First Annual Bwog Music Critics(ish) poll

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Bwog music critic Bryan Mochizuki took the pulse of Columbia’s musical authorities–his findings follow. 

sdfLast week, we asked members of the Columbia music community – singers, DJs, Spec writers, snobs – to tell us their top 10 lists for 2006.  They did.  We’ve been sitting on the ballots for a few days – mostly correcting misspellings of “Killah” – but now we offer them up for perusal.  No huge surprises among the big winners: T.I. gets the most nods with the “My Love”-King-“What You Know” trifecta, followed closely by TV On The Radio, J.T., Clipse, and Ghostface.  But oh bros where art thou, Kanyeezy and Sufjan?  The 2005 champs combine for 0 buckets, and are joined in omission by The Strokes, Jay-Z, and My Chemical Romance.  A tear falls on your little sister’s Myspace page.

As for our pickers: the WBAR kids like some Top 40 in their esoteric Kool-Aid, while WKCR is expectedly long-winded (see: Patrick) but surprisingly lacking in John Cage references (see: Martin) and apparently listening to a totally different Busta Rhymes album than us (we kid!).  And in the middle, the Speckies go 7 for 10 with the Pitchfork list and fight the good fight by championing Cat Power, Destroyer, and Wilderness, the three ‘Fork-y albums that missed the cut. 

On that note, we bring you: the longest jump in Bwog history (in alphabetical order).  Enjoy!    


Casey Acierno

Spec Music, WBAR DJ 


sdf1. Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit

2. TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain

3. Regina Spektor – Begin To Hope

4. The Rapture – Pieces of the People We Love

5. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Broom

6. Tapes ‘n Tapes – The Loon

7. We Are Scientists – With Love and Squalor

The Rapture and We Are Scientists came out with maybe the best bass-heavy records since Tom Vek.

8. Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor

9. Beck – The Information

10. Arms – Shitty Little Disco


1. Paris Hilton – “Nothing In This World”

I have nothing but respect for Paris. The woman parties with Britney Spears, patches up her friendship with Nicole Ritchie, and still finds the time to put out the best Kelly Clarkson song never written.

2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Cheated Hearts”

3. Plain White T’s – “Hey There Delilah”

4. Panic! At The Disco – “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage”

5. The National – “Warm Singing Whores”

6. Good Charlotte – “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl”

7. Nelly Furtado – “Promiscuous”

8. The Cardigans – “I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to be Nicer”

9. Peter Bjorn & John – “Young Folks”

10. The Killers – “When You Were Young”

The Killers’ Bruce Springsteen impersonation somehow paid off.  


Geoff Aung

Spec Music, WBAR DJ 


1. TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain

2. Wilderness – Vessel States

3. Peter, Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block

4. Various Artists – International Sad Hits, Vol. 1

5. Destroyer – Destroyer’s Rubies

6. Cat Power – The Greatest

7. Shearwater – Palo Santo

8. Bonnie “Prince” Billy – The Letting Go

9. Califone – Roots & Crowns

10. Beirut – Gulag Orkestar

Near Misses Serena Maneesh, CSS, Band of Horses, Brightblack Morning Light, Belle & Sebastian, Girl Talk, The Knife, Skygreen Leopards, The Big Sleep, Yo La Tengo 


sdf1. Rick Ross – “Hustlin'”

2. Peter, Bjorn and John – “Young Folks”

3. Ghostface Killah – “Be Easy”

4. CSS – “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above”

5. Girl Talk – “Smash Your Head”

6. Mavado – “Weh Dem A Do”

7. Fikret Kizilok – “I’m Anatolia”

8. Bella – “Caught Up”

9. Joe Bataan – “Chevere Que Chevere”

10. The Rapture – “Get Myself Into It”

Near Misses “Everyday” (Brightblack Morning Light), “Marble House” (The Knife), “Sally Orchid” (Skygreen Leopards), “Song For Sunshine” (Belle & Sebastian), “Citizens of Tomorrow” (Tokyo Police Club), “Funeral” (Band of Horses) 


Jacob Brunner



1. Joanna Newsom – Ys

2. Liars – Drum’s Not Dead

Tribal man-rock from hell with jaw-dropping production; a much needed visit from drum.

3. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

4. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale

5. J Dilla – Donuts

6. Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice – Gipsy Freedom

7. Grizzly Bear – Yellow House

This is a great young band threatening to reach their fullest potential.

8. MV and EE with the Bummer Road – Mother of Thousands

9. Weird Woman – Bore Hole

10. Indian Jewelry – Invasive Exotics

The best thing to come out of Texas since…um… 


Chas Carey

WBAR Music Director (College Rock),
The Fed Managing Editor 


1. Mission Of Burma – The Obliterati

2. Nikki Sudden – The Truth Doesn’t Matter

3. OOIOO – Taiga

4. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale

5. Oneida – Happy New Year

6. Boogie Boarder – What Riding Waves Is All About

7. Yo La Tengo – I’m Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

8. The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine

9. J Dilla – The Shining

10. Skygreen Leopards – Disciples of California


1. Eyeball Skeleton – “Loss Cat”

. no other singles matter compared to #1 

asdWe lost one of music’s most under-sung entertainers in 2006 when Nikki Sudden died, aged 49, in March. His music could be atonally dense, or bittersweet, or both at once. His lyrics were coyly referential to a world that you could almost believe existed. His clothing echoed the heyday of glam rock, his songs owed as much to the Stones as to Can. But he was a genuine man who believed that what he made was for his audience, and eventually, like all great entertainers, his larger-than-life persona consumed him. 

In the incestuous college music world, where slick corporate major labels compete with slick corporate “indie” labels by releasing the same tripe over and over again, sometimes it’s nice to remember that people like to be entertained. Goodbye, Nikki Sudden, our hearts are harder without you. 


