographic Acquisitions, SBMA

Heather Jeno, Contributing Writer

Best Art Exhibition: Jane Callister, CAF

Best Lecture: Dr. Paul Farmer, Arlington Theatre

Best Performance: Crooked Road: Mountain Music of Virginia, UCSB’s Campbell Hall

Best New Art Gallery: Gallery Ocho

Best Art Event: Forum Lounge, CAF

Matt Kettmann, Senior Editor

Best interview: Forest Whitaker, SBIFF

Best Concert for the Ages: Stevie Wonder, Santa Barbara Bowl

Best Nonfiction Guide: Chumash Ethnobotany, Jan Timbrook

Best Concert Finale: Solutions for Dreamers’ confetti drop

Best New Art Party: 1st Thursdays

Best Bluegrass Surprise: Crooked Road: Mountain Music of Virginia, UCSB’s Campbell Hall

Sam Kornell, Contributing Writer

Best Album: In Rainbows, Radiohead

Best Book: Travels with Herodotus, Ryszard Kapuscinski

Best Hope for the Future: Pickle Family Circus will return to Santa Barbara

Best Artistic Institution: Storyteller extraordinaire Michael Katz

Musical Event I Most Wish I Could Have Attended: Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau, UCSB’s Campbell Hall

Colin Marshall, Contributing Writer

Best Novel: Matrimony, Joshua Henkin

Best Nonfiction Book: The Stuff of Thought, Steven Pinker

Best Lecture: Ira Glass, UCSB’s Campbell Hall

Best Album: This Way, Acoustic Alchemy

Best Film: Eastern Promises

Ellen O’Connell, Contributing Writer

Best Album: Colour It In, Maccabees

Best Lecture: Orhan Pamuk, UCSB’s Campbell Hall

Best Book: What Is the What, Dave Eggers

Best Art Exhibit: Rufino Tamayo, SBMA

Best Concert: Pink Martini, Arlington Theatre

D.J. Palladino, Contributing Writer

Best CD: In Rainbows, Radiohead

Best film: Ratatouille

Best novel: Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon

Best concert: Wilco, Santa Barbara Bowl

Best reunited band: flapping, Flapping at Household Ink’s 20th anniversary party, SOhO

Elizabeth Schwyzer, Associate Arts Editor (Visual Art, Dance, Books & Lectures)

Best Mime Event: Festival of Fools, a tribute to Marcel Marceau

Best Dance Performance: Stephen Petronio Company, UCSB’s Campbell Hall

Best Lecture: Garrison Keillor, Arlington Theatre

Best Live Art Event: I Am the Medium, UCSB

Best Community Arts Venue: Arts Alive!

Beth Taylor-Schott, Contributing Writer

Best Solo Art Show: Julia Pinkham, Artamo

Best Poetry Reading: Ojai Poetry Festival

Best First Book of Poetry: Red Studio, Mary Cornish

Best Museum Outreach Program: SBMA

Best Marching Band Fix: Battle of the Bands, SBHS

Rachel Weight, Listings Editor

Best Film: Superbad

Best CD: Kala, M.I.A.

Best Art Event: Nights, SBMA

Best Community Celebration: Summer Solstice

Best Book: I Am America (And So Can You!), Stephen Colbert


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