Saturday, 30 December 2006

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

James Brown dies aged 73

The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, died yesterday aged 73.

Brown died early on Christmas Day at Atlanta's Emory Crawford Long Hospital of congestive heart failure.

I'd add more, but I think it's impossible to top this quote from Chuck D, "James presented obviously the best grooves. To this day, there has been no one near as funky. No one's coming even close."

Link to the BBC's obituary

Friday, 22 December 2006 Man of the Year Awards 2006 part II

The second part of's annual countdown of their men of the year has just been published.

You can read it here

Tuesday, 19 December 2006 Man of the Year Awards 2006's annual countdown of their Men of the Year has just begun.

You can check out part one here

The best albums of 2006

25. Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways
Even those with the toughest hearts will find it hard to listen to A Hundred Highways without feeling a lump in their throat. We have to thank Rick Rubin for ensuring Johnny's send off was handled with great taste and care.

Best track – God's Gonna Cut You Down

24. Danielson – Ships
Undoubtedly the most ambitious and focused work to come out of the Danielson camp. Few other albums this year flat out rocked like Ships did.
Best track – Bloodbook On The Half Shell

23. Kris Kristofferson - This Old Road
Quietly glorious and consistently compelling, This Old Road is quite possibly the best album Kris Kristofferson has ever recorded.

Best track – Pilgrim's Progress

22. Daniel Johnston – Lost And Found
Despite being the most polished album he's has recorded since 1994's Fun, Lost And Found loses none of the ramshackle Johnston magic.

Best track – Rock This Town

21. Dave Cloud & The Gospel Power - Napoleon Of Temperance
Babbling and brilliant, Napoleon Of Temperance makes you wish that Dave Cloud had stepped out of Nashville a lot, lot sooner.

Best track – You Missed A Damn Good Chance

20. Band Of Horses – Everything All The Time
An unfathomably seductive debut. You sense stadium-sized success ahead for this lot.

Best track – The Funeral

19. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
From the distortion and tuneless guitar screeching, this is unmistakably a Sonic Youth album but Rather Ripped features the kind of conventional song structures we haven't heard from them since the early 90s.

Best track – Turquoise Boy

18. Fujiya & Miyagi – Transparent Things
Transparent Things has the same locked down dance melodies and indie rock instrumental grooves that made Stereolab's Dots & Loops such a notable album. There's no reason why Fujiya & Miyagi can't have the same success.

Best track – Ankle Injuries

17. Cat Power – The Greatest
Cat Marshall's vocals are as distant as ever but by combining old and new as well as light and dark, she's made her best album yet.

Best track – Lived In Bars

16. The Knife – Silent Shout
Freakier and creepier than previous Knife albums but just as stunningly accomplished in its construction.

Best track – Silent Shout

15. Boris – Pink
By trading in the Melvins-esque slackness for a punch-you-in-the-face, pummelling assault, Boris have made their most incredible album yet.

Best track – Pseudo-Bread

14. Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
Annoyingly young Zach Condon has channelled into the music of Balkan gypsy music to create and an album full of grandeur and intimacy.

Best track – Postcards From Italy

13. An Albatross – Blessphemy Of The Peace Beast Feastgiver And The Bear Warp Kumite
Tripping, head-splitting and totally unapproachable, Blessphemy was the most bracing, aggressive, aggravating chaos you'll have heard this year, or probably any other.

Best track - Lysergically Yours, My Psychedelic Bride

12. The Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
Only just shy of their two previous masterpieces, At War With The Mystics sees Wayne Coyne become global political commentator with staggering results.

Best track – The W.A.N.D.

11. Howlin' Rain - Howlin' Rain
Scything and crunching, Howlin' Rain's self-titled album recalls the rollicking, swampy rock of Creedence. It's a glorious and gritty debut.

Best track - Calling Lightening With A Scythe

10. Loose Fur - Born Again In The USA
Considering Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Jim O'Rourke still refuse to consider Loose Fur as anything more than a side-project, it's incredible just how tight Born Again In The USA actually is. You can't help but wonder how good they could be if they started taking this shit seriously.

Best track – Thou Shalt Wilt

9. Sunset Rubdown – Shut Up I Am Dreaming
Between this, Wolf Parade and Frog Eyes, the rate we're seeing Spencer Krug prove his worth as a songwriter of major importance is staggering.

Best track – Stadiums And Shrines II

8. J Dilla – Donuts
45-minutes of truly timeless hip hop that will be regarded as a classic for decades to come.

Best track - Workinonit

7. Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
Of course, they mastered dreamy, explosive rock music a long, long time ago, but even so, I Am Not Afraid Of You is a high water mark in Yo La Tengo's catalogue. Oh, and how about that title, eh?

Best track – The Race Is On Again

6. Scott Walker – The Drift
For The Drift Scott Walker retreated to the bloody margins of what can safely be considered music. The results are complex, multi-layered, harsh and absolutely fucking terrifying.

Best track – Cossacks Are

5. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury
Pharrell Williams instantly blew away the disappointment of his subpar solo outing by sculpting this perfect sonic kaleidoscope. At the time, Pusha T and Malice prove, not for the first time, that they're two of the finest lyricists working in any genre right now.

Best track – Mr Me Too

4. Howe Gelb – 'Sno Angel Like You
Gelb's third album in as many years was his greatest yet. By consolidating rock and gospel, he's proved that not only can he master any genre that he turns his hand to; he can invent several new ones along the way.

Best track – Howlin' A Gale

3. The Hold Steady – Boys & Girls In America
The album of the year in any other year this decade. Full of grace, charm, wit and emotion, Boys & Girls In America is the crowning achievement of The Hold Steady's career so far.

Best track – First Night

2. Midlake – Trials Of Van Occupanther
That this truly, truly incredible album is only second place is proof that 2006 has been a landmark year for music, possibly the best in history. Finely layered and clearly fussed over, Trials remains lush and beautifully organic.

Best track – Branches

1. Joanna Newsom – Ys
Unpredictable, magical, challenging and beautiful, Ys is a startlingly original and utterly magnificent achievement. With unparalleled vision, courage and a little bit of help from Steve Albini, Van Dyke Parks, Bill Callahan and Jim O'Rourke, Newsom has produced an extraordinary work of art.

Best track – Emily

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Russian intelligence HQ calls upon Batman

Even Vladimir Putin is suprised.


Monday, 11 December 2006

Anti News up at

In a cynical attempt to make me more popular with Google, this week's article features lots of mentions of Britney Spears' vagina.


Sunday, 10 December 2006

Wigan game verdict in the Observer

My verdict on our draw with Wigan yesterday is in today's Observer.

As ever, you'll have to buy a paper to read it.

Friday, 1 December 2006