Friday, December 29, 2006

The Best Songs of 2006: Part 3

Hello Saferide - The Quiz

If her full length was released in 2006 instead of 2005 I probably would have chosen a different song. This one is from her 2006 EP and is still very lovable with great lyrics (as you would expect from HS)

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's - Vampire in Blue Dresses

I haven't really given this band a chance yet, but I really like this song. Video is live, but of decent quality.

Okkervil River - The President's Dead

Download mp3

The Bicycles - Gotta Get Out

Download mp3

The Thermals - A Pillar of Salt

Discussed here.

Saves the Day - Dying Day

This song has everything that once made me love this band. Nice comeback!

Download mp3

Stephen Brodsky - Sentimental Case

Discussed here. Listen to it here.

Belle and Sebastian - Funny Little Frog

The Mint Chicks - Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!

Listen to this song on their MySpace.

AFI - Kill Caustic

Decemberunderground was dissappointing to a lot of old school fans (including me). This song still rocks in typical AFI fashion. [unofficial video by the way]

The Brother Kite - Bringing it Back Home

Download here

That's last post of 2006. I will talk to you again in '07! Happy Newyear everybody!

The Best Songs of 2006: Part 2

Frida Hyvönen - You Never Got Me Right

I'm more than intrigued by this song.

Download mp3

Brakes - Hold me in the River

El Perro Del Mar - God Knows (You gotta give to Get)

Simply beautiful!

I'm From Barcelona - We're from Barcelona

Regina Spektor - On the Radio
I'm not sure what I like more about this song...the lyrics or the song itself.

On the radio
We heard November Rain
That solo's really long
But it's a pretty song
We listened to it twice
'Cause the DJ was asleep

Pipas - Riff Raff

The Format - Oceans

My favorite song of my favorite album of 2006.

Download mp3

Figurines - The Wonder

Camera Obscura - Let's get out of this Country/Loyd, I'm ready to be Heartbroken

I can't decide which song I like more. As stressed before, two of indiepop's finest songs of 2006.

Five O'Clock Heroes - Time on my Hands

White Whale - The Admiral

Classic rock 2006 style!

Download mp3

Be Your Own Pet - Bicycle, Bicycle, you are my Bicycle

Envelopes - Sister in Love

Lily Allen - LDN

While most Lily Allen songs have a tendency to lose their edge after a couple of listens for me, this song managed to stay more than enjoyable.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Best Songs of 2006: Part 1

I had this crazy plan to discuss all my favorite songs of 2006 and put them in order, but that proved to be impossible. There's only so much doubt a boy can take you know! Thus, I present to you my favorite songs of 2006 in no particular order, some I will discus and some will speak for themselves. This is part 1! Expect more very soon!

Islands - Rough Gem

The Fratellis - Flathead

Forget the singles, this is the best Fratellis song! Padapap padadadada!

Download mp3

MC Lars - Internet Relationships

Mc Lars has the smartest lyrics in hiphop, with songs about Moby Dick and emo instead of bitches and ho's. This song is a funny indictment of internet culture.

"SueChick1990: Hi, I’m Susie, I like your profile
I checked out your pics and I like your style
BOBSTER MAN: Sounds good Susie, I’ll be your friend
We can message each other again and again
SueChick1990: Comment on my pics and post on my page
Join my groups and guess my age!
BOBSTER MAN: You must be 18, how could you not?
You can’t be in high school you’re just too hot
SueChick1990: Let me send you pics for your personal collection
I hope they inspire you and give you a smile
Susie sent Bob pics that were borderline obscene
The cops showed up at his door – she was only 16"

Download mp3

Portastatic - (I'm in love with) Arthur Dove

Discussed here.

Download mp3

The Killers - When you were young

They don't make songs like this anymore...oh they do!

The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!

The Pipettes - Pull Shapes

The Long Blondes - Once and Never Again

The Bronx - White Guilt
Rock and Roll!

Billy Talent - Red Flag
Anthemic punkrock song.

Grandaddy - Elevate Myself

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The 20 Best Albums of 2006: 10-1

10. Frida Hyvönen - Until Death Comes

Discovered late in the year, the album from this piano playing singer songwriter became one of the most played records in the previous weeks. In a way, this can be compared to Regina Spektor but it's a little less radio friendly. Very diverse, very beautiful, pretty weird and misleading at times (what about this lyric: 'Once I was a serene teenaged child/once I felt your cock against my thigh'). This album might make you a little uncomfortable, but you will be intruiged and you might even love this!

[video: The Modern]

9. Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit

I still don't get why this band isn't being played on Dutch radio. Forget the Scissor Sisters with their overplayed hit single, listen to Belle and Sebastian for you indiepop intake!!! The Life Pursuit is the most accessible and extravagant B & S album to date. Camera Obscura might have the best songs, this album is better as a whole. Sing along and dance!
[video: Funny Little Frog]

8. the Mint Chicks - Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!

"hardcore, punk, pop and rock are put in a blender with excellent results" is what I wrote about this band. One of the more surprising albums of the year. This record keeps sounding fresh and exciting, weird yet accessible, rocking yet cute.
[video: Welcome to Nowhere]

7. The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine

As I wrote here, I never 'got' this band until this album and I'm still blown away by it. Postpunk did not sound better than this in 2006.

[video: Pillar of Salt]

6. Be Your Own Pet - self titled

Discussed here. This album makes me hyperactive in a good way!

