Most Listened To Records Of 2006 – A Wrap Up.

  • Shakira – Dónde Están Los Ladrones: This woman blends Columbian and Lebanese tunage like no other. She also writes, performs and produces almost all of her music. The bottom line is that Shakira can write a damn fine song. This was her last all Spanish sung record and it’s clearly a great one for a good reason. Ciega Sordomuda is worth it alone for simply the trumpet player.
  • Quantic – Mishaps Happening: I know little about this record other than getting a copy from Feetnik and really liking it. It sounds a lot like what comes out of the 18th Street Lounge in DC.
  • Raymond Scott – Manhattan Research, Inc.: This man was the Thomas Edison of sound construction. Enough said.
  • Yerba Buena – Island Life: While their first record played more on house, this record focused more on hip-hop. It’s not as solid as President Alien, but it’s still a keeper.
  • Suzanne Vega – Nine Objects of Desire: A record I didn’t get until this year. While always weird or quirky, she finally goes out on a limb and gets moderately experimental with the helping hand of husband Mitchell Froom.
  • Aretha Franklin – Lady Soul: This is essential Soul music. If you don’t have this in your collection, you are cheating yourself.
  • Amon Tobin – Supermodified: This was an Emily-CD. I borrowed it once and dropped it on my iPod and it became a crowd pleaser on the Metro on the “drive” home when we lived in DC. The beats on Bricolage are to die for.
  • Parliament – Rhenium: This is a weird release. It’s their first record with a bunch of singles tagged to it. The song Funky Woman is such a classic funky rock cut. You can see where Parliament will end up 10 years later.
  • Seu Jorge – Samba Esporte Fino: Aside from his quirky and kitchy covers of the Bowie songs in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou he has become the king of bossa nova and samba in my book. He really gives Paulinho Nogueira a run for his money.
  • Lou Reed – New York: Why it took Lou Reed this long to write a record about his birthplace is beyond me. Sadly the guitars are less than challenging but his song writing and story-telling hit, yet another, plateau.
  • Os Mutantes – A Divina Comedia ou ando meio desligado: Brazil’s finest garage band. I think they were in high school when they made this record.
  • Tortoise – A Lazarus Taxon: Finally Tortoise released a compilation that included Gamera. It’s their greatest and simplest song ever put to tape and was previously only available in Japan, unless, like me – the dumbass, you happened to drop $35 on the import. I am a sucker.
  • R.L. Burnside – Too Bad Jim: There was a resurgence of R.L. in the late 1990s with Come On In. While is was interesting, the production really got in the way. Too Bad Jim was his last great record which really gets in the dirt of the Delta Blues.
  • Morphine – Good: I was way behind the curve in this band. I am not sure why it took me so long. Perhaps it was my problem with the sax. I’ve learned to really love and appreciate certain sax players thus far.
  • Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison: Like Lady Soul, it’s a classic that needs to be in the collection of any music lover. The true original punk rocker.
  • Prince – Dream Factory: Definitively Prince’s greatest unreleased record, ever. Period. Or perhaps his best, ever.
  • The Beach Boys – Smile: Like Dream Factory, this is their (Brian Wilson’s) greatest record ever not released.
  • Saint Etienne – Finisterre: I first heard of them from my first girlfriend in college. Her music sense really opened me up to a lot of different music. Most of their records are sort of the same, but this one feels different to me. This band writes better songs, sang better melodies, composed more interesting changes and wasn’t a puppet production yet received little to no attention compared to a band with a similar (yet watered down) lineup and sound. Garbage. Most would think they’d learn something from the title of their band. If that makes any sense.
  • Tom Waits – Bone Machine: While Tchad Blake engineered this record. I always felt Steve Albini could have done wonders to this record.
  • Andre Williams – Silky: One dirty old Jewish black man. His skills in the blues of Detroit roll like thunder. He set the pavement for the likes of the Stooges and the MC5 even if unintentionally. And even if those bands didn’t realize it.
  • William Shatner – The Transformed Man: Long before those quirky Priceline commercials, Shatner made music, not unlike his 2004 release “Has Been”. His cover of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds should be in the Smithsonian.
  • Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children: An ex-friend once recommended this band to me. It took a recommendation from David Riposo to finally buy it. Sadly it took that long.
  • KRS-One – Return of the Boom Bap: Boogie Down Productions was one of the first rap outfits that got me in to that genre with their lyrics that were political. I sort of put it all on pause until recently when I picked up a copy of KRS One’s ’93 release. There is something about the political social commentary KRS writes about that turns me on.
  • Funkadelic – Free your mind and your ass will follow: Next to Maggot Brain it’s the funkiest and dirtiest of all Funkadelic albums. After you purchase Maggot Brain, you must get this one next.
  • Mike Doughty – Haughty Melodic: While originally I never wanted to like this record because of it’s clear distance from the music of Soul Coughing, there’s something about Mike having such a good time and it comes through in the music. While not a Bitches Brew, it’s a solid pop record with a little more production than I would have liked from the Doughty, but it still rolls.
  • Gal Costa – Gal Costa: More seriously good psychedelic bossa.
  • Nick Drake – Pink Moon: So sad. Almost too sad. Sometimes reminds me of Van Morrison and Cat Stevens with more interesting and complicated guitar picking.
  • Brian Eno & David Byrne – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts: How this music was created before the sampler had been invented is beyond me. Is it more an Eno record? Or more a Byrne record? They recently put up the tracks on a website asking people to make their own mixes. Beck?
  • Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous: If only for the song ‘Portions for Foxes’ this record just does it for me. It’s nice to hear women besides Madonna singing about sex.
  • Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean Blue: The most underrated Beach Boy. And the most underrated record. Perhaps more appreciated in this day and age.
  • Lee Dorsey – Ride Your Pony: I heard the title song on internet radio somewhere and it inspired me to purchase this record. It’s just good solid New Orleans R&B from the mid 60s.
  • June Of 44 – In the Fishtank: One of my favorite Louisville “math rock” bands. They get pretty out there in these mainly instrumental songs. There is something about floating on a cloud and this record.
  • Rabbinical School Dropouts – Cosmic Tree: I call this shit, Avant Klezmer. It’s all over the place, in a good way. Think Zappa at Yom Kippur with Iggy Pop as the Rabbi.
  • Charles Mingus – Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus: You can pretty much pick up any record with the Impulse stamp and not be disappointed. This is no exception. I’ve always been partial to the smoothness (not like Muzak) of this record. And one can’t ever deny the power of his bass.
  • John Zorn – Live at Tonic 2001: While not at inspiring as Live In Jerusalem 1994 this record cooks with Acharei Mot. It’s like drum & bass craziness a la Ornette Coleman!
  • Robert Fripp – Exposure: Mark D. got me in to this record after his kids were singing along to it. It’s a beauty.
  • N*E*R*D – Fly Or Die: More DRUMS in hip hop! PLEASE!
  • James Brown – Love Power Peace: Live at the Olympia, Paris, 1971: This record is again, like Aretha, mandatory for every record collection.
    8+ minutes of Sex Machine is tasty cakes. It’s now more timely than ever. RIP JB.
  • Mark De Gli Antoni – Horse Tricks vs. Tempo Team- Bang Bang!: It’s coming! It’s coming. I swear. And it will blow your mind away.

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