Friday, January 9, 2009

The 2006 David Music Poll results

The 2006 David Music Poll Results

1) The Decemberists, The Crane Wife (31 votes)
2) Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit (24)
3) Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope (22)
4) Cat Power, The Greatest (20)
5) Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way Home (16)
6) Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (15)
TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain (14)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones (14)
9) Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (13)
10) Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (12)
Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds (12);
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat (12);

Runners Up: Beck, The Information (11); The Raconteurs, The Raconteurs (11); Scissor Sisters, Ta-Da (10); Corinne Bailey Rae, Corinne Bailey Rae (10); Beirut, Gulag Orkestar (10); Snow Patrol, Eyes Open (9); M. Ward, Post-War (9); Joanna Newsom, Ys (9); Keane, Under the Iron Sea (8); John Mayer, Continuum (8); Lily Allen, Alright Still (8, only on import); Band of Horses, Everything All the Time (9); My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade (8); The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America (8); Bob Dylan, Modern Times (7); Thom Yorke, The Eraser (7)

For anyone who’s counting: This year we had 106 participants in the David Music Poll. This is the second time Belle & Sebastian, the Dixie Chicks, and Cat Power have each made the top ten.

My Essential Picks

This was a hard year, with no clear “most essential,” leaving four albums that would’ve been runners-up in previous years to duke it out. Will I admit that I spent way too much time debating which one should be at the top? Only under duress. But truth: if you were standing on the downtown platform, staring at me across the way as I gazed off, making arguments in my head… odds are I was thinking “Decemberists or Snow Patrol? Regina Spektor or The Long Winters?” Strangely, after that there’s really only one essential and a few runners up. Hmm. Now I can start spending that mental energy on looking forward to the new Bloc Party and Patty Griffin and Patrick Wolf discs…

Now, the list…


1) Snow Patrol, Eyes Open

Yes, last year I made a joke about not believing that Snow Patrol was my #2 album of 2005. Now what do I do? I put them on top. Yes, it repeats the phrases “eyes open” and “eyes closed” so many times it feels like an optometrist’s concept album. Yes, the romanticism is so on the sleeve it might as well be a cuff link. But you know what? It’s a damn good collection of pop songs, and it’s easily the album I’ve listened to the most this year (as my iPod count attests). I loved “Chasing Cars” before every TV show and movie preview started using it, and many of the other songs are almost as good. If you hate Coldplay, you’ll probably hate Snow Patrol. Your loss. I like my music with a good dose of humanity, and it works here.

2) The Decemberists, The Crane Wife

Okay, if Snow Patrol is my most essential album of the year, The Decemberists have made what is probably the best album of the year. I might not connect to it as much on an emotional level, but it certainly makes my mind pleased. I might not always understand the story, but I love the storytelling, and there are moments of such sheer beauty here that I don’t really care that the lyrics are so hyperconsciously literary. I’ve always liked the Decemberists, but this was the album that made me love them.

3) Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope

The total late-bloomer on this list – it wouldn’t have made it two months ago. But first “Fidelity” grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go, and then the rest of the album started to take shape. “Samson” and “Apres Moi” are just as good, and the whole thing is the best variation of the Aimee Mann / Natalie Merchant / Tori Amos school of songwriting that we got this year.

4) The Long Winters, Putting the Days to Rest

This is neck-and-neck with the others in the top four. I will freely admit that I bought the album solely because of the label (Barsuk, former home of Death Cab for Cutie) and the cool cover. What a surprise that it contained some of the best songwriting of the year. When John Roderick played “Ultimatum” solo at the 826NYC fundraiser this fall, it was one of the best concert moments I’ve had lately (the acoustic version on the Ultimatum EP is also fantastic). For fans of Death Cab, yes, but also for fans of Jackson Browne and Ted Leo.

5) Placebo, Meds

Not as amazing as Sleeping With Ghosts, but still a tour de force of angst, desire, challenge, and split identity, perfect for our medicated age. And when it slows down at the end, it hits a grace note of unexpected power.

Runners up:
Say Hi to Your Mom, Impeccable Blahs
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat
Damien Rice, 9

Would have been on my essential list for ‘06 if I hadn’t bought it in ’05 as an import:
Editors, The Back Room


Regina Spektor, “Fidelity”
Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars”
Damien Rice, “Rootless Tree”
Amy Millan, “Skinny Boy”
Gregory and the Hawk, “Boats and Birds”
Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man” (sorry…but it’s pretty brilliantly done)

Essential single from last year that I played over and over this year:
Sia, “Breathe Me”


Biggest Disappointment / Most Mixed Opinion: The Killers, Sam’s Town

The lyrics are ridiculous, the power chords a bit too powerful, the ego a little too amuck-running. But… and this is an important but… there are four or five amazing songs on here, too. (The horrendously titled “Bling” and the straightforwardly-titled “Read My Mind” are my favorites).

Big Letdown: Beth Orton, The Comfort of Strangers

I still love Beth Orton. But this album was drained almost entirely of spark.

Albums That Would Be on the Essential List If They Hadn’t Been Released Last Year:

Jack’s Mannequin, Everything in Transit
Panic! At the Disco, whatever the Panic! At the Disco album is named

Best 15-yr-old boy-angst albums

See last category and add Dashboard Confessional’s Dusk and Summer

My favorite concert of the year

Editors at Webster Hall

John G likes to strum

Only essential one:Old Crow Medicine Show, Big Iron World

Zehava hearts K.T.T.

At last I can finally add my two cents! Here are my purchases:

KT Tunstall, Eye To The Telescope (LOVE IT. love it. love it. love it)

Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway (yes, I finally gave in and bought it, and yes I do love it. Do you still respect me?)

and lastly, Laurie Berkner, We Are...The Laurie Berkner Band (CD and DVD, if you have kids and don't know Laurie, we are you living?)

Jonathan V’s not-so-silent shout

Some of my favorite albums this year were from other years, but I'll list my favorites from 2006 first, because I don't wanna rock the boat...


The Killers, SAM'S TOWN
The Decemberists, CRANE WIFE
Belle & Sebastian, THE LIFE PURSUIT
Magnolia Electric Company, FADING TRAILS
Shearwater, PALO SANTO
Some By Sea, ON FIRE! (IGLOO)
Gnarls Barkley, ST. ELSEWHERE
Wolfmother, WOLFMOTHER

Honorable mention, the LOVE Soundtrack--I can't believe I liked it, but I did...though it doesn't really count as new music, does it?


Jack's Mannequin, EVERYTHING IN TRANSIT (2005)
The Knife, DEEP CUTS (2002)
Mastodon, LEVIATHAN (2004)
Sufjan Stevens, ILLINOIS (2005)
Ambulance Ltd, LP (2005)
Eisley, ROOM SOUNDS (2005)



Are you crazy, Glenn?

1) Gnarls Barkley , St. Elsewhere
2) Beck, The Information
3) Sean Lennon, Friendly Fire
4) Keane, Under The Iron Sea
5) The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
6) The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
7) John Legend, Once Again
8) Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
9) Lily Allen, Alright, Still
10) Wolfmother, Wolfmother

Gabe loves those nouveau Weimer beats…

Most essential:The Dresden Dolls, Yes, Virginia...

Also essential:
Scissor Sisters, Ta-Dah!
The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Josh Ritter, The Animal Years ... all phenomenal.

If I may also add... biggest disappointments:
The Killers, Sam's Town
Keane, Under the Iron Sea... both big let downs.

One CD Only for Dan L.

Um. The Dreamgirls soundtrack?

Zach's down with the Sisters

Scissor Sisters - Ta Dah
Beyonce - BDay
Justin Timberlake - Futuresex/Lovesounds
Charlotte Martin - Stromata
Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
Emily Haines and The Soft Skeleton - Knives Don't Have Your Back

Oh! Drew!

YEEEAAAH, music.

Okay, let us see.

My MOST ESSENTIAL ALBUM of the year (2006) is for sure

The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!

Other essential albums include...

Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
The Falcon - Unicornography
Moneen - The Red Tree
The Draft - In a Million Pieces

So, I don't expect my pick of the year to get anywhere on your charts, but maybe Regina can pull some weight. I'm probably gonna marry her and stuff so I'll let her know if she wins the poll, she'll be excited.

I hope it’s not something too drastic, Nico…

If Goldfrapp's SUPERNATURE doesn't get into the top 5 or 10 this year, I'll have to...I dunno...something. I've never fallen in love with a band so quickly since Garbage.

Top 5 Albums of '06
1. Goldfrapp, Supernature (MUST HAVE!!!!!!)
2. Muse, Black Holes and Revelations
3. Placebo, Meds
4. I AM X, The Alternative
5. Peaches, Impeach My Bush (yes, i'll admit, i love this album)

Must-Have Songs of '06
1. Goldfrapp, "Ride a White Horse"
2. Dannii Minogue, "Love Fight"
3. Muse, "Map of the Problematique"
4. Peaches, "Hit It Hard"
5. Christina Aguilera, "Nasty Naughty Boy"--I'm sad this album didn't make it into my Top 5, but it just didn't wow me from the start like I was hoping it would...though it's still very good. :-)

Most Hype, Least Payoff Award goes to....
**Christina Aguilera, Back to Basics**
I mean, come on! If you're gonna go on and on about going back to an old-time jazzy bluesy style, you better actually do it all the way, and do it well.
Take some advice from Peaches: "If you gonna do something, you better do it full-on hard-core" (See "Hit It Hard")

Welcome back to music, Laura D!
I never usually respond to your e-mail for votes but for some reason (having my third baby?) I've found my way back to music (a bit). And so I'm here, responding cryptically after putting everyone to bed. Mostly, i'm feeling heady and nostalgic (just bought an old Joan Armatrading best of album) but a few new ones have come my way. I think these are some of the faves 'round these parts.
Best o Best
The Beatles, Love ((just because I really do think they made some damn perfect tunes and these remixes showcase all they did...though my bro-in-law, the purist, was a bit rankled)
Other Good 'uns
Corinne Bailey Rae, Corinne Bailey Rae
KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope
Tom Waits, Orphans, Brawlers... (old & new songs)
Placebo, Meds
Bob Dylan, Modern Times
John Mayer, Continuum
Ben Harper, Both Sides of the Gun

