distinguished colleagues, dead music writers, brides, i apologise;

I’m sure you’re all anxiously awaiting my cultural deliberations on the year just passing, in the form of my top ten albums and all the usual rubbish. It’s coming, hopefully this weekend – time permitting. To whet your appetite in the meantime you can read John Darnielle’s list for Filter.

And I rather liked The Daily Growl‘s recap of his 2006 list,to see which of his favourite albums have withstood the test of time. For now, let us travel back and make like it’s 2006, when everything looked a little bit like this.

My current top ten from the crop of 2006 probably looks a little something like:

10. Long Blondes: Someone to Drive You Home (3)
In 2006, girlie glamour was the order of the day. I raved about the Long Blondes both on these pages and for Young Scot. Like all the best sugar treats though, it’s not a thing to be chewed over. I find myself skipping by a lot of this album’s tracks these days, but it always makes a welcome reappearance whenever there’s a party to playlist for.

9. Lily Allen: Alright, Still (NE)
I didn’t have the full album in time for List Season, but it’s not any sense of make-up guilt that’s causing me to include this pure pop brilliance now. Lily’s brilliance is particularly relevant in the wake of Kate Nash’s album being such a disappointment (but more on that later), plus she looks super-hawt in her photoshoot for January’s GQ.

8. The Mountain Goats: Get Lonely (10)
I’ll admit I was a little bored at first, but those songs stand the test of time.

7. The Decemberists: The Crane Wife (1)
A case of how the mighty have fallen for last year’s #1? Not really – if you’d asked me after their storming gig in February I wouldn’t have thought so. I’m sure this is one I’ll be coming back to.

6. Amy Millan: Honey From The Tombs (9)
For some reason I never remember to list this album as a favourite off the top of my head, but it’s all still on my iPod and I listen to it constantly. Lovely, lovely stuff.

5. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan: Ballad of the Broken Seas (NE)
I didn’t discover this album until covering the double-act for Is This Music? in January and it’s gone on to be a favourite.

4. Joanna Newsom: Ys NE
What a difference a year makes. This time last year I found Newsom’s lush, layered, second effort hard work. Now, sinking into its otherworldly five tracks for an hour is a favourite form of escapism.

3. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins: Rabbit Fur Coat (2)
This one remains pretty much unchanged, particularly in the light of a disappointing album from Rilo Kiley this year. I know the Shellstar disagrees with me on this one, but I think it’s a classic.

2. The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America (7)
Look, I’m actually being rather restrained here. As you all know, The Hold Steady were one of my heart’s dominant pressures in 2007 and guess what? The album was only released over here this year. Twice, in fact. The Guardian made it #3 on their list. But, having bought the album in New York towards the end of 2006, I shoved it onto last year’s list before it had time to grab me and the live show have a chance to convert me. Two shows in a week in February beckon, and I can’t bloody wait.

1. Lucero: Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers (5)
But, when it comes down to a straight choice, Lucero win out. There’s at once a wildness and an innocence in this album which Craig Finn’s burdened teenage heroines can’t quite match.

Elsewhere, in the first of many tedious (to all but me) updates on the subject: here are some pictures from the first week of filming on XF2 (no Gilly yet, but I do love me some Amanda Peet). Note no smart FBI gear for Mulder, which would appear to imply consistency with the mythology – at least at this early stage. Also, I hadn’t realised that Floyd Red Crow Westerman, who so memorably portrayed Albert Hostein in the series, died this week until I went looking for those Lily Allen photos, so RIP.



  1. December 14, 2007 / 5:34 pm

    I’m lucky if I bought ten new albums last year. I’d agree with most of those. Ys I lost the patience for, and I haven’t played Rabbit Fur Coat in a while. It probably deserves a few spins. My favorite from ’06 that I still listen to regularly was Neko Case’s Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.

  2. Kimberley
    December 16, 2007 / 1:21 am

    Was just chatting to Greg about Stevie’s top twenty and forwarded on Stevie’s emails for Greg to have a gander at….completely forgot about your list.

    Anxiously awaiting.

  3. douglas martin
    December 16, 2007 / 11:04 am

    so, i wasn’t going to do a “best of last year” list, but i saw yours and got inspired. imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and whatnot.

  4. December 16, 2007 / 2:19 pm

    Kathy: I keep forgetting about that Neko Case album… I didn’t buy it til the end of the year, by which time it had already been out for ages, so I have trouble remembering it’s a 2006 album!

    List should be going up today, kids.