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2006 audio almanac


We hope you're enjoying your copy of the vanmega almanac, or at least using the disk as a very pretty coaster.
This almanac has been lovingly crafted to be enjoyed in sequence, as a whole. We tend to fuss and bother about these kinds of things.

 

001. The Rapture - Don Gon Do It

From the album "Pieces of the People We Love "
Released
September, 2006

I think I was the last person in the world to get into The Rapture.  Initially, I didn't like Pieces of the People We Love... it was a bit too over the top for me (I know, I know).  Recently,  Don Gon Do It ended up on a random playlist... I finally got it and was sold... cowbells, saxophone, and all.

002. Phoenix - Consolation Prizes

From the album "It's Never Been Like That"
Released
May, 2006

French robot pop.

003. Whitest Boy Alive - Burning

From the album "Dreams"
Released
September, 2006

Whitest Boy Alive is Erlend ye.  Erlend ye is one of the guys from Kings of Convenience.  Whitest Boy Alive  is supposed to be Erlend's "rock" side project, and, yeah, I supposed it technically is rock music but there's still a gentle sensibility to it.  If anyone else were to crank out the guitar riffs at the 2:10 mark of Burning it would be a crunchy mess... instead it's gorgeous completely.

004. Josh Rouse - His Majesty Rides

From the album "Subtitulo"
Released
March, 2006

Best reader comment about Josh Rouse left on vanmega:

 "I fully expect Josh Rouse to father my child and I'm queer."

005. The Little Ones - Cha Cha Cha

From the EP  "Sing Song"
Released
March, 2006

If you can get over the fact that their last tour was sponsored by Microsoft Zune, The Little Ones are a fantastic band.  They've got sound similar to The Shins, but with a more optimistic outlook.  Also, Cha Cha Cha has some of the best vocal harmonies I've ever heard.

006. The Kooks - Match Box

From the album "Inside In/Inside Out"
Released
October, 2006

I'm gonna be bold: Inside In/Inside Out was my favourite album released in 2006.  Yes, they're a bunch of kids and, yes, the lyrical material is uber-basic... but who cares?!  A lot of bands spend so much time on their image and aesthetic that they forget why they plugged in their guitars in the first place.  The Kooks put out a disk full of exciting and urgent music that I'm still repeatedly rocking cover to cover.

007. The Parallels - Listen To Them

From the album "1961 McLean""
Released
May, 2006

Finding out about The Parallels was a bit of a fluke.  The French Kicks were unable to get to Vancouver to open for The Futureheads.  Local boys, The Parallels, were asked to fill in.  They were a bit nervous to start, but once they warmed up they nailed out jittery, faux-harmonized, indie rock track after track.  I'm hoping for big things from these guys in 2007.

008. Beck - Nausea

From the album "The Information"
Released
October, 2006

Beck has been going at it for 12 years and has put out seven major label studio albums.  Theoretically, he should be burned out.  I'm amazed at how perpetually kick-ass (yes, kick-ass) all his albums are.

009. We Are Scientists - Cash Cow

From the album "With Love and Squalor"
Released
January, 2006

I could have picked any track from the album for inclusion in the almanac.  The entire disk is solid.

010. Blue Grey Dots - Turtles

From the album "Blue Gray Dots EP"
Released
???, 2006

Blue Gray Dots are a local Vancouver band that opted to break up this year.  Bah!  With that said, I think this is the most insane track I heard all year.  Love it, love it love it.

011. Jolie Holland - Crush In The Ghetto

From the album "Springtime Can Kill You "
Released
May, 2006

Play this song whenever you're battling a hangover.  So soothing.

012. The Futureheads - News & Tributes

From the album "News & Tributes"
Released
June, 2006

As far as I'm concerned the first Futureheads album is perfect.  So that kinda sets the expectations way too high for for their second album.  Luckily, the second Futureheads album took a very different approach, making comparison of the two disks pointless.  News & Tributes is much more dark, more introspective... if I'm not mistaken the subject matter is a bit more, uhhh, blue collar.   Perhaps the best change is that Ross & Jaff have taken on lead vocal duties for some tracks,  upping the diversity in sound.

