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Sunday, December 31, 2006

The 3rd Annual Cale Awards!

Ok, so here's the thing. For the past two months I've been pestering everyone I know, trying to get them to vote for the 3rd Annual Cale Awards. But unfortunately, the only people who care about this exist only in my mind (i.e. no one cares but me). So, instead of having the reader results like I had originally planned, you are stuck with reading more about what I voted for. Way to drop the ball!

Best Live Act – You saw this artist live, and it blew you away!

Sufjan Stevens

Runner up: Of Montreal
Worst New Artist – The world would be a better place had they not decided to make music.


Runner up: Paris Hilton
Worst Song – You heard this song, and it made you cringe. The worst song of 2006!

“Turn It Up” by Paris Hilton, from the album “Paris”

Runner Up: “Rabbit Fur Coat” by Jenny Lewis, from the album “Rabbit Fur Coat”

Worst Album – Hands down, the worst album I heard this year!

Paris Hilton: “Paris

Runner up: John Mayer: “Continuum”


Best SongThis was, by far, your favorite song of 2006!

“Ballad of Humankindness” by The Dears, from the album “Gang of Losers”

Runner up: “Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken” by Camera Obscura, from the album ‘Let’s Get Out of this Country”
Most Overrated Artist You can’t believe all the positive hype regarding this artist. They’re not the worst, but there’s soooo much better out there.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Runner up: TV on the Radio
Most Overrated Album The reviews said it was great, but you disagree wholeheartedly!

TV on the Radio: “Return From Cookie Mountain

Runner up: Pearl Jam: “Pearl Jam”
Most Disappointing Album – Wow, this album was completely different than I expected…in a bad way!

The Mars Volta: “Amputechture”

Runner up: Jenny Lewis: “Rabbit Fur Coat”
Most Surprising Album – Wow, this album was complete different than I expected…in a good way!

Joanna Newsom: “Ys”

Runner up: My Brightest Diamond: “Bring Me the Workhorse”
Best Pop Album – It was fun, catchy, and instantly enjoyable….and it still is!

Zero 7: “The Garden”

Runner up: Mates of State: “Bring it Back”
Best Indie Album – This was the best album, not released on a major record label.

The Elected: “Sun, Sun, Sun”

Runner up: The Dears: “Gang of Losers”
Best Rock Album – Indie, Mainstream, or Metal, it doesn’t matter. This album rocked your balls off like no other album this year!

Cursive: “Happy Hollow”

Runner up: Muse: “Black Holes and Revelations”

Best Hip Hop Album – Hip hop may not be your thing, but you have to give it up for this album!

The Streets: “The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living”

Runner up: K-Os: “Atlantis: Hymns for Disco”


Best Band of 2006This band defined the year of 2006 in their music. Years from now, you will look back on 2006 and think of this one band.


Runner up: The Flaming Lips


Best Female PerformanceThis was, by far, the best album released by a female solo-artist.

My Brightest Diamond: “Bring Me the Workhorse”

Runner up: Joanna Newsom: “Ys”


Best Male Performance – This was, by far, the best album released by a male solo-artist.

Bonnie “Prince” Billy: “The Letting Go”

Runner up: The Streets: “The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living”


Best New Artist – They released their first full-length album this year, and were the best new artist around.

My Brightest Diamond

Runner up: Headlights


Best Album – Beyond all else, this album is your absolute favorite of 2006!

The Flaming Lips: “At War with the Mystics”

Runner up: Zero 7: “The Garden”


So that's it for 2006! Overall, I'd say it's been a fairly decent year in music. 2007 is shaping up to be a pretty big year too. The Shins and Of Montreal both have albums out in January, and maybe that ever-elusive Radiohead album will finally see the light of day. Who know? one thing is for sure though; no matter what music comes and goes, Audio Overflow will be there to review it. If only people were here to read it....*sigh*

If anyone wants to know what the few readers that voted voted for, bug me about it.


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Top 31 of 2006: #1

The Flaming Lips: "At War with the Mystics"
Released: April 4, 2006

If you're at all familiar with me or my blog, you already had this one figured out a long time ago. I am absolutely in love with The Flaming Lips. Just when you thought they couldn't top 2001's "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," they bust out this amazing album and you just can't help but love it. It will make you believe in the power of rock music again. Not just because it rocks your balls clean off (it does), but also because it's socially conscious without being too preachy, funny without being raunchy, and beautiful without being boring. All in all, it's one of the most amazing musical experiences that I've ever had, and one that will undoubtedly stay with me for years and years to come. Of all the albums that came out in 2006, only this one would have received a perfect 10 out of 10 Stars from me. In fact, of all the albums I've ever heard in my life, there's only about 3 or 4 other ones that could receive that honor. The Flaming Lips have blown my mind time after time, and every time I listen to "At War with the Mystics" I find new things to love about it. That's what being a musical genius is all about. Don't get it twisted, The Flaming Lips are the real deal. Even after two decades of being in the public eye, they continue to put out great music.

For that, The Flaming Lips cap off my list of the Top 31 Albums of 2006!

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #1
The Dears - "Ballad of Humankindness" from the album Gang of Losers.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: Everything But #1 (Recap)

Hooray! Just one more day left of this crazy, tedious series that I call the Top 31 of 2006. We've come a long way since it began, so let's have a look and see everything that we've gone over so far.

#31 - Camera Obscura: "Let's Get Out of This Country"
#30 - Mastodon: "Blood Mountain"
#29 - Destroyer: "Destroyer's Rubies"
#28 - Emily Haines: "Knives Don't Have Your Back"
#27 - The Mars Volta: "Amputechture"
#26 - Built to Spill: "You In Reverse"
#25 - The Killers: "Sam's Town"
#24 - Calexico: "Garden Ruin"
#23 - The Pipettes: "We Are the Pipettes"
#22 - The Divine Comedy: "Victory for the Comic Muse"

#21 - The Hidden Cameras: "Awoo"
#20 - Belle and Sebastian: "The Life Pursuit"
#19 - Neko Case: "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood"
#18 - Thom Yorke: "The Eraser"
#17 - Sufjan Stevens: "The Avalanche"
#16 - Bonnie "Prince" Billy: "The Letting Go"
#15 - I'm From Barcelona: "Let Me Introduce My Friends"
#14 - Tilly and the Wall: "Bottoms of Barrels"
#13 - Muse: "Black Holes and Revelations"
#12 - Joanna Newsom: "Ys"

#11 - Sia: "Colour the Small One"
#10 - Mates of State: "Bring It Back"
#9 - Headlights: "Kill Them with Kindness"
#8 - The Dears: "Gang of Losers"
#7 - Cursive: "Happy Hollow"
#6 - My Brightest Diamond: "Bring Me the Workhorse"
#5 - The Streets: "The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living"
#4 - The Decemberists: "The Crane Wife"
#3 - The Elected: "Sun, Sun, Sun"
#2 - Zero 7: "The Garden"

