Saturday, January 06, 2007

Top Ten Music of 2006

I gotta say, I didn’t buy a lot of new music for the second year in a row. I have close to 1200 CD’s and this year, I really tried to enjoy what I have before going apeshit and buying new stuff. I also discovered the wonderful world of Bit-Torrent files and have been downloading oodles of concerts, bootlegs and new releases. I’m a bad person…but I attend a lot of concerts and buy CD’s from smaller artists so…neener. I support artists in other ways. That being said…away we go!

10. CALEXICO Garden Ruin
I really like Calexico, but they can be a wee bit droney…such is the case with "Garden Ruin." Yet every once in a while lead singer Joey Burns will come off with a nice vocalization or the band will put together a song that is so rich and diverse and cool it just sucks you right in. I think "Garden Ruin"is a nice way to get into the band but I still prefer the collaboration they did with “Iron and Wine” as well as last years (or 2004’s?) “Convict Pool.”

9. RACONTEURS Broken Boy Soldiers
Yeah, yeah…hipter alt douche bag music by White Striper Jack White. Only, the thing is, it’s not. This is a good ole rock album that has hints of the 70’s mixed perfectly with modern noise. I’m a marginal fan of “The White Stripes,” but am becoming a big fan of Jack White. If you like rock music, you’ll like this album.

8. JACKIE GREENE American Myth
I dig Jackie Greene. My wife and I saw him summer before last and he was like he sounded on his albums: a young Bob Dylan knockoff…with more pizzazz and less introspection. Yet this new album is Greene really spreading his wings and I think a lot of it has to do with producer Steve Berlin adding horns, organ, percussion and groove to Greene’s folky/roots based songwriting. “So Hard to Find My Way” is one of my favorite songs of the year and it’s going to be fun seeing Jackie Greene continue to grow as an artist.

7. Old Crow Medicine Show Big Iron World
Take some bluegrass, mix it with folk, rock, jazz. Add doses of realism, humor and heartbreak and you’d be getting close to what “Old Crow Medicine Show” sounds like. This might just be one of the best driving records ever made (as in, you put it in while you’re driving) and there’s a lot of fun sing-along moments to be had. I really want to see these guys badly and had I got the album earlier in the year, it would probably rank higher.

6. Drive by Truckers A Blessing and a Curse
Man, I feel bad putting these guys at 6…I thought they’d be higher. I guess I feel stronger than I thought about my top 5 because the DBT’s are badass. This album gets away from their whole Southern roots thang, sorta. Their other albums are like college courses in Southern culture and history…which is cool. To an extent. The thing is, I’m not much of a history buff and could really care very little about a place I’ve never been (sorry, but it’s true. Would the DBT’s want to hear my tales of Petaluma? Doubtful.) but this album is more open. And more cock-rock guitar heavy. It’s the kind of album that makes you play your steering wheel like a guitar. Yet, come to think of it, it really slows down after the ass-kicking song “Aftermath U.S.A.” Still worth a listen and a good intro to a great band.

Top 5 coming later today...

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