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HOBBY BOX'S TOP ALBUMS OF 2006

From roots rock veterans to blog-discovered newbies, so many seemed to get it right in 2006. It was also a year when there was something great going on in every sub-subgenre imaginable. Whether you're into psychedelic folk, art metal or indie dance, 2006 offer a stellar crop of albums to obsess over from beginning to end. Proof that any claims that the iPod is killing the album are completely bogus.


1. BELLE & SEBASTIAN
The Life Pursuit
Dear Catastrophe Waitress was a nice comeback for the archetypical twee pop band, but it's the back-to-back gems of The Life Pursuit that will forever solidify them as one of the most important bands in indie rock history.


2. MEW
And the Glass Handed Kites
Danish band Mew creates a world where aggressive riffs and soaring melodies artfully coexist on this collection of gorgeously dynamic hard rock fables. Never thought an album could simultaneously make me feel like a metalhead and a big wuss.


3. DESTROYER
Destroyer's Rubies
I used to think that too much Dan Bejar was a bad thing. His wandering vocal schtick grated on the nerves after a while. But on Destroyer's Rubies, he exhibits brilliant control, toning it down to let each impressively unique pop song glow.


4. THE DECEMBERISTS
The Crane Wife
Just listen to the epic track "The Island" and it's apparent what separates The Decemberists from most folk-inspired indie acts. Colin Meloy isn't the type of songwriter who'll ever rely on a single trick. He seems to enjoy to challenge of constantly reinventing roots rock.



5. CLIPSE
Hell Hath No Fury
The long delayed sophomore CD from Clipse turned out to be well worth the wait. At a time when there are few mainstream rap acts putting out memorable material, the Pharrell-produced album came to resuscitate life into hip-hop.


6. BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY
The Letting Go
Will Oldham's latest simmers with quiet intensity. A traditional folk rock album carefully furnished with abstract arrangements and harmonies.


7. ALOHA
Some Echoes
Semi-psychedelic Ohio band Aloha take ownership of their eclectic sound on this meticulously-designed progressive indie pop album.


8. GNARLS BARKLEY
St. Elsewhere
Try to forget about all the overexposure that made us sick of Gnarls Barkley by summer's end, then perhaps it'll be easier to remember how many of the album's tracks blew us away on first listen.


9. M. WARD
Post-War
Singer/songwriter M. Ward attempts a fuller sound on his fifth effort, resulting in a confidently-composed, rich roots rock album.


10. ESPERS
II
Psychedelica, post-rock and folk are all reimagined on the Espers' second full-length -- a mood-commanding and dreamlike experience.

--


11. BEIRUT
The Gulag Orkestar


12. TV ON THE RADIO
Return to Cookie Mountain


13. SNOWDEN
Anti-Anti


14. GRIZZLY BEAR
Yellow House


15. CALIFONE
Roots and Crowns


16. GHOSTFACE KILLAH
Fishscale


17. THE LIARS
Drum's Not Dead


18. MIDLAKE
The Trials of Van Occupanther


19. NEKO CASE
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood


20. THE BLOW
Paper Television


21. BEACH HOUSE
Beach House


22. THE KNIFE
Silent Shout


23. JUANA MOLINA
Son


24. DANIELSON
Ships


25. ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT
Derdang Derdang

--

26. ISLANDS
Return to the Sea

27. THE ROOTS
Game Theory

28. JOSH RITTER
The Animal Years

29. HOWE GELB
'Sno Angel Like You

30. HIS NAME IS ALIVE
Detrola

31. MARGOT AND THE NUCLEUR SO AND SOS
The Dust of Retreat

32. SCISSOR SISTERS
Ta-Dah

33. MOGWAI
The Beast

34. CSS
Cansei de Ser Sexy

35. ASOBI SEKSU
Citrus

36. BAND OF HORSES
Everything All the Time

37. JOANNA NEWSOM
Ys

38. CAT POWER
The Greatest

39. THE EVENS
Get Even

40. ROBERT POLLARD
From a Compound Eye

41. JUNIOR BOYS
So This is Goodbye

42. SWAN LAKE
Beast Moans

43. EMILY HAINES AND THE SOFT SKELETON
Knives Don't Have Your Back

44. PHOENIX
It's Never Been Like That

45. JENNY LEWIS with THE WATSON TWINS
Rabbit Fur Coat

46. EL PERRO DEL MAR
El Perro Del Mar

47. CURSIVE
Happy Hollow

48. CAMERA OBSCURA
Let's Get of Out This Country

49. YO LA TENGO
I'm Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

50. SERENA MANEESH
Serena Maneesh

See also:
HOBBY BOX'S TOP SINGLES OF 2006
YEAR-END LISTS 1995-2005

tags: | |

posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 | [permalink]


MP3: CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH



"Love Song No. 7"
"Underwater (You and Me) "
(ClapYourHandsSayYeah.com)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah has wasted little time sprouting a sophomore effort and now we all can judge whether the band is a long-term indie force or just a spark of hype that made us realize the power of music bloggers. Gaging from these two tracks alone, it seems like they've developed their sound a bit, but -- after a few listens of each -- it's a tad less engaging.

