March 20, 2007

Review: Archie Bronson Outfit - Derdang Derdang

This British trio thankfully diverges from the brit-pop formula by crafting a well honed rock sound with a hint of the blues. With their opening song, "Cherry Lips", they set a driving, moody tone for the rest of the album.

If you like Kings of Leon, Sons & Daughters, or the Dirtbombs give these guys a spin.

Review: Fratellis - Costello Music

I have to thank Steve Jobs on this one. Apple used one of the Fratellis songs ("Flathead") on a recent iPod commercial. I tracked down an import of their album (which has since been released stateside) and silently cursed Mr Jobs since I liked the CD.

This Scottish trio plays energentic, indie rock that I often associate with British bands. Listening to Costello Music makes me want to play it loud in a convertible on a summer day. They play in the same sandbox as the Arctic Monkeys or the Kooks and I bet would be great to see live.

February 7, 2007

Concert Review: the 88 with the Oohlas

I had to drag my butt to the west side's Key Club on Sunset Blvd for this show (on a Tuesday no less).

The Oohlas opened up the show. Fronted by the red-haired Ollie Stone, the band delivered some catchy power-pop/rock that reminded me of Belly. Good stuff.

The 88 came out in dress shirts and ties. Much like their wardrobe, the 88 are tight and well put together. Their music strays from the straight rock path always veering someplace interesting. I had never heard there music before and yet the craftsmanship in the songs made them feel instantly likable. They delivered a power pop/rock show that made me glad I ventured out to the Strip. They closed their encore with a spot-on rocking version of David Bowie's Suffragette City.

Bravo boys, bravo.

February 6, 2007

Album Review: Yosi - What's Eating Yosi?

Yosi's fourth album, What's Eating Yosi? Is all about food. On the first listen, I immediately drew parallels in my mind to Raffi or Ralph Covert (Ralph's World) since each song seems to be in a different style (Rock, Reggae, Barbershop, etc.) Yosi is obviously a talented musician. There was something about the songs that seemed sillier than Ralphs' World -- which is a feat since RW can be quite silly. "Chicken Noodle Soup" seems to be the kid dance favorite.

Album Review: New Orleans Playground

A wonderfully joyous dixieland compilation featuring Fats domino, Dr. John, The Meters, Buckweat Zydeco, and many more. It is hard to stand still for Clifton Chenier's version of "Choo Choo Ch'boogie". Fats Domino's "Whole Lotta Lovin" is another great dance tune. Hack Bartholomew finishes off the album with "When The Saints Go Marching In". A grown-up CD that kids will enjoy also.

Album Review: Toucan Jam - A World of Music

A musical duo that makes some of the most interesting kids music I've heard in a while. Their musical style ranges from Squirrel Nut Zippers to Folk to World. Many songs feel more like musical stories than verse-verse-chorus songs.

My favorite track: "Hey Mom!" reminds me of Squirrel Nut Zippers.
Dex's Favorites: "Cock-a-Diddly Doo!", "Snowy Fall's Cat"

Album Review: Justin Roberts - Meltdown!

Justin Roberts has been making kids music for a long time and it shows. He knows how to have a good time. His songs are catchy and well written pop songs that kids can relate to and grown-ups won't mind listening to.

Standouts include "I Chalk", "Get Me Some Glasses", and "Meltdown".

January 29, 2007

Best Music 2006 - Doug McLaughlin

ok, finally getting off my ass and creating the list.

The clientele - Strange Geometry
M. Ward - Post War
Sparklehorse - Dreamt for...
Astronautilus - The mighty ocean...
Built to Spill - You in Reverse

The Sword - Age of Winters
These Arms are Snakes - This Is Meant to Hurt You
Cursive - Happy Hollow
Harlem Shakes - Ep's
Mission of Burma- the obliterati
Erase Errata - Nightlife

Any Good Dupstep- The latest techno import from england. find
good downloads and podcasts of this bass heavy stuff (an aquired taste)
Beck - The Information
The Coup - Pick a Bigger Weapon
Herbert - Scale
Damian Marley - Welcome to Jamrock
Brazilian Girls - Talk to la Bomb
Bugz in the Attic - Back in the doghouse

Boris - Pink
the Black Angels - Passover
Darker My Love
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
Asobi Seksu

Seu Jorge - Cru
Amadou and Miriam
TV on the Radio - Cookie Mountain
Tom Waits - Brawlers, Baulers...

Discoveries from yesterday
My Old Record Collection in General
Mark Bolan and TRex - yeah, it took me 36years and Jenny's record collection.
John Lennon - Shaved Fish
Los Mutantes
Syd Barrett
Buddy Guy and Junior Wells - Hoodoo Voodoo Man
Neil Young

douglas mclaughlin • ephemerist

January 18, 2007

Best Music 2006 - Adam Chrystie

Group - Album

Mediaeval Baebes - Mirabilis (Mediaeval Music)
The Go Fly - Maimo (rock)
Brazillian Girls - Brazillian Girls (house/pop)
Basement Jaxx (house/pop)
Gary Numan - Pure (Goth/Industrial)

January 16, 2007

Best Music 2006 - Jeremy Zitter

In No Particular Order:

Silversun Pickups: Carnavas

Band of Horses: Everything all the Time

Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

Jolie Holland: Springtime Can Kill You

Devics: Push the Heart

Midlake: The Trials of Van Occupanther

The Decembrists: The Crane Wife

Cat Power: The Greatest

Sunset Rubdown: Shut Up I Am Dreaming

Camera Obscura: Let's Get Out of This Country

Other Things I Liked: The Submarines: Declare a New State, Fiery Furnaces: Bitter Tea, Ferraby Lionheart: EP, Sea Wolf: Untitled/Unreleased, Adem: Love and Other Planets, The Concretes: In Colour, Under Byen: Samme Stof Som Stof, Sebastien Schuller: Happiness

January 15, 2007

Best Music 2006 - Michael Schwartz

  • The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
  • The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
  • Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
  • Thom Yorke - Eraser
  • Comets On Fire - Avatar
  • Deerhoof - The Runners Four
  • Nellie Mckay - Pretty Little Head
  • The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Aphex Twin - Chosen Lords
  • Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
  • My Morning Jacket - Z
  • Sufjan Stevens - Ilinoise
  • Clap You Hands And Say Yeah - Clap You Hand And Say Yeah

January 13, 2007

Best Music 2006 - Chris Poehlmann

my current favs are:

Cat Power -- The Greatest, + older stuff like You are Free and Moon Pix. This is a great stand in for the hole left when Mazzy Star ended.

Dub, Dub and more dub thanks to internet radio.

the song Shanty Town by Mr. Scruff off Keep it Unreal

stereolab -- switched on

Tonya Donelly -- This hungry life

Herb Alpert -- Whipped Cream + Other Delites Re-whipped


January 11, 2007

Best Music 2006 - Tim Grierson

Happy New Year everybody,

Here's my list -- in order, kinda.

Neko Case, "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood"
Band of Horses, "Everything All The Time"
The Coup, "Pick a Bigger Weapon"
Sonic Youth, "Rather Ripped"
Yo La Tengo, "I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will
Beat Your Ass"
The Hold Steady, "Boys And Girls In America"
The Decemberists, "The Crane Wife"
J Dilla, "Donuts"
J Dilla, "The Shining"
Todd Snider, "The Devil You Know"
Beck, "The Information"
Drive-By Truckers, "A Blessing And A Curse"
Destroyer, "Destroyer's Rubies"
The Roots, "Game Theory"
The Streets, "The Hardest Way To Make An Easy
Pernice Brothers, "Live a Little"
Ghostface Killah, "Fishscale"
Camera Obscura, "Let's Get Out Of This Country"
Dixie Chicks, "Taking The Long Way"
Bob Dylan, "Modern Times"


January 9, 2007

Best Music 2006 - Bryan Waterman

13 from 2006
13. Tagaki Masakatsu, Journal for People
12. Grizzly Bear, Yellow House
11. Radio Citizen, Berlin Serengeti
10. Vetiver, To Find Me Gone
9. Devics, Push the Heart
8. Silversun Pickups, Carnavas
7. Mountains, Sewn
6. Lambchop, Damaged
5. Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Letting Go
4. Destroyer, Destroyer's Rubies
3. His Name Is Alive, Detrola
2. Final Fantasy, He Poos Clouds
1. Joanna Newsom, Ys
for commentary and links go to
Happy New Year! bw

January 8, 2007

Best Music 2006 - Chris Jess

OK, OK, here I go:

Super long list of bestest music by Chris:

And yes, after a year of remodeling this is pretty much all the music I could come up with.

Best (and only) albums:

1. Dashboard Confessional - Dusk And Summer
Yes I know, it's the going-away fad of Screamo, but Chris Carrabba is actually pretty good (you know, it's all a question of taste...)
2. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
I actually first heard about these guys as part of a music video segment on a flight back from Germany. Fun album.

Most dissapointing album:
Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
Absolutely LOVED their first album. The single releases Hands Open & Chasing Cars were promising, but the album blew. Very slow & repetitive and just getting slower as the album progresses. The producer did a good job, as this album is clearly set up to convince those listening into the first 3-4 tracks in the store, but not the whole thing.

Due to the shortness of my list, here are two songs I'd like to mention:

1. Chris Cornell - You Know My Name (theme song from Casino Royale)
You go Chris! solid rock song but definatley a Bond song. It' nice to hear that after the whole Madonna let-down.
2. Bosse - Die Irritierten
I want this CD. Haven't been able to get it yet.

Chris =)

January 7, 2007

Best Music 2006 - Dan Toloudis

Here's some stuff I listened to and remembered in 2006.

Artist, Song(Album)

1. Mardo, Bombs Over Broadway (The New Gun) [retro hard rock. these guys just rock out. they have a myspace page with 4 tracks.]

2. Wolfmother, Woman (Wolfmother) [heavy psychedelic rock. kinda sludgy / sabbathy but happier. also have a myspace page ]

3. Blue October, Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek (Foiled) [modern rock.
disparate, eclectic, accessible thru a couple of pop hits but musically deeper than that. Also check out album "History For Sale"]

4. Gill Landry, Loneliness (The Ballad of Lawless Soirez) [absolutely miserable blues, the best kind!]

5. Hot Tuna, I Know You Rider (live in NYC 11/26/06) [ I saw these old guys play in New York for Thanksgiving. Electric and acoustic blues band spawned from Jefferson Airplane ]

6. Genesis, The Knife (Trespass) [ early 70's progressive rock. One of their heavier/faster/intenser songs. I just think people should check this out. ]

7. Umphrey's McGee, Women Wine and Song (Safety In Numbers) [ Phish-style hippie jam band, these guys are great. this song is just an example. listen to everything ]

In 2006 a good friend inspired me to learn about the Grateful Dead. I'll end with some picks for a sampling of G.D. songs I think people should hear.

8. The Grateful Dead, Franklin's Tower (on Blues For Allah) 9. The Grateful Dead, St. Stephen (on Aoxomoxoa) 10. The Grateful Dead, Dark Star (on Live Dead and many other live

Their best studio stuff, in my opinion:
-- The Grateful Dead, American Beauty (*whole album) [e.g. Sugar Magnolia, Ripple, Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil, etc.]
-- The Grateful Dead, Workingman's Dead (*whole album) [e.g. Uncle John's Band, Dire Wolf, Casey Jones, Cumberland Blues, etc.]

Best Music 2006 - Juan Devis

here's the list...

nuevos ricos - and indie label from latin america
conector - hector buitrago
x - los angeles
the brat amp fiddler - waltz of a ghetto fly
los abandoned - mix tape
squarepusher - hello everything
panorama - panorama

they are not all recorded last year... but i listened to them all the time....

Best Music 2006 - Lynn Roof

Here's mine - happy new year to you!! There's been some great music out this year. Here's some of my favorites, old and new:
Sean Watkins (guitarist for Nickel Creek) - he released a solo album this year which has one of my favorite songs on it, called "Hello..........Goodbye". It's so bittersweet - it's about 60 seconds long, and in a nutshell, he meets a girl after a show, they get married in his head, and then she says goodbye. It's wonderful. I've seen him play it live many times, and it never loses its sweetness.

Tin Hat Trio - I heard them on Morning Becomes Eclectic for the first time this year. I picked up Book of Silk, and absolutely adore it. They're hard to define, but jazz is the closest you can probably get with generic labels.

Finn Brothers - they released their 2nd album, Everyone is Here, and they're just as good together now as when they were in Split Enz back in the 70's.

People in Planes - I loved the song "If You Talk Too Much My Head Will Explode" so much, I got the album. Which was a great purchase.

Decemberists - they continue to be one of my favorites. I saw them at the Wiltern, promoting The Crane Wife - what an amazing show. The album is SO GOOD.

Oh My by Mellowdrone - this was my "summer" song. It's a great one to listen to while driving, and when my friend Arlene was here this summer for a visit, we must have heard it 5 times over the one weekend. So, it says summer fun to me.

Los Angeles by Wired All Wrong - a rock anthem song that's great to sing at the top of your lungs while stuck in traffic. "Los Angeles...needs a revolution!!"

I can't wait to hear everyone else's picks!

Best Music 2006 - Eric Porter

Dear Robert,

David Crane forwarded me a message about your list, and I'd like to contribute. Here are 10 albums I enjoyed listening to this year.

Jeanne Lee, Natural Affinities

Manu Chao, Clandestino

Seu Jorge, The Life Aquatic

Talk to Her soundtrack

Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Live at Willisau

Francisco Aguabella, Ochimini

Maxwell, Now

Miles Davis, Ascenseur Pour L'echafaud

Randy Weston, African Sunrise

Mary J Blige, The Breakthrough (I actually just got this today, but it's making a big impression as I write this)

Look forward to seeing the new list. Thanks for doing this. Best to Tara.

Eric Porter

Best Music 2006 - Alex Sokoloff

My Years Best Albums.

Plastic Garden, Michele Moreno.
A fantastic debut CD. A local LA artist that mixes pop and world influences with beautiful vocals and meaningful lyrics. Check it out at - you won't be disappointed. Support local indie artists!!!

St. Elsewhere, Gnarls Barkley
Modern Times, Dylan
At War with the Mystics, Flaming Lips
The Garden, Zero7
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Neko Case
Veneer, Jose Gonzalez
How We Operate, Gomez

Best Music 2006 - Chris Manfrin

sorry i'm getting this to you all late like.
here's my list.
in no particular order.
it's more of a list of things i listened to repeatedly in 2006, which are not necessarily current.
here we go..
1. mastodon - 'blood mountain'
2. meshuggah - 'catch 33'
2a. the bronx - s/t
3. dalek - 'absence'
4. grinderman - s/t
5. sunn o)))/boris - 'altar'
6. rufus wainwright - i only have a comp. cd a friend made for me, but damn, it's all great.
7. drive like jehu - 'yank crime'
8. film school - s/t (yes, they sound like the an 80's manchester band fronted by robert smith, but i don't care.)
9. band of horses - 'everything all of the time'
10. hot snakes - 'automatic midnight'
honorable mention... 3 are irrelevant to music in general
1. a band from l.a. called la rev. they're a little wonky right now, but they'll certainly become great. darkwave garage rock fronted by my furture wife. (i wish...)
2. if you don't already, watch frisky dingo and the venture bros. on adult swim
3. shadow of the colossus for the ps2
4. motogp. check it out.
hope you're well mister. give my best to tara and dex. i miss you man.

