Year End Review Part 1
Song: I Got You (At the End of the Century)
Album: Being There (1996)
Song: Kicking Television
Album: Kicking Television (2005)
Although the band didn't release a studio proper in '06, they were very much on the scene. A succesful canadian tour, a solo Tweedy DVD, and the promise of a new album in '07. The year also marked my transformation from Wilco interested to super Wilco fan. For my money, Jeff Tweedy is the most important contemporary songwriter of our times. There are very few on the same level as he.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: 30th Anniversary Celebration
Song: My Back Pages
This is a great live song from "Bobfest." I watched the concert film earlier in the year and really got stuck on this song. Featuring Tom Petty, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Roger McGuinn, and Bobby, the song takes its cue from the faster tempoed Byrds version. Each artist takes a verse, with Bob seemingly content to strum along in the background. When Dylan rambles up to the mike, the crowd loses their shit. A real thing of beauty.
Artist: The Replacements
Album: Let It Be (1984)
I would never have considered myself a 'Mats fan. I picked up Tim a few years back real cheap from a Best Buy. Wholly impressed, I relegated the band to the back of my mind. Sometimes fate intervenes to give you a second chance, in this case, in the form of a bargain bin find I couldn't resist. I put Let It Be on and had one of those experiences you can only have the one time. That first listen to an album and almost instantly you just feel it's perfect. It's not flawless, but perfect in its own right. My favourite song would have to be this one. It slows the album down for a moment and to my knowledge the best song about cross dressing love. Also, the only song I know about cross dressing love.
Artist: Rogue Wave
This song, featured on the Just Friends soundtrack, is in the spirit of Dylan's You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. A man misses a failed relationship. He accepts this fact as a positive, but still misses these things about his lady. "I'm washing my hands of attachements/I will land on the ground/But one thing I'm missing is in your eyes". Definitely bittersweet. Rogue Wave had a tough year with drummer Pat Sturgeon requiring a costly kidney transplant. The band rallied with a benefit concert in September to raise funds. If you go to their site you can make a donation. You can also make sure you give serious thought to signing your donor card.
Artist: Munk feat. James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem
Song: Kick Out The Chairs
A remix by Munk of the original by Danish band WhomadeWho. This track is old school funk meets the dance electro we got accustomed to on Murphy's 2005 eponymous debut. While 2007 will bring the follow up, Sounds of Silver, the past year we were placated by this and Murphy's 45:33, a workout music collaboration with Nike. If working out to James Murphy (or working out in general) isn't your thing, then '07 shall be right up your alley. Kick out them chairs muthafucka.
Artist: Paul Simon
Song: Paranoia Blues
Album: Paul Simon
Sitting in a practically empty club in April and watching my favourite Deadly Snake, Andre Ethier, quietly paint the walls with quiet folk pop and earnest love (is there any other kind?) Andre plays a cover of this Paul Simon tune, which through his eyes is a lot more paranoid.
Crazy, eh? Four months later the Deadly Snakes break up and lovers of soulful rock and roll shed a quiet tear. But not before the Snakes send themselves off with one last legendary performance. Get yourself acquainted.
Artist: Desmond Dekker
Reasons you should love Desmond Dekker : He was the self-apointed King of Ska. Israelites was the first reggae song to go #1 in the Uk charts in 1968. He had an album named Black & Dekker. The original Rude Boy was the most prominent Jamaican artist prior to Bob Marley; laying the groundwork for future artists. Sadly, he passed away on May 25th at the age 0f 64.
Artist: The Decemberists
Song: 16 Military Wives
Album: Picaresque (2005)
A lot of Decemberists fans waited with bated breath for the band's major label debut in 2006. Thankfully, The Crane Wife , lived up to expectations and then some. It showed up in and around the top on many a year-end list. They also had an epic battle for rock supremacy with Stephen Colbert. This was the song that drew me off the fence and into the Decemberists camp. Check out the video for the song. Scathing and hilarious.
Artist: Fox Jaws
Album: untitled '07 release
Fox Jaws are a Barrie-based band I'm expecting big things from in the future. A proper writeup soon. For now, just listen. Is that a harmonica you hear? No sir, sonny boy, that's a karmonica. Groovy
Artist: Devandra Banhart
Song: Fistful of Love
Off the covers record that accompanied the 2005 Music/Summer issue of Believer magazine. Devandra takes on the Antony and the Johnsons original. My roomate played this for me a while back and I didn't think much of it. To be fair, I only listened to a snippet and i wasn't really in the mood to listen anyways. Fast forward a year or two and I'm enjoying the quiet peace of 3am. I toss this on and bang, the planets align or something. Proper amounts of pain and anguish, longing and yelps. Completely destroys the original.
Artist: Apostle of Hustle
Song: My Sword Hand's Anger
The first track from the upcoming National Anthem of Nowhere. I felt that 2004's Folkloric Feel was a pretty uneven affair. If they restrain the tendency to noodle off and choke back those songs we could have something worthwile here. I really love this track right now, which makes me super excited for the release. They've got a month long weekly residency at the Rivoli starting January 24th. Might be time to take a trip.
Artist: Viva Voce
Song: From the Devil Himself
Album: Get Yr Blood Sucked Out (2006)
I profiled Pat & Anita Robinson earlier in the year. Incredibly tight, especially considering it's a two-piece. Double driving attack but not afraid to show their melodic side. One of my favourite records of the year. In a thin year for new discoveries for me, Viva Voce really stood out.
Artist: The Be Good Tanyas
Song: For The Turnstiles
Album: Hello Love (2006)
The Tanyas turn out another excellent roots record. Bound to be overlooked (and it was) as arguments of too many covers, not enough originals, reign. If every country music star listened to this record we'd have a unprecedented string of artists blowing their brains out. This is real country music and few have the talent the Tanyas do. Here they cover a Neil Young song off '74's On The Beach. They don't match Neil Young's mournful mood, which might be a good thing anyway. Leave it to the master. Faithful, yet fresh.