The Grant McLennan Top 10 2006

I know some notable artists died this year but the one that touched me the most was the awful sad loss of Grant McLennan, one half of the Go Betweens. The list is named in his honour this year. I might give some energy to my own words at some future point but for now I hand you over to Garbhán.

Favourite album of the year

  1. Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
  2. Tom Waits - Orphans
  3. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Kick Your Ass
  4. Artic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
  5. Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years In the Belly of a Mountain
  6. Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors
  7. Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise
  8. Midlake - Trials of Von Occupanther
  9. The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
  10. Tape 'n Tapes - Loon

Film of the year

  1. Little Miss Sunshine
  2. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
  3. Walk the line
  4. The Departed

Lists

Scott Balikian  Enda Bates  Garbhán Blake  Mark Butcher  Gerard Cagney  Tom Corcoran  Tony Corrigan  Kara Donohue  Martin Hayes  Lucas Hilbert  Chris Hill  Brendan Jennings  Gary Lampard  Chris Louca  Niall Lynch  Kevin McGrath  Dave McGuinness  Kevin McKellar  Nathan Morehouse  Derek Murphy  Martin O'Gorman  Michelle O'Gorman  Christine O'Meara  Caroline O'Reilly  Brian Seek  Tracy Johns  Peter Ward 

All time Contributors

Scott Balikian

Top Albums (newly and oldly released):

Thee Emergency – Can You Dig It?
This is BlueDisguise Records (my record label) 9th release and it’s a smoker. I went to about 7 or 8 The Emergency shows while they were heralded in local press as the 10th rebirth of rock. They finally agreed to let me release the record. They are a killer band to listen to, see live and to work with. They are young and gigging like mad. So it’s been a good year for both of us. Sound – think Tina Turner crossed with Janis Joplin powered by the MC5 or early Ted Nugent.

The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America
Their Separation Sunday record made it in to my list last. Always takes a while to get into a new record, but this one is SOLID

Tom Waits – Orphans
This will show up on a lot of lists. Tom’s throw away songs are better than most of the crap out there. Here’s my “official” review: http://www.cheeseandbeer.com/?p=38

Sparklehorse – Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
I want what ever Mark Linkous is on!

Ray Lamontagne – Till the Sun Turns Black
Sublime

The Hands – So Sweet EP
Another local band. Trying to convince them to let me release their next record. I don’t even have this EP, but the 4 songs from it on their MySpace page are sick!

Bill Withers – Just As I Am
Bill’s first record – has the ever classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” but everything on here is a gem. I can’t highly recommend this or Still Bill any more.

Black Sabbath – Black Box
I probably had Sabbath on last year, but here’s my “official” review on the Sabbath: http://www.cheeseandbeer.com/?p=75

Eef Barzelay – Bitter Honey
Best opening line of any record ever! “That was my ass you saw bouncing/ Next to Ludacris / It was only on screen for a second but / Was kind of hard to miss” This is the Clem Snide singer’s solo record. Dare I say – flawless?

Genesis – Duke
Got back into Genesis this year through the Platinum Collection which is great. But for me, Duke is where it’s at. Probably my favorite song right now is the opener of And Then There Were Three called “Down and Out” Holy shit! Go Go Reunion Go!

Ohmega Watts - The Find
This came out last year and maybe made it on that list, but I haven’t stopped listening to it.

Roots Manuva – Awfully Deep
Trying to remember when this was released, but it’s hands down his best record. Such a complex set of songs, but dance floor jumpers – all of them.

Sloan – A Sides Win: Singles 1992 – 2005
Sweet, sweet nectar of pop. This was one that my iPod would not stop playing.

I liked the TV on the Radio album, but it never grabbed me – probably cause my girlfriend didn’t like it as much and wouldn’t listen to it in the car.

Best Shows

World Party followed by The Plimsouls followed by The Go! Team – SXSW, Austin TX
I was a little bummed that Karl and gang forgot to bring a drummer, but it was stunning to see him live after being a fan for so long. Hadn’t played a show stateside in 6 or 7 years and the place was packed! The Plimsouls grabbed too. Never was all that familiar with their music, but they played like they were 25 and all the other bands could kiss their asses! The Go! Team – well 2 drummers – come on, gotta love that.

The Woggles – March SXSW, Austin TX
If you get a chance, go see this band. Put on one of the best, hardest working shows you’re ever likely to see. Have a 60’s punk rock sound.

Thee Emergency – Any show they’ve played
The guitarist had a problem with a guitar at one gig. Grabbed another. Finished the show and then threw it on the stage. Hard. Broke the head stock. So he came back out and destroyed it – post show. It was a Thursday night. It was a borrowed guitar. From the bass player’s boss. Now that’s a fucking rock star. Here’s a video with live footage if interested: http://www.bluedisguise.com/?src=bands/TheeEmergency/videos/CanYouDigIt/video.html

Slack Fest – Shaky Steve’s farm up north of Seattle
Thee Emergency, Thee Earaches, The Harbor Rats, lots and lots of great bands. I love Get Out Of Town Parties. One of the best days I’ve had this year.

Zero 7 – Bumbershoot, September, Seattle, WA
A terrific surprise.

Film

I can’t think of a specific film, but I loved these:

Borat
Hustle & Flow
Bad Santa – always love this one
Beerfest
Arrested Development – Ok, this was the best TV show ever to have been made. Ever.
The Matador
Lucky Number Slevin
Munich
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
The Weather Man
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Enda Bates

Albums.
1. Wilco - Live in Chicago
Double live album, note perfect performances, amazing sound, the best of Yankee..., a Ghost is born, Mermaid Avenue and their earlier stuff,,,,what more do you want. The breakdown at the end of the opening tune Misunderstood is mind-blowing.....
2. Si Schroder - Coping Mechanisms
Great irish album, wonderfully inventive electronica,,, nice loops of synths, bleeps and samples, guitars, drums and great soulful vocals. A real overlooked gem this year methinks..
3. Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
Previous albums had great moments but this one is great all the way through. Great songs with a incredibly dense arrangements, really does sound like a 15 piece band...
4. Mark LAnegan Band - Bubblegum
It's just,,,,cool. Also one of the few good things on that Songs from a Room program on our excuse for a national broadcaster.
5. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the queen mary
Great stompin rock. Really, really REALLY regret not seeing them live earlier this year.
6. Thom Yorke - The Eraser
Greatly under-rated I think. Its very idiosyncratic electronica, not quite like anything else. Patchy in parts but at its best, its better than anything else.
7. Miriam Ingram - Trampoline
Long awaited album of folk, electronica from this Irish singer. Quality stuff.
8. Richard Wagner - The prelude to Das Rheingold
The late and sadly missed composer James Tenney said to me that I should listen to this piece of music. I was surprised (to put it mildly) as I had never exactly been a fan of Wagner...!!@?? but when i listened to it, it was one of the most amazingly beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. You might know it from Mailick's film, The New World.
9. Lite - Lite
Japanese Post Rock. The folks at the Ballroom of Romance (a great live music night in Dublin) are getting very sophisticated these days. A bit like the Redneck Manifesto with hints of Cornelius,,,,very, vey nice.
10. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
A bit more melodic, not a bad thing to my mind, at least for now.

