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Aaron’s Best Of 2017

Since starting the blog (and this year-ending post series) in 2006, I have always chosen one favourite album of the year, then listed the rest in no particular order. In all of those years, it’s never an easy task – I love all the records! This makes sense, because I tend to only buy things I know I will like…

This year is no different, except that I haven’t played most of these 2017 albums enough to even review them yet! Some of this is because they need more spins, some is that I was simply listened and didn’t write them up as I went, and some I just plain forgot I should be writing…

As you’ll see below, only a few current releases on my list have been reviewed in these pages to date, as marked by a ^. Still, I have played all of these records in the list, but not written a lot of them up, so maybe perspective is a wee bit lost in it all, this year. Also, the majority of my buying this year has been of older releases, mostly used CDs, a few re-issue LPs of old jazz stuff…

No matter. I strive to provide, here at the KMA, and I cannot break tradition now. So let’s give ‘er!

AARON’S BEST OF 2017:

Once again it was a tough (very tough) choice. So much good music, even with the (relatively) few I actually got to hear. Some are sad because the artists have passed in the last year or two (Gord Downie, David Bowie, Chris Cornell on the Singles OMPS), some are awesome because they involve my hero Robert Pollard (GBV, Circus Devils), one was not really in my wheelhouse (Kendrick Lamar), and many of them rock really hard… and all were truly excellent releases. Of course I’m going to say that – I wouldn’t have gotten them if I didn’t want to hear them! And so I wanted to make them all my Best Of 2017… But a winner I must pick, and so congratulations for Aaron’s Best Of 2017 goes to:

Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter (deluxe edition)^

Not only is this a stellar live set, it is also a time capsule for all of us who were fortunate to have seen the band in concert on this epic tour. This is a band so far into the game, and still playing on all cylinders and totally owning it night after night. It’s also another cool deluxe packaging triumph (like the Book Of Souls was), thus proving this band pretty much can do no wrong at this point.

A nice companion award to go with their 2015 win for Book Of Souls! Congratulations, Iron Maiden!

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THE REST (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER) (20):

Gordon Downie – Introduce Yerself
Jack Johnson – All The Light Above It Too
Jake Bugg – Hearts That Strain
Greg Graffin – Millport
Geoff Berner – Canadiana Grotesquica
Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand^
Mastodon – Cold Dark Place^
Deep Purple – Infinite^ (and Time For Bedlam, All I Got Is You)
Guided By Voices – How Do You Spell Heaven
Guided By Voices – August By Cake
Circus Devils – Laughs Last
Circus Devils – Laughs Best (The Kids Eat It Up)
Dead Cross – Dead Cross^
Singles OMPS 25th Anniversary (2CD)
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
John Mayer – The Search For Everything
David Bowie – No Plan^
Solstafir – Berdreyminn

PLUS – LATE ADDITIONS I HAVEN’T FINISHED YET (3):

Max Webster – The Party 1976-82 (8CD boxed set)
Black Sabbath – The End: Live In Brimingham (2CD)
Motörhead – Under Cöver

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AWESOME 2017 INDEPENDENT RELEASES (3):

Manipulant – Eclectro^
Amherst Drive – Amherst Drive^
Cruel Bloom – Relapsing

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FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD (1):

Public Enemy – Nothing Is Quick In The Desert

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PREVIOUS YEARS’ WINNERS:

2016  Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker / Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (tie)
2015  Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
2014  Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems / Sloan – Commonwealth (tie)
2013  Black Sabbath – 13
2012  Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
2011  Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At The Lincoln Center
2010  Jack Johnson – To The Sea
2009  Leonard Cohen – Live In London
2008  Metallica – Death Magnetic
2007  Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables (tie)
2006  Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

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STILL TO GET:

And finally, in this space I usually list all the albums I wish I had/could have/still want to buy every year. However, this year there are simply too many. I’ve seen some year-end lists on other excellent blogs in the community and I haven’t heard a single album in their entire lists! Scrolling through a full list of 2017’s releases, I saw even more I wanted to hear… So, instead, I will be happy with what I have and keep my eyes peeled for anything cool and recent as I go along… Suffice it to say, given unlimited funds, I would buy ALL the records!

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IN SUM:

2017 had its up and downs, but so it goes. With the hiatus as summer wound down, I missed out on some time, but that was definitely necessary time away for several reasons. Looking back, it’s hard to believe we’ve in our 11th year of this blog, but here we are, still kicking and screaming and blathering, and we have all of you to thank for it. Without you, we’d just be yammering away into the ether, unheard. Absolute thanks from James and myself to all of you, for Reading and Commenting, for sharing great tunes and ideas and opinions, and for being the greatest community in the world.

Happy New Year to you all. See you in 2018!

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The 10th Annual Aaron’s Best Of: 2016

It’s pretty easy to get mad at 2016. A lot of musicians died this year, and that seems unfair. But people die all the time, and I wonder… even in the wake of still more deaths as we drag ourselves screaming and bleeding towards 2017, if it just seems worse because we focus on those negatives. Yes, there’s a lot of negative. But there is positive too, and maybe we should be looking closer at that, shift our perspective…

So let’s see if I can pick a Top Album of 2016. Oh that’ll be easy, right? Haha not even close. Looking for positives, there was so much good music this year. So much! And I was very fortunate to be able to hear some of it…

Before we go too far, though, let’s look at my past winners. I’ve been doing these posts since 2006. I know…

2015  Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
2014  Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems / Sloan – Commonwealth (tie)
2013  Black Sabbath – 13
2012  Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
2011  Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At The Lincoln Center
2010  Jack Johnson – To The Sea
2009  Leonard Cohen – Live In London
2008  Metallica – Death Magnetic
2007  Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables (tie)
2006  Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

So. Those are all mighty damn fine albums, all of which I still love to this day.