#31 - Neko Case - "Hold on, Hold on"
#30 - The Pipettes - "Pull Shapes"
#29 - Belle and Sebastian - "White Collar Boy"
#28 - Incubus - "Dig"
#27 - The Streets - "War of the Sexes"
#26 - Tilly and the Wall - "Bad Education"
#25 - Hellogoodbye - "Baby, It's a Fact"
#24 - Muse - "Supermassive Black Hole"
#23 - Zero 7- "Futures"
#22 - Destroyer - "European Oils"

#21 - The Killers - "When You Were Young"
#20 - I'm From Barcelona - "Treehouse"
#19 - Cursive - "Into the Fold"
#18 - Sia - "The Church of What's Happening Now"
#17 - Bonnie "Prince" Billy - "Cursed Sleep"
#16 - The Hidden Cameras - "Fee Fie"
#15 - The Flaming Lips - "The W.A.N.D."
#14 - Headlights - "Songy Darko"
#13 - Sufjan Stevens - "Adlai Stevenson"
#12 - Cursive - "Dorothy at Forty"

#11 - The Streets - "Never Went to Church"
#10 - The Decemberists - "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)"
#9 - The Dears - "Bandwagoneers"
#8 - My Brightest Diamond - "Something of an End"
#7 - The Divine Comedy - "To Die a Virgin"
#6 - Sufjan Stevens - "No Man's Land"
#5 - Mates of State - "Punchlines"
#4 - The Flaming Lips - "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Song"
#3 - The Elected - "Fireflies in a Steel Mill"
#2 - Camera Obscura - "Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken"

So there you have it! Thirty days later and this is where we are! Hooray for progress! Also, today is the last day to vote for YOUR favorite music of 2006 in the 3rd Annual Cale Awards!

A ballot can be found HERE.
Have a great day! I'll see you tomorrow.

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Top 31 of 2006: #2

Zero 7: "The Garden"
Released: June 6, 2006

Read what I'm about to write. It's important that you do. I absolutely, positively did not like Zero 7's "The Garden" the first time that I listened to it. Not one bit. At that point, my only familiarity with the group was Sia Furler, whose album I had been digging for a few months, and that "In the Waiting Line" song from the Garden State soundtrack. That's it. So I'm not sure what I was expecting, initially, but it must have been much different than what I actually heard. You see, when I first heard the album, I thought "That's nice" and then set it aside. A few weeks later when I had nothing else to listen to, I put it in. Whoah! I was immediately enthralled by the elaborate compositions, Sia's amazing voice, and some great lyrics. Not to mention Jose Gonzalez, who finally gives us a reason to know who he is. Honestly, I have not been able to find an album this year that is as flawless as this one, including my #1. There is simply nothing to hate about "The Garden." Nothing. Perfect music and vocals. Never overboard. Never boring. It is, by far, the one album that everyone, and I mean everyone (my dad likes it), can enjoy from start to finish! If you haven't heard it, I hate you! If you've heard it and you dislike it, give me your name, address, and most convenient time to pay you a visit. And then listen to it again! In my review for "The Garden" I stated, "If you don't like Zero 7, you don't like music!" I'm sticking with that.

For blowing me away...eventually, Zero 7 lands at #2.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #2
Camera Obscura - "Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken" from the album Let's Get Out of this Country.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #3

The Elected: "Sun, Sun, Sun"
Released: January 24, 2006

At the end of 2005, I was pretty clueless as to what great albums would be released this year. One thing I was eagerly anticipating, however, was the date January 24. On that day, the two important halves of Rilo Kiley would each release their own album. Jenny Lewis released "Rabbit Fur Coat" and Blake Sennet's "other band" would release "Sun, Sun, Sun!" Which one was I more eagerly anticipating? Jenny Lewis' album, to be sure. I loved The Elected's first album, but I had yet to hear what a Jenny Lewis solo album would sound like. I was pumped. Then the day finally came and Jenny Lewis did nothing but disappoint with her "I want to be an old-timey country singer" act. It got all the hype, however, while "Sun, Sun, Sun" was quietly swept under the rug of journalistic nonsense. Well, Audio Overflow wasn't around then, but it is now, and I'm here to say that "Sun, Sun, Sun" is not only worlds better than "Rabbit Fur Coat," but it's one of the absolute best albums to come out in 2006! Blake Sennet's songwriting skills have never been better, or more apparent, and the album flows from beginning to end with such whistful grace that it's easy to find yourself lost in it from time to time. It's been nearly a year since this album was released and it's still getting regular plays in my stereo! In a year where I've bought more albums than I did my first 18 years, that's saying a hell of a lot! So really, I know that Jenny Lewis rode the wave of hype this year all the way to Top 10 lists, but who are you going to trust? Trust me! The Elected stole the show on January 24, 2006, and now in December, they continue to pwn the hell out of Jenny Lewis. This is one album that everyone can enjoy!

For totally making me fall out of love with Jenny Lewis, The Elected is voted into the #3 spot.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #3
The Elected - "Fireflies in a Steel Mill" from the album Sun, Sun, Sun.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #4

The Decemberists: "The Crane Wife"
Released: October 3, 2006

The Decemberists signed to Capitol Records? Who would've thought? Even more so, who would've guessed that the band whose sound was so anti-mainstream would not only sign with a major record label, but stay true to their sound? I wasn't one of those people. The Decemberists have long had a special place in my heart. They released 3 solid albums in the last couple of years, so I was eagerly anticipating "The Crane Wife." But even all my familiarity with the band couldn't prepare me for the greatness of this album! Find me a bad song on this one. I dare you! Go ahead and try, but you won't be able to find one. There's not even a low point on the album. Straight from the start, the album never lets up. Sure, their appearance on The Colbert Report was extremely underwhelming, but that's to be expected from a Colbert special report. So just forget about that! Forget about what? Exactly! Try buying it. You'll love it!

For being so good that I can't write about how good it is but I struggle and end up just typing a paragraph of nonsense, The Decemberists make it to #4.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #4
The Flaming Lips - "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Song" from the album At War with the Mystics.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #5

The Streets: "The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living"
Released: April 25, 2006

It's not too often that I really like a rap album, or like one for more than a month for that matter. They are boring, uninventive, and generally lose all their appeal within a couple of listens. That's why so many rap stars are here today, gone tomorrow. Only the great live on in the hearts and minds of their fans years after they release an album. Go ahead and chalk up The Streets on my list of "Favorite Rappers Ever." This album is not Mike Skinner's first album, it's his third, and like most Americans who heard the first two, I was not pleased. Calling them rap was a disgrace to the rap genre (which itself is a disgrace to music). It was mostly a steady beat, and Mike talking. Yeah, not really my style, even if the lyrical content was through the roof (it was). But when "The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living" came out, I was shocked to hear not only one of the catchiest rap albums I've ever heard, but also one of the funniest and the best. The fact that Mike is British should be a huge side note on this one. Sure, it's blatantly obvious that he is, but even if he wasn't, the album would still be awesome. So buy it. Please.

