12/18/2006

2006: The Year in Review

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
TV On The Radio Return to Cookie Mountain

While it does have its bit of filler—or material that just plain falls short—on Cookie Mountain Brooklyn’s finest slay the sophomore dragon and with The Mars Volta’s latest falling slightly short and Radiohead in regrouping mode find themselves kings of the art-rock universe.

HONORARY MENTION:
Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor; Sonic Youth Rather Ripped


FAVORITE ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
The Lemonheads (self-titled)

The old man had to come back and reclaim his dusty moniker to show all the watered-down, Gap pop-punk wannabes how it’s done. Thank you, sir.

Runner up:
The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers
Also: Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 Olé Tarantula; David Pajo 1968


FAVORITE SHOW:
TV On The Radio / Matt Pond PA / Voxtrot - Prospect Park Bandshell, BKNY - 6/30/06

When was the last time you were glad you showed up early to catch the opening act(s) AND had the headliner kick major ass? Yeah, it was that kinda show.


BEST REISSUE:
The Pretenders and The Pretenders II

A classic debut and its underrated sequel, both badly in need of remastering—especially the latter—are polished and served up the way it ought to be. Plus, the dozen more or less added bonus tracks on each albums extra CD make getting the box set practically pointless.

Runner Up:
The Beatles Love


BEST COMEBACK:
(Tie) The Lemonheads; NaS

Dando’s gotten his act together (for now, perhaps) and the coolest Mr. Jones to ever come out of Queens is questioning the sorry state of (most) hip-hop on his latest, Hip Hop Is Dead.


BEST ALBUM TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR:
Ambulance LTD’s second album

Against our better judgement we’re going to turn down our hipster/poser filter and patiently await the John Cale-produced sophomore long player from this NYC band. God help us.


BEST NEW TV SHOW:
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip [NBC]

Unlike every other popular show out there with gimmicky, suspension of disbelief plots and/or story lines, Studio 60 delivers quality storytelling and writing from the great Aaron Sorkin.


BEST IMPERSONATION:
Mat Kearney

Dave Grohl once facietiously joked that a few years back his buddy and fellow Virginian Dave Mathews was freaked out after coming back from a brief hiatus to find John Mayer all over the place. “I’ve been replaced!” Matthews was said to have remarked. We’re wondering what Coldplay’s Chris Martin has to say about this guy.


BIGGEST huh? MOMENT:
Star Trek XI

It is rumored that the eleventh Star Trek motion-picture will be a prequel to the original series with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, playing Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock, respectively. We swear we are NOT making this up.

Runner up:
an original 12” test pressing of the 1966 The Velvet Underground and Nico album passed the $50,000 mark on eBay.


BEST PROOF YOU’LL NEED A COAT IN HELL:
the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup reunite

If you know anything about this band you know this was even more improbable than the Pixies getting back together. And we all know how that turned out.


WORST ALBUM:
Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium

Hands down the most limp, insipid and tired release from a once great artist we’ve heard in a VERY LONG TIME. Guys, if this is what you have left to offer musically, PLEASE give it up. NOW.


ANTI-ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Paris Hilton

Yeah, Mr. Burns-in-drag made a record. Yawn.
Runner up: (tie) the Tommy Lee-led Rock Star Supernova; Dave Navarro’s The Panic Channel. Jeez.


BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT:
Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy fails to appear. Yet again.

Yeah, we know we’re repeating ourselves but it’s really starting to look like there will be democracy in China before this one sees the light of day.
Runner up: (tie) Former Guided by Voices frontman Bob Pollard’s From A Compound Eye album; Outkast’s Idlewild; Beck The Information.


MOST UNWELCOME COMEBACK:
Jay-Z

Wasn’t this dude retired already? Too busy with displacing people in Brooklyn with a stadium for the Nets, running Def Jam into the ground artistically, and cavorting with his insufferable, jumbo-jet-sized-ego girflriend what’s her name?


MOST UNDESERVED HYPE:
Thom Yorke The Eraser

While not a bad record, Yorke’s collection of paranoid android soundscapes drew more accolades than it actually deserved. Let’s hope he’s finally gotten this stuff out of his system—or just relegates it to solo albums—and Radiohead can get back to making some cutting edge 21st century rock and roll. If they hurry up they can catch up with TV On The Radio and the Mars Volta.

Runner up:
Beck The Information; Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins Rabbit Fur Coat ; Joanna Newsom Ys


MOST UNNECESSARY REHASHING:
Beck The Information

The followup to last year’s Guero is not much more than a retread of its predecessor. And not a very good one, at that.


GOODBYE
Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett; the legendary Ruth Brown; ex-King Crimson/Bad Company bassist Boz Burrell; Andy Capps, one-time Built To Spill drummer; agent/promoter Ian Copeland, brother of former Police manager and drummer Miles and Stewart Copeland, respectively; Bill Cowsill, of The Cowsills on which the fictional Partridge Family was based; ska and reggae great Desmond Dekker; visionary producer and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun; the one and only Freddy Fender; jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson; Bruce Gary, drummer for The Knack; House of Freaks guitarist Bryan Harvey; jazz pianist John Hicks; Love’s Arthur Lee; R&B vocalist Gerald Levert; Buena Vista Social Club’s Pio Leyva; Gene McFadden, of writing/production duo McFadden & Whitehead; Grant McLennan, of The Go-Betweens; country legend Buck Owens; Mr. Wilson Pickett; former Napalm Death guitarist Jesse Pintado; singer/songwriter Gene Pitney; June Pointer, of the Pointer Sisters; the only man to have formally played with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Mr. Billy Preston; D12 rapper Proof; the great Lou Rawls; Lou Richards, former guitarist for Hatebreed; jazz pianist Hilton Ruiz; Kool and the Gang co-founder/guitarist (Claydes) Charles Smith; singer/songwriter Soraya; former Captain Beefhart drummer Alex St. Claire; world music icon Ali Farka Toure; former Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick; Runaways drummer Sandy West; Commodores keyboardist Milan Williams.