And now for 2016…

Albums From 2016 That I Heard (In No Particular Order):
Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem
Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome
Rolling Stones – Havana Moon
Tuns – Tuns
Sloan – One Chord To Another (remastered boxed set)
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
Carolyn Mark – Come! Back! Special!
A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
54-40 – La Difference: A History Unplugged
A Rebel Few – As the Crow Flies
Evilyn Strange – Evilution
Derek Kortepeter – Cataclysm
Metallica – Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (deluxe)
Black Sabbath – The End
Gojira – Magma
Opeth – Sorceress
Gone Is Gone – Gone Is Gone
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – Broken Lines
Ghost – Popestar
Gojira – Terra Incognita (remaster)
Volbeat – Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie
Guided By Voices – Please Be Honest
Jake Bugg – On My One
Robert Pollard – Of Course You Are
Jack White – Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016
Prophets Of Rage – The Party’s Over
Mumford & Sons – Johannesburg
Rolling Stones – Totally Stripped
Trews – Time Capsule
ESP Ohio – Starting Point Of The Royal Cyclopean

I know! That’s one helluva list. So much good music! And even listing all of that I’m fairly certain I’ve missed adding a few. Hm.

Anyway, how to pick my fave from all of those? Silliness. Why not just say they were all awesome and let’s all move forward and try to make 2017 kick as much ass as we can? Who would even try to narrow it down…? THIS GUY, that’s who. Because tradition. I can’t stop making these now!

I won’t lie. I sweated over this for a long time. I went back and forth on many of these albums. Which will I play more? Which pleased me most? My lovely wife asked which of these records I’ll enjoy most 5 years from now… um, all of them? Dammit.

But I must decide, and I have. For reasons.

Aaron’s Best Of 2016:

Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker / Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (tie)

 

Yup, it’s my third year coughing up a tie. But I’m not waffling! I’m not not choosing by choosing two choices. Wow that last one was an awkward sentence…

Y’all know I loved the new Leonard record. That I bought it before he died, and didn’t play it until after he died. Probably, it gained even more weight for all of that, as I am already a life-long Leonard fan, and his last studio album (before the inevitable post-humous stuff) is hugely significant. But forget all that other stuff. It is just that strong.

Y’all also know I loved the new Metallica album. It kicked so much ass. Just wow.

It balances: We lose Leonard, and his album brings us joy and catharsis in the pain of his loss. And Metallica lifts us back up, providing release in those mighty riffs.

So, two winners. And it could easily have been others. I mean, speaking of resonance following bad news, the latest Tragically Hip album (Man Machine Poem) gained much weight for it (possibly) being the Hip’s last album following Gordie’s announcement of his cancer diagnosis (stay strong, Gord! We love you!). And it’s a great record, which fits the discography perfectly… And if you look back through that list, you can see so many other albums deserving of mention, like Gojira and Carolyn Mark and A Tribe Called Quest and…

You see how this way leads madness.

No matter. It is done.

Thanks for reading!

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For those of you still reading and still with me, there follows a list of records about which I either made a lot of noise, or in which I am still extremely interested. However, I have not managed to buy any of the following yet this year. Given unlimited resources, I would already own copies of all of these:

2016 Albums Aaron Still needs To Buy:
Case/Lang/Veirs – case/lang/veirs
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
Wilco – Schmilco
Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial
David Bowie – Blackstar
Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
Norah Jones – Day Breaks
Bonnie Raitt – Dig In Deep
Green Day – Revolution Radio
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway
Lucinda Williams – The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
Deftones – Gore
Dinosaur Jr. – Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not
Bob Dylan – Fallen Angels
Descendents – Hypercaffium Spazzinate
Van Morrison – Keep Me Singing
Jeff Beck – Loud Hailer
NOFX – First Ditch Effort
Pixies – Head Carrier
Violent Femmes – We Can Do Anything
Cult – Hidden City
Neil Young – Earth
Neil Young – Peace Trail

And even here there are likely still a zillion albums I have forgotten to list… its just endless!

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In Sum:

Stay safe, Dear Readers. Stay warm. Be with those you love, and tell them you love them on a daily basis. Let’s make 2017 kick all sorts of ass!

Thank you so much for being Constant Readers. Without you, we’d just be rattling in the ether for no good reason, after this long. It’s all because of you. We love you! Thank you.

Aaron’s Best Of 2014

I’ve been doing these lists since our first year, 2006, always including 31 great records – 30 excellent records I heard, and one clear winner of Aaron’s Best! Well, OK, 2007 was a tie, but still…*

This year, I did not buy even close to 31 new releases. What I did get from the 2014 releases were all so damned good that I’ve had one helluva time picking a clear winner. I’m not saying this in a little league, everyone gets a trophy sort of way. I mean, honestly, that these are all great records with their own excellent traits!

Still, I feel that I must try to maintain tradition, and so this year (despite wanting to have it be about a ten-way tie), I’m gonna practice what I preach and GIVE ‘ER!…

Hands-Down Best Albums Of 2014:

Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems / Sloan – Commonwealth

Yep, for the first time since 2007, we have a tie. Folks, any year in which Leonard and Sloan release a record (and records this damn GREAT) is a year in which it’s impossible for me to choose one over the other. Admittedly, I have huge bias towards both artists, but even at that…

The Leonard record is just gorgeous. This late-life resurgence of his finds him in an incredible groove, and every song just felt so damn good. And the Sloan is brilliant in concept and execution. It’s just so SO good!

Leonard and Sloan. Yep, my gut instinct is correct. This is the way it has to be.

Also Of Note: This tie marks the second entry for Sloan in my Best Of The Year round-ups thus far. More impressively, it marks Leonard Cohen’s record-setting THIRD entry to the winner’s circle in only eight years. 