Gigs.
1. Broken Social Scene - Electric Picnic
Gig of the festival, joyous!
2. Iggy Pop and The Stooges - All Tomorrow's Parties
Stage dived 5 times, half the crowd on the stage at one point, whats not to like.
3. Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians - National Concert Hall
Fantastic music, and all sorts of weirdos, rockers and classical buffs in the packed concert hall. Great stuff.
4. yeah yeah yeahs - Electric Picnic
Amazing live, best headliners at EP this year.
5. Radiohead - Marley Park
Great live show, lighting and visuals excellent and some of the new stuff is great, although it still sounded like they were working it out.
6.Beck - Marley Park
The support to the above, very nearly upstaged them. The puppets, look at the puppers children!
7. Sonic Youth - All Tomorrow's Parties
Fantastic, one of the few bands at this festival who played noise rather than just making it. Teenage Riot to finish,,,amazing!
8. Lite - The Ballroom of Romance.
This japanese post rock band were incredible live, blew me away.
9. Alexander Tucker - All Tomorrow's Parties
Never heard this guy before, but really good. Papa M style layered guitars, English Beta Band type layered, sampled vocals and fuzzy guitar wigouts, great gig.
10. The Redneck Manifesto - Electric Picnic
3 guitarists, 3 drummers, no vocals. Very rockin.

dammit, i know there were other gigs im forgetting,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Good work Tom, and a Merry christmas to ye all! enda

Garbhán Blake

Blocker's Top 10 Albums 2006

  1. Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
  2. Tom Waits - Orphans
  3. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
  4. Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanthe
  5. Drive By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse
  6. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of you and i will beat your ass
  7. Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years
  8. Hot Chip - The Warning
  9. The Handsome Family - Last Days of Wonder
  10. Bonnie Prince Billy - The Letting Go

Honourable Mentions

Gigs and live events

Due to an bizzare series of events, I got to see Tom Waits in Atlanta and, no surprises here, was by far the highlight of my year. Drive By Truckers were fantastic in Whelans, Willard Grant in Crawdaddy was my first opportunity to see a standing favourite. Radiohead in Marley Park was the best (perhaps the only) outdoor gig I've been ages. Flaming Lips, Foghorn String Band/Prison Love, Sufjan Stevens were great nights during a year that I'm struggling to remember what gigs I was at!!!!

In sports, the All-Ireland football semi between Dublin and Cork was the game of the year. Great hurling final, football was a non-event. Got to go to Ryder Cup on the Saturday and is was incredible - much better than I ever expected. Bolton vs. Liverpool was bruuuuutal - two shots on goal for the whole game, 2-0 to Bolton.

Have a great Christmas. GB.

Mark Butcher

  1. St Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley
    Last years DangerDoom MF Doom collaboration was my album of the year and Dangermouse has retained the Midas touch into 2006 with this absolute stormer. Sure Crazy was overplayed but Cee-Lo's voice is unbelievably good.
  2. The Audience Is Listening - Cut Chemist
    Jurassic 5 produced a hit and miss album this year, and its clear to see why - their ex-DJ Cut Chemist was off producing this gem of an album.
  3. Alright Still - Lily Allen
    Ska-pop and clever lyrics that don't fail to raise a smile.
  4. Remixes - Four Tet
    Double CD - side one are tracks remixed by Kieran Hebden and side two are remixes of Four Tet tracks by other people. A couple of his excellent Madvillain mixes are on there and the whole rest of the first CD is just awesome. Also check his DJ Kicks album.
  5. The Warning - Hot Chip
    Outstanding grower of an album, their first is a classic as well.
  6. Hit The Floor - Breakestra
    Missed this one from last year, but barely off the stereo this year. Funky as hell.
  7. Broken Boy Soldiers - The Raconteurs
    Jack White proves he can do the proper band thing as well.
  8. Iron Leg - Mickey & The Soul Generation
    19 tracks of organ-filled deep funk gathered and re-released by one Josh Davis aka DJ Shadow.
  9. Fabriclive 26 by The Herbaliser
    Quality mix compilation and on the list alone for the exceptional RJD2/Dynamic Syncopation Ghostwriter mashup! Couple of duff tracks out of 24 but mostly outstanding.
  10. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - Arctic Monkeys
    Cracking tunes, great lyrics - actually lived up to the hype.

Honourable Mentions

Gerard Cagney

albums:
1. andrew bird - the mysterious production of eggs
2. spoon - gimme fiction
3. comets on fire – avatar
4. fiona apple - extraordainary machine
5. cat power - the greatest
6. m.ward - transfiguration of vincent
7. sharon jones & the dap-kings - dap-dippin'
8. missy elliot - respectable
9. sufjan stevens - illinoise
10. lcd soundsystem

the best album was scott walker’s the drift, but it’s barely a pop/rock album

also ayre by osvaldo golijov with berio’s folk songs (dawn upshaw, the andalucian dogs)
concerts:
tombe diabate at iveagh gardens summer
steve reich at nch february

Tom Corcoran

Albums  Gigs  Music product  Film Live Sport  Climb  Hike  Destination  Online aplication  Websites

Music
Albums
  1. Broken Social Scene
  2. The National - Aligator
  3. Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors
  4. The Streets - The hardest way to make an easy living
  5. Mogwai - Mr Beast
  6. Sufjan stevens - Illinoise
  7. Grant McLennan - Horsebreaker Heart
  8. Hard Fi - Stars of CCTV
  9. Curtis Mayfield - Curtis
  10. Miles Davis - The Cellar door sessions
  11. Prince / Miles Davis
Honourable mentions Gigs

With no Glastonbury this year, the Electric Picnic was always going to be the festival and highly recommended it is.

  1. Broken Social Scene, Koko, London, 22 May
  2. PJ Harvey, Electric Picnic, Crawdaddy stage, Fri 1 Sep
  3. Massive Attack, Electric Picnic, Main Stage, Fri 1 Sep
  4. The Coral Sea Sessions, Patti Smith & Kevin Shields, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, Tue Sep 12
  5. Laurent Garnier, Electric Picnic, BodyTonic Arena, Sun 3 Sep.
  6. New Order, Electric Picnic, Main Stage, Sat 2 Sep
  7. Mogwai, Electric Picnic, Electric Arena, Fri 1 Sep
  8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Electric Picnic, Main Stage, Sun 3 Sep
  9. Hard Fi, Brixton Academy, London, Sun 14 May
  10. Redneck Manifesto, Electric Picnic, Big Tree, Fri 1 Sep
  11. Pendulum, Electric Picnic, BodyTonic Arena, Sun 3 Sep
  12. Placebo, Alexander Palace, Tue 11 Apr
Music Product
Moving Pictures
Big screen films