[video: Adventure]

5. The Brother Kite - Waiting for the Time to Be Right

To me, one of the biggest surprises of the year. Put Nada Surf, The Cure and the Beach Boys in a blender, add a dreamy production and you get a winner. There are some extraordinary songs on this, but what makes this album even more outstanding is the completeness of it. The combination of slower and more uptempo songs keeps this album interesting. Discussed here.
[video: I'm not the only one]

4. Sprites - Modern Gameplay

I have a weak spot for cute indiepop songs with keyboards. This is exactly what Sprites does perfectly on Modern Gameplay. Add some lyrics about computers, zombie movie directors, blogging, dj'ing and you get one of the most played albums of 2006 at FTC headquarters.
[mp3: George Romero]

3. Okkervil River - Overboard and Down (EP)

Can a five song tour EP (of which one is a cover and one a live song) end up this high in a yearlist? Hey! We're talking Okkervil River here! The few songs on it are of extraordinary quality. I can't wait for the new album!

2. The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off

The sound on this album is somewhat surprising considering their previous work, but to me it was a big improvement. They've created a style in which they sound really comfortable. What really makes this album end up this high on my list is the constant quality of the album. On most albums you'll find the urge to skip a few songs...not on this one!
[video: Louisiana]

1. The Format - Dog Problems

Discussed here. This album was my soundtrack to the summer of 2006. Break up songs never sounded this fun before. Great vocal harmonies and the diversity and musicianship showed on this album makes this my top album of 2006!

[video: Dog Problems]

So I showed you show me yours! I'd love to find out what your favorite records were this year!

Monday, December 25, 2006

The 20 Best Albums of 2006: 20-11

20. Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope

An album full of surprises that still gets better with every play. I wrote about her here.
[video: On The Radio]

19. Oxford Collapse - Remember The Night Parties

Solid indierock album. Reminds me of the Promise Ring at times.

[video: Please Visit Your National Parks]

18. The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes

I admit: at first I thought this album was fun and definitely nothing more. After seeing them live, I started appreciating it more. Well written pop tunes!

[video: We Are The Pipettes (live and acoustic)]

17. Rocky Votolato - Makers

Though I liked his previous album (Suicide Medicine) more, Rocky Votolato is still one of my favorite singer songwriters. What a voice!!!

[video: White Daisy Passing]

16. Bruce Springsteen - We shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

This tribute to traditional American folk -that can be interpreted as a protest against the current (political) state of the USA- will have you singing along in no time. I love how this album manages to sound honest, energetic and joyful at the same time. [video: Pay Me My Money Down]

15. The Cardinal Sin - hurry up and wait

This album has everything I look for in punkrock. Rawness, energy, melody and passion. Often compared to the Alkaline Trio, I like this more than the last Alkaline Trio album.
[video: Eye opener]

14. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country

Responsible for two of the finest indiepop songs of the year ('Loyd, I'm ready to be Heartbroken' and 'Let's get out of this Country') and those are not the only good songs on this album.

13. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Blood

I discovered this woman through her work in the New Pornographers. Beautiful voice, stellar lyrics...a great alt country album!

[video - Hold On, Hold On (live)]

12. Johnny Cash - America V: A Hundred Highways

Cash never sounded this vulnerable, which makes this album very special. 'Like the 309' still puts a lump in my throat every listen, leaving countless goosebumps on my skin.
[video: God's gonna cut you down]

11. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America

Rock and Roll!!! ...or Wak and Wol as my 2 year old nephew would say. Play this loud mutha!

[video: Chips Ahoy!]
The ten best albums of 2006 (according!) will follow soon!

O and whether you're into it or not...have a nice Christmas this year! My treat to you: I-pod X-mas by Hello Saferide (who would have been on this list if her album wasn't released in 2005). It's a typical Hello Saferide song, about breaking up in the Holiday season.

Some lyrical highlights:

"They say there’s supposed to be three wise men. Well, I’ve been searching, and I haven’t found a single one."

"As for presents, you fuck, I had an iPod Nano with your name written on it. It's going to fit well into my new life listening to Gloria Ganor singing I Will Survive." Ouch!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The 3 best shows of 2006

The Pipettes were totally fun live, the farewell show of Boy Sets Fire was suiting and intimate, the voice of Kate Jackson(the Long Blondes) blew me way, Islands and David & the Citizens were some of the pleasant surprises and singing along to Good Clean Fun was still fun in 2006, but these are the three best shows (in no particular order) I went to this year.

I'm From Barcelona @ De Helling (December 8th)
I was really anxious for this show with expectations at unreasonable heights, but I totally had a blast. Seldom did I have so much fun at a show and time never went by this fast at a show before (except for the Kiss reunion tour in '96 of course). My cheeks hurted from smiling all the time and I kept wondering why I didn't brought out more friends to this show. They would have loved it. Not a soul left the building without a smile!

[read a review in Dutch by 3voor12 here]

Okkervil River @ Rotown (May 13th)
The combination of intimate songs, rocking songs, emotional songs together with the sheer class of the musicians made this a memorable evening. Far to few people attented this show, but I was more than impressed. I liked Okkervil River before the show, but I'd never really got them until this show. Now they're one of my all time favorites.

I will never forget the 50 or 60 year old dude in the audience who sang along to every word, giving some other old dudes faith that they would also still be cool at that age...

The New Pornographers @ De Helling (May 14th)
It's hard not to fall in love with this band. On record, this band makes the finest (power)pop songs you'll ever hear. Live, these songs sound even better. With a beautiful intro working up to an extreme climax, their version of 'The Bleeding Heart Show' was my favorite live moment of 2006. This band doesn't have a cool image or a lot of personality on stage, but they don't really need with songs that good.

This show was so awesome that it turned my show going buddies Pete Moore and Jen from skeptical yet openmindend to awestruck and fans for life.

[read a review in Dutch by 3voor12 here]

So...what were your favorite shows of 2006?