Nick DiCarlo

Lead Singer, The Folk 


1. Midlake – The Trials of Van Occupanther

2. M. Ward – Post-War

This guy completely kicks ass. One of the best guitar players of this generation.

3. Nas – Hip-Hop Is Dead

4. Ray LaMontagne – Till the Sun Turns Black

A powerful album from the most powerful, yet understated voice that Maine has produced. 

5. Bob Dylan – Modern Times

6. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere

7. My Morning Jacket – Okonokos

A great live album from the best live rock band in America.

8. Scissor Sisters – Ta-Da

9. Brand New – The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me

Listened to this off of a friend’s recommendation. Was incredibly skeptical, but more than pleasantly surprised. Great stuff.

10. Amos Lee – Supply and Demand 


sr1. Gnarls Barkley – “Crazy”

2. TV on the Radio – “Wolf Like Me”

3. Scissor Sisters – “I Don’t Feel LIke Dancin’”

The most infectious, dance, pop, revelatory, blissful song about feeling down that could possibly exist. 

4. Rihanna – “S.O.S.”

5. Christina Aguilera – “Ain’t No Other Man”

Horns and the best female voice in the biz

6. Midlake – “Roscoe”

7. Ray LaMontagne – “Three More Days”

Horns and the best male voice in the biz

8. Cold War Kids – “Hang Me Up to Dry”

9. Blue October – “Into the Ocean”

Everything else I’ve heard from these guys I’ve hated. This is just one of those hooks that can’t be shook.

10. The Slip – “Even Rats” 

HONORABLE MENTION: Ciara’s “Promise” for having the most esoteric video of all time. Clearly I missed something. The song is giving a promise to be with someone your whole life. It’s incredibly genuine. The video is just Ciara slowly gyrating her pelvis for 3 minutes, along with 5 other girls slowly gyrating their pelvises for 3 minutes. Not that I have a problem with that. It’s a sensual delight. The two just don’t match at all. At all. 


Justin A. Gonçalves

Spectator Music Editor 


1. Joanna Newsom – Ys

Don’t play this album at parties.  Everyone will stop talking and be utterly mesmerized.  It’s that incredible.

2. Islands – Return to Sea

It’s like Graceland, but in the Caribbean! and with steel drums!

3. J Dilla – Donuts

4. The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America

Straight up man-rock with great, All-American lyrics. It make you wonder how much getting stoned is part of being American…

5. Grizzly Bear – Yellow House

Crazy psychedelic folk album recorded Music from Big Pink style.

6. Girl Talk – Night Ripper

Gloriously schizophrenic but somehow cohesive.  Just have to bounce on it.

7. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

8. Loose Fur – Born Again in the USA

Anything Jeff Tweedy touches is absolute gold.  Add Jim O’Rourke (who also produced Ys) and Glenn Kotche and your set.

9.  Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds 

I’m not embarrassed: Timberlake and Timbaland might be resurrecting mainstream pop.

10. Bruce Springsteen – We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

I’m from New Jersey and didn’t like Springsteen until this record. 


Alex Greer

WKCR Publicity Director/DJ, CUrecord


1. Lupe Fiasco – Food and Liquor

2. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere

3. Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds

4. Busta Rhymes – The Big Bang Theory

5. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

6. Three Days Grace – One X

7. Matisyahu – Youth

8. The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers

9. The Game – Doctor’s Advocate

10. Juggaknots – Use Your Confusion


1. Jibbs – “Chain Hang Low”

2. Beyonce – “Check On It”

3. Christina Aguilera – “Ain’t No Other Man”

4. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Dani California”

5. Nas – “Hip Hop Is Dead”

6. Nelly Furtado – “Promiscuous”

7. Justin Timberlake ft. T.I, – “My Love”

8. The Pack – “Vans”

9. Weird Al Yankovic – “White and Nerdy”

10. Busta Rhymes – “I Love My Bitch”


Patrick Jarenwattananon

WKCR Jazz Director (He did things a little differently)

3 solid jazz albums, 1 reissue of fascinating and formerly extremely rare music, and 1 selection as a shout-out to a Columbia professor who gave me a C- in his class despite the fact that I forgot to attach my final paper in an e-mail (he fixed it later):

Andrew Hill – Time Lines

Bennie Maupin – Penumbra

Ornette Coleman – Sound Grammar

Charles Mingus – At UCLA 1965

Muhal Richard Abrams/George Lewis/Roscoe Mitchell – Streaming 

2 avant-rock albums with lots of drumming, and 3 discs made by black people that white people really seem to like too that aren’t from TV on the Radio:

OOIOO – Taiga

Liars – Drum’s Not Dead

Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

J Dilla – Donuts

Ghostface Killah – Fishscale 

5 singles selected to make you think that I’m not an effete music snob, even though I really am. Plus, cheating:

kjhChristina Aguilera – “Ain’t No Other Man”

Lupe Fiasco – “Kick, Push” or “Daydreamer”

Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland – “Promiscuous”

Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. – “My Love”

Arctic Monkeys – “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”

4 guilty pleasure electro-pop songs that made me want to dance in my chair alone in my room when I first heard them on mp3 blogs, or “snort” [adjusts glasses]:

Hot Chip – “Over and Over”

Spank Rock – “Sweet Talk”

Peter, Bjorn, and John – “Young Folks”

Cansei de Ser Sexy – “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above”

1 Awesome:

Beirut – “Postcards from Italy”

5 Blue and White-isms’ worth of commentary and honorable mentions:

Joanna Newsom’s “Ys” … it’s weird, possibly in a good way!

Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” … it’s somewhat overrated!

KCRW … it’s like WKCR, except not at all!

Music Journalism … it’s detestable!

My Hypocrisy … it’s boundless!


Martin Kostov

WKCR New Music Director 


1. Clipse – Hell Hath no Fury

The album will go down as the greatest ballad to coke ever composed; Columbia students should appreciate this.  

2. Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink – Topography of the Lungs

3. Lil’ Wayne – Dedication 2

4. TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain

5. Scott Walker – The Drift

This guy is the Terrence Mallick of morbid music.

6. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale

7. Tom Waits – Orphans

Waits at his best – tender, hurt, psychotic.

8. Aphex Twin – Chosen Lords

9. SpankRock – YoYoYoYoYo

10. Beck – The Information


1. Lil’ Wayne – “Famous”

Weird choice, but I’m doing it to hopefully drive a point through. Think of this track as the Fanny and Alexander of Wayne’s oeuvre – you can only appreciate it fully if you’ve heard everything else he has to offer. The song is obnoxiously good – so much so that Wayne has to stop and giggle at his own brilliance. “Crepes / By the way that’s French pancakes”.

2. Nas – “Money over Bullshit”

3. Clipse – “Mr. Me Too”

4. TV on the Radio – “Wolf Like Me”

5. Nelly Furtado – “Maneater”

I’m from Europe. There, we heard this before “Promiscuous”.

6. E40 feat. Keak da Sneak – “Tell Me When To Go”

7. Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. – “My Love”

8. The Rapture – “Whoo! Alright – Yeah…Uh Huh”

This is how I imagine Williamsburg.

9. Christina Aguilera – “Ain’t No Other Man”

10. Chamillionaire – “Ridin’ Dirty


Andrew Martin

Spectator A&E Editor 

sdf1. The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America

2. Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit

A joyful revelation for those who consider Stuart Murdoch’s band the definition of “Sad Bastard Music”.

3. Robert Pollard – From a Compound Eye

4. TV On the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain

5. The Fiery Furnaces – Bitter Tea

6. Wilderness – Vessel States

A guy shouts in an echo chamber over massive The Edge-style guitar layers. It all kind of sounds the same, but it all kind of sounds amazing.

7. Tom Waits – Orphans

The most consistently enlightening massive archival release project sinceSpringsteen’s Tracks.

8. Cat Power – The Greatest

9. Forget Cassettes – Salt

10. Mastodon – Crystal Skull

They brought the rock on this one and topped Leviathon.  


1. Peter, Bjorn and John – “Young Folks”

Perfect, catchy whistle-pop.

2. The Streets – “Pranging Out”

3. Outakst – “Morris Brown”

4. Ghostface Killah – “Kilo”

5. The Walkmen – “Louisiana”

A very pretty song with obvious thematic resonance.

6. Regina Spektor – “Fidelity”

7. Sonic Youth – “Do You Believe in Rapture?”

An unexpected melody from the atonal crew.

8. The Knife – “Silent Shout”

9. Beyonce – “Ring the Alarm”

10. Bruce Springsteen – “Pay Me My Money Down”

The catchiest ancient folk tune I know of. 


Bryan Mochizuki

Bwog Music Critic 


1. Lil’ Wayne – Dedication 2

Wayne just ran away with the game over the last two years.  His freestyles confound logic, in ways that haven’t been heard since Biggie. He can actually do numbers, unlike Grampa Ghostface, yet he’s constantly confronting themes (anger, nihilism, guilt) that other commercial rappers can’t or don’t want to. Just a chorus from him brings the house down (see: “Make It Rain”).  Read Eric Neel’s column on LaDainian Tomlinson.  That’s how I feel about Lil’ Wayne.

2. Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds

3. The Drive-By Truckers – A Blessing And A Curse

They tie with the ‘Truckers for “The Most Solid Bros Out.” 

4. My Morning Jacket – Okonokos

…and if they ever toured together? Game over.

5. T.I. – King

6. Bruce Springsteen – We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

7. Young Jeezy – The Inspiration

Most entertaining and consistent 4th quarter rap album.  My Volvo is hungry for this. 

8. Destroyer – Destroyer’s Rubies

9. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

10. John Legend – Once Again


1. T.I. – “What You Know”

2. Justice Vs. Simian – “We Are Your Friends”

3. Cham ft. Akon – “Ghetto Story (Chapter 3)”

This song caught some bad karma.  Alicia Keys ruined it with her remix and Akon hit it before he really got huge with all the sexy-sexy songs.  Could have rocked “S.O.S.” as the song of the summer.

4. Rick Ross – “Hustlin’”

5. Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. – “My Love”

6. The Killers – “When You Were Young”

Should have been the third single.  Just really set the bar way too high for that album.

7. Rihanna – “S.O.S.”

8. Too Short ft. Snoop Dogg and Will.I.Am – “Keep Bouncin’”

This was the “We Fly High” of Cali radio this summer. 

9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Gold Lion”

10. Jim Jones – “We Fly High”


Giulia Pines

WBAR DJ, former
Spectator Music Editor 


1. The Knife – Silent Shout

2. Various Artists – Future Retro

3. Girl Talk – Night Ripper

4. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere

5. Goldfrapp – Supernature

6. Darkel – Darkel

7. The Whitest Boy Alive – Dreams

8. Johnny Boy – Johnny Boy

9. The Delays – You See Colours

10. The Rapture – Pieces of the People We Love


1. The Knife – “We Share Our Mother’s Health”

2. Scissor Sisters – “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing”

3. The Gossip – “Standing in the Way of Control”

4. Rihanna – “S.O.S.”

5. Hot Chip – “Over and Over”

6. Van She – “Kelly”

7. CSS – “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above”

8. 120 Days – “Come Out (Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone)”

9. Beyonce – “Get Me Bodied”

10. The Raconteurs – “Steady As She Goes”


Martha Todd

South By South West junkie 


kjh1. Cat Power – The Greatest

2. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale

3. Destroyer – Destroyer’s Rubies

4. Swan Lake – Beast Moans

5. Pink Mountaintops – Axis of Evol

6. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

7. Girl Talk – Night Ripper

8. The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America

9. M. Ward – Post War

10. TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain

Deerhoof, Of Montreal, and Menomena all “come out” in January. Otherwise, this list might be different.