17 Other 2014 Ass-Kickers (in no particular order):

Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun
Jack White – Lazaretto
Guided By Voices – Cool Planet
Guided By Voices – Motivational Jumpsuit
Roots – And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
OFF! – Wasted Years
Teenage Guitar – More Lies From The Gooseberry Bush
Neil Young – A Letter Home
Mounties – Thrash Rock Legacy
Sebastian Bach – Give ‘Em Hell
Judas Priest – Redeemer Of Souls
Gord Downie, The Sadies And The Conquering Sun
Circus Devils – Escape
Slipknot – .5 The Grey Chapter
Blue Rodeo – A Merrie Christmas To You
Neil Young – Storytone (2CD Deluxe)
Slash f. Myles Kennedy – World On Fire

Past Years’ Winners:

2013  Black Sabbath – 13
2012  Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
2011  Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At The Lincoln Center
2010  Jack Johnson – To The Sea
2009  Leonard Cohen – Live In London
2008  Metallica – Death Magnetic
2007  Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables (tie)
2006  Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

Best Reissues Of 2014:

Led Zeppelin’s reissues of I, II, III, IV and Houses Of The Holy were, by far and away (it wasn’t even close), the coolest sets I’ve heard this year. The deluxe vinyl sets are gorgeous! Especially LZ 1. I love that live stuff!

Missing ‘Cos I Don’t Have Them Yet (But I Will, Oh Yes!):

Doug Gillard – Parade On
Death Of Samantha – If Memory Serves Us Well
Gary Clark, Jr. – Live
Tweedy – Sukierae
Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
Black Keys – Turn Blue
Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes (special edition)
Me First And The Gimme Gimmes – Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!
Behemoth – The Satanist
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams – 1984
Ought – More Than Any Other Day
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – Give The People What They Want
New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed
Tinariwen – Emmaar
Uke Hunt – Uke Hunt
Wilco – What’s Your 20?
Wilco – Alpha Mike Foxtrot box set
Jonny Greenwood/Bryce Dessner – St. Carolyn By The Sea/Suite From
Mark Lanegan – Has God Seen My Shadow? An Anthology 1989-2011
Mark Lanegan Band – Phantom Radio
Johnny Cash – Out Among The Stars
Robert Plant – Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar
Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks – Wig Out At Jagbags
Rancid – Honor Is All We Know
Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow
Pink Floyd – The Endless River
Opeth – Pale Communion
Tragically Hip – Fully Completely Deluxe
Bryan Adams – Reckless Deluxe
AC/DC – Rock Or Bust
Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed

ONWARD TO 2015!!

* previous years’ posts can be found in the Best Of link at the top of our main page, beside the sweet photie of the spinning record. Have a blast reading ’em all!

Aaron’s Best of 2013

I bought quite a bit of music this year, as usual, but only a small portion of it was actually released in this year. Still, of the 22 releases listed below, there was a shit-ton of greatness filling my ears in 2013. And, once again, I had a hard time making up my mind which one I liked best. It happens to me every year. I take this choice very seriously. I still stand fully behind all of my previous years’ winners. It’s getting to be quite a list…

So, 2013? I have always loved GBV and Mr. Pollard in all of his many projects (he, and related projects, has 41% of the list, this year). My lovely wife suggested having a separate category for him and, unremarkably, this is not the first time this idea has been on my mind… And Sloan, well. Sloan. It just goes without saying, and they had some super-cool releases this year! I love them all unconditionally (thank you immeasurably again, James)! Any year with a new Jack Johnson release thrills me, no question… I loved the Bad Religion show we saw in Toronto, and the CD’s fantastic… The new Pearl Jam was an absolute fucking monster, and continues to get better with every spin. I swear, that band just gets better and better. It almost took the top spot… But it hasn’t had as much time to seep into my blood as my final choice has, this year. Maybe if it had come out in the summer… Anyway, if I had to be honest…

Aaron’s Best of 2013: 

Black Sabbath – 13

For all the hype, hope, expectation… for all the everything that went with it, I just cannot get enough of this album. It’s just great, start to finish. Totally solid, carved of the heavy metal from which it is hewn. I got the bonus tracks edition, though not the super-de-duper version (Mike made sure I got a preview of the other necessary track, thanks buddy!), and you know what? The extra tracks are as essential as the album proper.  Everything clicks, here. It gets better as it plays on, too. I like all the songs, but it really kicks into gear in its later tracks (for me). It’s bluesy, it’s creative, it’s heavy as hell, Tony Iommi laid down countless killer riffs… Simply put: It’s the sound I wanted to hear (and I play it bloody loud). It’s the record that shook me. Hell yeah!

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Here are 21 other superb 2013 releases I heard this year:

Robert Pollard – Blazing Gentlemen
Sloan – Hardcore 7″
Guided By Voices – Down By The Race Track
Sloan – Club Quattro, Shibuya, Tokyo 2002 (ltd. vinyl)
Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
Circus Devils – I Razor
Jay Arner – Jay Arner
Newsted – Metal
Sunflower Logic – Clouds On The Polar Landscape
Jack Johnson – From Here To Now To You
Guided By Voices – English Little League
Pick A Piper – Pick A Piper
Teenage Guitar – Force Fields At Home
Ghost BC – Infestissumam
Circus Devils – When Machines Attack
Skydiggers – All Of Our Dreaming
Robert Pollard – Honey Locust Honky Tonk
Ghost BC – If You Have Ghost EP
Circus Devils – My Mind Has Seen The White Trick
Renny Wilson – Sugarglider
Bad Religion – True North

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There were many albums I wish I had bought but never got around to buying them in this year… I consider this a shopping list for future because I really want to hear these:

Elvis Costello & The Roots – Wise Up Ghost (And Other Songs)
Atoms For Peace – Amok
Billie Joe and Norah – Foreverly
Watain – The Wild Hunt
Marnie Stern – The Chronicles Of Marnia
Neko Case – The Worse Things Get…
Blue Rodeo – In Our Nature
Yo La Tengo – Fade
Throwing Muses – Purgatory/Paradise
Alice In Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away
Superchunk – I Hate Music
Motorhead – Aftershock
Newsted – Heavy Metal Music
She & Him – Volume 3
Mudhoney – Vanishing Point
Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
Tegan & Sara – Heartthrob
Belle & Sebatian – The Third Eye Centre
Metallica – Through The Never (live)
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion
Iron & Wine – Ghost On Ghost
Sebadoh – Defend Yourself
Hayden – Us Alone
Iggy & The Stooges – Ready To Die
Meat Puppets – Rat Farm
Black Flag – What The… (for curiosity’s sake)
Flaming Lips – The Terror

And from the year end lists over at Mike’s site…

Deep Purple – NOW What?!
David Bowie – The Next Day
Steve Earle & The Dukes – The Low Highway
Clutch – Earth Rocker
Sadies – Internal Sounds

… and I’m sure there were many, many others I’ve still missed listing here…

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 Previous Years’ Winners:

2012  Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
2011  Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At The Lincoln Center
2010  Jack Johnson – To The Sea
2009  Leonard Cohen – Live In London
2008  Metallica – Death Magnetic
2007  Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables (tie)
2006  Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

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One other thing, something weird about 2013: there was not one release on CD from Henry Rollins this year. At least, not that I saw. I know he’s a busy guy. He’s got his fingers in a million pies and he’s always looking outward. It’s what we love about Henry, that’s he’s so restless and curious and energetic and smart (not to mention fucking relentless). But for all the everything he did this year, this may be the first year in, well, ages that he hasn’t put out some kind of release. No talking show, no reissue of an older release (unless The End Of Silence Demos on coloured vinyl was this year – I can’t tell, but I don’t think so? Anyone know?). I know he’s doing a lot, but I miss having Things Henry Did to collect. I heard rumour he’ll have a new book out, but that’d have to be a 2014 release, now. It’s odd and I noticed, is all.

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Happy New Year, everyone. Look for a helluva lot to happen in these pages in 2014. Like I said to Scott: yer gonna feel like you’ve been ridden hard and put down wet. YEAH BABY!

Aaron’s Best Of 2012

* Just for curiosity’s sake, this is post #700 here at the KMA. Happy post-iversary.

 

Aaron’s Best Of 2012

Hi, folks! Welcome back. A bit of forewaring: there are some changes afoot, this year.

1) In the past, I have selected 31 albums that rocked me that year; 1 winner, and 30 other great ones. This year, I haven’t bought as much new music since, in July, I left my job to be a full-time stay-at-home Dad. Necessarily, discretionary funds for new music on one income became somewhat less. Still, for 2012 I was able to compile a respectable, much shorter list of records that I thought kicked some serious ass.

2) My lovely wife pointed out that Robert Pollard has perpetually been a stand-out for me, and, frankly, deserves his own category. I agree wholeheartedly, and wish I had thought of this myself, years ago. I’m a dummy sometimes, so it’s a good thing my lovely wife is here to help me survive. Also, none of his projects has ever won Best Of The Year in this space before, because I always felt I couldn’t choose just one from the myriad releases we receive from his crew every year. This new category idea solves the problem neatly. They all win!

3) It’s about time I told you WHY these records are here, so I’ve included (very) brief notes on each record.

4) There were some cool re-releases that I got this year. I would love to include them in my deliberations for Best Of 2012, however they were not Originally Released In 2012, so I cannot do it. But believe me, they are all AWESOME.

Result: Beginning this year, there will be a Best Of The Year, and a few other records I loved. Then, there will also be a Hey, Look At All The Awesome category for everything Mr. Pollard and his various crews did this year. Some Re-releases will follow. Then, the stuff I still need to get, and the past years’ winners list, for edification’s sake.

Finally: As always, I had considerable difficulty choosing the winner this year. All these records are interchangeable for the top spot. And I’m not saying that in your grade 4 teacher “you’re all winners” kind of way. I’m serious. I loved all of these records completely.

Hopefully you’ll check out all of these entries for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

Aaron’s Best Of 2012:

Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas

Leonard’s second time in the winner’s circle, and deservedly so. This album is just gorgeous. Of course, any year with a new Leonard album in it has got to be a stellar year, but this is pitch perfect late night, candles and wine music. As the years go by, his voice just gets more and more rich, more evocative, more enveloping. The man has lost none of his power. Coming as it did so early in 2012, this record was (almost) unfair to what was to come from everyone else. 

10 Other Great Records From 2012 (In Alphabetical Order):

Baroness – Yellow & Green

Two CDs of thoughtful and beautiful songs. Equal doses of holding you tenderly and rocking you the fuck out. Gorgeous. I first heard this during a time of total pain for good friends of ours, which will always lend these tunes an extra, harrowing edge.

Bidiniband – In The Rock Hall

No matter what Dave Bidini does, be it music or books or whatever, I will be right there. This is such a cool collection of songs!

Carolyn Mark – Queen Of Vancouver Island

The saddest, most beautiful record I heard all year. Just makes me want to give her a great big hug. And she still has enough heart to make sure that we laugh and have a good time, too. Thank you so much for this album, Carolyn.

Jack Johnson And Friends – Best Of Kokua Festival

It ought to be a life-goal of ours to get out to one of these festivals – it’s got to be such a beautiful experience. Not just for Johnson’s songs, but for all the guests too. This CD makes me wish they’d release ten more just like it.

