Links


  • Record Stores


  • Academy Records, LPs and Annex
    The Academy Annex in Williamsburg is my favorite place to buy used records.

  • Amoeba Music
    San Francisco, Berkeley and LA. Best in the West.

  • Boomkat
    UK based site specializing in Electronic, Ambient, Post-Folk, IDM and more

  • Generation Records
    This Greenwich Village staple has attitude. Great for punk, hardcore and much more.

  • Insound
    Top online independent retailer. Great deals and selection.

  • Other Music
    Among the best independent record stores in New York City.

  • Permanent Records
    Greenpoint, Brooklyn. My favorite store to browse.

  • Sonic Boom Records
    Along with KEXP, the reason that I could survive a move to Seattle

  • SoundFix
    Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They've developed a great website and have online ordering as well.



Favorite Albums of 2006 (#16-30)

Time to break my blog silence and unveil my miniature site redesign. The first person who can name all the venues in my banner wins the satisfaction of being able to name all the venues in my banner. No, it didn’t take me a whole month just to create a banner (come take a look if you’re reading this in an RSS feed). I’ve been busy with other endeavors as well. Here’s a sneak peak at what else has been keeping me occupied. More to come on that later. If you haven’t noticed, time moves more slowly in ryspace.

I’m sure most people have gotten over all the 2006 recaps by now; especially since most “year-end” lists came out almost two months ago. However, I actually like to wait until the calendar year is complete, giving everything a chance to sink in before compiling my list. Now that the first big record-release Tuesday of 2007 is upon us I figure I better wrap up 2006. Unfortunately, it looks like I just missed being included in heartonastick’s incredible 2006 Bloggregate.

Here are the first five of the 20 recordings released in 2006 that I personally enjoyed the most this past year (plus my honorable mention #21-30).

#16 TV On The Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain

It took me a while to get around to listening to this album, even when everyone and their mother was telling me how great it was. Maybe it was the odd title or the fact that I wasn’t impressed by TVOTR the first time I saw them live. And once I listened, it still took a while for the album to grow on me. Right from the start I was a fan of the incredible production and groundbreaking recording techniques, but the songs didn’t start sink in until I heard them live. Now it’s become one of those great albums that yields a new favorite song with each listening. “I Was A Lover”, “Province” and “Wolf Like Me” are three that have held that title. TV On The Radio use noise more tastefully than any other band I can think of, not just to jar or surprise you, but to control the ebb and flow of songs. They also manage to pull of the falsetto vocals without sounding like chipmunks.

#17 Bound Stems – Appreciation Night

Bound Stems are all over the indie-rock map, reminding me of bands like Wolf Parade, The National and Broken Social Scene but with well-arranged and oddly structured songs that make them stand out in that crowd. After all, bands who are trying to be derivative don’t usually have songs that start in 4/4 and go through a metric modulation to 6/8 as the lead singers swap places (“Excellent News, Colonel”). What separates Appreciation Night from the top albums on my list is the density of great material. While I usually listen to this album straight through, the truly enjoyable songs only come along every 3 tracks or so.

#18 Dirty On Purpose – Hallelujah Sirens

This album makes the list on the strength of two songs, “No Radio” and “Light Pollution”. While Silversun Pickups drew a lot of comparisons to Smashing Pumpkins this year, it was the intro to Dirty On Purpose’s “Car, No Driver” that really reminded me of the Corgan Crew (or the Billy Bunch?). All the elements of a great indie rock album are present – the guitar hooks, the horns, the doubled vocal lines – but the production and performance on the album both seem a little too held back. It all comes across as a less ambitious and stripped down version of Broken Social Scene, which isn’t really all that terrible.

#19 Pela – Exit Columbia Street

I feel that 2006 was actually a better year for EPs than for albums. There were just as many extended plays that spun in my virtual record player as there were long plays. This is the first of three EPs that make my top 20. Exit Columbia Street is the second release from Pela and the prelude to their debut album which comes out on April 24th and shares its title with the last track of the EP, “Anytown Graffiti”. Compared to their first EP – All In Time – this release shows greater variation in songwritting while the vocals settle down into a more effective range for Billy’s voice. The singing here is lower but more powerful and when he lets loose in Calvary, it’s such a great payoff.