The Marie Antoinette soundtrack was amazing… but would have been cheating. 


1. Beirut – “Postcards from Italy”

2. Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. – “My Love”

3. TV on the Radio – “Wolf Like Me”

4. Lil’ Wayne – “Show Me What You Got (Remix)”

5. The Rapture – “Whoo! Alright, Yeah… Uh Huh”

6. Hot Chip – “Over And Over”

7. Fergie – “London Bridge”

8. Okkervil River – “The President’s Dead”

9. Rhianna – “S.O.S.”

10. Junior Boys – “In the Morning”

“Heartbeats”: the true single of the year, except it did not come out this year.

Hilary Duff’s “Same Old Christmas” came out in 2002. But they played it in H&M yesterday, and it is still great. 


Sam West

WBAR Assistant General Manager


1. Andrew W.K. – I Get Wet – Though released in 2001, it is so good

that it created a year’s best album blast radius of 100 years into both past

and future

2. T.I. – King

3. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

4. Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

5. Bob Dylan – Modern Times

6. Girl Talk – Night Ripper

7. Count Bass D – Act Your Waist Size – Tight father-hop

8. Man Man – Six Demon Bag

9. Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor

10. Love is All – Nine Times That Same Song


ert1. T.I. – What You Know

2. Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland – Promiscuous

3. Outkast – Morris Brown

4. Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. – My Love

5. Ghostface Killah – Shakey Dog

6. Kelis – Bossy

7. The Roots – Game Theory

8. Cause Co-Motion – Which Way is Up

9. Mambo Sauce Band – Go

10. Benjy Ferree- The Desert



  1. wow  

    that intro was...have you considered an alternate career as a county fair announcer? auctioneer? I read it silently and I'm still out of breath.

    nor do I understand any of the references. college life = no time for vh1/mtv...could've used more john cage references, I guess.

  2. kingsbury manx  

    kingsbury manx

  3. Sprinkles  

    LOL, I've never heard of half of these. I'm tragically unhip.

  4. what the fuck...  

    you people have the weirdest tastes in music ever.

  5. we have editors...

    so we don't have to read 15 top-ten lists. do your job.

  6. Yeah, Sprinkles...  

    I, too, have never heard of 2/3 of the artists on the lists above, and I probably wouldn’t recognize that same proportion of the singles, either. Call me “unhip” if you wish, but frankly, I’m glad that I don’t listen to 90% of the crap that is today’s music, top 40 or otherwise. I don’t mean to insult the musical taste of the people above; that stuff’s just not for me. I’ll take The Beatles, Zeppelin, the Stones, or The Who any day over these pretentious punks.

    Also, I must cite what I believe to be one glaring omission. Out of the small amount of music on my hard drive that was released this year, I am amazed that no one thought to include John Mayer’s third full-length album, ‘Continuum’, on their Top 10 lists. It’s a fantastic effort that mixes rock, the blues, and pop in just the right amounts to create a diverse aural landscape. Mayer shows tremendous growth from his debut and sophomore albums ‘Room For Squares’ and ‘Heavier Things’, respectively, in his focus on the blues. This time around, he’s out to show that his songwriting skills range far beyond composing mere four-minute pop gems in the vein of “No Such Thing,” “Your Body Is A Wonderland”, and “Daughters”. Listen to the pounding groove of “Belief” or the melancholy emotions fused with elation and defiance on the six-minute “In Repair” and tell me you aren’t fascinated. Last but certainly not least, there’s the virtuoso jamming of the Hendrix cover “Bold As Love” to blow you away completely. Mayer struts his stuff, almost as if to say to the guitar gods, “I’m here, and I’m ready to take the reins.” It’s just phenomenal stuff all around.

    Well, at least one of you had the wisdom to include “Dani California” — ‘Stadium Arcadium’ was another great album released this year, though perhaps it could’ve been cut down from the 28-track, 2-disc set.

    And you guys put freakin’ JT ahead of all that? Damn...

    • Uh...  

      proud of ignorance much? If you've never heard of 2/3 of the list, just how badly do they automatically suck? Some of these bands have the audacity not to release 45s anymore!

      Pfft. This is kind of a lame set of comments. If you can't handle a certain amount of hipsterdom, what are you doing on a post with a bunch of lists of music? Why don't you try listening to some of the friggin' music?

      Aaaaaaaaugh. I'm glad this term's over. Everybody leave.

      • Yes, thank you...

        I'm sorry, but you really can't expect anyone to take you seriously when you post a comment about how you barely know any of this music, and then spent the next paragraph whining about how all of these people are "such hipsters" and have "such god-awful taste in music" because they don't listen to the frickin Rolling Stones. What makes you think they don't? You know, I've heard of ALMOST ALL of the music on these lists and I also have seemed to find enough time (and enough space on my hard drive) for all of those classic and oh-so-much-more-worthwhile bands that you mention.

        All it takes is leaving the neighborhood, or going to another website besides, to realize that there's a hell of a lot of good music out there worth listening to, and there has been, and there always will be, as long as you force yourself to be open to it.

        And yes, I did write one of those lists, but I'm not going to tell you which one.

    • Chas

      Hey, #6, as a big classic rock fan (especially The Who), I understand that feeling to say "just gimme the old stuff, nothing's that interesting anymore." But once I joined up with WBAR, I got to listen to so much music I wouldn't otherwise get the chance to that I found my horizons really expanded, especially since the station has a policy of making most DJs play new music during their shows. I learned, and learned to admit to liking what I wanted to like, whether it was Paul McCartney or J Dilla, OOIOO or Steve Miller. You don't have to automatically stop liking what you used to like if you find new music that excites you.

      Hell of a job compiling all these, Bryan, thanks. Interesting reading.

      I still really don't like the Hold Steady. Sorry, #15. Also, #11, applications will be available shortly after we get back to school, and will (if all goes well) be available ONLINE (woooo) at .

