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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2006 In Music

As you know in two weeks the Gregorian year of 2006 will be over. 2006 has been a decent year musically made much better by the formation of a certain cult like society. Now since it’s the end of the year and I think my own opinion to be valuable, and I wish for my opinion to be on the interweb I’ve decided to write about some of my favorite albums of the year. Now I know its customary to do these end of years lists ranked and with a normal number (5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100) of entries, but I feel it would be more valuable for me to just state all of my favorite albums and why I like them. Also you will notice, if you read this that the albums are in alphabetical order by artist name. You will also notice the meager amount of hip hop on this list that is not because I didn’t listen to a lot of hip hop this year; it is because most of the 2006 hip hop was less not so hoppin. I encourage my compadres to post any albums they like which are not featured below.

(Note: some of these albums were originally released in 2005 by the bands themselves or in different countries, but were basically released for the first time this year)

Band of Horses, Everything All the Time: Band of Horses debut album Everything All the Time drew frequent comparisons to My Morning Jacket because of lead singer Bed Birdwell, however Band of Horses offer and incredible vastness that is reached by very few bands. Aside from having an incredibly vast soundscape EATT is also the perfect summer album. Try listening to any song off the album and you will be blasted to summer, which is great if you live in New England like we do.
Key Tracks: The Great Salt Lake, Weed Party, The Funeral

Be Your Own Pet, Be Your Own Pet: be your own PET (that is proper capitalization) are one step away from early 80’s punk and that step is the fact that their lead singer is a female. Their debut record is everything you’d expect from an ill punk record oh and did I mention they are still teenagers! You can expect them to be a presence on the scene for many years to come (that is unless they OD on some illicit drug).
Key Tracks: Bicycle, Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle [one song], Adventure, Bunk Trunk Skunk

Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit: Everybody needs a little twee pop in their life, and Belle and Sebastian gave the world the best twee pop album of the year in The Life Pursuit. Like every other Belle and Sebastian album The Life Pursuit is all about the melody, and it provides some good melodies.
Key Tracks: White Collar Boy, Funny Little Frog, Another Sunny Day

Boris, Pink: This album is a monster, a giant drone shoegaze metal doom monster. The Japanese trio has found themselves with this album and I can’t stop listening to it. Pink is insane. Layers of sound blast at you from all directions until you are knocked almost unconscious. One might try listening to this album after listening to a certain song by sublime in ones car. The experience would probably be either awesomely mind bending or insanely scary.
Key Tracks: Farewell, Pink, Pseudo-Bread

The Coquettes, Eat Their Weight in Butter: The best record to come out of Newton in 2006 was made by a kid who once attended music society and some kid who I believe Fatty told me was in his math class. This record is probably considered low-fi (my ears are so accustomed to low-fi I can no longer tell what low-fi is) which makes sense considering it was likely made in someone’s garage or basement. Anyway just listen to May, May, May it is an amazing song (so amazing in fact it is in my iTunes top 25).
Key Tracks: May, May, May, Folk Song

Dangerdoom, Occult Hymn: Truly a great EP especially considering it was free. Dangerdoom is one awesome duo, and this EP shows it. Great rap skills are highlighted by excellent mixing. I don’t care if its all basically Remix’s its still good.
Key Tracks: El Cupa Nibre Remix, Corn Dogz, Spaces Ho’s Remix, Sofa King Remix

Dresden Dolls, Yes, Virginia…: I know, I know, you guys are probably going to talk crap about how I like this album, but you know what I don’t care its good. First of all Amanda Palmer has an excellent voice secondly Brian Viglione can drum, oh and the piano playing aint half bad. Maybe you guys don’t really like the so called ‘Cabaret Punk’ of the Dresden Dolls are maybe you just prejudged the album, but it is good a dam good album.
Key Tracks: Backstabber, Shores of California