Best Music 2006 - Tom Padovan

Tom's Picks are :
  1. Gnarls Barkley- St. Elsewhere
  2. Tom Vek- We Have Sound
  3. Van Hunt - On the Jungle Floor
  4. The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
  5. Thom Yorke - The Eraser
  6. TV on the Radio- Return to Cookie Mountain
  7. Zero 7- The Garden
  8. Damien Rice - 9
  9. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
  10. Beirut - Gulag Orkestra

Best Music 2006 - Scott Higgins

Hi Rob ---

Good to hear from you and thanks for the inclusion in your poll. I'm also forwarding the whole shebang to my pop fan friends (Jay, Paul, and Ethan) in hopes they will contribute.

Here's a mixture of Songs and LP's ---

1) Camera Obscura -- Let's Get Out of This Country
I fell in love with this LP over the fall. The nod to Mr. Cole caught my attention, but the Phil Specter meets indie-pop sound kept me coming back.

2) Pipas -- Sorry Love
This LP is so short you can learn every note within a week. And I did. Their blog is also endearing.

3) DJ Hint -- Portakabin Fever
An "oldie" dating back to 2002, though I didn't discover it until O3. Immaculate. It has the staying power of Every Man and Woman a Star, which for me is very rare company. While Lemon Jelly has run its course for me, DJ Hint continues to flow.

4) Boozoo Bajou --- The First Four Songs on Juke Joint II
I can't really recommend the whole compilation, but the first four songs set an irresistible groove. The two highlights are Boozoo's re imagination of Rainy Night in Georgia (they knew just what to leave alone in the original track) and "The Thing" by Urbs and Cutex. Intelligent downbeat.

5) Belle and Sebastian --- Dress Up in You
Classic B and S --- insanely high syllable count and hardly any repetition in the lyric, but catchy nonetheless. As a particularly cruel promotional stunt, the band posted an instrumental version before the LP was released and invited fans to "sing along" --- but there is no way of figuring out the melody for these words from the backing chords. Plus, I think I rode a bus with one of the band this summer in Glasgow.

6) Adam Ant -- Kiss the Drummer
A B side I hadn't heard until this year and it is a very special song --- a blissfully stupid and incoherent collection of hooks. I played it very loud in the car, and briefly recaptured by blissfully stupid and incoherent adolescence.

7) Nightmares on Wax -- Smokers Delight
Reaching back to 1995, this one brings back the hazy atmosphere of my grad-school apartment but without the pain and pressure. A fine companion for mid summer.

8) Roger Miller -- Do Wacka Do
A song from Bess's bedtime disk that caught my attention this year. Miller is best known for King of the Road, but this song is just much angrier, it has an unexpectedly dark edge for my three-year old daughter's bedtime disk. Catchy as all get out too.

9) Telepopmusic -- Breathe
Another unfashionably dated track (2002). But nice filler and background.

10) Chet Baker in Paris Volume II
At the end of the day, when work is done and kids are in bed, you are in good hands with Chet -- and this has been another favorite since the late 1980s. Everyone should own it.

Scott H.

Best Music 2006 - Benjamin Anderson (2 y/o)

Benjamin (age 2) watches the Wiggles' DVD "Top of the Tots" and HBO's "Classical Baby Dance". He likes to sing "Apples and Bananas" although only "eat, eat, apples" comes out.

Best Music 2006 - Brian Anderson

Hey Rob,
Hope your holidays are going well. Here's my list for 2006
- Brian

1. DJ Format - "Separated at Birth" and lots of other songs picked from his last two albums
2. Arctic Monkeys - "Whatever People Say I am, That's What I'm not" - the only album I bought this year
3. Jan Delay - "Klar"
4. Sportfreunde Stiller - "'54, '74, '90, 2006" - anthem for Germany fans during the World Cup
5. The Streets - "When you wasn't famous"
6. Sido - "Strassenjunge"
7. Saian Supa Crew - "La patte"
8. Bela B. - "1. 2. 3."
9. Rihanna - "SOS" - I have a guilty weakness for any variation of "Tainted Love"
10. The Wiggles - "Can you dig it" - stuck in my head because of Ben
Silvia would like to add Shemale Trouble.

Best Music 2006 - David Crane

hi rob,

each year i say i'm gonna give you a list -- and this year i decided i had to do it immediately to get it done. and that worked!

i *think* i bought all these this year.... the ranking for 1-6 is serious; the rest are pretty much tied. sorry, couldn't keep it to 20...

1. Deerhoof / The Runners Four
2. Television Personalities / Yes Dear, but Is It Art?
3. Curtis Mayfield / Roots
4. Syd Barrett / Barrett
5. The Roots / Game Theory
6. Kim Jung Mi / Wind [reissued this year! and don't buy that stupid "Korean Francoise Hardy" shit]
7. Francoiz Breut / Une Saison Volee
8. Cheap Trick at Budokan (remastered)
9. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings / Naturally
10. Numbers / We're Animals
11. Bad Brains / Bad Brains
12. Antony & the Johnsons / Antony & the Johnsons
13. Matmos / The Rose has Teeth in the Mouth of the Beast
14. Sarah Vaughan (w/ Clifford Brown)
15. Broadcast / Tender Buttons
16. Archie Schepp / The Impulse Story
17. Nobukazu Takamura / Hoshi no koe
18. Sun Ra / Sun Song
19. RAIS Kammerchor (dir. Daniel Reuss) / Francis Poulenc: Figure Humaine
20. Ilse Scheer / Bertolt Brecht [1971 Austrian import/vinyl]
21. Animal Collective / Feels
22. Fela Anikulapo Kuti & Roy Ayers / Music of Many Colors
23. Midwest Funk: Funk 45s from Tornado Alley (compilation)

and my current favorite myspace artists: Bunny Rabbit w/ Black Cracker:


Best Music 2006 - Wendy West

Think I'll do a list of songs again!

so here were my favorite songs of 2006:

1. Life on Mars -- David Bowie
2. Independence Day -- Elliott Smith
3. The Funeral -- Band of Horses
4. Hot Child in the City -- Nick Gilder
5. F**k, Was I -- Jenny Owen Youngs
6. Kissing Families -- SSPU
7. Jealous Guy -- John Lennon
8. Day After Tomorrow -- Tom Waits
9. SOS -- Rhianna
10. You're A Wolf -- Sea Wolf
and my 2 favorite covers:
11. Breakdown -- Grace Jones
12. Straight Outta Compton -- Nina Gordon

yep. that was my year. helllllllllooooo 2007!

thanks again rob, for doing this. happy new year.