    • what the hell  

      is this paragraph-long paean to john mayer serious, or is this guy just putting one over on everybody? i can't rule out either possibility

  7. trying  

    so hard to be hipsters

  8. Just sayin'  

    that OOIOO needs to get their shit together a bit more. And I don't follow the Pfork bit towards the end of the introduction. Considering Cat Power and Destroyer "'Fork-y" is patently absurd, as both had covers from The FADER - which the humble "Bwog Music Critic" certainly knows. By considering them Pfork darlings, we only inflate Pfork, which is clearly already too inflated. EVERYONE LOVED THEM. Unlike, for example, Arcade Fire and Clap Your Hands, which would in fact be better described as "'Fork-y" - not that they weren't widely admired, but Pfork definitely facilitated their unrise, which is just not the case with Cat Power or Destroyer. Wilderness is a different story. I say only that "Vessel States" didn't make Pfork's Top 50 this year. (Are they really that Pforky, then?) Their general Jagjaguwar milieu has resonated outside of Pfork's stream, broadly speaking. Pink Mountaintops? Damien Jurado? Like I said before, just sayin'.

    Anyway, good reading. More of this in the future, please!

    • just sayin... part 2

      kid's got some good taste.

      as does this, "yes, thank you..."

      mostly... bwog went outside of its everyday here, contacting people who (gasp) might not even read bwog and certainly have never before been asked to contribute. now the commenters are upset because they feel left out. but really, bwog commenters, "hipsters" don't interrupt your enviable arguments about who posted comment 14 or which campus bar is the neatest, so it would be considerate if you could refrain from attacking the "hipsters" who wrote these lists of music no one has ever heard of (though this magazine, i don't know if you've heard of it- rolling stone? well, they had this list and... well, some of these bands were on it).

      bwog commenters, useful comments would look like:

      casey put the new B&S album at number one... i loved that album too, but i am not sure if it was the best of the year. but maybe these are just lists of favorites, in which case it might be my album of the year too.

      it is also valid, as wack says, to call lil wayne an obnoxious squeely little bitch.

      but calling the kids that were asked to make lists mean names? poor form, posters, poor form. And to those of you who have never heard of any of these bands, you should probably put away your NOW volume 47!’s and come out from under your rocks- you're missing the best music of the year.

      • rjt  

        I have a serious problem with people who differentiate between "the best" and "their favorite."

        That said, my opinion: Bonnie Prince Billy's album was the best of the year and woefully underrepresented on almost all lists I've seen (only one here has it...and Pitchfork and the A.V. Club both snubbed it). Tom Waits' compilation is awesome and getting the love it deserves. AND: speaking of things Jeff Tweedy touches that turn to gold, is nobody else a huge Golden Smog fan?

        Everything I do is a direct attack on Chas Carey and everything he stands for. Including my Facebook profile.

  9. Sorry  

    about "unrise." Meant "rise." How did I do that?

  10. asdf  

    college is where you go to learn that you don't know shit about music. i consider myself a rap fan and i don't know any of these albums that well, nor do i even know who the fuck j dilla is. embarassing. i guess when it comes down to it, instead of finding new music to like, i really just listen to aquemini over and over.

  11. blake

    pretty good. i want to be a wbar dj next semester. how do i inquire?

    also, will wbar be running over the summer when they start tearing down the mac?

  12. Also  

    did Sufjan put out any albums this year?? Otherwise he didn't really "not make the list"... when did the last one come out?

    • sufjan

      had a christmas album this year. actually, 4 christmas albums.
      but respected critics, where is asobi seksu's 'thursday'?

      • Oh, right  

        I did forget about those. But those weren't, uh, ... great. I guess he can take a year off the list until "Rhode Island" comes out or whatever, at which point I'll resume my adoration.

        On the other hand, people are so sink-or-swim on Joanna Newsom that I feel like she could just mail albums directly to her fans at this point.

        This is a damn good selection and I only know about 1/5 of it better than by word of mouth -- time to get downloadin' and/or buyin'!

  13. SEE NATHAN!!!!!!  


  14. hold steady  

    only 2 people included the hold steady. that was the best album of the year, people!!

  15. wack

    lil wayne is an obnoxious squeely little bitch.

  16. HJK  

    Joanna Newsom and Man Man - good choices!

  17. indierock indiiiiee aweesome

  18. if you actually  

    put Joanna Newsom on at a party, everybody would yell at you to turn it off

  19. also  

    the name of the Mastodon album is BLOOD MOUNTAIN not CRYSTAL SKULL





  21. really?  

    "maybe the best bass-heavy records since Tom Vek"

    this is the best praise you could manage?

  22. seriously  

    fuck everybody who put beck on their list

  23. i just realized  

    there is actually a good charlotte single on somebody's list. is this a joke, or serious, and which would be worse?

  24. sufjan

    also had The Avalanche which made it on a lot of critics' lists.

  25. holy shit

    it turns out that all year long i've been listening to the same shit by kanye and jt.

    this is so embarassing.

  26. reedy

    You bastards forgot Neko Case

  27. reedy

    But otherwise OK except for the double "man rock" references. Hah.

  28. man rock

    never enough of that.



  30. GAY ISLAND  


  31. wow so there are

    people outside of DC who have heard of Eyeball Skeleton? Mad props for recognizing "Lost Cat" as a transcendent work of genius.

  32. jenny

    Not a single nod to Jenny Lewis? Or Neko Case? Cat Power is definitely on my list, but she and Joanna Newsom are not the only female singers out their whose efforts are worth praising.

  33. Anonymous

    "I don’t mean to insult the musical taste of the people above; that stuff’s just not for me. I’ll take The Beatles, Zeppelin, the Stones, or The Who any day over these pretentious punks."

    Well... they couldn't go on the list because... they didn't release a cd in 2006...

    Anyways. I was very glad to see that someone listed Spank Rock on there, even if it wasn't the Lindsay Lohan song.

