KEXP's Year in Review: Kevin Cole, These Are A Few of Kevin’s Favorite Things

Another year has passed, another cycle of seasons, another spin on the turntable of life. It’s with mixed feelings that I present to you my Best of 2006. Mixed feelings, because creating a best of list implies an arrogance of knowing what’s best, a proclamation of what is worthy is the realm of the personal and subjective. But I’m more fun than getting bogged down in that rhetoric and I love reading other’s best of lists, especially my trusted sources—in search of insight and/or something I might have missed (check out Riz or Masa’s blog posts for a good read).

Plus, I’m the shit—I’m not afraid of you and I will beat your ass so I’m gonna make a list.

Full Disclosure: Like most music lovers (I presume), my favorite records change continually (thank Saraswati!) depending on so many significant (major events: love/life/death) and insignificant (what I just ate/current distraction) factors. I’ve dedicated my life to music. I’m probably in the upper one percentile of the “amount of time spent listening to new music” category of people, yet there’s just not enough time to listen to everything… even CDs I’m pretty darn sure I’ll love… it drives me crazy. For example, I haven’t listened to the Joanna Newsom CD yet. One, I don’t have it, and two, if I did, I’d be waiting for a “special” moment to really sit, listen, and savor it (funny, Riz said pretty much the same thing).

More Disclosure: As each year passes, seems I enjoy reflecting back on the year more and more, and as music is the most meaningful creative expressive form that connects me emotionally with the Divine and the vulgar, it’s satisfying and occasionally enlightening to sit back and think about what I enjoyed and why. It’s an interesting (futile) exercise in trying to define the abstract.

Intent: As a fellow music lover, I hope you find these lists useful, and that you might discover something you may have missed this past year, something that you’ll end up loving as much as I do. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share it. And, thanks to all the staff at KEXP, all the talented DJs I get to work with day in and day out, and to all of you for your support of KEXP. Your support inspires us all.

Favorite Albums of 2006:
Band of Horses – Everything All the Time (The Great Salt Lake – MP3)
the Decemberists – The Crane Wife
the Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America (Hot Soft Light – MP3)
Michael Franti & Spearhead – Yell Fire!
the Knife – Silent Shout
Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock & Roll
Wax Tailor – Tales of the Forgotten Melodies (Que Sera – MP3)
Built to Spill – You In Reverse
the Little Ones – Sing Song EP
Under Byen – Samme Stof Som Stof (Af Samme Stof Som Stof – MP3)
Bob Dylan – Modern Times
Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere
the Roots – Game Theory
Lily Allen – Alright, Still
Fujiya & Miyagi – Transparent Things
Nomo – New Tones
Hot Chip – The Warning
Trentemoller – The Last Resort
Thom Yorke – The Eraser
Halou – Wholeness and Separation
Asobi Seksu – Citrus
Ghostland Observatory – Paparazzi Lightning
Alexi Murdoch – Time Without Consequence
Archie Bronson Outfit – Derdang Derdang
the Blakes – The Blakes

Top Debut Albums of 2006:
Band of Horses – Everything All the Time
Sera Cahoone – Sera Cahoone
the Black Angels – Passover (The First Vietnamese War – MP3)
the Little Ones – Sing Song EP (Oh, MJ! – MP3)
Silversun Pickups – Carnavas (Well Thought Out Twinkles – MP3)
Common Market – Common Market
Lily Allen – Alright, Still
Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock and Roll
Wax Tailor – Tales of the Forgotten Melodies
Trentemoeller – The Last Resort
Tapes ‘n Tapes – The Loon
Wolfmother – Wolfmother
SpankRock – YoYoYoYoYo
Beirut – The Gulag Orkestar

