Sweet Static

Yes, another mp3 blog. Trying to share what I like with the world. The music here is for sampling only and are up for a limited time. It's simple really you see. If you like the music then go out and support the artists. Buy a cd/mp3/eight track, make a request on radio, see them live, tell others about it. This way this wonderful medium hopefully won't be stomped on.

Location: Windsor, Ont, Canada

Sweet Static is an mp3 blog that allows me to share the music I love and also to point out other cool things around the internet that catch my attention. It is also a place where I can talk about my radio show by the same name, now on Thursday nights from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm on CJAM 91.5 FM in Windsor, Ontario. Got something I should hear? Email me at sweetstatic @ gmail.com. All comments left here are emailed to my inbox, so you can get a hold of me that way also. You can also follow the show/me on twitter at sweetstaticcjam.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Sweet Static Baker's Dozen 2006-Top 13 Albums Of The Year

Here now is the Sweet Static Baker's Dozen for 2006. My favorite records of the year. Just my own flawed opinion here so don't get too upset over my picks. Why a top thirteen? Well it was just a good number to get almost everything I wanted to put in, in.

I meant to have this up about a week earlier but review writing has never been a strong point for me. Back when I was writing at the campus newspaper I'd do pretty good stories/interviews but never was comfortable with reviews and found that feeling coming back when doing this up. But with the radio version being done tomorrow I hunkered down, fought my way through a twisted tongue and got it done.

How did I come about my list? Well easy. First I wrote down all the stuff that I knew was in the running. Mostly stuff that I've been listening to lately or knew was released this year. Second I went over all my playlists from the year to see what there was that I might of missed. Third I looked over some best of lists for the same purpose.

From there I wrote everything down and came up with thirty five records. I then spent the last month listening to everything (sometimes multiple times) and made three columns, the definite, the maybe and the not at all. Got my list down to thirteen and then ranked them.

Couple of notes.
-This list is not exhaustive. There's no way in the world to listen to everything (although volunteering at a campus radio station does help). Tops on my list of stuff I know I missed but wished I hadn't include Jon-Rae And The River, Beirut and Amy Millan.
-I only ranked studio albums of new material. So at the end of the list is some stuff I liked that didn't qualify.
-I'll be making a mix of selections from these albums but that'll have to come this weekend. Got to work tonight and need some sleep.

On to the list.

13-Malajube-Trompe-L'Oeil (Dare To Care)
I have no clue what they are saying but that's fine with me (although you might think that twelve years of French might have some lingering effect). Most everyone knows the story of how no one had heard of them before their Polaris nomination, me included. I was intrigued and picked the record up and really enjoyed it.

12-Centro-Matic-Fort Recovery (Misra)
An album from early in the year that I really got into at the time of release. Forgot about it but in doing this was reminded how much I liked it. Maybe my favorite one-two punch to open a record of the year.

11-Henri Faberge & The Adorables-Self-Titled (indie)
Just one of your everyday great pop records. Catchy songs, good sense of humor with a bit of sexual stuff thrown in for good measure. A whole bunch of fun to listen to.

10-The Avett Brothers-Four Thieves Gone (Ramseur)
Not sure if I got into them late last year or early this year but I've really grown to love their records. Nice bluegrass stuff that hasn't really taken off yet.

9-The Decemberists-The Crane Wife (Capitol)
Nice to see that stupid indie purists fears about the always dreaded major label debut were for naught. I didn't get into this album as much as last year's Picaresque but that's not to take anything away from this.

8-Band Of Horses-Everything All The Time (Sub Pop)
Forget all the comparisons that read in every review or story on the band. This is a beautiful record that stands up listen after listen.

7-The Bicycles-The Good The Bad The Cuddly (Fozzy Logic)
Other then Malajube the other Canadian band that came out of virtually nowhere and ruled the campus radio charts. An album with what has been called a bad title by some but really one that reflects what it is nicely.

6-Gnarls Barkley-St. Elsewhere (Warner)
I picked this up right when it came out and never really got into it beyond "Crazy" and "Gone Daddy Gone" initially. However when I listened to it again for making the list it hit me like a ton of bricks. Honestly it went from borderline not making it all the way up to here. Definitely worth the hype.

5-Bruce Springsteen-We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (Capitol)
Another record I bought on release day but this one I got into right from the beginning. The Boss with tuba, what's not to like.

4-Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins-Rabbit Fur Coat (Team Love)
Another album from early in the year that I immediately grabbed on to and never let go. I always find myself throwing into my discman a couple of times a month and enjoying it as much as ever.

3-Rock Plaza Central-Are We Not Horses? (Indie)
I've written a lot about Rock Plaza Central and this album is well deserving of the hype (both mine and from elsewhere) Add in one of the best covers of the year ("Sexy Back") and it's been a great year for the man from Sackville.

2-The Barmitzvah Brothers-The Century Of Invention (Permafrost)
Once again an album from early in the year but another that I just loved. Another band I've been a fan of for a long time, this album is easily their best. Their previous albums I always enjoyed but were long albums that sometimes went astray the odd time. This album though was their shortest but also their tightest and their best.

1-The Hold Steady-Boys And Girls In America (Vagrant)
The thing I hate about my best of list is I have a tendency to overrate albums from the end of the year that I'm really into at the time. With that in mind I had this a couple of spots lower but the more I listen to it the more I'm convinced that Boys And Girls In America isn't going anywhere in my favorite list anytime soon.

Alright that's that. Now some special mentions for records I liked but didn't fit my criteria.
-Matthew Sweet/Susannah Hoffs-Under The Covers Volume 1 (Shout Factory)-covers record
-The Sadies-In Concert: Volume 1 (Outside)-live album
-Various-Shortbus Soundtrack (Team Love)-soundtrack

Lastly the short list of stuff that didn't make my list
-Neko Case-Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (Mint)
-Johnny Cash-American V: A Hundred Highways (Lost Highway)
-Bob Dylan-Modern Times (Sony)
-The Flaming Lips-At War With The Mystics (Warner)
-Golden Smog-Another Fine Day (Lost Highway)
-Land Of Talk-Applause Cheer Boo Hiss (Dependent)
-Sonic Youth-Rather Ripped (Geffen)

That's it. My two cents for what it's worth (which is about half that probably).


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