2006some Music I heart
In the year Two Thousand And Six many people continued to make music for either commercial or spiritual purposes. Even more people continued to listen to music for reasons including not wanting to be completely alone, wanting to have an excuse to move like a dope around other people, or to have something on during dinner so the disgusting sounds of eating would be drowned out. I listened to music in a variety of ways over this year. In the beginning it was on Julia's laptop computer speakers to downloaded MP3s. When I moved into a different room and got a computer, it became MP3s on my own computer speakers. In the spring months of the year it was in the company van. At this late point in the year the music I listen to is mostly on computer speakers, either in my office at work or at my desk at home, in a different house than 'twas in January. Occasionally I will listen to music in my brother's car or a van if I am doing errands.
About 95% of the music I listen to is from years before the current year, but I am not going to write about that. I am going to write about music that entered the world this year. Specifically, I am going to write about all of the music that entered the world this year that is still on my hard drive, having not yet been deleted in rage. Danielson - Ships
I continue to not be a huge fan of this album. It has some fresh sounds and a lot of guests. There've been Danielson recordings in earlier years that I've liked more. I'm deleting this now, because I feel like I won't miss it.Islands - Return to the Sea
I was really about this album for a little while. If the Islands were a person, it would be like a freshman in college that you see starting to do some cool things but they aren't really fully formed yet, maybe there's something interesting in their future. And then about halfway through the year you think 'God, what an asshole' and wash your hands of them. And then for whatever reason, they remain on your hard drive, even though they are assholes. In the song "Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby" I had to learn where the line 'fuck what you heard, you were lied to' was, so I could turn it down when I was listening to it as I drove at work. The Knife - Silent Shout
I started downloading this and got about three songs into it and then the person exited the internet and I was stuck with just the first three songs. I think that I don't like these new electronic sounds. I like electronic music, but this stuff and the Junior Boys and a lot of other things that I've heard with more recent keyboards and drum machines feels nothing with me. I have no memory of listening to this, but soon I will have a memory of deleting the folder that contains four files (one incomplete) from the folder labeled "New Songs New Songs".Guillemots - From the Cliffs
Now here were a band. They put out like four singles that all had the same tracklists and among them were two or three really good songs. And then sometime during this year they put out an album with one or two of those songs (not including 'who left the lights out baby', which was my favorite). And the rest of the album was really REALLY boring. It was one that I was really looking forward to. Yeah, get this one. Maybe this band are over already. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
What a lucky guy, I think his name is Zack Condon, is. There was a point in the last house that I lived in where my former room mate Dylan was all up in this band's business and I said 'stop being so excited! see how easy this is to make!' and we went into the kitchen and he played pots and Jamie and Libby played drawers and I played a trumpet tune in a minor key with a lot of wobbley notes and sang some things about junked-up cars and waiting at bus stops in third world countries with a heavy heart. It sounded exactly right. I stopped us, though, and I said, 'yeah, but we didn't think of it first'. And then nobody listened to this album ever again. I'm going to keep it around. But really, the lyrics are so medium! Not awful, but awfully medium! Actually I just deleted it!Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds
This came out on the exact same day as the Beirut album. If that isn't true at least they were downloaded on the same day. Some people in my life I bounce songs off of, especially when I'm not sure what I'm supposed to think. My brother is one of those people, I think he had really good taste in music (with a few ongoing heavy metal lapses of judgement) and he liked a few songs from this album. Again, we listened to it a lot at first and then never listened to it again. I think it is a 'front heavy' album, as they say in the press. I liked okay maybe the first 7 songs of 10. It is a stronger front than most. And Owen Pallett is one clever dude! I would love to work with him one day, but I have to become a more mature musician.
My best memory of this album is sitting in a van during a lunch break and watching dolphins in the ocean and thinking 'what song is this, this track isn't very good', oh, its track 10. Another memory is going to the car rental place with my mom to drop off a rental car and then locking the door when she tried to get back into our car.Scott Walker - The Drift
What a spooky album! I read about this on message boards when I was visiting Julia in Paris this year. I like Scott Walker 2 and Scott Walker 4, not as much 1 and 3. I haven't heard Tilt, though not from lack of trying. Maybe a little bit from lack of trying. Some people think this album is scary because it features the sounds of cleaved meat and probably bone saws at work and ghosts with chains and recorded conversations with the white noise generators of the dead, but I just think those noises are nice. The lyrics on the album don't make any sense unless you have read every book and also have the ability to read Scott Walker's mind. My position with this album is that I think it is quite an accomplishment and in the ideal world more people would be listening to the sounds of chomped bone and their crazy over-schooled heads and making an album that nobody can understand without being able to consult them personally. Honestly though, the album is a little bit slow and not very tuneful and I probably will not listen to it again so I am deleting it, though I do so with the exact same solemnity with which Captain Edward Vere executes the sentence of Billy Budd, Sailor.