  1. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, directed by Tommy Lee Jones, written by Guillermo Arriaga
  2. The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese
  3. Little Miss Sunshine, directed by Jonathan Dayton
  4. The Squid and the Whale, written & directed by Noah Baumbach (new director of the year)
  5. A Scanner Darkly, adaptation of Philip K Dick's novel by Richard Linklater
  6. North Country, directed by Nicky Caro
  7. Match point, written & directed by Woody Allen
  8. Capote, directed by Bennet Miller
  9. Caché, written & directed by Michael Haneke
  10. Syriana, directed by Stephen Gaghan
  11. Hostel, written & directed by Eli Roth (Horror of the year)
  12. The Prestige, written & directed by Christopher Nolan
  13. Casino Royale, directed by Martin Campbell
  14. Borat, directed by Larry Charles
Honourable mentions Scenes of the year
  1. The Departed - Jack Nickolson - dildo scene in porno cinema, pure cinema gold
  2. Prime - lad's Bubby banging her head with the frying pan
  3. Casino Royale - outstanding free running opening
Disappointing film of the year Worst film of the year Live events Small screen films Scenes of the year
  1. Coffee & Cigarettes - Bill Murray with the Rza & Gza
  2. Extras - Face in the soup
  3. The power of film. There I was in early January parked by the roaring peat fire at the inlaws when I flicked onto Jaws. It was building up to Robert Shaw's story, one of the best scenes ever, and I got totally engrossed for the upteenth time. His story fnishes and the boys start taping the table as the sing songs starts and then the table starts shaking and the music kicks in....when all of a sudden jaws comes out of the water and my heart jumps and the red wine goes flying all over the inlaw's rug!
Play Live sport
  1. Munster 23 - 19 Biarritz, 20 May
  2. Jimmy White 3 - 6 John Higgins, Wembley Conference Centre, Wed 18 Jan
Climb of the year Hike of the year
  1. Backcountry trip, Hut to Hut, Hinsdale County, San Juan Mountains, CO, USA, 5-8 Mar
  2. Brecon beacons horseshoe, Wales, Sat 8 Apr
Destination of the year Online application of the year Websites of the year

Tony Corrigan

Top 10 Albums

Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
The Fratellis - Costello Music
Sufjan stevens - songs for Christmas
Artic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Billy Bragg - Box Set
Stewart Copeland - Orchestralli
Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom
Juana Molina - Segundo
PJ Harvey - Peel Sessions

Top 10 Gigs

Billy Bragg - Vicar St
The Flaming Lips - Vicar St
Roxy Music - Vicar St
Moon for the Misbegotten - Kevin Spacey & Colm Meaney at the Old Vic
Abigals Party - Jennifer Jason Lee, Off Broadway
The Raconteurs - Olympia
Came so far for Beauty - Leonard Cohen tribute at the Point
Faith Healer - Ralph Fiennes at the Gate
Hayfeaver - Judi Dench / Peter Bowles at the Theatre Royal
Man Utd v Chelsea - Old Trafford

Kara Donohue

Kara's Top albums of 2006 in alphabetical order only:
1. Alexi Murdoch - Time Without Consequence
2. Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs (2005)
3. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
4. Broken Social scene - Broken Social scene
5. Built to Spill - You In Reverse
6. Foreign Born - On The Wing Now
7. The Long Winters - Putting the Days to Bed
8. Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther
9. The Mugs - Paper Scissors Rocks
10. Rogue Wave - Decended Like Vultures (2005)
12. Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years In the Belly of a Mountain
12. Tape 'n Tapes - Loon
13. The Thermals - The Body the Blood the Machine
14. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

Top Shows of 2006 in no order at all:
1. The Long Winters - Spaceland, Los Angeles
2. Foreign Born/Rogue Wave - Safari Sam's, LA
3. Built to Spill - The Troubadour, LA
4. Yo La Tengo - Henry Fonda, LA
5. Beck - The Wiltern, LA
6. Band of Horses - The Echo, LA
7. Blue Scholars - The Echo, LA
8. The National/Baby Dayliner/Mobius Band - The Troubadour, LA
9. Neko Case - Hollywood Bowl, LA
10. Jose Gonzalez/Zero 7 - Hollywood Bowl, LA
11. Film School - The Troubadour, LA
12. Wolf Parade - El Rey, LA

Martin Hayes

Audio

1. Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot Sparklehorse
2. Antidepressant Lloyd Cole
3. I Dreamt for Lightyears in the belly of a mountain…… Sparklehorse
4. Modern Times Bob Dylan
5. Eyes Open Snow Patrol
6. I am not afraid of you…… Yo La Tengo
7. Blackholes and Revelations Muse
8. The Life Pursuit Belle & Sebastian
9. Sam’s Town The Killers
10. Drama Bananarama

Songs

1. When we were young The Killers
2. I don’t feel like Dancing Scissor Sisters
3. When the deal goes down Bob Dylan
4. Chasing Cars Snow Patrol
5. Look on the floor Bananarama (Not quite Robert De Niro’s waiting but a return to form nonetheless!!)

Sport

1. Munster Vs Biarritz Heineken Cup Final (Finally the monkey off our backs. We might win it for years now)
2. Barcelona Vs. Arsenal Champions League Final (Started off like it would be the game of the century between two sides who couldn’t be cynical if they tried. Nearly ruined by a ridiculous decision to give Barca a numerical advantage. Campbell scoring rescued it though. Larsson caps a tremendous career by turning things around in the second half. Great.)
3. Leinster Vs. Munster Heineken Semi-Final. (Looked tricky but as usual the pretty boys didn’t turn up when the pressure was on)
4. Italy Vs. Germany World cup semi-final (The Pirlo pass in the 119th minute, genius)
5. Australia Vs. England , Adelaide, Day 5. (No wickets for four days then up steps Warne after taking a beating in the first innings to rip through them. Selvey summed it up in the Guardian. “As collapses go the Ottoman Empire probably still has the edge…..”)
6. Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham (Brave Inca Vs. Hardy Eustace and the rest were nowhere. After an interrupted prep last year Hardy Eustace lost nothing in defeat. If it comes up fast this year I won’t be opposing him)
7. England Vs. Ireland in the Six nations
8. Ireland Vs. Australia at Lansdowne this Autumn. (On a rotten evening Ireland played nearly faultless stuff. They’ve got a chance of reaching the semi-final next year as long as O’Gara, O’Connell and O’Driscoll steer clear of injury)

Lucas Hilbert

Seattle, Washington
lucashilbert@yahoo.com

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Top 10 Music CDs:

1) Rob Dickinson - Fresh Wine for the Horses
The master crooner of Catherine Wheel strikes it solo and still delights

2) The Changes - Today is Tonight
Retro jangle pop with guitar like Johnny Marr, nice

3) Ulrich Schnauss - Far Away Trains Passing By
Gorgeously textured ambient IDM

4) Jay Munly - Jimmy Carter Syndrome
Creepy cool alt americana with guest vocals from 16 Horsepower

5) The Killers - Sam's Town
Stands up to their first release, with strong material of its own

6) Walk the Line - Soundtrack
Joaquin and Reese were born for this and raised the roof over the originals

7) Metric - Live It Out
A welcome nouveau upgrade of the Liz Phair and Throwing Muses genre

8) Tipper - Surrounded
Glitchy trip hop that delivers edgy darkness in a funhouse

9) Chapterhouse - Blood Music
I rediscovered this one after many years, and it often carried me to work

10) U2 - Boy
This year I finally completed the collection of their discography with this their first
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Top 10 Movies

1) Six Feet Under - The Complete Fifth Season
Rented them all this year and the finale was the best in tv history, period.