Zac shows show fidelity
Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope

The Decemberists, The Crane Wife

The Long Winters, Putting the Days to Bed

The Long Winters, Ultimatum EP

Sufjan Stevens, The Avalanche- Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album

Regina Spektor, Samson

Duncan Sheik, Spring Awakening

Jay Brannan, Soda Shop

Various Artists, Shortbus Soundtrack

and from earlier earlier in the year:

Jenny Lewis, Rabbit fur Coat

Arthur L loves them Chicks

Most Essential: Dixie Chicks, Taking The Long WaY

Michael T, Decemberist revolutionary

The Decembrists, The Crane Wife (number 1)

Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

My Morning Jacket, Okonokos

TV on the Radio, Return To Cookie Mountain

Beyonce, B'Day

Akon, Konvicted

Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

New Pornographers, Twin Cinema (really 2005, but whatever)

Sarah L, The Fourth Chick

My SHOCKING First Choice is...1. Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way (I know, it's a shocking pick, but I'm predictable)2. Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Stadium Arcadium (Fantastic. Period.)3. Indigo Girls, Despite Our Differences (A return to traditional IG goodness)4. Spring Awakening Orignal Broadway Cast Album (Seriously, it's BRILLIANT!)5. Snow Patrol, Eyes Open (Especially the duet with Martha Wainwright)6. P!NK, I'm Not Dead (Pop music at its best! This replaces Kelly Clarkson for guilty pleasure of 2006) 7. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (Genius...)8. Ludacris, Release Theory (The man is getting better with each album)9. John Mayer, Continuum (Especially the song "In Repair". He would have charted higher but he's sleeping with Jessica Simpson so I had to demote him)10. Johnny Cash, American Highway V (Recordings from the grave always get a bump in cred from me... I especially loved/was freaked out by his recording of the dance floor classic "If You Could Read My Mind". It's crazy!)
Honorary (?) Mention to...- Beyonce for the song "Irreplaceable". I actually paid 99 cents to have this catchy bugger in the iPod.- The Fray. For getting stuck in everyone's heads. They should be shot. Often.- Nelly Furtado. For coming back from Portuguese morality songs to slutty anthems. What's that about?- Justin Timberlake. For bringing sexy back... Naturally.

Dave B. proclaims the greatest

1. Cat Power, The Greatest
2. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
3. The Twilight Singers, Powder Burns
4. Open Season Soundtrack, Paul Westerberg
5. Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope
6. Solomon Burke, Nashville
7. Tom Waits, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
8. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
9. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
10. Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass [sidebar: this also
wins best album title of all time]

Randy’s musical Pursuit

Albums 2006
Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
Cat Power, The Greatest
The Hidden Cameras, Awoo
Nelly Furtado, Loose
Kelis, Kelis Was Here
Band of Horses, Everything Is Alright
Mates of State, Bring It Back
Jose Gonzalez, Veneer
Shiny Toy Guns, We Are Pilots
The Killers, Sam’s Town

Best Song of 2006: Valentine by The Delays

Tara A on the broken seas…

MOST ESSENTIAL: Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, Battle of the Broken Seas
The Flaming Lips, At War with the Mystics
Built to Spill, You in Reverse
The Silversun Pickups, Carnavas
Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
Cat Power, The Greatest
Peter Bjorn and John, Writer's Block
Bob Dylan, Modern Times

Jason B’s hot flashes
somehow, all that's coming to me are the women of the year...i think i'm going through menopause:
*Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way (essential)
Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope
The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Goldfrapp, Supernature
The Hidden Cameras, Awoo
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
Lily Allen, Aliright,Still
The Gossip, Standing in the Way of Control

singles: *Hot Chip, "over and over"
the knife, "We Share Our Mothers' Health"
Lily allen, "LDN"
cat power "living proof"
YYYs "Cheated Hearts"
Peaches, "Downtown"
regina spektor "fidelity"

Catherine S turns the beat around

Jonny Lang: Turn Around is an '06 winner in my book.

Aimee’s bringing Samson back (yeah!)

A Tie for Most Essential (or, at least, my favorites):

Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope and Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds


Beyonce, B'Day ("Irreplaceable" is one of the best songs of the year, I think)

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium (Good, classic, back-to-roots stuff)

K.T. Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope ("Black Horse and Cherry Tree" was my writing anthem this year)

Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (most obvious, I suppose, so I leave it last...)

Darin shows his bones

1) The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, Show Your Bones
2) Beck, The Information
3) Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
4) Ghostface Killah, Fishscale
5) TV On The Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
6) Cat Power, The Greatest
7) Jon Legend, Once Again
8) The Clipse, Hell Hath no Fury
9) Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
10) Keane, Under the Iron Sea

A whole new Rob

1. Jonathan Clay, A Whole New Me2. Augustana, All the Stars and Boulevards3. Hellogoodbye, Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!4. Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
Guilty Pleasure: Nelly Furtado, Loose (Though if I hear "Promiscuous" one more time...)

Holly brings the flood…

This year, I have only three. Am extremely dull.

Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
The Decemberists, Crane Wife (MOST ESSENTIAL)
The Dresden Dolls, Yes Virginia

Katherine votes in December

The Decemberists, The Crane Wife

This year, I actually thought Brian M would get his wish of Chinese Democracy. Alas.

Well here it goes...the last list before Chinese Democracy tops the charts....for real this time.


Mars Volta, Amputecture

The Dears, Gang of Losers
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
Muse, Black Holes and Revelations
My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade
Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Placebo, Meds
Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
Sean Lennon, Friendly Fire
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium

Most LIkely to be Essential Once I finally get my Hands on Them:
Tom Waits, Orphans
James Dean Bradfield, Great Western
Icarus Line, Black Presents
Babyshambles, Blinding EP

Should Have Been on My LIst LAst Year:
Babyshambles, Down in Albion

Guns N Roses, Chinese Democracy

Jack M’s into the espers

Most Essential:

Espers II

Kind of Essential:

Belle and Sebastian--The Life Pursuit
Broadcast--The Future Crayon
Essex Green--Cannibal Sea

I don't think I actually listened to any other new releases this year that I was all that crazy about. However:

Extremely Essential Reissues:

Soft Sounds For Gentle People IV (seriously, if this were all old stuff, it would be my Most Essential! How could you not love a compilation with bands like The Lemonade Charade, The Peppermint Trolley Company and The Cosmic
Mark Fry--Dreaming of Alice
Blops (Box set)
Bread, Love and Dreams--Amaryllis
Dana Gillespie--Foolish Seasons
Emmanuelle Parrenin--La Maison Rouge
Gary Higgins--Red Hash
Mellow Candle--The Virgin Prophet
Sandy Bull--Still Valentine's Day 1969
Thomas and Richard Frost--Visualize

New Discoveries:

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Dream Babes Vol. 5: Faithful and Forever (especially the group the
Michael Chapman--Fully Qualified Survivor and Rainmaker John Barry--Ipcress File soundtrack John Martyn--London Conversation and Road to Ruin Keith Christmas--Stimulus Roy Harper--Flat Baroque and Berserk Shelagh McDonald--s/t Steve Tilston--An Acoustic Confusion Terry Collier--What Color is Love Trad Gras och Stenar The Sunshine Company--Happy Is Espers--Weed Tree EP

Biggest Waste of $12.99:

Brightblack Morning Light

Lay off the Terry Gross, Jarrett

i think i listened to more npr this year, my list is short this time around!

various artists, punk goes the 90's
cartel, chroma
ben kweller, ben kweller
blackalicious, the craft
clap your hands say yeah, clap your hands say yeah
red hot chilli peppers, stadium arcadium

I can vouch that Josh L is not married to a crane

1) The Decemberists, The Crane Wife

Top Ten:

2) The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America

3) Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say...
Our nation shall disdain them, for they do not speak properly.

4) Neil Young, Living with War
Not a great album, song-wise, but I don't think Neil would mind being slotted in behind these bright young things. Actual protest! One-off songs, quickly done, but actual engagement! Music commenting on war and presidential lies! What, the "sexy" is back? Britney forgot her underpants? Oh, sorry...

5) My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade
I don't know who they are (I only steal music and read reviews, have little pop-culture/mtvish awareness), but if they're dead serious and pretend that they're real and the 80s were fake, drop them down three spots. If they are aware that they have successfully fed Meatloaf to a hair band and then cast it in a high school music, mazel tov to the band and move them up two spots.

6) Lily Allen, Alright Still
I feel bad about the grandmother's colostomy bag; but I also like misogynistic rap songs, so I guess I'll have to deal. She can keep up rhythms through entire verses using the dropped initial consonants from her fake accent--that's really impressive. See note to 3, above.

7) Knopfler/Harris, All the Roadrunning

8) Mountain Goats, Get Lonely
This is a protest vote; it's not in the top five albums by him, but I was just finding out about him last year and probably forgot to vote for The Sunset Tree. Also, given that this is pre-eminent American songwriter under 50, we should probably pay more attention...

9) Bob Dylan, Modern Times
Still got it... his persona says more about life and history than most "artists" whole "ouevres." "so there."

10) Indigo Girls, Despite Our Differences
Emily is, apparently, still 17 years old and gooey in love, which is starting to wear thin... but Amy picks up the slack.

11) Jenny Lewis, Rabbit Fur Coat

12) Joanna Newsom, Ys

Almost made the list, but he annoys me, great fun though, the album is:
Springsteen, Seeger Sessions.

Greatest song:
"Sons and Daughters" (The Crane Wife)

Runners Up: "Square One" (Petty), "Everythings Just Wonderful" (Allen), "Party Pit" (Hold Steady), "Workingman's Blues #2" (Dylan), "Red light indicates doors are secure" (Arctic Monkeys), “Emily” (Newsom), and yes, yes, "Crazy."

Honorable Mention, and greatest Teen Sex-Angst Story-Song Rock Epic since "Paradise by the Dashboard Light:" "Chillout Tent" (Boys and Girls in America). Btw, David, if you could help me name a third song in the genre, that would greatly improve the nascent essay on the subject.

But I'm not opinionated. I'm sure I'm forgetting something that I stole and doesn't have the date in its Itunes incarnation.

Why is Lucas so defensive about his pick?

Here's my list. I am unapologetic about my Arctic Monkeys pick!

1. Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope
2. Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am...
3. Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds
4. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
5. Rhymefest, Blue Collar
6. John Mayer, Continuum
7. Guster, Ganging Up on the Sun
8. Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
9. Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, All the Roadrunning
10. Be Your Own Pet, Be Your Own Pet

David L (not the one who makes the poll) is on sabbatical

I feel very strongly about one album. Otherwise, I pretty much took the year off in terms of following the music biz. I look forward to discovering some good (maybe great) albums from this year in the near future - perhaps through the survey. Without further ado,

Essential Album: The Eraser by Thom Yorke

My bet for overall winner of the survey is Return to Cookie Mt. by TV on the Radio.

Food & Liquor: Essential to Cassandra

Most Essential:
Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor

Other Essentials:
Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds
The Roots, Game TheoryMy Chemical Romance, The Black Parade
Lil Wayne, Dedication 2: Gangsta Grillz
Panic! At the Disco, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (released 4th quarter 2005, but still very essential in 2006)
Corinne Bailey Rae, Corinne Bailey Rae
John Legend, Once Again
Evanescence, The Open Door
Nas, Hip Hop Is Dead

Siobhan’s on the band-wagon

1. Band of Horses, Everything All The Time
2. Belle and Sebastian, Life Pursuit
3. Essex Green, Cannibal Sea
4. Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, 3
5. Islands, Return to the Sea
6. Human Television, Look At Who You're Talking To

CATEGORY Essential 2006 Album for Marathon Training:Futureheads, News and Tributes
CATEGORY Best Use of Song for 2006 Theatircal Trailer:New Order, Age of Cosent - for MARIE ANTOINETTE
CATEGORY Best 2006 Song To Dance Around Your Room, Alone, To: Suburban Kids With Biblical Names - Loop Duplicate My Heart

Rebecca B puts her records on
so very essential:1) Corinne Bailey Rae2) Ringside (a little Tom Petty, a little Brian Adams . . . you know exactly who this guy's influences were)3) Israel Kamakawinwo'ole - Somewhere over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World4) the Fray (possibly under the "Mcdreamy" influence on this one)5) the Network (landon brasseur insists that i include - agreed)remembering when essentials:1) Rod Stewart - Still the Same2) Billy Holiday - Lady Sings the Blues3) Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees 4) John Lennon's Plastic Ono Bandstill stuck on Cesaria Evora

Alex cares about former child stars

Please find my list below. write a letter to myself to complain that Jenny Lewis should have a much higher ranking. I mean, c'mon! She was in "The Wizard"!

1) The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
2) M. Ward, Post-War
3) Comets on Fire, Avatar
4) Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat
5) The Black Keys, Magic Potion
6) The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
7) Bob Dylan, Modern Times
8) Belle & Sebastian, Life's Pursuit
9) Cat Power, The Greatest
10) Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped

Erin D, on the continuum

SO here are my opinions solely based on what is on my desk at work 1. John Mayer, Continuum 2. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife 3. Scissor Sisters, Ta Dah 4. Beck, The Information 5. Ray LaMontagne, Till The Sun Turns Black 6. Cat Stevens (Yusalf Islam), Another Cup of Coffee this is not a exhaustive recitiation of what I thought was good, but off the top of my head it is!

Karen A and her very British-sounding choice

Most essential:Bernard Fanning, Tea & SympathyAlso essential:Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome—The Seeger SessionsRed Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium ArcadiumRodrigo y Gabriela, Rodrigo y GabrielaEssential re-discovery of 80’s Hair Band single: Def Leppard, “Animal”

Jim H likes the growly guy

Orphans - Tom WaitsThat's it for me!

Under the influence of Joel

Albums: (*s are best of the best)

Under the Influence of Giants, "Under the Influence of Giants"
*Hellogoodbye, "Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!"
*Angels and Airwaves, "We Don't Need to Whisper"
Corrinne Baily Rae, "Corrine Baily Rae"
Head Automatica, "Popoganda"
*Mew, "And the Glass Handed Kites"
Secondhand Serenade, "Maybe"
Lady Sovereign, "Public Warning"
Basement Jaxx, "Crazy Itch Radio"
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, "Red Jumpsuit Apparatus"
*This Providence, "Our Worlds Divorce"
Regina Spektor, "Begin to Hope"
Joanna Newsom, "Ys"
Scissor Sisters, "Ta-dah"
The Raconteurs, "Broken Boy Soldiers"
Matt Costa, "Songs We Sing"
Brett Dennen, "So Much More"
*Boys Like Girls, "Boys Like Girls"


*Under the Influence of Giants, "Mama's Room"
*Boys Like Girls, "Hero/Heroine"
*Hellogoodbye, "Here (In Your Arms)"
KT Tunstall, "Suddenly I See"
Belle & Sebastian, "White Collar Boy"
Starsailor, "In the Crossfire"
Matt Costa, "Yellow Taxi"
Brett Dennen, "Ain't No Reason"
Secondhand Serenade, "Maybe"
Corrinne Baily Rae, "Girl, Put Your Records On"
Scissor Sisters, "I Don't Feel Like Dancing"
Augustana, "Boston"
Dirty Pretty Things, "Deadwood"
Plain White T's, "Hey There Delilah"
Beyonce, "Irreplacable"
*This Providence, "My Beautiful Rescue"
Mary J Blige, "Enough Cryin"
Mellowdrone, "Oh My"
Mew, "Comforting Sounds" "Apocolypto" "Shespider"
*Regina Spektor, "Fidelity"
Ben Kweller, "Sundress"
*The Scene Aesthetic, "Beauty in the Breakdown"
Say Anything, "Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too"

Whatever people say Ryan M is, they’ll be right if they say he likes the Arctic Monkeys
1. The Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not2. Thom Yorke, The Eraser3. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain4. The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers5. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife

Patrick Fisher’s list goes down in history

01. Lily Allen, Alright Still
02. Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, The Dust of Retreat
03. Cat Power, The Greatest
04. The Knife, Silent Shout
05. Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
06. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
07. The Long Blondes, Someone to Drive You Home
08. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
09. Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope
10. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Floods

Okay, and I took your advice and made an essential singles list, because, while music was a little disappointing to me this year, there were some bomb-ass singles.

01. Hot Chip, Boys from School
02. Lily Allen, Smile
03. Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland, Promiscuous
04. Belle and Sebastian, White Collar Boy
05. Camera Obscura, Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken
06. Cat Power, Lived in Bars
07. The Knife, Like a Pen
08. Gnarls Barkley, Crazy
09. Cursive, Dorothy at Forty
10. Justin Timberlake, Lovestoned
11. Mates of State, Fraud in the 80's
12. Regina Spektor, Better
13. Tilly and the Wall, Lost Girls
14. Voxtrot, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives
15. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Cheated Hearts

And a category I made up myself: Bands and Artists I Think Will Be on Next Year's Best of List

01. Bloc Party
02. Bright Eyes
03. Arcade Fire
04. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
05. Postal Service
06. The Shins
07. The Faint
08. Spoon
09. Interpol
10. Modest Mouse
11. Rilo Kiley

Elise’s modern times

My top-three albums of 2006:

1) Bob Dylan, Modern Times
2) Corinne Bailey Rae, Corinne Bailey Rae
3) The Fray, How to Save a Life (except I'm vaguely worried this is from last year; if it is, maybe Shawn Colvin's These Four Walls).

Favorite single of the year: Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars." I know, I know, it's totally sappy and repetitive and it's on the radio all the time. But I like it.

The Decemberists are in with Flinn

Most Essential: The Decemberists, The Crane Wife

Others: Dixie Chicks, Taking The Long WayNeko Case, Fox Confessor Brings The FloodThe Beatles, LoveJenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur CoatBand of Horses, Everything All The Time Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones

Pete I, Indie Pop Nerd Extraordinaire

It turns out that, despite my best efforts to be a music snob, I'm becoming more of an indie pop nerd every year. This is my very honest list of stuff I couldn't stop listening to.

Top 10:

1. Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
2. Mates of State, Bring it Back
3. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
4. The Long Winters, Putting the Days to Bed
5. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
6. M. Ward, Post-War
7. Tapes N Tapes, The Loon
8. Built to Spill, You in Reverse
9. Centro-matic, Fort Recovery
10. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Etiquette

Honorable mentions: Cat Power, The Greatest (which will probably win by popular vote, me thinks), Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, The Dust of Retreat (great album, bad band name) and Nina Nastasia, On Leaving (just really good singer/songwriter stuff).

Best Album That Isn't Really an Album:
Voxtrot, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives EP

Best Album That I'm Never in the Mood to Listen to:
Eef Barclay, Bitter Honey

Best Album with Gender Ambiguous Lead Vocals:
Silversun Pickups, Carnavas

Best Album by an Artist I Was so Sure I Hated That I Deleted Her From My Hard Drive Last Year
Joanna Newson, Ys

Coe gives some singer a reprieve

The most essential:

Corinne Bailey Rae, Corinne Bailey Rae

Runners up:
Anna Nalick, Wreck of the Day
Ani Difranco, Reprieve

Wani returns to cookie mountain

TV on the Radio- Return to Cookie Mountain(Most Essential!)
(the rest... in no particular order)
Sonic Youth-Rather Ripped
Cat Power-The Greatest
Ornette Coleman-Sound Grammar

Matthew U and his pretty little picks

Just under the wire, here are my picks. As usual, most of my purchases this year weren't from this year--I guess I'm not exactly an "early adopter."

Most essential:
Nellie McKay, Pretty Little Head -- a mix of genres (and attitudes) that somehow doesn't come out sounding just mixed up

Other essentials:
Rhett Miller, The Believer -- Same feel as his debut, and that's all for the best
Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit -- ok, perhaps also nothing new here, but it feels less mopey than recent attempts
Pet Shop Boys, Fundamental -- does this date me at this point? maybe a guilty pleasure, but I find myself listening to this album over and over

Best discovery from last year:
Brandi Carlile, Brandi Carlile -- If this had been released in the same year that I bought it, it would have been #1; very strong--great voice, great lyrics, solid band

The rest, not worth mentioning...

Josh V, bringing and pursuing

I'm not sure I'd vote either of these "most essential," but I would put them in my "essential" category:

Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit

('s occurring to me that most of the music I bought in 2006 isn't actually from 2006...)

