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December 20, 2006 1:40 AM   Subscribe

Pitchfork has unveiled their Top 50 Albums of 2006 (don't also miss their Top 100 Tracks of 2006). Rolling Stone's Top 50. Prefix's Top 50. Stylus's Top 50. For those who love these lists, the deluge has only begun...
posted by Mach3avelli (176 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
The always-somehow-involved WFMU DJs have also been making lists.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:44 AM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Wendell.
posted by bardic at 1:45 AM on December 20, 2006


Why do lists from Pitchfork make me feel old and uncool? I'm not. You can go ask my Mom.
posted by chillmost at 1:57 AM on December 20, 2006


I have my own Top 50.

Making these lists is haaaard. I can imagine how nobody at these publications can be happy as the lists are all averaged out by the writers' votes, creating a tragic blend where popularity meets mediocrity.

It seems TV on the Radio is the most consistent favorite album among all.
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:59 AM on December 20, 2006


I can't believe Lily Allen is on that Pitchfork list. She is the worst. Like a British, female version of Ice T. Black music blandified for the white middle classes. Yuck.
posted by johnny novak at 2:05 AM on December 20, 2006


Johnny, I agree. It's allso odd that they even suggest that Allen's a watered-down version of Lady Sovereign, who is nowhere to be found.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:10 AM on December 20, 2006


Really liked this year:

Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson in Crime EP
Asobi Seksu - Citrus
Margot and the Nuclear So and So's - The Dust of Retreat
Chin Up Chin Up - This Harness Can't Ride Anything
Lucero - Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers
The Blow - Paper Television
Serena Maneesh - ST
Giant Drag - Hearts and Unicorns
The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America

Apparently guitar rock aint dead.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:12 AM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


belle and sebastian? the decemberists? ... Ghostface Killah? is pitchfork in a 2005 timewarp? oh my gawd.
posted by wumpus at 2:22 AM on December 20, 2006


Though these lists make me feel more acutely than ever my inability to like The Knife, I enjoy combing the ranks for artists and albums that I've overlooked. I'm definitely going to pick up a copy of Midlake's The Trials of Van Occupanther, which may have the best surrealist album title since Spirit's The 12 Dreams of Doctor Sardonicus.
posted by Iridic at 2:22 AM on December 20, 2006


Funny, I had listened to The Knife's "Silent Shout" a few times without it making any sort of impression on me, and I really liked their previous album "Deep Cuts", surprised to see it at number 1.
posted by bobo123 at 2:25 AM on December 20, 2006


I can't believe Lily Allen is on that Pitchfork list. She is the worst. Like a British, female version of Ice T. Black music blandified for the white middle classes. Yuck.

That is just piffle. Ska is multiracial in the UK; actively, politically so, since 2 Tone. Not that I think her album is a masterpiece or anything, just good fun.
posted by jack_mo at 2:45 AM on December 20, 2006


Damn you! I was compiling this very post!

Two links I was going to include were Onion A.V. Club's Best Music You Didn't Hear This Year and their Best Of 2006. Also, all I could find from AllMusic Guide was this conversation.

Damn you to eternity!
posted by trinarian at 2:46 AM on December 20, 2006


I was going to bitch about this post, but the title is good enough to stop me. Someone was bound to post these. Might as well have a decent title.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 2:49 AM on December 20, 2006


Damn you! I was compiling this very post!

Like I said.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 2:54 AM on December 20, 2006


I am surprised not to see any squarepusher, clark, helios or kettel in any of these lists. The helios (eingya) was a great stand out, and the squarepusher (hello everything) was a great return to form.
posted by scodger at 2:56 AM on December 20, 2006


Seconding the sub-two-minute-per-song genius of Tokyo Police Club (even though, in a very un-rock and roll style, they were funded by the Canadian government)
posted by patricio at 2:57 AM on December 20, 2006


jack mo

I cannot believe you are comparing Two Tone with Lily Allen. She is awful.
posted by johnny novak at 2:59 AM on December 20, 2006


Mastodon - Blood Mountain and Boris - Pink. That's all the list I need, really.

What I like most about these lists now is that they can actually link to places where you can listen to the music, legally. Especially as I'm not hip, so I don't recognise most of the bands listed.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:05 AM on December 20, 2006


My tastes are wide and deep but hopelessly dated. My age is approaching a simpler factor of my IQ. A 20 hour road trip is coming up and my ears need diversion. Not asking for your "one CD on a desert island" More "make me forget the length of Alabama". Pick one of these I won't regret and I'll PayPal you a quarter so you can go get yerself some ice cream.
posted by hal9k at 3:22 AM on December 20, 2006


Pitchfork managed to top themselves with some of the writing on this year's best-albums list.

My favorite bit comes just two albums in!
The whole album, ragged at the edges and bloody with tone, is swollen in the best way, and it crests from peak to peak across 13 tracks that are at once meditative and eruptive.
Never has something so blatantly sexual been written about a record put out by BPitch Control.
posted by sparkletone at 3:26 AM on December 20, 2006


Also, you forgot to link Stylus' always-entertaining haiku run down of the year's notable albums.
posted by sparkletone at 3:28 AM on December 20, 2006


hal9k

you might want to try the Night Ripper album then, lots of hooks and samples from classic stuff. Definitely won't change your world, but will make Alabama go quicker.
posted by johnny novak at 3:30 AM on December 20, 2006


The guy over at Largehearted Boy has put together a huge, frequently-updated list of 2006 music best-of lists, in case you wanted the opinion of every music geek on the internet. (But really, some of them are quite good.)
posted by sarahsynonymous at 3:31 AM on December 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting for the day when I don't recognize a single album on these lists. As it stands, with the Pitchfork list, I only recognize 12 of the artists on the list, and I think I've only hears songs from maybe 3 of the albums. Woohoo! I'm getting closer! :)
posted by antifuse at 3:33 AM on December 20, 2006


I can't believe Lily Allen is on that Pitchfork list... Black music blandified for the white middle classes.

That's kinda what Berry Gordy did at Motown, right? Only Motown was, y'know, good. As for Lily Allen, I dunno, never heard her. I don't pay any attention to Pitchfork, though.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:37 AM on December 20, 2006


*cries*
posted by matteo at 3:37 AM on December 20, 2006


I cannot believe you are comparing Two Tone with Lily Allen. She is awful.

I wasn't, I was just saying that, given the tradition of ska in the UK, I don't think she's making black music blandified for the white middle classes.

Though I now have a funny image in my head of someone very seriously arguing that her picaresque wanderings through illusory utopia in the video for LDN serve as a post-Blairite counterpoint to The Specials' contained, claustrophobic promo for Ghost Town, highlighting the contrast between the petulant individualism of her line "Riding through the city on my bike all day/Cause the filth took away my licence" when compared to the yearning plea for unity under the yoke of Thatcher found in The Specials' "Why must the youth fight against themselves?/Government leaving the youth on the shelf".
posted by jack_mo at 3:37 AM on December 20, 2006


All I have to say here is that any list which purports to feature the 'best music of 2006' and which places Justin Timberlake at the top of said list loses any and all credibility with me from now and for evermore.

Thankyou for your time.

-Todd Loken.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:16 AM on December 20, 2006


I'm waiting for the day when I don't recognize a single album on these lists.

