Monday, January 01, 2007

Rockin 2006 Away

2007 begins its life today, and now would be a fine time to reflect on the pieces of music that stood out in 2006. I felt having a handful of my favorite bloggers contribute to this “best of” list would be agreeable and interesting, and a good way for all of us to see a different side of them outside of their respected blogs and day jobs.

Even when I am at my most partisan, I have always enjoyed reading opinions from the bloggers that have contributed their favorite musical pieces here. If a bleeding heart crybaby liberal can enjoy the same record as a totalitarian pissed off fascist, than there is hope in this world. Not that any of us fall into either of those categories…some of us tend to be reactionary proletarian supremacists, so there.

I would like to thank all of those who helped out with this piece up front; it was a real treat to see what type of music sparked your interest this previous year. I wish all of you (and this includes you the reader) the best of luck in 2007. It is sure to be an interesting one!

Snoopy the Goon – Simply Jews

I was hard put to answer the question. I guess I am stuck in jazz and blues stuff to pay much attention to the goings-on.

1. This year I have discovered this promising lady from NYC: Regina Spektor.

She needs a lot of work, and one could safely skip the video clips, but her latest disk "Begin to hope" is very promising.

2. Yellowjackets - Twenty five

That was a real bliss for me. That old-fashioned I am.

3. Oh, and there is one local lady - Rona Keynan who is totally not in the pack. But I would not enforce her songs on a listener abroad.

Jams O’donnell – The Poor Mouth

Being a bit of an old fart who's set in his musical ways (well a forty something) I don't buy an awful lot of new stuff. Actually I haven't really bought very much at all this year but here goes...

1) Ole Tarantula - Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3.

If you read the Poor Mouth you will know that I am just a little bit of a Robyn fan but I am not the sort that would hail a recording of him reading from the Dunfermiline phone directory as an artistic triumph! Quite seriously this is one of Robyn's best works. I isn't quite on par with, say Underwater Moonlight or Fegmania but it is certainly not stand out tracks include Adventure Rocket Ship ( click here to see the promo video on you tube) , Belltown Rumble and N Y Doll.

2) Hawkwind - Take Me to your Future

Actually this is a bit more of a promo than an album. It is also the first dual disc I've ever purchased (CD one side, DVD on the other). The CD side consists of just 5 tracks including what must be the definitive version of their one major UK hit Silver Machine and the Reality of Poverty an interesting collaboration with Arthur Brown (who had also appeared on 2005's Take Me to Your Leader). The DVD side is mainly a selection of videos that are scheduled for release or re-release. In a richer year musically I would not have chosen this record. Nevertheless it shows that there is still a lot of life in the band after 37 years and numerous line up changes.

3) Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death

I must admit to being partial to a bit of Heavy Metal (of the spandex and long hair era) and, surprisingly I'm not ashamed to say so! Iron Maiden are a band well past their peak - they hadn't produced a really good album since the 80s - but this is an excellent return to past form.

Ron Coleman – Likelihood of Confusion

I don't think it was a great year for tunes. Here are three I was happy to hear, though.

1. Panic at the Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies

Great hook, very melodramatic, tells an absolutely illogical story completely incoherently. Did I say great hook?

2. UGK – Ridin Dirty

Another great hook, urgent and dangerous and menacing as urban music should be, great imagery.

3. Shakira - Hips Don't Lie

Really, if you listen enough, you realize what a mess of a hodgepodge this is, but Shakira makes it work.

Matt Murrell – An Insomniac

1. Muse – Knights of Cydonia

It's everything a Muse song should be: bombastic, odd, over-the-top and with some great guitar work. The best thing on the recent album and one of the best Muse songs ever. Altogether now: "No-one's gonna take me alive!"

2. Killers – When you were young

I wasn't a big fan of their first album. In fact I came to hate some of the tracks. Which is why this song caught me off-guard. It's difficult to say exactly why I love it so much, though the line "He doesn't look a thing like Jesus" was what hooked me at first. There's just a certain something to it, darker and more mature perhaps? There aren't many songs that force me to completely reconsider how I see a band.

3. Chris Cornell – You know my name

Theme song to the recent Bond film. What more do I need to say?

Roland Dodds – But I am a Liberal! (Yours Truly)

I used to buy an insane number of records, but adult responsibilities and my inkling for changing careers every year has forced me to pick up only a handful of records this year. I figured that I could have over-thought my favorites and over-analyzed my reasoning for picking them, so I ended up picking the 3 records that instantly came to mind when reflecting on 2006.

1. Johann Johannsson – IBM 1401

This Icelandic modernist composer can do no wrong in my opinion. Bringing the best aspects of classical music together with the better parts of electronic composition has allowed this man to enter a soft spot in my heart. A wonderful record that can be enjoyed by your grandparents and your hipster friends alike.

2. Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped

You know you are getting old when your school students don’t know who Sonic Youth is. None the less, this band keeps chugging along, forcing themselves to push their own personal boundaries and expectations, and that is why this record makes my list. With most of its members pushing 50, I can only dream of the musical accomplishments these folks will produce in the next decade.

3. Justin Timberlake – Futuresex/ Livesounds

Yea, I put it on my list! Deal with it! Now that I am an “old man”, I don’t have to worry about acting cool, I can bump Justin Timberlake confidently from my car as I drive around town. The boy truly is the new King of Pop, and with records this strong, he deserves the honor.

I hope the New Year brings all of you great blessings, and thanks again for showing me support on my first blogging year!


PBK said...

Congrats on your first year, and many more to come!

Anonymous said...

Timberlake? You sell you!

(Covers up Timberlake poster in room)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for everything, Roland, and Happy New Year to you too.

But now I realise what kind of a dinosaur I am ;-)

jams o donnell said...

A nicely eclectic choice of music Roland. We leapt into the blogosphere at more or less the same time. Here's to a long time more of this sort of thing!

Roland Dodds said...

Thanks Jams and Snoopy, and I would say all of our choices reflect our “old man status”. But since un-cool is the new cool, I say we are all doing pretty well!