Monday, June 05, 2006

Skatterbrain's Top 10 Of 2006 (...So Far)

Okay this is simple enough, these are my top ten favorite records of 2006 thus far. They are in order from ten to one, one obviously being my favorite and most loved, ten obviously also being a favorite, but not the most loved. There's a sample song from each record in case you've been slacking and haven't checked it out yet. Hopefully this is interesting. Please leave your agreements, disagreements, and your own top 10 lists in the comments, I'd love to know what you guys pick!

10. Love is All Nine Times That Same Song
Some people may be in disagreement with my choosing this because technically it's a 2005 release, but it's being re-released and re-distributed now and got most all of it's press in 2006, so I say it's okay. Sad to say, I first heard of this album when Pitchfork drooled all over it at the very end of last year calling then the first great band of 2006 or something like that (don't hold me to that). I love the energy this band has, and all that energy paired with the incredible rhythm section and the pissed off elementary school girl vocals hooked me fast and kept me coming back. Plus, ya know, Sweden is so hot right now.
[MP3]: Love is All :: Make Out Fall Out Make Up

09. The Lovely Feathers Hind Hind Legs
Most of the press Hind Hind Legs has recieved has been positive overall, but mostly stating that it is just a "good" record. I couldn't disagree more. There are so many different styles within this album that it just never gets old. The second you start to get tired of one song, there's a completely different one to get excited about. I will agree with the widespread mention of the lyrics being pretty poor, although I do think they suit equally ridiculous and sometimes chaotic music pretty well. The one-two punch of "Photo Corners" and "The Only Appalacian Cornfield" is clearly the album's shinign moment and also really great for driving down the highway on a bright sunny day.
[MP3]: The Lovely Feathers :: Photo Corners

08. Sunset Rubdown Shut Up I Am Dreaming
To be quite honest, I put this album for a really long time. It wasn't because I didn't want to hear it, or that I thought I would be disappointed, I just never got around to it at first. I was sort of unimpressed with about 75% of the EP, but the parts I did enjoy, I really enjoyed, so I had a lot of hopes for an album that I would really enjoy. My wishes came true once I finally got around to hearing it, and I must say, Spencer Krug really shafted the Wolf Parade dudes, because it looks like he saved up all of his talent for Sunset Rubdown. These songs reach deeper and higher than any of his previous work, with also a much darker edge than seen in his previous projects. The closing track will no doubt be one of my favorite songs of the year.
[MP3]: Sunset Rubdown :: Shut Up I Am Dreaming of Places Where Lovers Have Wings

07. The Fiery Furnaces Bitter Tea
Okay so, I didn't really fall in love with Rehearsing My Choir like I thought I would, but I loved Blueberry Boat and the EP, so my expectations for Bitter Tea were still set fairly high. Now Bitter Tea may not be as bizarre as Rehearsing My Choir, but it's also not nearly as accessible as, say, the EP. So, basically, I liken it to Blueberry Boat but much more synth heavy, where I felt Blueberry Boat was more guitar heavy. Lots of distorted and effects laden vocals make an appearance on Bitter Tea as well, as Elenore spits out proper nouns like it's a contest (see: "Borneo" or "The Vietnamese Telephone Ministry").
[MP3]: The Fiery Furnaces :: Borneo

06. Nethers In Fields We Will Lie
I had been listening to this album on and off for several weeks and had been enjoying it, but it wasn't until I saw them live that I really fell in love with these Washington, DC natives and their new album In Fields We Will Lie. Jumping from song to song, the album displays a wide range of sounds ranging from folk, indie pop, and a sort of alt-country. Bassist/Vocalist Nikki West is now one of my new favorite vocalists, and to think she wasn't the lead vocalist in her old band, what a shame. At least now we get to hear her sing songs like "Migratory Birds," which gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it.
[MP3]: Nethers :: Migratory Birds