As for faves from previous years that didn't make the top-tens, I'd have to include:
The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow (2003)
Wilco, Summerteeth (1999)

Michael R is tied between a rabbit and a crane

I'm tied between:

Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat

The Decemberists, The Crane Wife

One was the essential New Orleans album, the other the essential Chicago album. (Note: this is a reference to where Michael was living, not the sound of the records.)

I would also add:

Sufjan Stevens, The Avalanche

Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit

For 'somewhat less essential but still good'

Jeff rocks out
Best Mainstream Metal Album of 2006: Mastodon "Blood Mountain"
Best Metal Cartoon of 2006: Metalacalypse
Best Album Worth Waiting For and thinking it was going to come out but then it gets continuously pushed back but then finally released of 2006: Clipse "Hell Hath No Fury"
Best Reinvention Album of 2006: Liars "Drums Not Dead"
Best Album by Someone I Played a Show with and couldn't believe I played a show with of 2006: Ghostface Killah "Fishscale" (Lupe Fiasco played, too, but I'm a little suspect of his can't touch Ghostface)
Best Ambient Metal Album of 2006: Jesu "Silver"
Best Hopeful Musical Moment of 2006: Jeff Mangum from Neutral Milk Hotel appearing on-stage performing with Of Montreal at Bowery Ballroom (though it sucked that he was with Of Montreal and that there was no perfoming of any Neutral Milk Hotel songs)
Best Album of 2006 period: The Melvins " A Senile Animal"
Best Song by someone not taking credit for his part in the Super Bowl fiasco and let Ms. Jackson take all the blame herself of 2006: Justin Timberlake My Love

OK Elizabeth E, go

I had virtually a three-way tie for Most Essential Album of the Year, but the winner, in the end is:

Ok Go, Oh No

Runner ups:
Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
Gomez, How We Operate

The others:
Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
Jack’s Mannequin, Everything in Transit
Keane, Under the Iron Sea
Muse, Black Holes and Revelations
My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade (this one surprised me!)

Could possibly be my favorite new artist of 2007 if other songs are as good as the debut single:
Lily Allen – “Smile” was my second favorite video of last year, and yes, probably because it is all about getting revenge on cheating ex-boyfriend. (Favorite video, of course, was Ok Go’s brilliant “Here it Goes Again.”)

Favorite first line of a song:
Shiny Toy Guns, Le Disko – “Hello little boys, little toys…”

The stop making me wait award goes to:
K. Clarkson – oh Kelly, where is thy new album? I’m patiently waiting for SUBG – the sequel!

Elana eyes the telescope

Essential album --
K.T. Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope

Essential single --
Sandi Thom, I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)
Son Volt, Windfall (an old song from their 1995 album, Trace, but I just discovered it)

Nouvelle Veronica

(no particular order)

Nouvelle Vague, Bande à Part
Dixie Chicks, Taking The Long Way
KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope
Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds
High School Musical - the soundtrack
Corrine Bailey Rae, Corrine Bailey Rae
The Veronicas, The Secret Life of ... (okay, this is only because of their name ... )

Sheila Marie forces herself to choose (and they’re all from 2006)

This is hard :) I love all kinds of music and it's so hard to choose!
Okay, here is my stab at it...(I hope they're all actually from 2006!)

Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
Scissor Sisters, Ta-Dah
Diana Krall, From This Moment On

Guilty Pleasure - Justin Timberlake, Future Sex/Love Sounds
Do Broadway cast recordings count? Spring Awakening gets my vote.

Wendy had infant twins this year, so her hands have been full…

I only bought one CD this year (I don't get out much!), but I think it's really rockin':

Daughtry by Chris Daughtry

Thu brings it back

most essential album of 2006:Mates of State, Bring It Back

other essentials:
Guster, Ganging Up On the Sun
John Mayer, Continuum
Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
Various Artists, The Last Kiss Soundtrack (the movie may have been underwhelming but the soundtrack still lived up to expectations)
Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
Snow Patrol, Eyes Open

E.ko, Night Ripper

sorry for the delay. this was a hard year for me to come up with my favorite albums. these are probably the ones that struck me most when i heard them or that i found myself listening to over and over again.
we'll see how this holds up over time and with respect to other's. in alphabetical order:

Alias & Tarsier-Brookland/Oaklyn
Alif Tree-French Cuisine
Asobi Seksu-Citrus
Beirut-Gulag Orkestar
Damien Rice-9
Girl Talk-Night Ripper
Joanna Newsom-Ys
Johann Johannson-IBM 1401 A User's Manual Max Richter-Songs from Before Tom Tom Waits-Orphans

my favorite tracks from this year were:
Justin Timberlake, "My Love"
Regina Specktor, "Fidelity"
Say Hi To Your Mom, "These Fangs"

Sarah-Maria tells us about the racounteurs

most essential
Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade

very essential
The Dears, Gang of Losers
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
Muse, Black Holes and Revelations
Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Placebo, Meds
Sean Lennon, Friendly Fire
Johnossi, Johnossi
Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
Madrugada, Live At Tralfamadore
The Sounds, Dying To Say This To You
Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat

most important discovery of 2006
Kaizer's Orchestra

hopefully part of this list will be the following, which i just got my hands on today
The Magic Numbers, Those The Brokes
The Divine Comedy, Victory For The Comic Muse

most essential of 2007
The Good, The Bad & The Queen
The White Stripes

Sarah S. and her variable essentials

I think this is the first time I have managed to send in a list. I cannot choose an essential album. Mood dictates these things. But in no particular order, here they are:
The Decemberists, Crane Wife
Beirut, Gulag Orkestar
Cat Power, The Greatest (reissue? maybe not her greatest? but this was MY year for cat power)
Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit (you keep thinking, maybe this one will suck. then it doesn't)
Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope
Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am...

Not from this year (what is this, five years old?), but the live show pushed me over and it actually made me cry, so: Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Also a major essential in my house, frequently requested by the under six set: School House Rocks, Grammar Rock. lolly lolly lolly we got your adverbs here! indubitably.

David O. scissors for the Sisters

Most Essential seems to me to be Ta-Dah by the Scissor Sisters.

But in the effort to try and do something a little more interesting I also nominate Elton John's "Captain and the Kid" with its hot, hot, hot song "And the House Fell Down."

And my much cooler LA boyfriend Buck says the honor of Most Essential is Beck's new CD whatever that is. But Buck is pretty confident he's right.

Martha O’s Greatest hits

Hello david, i wasn't sure how many to put but here is my list. Looking forward to seeing the others.

ESSENTIAL= Cat Power- The Greatest
Owen- At Home With Owen
Built To Spill- You In Reverse
Sufjan Stevens- Songs For Christmas
Camera Obscura- Let's Get Out Of This Country Mountain Goats- Get Lonely BEST SOUNDTRACK= marie antoinette!

i'm sure there are others but i can't remember them...if i think of them later i'll email you.

Leslie, ward of the music poll

Here's my list:

M. Ward, Post-War

The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America

Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

Cat Power, The Greatest

TV On the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain

Tom Waits, Orphans

Jordan joins the Black Parade

My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade

Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint, The River in Reverse

Michael Franti and Spearhead, Yell Fire!

Overall, I think it was a crummy year for pop music. But these three, at least, strike me as standouts.

Dan P must say something

I didn't think this past year warranted anything essential.

But if I must say something (and I must),

I'm going to go with my favorite instead:

Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way.

That's the one I keep listening to. And I feel I should give it up for alt-country because I have a feeling everyone is going to vote for alt-rock or alt-folk.

Oh what the hell, I'll also throw in

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show your bones.

And I also just got

Boston, Boston

It rocks.

Jackie Q love the funny little frog
1. Belle And Sebastian, The Life Pursuit2. Scissor Sisters,Ta Dah3. Girl Talk, Night Ripper4. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Floor5. The Beatles, Love6. Marie Antoinette, Soundtrack7. Gwen Stefani, The Sweet Escape8. Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of This Country9. Matisyahu, Youth10. Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Show Your Bones11. Stereolab, Fab Four Suture12. Justin Timberlake, FutureSex / LoveSounds And FYI... Best Concerts1. Gorillaz, @ The Apollo2. Madonna, Confessions Tour @ Madison Square Garden3. Belle and Sebastian, Live from Battery Park July 4th Best Music DVD..Gorillaz, Demon Days Live from Manchester Most Anticipated Album for 2007..The Shins, Wincing The Night Away

Ronnie leads us to the Fountain

My favorite soundtracks this year (so far) in no particular order

Clint Mansell, The Fountain
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, The Proposition
Various Artists, Miami Vice
Javier Navarrete, Pan's Labyrinth
Tom Tykwer & Johnny Kilmek & Reinhold Heil, Perfume
Various Artists, Prairie Home Companion [highlight: "The Day Is Short" by Jearlyn Steele]
Various Artists, Children of Men [highlight: "Running the World" by Jarvis Cocker]
Mychael Danna & Devotchka, Little Miss Sunshine
Susumu Hirasawa, Paprika [highlight: "Meditational Field"]
Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awasthi featuring Panjabi MC; "Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint" from Inside Man

Patrick Flanery goes with the eraser

Has been a year of rediscovery rather than new discovery!

Most Essential: Thom Yorke, The Eraser

All my others were albums from past years! Fiona Apple, Gorillaz, Sufjan...

Ruth gives one to the animals

Josh Ritter, The Animal Years

Brandi lets go

Most essential:
Bonnie Prince Billy, The Letting Go

Other essentials:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
Beck, The Information
Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

Erin married a music editor, so now she “pays more attention to these things”

Most Essential:
The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers

Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
Hot Chip, The Warning
Mates of State, Bring It Back
The Rakes, Capture/Release
Babydayliner, Critics Pass Away

Dan Feder, boy in America

The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America (most essential)
TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
Justin Timberlake, Futuresex/Lovesounds
Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam
The Futureheads, News and Tributes
Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Paul Westerberg, Songs from Open Season
Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock and Roll
Beyonce, B'Day

Biggest music discovery from previous years: The Action, Action Packed and Rolled Gold

That took me way, way too long.

