Saturday, December 30, 2006

Top 20 Territory!

20. Sparks - Hello Young Lovers
I was in the back eating and I didn't really understand what I was hearing. It sat getting dusty in the racks since the release date, but it was quickly snatched off Gabe's shelf that day. It's like Danger Mouse meets Queen or something, pretty damn mindblowing.

19. Midlake - Trials of Van Occupanther
This is a late addition, which I just had to knock out Flaming Lips for. In fact, if I had more time with it than just a couple days, it would probably be really high up there. It's like someone took all those albums from the 70s that were all over the radio (I swear, I was waiting for Stevie Nicks on the opening track) and made them way fucking cooler.

18. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
I finally "got" Dan Bejar this year, after seeing him live w/ New Pornographers at Metro late last year, and opening for Magnolia Electric Co. at the Abbey this year. Indie rock needs some pretension, and Destroyer delivers in spades.

17. Islands - Return to the Sea
The Unicorns who? I don't understand what a big fuss was made over that band when they hit, and it seems all the talent survived to carry on in Islands. Quirky without being too whimsical, noise in the right places, cutsey fun when necessary. Great job!

16. Catfish Haven - Please Come Back EP/ Tell Me LP
I had to lump both of these together as on entity. I kinda wish they had made one kick ass album and gotten rid of the "slow jams" on Tell Me but really overally I love it all. Rockin' accoustic lead geetar, dancey grooveyness...dang!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Halfway there!

25. Danielson - Ships
This album might be painful for people who are not happy people to listen to.

24. Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
Hi Regina, Bjork and Tori Amos called, they want their quirk back. Oh shit, don't get the KGB involved, no, it's cool. We'll put the video in heavy ro after Degrassi and everything will be fine.

23. The Elected - Sun, Sun, Sun
I don't know why more people aren't digging this band. It's a similar vibe to Midlake, like that 70s sunny thing. Oh well.

22. Vetiver - To Find Me Gone

21. Pernice Brothers - Live a Little
As a long time Pernice lover, I really really fucking hated the last record. Peee-yew, ugh ick. This album gives me hope that a band can come back from the brink when I have lost all hope. Maybe R.E.M. has another good one in 'em? And while it might seem cheezy to remake your own song from another band, it is totally done justice.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

OMG here comes 5 more!

30. Tilly and the Wall - Bottoms of Barrels
You wouldn't think tap dancing percussion would translate well to album but it sounds just as adorable. More fuzzy feelgoodness that doesn't stop.

29. Willie Nelson - Songbird
There is nothing better than stoner country, and who better to make an album of said music than Willie and Ryan Adams? Oh man, Will Oldham should have been involved in this, but he might have killed 'ol Ryry.

28. Tim O'Reagan - s/t
Exactly what you would want and expect a Jayhawk's solo album to sound like, and there's nothing wrong with that. Poppy, countryish, some of the best of everything.

27. My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me The Workhorse
Sufjan's head cheerleader makes her own album that never sounds like an album from Sufjan's head cheerleader. She's got one of them opera voices.

26. Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
Being super sick can bring out the best in creative types, and Alejandro is no exception. Thankfully he is now well, and has more drama to portray in that dramatic Velvet Undergroundy (hello John Cale) Country way he does best.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Even more...

35. Damien Jurado - And Now That I'm In Your Shadow
Dang, I think I own all 7 albums by this guy. I like them all, this is another one.

34. Six Organs of Admittance - The Sun Awakens
Ben Chasney gets his drone on. This cat plays some motherfucking GUITAR.

33. Brightblack Morning Light - s/t
A lazy southern swampy psychedelic fun trip that comes with lazer glasses. Very non-cerebral.

32. Supersystem - A Million Microphones
Weird synthy funky dancy punk rock WTF. I like 'em

31. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Man, I really hated their first two records, but I like the Springsteeny vibe and the subject matter here. Woot lets get drunk!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Five More...

