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Scott's Top 20 Music Releases of 2006
2006-12-29 14:20
by Scott Long
Notes:
Scott Long is now blogging at NSFWsports.com.
Will Carroll can still be found at Baseball Prospectus.

No business model seems to be more in a state of flux than the music industry. Each year the idea of selling a traditional record is less likely to happen, as downloading music on to MP3 players is the new mechanism. While Youtube and Myspace were around prior to 2006, it was during this year that they made a large leap in helping sell product. Groups like OK Go and Buckcherry used viral video to put themselves on the radar.

The power of singles hasn't been this strong since the early 60's, which has to be affecting the motivation of music artists to make a great long player. The plus side of this new model is that record companies and corporate radio have lost some control, giving more bands a chance to be heard. 2006 lacked an American Idiot or The Bends, but the depth was impressive. The rock music system seems to be echoing the NFL, as parity rules.

Welcome to our 3rd annual list. For those of you interested in our 2004 or 2005 Top 10 lists. Also, if you haven't done so, check out Will's Top 10 list below this post.

One final thing to mention. If you are just interested in being validated on how cool your obscure music tastes are, please visit Pitchfork or any of the numerous other sites listing their top choices of the year. Will and I try to be honest in what we listen to. We also don't penalize a band for being heard on a larger scale and I personally think it's the ultimate artistic peak to be able to push boundaries within the mainstream.

TOP TEN for 2006

1. Muse- Black Holes and Revelations

It's remarkable when one of music's most derivative bands mangages to take all their different influences and from them create one of the most original sound collages of the past decade. It jumps from prog to electonica to glam to goth to dancepop to metal to baroque, while somehow making it all sound seamless. Read the review from July, as my opinions haven't changed a bit.

2. Gnarls Barkley- St. Elsewhere

The unlikely pair of Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse come together to make the record Andre 3000 has been dreaming of. Cee-Lo brings the best Sam Cooke pipes to the radio since Terence Trent D'Arby. Oh and Crazy was the best single of 2006.

3. Eagles of Death Metal- Death by Sexy

Josh Homme's takes a break from Queens of the Stone Age to play drums with EODM leader Jesse Hughes. Putting a modern spin on classic rock, this release should be played in every strip club in America. The new and improved Foghat? I don't say this as a knock, as the Hat were the funkiest classic rock band of its day.
Download: Cherry Cola, Don't Speak, Poor Doggie

4. Raconteurs- Broken Boy Soldiers

What Jack White does on his free-time is pretty remarkable. (see Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose) While many have focused on the union with Brendan Benson, the rhythm section of Cincy's great 60's revivalist group the Greenhornes is a very underrated element of the Raconteurs. The Raconteurs remind me of some of the early 70's English rock bands like Uriah Heep. Kind of like 1o cuts worth of "Easy Livin'".
Downloads: Steady, As She Goes, Broken Boys Soldiers, Call It a Day

5. Deadboy and the Elephantmen-

So take one part guitarist with a focus on the past and one part slammin' drummer, then record it with a lo-fi, live sounding feel. Despite what you might think it doesn't sound much like the White Stripes, as frontman Dex comes from the Peter Murphy School of singing. This is the album David Bowie should be trying to make.
Downloads: Stop, I'm Already Dead, Blood Music

6. The Hush Sound- Like Vines

Will Carroll turned me on to this great Chicago band. Have you ever wondered what a union of Ben Folds and the Cardigans would sound like? Look no further than here. Sugary sweet deliciousness.
Downloads: Don't Wake Me Up, Wine Red

7. Dixie Chicks- Taking the Long Way

While it is very cool in the rock and roll world to slag the President, in country music you could wind up never getting back on the radio. Before Natalie Maines took a shot at Dubya during the height of American jingoism, the Dixie Chicks just might have been the most popular country band in the world. Pathetic that much of country radio has turned it's back on such quality music. I would argue the first 3 songs on "Taking the Long Way" are the best beginning of any record of 2006. Produced by Rick Rubin, the band has taken the next step up the ladder, as Maines' voice had never sounded purer.
Downloads: Long Time Way Around, Easy Silence, Not Ready to Make Nice, Silent House

