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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Jim Connelly's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Monday, January 15, 2007
Jesse Steichen's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Friday, January 12, 2007
Bill Bentley's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tom Ridge's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Thursday, January 4, 2007
Lee Templeton's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Anthony Carew's 13 Fave Albums Of 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006
SXSW 2006: Finding Some Hope In Austin

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Letter From New Orleans

Saturday, February 18, 2006
Jennifer Przybylski's Fave Albums of 2005

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Music For Dwindling Days: Max Schaefer's Fave Recordings Of 2005

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Sean Fennessey's 'Best-Of' 2005

Thursday, January 12, 2006
Lori Miller Barrett's Fave Albums Of 2005

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Lee Templeton's Favorite Recordings of 2005

Thursday, January 5, 2006
Michael Lach - Old Soul Songs For A New World Order

Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Found In Translation Emme Stone's Year In Music 2005

Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Dave Allen's 'Best-Of' 2005

Monday, January 2, 2006
Steve Gozdecki's Favorite Albums Of 2005

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Johnny Walker Black's Top 10 Of 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005
Neal Block's Favorite Recordings Of 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005
Jenny Tatone's Year In Review

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Dave Renard's Fave Recordings Of 2005

Monday, December 12, 2005
Jennifer Kelly's Fave Recordings Of 2005

Thursday, December 8, 2005
Tom Ridge's Favorite Recordings Of 2005

Tuesday, December 6, 2005
Ben Gook's Beloved Albums Of 2005

Monday, December 5, 2005
Anthony Carew's Fave Albums Of 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005
Prince, Spoon And The Magic Of The Dead Stop

Monday, September 12, 2005
The Truth About America

Monday, September 5, 2005
Tryin' To Wash Us Away

Monday, August 1, 2005
A Psyche-Folk Heat Wave In Western Massachusetts

Monday, July 18, 2005
Soggy But Happy At Glastonbury 2005

Monday, April 4, 2005
The SXSW Experience, Part 3: All Together Now

Friday, April 1, 2005
The SXSW Experience, Part 2: Dr. Dog's Happy Chords

Thursday, March 31, 2005
The SXSW Experience, Part 1: Waiting, Waiting And More Waiting

Friday, March 25, 2005
Final Day At SXSW's Charnel House

Monday, March 21, 2005
Day Three At SXSW

Saturday, March 19, 2005
Day Two In SXSW's Hall Of Mirrors

Thursday, March 17, 2005
Report #1: SXSW 2005 And Its Hall Of Mirrors

Monday, February 14, 2005
Matt Landry's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Wednesday, February 2, 2005
David Howie's 'Moments' From The Year 2004

Thursday, January 27, 2005
Lori Miller Barrett's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Noah Bonaparte's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Kevin John's Fave Albums Of 2004

Friday, January 14, 2005
Music For Those Nights: Max Schaefer's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Thursday, January 13, 2005
Dave Renard's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Neal Block's Top Ten Of 2004

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Jenny Tatone's Fave Albums Of 2004

Monday, January 10, 2005
Wayne Robins' Top Ten Of 2004

Friday, January 7, 2005
Brian Orloff's Fave Albums Of 2004

Thursday, January 6, 2005
Johnny Walker (Black)'s Top 10 Of 2004

Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Jennifer Przybylski's Fave Albums (And Book) Of 2004

Tuesday, January 4, 2005
Mark Mordue's Fave Albums Of 2004

Monday, January 3, 2005
Lee Templeton's Fave Recordings Of 2004

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Jim Connelly's Favorite Recordings of 2006

Neumu's Michael Goldberg writes: In case you're wondering why things slowed down to a crawl at Neumu last year, the answer, in a word (and in a web site), is MOG (www.mog.com). I've been spending most of my time working on MOG, the awesome music-focused social networking site, and Neumu has suffered (if you haven't been there yet, check out my MOG: www.mog.com/Michael_Goldberg). Still, with 2006 over, I asked Neumu contributors and friends to share some of the albums that rocked their world. Today, Neumu contributor Jim Connelly provides us with his faves of last year. By the way, Jim spent 2006 co-founding and writing for Medialoper — check it out.

