Best Albums of 2006

  1. Band of Horses – Everything All the Time
    Carissa’s Wierd may have died but luckily the band did not; in fact, they brought us the best album of the year. Thank you, my Seattle brethren.
    • One great track: “The Great Salt Lake”

  2. Mew – And the Glass Handed Kites
    Mew quite simply rock.
    • One great track: “Apocalypso”

  3. The Submarines – Declare a New State!
    Here is proof that, against all odds, LA can foster some lovely, unforgettable music. The boy-girl pair calling themselves The Submarines combine the sweet harmonies of Stars plus the sweet harmonies of Weezer.
    • One great track: “Clouds”

  4. The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America
    Anthems of adolescence sung with conviction. I suspect that anyone who grew up in America, anywhere, ever, can relate.
    • One great track: “You Can Make Him Like You”

  5. Lily Allen – Alright, Still
    With her gritty, colloquial British lyrics, Lily is the new female Streets. She definitely deserves all the attention.
    • One great track: “Friday Night”

  6. Early Day Miners – Offshore
    My favorite EDM song, reinterpreted and extended to album length. What’s not to love?
    • One great track: “Hymn Beneath the Palisades”

  7. David Bazan – Fewer Moving Parts
    Anyone who does Q&A sessions at his shows is pretty much a genius.
    • One great track: “Cold Beer and Cigarettes (The Devil Is Beating His Wife) (Acoustic)”

  8. Annuals – Be He Me
    The mastermind behind this concept record is maybe a little too pretentious and complicated (as in the kind that elicits comments like “Wow, you’re really complicated.”) but the product has a surprising number of high points.
    • One great track: “Brother”

  9. Halou – Wholeness and Separation
    Do you remember the miserable failure that is Garbage? Halou has stepped in to fill the void. Think of them as Garbage 3.0. Ha.
    • One great track: “Stonefruit”

  10. VA – Dolemite Soundtrack
    One might claim it’s cheating to tack this here on the end of the list, but it’s my list and I make the rules. Plus, 2006 marked the first time this classic soundtrack was made available on CD.
    • One great track: “Creeper”

Tower of Power

This is Smith Tower. Once the tallest building west of the Mississippi, it is now dwarfed by the newer buildings making up Seattle’s contemporary skyline. But Smith Tower still inspires respect, awe and mystery, due in large part to its architectural details, such as the glowing sphere perched atop its spire, a globe whose color shifts in concert with some unknown cue (or otherworldly force). A mysterious, wealthy benefactor of the arts lives in the pyramidal apartment just below this sphere, but little is known about this person. Of course, theories and speculations abound. To me there is no mystery. To me it is obvious that the Smith Tower Penthouse is occupied by a Superhero. Think of it; who else but a Superhero would live in the attic of a skyscraper? Why else but as a Superhero signaling mechanism would the Smith Tower globe change color? And could the penthouse’s large Gothic windows be any more convenient for flying out of? It’s easy to imagine a Superhero, dressed in Superhero finery, spending his or her sleepless nights crouched inside the globe, waiting and watching…

(Photo by Flickr user ChrisB in SEA.)