Yesterday, Chris got some flak for posting his top albums of 2006 without any commentary on them. He felt he would be repeating a lot of the stuff he already wrote about them earlier in the year. So he just kept it to a list. After kicking an idea around with him, I decided to post the following tongue-in-cheek item in the comments section:
gorilla vs. bear's Top 10 of 2006 . . . as translated by Eric Grubbs
10. Hot Chip, The Warning
--Here's a band that rocked my face off even though they don't use the standard instruments that rock most faces off. Layers of keyboards, vocals and drumbeats go places. And when I mean places, they're not some swanky clubs that play house music.
9. Grizzly Bear, Yellow House
--Not to be confused with Austin's Golden Bear, Grizzly Bear reminds me of Jim O'Rourke's best solo material. This is laid-back, atmospheric, folky pop that doesn't put you to sleep.
8. Beach House, Beach House
--This duo's recent performance at the Amsterdam Bar blew the roof off. The deal is, there is no roof where the bands play, but whatever. This is some pretty, chamber-like stuff. Yes, this is another mellow record on my Top 10, but it's great.
7. Sunset Rubdown, Shut Up I Am Dreaming
--Let's get the Bowie comparison out of the way: yeah, the guy sings like mid-70s Bowie, but not in a tacky way. The scope of this record is like a twee pop record, but it doesn't feel like a twee pop record.
6. Ghostface Killah, Fishscale
--Furthering the puzzlement of fellow bloggers like The Berg and Eric of Theme Park Experience about the hipness of gangsta rap, this is a straight-up gem. His flow is still right on target and his lyrics are totally raw. Enough rappers talk about their chains, rims and false teeth; Ghostface tells it how all great gangsta rap tells it: it's the CNN of the ghetto.
5. Love Is All, Nine Times That Same Song
--You want some poppy rock that sounds alive? Here you go. Love is All feature some spectacular female vocals and really catchy guitar along with some tasty bells and whistles.
4. Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury
--The record everybody has been waiting for, except for those who haven't or don't understand what's so great about these guys or gangsta rap in general. Not to be confused with the Coup, this is some more smart rap that blasts out of your speakers and opens your mind. Using non-traditional beats (like coins, steel drums, banging on steel walls) makes this even more appealing.
3. Joanna Newsom, Ys
--She's done it again! Joanna is my homegirl with a record that Joni Mitchell, Bjork and Fiona Apple would kill to make. Yes, this record could be considered an EP at only five songs, but these fifty-five minutes will hold you tight and knock your socks off.
2. Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther
--Denton band drops the Flaming Lips vibe for something that America and Fleetwood Mac did in the Seventies. With a one-two punch of "Roscoe" and "Bandits," this is a stellar little record of quiet beauty.
1. The Knife, Silent Shout
--This record sounds like it came out in 1986. This is all electronic with vintage sounds from dance music's past. It's a head-trip and it's my jam out of all the jams I heard this year. Don't ask me why, but it just jams my mind.
Hear me out: other than Midlake's albums, I had not really heard any of the aforementioned records. I pulled up the iTunes music store, listened to some sound clips and wrote what I wrote. It was fun to gauge what somebody else might think about these records, especially records that I don't really "get." Some people got the joke and some didn't. I don't mean to piss on a hipster mentality, but it was a little fun doing something like Geoff would do.