(1) <\i>The Fall live at the Independent, May. Mark E. Smith, wife, and a band he put together the day before — classic Fall. Peerless.
(2) <\i>John Legend, Get Lifted (Sony). More ideas per song than most indie bands have in a lifetime. Stellar soul.
(3) <\i>Margaret Cho singing “Old Man’s Cock and Balls” to the tune of “Old Time Rock and Roll,” Provincetown, July
(4) <\i>D’autres nouvelles des etoiles — Serge Gainsbourg DVD. 4 hours of sin and sauce, wit and wiles.
(5) <\i>Poppy and the Jezebels, “Nazi Girls”/”Painting New York on my Shoes* (Kiss of Death/Reveal). Best young group out of UK in an age — four 14-year-old girls from Birmingham. Massive in 2007.
(6) <\i>Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, directed by Michel Gondry.
(7.) <\i>Drive-By Truckers at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. The American Smiths with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s shirts and guitars.
(8) <\i>Joanna Newsom, Ys (Drag City). So far ahead of the “new folk” pack it’s not true. A goldrush-town Kate Bush.
(9) <\i>One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found (Rhino)
(10) <\i>Borts Minorts opening for us at Amnesia.
Music Lovers play Slim’s Dec. 23.
SUB POP SONGWRITER
(1) <\i>Detroit producer-musician-good fellow Matthew Smith’s Outrageous Cherry released their umpteenth album Stay Happy (Rainbow Quartz), and it’s a fab collection of big beat Jesus and Mary Chain meets the Chills type of pet sounds.
(2) <\i>I got to play a show with Dan Sartain in Amsterdam this fall. He describes himself to the common man as Chris Isaak on acid — or was that quaaludes ? No weepy romantic, the 24-year-old hails from Birmingham, Ala., and does surf-rockabilly besame-mucho murder ballads really well. He’s a real character, too. After staying up all night he was spotted eating falafel wearing his hotel towels for socks. His new album, Join … Dan Sartain, is on Bjork’s One Little Indian label.
(3) <\i>The Muldoons are a family band composed of Hunter and Shane, about age 9 and 12, respectively, and their dad, drummer Brian, who play high energy Stoogey rock. Their first single was recorded by Jack White, no less. There were a lot of kids playing rock songs this year, but these guys are future and now, for real. Listen to their live session on www.wfmu.org for proof.
(4) <\i>As 2006 comes to a close, it is getting closer to April 2007, when Sonny Smith’s new album will finally appear. After some rewrites and a touch of hemming and hawing, my favorite SF Pro Tools hobo will release Fruitvale on a new label run by local vocalist Chuck Prophet.
(5) <\i>The Oh Sees recorded a fine new album, Sucks Blood, and that too will be coming along early next year, but since I heard it this year I can safely say it was one of the sonic highlights of the recent past.
(6) <\i>Vetiver, To Find Me Gone (Dicristina Stair). A great collection of ’70s AM radio pop magic and smart lyrical turns.
(7) <\i>Black Fiction were a force of rumbling floor toms, Casio blips, and cool tunes. The most interesting SF band playing in 4/4 time.
(8) <\i>Australia’s Eddy Current Suppression Ring channeled AC/DC, the Buzzcocks, and early Joy Division/Warsaw on their fantastic “Get Up Morning” single.
(9) <\i>How could Arthur Lee and Syd Barrett pass away within a couple weeks of each other? Similar souls departed.
(10) <\i>Sub Pop goes green and offsets their offices’ electricity usage with clean windpower churned up in the Pacific Northwest. I hope more corporate structures within and outside of the music world will take note and do a simple thing that helps a lot.