05. Destroyer Destroyer's Rubies
I must make a confession: Thief was the first Destroyer album I heard and I only heard it about one week before I heard Rubies. I loved Thief, and "The Temple" is still my favorite Destroyer song, but when I heard Rubies, it was like I was listening to a new band. The songs felt much denser and the instrumentation much more lush and exciting and obviously, the production was far superior to that of the earlier Thief. The first single "European Oils" with it's hammering piano and maniacal climax was a perfect example of this "new" Destroyer. Rubies grew on me song by song. One week I would be in love with one or two songs, and the next week it would be two new songs, until I had eventually succummed to the album in it's entirety.
[MP3]: Destroyer :: European Oils

04. Voxtrot Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives
"The Start of Something" was my favorite song for weeks upon weeks after the first time I heard it, and yet, I never got around to hearing all of the Raised by Wolves EP, at first. When I heard of the new EP being released, I decided I had better remedy the mistake I made with Rasied by Wolves. I got Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives as soon as I could and was blown away by how catchy it was as I was midway through my first listen. I had been through only three songs and I already wanted to skip back and listen to them again so I could sing along, because the words were already commited to my memory. The backbone of the album, "Rise Up in the Dirt," managed to not only surpass "The Start of Something" in catchiness, but it also showcases Voxtrot's growth in songwriting. I eventually heard the Raised by Wolves EP and it was great, but just didn't seem to cohese in the way that Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives did.
[MP3]: Voxtrot :: Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives

03. The Grates Gravity Won't Get You High
You know how every year there's always that one album that ends up being the soundtrack to your Summer, whether you planned it to be or not? For me, Gravity Won't Get You High is that album. There's so much energy packed into this album that you just can't help wanting to run outside or jump around and dance when you listen to it. It's no wonder Patience jumps all over the stage at their shows, there's no way anyone could sing these songs just standing there. I made all my friends listen to it saying it was going to be one of my favorite albums of the year and they all guaranteed that I would lose interest in a few weeks. Looks like they were wrong, because songs like "Lies Are Much More Fun" and the single "19-20-20" will be stuck in my head until the first snowflake falls next winter.
[MP3]: The Grates :: Lies Are Much More Fun

02. The Most Serene Republic Phages
Since I heard it for the first time a few months ago, The Most Serene Republic's new tour EP Phages has been creeping further and further into my head. It still holds a very firm spot as my second favorite album of the year so far, which is highly impressive, I think, for just a tour EP. Although it should be mentioned that Phages is not just another tour EP by any means. It blows away last year's Underwater Cinematographer and shows the band moving into not a completely different sound, but definitely changing their focus a bit towards even more complicated melodies and time signatures and really exemplifying that "dreamy noise pop" sound. If you haven't heard this EP yet, you need go right now and find a way to get it. Be it online or from a show, you must hear it.
[MP3]: The Most Serene Republic :: You're Not An Astronaut

01. Pants Yell! Recent Drama
This year has been a very Pants Yell! year for me. When I first listened to Recent Drama, I was impressed but not enamored, but that would very soon change. About a week or so, after hearing the album for the first time, I won Matt's Pants Yell! contest on YANP and got a second copy of the album and an awesome custom screen printed newsprint poster of congratulations! About three or four days after that I got to see them live at The Black Cat in DC and was very impressed by their performance and they were really nice guys and gal, too. So you see, all these things kept me fully immersed in Pants Yell! and specifically Recent Drama. By the time I saw them live, I already couldn't put the record down and after that I was sure it would stick very close by my side for the remainder of the year. I still listen to the album all the way through about two to three times everyday and the glistening pop perfection of every single song still still sounds fresh, time after time after time and that's the mark of an unbeatable album.
[MP3]: Pants Yell! :: New #4

There you have it. Again, please leave your criticisms and/or agreements, I'd really really love to here your input on the list and of course, like I said above, if you've got a list I would love to see it!
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Blogger Jere said...

Thanks for the list. It introduced me to some stuff I wasn't familiar with and got me thinking about what would be on my own 2006 list.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Shrugged said...