Jack White – Blunderbuss

At first, the songs were too angular and jarring. Maybe my ears were expecting the Stripes, and disappointed when the elements that echo them weren’t the focus. But it’s a grower, and definitely a keeper. An excellent solo effort.

Little Willies – For The Good Times

Picking right up where their first record left off (6 years ago!), Norah Jones and crew knock off another hugely fun collection of country classics.

Metallica – Beyond Magnetic

Yes, I bought this twice (see rant, in these pages). But Death Magnetic was my album of the year for 2008, so extra material is a must. And it’s great! All four of these songs deserved to be on the record… which means it should have been a double album!

Off! – Off!

No one else is currently making punk music as good as this. The second effort from this supergroup, it wastes no time in kicking your ass up and down the block.

Todd Tobias – Medicine Show

Long-time Robert Pollard producer/collaborator releases debut solo effort and knocks it right out of the park. This is fantastic! Came in a lovely (limited edition) 4-panel gatefold CD pack. Also, download the FREE single for Manatoc Enters The City/The Long Fall at Hidden Shoal while you’re buying the CD!

Tragically Hip – Now For Plan A

Even as a lifetime fan, this record took some getting used to. It seemed they were trying too hard, somehow… but once it seeps in and takes firm grip, the songs here each stand out as worthy of their impeccable discography.

Hey, Look At All The Awesome! Robert Pollard Deserves His Own Category:

Guided By Voices – Let’s Go Eat The Factory

I hadn’t dared to hope that the original line-up would get back together. Believe me: I was beyond happy when they did! These sounds were so great, in my ears. One could (and should) weep with joy for their return.

Guided By Voices – Class Clown Spots A UFO

Their second record of the year, it is some of the best music out there in 2012. It’s challenging, and it gets the job done with style, creativity, verve and the rawk.

Guided By Voices – The Bears For Lunch

Their third group album in this year (!), here we have proof that Pollard and his merry gang of cohorts are completely unstoppable.

Robert Pollard – Mouseman Cloud

Jam-packed with song ideas and riffs that other bands would kill for, coupled with lyrical flights of fancy and genius. In other words, it’s another Pollard album.

Robert Pollard – Jack Sells The Cow

Like Mouseman Cloud, this is further proof that the man is a veritable songwriting machine. Cover to cover, song by song, what we have here is another GREAT record!

Also! 4 GREAT Re-Releases This Year:

Gowan – Great Dirty World (Special Edition)

I’ve been a fan of Gowan’s since Strange Animal, back when I was a kid. I remember seeing him perform these songs on the original tour. I was in the crowd when they filmed the video for Awake The Giant. An anniversary release with extra material is a no-brainer for me. 

Rolling Stones – Charlie Is My Darling

Recorded during their 1965 tour of Ireland, and filmed as well. I got the Deluxe box set for Christmas and it is a thing of beauty, indeed.

Sloan – Australia 1999 (vinyl)

A gorgeous birthday gift from super-generous James, this limited edition vinyl captures Sloan flying high down under! 

Sloan – Twice Removed (Deluxe Edition) (vinyl)

A beautiful Christmas gift from my lovely wife this year, this is the record that got me hooked on the band (and was my first live experience of theirs). Contains the album (remastered), the demos, the outtakes, a bonus 7″ and a gorgeous book. Oh, and full digital download too. Days worth of fun, indeed!

Shopping List Of Records From 2012 (Still Need To Get): 

Bob Dylan – Tempest

Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream

Boston Spaceships – The Greatest Hits Of Boston Spaceships: Out Of The Universe By Sundown (more Pollard!)

Deftones – Koi No Yokan

Gary Clark, Jr. – Blak And Blu

Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur

Evens – The Odds

Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage

Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Meat And Bone

Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day 2-CD/2-DVD

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Americana

Rush – Clockwork Angels

~and surely there are many others~

Previous Years’ Winners:

2011 Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At The Lincoln Center

2010 Jack Johnson – To The Sea

2009 Leonard Cohen – Live In London

2008 Metallica – Death Magnetic

2007 Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables (tie)

2006 Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

~

Thanks for tuning in. See you in 2013.

A

Aaron’s Best Of 2011

I’ve been sitting on this for far too long, so it’s time to just get over it and post, damn it!

You see, it’s long been time for me to post my annual Best Of list.. yet, there’s been a bit of hesitation. This year brings us something different than previous years. There was a time that making up a list of 31 top records from the year was easy. I was more on top of things, I guess. This year, I don’t have as many new releases in my collection.

I’ve been buying the same amount of music, but this year, most of it has been on vinyl, and not one of those records was released in 2011 (it’s mostly sweet, older stuff). Even music on CD that I bought this year was mostly to fill earlier gaps in my collections of bands. So, not much of it was from this year.

However, fear not, because I did indeed get a few records that were actually released within paramters, and (of course) they were all awesome. I wouldn’t have bought them, otherwise.

 

My Best Of 2011:

———————–

Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center

This package has it all. Absolutely SWEET jazz and blues played by superlative musicians in an atmosphere of love, respect, and friendly competition. This is jazz the way it was meant to be played, and they knock this one out of the park. I just can’t stop listening to it. It is THAT good.

 

20 Other Bloody Great Records From 2011:

—————————————————-

Sloan – The Double Cross

Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs

Tom Waits – Bad As Me

Mastodon – The Hunter

Off! – The First Four EPs

Pearl Jam – Live On Ten Legs

Me First And The Gimme Gimmes – Go Down Under

Geoff Berner – Victory Party

Strippers Union – The Deuce

Paul MacLeod – Gauge

Hawksley Workman – Full Moon Eleven

Me First And The Gimme Gimmes – Sing in Japanese

Various – Sing For Your Meat: A Tribute To Guided By Voices

 

And we can’t forget the ubiquitous Mr. Pollard’s 7 (!) contributions…

—————————————————————

Robert Pollard – Space City Kicks

Lifeguards – Waving At The Astronauts

Mars Classroom – The New Theory Of Everything

Robert Pollard – Lord Of The Birdcage

Boston Spaceships – Let It Beard

Circus Devils – Capsized!