For totally blowing my mind, The Streets make it in the top 5.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #5
Mates of State - "Punchlines" from the album Bring It Back.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #6

My Brightest Diamond: "Bring Me the Workhorse"
Released: August 22, 2006

What is there to say about Shara Worden and My Brightest Diamond that I haven't already said? Her voice is amazing. Her character is confusing. Her lyrics are somewhat strange, and I love everything about it! My Brightest Diamond is the best album to come from a female solo-artist this year! Bar none! Forget all the hype about K.T. What's-her-name or Corinne Boring Rae, thier popularity and hype is pushed by a few million dollars and major record labels. My Brightest Diamond's hype is centered around her talent and unique style of music. She gets it out there by touring endlessly, and perhaps leeching off of Sufjan Stevens a little too much. But still, this girl amazes me everytime I listen to her album, which is something I can't say about those other two artists. With every listen, everytime you press play, you'll discover something new to love about My Brightest Diamond. You'll have a new favorite song every week! You'll realize things you never realized before (like how an eerie amount of songs is about cute animals dying). And if all that isn't enough, you'll want to see her live (like I did), and it will amaze you to no end (just how does a 5'0" girl sing like an opera fat lady?). Are you getting it? Do you understand? I'm telling to buy "Bring Me the Workhorse" without hesitation. It will change your life!

For making me believe in magic, My Brightest Diamond swoops into the #6 spot!

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #6
Sufjan Stevens - "No Man's Land" from the album The Avalanche.

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Top 31 of 2006: #7

Cursive: "Happy Hollow"
Released: August 22, 2006

Talk about irony. When I finalized my list for the top 31 of 2006, back in late November, I did the math to see which band would be revealed on Christmas Day. Turns out, it's Cursive, the band that single-handedly tore Christianity a new one this year. So maybe that's not your thing. That's cool, it's not really mine either. But come on, to deny the awesomeness of "Happy Hollow" is to deny your carnal desire to rock out! Sure, the lyrical content may not be to your suiting, but who doesn't like a full brass section blaring while some guy is screaming about the big bang theory? Personally, I can't think of a better way to hear about the big bang. "Happy Hollow" is not the happiest album, but it's one of the most forceful albums of the year and surprisingly more vicious than Cursive's previous album "The Ugly Organ." So if you refuse to listen to it simply because of the lyrical content, well, you're really missing out on something special. Heathenistic, for sure. But a special kind of heathenism. That's something to have a "Merry Christmas" about.

For rocking my (and Jesus') balls off, Cursive lands in the #7 spot.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #7
The Divine Comedy - "To Die a Virgin" from the album Victory for the Comic Muse.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #8

The Dears: "Gang of Losers"
Released: October 3, 2006

Back in August, I released a little list that no one besides me read (because it was on this site). It listed my favorite Canadian albums of all time, and a little band called The Dears made it to #2 on that list with "No Cities Left." Then October rolls around and that same band drops "Gang of Losers" which, if it weren't for a couple songs, would undoubtedly be my #1 album of the year! Murray Lightburn just sings his heart out on this album, with such blind passion that it's both beautiful and frightening, often at the same time. When I first listened to it, I was really not all that impressed (I wasn't really listening). But for the sake of reviewing it, and because I'm a huge Dears fan, I kept on listening. My initial reaction was stupid! This album is better than "No Cities Left" in almost every imaginable way. The music is better, Murray's lyrics are better, and the girls are still unimaginably hot. So really, I know I've just been comparing this album to their last the whole time, but that's because The Dears are a band that's so unfathomably different (mostly by being simple, and earnest) from every other band today, that there is no appropriate comparison. Buy this album! Don't listen to 30 second clips on and then buy it. Just buy it. Because, honestly, "Gang of Losers" is an album that everyone can really enjoy, and it's an album that will rock your balls off and then make you cry about it. That's power!

For, well, rocking my balls off and then making me cry about it, I proudly present The Dears with my #8 spot.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #8
My Brightest Diamond - "Something of an End" from the album Bring Me the Workhorse.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #9

Headlights: "Kill Them With Kindness"
Released: August 29, 2006

We're finally into single digits, and I can think of no better way to welcome them in than with one of my absolute favorite albums of the year (after all, it is #9). For over a year now, I've subscribed to Under the Radar Magazine, probably the last remaining music album today (because it's actually just about music). In that period, the magazine has helped me discover plenty of music that I otherwise would have been oblivious to. The Dears, The Divine Comedy, The Hidden Cameras, The Most Serene Republic, Isabelle Campbell, The American Analog Set, Bell Orchestre, and Calexico just to name a few (or a lot, depending on your perspective). This year, I "discovered" Headlights, and I've been in love with this band ever since. Their debut album, "Kill Them With Kindness," is an amalgam of all sorts of different music; be it shoe gazing pop songs, upbeat beach tunes, or synth-heavy 80s throwbacks. The cool thing about it though, is that they do them all so well, that it doesn't even sound like you're listening to a different band on every track. That puts it light years ahead of bands like Fountains of Wayne, who rely solely on the "mix-tape" album for their appeal. No, Headlights is by far one of the best new artists of 2006, and their near-flawless album should not go unnoticed (even though it basically has).

For being the best "renaissance band" around, Headlights makes it to #9.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #9
The Dears - "Bandwagoneers" from the album Gang of Losers.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #10

Mates of State: "Bring It Back"
Released: March 21, 2006

"Bring It Back" was one of the first albums I ever reviewed, way back when Audio Overflow was still Cale is the Balls!!! As fate would have it, both Mates of State and myself remain the balls to this day! Of course, that's no special feat for a guy like me, but for a band that's one heck of an accomplishment! Back when it debuted, I hailed it as the first great album of 2006! As time passed, however, the undeniably catchy pop hooks of this duo began to wear a little thin on me. In fact, the only song from this album that I can still listen on repeat for hours is "Punchlines," a song I didn't even note as a Key Track when I reviewed it. So needless to say, a lot of things have changed since "Bring It Back" came out. But one thing is still certain; this is still a fantastic album. Any Mates of State fan who has yet to check it out isn't really a fan, and anyone else who hasn't heard it probably should be reading Rolling Stone, rather than Audio Overflow. Take my word for it (why wouldn't you?), "Bring It Back" is the most accomplished Mates of State album to date, as well as the most complex. So add it to your collection, or at least download it. Sure, I've moved on to bigger and better things for the most part, but it wasn't easy letting go of this one.

