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Andy Whitman

Favorite Music of 2006

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But Andy... Paste said that Jolie Holland can't sing! What gives? ;)

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But Andy... Paste said that Jolie Holland can't sing! What gives? ;)

Well, I wrote what I wrote. So you probably have some idea of what I think of that particular Paste review.

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I haven't written up my list yet, and likely won't for another couple of weeks, but I know pretty much what my picks are going to be, and I think my Top Ten and Andy's Top Ten are going to have five albums in common. So, they MUST be fantastic albums, right? Great minds...

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Greg P   

I havent thought out a solid faves list yet, but these are a few that remained in steady rotation for a month or longer in '06:

Clark- Body Riddle

Midlake- The Trails of Van Occupanther

Benevento Russo Duo- Play Pause Stop

GRAB (Gordon, Russo, Anastasio, Benevento)- Live in Ohio 7/19/06

Comets on Fire- Avatar

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Kyle   

As it stands, this is my top ten of 2006, although I'm sure it will change. For now, I'll consider it my working list:

1. Camera Obscura

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Hugues   

About M.Ward: I discovered his music with Transistor Radio and it was really a fave of mine, and I purchased all his other records after. Unfortunately, none of them did the same effect on me. And Post-War may be the less good of the bunch, imo.

So I think there's something special with Transistor Radio, as I think there's something special about Wilco's Summerteeth. Not that their music is comparable, but there are albums which have something special, to me. The sound, the sequencing, the special quality of the songs, etc...

That said, I love the other Wilco albums far more than the other M.Ward's ones.

Sorry for the little rant. ;)

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Kyle   

About M.Ward: I discovered his music with Transistor Radio and it was really a fave of mine, and I purchased all his other records after. Unfortunately, none of them did the same effect on me. And Post-War may be the less good of the bunch, imo.

I actually haven't hear Transistor Radio yet. I'm sure I would like it though. I heard Transfiguration a couple of years back and it did nothing for me, but somehow Post-War really grabbed me in a way that Transfiguration didn't. I liked the bigger and richer sound to be honest. But after liking Post-War so much I went back and gave Transfiguration another try and ended up really liking it. In the end though, I have a feeling that people's favorite M. Ward album would be divided pretty evenly between all his albums. He seems pretty consistant.

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Up late last night with the baby, I discovered that the Decemberists would be on Letterman. I watched the show up through the first George Clooney segment, but I couldn't hang on beyond that; Micah was ready to sleep, and so were his parents.

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yank_eh   
Two albums, Belle & Sebastian and Damien Jurado, probably won't find themselves on many, if any, year end lists. Both albums benefit from being made by artists that I deeply love and admire and as a result, I think they're better than most people probably think they are.
Kyle, Damien Jurado and Belle & Sebastian are also two of my very favorite artists/bands. Both would definitely be in my top 10, maybe even my top 5 but I don't think either of these will make my best albums list this year. The Jurado album is still growing on me so it may have a shot but The Life Pursuit is gathering a lot of dust. It was a disappointing musical year for me and my favorites: Sufjan releases a couple good but less than amazing albums, Iron & Wine didn't release anything, B&S disappointed, and Damien Jurado gets a C+ (so far).
About M.Ward: I discovered his music with Transistor Radio and it was really a fave of mine, and I purchased all his other records after. Unfortunately, none of them did the same effect on me. And Post-War may be the less good of the bunch, imo.

I actually haven't hear Transistor Radio yet. I'm sure I would like it though. I heard Transfiguration a couple of years back and it did nothing for me, but somehow Post-War really grabbed me in a way that Transfiguration didn't. I liked the bigger and richer sound to be honest. But after liking Post-War so much I went back and gave Transfiguration another try and ended up really liking it. In the end though, I have a feeling that people's favorite M. Ward album would be divided pretty evenly between all his albums. He seems pretty consistant.

Right on with that last statement. My favorite is still Transfiguration of Vincent. Transistor Radio did the least for me. I thought it had only one really good song.

Edited by yank_eh

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Hugues   
Transistor Radio did the least for me. I thought it had only one really good song.

You mean lyrically? What I especially appreciate with Transistor Radio, is the enchanting quality of the sound, and the great flow of all the tracks, mixing guitars and piano, ballads and rockers to attractive effect. I hardly get tired of it.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that M.Ward doesn't especially try to write great songs, and sounds more interested by the recording process. I think he pays great attention to sounds and textures. In this department, Transistor Radio is filled with gold and blue rays of Beauty. Matt's wink to "Here Comes The Sun" is moving: it does catch the peaceful feel of the song, and kinda reflects the mood of the album, at least the whole second part that ends quietly with that Bach's tune.

Edited by Hugues

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draper   

The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America

If for no other reason; a song about John Berryman that is so well put together it could make me cry. This band is scary.

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Kyle   

Would it be hijacking this thread to A a natural follow-up Q: favorite lines from songs of '06?

I bet this thread would be a better location. It's a discussion on the best songs of 2006 - a natural place to discuss favorite lines/lyrics me thinks.

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Rolling Stone readers just voted Pearl Jam the Best American Band of 2006.

Anybody want to register their objections?

Please?

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Rolling Stone readers just voted Pearl Jam the Best American Band of 2006.

Anybody want to register their objections?

Please?

Pearl Jam's newest record is actually pretty good-- in fact, I think it's as good as anything they've ever done-- but for the RS readers to say that they're the best American Band of 2006 only proves that not enough people have heard The Hold Steady.

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Okay, in no particular order and only based on stuff I have. Obviously.

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

(I have but one question: What is a crane wife?)

Brandi Carlile - self-titled debut

Technically this was 2005, but she re-released it in 2006 and I still love it after listening for a year, so there.

