Monday, December 11, 2006

Jeff Tweedy - Sunken Treasure

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy released a DVD compiled of solo performances throughout the Pacific Northwest this year. The DVD is shot really well and features some excellent Tweedy banter in addition to the performances. Wilco members Glenn Kotche and Nels Cline make appearances on a few songs throughout the DVD as well. With the purchase of the DVD came a digital download of the DVD audio, so please sample a few tracks below and go pick up the DVD.

  • Jeff Tweedy - Heavy Metal Drummer

  • Jeff Tweedy - Acuff Rose

  • Jeff Tweedy - California Stars
  • The Sadies - In Concert vol. 1

    The Sadies are my generation's The Band, and this year they released the modern equivilent of The Last Waltz. With guests such as Gary Louris, Neko Case, John Spencer, Garth Hudson, Waco Brothers and so on, this was one of those forever memorable concert events. The Sadies really are the best backing band in the world, and a pretty great band in their own right. So enjoy some tracks from The Sadies - In Concert Volume 1.

  • The Sadies - Hold On, Hold On

  • The Sadies - Tailspin

  • The Sadies - Food, Water etc.
  • I forgot to submit a few albums..

    I did my #11-20 albums in quite a bit of a hurry since i have a deadline to meet, so I didnt really put a whole lot of thought into them and looking back I left off some very worthy albums this year, so I'd like to give a nod to the following:

    m. ward - post war
    sparklehorse - dreamt for light years in the belly of a mountain
    pop levi - blue honey ep
    shearwater - palo santo
    handsome family - last days of wonder
    heartless bastards - all this time
    clipse - hell hath no fury
    swan lake - beast moans
    ..among others

    favorite live releases of the year coming up.


    So there you have my top albums of 2006. Music is all objective, so in now way am I trying to say that these were the BEST albums released this year, simply the ones that I enjoyed listening to the most and received the most spins from me. I hope you dicovered some things that you liked.

    Tomorrow I'll probably post some of my favorite live releases of the year, so be on the lookout for that.

    #1 Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country

    Here it is folks, my album of the year, Camera Obscura's "Let's Get Out of This Country." Once again, this is a band that I only just discovered this year, but they hit me in a big way and further added to my ne love of female vocals. Tracyanne Campbell wrote some truly heartbreaking lyrics on this '06 release, but it's all very endearing. Pop gems such as "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken," "Tears For Affairs," and "If Looks Could Kill," coupled with melancholy country-esque tracks like "Dory Previn," and "Country Mile" make this album nearly perfect, not to mention Campbell's voice is about as addicting as heroin. The album's only flaw being the easily forgettable "The False Contender."

    I think what I love most about this album is that it reminds me of my time as a child listening to the "Oldies" station in the car with my parents and hearing classic female lead tracks like "Be My Baby" or "My Boyfriend's Back" and so on. This album is very easily accessible and offers somethine for everyone.

    Once again, the upload of the entire album just wouldn't happen, so here are a few standout tracks from Let's Get Out of This Country. Enjoy.

  • Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken

  • Camera Obscura - Dory Previn

  • Camera Obscura - If Looks Could Kill
  • Sunday, December 10, 2006

    #2 Howlin' Rain - Howlin' Rain

    Howlin' Rain features Comets on Fire(who are awesome themselves) guitarist Ethan Miller, drummer John Moloney, and bassist Ian Gradek. Their self-titled debut album is a lot of things, but what it isn't is anything short of awesome. In it's most basic form, it's a really good country rock album, but you add in all of the psychedelia, and absurd guitar explosions and you've found yourself having an acid flashback to the original Woodstock festival. To steal a quote from our good friend at life and how to live it, "this album is about three bowls and a bad idea away from being heady." Just as an example of this album's absurdly awesome nature, take the track "Calling Lightning With a Scythe" which for it's first three minutes or so seems like a nice rolling country tune; until the wall of guitar sqwauks rains down on you and you don't know whether to fear for your life or belt out a demonic laugh and just enjoy it.

    A lot of these tracks would be great sing alongs if you could understand half of Miller's vocals, but one very audible line on the album's closing track, "The Firing of the Midnight Rain" sum up perfectly how to enjoy this album: "Drinking cans of beer all afternoon" is the best way i could possibly imagine rocking out to this ridiculously epic(for Benn, again) endeavor, which is why it's my favorite rock album of the year, and damn near my overall favorite.

    I know I've been throwing up full albums for the top 10 thus far, but for whatever reason my uploads kept crapping out on me, so please enjoy a few tracks I've selected to represent this album

  • Howlin' Rain - Calling Lightning With a Scythe

  • Howlin' Rain - In Sand and Dirt

  • Howlin' Rain - The Firing of the Midnight Rain
  • #3 Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

    Neko Case continues her reign as the Queen of the alt-country castle with her 2006 album "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood," and once again proves my long relationship with the genre and newfound love for female vocals. Just listen to this album and you too will agree that it's one of the years best. Songs like "Star Witness," "Hold On, Hold On," "That Teenage Feeling," "John Saw That Number," and "Dirty Knife" stand out on the album, though each song holds it's own. Download Fox Confessor... below.

  • Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  • #4 Califone - Roots & Crowns

    2006's "Roots & Crowns" was my first exposure, but their unique blend of folk and blues combined with noise and electronica make for a truely interesting and enjoyable combination. That sounds keeps Califone's albums very interesting throughout and allow for their music to still sound very fresh no matter how many times you go back to it. Some standout tracks on this album include: "Pink & Sour," "Spider's House," and "A Chinese Actor," although the entire album is fantastic. So please, check out Califone's "Roots & Crowns" below.

  • Califone - Roots & Crowns
  • #5 Human Television - Look at Who You're Talking To

    Everyone loves jangle pop right? Well regardless, you'll love "Look at Who You're Talking To," the 2006 release by pop group Human Television. This album was immediately accessible for me, as I knew it would make this list after only a couple of attentive listens. The album is just extremely catchy thoughout, particularly "Such a Trip" which has by far the most indectious guitar riff. So catchy and playful. So please, come get your jangle pop and enjoy some Human Television.

  • Human Television - Look at Who You're Talking To
  • #6 Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and A Curse

    With their 2006 release, "A Blessing and A Curse," the Drive-By Truckers continue to make a push as the band to be the face of modern southern rock. The three-headed monster of songwriters Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, and Jason Isbell take turns on this album singing and playing lead guitar on their own songs. Highlights from each include Hood's "Gravity's Gone," Isbell's "Daylight," and Cooley's "Space City." The album finds the Truckers showing a number of styles, all while staying within the broader realm of alt. country and southern rock. So please, enjoy A Blessing and A Curse below.

  • Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and A Curse