Skip to main content

Favorite Music of 2006 Part II

Today's list consists of "catalog artists" (aka, artists that have been around for years). Coincidentally, all of the following released new material this year. Yet it was mostly older material that really rocked my brain off.

Tom Waits
Until October 2005, I thought Tom Waits was The Guy With Nearly-Unlistenable Songs That Somehow Wrote The Very-Listenable, "Downtown Train". Being introduced to his gentler material (like "Take It With Me," "Tom Traubert's Blues" and "Ol' '55"), I realized there was more to this guy.

With the acquisition of Used Songs, a collection of his material on Asylum, I dug even more. Reading Innocent When You Dream, reading the Complete Idiot's Guide on Jefito and seeing Big Time, his "unlistenable" stuff became pretty listenable. Now I'm at a point where I want to have almost every album of his. While I await some nice record company to remaster and reissue his back-catalog, I look forward to hearing Orphans, the new 3-disc compilation of unreleased and new material.

Feeder has been around for ten years. Though more popular across the pond, some of their songs have been used in commercials and TV shows on the WB (back before it became the CW). Thanks to used record stores around town, I found almost all of their back catalog for cheap. No, these guys aren't trailblazing, but they rock with a melodic tinge that I can't get enough of. And they don't come across as wimpy either.

Scott Walker
A few months before I heard the It's Raining Today compilation, I had the urge to hear some really rich orchestral pop. I don't know exactly why, but I did. Being introduced to Scott Walker's solo material via a couple of nice write-ups on the 'net and hearing It's Raining Today, I had to have some of this for myself. Opting out of picking up the single-disc Boy Child compilation, I jumped in the deep end with the 5-disc In 5 Easy Pieces. I'm still sifting through all of this, but I'm glad I picked it up. If I had picked up Boy Child, I would have wanted more.

Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth was a band that always eluded me. I've known about them since 7th grade and I've slowly warmed up to them (fifteen years after the fact). I've had Dirty, Murray Street and Sonic Nurse for a while, along with burned copies of Washing Machine, EVOL and Daydream Nation, but something just didn't sink in. Listening to Dirty's "Sugar Kane" and Sonic Nurse's "Peace Attack" over and over this year, I finally got these guys.

2006 saw the band release another stellar album, Rather Ripped, in addition to a compilation of non-LP and unreleased material called The Destroyed Room. They have so much material to process and I'm just beginning. For now, it's Rather Ripped and the Goo reissue that I'm digging. I'll get to stuff like A Thousand Leaves and Sister eventually. Maybe by then Daydream Nation will get its long-overdue reissue.


Unknown said…
Thanks for doing a whole post like this. Just like I talked about in my email, you give me reasons to become a fan too. I like that.
TheAntagonist said…
Hey there, check out Daydream Nation. Thats what got me into SY I guess it was timing, spending time in a city alone for a few years, but that album was the first "soundtrack" of many playing constantly behind the movie of my life.

The thing is that you have to listen to the whole thing in one sitting, a daunting task in this busy life.

Popular posts from this blog

It's a Long Way Down

There was a time when I listened to Ryan Adams' music practically all the time. Back in 2001, as I finished college and tried to navigate post-college life, the double dose of Whiskeytown’s Pneumonia and Adams’ Gold led me to everything else he had made before. It was countrified rock music that spoke to me in a deep way, mainly on the musical front. I don’t tend to really pay attention to lyrics, but I connected with Adams’ lyrics about being young and perpetually heartbroken. I thought some self-inflicted mental pain about awkward and failed attempts at relationships put me in the headspace to relate to songs by Adams, as well as Bright Eyes. There was so much time and energy spent on anger and sadness directed at myself for things not working out, so I found solace in songs like “Harder Now That It’s Over” and “The Rescue Blues.” As it turned out, there was a pattern in my life: if I had a little taste of a feeling of sadness or anger, I could relate to those who had it

I ain't got no crystal ball

I've never been a big fan of Sublime's reggae-punk-ska, but I feel bad for their hardcore fans. Billboard reports that a four-disc box set featuring previously released and unreleased material is on the way. How is this a bad thing? Well, the number of posthumous vault-raiding collections greatly outnumber the band's proper releases. That usually isn't a problem, but the quality of them is very suspect. When they were together, the band recorded three proper albums, Robbin' the Hood , 40 Oz. to Freedom and Sublime . Sublime would be the band's breakthrough record with the mainstream, but that success was very bittersweet. Shortly before its release, frontman/guitarist/songwriter Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose. In the following years, the effects of apparently a bad record deal have yielded compilation after compilation. Here's the rundown so far: Second Hand Smoke (1997) Stand By Your Van -- Sublime Live in Concert (1998) Sublime Acoustic: Br

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J