Saturday, December 30, 2006

When Jop Goes Pazz

List freak action. We recently posted the Top 10 Most Popular Downloads over at Destination: Out. But for those curious about our (mostly) non-jazz tastes, here's our take on the year in pop music for 2006.


1. JUNIOR BOYS So This Is Goodbye (Domino)
1980s New Wave distilled down to its sublime essence and injected with impossible yearning.

2. ART BRUT Bang Bang Rock & Roll (Downtown)
Released last year in the UK, it was still the most fun rock record of the year in this country.

3. THE LIARS Drum's Not Dead (Mute)
Early PiL as seance, rising the dead, making the zombies twitch and moan in rhythm.

4. GHOSTFACE KILLAH Fishscale (Def Jam)
Earns his sample of the Rocky theme.

5. ORNETTE COLEMAN Sound Grammar (Sound Grammar)
A late career blooming that encapsulates the maestro's interests in classical, world, funk, and right, jazz.

6. DESTROYER Destroyer's Rubies (Merge)
"Why can't you see, a life in art and a life of mimicry - it's the same thing?!"

7. OOIOO Taiga (Thrill Jockey)
Joyful chants, crazy rhythms, dadaist pop, folk-jazz hybrids - enough to make you forget about the Boredoms (for a while).

8. BURIAL Burial (Hyperdub)
Mapping the abandoned city block by desolate block, using only a rumbling echo and a high hat.

Sometimes the tunes feel too simple, but the aching sense of despair eventually seeps into your marrow and starts to almost feel comforting.

10. JOANNA NEWSOM Ys (Drag City)
Still digesting.

11. BEACH HOUSE Beach House (Carpark)
Sweet and mournful drone songs that avoiud self-pity and drift into timeless melancholy.

12. SONIC YOUTH Rather Ripped (Geffen)
Trying to make their Parallel Lines and mostly succeeding.

13. THE KNIFE Silent Shout (Mute)
Eurotrash synth-pop that's tougher than leather.

14. BORIS Pink (Southern Lord)
Released on import last year, this Japanese metal trio detonated my stereo this year by fusing the sludgy and the fast, both at once.

15. HOT CHIP The Warning (Astralwerks)
Squelchy combo of Aphex Twin and Paul McCartney, futuristic electro-soul you can hum in the shower.

16. SCRITTI POLITTI White Bread Black Beer (Nonesuch)
That voice, stirring as ever; the music, a surprising mix of elastic grooves, sixties pop hooks, and slowed-down hip hop beats.

17. MATMOS The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of the Beast (Matador)
Brilliant miniature audio portraits of everyone from disco deejay Larry Levan to German philospher Ludwig Wittgenstein to the Germs' Darby Crash - cig burns, hair droppings, and rat cages included.

18. TOUMANI DIABATE'S SYMMETRIC ORCHESTRA Boulevard de L'Independence (World Circuit)
Block-rocking Cubano beats meet sinuous kora grooves, writ large for the dancefloor.

19. ARCTIC MONKEYS Whatever You Say I Am That's What I'm Not (Domino)
After the hype and backlash, what remain are the songs, the swagger, the heedless forward momentum, the tongue-tied desire to chronicle the right now.

20. YO LA TENGO I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (Matador)
Some soggy parts, but the best tracks hold their own with anything in their catalog.

Lastly... SCOTT WALKER The Drift (4AD)
Either a work of godlike genius or a howlingly pretentious bauble. Scorched earth opera for the 23rd Century. My friend Mike: "Objective terms like good doesn't even seem to apply here..."

Bubbling under: Bob Dylan; Final Fantasy; Thom Yorke; Cat Power; Dave Burrell; Mission of Burma; Odyssey the Band; Asobi Seksu.

Haven't got yet or still listening: Clipse; The Roots; Andrew Hill; Wolf Eyes; Bonnie Prince Billy; Kode9 and the Spaceape; Vijay Iyer; The Coup; Grizzly Bear; Abrams/Lewis/Mitchell; Lupe Fiasco; Om.



PRINCE "Black Sweat"

BOB DYLAN "Ain't Talkin"

YEAH YEAH YEAHS "Cheated Hearts"

RACONTEURS "Steady, As It Goes"

GRAHAM COXON "Tell It Like It Is"

TV ON THE RADIO "Wolf Like Me"

LUPE FIASCO "Kick, Push"

THOM YORKE "Black Swan"



1. JEAN CLAUDE-VANNIER L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches (Finders Keepers)
The arranger of Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson steps out with this insane mix of lush orchestrations, funk grooves, jazz textures, rock guitar, and music concrete. Essential weirdness.

2. MOONDOG The Viking of Sixth Avenue (Honest Jon's)
Perfect primer of the music of this homeless, Viking-helmet-wearing composer whose fans include Stravinsky, Charlie Parker, and Tom Waits. His tunes triangulate between them.

3. DELTA 5 Singles (Kill Rock Stars)
Hailing from Leeds and friends with the Gang of Four, this male-female combo artfully chart "the distance between us."

4. JOSEF K Entomology (Domino)
Dapper and jagged. Franz Fernidand with the smirk wiped off their faces.

5. KHAN JAMAL Drumdance to the Motherland (Eremite)
Dubbed-out, Afro-vibe free jazz smoldering from a basement in Philly.

6. THE WRENS Silver and Secaucus (Wind-Up)
The frantic, power-pop flipsides of The Meadowlands.

7. BRIAN ENO AND DAVID BYRNE My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Still spooky.

8. OHM+ The Early Gurus of Electronic Music
Alvin Curran, Alvin Curran, ALVIN CURRAN!

9. CLUSTER Soweisoso
Lovely pastoral electronica from the early 1970s.

10. Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies from the Canyon
The orphaned daughters of Joni Mitchell finally find a context - and a moment.


Blogger J. Herzog said...

I should've figured that if you had such good taste in jazz, you'd have some primo non-jazz picks too.

Good stuff...

1:40 AM  

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