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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year in Music, Year in Sound

Nobody asked, but here are my fave non-classical 2006 music releases:

1. M. Ward, Post-War

2. Avishai Cohen, Continuo

3. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

4. Califone, Roots & Crowns

5. Howe Gelb, 'Sno Angel Like You

6. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere

7. Gotan Project, Lunático

8. Muslimgauze, Speaker of Turkish

9. Carl Filipiak, Looking Forward, Looking Back

10. Grizzly Bear, Yellow House


P.S. Ys, I like the Arctic Monkeys like everybody else.
Photo: Howe Gelb and the Voice of Praise Gospel Choir


Blogger Svein-Frode said...

Sadly I haven't found a single album released in 2006 worth buying. Must be the worst year in my record collecting history. But a few names on your list was new to me so I'll have to check 'em out.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

That's funny, I would have said the opposite...although I admit I spend a lot of my time listening to old jazz records from the '50s. I suppose it's not been a good year if your tastes run to blues-based traditional rock. Hip-hop and "American Idol"-style belting seem to have taken over the pop stage from rock, at least here in the U.S. But for a lot of my life I've felt that the IDEA of rock has had too much of a headlock on musicians and performing artists, who seemed to have a compulsion to make everything loud and bombastic and "hard" (not that there's anything wrong with that per se, but...). Recently it's seemed like artists are finally getting away from that, and just making the music they want to make regardless of what category it fits into, or doesn't fit. I mean, I couldn't see Joanna Newsom's "Ys" or the Fiery Furnaces' "Bitter Tea" or Gulag Orkester's "Beirut" making critics' best-of-the-year lists in 1975 or 1985.

Here's a link that you might find helpful in finding stuff to sample:


1:43 PM  
Blogger Paul Perton said...


Just bought the Cohen album - listening to it for the first time as I write. Thanks for the pointer. To you and svein-frode; find a copy of the Crimson Jazz Trio's "King Crimson Songbook". Doesn't matter if you don't enjoy Crimso's music, this is a sublime new-age jazz album - possibly the best I've heard this year.

Speaking of which, you might also want to take a listen to the Esbjorn Svensson Trio.

Looking back, I re-discovered Stanley Turrentine's "Sugar" when I ripped it as a part of my on-going conversion from vinyl project. It might have come from 1971, but it's worn really well ;-)

Thanks for a great site and now music too!

2:55 AM  
Blogger Svein-Frode said...

Well Mike, I am into Hard Bop as well, and the 50s is without a doubt the "classic" era of Jazz. Still sounds great today!

Yes I long for the days when Led Zeppelin & Co. was at the top of the charts, and have to admit that since the late 70s Pop/Rock hasn't been my favorite genera of music. I still feel that the 70s was the golden era of Rock though, especially of the progressive kind. Can't find much "quality" in the charts for the last ten years. Just too polished and overproduced for my taste.

I'm heading for that link right now. I'm sure that there is a lot of great music being released, but you sure have to look hard to find it. As for critics, I never paid much attention. They seem to be more interested in their own image as trend setters than listening to music in a critical and intellectual way.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Albano Garcia said...

Gotan is cheesy. It's tango for gringos. Please no offense Mike, you know I like you, but Gotan Project s**ks

10:19 AM  

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