So, then, here's all the music that made its way into my insatiable iPod this year, in order of purchase (and not counting the Steve Martin comedy albums and Season 1 of The State). Everything after 41 is stuff that I either bought in CD form or got from the GE boys. Looking over this list, I realize that there's a lot of music I bought this year that I haven't even listened to yet. Jesus Christ. I am a consumer whore.
- My Morning Jacket, "Z"
- Miles Davis, "The Cellar Door Sessions 1970"
- Aceyalone & RJD2, "Magnificent City"
- MF Doom AKA Viktor Vaughn, "Vaudeville Villain" (rel. 2003)
- Lilys, "Everything Wrong is Imaginary"
- Secret Machines, "Ten Silver Drops"
- Talk Talk, "Natural History" (rel. 1990)
- Belle and Sebastian, "The Life Pursuit"
- Ween, "Shinola vol. 1" (rel. 2005)
- The Appleseed Cast, "Peregrine"
- Band of Horses, "Everything All the Time"
- Flaming Lips, "At War With The Mystics"
- Built to Spill, "You in Reverse"
- Aloha, "Some Echoes"
- Paul Simon, "Surprise"
- Gnarls Barkley, "St. Elsewhere"
- The Clientele, "Strange Geometry" (rel. 2005)
- Sonic Youth, "Rather Ripped"
- Shudder to Think, "Pony Express Record" (rel. 1994 - previously owned)
- Tapes 'n Tapes, "The Loon"
- Elbow, "Leaders of the Free World" (rel. 2005)
- French Kicks, "Two Thousand"
- American Analog Set, "Know By Heart" (rel. 2001)
- Mew, "And the Glass Handed Kites"
- Deerhoof, "Milk Man" (rel. 2004)
- Deerhoof, "Apple O'" (rel. 2003)
- Deerhoof, "Reveille" (rel. 2002)
- The Cure, "The Head on the Door (Reissue)"
- TV on the Radio, "Return to Cookie Mountain"
- Yo La Tengo, "I Am Not Afraid of You And I Will Beat Your Ass"
- Bob Dylan, "Modern Times"
- Beck, "The Information"
- The Decemberists, "Picaresque"
- The Decemberists, "The Crane Wife"
- Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton, "Knives Don't Have Your Back"
- They Might Be Giants, "Lincoln" (previously owned)
- They Might Be Giants, "s/t" (previously owned)
- +/-, "Let's Build a Fire"
- The Big Sleep, "Son of the Tiger"
- Grizzly Bear, "Yellow House"
- Steve Reich, "Music for 18 Musicians" (rel. a few years ago)
- Elbow, "Cast of Thousands" (rel. a few years ago)
- Loose Fur, "Born Again in the USA"
- Midlake, "Bamnan and Silvercork"
- Midlake, "The Trials of Van Occupanther"
- Liars, "Drum's Not Dead"
- The Walkmen, "A Hundred Miles Off"
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Show Your Bones"
- Sufjan Stevens, "The Avalanche"
- Thom Yorke, "The Eraser"
So, now that you know what I was working from, here's my top 11 of 2006.
11. Band of Horses, "Everything All The Time"
Just missing the top 10, this is an album that I feverishly adored for about 3 weeks this spring. I haven't listened to it since then, and now I remember why - it had no legs. I wondered what it would be like to see these guys live, and I kinda got bored just thinking about it. Still, though, there's some good stuff on here, especially "Weed Party."10. Lilys, "Everything Wrong is Imaginary"
A great return to form. Lilys' previous album, "Precollection", was a little too unpolished and uneven, and this album just kicked me right in the ass from the get-go. "Black Carpet Magic" and "Scott Free" are 2 of my favorite songs of this year.9. Beck, "The Information"
We're never going to get "Odelay" again, I don't know why we keep waiting for it. This album seemed to be shit on by a lot of critics, but I quite enjoyed it. "1000 BPM" isn't the best song on it, but it's the one that constantly gets stuck in my head for no apparent reason.8. Liars, "Drum's Not Dead"
Mike from GE was absolutely obsessed with this album when it came out. The first time I listened to it, I was in the grocery store, and suddenly "Lets Not Wrestle Mt Heart Attack" started attacking my headphones and I thought I was hallucinating right there next to the olive oil. An aural peyote nightmare if ever there was one, and one hell of an album.7. Thom Yorke, "The Eraser"
This kinda snuck up on me - someone sent me the mp3 files about 2 weeks before it was officially released, and I felt really dirty about taking it but I couldn't help myself. The album is somewhat uneven but the high points are quite high.6. +/-, "Let's Build a Fire"
I didn't get this album until the middle of December, but it (obviously) made a very, very strong impression on me in a very short amount of time. I'll have to look back on this one in a few months to see if it still has legs, but for now I'm very much in love with most of it.5. Miles Davis, "The Cellar Door Sessions"
Monumental. I'd put this higher except (a) it's not really a "new" recording, and (b) it's fucking gigantic and I haven't listened to it 100 times like I have with everything else on this list. Keith Jarrett is an absolute madman, the Michael Henderson/Jack DeJohnette rhythm section is completely insane and then John McLaughlin shows up at the end just for kicks.4. Emily Haines, "Knives Don't Have Your Back"
Oh God I love this album. The opening track, "Our Hell", completely knocked my socks off and is pretty much responsible for my ongoing search to find a good software piano to use in ProTools since I can't have a real piano in my apartment. I listened to this a lot when Good Evening was in its death throes and it made the transition a hell of a lot more inspiring than it had any right to be.3. TV on the Radio, "Return to Cookie Mountain"
Tunde and I were friends at NYU, and he was one of those amazing people who was a genius at pretty much everything he put his mind to - he was an award-winning stop-motion animator when we graduated, and then he was an actor, and now he's the singer for one of the most innovative and important bands of the new millennium. "Wolf Like Me" and "Tonight" are my 2 favorites from an album that's pretty much non-stop awesome from front to back.2. Grizzly Bear, "Yellow House"
Part of me feels weird putting this at #2 considering that I just bought it 2 weeks ago, but the other part of me wants to kick myself in the ass for not getting this sooner so that I could have spent so much more time with it already. If nothing else, this is one of the best arranged albums I've ever heard, ever - and I include Beatles and Beach Boys albums in that statement, and I don't care how ridiculous that sounds.1. Loose Fur, "Born Again in the USA"
"I'm living rent-free in the back of your head." My favorite line from one of my favorite songs from my favorite album of 2006. I don't really know how to wax rhapsodic about this album - it's not a grand artistic statement, it's not terribly deep, it's just Tweedy and O'Rourke having a fun time in the studio with a collection of astonishingly good pop songs. I spent more time with this album than any other and never got tired of it, and ultimately that goes a long way.