Best Music 2006 - Adam Kopald

Here goes, in no particular order, some of 2006, some not:

The Capitol Years-Dance Away the Terror

Outrageous Cherry-Stay Happy

Califone-Roots and Crowns

Wheat-Hope and Adams

Super Furry Animals-Songbook: The Singles Vol. 1

Of Montreal-Aldhils Arboretum

Quasi-When the Going Gets Dark

The Long Winters-When I Pretend to Fall

The Elected-Me First

The M's-Future Women

The Concretes-In Color

The Go! Team-Thunder, Lightning, Strike

Solex-Low Kick and Hard Bop

Robbers on High Street-Tree City

The Envelopes-Demon

Grandaddy (just about anything by them)

Rogue Wave-Descended Like Vultures

Electralene-Rock It To The Moon

OK, that's about it. Thanks for putting this together!

Best Music 2006 - Dexter Knaack (almost 5 y/o)

Mahna Mahna - the Muppets
My Favorite Things - Sound of Music
Car Wash - Rose Royce
Sound System - Operation Ivy
Yellow Submarine - Beatles
Puff the Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul and Mary
Witch Doctor - David Seville
the Candy Man - Sammy Davis Jr
Over the Rainbow - Wizard of Oz
Everybody Wants To Be A Cat - the Aristocats
Bare Necessities - Jungle Book
It's A Small World - Disneyland
Do-Re-Mi - Sound of Music
Oompa Loompa songs - Willie Wonka (original)
I Want It Now - Willie Wonka (original)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - CCBB
You Are My Sunshine

Best Music 2006 - Robert Knaack

This year, for the first time, I think I have as many older albums as current ones.

The Best:

Straight To Hell - Hank Williams III : Punk-Rockin' Country without the nauseating modern country-pop sound. Hank Williams I would be very proud of his rebel grandson.

Guitar Romantic / Shattered - Exploding Hearts : Wow. 70s Punk rock style without the cliches. I thought this band was destined for greatness. Guitar Romantic came out in 2003 and Shattered, a compilation of b-sides, retakes, and singles, came out this year. Then I felt, well, shattered when I learned that sometime after recording Guitar Romantic a van crash killed three of their members. The rock-n-roll gods end the career of a young talented band and yet leave Aerosmith...where is the justice?

More Parts Per Million - The Thermals : Ok, so I'm three years behind on this one. An album brimming with energetic, lo-fi, indie rock. While I was enjoying this disc, the band released THIS year's album The Body, The Blood, The Machine. I am hoping that it will be as good. Look for it on next years list.

Boys and Girls in America - The Hold Steady : I really didn't want to like this band. I listened to their album Almost Killed Me and thought they could rock, but something about the sound didn't resonate with me. Over the year I started reading positive reviews of BaGiA and thought I'd give them another shot. After the first play there was still this intangible disconnect. Lucky for them (and myself) I followed my "listen to a new album at least twice" rule and on the second play it connected. I read somewhere that described the Hold Steady as a cross between the Replacements and Bruce Springsteen. A real rock-n-roll album.

The Crane Wife - Decemberists : Some people gasped when news came that the Decemberists were making the big label jump. Luckily, Colin Meloy and the band's sound hasn't jumped. Early Decemberists made me think of sea shanties and gypsies. On this album the gypsies have strapped on electric guitars. Not many bands can sing about the civil war and days of old without sounding silly. Lyrically wonderful and musically satisfying, bravo boys, bravo.

Return to Cookie Mountain - TV On The Radio : Goodness I came to the party late. I started listening to Blood Thristy Babes just recently and loved it. I thought it would be on my list this year, but that changed near the end of the year when I realized that Cookie Mountain was out. This album is one of those that you have to be in the mood for. Catchy, complex and experimental, background music this is not. An engagingly, satisfying album.

Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters : OK, I'm an album behind on these kids. When I heard about them and the word "disco" was mentioned I steered clear, then I actually listened to the album. This is definitely a case of 'better late than never'.

Curse of the Zounds - the Zounds : A gritty post-punk from the 1980s.

Destroyer's Rubies - Destroyer : Dan Bejar is talented. When he isn't Destroyer, he's in The New Pornographers and Swan Lake. Fortunately, Dan hasn't spread himself too thin. The name reminds me of a metal band, but this is far from the case. Rubies is an enigmatic indie rock gem (sorry for the pun.)

The Rest :

Savane - Ali Farka Toure : Blues meets African music.

Pick A Bigger Weapon - The Coup : Psychedelic funk and soul. The grooves on this album recall PFunk and the Digital Underground. While sometimes Boots Riley's lyrics feel too forced (much like DU), often trying to be too clever. When it works, the words get you thinking and the music gets you moving.

Ole Tarantula - Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 : Robyn returns to form channeling his Eye-era songs. Not all songs hit this lofty level, but the ones that do like "Adventure Rocketship" realize how much I missed him.

Broken Boy Soldier - Raconteurs : Most musical super-groups never quite live up to the hype, but Jack White and Brendan Benson put together a band that was able to release a surprisingly solid album.

Over the Edge - the Wipers : An underrated 1983 punk rock album from an underrated punk rock band.

Love - Beatles : Having OD'ed on the Beatles in my youth, I was pleasantly suprised by this remix/mash-up. The DVD-Audio version feels fresh.

This Time / Lonesome, Onry, and Mean / Ol' Waylon - Waylong Jennings : Remasters of classic country and western.

Pretty Little Head - Nellie McKay : Normally bubble-gum pop music doesn't agree with me, but something about Nellie makes it seem alright.

Living With War - Neil Young : The old man still has it in him.

Other things of note:

Best Online Music Store: eMusic
Worst Online Music Store: BMG Music Club

December 15, 2006

Best Music 2006

Hello all,

Happy holidays! I hope everyone had a great year. I am sending this letter to invite everyone to have fun and participate in the sixth annual best music poll. For those of you who are new (or forget things easily like myself), the way the yearly list works is the following:

Send me an email (robert.knaack at good ol' with your list of the best music you've LISTENED to this year (not necessarily published this year.) It can be your top 10, 20, or even just a couple. Some of the iTunes generation submit songs...which is great as well.

The goal is to let other people find new music that they might otherwise have missed. This isn't a contest, it is about fun and sharing. Lastly, don't be worried the music you listen to isn't good enough or that people aren't interested in your musical'd be surprised, so please join in!

I will send out one more reminder at the end of the year and publish the results after the first of the year. In previous years I sent a single email with everyone's lists. This year, I will put together all of the lists received into a blog (and most likely an email as well.)

If someone you know would be interested in participating and hasn't gotten this email forward it to them. The more the merrier. I also welcome people to submit their kid's music lists as well. Please include the child's age as well.

I'm enclosing the results of last years poll at the bottom of this email.

I'm excited to see what music I've missed this year!

