21 January 2007

déjà vu all over again : the best songs of 2006

As the new year has come, it struck me as a good idea to revisit 2006 and list the best songs of the past year. The thought of a creating compilation excited me, and I knew it wasn't going to be too difficult since I already knew my favorites. The only challenge was whittling them down to 34 and trying to see how to best group them in two. Thirty-four is not a number I picked for the sake of being random. I still make mix tapes ("mix CDs" just doesn't roll well off the tongue) with the intention of sharing and sending them to friends, and 17 just happens to be the average number of songs I can burn in a normal CD. 

In these mixes, you'll clearly see that the first puts together songs that rock, and the second, songs of a more folksy nature. Now, the diligent mix tape nerd will disregard the fact that most people now listen to music on their computers or iPods in shuffle mode, and will take pains putting the songs in proper sequence. You just don't throw them into a pot; you have a whole set of issues to think about. Do you start with a bang or do you gradually build up the mood? Can you follow a song that ends abruptly with one that starts slowly? How do you make a transition between two completely different genres? Can you build a story out of your song choices? Admittedly, I factored all these when I started to make this set, but in the end I left it up to the wisdom of iTunes: I sorted them by song length, shortest first. And you know what? I'm happy with the way it turned out. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I did putting them together.

Best of 2006 Mix 1
click here or on the image above to stream the entire list, or
click on the titles below to listen to the songs individually

  1. Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured : Arctic Monkeys
  2. Nausea : Beck
  3. Portrait : Upper Room
  4. Long Distance Call : Phoenix
  5. You Only Live Once : The Strokes
  6. You & I : Graham Coxon
  7. Have A Good Time : Morning Runner
  8. Stadiums & Shrines II : Sunset Rubdown
  9. Into The Ocean : Blue October
  10. Mr. Tough : Yo La Tengo
  11. Somewhere Down The River : Elf Power
  12. Typical : MuteMath
  13. Dead Funny : Archie Bronson Outfit
  14. The Clock : Thom Yorke
  15. Postcards From Italy : Beirut
  16. The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song : The Flaming Lips
  17. Young Bride : Midlake

Best of 2006 Mix 2
click here or on the image above to stream the entire list, or
click on the titles below to listen to the songs individually
  1. Summertime : Josh Rouse
  2. Yours And Mine : Calexico
  3. Love You More : Alexi Murdoch
  4. Irene : Rose Melberg
  5. This Voice : Ane Brun
  6. Thief About To Break In : Teitur
  7. Born In The 70s : Ed Harcourt
  8. Half-Assed : Ani Difranco
  9. Lucile (Where Did The Love Go?) : M. Craft
  10. Oh People : Tim Easton
  11. Yellow Taxi : Matt Costa
  12. Splendid Isolation : Pete Yorn
  13. Forget About You : Cary Brothers
  14. Rootless Tree : Damien Rice
  15. Brighter Discontent : The Submarines
  16. It's Beginning To Get To Me : Snow Patrol
  17. Young Folks : Peter Bjorn & John

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