Best music of the year

I like year end lists. They appeal to my desire to canonize things before anyone else has a chance to, and to engage in nostalgia for things that are still happening.

Remember that time I wrote that post about year end lists? Yeah. That was cool.

But music lists are wacky. There are magazines, and even bloggers, who have named their Top 50 of 2006. 50? Even if I weren’t constantly combing through music’s back pages (I heard for the first time this year 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties Request by the Rolling Stones and 1997’s Zaireeka by The Flaming Lips, among many others), I still wouldn’t have near enough time to process 50 new albums unless I gave up listening to all my old ones. And I love music. And I have lots of time because I’ve been unemployed most of the year. Who are these people who have listened to so many new records that they have 50 favorites? Even when I was a part-time music critic I had difficulty coming up with much more than 10 albums worth honoring at the end of the year.

And so, in no particular order, the only albums I can really recommend from 2006:

Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (discussed here)
Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped (discussed here)
Bob Dylan – Modern Times (now with more plagiarism!)
The Starlight Mints – Drowaton (they’re getting progressively less weird, and the departure of their string section hurts, but their latest has better energy than 2003’s Built on Squares.)

Missing the cut are four pretty good but problematic records: The Flaming Lips’ At War with the Mystics, The Strokes’ First Impressions of Earth, Belle and Sebastian’s The Life Pursuit and The Pillows’ My Foot.

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One Response to “Best music of the year”

  1. YLlama Says:

    I was also modestly disappointed with “At War with the Mystics.” But I was very disappointed with “First Impressions of Earth.” The Strokes held such promise early on, and have completely sullied any goodwill they once possessed by making the same record every time, only worse.

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