(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.