Boston Spaceships – Let It Beard Boombox Demos

(20)

 

Shopping List Of Records From 2011 (Still To Get):

————————————————————-

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Mirror Traffic

Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Roots – Undun

Opeth – Heritage… ALL!!!

Robbie Robertson – How To Become Clairvoyant

Wilco – The Whole Love

Pegi Young & The Survivors – Bracing For Impact

Kathryn Calder – Bright And Vivid

Wild Flag – Wild Flag

 

Previous Winners Of The Annual Best Of Series:

———————————————————

2010 Jack Johnson – To The Sea

2009 Leonard Cohen – Live In London

2008 Metallica – Death Magnetic

2007 Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables (tie)

2006 Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

Aaron’s Best Of 2010

2010 has been a decent year for music, from a listening perspective. That fact, alone, makes me a happy camper.

This is my fifth year (!) making this list, so it is with great pleasure that I say it’s in the usual format (it’s been long enough to call this annual list ‘usual!’), with 30 great albums listed in no particular order, and one record that shone that little bit brighter and earned the top spot.

My Best Of 2010:

Jack Johnson – To The Sea

An intensely personal record, packed with beautiful tracks. Flawless.

30 Other Bloody Great Records From 2010:

Robert Pollard – Moses On A Snail
Black Keys – Brothers
Grinderman – Grinderman 2
Weakerthans – Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre
Arcade Fire – Suburbs
Sloan – B-Sides Win / Hit And Run ep
Dead Weather – Sea Of Cowards
Cee Lo Green – The Ladykiller
Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
Pavement – Quarantine The Past
New Pornographers – Together
Circus Devils – Mother Skinny
Robert Pant – Band Of Joy
Kings Of Leon – Come Around Sundown
Bad Religion – The Dissent Of Man
Massive Attack – Heligoland
Gord Downie And The Country Of Miracles – The Grand Bounce
Doug Gillard – Call From Restricted
Hawksley Workman – Meat / Milk
Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
Boston Spaceships – Our Cubehouse Still Rocks
John Mellencamp – No Better Than This
Robert Pollard – We All Got Out Of The Army
Magnetic Fields – Realism
Circus Devils – A Riot Of Gold Teeth 2001-2010
Roots – How I Got Over
Eminem – Recovery
Neil Young – Le Noise

Man, I hope I haven’t forgotten anybody.

Two Re-Issues That Totally Filled Me With Joy This Year:

Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street… I love everything about this album, and about this re-release. It’s beautiful.

Gowan – Return Of The Strange Animal… Hit exactly the right nostalgia button at exactly the right time. And who’d have thought it – the album is still excellent all these years later!

The Album I Wish Owned Right Now (But It’s Only On Vinyl So Far)

Off! – The First Four EPs… All I can do is sweat through nervous, happy anticipation when I think of Keith Morris back at his hardcore roots. My g-d.

Past Winners Of My Best Album Of The Year:

2009 Leonard Cohen – Live In London
2008 Metallica – Death Magnetic
2007 Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables
2006 Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

And there you have it. Here’s hoping 2011 is a great year for tunes. It oughta be. And hey, I’ve raised a pint in your general direction. Happy New Year.

Aaron’s Best of 2009

What a great year for music! But, while making my annual list of the albums I liked best, there was no immediate, clear winner. In past years, this was the case. This year, I loved them all! I emailed James my dilemma, and he weighed in with his choice from my list (Dead Weather), but still I struggled. I’d really love to pick them all. However, I am compelled by forces in my brain beyond my control to choose only one, and so I have. And it is a truly great record. As are all 31 albums I’ve chosen this year. You’re all winners, kids. We love you.

My Best Of 2009:

Leonard Cohen – Live In London

Not only is this a triumphant and gorgeous return from one of my favourite artists of all time, it also documents the tour we saw, capturing our happy memories of that night. It’s hard for anyone to compete with all of that. Hooray for Leonard!

30 more I enjoyed in big heaps and bunches (in no particular order):

Pearl Jam – Backspacer
Carolyn Mark & NQ Arbuckle – Let’s Just Stay Here
Robert Pollard – The Crawling Distance
Dead Weather – Horehound
Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
Guided By Voices – Suitcase 3
Mastodon – Crack The Skye
Vaselines – Enter The Vaselines
Tragically Hip – We Are The Same
Robert Pollard – Elephant Jokes
Nirvana – Live At Reading
Boston Spaceships – The Planets Are Blasted
Slayer – World Painted Blood
Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey & The Groo Grux King
Bob Dylan – Together Through Life
Circus Devils – Gringo
Built To Spill – There Is No Enemy
Carolyn Mark & Tolan McNeil – The Sound Of The Tone-Echoes From The Last Resort
Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs
Joel Plaskett – Three
Flaming Lips – Embryonic
Tom Waits – Glitter And Doom
Sonic Youth – The Eternal
Andrew Bird – Noble Beast
Leonard Cohen – Live At Isle Of Wight
Decemberists – Hazards Of Love
Levon Helm – Electric Dirt
Jack Johnson – En Concert
Boston Spaceships – Zero To 99

See what I mean? A great year! And I’ve left off a bunch of other good ones too, trapped as I am in my (chosen in 2006) format of Best Of entries. Haha. We’re all music geeks (if you’re reading this, you surely must be), and so as you well know there’s a million records I love every year. What a beautiful world.

