This is no surprise actually, because I listen to my own music way too much when I’m demo-ing it and writing it. the real list of my favourite songs of the year are for the most part, the songs that I’ve written but haven’t recorded yet. They remain in my head pure and unsullied by the compromises and realities of the recording process (that belly dance version of “Gotta Go” with George Abdo and his Flames of Araby Orchestra will probably never be realized).
Favourite songs (I wrote) this year (and contradicting what I just wrote most of these have been recorded): “Pink Motorola,” “High Fructose Corn Syrup,” “Dreamland,” “Atomic Clock,” & “Hollow Leg.”
None of those songs have been released yet though, too bad for you. As far as the rest of the music world goes, I experienced more disappointments than anything, suffering as I was from new music fatigue. I stuck with new records by old favourites and old records by old favourites. With a few notable exceptions, the new records by old favourites didn’t stick.
There is nothing quite comparable to seeing a new record by a favourite musician in the local record store. The excitement that demands you must buy it unheard. The anticipation as you rip it open in the car ‘cause you can’t wait to get home. The rising panic as you flip through each track hoping that it will be the one that recaptures the magic that made you like their music in the first place and the disappointment when you realize that you’ve been through all the songs twice, the record sucks, and you just blew $20 on something you’ll never listen to again. Oh, emusic and itunes, your lows are not as low, but your highs are not as high.
There were some greats this year though and I’m not going to feel bad about only having four of them:
Ys by Joanna Newsom
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case
Cast Away the Clouds by Rose Melberg
Hell Hath No Fury by Clipse
The Neko Case and Joanna Newsom records were more wonderful than I could’ve hoped, but you can read all about them elsewhere on the internets. We saw Rose Melberg open for Belle & Sebastien when they came to Vancouver. Her music was not suited to the cavernous Commodore Ballroom, but she was sweet so we bought her record. We’ve listened to that record consistently throughout the year and I can’t recommend it enough for dreamy afternoons when you need to tune out the world.
I heard about Clipse on the Sound Opinions podcast and since then it’s only left the car stereo on Christmas Day so that my sweetie could play that Sufjan Stevens box set. We downloaded that last year though, so by the time it came out and we bought it, I was sick of it. “O Come Emmanuel” is beautiful though and I wish I’d written “Put the Lights on the Tree.”
Now in terms of what I actually listened to this year, nobody could touch Of Montreal in playcount, especially “Satanic Panic in the Attic” and “The Sunlandic Twins.” Here’s a list of some of other things I liked this year that weren’t released in 2006:
Song: Black Cab by Jens Lekkman
Band that I finally got around to listening to: Of Montreal
Record I bought cause of a 2005 best of list: Das Mandolinenorchester by Cobra Killer & Kapajkos
Best mp3 I bought/classic (new to me): 13 Songs by Fugazi
Vinyl: Young MC: Stone Cold Rhymin’ & The Duke Plays Ellington
But Victor, you might ask, what was 2006 like for a young musician trying to make his way in this post-p2p file sharing musical landscape selling record downloads through an mp3 blog turned label? My first answer to that ran on a bit, and wasn’t nearly as profound as I’d hoped, so here’s the short answer:
I made a lot more friends than I made money, and that’s all right with me.
Victor is a London-born singer/songwriter who resides in Vancouver.