Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tool: 12-05-2006 Germany

I finally found a recording of a 2006 Tool show that's good! Listening to the magic of live Tool is a serious treat, and the way the band attacked the new songs and tweaked the old ones on this tour was really special. And they played "Swamp Song"!
12-05-2006 Germany

46 & 2
Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)-->
Rosetta Stoned
[Disc I Fade Out]
[Disc II Fade In]
Swamp Song
Wings For Marie (Pt 1)-->
10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)
Buy Tool's phenomenal 2006 album 10,000 Days here.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Best of 2006

It seems like an obligation that I have to fulfill...the requisite "best of" list for 2006. I enjoy skimming other bloggers' lists to see what folks enjoyed this year, but once beyond the initial skim, they're all fairly predictable. Obviously, if a record made someone's best-of list it's going to receive some praise, usually heaps of it. So I'll try to hold back and limit myself to a couple of sentences per album. After all, you know I like these records...

At the end of the post I'll include links to a mix I made for friends and family of some of my favorite performances of the year. Some of the songs on the mix come from the albums I mention here, and some do not. If you found music on this blog over the course of the year that you liked, chances are you'll enjoy the mix.

Here we go...

(in alphabetical order by artist)

Brandi Carlile - Brandi Carlile

Technically, this one was released in 2005, but I didn't pick up on it until the beginning of this year and it was re-released during 2006. Imagine Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Radiohead and Jeff Buckley all hanging out making music together and you'll come close to Carlile's sound. The Bends for the singer/songwriter set. Buy it here.

Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery

Listening to this record feels like driving along a dusty road watching a magnificent western sunset in the distance - a great thing. Peaceful & disturbing, tender & rocking, always melodic and soulful, if you like your rock with roots and a taste of Nirvana, Fort Recovery will treat you right. Buy it here.

Chris Cornell - Unplugged In Sweden

That's right, kids, a bootleg is one of my favorite releases of 2006. I don't care if it breaks some kind of blogger "rule" regarding official releases, this live set is so good that it deserves recognition. Cornell never sounded better, and his powerful, soulful vocals take center stage when accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. The fact that the recording quality is outstanding and the set includes covers, Soundgarden songs, Audioslave songs, and Temple Of The Dog songs elevates this boot to "best of" status. Download it here as MP3s or here as a torrent for FLAC files.

Drive-By Truckers -
A Blessing And A Curse

Impossibly honest, intelligent, heartfelt southern rock anthems about love, pain and the triumphant struggle of life forged by the band's three talented singer/guitarists. And what a live show... Buy it here.

Gov't Mule - High And Mighty

I never thought Warren Haynes' outfit could return to form like this, but here they are putting out what might be the best record of their career. It's dense, intense, lyrically potent, and of course dominated by the powerhouse one-two punch of Haynes' guitar riffs and vocals. A modern classic-rock masterpiece. Buy it here.

Muse - Black Holes And Revelations

Muse takes another step forward with this album, albeit not quite the grand leap that was 2004's Absolution. Grandiose, apocalyptic and rocking songs are Muse's trademark, but this record grooves more than their previous efforts. Buy it here.

My Morning Jacket - Okonokos

A phenomenal live album from one of the best live bands around. The songs from 2005's Z feel like they belong on It Still Moves when played in a live setting, which is about the biggest compliment I can pay the band. It's good enough and different enough from their studio albums to almost feel like their next proper record. Buy it here.

Rainer Maria -
Catastrophe Keeps
Us Together

The swan song from these indie-faves is the best record of their 10-year career. It's full of majestic indie-pop anthems, and bassist/singer Caithlin De Marrais's vocals soar over the top of the band in ethereal fashion. Buy it here.

Roddy Woomble - My Secret Is My Silence

Idlewild's singer puts together a stunning record of folk music, infused with Scottish influences and Woomble's trademark poetic lyrics. A musical stroll along the Highlands indeed. Buy it here.