Take care,

Best Music 2005 - the web

"Best Of"s on the 'Net

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All Music


Best Music 2005 - Robert Knaack

01) Brakes – Give Blood [quirky, frivolous, and fun rock]

02) Sleater-Kinney – the Woods

03) Buck 65 – This Right Here Is [country indie rap is the best description I can come up with]

04) New Pornographers – Twin Cinema

05) M Ward – Transistor Radio

06) Soviettes – III [energetic, playful punk]

07) Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah – CYHASY

08) Russian Futurists – Our Thickness [one man indie-pop band]

09) Band of Bees – Free the Bees [new psychedelia – wonderful]

10) Rakes – Capture/Release [not to be confused with the Brakes – snotty British punk-rock ala the Clash]

11) Josh Rouse – Nashville [a great Americana follow-up to 2003's winning "1972"]

12) Supergrass – Road to Rouen [just when I had given up on them they make a great record]

13) Joseph Arthur – Our Shadows Will Remain [alt-pop songs that get into your brain]

14) Eels – Blinking Lights and Other Revelations [2 discs is too long, but incredible songs throughout]

15) Sons and Daughters – Repulsion Box [folk-rock songs that m-o-v-e]

16) MIA – Arular [dance music is usually not my thing, but something about this works for me]

17) Andrew Bird – Mysterious Production of Eggs [I hate to use the phrase 'adult alternative pop', but it seems to fit here. Beautiful songs]

18) Perceptionists – Black Dialogue [political rap that thumps]

19) Decemberists – Picaresque

20) White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan

Bands just missing the cut:

Of Montreal – Sunlandic Twins

Spoon – Gimme Friction

Brights Eyes – I'm Awake…

Mando Diao – Hurricane Bar

Antony and the Johnsons – I Am A Bird Now

Adrian Belew – Side One

Best Music 2005 - Dexter Knaack (3.5 y/o)

1) Captain Bogg and Salty – Bedtime Stories for Pirates

2) Ralph's World – Under the Sea

3) Ralph's World – Ralph's World

4) Captain Bogg and Salty – Pegleg Tango

5) Ralph's World – Lemon

6) Ralph's World – Peggy Pie Parlor

7) Ralph's World – Amazing Adventures of Kid Astro

8) Ralph's World – Green Gorilla

9) They Might Be Giants – ABCs

1) Spiderman 67 theme song

2) Batman theme song

3) Jingle Bells (the "batman smells" version)

[editor's note: if you have kids and haven't heard of Captain Bogg's CDs seek them out. They are fantastic!]

Best Music 2005 - Bryan Waterman

i've been stewing over my top 10 for 2005, wondering if i can even come up with one. i haven't heard from anyone else yet, so for all i know i may be either so predictable i'm pathetic or so out of tune (for spending my whole year listening to wfmu rather than new music) that i have no idea what's what and i'm starting to slide into routine in my buying habits. some years i have no problem hitting a top 20, this year i could probably have hit 15 if i were lucky. here's where i am this year. am i an aging indie rocker or what? all i have to say is: no antony and the johnsons, new pornographers, or sufjan stevens. fuck the demographic! not that i didn't enjoy some songs by any of the above scrolling across my ipod at random. i just didn't take to their albums as a whole. i'm writing this quickly, late at night, and with more than a couple drinks in me, so i'll reserve the right to amend if someone really lets me have it. for 2006 i aspire to buy an ecclectic enough selection of new releases to rival trouble's or hatch's awesome 2005 top 10s and break out of my little narrow indie window. (see trouble's and hatch's kickass picks at the dj picks at ).

these are all released in 2005. they probably don't match up with my favorite purchases of the year, but that's a different list for another night.

10. smog, A River Ain't Too Much to Love: smog grows up on this one, settles into his late 30s. countrified. i may be listing him (and listening to him) out of habit, but bill's songs still work for me by and large. between me and stephanie he got good air time.
9. superwolf, Superwolf. matt sweeny (chavez) and will oldham. the first song still gives me chills. it's a delicate little album with a hard edge nonetheless. i didn't care much for the live show: billy was too ironic, dancing his little jigs, though sweeny was fantastic. an amazing musician.
8. richard hawley, Cole's Corner. pulp's guitarist on a nick lowe groove. nothing can compete with this in terms of orchestration this year. he makes jens lekman sound like junior high school, though i liked the new jens lekman just fine. if anything defines the sound of my sensibility at age 35, this is probably it.
7. broken social scene, Broken Social Scene. it took me a long while to warm up to it. it's no You Forgot It In People, to be sure. but it gets better with repetition (as did YFIP, i have to remind myself). file under: bedroom rock for the 00s.
6. lyrics born, same !@#$ different day. Unlike Guerelito or The Silent Alarm Remixed, this one actually works. In fact, it's better than the album. This isn't just my token hiphop album of the year, it's my party album of the year. This man's voice trumps all the other motherfuckers.
5. my morning jacket, Z. on which the heroes of the post-Dead deadheads take an island vacation. i enjoy this entire album, but i would have included it on the merits of the second half of "off the record" alone.
4. devendra banhardt, cripple crow. I've enjoyed him to a degree before, never to the extent that i wanted to listen to his albums straight through. but this one has a gentleness and a coyness that really balance out. "heard somebody say" is my favorite song of the year.
4. caribou, Milk of Human Kindness. easily one of the most listened to discs i purchased this year. it's from early on--march or april?--but i still listen to it once a week at least.
2. sam prekop, who's your new professor? One of our two summer CDs this year. We couldn't stop listening to it. I did not enjoy the live show at Mercury, which was packed and hot as hell. Plus the band was not as attractive as I expected. (I imagined he looked something like Sufjan.)
1. feist, Let It Die. The album--and series of live performances--that defined my music listening year. I even bought the Bee Gees number ones because of her. Oh Lord what I wouldn't do to make this woman my friend. the other summer CD. but this was winter, spring, summer, and fall. I melt.

honorable mentions: paul mccartney, the fall, kings of leon, andrew bird, jens lekman, clap your hands, deerhoof, jennifer gentle, broadcast, magnolia electric co., animal collective with vashti bunyan, blackalicious, nouvelle vague, silver jews.

compilations: _hearing is believing: the jack nitzche story_; that french new wave anthology trouble played songs from (so young and so cold--i bought it and it's great too: also file under bedroom), the soundtrack to life aquatic

favorite song someone played at record club: jason spinning "lose that skin" by the clash. blew my mind.

favorite new alternatives to pitchfork in 2005: and (why did i arrive so late on these scenes?)

thing that's on everyone's list that my brother nathan told me about early, early in the year and he was actually cool enough to go and see live but like a lame-ass i missed: konono no. 1.

Best Music 2005 - Doug McLaughlin /

In no particular order:

1. Warlocks - Surgery: My vote for best "stoner rock" psychedelic album of the year.

2. Wedding Present - Take Fountain: I never get tired of this band.

3. Soundtrack of Our Lives - Origin, Vol. 1

4. Spoon - Gimme Fiction: If you haven't heard it yet, well then thats just silly

5. New Pornographers - Twin Cinema: Ditto

6. Of Montreal - Sunlandic Twins: Best Montreal band not from Montreal .

7. M. Ward - Transistor Radio:

8. Super Furry Animals - Love Kraft: Again, These guys just keep putting out good albums.

Good Live too.

9. Tosca - JAC: Didnt really listen to much "dance" music this year, but i'll always check out these guys.

10. The Fall - Fall Heads Roll: Back with a vengance, this under-rated original punk group still kicks.

11. Sons and Daughters - Repulsion Box: Like stripped down PJ Harvey meets the Pogues or somethin.

12.Deerhoof - The Runners Four: Still totally left of center, but just a little more center.

13 The Mae Shi - Terrorbird: Like Deerhoof's hyper younger brother.

14. The Futureheads - Futureheads: Best 80's revival band bar none.

15. Arctic Monkey - Single: They'll be kickin it in 2006

16. M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us: Like My Bloody Valentine meets Vangelis or something. Epic fuzzy electronica.

17. Dungen - Ta Det Lugnt: Like if Hendrix was a Swedish multi-intrumentalist with friends from the band Can. Rock.

Download the podcasts at

Best Music 2005 - Dave Davis

You know me - a sucker for a catchy hook and more mainstream than I'd like to be...