DEVIN HOFF PLATFORM
(1) <\i>Marisa Monte, Palace of Fine Arts, Nov. 5
(2) <\i>Deerhoof, Great American Music Hall, Sept. 5
(3) <\i>Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu, solo at Prison Literature Project benefit, AK Press Warehouse, April 11
(4) <\i>Ornette Coleman, Sound Grammar (Sound Grammar)
(5) <\i>Marisa Monte, Universo au Meu Redor (Blue Note)
(6) <\i>Marisa Monte, Infinito Particular (Blue Note)
(7) <\i>Caetano Veloso, Ce (Umvd)
(8) <\i>Ches Smith, Congs for Brums (Free Porcupine Society)
(9) <\i>Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone duo
(10) <\i>Iron Maiden, A Matter of Life and Death (Sanctuary)
(1) <\i>The Who, Endless Wire (Republic)
(2) <\i>Jose Gonzalez, Veneer (Mute)
(3) <\i>Thom Yorke, The Eraser (XL)
(4) <\i>Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat (Team Love)
(5) <\i>Cat Power, The Greatest (Matador)
(6) <\i>Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid, The Exchange Session, Volume 1 (Domino)
(7) <\i>Cursive, Happy Hollow (Saddle Creek)
(8) <\i>Long Winters, Putting the Days to Bed (Barsuk)
(9) <\i>Boards of Canada, Trans Canada Highway (Warp)
(10) <\i>Beirut, The Gulag Orkestar (Ba Da Bing)
NOISE POP, LOOKOUT RECORDS
•<\!s><\i>Colossal Yes, Acapulco Roughs (Ba Da Bing)
•<\!s><\i>Voxtrot’s cover of Comet Gain’s “You Can Hide Your Love Forever” from the band’s Web site
•<\!s><\i>Still Flyin’, Time Wrinkle (Antenna Farm)
•<\!s><\i>Peter Bjorn and John, Young Folks (Wichita)
•<\!s><\i>Primal Scream, Riot City Blues (Sony)
•<\!s><\i>Trainwreck Riders, Lonely Road Revival (Alive)
•<\!s><\i>The Tyde, Three’s Co. (Rough Trade)
•<\!s><\i>French Kicks, Two Thousand (Vagrant)
•<\!s><\i>Chow Nasty live
•<\!s><\i>Love Is All, Nine Times That Same Song (What’s Your Rupture)
XBXRX, HAWNAY TROOF, K.I.T.
•<\!s><\i>Matt And Kim, Cafe Du Nord, Aug. 19. They have been described as the “happy Japanther.” It’s true that both bands are duos and use minimal drums for their sing-along anthems. But Matt throws his hands in the air while he plays.
•<\!s><\i>My own birthday party, 21 Grand, July 15. Performances by Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Mirror Dash, Harry Marry, Dinky Bits, Always, Sharon Cheslow and Elise from Magic Markers. I felt like I had my own MTV Sweet Sixteen episode.
•<\!s><\i>Sonic Youth, Bill Graham Civic Center. Not only was I tripped beyond because they even played “Mote,” but I also got to drone on it! Thurston looked over when their never- ending outro started, smiled, and threw his guitar to me. They even gave me all of their leftover catering.
•<\!s><\i>7 Year Rabbit Cycle, Ache Horns (Free Porcupine). This is one of the best records that I have ever heard. It’s a shame that they never get to play live because it is one of the most powerful things that you will ever see.
•<\!s><\i>Xiu Xiu, The Air Force (5 Rue Christine). Does anyone else think the cover looks like Jamie Stewart as Jesus Christ?
•<\!s><\i>Macromantix at 12 Galaxies, November
This MC came straight from the Oz and killed the small crowd.
•<\!s><\i>Deerhoof live. Their free, download-only EP of covers and live tracks made it to the top of my iTunes for 2006. But seeing them go completely nuts under a public microscope has been so rad. Next time you see them look for the John Dieterich strut during “Flower.”
•<\!s><\i>Matmos, The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of the Beast (Matador). One of the best electronic -based records to come out in years.
•<\!s><\i>High Places. It’s like the Beach Boys on more drugs. But High Places don’t do drugs. Mindfuck, right?
•<\!s><\i>Quintron and Miss Pussycat at 12 Galaxies, July 14
•<\!s><\i>Barr, “The Song Is the Single” 7-inch (PPM).
Brendan Fowler plows through an enormous amount of subjects like touring, loneliness, breaking up, pop music, and his song sucking — in a mere four minutes! The crowd left with their jaws on the floor when he premiered this at the Hemlock in July.