2) The Departed
Ohh Scorsese, where have you been? You the man.

3) An Inconvenient Truth
Devastating. Yes, I'm on the expressway to hell with all the other Americans.

4) Walk the Line
Hats off to T Bone Burnett for getting the music right. Seamless.

5) Hustle & Flow
Hell yeah, it's hard out here to be a pimp! And the soundtrack kicked.

6) V for Vendetta
Vigorous and voracious

7) Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill
Splashy splashy - but with an executive twist

8) The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Psycho or brilliant salesman? Hmm

9) The Island
Scarlett in tighty whites. Ymm. Oh and a good action plot, too.

10) Lost: Seasons 1 and 2
We caught onto this one late but managed to watch them all in 2 months!

----------------------
Top 10 Sports Moments:

1) NFL: Seattle Seahawks win NFC conference, go to Superbowl

2) NBA: Ray Allen/Seattle Sonics beats record for 3 point plays in a single year during the last game of the season (yours truly in the stands to watch)

3) Tour de France: Floyd Landis, winner (worst moment = the subsequent doping scandal)

4) NBA Finals: Miami Heat's come from behind to beat Dallas Mavs after being down 0-2 games

5) World Cup: The headbutt from Zidane - France vs. Italy

6) NFL: Seattle Seahawks finally beat the Denver Broncos

7) Tennis: 8 minute standing ovation for Andre Agassi following a third-round loss at the U.S. Open

8) World Cup: all the buzz in Germany when I was there in Munich in early June

9) NCAA football: Vince Young leads Texas past USC in final minute of the Rose Bowl

10) NBA: Both LA teams (Lakers and Clippers) lose to Phoenix Suns in consecutive rounds of the playoffs

Chris Hill

First year on ‘the list’ and my first top ten – better make it a good un

Top Ten Albums 2006, in no particular order

1. The Kleptones – 24h

Awesome mashup album, songs you know well mixed in ways you never thought possible themed around a 24 hour day. Better still it’s a free download from www.kleptones.com

2. Cee-lo – Cee lo green is the soul machine

Provided the vocals for the Gnarls Barkley album, and was previously a member of the goodie mob. His voice is highly individual, distinctly ‘southern’ hip hop style mixed with more soul than barry white. The stand out tracks are those featuring pharrell Williams and timberland

3. Fink – Biscuits for breakfast

The first singer/songwriter to sign for the Ninjatune label. Mostly acoustic along the lines of Pablo nutini, but less commercial

4. Cut Chemist – The audiences listening

Quality from Cut Chemist, every time. ‘the garden’ is one of my tracks of the year, great shame he’s parted ways with Jurassic 5

5. K-OS – Atlantis: hymns for disco

I don’t know a great deal about K-OS other than the fact that I love the music – got martin o’gorman to thank for the tip-off on this one

6. Nouvelle Vague – Nouvelle Vague

Outstanding reworkings of some classic songs. You’ll recognise a couple from the UK Vodafone adverts (the cover of modern english’s ‘I melt with you’) but there’s some other gems on there too, laid back French jazz style covers of some punk classics.

7. Quantic – An announcement to answer

Hip Hop with an oriental twist, again I know little about them other than they sound superb

8. Lupe Fiasco – Food and liquor

Not the sort of thing I’d usually pick out as its very commercial ‘jay-z’ type hip hop, but purely for the track ‘kick push’ its worth mentioning. Theres some nice hooks and loops on there too despite the squeaky clean production.

9. Solid Steel Radio

Not an album really, it’s a weekly 2 hour radio show which is streamed from the Ninjatune website after it goes out on air. Hosted by DJ Food (DK & Strictly Kev) with guests such as J mountain, Boca 45, digital midgets, pete Lawrence and more. Sometimes a bit hit and miss but always worth a listen: www.ninjatune.net/solidsteel/

10. NWA – Greatest hits

Sometimes you just need a bit of hardcore gangsta rap from back in the day, my ‘rediscovery’ of the year – f**k the police

Brendan Jennings

1. Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary
I developed a seriously unhealthy obsession with this album at the start of the year - I hardly listened to anything else.

2. Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
I saw this listed in the top 5 of Pitchfork's albums of the 1990s so I had a listen; it's really amazing - lo-fi instrumentation, with cryptic and sometimes harrowing lyrics apparently based on Anne Frank's story. Maybe not to everyone's taste

3. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Kick Your Ass
Great album covering a wide range of styles, although I really don't like the first track.

4. The National - Alligator
I heard this in Tom's car last month, bought it the next day and haven't stopped listening to it since.

5. Matisyahu - Youth
Hasidic Reggae isn't usually my thing, but..

6. Davendra Banhart - Cripple Cow
Makes me smile every time; his performance at the Electric Picnic was great too.

7. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Master And Everyone
I'm still trying to catch up with this guys output, this is from 2003.

8. Mogwai - Mr Beast
A real return to form, sounded great live.

9. Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome

10. The Beatles - Love
Also:
Patrick Freyne and His Bad Intentions - Nobody Ever Dies
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show your Bones
The Killers - Sam's Town
Tom Waits - Orphans (haven't had time to listen to it properly yet)
Primal Scream - Riot City Blues
Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase

GIGS
Mogwai - Electric Picnic
Gary Numan - Electric Picnic (seriously! he was amazing!)
Whipping Boy - Waterford, last christmas (nostalgia...)
The Go! Team - Dublin, October
PJ Harvey, Electric Picnic (great to see her play by herself)
Rachid Taha, Electric Picnic (incredible version of Rock the Casbah)

TV
Maggie and the Ferocious Beast :-)
I watch this at least once a day - definitely the best small childrens programme of the past few years...

Gary Lampard

Music: only bought 4 albums: 1. Michael Buble, "caught in the act" for the first song "feeling good". Christine, 1st track, lights out, very loud. 2. "The best tango album in the world ... Ever", 3. Mediaevil babes "mirabilis" . 4. The best of fleetwood mac

Gigs: none, unless you count opera, but the name escapes me

Films: I've seen a few. That's what a girlfriend can do. 1. Volver, 2. Casino royale, 3. Narnia, 4. Cache, 5. I'd like to say Borat, but Elizabeth made us walk out after 15 minutes.

Books: 1. "The state of Africa", 2. Collapse", 3. "Krakatoa" 4. "Shantaram" 5. "The Scrabble Dictionary" - I've used all 7 letters 3 times: Elizabeth not once!

Sports: easy 1. Australia versus Croatia. 2. Ditto. 3. Ditto. 4. ... You get the point.

