When I started putting my Best of 2006 list together, I had initially planned to include both LPs and EPs in the same list. But by the time I was done with my preliminary list, I realized that I had way too many to fit onto one list. While I appreciate the folks who put together annual Top 50 or Top 97 lists, that’s just way too many for me. I have a hard enough time ranking 20 discs in relation to one another, and have no objective way to justify saying that, say, there were 42 albums this year better than the new Decemberists disc. (There’s a little hint as to what’s not on my album list.)
So when I saw Chris at the Battering Room do a Top 5 EPs list, I figured I’d do the same. So here it is:
#5: Le Firm, Flugsport [BUY]
When the first year lawyer who sits down the hall from me told me earlier this year that he was the singer in a rock band, I didn’t take him that seriously. And when he told me that another first year lawyer was the band’s bassist, well, I kinda figured they’d play 3 shows and that would be that. But when I listened to their demos, I realized that they just might be for real. Their debut Flugsport EP proves that they are.
#4: The Twilight Singers, A Stitch In Time
I make no secret of the fact that I’m a huge Afghan Whigs/Greg Dulli fan. I seriously doubt that Greg could put out an album that I wouldn’t love. 2006 has done nothing to change this. In fact, parts of A Stitch In Time sound as close to the Afghan Whigs as anything Greg has done. Maybe that’s why he stuck them on an EP. And maybe that’s why I like this disc so much.
#3: Bishop Allen, February [BUY]
Let me start off by saying that, despite my repeated promises to buy all of Bishop Allen’s “month” EPs, the only ones I have in their entirety are January and February. (Because those are the only ones on eMusic!) So it’s very possible that one of the band’s other EPs is better. I find that hard to believe, though. All four songs on this disc are great, and never fail to leave a smile on my face.
“The News From Your Bed”
#2: Bottomless Pit, EP [Sold Out]
One of my favorite musical moments of the year was having the chance to catch Bottomless Pit play at the Knitting Factory here in New York. While I would have understood if Andy and Tim had decided not to keep making music after the death of their former bandmate, Michael Dahlquist, last year, I’m glad that they decided to move forward. While Michael’s drumming is noticably absent from the Bottomless Pit EP, the songs are still up to (or above) the standard set by Silkworm. Can’t wait for their full-length.
Listen to the full EP HERE.
TIE #1: The Broken West, The Dutchman’s Gold [BUY]
This is kinda cheating, I know. The Broken West’s debut EP actually came out in 2005 (or was it 2004?), however I didn’t hear it until 2006. It’s probably the CD I listened to most this year, so I feel pretty comfortable putting it in this list. And anyway, I make the rules here, so deal with it. Expect to see the band’s debut LP, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On, on my Best Album list next year.
“Down In The Valley”
TIE #1: The Little Ones, Sing Song [BUY]
If I listened to The Dutchman’s Gold more than any other disc this year, the debut EP from The Little Ones was probably a close second. Moreover, the band was one of my favorite stories of the year, given that two of its members were previously in one of my favorite underappreciated bands of the last decade, Sunday’s Best. It’s always great to see musicians get a shot at a second act, and even better when the second act is this good.
“High on a Hill”
And, no, I will not be doing commentary and songs for my full album list. It takes forever. I might do it for a select few albums, though. We’ll see.