here is another list or two:

Some Albums Came Out in 2006, And These Were the Best, I Think:

(Disclaimer: This list is being written as a means of procrastination and is therefore not as thoughtfully considered as some others that are available on some internets and in some periodicals and suchlike. Numbers one and two are pretty solidly set, but the rest kind of shift in my esteem. So!)

1. Clark – Body Riddle

This is the best album that no one’s ever heard, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. It is intricate and beautiful and everything I look for in electronic music; it sounds really organic (much as I hate that term), alive despite coming out of some computers. I really cannot say much more. Once I listened to “Herr Bar,” which is the first track, really loudly through headphones under an umbrella in a torrential downpour, and it was one of the more glorious music-oriented moments of my existence. Then I put it as the first track of a mix about rainfall and gave it to some people and apparently that mix CD caused my friend Kate to imagine rain. I like that. I like music that is so all-consuming that it makes the weather.
2. Herbert – Scale

Sort of the same story, plus excellent vocals. “Harmonise” is one of my favorite songs ever; it will make you feel loved in the face. I listened to this on a lot of trains in England and I now associate it with traveling and summer. The back half of Scale is kind of ponderous, but the first half more than makes it worthwhile.

3. Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of this Country

This band is twee! I like to say twee. I like to listen to twee and to sing along, sometimes. This is unstoppably catchy. I am going to see Camera Obscura on January 20 and I am excited and I think you should be there.

4. Destroyer – Destroyer’s Rubies

My abiding love for all things Dan Bejar conquers the initial seeming insanity and inscrutability of this album; I’ll admit that I didn’t make it past the first track, which clocks in at nearly 10 minutes, on my first couple of listens. But man is it ever a good track. “Painter in Your Pocket” is pretty flawless, too, which puts this in the running for the title of my favorite Destroyer album, along with, uh, every other Destroyer album. Hi, I really like Destroyer.

5. Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block

Basically it is the indie rock jam of 2006. I think I heard “Young Folks” coming from a television over winter break, but damned if it is impossible to overplay that song for me. Also “Up Against the Wall” does some stuff to my heart and some associated parts of my mind like few other tracks in existence.

6. Girl Talk – Night Ripper

I have sort of a rant about how Girl Talk and illegal art and things like that are basically why I founded a chapter of Free Culture at my school and how mass culture is changing forever for the better and also postmodernism and the chain of signifiers and referentiality as it applies to Girl Talk but the main thing is that Night Ripper persistently debilitates me with the urge to dance. It also renders me incapable of using commas, apparently. That is pretty cool, Gregg Gillis, how you destroyed my brain and also somehow sampled “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” in a palatable way.

7. Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

I just listened to this for the second time. It had to make my list if it had any remote chance of living up to the excellence of its title, and it does. It is no I Can Hear The Heart Beating as One, but it still has its moments of insanely epic walls of sound.

8. The Mountain Goats – Get Lonely

I hated this at first listen. It grew on me. This owes a lot to the fact that I was present at the first-ever live performance of “New Monster Avenue” last year, and that song kicks some pretty righteous ass. John Darnielle is the greatest songwriter of our time; pass it on. I also like this album because so many Goats songs are tied to place (my favorite Mountain Goats album is called Tallahassee) and Get Lonely starts out on a road about fifteen minutes from where I live and ends “In Corolla,” which by the way oh man is that ever a spine-chilling album closer.

That is all I can think of now! I’m sure I heard at least two more albums that knocked my socks off this year, but I can’t for the life of me think of what they are. Here is one more list:

I Heard Some Albums For the First Time in 2006 and I Was All Like “Hey, This Album, Where Have You Been All My Life?”

1. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation

2. New Pornographers – Mass Romantic

3. Autechre – Tri Repetae

4. Belle and Sebastian – Tigermilk

5. Underworld – Beaucoup Fish (and also a few tracks off A Hundred Days Off, but that one isn’t as consistently good)

6. Oval – 94diskont

7. New Order – International/Substance (is this just the greatest hits thing? In any case, New Order is god damned fantastic)

8. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (actually I heard this in high school a couple times but didn’t really sit down with it until a couple months ago, at which point I played it totally obsessively for weeks at a stretch)

9. Dabrye – One/Three

10. Tortoise – a bunch of Tortoise albums, with the most notable at the moment being Millions Now Living Will Never Die

Hello, I am a filthy hipster. How are you? I was alerted the other day to the dysfunctionality of the comments section; it should be working again.


About this entry