The first post of 2007; sure to be remembered as a year that was... just about as great as any other year. The spring tour announcements have been trickling in, and it looks like the coming months will be well stocked with concert options here in Columbus, Ohio. My list so far includes the Scott Amendola Band (ft. Nels Cline & Jeff Parker), Apples in Stereo, TV on the Radio, and Animal Collective. Whoever books these acts gets my humble thanks, as this is truly one of the more eclectic line-ups I've seen around these parts in my relatively few concert-going years. I just bought the Scott Amendola Band's Believe today and, if the album is any indication, their live show is going to be pretty mind blowing.
Plenty of record releases dropping within the next few months as well. I've listened quite a bit to Damon Albarn's new sideproject The Good, The Bad & The Queen, and I really like what I'm hearing. Danger Mouse's production work is pretty obvious, almost sounding like a direct continuation of Gorillaz Demon Days. The single "Herculean" is my favorite so far, so give it a quick search on Hype Machine is you're interested. However, my real anticipation is focused on Wilco's newest full-length, entitled Sky Blue Sky, which will be released on May 15. Although I've already heard live versions of many of the song which will be included on this release, Wilco has a habit of really mixing things up with the studio arrangements, so it's not unreasonable to expect these tunes to take on a whole new sound in their recorded forms. Speaking of Wilco, lead guitarist/noisemaker Nels Cline has TWO new albums with his Nels Cline Singers group coming out care of Cryptogramophone sometime in May. I really dug the group's last release, The Giant Pin, so hopefully at least one of these new records will continue that last album's unique blend of jazz, rock, and noise.
I've decided to hand out a few honorable mentions to my favorite albums of '06 list. A recent episode of Austin City Limits turned me on to Cat Power's 2006 release The Greatest. I can't say I ever been much of a fan of Marshall Chan, but put a Memphis soul band behind this girl and it's damn hard not to enjoy. She's got a voice that works extremely well with the gernre, and the record just has an amazing sound to it. My other favorable mention goes to Aloha's Some Echos, which I recently picked up on a whim. These Ohio-natives craft a solid pop album which at times evokes the Arcade Fire and the New Pornographers. Some great almost jazzy guitar work rounds out the package and makes it list-worthy. I'm sure I've overlooked some others, but these are what came to mind directly after the fact. Perhaps I should just post another list entitled: "Nice One, Dumbass: The Ones I Forgot"? Ah well, expect a review of the Scott Amendola Band sometime next weekend.