This is now the second time that I have deleted this album.
The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
I think I spent a little more effort on this album that I have spent getting to like previous Furnaces releases. I was really jazzed for this album's existence. I took a lot of walks to the ocean listening to this on a small MP3 player (whose current location I could not tell you) and tried really hard to like some of the lesser songs like "Whistle Rhapsody". I think that my attempts to discover treasure in this album were unforunately just digging with my hands in a plain beach- no true emeralds. Still, the Furnaces belong to nature and I love them and they remain on my computer. Andrew WK - Close Calls With Brick Walls
This is an album that I was excited to share with my brother, because I knew he would love it. I think I will listen to none of the songs again and that is why I am getting rid of it, but I'm glad that there is an audience for this music. It is fun and Andrew WK is a wonderful person. Basement Jaxx - Crazy Itch Radio
I already wrote about this, but I'm going to repeat that it is a disappointment to me. My brother, Megan and I listened to it on the way to buy some blank CDs in Campbell and there were no motion moments, just kind of sitting there while bass and some keyboards thumped. I wonder if they knew this album was boring when they made it. Be gone from my megabytes!Casey Dienel - Wind-Up Canary
I have a crush on this girl and I think some of her songs are really good too. She's got pizzazz and moxy. Let's pretend that I was the first person to compare her to Nelly McKay. They both play the piano and have nice voices. I don't make angry eyebrows when I listen to Casey Dienel though, so she stays.
I just did an internet search. It turns out that I am not the first person to make the comparison between these two artists, please do not read the previous three sentences. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
I'm going to keep this around in case I'm feeling bad-ass enough to ever listen to more than thirty seconds. Lambchop - Damaged
At one relatively heavy moment this year I was asked to turn this album down because it was "too damn depressing". I don't share that opinion. I think that Lambchop are a really good band and there's really good moments of narcotic string stings and the lyrics in the first song I always chuckle at: "I always believed that handguns were for shooting people". Well I chuckled at during listens four and five. I think that Lambchop will be a band with me that marinates and gains flavor with age. I was actually listening to this this morning between the hours of 5 and 9 a.m. and it did the trick. Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
I'll save this for next year because it does not come out until then. I listened to this album when I cleaned my room a few weeks ago. Nothing was stellar but I'll eventually have to clean my room again.Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
I was really excited for this album to come out. I listened to the whole thing when it finally came out on headphones when it was raining (on the little MP3 player). The album was kind of astounding at first and then once I chuckled at all of the references (R.E.M! R.E.M!) and thought about how much better the backing band sounds on this album I got over it. Some of the songs I fondly remember, like Painter in Your Pocket and Looter's Follies. I burned this onto a CD about a month ago to listen to at work and it was too pedantic, I felt like I was being lectured to and the music wasn't relaxing enough or active enough. I think I'm going to delete it, but its probably something I'll revisit. Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton - Knives Don't Have Your Back
I like a few of the songs on this record and so I'll keep it around. Realistically though, I should probably delete tracks from three onwards. Her voice reminds me a little bit of Aimee Mann, who I can only take a few tracks at a time of also. But she didn't release anything this year so she's off-limits. Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
I listened to this a few times and found it pretty nice. Opposite the band Islands, this band is like the guy that's a few years older than you and is doing something more realized and nice-sounding and you think 'wow, me in a few years, maybe'. I really liked the video of them walking around the street and singing one of their songs. I'm going to keep this on my computer because I think I'll listen to it again. Herman Dune - Giant
I think the fourth or fifth time I finished listening to this album (because the last track I think is kind of revealing) I thought "HERMAN- you are such a shit head" and I decided that I wasn't going to listen to it again. He reminds me of guys I'm trying to delete from the universe. I liked the album the first few times that I heard it but I'm recommending that you never listen to it. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna
I don't have to write about it. You're already also sick of it and it hasn't come out yet. It stays, though.Yo La Tengo - I am Not Afraid of You And Will Beat Your Ass
Like all YLT albums - all good - it is a security blanket with teeth and two or three really good songs. I listened to it to sleep a few times, which was a mistake, but it was nice to listen to in the van. I'm From Barcelona -
I deleted it just now, as soon as I saw it was still there. Joanna Newsom - Ys
I wouldn't mind having friends that listened to this all the time. I'm sure they would be well-educated people and have the ability to cook really good-smelling food. They would have been to three other countries, Mexico, one in Europe and one in Asia and have exactly three good stories from each place. I slept pretty well to this album for a few nights, but I feel like it quickly lost its punch for me. She's a nice lady and she's got lyrics that go on forever, but it just isn't something that moves. I'm going to keep it around, just in case somebody is going through my song folders and they turn out to be the kind of person that would listen to this album. Maybe they would stick around and I'd finally get a decent home-cooked meal.