Yeah, I imagine I'm similarly as low on the recognition-count, but I just didn't have the heart to go through ten pages of it. I tried a few from the first page, hated them, then went directly to page 10 (the top ten singles of 2006) and hated them as well.

I'm sure there are some good artists out there making good music. But you wouldn't know it from that list.

any list which purports to feature the 'best music of 2006' and which places Justin Timberlake at the top of said list loses any and all credibility

ONE... Cut a whole in the box! TWO... Place yo' junk in that box! THREE... Now you open that box!

That was better than all those songs. Way more catchy. Give Mr. Timberlake his due.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:33 AM on December 20, 2006


Ah jeez... a HOLE in the box.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:34 AM on December 20, 2006


(antifuse): I'm waiting for the day when I don't recognize a single album on these lists. As it stands, with the Pitchfork list, I only recognize 12 of the artists on the list, and I think I've only hears songs from maybe 3 of the albums.
My day has almost arrived. I have heard of six of the 50 artists, and heard none of the albums.

Also, what Effigy2000 just said.
posted by No Mutant Enemy at 4:35 AM on December 20, 2006


I'm afraid that my musical tastes have ossified to the point where I don't even bother to read this kind of things. I already have a lot of music and don't usually bother about anything new. Out of that whole list, I think that I've heard of five artists and only have one album (Sonic Youth). I think that I'm officially and old fogey now.
posted by octothorpe at 4:38 AM on December 20, 2006


I was just surprised to see Mastadon on both Pitchfork's & Rolling Stone's list. I hate death-metal, but for some bizarre reason, love Mastadon's Leviathan. Sadly, the newest album I own was actually released in April of 2005. I'm still busy filling in my childhood (we got burgled when I was 6, and my mom's fab 60's collection never recovered). I'll date myself -- I had forgotten just how much Mimi & Richard Fariña had been drilled into my toddler-subconscious.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:47 AM on December 20, 2006


"Give Mr. Timberlake his due."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:33 PM AEST on December 20.

I will give him his due in a thread discussing music on the very day he decides to start making music rather than terrible noise.

In the interests of not starting a flame-war in a perfectly fine thread, and remembering the old adage about "arguing on the internet", I take my leave of this thread. I merely wished to add my 2c about Timberlake and the absurdity of any best-of music list which places him at the top of it.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:49 AM on December 20, 2006


any list that doesnt include The Format or The Grates is completely worthless.

Pitchfork is old and uncool!
posted by tsarfan at 4:56 AM on December 20, 2006


I was just surprised to see Mastadon on both Pitchfork's & Rolling Stone's list. I hate death-metal, but for some bizarre reason, love Mastadon's Leviathan.

That's probably in part because Mastodon's Leviathan isn't a death metal album.

Boris and Mastodon are obvious nods that verify the fact that Pitchfork didn't listen to enough heavy music this year to have a qualified opinion on which albums belong in the top 50. This should come as a surprise to no one, especially fans of heavy music.

I'm not surprised that the Boris blurb goes straight to the stylish packaging and then tries to link it to the music. It leaves one wondering whether they buy Boris albums because they like Boris or because Boris has consistently hip and stylish album packaging.
posted by The Straightener at 5:11 AM on December 20, 2006


Pitchfork is old and uncool!

Old and in the way
that's what I heard them say
they used to heed the words he said
but that was yesterday
gold will turn to gray
and youth will fade away
they'll never care about you
cause you're old and in the way.

-David Grisman
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:12 AM on December 20, 2006


DJ Martian has also collected a huge number of best of 2006 lists. (Sorry for linking to a search result.)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:17 AM on December 20, 2006


That's probably in part because Mastodon's Leviathan isn't a death metal album.

I'm put off enough by the sub-sub-sub-genre classification of music over the last 10 years that I haven't bothered to keep up. It seems like it's devolved to the point where every new metal band has its very own genre. What are they, anyway? Alt-Emo-Rage-Lit-Core?
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:22 AM on December 20, 2006


I love these lists. We should post our own top tens...
posted by ph00dz at 5:23 AM on December 20, 2006


I just don't get why critics love Ghostface Killah so much. Ever since he stopped dusting and the RZA stopped producing for him, he sounds like a constipated giraffe. He hasn't made a good album in 5 years, but he pops up on like every other critics list no matter what sort of garbage he puts out. /rant
posted by milarepa at 5:27 AM on December 20, 2006


Boris and Mastodon are obvious nods that verify the fact that Pitchfork didn't listen to enough heavy music this year to have a qualified opinion on which albums belong in the top 50. This should come as a surprise to no one, especially fans of heavy music.

I guess I didn't listen to enough heavy metal as these two albums are among my favorites of the year. Plus I got to see both bands playing live, so that probably swayed me in their favour. I tend to stick with what I know, so haven't been introduced to that many new albums/bands this year. Any particular recommendations, The Straightener?
posted by slimepuppy at 5:28 AM on December 20, 2006


I've defended PFM far too many times to count on mefi, but as of late the actual writing has gone way down hill.

So it amuses me to no end that their list is pretty much the same of the Rolling Stone list.

They've become their dad at the age of like 27. Sad.
posted by bardic at 5:44 AM on December 20, 2006


Wait a minute, there was new music released this year?

(also, Pitchfork is evil encarnate, but you knew that)
posted by jonmc at 5:53 AM on December 20, 2006


Any particular recommendations, The Straightener?

I thought it was a weak year overall, but I still love the direction Converge is moving in on No Heroes. They've taken a lot of their early Slayer influences and melded them perfectly with their more recent Jesus Lizard worship on an album that has devastating production quality. Intronaut is also a very interesting band that is straddling the fence between metalcore, sludge, straight up metal and little bits of fusion (think recent Opeth) and I put their album, Void, right up there at the top this year.

If you can stomach heavy and can also cope with some over the top, heinous vocals you need to have Graves at Sea's Documents of Grief; it will seriously rip your face off and eat it while you watch.

Minsk's Ritual Fires of Abandonment is due in early 2007 and promises to crush. As is the Middian album, which is the brain behind the mighty Yob returning to retake the crown of all things heavy with an almost gauranteed album of the year (at least based on advanced tracks).

Etc.
posted by The Straightener at 6:05 AM on December 20, 2006


Who needs new music when there are vast fields of the past to be mined?

/ old fart, just kidding
/ last one's a self-link
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:17 AM on December 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


Agreed it wasn't a great year. Last year seemed a lot better. Sufjan, Anthony and the Johnsons, Kanye West.

Also why no Ruth Minnikin? Angel of the Dawn is a great song.
posted by johnny novak at 6:18 AM on December 20, 2006


More Minnikin stuff here.
posted by johnny novak at 6:19 AM on December 20, 2006


Sorry, but is it just me or has the formatting on most of Pitchfork's pages been fucked up? Since the shitty redesign?
posted by ninjew at 6:21 AM on December 20, 2006


When oh when will Belle and Sebastian just fuck off and die?
posted by spicynuts at 6:26 AM on December 20, 2006


Pitchfork has unveiled their Top 50 Albums of 2006 (don't also miss their Top 100 Tracks of 2006). Rolling Stone's Top 50. Prefix's Top 50. Stylus's Top 50. For those who love these lists, the deluge has only begun...
posted by Mach3avelli at 4:40 AM EST - 50 comments (50 new)


...and thus I ruin the perfect harmony of a 50 comment thread about top 50 lists. I guess I can slack for the rest of the day, now.
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:31 AM on December 20, 2006


Wow. I just looked in the top 10. I've heard exactly one of the albums (or more precisely a few songs off it. It was the Hold Steady. It wasn't bad, but not great either). The rest mean nothing to me except for the fact that I hear their names dropped a lot, but the albums covers and descriptions don't make me want to investigate further. I don't know whether that's the groups' fault or Pitchfork's fault. I have come to one conclusion: nobody new wants to make the kind of music i like anymore.
posted by jonmc at 6:43 AM on December 20, 2006


One of the members of the band I'm in challenged me to come up with a list of my top ten albums from the past year. I came up with one. As far as I can tell, I only bought one album that came out this year.