    But a lot of the people listing their top 10 surprised me, but it just comes down to personal taste. Not a bad set of lists though. Props!
    Let's be honest:

    Regina Spektor- Begin to Hope- as an album, a dissapointment.

    Joanna Newsom - I have to assume you as well as NPR were kidding when listing her.

    Yo La Tengo- top 10? not even close.

    I thought the following were super good this year.

    Brand New
    Jenny Lewis
    Rise against
    The Never
    Gym Class Heroes
    Cat Power

  34. Anonymous

    and... being out of college now, it is difficult to be on top of the new music scene. if people would sign up for audioscrobbler at and then join the Columbia group, it'd be nice to see what folks are listening to these days.

  35. Poster of #6  

    Ah, well...I see that my “paragraph-long paean to John Mayer” has touched a few nerves (and yes, #27, I was serious — ‘Continuum’ is that good, and I’m seeing Mayer at the Garden at the end of February). I will acknowledge that I was being ignorant; you guys are absolutely right when you say that I can’t rightfully bash music that I haven’t yet heard (go figure...sweeping generalizations got me in trouble on a music hum paper I wrote this semester, but don’t start acting like you’re vindicated — it had nothing to do with generalizing about music).

    I discussed this with a friend from back home who listens to a lot of underground stuff (not indie, though...more along the lines of hardcore & emo — think Avenged Sevenfold, The Bled, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy [when I mention these latter 3 bands, I mean before they got big], Cursive, etc.) He’s also a big fan of ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’, which I personally can’t stand. Anyway, the first thing he said when he saw my post was, “You’re being ignorant.” For me, it’s almost always been about classic rock, or just music that was made before I was born, in general. I have yet to have an “indie” phase, and that’s mostly because I didn’t really like most of the stuff that I’ve heard so far — Death Cab, The Postal Service, Bright Eyes, The Walkmen, Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips; I could keep going, but you get the’s not like I’ve never heard any indie rock.

    Still, though, there’s plenty of music on my computer that wasn’t made 30 or 40 years ago. A few of the non-mainstream artists I listen to include: Beck (I have to get my hands on ‘The Information’), Muse, Straylight Run, Thrice, Brand New (don’t have their new CD yet either), Jack’s Mannequin, and Limbeck. Plus, there are definitely indie and underground artists that I like...I’m a big Nick Drake fan, and I also really like Ozma and Coheed and Cambria. I just haven’t really been exposed to a ton of it, unlike most of you guys. In fact, I kind of shied away from it as a result of going high school on Long Island. I feel like I grew out of the local Warped Tour/“punk”/emo scene (Yellowcard, The Ataris, The Movielife, My Chemical Romance, etc.) towards the end of high school, and that stuff was underground at the time. I really don’t like what passes for pop these days, and frankly, I can’t stand most of today’s rap/hip-hop music (don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate rap as a genre — I have plenty of Kanye, Common, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z on iTunes, along with a little Biggie, some 50 Cent, and a few Will Smith songs from back in the day). So perhaps it’s time I took the plunge and started getting into indie rock...I need something new in my musical life.

    P.S. I’m downloading ‘The Life Pursuit’ off BitTorrent as we speak — I sampled some songs on iTunes and liked what I heard (well, the 30 seconds of each, anyway). Perhaps there’s hope for me yet...

    P.P.S. Wow, two long Bwog comments in a row from me, and two finals in a row from 9-4, I’m pooped

    • F.A.R.B.  

      Listen, you John Mayer fan. Maybe there's no way to say this without sounding like an asshole, but here it is: all the band names you dropped seemed to indicate that you just haven't been exposed to as wide a range of music as you seem to believe. "Death Cab, The Postal Service, Bright Eyes, The Walkmen, Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips"...a thorough survey of "indie rock" this does not make. In fact, maybe this will make me seem like even more of an asshole, but a lot of bands that you mentioned are bands that me and many of my music-asshole friends consider to big jokes. Yellowcard, the Ataris, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy? I can't stand any of those bands.

      I don't say this to suggest that you're dumb or have bad taste or can't have valid opinions, but as the kind of person who makes a point of trying to hear a wide variety of new music (as opposed to someone who consciously avoids it), I feel obligated to tell you that you are harboring some false assumptions. To wit: you do not know what is out there.

      So, since I really do think that following the current scene can be incredibly rewarding, I'll suggest a few possible points of entry from the past few years into what "indie rock" can be. Not every band on this list may be quite to everyone's taste, but all these records blow my mind.

      (in no particular order except the one that I think of them in:)

      BLACK DICE / Beaches and Canyons
      BORIS / Pink
      LIGHTNING BOLT / Wonderful Rainbow
      DEERHOOF / Reveille
      THE NOTWIST / Neon Golden
      MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO. / Trials and Errors
      BLACK LIPS / Let It Bloom
      HELLA / Hold Your Horse Is
      JUNIOR BOYS / Last Exit
      THE EXPLODING HEARTS / Guitar Romantic

      This list is by no means comprehensive but fellow snobs are by all means invited to contest its merits.

      • Anonymous

        yeah that does make you sound like a pretty big asshole.

        those bands all have pretty sizable followings, call it the work of marketing and labels shoving it on the radio, but they sell records, and they've got to be doing something right.

        i'm not going to lie, I kind of like John Mayer and itunes tells me that I at one point listened to a lot of yellowcard (they hold a soft spot in my heart since i went to highschool with them and smoked the drugs with them).

        having a wide level exposure to a lot of different genre's and varying levels of mainstream popularity doesn't necessarily mean that you will think what everyone else is listening to is bad.

        and as much as I like them, the Notwist is nothing mindblowingly special. then again that's just my opinion.

    • more ignorant  

      for the record, you're being just as ignorant by dismissing modern hip-hop as you are for ignoring indie rock

      • Ah, but  

        I wasn't dismissing modern hip-hop from an ignorant standpoint; the music just isn’t for me

        And for those of you who have said that I haven't been exposed to a wide variety of indie’re right, I haven’ fact, I think I admitted that in my post — I just said I’ve heard SOME indie rock; by no means do I consider the artists I listed to be representative of all of indie music. And thanks for the list, #50...I hope to get started on it over the break.

        Also: #50, I said I GREW OUT (I wish Bwog allowed minor formatting of text; I’d much rather have italicized “grew out” than capitalized it) of those bands while still in high your logic, then, should I have thrown away the albums I bought and deleted all the music off my hard drive as soon as I decided I no longer wanted to be part of that scene? I certainly don’t think so. Part of the reason I started amassing a large music library is so I can have any song I’ve ever liked at one point or another, on demand...if I get a sudden craving for Third Eye Blind’s “Jumper” or Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag”, I’ll know that it’s there.

        Plus, having a sizable library of music makes me feel cool. Say what you want, but I know some of you think the same thing.

        • rjt

          A fair amount of people (including me) would probably consider "that music just isn't for me" to be an ingnorant standpoint.

          Also, Third Eye Blind's first CD is, I swear to God I am not kidding, a fantastic and still incredibly listenable hour of pop music.

          • Look  

            I certainly agree with you on the 3eb album. But when I say “that music just isn’t for me,” how is that being ignorant? It’s just my opinion. If I said the same thing but was referring to, I don’t know, Indian music from Hindi movies, would you feel the same way? (FYI, I’m Indian; my parents watch a lot of Hindi movies; and my brother enjoys the music.) But it’s not like I haven’t heard it or tried listening to it (in fact, staying on the discussion of modern rap/hip-hop: the music is ubiquitous, and it’s impossible NOT to have heard it)...I’ve given it a shot, and I’ve decided that it’s not my thing. How is that ignorant? Why is that so wrong to “a fair amount of people (including [you])”?

          • rjt

            The issue I have is with you dismissing "modern hip-hop" as something that you don't and will never enjoy. Hip-hop is extremely varied, and to me, rejecting it outright is like rejecting "jazz" or "rock." I would say the same thing to someone who rejected either of those genres: it's hard for me to believe that it wouldn't be possible for you to find some of if that you enjoy if you look a little harder.

            I don't know hip-hop well enough to give an extensive list of very differnet hip-hop acts, so I'll leave that to someone else. If you want a recommendation, though, try Black Star.

          • That's true

            I think a lot of people (me included) actually still like Third Eye Blind. I saw them as an opener at a concert for several way worse bands, and they kicked a fair amount of ass. I was really surprised -- but that album ages well!

        • #50

          in fairness, i guess you were more upfront about what you'd been exposed to in your post than i gave you credit for. i guess my point was, speaking from experience, you have to listen to a lot of different music before you even figure out just how much you're missing, which is always more than you thought it was.

          • #54

            “ have to listen to a lot of different music before you even figure out just how much you're missing, which is always more than you thought it was.”

            Well at least we can agree on that.

  36. Mama Cass

    Right, because Jack's Mannequin is so like, non-mainstream. Coheed and Cambria that's so underground! Rawk on man, just rawk the fuck on.

    Also, talking with someone who likes Fall Out Boy about shitty music tastes will get you nowhere.

    I think so far you've just been subjected to the pansy side of indie. Death Cab? Bright Eyes? Ehhhh. If you like the John Mayer, try out some M. Ward. And if you like the Nick Drake, I guess you could go with Iron & Wine, but that's veering back into OC indie...there's also plenty of good indie-popness...try the Canadians. Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Stars, Wolf Parade, Final Fantasy, etc etc etc.

    Also...The Hold Steady? Totally sucked? I don't get it. The appeal of this band apparently is that they sound like every shitty bar band playing in Milwaukee, but it's awesome because they're indie right.

  37. Chas Carey

    I was gonna try and stay out of this, apart from a cheerful "hello!" and mutual declaration of holy war upon Messers Andrew Martin & Rob Trump (founder of TRUMPSTER). But something's really bugging me.

    Define "indie rock" for a second. What does "indie" mean? Literally, it means "independent, not signed to a major label," but in fact it's come to mean "hip, with it, in with the 'in-crowd' of white, affluent, 18-24 year olds that make up a sizable portion of the demographic that's buying new shit."

    And you know what? It's always meant that. There's a fantastic re-issue of Sebadoh's "III" that came out this year that appends the 'Gimme Indie Rock' EP that came out in 1991 onto one of the bonus discs, and the title track is still the best description of the "genre" that's out there. Is Matador an "indie" label despite having huge distribution? Is Ghostface "indie" because he has what's politely termed "crossover appeal?" He was certainly marketed that way unabashedly, as were C-Lo and countless other "crossover artists." In fact, C-Lo's greatest hits comp bombed because it was marketed towards the "College Top 200" yet the marketing material allowed for precious few references to his career before Gnarls Barkley - and so johnny-come-latelies basically said "why is there a Gnarls Barkley greatest hits album out?" and didn't buy it, while people who knew who the hell he was said "why would we bother buying a repackaging of something we already own?" and didn't buy it. That is the way your "indie" system operates.

    I didn't want to say it because I thought my time'd be better spent talking about Nikki Sudden, but death to "indie rock." It's all no better than "glam rock," a fashion statement more than a genre - and in fact it's far worse because it reinforces stereotypes about having to "go white to succeed" for those whose music gets placed on the "urban" charts based on the color of their skin rather than the quality of its content.

    Remember - the people who went on to actually be famous from "glam rock" or the "British Invasion" usually had good music to back them up. Many of these new bands are fashion-concious Madison Avenue constructions, supporting a corrupt organization designed consciously against the public good, and I wish them nothing but ill will and disaster when their immaculately constructed clothing catches fire.

    And yet, yeah, some of the bands I listed (The Thermals, say) could qualify under that concept of "indie rock," or approach it pretty often. And it's not just good music that makes a difference. Good music with no presentation and bad marketing will go nowhere, and in marketing music it's easy to develop "gimmicks" for the artist. Look at how the Beatles were told to dress. Hell, look at U2, if you like that stuff. Look at some of the ultimate entrapraneurs - Jay-Z, Nirvana, Phish, the Wu-Tang Clan. Some of those names may mean a lot to you, and you may consider their music great - but consider also that they build off that love.

    So I'm not blameless, and neither is anyone else I know. And you know what? This's the way it's always been, from back in the days when Pat Boone used to record Little Richard's songs in "sanitized" versions to The Monkees to countless David Bowie knockoffs to the "disco craze" to the present.

    But be aware. You are being hoodwinked. You are being swindled. Every time you buy a record based on whether it "looks cool" or "the hype," someone has bet against your higher intellegence and won. That's not a bad thing, not always, and can be a great way to try something you never would have found otherwise - but it can also be a nasty way into the Top 40 for the Yellowcards of the world. Know what a word (like "indie") means before you use it, because words have a terrible way of influencing life without us noticing.

    This post is dedicated lovingly to Andrew Martin, since I am against everything he stands for.

    • That's

      sort of ignoring the appeal of indie music, which tends to be... songwriting. I mean, the whole concept of "indie" as a scene was that it was sort of this hardscrabble group of bands that didn't identify with anybody aside from the scary, burgeoning power of Emo-- I credit Emogame with creating the modern concept of "indie" more than any other factor. For reals.

      So, yeah, now there's a certain amount of cachet associated with the "indie" label, but I have a feeling most of the good bands coming out of it can't be bothered to label themselves -- hell, most good bands of any kind. No?

      All I know is there's a wicked awesome culture that spans 80% of the cool shit on the Internet (Diesel Sweeties) that is aware that there is good music being created, and is avidly listening to it publicly and privately. Anything else is just a silly approach to the issue.

      Points to you anyway, you do make good arguments -- but there's gotta be room for more than cynicism in this scene or I'm just gonna kill myself now.

  38. DHI

    I believe the song "Be Easy" to be one of the lesser tracks on Fischscale and am therefore upset that somebody chose it for their list of singles instead of many of the other tracks from that album which I preferred.

  39. well

    i disagree, because i actually think its one of the best, but even beyond that, it was:

    a. actually a single
    b. produced by pete rock when there was a ton of hype about him coming back huge (which he didn't, but this single still stands)
    c. a great, SOLO new york joint by a new york legend - its rare to hear a new york dude just destroy 4 minutes these days and make it a good radio single (a la T.I.)
    d. the first thing most of us heard from that album. and definitely built tons of hype (even though that kind of didn't get him any sales)

    so don't be too upset DHI. it's not like the album isn't getting any love on bwog's and everyone else's the end of the year lists.

  40. DHI

    I suppose I should be glad it wasn't "Back Like That"

  41. Anonymous

    this is what I listen to

    not that anyone really cares that much, but if a few people would join it would be great. if only because it's not easy finding new music when you work full time.

  42. massive

    social awkwardness has allowed me to escape the clusterfuck that is "the scene."



  43. Foxman

    I noticed a strong tendency for CDs at the second half of the year. Was the music before summer so bad? Personally, I think from the beginning of 2006's self-titled Men, Women & Children cd is still something I listen to and probably will be for at least another year

  44. boring

    this is boring. i'll just stick to handel. this new music is crap.

  45. fuck handel

    and fuck harmony & instrumentation, it's time for some GREGORIAN CHANT MOTHAFUCKAAAS

    featuring such hits as "Sanctus" aka "KILLING IN THE NAME OF (our lord and saviour Jesus Christ)" and "O Greenest Branch" or "WELCOME TO THE TERRORDOME (of the Inquisition)"

    to say nothing of the hottest hit of the summer of 1206 "HOW TO SAVE A LIFE (by slaughtering the Moslem occupiers of the Holy Land)"

    that shit is straight-edge, yo

  46. T.I.

    What you know about that?
    What you know about that?
    What you know about that?

  47. jenny

    Mama Cass! Thank you for speaking the truth about the Hold Steady, the most overrated rock band of the year.

  48. music!

    i love patrick! his list is best! that is all.

  49. patrick rules

    that is all.

  50. come on

    no one who actually listened to the clipse record would call it a "ballad to coke." you've gotta be kidding me.

  51. sheeeeet

    Aw man. It appears I'm too late to get much on all this jabberin'. But all I gotta say is, that geoff aung fella realz knowz wassup. Woo!

  52. new bands

    are really, really bad

    Of all the albums and singles, only 2 mentions for Bob Dylan and Modern Times?

    wtf, seriously.

    • whatever

      yeah, all new music sucks

      please see reply no. 64, we should all just go back to gregorian chant

      how about you give music a try before you mutter about "new bands" being bad - even Dylan likes KRS-One and the White Stripes, why don't you try being open-minded instead of a wankstain?

      granted, many people who talk about "new music" (kawf pitchfork media kawf) are equally wankstainish, but that's no excuse for you to perpetuate this arms race of wankstainery

      we'll plaster the music world in semen with all this wankstainage if we keep this up

  53. ---

    Bryan's posts are amazing. Stop being so negative.

  54. ...?

    just one nod to the raconteurs?

    and no love whatsoever for thom yorke?

  55. i hate you

    How about we just all listen to horrifying electronica hip-hop like "Why?" and have a giant orgy?

  56. i still hate you

    Also, yeah, all of you selected practically identical albums and you have frighteningly invariable taste in music. There's, what, six M. Ward selections? TV on the Radio, Ys, and Liars? You all picked them! You're not going anywhere outside of the goddamn indie scene; you barely have to read two of the lists to get the gist of the entire thing. There are other options!!!! e0as89g09u09u09!!!!!!!!!

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