Jim Connelly writes: Musically, it was another year that was defined by albums eventually reassembling themselves, song by song, after being put into the blender of the iPod and Squeezebox. Here's what won out:

1. The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America (Vagrant): Craig Finn and Tad Kubler opened up their music this year, and so instead of riffs with rants that were part of a larger storyline, we got an album full of, well, just fucking great songs. Now, I happened to love those riffs with rants, but pound-for-pound, this is their best album. There isn't a bad song here, and just when you think that a song isn't going anywhere, it's redeemed by some telling detail in the words or a sing-along chorus, like for example "Gonna walk around gonna walk around gonna walk around and drink," which is both. I think that this is their third straight winner in three years. The last time the same band made my #1 record two years in a row was The goddamned Clash in 1979-80, back before many of the boys and girls in these songs were born, and I was just beginning to live a lot of these stories.

2. The Long Winters, Putting the Days to Bed (Barsuk): Big epic pop songs, full of ringing guitars and memorable choruses. Never, ever will there be anything wrong with that.

3. Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not (Domino): Yes, the hype became almost unbearable, but over the year, the songs kept getting stronger even as the hype mutated into backlash. Bollocks to the hype and to the backlash: it's just purely modern two-guitar post-Britpop that is either the beginning of something all-time or a fondly-remembered one-off. Upcoming song title: "Sometimes the Hype Given Something Is Actually Well Deserved, So Shut Up, Already."

4. Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (Matador): Welcome back Ira, Georgia and James, all is forgiven. Thanks for not just the album title of the year, but leading off with "Pass the Hatchet, I'm Goodkind," which isn't just the psychedelic noise-guitar jam of the year, but quite possibly the first time that the Velvet Underground have loved them back.

5. Drive-by Truckers, A Blessing and a Curse (New West): You just get the impression that Patterson, Jason & Mike could do this every year: walk into the studio and crank out a dozen or so near-perfect rock 'n' roll songs. This year, the songs seemed a bit more personal, as announced by the (criminally ignored) single, the unironic love/hate song "Feb 14" and sealed by the closer "World of Hurt," where Patterson Hood — the writer of some of the best death songs ever — declares "it's good to be alive."

6. Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, Ole Tarantula (Yep Roc): An unexpected return to form after what seems like a decade (some might say two, but they're wrong) of wandering in the wilderness. Of course, for Robyn, that wilderness is his own brain, which was still good for a couple-three strong songs per album. This time around, he gives us nearly a full record's worth in what is by now his classic, highly personal style. If you ever liked him in the past quarter-century, you'll like him again. Let's only hope that his most famous bandmate was paying attention.

7. Bob Dylan, Modern Times (Columbia): If I don't think that his first #1 album ever isn't quite as good as his last two albums — neither as startling as Time Out of Mind nor as epic as Love and Theft — that's on me, because other Zim fans think this is the best of his latest trilogy. Where he goes from here, not even he knows. Just as long as he keeps going.

8. The Concretes, In Colour (Astralwerks): On some songs, great gobs of color; or others, just little dabs where needed.

9. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Live at the Fillmore East 1970 (Reprise): Sure, it could have been longer. And sure, "Winterlong" and "Wondering" are nice rarities, but hardly essential (except for pointing out how little he was really trying on Everybody's Rockin'), and "Downtown" isn't all that different from the take on Tonight's the Night. Then what's to recommend this? Oh yeah, the amazing extended takes on "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Down by the River," each of which I've heard 35 zillion times in the past 35 years, yet both of which sound fresh and new because — oh yeah — they were. Also just missing this list: Living With War, where Neil single-handedly rassles the Prez to the ground.

10. Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped (Geffen): As per entries on Yo La Tengo and Robyn Hitchcock, a long-time fave returning to form. If you love the form, you'll love this record. I do, and I do.

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