Woven Hand's "Mosaic" so on my list, that's the top album. I have however released two albums this year (sort of), though I do feel profoundly old at 27.
posted by drezdn at 6:48 AM on December 20, 2006


Bob Dylan. And Tom Waits.

Bob Dylan. And Tom Waits.

Score two for the old guys.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:49 AM on December 20, 2006


I'm waiting for John Allison's list. Uniformly awesome and smile-making. (2005's list)
posted by miagaille at 6:56 AM on December 20, 2006


I have exactly one of the albums on that Pitchfork list (the one by Yo La Tengo). My headphones hated that album so much that I could only get halfway through it. It was seemed like it was mixed and mastered specifically for listening in a car, or some other similar environment in which the sound system has to compete with a lot of ambient noise and listeners who aren't paying that much attention.

I used to think that self-styled audiophiles were talking nonsense when they claimed that mastering of pop albums has gone into the toilet, until I bought a good pair of headphones myself. Now I'm reluctant to buy albums released in 2006 for that reason alone.
posted by Prospero at 7:04 AM on December 20, 2006


Lily Allen probably gets pushed up the list because she's way more popular in the UK than the US.
posted by smackfu at 7:04 AM on December 20, 2006


The new Dylan sucks.

Sorry, I'm a big fan of the comeback in general, but if that isn't the most godawful made-for-NPR album ever (with its edgy "I LURVE ALICIA KEYS I LISTEN TO NEW MUSIC!111!! I'M STILL RELEVANT!).

I've only heard a bit of the new Tom Waits. I'd probably buy that.

But ya know, there's a lot of stuff out there I feel like I'm missing. Not so much a defense of Music 2006, as it is the fact that major labels don't matter any more. That's a good thing.
posted by bardic at 7:06 AM on December 20, 2006


Did anybody else notice that at least two of the top 50 albums feature chicks with really spooky eyes staring out at you?

They have medication for that now, ladies.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 AM on December 20, 2006


How To Make A Hip End of the Year 'Best Albums' List:
-- Before you begin, make sure you pre-empt your list by saying/blogging/writing in your journal that there weren't many great albums out this year and that music sucks in general right now. If you don't, people will assume that you derive pleasure out of making lists about your favorite things. And that's soooo unhip.

-- Remember to include at least one (but no more than 3) hip hop albums. This shows that you are receptive to all types of music (except everything but rock and hip hop) and that you are "down." Don't get fancy, stick with what works: Kanye, Outkast, and A Tribe Called Quest are always safe, even if they didn't release an album this year.

-- If you don't plan on naming a couple of Import albums that don't come out in this country until the Spring of next year then stop reading right now and get the fuck out of my blog.

-- This should go without saying, but be sure to include one band that nobody's ever heard of. This is a good time to list your friend's band's 3 track EP that he gave you one night when you were out drinking. Including his band's album on your list accomplishes two things: 1) it's a safe bet they're completely unknown, and 2) it makes him happy. Hooray.

-- Don't include your actual favorite album. It may have been good when you started listening to it, but now it's cliche. Deal with it.

-- Make sure to include an album that just came out. This will lead people to believe that you got an advanced copy months ago and had plenty of time to get into it. But WARNING- BE CAREFUL- make sure it's not something that will become popular or produce a radio-friendly single in the next couple of months. Nothing will kill your indie cred than including the next Killers on your next Hip List....
(via yeti)
posted by caddis at 7:15 AM on December 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


The new Dylan sucks.

Sorry, I'm a big fan of the comeback in general....


I think the post title pretty much sums up music arguments, but I'd be remiss to not urge you to give it a few more listens.

And it's not a comeback. Dylan never left; he's just found a new voice ( and a great band ) in the last ten years or so.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:19 AM on December 20, 2006


The new Dylan sucks.


Congress needs to pass a law that forbids Dylan from writing a song more than 4 minutes in length. I think the new album could have been good (not great) if someone had actually edited the songs. It's almost like the band is on auto while Dylan blathers on and on.
posted by spicynuts at 7:19 AM on December 20, 2006


Lily Allen exudes a nerdcore vibe Lady Sovereign doesn't. Which is weird, because Lady Sovereign is far nerdier. Lily Allen is just Paris Hilton with a measurable IQ.

All I have to say here is that any list which purports to feature the 'best music of 2006' and which places Justin Timberlake at the top of said list loses any and all credibility with me from now and for evermore.

You heard "My Love?" Now that's catchy in every way Rihanna's "SOS" is not.

The new Dylan sucks.

Which is why I remain the same ol' Dylan.

Not so much a defense of Music 2006, as it is the fact that major labels don't matter any more. That's a good thing.

It's a very good thing. At least until the record companies figure out how to monetize the new paradigm. Soon enough.
posted by dw at 7:23 AM on December 20, 2006


You gotta love the folks who just waltz in to say something sucks; they think it makes them look cool, but it just makes them look like wannabes.
posted by caddis at 7:24 AM on December 20, 2006


I heard the entirety of the new Dylan in a Starbucks waiting for my clothes to wash and dry.

Should've been magical.

But no, it was Starbucks.

I just wish he'd gone for weird rather than a triangulation back to "Dylan." I don't know.

Al Green's greatest hits? Now there's an album. Not sure when it was recorded.
posted by bardic at 7:24 AM on December 20, 2006


This is great that they are including links to most of the music. I usually gloss over these lists because I too don't recognise most of the artists/tracks. However with links to the music the list is actually useful as a discovery tool.
posted by Mitheral at 7:25 AM on December 20, 2006


I wannabee you caddis, so badly.
posted by bardic at 7:25 AM on December 20, 2006


Thank you Pitchfork! Now I know what to listen to!
posted by inoculatedcities at 7:26 AM on December 20, 2006


Gridface's Top 10 (self-link)
posted by hyperizer at 7:26 AM on December 20, 2006


Haven't heard any of those either. I'm not sure whether to be relieved or what.
posted by jonmc at 7:33 AM on December 20, 2006


There were other albums besides Destroyer's Rubies? Hmm...
posted by Quartermass at 7:36 AM on December 20, 2006


"Mastodon - Blood Mountain"

Four Top 50 lists and I own just one of albums - "Blood Mountain". Damn! Metal just don't get no love from the music press.
posted by MikeMc at 7:39 AM on December 20, 2006


yeah it really sucks doesn't it caddis?
posted by johnny novak at 7:40 AM on December 20, 2006


Also why no Ruth Minnikin?

If you like Ruth's stuff, she donated 2 unreleased tracks to a writing project I did earlier this year. Download 'em (and stuff from a bunch of other folks), here.
posted by dobbs at 7:44 AM on December 20, 2006


While I have no doubt that Justin Timberlake has actual talent, they barely mention Timbaland, who really 'makes' Timberlake's sound. And I don't even like that music. Well, pitchfork says I should, so maybe I will like it now.
posted by ninjew at 7:48 AM on December 20, 2006


This is great that they are including links to most of the music.