8. Little Willies

While her first 2 albums sold better, this is the best work of Norah Jones' career. Taken a collection of old country tunes and making them their own, this band also features Richard Julian on vocals, as well. Julian's Lyle Lovett-esque tone blends nicely with Jones' gorgeous pipes. While the cool kids go for Neko Case or Jenny Lewis, I take off my cowboy hat to the biggest selling female artist of the past 5 years making an eclectic recording that purposedly stayed away from the soft jazz moneymaker she is well-known for.
Downloads: I Gotta Get Drunk Richard Julian Night Life

9. The Hold Steady- Boys and Girls in America

From the Twin Cities by way of Brooklyn, Craig Finn produces the Springsteen album that the Killers only hinted at. Finn brings the snarl of an Afghan Whigs to the Born to Run grooves of the music.
Downloads: First Night, Stuck Between Stations

10. Prince- 3121

Taking the next step after Musicology , 3121 is the triumphant return of Prince at what he does best. The most rocking album he has put out since "The Gold Experience". Don't think the funk isn't represented as well. While recorded before James Brown's death, it is a tribute in many ways to the Godfather of Soul. Black Sweat is the best electro funk song since Kiss.
Downloads: Lolita, Get On the Boat

11. The Pernice Brothers- Live a Little

The great British Pop album this year is recorded by a guy named Joe from Massachusetts. Furthermore, this Joe guy used to front a band named the Scud Mountain Boys. Yeah, I know it sounds hard to believe, but if you have been looking for music which sounds somewhere between early Bee Gees and Badfinger, "Live a Little" is for you. Downloads: Grudge Fu**, Somerville.

12. Phoenix- It's Never Been Like That

The second best British Pop album this year is recorded by some cats from France. Reminds me of some of the good pop/synth groups of the 80's and early 90's.
Downloads: Consolation Prizes, Long Distance Call, Lost and Found

13. Artic Monkeys- Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

The latest example of the next great British rock band hype machine. While not as good as some think, the record does have some great singles on it.
Downloads: Scumbag (When the Sun Goes Down), Dancing Shoes, Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

14. Cold War Kids- Robbers and Cowards

One trend that I think has been great in 2006 is the strong return of piano in rock music. Considering that the Cold War Kids have influences such as Dylan and Waits, the question might be "why don't you have the real thing on your list?" I will agree that Dylan and Waits have put out quality works, but I don't hear anything from their 2006's records that they haven't done better in the past. Lead singer Nathan Willet's voice is more in the vein of Jeff Buckley, which is something I can handle with repeated listening. Waits and Dylan will stand the test of time, where I'm guessing the Cold War Kids will be disbanded within 5 years, but of all the 3 releases mentioned I would choose the Cold War Kids to listen to right now.

15. Wolfmother

Sure they are derivative, but has anyone done the Sabbath/Zep better since Soundgarden? Who they really remind me of is Deep Purple when a young David Coverdale fronted them.
Downloads: Woman, Love Train

16. John Mayer- Continuum

Mayer is probably smarter, probably funnier, probably better looking, and most definitely can play guitar better than you, so why wouldn't you hate him. Oh and then throw in that he's banging smokin' bimbos like Jessica Simpson. Yes, I feel your blood boiling. After his debut record that sold a bajillion copies and put him on the map with every college girl in America, he chose this year to come after their Moms, with one of the top MILF seduction releases of all-time. Mixing Curtis Mayfield vocals and Slowhand Clapton guitar licks and you've got the white boy blues album of 2006. Take that Soul Patrol.

17. Ben Kweller

Kweller puts out pop rock delights every couple years and this is no exception. Listen to the song "Sundress" or "Until I Die" and then tell me you don't feel better about life.

18. Deftones- Saturday Night Wrists

I would argue that the Deftones have been the most consistent hard rock band of the past 10 years. "Saturday Night Wrists" is the most stylistic diverse record of their careers, showing the influence of bands like the Cure, My Bloody Valentine, DJ Shadow, and the Pumpkins. Check out the opening track, "Hole in the Earth", which is better Coldplay than anything Chris Martin put out on his band's last release.