The Black Crowes - The Lost Crowes

Two previously unreleased albums from the Crowes. Need I say more? The Band half of the record could sit comfortably alongside their best studio work, and it's criminal that these songs didn't see an official release until now. Buy it here.

The Twilight Singers - Powder Burns

Dreamy, lusty, dark, seedy, and hopeful all at once, this is Greg Dulli's best work to date. Recorded in New Orleans both before and after Hurricance Katrina hit, this powerful collection will seduce you quickly, put you through an emotional ringer, and spit you out uplifted on the other side. Buy it here.

Thom Yorke - The Eraser

Radiohead's singer takes his music to the next level on his first solo effort. The songs sound like Kid A and Amnesiac but with sparser arrangements and possibly stronger melodies. After hearing Yorke perform "The Clock" on acoustic guitar, one can't help but think that this might've been one of Radiohead's best albums if it'd been recorded by the band in 1998. Buy it here.

Tool - 10,000 Days

How is it possible that Tool continues to be this good? Their latest is a bludgeoning tour de force, full of long songs, thundering drums & bass, awesome guitar riffs, and singer Maynard James Keenan's versatile vocals holding it all together. The individual songs are strong enough to suggest that this album rivals their masterpiece, 1996's Aenima. Buy it here.

Sweet Oblivion's Best of 2006 Mix
(in four parts b/c of Savefile size restrictions)

Volume I: Rock (part 1)
Volume I: Rock (part 2)
Volume II: Roots (part 1)
Volume II: Roots (part 2)


Volume I: Rock

01 Pearl Jam - "World Wide Suicide"
02 The Twilight Singers - "Bonnie Brae"
03 The Lemonheads - "Become The Enemy"
04 Muse - "Starlight"
05 Rainer Maria - "Already Lost"
06 Army Of Anyone - "Disappear"
07 Tool - "The Pot"
08 Thom Yorke - "Analyse"
09 Gomez - "How We Operate"
10 Foo Fighters - "Over And Out (live)"
11 Some Girls - "He's On Drugs Again"
12 Gov't Mule - "Brighter Days"
13 Snow Patrol - "Open Your Eyes"

Volume II: Roots

01 Centro-Matic - "Covered Up In Mines"
02 The Black Crowes - "Thunderstorm 6:54"
03 Brandi Carlile - "What Can I Say (live)"
04 Roddy Woomble - "If I Could Name Any Name"
05 Isobell Campbell & Mark Lanegan - "Revolver"
06 Neko Case - "Hold On, Hold On"
07 Gob Iron - "Death's Black Train"
08 Eddie Vedder - "Here's To The State Of Mississippi (live)"
09 Chris Cornell - "Wide Awake (live)"
10 My Morning Jacket - "Mahgeetah (live)"
11 Drive-By Truckers - "Space City"

If you like checking out "best of" lists, Largehearted Boy has a running tally of blogs that have chipped in their lists for 2006.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

B-Side Of The Week: Idlewild

Scotland's Idlewild has cranked out consistently awesome music for the bulk of their career. Fans know that they record b-sides that are often as good as their album tracks, and I've made a practice of putting together compilation albums of each proper record's b-sides when I've collected all the singles. These companion albums make for some great listening, and so I decided that this week's b-side of the week would come from Idlewild.

"Great Times Wasted" was released on part 1 of the "Live In A Hiding Place" singles from 2002's phenomenal full-length, The Remote Part. The song could've fit right in on the record, so if this tune suits your fancy, please do yourself the favor of picking up The Remote Part.
Idlewild - "Great Times Wasted"
Buy Idlewild's music here.

