Kent B Poop 06

Sometimes the best things come in pairs. Well, at least for me in 2006, that’s the best way to discuss the year in music. So now it’s time to double your pleasure, because this year I am pooping Twins!





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Ornette ColemanSound Grammar
Andrew HillStraight Lines
For almost fifty years, Ornette Coleman has been the Shape of Jazz to Come, and this year’s entry includes a rhythm section with two bass players and Ornette even fiddling around on violin. Forty years after Alfred Lion of Blue Note called Andrew Hill “my last great protégé”, Hill is back on the label. The two best jazz albums of 2006. The edge goes to Hill for his eloquent piano solos which add quiet perspective to his new directions.




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Dixie ChicksTaking The Long Way
Neil YoungLiving With War
Taking the Long Way fades after a few songs along with its seventies west coast vibe; while Neil Young’s anti-Bush sing-a-long has a rough déjà vu feel that didn’t make the impact I expected. Yet, both artists are passionate enough to force us to think in these confusing times.


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Trio MediaevalStella Maris
The KlezmaticsWonder Wheel
What does the Klezmatics’ take on Woody Gutherie have to do with a classical trio’s rendition of
Gregorian chants? It’s the vocals. Lorin Skamberg’s of the Klezmatics possesses a pure folk tenor reminiscent of Peter Yarrow, and the Trio Mediaevel female voices blend together perfectly yet with each voice retaining its distinct pristine individuality.

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TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain
The Mars VoltaAmputechure
Progressive rock lives. Return to Cookie Mountain takes the genre in a new direction combining Sigur Ros with Sly and the Family Stone. Mars Volta is more stuck in the King Crimson seventies, but fifty minutes in it really gets going. It’s time I got a life.

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Tom WaitsOrphans, Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
Vince Gill These Days
One or both of these epic, genre-sprawling box sets may eventually attain mythical stature. Tom Waits taps into primordial rock and depression era Hoagy Carmichael character studies. It really is genius, but how you react to Waits’ voice which he describes as a chug, stomp, wheeze, whisper and a moan is really the litmus test. Similarly, Vince Gills stretches from rock and honky-tonk to ballads and bluegrass on his four-disc set. He’s definitely more than another pretty face in a big Stetson, but I still detect some glossy Nashville around the edges.


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Yo La Tengo I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
Sonic Youth Rather Ripped
They are both still ticking, and the winner is….Yo La Tengo for an eleven-minute distorted jam that sounds lifted from Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation.


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R.E.M And I Feell Fine … The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1997
The Replacements Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was
The winners of this 1980s retro-indie death match are the Replacements who still sound fresh.


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Buy new or used through Amazon

Johnny Cash American V. A Hundred Highways
Johnny Cash The Personal Files
As Robert Christgau puts its, “Dead Man Walking”.


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Buy new or used through Amazon

Radio Birdman Zeno Beach
The Who Endless Wire
Two more comebacks. Radio Birdman is resurrected from the early Australian Punk scene. Zeno Beach is twin guitars garage rock that works. Endless Wire opens with a playful riff reminiscent of Baba O’Reilly, and succeeds because of Daltrey. He injects personality – not usually his strong suit – with a stark guttural vocal quality reminiscent of – heaven forbid – Tom Waits.

More Poop

(You can only take the “twin” concept so far )
Sonny Boy WilliamsonCool Cool Blues: The Classic Sides1951-1954 A bargain four-disc set of Delta juke joint blues from Big Joe Williams, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup as well as Sonny Boy. Although it’s sloppy and poorly recorded, it is the real thing.
Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not ,
Neil Young Live at the Fillmore,
Robert Randolph and the Family BandColorblind,
The Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steady have an E Street Band style (circa 1973), but stories about drug-addicted girlfriends who can’t lose at the track are definitely worth hearing.
Josef F Entomology, A 1980s post punk British entry that never made it stateside.
Pink I’m Not Dead “Dear Mr. President” may be the most personal and affecting protest song of the year.

Jazz

V.A. The House that Trane Built – The Story of Impulse Records , To have the orange and black albums from Impulse in your collection meant you were a pretty hip dude.
Forty years ago, Impulse ushered in a new age of energized free jazz with sounds that are still hovering around Pluto.
Wisely, this box set centers on the more conservative entries such as Benny Carter and Count Basie with only Coltrane
soaring into interstellar space.
Fred Anderson Live At the Velvet Lounge,
Keith Jarrett Carnegie Hall Concert,
Terje Rypdal Vossabrygg

World

V.A.Hugh Masekela presents the Chisa years 1965-1975,
V.A.Tropicalia – A Brazilian Revolution in Song,
Ali Farka ToureSavene,
Africa RemixA Freak Iya

Old Wine – New Bottles

Steve Reich Phases,
V.A.Rockin’ Bones 1950s Punk and Rockabilly

Marginal

Yeah Yeah Yeah’sShow Your Bones, Karen O of the Yeah, Yeah Yeahs always hints at breaking out and taking her Patti Smith/Joey Ramone persona and music
to the next level.
Pearl Jam Pearl Jam Pearl Jam may have released their best ever, but is that really saying much.

Overall, these are two slightly better than average rock records.

Enough Already

Bob Dylan Modern Times Dylan has a lively blues groove with great musicians and, while I enjoy the quips about Alicia Keyes, this is certainly not genius and not worth kvelling over.
Beatles Love, is a good mix tape,
My Chemical RomanceThe Black Parade I always hated Queen.

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