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.