Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Top Tracks 2006

How deep are my powers of procrastination?

So deep they can drive me to this, my list of the best tracks of 2006.

Despite my efforts to the contrary, the list is weighted heavily toward tracks I heard first this fall and thus are at the sweet spot for me. Since my hard drive on my laptop is pretty small, a lot of older stuff gets put on the big drive and is a pain in the butt to search.

I am not including links to the songs but I think all of the songs are either on the Summer Mix or the soon to be emailed Winter Mix.

20. Decemberists. The Perfect Crime #2. Crane Wife just missed this album list because I really haven't given it a good listen. I just listen to O Valencia! and this track.

19. Easy All Stars. Let Down. So these raggae guys decided to recreate OK Computer! song for song but in reggae fashion. Sounds awful huh? I would have thought so but then Pitchfork told me it was cool so I got to listen to it. C and my brother were not convinced by the argument. Anyway this song is the best. No Surprises is - ironically - surprising.

18. Medeski, Martin, Wood, and John Scofield. Julia. Yes. It is a cover. But what a cover.

17. Professor Murder. The Mountain. This song is nice but I think it needs a little more cowbell.

16. Phoenix. Consolation Prizes. See the video included for their #1 album.

15. Herbert. We're in Love. So very smooth.

14. Malajube. Pate Filo. In 2006, I redicovered music videos. I think I thought I was too cool for them but then we rented a DVD of Spike Jonze's old videos and I was hooked. Before he was wiping the tears from Sophia Coppola's eyes, he directed the awesome Happy Days themed Weezer video, Buddy Holly and some amazing videos for the Pharcyde. Anyways - I found this video on Youtube and I was hooked on the tune.

13. Asobi Seksu. Thursday. I download a bunch of Japanese stuff because Pitchfork says I should. And then I can't bring myself to listen. I am getting old and new sounds frighten me. Especially after I listened to Boris. But I think you will be pretty happy with this little track.

12. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. Bobby Malone Moves Home. This year, I got into some sad music. Okkervil River tricked me with some upbeat tunes on their first album but the majority of the album is just hilariously sad. Then I finally listened to SilverJews after initially judging it "terrible." Caroline was justifiably ticked as she had pushed it a long time before I listened again on the advice of Ace Steamroller. Finally - this album. It's sad and gay as hell. What's not to like?

Here is a hilarious video someone made of their own sad life with the sad song over top:

11. Gnarls Barkley. Smiley Faces. I will assume that if you are reading this, then you are alive and therefore have heard this song.

10. Tilly and the Wall. Lost Girls. This gets me every time they get to that chorus.

Warning! This video contains tap dancing.

9. Final Fantasy. He Poos Clouds. I honestly don't know which is worse. The name of this band or the name of the song. I like the video though.

8. Lupe Fiasco. Kick Push. Finally - a great hip-hop song about skateboarding. With this song and an I pod, I might actually give it a go.

7. Whitest Boy Alive. Golden Cage. That bass line to start is just too much.

6. Gil Manteras Party Dream. Emotion Road. This is the song Rant sang for us. I do not know the actual lyric, but it sounds like "No more monkeys jumping on the bed. Grab a piece of chicken, rub it on your head." That can't be right.

5. Soulwax. NY Lipps. "I'm getting loud with you!"

4. The Pipettes. Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me. Hetreosexual males, try and control your emotions here:

3. Girl Talk. Bounce That. Breeders sample. Stevie Wonder sample. Garbage sample. It is all about transitions.

2. Vetiver. I Know No Pardon. Try not to get choked up listening to this.

1. Royksopp. What Else is There? (Trentmoller Remix). C and me saw Royksopp in Hollywood with a good man. And this is the version of What Else is There that they did. It came out in Dec. 2005 but screw it. If it can score this high this many months later, it deserves the top spot.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Favorite Albums of 2006

15. M. Ward. Post War. When I think back on the opportunity to attend the Bright Eyes / M. Ward show at Plush in 2004, it makes me growl. Especially because I would have cried through Bright Eyes's set and then punched him in the face. Support the Troops!

14. Joanna Newsome. Ys. At this point, I still prefer Milk-Eyed Mender but 2006 was the year I finally came around to Joanna. After someone told me she was cool, of course.

From Milk Eyed Mender:

13. Lily Allen. Alright Still. What do you know?– I am listening to it right now! I knew a feisty little 9-year-old girl who was going to get a (burned) copy of this in her stocking, until C pointed out the lyrics focus exclusively on flaccid penises and getting in cat fights.

