Top 10 Bands in 2006 (According to Last.fm) January 14, 2007Posted by reidmix in Asthmatic Kitty, Band Reviews, Best of 2006, FatCat, Free MP3, Kanine, Kill Rock Stars, Labels, Lists, Music, PawTracks, Reviews, Silver Mountain, Tomlab, Warp.
Tags: 2006, best of, bleep, epitonic, iPod, kcrw, last.fm, Polyvinyl Record Co., ratings
I started using Last.fm just over a year ago, and the top 10 bands are representative of what I’ve been listening to for the past year. Granted, it doesn’t log the songs I listen to in the car or on my iPod, but Last.fm is still spot on!
In fact, I’ve been debating whether to reset my account so that it will regenerate a new list over the next year. I don’t have this reset ability in iTunes (well, not without losing things like all my ratings), and my top 10 tracks have been the same since 2003.
I love top 10 lists, they are such a good cross-section of someone’s listening tastes and when you find a common band that you and the reviewer love, then it’s like a free pass to try out up to nine other bands if you’ve never heard of them. I found (free, legal) tracks for each band and I hope that you enjoy what you hear!
01. Animal Collective on FatCat Records and their own Paw Tracks
Last.fm has it right, I was completely overtaken by Animal Collective this year. Both completely (re) inventing their own genre of music and becoming masters of it, their realization of “Freak Folk” is more like electronic tribalism. This band is not for everyone (esp. critics), and each album has their share of stinkers, but I adore this band.
- Grass from Feels,
- Prospect Hummer amazing Single featuring Vashti Bunyan,
- Pride & Fight from Hollinndagain.
02. The Books on Tomlab and their official site
Highly intellectual (look at those track and album names below), The Books are mesmerizing genius. It was such a joy to see them live and discover that their songs could be stripped down to the core sound of cello and guitar (or banjo). Again, this band may not be for everyone, their songs demand your full attention, but they will get under your skin.
03. The Flaming Lips on their official site
First with the anime-riffic album Yoshi Battles the Pink Robots and then the Bush bashing At War with the Mystics, this major label band often gets indie band status. (You try to find free legal mp3s, thanks Warner!)
04. His Name Is Alive on their official site
HNIA was my favorite band in the ’90s before they went into a soul searching tangent into blues. The last album Detrola brought back everything they learned and amped up their sound to the happy discovery of a new generation of listeners. I’m glad they are still in my top 10.
- Somday Rmx full album!!!
05. Of Montreal on Polyvinyl Record Co. and their official site
Of Montreal use their distinctive sound (like no other) on a full discography of kaleidoscopic (theme? beatles-esqe?) albums. By the time I discovered them, there was quite a back catalog to examine. I highly recommend their KCRW appearance if you come across it.
- Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse on Polyvinyl off their new album Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
- So Begins Our Alabee off of thier popular The Sunlandic Twins,
- Disconnect the Dots off the wonderful Satanic Panic In The Attic.
06. Deerhoof on Kill Rock Stars
You can gain a great perspective on Deerhoof’s growth from all their free mp3s. Such a great band to see live, simple, sparse, and songs that are so anthemic that fans could name that song in just 3 notes.
07. Sufjan Stevens on his own Asthmatic Kitty
The boy genius from 2005 with the release of Illinois, came back this year with both a scrappy little sequel called The Avalanche and the official release of Songs for Christmas which had been floating around the internet prior. I look forward to another States album or something akin to Seven Swans.
- Holland and
- All Good Naysayers from Michigan
- Year of the Dog from the electronic venture Enjoy Your Rabbit.
08. Lali Puna on Morr Music and thier official site
Lali Puna and Ms. John Soda both may sound similar but are the best bands on Morr. And you can find members of Lali Puna come up in many incarnations such as John Yoko (highly recommend this single). I just adore Lali Puna and their albums get better and better. Morr Music might allow you to freely download high-res artwork and bios from their press-desk, but forget trying to find mp3s: go check out some songs on Epitonic or Bleep.
09. Grizzly Bear on Kanine Records and Warp Records
The harmonies these guys can do are comparible to the Beach Boys or The Beatles, and man they can belt it out in a live perfomance. I have to admit, their remix album of Horns of Plenty is my favorite, and a gateway album to amazing artists like Final Fantasy, Simon Bookish, Dntel and many others.
- On a Neck, on a Spit off their official site,
- Shift [Acoustic Version] and
- Reprise [Acoustic Version] from the Paris Sessions.
10. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone on Tomlab and their official site
It’s no surprise that CFTPA ended up on my list, I would guess that if I had discovered them earlier in the year they would have ranked higher. Check out the Young Shields EP with the Cyndi Lauper cover (ok, Prince wrote “When you were mine”, but he wrote everything back then).