Annmarie N’s seder songs
1. The Black Angels, Passover
2. Brightblack Morning Light, Brightblack Morning Light
3. Stevenson Ranch Davidians, Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs
4. Smog, Rock Bottom Riser (EP)
5. Espers, II
6. Mariee Sioux, A Bundled Bundle of Bundles
7. Pink Mountaintops, Axis of Evol
8. Asteroid #4, An Amazing Dream
9. Joanna Newsom, Ys
10. Vetiver, To Find Me Gone

Most essential single: The Warlocks, Red Camera / Isolation 7"
Close second: The Morning After Girls, Shadows Evolve

Best nostalgia trip: Jarvis Cocker, Jarvis

Best argument for being a raging completist: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl Sessions

I can't believe I still haven't listened to:
Primal Scream, Riot City Blues
Sarabeth Tucek, Sarabeth Tucek

Annie gives some props to the ringleader of the tormentors

Most Essential:
Morrissey, Ringleader of the Tormentors

Most Essential Protest Albums:
Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way
Neil Young, Living with War

Most Essential Song that Should Sweep the Nation:
Neil Young, "Let's Impeach the President"!!!!

Most Essential Broadway Cast Album:
Harry Connick Jr, The Pajama Game

Most Anticipated Broadway Cast Album release:
High Fidelity (so underrated and killed before its time...)

Runners-up in no particular order:
Grey's Anatomy Vol 2 soundtrack
Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
Nellie McKay, Pretty Little Head
Pink, I'm Not Dead
Beck, The Information
KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope
Roseanne Cash, Black Cadillac
John Mayer, Continuum
Cat Power, The Greatest
Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of This Country
Say Anything...Is a Real Boy
M. Ward, Post-War
Keane, Under the Iron Sea
The Last Kiss soundtrack
(for old times' sake) The O.C. Vol 6 soundtrack
Scissor Sisters, Ta-Dah

Best New Discovery:
Motion City Soundtrack, Commit This to Memory (2005)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (thanks for the recommendation on last year's list, everyone!)

AnnMarie H conducts the Orkestar

Er, I'm generally not good at this sort of thing, but here are two albums from 2006 that I thought were really great:

Beirut, Gulag Orkestar
Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere

Benjamin has his opinions

Matt forwarded you message about the music poll to me, so now you have to listen to my opinions. Don't worry, I won't be waxing poetic or anything; this simple list will suffice. (Unless someone should somehow want explanations or something; in that case, I will be happy to tell them why I'm right and they're dumb.)

Most Essential: The Secret Machines, Ten Silver Drops

The Rest of the Top Ten:
2. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain (the closest second possible)
3. Cut Chemist, The Audience's Listening
4. The M's, Future Women
5. Beck, The Information
6. Wolfmother (album is self-titled)
7. The Flaming Lips, At War With the Mystics
8. Built to Spill, You in Reverse
9. Figurines, Skeleton
10. Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther

There. Take that.

Amalia heads to Beirut

here is my master list.
& let me tell you, it is so 2006.

Beirut, The Gulag Orkestar
The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
Islands, Return to the Sea
Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of this Country
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
Flaming Lips, At War with the Mystics
Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds
Beck, The Information

Springtime didn’t kill Cecil

Jolie Holland, Springtime Can Kill You
Girls From Hawaii, From Here to There
Joanna Newsom, Ys
Sean Hayes, Big Black Hole and The Little Baby Star

Not Ready to Make Nice by the Dixie Chicks
And I am Telling you sung by Jennifer Hudson

Iain gets points just for listening to a band called Spank Rock

My musical year has been entirely front room and train-based. Gigs don't happen any more, and domestic listening is usually curtailed by demands for The Smartest Giant In Town or Okey-Cokey to be played. Arrival of Kid B (Evie, aww) in February further focussed musical consumption opportunities. That said, I seem to have managed to listen to a fair bit of new stuff, largely thanks to iPod (am on my fifth, absurdly) and proliferation of websites carrying lists of interesting music.

Album of the Year

King Creosote, KC Rules OK (err, was actually first released in 05, I think, but disappeared without trace and was reissued properly this year. If that doesn't count, please promote Fantan Mojah to AotY)

Other Nice Albums

Spank Rock, Yoyoyoyo

Bob Dylan, Modern Times

Joanna Newsom, Ys (was all standing by to hate it, too)

Bonnie Prince Billy, The Letting Go

Beirut, Gulag Orkester

Ghostface Killah, Fishscale

J Dilla, Donuts

CSS, Cansei de ser Sexy

Fantan Mojah, Hail The King

PJ Harvey, Peel Sessions

Songs I liked this year, from various years

Tinariwen, Amassakouil 'N' Tenere

Ken Boothe, Can't You See

Jaylib, The Red

Katzenjammers, Cars

Lyme and Cybelle, Follow Me

Chris Clark, Love's Gone Bad

Dexys Midnight Runners, Show Me

Fire Engines, Eveything's Roses

Gong, Tried So Hard

The Creation, Making Time

The Good The Bad and The Queen, Herculean (they need a new name for that band, damn)

The Young Knives, Loughborough Suicide

Lori and the Chameleons, Touch

Data Panik, Cubis (I Love You)

Things for 07, please

New Fall album

Proper reissue of Fire Engines and Scars back catalogue

Incarceration of Pete Doherty

Long overdue dissolution of Oasis, REM. They can't need the money

The Good the Bad and the Queen. Could be great. Or not

Definitive Basement Tapes release

Live, from Costa Rica, it’s…Jeffrey

It will not be difficult for me to avoid the temptation to include a slew of latin pop music in the list below. Quite simply, other than the odd Alejandro Sanz song which crops up on the radio, it generally sucks.

1. Roseanne Cash, Black Cadillac
2. Sara Gazarek, Yours (this may well have been late 2005, not sure)
3. Susan Tedeschi, Hope and Desire (again, a late 2005 release)
4. Johnny Cash, American V (and I promise to you that barring some strange miracle-work by Rick Rubin, this will be his last nomination to your music poll)

Who knew that Jimi Hendrix sang in Japanese, Dan?

Jimi Hendrix, Live at the Fillmore East (Japanese edition)

Blake is keen on Keane

Top Albums:

Keane, Under the Iron Sea (favorite of the year)
Raconteurs, Raconteurs
Ladytron, Witching Hour
Depeche Mode, Precious
Hard Fi, Stars of CCTV
Mastadon, Throne of Blood
Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur coat
AFI, December Undeground
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bone of the Golden Lion (so much better than first one)

Favorite singles:
Black Parade by My Chemical Romance
Miss Murder by AFI
Precious by Depeche Mode
Crystal Ball by Keane
Heard to Beat by Hard Fi

Recent Discovery of past band i thought sucked:
The Libertines, all of

Jack L, holding back the years

Okay, so it seems I'm a couple years behind on my music taste because almost everything I've "discovered" this year has turned out to be from 2004 or earlier...

Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope
Duncan Sheik, Spring Awakening
Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Road

Previous years:
Deb Talan, Something Burning
Pink Martini, Hang On Little Tomato
Girlyman, Little Star
The Story, Angel in the House
Imogen Heap, Speak for Yourself
Madeline Peyroux, Careless Love
Jem, Finally Woken

Most effortlessy catchy though shamelessly plastic celebrity single:
Stars are Blind

Most shockingly disappointing sample of "The Lonely Goatherd:"
Gwen Stefani, Wind it Up

Gabe G’s on the case

Most essential album of the year:

NEKO CASE -- "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood"

Top 5 runner-ups:

YEAH YEAH YEAHS -- "Show Your Bones"

CAT POWER -- "The Greatest"

REGINA SPEKTOR -- "Begin to Hope"

THE HOLD STEADY -- "Boys and Girls in America"

THE KILLERS -- "Sam’s Town"

Essential YouTube clip: Chris Funk from "The Decemberists" shredding against Stephen Colbert

Essential haunting Thom Yorke song: "Analyse"

Essential documentary about an essential artist that I didn't know much about before watching it: "The Devil and Daniel Johnston"

Corinne, down(loading) with the singles

I don't buy albums, only songs (and the fact that they are new to me, doesn't make them new)

If you like Fiona Apple, do you know:
1) Anna Nalick (Breathe, Catalyst, Wreck of the Day)
2) Rachael Yamagat (Reason Why)
3) Dar Williams (I'll Miss You Till I Meet You)

If you like Coldplay, do you know:
1) Hoobastank - (If I were You, The Reason)
2) Hem (Half Acre)
3) Frou Frou (Breathe In)
4) Ich + Ich (The whole album)
5) Jem (Maybe I'm Amazed)
6) Morsheeba (The Sea)
7) The Thrills (Not for All the Love in the World)
8) The Verve
9) Waterlillies (Tempted, Never Get Enough)

More Eurotrashy:
1) ATB - Extasy
2) Blue October - (Believe)
3) Fotonovella - (Cascada & Mirabella)
4) Dalida - (Besame Mucho)
5) In-Grid (In Tango)
6) Kaskade (Be Still)
7) Lucas Prata (I Think I am Falling in Love, Feel The Love Again, More Than Words Can Say)
8) Mylene Farmer/Seal (Les Mots)
9) Robert Miles (Children)
10) Robi Draco Rosa (Mas et Mas)

More Alternative
1) Beborn Beton - (Deeper than the Usual Feeling)
2) Weave(Als Ob, To Hell and Back)
3) Wolfsheim (Find You're Here)
4) Motorcycle (As the Rush Comes)
5) Mesh (Crash)
6) Gomez (How we Operate)
7) Covenant (We Stand Alone, Like Tears in Rain)

Angie and Bob: a his-n’-hers list

Most Essential Album:

Bob: The Scissor Sisters, Ta-dah!
Angie: Soundtrack, Marie Antoinette

Other essential albums, our combined list:

Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
Sondre Lerche and the Faces Down Quartet, Duper Sessions
Corinne Bailey Rae, Corinne Bailey Rae
The Decemberists, The Crane Wife

Single of note (because we are and because the godkids know all the words): "White and Nerdy" by Weird Al Yankovic, Straight Outta Lynwood.

Anton and his gang of losers

Like last year, I feel like I just didn’t have as much time as I used to for exploring new music. In fact, there’s still some stuff I’ve heard good things about that I need to sample ¾ so I don’t feel right offering my essential albums of 2006. All I can do is comment on what I’ve heard…


THE DEARS ¾ Gang of Losers
Their last album, No Cities Left, was my favorite discovery of 2004 ¾ so it was no surprise I’d be all over their follow-up. While it didn’t blow me away upon first listening, I’ve discovered it’s taken over me upon repeated plays. Murray Lightburn’s soulful singing can be inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. I just saw them live last week, so I’m still high about that too.


