Burning Oak’s Best of 2006

If you really want to know what I listened to this year, you’d be better off checking out my Last.FM. But as far as this year’s newbies go, here’s my picks. For the smaller artists you may not know, I’ve included online links to purchase their tunes. For the rest, go support a local independent music retailer.

Highlights of the Year (Ones I’ll Enjoy For A Long Time):

josh rouse
Josh RouseSubtítulo

A great album start to finish in a style that I liken to a less-playful Jack Johnson. My first reaction was that Subtítulo was perfect for light-hearted summer tunes, but the album has too much substance to just write it off as that. I guess in a phrase it’s a good album for a rainy day. “It Looks Like Love” has the best energy of any track on the album, so that’s my pick to share with you.

MP3: Josh Rouse – It Looks Like Love.


The DecemberistsThe Crane Wife

I’ve never been a big Decemberists fan and I’m just settling into this album, but I can already tell it’s going to be a personal favorite. My personal favorite thus far is the epic keyboard-rocked triptych “The Island,” however I still love the album start to finish as a whole. It’s so cohesive and full of depth of sound and lyrics that it would do the album injustice to listen to it another way. I’d share “The Island” but it’s a long tune and I think you’d be better off checking that out elsewhere, so here’s the slower “Shankhill Butchers,” which I’d guess is one of the less shared songs off of the album.

MP3: The Decemberists – Shankhill Butchers.


aaron schroeder
Aaron SchroederSouthern Heart In Western Skin (CDBaby)

This is the one on my list that most of you won’t recognize. Sadly I’ve failed to write enough about Schroeder’s tunes on here since I received a copy of his album in the mail. The currently-Washington-based 22-year-old has a signature sound that I’ve grown to love, and everyone I’ve shared the album with has agreed. And – if you end up getting any of the albums on this list, get this one – it’s only $7.99 on CDBaby. If you’ve never ordered a CD from CDBaby before, I highly recommend it, they’re the best at customer service of any music retailer online. Anyways, here’s “Rollin’ Tennessee,” I promise you’ll dig it

MP3: Aaron Schroeder – Rollin Tennessee.


Other Albums I Enjoyed (No Particular Order):

Animal Liberation OrchestraFly Between Falls

umphreys mcgee
Umphrey’s McGeeSafety In Numbers

tally hall
Tally HallMarvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum

chris berry and panjea
Chris Berry & PanjeaDancemakers

belle and sebastian
Belle And SebastianThe Life Pursuit

family groove company
Family Groove CompanyThe Charmer

PepperNo Shame

trey anastasio
Trey AnastasioBar 17

The DerailersSoldiers of Love


Albums I Should Have Checked Out But Haven’t Yet:

Josh RitterAnimal Years
Medeski Scofield Martin and WoodOut Louder
Willie NelsonSongbird
Tortoise and Bonnie “Prince” BillyThe Brave And The Bold
Jenny Lewis and The Watson TwinsRabbit Fur Coat
Yonder Mountain String BandYonder Mountain String Band
CornmealFeet First (CDBaby)
ElsinoreNothing For Design (CDBaby)
Elton JohnThe Captain and The Kid
Neil YoungLiving With War
Tom PettyHighway Companion
IslandsReturn To The Sea
GomezHow We Operate
J.J. Cale and Eric ClaptonThe Road To Escondido
The RootsGame Theory
Red Hot Chili PeppersStadium Arcadium
Bonnie “Prince Billy”The Letting Go
Scissor SistersTa-Dah
The Mountain GoatsGet Lonely
BeckThe Information
The Flaming LipsAt War With The Mystics
Bob DylanModern Times
Gnarls BarkleySt. Elsewhere
John MayerContinuum
Justin TimberlakeFutureSex / LoveSounds
Oh No! Oh My!Oh No! Oh My!
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou HarrisAll The Roadrunning

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  1. tom

    i’ll try to get into the decemberists. i guess i always thought they sound like they want to die. have you listened to ‘ys’ by joanna newsom? everyone is going nuts over that album. i know it’s a bit off from your genre. it would be like jay-z rocking out to celtic woman. it’s decent stuff. i wasn’t blown away by that harp, but it’s worth a listen.

    i consider trampled by turtles one of the best discoveries of the year (i mention this since i learned of the band through your blog, even thought their album is not from this year).

    overall, i feel that this year was somewhat weak. last year, when i heard the sunlandic twins, i had a dance party inside my head for half the year. nothing of the sort happened this year. this year i probably enjoyed ‘boys and girls in america’ by the hold steady the most. the lyrics are somewhat idiotic, but it’s a good listen.

    keep on blogging hard(er),


  2. Haven’t listened to Joanna Newsom yet, I’ll add it to my list.

    The Decemberists are kind of like Wilco or Ryan Adams, you can’t really like anything until you hear that one song that gets you into them, but from then on, you’re hooked. At least that’s how all three have been for me. Try “July, July!,” “Sixteen Military Wives,” or find a copy of “The Island” or “O Valencia.” Those are the better known, catchier tunes.

    I think you got into Trampled By Turtles a little more than I did lol. BTW, they just got confirmed for 10,000 Lakes 2007 next summer. I’ve had a number of discoveries this year because of this whole site bit, so it’s hard to rank them in my top finds even though they are really good.

    This year may have seemed weak, but that’s kind of how I felt about 2005, and most of my favorite albums from that year I didn’t hear until this year. Of Montreal, Feist, Panic! At The Disco, Ryan Adams (29/Jacksonville), Broken Social Scene, I didn’t hear half of these until after January of this year, although I did know about the Ryan Adams ones, I just hadn’t hit them up yet.

    I’ll add The Hold Steady to my list, never found the time to check ’em out.

    Blogging harder, ha, like I have the time in between naps and skipping class. What do I look like Tom, a productive member of society? Nah, I’m still in college, maybe another day.

  3. Hey, thanks for including “Soldiers of Love” in your list – although it wasn’t really a pick, just something you listened to.
    I guess I’ll have to give you one less noogie at the Christmas party this year…

  4. Ha, well no, it was a pick, I didn’t include a long list of crap I had this year. You just didn’t get into the three I felt like pointing out ;o)

    Most other sites do a big dramatic top ten list and stuff, I even saw one guy do the top 2006 songs of 2006. And he listed. every. single. one. Ridiculous, this is more my style. And you did get in the top 12 technically, somewhere between 4 and 12.

  5. Dad

    Yeah, blood is thicker than water. Basil just got into a bar’s hall of fame for a prior band you know. Gotta give him some respect for that. 🙂 But I agree….it was a “pick”, so that’s gotta be worth something.
    And hey, I see you got that JJ Cale/Eric Clapton thing in there….BELOW the Derailers by the way. But I have it. For a “fee” you can even listen to it. If you steal it, I’ll have to kill you.
    Just making sure you understand the boundaries.

    Take care.