Previous B-Sides Of the Week:

Centro-Matic - "Not Like Anyone Would Mind"
Nirvana - "Even In His Youth"
Radiohead - "Bishop's Robes"
Catherine Wheel - "Capacity To Change"
The Black Crowes - "Waitin' Guilty"
Jeff Buckley - "Thousand Fold"

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Thom Yorke - From The Basement

Producer Nigel Godrich started a new internet-only TV show called From The Basement and one of the guests on the first episode was Radiohead singer Thom Yorke. He played two new Radiohead songs solo on the piano. Enjoy.
Thom Yorke
From The Basement

Videotape (live)
Down Is The New Up (live)
Buy Thom Yorke's solo album, The Eraser, here.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Twilight Singers - World Cafe Live

This set from The Twilight Singers aired yesterday on World Cafe Live. The interview is worth a listen, and the songs feature Mark Lanegan sharing vocal duties with Greg Dulli. Their latest LP, Powder Burns is in my "Best of 2006" list, and the companion EP, A Stitch In Time is an absolute necessity too.
The Twilight Singers
World Cafe Live
December 2006

Wicked (with Mark Lanegan)
Live With Me (feat. Mark Lanegan)
Underneath The Waves
Buy The Twilight Singers' music here.


Rob Dickinson - Live @ Filter Magazine

Rob Dickinson swung by the offices of Filter Magazine the other day and played an acoustic set. I've posted lots of his stuff before, but this set is particularly cool because of the versions of Catherine Wheel tunes "Delicious", "Crank" and "I Want To Touch You". "Black Metallic" is ever so slightly cut off at the end. Sucks, but that's the way the original recording was. Because it's the season of giving, I also threw in a live version of the CW song "Heal" that Dickinson played on 94.9 in San Diego.
Rob Dickinson
Live @ Filter Magazine

My Name Is Love
The Storm
I Want To Touch You
Black Metallic

Bonus Track - Heal from 94.9 San Diego
Buy Rob Dickinson's music here.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

B-Side Of The Week: Jeff Buckley

I'm pretty sure that there aren't many studio recordings from Jeff Buckley that haven't seen the light of day yet, and he didn't release many studio b-sides in his all-too-brief career. "Thousand Fold" was released in 1998 on the "Everybody Here Wants You" singles from the posthumous Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk double LP, as well as on the Japanese version of the LP. The song was recorded on a four-track by Buckley in Memphis, TN in 1997. If I can find a working record player I will eventually post the ultra-rare Buckley tune, "Strawberry Street". Until then, enjoy this b-side of the week.
Jeff Buckley - "Thousand Fold"
Buy Jeff Buckley's music here.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Farewell, Rainer Maria

As I type this, Rainer Maria is playing their last gig tonight in Brooklyn after ten years of making great music. Hope they rock as much as they did in Philly Friday night at the First Unitarian Church. I just recently got into them, but I'm certainly gonna miss them. Here's the set from the Philly gig. Did anyone out there tape it or take some pictures?
Planetary-->Broken Radio
There Will Be No Night
Soul Singer
Artificial Light
Thought I Was
I'll Make You Mine
The Reason the Night is Long
CT Catholic
Already Lost
Ears Ring

Summer & Longer
Breakfast of Champions

The Contents of Lincoln's Pockets
I can't get enough of their latest, Catastrophe Keeps Us Together. It's an easy pick for my "Best Of 2006" list, which I may get around to posting soon. Regardless, do yourself a favor and buy the record.

Here's a few treats as a little send-off for any RM fans out there.
Rainer Maria - Live Acoustic Set
Easy Street Records
Seattle, WA

Life Of Leisure
Ears Ring
A Name Like Poison
Also, here's a nice interview with the band from YouTube.

Finally, a live performance of "I'll Make You Mine" from a TV performance in NY.
"I'll Make You Mine" (live)


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

B-Side Of The Week: The Black Crowes

The Black Crowes write a ton of songs and release lots of b-sides. Hell, they even put out two full albums worth of unreleased material this year alone! During the seemingly endless tour that began when they rejoined in 2005, they started busting out this old tune. Needless to say, their fans rejoiced, so I thought "Waitin' Guilty" was appropriate for my first Crowes b-side of the week. The song was released on different versions of the "Jealous Again" single in 1990, including a cassette single. Ah, cassingles...takes me back.
The Black Crowes - "Waitin' Guilty"
Buy The Black Crowes' music here.