I'm not seeing this. Where are the links?
posted by dobbs at 7:49 AM on December 20, 2006


While I have no doubt that Justin Timberlake has actual talent,

Well, he's an excellent male impersonator, no doubt about that.
posted by jonmc at 7:53 AM on December 20, 2006


jesus fuck, there are a lot of tired old pigeons in this thread.

new music comes out, it's of varying quality, people have opinions about it, so FUCKING WHAT?

no one wants to hear your jaded bullshit about how uninterested you are in new music. really.

like with anything else, there's some good stuff on these lists and some not so good stuff. yet some dummies on this thread conclude by looking at the album art that "no one is making music i'm interested in listening to."

if you're going to be tedious and banal and fucking boring, keep it to yourselves, please.
posted by Hat Maui at 7:53 AM on December 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


Where are the links?

nevermind. thought y'all were talking about the PFM link. obviously the tracks are on every other list.

I'm disappointed not to see Glissandro 70 and Sandro Perri's albums on any lists, but am delighted Man Man made the cut on more than 1 list.
posted by dobbs at 8:02 AM on December 20, 2006


I haven't read any of these comments, but let me direct you guys to metacritic. It's my second favorite site with the word meta in it. They do a meta list of the the top albums. They also have all the results of the other lists on their site. Save yourself some time.
posted by Telf at 8:03 AM on December 20, 2006


Vocals aside, Silent Shout is deeply rooted in contemporary European techno at a moment when techno remains deeply unfashionable among American listeners

"Which is why we listed it as #1! HAHA! It doesn't suck, you just don't get it!"

In reality, its pretty terrible. It's like a Broadcast/Goldfrapp meltdown. This sort of vocal electronic music is done 100X better with Ellen Allien on Berliner.
posted by four panels at 8:03 AM on December 20, 2006


"I have come to one conclusion: nobody new wants to make the kind of music i like anymore."

Shut the fuck up, old man: Two of my favorite albums this year were The High Strung's Moxie Bravo, which lives in a space between Mott the Hoople and Cheap Trick; and The Avatars' Never a Good Time, which makes a career out of Blondie's Detroit 442 (with a little Nikki Corvette thrown in).
Other albums from the Ann Arbor area that can compete with nearly anything in the larger world:
Nomo's New Tones. Afrojazz writ large makes a spiritual party.
Dabrye's 2/3. With a few more rappers, he'd be a lock for best of the year, as it stands a solid beat album marred occassionally by weak rhymes.
Saturday Looks Good To Me's Sound On Sound. Yeah, it's odds and sods, but it's much better than their recent real albums, with a nod to the experimental, dubby Motown that made them not another indie band.
Charlie Slick's Pass the Time Machine. I hope, when people reexamine this era far in the future, that they choose this album to represent the best of the synthpop '80s, despite coming out 20 years too late.
Ypsisongs by Various Artists. A compilation about the scrappiest city in the Midwest, and a decent sop to the sensitive folkie in all of us.
Patrick Elkins's Fruits of the Spirit. Speaking of folkies, even though he bites Howie Gelb like it's Giant Sandwich, these are the campfire songs of the future.

There were several more, but those are the highlights. And all of 'em worth owning (and most on micro-indies, so you can feel like you're sticking it to the man, though they're easily googlable so you can still find 'em).
posted by klangklangston at 8:04 AM on December 20, 2006


And anyone notice that the Midlake song is dangerously close to Don't Fear The Reaper? Or is that the sort of thing that you can't be a hipster and know?
posted by klangklangston at 8:08 AM on December 20, 2006


Say what you want about Pitchfork, but they pretty much nailed it in terms of their hip-hop picks this year: J. Dilla's Donuts, Ghostface's Fishscale and the Clipse with Hell Hath No Fury. What's really important, though, is their inclusion of T.I.'s King and also a Lil Wayne album.

They hit on all the major themes in hip-hop this year, and even gave love to the south.
posted by dead_ at 8:10 AM on December 20, 2006


yet some dummies on this thread conclude by looking at the album art that "no one is making music i'm interested in listening to."

I said album art & reviews. And due to my job, I see more new music in a wek than most of you do in a year, and none of the new stuff I see intrigues me, at all. I'm not saying it to brag. I wish it did, I'd love having new stuff to hear. up until about 10 years ago, I was into hearing new stuff, then everything went off in this weird direction.

Shut the fuck up, old man


Get off my lawn. Don't worry klang, in a few more years, you'll be just like me.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 AM on December 20, 2006


For me, my lack of new albums isn't a complaint about new music, it's more about me. I used to absorb music magazines. Now, partially due to my job and changes in my life, I care far more about new books than I do albums.

Oddly enough, I've been listening to a lot more music via Youtube, discovering that I have a huge crush on Goldfrapp.
posted by drezdn at 8:14 AM on December 20, 2006


I want to see top-ten lists for other products like toothbrushes and cars and women's shoes. No product, no matter how mundane, should be left untouched. The charade carried out by books/music/movies is irritating because it's not ambitious enough. Electronics are a good start but it's not enough because electronics are just trying to get in on the game.
posted by nixerman at 8:22 AM on December 20, 2006


No one wants to hear your jaded bullshit about how uninterested you are in new music. really.

Twenty years from now you're going to be saying, "Remember the Decemberists? They were a great band, not like the crap kids listen to today."
posted by octothorpe at 8:25 AM on December 20, 2006


Twenty years from now you're going to be saying, "Remember the Decemberists? They were a great band, not like the crap kids listen to today."

I've never really agreed with this line of thinking. My music tastes have continually evolved, despite my age. I'm not interested in everything that "the kids" are listening to, but I certainly enjoy a lot of it.
posted by dead_ at 8:33 AM on December 20, 2006


And, Antony and the Johnsons are still awful. Stop warbling, sheesh.
posted by four panels at 8:35 AM on December 20, 2006


Stop warbling, sheesh.

This actually hits on what I don't like about most new music. White guys these days seem to think that vocally they're only allowed to mumble, mewl, coo, (or if they're in a hardcore band) shout monotonically. Guys, it's OK to sing like you got a pair.
posted by jonmc at 8:37 AM on December 20, 2006


Huh. This is the first year in a while that I not only recognize, but have opinions on, 90% of PF's list. I kind of made it a project this year to dive in and see what's there. I've lost patience with Pitchfork though, partly because I can't get past their lurrve for violent and misogynist rap and partly because they're drunk with power and I hate their crusades and agendas. It's like trying to keep track of who's popular and who's being shunned in any given high school girl-clique. And they gave the finger to Thom Yorke on the album list.

Destroyer's Rubies is awesome, though. So is He Poos Clouds-- one of the best albums and the most risible name.
posted by jokeefe at 8:40 AM on December 20, 2006


Here's my list of albums released this year that were really great:
posted by koeselitz at 8:44 AM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I thought Rubies was OK, but it did make me get into other Destroyer albums, which I liked more. I kinda agree on He Poos Clouds. The first time I listened, I hated it, but I came around and got to enjoy it.

"Get off my lawn. Don't worry klang, in a few more years, you'll be just like me."

