Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Completely Biased Review of 2006: Part I, Sounds

As is the habit of the opinionated here in CabinDwelling Land (and the many places where all those poor folks unfortunate enough to live elsewhere live), it is time for a review of things 'et'1, quaffed, played far too loudly and on repeat, and whatever else that caught my attention this year.

Of course, with apologies for my crap grammar and in many cases, reasoning no more sophisticated than whatever it is sounded, tasted or looked 'cool.' Oh, and also with apologies at this juncture to my dear significant other who has to put up with my tendency to embrace something(s) obsessively to a point of nearly lethal annoyingness.

Yeah, I've had coffee. Want to make something of it?

Review Part I: Bands/Albums that I Played Too Often and/or Too Loudly Out of Teenage-Type Joy2:
  • The Be Good Tanyas - released their first album in 2001. I just found out about them.
  • Alton Ellis - Roots ska giant who I just found about this summer. I lurve him. Thanks Lou!
  • The Avalanches - 7 deejays produced an album. If you like a completely mixed album of electronic/dance/whatever-other subgenre, this is your bet.
  • Carolyn Mark - Kind of country, kind of folk, engaging, funny. Albums: Terrible Hostess & Party Girl.
  • Ska Cubano - Album: Ay Caramba. Hello, my name is CabinDweller, and I am a ska-coholic.3 This second album of ska by way of Cuba is awesome, but their first album is only available by import.
  • Lily Allen - Album: Alright, Still. British pop with a bite. Only available via import and in tiny pieces through ITunes.
  • The Holloways - Album: So This is Britain.
  • Bitter:Sweet - Album: The Mating Game. Ever hear one track from an album, fall hopelessly in love with it, buy the album and actually like the whole thing? "Dirty Laundry" was the track that sold me.
  • Cut Chemist - Album: The Audience is Listening. Deejay formerly with Jurassic Five/collaborator with everyone. "What's the Altitude" stood out for me.
  • Devotchka - Another band I failed to notice until this year. Thanks to M. for righting that wrong. Albums: How it Ends; Una Volta.
  • Hem - Atmospheric, sort of reminds me of Trinity Sessions-era Cowboy Junkies.
  • Sonic Youth - Album: Rather Ripped. Indie veterans who still rock and produced one of 2006's best. They are pre-Nirvana, pre-Pixies, releasing their first album during the dark days of the first term of the Reagan era.
  • Kocani Orkestar - Album: Alone at My Wedding. I really drove some folks crazy playing this one. How to describe them? Thomas Bartlett at wrote:
    " The chaotic music made by Macedonian brass band Kocani Orkestar and other similar Gypsy Balkan brass bands, largely exposed to the world through the astonishing films of Emir Kusturica, is, for me, some of the most viscerally emotional in the world -- from frantic, crazed, drunken elation to tearful, almost inexpressibly deep (drunken) sadness."
  • The Meat Purveyors - 2006 brought us Someday Soon Things Will Be Much Worse. This ?punkgrass? band broke up about a month ago and I'm still pissed that I will never see them in concert. Standout tracks include Liquor Store and 666 Pack.
  • The Morning After Girls - They rock. I don't know if they've released anything more than the two E.P.s.
  • Novalima - Album: Afro. Music from Peru, and not the woolly-hatted, flute stuff that comes to mind. Standout track: Bandolero. Reminiscent of one of my favorite albums ever, Afro-Peruvian Classics: The Soul of Black Peru.
  • The Rapture - Album: Pieces of the People We Love. Dance, dammit! Standout track: Whoo! Alright, Yeah.... Uh-Huh. The whole album makes even a avowed non-dancer like myself want to shake it.
  • Tom Waits - Album: Real Gone.
  • Wax Tailor - Album: Tales of the Forgotten Melodies. Categorized as 'Electronic' but trip-hop and rap and a complete album that should be listened to in one block.
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Albums: Fever to Tell; Show Your Bones. Two excellent albums in two years. I still have to crank up "Maps" whenever it comes on in the Soob.
  • Honorable mention: Neko Case, Asylum Street Spankers, The Hold Steady, Be Your Own Pet, Bebel Gilberto, Black Motorcycle Rebel Club, Cat Power, Madeleine Peyroux, Chitlin Fooks, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Franz Ferdinand, Kasabian, The Kaiser Chiefs, The Rakes, (boy, we had quite an 80s revival, didn't we?), Jurassic Five, Nickodemus.
1Defn. "et": The way my mamaw said "eaten." And if you know how to properly pronounce "mamaw", you'll know what I'm talking about.
2Most of which were released in 2006, but some not. Those not are noted as such.
3Not only do I love ska to a point of irritation in others, I make bad jokes about it.

[edited on 12-28 for numerous typos. ]

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