Check out these other B-Side Of The Week posts:

Centro-Matic - "Not Like Anyone Would Mind"
Nirvana - "Even In His Youth"
Radiohead - "Bishop's Robes"
Catherine Wheel - "Capacity To Change"

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Army of Anyone

I'm really enjoying the debut record from Army of Anyone, the latest supergroup to rise from the ashes of successful 90's bands. Singer Richard Patrick from Filter and drummer Ray Luzier joined up with Dean and Robert DeLeo from Stone Temple Pilots to make a really good rock album. I've only heard the record a few times, but I feel comfortable saying it's definitely worth checking out if you like either of the aforementioned bands. They've been breaking out Filter and STP songs in their live sets, which makes it even more of a drag that I missed their November show at the TLA.

Here's a live acoustic version of the opening track on the album.
Army of Anyone - "It Doesn't Seem To Matter (live acoustic)"


Thursday, December 07, 2006

My Morning Jacket: 12-01-2006 Philly

I caught My Morning Jacket last Friday as they obliterated the Electric Factory. Great, great show, but I'm too wiped out to write anything that does it justice. This guy spins a serious yarn talking about his adventures before, during and after the show. Luckily for me, WXPN played the show on the air, and I can now share it with you.
My Morning Jacket
Electric Factory
Philadelphia, PA

It Beats 4 U
What A Wonderful Man
One Big Holiday
Lay Low
Phone Went West
I Needed It Most
At Dawn
The Way That He Sings
They Ran
Wordless Chorus
Off the Record
I Will Sing You Songs
Run Thru
Buy My Morning Jacket's music here.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

B-Side Of The Week: Catherine Wheel

Catherine Wheel remains one of my favorite bands, and I've commented previously on their criminally underappreciated music so I'll refrain from redundant blathering here.

Catherine Wheel was rather prolific during their decade-long career, which meant that they released a plethora of b-sides on singles and EPs. "Capacity To Change" is perhaps their rarest b-side, only appearing on a UK promo release of the 1995 single for "Judy Staring At The Sun". It's a rocker, and would've been right at home on the metal-tinged 1995 LP, Happy Days.
Catherine Wheel - "Capacity To Change"
Buy Catherine Wheel's music here.

Check out these other B-Side Of The Week posts:

Centro-Matic - "Not Like Anyone Would Mind"
Nirvana - "Even In His Youth"
Radiohead - "Bishop's Robes"
The Black Crowes - "Waitin' Guilty"

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Brandi Carlile: Open Doors

Here's the last of Brandi Carlile's pre-signing EPs. The previous two are very popular with folks visiting this site, so I thought it was time to share the final one. Careful listeners will notice that the versions of "Turpentine" and "Caroline" on this EP are the same versions as the ones on We're Growing Up. I'm looking forward to her new album due out April 3rd, and her website indicates a possible tour starting in March. Good times.
Brandi Carlile
Open Doors

Open Doors
Wasted (piano)
Temporary Time
Buy Brandi Carlile's music here.


Placebo: 2001 Acoustic Session

I just came across this acoustic set by Placebo while attempting to reorganize some of my CDs. The 12 tracks were recorded in Paris in February of 2001, and it sounds fantastic. The band just released a remastered version of their 1996 debut album, which I'll definitely have to pick up, and I'd recommend either 2000's Black Market Music or 2004's greatest hits compilation, Once More With Feeling, to new listeners.
Acoustic Session
Paris, France
Feb 2001

Special K
Commercial For Levi
Hang On To Your IQ
My Sweet Prince
Peeping Tom
Blue American
Every You, Every Me
Teenage Angst
Taste In Men
Slave To The Wage
Buy Placebo's music here.