Bullshit. I'm much more likely to end up like my father, who's got a great and growing record collection, despite his advanced age. I can't even imagine being as bored as you seem with new music, probably because I don't get so wrapped up in some mythical everyman posture to enjoy stuff that I hear. I find stuff that I like, I seek out more, and I find more all the time. In fact, my biggest problem is coming up with the time to listen to all the music that I've got, while remaining conversant on the music I've still got and still like (a recent request for an indie rock mix has led me to realize that most of the touchstones are bands that I haven't really listened to since high school, and I can't remember what the good songs on Westing by Sextant are anymore).

And again, listen to the Avatars and the High Strung. Both are awesome and up your alley. The problem isn't people not making music you want to hear, the problem is you not finding it and concluding they aren't.
posted by klangklangston at 8:52 AM on December 20, 2006


Metafilter: tedious and banal and fucking boring

I love this shit. Whenever I see "Pitchfork" in an FPP I know it's going to be good. Just for the record: Pitchfork sucks. Your favorite "new" music sucks. If a band hasn't had at least one track on a Terrorizer cover-mount CD they probably suck. Best Album of 2006: Amon Amarth's "With Oden On Our Side" .
posted by MikeMc at 8:56 AM on December 20, 2006


The problem isn't people not making music you want to hear, the problem is you not finding it and concluding they aren't.

I'll look into it, but I've been let down by people telling me the same thing too many times to hold out much hope.
posted by jonmc at 8:59 AM on December 20, 2006


(besides, in a few minutes I have an 'employee evaluation.' I'm preparing by listening to Slayer's 'Angel Of Death' over and over)
posted by jonmc at 9:00 AM on December 20, 2006


jonmc: "Guys, it's OK to sing like you got a pair."

It's no use. American men have always been too insecure to sing high, and the British seem to be moving in the same direction.

In short: there will never be another Rob Halford.
posted by koeselitz at 9:01 AM on December 20, 2006


And anyone notice that the Midlake song is dangerously close to Don't Fear The Reaper? Or is that the sort of thing that you can't be a hipster and know?

Oh no, I've noticed it. But no one else believes me when I say that the piano part is just the guitar riff from DFTR with a key and tempo change.

If you listen to "Roscoe" and "Head Home" back-to-back, the BOC-ness really hits home.

Still, it's a great album. It's that lo-fi 70s-influenced sound that seems very organic to the Texoma milieu.
posted by dw at 9:07 AM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I can't even imagine being as bored as you seem with new music, probably because I don't get so wrapped up in some mythical everyman posture to enjoy stuff that I hear. I find stuff that I like, I seek out more, and I find more all the time.

ascribing everything you dislike about me to a 'posture' (one that I don't even claim) is off the mark. My disinclination has more to do with my job (I work at a music database company and see more bad music than you could ever imagine), and the law of diminishing returns: somewhere along the line it became too much work for too little reward, especially when I could just find unheard stuff in older genres I already know I like.
posted by jonmc at 9:13 AM on December 20, 2006


MikeMC: "Best Album of 2006: Amon Amarth's 'With Oden On Our Side'."

Holy shit, I think you're right.
posted by koeselitz at 9:14 AM on December 20, 2006


One of these sites is making my computer make annoying beeping noises and I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHICH ONE.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:16 AM on December 20, 2006


By the way, MikeMC, here's a list you might like better. I dunno.
posted by koeselitz at 9:20 AM on December 20, 2006


"By the way, MikeMC, here's a list you might like better. I dunno."

A list with bands I've actually heard of? On Metafilter??!! Bless you.
posted by MikeMc at 9:23 AM on December 20, 2006


"ascribing everything you dislike about me to a 'posture' (one that I don't even claim) is off the mark. My disinclination has more to do with my job (I work at a music database company and see more bad music than you could ever imagine), and the law of diminishing returns: somewhere along the line it became too much work for too little reward, especially when I could just find unheard stuff in older genres I already know I like."

By combining my work at a local rag with having friends that work at AMG (just down the street), no, I can imagine exactly how much bad music is out there. I've kinda burnt out on reviewing it because so much makes me so bored that I don't have anything to say about it except criticisms that make me feel like I'm at the end of 120 days of Sodom, blasé about butt sex. In fact, I'd say that there's not actually all that much bad music out there, just a lot of music that doesn't benefit from second listens and a vast, vast , vast majority of mediocre stuff. But that doesn't mean that there's not more good music out there than ever before, and that exploration's a mug's game.

But there really haven't been any new genres for a while now, and even most subgenres have gone through a generation or two of bands.

And let's be honest, jon, the posture does come thick sometimes.

(Oh, and on a sidenote to dw: So, maybe it's not just me who can't stop thinking of the 'Mats' "Bastards of Young" when I listen to The Killers' "When You Were Young.")

So, I haven't plowed through all these lists enough yet, but Black Mountain and Racoo-oo-oon both made it, right?
posted by klangklangston at 9:26 AM on December 20, 2006


Well, if you liked that, I've been going through these too, which seem good.
posted by koeselitz at 9:28 AM on December 20, 2006


In fact, here's Moxie Bravo's N Over C. It's not their best song, but they've munged the urls for their other two tracks. And it's still pretty catchy.
posted by klangklangston at 9:31 AM on December 20, 2006


And Honey Do by The Avatars.
The album doesn't have that weird echo that seems to be happening here (maybe it's a rough mix?)
posted by klangklangston at 9:32 AM on December 20, 2006


Wait by The Avatars. Also with a weird echo.
posted by klangklangston at 9:35 AM on December 20, 2006


The Avatars' track was pretty good, although I've heard that riff before, but it's got some momentum. The High Strung track was, well, kind of monotonous.
posted by jonmc at 9:40 AM on December 20, 2006


best album on PFM list that i have heard: liars, drum's not dead

sad not to see: the curtains, calamity and the shins, wincing the night away... oh wait, that last one isn't out till next year.

i have a love hate relationship with pitchfork. i hate their reviews, but i look at it nearly everyday for the news and to keep up on new releases.
posted by crawfishpopsicle at 9:44 AM on December 20, 2006


The second Avatars was good, too. Kind of like Chocolate Watch Band with female vocals.
posted by jonmc at 9:44 AM on December 20, 2006


somewhere along the line it became too much work for too little reward, especially when I could just find unheard stuff in older genres I already know I like.


This has nothing to do with whether or not there is actually good 'new' music or not and more to do with you and your inclinations. There is plenty of stuff out there if you work for it. There is so much that, like Klang, I am bothered by the lack of time I have to listen to everything.
posted by spicynuts at 9:47 AM on December 20, 2006


I liked this song.
posted by ND¢ at 9:49 AM on December 20, 2006


This has nothing to do with whether or not there is actually good 'new' music or not and more to do with you and your inclinations.

That's probably true. I'm basically just lazy and enjoy shooting my mouth off to avoid working.
posted by jonmc at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2006


Pfft. Writing a top-50 is easy. You get to put in everything you even kinda liked over the course of the year. I had to write a top 5 and I didn't think anything was really worth it.

I can't even remember who I finally settled on. The Coup and Carla Bozulich earned it. I settled on the collaboration between The Kronos Quartet, Clint Mansell, and Mogwai for #5 but I was reaching, and then there are two other choices floating in space right now.

(which is why I shouldn't be allowed to write. ever.)
posted by elr at 10:08 AM on December 20, 2006


spicynuts: "There is plenty of stuff out there if you work for it."

