End of the year lists, like indie rock bands, all begin to look the same. Of course, that doesn’t stop me, but I’ll try not to add to all the hot air these lists spur from bloggers and critics and OCD listmakers. Why write a new paragraph just as overwritten as the one you dropped on us back when the damned thing came out? Stop.
I’m also not listing some of the raw noise (like Prurient or Sunn0))) I listened to this year. It doesn’t apply.
For 2006, J Frank says: rock. Guitars.
10. The Changes – Today is Tonight
I can’t think of a gayer pop record, by a rock and roll band, this year. And I’m just gay enough.
9. Joaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanna Newsom – Ys.
Sometimes a chore, sometimes stunning and addictive. She’s the real shebang. I hate putting her here because everyone else will, but sometimes the punk in me needs to shuddup.
8. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury
Not guitars, but it snuffs anything as dark. As far as hip hop, beats Ghostface, Nas, whomever.
7. Jay Reatard – Blood Visions
Please: this, a Danzig-meet-Wire tirade about a relationship gone south. And no more fucking ewok bands from Canada, thanks.
6. Drones – Gala Mill
See the second sentence of #7. Sprawling guitar feast Australian convict tales.
5. Sheawater – Palo Santo
No male singer, at least indie rockist, has a better voice right now, or more interesting song ideas that also work.
4. Girl Ta —Nah. There were only five. Fuck the rest.
You know, I wanted to put on non-guitar stuff, but it just didn’t make my year, although I like Tim Hecker’s Harmony in Ultraviolet and Night Ripper, as well as Fishscale. And Subtle’s For Hero: For Fool.
TV on the Radio was nice, but I need that one in singles. An album’s worth was like eating to many waffles. Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House was great in places, but put me to sleep too often. Which might not be fair, because falling asleep was easy for me in 2006.
Worst Records of 2006 Unfortunately Loved By Many (or, I Knew These Would Suck):
(no more numbers)
Annuals – He Blew Me
How the Beatles must have felt when they heard the Monkees. This also generated the worst music writing of the year, and by the usually insightful William Bowers at Pitchfork; I almost wonder if they called him in to ghost-job it because the staff couldn’t decide if they loved or hated it, and Bowers went Dr. Strangelove on them. He wrote: “Be He Me is a crowd, packed with hyperboloid songs that whorl and dimple, digressively executing competent-to- astonishing arrangements in a manner that would seem spazzy if they weren’t so polished.” So if it was lo-fi they’d seem like spazzes? He sounds defensive about how thinly Annuals spread themselves, stylistically, over the course of the album. Which is indefensible: aka, sucking.
The new clap your hands say ewoks album.
How in fuck did the singer for Counting Crows ever become a vocal influence?
Swan Lake – Beast Moans
Asia for generation Z. And it did sound like Asia. Bejar sings like a fucking Ewok, too.
Someone still loves you Andropov
Like a sandwich with no lunch meat. Meaning like Bread, and I mean the 70s group.
Lindstrom – It’s a Feedelity Affair
Jan Hammer was killed with a wooden stake to his hairy chest in 1987, thank you.
Various – the World is Gone
The world is yawning.
Mew – And the Glass Handed Kites
Wow. How does anyone .. wow. They can’t be real, they’re so bad.
Bob Dylan – Modern Times
He made four (maybe five) greater than great albums (do I really have to name them) that mean you can live your whole life without ever having to listen to this Leon Redbone also-ran of an album.
120 Days – 120 Days
Never in my life have I heard so many songs without any songwriting.
annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, the worst:
The Hold Steady – Boys (and Girls) In America
Jim Carroll + The Outfield = a sausage party of pseudo-intellectual, late twenties/early thirties music critics looking for wisdom in overblown spoken word poetry over pedestrian riffs. Long long ago, in a galaxy far away, when I did the poetry thing (ivory tower, thanks) I agreed with a great poet’s notion that it’s always better to attend a bad poetry reading than a good one. So rather than attend this album, I’d prefer to attend the Song-Poem Anthology, where there’s much more mystery, heartbreak, American verdad, and artistic frisson. Shit, I’d attend a nursing home poetry reading before an HS concert.
Biggest Disappointments That I Had High Hopes for, and it Pains Me to Call Them Like It Is:
Cat Power – The Greatest
Doesn’t anyone else see this as her Norah Jones moment? Ugh. Good luck to her though. The LCD giveth, and then it taketh away, Chan…make sure you get paid for those Pottery Barn compilations …
Karen Dalton -In My Own Time
(i know it’s a reissue; shuddup) Dalton’s sad story preceeds her music a little here, as her unique voice doesn’t quite justify pedestrian arrangements of the album’s uninspired soul-cover choices. But — her cover of the trad “Katie Cruel” gave me goosebumps, and still does, and has entered my Favorite Songs of Forever.
White Magic – Dat Rosa Mel Apibus
I keep trying to listen to it and find a way in, but it’s overlong by four songs and a minute per song. The acid got to them, despite Billotte’s voice still being one in a big million. Next album will melt speakers.
Fiery Furncaces – Bitter Tea
I give up. Some acts waste their powers on being Difficult, when they don’t have the right powers for being Difficult. FF needs to make a fucking drop dead rock record soon.
Calexico – Garden Ruins
The most boring of records by the most lovely of bands.
Ratatat – Classics
I really like the idea, and the playing of what’s played, but this is just lost on me. I think maybe it’s not enough, like a breakbeats compilation.
Suprises of the Year, or, Conversion Moments:
Albert Hammond Jr. – His solo debut, whatever it was called
Because the only decent musican in the Strokes is their bassist, the consistent pop quality of this was a stunner; he’s a better singer than Casaball-less, too. Still don’t love it enough to say it was close to the best of the year. I want to reiterate that I only list it now, here, to say that I unexpectedly didn’t turn it off after 53 seconds.
There’s only one. I held my ground everywhere else.
On a final note, the music industry sould have a Sonic Year from Oct-July, like a fiscal year, since they release all their good stuff in that time period.
From now on, I’m on that.
Thanks for allowing my hate to grow, by the way. Feb marks a year for my bullshitting.