Monday, December 4

Highlights of 2006 (for me, anyway)

Well, it's that time of year. I'm not that into lists, but I figured it would be fun to add to the dozens of year-end summaries being published. The categories I've decided on should be self-evident. I'll add that I've consciously decided to feature my favorites rather than claiming that they're the best. It's a subtle distinction, but I think it's important. Basically, I'm not using any objective criteria, and I'm sure as hell not claiming to be a careful music critic. Regardless, if you're a regular reader you probably won't be surprised by what follows. Now, on to my selections (and an mp3 sample from each)...

Rich's favorite releases of 2006:

01. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
The Decemberists - Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)

02. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On

03. Man Man - Six Demon Bag
Man Man -Van Helsing Boombox

04. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I am Dreaming
Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums and Shrines II

05. Cold War Kids - Up in Rags EP
Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds

06. Princeton - A Case of the Emperor's Clothes (buy here)
Princeton - Blackbeard

07. Kimya Dawson - Remember that I Love You
Kimya Dawson - Underground

08. Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
Bruce Springsteen - Pay Me My Money Down

09. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
Beirut - Postcards from Italy

10. Oh No! Oh My! - Oh No! Oh My!
Oh No! Oh My! - Walk in the Park

Rookies of the year:

1. Princeton - A Case of the Emperor's Clothes (buy here)
Princeton - The Indifference Curve

2. Kite Flying Society - Where is the Glow?
Kite Flying Society - Love & Seagulls

3. Swim Party - Sewing and Blood EP (buy here, only 300 made)
Swim Party - Twenty-Five

Favorite live shows:

1. Radiohead/Beck @ Bonnaroo (6-17-2006)
Radiohead - The National Anthem [live 6-17-2006]
Beck - Black Tambourine [live 6-17-2006]

2. Silver Jews @ 40 Watt (3-10-2006)
Silver Jews - Random Rules [live 3-10-2006]

3. Mountain Goats @ The EARL (11-3-2006)
Mountain Goats - House Guest [Nothing Painted Blue cover; live 11-3-2006]

I think that about does it. I'll leave the lists of overhyped, overrated, and disappointing stuff to others. No need to dwell on the negative. I'm sure every single person who reads this will have some objection, but I'm pretty satisfied with it. I'm also sure it would change if I wrote it up again tomorrow, but so be it. Feel free to chime in with thoughts or additional suggestions. Enjoy the downloads, and remember that CD's make great stocking stuffers.

You can buy just about all of these releases (but not Springsteen's Seeger Sessions!) from Insound.


Blogger tj said...

I was also a big fan of Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins, Band of Horses, Wilco's live CD, and The Figurines. But you're list(s) pretty much nails it.

2:46 PM

Blogger Rich said...

Good stuff too. I thought about including Kicking Television, but I decided that a live CD from one of my favorite bands was probably cheating. Especially since I've heard other live recordings of that material that were probably equal to or better than the official release.

I do love me some Wilco though.

2:52 PM

Blogger 3redsquares said...

excellent list, but no TV On The Radio? for shame...

3:30 PM

Blogger Rich said...

Nope. Just could never get into that album. I know lots of people love it. Maybe I'll revisit it in the future. I know Austin from WWAW/Decatur CD ranks it as his fave too.

3:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, lumping Beck and Radiohead into one live show! Since I was at that stage all day I guess I'll go for broke and say my favorite live show was the Neville Brothers/Elvis Costello+Allen Toussaint/Beck/Radiohead show :)

8:24 PM

Blogger Rich said...

I fell asleep during Elvis Costello, so I'll consider that an extended break between sets. ;)

It was a while between Beck and Radiohead though I guess. Hour or more? Still, everybody knew that Beck followed by Radiohead was the big show. :)

8:46 PM

Blogger Paul said...

I completely forgot about Kite Flying Society!

I didn't care for TVotR either.

9:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome! Good list. I loved the live selections.

I am really dragging my feet on my list...Maybe this will inspire me and kick my ass in gear. :)


10:33 PM

Blogger Rich said...

The live shows weren't as hard to pick as the albums. Second tier would have been stuff like Cold War Kids (probably the July show over the June), The Selmanaires playing as The Pee-Pees back in July, and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals at Bonnaroo.

By the way, I picked "Random Rules" from that Silver Jews show just because it was the first song. First tour, first show, first song. That was a big moment.

(yes, I'm aware of the secret show in Nashville a couple days before)

10:48 PM

Blogger AmyMeacham said...

I have to add last Saturday night's Steve Wynn show at the Earl as one of my favorites this year!

11:26 PM

Anonymous brandon said...

great list, rich...mine will be forthcoming as i'm still pining over it...

12:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

san diego, represent...

2:58 PM

Blogger Freudian Slip said...

Hey! I was at Bonnaroo and Radiohead sure was AMAZING!!!

1:46 AM

Blogger Rachel said...

Yeah for Beirut!

I mean I was beginning to wonder what the hell was wrong with everyone.

Thanks for restoring my faith in humanity. ;-)

5:43 AM


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