There are some of us who know that, and yet at the same time wish the idiots listening to this whiny retro pop shit would wake the fuck up and listen to Nile or something. Seriously, just because the world is flooded with mediocre shit doesn't mean you have to "wade through it." Just fucking give up, there's nothing there.
posted by koeselitz at 10:18 AM on December 20, 2006


(Oh, and on a sidenote to dw: So, maybe it's not just me who can't stop thinking of the 'Mats' "Bastards of Young" when I listen to The Killers' "When You Were Young.")

You too?

You're scaring me.
posted by dw at 10:18 AM on December 20, 2006


Oh, and by the way, it's officially no longer okay to tell people to "work for it" to get into any kind of music. It's 2006, we're on the internet here, and no matter how much your inner Thurston Moore wants to flex his hip muscle, you didn't fucking have to "work" to get into the music you're into.
posted by koeselitz at 10:20 AM on December 20, 2006


Carla Bozulich earned it

Oh, I saw her open for A Silver Mt. Zion this year-- her cover of Low's Pissing is awesome.
posted by jokeefe at 10:24 AM on December 20, 2006


you didn't fucking have to "work" to get into the music you're into

No kidding. You guys think it's hard now, but only because of the quanitity of material to wade through. Back in the old days, just getting your hands on a Joy Division album was an accomplishment (at least in Vancouver, BC).

Lawn, uphill both ways, etc.
posted by jokeefe at 10:26 AM on December 20, 2006


"Oh, and by the way, it's officially no longer okay to tell people to "work for it" to get into any kind of music. It's 2006, we're on the internet here, and no matter how much your inner Thurston Moore wants to flex his hip muscle, you didn't fucking have to "work" to get into the music you're into."

The artist I listen to the most this year, according to Last.fm, was Wildman Fischer. My favorite finds of old music included the International Gospel Youth Choir of LA and Horatio's Herbal Experience. Neither of which have any internet presence.
And even with the tremendous glut of info, it still takes listening to all of it to know what you like and what you don't, and to be able to look for more of it. Otherwise, I'd have no idea who Jem Targal is.
So, yeah, sometimes it does take a little work to find stuff that excites you more than what you might otherwise hear. On the other hand, Aguilera's No Other Man is a fucking ace track that's rightly all over the radio. That took very little work to find, but damn, I love it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:32 AM on December 20, 2006


Whatever happened to Mountain? I really like Mountain.
posted by jonmc at 10:34 AM on December 20, 2006


Jonmc will DIE if he is pried away from his distaste of new music, DIE. As his friend I beg you not to try to pry him away.

Fishscale is an awesome album, Ghostface is keeping New York rap alive almost by himself.

Lilly Allen is cute music, I don't think it needs to be much more than that.

I really like The Black Angels album Passover, it's good driving around at night music, bombastic psychedelia.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:36 AM on December 20, 2006


Jonmc will DIE if he is pried away from his distaste of new music, DIE. As his friend I beg you not to try to pry him away.

Nah. There's just not a place for me in the future of music. These days looking through the 'New Releases' makes me feel like a retarded child allowed to stay up late and watch SNL who has to pretend to laugh at jokes he dosen't get so people won't think he's stupid, and that's way too much work.

Plus, the future looks pretty unfun, so it's more fun to live in the past, I admit.
posted by jonmc at 10:43 AM on December 20, 2006


I just want to reiterate to MikeMC: this Amon Amarth record, With Oden on our Side, is the best new record I've heard in a while. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 2006 will now die happy.
posted by koeselitz at 10:48 AM on December 20, 2006


and jonmc: you should listen to what your brother recommended. He's smart.
posted by koeselitz at 10:49 AM on December 20, 2006


The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. Things are good, and they're only getting better.

But you go on and have the problems of an adult, with a head on your shoulders, jon. Here I thought you would have loved the rock enough to never grow up.

Divine: Got a track? I like Big Psych.
posted by klangklangston at 10:50 AM on December 20, 2006


Nah. There's just not a place for me in the future of music. These days looking through the 'New Releases' makes me feel like a retarded child allowed to stay up late and watch SNL who has to pretend to laugh at jokes he dosen't get so people won't think he's stupid, and that's way too much work.

Hah, great analogy. I disagree greatly, of course, but love the prose.
posted by Mach3avelli at 10:51 AM on December 20, 2006


"It's like a Broadcast/Goldfrapp meltdown. "

Well wait a sec, Four Panels, if you're trying to dissuade me from something, dont make it sound like something that I would really enjoy.

Broadcast + Goldfrapp....I think I could really get into that.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:06 AM on December 20, 2006


The words "Texoma Milieu" just made me do a spit take. I lived in Denton for 7 years, and I'm not sure that I could describe such a thing. Does it involve Corn Kits? Cheap beer? Paneling? LSD? Voertman's? Art-school girls?
posted by space2k at 11:07 AM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. Things are good, and they're only getting better.

No they're not. They're not getting worse either, they just are.

But you go on and have the problems of an adult, with a head on your shoulders, jon.

You assume too much about what's on my shoulders.

I disagree greatly, of course, but love the prose.

That's not prose, that's a halfassed quip I probably stole from someone. (I've popped everybody else's baloons, I might as well pop my own).

Let me explain this way: back in my early twenties, I used to frequent a lot of bars. One of them was this biker/metal dive which had a lot of Slayer/Metallica/AC/DC etc on the juke. It was scuzzy and occasionally violent, but the beer was cheap and most of the patrons were pretty cool, even if pips did get bit by a spider there once. Another was this boho/indie type place, where I saw a lot of good bands and had some good conversations and the beer was likewise cheap. At the metal place I used to run into this mulletheaded guy who was big into Kiss. He had five different signed leather bound editions of the KISStory bigraphy signed by everybody who was ever in Kiss, including Eric Singer and Eric Carr. One night, I was seeing a friend of a friend's band at the boho place, and the mullethead Kiss guy was in the audience (turns out he was friends with a roadie or something). He seemed out of place surrounded by all these up-to-the-minute cool types, but he didn't seem to mind. He seemed really content with his Kiss and stuff. I kind of envied him.
posted by jonmc at 11:08 AM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Far as I can tell, only one list contains any albums that weren't made in North America/Europe.

That said, anyone who didn't listen to this album -- on my top 10 for the year -- denied their ears a masterwork of music.
posted by docgonzo at 11:31 AM on December 20, 2006


klangklangston: "The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. Things are good, and they're only getting better."

Ech, your retro indie whiny whatever shit is boring and dead. There is no future.

God, I miss the days when actual subcultures existed. Now, nobody knows what it means to be downtrodden, to stand up for what you believe even though nobody else is standing with you. We're just whining about love because none of us had the balls to grow up, and because it makes us feel cool. That's what irks jonmc, I think: there was a time when rock was about the comraderie of being part of a group of people who rejected the shit and built something of their own. Now it's just a pretentious club with a bunch of adolescent fetishes and an internet-enhanced record collection. Yeah, there's plenty of good music around, and yeah, the old-fart "new music sucks" thing is probably a little tired. But there is something pretty shitty about music nowadays.

And good fucking god, just think about this: our heroes-- the punk rockers, the alterna-rockers, the metalheads, et cetera-- all thought the same damn thing. And they were right. They just had the balls to stand up to the shit. Nobody seems to anymore.
posted by koeselitz at 11:32 AM on December 20, 2006


klang,
I emailed you.