19. Josh Ritter- Animal Years

Best alt.country record of the year, with "Girl in the War" one of the best songs of 2006.

20. Matt Mays + Torpedo

Not far behind the Hold Steady in putting out the best Springsteen-influenced record of the year, Mays goes more the Wallflowers/Petty in his interpretation of the Boss.

Perfect Disco Rock Record of 2006 Scissor Sisters- Ta-Dah; Under the Influence of Giants; Electric Six- Switzerland

While none of these records are a top 20 release, take the best Mp3's from each of them and then you have one of the Top 5 records of 2006. Here are the 12 Songs you should download to make your alternative dance pop mix tape for this year.

Scissor Sisters: I Don't Feel Like Dancin; She's My Man, Ooh, Everybody Wants the Same Thing
Under the Influence of Giants: Mama's Room, Got Nothing, Aha, In the Clouds
Electric Six: Radio Gaga Gaga, Dance Epidemic, Pulling the Plug on the Party, Rock and Roll Evacuation

Best 2006 Release to Make Sweet Love to a Suicide Girl The Twilight Singers- Powder Burns

I've always thought Greg Dulli was similar to Paul Weller in that he has an inner soul man trapped in a brain developed under punk rock's influence. Weller decided to get his Marvin Gaye on after he left The Jam, but Dulli has stuck to his alternative roots. The Twilight Singers, though, show him pushing a little closer towards traditional soul.

Best Emo Release of 2006*** Click on link to unveil my choice and then go to the end of this piece to find out my reasoning.

The Rap Record that Most Connected with Me in 2006- P.O.S. Audition

The Twin Cities is always been one of the most underrated music scenes. Now the land of Fargo has their own rapper, doncha know? Old school style points for using guitar riffs between beats like classic DMC or Beasties, plus eclectic lyrics like De La Soul makes P.O.S. ill.

Most manipulative record of 2006 that I Still Couldn't Resist Snow Patrol- Eyes Open

While not as good as the band's last release, "Final Straw", Snow Patrol has figured out the genre kind of like a Scottish Stone Temple Pilots. Sure it was overplayed, but it was hard to top its monster single "Chasing Cars". This was the ultimate Grey's Anatomy/O.C. tune of the year.

Top Mash-up/re-release of 2006 Beatles- Love

Well it's not like you can screw up some of the greatest songs in music history, but I guess I was hoping the Martin's would have been more creative here. They were under the microscope, though, as they were instructed not to add any music to this that wasn't recorded by the Beatles. I would rather hear Danger Mouse's version, but he wouldn't want to work under these restrictions. As I said, I liked it, but don't think it's that much better than Stars of 45.

Best rock covers album of 2006 Grant Lee Phillips- Nighteeneighties

One of music's best singers takes on some of the best alternative rock songs of the 1980's. "The Killing Moon" and "Love My Way" are good places to start.

Best Record of 2005 that Slipped by Me until 2006 OK Go- Oh No

Loved this Chicago band's 2002 self-titled debut especially "Get Over It", but somehow didn't check out their follow-up, until I caught the video for "Here It Goes Again." If you've never seen it, check it out, as it is my favorite music video of all-time. (It also happens to be my 3 year-old daughter's favorite song of 2006) In regards to the "Oh No" album, if you have ever wondered what the Kinks would sound like today, this release I think answers it.

I Really Tried, but It Just Didn't Happen for Me TV on the Radio

Just Don't Get It Album of 2006 Joanna Newsom

Good, but Liked Their Last Release Better Decemberists and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs

***Emo Phillips is one of the great standups of the past 20 years. Sadly, someone this creative is unknown to so many, while Emo bands wreck the covers of your favorite rock music magazine. Many point to Jimmy Eat World as being the original American emo band, but I guess I see them as more of power pop group, which is the reason I like them. The typical whiny vocals of most emo bands just don't connect with me. Take it from someone who has been under the magnifying lens of a critic numerous times, it's important to keep in mind that reviews are just the thoughts of one person. Feel free to vent in the comments section.

Comments
2006-12-30 11:08:55
1.   Eric Enders
- So far, I like "The Crane Wife" a lot better than the previous Decemberists album. It just seems more cohesive and has more to say.

