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Friday, June 30th, 2006

Mid-Term Reports

I was recently asked by Insound to submit my top ten albums of 2006 for use in one of their newsletters, the only caveat being that the releases had to be available via Insound. That did exclude a couple things that would have gotten some serious consideration (Trespassers William, Howling Bells), but on the whole the pool of candidates was pretty deep.

I’m as curious as anyone as to how this’ll stack up against my final year-end list. The second half of ’06 is pretty loaded with new offerings from veteran acts, but that’s not necessarily a free pass. After all, what’s more impressive – an album simply meeting expectations, no matter how lofty, or a surprise one completely surpassing them? We shall see. But odds are it’ll be a little lighter on acts with female vocalists or names starting with “C”.

And yes, I created that awesome cover art collage all by myself. Well, okay, my mom helped a little, but otherwise – ALL ME.

Anyway, this is what I came up with (listed alphabetically), and oh yeah – apparently all of the following are now on sale at Insound because of yours truly. How about that.

Asobi Seksu / Citrus (Friendly Fire)
MP3: Asobi Seksu – “New Years”
MP3: Asobi Seksu – “Strings” (Remix)

Camera Obscura / Let’s Get Out Of This Country (Merge)
MP3: Camera Obscura – “Let’s Get Out Of This Country
Video: Camera Obscura – “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken” (MOV)

Neko Case / Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (Mint)
MP3: Neko Case – “Star Witness”
Video: Neko Case – “Maybe Sparrow” (Real)

Cat Power / The Greatest (Matador)
MP3: Cat Power – “The Greatest”
Video: Cat Power – “Living Proof” (MOV)

Centro-Matic / Fort Recovery (Misra)
MP3: Centro-Matic – “Triggers & Trash Heaps”
Video: Centro-Matic – “Triggers & Trash Heaps” (YouTube)

The Concretes / In Colour (Astralwerks)
Video: The Concretes – “On The Radio” (WMV)
Video: The Concretes – “Chosen One” (WMV)

Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s / The Dust Of Retreat (Artemis)
MP3: Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s – “Skeleton Key”
Video: Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s- “Quiet As A Mouse” (YouTube)

Mojave 3 / Puzzles Like You (4AD)
MP3: Mojave 3 – “Big Star Baby”
Video: Mojave 3 – “Breaking The Ice” (YouTube)

Josh Ritter / The Animal Years (V2)
MP3: Josh Ritter – “Girl In The War”
Video: Josh Ritter – “Lillian, Egypt” (YouTube)

Shearwater / Palo Santo (Misra)
MP3: Shearwater – “Seventy Four, Seventy Five”

And some press clippings from some of my picks – Nichi Bei Times delves into Yuki Chikudate of Asobi Seksu’s Japaneseness, Gav of Camera Obscura talks about falling into volcanoes while Kenny McKeeve talks to The Boston Globe. The Georgia Straight talks to Neko Case, The Dish and San Diego City Beat have interviews with The Concretes, Each Note Secure interviews some Margots and Michigan Live talks to Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg.

From Blown Speakers also has a mid-term 2006 round-up.

First day in New York was good, if a little damp with spot torrential thunderstorms. Forecast is better for today, though. This town is great. So anyway, if this felt like a placeholder post written days in advance… well it was. Have a good long weekend.

By : Frank Yang at 8:59 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. modernmod says:

    Camera Obscura, The Concretes and Cat Power are definitely on my short list. I’m just clad Columbia house didn’t ask you for a list.

  2. Michael says:

    The new Cambera Obscura album is an impressive piece of retro-tinged pop music, and I think it’s a big leap forward from their previous album. Were I making a list of the best albums of 2006 so far, I’d definitely include it (same goes for Neko Case). It’s interesting to note how the albums by Camera Obscura and The Concretes are similar in sound and feel.

  3. GSL says:

    Speaking of potential albums of the year.
    http://www.billboard.com/bb

  4. david says:

    My mid-year list will go up this weekend some time, and definitely have the Camera Obscura and Asobi Seksu discs.

  5. laurie says:

    yay, i love asobi seksu

  6. Gary says:

    Crazy that Belle & Sebastian is missing from your list. Just CRAZY!

  7. Beth Hamill says:

    WHERE IS THE LIFE PURSUIT!?? Crazy talk indeed.

  8. Jeff says:

    This isn’t too shabby of a list. And it’s one of the few lists I’ve seen dominated by bands with girl singers. Good stuff.