David Mead - Tangerine

The best songwriter you've never heard of. Catchy. Catchy. So catchy.

The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely

Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

(Also winner of most random title.)

The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldier

I liked it! Rawk Rawk Rawk!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones

More rawk. But with a lady.

Snow Patrol - Eyes Open

My 2006 concession to populism. I mean, not counting all the Christina Aguilera and Beyonce songs I downloaded!

As is usually the case, most of the music I bought and loved this year was from the past 2-3 years. Like Dolorean (esp. Violence in the Snowy Fields...thank you whoever said I should get that), Sufjan, New Pornographers, Josh Rouse, John Vanderslice, Guster, . I discover most of my music through the Paste CD sampler, recommendation of trusted friends, and our local indie station (KRCL - KRCL.org, they have streaming broadcasts...you're in good shape with any of the breakfast jams Monday-Thursday and most of the drive times, plus Monday's 9-12 show, Songbook.)

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Kyle   

Rolling Stone readers just voted Pearl Jam the Best American Band of 2006.

Anybody want to register their objections?

Please?

Umm...it was Rolling Stone readers? I haven't heard anything by Pearl Jam since 1995, so I can't comment other than that.

Okay, in no particular order and only based on stuff I have. Obviously.

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

(I have but one question: What is a crane wife?)

It is based off a Japenese folk tale. I think it has to do with a crane that a man found and became a woman. I think if you poke around the internet you'd find out the meaning.

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Crow   

I've still got to get around to some of the albums mentioned on this thread, but here's what I've picked up and really enjoyed so far this year:

Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere

Robert Randolph - Colorblind

Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

Elvis Costello/Allen Toussaint - The River in Reverse

Elvis Costello - My Flame Turns Blue

Sparks - Hello Young Lovers

Lost Dogs - The Lost Cabin and the Mystery Trees

My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me the Workhorse

Joanna Newsom - Ys

Edited by Crow

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opus   
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

(I have but one question: What is a crane wife?)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crane_Wife

The Crane Wife is an old Japanese tale. While there are many variations of the tale, a common version is that a poor man finds an injured crane on his doorstep (or outside with an arrow in it), takes it in and nurses it back to health. After releasing the crane, a woman appears at his doorstep with whom he falls in love and marries. Because they need money, his wife offers to weave wondrous clothes out of silk that they can sell at the market, but only if he agrees never to watch her make them. They begin to sell them and live a comfortable life, but he soon makes her weave them more and more. Oblivious to his wife's diminishing health, his greed increases. He eventually peeks in to see what she is doing to make the silk she weaves so desirable. He is shocked to discover that at the loom is a crane plucking feathers from her body and weaving them into the loom. The crane, seeing him, flies away and never returns.

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Kent   

Wow, lot's of Decemberists fans here. Never heard of them until last night while watching "The Colbert Report". Apparently they challenged Colbert to a guitar shredding contest which will be going down on December 20th. All this tailing on an apparently controversial Greenscreen challenge. Go here and watch the 11-29 and 12-07 clips. Hilarity ensues. "It's called a whammy bar. DEAL WITH IT!"

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Persona   

Great thread that is going to help me in my upcoming buying habits. My only question is how Greg Brown's The Evening Call didn't make it on anyone's list. I know I haven't heard as many records as all of you, but how can this not be everyone's recording of the year? It is certainly Brown's masterpiece after a progression of about three other masterpieces. He is improving leaps and bounds over the stuff he did years ago (and even way back then, he was good). What has changed about his recordings is that the production has caught up to the talent. And that he has found a slow groove and he has settled into a pocket that is at once recognizable as something you've heard before, but something that is totally him. I never thought he'd make a better album than Milk of the Moon, but there is no comparison. The lovely tremolo on the baritone guitar, the drunken but completely in control feel of the slide, the harmonica in the background as he speaks his way through some of the best lyrics he's ever written...

My wife as usual turned me on to this recording, even though I'd skimmed it and thought that it was going to be a good experience. Here are some of her words in an initial email she sent me as to why I should give it an intentional listen:

the baritone is all throughout the recording. And it helps make it the mournfully moody recording that it is. Seems like the whole thing is sort of about getting old, and of course all his lovers and places he's been and the stories that go along with that.

oh--Kokomo is a hilarious story telling song. My favorite line of the song...."she was just my type, deranged, middle-aged and crude, nipples the size of jack balls, and real bad attitude, she wore my ass out so damb fast, and let me know where to go, just a stick-it, whicket, and a grey hound ticket on the way to Kokomo."

and man--his voice on this recording is so low at tiems you can't even HEAR what he's saying. On the song "Pound it on down." (which is about his drinking)--he purposefully sounds like he's drunk at times (at the beginning of the song).

Everyone go listen to this right now.

-s.

Edited by stef

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Hmmm. I liked Further In better than Milk of the Moon, personally. But now I'm curious... I've got to hear this one.

Okay, I *still* haven't heard, or seen, The Decemberists. And I'm FROM Portland. So, I need to get busy.

Does anybody have a link to a video or an mp3 that would be the best introduction to their work?

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Kyle   

Okay, I *still* haven't heard, or seen, The Decemberists. And I'm FROM Portland. So, I need to get busy.

Does anybody have a link to a video or an mp3 that would be the best introduction to their work?

From their old label Kill Rock Stars

Engine Driver

Soildering Life

Here I Dreamt I was an Architecht

Of the three songs, "Engine Driver" from last years Piaresque is my favorite song, although "Soildering Life" comes from my favorite album Her Majesty, the Decemberists. I think between these three songs you have a pretty fare representation of what they sound like, although this year's The Crane Wife is a much more progressive, for the Decemberists, sound.

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