Steve Henderson Album Cover

Steve Henderson

IntroductionOkay, so I know I am anything but the most indie kid on the site. I am actually probably the most mainstream reviewer on here, but depending of your tastes, that might be either a breath of fresh air or a disgusting deterrent. Either way, take it for what you will. I don’t give a shit about cred, really. Now, I think that gives me a bit of an open-minded edge, but that might just be my political spin on things.

Nevertheless, I have listened to a lot of music this year, and this is what I thought of 2006. And let it be known that when I call an album the “best” of the year, I mean it in a sense that it gave me the most enjoyment. Sure, there may be more technically proficient records or whatnot, but a) I did not listen to every single record released this year, and b) subjectivity is a wonderful prerogative. So read my lists – disregard them, applaud them, call me out on them. Either way, the opinions we all have on music are what makes it so beautiful in the end, so never lose sight of that which makes you happy.

Top Albums of 2006

10) The Class of 98 – Touch This and Die
09) Downtown Singapore – Don’t Let Your Guard Down
08) Rock Kills Kid – Are You Nervous?
07) Roddy Woomble – My Secret Is My Silence
06) Rocky Votolato - Makers
05) The Format – Dog Problems
04) As Tall As Lions – As Tall As Lions
03) Saosin - Saosin
02) Sleeping at Last – Keep No Score
01) Copeland - Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Honorable Mention
Strike Fire Fall – Still Life
Matchbook Romance – Voices
Rookie of the Year – The Goodnight Moon
Fightstar – They Liked You Better When You Were Dead
Saves the Day – Sound the Alarm

ExplanationWhen we got ¾ of the way through the year, and we had Sleeping at Last and Saosin on our hands, I knew if one group and one record could outdo those two, it would be Copeland. And lo and behold, Halloween brought exactly what I would have hoped for. Eat, Sleep, Repeat is a dynamic, beautiful record. It essence, the album is the sound of a wonderfully deep and mature band growing into a sound that they have been developing for years.

Top EPs of 2006
05) Stacy Clark - Unusual
04) Goodbye Tomorrow – Goodbye Tomorrow
03) Fly Upright Kite – Every Breathing Moment
02) All Time Low – Put Up or Shut Up
01) The Dear Hunter - Act I: The Lake South, the River North

ExplanationThere were a lot of excellent EPs released this year, especially from “lesser known” acts around the country. Goodbye Tomorrow revealed a refreshed Travis Bryant united with an extremely strong band, Fly Upright Kite has some of the most potential of any band I have heard all year, and All Time Low is just going to be insanely huge in the very near future. However, no act shows more promise to me than The Dear Hunter. I am a sucker for storybook lyrics, and I cannot wait to see what Casey Crescenzo cooks up for his upcoming full length – epic, I am sure.

Worst (Most Disappointing) Albums of 2006
07) My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade
06) Angels and Airwaves – We Don’t Need to Whisper
05) hellogoodbye - Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
04) Taking Back Sunday – Louder Now
03) The Sound of Animals Fighting – Lover, the Lord Has Left Us
02) Head Automatica - Popaganda
01) Yellowcard – Lights and Sounds

ExplanationGood lord, where do I start? All of these albums had massive amounts of potential, but each any every one of these bands shit the bed more than I ever could have anticipated. Yikes.

Best Songs of 2006
10) Copeland – "Eat, Sleep, Repeat"
09) Rookie of the Year – "Enjoy This Drive"
08) The Format – "She Doesn’t Get It"
07) Brandtson – "Earthquakes and Sharks"
06) All American Rejects – "Move Along"
05) All Time Low – "Running With Lions"
04) Saosin – "Sleepers"
03) Rocky Votolato - "Makers"
02) Fair - "Unglued"
01) Sleeping at Last - "Umbrellas"

ExplanationThese need no explanation. I am a sucker for emotional, poignant, sweeping athems, and those are the brand of tracks that dominated my favorites. The others are just plain fun to rock out to, so why not, right?

Best Producer of the Year
Matt Goldman

Runner-Up: Matt Squire

ExplanationWhy Matt Goldman, you ask? Shit, look at his resume from this year – Underoath and Copeland. If that does not show range and prowess, I do not know what does.

Best New Band of 2006
The Dear Hunter

ExplanationCreative and artistic. Enough said.

Best Music Video of 2006
OK Go – “Here It Goes Again”

ExplanationTreadmills, motherfuckers:

Best Lyrics of 2006
02) The Decemberists
01) mewithoutYou

ExplanationAaron Weiss and Colin Meloy are poets, to be sure. Their styles of music do not always rub me the right way, but their lyrical genius is undeniable.

Best Vocals of 2006
05) Aaron Marsh (Copeland)
04) Jerry Scott (Downtown Singapore)
03) Dan Nigro (As Tall As Lions)
02) Ryan O’Neal (Sleeping at Last)
01) Cove Reber (Saosin)

ExplanationSimply put, these dudes have pipes. Respect.

Biggest Sellouts
04) Cute Is What We Aim For
03) Head Automatica
02) Cobra Starship
01) Panic! at the Disco

ExplanationSimply put, it is not about the music.

Best Live Show
04) The Myriad
03) Lovedrug
02) Circa Survive
01) Jack’s Mannequin

ExplanationSee them live, and be amazed. No autotune necessary.