Mighty fine list...really turned me on to some cool music. I can never understand why everyone is so much into that Destroyer album, but the rest is awesome.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice list brutha, my top 5 so far would have to include (no order)

the walkmen- a hundred miles off
the futureheads- news and tributes
destroyer- rubies
sunset rubdown- shut up...
beirut- gulag orkestar

i gotta makes sure to leave room open for sufjan and the decemberists ;)

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh no cold war kids or at least tapes n tapes come on you stink

5:08 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

i really dont like either of them. they were just hot blog bands, in my opinion. i never really understood why people loved them so much.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

first of all, tapes 'n tapes came out last year. good list, i'd personally have sunset rubdown, destroyer, tv on the radio, sound team, love is all, birdmonster, beirut, ghostface, umm...and the rest i'd have to think about. good list though.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

tv and soundteam wouldve been on mine, but i didnt include ones that aren't technically out yet. thats why the pipettes album isnt number one, otherwise, it would be.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think you made all of those bands up. PANTS YELL??? is there some kind of indie contest to come up with the most nonsensical band name ever and the winner gets to fuck karen o?

6:05 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

umm. no. sorry.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we allowed to nitpick?
...Because the Nethers cd came out last year and was my #9 pick of the year.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

hahaha yes you are.
maaaaan, i really thought it was new. well thats a disappointment, i guess it wont be going on my end of the year list then :(

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet list, Other Matt. I won't be making mine until late June, but here's who will probably wind up on it:

Starlight Mints - Drowaton
Islands - Return to the Sea
Man Man - Six Demon Bag
The Lovely Feathers - Hind Hind Leg
Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit (it's been a grower)

and whoever else I remember at the time lol

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great list, matt!

8:58 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

matt, i still havent listened to one track from six demon bag.

also, b&s is growing on me too, it might make it by the end of the year.

hi katie!

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work in loving up the Grates. Our finest export!

1:20 AM  
Blogger Sandisoverrated said...

great list, but birdmonster is a must on any top 10 list for albums this year.

3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent list, MT. Destroyer's Rubies is on my top ten, along with Beirut, The Lovely Feathers, Man Man, and Oh No! Oh My!


6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no pipettes matt?
that is a surprise...i think.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

hahaha that album isnt out yet, so i didnt include it ;)

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great list, Matt. I hadn't heard The Nethers, and really enjoyed the track. So far the big ones for me (out officially or not) are Beirut, Ms John Soda - Notes and the Like, Espers II, Van Occupanther, The Eraser, Black Mother Super Rainbow - Lost Picking Flowers in the Woods, Love is All, Thee Moths - Nature, and Vapnet.

I'm really looking forward to hearing the Brightblack Morning Light and Alcian Blue albums.

11:23 AM  
Blogger christine said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:36 PM  
Blogger christine said...

Quite enjoyed the list, my good man! I have to second the motion that "shut up i am dreaming of places..." is a song of the year contender, at least in my book. Though I must admit that I am a sucker for epics!

Currently, I've been raving to my friends about Destroyer and Sunset Rubdown, but would also throw Neko Case and Centro-matic out there. Can you believe that we're already half way through the year? Yikes!

(PS. Boo-urns for muckled up internet formatting and a self-deleted post!)

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Total agreement on the Lovely Feathers CD, you hit the nail on the head. I haven't started to work on a top album list yet (though I know a few that will be in there somewhere, Shearwater, Don Caballero and Long Winters definitely up there), but I have put together a list of my favorite songs of the year. It was going to be a top ten and turned into top 40 .... uh, and it's only June. I'm screwed.

Great list!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Mrs. White said...

Good list. I love Voxtrot's newest EP so much it's obscene, but I didn't include it on my own list since it's only an EP. Should have, though. Oh, hindsight, you are a bitter pill.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Trials of Van Occupanther??

10:07 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

besides roscoe, that album bored me.
sorry :(

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent selections Matt!

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i definitely think yellow house should make the cut


7:02 PM  
Blogger Matt said...


i didnt include albums that havent been released yet. otherwise that ist would be fairly different.

11:53 AM  
Blogger The Concert Room said...

I loved the list, and appreciate how most of those I had either been looking for, or will start looking for now. Thanks.

8:15 PM  
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you know?
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