Saturday, December 23, 2006

Best Music of 2006

Well, my bebes, as 2006's year-end list-making extravaganza swells to positively orgiastic proportions, I simply cannot withhold the track listing of my third annual best-of mix CD any longer. The physical copies of the disks are slow in coming on account of my lamentable slothiness in getting the liner notes text to Mr. for typesetting this month, but, rest assured, they are in the works and will be spectacular. Also, for those of you who have changed mailing addresses in '06, this gives you some extra time to pass the updated info along to me so as to ensure receipt of said disk.

All right. On with it then. Inspired by a conversation I had with CTLA earlier this week, I'll also include hyperlinks, where appropriate/available, to blog posts (and other assorted ephemera) wherein the song, the album, or the band in question is discussed.

I'm calling the comp O Unfathomable Firmament:

1. When You Wasn’t Famous--The Streets
(click for my report on seeing the Streets live at this summer's Intonation Music Festival)

2. We Used to Vacation--Cold War Kids
(click to revisit the play-by-play of my mind being blown after seeing them live for the first time, not to mention the second or third)

3. Province--TV on the Radio
(click for my regret over failing to procure a ticket for their sold-out show at the Metro)

4. Fire Island, AK--The Long Winters
(click for the afterglow of seeing the El-Dubs in concert for the first time in two years or click for the week this track first leaked to the interweb)

5. Déjà Vu--Beyonce, feat. Jay-Z
(it's not my link, but click for the write-up on Green Pea-ness that turned me on to the song in the first place; because I can't stump for him enough, I just have to state for the record that I never attempted to write anything about this song this year because James officially said pretty much everything there is to say about it back in June--please do click through and marvel at the way he matches the energy of B. and Jay's performances on the track with his own performance in pixels)

6. European Oils--Destroyer
(click for the moment I allowed myself to fall completely in love with Destroyer's Rubies)

7. Count Grassi’s Passage Over Piedmont--The Divine Comedy
(click for my review of Victory for the Comic Muse and an early indication that this track would appear on my year-end mix)

8. Ta douleur--Camille
(again, not my links, but click for David Byrne's review of both the Cat Power and Camille shows in NYC this summer or click for the sheer comedy of watching S/FJ go from Camille to Lordi in three sentences)

9. Cowbell--Tapes ’n Tapes
(click for what basically amounts to the blog equivalent of a modest, flirtatious, behind-the-fan geisha-giggle of appreciation for T’nT on the day I first downloaded the album from iTunes)

10. White Collar Boy--Belle and Sebastian
(click for my post-concert reassessment of my entire relationship with Belle and Sebastian's music)

11. Laugh/Love/Fuck--The Coup
(rather than link to my post from earlier this month, click for Boots Riley's more in-depth explanation of what exactly happened during the Coup's nearly fatal bus crash on December 2)

12. Made-Up Lovesong #43--Guillemots
(click for my declaration that listening to this track feels like falling in love or click for a link to the video of the song being performed on Top of the Pops)

13. All the Wine--The National
(click for my post, from almost exactly a year ago, when I first started getting into Alligator or click for my big holy-fuck moment at the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer)

14. Weekend--Aloha
(click to read me wank for a bit, after seeing them live one late-summer Sunday, about the "improbability" of Aloha)

15. Requiem--M. Ward
(not my link, but click for the best sentence I've read about M. Ward since Post-War's August release, the sentence that comes closest to articulating my own sentiments about this nearly perfect album: Sean Moeller's assertion that "Ward turns us all slutty, but slutty in love and that’s somehow something to be so happy about")

16. Party Pit--The Hold Steady
(click for a link to the Pitchfork interview that finds front man Craig Finn, presumably with a straight face, citing his desire for Boys and Girls in America to be "a little more Ang Lee" than Separation Sunday)

17. Kick Push--Lupe Fiasco
(click for the early days of my obsession with this track or click for my casual certainty that "this guy's gonna be huge" after catching a portion of his set at Intonation)

18. Wild Sage--The Mountain Goats
(click for the Mountain Goats post that was so cathartic to write that I pretty much haven't wanted to blog at all since then)

19. Bandits--Midlake
(it's not an internal Wrestling Entropy link, but click for my Audioscrobbler, which claims, credibly, that Midlake's The Trials of Van Occupanther is my second third-most-listened-to album of the year)

20. Sons and Daughters--The Decemberists
(click for the day I didn't receive The Crane Wife in the mail or--perhaps slightly more interestingly--click to read me wax rhapsodic about seeing Colin Meloy play solo again at the beginning of the year)

And there you have it, kittens! Standard hipster fare, to be sure (how many did you guess right, J.Ward?), but it's nonetheless a pretty accurate representation of the stuff that soundtracked my life (or, at very least, my commute) this year. I think a favorite-album top 10 list would probably be overkill at this point, but I will say that Destroyer's Rubies definitely would clock in at number one. It has several things going for it: it debuted early enough in the year to get its hooks in me when I still had a relatively clean mental/musical slate for '06, I didn't get burned out on it after a week of heavy rotation because it was rich enough to sustain repeated listens throughout the year, it had novelty in its favor (I didn't own any of Destroyer's previous albums at that point, and, no, the New Pornos don't count), and I was able to see a good handful of these songs performed live at the Pitchfork Festival. I realize that's all slightly precious, even overly deliberate, criteria, but the mathematics of it feel right. It's still a stunner of an album, one that's still doing a lyrical fan-dance for me, revealing a little bit more of itself to my ears every time I lean in to it with rapt attention.

We've got new Spoon, new Shins, and new National to look forward to in 2007, but it's the previously undiscovered goodies that I'll really be waiting for, without even knowing it.

Treat each other right this weekend, kittens. A happy merry all around.


Anonymous said...

Merry, merry, Feel.

Love you.


Michael said...

Oooh, wouldn't it be awesome if you KNEW someone who had the new shins sitting on his hard drive RIGHT NOW? Yeah, that'd be pretty tight, huh?