- Glad to see Josh Ritter here, but I think he deserves the #1 spot. No downloads listed? People really should download the whole thing, but at the very least "Thin Blue Line" and "Girl in the War."

- I love the Hold Steady, but this album so far (I've only listened to it twice yet) is a mild disappointment. They seem to be staying in the same stagnant rut instead of branching out into new things.

- Agree with the Dixie Chicks comment 100%. I was truly blown away by the first three songs, although the rest of the album is really good too.

- No Johnny Cash? I thought the final album was really good, which was mildly surprising since I'd expected it to be mostly a collection of leftovers.

- Two words: M. Ward!

I guess now I'll have to check out that Little Willies record,w hich I haven't gotten around to yet.

2006-12-30 11:17:34
2.   EricGagnesGoggles
Ah! Love the Twilight Singers. Heard them first on the season finale of Rescue Me. "Follow You Down" is one hell of a song.
2006-12-30 11:47:38
3.   Humma Kavula
Agree with Eric on M. Ward...

...but if I have only two words, they are: Neko Case!

If I get two more words, they are Camera Obscura.

And if I get 15 more words on top of that, they are: Yo La Tengo's I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.

2006-12-30 12:12:49
4.   Tom
Is the newer Camera Obscura better than Underachievers? I really didn't care for that album, as I think it sounded like less interesting Belle & Sebastian (whom I love dearly).

Also, I think Scott's a little hard on Joanna Newsome. I've recently e-music'd her stuff, and I think it's pretty good. Milk-eyed Mender is a little easier to take because the songs aren't 20 minutes a piece.

2006-12-30 13:08:11
5.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Can I get some love for Edguy's Rocket Ride and Angra's Aurora Consurgens? How about Iron Maiden's A Matter Of Life And Death? Blind Guardian's A Twist in the Myth?

If I can nominate musical/live DVDs, I'd like to recommend Kamelot's One Cold Winter's Night and Therion's Celebrators of Becoming, which, while a bit of a departure from their usual style is one of the most incredible releases I've ever heard.

I guess I'm just out of step with mainstream America.

2006-12-30 14:06:48
6.   Jesse
cheers to the cold war kids. they're my old roommates- and the hardest working band on the road right now. they've several very good eps as well.
2006-12-30 16:40:51
7.   D4P
I would argue the first 3 songs on "Taking the Long Way" are the best beginning of any record of 2006

I'd include the 4th song too. Great stuff.

2006-12-30 22:43:27
8.   Humma Kavula
Tom, I guess it all depends on what you go for. I was truly impressed.

If you want to give it a try... in my opinion, the best tracks on the albums are 1, 2, 6, and 9. You could do worse with four emusic downloads.

2006-12-30 23:15:13
9.   Another Tom
OT (sort of) - I went and saw Frank Caliendo tonight in Tempe. I understand that it must be difficult to come up with new material for a comedian. But if you do a national show like Letterman, you have to do different stuff for a local Improv show. He's talented - but that was a clear waste of $33. I could just watch his clips on his webpage and get the entire show. And the guy that opened for him was atrocious. Very disappointing night at the Improv.
2006-12-31 01:50:13
10.   Scott Long
Sorry that the show didn't go better. Here's my thoughts on your view. Standup comedy is not something where you just do different stuff whenever you want. Dave Attell, who I happen to think is the funniest comic on the planet, has been doing most of the same show for years.

Look at it like a band, when you are a comedic star, people come out to see the hits. To put together a really funny 50 minute set is really hard to do. Frank actually changes his act more than any impressionist I've ever seen. If you don't believe me go to youtube and watch the other acts during impressionist week on Letterman.

I know it sounds like I'm ripping you, which I promise you I'm not. Standup happens to be what I have a masters degree in, so I have a pretty clear understanding of the process. If you watched much of any comics work on the internet, you would be pretty disappointed to see how much their show is the same in person.

This is the curse of youtube/myspace for comedy. It can help raise awareness, but at the same time can blow the punch line, much like how movie trailers do for most comedies. This is also one reason that I put very little of my act on the web.