THE STROKES ¾ First Impressions of Earth
I thought their first album was fun and different, but grew bored with it quickly. Their sophomore album, Room on Fire, proved to be more of the same and even less inspired. The third time’s definitely the charm, though ¾ and First Impressions leaves lasting ones. It’s been a year already and I’m still impressed. Despite mixed reviews, it’s their most mature work, and definitely the direction I hope they continue to take.

BECK ¾ The Information
I keep expecting to not be into Beck’s style of music, but he keeps winning me over with new directions. Even when he goes back to his roots and older sound, it’s still fresh. I’m never bored with Beck. My only regret was downloading this album off iTunes, and not getting the do-it-yourself album cover.

MORRISSEY ¾ Ringleader of the Tormentors
OK, it wasn’t his greatest. But even Moz’s lesser albums are far better than most of what’s out there. “Life in a Pigsty” wasn’t quite the epic people said it was, but it was still quite good nonetheless. And “I Will See You in Far Off Places” is a phenomenal opening track.
As usual, his collection of B-Sides for the singles were even better than the actual album itself. “Ganglord” is the best Moz track since Vaulhall and I’s “Speedway,” and that’s really saying something. “Christian Dior” and his covers of “Human Being” and “A Song From Under the Floorboards” were tops too. “Sweetie Pie” can be completely ignored, however.

RICHARD BUTLER ¾ Richard Butler
My “mellow” album of the year. But this isn’t elevator music, or adult contemporary. It’s just soothing, good-for-the-soul music. I’ve always been a follower of Richard Butler, from his Psychedelic Furs days to Love Spit Love (a great, totally underrated band). I was afraid at first this album would be too “soft” an approach, but it’s like Butler’s voice has finally become comfortable with the songs he’s singing. A truly beautiful record.

I think it’s probably been 20 years since I’ve listened to a full Beatles album. I had absolutely NO intention of getting this, but when my boyfriend got it and started playing it, I remembered how much I actually loved the Beatles growing up without even realizing it. Their music still sounds contemporary, even today ¾ and the new spin on their most famous tracks makes it all the more fresher.


MUSE ¾ Black Holes and Revelations
It’s only here because I haven’t listened to it all enough yet, but it should probably be above with the Essentials. Muse is far from “typical” of the bands I generally like, and that’s probably why I’m digging them so much. The tunes here are catchy, original and unexpected.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful and beautiful album. If my list above was a top ten, this would have been in it. But I just don’t get the unbelievable raves this gets. It’s ok. Pleasant. Nothing revolutionary. I guess I’ve been distancing myself from this style of music and others of its ilk (every other band, it seems). I just want something… more.

BADLY DRAWN BOY ¾ Born in the U.K.
Once an absolute favorite, and someone I expected amazing things from. Now just another “ok” musician. I get about as excited with BDB as I do with Coldplay. Listenable, definitely ¾ but nothing to write home about.

KEANE ¾ Under The Iron Sea
I appreciated the new sound of “Is it Any Wonder?” (even though the opening sounds like U2), but this is pretty much more of the same. “Nothing in My Way” sounds like it could have been on the first album, but it’s my favorite anyway.

Still not quite my thing, but darn fun anyway. Looking more forward to their concert in March than listening to the full album again.


BEN KWELLER ¾ Ben Kweller
I’m sure it’s nothing new, but his songs are catchy and well-constructed. I can’t get enough of “Sundress.”

Their first album was a lovely surprise, and I’m expecting good things from this one.


ARTIC MONKEYS ¾ Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Sorry, I find them really annoying. Even the title’s annoying.

THOM YORKE ¾ The Eraser
Cold and alienating. While some songs were ok mixed in with others during shuffle mode, listening to the entire album made me very uncomfortable and nervous.


THE KILLERS ¾ Sam’s Town
After one of the best debut’s in a decade with Hot Fuss, the Killers unfortunately discover Bruce Springsteen and decide to use him as an inspiration. While the cheesy stadium epics have grown on me a bit over time, this is still a sad and unfortunate direction for one of the most promising bands in a long time.


MORRISSEY ¾ “Ganglord”
THE DEARS ¾ “Ballad of Human Kindness”
THE STROKES ¾ “Razorblade”
BEN KWELLER ¾ “Sundress”
RICHARD BUTLER ¾ “Broken Aeroplanes”
KEANE ¾ “Nothing in My Way”
BECK ¾”Think I’m in Love”
ARCADE FIRE ¾”Intervention”
U2 & GREEN DAY ¾ “The Saints are Coming”
MODEST MOUSE ¾ “Dashboard” (I heard it in 2006, so I’m counting it – hah!)



Kimberly gives us the information (fitting for a librarian)

Beck, The Information
Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
John Mayer, Continuum
Audioslave, Revelations
Sting, Songs from the Labyrinth (I love the fact that Sting can just decide to make an entire CD of lute music and old English lyrics and he knows that no one will buy it, but he doesn't care.)

Sean M’s sweet escape

Essential Album:
1) Gwen Stefani, The Sweet Escape – On Gwen’s first solo outing, she was a bit like a teenager at the mall with her mom’s credit card, trying on several different musical styles to see what fit. Now, on the follow-up, she’s put that fashion sense of hers to work and determined the two pop genres that best suit her assets: ‘Hollaback’-style hip-hop cheerleader dance beats, and ‘80’s new-wave balladry. She alternates effortlessly between the two for the first half of the album, before the electronic soundscapes start to intrude on each other and meld together. But the thing that unifies the album throughout is Gwen’s post-modern narrative persona. Whether she’s addressing personal topics like marital issues with her husband and the birth of her first child, recapping her career trajectory, or even giving props toThe Sound of Music (on two separate tracks), she’s able to inhabit her songs with a unique hip-pop sensibility like no other artist today. Smart, fun, quirky and affecting, The Sweet Escape is the sound of Gwen dishing on what it’s like to be Gwen.

Essential Top Ten, The Rest:
2) The Feeling, Twelve Stops From Home – If the Scissor Sisters were British, and idolized ELO and Crowded House rather than the Bee Gees and Elton John. Yearning, catchy ‘70’s- and ‘80’s-inspired pop-rock brilliance.3) Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds – Justin and Timbaland bring out the best in each other, resulting in the year’s most sonically adventurous #1 pop record.
4) Dixie Chicks, Taking The Long Way – Indignation and twang never sounded so righteous. Right on.
5) Cat Power, The Greatest – The quiet, simple production lets each amazing song speak for itself. Lovely.6) Nelly Furtado, Loose – Producer of the year Timbaland’s other genius hit-making collaboration, allowing Nelly to shake off a few of her idiosyncrasies and embrace these slammin’ pop hooks.7) The Killers, Sam’s Town – Not as unified in concept as Hot Fuss, true. But the best songs (‘Bones,’ ‘Read My Mind’ and ‘When You Were Young’) give indication that the band should have life in them long after the New Wave revival has ended.
8) Keane, Under The Iron Sea – Swooning and soaring, Keane’s second album expands on their intimate debut with a welcome dash of bombast.9) Snow Patrol, Eyes Open – Almost makes me want to start watching “Gray’s Anatomy.”
10) Fergie, The Dutchess – Surprisingly diverse, frothy and fun, and so much better than I’d dared to hope. “Fergalicious,” indeed.
Essential Runners-Up:
Kelis, Kelis Was HereBasement Jaxx, Crazy Itch Radio
Sufjan Stevens, The AvalancheMuse, Black Holes And RevelationsWe Are Scientists, With Love And SqualorHot Chip, The WarningBeyoncé, B’Day
The Rapture, Pieces Of The People We LoveScissor Sisters, Ta-DahNouvelle Vague, Bande A PartEssential Guilty Pleasure:
Paris Hilton, ParisEssential Introduction:
The Pipettes, Meet The Pipettes

Essential Retrospective:
Tori Amos, A Piano: The Collection

Essential Soundtrack:
Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture [2-CD Deluxe Edition]

Essential Incidental Soundtrack:
Marie Antoinette: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Essential Remix Album:
Goldfrapp, We Are Glitter
Essential Singles:
Rihanna, ‘S.O.S.’
Gnarls Barkley, ‘Crazy’Christina Aguilera, ‘Ain’t No Other Man’Scissor Sisters, ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancing’Justin Timberlake, ‘SexyBack’Cassie, ‘Me & U’
Nelly Furtado, ‘Maneater’
The Feeling, ‘Never Be Lonely’Mary J. Blige, ‘Be Without You’
Kanye West feat. Lupe Fiasco, ‘Touch The Sky’
The Modern, ‘Industry’Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z, ‘Déjà Vu’
Madonna, ‘Get Together’Prince, ‘Black Sweat’
Natasha Bedingfield, ‘Unwritten’
Fergie, ‘Fergalicious’
Corinne Bailey Rae, ‘Put Your Records On’
Essential B-Side-that-should-have-been-an-A-Side:
Peaches, ‘Hanky Code’Essential Ironic Alt Cover of a Pop Song:
The Gossip, ‘Are U That Somebody?’
Essential Post-Ironic Pop Cover of an Alt Song:
Sugababes, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’

Matthue grapples with Spektor’s spectre

it's brief this year:

1) Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope

And, of course:
2) Ani Difranco, Reprieve
3) Supersystem, A Million Microphones
4) Macromantics, Moments in Movement
5) Bouncing Souls, The Gold Record
6) Moshav, Misplaced
7) Alan Jay Sufrin, Folky American Pop e.p.
8) Nelly Furtado, Loose
9) Mos Def, True Magic
10) CocoRosie, Noah's Ark