Past Winners:

2006 Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It
2007 Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables
2008 Metallica – Death Magnetic

Changes To Aaron’s Best of 2008

I truly am a High Fidelity geek, because it totally wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t address the following (necessary) changes to this year’s list of best records:

Correction 1:

During a recent chat with James, it was brought to my attention that Hawksley Workman’s brilliant record, Between The Beautifuls, was indeed released early in 2008, even though the packaging on my copy says 2007. Looking back, it wasn’t in my Best Of 2007 list, so fair enough ‘cos it surely would have been. So, my deepest apologies to Hawksley, because that record DEFINITELY deserves a place on this list, no matter what year it was officially released.

Correction 2:

I listed two Pack A.D. records (because they are awesome), but only counted them both as one. So, I count them as two and count us all as lucky that they saw fit to release both records in the same year. Yummy!

In Sum:

These two corrections have necessitated the removal of two records from my original list. All apologies to Beck and Martha Wainwright, you made excellent records that made my list for sure. But Hawksley and Pack A.D. come first, for me. So be it!

The List Now Looks Like This:

Album Of The Year: Metallica – Death Magnetic

30 Other Ass-Kicking Records From This Year:

Sloan – Parallel Play
Hawksley Workman – Between The Beautifuls
Hawksley Workman – Los Manlicious
Robert Pollard – Robert Pollard Is Off To Business
Boston Spaceships – Brown Submarine
Jack Johnson – Sleep Through The Static
B.B. King – One Kind Favor
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Have Another Ball!
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Real Emotional Trash
Ben Folds – Way To Normal
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
Henry Rollins – Provoked
Bob Dylan – Telltale Signs
Cat Power – Jukebox
Portishead – Third
Elvis Costello and the Imposters – Momofuku
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Sunday At Devil Dirt
Ron Sexsmith – Exit Strategy Of The Soul
Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis – Two Men With The Blues
Pack A.D. – Tintype
Pack A.D. – Funeral Mixtape
Van Morisson – Keep It Simple
Flight Of The Conchords – Flight Of The Conchords
Slipknot – All Hope Is Lost
Circus Devils – Ataxia
Novillero – A Little Tradition
Emmylou Harris – All I Intended To Be
Patti Smith and Kevin Shields – The Coral Sea
Martha Wainwright – I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too
Kathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers
Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely

And again, there were so many other great records in 2008, many of which I will listen to repeatedly. Thanks for all the tunes, everyone. Here’s to 2009.

31 Best Albums Of 2008

It’s that time once again, faithful KMA Readers, to reveal my album picks of the year. Lucky you!

Oh sure, lots of other, better-informed music afficianados have heard more critically acclaimed and indier-than-thou records than I have this year. Well, that’s nice for them. I still got to hear a pile of treasures! And for those of you who have been following along at home, you’ll notice that I haven’t even reviewed all of the records I’ve listed here (yet), but that’s just the way it goes. It’s OK, we know you still love us.

So without further ado, I give you The List:

Album Of The Year: Metallica – Death Magnetic

I loved it when I reviewed it, and the more I’ve heard it since, the more I realize that this is a superlative effort from a seasoned group of excellent musicians who are currently making some of the best music of their (incredible) career. They’ve pushed past some of their bullshit, gotten rid of their wannabe-band-members therapist and producer, and Kirk is once again playing solos (thank g-d). They’re back to the business of rocking your ass completely with every track here. It embraces what has come before, and goes forward with confidence. It’s perfect. Own this. Now. And play it FUCKING LOUD.

30 Other Ass-Kicking Records From This Year:

Sloan – Parallel Play
Hawksley Workman – Los Manlicious
Robert Pollard – Robert Pollard Is Off To Business
Boston Spaceships – Brown Submarine
Jack Johnson – Sleep Through The Static
B.B. King – One Kind Favor
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Have Another Ball!
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Real Emotional Trash
Ben Folds – Way To Normal
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
Henry Rollins – Provoked
Bob Dylan – Telltale Signs
Cat Power – Jukebox
Portishead – Third
Elvis Costello and the Imposters – Momofuku
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Sunday At Devil Dirt
Ron Sexsmith – Exit Strategy Of The Soul
Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis – Two Men With The Blues
Pack A.D. – Tintype and Funeral Mixtape (two in one year, thanks ladies!)
Van Morisson – Keep It Simple
Flight Of The Conchords – Flight Of The Conchords
Slipknot – All Hope Is Lost
Circus Devils – Ataxia
Novillero – A Little Tradition
Emmylou Harris – All I Intended To Be
Patti Smith and Kevin Shields – The Coral Sea
Martha Wainwright – I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too
Kathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers
Beck – Modern Guilt
Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely

There were a ton of other great records I heard this year, but from the very first time I made this annual list, I’ve limited myself to 31. So be it.

And here’s to all the great music coming at us in 2009!! I mean, I already know there’s a new Neko Case coming in March, so what’s not to love? Exactly.

Past Lists

This’ll be fun!

If you fall into any of these categories…

– wondering about my past choices
– needing a refresher after all this time of devotion to the KMA
– can’t be arsed to dig back into past posts to find this info
– just joining us now (and if so, welcome!),

… well, lucky you, because this post includes my lists from 2006 and 2007, for your edification!

I see a whole pile of great tunes there. What a great record collection this all makes!

