Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Absolute Powerpop Top 100 of 2006.

UPDATE: Now fully annotated.

Here it is - hyped for weeks, finally here just in time to print out and hang on the Christmas tree. Or something like that. First, a few housekeeping notes. For the most part, I was true to the year of release. However, I made some arbitrary rules about a few 2005 releases. For reasons explained earlier, Andrew LeDrew's Ladies Lookout is on this list because its original fall 2005 release was limited to a select few in Canada. On the other hand, I am not ranking Pop Is Art's Epiphany (even though I did before) or Millicent Friendly's Downtime, even though they're both popping up on a lot of 2006 lists despite a 2005 release date. Also Roger Joseph Manning Jr's The Land of Pure Imagination is actually a re-release of 2005's Solid State Warrior with a slightly different track listing, so that's out too. (For those curious, all three would have probably placed in the 30s).

I also have deferred some "2006" releases to 2007, most notably the new Ed James, which I have but haven't listened to yet and just came out in the last week or two; the new Cloud Eleven (which I don't have yet - hint, hint Ray Thank you Ray); and Buva's All That Humming, which I did feature a few weeks ago - although it's available from CD Baby at the moment, it has a nominal 2007 release date and the artist himself seemed somewhat surprised it was already up for sale.

Also, EPs are not included (there will be a separate post in the next few days), nor are reissues, compilations, soundtracks, etc. Finally, there were a couple of fine releases that quality-wise are as good as many if not most of the top 100, but which were relegated to "honorable mention": Doug Powell's Four Seasons and Michael Carpenter's SOOP #2. The former because it was a type of b-sides/rarities comp, and the latter because it was a disc of covers. Again, both were fine discs, but I didn't feel right ranking them among the new discs of original material.

So with all of my quirky criteria out of the way, here's the list:

1. Bob Evans-Suburban Songbook
2. Supraluxe-Supraluxe
3. Andrew LeDrew-Ladies Lookout
4. LEO-Alpacas Orgling
5. The Format-Dog Problems
6. The Goldbergs-Hooks, Lines & Sinkers
7. Rhett Miller-The Believer
8. Chris Brown-Now That You're Fed
9. Copperdown-Something True
10. David William-One Way Ticket
11. Gregg Swann-Everybody's Got to Be Somewhere
12. The World Record-Guitars Forever
13. Geoff Smith & The Tonewheels-S/T
14. Cheap Trick-Rockford
15. The Damnwells-Air Stereo
16. Jeff Larson-Swimming In The Make Believe
17. Lolas-Doctor Apache
18. Edmund's Crown-Regrets of a Company Man
19. Monkeeman-Monkeeman
20. Fresh Mowed Lawn-Fresh Mowed Lawn
21. Red Guitar-Beauty Will Save The World
22. The Hazey Janes-Hotel Radio
23. The Nines-Calling Distance Stations
24. Travis Hopper-All The Lights In The City Tonight
25. Justin Levinson-1175 Boylston
26. Third Floor Story-Songs From The City
27. Phil Ayoub-Schoolbus Window Paper Heart
28. Bryan Estepa-All The Bells and Whistles
29. Orson-Bright Idea
30. The Junior League-Catchy
31. The Champagne Francis-I Start to Daydream
32. The Rewinds-The Rewinds
33. Gary Henson-The Coast Is Clear
34. Warren Zanes-People That I'm Wrong For
35. Willie Nile-Streets of New York
36. The Vestals-Songs About Girls...and Other Mysteries
37. The Mains-The Higher You Get
38. Chris Murphy-Elbow Room
39. Waterloo-Out of the Woods
40. David Mead-Tangerine
41. The Fags-Light Em Up
42. Magneto-Resistance Is Futile
43. Shane Nicholson-Faith and Science
44. The Slides-The View From Here
45. The Mellowmen-Tomorrow's Sound Today
46. The Green & Yellow TV-Sinister Barrier
47. Pernice Brothers-Live a Little
48. Chris LeDrew-Stronger Man
49. The Skies of America-Shine
50. Silver Sun-Dad's Weird Dream
51. The Yayhoos-Put The Hammer Down
52. Fran King-Beautification
53. Scissor Sisters-Ta Dah
54. Rob Laufer-The Iron Age
55. Daniel Wylie-The High Cost of Happiness
56. The Feeling-Twelve Stops and Home
57. The Minus 5-The Gun Album
58. Barnacle Bill-Towards The Pebbled Shore
59. Mike Elgert-Days Gone By
60. Dave Stephens-Stories For Copper
61. Evan Hillhouse-S/T
62. Portastatic-Be Still Please
63. Grapeland-Reality Show
64. The Sails-S/T
65. Starter-Through The Morning Sky
66. Ben Kweller-S/T
67. Sean Lennon-Friendly Fire
68. The Winnerys-Daily Urban Times
69. Partly Dave-Own Up
70. Central Services-S/T
71. Dave Stoops-Spill Your Drink
72. Linus of Hollywood-Triangle
73. Brian Fennell (Barcelona)-Safety Songs
74. The Virtues-Where Were You
75. Feel-Steps to Reach a Human
76. Brindley Bros-Filled With Fire
77. Greg Hoy-Tastemakers & Heartbreakers
78. Chris Staig-Davenport
79. Jon Auer-Songs From The Year of Our Demise
80. Paper Airplane Pilots-Western Automatic Music
81. Skytone-Echoes In All Directions
82. Kevin Lee-Flip The Switch
83. Jay Bennett-The Magnificent Defeat
84. Tide-S/T
85. Mark McAdam-Cavalcade
86. Albert Hammond Jr-Yours to Keep
87. The AV Club-S/T
88. Anders Parker-S/T
89. Tommy Keene-Crashing The Ether
90. Patty Hurst Shifter-Too Crowded on the Losing End
91. Tim O'Reagan-S/T
92. Corin Ashley-Songs From The Brill Bedroom
93. Don DiLego-Photographs of 1971
94. Carey Ott-Lucid Dream
95. Archer Avenue-We Watched The Headlights
96. The Foster-Walker Complex-S/T
97. Blue Cartoon-September Songs
98. Saul Zonana-Love Over Money
99. Minibar-Desert After Rain
100. The Luxury Liners-Nonetheless