Alistair, new radio star (congrats!)
Well, I find myself in a bit of an ego quandry, 2006 being the year in which I laid hands on my very own I-made-it-in-a-real-recording-studio-with-an-engineer-and-mics-and-lots-of-wires-and-buttons-and-everything cd. I don't anticipate that our little record will change the course of human events, but it did give me a live version of my all-time favorite cinematic cliche: struggling musician hears own song on radio and dances wildly in street. So, to heck with humility:
Most Essential: Bashful Mountain Broadcasters, Bashful Mountain Broadcasters
Now all of those picks with banjos that I always send, in no particular order because they are all fantastic:
Chris Thile and the How To Grow A Band: How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
Old Crow Medicine Show, Big Iron World
Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet (self-titled EP)
And finally, a couple of 2006 discoveries that I wish I'd know about all along:
Stars, Heart and Set Yourself on Fire
E.C. and Orna Ball, E.C. and Orna Ball and the Friendly Gospel Singers

Norah F, sonic slacker

I’ve been a little bit ( or a lot a bit) of a slacker with new music this year but here is my slim selection:Belle and Sebastian The Life Pursuit (of course)Sonic Youth Rather Ripped (my heroes)Regina Spektor Begin to Hope (my new obsession)And for my wild card:Christina Aguilera Back to Basics

Francesco’s fergielicious

Quintessential Album of the YearOkay, here’s the deal. Naysayers beware:The Dutchess/FergieLike, I know she pees all over herself and is sorta a skank but I really and truly am delighted by this album, each and every time I listen to it. It’s like this perfect combination of pop and doo-wop-ey and lame but likable reggae and silliness. Look, anyone who can write sing and pull off the lyrics “I’ll be up at the gym, workin’ on my fitness” is alright by me... Except for “Mary Jane Shoes.” I mean. Even a duchess makes mistakes.Creepy-Deepy Album of the YearSt. Elsewhere/Gnarls BarkleyWeird and creepy and totally cool and just out there and smart.I Was Raised in Jersey, After All, AlbumBlack Holes and Revelations/MuseLOVE it. Every head-banging second of it! It’s sort of Pink Floyd-ey, sort of sometimes Fischerspooner, sorta Metallica. So good.Easy Like Sunday Mornin’ PickTwelve Steps from Home/The FeelingJust lovely. Like a cold, sunny Sunday morning walk through the West Village or Notting Hill with a perfect cup of coffee. And no work tomorrow.Fart in a Mitten PickParis/Paris HiltonI mean, at least she spent money on robots that made her sounds good.The Album I Meant to Buy All Year LongA Fever You Can’t Sweat Out/Panic! at the Disco Soundtracks, or, And I am Tellin You that Sometimes Life Feels Like One Night Only, aka, Pink Converses and Wigs:DreamgirlsDuh, I know. But it’s fantastic. And we cannot overlook “I am Changing”Marie AntoinetteNone of it was new or shocking but to get it all in one place was really delightful. And “Hong Kong Garden” is just perfect. I’d forgotten. Thank you, Sofia.Playlist of the year:It’s all music that my dad listened to when I was growing up and I heard one song at a bar one night and then it was like a whole new world: A new song would pop into my little head every five minutes. So, here it is, a mixture of lotsa country, some groovy Paul Simon, some jazz. But without this playlist, I would have had very little to listen to. (See below for reasoning as to why.)Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning 4:21 Willie Nelson He Stopped Loving Her Today 3:17 George Jones Late in the Evening 3:54 Paul Simon Lay, Lady, Lay 3:18 Bob Dylan East Bound and Down 2:48 Jerry Reed Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette 3:13 Leroy Van Dyke Love A Rainy Night 3:11 Eddie Rabbitt I Believe In You 4:07 Don Williams Always On My Mind 3:33 Willie Nelson Don't Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me 2:24 George Jones Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town 2:54 Kenny Rogers Take This Job And Shove It 2:34 Johnny Paycheck Good Hearted Woman 2:56 Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson For The Good Times 3:48 Roy Price Lovesick Blues 3:01 Hank Williams The Devil Went Down to Georgia 3:35 The Charlie Daniels Band Big Mamou 4:48 Hank Williams, Jr. Family Tradition 4:00 Hank Williams, Jr. All Night Long (All Night) 6:22 Lionel Richie Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard 2:43 Paul Simon Let's Go Dancin' (Ooh La, La, La) 4:00 Kool & The Gang Sea Of Love 3:05 The Honeydrippers Where Are You? 3:15 Mildred Bailey & Her Orchestra Hearts 4:19 Marty Balin There Is No Greater Love 2:59 Billie Holiday I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter 2:58 Willie Nelson Otherwise, I call this The Year of the Letdown. Here’s why:Sam’s Town/The KillersI mean, here’s the deal. It’s a good album. It rocks, it rolls, it sounds like the boys we know and love. But it’s just missing something for me. Like, there’s no operatic arc like Hot Fuss had, there’s so much less hunger here and I miss it. I miss you, Killers. I miss you.Loose/Nelly FurtadoI think I liked her better when she was like a bird. And I HATE Promiscuous. HATE. But I do love me some Maneater.Sweet Escape /Gwen StefaniIt’s good. Yummy is delicious but there’s an eh factor that just kinda makes me sad.FutureSex/LoveSounds /J.TiHe’s sexy, so even the things that I don’t like about it are made up by the fact that he’s sexy. Ta-Da!/Scissor SistersGood. Absolutely. But just not as good as the first. There’s something about the Elton John thing that’s just getting slightly annoying.Show Your Bones/Yeah Yeah YeahsI just didn’t get it. I dunno. It just didn’t make any sense to me. And I treasured Fever to Tell.Bande A Part/Nouvelle VagueIt’s a great album but there’s this thing of like, “Didn’t they already make this exact album?” It’s just too similar.

Brant’s post-war, pro-cat list

My Essential Album of 2006
M. Ward, Post-War

My Other Essential Albums of 2006
Cat Power, The Greatest
Mates of State, Bring It Back
Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat
Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
The Strokes, First Impressions of Earth
Lambchop, Damaged
Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

More Albums I Enjoyed in 2006
Bob Dylan, Modern Times
Beth Orton, The Comfort of Strangers
J Dilla, Donuts
Beck, The Information
Midlake, Trials of Van Occupanther
The Gothic Archies, Tragic Treasury
The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Camera Obscura, Let’s Get Out of This Country
Phoenix, It’s Never Been Like That
Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock & Roll
The Knife, Silent Shout
The Dears, Gang of Losers
Postell, The Good Thief
Wolfmother, Wolfmother
Thom Yorke, The Eraser
Gotan Project, Lunatico
Mojave 3, Puzzles Like You
Pernice Brothers, Live a Little

Scott trances into the tri-state

I think I missed my deadline. Again, I only picked up maybe a half dozen albums that came out in 2006. Nearly all from artists I already owned. And all solid, but none what I would consider superior. The only stand out was a trance record.

Above & Beyond, Tri-StateOops, I did forget one. I thought it was older for some reason.

Keane, Under the Iron Sea

right. that's it. i mean it.

Sarah Z flamencos into our graces

There’s no real order here, but I guess I’m most excited about Martirio’s new album. It came out right before the new year and I’m kind of obsessed with anything that has flamenco influences right now.Martirio, Primavera en Nueva York Arizona, Welcome Back Dear Children Ratatat, ClassicsJoanna Newsom, YsBeirut, Gulag OrkestarVoxtrot, Mothers Sisters Daughters

Cindy helps swing the pendulum

Most Essential Album of 2006

Indigo Girls, Despite Our Differences

Listening to “Pendulum Swinger” following the 2006 Election was a very happy feeling.

Biggest Discovery from Previous Years: Album

Janis Ian, Folk is the New Black (2005)

Several of the songs on this album, including “Danger Danger” and “The Great Divide” show that we need to move in a different direction…and I hope we are.

Biggest Discovery from Previous Years: Single Song

Fiona Apple, “Extraordinary Machine.”

Yeah, I see now that this made top ten album last year but I’ve been reading books. I’ve seen the quote from this song in Jen Hubert’s sig file and now I know the source and it is a new mantra.

Best Boxed Set from Previous Years:

Girl Group Sounds: Lost & Found. “One Kiss Can Lead to Another” boxed in a black and white hat box with pink lettering.

A four disk set that I am still exploring. This and the Janis Ian were purchased at Easy Street Records in Seattle during ALA. A great moment was playing “I’d Much Rather Be with the Girls” by Donna Lynn in the car on the way to the airport with Angie and Lynn, lamenting the end of the time together but celebrating the fun we’d had. While we listened to the girl groups of the 50s and 60s, Lynn shared with us her memory of hearing the Beatles for the first time and how it shook everything she knew about music going from the popular girl groups to the sound of the boys’ British Invasion.

Kevin says it’s in no particular order, but I seem to think it is

Here is my Top 25(in no particular order):
Alexi Murdoch - Time Without Consequence
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say What I Am, That's What I'm Not
Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller
Bob Dylan - Modern Times
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
Dixie Chicks - Taking the Long Way
The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
The Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
Lupe Fiasco - Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor
M. Ward - Post War
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All the Roadrunning
The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Nellie McKay - Pretty Little Head
Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
Solomon Burke - Nashville
TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
Van Hunt - On the Jungle Floor

Just Missed the Cut:
Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
Beck - The Information
Built to Spill - You in Reverse
Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
The Duhks - Migration
Joseph Arthur - Nuclear Daydream
The Lost Winters - Putting the Days to Bed (Only owned for less than a week, but so far SO GOOD!)
The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
The Roots - Game Theory
Vienna Teng - Dreaming Through the Noise

Lauren brings us some Light

Here are some of my favorites from the past year:

Favorite Album of 2006:
Brightblack Morning Light, s/t

Essential Reissues:
John, the Wolf King of L.A.
The first solo album from John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas -- beautiful, country-tinged songs from the early '70s.
Delta 5, Singles and Sessions 1979-1981
Bouncy post-punk from the UK.
Josef K, Entomology
Scottish post-punk from the early '80s.