40. White Magic - Dat Rosa...
Piano weirdness that sounds like it's from a cave inhabited by lunatic gnomes. There's not a lot of that out there.

39. Jason Collett - Idols of Exile
There is nothing really different happening on this album, but he certainly does that in a likeable fashion.

38.Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah!
I wish there were more disco-y bands around right now. It is difficult to listen to this without wishing you were wearing sequins and feathers and a tiny spoon on a chain and dancing at Studio 54. Two words: eltonjohn beegees.

47.Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
Pretty, folky, songs about war and being in love with girls.

36. Richard Buckner -Meadow
Richard Buckner makes Richard Buckner records. He sounds like Richard Buckner, and nobody else. He will occasionally change up the instrumentation. you are either a Richard Buckner fan or you are not, and you're never going to hate anything he does.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Next 5

45. Bobby Bare Jr's Young Criminal's Starvation League The Longest Meow
Not many out there are still country rockin'. BBJ gets a pretty good gang together and rocks the fuck out. Perhaps not as nuanced as his last few, but what are you gonna do.

44. Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere
It would be CRAZY not to have this one on here, right? Bwahahaha. It's a good album, but that may well be song of the DECADE! MILLENIUM! Who do you who do you who do you think you are?!

43.Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Broom
These dudes opened for Catfish Haven, and they reminded me of Sloan in a good way, so I checked out the album. There are some Sloan-ey elements like lovely harmonies, but there's something else going on too. Check 'em out!

42. Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways
It should not come as a shock that Johnny is putting out records from the grave. I mean if 2 Pac can do it, so should this OG. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, I was expecting a real bummerfest, but it's a lovely tribute to him. (Note: I refrained from calling him "The Man in Black".)

41. Pink Mountaintops -Axis of Evol
This band (guy?) could be called "Someone Still Loves You Velvet Underground, but I guess that's an obvious statement, and they don't really need the affirmation Mr. Yeltsin does. The last Pink Mountaintops was all the "yay! rock n roll party excess!" album and this one is the aftermath. You may indeed hate yourself in the morning and your stomach will cruddy, but you won't regret it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bottom 5 of 50 for 2006!

50. Gossip Standing in the Way of Control
A pretty good album from the souly southern punkers, but the title track itself is easily one of the years best songs.

49. Matthew Sweet/Susanna Hoffs Under the Covers Vol. 1
Yes, it's an album of 2 artists not held in very high regard doing mostly 60s covers from the usual suspects, ala Dylan, Beatles, Bee Gees, Love. The harmonies are other worldly though, and it's a lot of fun to sing along with. Tacking on the "Vol. 1" is going to make them look pretty stupid of "Vol. 2" never happens though.

48.Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
I'll pretty much always check out what the Brits have their knickers in a knot over, and this is a good solid rock album from some young dudes. Will I buy their next one? Probably not.

47.Beck - The Information
Whoa. Another damn Beck album, another alleged return to form. At least the stickers distracted me from the fact that it's really NOT that different from Guero, which was a pretty okay album. I haven't even watched the DVD yet, which might have propelled this one a little higher. Hmm.

46. TV On The Radio -Return To Cookie Mountain
I feel like TVOTR didn't deliver on the statement made with the title of this album here. Where are the cookies? I don't find myself singing along like I did with the first full length. Oh well, it's still good.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Aimee Mann - One More Drifter in the Snow

I love mellow, kind of "stoney" Christmas music. Willie Nelson's LP, My Morning Jacket's EP, Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Soundtrack... All of these are what I would like to hear if I was stuck inside a snow globe for a few hours. Now I can add Aimee Mann's 2006 offering to my list. This is a lovely, mellow group of holiday favorites along with a great original and the slightly puzzling remake of that song she sang with Michael Penn, sans Michael Penn. The new version will likely grow on me, though. The standout is her deadpan delivery of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" (on which she is aided by Grant Lee Phillips). This is the perfect antidote for the commercial ick found on the WLIT.