Chris Louca

Top 10 tunes of 2006:

1. We're From Barcelona - I'm From Barcelona
2. Pour Man - Lee Hazelwood
3. Feet Upon The Sand - Nobody & The Mystic Chords of Memory
4. Shoot The Runner - Kasabian
5. Evening Sun - The Strokes
6. Seratonin - Simple Kid
7. White Unicorn - Wolfmother
8. Volume Rambler - Oakley Hall
9. Neon Filler - Howe Gelb
10. The Circus is Leaving Town - Mark Lanegan and Isobelle Campbell

Top 10 Albums of 2006:

1. DJ Shadow - The Outsider
2. I'm From Barcelona - Let me Introduce My Friends
3. Mark Lanegan & Isobelle Campbell - Ballad of Broken Seas
4. Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
5. Nobody & The Mystic Chords of Memory - Tree Coloured See
6. Rodrigo y Gabriela - Rodrigo y Gabriela
7. The Secret Machines - Ten Silver Drops
8. Thom Yorke - The Eraser
9. The Tyde - Three's Co
10. Wolfmother - Wolfmother

Honourable Mentions (albums)

Boom Bip - Seed to Sun
Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova - The Swell Season
Lee Hazelwood - The Complete MGM Recordings
RL Burnside - A Ass Pocket of Whiskey
The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers

Films of 2006

1. 36
2. Brick
3. Confetti
4. Everything is Illuminated
5. Goodnight & Goodluck
6. The Proposition
7. Superman Returns
8. Slither
9. Syriana
10. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Niall Lynch

Niall's top 10 2006

1. Final Fantasy He Poos Clouds It just doesn't get better than this. More weirdness, violin, mixers, screams and a wannabe robin of sherwood. This is by far the best album of the year. On first listen you would pick out three songs, the rest too weird and complex. Given time though the whole album really fits togther. This Lamb Sells Condos, could it be from an x-rated panto? who knows but what a wonderous piano loop, it'll stay jangling in your head long after. Harpsicord and boy choirs are cool.
2. Beruit Gulag Orkestrar You wont want to get off this trip around the beautiful soundscapes of europe, what a journey. This band has a big sound, lots of brass, yukelele, madolins, drums and the 19 year old lead man with a beautiful voice having the time of his life, legally drinking in europe. It's something that comes out of another time, wouldn't be out of place in a Kusturica movie.
3. Morrissey Ringleader of the Tormentors On form like this I hope morrissey can go on forever, a superb album, not a dull moment. Usual subjects, Moz is pissed off with stuff which is good, he's at his best when he's pissed off. Life is a Pigsty is momentous, one of his best songs ever. If you like English Blood Irish Heart from the last album there's more of that on this one. With Tony Visconti producing and strings from the master Morricone, this makes it a wonderful italomoz experience
4. Joanna Newsom Ys When I first heard Joanna Newson she sounded ageless it was impossible to say what era she grew up in or even where she was from, maybe some enchanted forest. When I discovered that she was 24, well it was enough to make a man stumbling towards middle age cry. Just 5 songs on this masterpiece. Sit down, give it the time it deserves and you will be rewarded with tales for a magical world making you forget the weirdness of the concept, pixie voice, harp, synths, what next.
5. Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene Any band with 15+ members credited on the album must have something unusual to offer. Lots of different styles present on this album, conventional indie sounding jangly guitars, super power pop tunes like 7/4 (Shoreline) which Tom Dunne played to death (and I still like it). This is mixed with some atomspheric dream like sequences and some pavement thrown in for good measure. Swimmers got to be one of the tunes of the year. I hope canada can keep this up.
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show your Bones Difficult second album? No sign of that from Karen O and co. Maybe no Maps, The Sweets comes close though, but consistenly overall better than Fever to Tell, top tunes such as Way Out, Cheated Hearts, Turn into, there isn't a dud track, can't wait for the next album they are just getting better and better.
7. James Yorkston The Year of the Leopard I had grown tired of the angsty singer songwriter, there was just too many of them and people like James Blunt gave the whole genre a bad name. My faith was happily restored though after getting into James Yorkstons new album. This time without the atheletes but with a host of local scottish talent helping him on. Vocals are dark, very like Arab strab, which is a good thing, but no x-rated stories here, just heartbreaking observations of a modern day romantic.
8. Belle and Sebastian Life Pursuit Looks like Stuart has been listening to his heros of the seventies, lots of bowie and T-rex mixed in with the standard B&S sensitive sounds. Doesn't reach the high points of some of the earlier B&S catalogue but some real gems in there like "We are the Sleepy heads" and great kitchen sink drama lyrics, makes you wish you grew up with Stuart.
9. Yo La Tengo I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass. I'll never get tired of this band. You know the score, it's got all the usual Yo La Tengo tricks, gets better with every listen.
10. Calexico Garden Ruin More melodic and country, less mariachi but dont worry the trumpets are still there and John Convertino still massaging the drums. Joey is still penning the Cormac McCarthy inspired songs, life is tough in the desert border lands, tales of disintegrating farms, decepetion murder. The highlight for me is the anti war anthem All systems red, magic.

Honorary Mention

Gigs of the Year

  1. Final Fantasy @ Whelans, overhead projector with hand drawn images suitably low tech, mad mix of a crowd, metal fans to bingo fans and 3 encores for our trouble
  2. Sparklehorse @ Whelans, a truly religous experience with a reverential crowd, 3 encores left us feeling very good about ourselves
  3. Belle and Sebastian @ Ambassador, The guys are in top form, super sounds and plenty of back catalogue featured, made life difficult for stuart remembering all the lyrics, crowd helped along though. Should have gone both nights though, played most of If you're feeling sinister the second night
  4. Morrissey @ Olympia, top new tunes featured plus a few oldies. Would like to hear more of Vauxhall, but still a great show
  5. Morrissey @ Marley Park, yes he can do outdoor gigs, band were even better than olympia, missed the intimate experience but was a super set and did play We'll Let you Know, a real treat.
  6. Calexico/Beruit @ Olympia, Beruit were the real revelation here, hard not to be swept up in their enthusiasm. Calexico were great as usual, good to hear Crystal Frontier again and Alone Again Or
  7. Howe Gelb @ Whelans, in top form, he loves it here, plenty of banter with the crowd and some mad ad libbing going on.
  8. Bonnie Prince Bille @ Whelans, wasn't sure what to expect, he was supported by a trad group Harem Scarem, was excellent though, some old classics played like I am a Photographer mostly new stuff which I didn't know in advance but still enjoyed
  9. Lambchop @ Vicar Street, this was an excellent show. I haven't anything of theirs since Nixon but it didn't matter, note perfect beautiful tunes left the crowd enthralled
  10. BellX1/CowboyX @Big Top Galway - Very enjoyable summer show, good to see all ages at these gigs, nice to see the marshmellows launched into the crowd

Kevin McGrath

Heres my current favourite top 10.
Happy Christmas and rock 'n' roll on 2007!

Led Zeppelin IV
Sufjan Stevens Illinoise
Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am...
Bruce Springsteen Seeger Sessions We Shall Overcome
Elvis Costello Very Best Of
Arcade Fire Funeral
The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang
Neil Young Decade
Veneer Bounce
Maximo Park A Certain Trigger

Dave McGuinness

2006: the year the question "Is there life after baby?" was put to rest, with probably more gigs attended than many a year. The musical event of the year, without a doubt the Electric Picnic which was so good that I can't even recall any particular highlight. Heineken Cup final in Cardiff, the end of the odyssey, was an all-time top 3 sporting experience - even better shared with old friends. Cinema trips were virtually non-existent (see "life after baby" reference above), but got good value out of NetFlix watching old and new at home. Ok, enough rambling, here we go...