As a writer I'm fairly prolific, but it's hard to want to throw-out something you know works great to take a chance on something you are not as proficient at. Each night you have to prove yourself to the club and the audience, as laughter is not something that can be produced artificially. Someone in my position feels constant pressure to kick ass, so I will get booked back again. Takes away from the creativity of the profession, but there's not much you can do about it.

Hopefully I have given a little insight into the biz. I think I might have to go a little farther and develop this as full-length piece. Thanks for the idea.

2006-12-31 03:04:34
11.   Clive Clements
5 You probably didn't expect anybody to respond, but I'll bite. Opeth's album was amazing. I absolutely love Reverie/Harlequin Forest and that's probably in my top 5 Opeth songs of all time. Blind Guardian's new one is way better than Night at the Opera. I haven't given Angra's new one too many spins yet, but it seems pretty solid. Pretty hard to top Temple of Shadows (which made me love Edu-fronted Angra more than Andre-fronted Angra) though.

New Maiden was really great too. Dance of Death was such a disappointment to me and so I'm glad they were able to come back strong w/ this one. I didn't get a chance to see them on this past tour, but thought it was really ballsy of them to play the whole album in its entirety.

2006-12-31 07:13:41
12.   cooperjude
Nice job by you and Will on the lists -- certainly gives me some things to check out. Two comments:

You get an "amen" from me re: TV on the Radio. The professional critics loved it, and like you, I tried, but to me, it was just a lot of noise.

And a top record for the year: Destroyer: Destroyer's Rubies. Dan Bejar stretches pop music to a point where it actually deserves to call itself "popular." Downloads: the whole damn album, but to start, "European Oils," "Painter in Your Pocket," "Looters' Follies."

2006-12-31 09:42:47
13.   Scott Long
To my guys on 5 and 11, you would be correct in thinking I didn't check ou the death metal scene. I listened to Opeth, but just can't get past the voice. To my ears, it sounds like how my friend comic Pablo Francisco refers to death metal, as the singers sound like an angry cookie monster. Maybe I'm just too old to appreciate it.

I'm more of a Deftones or Tool kind of guy when it comes to the metal scene. Thanks for bringing your choices to the attention of everyone here, though, as you probably will turn others around here into something they will like.

We have a big tent attitude here at thejuiceblog.

2006-12-31 10:49:12
14.   Another Tom
I completely understand it must be difficult to come up with a different set. But for your nightly gigs there has to be something different than your national set. I realize the national gig is what puts you on the map and eventually gets you known but, and tell me if I'm wrong, it's the nightly gigs that pay the bills. I wasn't the only one - as we filed out of the Improv everyone around me was mumbling that his set was exactly his Letterman set.

Let me add that the entire night at the Improv was not enjoyable and it added to the disappointment. Frank was brilliant, but.... We had "previews" of coming comics for 17 minutes. That's a long time and people started boo'ing and yelling to get on with the show. The MC was a college kid who wasn't very funny and the first act was just bad. Frank came on and basically did his Letterman bit and that was it. I didn't time it but I think it was about a 30 minute set. Then, inexplicably for the 10pm Sat show, they had everyone file out the back exit, walk around the back of the building and had Frank standing behind a table in the parking lot freezing his ass off trying to sell CD's. Usually this is done in the lobby, not in the parking lot when it's 43 degrees out.

I usually love to go to the Improv and I think Frank is brilliant and incredibly talented. But this was an all-around bad evening. We had guests in town so 4 tickets at $33 each and 2 drink min. at $6.75 came to a $200 tab quickly. There is a lot of competition in Phoenix/Scottsdale for entertainment dollars and it was disappointing to spend it this way.

The way that most comedians I've seen work telling the same jokes over and over is to tailor it to the town. They do the stuff everyone has heard but mix in local jokes, crowd interaction, "what do you do, sir" type of stuff. I would think that Frank being an impressionist it would be easier. His schtick are the impressions, not the jokes. I'm not a comedian and it must be incredibly difficult. Maybe the Internet is the bad part here with all of his act on his webpage. But it was disappointing.

2006-12-31 11:39:27
15.   Orly Yarly NoWai
11 I didn't expect anyone to bite, you're right. ^_^

Interestingly, I heard that a lot of people were really disappointed with Maiden's tour because they only played things from the new album. That kinda bugs me; some of the new stuff is as good as anything they've ever written. Ah well, some people don't enjoy originality, I guess.