Annie - Anniemal

Bebel Gilberto - Bebel Gilberto

Beck - Guero

Benny Benassi - Hypnotica

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Chronicle

Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley - Welcome To Jamrock

Danger Doom - The Mouse And The Mask

Fatboy Slim - Palookaville

Flaming Lips- Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

G. Love And Special Sauce - G. Love And Special Sauce

Gorillaz - Demon Days

Kaiser Chiefs - Employment

Kanye West -Late Registration

Killers -Hot Fuss

Limbomaniacs - Stinky Grooves

Liz Phair - Somebody's Miracle

Neil Diamond - 12 Songs

Nick Drake - Pink Moon

Social Distortion -Sex, Love, And Rock 'n' Roll

Transplants - Haunted Cities

Walkmen - Bows Plus Arrows

Weezer - Make Believe

and unfortunately WAY too much Radio Disney and their 5 song playlist...

Best Music 2005 - Pete Limbrick

Here's my top 10:

Konono No. 1--Congotronics.

Fela Kuti--Shuffering and Shmiling/No Agreement

Fela Kuti-- Confusion/Gentleman

Fela Kuti-- Stalemate/Fear Not Man

Fela Kuti--Yellow Fever

[Okay I know that's four albums but I bought one of this series of reissues and went right back for another 3, and now I can't stop listening to them!]

Stereolab--Oscillations from the Anti-Sun

Dengue Fever--Escape from Dragon House

Mulatu Astatke--Ethiopiques Vol. 4

Galaxie 500--This is Our Music

Go-Betweens--Tallulah (reissue)


Best Music 2005 - Alfred and Julius Kopald (5 + 3 y/o)

Here are some things Alfred (5) and Julius ( 3-ish) have been listening to.

The Beach Boys-Endless Summer

Stereolab-Mars Audiac Quintet

The Ramones-Ramones Mania

Beta Band-Three EPs

The Smithsonian Folkways Children's Collection

The Dandy Warhols-13 Tales From Urban Bohemia

Best Music 2005 - Adam Kopald

Jason Falkner-Bliss Descending EP

Ambulance Ltd.-LP (2004)

Doves-Some Cities

The Libertines-The Libertines

The High Strung-These Are Good Times

Kaiser Chiefs-Employment

Brendan Benson-The Alternative to Love

The Long Winters-The Worst You Can Do Is Harm (2002)

Tegan and Sarah-So Jealous

n. lannon-Chemical Friends

Ladytron-Witching Hour

The New Pornographers-Twin Cinema

HollAnd -Your Orgasm (released 1997, just discovered by me)

The Faint-Wet From Birth (2004)

Best Music 2005 - Tiffany Hope

I think I got 3 cds in 2005 — How pathetic! So I wish to substitute the recommendations of my good buddy Dave Jenne. He sent me the following list after a conversation about how pathetic it is that I am no longer hip to what The Kids are listening to. Dave is a Fresno Nerd, guitar genius and all around seriously funny human being. He is Eddie Van Halen to my David Lee Roth (no joke, he still hounds me about doing VH Christmas). Like Doug, his musical knowledge shames me. Please add him to the End Of Year list as he is always on the hunt for new stuff. Dave Jenne

P.s. Why the hell can't I be in a band called jackie O mutherfucker? That's even better than Legitimate Midget!
Here is my music buying guide:

Album of the YEAR:

"The Woods" by Sleater-Kinney

Other groovy tunes:
"Z" by My Morning Jacket
"Horses 2 Disc Special Thingy" by Patty Smith
"So Much for the City" by The Thrills
"Decline of British Sea Power" by British Sea Power
"Smile" by Brian Wilson (this is a fucking great

Under the heading New To Me:

"Bad News" by Bad News – it's the guys from The Young Ones in a Spinal Tap like show from about the same
era, in fact I think this might have come out just before Spinal Tap.

"Myra Lee" and "The Covers Record" and "What Would the Community Think" by Cat Power

"Fire" by Electric Six

"The Grey Album" Jay-Z / Beatles / DJ Danger Mouse -- which is a mash-up of Jay-Z's "Black Album" and the
Beatles "White Album" thus the grey title. Super rare, I have a copy of it not an orig, he got sued by Jay-Z
and the Beatles to stop production of it. Brilliant though, and until this I had not interest in Jay-Z at
all, he isn't half bad, in fact some is very good. I say Thumbs UP!

"I don't mean to insult you but you look like Bobcat Goldthwait" by Bobcat Goldthwait very funny, not david cross funny but funny.

"The Raincoats" by The Raincoats – early punk girl band. Best. Version. Of. The Kinks "Lola". Ever.

"The Stooges" and "Funhouse" by the Stooges. I am a big fan of raw power, but these two so SO SOOOO rock.

"Apocalypse Dudes" and "Ass Cobra" Turbonegro

"Anton Maiden" by this guy called Anton whom lived in like Norway or Finland. This is an album of cheesy
synth covers (with him singing!) of his favorite band…Iron Maiden. Oh, my GOD!

Anything by Deerhoof. Nutty Japanese punk thingy

"Jackie-o-motherfucker" by Jackie-o-Motherfucker wow is this good. Wow.

That's all I can think of for now! Enjoy!

Best Music 2005 - Wendy West

So each month I make a new disc to for car listening and I thought I'd make a list of what would be on my disc of '05's greatest hits. Sufjan Stevens & Clap Your Hands Say Yeah sort of go without saying (although apparently, I am saying right now). No songs from either record made it onto any of my discs since I preferred listening to the records in their entirety. And no Bloc Party makes the final cut – I listened to them a lot in the first part of the year, but skip through their songs when I hear them now. I was lucky enough to see a lot of shows last year and some songs are closely tied to those experiences.

So. Songs of '05. Here goes.

1. Arcade Fire, "Wake Up." This was the first show I saw in the New Year and it was one of the best shows I have seen. We sardined into the Troubadour and waited and sweat on one another and then these kids – too many of them for the stage – spewed forth, eyes closed and mouths wide open and opened with this song making me feel both incredibly old and incredibly alive at the same time. It is a well-titled song.

2. Tegan and Sara (with a nod to The White Stripes), "Walking with the Ghost." So damn catchy.

3. The New Pornographers, "These are the Fables." "From Blown Speakers," is one of my favorite favorite songs and has nothing to do with Twin Cinema but whenever I think of the New Pornographers, I think of "Speakers" and not anything new. But, I did like Twin Cinema a lot.

4. Hartley Goldstein, "A Love Song for Annie Hall." The title of this record is "Songs in the key of Zoloft."

5. Kate Bush, " Wuthering Heights ." The Decemberists covered this in their show, and I craved the original and then could not get it out of my head for loooong periods of time. Kind of a Kate Bush year – her new record came out, "Hounds of Love" was covered – I hadn't thought about her for a few years. Nice to find her again.

6. Tracy Chapman, "Fast Car." She was live on KCRW one morning and hearing this song gave me pause – suddenly I was back in college, working the early shift, washing dishes on a snowy morning before the first customers came into the deli. This song became part of a script I was writing at the time, and became synonymous with the main character.

7. The White Stripes, "My Doorbell." I liked their new record a lot, but love most the twang Jack has in his voice, a crisscross of delight and stoned laugher and getting away with something all at once. Straight up, and not, at the same time.

8. Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg, "Nuthin' but a G Thang." What can I say? 2005 was the year I came to know, really know Snoop.

9. Beck, "Scarecrow." Like the original, like the remixes. Don't like Scientology so much. Also, Beck's cover of "True Love Will Find You In The End," is great.