Fun way to fritter a few hours away at least. Some people mine the great slagheap of music forwards and some people mine it backwards I guess. You can also do both.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:37 AM on December 20, 2006


Wow what a bunch of nostalgia drunk wankers.
posted by spicynuts at 11:37 AM on December 20, 2006


nostalgia-drunk, that is.
posted by spicynuts at 11:37 AM on December 20, 2006


spicynuts: "Wow what a bunch of nostalgia drunk wankers."

Well, sure. When it comes down to it, the 20th century was a pretty shitty century for music. But then, why is everybody telling me I have to listen to all sorts of new crap?
posted by koeselitz at 11:41 AM on December 20, 2006


Also, the fact that I can see through the modernist bullshit of "the future's so bright" doesn't necessarily mean that I'm drunk on nostalgia. I might just be seeing through the "brand new day" crap. Eh?
posted by koeselitz at 11:43 AM on December 20, 2006


there was a time when rock was about the comraderie of being part of a group of people who rejected the shit and built something of their own. Now it's just a pretentious club with a bunch of adolescent fetishes and an internet-enhanced record collection. [...] And good fucking god, just think about this: our heroes-- the punk rockers, the alterna-rockers, the metalheads, et cetera-- all thought the same damn thing. And they were right. They just had the balls to stand up to the shit. Nobody seems to anymore.

Dude. Welcome to getting older.

But don't worry-- once you get through the disillusion stage, you can go back to music with a clear mind and just enjoy it for what it is, rather than for what you thought it was all those years ago.
posted by jokeefe at 11:45 AM on December 20, 2006


Hmmmm. My top 50 for 2006 looks like my top 50 for 2005. And 2002. And 1996. Come to think of it not that much has changed since Doolittle came out in 1989.

I'll stop talking now.
posted by tkchrist at 11:54 AM on December 20, 2006


Whatever happened to Mountain? I really like Mountain.

Run outta town on the Emo Express. (It's quieter now, but a lot more "honest".)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:56 AM on December 20, 2006


jokeefe: "But don't worry-- once you get through the disillusion stage, you can go back to music with a clear mind and just enjoy it for what it is, rather than for what you thought it was all those years ago."

I don't know what it was. I guess I'm just interested in the political and social impact of music. I know, I'm not supposed to be; I've listened to all the Decemberists records, I've been through all the stuff Pitchfork says I'm supposed to like, and I've listened to all the year's hippest offerings, and all I can conclude is that what matters more than ever is having cute references to famous records and making people feel good. As those two things don't interest me very much, I have a hard time liking most of the newer stuff.

But that leads me to go back and wonder about the old. And you're right, a lot of that imitation and pandering happened then, too. Maybe it's just what happens in music. Or maybe it's just what happens in American music.

That comment I made about 'subcultures,' well, the second I posted it, it seemed hopelessly naive. Those moments only really count when you're inside them. Either way, there's nowhere else to go for me at this point. I can't really "come back to music;" I don't think that would be honest, given that it doesn't really have much to offer me.

Rejection is what characterizes the honesty of a young man. I'm 27, so it's likely I'm going to be rejecting a lot of things. That's probably healthy. At this point, I don't really see anything else to do but to stop listening to music. I suggest you all do the same; it's good for the soul.
posted by koeselitz at 11:58 AM on December 20, 2006


I guess my references were too oblique.

(And yeah, Koesey, every year I find more music that I love. How is that not getting better? I've gone through the subculture bullshit, and they were insular cliques of right-thinking morons, especially hardcore punks. I don't miss the days when finding good music meant having to dress like the rest of the goons.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:03 PM on December 20, 2006


me either, koeselitz. I was never much of a pack animal to begin with. I just like the music.
posted by jonmc at 12:07 PM on December 20, 2006


A little late to throw this in here, but other good sources for good, unheard music are FakeJazz, Delusions of Adequacy, and my very own Robosexual (just finished "long song week" but no top 50).
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:14 PM on December 20, 2006


"I don't know what it was. I guess I'm just interested in the political and social impact of music. I know, I'm not supposed to be; I've listened to all the Decemberists records, I've been through all the stuff Pitchfork says I'm supposed to like, and I've listened to all the year's hippest offerings, and all I can conclude is that what matters more than ever is having cute references to famous records and making people feel good. As those two things don't interest me very much, I have a hard time liking most of the newer stuff."

Aside from a few outstanding points, I don't really feel like art or music can have the political or social impact that it used to. The distance between where we are and where music is has lessened, and the points being explored are too diffuse. Music can still have an extremely personal impact, but there are just too many competing moments for any one of them to gain the massive traction that it might, especially when (aside from the dangers of downloading), the biggest releases are pretty pleased with the status quo. On the local level, musicians can still matter, but with the telescoping of American classes, that won't necessarily impact anyone else's lives. Nor should it have to to be good music. Listening to music, while it can be a social act, is also profoundly isolating (especially recorded music). It's a time of contemplation, or of sensual enjoyment.

I like a lot of the same things that you do about music, though I have no problem with the music that just makes me feel good. Once I got over that, I enjoyed myself a lot more again. But where I've connected is with local music, made on a small scale. I really like a lot of the stuff I hear, and it is totally detached from what might be going on above it. I don't like a lot of the exclusivity of the scenes, but I deal. And honestly, in listening to a lot of the Pfork best tracks list, I've gotten to hear a lot of singles that I like and otherwise wouldn't.
I've been down the rabbithole through deathmetal and noise, and I think I've pretty well found the brink of what I'll listen to and enjoy (it tends to be right around Hair Police albums). But I don't see why that should keep me from finding new things, even if I already know my limits.

An anecdote to close this: This Saturday, I went out and saw The Gore Gore Girls. They're not doing anything new, anything that the Chymes or Whyte Boots didn't do, but in seeing them I was reminded of why I like to see live music and how simply transcendent these sounds were, and how much fun it is to apprehend them without reason. Of course, I went back to thinking about them and analyzing them, because I fear I have the heart of a phenomenologist, but right there was why I can't ever get sick of music forwever— it still moves me, even derivative stuff that I've seen a hundred times before.
I've burnt out on and come back to music a couple times now, and I think I'll probably have that happen again. But that's a function of me not being able to absorb everything I want from every band. And pretty often, a bad band is like bad sex— still pretty good.
posted by klangklangston at 12:17 PM on December 20, 2006


Koeselitz: I've listened to all the Decemberists records, I've been through all the stuff Pitchfork says I'm supposed to like, and I've listened to all the year's hippest offerings

Masochist. You've been living on the musical equivalent of pastry and marmalade. And if you've returned from this odyssey feeling sickly, hating music and joy itself, it's understandable but it's still your fault.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:24 PM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised I didn't see Beirut's Gulag Orkestar on any lists. Definitely my favorite album of the year, fwiw.
posted by supertremendus at 12:26 PM on December 20, 2006


"I've gone through the subculture bullshit, and they were insular cliques of right-thinking morons, especially hardcore punks."

sXe anyone?

"I don't miss the days when finding good music meant having to dress like the rest of the goons."

