Heads On Sticks & Ventriloquists

The prodigious writings of a tortured genius.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Best Songs I Can Think of Right Now For 2006 Dude

Here's the 2006 best awesome music mixtape (now annual? who knows? will I be doing this thing in a year? will I be dead????). Also see the best albums of the year post. Ask me and I'll burn you a copy. Or just do it yourself. Nevermind... fuck the mixtape, even though they're fun to make, just read about these awesome songs and locate them at your discretion.

I'll start with a song that exists only on vinyl (because vinyl is da bomb! and it sounds better! and it's totally awesome! fuck everything else!). So I'll have to wait a hundred years for some retrospective CD compilation to come out when this artist is 60 years old until I actually
own this song. But we're in luck because you can stream it for free all the live long day.

The song is "Bro's" by Panda Bear (of Animal Collective fame) and it just about destroys my heart and soul every time I hear it. It's about 7-or-so minutes long of beautiful melody, rhythm, and harmony (which is what songs
are!). Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to go follow this link and click on the first "listen" icon under "Track List" (hint: it's the one called "Bro's"). Also, to FatCat Records: release this on some other media, because I don't own a cylinder phonograph. Alright, brah?

Moving on to music that sounds exactly the same as above.

Andrew W.K. apparently is even
crazier than we originally thought, which turned out to be quite awesome. His most recent album was released only in Japan and South Korea, featuring 22 fucking songs. So one of his new opuses "Let's Go On A Date", basically turns down the party and turns up the Meatloaf (but the party is still there, so don't fret). For the nerd in all of us, who cannot ask girls out, this song exists. Andrew W.K. basically is the most cool not cool person ever.

Here he is speaking at NYU(![?]):

Next next next!

And the hype continues to build for North Carolina's Annuals. I still haven't heard their new album, but their single "Brother" takes all the excellent aspects of music these days and mish-mashes it all together. For the person who can't get into Animal Collective but thinks Arcade Fire is played out.

Hey, who is scared shitless of Xiu Xiu?! Ooh me! Me! I am! Regardless, their most recent single, which rocks, is called "Boy Soprano" (even the vaguest of genital references can't slip past these guys, oh Xiu Xiu) and you should probably listen to it.

Add these two images together...

Think about that. Then realize that it's real. Then listen to "Province" by TV on the Radio.

The band Silversun Pickups have been gaining a lot of hype this year as well. I don't think it's totally deserved, as I only really like two of their songs: "Little Lover's So Polite" and this one (don't worry I'll get to it). I do think they have good intentions though, and they have all the right influences. So anyway, my vote for their best song (and song I really, really enjoy) goes to "Lazy Eye". Their video features my new favorite "video girl" (she's the red blur in that YouTube box below).

Shook Ones did steal their name from the Mobb Deep song. I learned that this year when I asked their bassist after their set. They stole their sound from Dan Yemin and company. I learned this when I heard them. If this sounds appealing, listen to "CARMS Race" and "SMRT" by this band and be on your merry way.

Somewhere, really out of nowhere, Appleseed Cast is all like "Um... we're going to drop a new album." And everyone is like, oh word? Because we didn't know they were still around. Then they were like "Oh, btw, it's going to feature the best song we've ever written". And everyone was all like no waaaay. Well, way, and it's called "Here We Are (Family In A Hallway)". It's worth the 99 cents on iTunes (but I guess all these are).

The Flaming Lips released another really good album this year, melting Black Sabbath together with a golden koala. Even though this song was released in 2005 I think, it's too good to exclude. It's like The Soft Bulletin: None More Soft. Here's the video:

The Blood Brothers new album is good, the only reason people hate on it is because their last album was better, and even better was the album before that. But this album is heavy with good single songy sings. One of my favorites is "We Ride Skeletal Lightening"; if you're familiar with the Blood Brothers, then it should be pretty easy to guess what phrase is said ad nauseum in this little number. Also, the change-up at the end is sweet. Perhaps the biggest weirdness to popularity ratio of any band. Below is a live version.

So, Algernon Cadwallader have not officially released an album, but if the demo of Philly's best new band is any indication, these guys rock and roll and rule. Their hit awesome track "Second Rate Machines" may remind you of Cap'n Jazz or Owen one of those Kinsella bands. It, as well as an awesome live version, are up on AC's myspace page. Peep it, dawg.

Daughters have been busy jizzing all over this great nation with boldly experimental new music, pretty much alienating the grindcore crowd and peeing on the scenester crowd. I love the song "Hyperventilationsystem", with its chant "Love is a disgusting thing, love is a disgusting thing." The following video is not from this year, not even from their new album, but it's here for the person who is like "Isn't Daughters that John Mayer song?" Watch it and you'll understand why my mom doesn't get some of my musical interests.