I actually haven't listened to much Opeth; I really should, but I just haven't gotten around to it, I guess. My tastes currently are running towards very symphonic/operatic sounds, which is why I loved Night at the Opera (but Twist in the Myth is better). Lately, the playlists on my MP3 player have consisted of nothing but Therion, Leaves' Eyes, Kamelot, Epica and Nightwish, with a few Blind Guardian songs like Skalds and Shadows and Past and Future Secret.

13 If you're expecting death metal, you'll be pleasantly surprised (for the most part). Check out the Superheroes video on YouTube; it reminds me of a twisted mix of Van Halen and Scorpions. It's worth the four minutes, trust me.

As for the comedy? I'm a consumer; I have no insight into the business. That being said, Jim Gaffigan and Demetri Martin are excellent.

2006-12-31 11:57:57
16.   Orly Yarly NoWai
In fact, because I'm such a nice guy (iomank --) I'll try to find some links for you.

Superheroes, by Edguy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQTisB1mhc8

Another Stranger Me, by Blind Guardian:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQUL6AGFk-4

Elegy, by Leaves' Eyes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1m0gKFaEuM

March of Mephisto, by Kamelot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WErVlIzm8Dk

Enjoy!

2006-12-31 12:49:46
17.   Scott Long
Hey ATom, the way you were shuttled in and out is standard fare for IMPROV's when they have a sold-out show to be followed by another sold-out show. Rule of thumb if you want to catch the best shows, go to a weekday show where there isn't a show following it. Having said all this, I can completely understand why you would be pissed, as the night was not what you were hoping for.

In regards to your final point, most headlining comics at the IMPROV don't do much crowd rap or tailor their show for the area. They are rock stars and the crowd is usually stoked to see them, so....

Headliners like myself, who don't have a name draw, perform for audiences who just came out to see a comedy show, so it is definitely more of a "make me laugh funny boy" mind set. Makes you work harder and try to connect with the audiences.

Name acts are treated by an audience like someone you have been dating for a month. Lots of infatuation and you will generally give them the benefit of the doubt.

No name acts (like me) are treated more like a blind date, as you are expected to be nothing special. Now the plus about this is if you turn out to wow them, it has the added bonus of being an unexpected surprise.

Finally, to the point of not doing your TV set, well that isn't going to happen. You can write and perform 3-5 new minutes and insert it, but to do much more, you would be stumbling around and lose all comedy rhythm. Since it's like singing acapella, you can't go out there like some garage band and slam out a bunch of new songs. It takes time and as I mentioned before, Frank probably offers up more new material than 90% of the headliners working today.

On the subject of Jim Gaffigan, he is in that 10% of people who are incredibly prolific performing new stuff. Having said that, if you saw him perform tonight, I'm guessing he would be doing most of what his last comedy central special contained. (Hot Pockets!)

I think Demetri Martin is very funny, but he is similar to a lot of the bands critics put on their top 10 lists. He works for the cool people, but doesn't have much mainstream appeal. I guess it is all of what you are going for. Many of the rooms I perform at would boo him off the stage, but at the same time, my act wouldn't resonate all that well at the alternative comedy rooms that see him as the man.

And now another installment of standup comedy 101 comes to a close.

2006-12-31 13:04:22
18.   Scott Long
And now to Orly Yarly NoWai in reverse order.

March of Mephisto, by Kamelot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WErVlIzm8Dk

Interesting, I will have to check more out.

Elegy, by Leaves' Eyes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1m0gKFaEuM

OK, but I like Amy Lee and the chick from Flyleaf better. More goth.

Another Stranger Me, by Blind Guardian:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQUL6AGFk-4

This is not good. Sorry.

Superheroes, by Edguy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQTisB1mhc8

When you mentioned how Edguy reminded you of the Scorpions and Van Halen, it excited me, as I'm a huge fan of both bands peak work. After seeing this, there is no other way to say it. Are you joking? The video is like Ted Nugent's wet dream. Couldn't determine if it was a joke or not, but the music itself is awful. Really, dude, go back to the Scorps Lovedrive or Blackout if you want to hear good hook-driven metal. I'm sure you are an outstanding citizen and all-around great guy, but this shit sucks.

