Well, here it is, folks: the final curtain on that muddled Year of (Someone's) Lord Two-Thousand and Six. I'm not even going to begin to dissect the mixed bag of political conflagration that marked the past twelve months, nor will I divulge details about any personal emotional roller-coastering. Not that that's what we want during the winter Festivus. We want ENTERTAINMENT, and that is what we shall receive!
MUSIC AIN'T DEAD IN '06: EXHIBITS 1-5
Not to say that music is exactly in a healthy state of affairs. Postmodernism has been delcared dead on several occassions, but I have yet to see any of that spine-tingling futurist momentum last evident in the Clinton era. Even the best of the new fails to point forward, untterly incapable not only of escaping but surmounting the past - theoretically pure anterograde amnesia. So until we find someone capable of forging a capital-N New sound, let's at least focus on the least retrovisionary, postmodernist crap...
Cansei de Ser Sexy - "Alala" (from CSS)
Serena Maneesh - "Selina's Melodie Fountain" (from Serena Maneesh)
Sonic Youth - "What a Waste" (from Rather Ripped)
Spank Rock - "What It Look Like" (from YoYoYoYoYo)
TV on the Radio - "Let the Devil In" (from Return To Cookie Mountain)
SHOULDERS OF GIANTS: THE PAST THAT POINTS TO THE FUTURE
I had the most hellacious time composing my Top 25 of '06 list for one of my financially-unrewarding freelance gigs, because almost all the records that blew/continued to blow my mind were older records. To find a freshman band that could surpass this material is certainly asking a lot, but can't anyone at least come close?
Brainbombs - "Stupid and Weak" (from Urge To Kill)
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - "Super Sonic" (from Give It Back!)
Can - "Mushroom" (from Tago Mago)
The Fall - "Wrong Place, Right Time" (from I Am Kurious Oranj)
Magma - "De Futura" (from Udu Wudu)
Should you feel the need to purchase products by any of the above artists - and you should - check out Aquarius Records and, obviously, Amazon.
WASTING TIME WITH THE PERSON OF THE YEAR
Yeah, I spent way too much time on YouTube too. Here's some of the better bits of digital detritus I've sifted through.
The "24-Hour Room" episode of Gaki No Tsukai, my favourite Japanese show with a hysterical Old Testament streak. I've learned more about Japanese culture analyzing and overthinking this talk show than I have from two years of living in Tokyo.
Magma rocks "De Futura." Which is more intense: the album-version (posted above) full 18-minute epic, replete with monster-movie organs... or this live performance from French TV, with its Mad Max-meets-Jonestown "White Night" cast, operatic gibberish, and peerless Drummer-Mug?
Oshiri Penpens perform "引き止め男と去る女." One of the best live acts I've seen in Japan. Deeply, importantly strange.
In the most brilliantly ironic and self-aware ad campaign ever, Einsturzende Neubauten bandleader Blixa Bargeld does dramatic readings from the Hornbach home-improvement catalogue. For added cultural context of Mr. Bargeld, go here.
Well, yeah, c'mon. It's Chris Fucking Cunningham.