•<\!s><\i>Peaches live and Impeach My Bush (XL)
Peaches’ live show is on fire. She is now backed by JD (Le Tigre), Sam Mahoney (Hole) and Radio Sloan (The Need), who make up the Herms, the best backing band in rock history.
•<\!s><\i>Edith Frost. A Chicago transplant to the Bay Area — her solo opening set for Bert Jansch was casual, personal, and real. Great American Music Hall, Oct. 25.
•<\!s><\i>Jesse Hawthorne Ficks. The guy that puts all the midnight triple-bills together at the Castro. He’ll make you realize that seeing Who Made Who when you were 12 is more important than seeing Citizen Kane in college or Cassavetes in film school.
•<\!s><\i>Alice Shaw. Few artists turn the camera on themselves so consistently and keep it lighthearted and meaningful at the same time.
•<\!s><\i>Omer. The guy that plays on Valencia. Year after year he remains this city’s most dedicated, unique, sincere, bizarre, angry, chipper, crazy, and prolific performer. If you’re intertwined with music so much that you play in the rain on the street every night then you’re operating on a whole other level.
•<\!s><\i>Bert Jansch. One nice thing about the neo-folk trend is that he’s out touring and making records. At the Music Hall, he dressed like a regular old, unassuming guy and launched immediately into a song about a friend murdered by Pinochet. True folk music.
•<\!s><\i>24th Street Mini Park. The most beautiful, selfless, and innocent piece of art this city has created that I know of.
•<\!s><\i>Packard Jennings. He exposes greed, reveals hypocrisy, uncovers lies. A rebellious social commentator, this artist is totally anti-authoritarian, so we like him.
•<\!s><\i>AM Radio. Neverending home of complete insanity. Fascists, paranoid conspiracy theorists, hate mongers, xenophobes, racists, psych-babble freaks, radical religious zealots, and right-wing patriot sociopaths. Truly the theater of the absurd.
•<\!s><\i> Dark Hand Lamp Light. One of the first times I’ve seen music and visual art melting so perfectly together to tell good old-fashioned stories.
•<\!s><\i>Sister Madalene. There is no problem she cannot solve. One visit will convince you and lift you out of sorrow and darkness.
MISSION CREEK MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL STAFF
TOP NINE PLUS FAVORITE MISSION CREEK SHOW
(1) <\i>Jeff Ray (founder/producer): Best show — The Knife at the Mezzanine. Best record — Dwayne Sodahberk, Cut Open (Tigerbeat 6).
(2) <\i>Jon Fellman (co-producer): Best show — Slits, T.I.T.S., and Tussle at Uptown. Best CD — Kelley Stoltz, Below the Branches (Sub Pop).
(3) <\i>Lianne Mueller (graphic designer): Best show — Beirut at Great American Music Hall. Best CD — Lambchop, Damaged (Merge).
(4) <\i>Moira Bartel (sponsorship): Best show — Cat Power at the Palace of Fine Arts.
(5) <\i>Ashley Sarver (programmer): Favorite show — Sprite Macon at Amnesia. Favorite album — Joanna Newsom, Ys (Drag City).
(6) <\i>Molly Merson (sponsorship): Best show — Alejandro Escovedo and Jeffrey Luck Lucas at 12 Galaxies. Favorite album — Bob Frank and John Murry, World Without End (Bowstring).
(7) <\i>Brianna Toth (publicity, programmer): Favorite show — Dead Science with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Sholi. Favorite album — Paris Hilton, Paris (WEA).
(8) <\i>Katie Vida (arts curator): Best show — Anselm Kiefer at SFMOMA. Best album: Beirut, Gulag Orkestar (Ba Da Bing). Best man: Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006), Poet Laureate of the United States in 2000.
(9) <\i>Neil Martinson (programmer): Show — Os Mutantes at the Fillmore. Record — Winter Flowers, Winter Flowers (Attack Nine). Musical trend — Master Moth.
(10) <\i>Favorite Mission Creek show of 2006 — Silver Sunshine, Citay, Willow Willow, and Persephone’s Bees at Rickshaw Stop, May 20.
The Mission Creek Music and Arts Festival will be happening from May 10–<\d>20; go to www.mcmf.org for more information.