For staying adorable, Mates of State tip-toes their way into the top 10!

Top 31 Songs 2006: #10
The Decemberists - "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)" from the album The Crane Wife.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #11

Sia: "Colour the Small One"
Released: January 10, 2006

What a year for Sia Furler. Not only did the new Zero 7 come out to much critical acclaim (including a Grammy nomination), but her February 2004 release "Colour the Small One" finally made its way to the United States almost 2 years after its initial release. Some may argue that this really isn't a true 2006 release, but it is for me. And one of the great things about this album is that it has a very timeless sound to it. It's not a 2004-ish pop vocalist album, and nothing about it identifies it as a 2006 release. It's simply a really great album devoid of identifiable music trends. I've been listening to this album since I first got a hold of it around March of this year, and, to be honest, I haven't gotten tired of it yet. It's in my car stereo right now! That says a lot about the album, but it also says a whole lot about the talent of Sia Furler. So if there's one album you need to absolutely hear, it might just be this one. Who cares if it's three years too late? This is an absolutely brilliant album!

For showing her staying power, Sia graces the #11 spot.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #11
The Streets - "Never Went to Church" from the album The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: The First 20 - Recap

Almost done, let's see where we've come from.

#31 - Camera Obscura: "Let's Get Out of This Country"
#30 - Mastodon: "Blood Mountain"
#29 - Destroyer: "Destroyer's Rubies"
#28 - Emily Haines: "Knives Don't Have Your Back"
#27 - The Mars Volta: "Amputechture"
#26 - Built to Spill: "You In Reverse"
#25 - The Killers: "Sam's Town"
#24 - Calexico: "Garden Ruin"
#23 - The Pipettes: "We Are the Pipettes"
#22 - The Divine Comedy: "Victory for the Comic Muse"

#21 - The Hidden Cameras: "Awoo"
#20 - Belle and Sebastian: "The Life Pursuit"
#19 - Neko Case: "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood"
#18 - Thom Yorke: "The Eraser"
#17 - Sufjan Stevens: "The Avalanche"
#16 - Bonnie "Prince" Billy: "The Letting Go"
#15 - I'm From Barcelona: "Let Me Introduce My Friends"
#14 - Tilly and the Wall: "Bottoms of Barrels"
#13 - Muse: "Black Holes and Revelations"
#12 - Joanna Newsom: "Ys"

Thanks to the two of you who are keeping up with this list. Just 11 more days to go! Don't forget to cast your vote for the 3rd Annual Cale Awards! Winners will be announced on Dec. 31.

See you tomorrow!

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Top 31 of 2006: #12

Joanna Newsom: "Ys"
Released: November 14, 2006

Bring on the hate. I've been expecting it. Ever since I decided to put Joanna Newsom in the #12 spot over a month ago, I've pretty much known that many people would disagree with me. So I'd like to once again point out the superiority of my opinion in all things music. "Ys" is an amazing album. In only five songs, Joanna weaves intricate tales of meteors, or Monkeys and Bears and it all manages to sound cool. Yeah. Who would have thought that a creepy little house-ridden girl who plays the harp would be cool? I sure as hell didn't. So what if Joanna Newsom can't sing an "a" syllable? It's cute when she tries, right? Right! And I know that my initial reaction to her wasn't the most positive reaction possible, but come on! The bottom line is, Joanna Newsom is a fantastic, brilliant artist. Artistry of this caliber has not been seen elsewhere this year. Period! So do yourself a favor and experience "Ys."

For keeping me in awe, Joanna Newsom plucks her way into the #12 spot.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #12
Cursive - "Dorothy at Forty" from the album Happy Hollow.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #13

Muse: "Black Holes and Revelations"
Released: July 11, 2006

The music media is strange. While many of these people have given golf claps to Muse in the past, it wasn't until 2006 that they started dishing out the accolades. Really? I was under the impression that they released "The Origin of Symmetry" and "Absolution." I guess I'm mistaken, because it really couldn't have taken these high and mighty douches this long to finally acknowledge Muse as a really great band. Could it? Who knows? All I know is that, for the most part, "Black Holes and Revelations" is a disappointment. Most of the pure rock energy that fed their previous albums was shelved for a more mainstream sound. That's cool and all, but is it really their best album ever, as many are saying? Nah. It's their third best. So I'll go ahead and say it again, "Black Holes and Revelations" is a disappointment. But when a disappointment sounds this good, you know that you're listening to one of today's most impressive bands, along with one of the only bands remaining that still plays rock music. Say what you want about what they sacrificed on this album, or what it's lacking, but Muse is still doing things their way. This album is really a testament to that. Did I mention that it's freaking awesome?

For making me hate them, then love them, Muse rocks their way to #13.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #13
Sufjan Stevens - "Adlai Stevenson" from the album The Avalanche.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #14

Tilly and the Wall: "Bottoms of Barrels"
Released: May 23, 2006

Anyone who's ever been to a high school talent show knows at least one thing for sure. Tap dancing gets old. It gets old really quick. So if Tilly and the Wall was planning on milking the tap-dancing thing for as long as they could, I'm glad someone talked them out of it. Don't misunderstand, the tap-dancing is still there, and still unique. However, whereas their first album seemed to rely too heavily on the gimmicky nature of said tap-dancing, "Bottoms of Barrels" expands the band's unique sound to where the tap-dancing takes a backseat to awesome melodies, great instrumentation, and fun vocal performances. To say Tilly and the Wall is a gimmick might have been a somewhat valid point before 2006, but now you just have to swallow your shame and admit that, yeah, they do kind of have some talent there. I mean, they were on Letterman's show a few months ago, and they did do a pretty jam-up job. So who's gonna say they are a gimmick now? They are legitimate, and "Bottoms of Barrels" is proof of that!

For holding it down, Tilly and the Wall tap dance their way to #14.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #14
Headlights - "Songy Darko" from the album Kill Them With Kindness.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #15

I"m From Barcelona: "Let Me Introduce My Friends"
Released: June 12, 2006

The Polyphonic Spree sucked! They sucked worse than Mr. Big, and Mr. Big suuuuuuucked. So forgive me for having a little bit of apprehension before listening to I'm From Barcelona. There's over twenty people in this band (I think somewhere around 29 or so) so it's hard to take them seriously when you know that most of them won't do anything besides sing happy songs about Treehouses (which they do). But there's one thing that's absolutely certain about I'm From Barcelona, and that's the fact that they're undeniably irresistible. It's like listening to popcorn pop, then coating all of it in caramel. Let it cool, then eat it. You're eating I'm From Barcelona. How does it taste? Amazing? Yeah, I know. So forget the fact that it's one of those darned import albums. And forget the fact that there's way too many people in this band. If you let those two things hold you back, then you may very well be missing out on one of the coolest albums of the year. At the very least, you'll be missing out on one of the best albums ever made by a band with over twenty people in it. That's a promise. A promise from Cale. The best kind of promise!