Joanna Newsom seems like an unattainable person. I wonder how many friends she has and what they think about her. Lindsey Buckingham - Under the Skin
Lindsey Buckingham is still crazy and its a crazy album, probably. I'll keep it around and probably listen to it one day. Matthew Friedberger - Holy Ghost Language School and Winter Women
I like Winter Women, but if it was the last six tracks shorter, it would be even beter. I hate Holy Ghost Language School pretty much entirely. I was not able to listen to it even when I tried. I'm going to keep it, though, because they seem like a package deal.
Winter Women was a really good album to do work to, it's the creative kind of brainy, not the talk-down-to-you kind of way that made me push Destroyer's Rubies
off of my desk and into the corner with some wires and other stuff that I never mess with.Momus - Ocky Milk
This is my favorite Momus album so far. The sounds are thicker and nicer and the songs are pretty good. I don't really have a strong recollection of the songs beyond track three, but I'm going to keep it around for those times when I feel worldly and synthetic.Futureheads - News and Tributes
This album I probably won't ever listen to. I just found it and I'm listening to the song "Skip to the End" and it is a pretty good song. I'm even singing along to it. I remember there was a music video for this earlier in the year that reminded me of Kate Bush. Actually, I'm going to keep this song. I'm deleting every other song in the folder because I just know they are going to let me down. Patricia Barber - Mythologies
I only have three songs from this album but they are goood. She did this one with a genius grant? Was it a genius grant? No, I just looked it up, it was a Guggenheim foundation grant. I'll delete it because I don't like to have an incomplete folder. The Futureheads thing is already going to make my head a little bit screwy. Peter, Bjorn and John - Writer's Block
This album makes me excited to think about. Just looking at the tracklist I remember really liking "Young Folks" and "Amsterdam". And now scrolling through the songs I like "Paris 2004" a lot also. I feel jealous about these guys and pretty good about this album. Professor Murder - Professor Murder Rides the Subway
This is a pretty good mini album. I don't think I'll delete it. Honestly though I will not ever listen to it. Frog Eyes - The Future is Inter-Disciplinary or Not At All
Sounds like an in-between things mini album pointing a boring direction that I hope they don't continue with. It gets removed. Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
On computer speakers this album sucks, but when you are driving (especially over 40mph) it thrills. I made a snap judgement about it earlier that I apologize for if Craig Finn read it (he has not). Yeah, this album rocks pretty hard and I don't really listen to rocking music. I think it could do really well with people. There's a line about "Don't even talk to those sequencer Beach Boys, when they kiss they spit white noise" which I'm kind of upset about. It is a really good line, but now that every girl is going to hear it, they'll know to stay away from me. So it is a life-changing album, maybe, if even for the negative. A few songs on this one I dont like, like the one with the Soul Asylum guy. Starlight Mints - Drowaton
I had their first album when it came out. I listened to it and liked it a lot. This latest album of theirs sounds like that first album only if it was done without ideas or fun. I'm deleting it so fast!The Blow - Paper Television
This is the only band on this list that I've seen live. They are really exciting live and the album is the same. They have nice chemistry with the music and between each other. I listened to this album a lot at first and I think a lot of people will really dig this also. The thing that this album and the Hold Steady album have in common is that in the lyrics you are hearing them and thinking things like "hey! Stop telling my secrets you idiot geniuses!"The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
A strong album that I'm all sorts of sad over. I listened to it once in the van as I tried to find a car repair place. The address I had turned out to be about ten years old. I don't really like the track about the cobra tattoo, but I like the others really deeply. The Rapture - Pieces of People We Love
This album, like the first Rapture album I feel like is stronger in production than most independent albums and stronger in sass than most major label albums, but the middle zone that they are in isn't all that endearing to me. I'll probably delete it, but I'll have you know that once I danced to it.The Thermals - The Body The Blood The Machine
I like the Thermals okay. Their songs are short enough and they go down nice. This album isn't as strong or exciting as the last album. I feel like by trying to be more cohesive they are subtracting the immediacy. The first two Thermals albums had one really good song on them each, I can't remember if this one does.TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
