The End of 2006

2006 ended many days ago and I sorta miss it. Like other years, it contained twelve months. And like other years, I feel compelled to serve up more Best Of lists, even if I don’t quite know where to start. The problem with any year is that you read too many books, listen to too many albums, attend too many shows, and watch too many movies. It doesn’t leave one exhausted, at least not while it’s happening. But at the end of the year, when all of this media consumption is tallied like a Central Park West socialite’s dry cleaning manifest, it becomes a bit too much to grapple with. And then some silly nostalgic force, operating like a peer pressure you can’t quite track, demands that all culture vultures offer Best Of pronouncements, generally in some predetermined and agreed upon format (Top Ten!). But by the time you get around to it, it’s too late. We’re in January. You should have been here back in December when we were really happening. When it was still 2006. When your opinion still mattered.

So instead of dragging out the posts I’ve been laboring on for the past few weeks, I’ll just let you fill it in. You can either print off this post and tape it to your refrigerator filling in the blanks. Or you can leave recommendations for everyone in the comments. That way, everyone’s happy and I won’t feel so guilty.


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  1. I’d like to see your list, actually. I haven’t made one, and heck if I can remember everything I saw/heard. Most of the good movies never make it to my podunk town. Here’s a list in no particular order:

    1. Lady in the Water (everyone seemed to hate it, but I loved it. I thought it was creative and whimsical and interesting and funny)
    2. Borat
    3. Little Miss Sunshine
    4. Snakes on a Plane
    5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
    6. Blood Diamond
    7. Casino Royale
    8. The Departed
    9. The Prestige
    10. V For Vendetta (was that this year?)

    1. Tom Waits – Orphans
    2. Regina Spektor – Begin to Hope
    3. Cheb Mami – Layali
    4. The Mountain Goats – Get Lonely
    5. Neil Young – Living With War
    6. Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
    7. Madeleine Peyroux – Half the Perfect World
    8. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat
    9. Bob Dylan – Modern Times
    10. The Dixie Chicks – Taking the Long Way

  2. ALBUMS…

    Ray LaMontagne – Till the Sun Turns Black
    Album Leaf – Into the Blue Again
    Regina Spektor – Begin to Hope
    Hem – Funnel Cloud
    Decemberists – Crane Wife
    Angels & Airwaves – We Don’t Need to Whisper
    Kaki King – Until We Felt Red
    KT Tunstall – Eye to the Telescope
    Eels – With Strings: Live at Town Hall
    Beck – The Information

  3. ALBUMS (no order)

    1. The Beatles, “Love”
    2. M. Ward, “Post-War”
    3. Teddybears, “Soft Machine”
    4. The Black Angels, “Passover.”
    5. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, “The Letting Go”
    6. Cansei De Ser Sexy, “s/t”
    7. the “Marie Antoinette” soundtrack
    8. Final Fantasy, “He Poos Clouds”
    9. Islands, “Return to the Sea”
    10. Juana Molina, “Son”
    (11) LCD Soundsystem, “Sound of Silver.” Its official release date is in March 2007, but I heard the leak and it’s amazing. If leaks were to count on 2006 lists, this would be near #1.

    MOVIES (no order) [I don’t have my iTunes to refer to, and I have a really short memory, so this won’t be as complete]

    1. Casino Royale
    2. The Prestige
    3. Children of Men (I saw it last night, but critics are putting it on their 2006 lists, and if they can, I should to able to!)
    4. Cache
    5. United 93 (I rode my bike home crying)
    6. Rocky Balboa
    7. Inside Man

    Notable disappointments: (1) The Black Dahlia, (2) Cars, (3) The Departed, (4) Superman Returns, (5) For Your Consideration

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