For making me smile and want to climb a tree, I'm From Barcelona makes it to #15...that's the top half! Whoo!!!

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #15
The Flaming Lips - "The W.A.N.D." from the album At War with the Mystics.

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Top 31 of 2006: #16

Bonnie "Prince" Billy: "The Letting Go"
Released: September 19, 2006

Come one, come all. Who wants to say it first? Josh? Adams? Jeffers? If you guys actually kept up with this blog then you'd probably be commenting the hell out of this post. So let me go ahead and say it. I really like Bonnie "Prince" Billy's latest album. Like, really! So excuse me for maybe hinting that I thought he sucked. Forgive me for whining every time one of you attempted to play it in the car while I was in the passenger seat. But don't forgive me totally just yet. I'm still holding to the fact that every album before "The Letting Go" is utter crap! Terrible, god awful crap! I don't know this for sure, but saying it accomplishes two things. 1.) It lets me maintain some dignity and helps my opinion remain at a superior level, and 2.) it keeps me from having to stop listening to this one. Because let me tell you, all of you, something. "The Letting Go" is a great album. And trust me, it's the only decent Bonnie "Prince" Billy album there is. The rest of them suck taint.

For keeping me humble, Bonnie "Prince" Billy lands at #16.]

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #16
The Hidden Cameras - "Fee Fie" from the album Awoo.

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No. No upskirt pictures here. Just an apology and explanation. I'm sure no one has noticed, but I missed posting the #16 album of 2006 yesterday. I left to go to Dallas on Friday and just got home yesterday. I haven't been anywhere near a computer in that time, and if I had I wouldn't have been able to post it anyways because I forgot what #16 was (the list is on my computer). So I will try to post both #16 and #15 today (Sunday), but once again, I'm not making any guarantees. I am graduating this afternoon, so I may not be able to find the time to update. You'll get it by Monday for sure.


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Friday, December 15, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #17

Sufjan Stevens: "The Avalanche"
Released: July 11, 2006

How do you follow up one of the best albums of all time? You don't. You milk it for all it's worth. At least that seems to be Sufjan Stevens' plan. "The Avalanche," a collection of outtakes and extras was released this July, a year after his 2005 masterpiece "Illinois" came out. So the big question is, how is it? The answer is a resounding "fantastic!" Ever since Stevens' first foray into making albums about states, he hasn't really disappointed. In many ways, "The Avalanche" is so good that it really shouldn't be considered an outtakes album, but rather a sequel to "Illinois." It has the same spirit, craftmanship, and love as its predecessor, and it's even longer in minutes! So I ask you, everyone, what is not to love about this album? How can you not want to ride the hatch, just to try it out? Also, how can you not have mad respect for Sufjan Stevens? After releasing his album last year, he releases two this year! Over 60 songs in 2006 alone. And they're all pretty awesome. So admit it. You have a giant man crush on Sufjan Stevens. It's okay. I do too. But you already knew that.

For being awesome, Sufjan Stevens makes it to #17 on the list.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #17
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - "Cursed Sleep" from the album The Letting Go.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane: "Comfort Organs"

Since the "group's" inception in 2002, Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane has worked tirelessly to bring his legions of fans the newest and best music that he can possibly muster. Comfort Organs is a milestone for the one-man musical comedy act out of Conroe, TX. For one, the album is the tenth full-length album released by the artist. Additionally, the album may very well be the first Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane album to focus on songwriting and musicianship (while keeping it all about comedy) rather than throwing together random songs with random beats and random noises. His previous album, Brand New Sensation, was exactly that; a brand new sensation for fans. As such, perhaps the more suitable name for Comfort Organs should be "Brand Newer Sensation."

Comfort Organs begins with what may very well be one of Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane's most musically impressive songs to date. "Acts of Amusement for the Auspicious Architect" is about the artist's personal struggle with a maniacal genius bent on putting Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane in his "testicle machine." The Man laments, "Someone's got my balls in a clamp and I'm starting to cramp. Talk about your rotten luck!" Talk about your all-time best ways to begin an album. The song has the artist falsettoing his way through an arpeggiated segue that sounds so much like Muse that you'll forget you're listening to Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane. That is, of course, until he starts singing about testicles again.

The next song, "A Lingering Smell of Tuna from an Unidentified Source" features The Man's vocals at an unprecedented power-level. When he sings, "I think you're hiding something in a can!" I got chills and once again did a double-take at the album's liner notes. This song is followed by "The Black Kiss." If you don't know what the black kiss is, I definitely don't want to spoil the surprise. Suffice to say, it's gross. Here, the artist sings "I'm gonna give you the black kiss, baby" in what can only be described as a voice that's straight out of the trailer-park. The song starts off slow, and kind of boring, but it eventually gets pretty catchy, and don't be surprised if you find yourself singing along. Actually, go ahead and be surprised. This is a song about the black kiss, after all.

The next track is pretty self-explanatory. It's called "The Original Ending to a Song About Myspace Girls" It's only 26 seconds long, but it's hard not to like this one for it's sheer amount of craziness. It definitely makes you wonder what the rest of the song sounded like (if it even existed). "Movies" is a fairly decent song, but it may also be one of the weakest tracks on the album. It's about having a friend who's a girl, but that girl does stuff with all her other friends that she doesn't do with you. The Man's vocals are pretty good here, but the song itself seems to be lacking the "umph" that most Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane songs have.

If you've been keeping up with the development of Comfort Organs, you should already be acquainted with the next song, "Laguna Beach," about the infamous MTV show. In it, the artist vocalizes the thoughts of every guy ever forced to watch the show with his girlfriend/gay lover, singing "I don't care what you say. Laguna Beach is so freaking gay!" Which it is! He later laments, "I can't stand the people who can sit and watch this pile of poo. Another season justified as I die a little more inside." It's surprisingly funny, even in its subtlety, and is definitely one of the best Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane ballads ever.

"Golf Cart Serenade, You Are My Muse!" is a throwback to Brand New Sensation more than anything else. The lyrics don't make much sense but it's still a really fun song, just like most songs on that album. For example, the song begins with The Man singing "The tranny with a magnified light source came riding in the store on a white horse." All attempts to make sense out of these lyrics or any other on the song for that matter will likely be futile. The next song, however, is a little more straight forward. The title pretty much says it all, "How I Invented the Dirty Sanchez." Again, if you've been keeping up with this album, you should know this song. It's currently featured on Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane's Myspace page. It has a very catchy chorus and an equally as catchy beat. This is another standout on the album!

