Year End Review part 4
Artist: The Grates
Album: Gravity Won't Get You High (2006)
Australian band The Grates exhibit a punk energy and like most punk records these days fail to stand up to repeated listens, assuming you can stand repeated listening. They may not re-invent the wheel here, but their contagious energy makes for decent pogo pop songs.
Artist: Jason Molina
Song: Everything Should Try Again
Album: Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go (2006)
I'm not overly familiar with a lot of Molina's work. Be it his old Songs: Ohia moniker, Magnolia Electric Co., or simply as Jason Molina. Everything is a particularly biting critique of another's depression. "Ever been tired/Ever been a little sick/Ever tried working through it."
Artist: Daniel Johnston
Song: Ain't No Woman Gonna Make A George Jones Outta Me
If, like me, your knowledge of Daniel Johnston is limited, I suggest checking out the great documentary from last year The Devil and Daniel Johnston. Now available on DVD, it separates a lot fact from fiction without completely dispelling the myth. Intensely low-fi music as seen through the children's soul of this manic depressive. Check out his back catalogue, now easier to find than ever before (I saw some in a Sunrise records the other day for fuck sakes) and get on the D train.
Artist: The Killers
Song: When You Were Young
Album: Sam's Town (2006)
Maybe you're like me and you have a love/hate relationship with the Killers. Image heavy and arrogant at times, Brandon Flowers didn't win any fans when he claimed prior to Sam's Town's release that it would be the best album of the past 20 years. That would fulfil the hate part. The love? Catchy songs like this one that are perfect examples on how to write a hit. I can't say the album failed to live up to my expectations. I never really put much stock in it. The Killers are bound to be around for awhile. My over/under for good songs per album is 2 and I think this is pretty bang on. Now taking bets on how long before Bruce Springsteen asks the band for his shtick back.
Album: The Information (2006)
Beck makes us white boys dance. It may look like bastardized versions of Michael Jackson; still, we dance.
Artist: Regina Spektor
Album: Begin To Hope (2006)
'Cause it breaks you ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-heart.
Artist: Jenn Grant
We talked about Jenn Grant in December. She's got an album coming out in a few months. Check the December archives for a full writeup.
Artist: Sleater Kinney
Song: Modern Girl
Album: The Woods (2005)
Never been a huge Sleater Kinney fan to be honest. they do mean a whole lot to a lot of people. they decided to call it quits this year. Aging riot grrrls wept. My old zine did too.
Artist: Neko Case
Song: Teenage Feeling
Album: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (2006)
Expect a new New Pornographers album later in the year. When it does come out feel free to complain about how there is never enough Neko. Just a beautiful song about never settling for love.
Artist: Hilary & Haylie Duff
Song: Our Lips Are Sealed
We make no bones about this song about the Duff sisters. A cover of The Go-Go's original, the song is pretty much a note for note take on the original. Still, we love it. I had a habit of blaring this all summer sometime during my morning routine. My summer roommates would just walk by with shaking heads. The guilty pleasure is a bankrupt concept.
Artist: Holly Golightly w/ The Greenhornes
Song: There Is An End
This song comes from the soundtrack to Jim Jarmusch directed/Bill Murray starring film, Broken Flowers. Like many, I first came across Holly through her work with The White Stripes. The Greenhornes have a relationship with Jack and Meg that goes back a number of years, as tour mates, friends, and members of a mutual appreciation society. Currently, 2/3's of The Greenhornes are making up the rhythm section of The Raconteurs.
Artist: Sunset Rubdown
Song: They Took A Vote And Said No
Album: Shut Up I Am Dreaming (2006)
Although I initially hated this album I came back to revisit it after some time apart. Came to be one of my favourite releases of '06.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Song: Thunder on the Mountain & Can You Please Crawl Out Through Your Window
Album: Modern Times (2006)
Easily one of the most celebrated albums of the year. Bobby D is enjoying a resurgence in critical acclaim over the past few years. Chalk that up to the self-penned Chronicles bio, Scorsese's No Direction Home documentary, and Dylan still making vital recordings. Thunder on the Mountain finds Dylan in a playful mood, having a good chuckle as he lets us know Alicia Keys has been on his mind, as well as expounding on the state of the world in general. A great rollicking number that catches you in the chest and takes over your hips.
So that's it. That's the end of the look back on '06. Probably a bit over-reaching and unnecessary at this late stage but I felt I should get it off the books before I could start fresh in 2007. Looking forward to the year. Thanks for reading everybody.