My 2006 Compilation

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23 Nov 2006, 21:54

I've decided to put together a compilation of the music I've been listening to in 2006. This is always tricky for me, as I've almost never listened to much music in the year it came out - stuff takes a while to grow on me. As a result, most of the 'recent' stuff on here is from about 2000. However, a lot of this is music I've only really grown to love this year. To hear it, download the zip file from here. Watch out - it's big (128mb).

This was meant to be about the length of a single CD, but there's just too much stuff to cut down to that length - this is nearly two hours.

Meant For You should be the opening track of every CD ever. Only 40 seconds long, it's just a gorgeous little Brian Wilson sketch.

Think Carefully For Victory is the opening track of Citizen Gomez by my own band The National Pep, our first EP. I've had the music knocking around for years, but this is the first time it's been done justice. It's an attempt to be The Beatles and The Flying Burrito Brothers at the same time, but it's probably not very like that. I like it a lot though, and genuinely think it should be on here. 10 points for anyone who gets the Beach Boys reference...

Sumer Is Incumen In I spoke about here. Safe to say, this track leaves me open-mouthed with awe.

Proto-Pretty has always been one of my favourite Wondermints songs - even more so since I heard the next track. This is a live version, just to save ripping the track from CD. Great with lyrics about DNA and trilobites.

Nerdy Boys is probably my favourite song of the year. Oddly, this isn't on the version of Candypants available on emusic. Candypants are my favourite band of the last few years, and this shows why - funny, clever, sexy, good tunes and a Wondermints reference - truly, what more could you want?

Surf City - not the mono version, alas. But real nerdy boys only listen to the remake by The Legendary Masked Surfers anyway :-p

Love On A Farmboy's Wages is from what may be my favourite XTC album, Mummer. One of several Andy Partridge songs from around that time that deal with not having enough money, this one also has a lovely guitar part.

Country Boy is one of my favourite discoveries of the last year. I've always liked Jake Thackray, but until the release of Jake in a Box, the 3-CD box set that came out this year, I never realised just how incredibly strong his material is, and how much good stuff he did. This one in particular is just beautiful, and manages to be a religious song that is not even slightly preachy, and manages to speak about Jesus' life in a way that makes it come alive, by actually using the language of normal people, but some of the best imagery I've ever heard - "There was a girl in the town was used to sleeping around, she was easy, ay ay ay/Living her life within the scandalised fist and the beckoning finger". Also, the melody is almost identical to Heroes & Villains.

Quiet Talks and Summer Walks. Neil Innes is another person who I've always loved, but seeing him live twice this year (once solo, once with The Bonzo Dog Band) reminds me just why this man is one of the true greats. This song is his masterpiece, one of the most incredible melodies I've ever heard, with a lyrical conceit I'm amazed nobody had used before (it's told from the point of view of a flower listening to a couple's conversation). The original recording was by The Bonzo Dog Band but I prefer this version, from his series The Innes Book Of Records. Incidentally, Innes' site has tons of his stuff for free download. Check it out.

The World Before Later On is my very favourite They Might Be Giants song; partly because it sounds like something off Friends; partly because the subject matter, waiting for the future to arrive, is deftly handled; but mostly because "where's my hovercraft?" makes me giggle inexplicably.

The Door Into Summer is an odd track. It's Mike Nesmith writing psych-pop based on a Robert A Heinlein novel. Someone give me a poke tomorrow and I'll write my Monkees post I've been threatening for months.

Rainbow is the theme from the kids' TV show of the same name. Hearing it with the minor key middle eight was the most literally psychedelic experience I had last year. It completely changes the feel of the song, and this song is wired into the brains of several generations of British people on a basic level. Those of you not from the UK will not get why this is here. Those who are will be flabbergasted.

Lookin' At Tomorrow is another mind-blower. This song, in its original form on Surf's Up, is familliar to all Beach Boys fans as a folky little nothing by Al Jardine, the band's whitest member. This, on the other hand, is a live version from 1971, and it's trip hop. It sounds like Portishead. And this is Al Jardine!

No 1. With A Bullet is from The Highbury Working, one of Alan Moore's spoken-word performance pieces. These are extremely odd, and are connected as much to Moore's occult work as to his mainstream comics stuff. Moore's spoken word pieces often contain some of his best writing, yet are strangely underwhelming as performances - The Birth Caul did nothing for me as an album, but when adapted in comics form by Eddie Campbell moved me to tears. This one, more than most of Moore's spoken work, works. Moore tells the story of the last hours of the life of Joe Meek, over a music track created by Tim Perkins using samples of Meek's work mixed in with Perkins' own.