I'll go ahead and say it. "Love of the Lifelong Variety" is the best love song Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane has ever made. Written from the point of view of the stalker, you'll be amazed at how the song can be both creepy and endearing at the same time. This song is enough reason to buy the album. It's better than "Jamie Smiles" and "Glazed Rolls and Cinnamon Butter" combined! This song is followed up nicely by the much-welcomed remake of the classic Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane song "Staple Puller" from 2004's Do the Charleston! It's very much like its predecessor, only better produced, and with a much better beat! Any fan of the original has to check this one out!

"Rockin' the Mangina" is a fairly solid representative of many Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane songs of the past, in that its title is probably much better than the actual song. It's not a bad song, by any means, but hearing The Man rap is like listening to Wesley Willis sing. Still, the song features an eerily similar, yet still welcomed, resemblance to the standout track on 2005's These Few, "400 Sticks of Winterfresh Gum." Whereas that song involved the artist in a sketchy situation with his father, this one is with his mother. The chorus is catchy and the lyrics are funny, but the rest of it is forgettable.

"The Highest Level of Sanctimony" is yet another song about nothing, ala Brand New Sensation, while the following song, "Like Love" is another classic Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane ballad. If you don't pay attention, you'll think you're listening to a love song. Listen closely though, and you'll realize it's exactly the opposite. Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane has always had an uncanny ability to lay on the subtle humor, and this song is no different. It is a song that's funny in its lyrical content, and not its execution. It's also very very catchy and funny. Of course, if you were starting to doubt the artist's ability to cut loose and freak out, then the next song should be just the thing. "The Sweet Milk (Or What Have You)" is, you guessed it, a song about nothing. However, The Man has managed to make one of the coolest beats in recent BNATSC memory and capitalize on it with cool vocal effects and an unforgettable vocal performance!

From here, the album begins to wind down with yet another ballad, "Jesus Comes in the Climax," a song about a phenomenon that only regular church-goers would probably understand and/or find funny. Still, it's a bit humorous to hear Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane mimic contemporary praise and worship music. In fact, it makes the subject matter that much funnier. By the time the chorus comes along, you'll be thinking Jesus is right there with you (so be sure to lift your hands up)! After that, the album comes to a close with the title track, "Comfort Organs," a loud, in your face song that's the closest Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane will probably ever come to playing rock music (not counting the live tracks from 2004's live show). In it, the man talks about the difficulties of coming up with fresh, funny material after 250 songs! He sings, "I'm gonna be straight up, I'm not a funny guy...Everybody knows my hooks are bad, my beats are crap, my jokes are lame, and I still can't rap!" It's not so much funny as it is awesome! It'll definitely rock your balls of if you're not careful. So keep a tight grip on 'em.

Overall, Comfort Organs may very well be one of Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane's best albums ever, if not the best! Unlike his previous two albums, These Few and Brand New Sensation, Comfort Organs doesn't really have a song on it that feels like its out of place or just useless filler. In addition, the album doesn't really have a lot not to offer. Even if you don't find Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane's musical content humorous, you'll still like the hooks and the music itself. The artist has definitely matured a lot over his 4 1/2 years as Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane, but if anything it has only helped him to reach a broader, more diversified audience. Whether you're a long-time fan of Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane, or completely oblivious to one of the most creative minds in musical comedy today, Comfort Organs is simply an album that's too good to pass up.

Recommended for fans of Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane, and anyone who wants to know what the black kiss really is.

Key Tracks:
1. "A Lingering Smell of Tuna From an Unidentified Source"
2. "Laguna Beach"
3. "How I Invented the Dirty Sanchez"
4. "Love of the Lifelong Variety"
5. "The Sweet Milk (Or What Have You)"

7 out of 10 Stars

Purchase the album here!

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Top 31 of 2006: #18

Thom Yorke: "The Eraser"
Released: July 11, 2006

If you still like Radiohead, the consensus seems to be that you'll really like Thom Yorke's first official solo outing. Fair enough. I believe I even stated back in my review in July that this album is good enough to hold me over until Radiohead's next album (which better come out). Has it? Not really. You see, "The Eraser" is a very very cool album. When it was released I praised it's ability to be simplistic and still seem complex. After about a month, though, you realize just how simplistic it is. It's a loop, most often, and Thom Yorke singing. Don't discredit it though. These are pretty cool loops, and Thom is still a pretty talented vocalist. But after you listen to it a dozen times, there's nothing left to experience. You've heard everything. There's nothing new to find. It's like a pop album, but lacking in strong hooks. With the exception of "This is f*cked up, f*cked up. " there's not really a hook that will catch you and keep you listening. As such, I'd like to change my initial rating from a 5 out of 5 Stars to a 7 out of 10 Stars. This is an incredible album, but far from perfect. That being said. Get it. If you don't, you might be an idiot. Just maybe....

For giving me one of the best months ever, Thom Yorke (read Tom York) is presented with this fabulous spot on my list.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #18
Sia - "The Church of What's Happening Now" from the album Colour the Small One.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #19

Neko Case: "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood"
Released: March 7, 2006

Are you listening? Good. Listen, we need to talk. Take off your Rabbit Fur Coat and have a seat. Right over there. OK. Now, I understand what you're going for. Patsy Cline was a cool chick back in her day. I might have even compared the two of you before this year. But things have changed. Don't cry. I'm not attacking you. I'm just saying, you don't have to try to be Patsy Cline. Just be yourself. You were a cool girl before this year, but you blew it. Your lyrics were always cool, and a bit quirky. But when you try to be Patsy Cline, you just come off as a bit retarded. It doesn't work. I was all for listening to your first solo-album, but come on! Who are you trying to fool? Besides, Neko Case's album came out two months after yours and just put you to shame. It's okay to quit now and just go back to what you're used to. None of us will care. We love you. That's why I'm talking to you like this. I just want you to realize that we love you, and we always will as long as you never make another solo-album again. At least not like this one. It's just not worth it. Do you understand, Jenny? Good. Now go out there and show us why we love you!

For making me say, "Jenny who?" Neko Case cracks the Top 20 of 2006.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #19
Cursive - "Into the Fold" from the album Happy Hollow.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #20

Belle and Sebastian: "The Life Pursuit"
Released: February 7, 2006

Say what you will about Belle and Sebastian. "They're gay!" "Their music is dumb!" "I'd rather smash my head into a brick wall than listen to Belle and Sebastian!" I don't care about you or what you think! Do you have your own blog that gets at least 3 regular visitors? Hell no! And the reason for that is pretty crystal clear from where I'm sitting. It's because your opinions aren't valid! So shut the hell up! "The Life Pursuit" is the first Belle and Sebastian album I've ever bought and/or listened to in its entirety. And guess what? It's awesome! If cinnamon toast had a distinctive sound, it would sound like Belle and Sebastian. It's all sweet and innocent and you just want to eat it all up! So yeah, their music may be kinda gay and maybe a little dumb, but a song like "White Collar Boy" or "Sukie in the Graveyard" is irresistible. Admit it! You love Belle and Sebastian! You want to receive Belle and Sebastian's seed! It's okay. Everyone else wants to do the same thing, and they won't admit it either. So go ahead and hang out with your loser friends who are "too cool" to admit that they like Belle and Sebastian! If that's your thing, that's your thing. Me? I'm gonna be over here by myself smiling, laughing, dancing, and snapping my effing fingers! And I'm cool with that! Get over yourself! Belle and Sebastian is the balls!