Albums of the Year
(as usual for me, not all 2006 releases)

1. Kate Bush - Aerial. I just could not get enough of this in '06 (though I also mentioned in '05 list).
2. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever people say I am, that's what I'm not. Sometimes a band lives up to the hype. The difficult 2nd album to come.
3. Yo La Tengo - I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass. A grower, this one makes a late charge up the table. Best album name ever.
4. Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene. This was BSS's year, 2 gigs in Dublin and the band to see at E.P. too.
5. Loose Fur - Born again in the USA. Jeff Tweedy can do no wrong, but the O'Rourke songs more than stand up too.
6. Lambchop - Damaged. Dark and beautiful. Another classic in their catalogue.
6. The Flaming Lips - At war with the mystics. Loved this from practically first listen. Even better live.
7. Peter, Bjorn & John - Writer's Block. Stoopid band name, but a great album and album name.
8. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad of the broken seas. Beautiful & highly original.
9. Sol Seppy - Bells of 1 2. This is a goody, hopefully one for the future.
10. Cane 141 - Moon Pool. The best and most underappreciated Irish band around.

Albums: Honourable Mentions
Sparklehorse - Dreamt for light-years in the belly of a mountain
Tapes n Tapes - The Loon
Hot Chip - The Warning
Stars - Set yourself on fire
Bonny 'Prince' Billie & Matt Sweeney - Superwolf

Albums: Best Oldish Stuff
1. Hard-Fi - Stars of CCTV
2. Modest Mouse - Good news for people who love bad news
3. Sufjan Stevens - Michigan / Seven Swans
4. John Cale - Paris 1919
5. Luna - Rendezvous
6. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
7. Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet
8. Low - The Great Destroyer
9. Elliott Smith - Roman Candle
10. American Music Club - Patriot Songs

Gigs

Electric Picnic in a league of its own. Highlights in no particular order:

- Massive Attack
- PJ Harvey
- Amp Fiddler
- Deus
- Groove Armada
- New Order
- Super Furry Animals
- Belle & Sebastian
- Broken Social Scene
- Yo La Tengo
- Pet Shop Boys
- Des Bishop
- Lazy Habits

Other highlights: The food, Body and Soul area, Merry-go-round, Cinema, Our Campsite & Our Gang, Tir na Gcaiste (late night bar), Tom's G&T Mixers & of course The Vibe.

Lowlights: Need I say it...? Toilets.

Other gigs
1. Sparklehorse - Whelan's. Spiritual.
2. Radiohead / Beck - Marlay Park. Spectacular (and within walking distance of home, a rare treat).
3. Billy Bragg - Vicar St. Played his entire first album for his 2nd encore, legendary.
4. Sufjan Stevens - Olympia. An audiovisual & musical feast.
5. The Flaming Lips - Vicar St. A showbiz extravaganza, with lasers.
6. The Raconteurs - Olympia. Two words: Jack White. Wow.
7. Belle & Sebastian - Ambassador. Didn't break a guitar this time, but a great gig nonetheless.
8. Broken Social Scene - Vicar St. What a jam.
9. Jeff Tweedy - Vicar St. Brilliant, but can't wait to see Wilco.
10. Cane 141 - Kennedys. Great to finally see them.
11. Rodrigo y Gabriela – Vicar St. Only White Stripes make more noise with 2 people.

Movies: Cinema
1. Walk the Line
2. Little Miss Sunshine
3. Borat
Um, that was it for '06.

Movies: DVD
Team America: World Police ("America, f*ck yeah, comin' to save the motherf*ckin' day, yeah...").
Faithless (Bergman)
The Sea Inside
Hable con élla
Breakfast on Pluto
Delicatessen
Baraka
Bill Bailey: Part Troll
Kung Fu Hustle
Summer Interlude (Bergman again)
High Noon

Worst & most-depressing I've seen in many a year: Usak - do not watch this

Books
Out Stealing Horses - Per Peterson. My book of the year. No, it's not about Limerick.
Letters from a Lost uncle - Mervyn Peake. For kids and big kids alike.
The Dancing Wu Li Masters - an overview of new physics - Gary Zukav. Can't remember any of it, but made sense at the time.
Star of the Sea - Joseph O'Conner. A good old-fashioned yarn.
Ecstasy - Irvine Welsh. Always worth a read.
Munster: Our Road to Glory - Alan English. Even better for those of us lucky enough to be there.
View from a Room - EM Forster. Classic.
The Untouchable - John Banville. Best Irish author around?
A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick. Sci-Fi at it's best.

Theatre
The Faith Healer – Brian Friel, The Gate, with Ralph Fiennes, Ian McDiarmid & Ingrid Cragie.
Waiting for Godot – Beckett, The Gate, with Johnny Murphy, Barry McGovern & Alan Stanford.

Other Events
Heineken Cup Final - Cardiff. Impossible to describe how amazing it was to be in the Millennium Stadium. So, who's in for Twickenham '07?
Boarding in Austria with Martin & Garbhan. First time boarding in Europe, oh yeah.
Campervanning in Devon / Cornwall. Cannot recommend this place highly enough.

That's it for another year - as always, a big thanks to Tom for organising.
Thanks for all the 2005 compilations - count me in for another CD swap - it goes without saying.
Here's to another decade of Top Tens!
DAVE.

Kevin McKellar

Music

Albums
1. Mr Scruff presents Big Chill Classics – some real beauties in here.
2. Gilles Peterson presents BBC Sessions – All from live sessions. All good. Very eclectic. A celebration of live music.
3. Jamie Lidell - Multiply. Can you believe this is from 2005? And that he is white? Very, very soulful.
4. Herbert – Scale. The man. The genius. Not at his best, but a grower and some sublime moments.
5. Jazzanova – The remixes 2002 – 2005.
6. Roisin Murphy – Ruby Blue
7. Madlib – been downloading loads of his music. Not sure which songs are on which albums
8. Moloko – All back to mine
9. The JBs – Funky Good Time: The Anthology
10. Gilles Peterson digs America

Gigs

1. Richie Hawtin vs Ricardo Villabos, Sonar Festival, Barcelona, 18th June
* Progressive dance music moving 20,000 people in time as the sun comes up.
2. PJ Harvey, Electric Picnic, Crawdaddy stage, Fri 1 Sep
* Blown away by the power she can produce solo.
3. ???, Rio Scenarium, Rio de Janeiro, Feb
* If you ever go to Rio de Janiero check out this antiques shop / restaurant / club. I stumbled across a 10 piece band playing samba and bossanova classics. Heavenly.
4. Laurent Garnier, Electric Picnic, BodyTonic Arena, Sun 3 Sep.
* A landscape of electronic music with a jazzy touch.
5. Coldcut, Paradiso, Amsterdam, January
* First ever VJ show. And drums galore.
6. Pendulum, Electric Picnic, BodyTonic Arena, Sun 3 Sep
* The way Sunday afternoons should be. To quote Tom: “quite a workout”
7. Gilles Peterson (with live percussion), Electric Picnic, Barcadi Stage
8. Goldfraap, Sonar Festival, Barcelona, 17th June
9. New Order, Electric Picnic, Main Stage, Sat 2 Sep
10. Basement Jaxx, Paradiso, Amsterdam. June