Best Local:
Beirut, Gulag Orkestar
Psychic Ills, Dins

Best of the rest:
Cat Power, The Greatest
Joanna Newsom, Ys
Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Letting Go

Terra waits for no orphan

Most essential: Tom Waits, Orphans
Second most essential: Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere

COOLEST DOWNLOAD EVER: DJ Earworm, various mashups
OLD BUT ESSENTIAL: Suzanne Vega, Retrospective
BEST NEW DISCOVERY: Plus/Minus, Let's Build a Fire BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: Lucksmiths, Warmer Corners

Sean K left New York but stayed with Thom Yorke

Here are my thoughts on best of 2006:Thom Yorke, The EraserConsidering that I buy most of my music from ITunes now, that's the only album from which I purchased multiple tracks that I can recall.For best new find from prior years, I'd sayJohnny Cash, Sixteen Biggest Hits(I finally watched "Walk the Line" recently.)
Andrew takes the long way

Most Essential:
Dixie Chicks, Taking The Long Way

Essential When Writing Papers:
Shawn Colvin, These Four Walls

Essential When Grading Papers:
Beth Orton, Comfort of Strangers

Essential When Doing Research for Papers:
Tom Petty, Highway Companion

Pleasantly Surprised at its Essentialness:
Vince Gill, These Days

Most Essential as Voted on by my 8th Graders:
Cast of High School Musical, High School Musical
Teddy Geiger, Underage Thinking
Fergie, The Dutchess

Kevin W leads with a coup

Okay, here goes:

1. The Coup, Pick a Bigger Weapon.With the song "I Love Boosters," I think Boots became my favorite MC of all time.

2. The Paybacks, Love, Not Reason. They'll probably never quite match the glory of Knock Loud, but I can't think of a living band that could. And as long as Wendy Case keeps growling out those vocals like she does on "Shotgunn," they'll always make my list.

3. The Reigning Sound, Live at Maxwell's. This makes two live albums in a row for these guys, but they're so good, they catch a break -- and Greg Cartwright's repertoire is getting mighty impressive.

4. The Exploding Hearts, Shattered. Okay, the obligatory "outtakes from dead guys" inclusion -- but there really are some gems left here, particularly the title track.

5. King Khan & BBQ, What's for Dinner?

6. I'll always reserve a spot for a new Drive-by Truckers album, in this case A Blessing and a Curse -- it's just that I haven't actually listened to it yet, so I can't put it higher.

Essential Album from the Past:
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, L.A.M.F. (the lost '77 mixes). I got this a little wary, after having been burned by breathless reviews of Thunders' solo album So Alone, which, in the end, was just okay and sounded like a junkie barely holding on. L.A.M.F. is the goodies, though, the quick rush before the inevitable implosion. "Born Too Loose," "Chinese Rocks" and "One Track Mind" are as good as rock can ever get. Might be one of the top 10 in my entire collection.

Nick stopped paying attention halfway through

I haven't been so hot about keeping up with new music for the last 6 months
or so. You'll probably notice that all my faves are from the first half of
 2006. With any luck I'll catch up, and next year I'll have a whole separate
list of things I SHOULD have been listening to in 2006, but for now...

Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
2. The Editors, The Back Room

3. Nelly Furtado, Loose
4. She Wants Revenge, She Wants Revenge

Bonus! Thanks to the pop mix--favorite single from an album I have no
interest in:
The Fray, Over My Head (Cable Car)

Cary Loves Him Some Neko

Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

It’s Never Too Late, Michael S!

Cripes. I see I am too late to weigh in on this. Really, though, I would have cast my ballot for Regina Spektor's "Begin to Hope," with noteworthy mentions to Joanna Newsom's "Ys" and the Cardigans' "Super Extra Gravity."

Sophie’s Hard Work Pays Off

Ack, Ack, Ack. I was late last year, and I'm late AGAIN. And I even kept a running list throughout 2006 of what to include. Gah.

Essential Albums:
Lily Allen, Alright Still (my #1 essential album of the year -- okay, so I had to get it as an import but I say it counts!)
Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat
Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
Smoosh, Free to Stay
Cat Power, The Greatest

Essential Singles:
Gnarls Barkley, Crazy (obviously, the #1 essential song of 2006 -- the Hey Ya of the year)
Justin Timberlake, SexyBack
The Spinto Band, Oh, Mandy
Sean Paul, Temperature
Rihanna, SOS
Gwen Stefani, Wind it Up
Fergie, Fergalicious
Lily Allen, Smile
Belle & Sebastian, The White Collar Boy
Neko Case, Maybe Sparrow
Christina Aguilera, Ain't No Other Man

Paula Mc, 30 Seconds from Deadline…

My essential albums of 2006.


30 Seconds to Mars/ A Beautiful Lie

A.F.I./ Decemberunderground

Destroyer/ Destroyer's Rubies

Ex-Boyfriends/ Dear John

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins/ Rabbit Fur Coat

Justin Timberlake/ Future Sex/Love Sounds (guilty pleasure)

The Sounds/ Dying to Say This to You

Sountrack/ The Science of Sleep

Yeah Yeah Yeahs/ Show Your Bones

Most essential album....Sountrack/ The Science of Sleep

Single I can't get enough of: Ex-Boyfriends- Him for Me

I think this is Jason G...

10. Tom WaitsOrphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards After Johnny Cash died, Lost Highway released the stellar Unearthed. The box set contained four discs worth of recordings Johnny had done with Rick Rubin, that for one reason or another, never made it onto one of the American albums. Lost Highway easily could have released these songs on four separate albums, each a year or two a part, and dragging the posthomus albums on for a long time. Instead, they boxed everything except for what would become this year's American V. Which bring us to Tom Waits. Orphans is his Unearthed. Orphans comprises three albums worth of material that never made it onto his previous albums, and even though they didn't fit on his previous records, the songs are still all amazing. This guy just shits out brilliance.....
9. Band of HorsesEverything All The Time It's never a good sign when the co-songwriter of a band gets fired within a month of their debut album drops. What may have been a very bad start of the year for Band of Horses, should not reflect poorly on remaining songwriter, singer, and, let's admit it, indie pin-up of the year Ben Bridwell. This year saw the band play some amazing shows and release one of the most inspiring albums of the year. Everything All The Time is full of great lyrics, songwriting, guitar-licks, and the kind of atmosphere that makes an indie-boy want to lay in the park with headphones on all day long......DOWNLOAD: The Great Salt Lake <>
8.The Thermals The Body, The Blood, The Machine I can go and on praising this record. And I will in a moment, but first I want to say that if this record was released in 1994, it would have sold four million copies. But it wasn't, so here we are. Unjustly, this album never reached the masses and it should have considering how MASSIVE it is. The Thermals broke out this year with this sonicly brutal and lyrically intelligent record. The concept is harsh on religion, government, and culture. When people like Neil Young say no one is making protest music anymore, they're ignoring this album. From the opening track to the final notes, and every track is a standout, this is The Thermals call to action. Now what's with Sub Pop band's and salt.......DOWNLOAD: "A Pillar of Salt" <>
7. Mastodon Blood Mountain This is their Master of Puppets. It won't win them any mainstream success, but it has won them the hearts of metal-heads everywhere. It may not even be as good, or as smart, a record as Leviathan, but Blood Mountain soars with the intensity and riffs that every truly great metal act strives to record. In the meantime, no other metal band comes near Mastodon in terms of intelligence, creativity, or sheer heaviness. Give them some time and they're going to be selling out multiple dates at Madison Square Garden.
6. Belle and Sebastian The Life Pursuit When this album was released in February, my expectations were very low. Their last three albums were all good, but not great, and I expected more of the same. Instead they turned in this delightful pop gem that puts them right back on the top of the indie rock thrown. It's an album that is great for all moods and never seems to let you down. It's one of those albums that is still a regular in my cd player. Stuart Murdoch and company haven't sounded this inspired since 1998's The Boy With The Arab Strap.......DOWNLOAD: "Another Sunny Day" <>
5. Bob DylanModern Times Unbelievable. Forty-plus years into his career and he can still record albums that could be considered some of his best music ever. Modern Times is brilliant for many reasons: The way Dylan stole from Henry Timrod, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Merle Haggard, and various other poets and blues artists whose material is no longer protected by copyrights. Or the way he has once again reinvited himself. Really though, none of that would matter if the music wasn't amazing and it really is amazing........
4. Cat Power The Greatest Sadly, it's rare when a musician can artistically recover from rehab. I hate to make it sound like all their creativity came from drunks and alcohol, but facts are facts. I'd long ago given up on Chan Marshall as a live performer and thought her career was on a slight decline anyway when I heard she was sobering up, so I was so surprised that this album was not only as good as it was, but as great as it was. The cover kind of says it all. This is her Rocky album. She knew she better come out fighting and put everything she possibly could into this record or she was done for. And the results of her pushing herself pay off, especially in the majestic "Love & Communication," which is possibly the best song she's ever recorded.........DOWNLOAD: "The Greatest" <>
3. Regina SpektorBegin To Hope I can't believe I'm in agreement with Perez Hilton, but this really is one of the best albums of the year. She has this amazing ability to turn a pop song about love into a whirlwind of emotional experiences. It doesn't matter if Regina's singing, playing piano, innocently plucking a guitar, or the full band is performing, she is always looking for a creative direction to take a song. This is also the album that we all thought Tori Amos was capable of making, but never did make..........DOWNLOAD: "Fidelity" <>
2. TV On The RadioReturn To Cookie Mountain TV on the Radio were never this good, but in a year where no Radiohead or Spiritualized album was released, this Brooklyn five-piece somehow managed to record an out-their masterpiece. Incorporating jazz, classical music, noise, and electronica, Return To Cookie Mountain succeeds in creating an atmosphere equal to a sermon delivered from the mouth of God. I know this album is not going to be for everyone, but for those who have been converted into followers of TV on the Radio, this album is certainly a saviour.......DOWNLOAD: "Wolf Like Me" <>
1. BeirutGulag Orkestar Zach Condon has one of the most amazing voices, he's a gifted musician, each song on Gulag Orkestar flows like water into the next one, and the harmonies and melodies swirl like a belly dancer in your mind. It's perfection right out of the gate to its enormous finale. And while all that is enough to make it our album of the year, the thing that makes the album stand out so much is the subtle nature of it all. It may not be a political album, but the songs seem very relevant to today's current events. Here is an album by a south-western nineteen year-old who has been inspired by Eastern European, Gypsy, and Middle Eastern sounds at a time when so many of these regions are at war. Lyrically and musically, Zach seems to be looking at the history of war torn regions and looking at how they have moved forward in a positive light. In a sense, he's doing what politicians should be doing. He's looking for little areas of progress and hope as he leads us through his memories and travels. He succeeds in recapture a sense of beautiful, a sense of feat, a sense of community, and a sense of hope.........DOWNLOAD: Brandenburg <>

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