10. The Kills, "No Wow." They almost – but don't – have sex on stage, and it's the almost that is the most sexy.

11. The Malinks, "If Only." Bummer that the band released their best song just as they broke up.

12. Fiona Apple, "Extraordinary Machine." I have often repeated her first line, hoping to be believed, even though it's never true when I say, "I certainly haven't been shopping for any new shoes… and…"

13. Aqualung, "Strange & Beautiful." This song is like wading into warm water one step at a time until you are enveloped, surrounded, and you surrender.

14. n.Lannon, "Spy." Again with the college memories. This song reminds me of night before snowfall, when the sky is pregnant and white.

15. Morcheeba, "Wonders Never Cease." Get packin' and head out the door.

And if there were a second disc of '05 greats, these songs would be on it:

Smashing Pumpkins, "Muzzle." Elliott Smith, "Independence Day." Kanye West, who is, I believe, my long lost brother, "Gold Digger." Arctic Monkeys, "Perhaps Vampire Is A Bit Strong, but…" This was another fun "I feel old and young at the same time" show – these monkey guys weren't old enough to drink at Spaceland. The Outfield, "Your Love." The Devics, "Distant Radio." Bill Withers, "Who is He (And What Is He To You)?" Sia's "Breathe Me," but the Ulrich Schnauss remix. Death Cab for Cutie, "World Shut Your Mouth," not a revolutionary cover, but fun nonetheless. "There is a Light That Never Goes Out," I'll listen to almost anyone cover this song. Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty, "Stop Dragging My Heart Around."

Best Music 2005 - Jeremy Zitter

My list:

1. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah"

2. Sufjan Stevens: " Illinois" (aka, "Come on Feel the Illinoise")

3. American Analog Set: "Set Free"

4. (Smog): "A River Ain't Too Much to Love"

5. CocoRosie: "Noah's Ark"

6. Silversun Pickups: "Pikul" (technically, an e.p.)

7. Devics: "Push the Heart"

8. Antony and the Johnsons: "I Am a Bird Now"

9. Stars: "Set Yourself on Fire"

10. Other Albums I Liked:

Dustin O'Halloran's "Piano Solos," Rex Aquarium's "The Back of the Room," Broken Social Scene's "Broken Social Scene," Bright Eyes' "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning," Neil Diamond's "12 Songs," The New Pornographers' "Twin Cinema," Death Cab for Cutie's "Plans," Sigur Ros' "Takk," Wolf Parade's "Apologies to Queen Mary," Spoon's "Gimme Fiction," The Grabs' "Sex, Fashion, and Money"

Best Music 2005 - Adam Chrystie

Happy New Year to it is:


Conjur One

Franz Ferdinand

Deathcab For Cutie

Best Music 2005 - Alex Sokoloff

Here's my top 10, in no particular order:

1. Amadou & Mariam Dimanche A Bamako (amazing - no other word to describe it)

2. White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan

3. My Morning Jacket Z

4. Ry Cooder Chavez Ravine

5. Los Lobos The Ride (this may have come out in 2004 - still awesome!)

6. Thievery Corporation The Cosmic Game

7. Ray Charles Visionary Soul (don't buy the "duets" album - it sucks. Get this new complitation - you won't be dissapointed!!!)

8. Paul Weller As is Now (not his best, but damn good - he has a bunch of excellent solo albums)

9. Gorillaz Demon Days

10. Coldplay X&Y

Best Music 2005 - David Bokser

Death Cab for Cutie - Plans - although it's too mainstream for me to really like it

Sparklehorse - It's a Wonderful Life - I just got this and I really like it

Best Music 2005 - Chris Jess

I'm actually not sure about the ranking, so don't take it too serious.

1. Matisyahu - Live at Stubb's
2. Nightmare of You - Nightmare of You
3. System of a Down - Mezmerize
4. System of a Down - Hypnotize
5. Paul Anka - Rock Swings
6. Depeche Mode - Playing the Angel

Honorable Mentions:

Not Another Teen Movie - Soundtrack
(It's from 2001 but I finally bought the CD which is actually pretty good - fairly funny movie too)

Best Music 2005 - Michael Schwartz

* Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
* Decemberists - Picaresque
* Fiery Furnaces - EP
* Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
* Grandaddy - Excerpts from the Diary of Todd Zilla
* New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
* Sigur Rós - Takk...
* Sleater Kinney - The Woods
* Super Furry Animals - Love Kraft
* White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan

Best Music 2005 - Lynn Roof

Howdy! Just going to list a few:

Rob Dickenson - Fresh Wine for the Horses : GREAT album with an amazing single, "My Name is Love". He was the lead singer for Catherine Wheel, which I didn't listen to, but now may have to check out.

Nickel Creek - Why Should the Fire Die? : Another stellar album from them. If you EVER get the chance to see them live, jump on it. One of the best live acts I've ever seen (and that's saying a lot). Anyone who can pull off Britney Spears' "Toxic" and make it sound better is all right by me.

Death Cab For Cutie - Plans : Just got on this bandwagon. Love it.

Sia - Breathe Me : And no, I'm not listing this song because of the Six Feet Under finale. I've been hearing it on Indie 103.1 and I LOVE it. I don't think she?they? have an album out, but when they do, I'm there. It's just a really evocative song.

And speaking of Indie - they are, besides Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW, the best radio station in LA. Not afraid to play whatever they want, and not afraid to make fun of KROQ all the time. Plus, any station that gives Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols his own show and just lets him go on about anything and everything? They are the coolest.

Best Music 2005 - Tim Grierson

I just finished my Pazz & Jop ballot -- so here ya go

Ten Best Albums

1. Spoon - Gimme Fiction

2. New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

3. Fruit Bats - Spelled in Bones

4. White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan

5. Dangerdoom - The Mouse and the Mask

6. My Morning Jacket - Z

7. Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures

8. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem

9. M.I.A. - Arular

10. Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine

Ten Best Singles/Songs

1. Depeche Mode - Precious

2. Beck - Que Onda Guero

3. New Pornographers - The Bones of an Idol

4. 50 Cent (featuring Olivia) - Candy Shop

5. Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body

6. Beck - Missing

7. Rob Dickinson - My Name Is Love

8. Coldplay - Talk

9. Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch

10. Mariah Carey (featuring Jadakiss and Styles P.) - We Belong Together Remix

Best Music 2005 - Jack and Bess Higgins (Scott's kids)

P.S. I Love You -- Billie Holiday
Chocolata -- Ella Fitzgerald
Milkshake Song -- Ann-Marie Akin
I'm a Witch --- (Traditional?)
Mr. Pumpkin --- (to the tune of Frere Jacques, Traditional?)

Best Music 2005 - Scott Higgins

here's my list. I'm down to songs, mostly, given my attention span and time to devote to listening I've gained renewed respect for the three-minute pop song.