Honorable Mention:

Sloan-Never Hear The End of It
Paul Schneider-Escape Velocity
The Ladies & Gentlemen-S/T
Tommi Zender-Will Work For Harmony
Gin Blossoms-Major Lodge Victory
The Speeds-Sing It Loud
Doug Powell-Four Seasons
Michael Carpenter-SOOP #2
Yesen Damen-The Never-Beginning Story
Mike Barnett-Nowhere Tennessee
Tom Taylor-Dear Diary

UPDATE: The iron law of making lists like these is that almost immediately you remember that you left something off. Right now, there are two discs (watch this space for more) which I omitted that either deserved to be in the 80-100 range or at least honorable mention:

Nigel Clark-21st Century Man
My So-Called Friend-S/T

In honor of these omissions, here's a clip (sorry, couldn't find a full-length mp3) of "Omission" by Mark DeCerbo & Four Eyes from their fine 2005 release, Sweet On The Vine:

Omission (clip)


Seattle Powerpop said...

Good to see a few Seattle acts on the list, although I can't imagine that The Doll Test's record isn't in the top 100!!

Also, where are The Figgs? Their new one is excellent!

Steve said...

The Doll Test is an EP (I'm assuming you're referring to Gasoline and Banks).

The Figgs' new release is quality, but the combination of its late-year release with the fact I kind of take them for granted left them off. They probably did warrant an honorable mention, though.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I picked Dog Problems for my number one spot. Other discs (in powerpoppish vein) that made my top twenty: Butch Walker & the Let's Go Out Tonites; Roman Candle; My Chemical Romance; The Long Winters; The Hold Steady.
Any way ya look at it tho, Dog Problems rocked the powerpop house...

Seattle Powerpop said...

Ah... didn't realize you were leaving off EPs. I should pay closer attention. You're correct on Doll Test's release there.

Agree with JP on the Long Winters... although some might debate the "powerpop" label for them. I include them, but I see why some might not.

Chase Squires said...

Not sure how Bowling for Soup's new "Burrito Extorsion" got left off, not a bad song in the mix, and with their sense of humor and lyrics, they can't be considered "too punk" ... hell, Fountains of Wayne co-wrote the single, "High School Never Ends" ...

say, what do you know about the band "Homunculus?" I just picked up their "Words" album at a Tower Records going out of business for $2, and I love it ... brit-pop from Cincy?


Greg Hoy said...

Thanks for putting my CD in the Top 100! Wow. Coolness.

Anonymous said...

#78, Chris Staig's Davenport is a fun romp and well worth the venture to Canada's shores to see the band play live. If you want to try a new CD that rocks, take a chance with this one. You won't regret it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

You know.. just because Michael Carpenter's SOOP2 is an album of covers sholdn't exclude it. Essentially, it's all new, unreleased recordings. If he never writes a song again, but just continues recording covers (let's hope he doesn't), will his albums never make your list?

Tim Bennett said...

That Paper Airplane Pilots disc should be higher than #80. But other than that, it's a great list.

Anonymous said...

With belated thanks and appreciation, from Barnacle Bill.