Islands, Return to the Sea: The first few times I heard Return to the Sea I really just didn’t appreciate its beauty, but now I realize how ill an album it is. Return to the Sea is truly an epic pop album and it shows in the songs, many of which are so epic themselves they seem like they could be entire records. Yet somehow the album flows probably because Violins and Keys drive basically every song making each song related to each other song.
Key Tracks: Humans, Don’t Call Me Whitney Bobby, Where There's a Will There's a Whalebone

Matt and Kim, Matt and Kim: They may have canceled a show in Boston, but there is a reason I wanted to go to their show in the first place, and it’s because of how awesome the album is. The Brooklyn keys/drums duo craft perfect fast beat pop songs that always seem to descend into complete chaos. Everything fits perfect the one flaw in this album is that it ends right before the 30th minute, however maybe that’s a good thing, I mean how much hyper fast pop can a human take before they dance/bounce themselves into a heart attack.
Key Tracks: Yea Yeah, Dash After Dash, Ready? OK., It’s a Fact

Raccoo-oo-oon, Is Night People: I know I just spoke about this album a few weeks ago so I don’t know what to say. Maybe I’ll talk about how these is clearly the best noise album of the year (beating out Sonic Youth (mainly cause there album is probably too pop to be considered noise)) or maybe I’ll talk about how Raccoo-oo-oon are going to be huge. Well all I need to say is if you even like noise the slightest bit buy this album.
Key Tracks: Uh-Oh, Fluff Up Your Fur, Stamped From The Stump

Tapes N Tapes, The Loon: Written off by many as a Pavement or a Pixies or a Modest Mouse knock off it’s easy to see how I would like Modest Pavemixes I mean Tapes N Tapes. That being said it is crap to say that Tapes N Tapes are a knockoff. They are really good and they bring their own style to the table. Just because they use two Guitars doesn’t mean they are Pavement. The Loon is a great Debut album, and for my money Jakov’s Suit closes out the album better than any song has closed out any album since Fillmore Jive finished Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.
Key Tracks: Jakov’s Suit, Omaha, Insistor

The Thermals, The Body, The Blood, The Machine: TBTBTM is a quasi concept album by Indie Punk band The Thermals about a Christian fascist ruled dystopia sounds familiar right. What makes this different than the god-awful album by a Greenday is this: Great Lyrics, Great Music, Morales (The Thermals are so cool they turned down 50 grand for one of there songs in a commercial, Greenday gets paid by a corporation owned by homophobic Conservatives), and Political Savvy (Greenday collectively know less about politics than I did when I was 8. They like many people just say ‘Bush Sucks’ without having any knowledge of history or current events). Billy Joe wishes he write music half as good as Hutch Harris’s.
Key Tracks: Here’s Your Future, I Might Need You To Kill, An Ear For Baby, Returning to The Fold

TV On the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain: When I first herd this album I remember thinking that the album sounds like album of the year, several months later is still does. TV on the Radio may never create an album this good, and if they don’t it won’t even matter. This album is just so good. RTCM provides so much awesomeness I think my head is going to blow up. From the a cappella of A Method to the drum circle awesomeness that is Let The Devil In RTCM is the most well rounded and probably the best album all year.

So that’s it that’s my list. Not too many phat beats but oh well. Oh as for worst records I bought that distinction is shared by three equally bad/disappointing albums Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, and Incubus. Here’s a list of albums I bought that weren’t quite good enough to write a whole thing on but they were still good:

Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped
Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
Iron Maiden, A Matter Of Life And Death
Film School, Film School
The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Beck, The Information

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Super Monkey Ball

I just played Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz for the Wii. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! The music was the best part. It was so laughinghappyfunbananasuperawesomewtf!!! There's a desert level with this really catchy flute/techno beat. Then there's the ice level where you think the music's going to suck but then you just let it go and it's so awesome. I've never had an experience of wanting to get up and dance to a game!!! Nowhere near a $50 game, but it's worth a rent if you have a Wii (not Bryan).