See also:
www.myspace.com/clapyourhandssayyeah

tags: | | |

posted on Friday, December 08, 2006 | [permalink]


MP3: SIX PARTS SEVEN



"Stolen Moments"
(Suicide Squeeze)
Kent, Ohio's Six Parts Seven will showcase their lush, gorgeously-orchestrated instrumentals on their upcoming album Casually Smashed to Pieces.

See also:
www.myspace.com/sixpartsseven

tags: | | |

posted on Wednesday, December 06, 2006 | [permalink]


HOBBY BOX'S TOP SINGLES OF 2006

For the first time since I started making year-end music list, I was compelled this year to rank my favorite songs of the last 12 months all the way to 50. I think it's because 2006 was my first full year of mp3 hunting and video clip scrounging for this blog. It's not only made me more fully appreciate the beauty of a great single, but it's also just made it easier to figure which tracks are the actual singles. Heck, three or four years ago, who had any clue which songs off all the best indie albums were official singles?


1. "Special" / Mew
[youtube]


2. "Roscoe" / Midlake
[mp3][youtube]


3. "Young Folks"
Peter Bjorn & John featuring Victoria Bergsman

[youtube]


4. "Crazy" / Gnarls Barkley
[youtube]


5. "The Funeral" / Band of Horses
[mp3] [youtube]


6. "Sexyback" / Justin Timberlake
[youtube]


7. "Fake Tales of San Francisco" / Arctic Monkeys
[youtube]


8. "Painted by Numbers" / The Sounds
[mp3] [youtube]


9. "Hold On, Hold On" / Neko Case
[mp3]


10. "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" / We Are Scientists
[youtube]

11. "Love Me or Hate Me" / Lady Sovereign
[youtube]

12. "The Zookeeper's Boy" / Mew
[youtube]

13. "Promiscuous" / Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
[youtube]

14. "Rise Up With Fists!" / Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
[mp3][youtube]

15. "Shooter" / Lil Wayne featuring Robin Thicke
[youtube]

16. "Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives" / Voxtrot
[mp3]

17. "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" / Scissor Sisters
[youtube]

18. "Doctor Blind" / Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton
[mp3][youtube]

19. "Wildcat" / Ratatat
[mp3]

20. "White Light, White Light" / Supersystem
[mp3][youtube]

21. "The Blues are Still Blue" / Belle and Sebastian
[youtube]

22. "Launch Yourself" / Adem
[mp3]

23. "We're From Barcelona" / I'm From Barcelona
[youtube]

24. "Temperature" / Sean Paul
[youtube]

25. "Fidelity" / Regina Spektor
[youtube]

26. "Goodbye" / The Postmarks
27. "Over and Over" / Hot Chip
28. "Did I Step on Your Trumpet" / Danielson
29. "LDN" / Lily Allen
30. "Supermassive Black Hole" / Muse

31. "Buttons" / Pussycat Dolls
32. "Rally" / Phoenix
33. "In the Morning" / Razorlight
34. "The Greatest" / Cat Power
35. "Check on It" / Beyonce featuring Slim Thug

36. "Get Myself Into It" / The Rapture
37. "God Knows" / El Perro Del Mar
38. "Skip to the End" / The Futureheads
39. "Don't Feel Right" / The Roots
40. "Put You In Your Place" / The Sunshine Underground

41. "Ooh La La" / Goldfrapp
42. "When We Were Young" / The Killers
43. "Boy Soprano" / Xiu Xiu
44. "Jique" / Brazilian Girls
45. "Inside of Me" / Starlight Mints

46. "We Are The Ones" / The Coup
47. "Sing" / Dresden Dolls
48. "Cobrastyle" / Teddybears
49. "Love" / J Dilla featuring Pharoahe Monch
50. "Lolita" / Elefant


tags: | |

posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 | [permalink]


VIDEO PICKS: LILY ALLEN, MATT AND KIM, GWEN STEFANI

More good videos I've come across recently.

LILY ALLEN
"Littlest Things"


MATT AND KIM
"Yea Yeah"


GWEN STEFANI
"Wind It Up"


tags: | | | |

posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 | [permalink]

MP3: YOUTH GROUP



"Sorry"
(Anti-)
Australian band Youth Group has already enjoyed chart success in their home country. Now, they being their free-spirited rock to the U.S. and try to make their mark with next month's release of their sophomore album Casino Twilight Dogs.

See also:
www.youthgroup.com.au/
www.myspace.com/youthgroupmusic

tags: | | |

posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 | [permalink]

MP3: OF MONTREAL



"Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse"
(Polyvinyl)
In January, Of Montreal follows up the success of 2005's The Sunlandic Twins with their latest album Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, an album that will without a doubt strive to make pop more peculiar.

See also:
www.ofmontreal.net
www.myspace.com/ofmontreal

tags: | | |

posted on Sunday, December 03, 2006 | [permalink]


MP3: PROFESSOR MURDER



"Free Stress Test (Harkin & Wolf Remix)"
(Insound)
On their summer EP Professor Murder Rides the Subway, the post-punk-influenced band Professor Murder gave a glimmer of hope that there was someone around to revitalize New York's indie dance scene. Now full-length yet, but check out this remix of this EP highlight.

See also:
www.professormurder.com/
www.myspace.com/pmurdermusic
www.kaninerecords.com/

tags: | | |

posted on Saturday, December 02, 2006 | [permalink]


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