Using Bees To Effect Vengeance

I get to be as self-indulgent as I want without wasting anyone's time. Guilt-free solipsism -- excellent!

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Sunday, January 01, 2006
The obligatory top 10 for 2005.

1. M. Ward -- Transistor Radio
2. Paul McCartney -- Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
3. Fiona Apple -- Extraordinary Machine (Jon Brion version)
4. Spoon -- Gimme Fiction (only let down by a few songs near the end)

5-10 in no particular order

Kanye West -- Late Registration
Supergrass -- Road To Rouen
Jenny Lewis -- Rabbit Fur Coat
Richard Hawley -- Cole's Corner
The Tears -- Here Comes The Tears
Page France -- Hello Dear Wind

Other strong 2005 records: New Pornogaphers -- Twin Cinema, Andrew Bird -- Mysterious Production of Eggs, Franz Ferdinand -- You Could have it So Much Better, Employment -- Kaiser Chiefs, Common -- Be, Josh Rouse -- Nashville, Tapes n' Tapes -- The Loon, Nic Armstrong and The Thieves -- The Greatest White Liar

Other discoveries: Donovan, Orchestra Baobab, Senegalese/Nigerian music in general, M.I.A, Glenn Gould's 1955 Goldberg Variations, The Mighty Boosh, Robert Caro, Arctic Monkeys, The Clientele

Not impressed: Sufjan Stevens, the officially released version of Extraordinary Machine, The Magic Numbers

Some good records this year, but not much that I felt was great -- not much that got under my skin and lived with me. The exceptions were M. Ward (who can do no wrong -- best gig of the year too), half of the Paul McCartney album (I can't expect anyone else to share this, but having a clutch of truly great new songs written, played, and sung by Paul McCartney means a lot to me -- in fact if one were so inclined, one could say his music plugs directly into the mixing board of my emotions), and good chunks of the unreleased Fiona Apple album.