December 30, 2006

The Very Best of 2006: 14-17

14: The Flaming Lips - At War With the Mystics
Without hearing this album once I could promise you that if you know the Flaming Lips at all, you could name the band in seconds. A tad slower but no less out of the ordinary than their other classics, War With the Mystics is still those old acid tripping geezers doing what they do best; making fanatical music that sounds like it would fit perfectly in a Sesame Street episode or 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' all at the same time. What is Wayne Coyne singing about? Half the time I have no idea…but it kicks ass. (example: if anyone knows what is “overtaking” him on ‘It Overtakes Me’, let me know. I am beyond curious) This album also cracks me up sometimes. It has the kind of sound my little sister would like, but us all-knowing 20 year olds know these guys used to get way more fucked up than any of us would care to be in our lifetime. They may have calmed down, but their music sure hasn't. As far as straight from the mother ship psychedelic pop music is concerned, At War with the Mystics is the best album of the year. You won’t be disappointed.

15: Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon
I have a friend who goes by the name Peffer. Remember that name, for we shall be going deeper into that basket but for now, we’ll just hit the basics. This album came highly recommended from Peffer and, just like always, I bought it a few days later and fell in love with it almost instantly. Released in the US in November on their own label, their debut album has sold only 10,000 thus far. Don’t let that number confuse you, this album is way more powerful than that. Throwing predictability out the window, Tapes ‘n Tapes are not afraid to do what ever they want in their songs. Now some have tried and failed, but I feel the lack of direction in “The Loon” is what makes this album distinctive and interesting. Perfect examples of this are ’10 Gallon Ascots’ and ‘Crazy Eights’. The latter is an instrumental piece that would have fit nicely on a modern day Beach Boys album which lets their music speak for itself. Then there is 10 Gallon Ascot. I apologize, but for some reason I can only think of one way to describe this song: When you put a bone on you dogs’ nose and tell him to stay. His eyes have anticipation dripping like a weeping infant, yet he remains calm. You tease him a little bit with an ear to ear smile. He knows the moment will come when he can devour the bone in one swift head flick. Then, unsuspectingly, you yell the command and your dog, knowing the boundaries have been lifted, demolishes the bone as if it were a flea eating away at his belly. If that doesn’t make you want to hear the song… I give up.

16: Built to Spill - You in Reverse
Doug Martsch has never accomplished much in the commercial music arena. However his band Built to Spill has, without question, left their mark on the independent music scene. It has been 5 years since the world has had a new album from them and even though this year’s ‘You in Reverse’ didn’t stack up to
previous Built to Spill efforts, somehow that still doesn’t take away from it. If Built to Spill suddenly decided to make a best of album, tracks like the “Going Against Your Mind” and “Conventional Wisdom” would easily make the cut. A nice mix of fresh and previous sounds, this album has everything you could ask for from a Built to Spill album. Unlike ‘Perfect From Now On’ or ‘Keep it Like a Secret’, you will probably be skipping around a little bit on this one. Every musician knows that the problem with making a great album is that it has to be followed up by something even better. Most bands never accomplish this, but I will say “You in Reverse” is certainly an acceptable follow up in my book.

17: The Lovely Feathers - Hind Hind Legs
I have a routine. It’s not complicated, really. I usually have a drink (beer, juice, water), I typically have something lit (incense, candle, something with an open flame), and I always listen to the album I plan on writing about. Believe me when I say I have searched my car, the apartment, Serenity’s car, the cd cases, the plastic cylinder that blank cds come in, dvd cases, literally everywhere and Hind Hind Legs has not shown its fore fore face anywhere. Without it…I am crippled. I can assure you it deserves this spot on my list…I just don’t have the facts to back it up. Whats worse is I can’t even remember what they sound like. So I am declaring this the worst album review ever. I do promise that when I find it, I will put it in and give it a more deserving review. Until that day comes, just take my word for it.

No comments: