This is an Enders Game

We took a break in November, and now are back at the end of the year with some amazing goodies for all of you. We hope to be posting many and sundry lists and rants on the state of music in 2006 and what was the best, what was the worst, what rocked hard and what was just crazy. As I sit here typing the first real snow has just started to fall here in Minneapolis, the Rolling Stones Their Satanic Majesties Request is on the stereo, and an eery feeling that perhaps Christmas is really on its way, and yet another year is about to fall behind us. Winter starts tomorrow, and I cannot help to think that when spring arrives, so will a riotous year of tunes.

Two thousand and six was a good year for music. I say that having listened to one hell of a lot of records this year. I found that in general it seemed that a shift in pop music is slowly taking place. The Shins were on the cover of Filter and Magnet magazines, and had a big feature in PASTE all in anticipation of their forth-coming third release. In Minneapolis, thanks mostly to 89.3 the Current, the mainstream radio stations are playing an increasing number of lesser-known tracks to try and garner some listeners back, having had them jump ship two years ago when the current first hit the waves (for those of you unfamiliar, 89.3 is a Minnesota Public Radio station which plays mostly emerging artists, indie-rock, and a remarkable plethora of local music). All of this bodes well for 2007 and I cannot wait to hear and see what is in store for us all musically. On that note, merry christmas, happy holidays and have a happy new year. Please enjoy the selected works we have collected this month. We have people writing about what mattered to them in music in 2006 and I hope you get to learn something new, find someone who shares your opinion, or just decide to go out and buy a new record.

These last couple of months for me have not included much new material, besides the Who, Sufjan and Chris Koza. They have instead consisted of me sorting through my music library and picking out discs I perhaps have not listened to in some time. Occasionally there appears to be reason for it, but mostly discs just get dusty because of new things taking their place. Not better things, just fresh, unfamiliar things which are more exciting to listen too. Then those too become replaced and the cycle continues. Since I decided to hole myself up into my apartment for the last six weeks working on various projects and applications, I thought it was a perfect time to reconnect. What better way to end a year than to pick through the pieces of all your previous musical loves... The journey has been interesting and all in all, I think i own a pretty nice library of genres, stylings and eras. And thus with not too much new of my own, I recruited the help of others this month to fill the space. Please enjoy the choices of others this holiday season.

Endless Wire, by The Who Songs For Christmas, by sufjan stevens, cover Songs for Christmas, Boxed Set [i decided not to write about too much, just a couple, keep the space open for the contributors...] The Who's new release is actually rather impressive. They do not sound washed up or tired at all. They do sound old, but the same sort of orchestration, arrangement, passion and energy that made Who's Next and Tommy great can be found, at least most of the time, on this new release. Despite deaths in the band and Pete's legal trouble, the two remaining Who (Daltrey and Townsend) make a great pair on this record. Strangely enough, Ringo's son is their drummer on some of the studio recordings, as well as on their new tour. Sufjan Steven's new Christmas boxed set is rather enjoyable. As far as christmas recordings go, this is probably rates second for me behind the charlie brown christmas album. The boxed set contains 5 eps of random christmas tunes recorded over the last 6 years by Sufjan. He's taken the time to not only give us some cheer in the form of song, but also in the form of excess packaging. There are lovely little stories in the accompanying booklet, a little comic, and a wonderful set of little stickers. wow. I just love the sufjan arrangements of classic holiday songs, and the original christmas tunes are excellent. It was a good purchase, and probably would be worth listening to even if it weren't christmas.

Thanks for reading,