As with any survey, it is the parameters that determine the final product. And so with year-end lists the content is a function of certain limitations. Which is one way of explaining why our list of favorite songs released in 2006 could actually be two lists (but isn't, because, you know, like, who cares, right?), and is tempered with some subjectivity. So the obvious guidelines: the song had to be initially released this year. As such, even though Meneguar's ass-kicking triumph I Was Born At Night was reissued by Troubleman this year, its original release in 2005 disqualifies the remixed version of "The Temp" from making this list. Also, albums that were supposed to be released this year but weren't don't make the list. Which means that although Haywood's "Far Rockaway" and "Your Bag" would technically make our top 10 most-played cuts of the year, the band never actually released their rock-solid posthumous As Long As There Is Track, I will Not Go Back this year. Not on the list. Finally, to make our list more varied, we include only one song from each charting act. Which means that even though Lilys' "Black Carpet Magic" and "With Candy" were near the top, we include only the former.
And so, with caveats voiced, we present to you our favorite tracks of 2006, as determined by overall number of plays this year in our ITunes. But there is one more thing. It should be noted that the relative rank of these songs tells a bit more of a story than you might think. Take for example tracks one and 10: The Hold Steady topped our list despite releasing their record just this fall, while Lilys' "Black Carpet Magic," from a record we received here at HQ in late December of 2005, just squeaks in under the wire. What does that mean? It means that Craig Finn and crew only had a few months to rack up the thirty-something plays that placed it atop this list, whereas Mr. Heasley had the whole of 2006 to garner a still impressive play count. Yes, we played the crap out of The Hold Steady tune. Finally, just a note about a top albums list for the year: we're still on the fence about doing one, but we are leaning towards doing it if only as a means of further emphasizing records we really enjoyed this year that we think got short shrift from the wider blogosphere. Anyhoo, here's the list, with MP3 links to boot -- so get ready to right click and save as.
1. The Hold Steady -- "Chips Ahoy!" [MP3] -- Boys And Girls In America
2. Human Television -- "In Front Of The House" [MP3] -- Look At Who You're Talking To
3. Okay Paddy -- "Fraktur" [Live version MP3] -- The Cactus Has A Point
4. The Lemonheads -- "No Backbone" [MP3] -- The Lemonheads
5. Asobi Seksu -- "New Years" [MP3] -- Citrus
6. The Mobius Band -- "A Hint Of Blood (Demo)" [MP3] -- Website Download
7. Fields -- "Brittlesticks" [MP3] -- 7 From The Village
8. Lilys -- "Black Carpet Magic" [stream] -- Everything Wrong Is Imaginary
9. Snowden -- "Anti Anti" [MP3] -- Anti Anti
10. Destroyer -- "European Oils"[stream] -- Your Blood