They have nice voices and they detail their production. I'm deleting this album because I did not really get into it, but they might yet make a few really strong songs. Scritti Politti - White Bread, Black Beer
Green Gartside comes back from out of nowhere and excellents with this disc. I'm fond of many of the tracks on this album and like the sound. It's electric, and made with modern keyboards. Earlier I was talking about how I didn't like the Junior Boys (album long since deleted) or The Knife because of the sound, maybe its just a different brand of keyboard that they use. Or maybe its just Green Gartside's expertise in utilizing the correct sounds. Kind of like how OMD still sound fresh to me and Culture Club sounds really dated. Scritti Politti continues to demand of the listener that their interaction with music be something more and Gartside's demands of himself continue to make Scritti a vital force.Xiu Xiu - The Air Force
God, everything's got to be so dramatic. The Scott Walker album with its goofy noises is big and bombastic and challenging, but this shit just stresses me out. I feel like people that listen to this album lose five or six years of their life. Does that make these the 34 longest minutes of the year?
Now here are some numbers:
To Summarize:Prize Winners
(in order of how much I like them)
(and I swear to God its an accident that there's ten of them)-
1. Scritti Politti "White Bread, Black Beer"
2. Lambchop "Damaged"
3. Scott Walker "The Drift" (in spirit)
4. The Mountain Goats "Get Lonely"
5. Hold Steady "Boys and Girls in America"
6. The Blow "Paper Television"
7. Matthew Friedberger "Winter Women"
8. Peter, Bjorn and John "Writer's Block"
9. Yo La Tengo "I Am Not Afraid of you and Will Beat Your Ass"
10. Grizzly Bear "Yellow House"Kept around-
Futureheads "Skip to the End"
Matthew Friedberger "Holy Ghost Language School" (kept with great anger)
GuillemotsStraight to the Can-
TV on the Radio
I'm From Barcelona
Scott Walker (in practice)
The KnifeDisqualified or disintegrated-
H!@#$% D(*&An Album I Forgot in 2006
I knew a girl in high school. She went through phases where she would really really love a band and she would be friends with anybody who knew that band. These bands included from earliest to latest: Le Tigre, Atom and his Package, The Faint, Charles Bronson, Crass, Scritti Politti (of course when I brought up Scritti Politti four years later she couldn't remember them). This was an interesting idea. To be able to make friends with somebody based on a shared affinity for one concept. And she would listen to these albums over and over, which was really exciting to me. They were so fresh, so of the moment. And even though you laughed when you read those band names earlier, you know you danced to them and loved them at one point (provided you are over the age of 20). It made me think that all one had to do was find what was exciting and then you would be in the middle of a giant circle of acceptance.
I never quite found this circle of acceptance, and it continues to elude me and I'm pretty sure that I don't want what's inside it (possibly it includes nice hair and quick meanness), but for a time I felt like that was the way that people made friends. And as my friends continued to number in the low one-digit range, I wondered if there would ever be a sure fire answer for me between friends and music.
The album that had I forgot this year was "First Impressions of Earth" by The Strokes. Songs leaked slowly over the internet and I listened to them on Julia's laptop (over and over to her dismay). There was a group of people with whom I hoped I would become friends. They and I shared a love for these songs, it was what we spoke about when we saw each other.
"Oh, this heart beats in a cage!"
And on the day when the album in its entirety leaked I sat in a room with three other people whom I did not know very well and listened to the sound of our potential friendship breaking as there formed a steady invisible barrier between these people and I during the shared time we smirked along to the songs, impressive as they were, I realized I had no idea what to do with them. We sat there in mock awe and the album finished and some drunk guy showed up and emptied the room. I went home and sat in silence. The album was over, nothing had come of it. The music failed to make a connection and as important as it was to the formation of something slight, it couldn't fix me. And eighth notes took one step back.
I don't remember if this happened in the calendar year 2006 or not. It is possible that it happened last December. The Strokes I haven't listened to since both Julia and Conner got too sick of them for me to even suggest putting the burned CD on.
But seriously, if I ever met a girl who loved Robert Wyatt and Laurie Anderson I would marry her on the spot.