I liked the new Deftones album, but that's because I actually like the Deftones. It's not a guilty pleasure. But since every single person I talk to thinks I'm a giant dumbass for liking this band, I won't tell you that I really liked the song "Riviere". Fuck you, all of you.

Next up is Destroyer, perhaps the most inappropriately named band ever. C'mon, dude, let some tech-metal band have it! Click it and listen to "European Oils", it's Destroyer's best song yet.

Girl Talk. I was about to post a track. But no, the whole damn album is a track. So listen to the whole damn album.

Philly's own Dr. Dog released a wonderbar EP this year (but don't take it from me, just see what Beck has to say!). The last track, "Livin' a Dream", is another one of those soul crushing beautiful mega-songs, that you should nab off of iTunes right now if you do nothing else.

Brit-pop-punk never sounded anywhere near as good as when The Futureheads are doing it. I listened to "Skip to the End" more than other dudes this summer. Take a gander at this video below from the Pitchfork Music Fest, let the harmonies hit your ears, and then realize that this is what they sound like live! Maybe it's just a good mix, but... damn!

Like I said, Clipse are not being overhyped. Check out "Wamp Wamp (What It Do)" below, then tell me that you don't wanna wet your nose up... bitch.

Gnarles Barkley were the hipster approved uberpop of the year, with their runaway single "Crazy" -- which was awesome, admit it. My favorite track off the album was "Transformer" though. Below is a fan video.

So we can all agree that Islands aren't as good as the Unicorns, but it's great that they went in an entirely new direction. Ditch the synth pop and get yo' Paul Simon on! "Jogging Gorgeous Summer" is exactly what the title says it is.

The Jonbenet may or may not have felt awkward this summer when that creepy dude pretended to be the real child rapist murderer. Their single "Eating Lightning Part I" suuuure is good though. Later this year O.J. would accidentally admit that he killed his wife.

If someone last year came up to me and said "Hey, Bill... yo, this is crazy. First of all, I'm from the future. Okay, so follow along. Lifetime, you know them right?"
"Yeah, of course. They destroyed every other punk band I could ever hope to listen to. How could I forget?"
"Okay, well, listen. See this LP?"
"Alright, on it... are two brand new Lifetime songs."
"Just listen. Okay? Here take it. (Vanish into the future)"
"But, I don't have a record player."

So Lifetime released two new songs this year. They're a lot cleaner, a touch poppier. But fuck, man, it's LIFETIME. I like "All Night Long" better, but just listen to both while your at it. This is the band responsible for spawning every Taking Back Sunday that you probably hate.

Get your hands on a copy of Lupe Fiasco's "Real ft. Sarah Green". Below is the shittiest possible video for you to get an idea of how good this song is.

M.I.A. - "Bucky Done Gun". Watch the video, then have a sexy party. Best dance song of the year.

One of the least Google-able bands, Man Man, released an album beloved by all (well I liked it, but I didn't really listen to it all that much). However, imagine Hulk Hogan singing a sea shanty that transitions into a 50s doo-wop, and that's really only half the picture of the song "Ice Dogs". Below is the song, but something tells me this isn't the official video. Call it a hunch.

Mew have a myriad of songs that I wholeheartedly enjoy, so I'll just go with the first of their many insanely epic songs, "Chinaberry Tree". I think this is brain-meltingly beautiful, in a nerdy sci-fi sort of way. Dammit, listen to him: "
But I never learned how not to be / As my first love said to me / “I don’t care. I’m not there” / So that I could not sleep / My whole being was falling apart / So that I soon cried out / “Dear friends, hold me!”"

"Montanita", the first track from Ratatat's new album, is a collage of warm layers that just doesn't quit! Call your doctor today and say "Hey gimme that, doc!"

Spencer Krug is in about 20 million bands. I don't know how it's possible, but I checked the numbers and -- damn -- it's 20 million. Sunset Rubdown proved to be so much more than just a Wolf Parade side project, and "Stadiums and Shrines II" perfectly exemplifies this. I know I've used the term "soul-crushing" a lot. But sometimes you need your soul crushed. And sometimes I need a new adjective.

And finally, a fictional conversation between me and my dad:

"Dad, I really want a jangly, uptempo indie rock tune. Can you provide?"
"Well, I did have a guitar in the 60s. Ha, one of those things cost only $50. And it was a decent one too!"
"...Neat. Well, I want something that shows no hint of you being in your 50s."
"I could find something... I guess. What's popular? Is it that grunge music?"
"Dad, Thurston Moore is only like 10 years younger than you and his band has released one of the best CDs of their career."
"Thirsty who?"
"Ugh! You'll never understand."
"Get a haircut!"
"Don't cut yours!"

Sonic Youth - Incinerate

Oh yeah, and "White and Nerdy" by Weird Al


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