Saturday, December 02, 2006

Top Ten Albums of 2006

by: Coach Andy Mendrala

This will blow your mind and melt your face. Share it with the un-initiated masses at your own peril.

Honorable Mentions:

Willie Nelson: Songbird
Ryan Adams produced. When Willie's surrounded by Adams's Cold Roses inspired guitars, this album's great, but there are too many failed covers (Hallelujah, Amazing Grace) that make this record too mediocre for inclusion on the list.

Cat Power: the greatest
I like her.

Walkmen: Hundred Miles Off
though the album's not great, and they went to St. Alban's (boo Maliaris) Louisiana is one of the catchiest songs of the year

Golden Smog: Another Fine Day
Jeff Tweedy put out an album this year. what more do you want?

Stuff I Haven't Listened to Yet:
The Coup: Pick a Bigger Weapon
I like what I've heard so far. thanks, Sinister Joe, for exposing me to them on Vol. 1

Black Keys: Chulahoma: The Songs of Jr. Kimbrough
A combination of a couple of great Fat Possum artists, I can't wait to hear this.

The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America
I feel like I owe the indie world an apologie (intentional misspelling...why is it indie and not indy? what do hipsters have against open wheel racing?) for not getting my hands on this one yet and giving it a good listen. I think it would've definitely been on my list if I'd have been on top of my pitchfork game this year.

Beck: The information
see previous explanation

Decemberists: Crane wife
did they sell out? I'm not sure. Do all their songs sound the same? I'm not sure. Are they TOO clever? I'm not sure. I still like them though.

Bob Dylan: Modern Times
He sold out a long time ago. Victoria's Secret & iPod commercials? Hey, a brotha's gotta get paid.

Yo La Tengo: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
cool stuff. a new phase in the life of YLT, I need to hear more of them in general. I feel like if I'd ever direct an album title at a colleague (I mean you, "Dr." Bill McNiel) it would be this one.

Flaming Lips: At War With the Mystics
I love Wayne Coyne.

Tom Waits: Orphans:Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards
I'm not sure which incarnation of Waits we get here. I'm not sure that it matters. I'm looking forward to hearing this 3 disk set.

Junior Boys: So This is Goodbye
Too much hype? probably. Do I even like electronica? I don't think so. But I do hear this album's good to jog to, but I don't jog, so is this album even relevant to me? not sure.

Now, on to the list:

Belle & Sebastian: The Life Pursuit
I love this band too much not to put them on the list, but nothing else can really come off, so to quote Nigel: "But...,...this one goes to eleven." (that's Spinal Tap, for you young ones out there)

Ali Farka Toure: Savane
The world lost a legend when this African guitarist died earlier this year. If you want to understand what blues music is/was/can be then you need to check out this album.

Built to Spill: You in Reverse
This album is worth getting just for the opening drum solo on Goin Against Your Mind, the first track. Great energy on this record.

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins: Rabbit Fur Coat
Though some songs are a little awkward, the vocals on this album are too good to ignore.

Rosemont Family Reunion: Forever Ruth
This is a plug for my favorite local band. I really enjoy this, their debut album. Like most stuff I like, they're a little bit country, a little bit rock & roll. And if I can identify one theme from my list, it's female vocals, and Lissie Beaver dominates this album in that regard.

Johnny Cash: American V
Another post-mortum effort. This album is a-ghost-is-whispering-in-your-ear good.

Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain
This album is the bag of Lay's Original Potato Crisps of 2006 rock albums.

Band of Horses: Everything All the Time
I was initially skeptical about this album, but the more I listened, the more it grew on me. But when Ben Bridwell signed my boob* and LP**, they skyrocketed to the top of my list. *not really...only in my dreams. **I'll let you lick it. I mean the LP. Well, maybe not.

M. Ward: Post War
I cannot get enough of this guy lately, and with a backing band, he's even better. He's Nina Simone meets Tom Waits meets a pack of Marlboros meets velvet and cognac, and this might be his best album.

EL # NUmbERo ONE!1!
Bonnie "Prince" Billy: The Letting Go
This prolific singer/songwriter/movie star/weird-looking freak is quickly climbing the list of my favorite artists. Dawn McCarthy (no idea who that is) provides beautiful background vocals as well. He is our generation's Nick Drake.
"when you call on God and God is dead, Love comes to you"

Go get the stuff you haven't heard of on this list. you wont' be upset


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