"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


the texas in africa year in review: music

Today begins the annual Texas in Africa year in review, based on this blog's topics. Today's topic: music.

As was the case in many other areas of life, spending nearly half the year overseas (and another 3 months away from Austin) left me a little out-of-the-loop when it came to music this year. Although I could download music in the Congo, it took up to a week to get an entire album, and that was if the internet connection and the electricity stayed on for three consecutive hours (read: didn't happen). It took just as long to download free MP3's off the music blogs. Add to that the fact that I missed a lot of tours (and saw no shows in Congo), and it's pretty clear that the following isn't nearly as conclusive as it would be in another year. That said, I did my best to make up for lost time this summer and fall. Without further ado:

Best Albums 0f 2006
  • Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way
  • Jenny Lews, Rabbit Fur Coat
  • Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  • Calexico, Garden Ruin
  • Centro-matic, Fort Recovery
  • Rocky Votolato, Makers
  • Golden Smog, Another Fine Day
  • French Kicks, Two Thousand
  • Loose Fur, Born Again the U.S.A.
Best Songs that are Huge Hits in Central Africa discovered in 2006
Worst Musical Crimes Against Humanity perpetrated by Nashville/CMT in 2006 (n.b., I blame the CPP's unhealthy love of CMT radio for the fact that I'm even aware of these)
  • "Tim McGraw," by Taylor Swift. This song is so awful I don't know where to start. Her lack of vocal talent? Tacky sentimentality? The fact that she actually wants to be remembered by the strains of a Tim McGraw song? Ugh.
  • "A Good Man," by Danielle Peck. Although the CPP and I agree that it's remarkable that the chorus of one song could describe one individual so perfectly.

Worst Mainstream Country Songs I Couldn't Help but Like (and download):

  • "Leave the Pieces," The Wreckers
  • "Every Time I Hear Your Name," Keith Anderson
Best Shows Seen
Best Fesitval Sets
Worst Show Seen
  • Tapes 'n Tapes at The Basement (Nashville), June - I was so excited to get to see Tapes 'n Tapes, a Minneapolis-based indie rock band that got a lot of hype in the first half of the year for their album, The Loon. The show was a total disappointment, little more than derviative post-punk and drunk Vanderbilt frat boys.


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