Nathan Morehouse

Best 10 albums of 2006 (in no particular order)
Tom York - Eraser
Tom Waits - Orphans
Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
M. Ward - Post-War
Midlake - Trials of Von Occupanther
Brazilian Girls - Talk to La Bomb
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson in Crime
The Islands - Return to the Sea
Wolfmother - Wolfmother

Derek Murphy

Murph's Top 10 Albums of 2006 - A Year Of Madness
(In no particular order I'm afraid)

Helmet - Unsung – The Best Of Helmet
Funkoars – The Greatest Hits
Sweatshop Union – United We Fall
Hilltop Hoods – The Hard Road
Ugly Duckling – Bang For The Buck
I Am From Barcelona – Self Titled
Scott Matthews – Passing Stranger
Andy Votel – Songs In The Key Of Death
Lily Allen
The Living End – State Of Emergency

Most listened to album of the year probably still:
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

Murph's Top 10 Films of 2006 (Again in no particular order)

Lost In Translation
Casino Royale
The Life Aquatic
Goodnight and Good Luck
Tsotsi
The Matador
Pirates of the Carribean – Dead Man’s Chest
The World’s Fastest Indian
Gardenstate
Batman Begins

Murph's Top 5 Books of 2006 (Seem to be having a memory block on books!)

A Short History Of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson
Acid Drops – Kenneth Williams
Don’t Tell Mum I Work On The Rigs, She Thinks I’m The Piano Player In A Whorehouse – Paul Carter
Giant Steps – Karl Bushby
The End Of Oil – Paul Roberts

Live gigs non existent this year... saw Lily Allen and she was Ok...

Martin O'Gorman

Another year over , another rollercoaster, some great music and some great trips but most of all, this one is for all my friends, thanks dudes

Music

I think I had more music exposure this year than any for a long while. The Amplifier site kept me up to date with the great music scene in New Zealand and I heard quite a bit of stuff from Canada too, so much to discover. However, Fat Freddy gets in at the top again, Live at the Matterhorn was in my head all year.....

Artist

Title

Fat Freddy’s Drop Live at the Matterhorn
a musical trip through jazz and reggae infused mind scapes
Samonella Dub One Drop East
fantastic dub-reggae drum & bass
Cane141 Moon Pool
Second album from my band of the year, spun both non-stop, awaiting the third next year
dj Shadow The Outsider
dj Shadow is a genius doing it his way
K Os Joyful Rebellion
canadian hip-hop reggae folk, a unique style
Archive Lights
electro tripRock sums up this brilliant album
Martha Wainwright Martha Wainwright
the voice, the dark lyrics, the humor, all twisted into one great record
Kanye West Late Registration
beautifully mellow hip hop
The Phoenix Foundation Horse Power
Sonic guitars meets country meets pop makes brilliantly chilled lyrical tunes
Gotan Project Lunatico
late night chill out time
Honorable mentions

It is hard to ignore the rest of what I listened to this year, some, like Cee-Lo would definitely have made the top ten but I only heard it recently, same goes for lots of other albums I just didn't have the time to get into. A big mention to all the Top Ten cds, some of which would grace any compilation lists. Apologies for the very late arrival of mine, but, you know, its better to spaced them out, isn't it :)
Cee-Lo Cee-Lo Green is the Soul Machine
Planet Funk The Illogical Consequence
Antony and the Johnsons I am a bird now
dj Format Music for the Mature B-Boy
Carl Craig Detroit Experiment
Fingathing Superhero music
Fly my Pretties The return of Fly My Pretties
G.Love and Special Sauce G.Love and Special Sauce
Fly my Pretties The return of Fly My Pretties
Gnarles Barkley St. Elsewhere
Mylo Destroy Rock and Roll
Razorlight Razorlight

Books

I read a lot this year, so here goes, in no particular order

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Diversity of Life by E. O. Wilson
Genes, People and Languages by L.L Cavalli-Sforza
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Cronicles vol 1 by Bob Dylan
The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiesson
The Black Book by Ohram Pamuk
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon
Epic (High Mountain Survival stories) edited by Clint Willis
Motoring with Mohammad by Eric Hansen
Beyond the Great Indoors by Ingvar Ambjornsen
Dubliners by James Joyce

Live Events

Snowboarding in Obertauern, Austria jan 2005
My first winter for two years, so couldn't wait to go boarding, Obertauern may be small but it has some excellent off-piste mountain faces and a great apres ski

Glen Nevis, Scotland January 2005
The annual January weekend trip to Scotland, full on winter mountaineering conditions, Ring of Steale and Aonach Mor

Snowboarding, Kitzbuhel, Austria February 2005
Another excellent trip, with Garbhan, Dave, Alex and Michelle. First time we had been boarding together in a while

Pedraforca April 2005
Everything a trip should be, great friends, big mountains, a classic route up the south face of Pedraforca with Tom, getting stuck out overnight in freezing conditions, fantastic hiking, spanish hospitality and the basque mullet

World Cup, Frankfurt June-July
I was living in Frankfurt during the World Cup. What a festival of fun and football, partying every night, the Germans just organised a great show and stepped back so we could enjoy it.

World Cup Trip June 2005
Paul, Tom and Donal came over and we drove around Germany for 5 days, saw three games and had so much fun

Cornwall August 2005
A week with Ewan and Craig down in Cornwall, sailing and wild camping

Siena September 2005
A conference brought me out here and I ended up hanging with some old New Zealand friends, exploring Tuscany and enjoying excellent Italian hospitality

Shetland September 2005
A week in Shetland with Hannah, Pete and visiting Sarah, tripping in a VW van, what a beautiful island

Brighton October 2005
Finally got to the party city and hung out with Katy, Kate and Lara, three old friends from past newcastle days, great time

Basel October 2005
Hanging out with my fab sister Michelle and her friends, trying to act like her musical guru but failing miserably. Shell, you are the best

Michelle O'Gorman

What a musical rollercoaster of a year..YLTs' Ira spoke directly to me from his keyboard, I became just another girl in just another city for Bugz in the Attics' Jason and Madonna bought a baby!

I refuse to cut down to ten this year so this is not my Top 10 but a glimspe at what has so brightly added to the fun filled days of 2006. Day 2 of writing Top 2006 Top 10ish - have realised this morning that infact I do a have a favorite album this year and just like they sing 'your fanactical....'I totally am..all hail to The Flaming Lips' War :-) Yeah yeah yeah yeah.....