Best of Death Row Records Vol. 2. – You may not know this about me: I missed the beginning of white folks listening to rap music back in 1989. I was listening to the oldies station. So imagine hearing 2Pac for the first time after all these years. Yeah it's– pretty fantastic.

11. Belle and Sebastian. The Life Pursuit. Welcome back to my year end list guys. See you back here next time you make an album.

Sorry about all this but damned if I don't love Youtube. This is from the (incrediblyibly good) Coachella DVD. Old song but check that sky.

10. Herbert. Scale. This is the future of electronic music. Sounds a lot like the past of pop music. Good for a party or headphones.

9. Oh No! Oh My! Oh No! Oh My! This list is a bit contrived in that I just don'’t really listen to albums much anymore. My I did listen to this one. Because it was the only unscratched disc in the car for a while. And it is testament to the consistency of this pop gem that I was able to do this for at least five listens. It's a new world.

8. Gil Manteras Party Dream. Bloodsongs. OK -– so this technically 2005. But I have a big (figurative) stack of late 2006 albums here that I haven'’t listened to so late 2005 entries get counted. Besides, I didn'’t hear them until this summer when I actually saw it lip-synched (with routine) by one Ranty McDingDong. And I liked it. Immediately.

What is it? Ummm. Check it out here:

7. Girl Talk. Night Ripper. Guaranteed crowd pleaser. No multiple listens required. Pop it in and enjoy. Mashes appeal to our basest desires. So it is nice to see this, the musical equivalent of the Carl's Jr. Six Dollar Burger. That is - the very best of the worst. And if I have made myself unclear - this album is completely wicked.

6. Tilly and the Wall. Bottoms of Barrels. More Tilly and the Wall to cry over. Especially that Lost Girls track I put on my Summer Mix. Gives me the chicken skin.

5. Rock Plaza Central. Are We Not Horses? Called by some wags a mix of Neutral Milk Hotel and the Shins. It is a concept album about android horses ala Blade Runner . . . wait . . . come back . . .

Here's is their awesome cover of Justin Timberlake's SexyBack set to the video of same:

4. Band of Horses. Everything All the Time. Like My Morning Jacket? High Lonesome Sounds? High Altitude grasslands? Awesome -– me too.

3. Hot Chip. The Warning. What no more horses? Top three are always tough to sort out. Fortunately, my top three are all overly clever white males my age making pop music. And I fall hard for it.

2. Whitest Boy Alive. Dreams. Straight up, Erlend Oye is my fricking hero. Every song he touches is pure gold. This is basically a Kings of Convenience album with a little more bump. Every song is perfect.

1. Phoenix. It'’s Never Been Like This. Look -– I don'’t make any excuses. I love pop music. And several times this year, I have turned to Caroline and said: this is the freaking album of the year. 2006 Phoenix is 1995 Guster. And not 2006 Guster who, I think it is safe to say, are done now.

Interested in owning these albums? Drop me a line and I will provide. Stay tuned for the top tracks of 2006.

And please tell me what you think would have made my list if I had just listened harder and/or had your refined tastes.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Today G-fresh turns the big 4!!! That is 28 in human years, which means Gaffers and I are the same age! Yeah!

Please enjoy this photo gallery of the most wonderful, good-looking, well-mannered (well, at least around people, not other dogs), most popular, well-loved dog on the island of Hawaii and beyond!

And happy birthday also to all you December babies! I have been to three birthday parties already this month, and I know of at least two of you readers who are nearing their third decade! What's up with all these December birthdays?!?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"We keep them fit to fight"

Today is the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Memorial services are being held today in Hawaii, and all flags are being flown at half-staff to remember the service-people and civilians who died that day.

The NY Times sent a reporter to follow the rebuilding of the fleet after the attacks. Apparently, all his reports were sequestered by the government at the time, and only have recently been released. The paper published some excerpts from the stories today. The Honolulu Advertiser also has a nice story about a man making what will likely be his last trip anywhere to visit the memorial today.

I find it really eerie that all of this took place 15 miles from my door. Could it happen again? Maybe. People at work like to scare me by talking about attacks from North Korea. Another high price for living in paradise, I guess...

In other Hawaii news, Colt Brennan, the UofH quarterback, was not considered as a finalist for the Heisman award. Better luck next year, Colt!