Best of music 2006
Yes sir! It's that time of year again. There's turkey on fire in the oven and the yelling between family members is louder than the volume on the football game that no one is actually watching.
Folks, it's been a good year. I grew a tooth and learned to spell small words. While my first year at Bullz-Eye has been ripe with trials and tribulations and the occasional death threat, it has been a pleasure to share with you my musical likes and dislikes. If 2006 has taught us anything, it's that 2007 will probably get me fired. With that, let's dive into this year's list, bitches! It's in no particular order, much like my life.
The Damnwells: Air Stereo (Zoe)
Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. These guys are incredible and they just keep pumping out frighteningly brilliant records. On top of that, their live show is stunning. Spend two minutes with this record and you'll end up listening to it at least four times in a row…and then at least once a day after that.
Sufjan Stevens: The Avalanche (Asthmatic Kitty)
My boy Sufjan! Okay, I've got to deduct a few points for the fact that he wears angel wings during his live shows, but his fucking B-sides record are better than many other bands’ full-on attempts this year. He will one day rule the universe.
Margot & The Nuclear So & So's: The Dust of Retreat (Artemis)
I love these guys. All 900 of them. How many people are in this band, anyway? Did the Polyphonic Spree branch out? Who cares? This record is super dope and they delivered one of the most lyrically intense offerings of '06.
JEFF: Castle Storm (Infinity Cat)
These kids are so insane and intense they'd make a deaf mute scream and hear, among other things. 2007 is going to be very kind to these guys. Remember when Nirvana first broke? It could be like that.
The Long Winters: Putting the Days to Bed (Barsuk)
Barsuk Records is a beacon that all other labels should follow. This record is the “proof in the pudding.” Wait a minute. That saying doesn't make any sense. Trust me. I know. I once invoked that argument in court and got thrown in jail. You can't fish around in pudding with your hands in a court of law. Big no-no.
Ray Lamontagne: Til the Sun Turns Black (RCA)
Dear God. Sophomore records aren't supposed to be anywhere near this good. The production, the lyrics, the vibe. See this dude live. It will change your perception of what a live show should be.
The Mountain Goats: Get Lonely (4AD)
You know how there's always one record that you gravitate back to throughout the year? This would be that record. I can't tell you how much I love these guys. The standout track on this record is definitely "Woke Up New," but if you've never heard the track "No Children," download it now. No, seriously, now. You'll need it the next time you break up with someone.
Midlake: The Trials of Van Occupanther (Bella Union)
The Amish would dig the shit out of this record, if they were into electricity. I dig the Amish and electricity, so this record is a win-win. But winning isn't everything. Sweep the leg, Johnny.
Bobby Bare Jr.: The Longest Meow (Bloodshot)
Eleven hours. The dude tracked this record in 11 hours. It's amazing. I caught his set at SXSW this year and it blew me away. It was loud as fuck and he rocked. The dudes from My Morning Jacket played a bunch on this record, and he covered a Pixies tune. It doesn't get much better than that.
Wow, that wasn't easy but we made it through together. And together we will fall (down drunk). Now on to other crap that made 2006 tolerable for the most part.
Marconi Union: Distance
You know those days when your ulcer is flaring up and you suddenly start relating to postal workers that have, in fact, gone postal? This record is the antidote. I just checked this record in my iTunes player, and I played this record more than any other record this year. Now that's saying something.
120 Days: 120 Days
Get your frigging groove on. This is a tasty little release. Vice Records is another label that can have my first-born.
Ed Harcourt: Beautiful Lie
I like to call him "Intense Ed." He's like a piano playing version of an English Elliot Smith. Intrigued? You should be.
Alexi Murdoch: Time without Consequence
Scottish dudes and acoustic guitars. My people.
Josh Preston: Between Memory and Mortality
This record will be a giant "what the fuck?" moment for many of you. Me, too. The next one will be out soon. Holla at your boy (or buy it as a gift). (Ed. Note: Holy self-promotion, Batman.)
Tom Waits, the Ryman
Boy, this might offend the shit out of some of you, but seeing this show was what it might be like for a religious person to meet Jesus in the Sistine Chapel. It's highly possible that this was the best show I've ever seen. No bullshit.
I was too drunk to remember most of it, but what I do remember was brilliant. The key to a good SXSW experience is finding a clean, secluded bathroom in Austin. I found one. It was awesome. Although, one night I saw a dude in the bathroom that looked like he got his ass beat, and I thought he was going to make me his bitch. It all turned out okay, though. I didn't scream too loudly. A few weeks later I was back in Texas getting drunk with Mojo Nixon. My life rocks.
Sigur Ros, the Ryman
On Valentine's Day, nonetheless. Jesus, these guys are amazing, as were my seats. So what if the dude makes up his own language and whatnot? Music is universal, and reading is fundamental.
Little Steven's Underground Garage Tour, City Hall
I will forever have hearing loss from that show, and I was wearing earplugs. The bands were amazing but the go-go dancers in between the sets made the show. One of the dancers had about as much rhythm as an epileptic, but she was smiling her ass off, and I fell in love.
Bang Bang Bang, Exit/In
Eyes open! These guys are going to rock the scene in 2007. You heard it here first.
Okay, admittedly, I'm a total fucking nerd. As such, the web plays a large role in my life and in my gut. Here's my list of sites and stuff that will make your 2007 as good as my 2006. Oh, snap!
I know I'm late to the party, but RSS has saved my life. Hit google.com/reader. All of your news in one place. I knew that Britney Spears dumped K-Fed before any of my friends. When I told them, they promptly asked the question, "Who gives a shit?" True.
Okay, that might be a bit unfair to call them whores. They're "working girls that send out junk email." And I approve each and every one of them. Pow!
Now you can keep all of your bookmarks on the web and sort them using meta tags. Did you hear that? That's the sound of me being old and lame. Whatever.
Admit it: you've always wanted to be a DJ. A real remix DJ. This site will get you closer, and then you can share your mixes with your friends. It's kinda like MySpace meets karaoke. It's still pretty new but soon BT will be king of that shit.
I kinda got my start over here at Bullz-Eye because of my blog (media5.blogger.com) and Mike Farley, who is unequivocally "The Man." And not "The Man" in a Eugene Levy way. More of an Isaac Hayes-without-the-crazy-Scientology-shit way. Now you can send posts to your blog via your mobile phone. What will they think of next? I've got my money on flying toasters. That would be sweet.
It's a music geek’s dream. It's like MySpace, but cooler. Not as cool as say, flying toasters, but it's damn close. Sign up and mog me.
And with that, I think we can safely land this year of our Lord 2006.