Best Live Performances of 2006:
Frank Black – 11/13/2006 (WMA, Real)
Michael Franti – Live from Sonic Boom in Ballard 10/13/2006 (WMA, Real, MP3subscribe now)
Billy Bragg – Live from the Triple Door 10/2/06 (WMA, Real, Video); and from SXSW 3/16/06 (WMA, Real)
Hot Chip – Live from CMJ 11/2/06
Anathallo – 8/25/06 (WMA, Real)
Grizzly Bear – 10/4/06
the Shackeletons – Live from CMJ 11/3/06
Darc Mind – Live from CMJ (available as a podcast) 10/30/06 (MP3subscribe now)
Shins – Live from CMJ 11/3/06
Low Frequency in Stereo – Live from CMJ 11/2/06
the Black Angels – 6/19/06 (WMA, Real, MP3subscribe now, Video)
Citizen Cope – 10/21/06 (WMA, Real)
Silversun Pickups – 10/27/06 (WMA, Real)
Asobi Seksu – 9/29/06 (WMA, Real)
Hopewell – Live from NYC – 9/12/06 (WMA, Real)
Head Like A Kite – 5/10/06 (WMA, Real)
Mason Jennings – 7/11/06 (WMA, Real)
Lady Sovereign – 6/7/06 (WMA, Real)
Jason Lytle – 5/19/06 (WMA, Real, MP3subscribe now)
Ghostland Observatory – 8/15/06 (WMA, Real, MP3subscribe now)
Polysics – 3/1/06
Yo La Tengo – 10/24/06

Best Local Releases of 2006:
the Blakes – The Blakes
Transmissionary Six – Radar
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Rocky Votalato – Makers
the Long Winters – Putting the Days to Bed (Pushover – MP3)
the Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine (A Pillar of Salt – MP3)
the Quiet Ones – Nite You Surprised Me
Thee Emergency – Can You Dig It (Girl You Should’ve Known – MP3)
Skullbot – Skullbot
the Mellors – Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest (MP3)
Math & Physics Club – Math & Physics Club
Racetrack – Racetrack (The War at Home – MP3)
Levi Fuller – This Murder Is A Peaceful Gathering
Pufferfish – Hello Zero
the Minus Five – The Minus Five
the Hands – So Sweet
Jon Auer – Songs From the Year of Our Demise
Talkdemonic – Beat Romantic
Panda & Angel – Panda and Angel
Shorthand for Epic – Shorthand for Epic
Central Services – Central Services
Iceage Cobra – Brilliant Ideas From Amazing People
Downpilot – Like You Believe It
the Trucks – The Trucks (3am – MP3)
Jeremy Enigk – World Waits
Village Green – Feeling the Fall (When the Creepers Creep In – MP3)
Antlerand – Branches
the Heavy Hearts – The Heavy Hearts
Doll Test – Gasoline and Banks

Songs That Make Me Smile:
the Little Ones, “Lovers Who Uncover” (Stream)
Art Brut – Pretty much every track on Bang Bang Rock and Roll will make you smile.
Lily Allen , “A One-woman Madness” – tons of fun
Born Ruffians, “This Sentence Will Ruin/Save Your Life”
I’m From Barcelona
Beastie Boys/CCR, “Bad Body Movin'” mashup
Nina Simone,
the Hold Steady, “Massive Nights”
Mustafa Ozkent, “Dolana”
Michael Franti & Spearhead, “Hello Bonjour”
Bob Dylan
Lady Sovereign – Size Don’t Matter!
Bruce Springsteen, “Pay Me My Money Down”
Spank Rock – Think first Beastie Boys album humor.
Girl Talk
Ratatat, “Wildcat” (MP3)
the Gourds, Hooky Junk
Persephone’s Bees,
Yo La Tengo, “Mr. Tough”
Common Market, “Connect For”

Great Songs That Didn’t Make Me Smile:
AmmonContact, “A Zillion Tamborines”
Gnarns Barkley
Dr. Octagon, “Trees”
Thom Yorke, “Atoms for Peace”
Regina Spector, “Fidelity”
Cat Power, “Could We” (MP3)
Bonnie Prince Billy
the Roots, “False Media”
Halou – Wholeness and Separation (Vertebrae)

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