For the record, here are some other great EPs that were contenders for my top 20:
Voxtrot – Mothers, Daughters, Sisters & Wives
Fields – 7 from the Village
Bishop Allen – June
Bishop Allen – July
Professor Murder – Rides The Subway
Limbs – Suspension
Okkervil River – Overboard & Down
Amiina – Seoul

#20 Beirut – Gulag Orkestar

While this album was great for a debut record, it really pales in comparison to their live show. The only reason the album squeaked its way into the 20th position is because I’ve been listening to the reissue, which includes 5 new tracks (also known as the Lon Gisland EP). If you get a chance to listen to both versions of “Scenic World” you’ll understand exactly why I’m so excited to hear what they do next. Even though Zach Condon is a great songwriter, this type of music isn’t as lively when recorded by a one-man band. The newly recorded tracks show what Beirut is really capable of and I hope that sound continues to evolve through the next record.

Honorable Mention:

(because I cared enough to rank them…)
#21 Peter, Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block
(…but not enough to write about them)
#22 Hot Chip – The Warning
#23 Slowlands – Never Was There A Town
#24 Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
#25 My Brightest Diamond – Bring Me The Workhorse
#26 The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
#27 Electric President – Electric President
#28 Mates of State – Bring It Back
#29 Islands – Return To The Sea
#30 Voxtrot – Mothers, Daughters, Sisters & Wives


7 Responses to “Favorite Albums of 2006 (#16-30)”

  1. 1 Chris

    Outside Arlenes!!! Nice!

    R, Y, and E are obvious. The rest are a bit more difficult.

  2. 2 joe

    Pela is an excellent band. If they don’t blow the fuck up soon, there is no justice in this world.

  3. 3 Bret

    Hot Chip?? Come on…

  4. 4 kathryn

    R – Mercury Lounge
    Y – Bowery Ballroom
    S – Webster Hall
    P – Pianos
    A – Arlene’s Grocery
    C –
    E – Sin-e

    C – Rockwood
    OM – The Living Room

    All but one, dammit.

  5. 5 Ryan

    Sorry Bret. I couldn’t get Over and Over out of my head all summer. Would you rather me replace them with… The Knife? I know you love them.

    The first C is on the same block as the P. That should help.

  6. 6 Bret

    What is the Cake Shop? And yes, the Knife album singlehandedly changed my life.

    Just not for the better..

Leave a Reply





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Recent Shows


2011

I finally saw The Dismemberment Plan and my life is complete. Enjoy the archives.

Past Shows


2010

8/28 The National Rifle [KFN]

8/15 !!! [East River Park, NY]

7/24 Cap'n Jazz [Starlight Ballroom]

7/2 Busses [Johnny Brenda's]

6/24 Wakey! Wakey! [North Star Bar]

6/25 - 6/26 Northside Festival (Marie Stella, The Grates, Dinosaur Feathers...) [Brooklyn]

6/22 Villagers [FUC - Chapel]

6/16 The Most Serene Republic, Annuals [North Star Bar]

6/2 The Futureheads, The Like [FUC - Basement]

5/2 The Album Leaf [FUC - Sanctuary]

5/5 Bear Hands [World Cafe Live]

4/10 Pilam Human BBQ (Algernon Cadwallader, These United States)

4/9 Freezepop, Cannon Logic [North Star Bar]

4/2 Band of Skulls, The Whigs [North Star Bar]

3/16 - 3/21 SXSW (Octopus Project, The Megaphonic Thrift, Local Natives, We Were Promised Jetpacks...) [Austin, TX]

2/19 Memory Tapes, Neon Indian [Making Time - Voyeur]

1/22 Freelance Whales, Animal Tropical [KFN]

1/21 Savior Adore, Circadian Rhythms [KFN]

1/14 River City Extension [North Star Bar]

2009

12/4 The Wrens [Maxwell's]

12/2 Jaguar Love [Mercury]

11/29 Zero 7 [TLA]

11/17 J TIllman [FUC - Chapel]

10/20 - 10/24 CMJ [New York]

9/12-9/13 Monolith [Denver, CO]

8/28-8/30 After The Jump Fest [Littlefield]

8/14 Starlight Mints [North Star Bar]

8/8 A Crimson Grail for 200 Guitars [Lincoln Center]

7/18 Siren Fest [Coney Island]

7/16 Rit Mo Collective [Chris' Jazz Cafe]

6/26 The Most Serene Republic [North Star Bar]

6/11 - 6/14 Northside Festival

6/5 White Rabbits [Johnny Brenda's]

5/30 Jodienda [The Glass Door]

5/29 Pet Ghost Project, Dinosaur Feathers, Quiet Loudly [Fontana's]

5/23 United Nations [Delancey]