2006

Best Album: Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
Hawksley Workman – Treeful Of Starling
Tom Waits – Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers And Bastards
Pearl Jam – Pearl Jam
Robert Pollard – Normal Happiness/Moon
Decemberists – The Crane Wife
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
Cat Power – The Greatest
Thom Yorke – The Eraser
Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene
Slayer – Christ Illusion
Belle And Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat
Tragically Hip – World Container
Dears – Gang Of Losers
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – Fear Is On Our Side
Liars – Drum’s Not Dead
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Danny Michel – Valhalla
Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways
Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers
Tool – 10,000 Days
Bob Dylan – Modern Times
Eagles Of Death Metal – Death By Sexy
Beth Orton – Comfort Of Strangers
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones
Black Keys – Magic Potion
Hot One – Hot One
Pretty Girls Makes Graves – Elan Vital

2007

Best Album (a tie): Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free and Immaculate Machine – Fables

Weakerthans – Reunion Tour
Buck 65 – Situation
Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
radiohead – In Rainbows
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Jukebox Explosion
Various Artists – The Secret Sessions (Rheostatics Tribute)
Ford Pier – Organ Farming
Robert Pollard – Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love
Pearl Jam – Live At The Gorge
Rush – Snakes And Arrows
Feist – The Reminder
Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Tegan And Sara – The Con
New Pornographers – Challengers
Robert Pollard – Silverfish Trivia
Grinderman – Grinderman
Eddie Vedder – Into The Wild
Neil Young – Live At Massey Hall 1971
White Stripes – Icky Thump
Guided By Voices – Live From Austin TX, Austin City Limits
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
Neko Case – Live From Austin, TX
Robert Pollard – Standard Gargoyle Decisions
Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger
Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero
Rufus Wainwright – Release The Stars
Charlotte Gainsbourg – 5:55
Circus Devils – Sgt. Disco
Robert Pollard – Crickets: The Best Of The Fading Captain Series

31 Best Albums Of 2007

Last year, as you’ll recall, I listed 31 of my favourite records of the year: 30 great ones and 1 that made it over and above the rest as my absolute fave. (Sloooooo-aaaaan!!)

This year it has yet again been my distinct pleasure to hear a lot of great music, and so I bravely forge forward with the 31 Best Records Of 2007. This project is entirely for your edification, because I’m sure you care more about what I think than what any of the other zillion people making similar lists on their web sites might think. And for that I thank you, Faithful KMA Readers.

What’s also really funny about these lists is that I haven’t even reviewed all of my favourite records from this year (found in the following list) on this site. Yet. I mean, how could you, Dear Reader, know that I liked a record if I didn’t even take the time to tell you about it in these pages? Well, rest assured that if I can get the time, I will surely write about every record that makes it into my ears, but I hear so much music all the time that, well, I’d have to sit here and write about music non-stop just to keep up. Believe me, if I could find a way to pay the rent while doing so, I would! But until then, you’ll just have to trust me.

And now, the big unveiling…

This year was a tie, folks. I have 2 favourite records from 2007. (Can he do that? Of course he can!)

I asked myself which of these records was in my stereo the most this year, and which one made me happiest. I tried to be as honest as possible, thinking maybe one would stand out as just that little bit more awesome than the other… But no, they are both completely stellar, flawless records by extremely talented artists that completely deserve the top spot. These discs are so filled with awesomeness I get giddy just thinking about them.  Ready? Go!

Hands-Down Best Albums Of 2007:

Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free   and   Immaculate Machine – Fables

29 Other Ass-Kickers (in no particular order):

Weakerthans – Reunion Tour
Buck 65 – Situation
Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
radiohead – In Rainbows
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Jukebox Explosion
Various Artists – The Secret Sessions (Rheostatics Tribute)
Ford Pier – Organ Farming
Robert Pollard – Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love
Pearl Jam – Live At The Gorge
Rush – Snakes And Arrows
Feist – The Reminder
Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Tegan And Sara – The Con
New Pornographers – Challengers
Robert Pollard – Silverfish Trivia
Grinderman – Grinderman
Eddie Vedder – Into The Wild
Neil Young – Live At Massey Hall 1971
White Stripes – Icky Thump
Guided By Voices – Live From Austin TX, Austin City Limits
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
Neko Case – Live From Austin, TX
Robert Pollard – Standard Gargoyle Decisions
Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger
Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero
Rufus Wainwright – Release The Stars
Charlotte Gainsbourg – 5:55
Circus Devils – Sgt. Disco
Robert Pollard – Crickets: The Best Of The Fading Captain Series
 

Missing ‘Cos I Don’t Have Them Yet (But I Will, Oh Yes!):

National – Boxer
Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Shins – Wincing The Night Away
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Magic
Rilo Kiley – Under The Blacklight
PJ Harvey – White Chalk
Kings Of Leon – Because Of The Times
Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
Do Make Say Think – You, You’re A History In Rust

… and probably a bazillion and a half others. At least.

31 Best Albums of 2006

It’s been my pleasure to hear a lot of great music in 2006. These were the best of the crate-loads of discs that competed for our hard-earned, ever-dwindling disposable incomes…

Hands-Down Best Album Of 2006:

Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

30 Other Ass Kickers (in no particular order):

Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
Hawksley Workman – Treeful Of Starling
Tom Waits – Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers And Bastards
Pearl Jam – Pearl Jam
Robert Pollard – Normal Happiness/Moon
Decemberists – The Crane Wife
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
Cat Power – The Greatest
Thom Yorke – The Eraser
Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene
Slayer – Christ Illusion
Belle And Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat
Tragically Hip – World Container
Dears – Gang Of Losers
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – Fear Is On Our Side
Liars – Drum’s Not Dead
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Danny Michel – Valhalla
Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways
Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers
Tool – 10,000 Days
Bob Dylan – Modern Times
Eagles Of Death Metal – Death By Sexy
Beth Orton – Comfort Of Strangers
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones
Black Keys – Magic Potion
Hot One – Hot One
Pretty Girls Makes Graves – Elan Vital

Missing ‘Cos I Don’t Have Them Yet (But I Will, Oh Yes!):

Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
Built To Spill – You In Reverse
Frank Black – Fast Man Raider Man
Joanna Newsom – Ys
Mars Volta – Amputechture
Regina Spektor – Begin To Hope
Alexisonfire – Crisis
Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped
TV On The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain

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