[LP]I Lucifer – The Real Tuesday Weld
[LP]Return of the Clerkenwell Kid – The Real Tuesday Weld
[LP]Guest Room – Ivy
[SONG]Mexican Flyer – Ken Woodman
[SONG]Teenage – Tribeca
[SONG]You're gonna make me lonesome when you go – Madeleine Peyroux
[SONG]I'd Rather Dance With You – Kings of Convenience
[SONG]Keep it Clean – Camera Obscura
[SONG]Air – The Owls
[SONG]Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games – Of Montreal

December 14, 2006

Best Music 2005 - Dan Toloudis

My list. Hard to single out certain albums. In many cases I listen to anything the artist did... which is easy when you use

1. Rush, Moving Pictures, and just about anything they did before 1984

2. King Crimson, In The Court of the Crimson King

3. King Crimson, Larks' Tongues In Aspic, and just about anything they did before 1984

3. Pink Floyd, Meddle

4. Pink Floyd, Animals, and everything they did before The Wall

5. Wes Montgomery, Smokin' At The Half Note

6. Sonny Rollins, The Bridge

7. Joni Mitchell, Hits (1996)

8. Clifford Brown, Study In Brown

9. Bill Evans, At The Village Vanguard 1961

10. Rage Against The Machine, Rage Against The Machine (1st album)

11. Simon and Garfunkel, Concert in Central Park

12. New Radicals, Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too

and anything by:

13. The Police
14. Ozric Tentacles

15. The Who

16. Coheed and Cambria (a current band! for real!)

17. Jimi Hendrix

18. Jane's Addiction

19. Cream

20. Santana

Best Music 2005 - Brian Anderson

Only a few albums this year, I've been using iTunes Germany mostly.

Röyksopp - The Understanding
2Raum Wohnung - Melancholisch Schön
Beck - Guero

Seeed - "Aufstehn!"
The White Stripes - "My Doorbell"
Kanye West - "Gold Digger"
Fettes Brot - "An Tagen wie diesen"

But the most remarkable thing about German radio is how many gimmicky covers and remakes there are. Here is some of the worst, weirdest stuff I've heard this year:

The BossHoss - Internashville Urban Hymns
( Berlin band doing redneck covers of urban music : "Hey Ya!", "Word Up", "Hot in Herre" )
Fler - "Neue Deutsche Welle"
(samples Falco's "Rock me Amadeus")
DJ Tomekk - "Jump,Jump"
( remake of Kriss Kross )
Alcazar - "This Is the World We Live In"
( Swedish disco remake of Genesis )
Die Firma - "Die Eine"
( repetitive German rap over Pachelbel's Canon )

Best Music 2005 - Juan Devis

1- Hip Hop Essentials Volume 1-9
2- Shakira - Fijacion Oral 1
3- Kanye West - Late Registration
4- The Clash - Sandinista
5- Yaz - Upstairs at Eric
6- New Order - Movement
7- Panorama - Panorama
8- Hugh Masakela - Still Grazing
9- The Undertakers - Crucify Me
10- Sismo – Pueblo

Best Music 2005 - Chris Poehlmann

Favorite albums of late:

Sleater-Kinney/ the Woods

Calamalka Shredders Dub

RL Burnside / a bothered mind

Pat MacDonald / in the red room

Keren Ann / Nolita

Tom Waits / Real Gone

Jon Langford + Sally Timms

Best concert in 2005: The Bad Plus

Best Music 2004 - the web

What the critics say:,00110005.htm

Best Music 2004 - Dimitri Mendoza (1 y/o)

marlo thomas "free to be you and me" album bjork "debut"
glenn gould, "goldberg variations" (first recording
danny thomas, hans christian anderson favorites

Best Music 2004 - Vickie Mendoza

stereolab, the album before the old lead singer passed away
nina simone, greatest hits
the story, first album

Best Music 2004 - Eric Stracener

I'm digging:

Tom Waits- Real Gone

Dolorean-Violence in a Snowy Field

Bonnie Prince Billy -- Master and Everything

Mississippi John Hurt- The Best Of (not exactly new)

Bunch of old stuff too-- but that Bonnie Prince Billy is the one that freaks me out. It's GREAT.

Best Music 2004 - Bryan Waterman

I threw this together kind of fast. I'm sure I left something out. Of Montreal should have been in the top 10 somewhere, for instance. But as you'll see below, I started one of these last year and never sent it out, so I wanted to make sure I got it out this year, since the critics'lists are kind of annoying. happy new year. bw

Bryan's Top 10 of 2004

10. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans

He also played a nice set in DC over Thanksgiving weekend. Nice little guy from Michigan. Lots of Christian lyrics-so many that it can be annoying, but it can also catch you off guard, especially if you have a lot of Christian text backed up on your own harddrive. This isn't as good as his Michigan album, but it's a tender little number.

9. A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder

The guy from New Pornographers. McCartneyesque structures, mean-ass hooks. Music for interstate driving in the summer.

8. Erlend Oye - DJ Kicks

The guy from the Norwegian folk duo Kings of Convenience. My favorite voice of the year. Here he plays the role of "The Singing DJ," laying his vocals over other people's tracks on half the songs. Highlights include a cover of The Smith's "There Is a Light": Morrissey never made the opening request sound so plaintive. Another highlight is a cover of the first track off KoC's Quiet Is the New Loud. I think it's track 16 here.

7. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike

The Avalanches meet TV music of the early 80s, mixed with a little Grandmaster Flash. One of the most fun things I've listened to this year.

6. Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days

Back to softsville. I liked this better than the debut because of the additional instrumentation. Best track: "Love and Some Verses." You have to love philosophy professors from Florida who make this kind of a career change.

5. Bjork - Medulla

I think it's her best album. It's of a piece with the folk freak scene, though people haven't generally made that observation. It's the best vocal album of the year, for sure-the best use of human voices.

4. various artists - The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered, Covered

Treasure chest of the year. There's so much here-a disc of fantastic songs by the man himself, and another disc full of covers by fantastic bands and singers from Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips and Beck to Vic Chesnutt, Tom Waits, and M Ward. On my iPod, when I play songs in alphabetical order, I get the original followed by the cover or vice versa, which is also a great way to listen to these two amazing sets.

3. Animal Collective - Sung Tongs

They spawned the freak folk movement, together with Devendra and Joanna. Pure pleasure to listen to-primal yet happy, fully modern yet old as hills and musical instruments and campfires. Made me wistful for Navajo singing, so I bought an old CD of recordings from the 50s called Natay, Navajo Singer. The most original rock album of my year.
Plus they played a fantastic live set.

2. Electrelane - The Power Out

Sounds a little like a lot of different things-Stereolab, early post-punk bands (esp in the drums), but also has great choral tracks and rough-edged female vocals in at least three languages. Infectious, driving, sexy as hell.

1. Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender

The girl who made the harp an indie rock instrument. I can listen to this one hours on end, her whiny, sing-song voice working its way deep into my subconscious. It wins my top slot by sheer virtue of its staying power: while others above have come and gone, this one is still in my CD player more often than not. A little Appalachian, a little Bjork, a little Cat Power imitating Devendra, a little Elizabeth Smart, a little e.e. cummings, a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. Well, not so much of the latter, but we'll keep her around for good company.

Top 20 of 2003

20. dm and jemini -- ghetto pop life
19. !!! -- me and giuliani down by the schoolyard (a true story) EP
18. my morning jacket -- it still moves
17. manitoba -- up in flames=20
16. lost in translation
15. death cab for cutie -- transatlanticism / the postal service -- give up
14. radiohead -- hail to the thief
13. lyrics born -- later that day
12. grandaddy - sumday
11. (smog) -- supper=20
10. cat power -- you are free
9. outkast -- speakerboxxx/the love below
8. m ward -- the transfiguration of Vincent
7. bonnie "prince" billy -- master and everyone
6. belle and sebastian -- dear catastrophe waitress
5. fruit bats -- mouthfuls
4. the decemberists -- her majesty
3. the shins -- chutes too narrow
2. broken social scene -- you forgot it in people
1. magnolia electric co. + bonus disc