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Best CDs of 2006


JohnO

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OK, here's a list in no particular order of my favorites from last year -

Favorites (12 in all) -

Bob Dylan - Modern Times

New York Dolls - Someday It Will Please Us To

Remember Even This

Alarm Clocks - The Time Has Come

Hank Williams III - Straight To Hell

Pernice Brothers - Live A Little

Tom Waits - Orphans

Kaiser George & The Hi-Risers - Transatlantic

Dynamite

Sparks - Hello Young Lovers

Radio Birdman - Zeno Beach

T Bone Burnett - True False Identity

Ray Davies - Other Peoples' Lives

Sal Valentino - Come Out Tonight

Runner-Ups -

Ginger - Valor Del Corazon

God Damn Whores - We Are The Lucky 13

Dion - Bronx In Blues

Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome

Black Keys - Chulahoma (EP)

Sprague Brothers - Changing The World, One Chick

At A Time

You Am I - Convicts

Big George Brock - Round 2

Solomon Burke - Nashville

Chris Von Sneidern - California Redemption Value

Butch Walker & The Let's Go Out Tonights - Rise

& Fall

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, I'm

Not

Howard Tate - Live & Portrait of Howard

Dirty Pretty Things - Waterloo To Anywhere

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I didn't think 2006 was a particularly good year for new CDs.However I didn't get to listen to most of the CDs you have named. So perhaps it was better than I think. I would love to hear the Chris Von Sneidern (a popdude fave I believe), Pernice Brothers, Sparks and Arctic Monkeys CDs but have no interest in the Springsteen,Dylan,Burke,Dion,TBone and Hank Williams III latest fare. (Bruce, please get back with the E street band and make a Rock and Roll record) I have a copy of the Ray Davies sitting at home still unplayed.Most of the other artists The only one on your list that I did hear and like was The New York Dolls.

However I did like these CDs as much or more than the New York Dolls CD:

Charlotte Morton -Stromata

My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade

The Fray - How To Save A Life

K T Tunstall- Eye To The Telescope

Evanescence - The Open Door

The Killers - Sam's Town

I was wondering if you were familiar with the Charlotte Morton CD (possibly my fave)?

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actually, i thought it was the best year since 2001...

and i still have yet to get my hands on the new JOHAN disc, which will most likely be a top 5 contender....

1. PERNICE BROTHERS- Live A Little (Ashmont)

2. JARVIS COCKER- The Jarvis Cocker Record (Rough Trade- UK import)

3. ED HARCOURT- The Beautiful Lie (Heavenly/EMI- UK import)

4. BADLY DRAWN BOY- Born In The U.K. (Astralwerks) 5 points

5. THE SLEEPY JACKSON- Personality (One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird) (Astralwerks)

6. KEANE- Under The Iron Sea (Interscope)

7. THE FRATELLIS- Costello Music (Universal/Island/Drop The Gun- UK import)

8. ARCTIC MONKEYS – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (Domino)

9. NEW YORK DOLLS- One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This (Roadrunner)

10. THE LEMONHEADS- The Lemonheads (Vagrant)

Honorable mentions:

BELLE & SEBASTIAN – The Life Pursuit (Matador)

SMART BROWN HANDBAG – Harry Larry (Stonegarden)

BEN KWELLER – Ben Kweller (ATO)

THE HOLD STEADY – Boys And Girls In America (Vagrant)

THE COUP – Pick A Bigger Weapon (Epitaph)

THE SOUNDS – Dying To Say This To You (New Line)

RHETT MILLER – The Believer (Verve Forecast)

HAMELL ON TRIAL – Songs For Parents Who Enjoy Drugs (Righteous Babe)

GOLDFRAPP – Supernature (Mute)

BUTCH WALKER – The Rise And Fall Of Butch Walker

EDITORS – The Back Room (Kitchenware)

PRIMAL SCREAM – Riot City Blues (Columbia)

ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 – Olé! Tarantula (Yep Roc)

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE – The Black Parade (Reprise)

THE RAPTURE – Pieces Of The People We Love (Mercury/Universal)

THE STROKES – First Impressions Of Earth (RCA)

LLOYD COLE – Anti Depressant (One Little Indian)

MORRISSEY – Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Sanctuary)

KASABIAN – Empire (RCA)

