National Public Viking

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Et Cetera Lists of 2006

Instead of releasing a massive year-end entry upon the inter-waves, I'm doing so in four installments: singles of the year (already posted), the et cetera lists (today), top 30 albums of 2006, and favorite reissues and older discoveries. The last two, I hope, will be up by the end of the week if not by the end of the year.

Albums Not in My Top 30 Worth Mentioning

Anathallo- Floating World [self-released]
The band I once referred to as the "emo band with horns" completely took me by surprise with this more fully fleshed-out release. Rides a little on Sufjan Stevens's coat-tails (and Radiohead's, too, for that matter), but I keep coming back to its honest sweetness.

Kidd Jordan, William Parker, Hamid Drake- Palm of Soul [AUM Fidelity]
The seasoned New Orleans saxophonist Jordan simply does not have enough records as band leader, so to hear him in a more subdued, meditative environment (as opposed to his free-jazz blow-outs) is quite arresting. Would've made my top 15 had I heard the album when it came out in June.

Pernice Brothers- Live a Little [Ashmont]
I have a feeling Joe Pernice will never quite equal The World Won't End, but that doesn't stop him from consistently writing great pop songs. His voices gets a little more breathy on this one, which is a little annoying, but I can't deny songs like "PCH One" and "Zero Refills."

Lair of the Minotaur- The Ultimate Destroyer [Southern Lord]
Big, huge balls of ogres. See my review.

Jeffrey & Jack Lewis- City & Eastern Songs [Rough Trade]
A bit unfocused and maybe a little too produced for an anti-folkie record (though kudos on trying to finesse Jeffrey a little, Kramer, that's a tough job), but how can I not recognize the lyrical genius of "Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror"?

Records I Still Need to Hear From 2006

Ornette Coleman- Sound Grammar [Sound Grammar]
Critically lauded by many as Coleman's best material in years. The bits I've heard really revved me up. Gotta hear it.

Converge- No Heroes [Epitaph]
This band is fifteen years-old? For some reason that makes me feel like an old, crotchety head-banger yelling, "These kids and their infernal screamo-metal. I remember when 'breakdown' meant windmill-swingin' riffs and a roundhouse kick to the face. Not some pansy-ass anorexic singing like a sickly pre-pubescent school girl!" *Ping!* in the spit can. Still, Converge has yet to make a bad record, especially since they continually explore their sound.

Burial- Burial [Hyperdub]
Phillip loves this record and he doesn't steer me wrong often. The clips I've heard online sound very intriguing.

Biggest Letdowns of 2006

Danielson- Ships [Sounds Familyre]
I'm hoping that this album will click with me somewhere down the road because I definitely understand what Daniel Smith's doing with it. I just don’t know if I want him to veer into the "precious" territory that his protégé-turned-indie-superstar Sufjan Stevens has combed over so heavily in the last year.

Sunn O))) & Boris- Altar [Southern Lord]
I actually had to illegally download this much anticipated avant-metal collaboration because Southern Lord has ignored my frequent e-mails informing them that they shipped my order to the wrong D.C. address, which I can't access (my sublet from the summer is being renovated). So minus ten points for Southern Lord (even though they've had a banner year). Altar sounds nothing like what I expected, which is good and bad, and it fails in places in which they should have shone. Still cool on most counts, though.

Isis- In the Absence of Truth [Ipecac]
The Danielson and Sunn/Boris records I still enjoy on some level, but this is by far my biggest disappointment of 2006. Isis's greatest attribute has always been their attention to restraint and with their slow-moving ambient doom-metal, it was like an epiphany, especially when they began to incorporate the cinematic twinkles of post-rock on Panopticon. Here Isis abandons restraint to the wind with busy drums in front of the mix, wanky guitar solos, and predictable vocal melodies that mimic the guitar lines. It's all very boring.


At 10:17 AM, Blogger christa t said...

I think you mean myspace victuals. haven't you read great expectations? geez.


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