Early 2006

Artist

Title

Cesaria Evora Cafe Atlantico
Gotan Project Lunatico
Damien Rice O
Kate Bush Aerial
Gemma Hayes The roads don't love you
Beth Orton Comfort of Strangers
The Flaming Lips Finally the punk rockers are taking acid 1983-1988

Mid 2006

Jet Get Born
Lemon Jelly Lost Horizons
The Next Men Personal Golf Instructions
The Flaming Lips At War With the Mystics
Mogwai Happy songs for Happy People
...and you will know us by the trail of the dead Worlds Apart
Archive Lights

Late on

The Roots Game Theory
DJ Shadow The Outsider
Cane 141 Moonpool
YLT I am not Afraid of you and I will Beat your ass
Sloan (a very recent but funky find from Canada) Nazy Blues
I am robot and proud The electricity in your house wants to sing
Damien Rice 9

Real Life Musical Moments

I really have been to some amazing gigs this year and all were special in their own way. Gotan Project actually brought me to tears. I travelled 3 hours to go see half a Yo La Tengo gig before rushing back to get the last train and fuck it was worth it. Mogwai, Archive filled the Kaserne with haunting tunes. Bugz in the Attic..go see go see go see..they are pumped full of energy and fun and a belting lead female voice. 2manydjs and The Killers also....super. Jamie Lydell even in his bathrobe on the river.... :-)))))))

2006 - Days of Tiina and Michelle investigate, camping in France, food poisoning in Ibiza, balcony parties, Arlesheim pool and the secret bar - Good times had by all....................

Christine O'Meara

*Top Reads*

At Swim Two Boys, Jamie O'Neill, 2001
Definitely the best book of the year and possibly the best book I've read in five or more years. Set in Ireland around 1916, honest account of people's reaction to the rising, but deals with a lot more than that.

black swan green, David Mitchell, 2006
More conventional story telling format than some of his previous books, brilliant insight into the mind of a teenage boy going through a tough time, funny and sad.

The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst, 2004
Learned a lovely new word in this novel - 'triskaidekaphobe' (fear of the number 13), totally useless but a real gem to turn over in your head or your mouth

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1985

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers, 2001

Serious, John McEnroe, 2002

*Top Films*

Match Point, Woody Allen
North Country, Niki Caro
Capote, Bennett Miller
Little Miss Sunshine, Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
The Departed, Martin Scorcesse

*Gigs*

Placebo, 11 April
broken Social Scene, 22 May

*Top DVD*

Nathalie, Anne Fontiane
Un Coeur en Hiver, Claude Sautet
Amores Perros, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
The Quest, travel a la mode
(Good english comedy starring Jason Patrick)
A Very Long Engagement, Mark Rance
Melinda and Melinda, Woody Allen

*Theatre*

O Go My Man, Sheila Felihy, Royal Court, 3 Feb
Love Song, John Clovenback, December in Ambassador Theatre

*Moments/ events ..*
Guess I'll have to finish this in January

Caroline O'Reilly

ALBUMS

1.1.1.1.1.1.1 Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds - TomLab

How do you describe the ex arcade file violinist who likes to dress up as robin hood? His tunes are more like jazz ensembles than anything else you have ever heard. He’s a true composer and I couldn’t take this off the hifi.

2. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar - 4ad

A young american obsessed with balkans music and running with his passion. Addictive

3. Tapes 'n' Tapes - The Loon - Xl

Delicious guitar trashing scapes from the SXSW favs. Worth the wait.

4. The Rapture - Pieces of the People We Love - Mercury

Whats not to love. Welcome back The Rapture

5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show your bones - Polydor

Heard them do an acoustic version of Gold Lion which really showed off the song. Sometimes I miss the viciousness of Fever, but songs like Turn Into and Deja Vu reeled me in

6. Peaches - Impeach my Bush - Xl

Lyrics are dirtier and more hard core. Josh Homme helps out. Blame him.

7. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass - Matador

Took me by surprise.

8. Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors - Attack

Morrissey crossed with Italy...I will now have to justify this low placement to my husband who wont be happy.

9. 5*2 Soundtrack

for its cheesy earworm

10. Joanna Newsom - Y's - Drag City

Was Steve Albini just chewing his nails on this? There is no trace of him. One for the kiddies.

FILM

1.Hidden/Cache

2.A Scanner Darkley

3.The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

4.A History of Violence

5.Dave Chapelles Block Party – wish I was there

6.The Proposition

7.Walk the line

8.Volver

Horrendous films: Shortbus -100, Cockles and Mussels –90, JuneBug -80

GIGS

1.Final Fantasy - Whelans

this gig really should come in a top 10 of its own, and take up places 1-10. Layer open layer of greatness along with cool lo fi graphics on a secondary school projector. And to beat PJ to the top, that is saying something!

2.PJ Harvey Solo - Electric Picnic

Polly does piano and electro. very cool queen polly, even if you are talking about toilet stuff.

3.Battles - Whelans

Sweat fest. Forgot to pick up the EP. Hope it’s in my stocking. Brill Brill Brill. Give tapes and tapes a run for their money.

4.Tapes n Tapes - The Village

5. Howe Gelb - Whelans

Can he get more eccentric? Did a Polly cover too, the flirt!

6. Beirut - The Olympia

7. Morrissey - Morley Park

ask Julia about it

8. Calexico - The Olympia

flawless as always.

9. Sufjan Stevens - The Olympia

Bordering on being a circus though… please hold back on the theatrics sufjan!

10. Peaches - Meeting House Square

As she said herself, too many Peaches virgins to make it truly memorable.

Brian Seek

1. Tap Tap - Lanzafame
2. Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives EP
3. Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block
4. Bound Stems - Appreciation Night
5. The Fratellis - Costello Music
6. Islands - Return To The Sea
7. Head Like a Kite - Random Portraits Of The Home Movie
8. Beck - The Information
9. mc chris - Dungeon Master Of Ceremonies
10. Cansei De Ser Sexy - Cansei De Ser Sexy

Tracy Johns

1. Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) - Kenny Rogers and The First Edition - All Time Greatest Hits Vol 1
2. We Were Made For Each Other / You Can Breathe - Jack's Mannequin - Everything in Transit
3. Modern Girl - Camera Obscura - Q Covered: The Eighties
4. People Get Ready - The Frames - The Cost
5. Sideways -Citizen Cope - The Clarence Greenwood Recordings
6. Heaven - Lorraine - Q Covered: The Eighties
7. Target - Embrace - This New Day
8. Crooked - Evil Nine - Fabriclive 16: Adam Freeland
9. Super Pet (Evil Nine Mix) - Pet - Fabriclive 16: Adam Freeland
10. Only (LP's Tripping the Abstract Mix)
11. Wish - Solvent
12. Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard - The Swell Season
13. Always - Bent - Programmed to Love

Peter Ward

1. Midlake – Roscoe
2.Yo La Tengo – I Should’ve Known Better
3.Howling Bells – Setting Sun
4.The Hold Steady – First Night
5.The Twilight Singers – I Wish I Was
6.Mojave 3 – Puzzles Like You
7.Camera Obscura – If Looks Could Kill
8.Guillemots – Trains To Brazil
9.Belle & Sebastian – Another Sunny Day
10.Peter, Bjorn & John – Young Folks
11.M. Ward – To Go Home
12.My Latest Novel – The Reputation Of Ross Francis
13.Drive-By Truckers – Easy On Yourself
14.Howe Gelb – Howlin’ A Gale
15.Two Gallants - Steady Rollin’
16.The Singleman Affair – Don’t Come Back
17.Micah P. Hinson – Diggin’ A Grave
18.Hot Chip – Look After Me
19.Junior Boys – In The Morning
20.The Russian Futurists – You And The Wine