SCREEN TEST – Inspired Humans Making Noise: An Anthology 1980-1986 (Air Mail – Japanese import)

THE DIVINE COMEDY – Victory For The Comic Muse (Parlophone)

GOLDEN SMOG – Another Fine Day (Lost Highway)

THE RAKES – Capture/Release (V2 Intl)

RICHARD ASHCROFT – Keys To The World (Virgin)

RAY DAVIES – Other People’s Lives (V2)

THE DECEMBERISTS – The Crane Wife (Capitol)

SEAN LENNON – Friendly Fire (Capitol)

TOM WAITS – Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (Anti)

THE WALKMEN – Pussy Cats (Record Collection)

PAUL WESTERBERG – Open Season (Lost Highway)

NEIL YOUNG – Living With War (Reprise)

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I believe I mentioned 6 of the CDs that Pat brought up...and I totally forgot about The Hold Steady's latest, which would have been 7 in common....which is better than I've been doing against most of the various music mags' Best of '06 lists.

A comment or two for Tommy....hey, that's your prerogative regarding not having any interest in some of those I named, but....for the most part, those artists didn't dish out their usual offerings. Dion's is just an acoustic guitar and his still-magnificent voice, doing old blues tunes. Solomon B. did a C&W album. T Bone's latest is an excellent Tom Waits album, only without the to-some-annoying voice, and Dylan's features what has to be the best band on Earth (including Texas guitar legend Denny Freeman), and the new songs need to be heard live and LOUD to truly enjoy them! Hank III's is an absolute revelation compared to his first 2 LPs, and is a huge thumbing of the nose and poke in the eye to Nashville (III recorded it at home on a 4-track recorder), as well as containing a 2nd disk that can only be described as the C&W equivalent of "Smile"....this coming from a guy whose live show consists of 3 sets - a C&W set, usually including several of Grandpappy's songs, a rockabilly set, and then Assjack, his heavy speed metal band. He's as much a rebel as the original Hank ever was.

The thing about the Dolls' comeback CD is the seamless way in which the tunes fit into their classics from the first 2 LPs. If Eric & co. do a new CD of all-new material, and it's as good as their 70's originals, we'll all feel as if we died and went to heaven, I believe. David Jo and Syl pulled this off.

Nope, not familiar with the Charlotte Morton, but I will be shortly, on your recommendation...Thanks!

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Tommy - It's Charlotte MARTIN, not Morton....I was having trouble tracking her CD down, until I googled on "Stromata".

Very interesting sounding bits & pieces of songs on Amazon. The descriptions there, comparing her to Tori Amos, Imogen Heap and Jewel might have scared me away, had I not listened to some of the samples, which seem to cross various genres of music. The descriptions make the CD sound like a female version of Scott Walker's "The Drift", which is a VERY difficult listen, in spite of SW's great voice. (His first album in 11 years, I think the jury's out on whether Walker has gone off the deep end finally, writing operatic tunes about Elvis' dead twin and Mussolini's assassination.....). "The Drift," while not one of my faves for 2006, certainly was one of the most interesting releases of the year.

I need to check out Ms. Martin more thoroughly...

How are her earlier albums? (Looks like she released full-lengthers in 2002, 2003, & 2004)

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I quite liked Neil Young...Living With War. The simplicity of it really works. The messages come through LOUD and clear.

LOVE Beatles was quite a pleasing surprise.

The Ray Davies album is cool. Didn't 'discover' Robert Plant's '05 release til last spring. Excellent. Best solo lp from Plant ever.

There's just SO much coming out these days that is devoid of melody or virtuosity. I said to my daughter yesterday...some of the 'rock' [small r] coming out these days [like for the past 10 years] is such that it isn't unlike some of what we were exposed to 40-42 years ago...AND...it wasn't good enough then.

Record companies have pretty much never 'gotten it'.

-----------------

ps...I think it speaks volumes that this thread took so long to start rolling and that there are so few responses. Says a lot.

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"There's just SO much coming out these days that is devoid of melody or virtuosity."

Couldn't agree more...which is why many of the releases on the lists posted already were put out by older artistes, ones whose point of reference is the 60s or 70s.

I have very high hopes for 2007, with the live Raspberries, reunited Stooges and ex-Shangri-Las' singer Mary Weiss all releasing new CDs (and/or DVDs) in Spring.