For making me all defensive and undeniably cute at the same time, Belle and Sebastian make it to #20.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #20
I'm From Barcelona - "Treehouse" from the album Let Me Introduce You to My Friends.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #21

The Hidden Cameras: "Awoo"
Released: September 19, 2006

If Kermit the Frog was in his mid-thirties (rather than an ageless muppet) and sang "gay church music," chances are he would sound much like Joel Gibb, the lead singer of The Hidden Cameras. That being said, there's not a whole lot to cry about on "Awoo." It's a largely carefree album done right, which is really difficult to accomplish. I tried it a couple of times as Butt Nugget and the Silent Cane, Mates of State has done it a couple times, and Tilly and the Wall did it once. But other than that, I can't think of anyone to actually pull it off besides these guys. So to say that "Awoo" is fun doesn't really do it justice. There's more to it than that. It's creative, refreshing, beautiful at times ("Fee Fie"), and full of happiness. Add fun into that, and you should be tapping your toes in no time, unless of course you had both your feet chopped off in a tragic accident. Even then though, when life is as bleak and sorrowful as possible, you're still gonna want to tap your stubs on the ground, assuming that they'll reach now. Here's the point: it's a good album; a really, really, good album! And it's fun! There were a lot of good albums released this year, and this is one of the best!

For helping the one footless person who may actually listen to this album enjoy life a little more, The Hidden Cameras make it to #21.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #21
The Killers - "When You Were Young" from the album Sam's Town.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: The Bottom 10 - Recap

10 days in and this is already starting to get old. Oh well. The really good albums are coming up starting tomorrow and will continue all the way to #1! What's it gonna be? Stay tuned to find out!

If you've missed out on any of the countdown thus far, here's a short list to get you caught up!

#31 - Camera Obscura: "Let's Get Out of This Country"
#30 - Mastodon: "Blood Mountain"
#29 - Destroyer: "Destroyer's Rubies"
#28 - Emily Haines: "Knives Don't Have Your Back"
#27 - The Mars Volta: "Amputechture"
#26 - Built to Spill: "You In Reverse"
#25 - The Killers: "Sam's Town"
#24 - Calexico: "Garden Ruin"
#23 - The Pipettes: "We Are the Pipettes"
#22 - The Divine Comedy: "Victory for the Comic Muse"

#31 - Neko Case - "Hold on, Hold on"
#30 - The Pipettes - "Pull Shapes"
#29 - Belle and Sebastian - "White Collar Boy"
#28 - Incubus - "Dig"
#27 - The Streets - "War of the Sexes"
#26 - Tilly and the Wall - "Bad Education"
#25 - Hellogoodbye - "Baby, It's a Fact"
#24 - Muse - "Supermassive Black Hole"
#23 - Zero 7- "Futures"
#22 - Destroyer - "European Oils"

Additionally, if you're reading this and you haven't yet casted your vote for the 3rd Annual Cale Awards, CLICK HERE to get a ballot in to me. The deadline is December 30th, and the winners will be announced on the 31st. Will your favorite artists make the cut? Not if you don't vote!

"See" you tomorrow!

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Top 31 of 2006: #22

The Divine Comedy: "Victory for the Comic Muse"
Released: June 19, 2006

I had never heard of The Divine Comedy until a few months ago, so I definitely have some catching up to do. It also means that I'm close to two decades behind the rest of the world. My excuse is that I'm American, but I'm not sure if will actually suffice as a legitimate excuse. Regardless, "Victory for the Comic Muse" is brilliant all around. Masterful arrangements, moving lyrics, humor; they're all here. And they are relentless. If "To Die a Virgin" doesn't put a grin on your face, you may be lacking a pulse. If "A Lady of a Certain Age" doesn't make you think, you may be lacking a mind. And if "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" doesn't make you "WTF" all over yourself, you're probably a Briton in your 30s. It certainly is a wonderful collection of songs, and a noteworthy one at that. As far as 2006 goes, it is definitely a sleeper hit. So check it out. After all, I said so.

For totally ripping off Electric Light Orchestra and making it sound only moderately homosexual, The Divine Comedy sneaks into the #22 spot.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #22
Destroyer - "European Oils" from the album Destroyer's Rubies.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #23

The Pipettes: "We Are the Pipettes"
Released: July 17, 2006

They sing "We are the Pipettes and we have no regrets. If you haven't noticed yet, we're the prettiest girls you've ever met!" and I think, "Oh yeah, I've noticed." And I've been noticing for some time now. I noticed the first time I read about them in Under the Radar Magazine. I noticed when I first got my hand on their album and fell in love with everything about it. And I noticed when "Dirty Mind" started playing on the #1 show in America, Grey's Anatomy. So again, I must repeat myself. Oh yeah, I've noticed. And if The Pipettes still have any doubt about people noticing them, it should be silenced. People are noticing. And people are liking. They have the same kind of sound that Camera Obscura boasts, only poppier, dirtier, and (admittedly) girlier. But what's not to love about 3 hot British chicks dancing around in matching polka-dot dresses and singing about the joys of one night stands? Honestly, I can't think of a thing. Getting a hold of this one will cost you a nice hunk of change, as it's import only, but honestly, you're dumb not to.

For giving me more pleasure audibly than visually (surprisingly), The Pipettes are #23.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #23
Zero 7- "Futures" from the album The Garden.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Top 31 of 2006: #24

Calexico: "Garden Ruin"
Released: April 11, 2006

It's a shame when something like Calexico sounds fresh. It's not that it isn't, it is, but Calexico is really a perfect example of what music should sound like. You don't always need to be inventive. You don't need to have complex compositions, full backing orchestras, an enigmatic frontman, a hit single. You just need to play your music and enjoy doing it. Judging from their 2006 release, "Garden Ruin," Calexico may very well be the best band around today, and music's last-remaining hope. Why #24 then? Because though Calexico may be amazing and pure, that doesn't mean everything they do is phenominal. "Garden Ruin" is good, no doubt, but there is so much potential in this album that either goes untapped or unnurtured that most of it falls flat. There are brushes with brilliance, like the haunting "Yours and Mine" or the beautiful "Roka." But the latter moments of the album drift off and never really amount to anything. Despite this, however, one thing is for sure. If Calexico isn't one of the greatest American bands around today, then they sure do a good job of pretending to be.

