The end of the year is coming fast and its about now that every radio station, man, woman and dog seem to come up with their ultimate music list of the year and I'm not going to be any different. Well actually I am. I have to be an awkward sod and add my own twist. I'm not going to make a list of my best 10 albums of the year or the best 50 songs of the year basically because I'm fickle and my musical tastes change with my mood. So instead I'm going to make a list from A - Z with each letter of the alphabet represented by one artist or band that I have played alot of in the year 2006. This does not mean that the artists or bands have had an album out this year, the only rule is that I have played their music rather excessively this year. The following list is not going to be a comprehensive means of showing my most played music because lets face it none of us pick our music by the alphabet. So why do the list this way then? Well most of the lists of 2006 are going to have the same bands and artists cropping up again and again so I thought that doing a list this way would at least throw a few different names out there. Most of the bands and artists you will have heard of but maybe, just maybe, you'll rediscover some music you haven't listened to for a while. After you've read this list why do not do your own?
So anyway let's begin....
A - I was tempted to make Aberfeldy my A band of the year because for a period of 3 weeks this year I couldn't get enough of them. Something made me this listen to Vegetarian Restaurant and that sent me on a path of rediscovering the Aberfeldy back catalogue. However that 3 week period wasn't enough to win it. Other A acts I could have opted for instead could have been Annie Lennox, Angus & Julia Stone, Arcade Fire, Athlete or the Arctic Monkeys but instead I would have to say A would be for Augie March. I have to admit I'd never heard of Augie March before this year but for much of the year I've been exchanging music with an Australian friend and she sent me a live version of One Crowded Hour and because Augie March wasn't being played on the radio I was able to play them on my own terms without it being spoiled by being overplayed elsewhere.
B - Belle & Sebastian could have been the B band but for unfortunate circumstance. They released a new album this year which could be their best yet but I haven't quite made up my mind on that yet. Belle & Sebastian are a weird band for me in that I didn't really like their music when I first heard them, in fact it took me many years before I was won round, now I go through periods where I won't play them for months and then out of the blue I will suddenly be in the mood to play them all damn day and I'll just spend the day listening to everything they've ever played. However todays not that day so instead the B band is Bell X1. Again I hadn't heard of Bell x1 until they released their 3rd album this year but after listening to a couple of tracks of that I then downloaded every Bell x1 song I could get my hands on. They are a little bit Snow Patrolesque and do come from Ireland but I hear they are much better live. Which in all honesty wouldn't be hard. I've been to see Snow Patrol twice, once before they hit the big time and once after and I was disappointed both times. You would think after it took them 8 years to make it big that they would have the live performing thing worked out but they do seem to produce decent studio albums. Perhaps I'm being unfair judging Snow Patrol on 2 performances but feedback from friends has suggested the same thing whereas Bell X1 seem to get far better reviews. I've never seen them live myself but I do like their albums.
C - C was harder to decide on than I initially thought. There was Camille who mostly sings songs in French, which threw me a little when I heard her album for the first time especially when I instantly liked it. I've not had to speak French in about 8 or 10 years so its a little bit rusty to say the least so most of the time I have no idea what she's singing but she does sing so beautifully that it doesn't seem to matter. Other C's that I have listened to a great deal this year include Cat Stevens (someone should tell him he needs to release something new), Cerys Matthews, Clare Bowditch, Che Fu, Chuck Berry and Crosby, Stills & Nash but C has to be Camera Obscura because I fell in love with the lead singers voice in a big way this year.
D - D could have so easily have been Deathcab For Cutie, Damien Rice, Dallas Crane, Delgados, Distillers, or Duke Special but then a few months ago I checked out The Decemberists again and I definately went through a phase of playing The Decemberists.
E - Every year seems to be a year where I play Elbow, Ed Harcourt and the Eurythmics a little bit too much and this year was no exception. This year though was a year I discovered Eagles Of Death Metal but still E has to be Elbow.
F - F was a tough one. I didn't realise there was so many F bands - Faithless, Fischerspooner, The Feelers, Foo Fighters, Fly My Pretties and Fat Freddy's Drop are all bands that I played a lot this year but I would probably say it was the Fratellis that I played the most this year because they just sounded different to all the other acts that made their presense felt this year.
G - Gym Class Heroes, Goldfrapp, Gnarls Barkley (for that damn infectious Crazy song), Goldenhorse, Grandmaster Flash, Gomez, the Guillemots and Gun's 'N' Roses were all G's that I played this year but it might just be that it was Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly that I played most often during the latter half of the year.
H -Hollie Smith, Howling Bells, Holly Throsby, Hard Fi , The Hussy's and Hunters & Collectors seem to all be H's that I remember playing frequently but it was most likely Handsome Boy Modeling School that was the favourite H of the year, it might be a couple of years old now but I still can't get enough of Rock n Roll Could Never Hip Hop Like This part 2.
I - Idlewild? Interpol? Idlewild? Interpol? It's a toss up - Interpol.
J - J was a hard one, I'm tempted to say anything but Jack Johnson. I swear after just a few years air play I am all Jack Johnsoned out, I don't think I can take any more. But I definately had a lot of J favourites this year I had phases for listening to Jem, James Dean Bradfield, Jesus and Mary Chain, Johnny Cash, Jim Noir, James Dean Bradfield and Joanna Newsome but perhaps suprisingly my J pick was Juliette & The Licks. I'm usually a bit of a snob when it comes to actors thinking that they can be musicians but the past couple of years I've been surprised at how much I like and play this band.
K - Kaada, King Creosote, Keane, Kanye West, Kaiser Chiefs, King Kapisi, the Klaxons, Kubb, The Knife could all have been contenders but it was probably The Killers that I have played more than most.
L - Louis armstrong, Lacuna Coil, Liam Frost, Little Birdy, Lily Allen, Lostprophets, Le Tigre, Little Man Tate, Lloyd Cole & Lior well all amongst this years favourite L's but everybody knows (like how I did that?) the most played L must be old smoky voiced Leonard Cohen.
Ok I'll do M - Z another day