5/21 White Rabbits, Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Antlers [Bowery]

5/20 St. Vincent, Pattern Is Movement [Webster]

5/15 Marie Stella, Coyote Eyes [Portland, ME]

5/9 The Lisps [Joe's Pub]

5/8 Mono [Society for Ethical Culture]

5/3 No Doubt [Bamboozle]

5/2 The Get Up Kids [Bamboozle]

5/1 The Beets, pow wow! [Red Star Bar]

4/22 Into The Presence [Pianos]

4/18 The Life and Times [Webster Studio]

4/16 Middle Distance Runner [The Annex]

4/15 Nada Surf [Bell House]

4/10 The Wrens [Bell House]

4/2 Asobi Seksu [Bowery Ballroom]

3/17 SXSW

3/13 The Wrens / Titus Andronicus [Bowery]

3/6 The Bird and The Bee [Bell House]

3/5 Antlers / The Physics of Meaning [Union Hall]

2/28 ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead [Bowery]

2/27 Uninhabitable Mansions / Spacecamp [Union Hall]

2/26 Bell Orchestre / Clogs / Brooklyn Phil [BAM]

2/26 Tally Hall / Oppenheimer [Union Hall]

2/25 Ben Kweller [Town Hall]

2/23 Jimmy Eat World [Terminal 5]

2/18 Sam Roberts Band [Bowery Ballroom]

2/17 Fugiya & Miyagi / School of Seven Bells [LPR]

2/2 Frightened Rabbit [LPR]

1/26 Beirut [Coco66]

1/3 Holy Moly [Pete's Candy Store]

2008

10/8 Barbara Morgenstern [Galapagos]

9/20 My Bloody Valentine [Roseland]

9/11 Land Of Talk [Mercury]

8/25 Lykke Li [LPR]

8/22 Lykke Li [Amoeba - Hollywood]

8/22 Radiohead [Hollywood Bowl]

8/20 Broken Social Scene, Menomena [Sunset Junction]

8/15 Manuel Göttsching [Lincoln Center]

7/31 The Long Winters [Castle Clinton]

7/24 Ambulance LTD [Bowery]

7/18 Deerhoof, Metropolis Ensemble [Prospect Park]

7/17 Ted Leo [Castle Clinton]

6/26 Devo [McCarren Pool]

6/21 After The Jump Fest [Williamsburg]

6/19 Man In Grey's farewell show [Delancey]

6/4 M83 [Bowery]

5/29 Hello Eden [Rebel]

5/28 Birdmonster [Mercury]

5/2 Stars of the Lid [Good Shepherd Church]

4/17 Gelsey Bell [Goodbye Blue Monday]

4/3 Helio Sequence [Bowery]

3/21 Jens Lekman [Hollywood, CA]

3/18 The Lisps [Los Angeles, CA]

3/12-16 SXSW [Austin, TX]

1/27 Laura Veirs [Union Hall]

1/16-17 Wordless Music Orchestra (Adams, Bryars, Greenwood) [St. Paul the Apostle]

2007

12/20 Wakey! Wakey!, Jason Joseph [Arlene's]

12/14 The Most Serene Republic [Mercury]

12/13 Cake, Brazillian Girls, Oakley Hall [Terminal 5]

12/12 Wakey! Wakey!, Jukebox the Ghost [Mercury]

11/28 Max Richter, Cepia, Assaff Weisman [Good-Shepherd Faith Church]

11/10 Mum, Hauschka, Bing and Ruth [Society for Ethical Culture]

11/9 Mum, Torngat [St. Paul the Apostle]

11/3 Grizzly Bear, Michael Harrison [Society for Ethical Culture]

10/16-20 CMJ (Spoon, The Octopus Project, The Most Serene Republic, Saturday Looks Good To Me,1900's, Biffy Clyro, Freezepop...)

10/5 Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurdsson, Sandro Perri [Good-Shepherd Faith Church]

9/24 Beirut, Colleen [Society for Ethical Culture]

9/21 The Most Serene Republic [Union Hall]

9/20 Beirut, Fifth Veil [Brooklyn Masonic Temple]

9/15 Do Make Say Think [The Middle East, Boston]

9/14 Do Make Say Think, Electric Kompany [Society for Ethical Culture]

8/29 Feist [McCarren]

8/25 After The Jump Festival [Studio B]

8/23 The Rentals [Nokia]

8/21 The New Pornographers [Bowery]

8/19 Wolf Parade [Warsaw]

8/12 Junior Senior [Soundfix]