013. Matt Pond PA - So Much Trouble

From the album "Several Arrows Later "
Released
October, 2005

Matt Pond PA had rotten luck at their Vancouver show this year.  The PA system blew up right before they went on.  A week earlier on tour their equipment got stolen.  When they finally took the stage in Vancouver they appeared visibly defeated, but at the same time determined to nail their performance.  As the band performed So Much Trouble and sung the line, "I don't think I want to think about it / how the fall is coming down" the girl on cello was nearly in tears.  I realize that this sounds awful, but it was actually an intimately cool rock moment.

014. Robert Wilson - Leaving Home

From the EP  "Lovers One, Haters Zero"
Released
July, 2006

Rob Wilson is a Vancouver independent music scene success story.  In 2007 the guy opened for the likes of Youth Group, Matt Pond PA, and Amiee Mann.  He's sung with Torquil and Amy from Stars.  Now the guy is recording a new album that runs rich with 70's soul influences.  I'm pumped for the finished product in 2007.

015. Shaun Verreault - Oh Mother

From the album "Daggerlip sketches"
Released
March, 2006

Be it resolved: Shaun Verreault is the greatest live guitar player in the universe.

016. Oh No! Oh My! - Walk In The Park

From the album "Oh No! Oh My!"
Released
July, 2006

How's this for buzz?  Back in January 2006 Oh No! Oh My! hand-mailed me a copy of their CD for $2.  Since then, this unsigned band has gone from hyperlink fodder, to playing Lollapalooza, to actually become bankable and licenceable (is that a word?) and even appearing on TELUS commercials.  No, I'm not endorsing lofty plans to "sell out", but this kind of momentum is something that most bands can only dream of.

017. Islands - Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby

From the album "Return To The Sea"
Released
April, 2004

While I'm not big on this album, the besteverness of Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby is undeniable.

018. Psapp - Needle & Thread

From the album "The Only Thing I Ever Wanted"
Released
June, 2006

If Psapp ever tours through your city GO SEE THEM. They're so much fun... the band spends every second on stage drawing the crowd in, both through weirdness (i.e. playing a plethora of actual kids toy instruments) and through comedic interaction (i.e. banter dedicated to cats and vulvas but in a good way).

Fun fact: Grey's Anatomy uses a Psapp song as it's theme. Too bad Grey's Anatomy is FUCKING AWFUL.

019. Jamie Lidell - When I Come Back Around (Freeform Reform)

From the album "Multiply Additions"
Released
May, 2006

Do you own a copy of Jamie Lidell's album Multiply? If you don't, your record collection isn't complete.  I'd actually have dubbed Multiply as 2006 album of the year, but I can't... it came out in 2005... and that would be cheating.  Dude sounds like Ray Lamontange on a fist-full of E pills playing with a drum machine.

020. Gil Mantera's Party Dream - Shadow Grip

From the album "Bloodsongs"
Released
February, 2006

Think Andrew W.K meets Scissor Sisters paying tribute to Daft Punk... but much more intense and much more, ummm, gay.  Thier March 2006 live performance at Richard's was classic; a room full of skeptic arm-crossers slowly but surely were won over by the later half of the set everyone rushed the stage, hooting and hollering at the slightest robotic, speedo clad gyration the two piece offered.

021. Junior Boys - The Equalizer

From the album "So This Is Goodbye"
Released
September, 2006

Melodic electronica for those who think The Postal Service is soooooooo 2003. (Ha!)  Actually, this album is gorgeous, and deserves to blow up.  Who would have thought that 2 dudes from Hamilton would create something as sexy as So This Is Goodbye?

 

- comments? feedback? email us: vanmega@gmail.com

- the cover art for the 2006 almanac was based on Rock Out With Your Cock Out by Simon Massey di Vallazza.  We hope he doesn't mind.

- previous almanacs can still be viewed: 2005, 2004.

- return to vanmega.com