You Were There is a Joe Meek track, with Heinz, the lover mentioned in the Moore track, on lead vocals. You can hear that he was not chosen by Meek for his singing ability.

Look Out, There's a Monster Coming is in because not only is it a great track, but I needed a track to be truly representative of this year. The lyrics are hilarious, describing someone's attempts to improve his attractiveness by buying things, but this song is slightly tainted for me by the performance on Do Not Adjust Your Set where the band played in blackface...

Brontosaurus is often described as the first heavy metal track. Cheap Trick had the hit with the cover version, but The Move were the best singles band of the 60s...

I've gone on about Rhapody In Blue before, but I'll repeat - this is Rhapsody In Blue played as hot jazz, not as a classic to be revered. And that's why this version is the definitive one. George Gershwin plays the piano.

Number Nine is a very early single by Van Dyke Parks under the clever pesudonym of The Van Dyke Parks. A wonderfully joyous jangle-pop bilingual rendition of the Ode To Joy from Beethoven's Ninth.

Dream on James, You're Winning is from the soundtrack to the realCasino Royale.

I Want a Pony is another track by my favourite band of the year. This one makes me think of innerbrat.

Used To Be In Evil Gazebo is a song I would like anyway - I love Half Man Half Biscuit's skewering of the more idiotic musicians in the indie scene (all of them). But this song has a lot more meaning to me after spending a few months working in a psychiatric ward. People who think mental illness is sexy or cool need to swap places with the bloke I looked after a few weeks ago who'd tried killing himself by setting himself on fire. It's much harder to be a wanker if you've burned all the fingers on your right hand down to a stub.

The Statues is one of the funniest, most good-hearted songs I've ever heard. ALL Thackray's songs are this good. If you buy one CD this month, make it Jake in a Box. Apparently John Lennon met Thackray in the late 60s and recited the song to him word-perfectly.

Guess I'm Dumb is Glenn Campbell's first solo single, but it's really a Brian Wilson track. Wilson wrote and produced this song pretty much contemporaneously with Pet Sounds, and it seems to be his attempt at making a Roy Orbison record.

Saturday's Father is ridiculously sad. It should be so over-the-top as to make me burst out laughing, with lines like 'fun to have a daddy every saturday', but for some reason the cheese affects me. I've cried over this song, and I wish I could explain why.

When I'm 64 is a note-perfect remake by Los Shakers of The Beatles' original, near-indistinguishable, except for the lead vocalist's very slight Uruguayan accent. This means, of course, it is better.

Maybe Tonight is pretty typical of Corn Mo's work. Imagine Meatloaf playing Jonathan Richman songs on the accordion, and you'll have some idea of his genius.

My Little Ukulele is mostly included because I'm learning the ukulele. Innes' attempt at writing a George Formby song.

Psychotic Reaction is included because it's a great track, because I've been listening to a lot of Nuggets this year and in tribute to my friends in the band of the same name.

Two Headed Dog is included because I love the chorus. Who but Roky Erickson would write a line like "two-headed dog, two-headed dog, I've been working in the Kremlin for a two-headed dog"?

Maple Leaf Rag is still as life-affirming as it must have been 100 years ago.

Wax Minute shows just why Mike Nesmith's solo career is so interesting. Who else would record a country song with lyrics like "As you complicate things greatly since you came into my life, old veneers and stately postures wax minute within your sigh"?

And finally There is Beauty In The Bellow Of The Blast (live) is another song from 1000 Years of Popular Music, this time taken from The Mikado. Nothing to say about this, like many of these tracks, other than that it's really, really good.

Download and listen, then let me know what I should listen to in 2007...
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  • arthurbang

    The track Nerdy Boys is from this year, from a girl band compilation on their record label. You can also download it from their myspace page. The rest of their self-titled CD is from, I'd say 2000. I still say it's my favorite CD of this decade. If you check my stats on here, it shows that it's still one of my top listened to discs this year. Lisa has been playing new stuff in concert for a few years now, including Nerdy Boys. A couple of years ago, she also put out a vinyl Christmas single as well. She's a member of The Negro Problem as well as older bands like The Stoolpigeons and The Pussywillows. She also works for Larry Flynt, but that's another story all together. p.s., most of her bandmates now come from the band Marizane.

    26 Nov 2006, 20:19
  • stealthmunchkin

    Yeah, I got Nerdy Boys from Myspace... I'll definitely check out those other bands (though I'm a huge Negro Problem fan anyway...). That album is incredible, isn't it?

    26 Nov 2006, 22:15
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