One of the things that I've liked about metal is nobody really cares (unless maybe you wear a Linkin Park shirt to a Deicide show), it's all about the music and having fun. Come on in, smoke a little,drink a lot, throw the horns once in a while and it's all good.
posted by MikeMc at 12:33 PM on December 20, 2006


Plus, the metal chicks are hotter and show more skin.
posted by jonmc at 12:43 PM on December 20, 2006


and dirty white hightops with huge tongues are the best shoe ever!
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:47 PM on December 20, 2006


and Rob Halford is a better token homo than.....well, the whole emo scene.
posted by jonmc at 1:01 PM on December 20, 2006


Oh and hey, on the Pitchfork top 100 tracks list:

"That's Life" by Killer Mike is fucking great. Boastful, political and it's got a snappy Sinatra hook.


link is to the pfork page with the song at #12 at the bottom, you can get the mp3 right there.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:06 PM on December 20, 2006


"and Rob Halford is a better token homo than....."

See how inclusive metal is! You can walk right out of a gay leather bar and right into a metal show without having to change outfits! Fabulous!!
posted by MikeMc at 1:08 PM on December 20, 2006


Due to being in the process of moving to a new country in 05, and actually living in it in 06, I've missed like 99% of all new music from the past two years. After doing some serious acquiring of all the bands with multiple-word names (I'll refer to them as the The Yeah Yeah Yo La Arctic Death Cab for My Chemical Fall Out Panic at the Clap Your Hands Say Modest Mouse), I am shocked - shocked! - to say that My Chemical Romance's "The Black Parade" is...really good. Really. I'm shocked at how much I like it. The only thing I knew about MCR was from my sister who would only say they're an "emo band" (with attendant lip curl), which seemed like a bad thing to be; so color me stupefied that I even find this album palatable, let alone enjoy it to such a large degree.
posted by supercrayon at 1:19 PM on December 20, 2006


"I just don't get why critics love Ghostface Killah so much. Ever since he stopped dusting and the RZA stopped producing for him, he sounds like a constipated giraffe. He hasn't made a good album in 5 years, but he pops up on like every other critics list no matter what sort of garbage he puts out. /rant"

Surely you jest? Ghostface might be the only Hip-Hop that didn't make me want to kill myself this year.
posted by heartquake at 1:21 PM on December 20, 2006


Favorite rock album - Deadly Snakes - Bird in the Hand (basically the full version of last year's Porcella)
Favorite rap album - Cunninglynguists - A Piece of Strange
Album I listened to the most - Espers II

I think everything else is overrated.
posted by 8 Bit at 1:24 PM on December 20, 2006


I thought that the Deadly Snakes broke up after Porcella.
posted by klangklangston at 1:32 PM on December 20, 2006


Normally I'd be apoplectic at Pitchfork for rating Justin Timberlake above Califone, but as I'm still laughing over "Dick in the Box," all is forgiven.
posted by scody at 1:35 PM on December 20, 2006


jonmc, it seems like a lot of the problems you're having with getting into new music come from the social context you see the music as existing in, rather than with the music itself (viz your comment about bars).

Music sites like Pitchfork tend to emphasize these contextual aspects of music with their relentless micro-genre categorization and their spot-the-influence exercises, but I suspect that you could find a lot of new music that you liked if you were able to approach it on its own terms.

As an aside: I really liked this haiku, from the Stylus list sparkletone linked above:
Joanna Newsom - Ys
Fay diddle wain, oh!
And the bear tum tiddle moon
Oh god please kill me
I'm a fan of hers (I'm going to see her tonight, even) but this album just didn't do it for me at all.
posted by whir at 1:38 PM on December 20, 2006


Oh, and as long as we're shouting out, I will second the ablums from Espers, The Blow, the Black Angels, and the Thermals, and add in the Joggers, who do a lot of Yes covers but I like them anyways for some reason.
posted by whir at 1:47 PM on December 20, 2006


...and Jezebel by The Drones is the best protest song I've heard in several years.
shutting up now
posted by whir at 2:05 PM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I can't believe it! I recognize artists on every one of these lists! It's like I'm 18 again!
posted by lekvar at 2:10 PM on December 20, 2006


I am rather enjoying Mr. Hutchinson's Computer.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:16 PM on December 20, 2006


But there is something pretty shitty about music nowadays.

There's always been shitty music about, then and now. See for example, Cheap Trick, then and now.

There's an overriding Douglas Adams like "back when men from Alpha Centauri were real men from Alpha Centauri, back when women were real women from Alpha Centauri, and back when small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri..." feel in this thread.
posted by juiceCake at 2:27 PM on December 20, 2006


I'll second the "i just don't get why they're so popular" for The Knife. Why people love them so much befuddles me.

On the other hand I just got Beirut's Gulag Orkestar. Changed my fucking life. (Their new EP too.)
posted by fungible at 3:52 PM on December 20, 2006


Dylan never left; he's just found a new voice ( and a great band ) in the last ten years or so.

I hadn't heard any of Dylan's recent stuff, so I listened to the audio sample (#8) from Prefix's list. "Found a new voice" indeed! What the hell is he thinking? Is he trying for the pre-teen pop market?


Then I realized the sample was playing at the wrong speed.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:24 PM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think what's happened to pop music in the last decade is a lot like what happened to fine art in the... '70s and '80s I suppose, when the last of the big currents, the isms, seemed to diffuse, leaving an amorphous field without a sense of overriding direction. There are still great artists, but they don't get much momentum or mindshare or whatever in all the static to generate pull... probably a function of a lack of gatekeepers as much as a lack of undiscovered (or unpublicized) territory.

I don't know if that made any sense, but the parallels have been on my mind for a while.
posted by furiousthought at 4:40 PM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


supercrayon: "The Black Parade" is indeed a super album, and no amount of emo-stench or MTV success will dull it for me. If emo was as big and hooky as MCR, then I'd actually like it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:51 PM on December 20, 2006


I'd bet some of the bands I haven't heard of are good. I guess I'll just go out and buy 50 $20 CDs to find out which ones they are.

Nah. I'll just buy the KEXP Live CD. And spend the other $985 at concerts.
posted by Twang at 6:44 PM on December 20, 2006


Should yer life get really messed up,
At last you'll hear lyrics you never wanted to -
The best thing about heroes who sing?
They're suffering more than you.
posted by Twang at 7:07 PM on December 20, 2006


It's so much fun to watch the posers in these threads!
posted by caddis at 7:57 PM on December 20, 2006


I guess I'll just go out and buy 50 $20 CDs to find out which ones they are.

Or....
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:45 PM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


supercrayon: (I'll refer to them as the The Yeah Yeah Yo La Arctic Death Cab for My Chemical Fall Out Panic at the Clap Your Hands Say Modest Mouse)

Sir, I am offended! How dare you place Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in such close proximity to those detestable hooligans Panic at the Disco? Why, I never...

Seriously, though, that jumble made me snicker.
posted by Spike at 8:56 PM on December 20, 2006


I've listened to more new (or new to me) music in the last year than I have in literally decades, and I still don't know many of the bands mentioned in this thread. I dunno how you folks find the time.

(In my defense, when I do find an album I really like, I tend to listen to it about 500 times along with my other current faves (and a few old ones too) until I've got every damn note to heart, which takes a while. I like them to feel, sometime down the road, somehow emblematic of times in my life, and only diving way deep into them gives 'em that kind resonance for my future self.)

Ah well. I'm old too, but I love me some rock and roll music, so I'll be giving some of these a try, no doubt.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:37 PM on December 20, 2006


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