Thursday, January 12, 2006

Get inna studio and whip me up some music already

I could’ve done a Top Ten Albums of 2005 List but it was a pretty lean year in my opinion, plus I had less time to explore, what with the move and job hunt. Besides I’d rather forge ahead into the future!

I’m hoping a new, exciting environment and a more stable year ahead financially will allow me to discover something great out there. But I will also be anticipating some new stuff from old favorites. So here’s a Top Five Anticipated Albums for ‘06:

I still love these guys who are the workhorses of music, constantly touring and recording in the studio. Things have been quiet lately but they should have something out in the first half of this year and we’ll see what sounds they come up with this time. This is a great band live and I’m wondering why they never made it big. It’s like getting seeds for a gift instead of actual flowers. The flowers are an instant gratification, while the seeds, which require some time and effort, are ultimately more satisfying and surprising. That to me is Gomez. Each album has taken some time for me to accept and enjoy but once it sinks in, it’s hard to get it out of your head. These guys are more versatile and talented than given credit for.

The opposite of Gomez, in that you couldn’t freaking drag these guys into the studio and make music and even when you do, they fuck around for forever. They tried the philosophy of releasing albums quickly in succession (Kid A and then Amnesiac) but that didn’t last too long. It’s hard to believe that the Beatles could consistently release two or three albums a year! As for Thom Yorke and Co., I haven’t been as excited about them lately but my sheer love for OK Computer will keep me in good faith for a long time to come. I still maintain that Radiohead is a great rock band (recorded and live) but just don’t have the desire or attention span to do what they do best. On second thought, while I wasn’t gushing over Hail to the Thief, I think, like each of their releases, there is some great music on it. I think the bar is so high with them that it’s hard to surprise people anymore. If any other band had released that album, the music world would be in a frenzy. But now it’s just regular, old, amazing Radiohead at it again.

Gotan Project
Talk about another group that’s slacking off. They’re initial release was in 2001 and I’ve been waiting patiently ever since. Sure there was a DJ mix in ‘04, but I want some original material. But they seem pretty content on living off what they’ve got for the time being so who knows if they’ll whip out another album anytime soon. Here’s hoping they won’t completely vanish like Portishead did.

The Fiery Furnaces
Okay, okay so they released two albums in ‘05 so is it too much for me to ask for one this year? Well, EP was actually a collection of b-sides so it shouldn’t really count right? It’s interesting that the two releases last year were so polar; EP was their most accessible album while Rehearsing My Choir was their most abstract. I’m a huge fan but I’ll admit that RMC is a hard listen. I’m very curious to hear what they come up with next and in the meantime I’ll rock out to Single Again.

The Stills
They’re due for a release soon and there’s been some word on the internets so it’s a pretty good bet we’ll be hearing from these guys this year. I hope they don’t go through a sophomore slump and some of the lineup changes are worrisome but I’ll definitely be anticipating a new release nonetheless.

In Addition:
I’m going to say in writing that Weezer’s last album was so horrendous that I’ve lost all interest in any future releases. I loved the Blue Album and Pinkerton, and like the Green Album and Maladroit although something didn’t quite sit well with those two. But like a loyal fan, I went out and bought Make Believe without previewing it. Big mistake. Was this really Weezer?? Please tell me it’s a bad cover band. Make Believe This Isn’t Really Happening should be the complete title.

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