The Best and Worst of 2006
|05-Jan-2007 05:50 AM||Contributed by: pete||Music News|
I like to wait until January before writing a "best of last year" article. You know, wait long enough for all the Champagne and seasonal goodwill to be replaced by the reality of a potentially long and gray winter. It's just the right frame of mind for me to look back and close out the previous year. And I know you've already read or seen a whole heap of these lists, but what makes my article original is, uh - well, basically nothing (maybe not even my selections).
The categories are:
Best ShowTo prepare for this category, I created a 2006 Retrospective that forced me to go through the shots from every single show I photographed in 2006. But then there were the shows that I attended and didn't photograph, and there were even a few shows that I went to and didn't even tell you about, like Radiohead. I had a great time doing this, remembering all the shows and looking back on my photographs.
There were so many memorable moments. Like when the guitarist from the Black Lips puked all over the stage, on purpose. Or when Adam Kittridge from Jets Overhead went from a mild mannered guy to Mr. Hyde of the guitar. Or the amazing mental connection between Jessica and Dave of The Golden Dogs. Or the love that Islands showed their fans. In fact, if it wasn't for one other concert, I think Islands would've been the winner of this category. But, as it turns out, earlier in the year I attended a concert I will never forget:
It was everything a concert should be, and more. It pushed all the right buttons in my brain. But rather than go on about it here, just accept that it was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. You can read about it in my review: Big Balloons and a Fish-Eye Lens.
Top 10 AlbumsI realize that the internet is flooded with top 10 lists starting in December and they keep coming non-stop straight through January. I'm guessing readers are getting tired of reading top 10 lists by now. But I'm not going to let that stop me! Nope. Even if no one reads this, it was still something I had to do. Note: I don't always find out about music the moment it is released, so I've included a few albums that I discovered in 2006, but were actually released in the latter half of 2005. Flame me if you like, it won't change my selections.
Biggest DisappointmentIf you've ever checked out my last.fm listening statistics (and I don't expect you have), you would've noticed that it exposes my love for the band Grandaddy. So when the news of Grandaddy's breakup was announced, I was not only surprised, but obviously more than a little disappointed. Jason Lytle explained the reasoning in an article featured in Magnet magazine, and so from the band's perspective I understand. But I had only just learned about Grandaddy in 2004, so I was blindly looking forward to many more new releases, and the chance to see them in concert. The EP Excerpts from the Diary of Todd Zilla released in 2005 was enough to hold me over, but I couldn't wait to get my hands on their upcoming 2006 release. Then, before it was even released, the band called it quits. Although Just Like The Fambly Cat was released as promised, it just didn't feel the same. The album has some brilliant moments and one song, Summer... It's Gone, received a 5-star rating in my iTunes (a relatively rare occurrence). Yes, I'll miss Grandaddy.
The Whipping PostI think 2006 was a bit of a transitional year for music, which makes it all that more exciting and easy to be enthusiastic about. But it's hard for me to write all that positive stuff without complaining about something. And that's what this category is about: letting off a little steam.
The 2006 CASBY Music Awards were a musical feast, and the bands were all amazing, pumping out 2-3 song sets with skill and energy often reserved for the last few songs of a full set. Also, 102.1 The Edge deserves massive credit for pulling it all off so well; it was tight. And, yes, since it's run by 102.1 The Edge, the in-between entertainment should be, well, edgy. But I think this quote from David St. Hubbins (Spinal Tap) sums it up best: "It's such a fine line between stupid and... clever." And that fine line was nowhere to be seen.
I went to the show expecting the non-musical part of the awards to be offensive, amusing, and probably even contain the word "rectum" many times - it's just that kind of an affair. But morning radio mockery just doesn't work as a live evening act. Having a really fat nearly-naked guy doing jumping jacks or getting a guy with no almost legs act like a seal are routines that the morning show hosts should keep to the confines of their own masturbatory fantasies. Was the mocking offensive? I don't know, I guess, maybe. But couldn't they get someone to really offend me? Maybe next year (assuming I'm allowed back after this little rant).
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