2006-12-31 13:05:09
19.   Orly Yarly NoWai
I've never seen either of them live, but through the magic of YouTube and some of their CDs I've heard a lot of their stuff. Interestingly,judging solely by my dad, some of Gaffigan's stuff, specifically his riffs on bottled water and Mexican food, have entered the lexicons of the over-50 sect, which I certainly find interesting.

Martin reminds me a lot of Mitch Hedburg. I find his understated act to be a lot more appealing than, say, Dane Cook's. While I have nothing against Dane, sometimes his over-the-top crazyness grates a bit.

The only even somewhat famous comedian I've seen live is Josh Blue, who performed at my college, and he was incredible.

2006-12-31 13:08:56
20.   Orly Yarly NoWai
18 I guess it depends entirely on taste.

"I'm sure you are an outstanding citizen and all-around great guy, but this shit sucks. "

That's pretty much what I think when I hear Eagles of Death Metal. To each their own.

2006-12-31 13:19:10
21.   Scott Long
When I first saw Martin on TV, (a few years back) I thought he was way too much like Mitch (who I knew). Martin has evolved more into having his own voice, which makes me like him a lot more.

Dane Cook is a rock star comic. There aren't many of them. Good or bad, this is what he is.

I like Josh Blue a lot from what I saw on Last Comic Standing.

2006-12-31 14:16:15
22.   Another Tom
That's actually why I picked the 10pm Sat show so it was the last show of the night. I didn't realize there was another show.

I'm not saying to not do the TV bit, obviously that's the meat of their routine and their best stuff. But work it in, or mix it up out of order. Or do something that makes you not think you're just watching the same old thing.

I've been thinking about it today and comedians like Bill Maher who go off of current events always have new material - that makes sense. I guess the disappointment came from the exact same routine in the same order.

I've seen Dane Cook 3 times and yes he does his tv material but he interacts with the crowd so much it makes it unique each time. The same for Stephen Lynch. I mean, he sings the exact same songs but he mixes in the crowd that it made it feel like it was different each time.

Oh well. Happy new year!

2007-01-01 06:38:13
23.   joyofsox
I understand the Springsteen references with The Hold Steady, but the guy I hear most in their music/vocals is Graham Parker.
2007-01-01 16:49:42
24.   Vishal
i haven't listened through any of these 2006 releases, but props for recognizing the quality deftones and eagles of death metal.

as for emo, jimmy eat world is definitely not the original. screamy post-hardcore roots aside, i'd say the two bands who should be credited as the progenitors/popularizers of the whiny emo style are mineral and sunny day real estate.

"crazy" is one of the best songs i've heard in a long time.

i wonder if you've ever heard minus the bear. i suspect you'd like them.

2007-01-01 18:43:41
25.   overkill94
11 Wow, I really haven't been paying much attention to new heavy metal releases lately, I didn't even realize Opeth had a new album this year (and they're one of my favorites).

Symphonic/power metal can be good, but I seem to only love a handful from the genre; Nightfall in Middle Earth being one of those instances. I seem to be more of a thrash guy myself (as you can tell by my screen name).

2007-01-01 23:05:51
26.   Claire Malone-Evans
Craig Finn of The Hold Steady reminds me of a strange mixture of Mark E. Smith of The Fall and Tommy Tutone. I love that album though. My faves are The Drive by Truckers and Yo La Tengo .
2007-01-02 00:11:18
27.   Scott Long
I like the Graham Parker comparison for Finn. While I think the music is more E Street, the voice definitely has a heat treatment to it.
2007-01-02 15:19:49
28.   Smed
Loved Jenny Lewis' album, the Decemberists, and the Hold Steady. "Chips Ahoy" and "Chillout Tent" are my two faves on that record. Rock AND Roll, people. The Sonic Youth album was great, too!
2007-01-02 15:26:45
29.   Blackfish
Checked out The Hush Sound on your recommendation. Love the album. Great find and thanks! One of the best I've heard this year.

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