8/12 Ted Leo/Pharmacists, The Thermals [McCarren]

8/9 Daft Punk [Keyspan]

7/28 Benni Hemm Hemm [Union Hall]

7/23 Eastern Conference Champions [Pianos]

7/4 The New Pornographers [Battery Park]

6/11 Feist [Town Hall]

6/2 Man In Grey [Union Hall]

5/12 LCD Soundsystem [Studio B]

5/8 The Shondes, Beat Radio [Delancey]

5/5 Arcade Fire, The National [Tower Theater]

4/30 The Books [Society for Ethical Culture - Wordless Music Series]

4/24 Pela [Mercury]
Wakey Wakey, Casey Shea [Pianos]

4/14 Cloud Cult, Young Galaxy [Mercury]

4/12 Eastern Conference Champions [Union Hall]

4/2 Amiina, Eluvium, Gilles Vonsattel [Good Shepherd Faith Church - Wordless Music Series]

3/31 The Long Winters, The Broken West [Mercury]

3/28 Menomena [Bowery]

3/23 Toca Loca, Polmo Polpo, Social Music Work Group [Good Shepherd Faith Church]

3/14-3/18 SXSW

3/9 Matt & Kim, Professor Murder [Bowery]

3/7 Mirah, The Blow [NYU]

3/1 Thunderbirds Are Now!, Tigercity [Knitting Factory]

2/20 Explosions In The Sky [Society for Ethical Culture]

2/19 Explosions In The Sky [Warsaw]

2/18 Malajube, Rock Plaza Central [Mercury]

2/17 The Muggabears, Please Dept [The Delancey]
Gelsey Bell [Vivaldi Cafe]

2/16 The Arcade Fire [Judson Memorial Church]
Pela [Mercury]

2/11 Steven Malkmus and the Jicks [Maxwell's]

2/10 Sure Juror [Pianos]

1/30 Peter, Bjorn and John [Bowery]

1/27 Liam & Me, The GoStation, White Rabbits, Seth Kallen + The Reaction [Sin-e]

1/19 The Wrens [Knitting Factory]

1/18 The Hold Steady [Northsix]

1/13 Gil Mantera's Party Dream, Free Blood [Knitting Factory]

1/6 Matt & Kim, Meneguar, Aa [Studio B]

2006

12/20 Bridges & Powerlines [Pianos]

12/16 Rainer Maria, Pela, Daylight For The Birds [Bowery]

12/15 Bell, Lismore, Theives Like Us, The Ballet [Delancey]

12/13 Bound Stems, Ra Ra Riot, The Muggabears [Sin-e]

12/09 Oxford Collapse [Northsix]

11/28 ¡Forward, Russia! [Bowery]

11/22 The Hold Steady [Warsaw]

11/20 The Little Ones, Small Sins [Mercury Lounge]

11/15 A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Andrew Bird [GSF Church]

11/14 Bad Viens [Knitting Factory]

11/13 Modest Mouse [Nokia]

11/10 The Shondes [Brooklyn Lyceum]

11/6 Voxtrot [Bowery]
Cloud Cult [Knitting Factory]

10/31 - 11/4 CMJ [Everywhere]

10/21 Maritime, Bound Stems [Mercury]

10/17 TV On The Radio, Grizzly Bear [Irving]

10/15 Okkervil River, Sam Champion [Bowery]

10/14 Okkervil River, Elvis Perkins [Bowery]

9/30 Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond [Town Hall]

9/29 Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond [Town Hall]
The Long Winters [Bowery]

9/27 The Big Sleep, The Rogers Sisters, The Occasion (Movable Hype 9.0) [Spiegeltent]

9/26 O'Death, DraculaZombieUSA (Beg Yr Pardon #9) [Delancey]

9/18 Wordless Music Series (Glenn Kotche & Nels Cline, Jenny Lin, Elliot Sharp) [GSF Church]

9/15,16,17 Austin City Limits Festival (Explosions In The Sky, Okkervil River, The Long Winters, Nada Surf, Ben Kweller, Ted Leo, Stars, The New Pornographers, Husky Rescue, What Made Milwaukee Famous...)