Neil Y's "Living With War", IMO, would have been one Hell of a lot more effective had it been released a year or two earlier. He appeared to be jumping on a popular bandwagon (something that Neil's never been known for) due to the release date. While I'm lukewarm about their music, I respect the Dixie Chicks taking their stand back when they did, even if it has cost them dearly. (The documentary on their trials and tribulations, "Shut Up and Sing!" is very entertaining, BTW.)

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OK.... one of the MOST continously ANNOYING things I hear people say is that "today's" music & music made by younger artists is devoid of melody & hooks...

On the contrary, today's music has as much (if not more) to offer in hooks & melody than say the 1970s; mainly because there's a LOT more people making records today than 30 years ago... I would never say it could match the 1960s which wrote the book on pop... what sux is that NO ONE is hearing today's music...

taken from my list, here is this year's Age Group Breakdown (looks the YOUNG ones win):

20somethings:

1. MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE – The Black Parade

2. THE FRATELLIS- Costello Music

3. THE STROKES – First Impressions Of Earth

4. ED HARCOURT- The Beautiful Lie

5. BUTCH WALKER – The Rise And Fall Of Butch Walker

6. THE SLEEPY JACKSON- Personality (One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird)

7. KEANE- Under The Iron Sea

8. ARCTIC MONKEYS – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

9. BEN KWELLER – Ben Kweller

10. EDITORS – The Back Room

11. THE SOUNDS – Dying To Say This To You

12. KASABIAN – Empire

13. THE DECEMBERISTS – The Crane Wife

14. THE RAKES – Capture/Release

15. THE WALKMEN – Pussy Cats

30somethings:

1. BADLY DRAWN BOY- Born In The U.K.

2. JOHAN

3. PERNICE BROTHERS- Live A Little

4. THE LEMONHEADS- The Lemonheads

5. BELLE & SEBASTIAN – The Life Pursuit

6. THE HOLD STEADY – Boys And Girls In America

7. RHETT MILLER – The Believer

8. GOLDFRAPP – Supernature

9. SEAN LENNON – Friendly Fire

10. THE DIVINE COMEDY – Victory For The Comic Muse

11. RICHARD ASHCROFT – Keys To The World

40somethings:

1. LLOYD COLE – Anti Depressant

2. MORRISSEY – Ringleader Of The Tormentors

3. JARVIS COCKER- The Jarvis Cocker Record

4. GOLDEN SMOG – Another Fine Day

5. SMART BROWN HANDBAG – Harry Larry

6. PRIMAL SCREAM – Riot City Blues

7. ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 – Olé! Tarantula

8. SCREEN TEST – Inspired Humans Making Noise: An Anthology 1980-1986

9. PAUL WESTERBERG – Open Season

50somethings:

1. NEW YORK DOLLS- One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This

60somethings:

1. NEIL YOUNG – Living With War

2. RAY DAVIES – Other People’s Lives

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Didn't blanket statement today's music. What I did say is SO MUCH of it is all of that...especially that which has garnered airplay...and for at least the past 10 years.

Simple [and I don't mean that any other way than just plain simple] is all too often the order of the day.

There IS great music being recorded. One just doesn't often get a chance to hear it...unless they spend an inordinant amount of time and money looking.

Of course those in the industry would disagree. They have too.

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Pat - OK, sorry, I meant to say "my list", not "the lists posted already"...although I believe the 60's/70's frame of reference still holds for a lot of the releases on your list, even for many of the 20-somethings above (My Chemical Romance's latest, Fratellis, Strokes, Butch Walker's latest, Sleepy Jackson, to name a few, IMO). And BTW, I have heard most of the CDs you listed...but you are correct, most people have not.

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There IS great music being recorded. One just doesn't often get a chance to hear it...unless they spend an inordinant amount of time and money looking.

these days, it's getting way easier & way cheaper to hear & find music... even great old stuff, too...

Youtube is a great place to seek out stuff, especially if you find pages/links that are akin to your tastes...

finding stuff on Amazon is great & there's a lot of helpful bonuses there...

it doesn't cost any money & you don't need to leave the house... once you learn how to use it, finding stuff isn't that hard...

and since this site (EricCarmen.COM) has a lot of people talking about lots of various new bands/artists you can check a lot of them out before buying them, either on websites (myspace is great too) or at Amazon (if there's clips of songs available)....

