And now, because I know you’ve been waiting for it all year, my best-in-music picks for 2006 (THAT RHYMES!). Some version of this list will be appearing in two magazines, two free weeklies, and a couple of websites, but you get it for nothin', just for showing up today! It’s like you’re Sir Galahad, and your Holy Grail is having a fat music geek for an imaginary friend. How I envy you!
THE TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2006
1. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
2. Built to Spill, You in Reverse
3. Ghostface Killah, Fishscale
4. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
5. The Melvins, A Senile Animal
6. His Name Is Alive, Detrola
7. Slayer, Christ Illusion
8. Mr. Lif, Mo’ Mega
9. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
10. Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
Didn’t quite make it, but still pretty good: T.I., King; Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope; Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, The Letting Go; the Coup, Pick a Bigger Weapon; Mission of Burma, The Obliterati; Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor; Mountain Goats, Get Lonely; Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury; Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions; Five Deez, Kommunicator.
THE TOP TEN SONGS OF 2006
1. Built to Spill, “Goin’ Against Your Mind”
2. Clipse, “Trill”
3. Lupe Fiasco, “Kick, Push”
4. TV on the Radio, “Wolf Like Me”
5. Regina Spektor, “Fidelity”
6. T.I., “I’m Talkin’ to You”
7. Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy”
8. Mission of Burma, “1,001 Pleasant Dreams”
9. Neko Case, “Hold On, Hold On”
10. Soul Position, “Keep It Hot for Daddy”
Didn’t quite make it, but still pretty good: Ghostface Killah, “Underwater”; Slayer, “Jihad”; the Rakes, “22 Grand Job”; Guster, “Satellite”, Murder By Death, “Sometimes the Line Walks You”; Belle & Sebastian, “We Are the Sleepyheads”; Aceyalone, “High Lights”; the Coup, “Laugh/Love/Fuck”; Dabrye, “Viewer Discretion”; Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, “Big Friday”.
THE TOP TEN REISSUES OF 2006, LIKE ANYONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT REISSUES BUT FOR SOME REASON A LOT OF POLLS MAKE YOU PICK THEM
1. Pavement, Wowee Zowee (Sordid Sentinels Edition)
2. Wire, Pink Flag
3. Wire, 154
4. The Green Arrows, 4 Track Recording Session
5. Public Image Ltd., Metal Box
6. Willie Nelson, The Complete Atlantic Sessions
7. Gram Parsons, The Complete Reprise Sessions
8. Talking Heads, Remain in Light
9. Kool Keith, Sex Style
10. Chris Bell, I am the Cosmos
SEVEN REASONS WHY THE BALKANIZATION/FRAGMENTATION/POSTMODERN HIBBETY-JIBBETING OF MUSIC FINALLY CRUSHED EVERY SHARD OF COHERENCE, FLOW AND CONTINUITY INTO INVISIBLE FRAGMENTS OF GOOFER DUST AND RENDERED US, THE CRITICS, WHOSE ROLE HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN AS VALOROUS AND RESPECTED AS THAT OF JESUS CHRIST OR A UNITED STATES MARINE, A BUNCH OF WORTHLESS SWAG RECEPTACLES, THUS ENSURING THAT THE PLEASURE OF LISTENING IS RUINED FOREVER AND NOTHING GOOD WILL EVER BE RECORDED AGAIN:
1. Steve Albini has inexplicably produced a record by a harp-playing elf. Even more inexplicably, the critics love it.
2. The rap world has been taken by storm by a skateboarding Muslim from Chicago.
3. Bruce Springsteen has been spotted singing "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?".
4. A supergroup has been formed consisting of Jack White and some other guys you never heard of.
5. Bitter and fierce wars of words have broken out between white and black rap fans over the issue of realness. These wars have taken place on that realest of battlefields, the internet.
6. Someone subjected Tori Amos to a de-crazying treatment, renamed her Regina Spektor, and, in so doing, compelled her to put out the best album of her career.
7. Slayer, Mission of Burma, and Yo La Tengo all put out remarkably good records, which is indicative of something totally meaningful and not at all that I am getting old.