Best Record Label
03) Equal Vision Records
02) Capitol Records
01) The Militia Group

ExplanationI have a strong feeling that as long as they are signing artists and issuing records, The Militia Group is going to be the best label in the business, bar none. No other label has the artistic integrity, variety, and overall fortitude of roster that TMG has. Not since Drive-Thru in the late 90s has a label commanded this much respect and loyalty. And I’ll be damned if they do not deserve every ounce of it.

Most Overrated Band
02) Set Your Goals
01) The Hold Steady

ExplanationNot saying these guys do not have talent, but I just did not “get” the creamfests that some users and zines had over these bands. I listened a bunch of times, and it never clicked for me. Maybe sometime in the future, but until then…yeah, overrated.

Most Underrated Bands
05) Downtown Singapore
04) Spitalfield
03) Idlewild
02) Lovedrug
01) As Tall As Lions

ExplanationNot sure if it is label issues, leaks, laziness, or whatever, but for some reason, a lot less people appreciate these bands than should. Every one of them is/was full of potential, and deserve more exposure than they have gotten. If you still are not familiar with any of these bands, consider this a cue to do so.

Best Other Music Websites
02) AllMusic.com
01) Pitchfork

ExplanationAllMusic is about as comprehensive as a site can get – their reviews are plentiful and incredibly accurate as well. As for Pitchfork, I fucking despise the attitude and pretense that surrounds that site like a big ass cloud of bullshit pompousness. But I’ll be damned if those folks are not some of the most talented music writers on the planet. Color me jealous.

Band of the Year
02) Saosin
01) The Format

ExplanationSaosin absolutely exploded this year – they issued a really strong debut after a long wait, and toured like madmen behind it. They have sold well, and deserve their high levels of success. As for The Format, they took a lot of risks in the way that they released their album. From the online combat of the leak to the independent issue of the pressed copy, The Format worked to fight against the music industry status quo. And when the brilliant Dog Problems sold beyond expectations, there were tons of us that could not be happier.

Best Movies of 2006
05) Miami Vice
04) Borat
03) Jackass 2
02) The Departed
01) Little Miss Sushine

ExplanationAwesome flicks that are well worth the $59 a movie ticket costs nowadays.

Best TV Shows of 2006
03) Scrubs
02) The Office
01) Heroes

ExplanationCheck out Heroes…it is ultra badass, clear as day.

The Next Big Thing(s) of 2006
05) Say Anything
04) Jack’s Mannequin
03) Cartel
02) The Starting Line
01) Cassino

ExplanationWhile Cassino getting big might be my personal bias/wishes, I will maintain they are one of the most talented acts to come along, and I hope the public rewards that. The other bands on here have started to develop into major players this year, and for them, the only way to go is up.
This review is a user submitted review from Steve Henderson. You can see all of Steve Henderson's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 37
11:24 PM on 12/01/06
Steve Henderson
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Steve Henderson's Avatar
I know everyone on the site has their regular readers and contingents, so I just want to thank all the users out there that read my reviews and interviews regularly. I would not have a stage if it weren't for all of your support, so thanks to each and every one of you. You make the effort all worthwhile.
01:24 AM on 12/21/06
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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you have shitty taste
01:26 AM on 12/21/06
Jason Tate
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Jason Tate's Avatar
You have shitty taste.

Edit: DAMN YOU DREW! Beat me to the joke!
01:39 AM on 12/21/06
is a brain in a vat
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12:46AM's Avatar
oh uncle rico...
01:52 AM on 12/21/06
Registered User
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Worst. Staff. Member. Ever.

01:58 AM on 12/21/06
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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You have shitty taste.

Edit: DAMN YOU DREW! Beat me to the joke!

But I wasn't joking......

I love you Steve.
02:24 AM on 12/21/06
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Yay for the Fightstar appreciation
02:27 AM on 12/21/06
samantha b-face
set the building on fire
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your lists pretty much rule
disagree with mcr though, i liked the black parade

04:44 AM on 12/21/06
Trollin' Absolutepunk.
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applesandcyanid's Avatar
Nah boo, I appreciate some of this stuff, well some of it is just retarded like the next big things of 06 list. Jack's Mannequin were #1 on VH1 for a while and Say Anything are all over the radio in Maine.
05:14 AM on 12/21/06
giddy up
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sasalukac's Avatar
awsome list... loving the choices
07:00 AM on 12/21/06
I'll let you in something secret
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sdbrown's Avatar
I completely agree with half your picks and completely totally disagree with the other half. I liked all the little explanations stuck in there though. Good job :)
08:42 AM on 12/21/06
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MemoryFades's Avatar
come on steve, you have to slide sff in the top ten! where's the love? haha only kidding man it is an honor to make somebodies list here, and you were one of the few reviewers who didn't write us off before he/she heard us.

many thanks.
09:12 AM on 12/21/06
Özgür Kurtoglu
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You seem to have understood that it is impossible to completely hate Pitchfork. About time!
10:15 AM on 12/21/06
Scott Irvine
Your Virtual Pnin
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come on steve, you have to slide sff in the top ten! where's the love? haha only kidding man it is an honor to make somebodies list here, and you were one of the few reviewers who didn't write us off before he/she heard us.

many thanks.

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