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Live a Little - Pernice Brothers. Hands down. A true treat. Also: Michael Pink (unreleased - at least for now). The Dolls' comeback also got top spin in '06 (although the slick production and crisp playing was a bit disconcerting coming from this band...good to have what's left of 'em back though...).

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I liked:

Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire

Roger Joseph Manning - The land of pure imagination

Midlake - The trials of Van Occupanther

Lindsey Buckingham - Under the skin

Donald Fagen - Morph the Cat

Linus of Hollywood - Triangle

L.E.O. - Alpacas Orgling

Taxiride - Electrophobia

The Zombies - Oddysey and Oracle

(Guilty Pleasure award goes to)

Under the influence of Giants

...OK just kidding on the Zombies, I just got around to hearing it...but what a great album!

Paul

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Pat - Agree that there are tons of outlets/ways to hear new music, but....most people, sadly, just won't take the time.

Me, I spend way too much time listening to music from both new artistes and old goats, and I'll admit to my prejudice. Being 55, I guess I end up being more impressed by a good-to-very good Dylan or Waits or T Bone effort than something by a new artist that doesn't catch my ear with hooks immediately.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is my 2006 Top 20:

1. Cheap Trick - "Rockford"

2. The Shivvers - "Lost Hits From Milwaukee’s

First Family Of Powerpop: 1979-82"

3. Lindsey Buckingham - "Under the Skin"

4. The Junior League - "Catchy"

5. The Tickets - "The Tickets"

6. The Nines - "Calling Distant Stations"

7. Nelson Bragg - "Day Into Night"

8. The Loud Family and Anton Barbeau - "What If

It Works?"

9. The Lolas - "Let's Rock, Rave and Shout With

The Lolas!"

10. Tommy Keene - "Crashing the Ether"

11. Feel - "Steps To Reach A Human"

12. The Goldbergs - "Hooks, Lines & Sinkers"

13. Tom Petty - "Highway Companion"

14. Blue Cartoon - "September Songs"

15. The Winnerys - "Daily Urban Times"

16. The Skies of America - "Shine"

17. The Toms - "Simplicity"

18. Monkeeman - "Monkeeman"

19. Linus of Hollywood - "Triangle"

20. The World Record - "Guitars Forever"

Song of the Year: "Katie's Shoes" - The Bar (from "This is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 2")

Disappointment of the Year: L.E.O. - "Alpacas Orgling"

JohnO: CvS' "California Redemption Value" is a 2005 release...

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"JohnO: CvS' "California Redemption Value" is a 2005 release..."

John - You are, of course, correct, although I didn't get it until '06. Please remove it from my list, and replace it with "Rockford," which I somehow managed to totally forget about, after posting numerous times on this very board about it when it came out.....(duh!)

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Here is my 2006 Top 20:

1. Cheap Trick - "Rockford"

2. The Shivvers - "Lost Hits From Milwaukee’s

First Family Of Powerpop: 1979-82"

3. Lindsey Buckingham - "Under the Skin"

4. The Junior League - "Catchy"

5. The Tickets - "The Tickets"

6. The Nines - "Calling Distant Stations"

7. Nelson Bragg - "Day Into Night"

8. The Loud Family and Anton Barbeau - "What If

It Works?"

9. The Lolas - "Let's Rock, Rave and Shout With

The Lolas!"

10. Tommy Keene - "Crashing the Ether"

11. Feel - "Steps To Reach A Human"

12. The Goldbergs - "Hooks, Lines & Sinkers"

13. Tom Petty - "Highway Companion"

14. Blue Cartoon - "September Songs"

15. The Winnerys - "Daily Urban Times"

16. The Skies of America - "Shine"

17. The Toms - "Simplicity"

18. Monkeeman - "Monkeeman"

19. Linus of Hollywood - "Triangle"

20. The World Record - "Guitars Forever"

Song of the Year: "Katie's Shoes" - The Bar (from "This is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 2")

Disappointment of the Year: L.E.O. - "Alpacas Orgling"

JohnO: CvS' "California Redemption Value" is a 2005 release...

The Winnerys are Spanish!!!!!!!!!!
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