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Saturday, January 06, 2007

The 20-year x-factor: Sonic Youth, Pet Shop Boys and Prince kill 2006

These musical dudes could've moved on, faded away, or a at the very least adopted a more age-appropriate recording name. But the Youth stay Youth, Boys will be Boys, and despite a worrisome name change period, Prince keeps his diminutive moniker and high-pitched shriek. So came to pass in 2006 their inimitable reign. And these people are older than my parents' parents! Crazy. (Must be global warming.) HEY CHECK THESE CLIPS FROM 20 YR+ ACTS IN 2006...

NOTE: Black and white stripes were huge in 2006. Sweet, it's 1986 again.

Sonic Youth: #1 in '06 (their fourth album had already been released by 1986, btw). This track tops Teen-Age Riot and their current full-length beats anything in their catalog pound for pound.

Top Tracks of 2006: 1. "Reena"

Pet Shops Boys: Bookending 1986's West End Girls with a hit in 2006.

Top Tracks of 2006: 2. "Minimal"

Prince: In '86 he gave us Kiss, for 2006 he adds an awesome new synth layer to that same staccato song.

Top Tracks of 2006: 3. "Black Sweat"

Even if he was only 5 at the time, Justin Timberlake is a obvious disciple of Janet Jackson circa 1986 (and who can forget their eye-popping changing of the guard when she handed over Control to him at Super Bowl 2004). His extended mix video with dramatic dance sequences is shades of Janet -- miss you much JJ. Bottom line, JT likes stripes in 2006 too. Nasty boy.

Top Tracks of 2006: "My Love"

That makes three US entries and one British. At this point, the list of best 2006 pop breaks out to newer voices in (A) Sweden, and in (B) Canada, before going back down to (C) Williamsburg and then to (D) San Francisco.

Love Is All "Busy Doing Nothing"
Still in stripes here you'll notice. Love Is All wear their influences on their sleeves: garage, Roxy Music, ska, Johnny Rotten and Johnny Boy.

Final Fantasy "He Poos Clouds"
Our national Sufjan Stevens... yup, that's why Canada is better than your country.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Turn Into"
Totally underrated album, group and song -- and most distinctive single of the year. No moment of this song sounds like anything else you've heard.

DJ Shadow "3 Freaks - DJ Shadow/Keak Da Sneak/Turf Talk"
It's fun. And it's DJ Shadow. That's like a free ride and Michael Schumacher is driving. Get the fuck in!

English Goldfrapp have their pretty little ditty go against the fine grain of their primetime L'Oréal ad here -- it's a totally brilliant vid and that makes me feel better for falling hopelessly in love with a sleeper song (yes, last year's album; yes, rechanneled via a cosmetics campaign, I admit it). You may recall that Technotronic's "Move This" was the last sleeper song to be tapped by L'Oréal for rejuvenation by airing it in a televison commercial with pretty ladies in makeup. So I'm a sucker. I fell for it then and I'm falling for it again now. But hey, did I mention Goldfrapp's own visual for the song? It's L'Unréal! Check it out!

Top Tracks of 2006: 9. "Fly Me Away"

The Coup rock. They just ooze it. They're from the US. Good year for American music.

Top Tracks of 2006: 10. "We Are The Ones"


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