For totally pwning most other bands, Calexico makes it to #24.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #24
Muse - "Supermassive Black Hole" from the album Black Holes and Revelations.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

(News) Grammy Noms. In (A Few Surprises)

Typically, this is how it goes. Whoever makes the most headlines, whoever does the most campaigning, whoever has the biggest studio backing them, that's the artist that will win the Grammy. Same thing this year. But it's nice to see that some decent artists made the list this year, artists that are minor artists on major labels.

Like Death Cab for Cutie, nominated for Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "I Will Follow You Into the Dark." It just so happened to by my #2 song of 2005.

Another one, Zero 7's "The Garden" is nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album.

The Flaming Lips are nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for "The Wizard Turns On" as well as Best Alternative Music Album for "At War With the Mystics."

Really though, I doubt any of these deserving bands will win. Death Cab is up against the faaaaaarrrr superior "My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas. Zero 7 is up against the Madonna juggernaut. The Flaming Lips may win the Best Rock Instrumental Performance if they can overcome the Arctic Monkeys, who have had essentially every media outlet shazaam! all over them. They won't win the other category, as they are up against Gnarls Barkley. I listened to that album, it was pretty god-awful.

So here's hoping that people recognize good music when they hear it. Considering that "Stadium Arcadium" and "Dani California" are nominated for almost everything, I doubt that'll come to pass. Too bad.

For the complete list of nominees, click here. The Grammy Awards air sometime soon. Who cares when?

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Top 31 of 2006: #25

The Killers: "Sam's Town"
Released: October 3, 2006

I was On Top of the world before my Bones broke. I called up my Uncle Johnny to see if he could offer any sort of remedy. He said, "We'll go to Sam's Town. I know a guy named Andy who's got some good stuff. Don't worry. Everything Will Be Alright." He came over and helped me into the passenger seat of his car. We drove off. For Reasons Unknown, I felt save with Johnny. He was never really high up on My List of of favorite people. But tonight was different. An hour into the trip he began to tell me a story. "When You Were Young," he said, "Somebody Told Me you could Read My Mind. I knew this girl named Jenny, you see? Jenny was a Friend of Mine, and everyday I would count down the time until I got to see her next. Then one day I thought to myself, Why Do I Keep Counting? And you were there, and you answered my question for me. You said, 'Because you're Mr. Brightside!' You were right. Can you still read minds?" I looked at him, perplexed. He started laughing, and I cracked a smile. "C'mon," he said, "Smile like you mean it!" "Let's just get to Sam's Town," I said. "There's a Midnight Show I'm going to see tonight with Natalie." "Are you sure she's gonna be down for going with a cripple like yourself?" he asked. "Believe me, Natalie is better than that," I replied. "She's not after Bling and she's not into my high status because of All These Things That I've Done. She's just cool." He didn't believe me. "Just wait. You'll meet her one day. She'll Change Your Mind." We arrived in Sam's Town a few minutes later and we met up with Andy. He gave me some magical elixir that was supposed to heal my bones. Five minutes passed, and I was shocked to see that everything was back to normal. "Andy, You're a Star!" I exclaimed. And I went on my way...

For embedding catchy songs into my mind and having them weave throughout my every thought, The Killers make it to #25 on my Top 31 Albums of 2006.

Top 31 Songs of 2006: #25
Hellogoodbye - "Baby, It's a Fact" from the album Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

(News) Of Montreal Announces 2007 Tour Dates

When you're Of Montreal, touring is just a part of life. The band has one of the most hectic and constant tour schedules around, usually spanning over 300 of those 365 days each year. 2007 will have the band visiting the Lone Star State twice in the first few months, so get your tickets now!

Of Montreal Winter 2007 Tour

AA=All Ages
* w/ A Hawk And A Hacksaw
** w/ Enon
*** w/ Elekibass
$ w/ Grand Buffet & Mixel Pixel
$$ w/ Grand Buffet
% w/ Peachcake

1-19 - Memphis, TN - HiTone AA *
1-20 - New Orleans, LA - Republic 18+ *
1-21 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit AA *
1-22 - Lubbock, TX - Jake's Backroom AA *
1-23 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad AA *
1-24 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse AA %
1-25 - Park City, UT - Music On Main at Sundance AA
1-26 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey AA **
1-27 - Los Angeles, CA - Avalon AA **
1-28 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour AA **
1-30 - San Diego, CA - SOMA AA **
1-31 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Attic AA **
2-1 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill AA **
2-2 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall AA **
2-3 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall AA **
2-5 - Arcata, CA - Kate Buchanan Hall @ Humboldt St Univ. 18+ **
2-6 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom AA **
2-7 - Vancouver, BC - Richards On Richards 19+
2-8 - TBA
2-9 - Seattle, WA - Showbox AA **
2-10 - Eugene, OR - W.O.W. Hall AA **
2-12 - Sacramento, CA - Union Ballroom @ Sacramento St AA **
2-13 - Las Vegas, NV - TBA
2-14 - Tuscon, AZ - Rialto AA **
2-16 - Austin, TX - Emo's AA ***
2-17 - Houston, TX - Numbers AA ***
2-18 - Dallas, TX - Gypsy Ballroom 17+ ***
2-19 - Norman, OK - Meacham Auditorium @ Univ.of OK AA ***
2-20 - Lawrence, KS - Granada AA ***
2-21 - Columbia, MO - Blue Note AA ***
2-22 - St Louis, MO - Mississippi Nights AA ***
2-23 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree AA ***
2-24 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse AA ***
3-5 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle AA $
3-6 - Fall's Church, VA - State Theatre 18+ $
3-7 - Clinton, NY - The Annex @ Hamilton College AA $
3-8 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero AA $
3-9 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza 16+ $
3-10 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza 16+
3-11 - Boston, MA - Avalon AA $$
3-12 - Montreal, QC - La Tulipe AA $$
3-13 - Toronto, ON - Opera House AA $$
3-14 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick AA $$
3-15 - Chicago, IL - Cabaret Metro AA $$
3-16 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue AA
3-17 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre AA
3-19 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom AA
3-20 - Newport, KY - Southgate House 18+
3-21 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge 18+
3-22 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle AA
3-23 - Columbia, SC - Headliners 16+
3-24 - TBA
3-29 - Gainesville, FL - Abbey Road 18+
3-30 - Miami, FL - Studio A AA
3-31 - Orlando, FL - The Club At Firestone AA
4-1 - Jacksonville, FL - Freebird Live AA
4-2 - Tallahassee, FL - The Moon AA

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