9/13 The Grates [Pianos]

9/12 The Dears, The Grates [Bowery]

9/3 Mono, Fridge [Bowery]

9/2 Explosions In The Sky [Bowery]

8/31 Asobi Seksu, Say Hi To Your Mom, Cassettes Won't Listen [Maxwell's]

8/29 Casey Dienel, Inlets [Union Hall]

8/25 Ted Leo (free) [South Street Seaport]
Beirut [Mercury]

8/24 My Brightest Diamond [Speigeltent]

8/23 826NYC benefit w/David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, John Roderick [Beacon Theater]

8/21 The Diggs, Slowlands [CBGB]

8/18 The Mugs, The Isles [Union Hall]

8/17 Takka Takka, Slowlands [Union Hall]

8/12 Sleater-Kinney, The Thermals [Portland, OR]

8/8 The Long Winters [Mercury Lounge]

8/7 Silversun Pickups [Union Hall]

8/4 Hot Chip [South Street Seaport]

8/3 The New Pornographers [Summerstage]

7/23 Pretty Girls Make Graves [McCarren Park Pool]

7/21 Jens Lekman, Beirut [Bowery]

7/19 Jens Lekman [Mercury]

7/15 Casey Shea [Knitting Factory]
Siren Fest [Coney Island]

7/14 My Brightest Diamond [Joe's Pub]

7/13 Okkervil River [Castle Clinton]
Oh No! Oh My!, The Big Sleep [Supreme Trading]

7/11 Movable Hype 8.0 [Knitting Factory] w/ Takka Takka, Femme Generation, Goes Cube

7/9 Cursive [Mercury]
Les Savy Fav [McCarren Park Pool]

7/7 The Undisputed Heavyweights [Rockwood]

7/6 Broken Social Scene [Prospect Park]
Mates of State [Castle Clinton]

7/4 Belle & Sebastian [Battery Park]

6/30 Birdmonster, Tally Hall, The Talk [Sin-e]
Matt Pond PA, Voxtrot [Prospect Park]

6/29 Land of Talk, Tokyo Police Club, The Ballet [Syrup Room]

6/28 Gil Mantera's Party Dream [Knitting Factory]

6/27 The Grates [Mercury]

6/25 The Undisputed Heavywights [Rockwood]

6/22 Asobi Seksu [Mercury]

6/17 Beirut [SoundFix]

6/15 Saturday Looks Good To Me [Northsix]

6/14 !Forward, Russia! [Mercury]

6/13 Eels, Smoosh [World Financial Center]
The Boy Least Likely To [Knitting Factory]

6/11 !!! [Northsix]

6/6 Nada Surf, stellastar* [Starlight Ballroom]

6/2 Radiohead [Tower Theater, Philly]

5/27 & 5/28 Sasquatch Music Festival [The Gorge, WA]

5/22 Art Brut [Soundfix]

5/20 Pela [brooklyn rooftop]

5/19 Land of Talk, Slowlands [Mercury Lounge]
Land of Talk, Dr. Dog (KEXP in NYC) [Gigantic Studios]

5/17 Art Brut, Art Brut 47 (We Are Scientists) [Knitting Factory]

5/12 White Rose Movement [Bowery Ballroom]

5/10 Nada Surf (acoustic) [Mercury Lounge]

4/25 Jamie Lidell [Bowery Ballroom]

4/21 The Undisputed Heavyweights, Cloud Cult [Arlene's Grocery]

4/17 Cloud Cult [Knitting Factory]

4/11 Art Brut, The Rogers Sisters [Southpaw]

4/10 Wolf Parade [Webster Hall]

4/9 Voxtrot, Irving [Mercury Lounge]

4/7 The Hold Steady [Warsaw]

4/5 Art Brut, Gil Mantera's Party Dream [Bowery Ballroom]

4/4 Art Brut, The Ponys [Bowery Ballroom]

4/1 Dream Theater [Radio City Music Hall]

3/31 Nine Black Alps [Bowery Ballroom]

3/30 Editors, The Big Sleep [Webster Hall]

3/28 Editors, stellastarr* [Warsaw]

3/22 The Go! Team [NorthSix]

3/21 Magnet [Living Room]

3/11 Belle & Sebastian, New Pornographers [Riverside Theater, Milwaukee]

3/8 The Wedding Present [Bowery]

3/2 Ted Leo/Rx [The Hook]

2/11 Gelsey Bell [Cafe Vivaldi]

2/10 Feist, Mates of State, Jason Collett [Webster]

2/9 Jason Collett [Mercury]

1/27 Broken Social Scene [Webster]

1/16 Nine Black Alps [Mercury]

1/14 Sufjan Stevens [Lincoln Center/Allen Room]

1/12 Tapes 'N Tapes, Sam Champion [Rothko]

1/11 Imogen Heap [Avalon]

3K2 theme by Hakan Aydin


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