02 January 2007

Musical Year in Review: 2006

Around the holidays, I give to friends and family—those who aren’t already sick of hearing me laud my most recent “find”—a collection of some of the tunes I’ve been listening to throughout the preceding year. While some of the material was released during the past year or so (noted with an asterisk), most of it features established bands and/or older tunes that I happen to have discovered only recently. In this (narcissistic) sense, it's less the musical year in review, and more my musical year in review. But my mother taught me not to look a gift horse in the mouth, and nor should you.

Anyway, here is this year's tracklist:

1. Travelin’ Prayer (Dolly Parton, The Grass Is Blue)
2. Please Come Home Before It Rains (Otis Taylor, Double V)
3. The Hunter (Albert King, Born Under A Bad Sign)
4. Someday (Los Lobos with Mavis Staples, The Ride)
5. Go Wash an Elephant (Baby Gramps, Same Ol’ Timeously)
6. Kontroll på Kontinentet (Kaizers Orchestra, Ompa Til Du Dør)
7. Dayton, Ohio – 1903 (Randy Newman, Sail Away)
8. It Calls Me (Hazmat Modine, Bahamut)*
9. The Pontiac (Tom Waits, Orphans: Bastards)*
10. Scrape Me Off The Side Of The World (Erin Blatti, Work In Progress)*
11. Be Good To Them Always (The Books, Lost and Safe)*
12. I Wasted Time (Paul Kelly, Nothing But A Dream)
13. The Fox (Odetta, American Folk Pioneer)
14. Lost Fox Train (Hazmat Modine, Bahamut)*
15. Sam Hall (Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around)
16. Anywhere (Erin Blatti, Work In Progress)*
17. Smells Like Funk (Black Eyed Peas, Elephunk)
18. Shake It ‘n’ Break It (Baby Gramps, Same Ol’ Timeously)
19. Stay Up All Night (Drink Me, Drink Me)
20. Hospital Beds (Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards)*
21. The Dream Before (Laurie Anderson, Strange Angels)

Included among the year’s highlights—in addition to two tunes by Hazmat Modine (see previous post)—are the utterly outlandish Baby Gramps Boston’s newest sensation, Erin Blatti, newcomers Cold War Kids, the unheralded (and incomprehensible) Norwegian band, Kaizers Orchestra, and the underrated early-90’s duo, Drink Me. More thoughts on some of these artists in future posts ... Time now to call it a night.

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