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Kenny Ball’s Top 10

It seems to me that every year I find myself less and less interested with new music and more and more buried into the endless catacomb of 70’s rock and 80’s New York City art/rock shit. This year some new talent—as well as some of music’s staple recording artists—have shown up on the billboard charts. The most exciting part of it all for me is that there were so many young artists making interesting music this year, music that challenged traditional themes and genres. So, without further ado, here are my top ten albums for 2006…

1. TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain

The up and coming indie band came out with a new album in 2006 to much anticipation and lived up to every bit of it.

2. Bob Dylan – Modern Times

Dylan returns to form with a new album, proving to us all once again that not only can he still stand up straight, tie his shoes and play the guitar, but he can also still write thoughtful, intelligent songs that remind us of an entire career of real genius. Bob Dylan deserves to be compared to the great thinkers in the history of western civilization.

3. Tom Waits – Orphans; Brawlers, Brawlers and Bastards

“Hey did you here that Tom Waits has a new album out?”

“Yes… why didn’t you know it was coming out?”

“Uh, yeah totally, I was just seeing if you knew. Is it any good?”

“Uh, duh… it’s a Tom Waits album, what the f**K do you think?”

This album is incredible stupid. Don’t ever doubt the brilliant honesty of Mr. Waits.
4. The Decemberists – The Crane Wife

The Crane Wife is an innovative album that flows in and out like the oceanic themes and tunes it brings to mind. The only mark against the album is that it is so good that I fear we may see two years of bands writing songs that mimic the beautiful and brisk vocals and dreamy melodies of the Decemberists. Folky emo bands of the world don’t be that guy.

5. Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped

Thurston Moore and the gang are still doing what they’ve always done, making the mold. If you haven’t bought this album yet, you’ve probably been slowly dying inside.

6. Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit

To be honest, they haven’t blown me away with this album, but even at their worst Belle and Sebastian write some of the best music in the world to listen to while driving. This one has been in my car since I opened it.

7. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere

I know we’re all getting sick of this album now, but that’s only because it’s been freaking every where. And their live shows were too cool.

8. Muse – Black Holes and Revelations

They keep getting bigger and better! Muse’s new album is a good present for any music lover who doesn’t have the vaguest clue as to where to begin looking for new music.

9. The Rapture – Pieces of the People We Love

If you want to throw the kind of parties where strobe-lights flash, attractive people grind on the dance floor and everyone talks for a week about how amazingly hip your after-hours was, you play the Rapture.

10. Jarvis Cocker – Jarvis

Pulp was an amazing band for one really good reason. And that reason has a solo album out.

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By Kenny Ball

I will be writing and playing music always. I'm not much of an accountant, and politics always spooked me. So it's music--and it's writing. I graduated in the winter of 2006 from The Evergreen State College with a BA focusing on
Creative Writing/Western Lit. and Journalism and I've been writing every day since. I love music too. I love listening to it, I love playing it, and
above all else I love it's potential for bringing about social change. I also like food quiet a bit, since you asked.

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