I'm so far behind that I almost thought about skipping this part altogether and starting fresh with a new year. This morning, I'm motivated to do otherwise.
I wasn't as engrossed in the music scene in 2005 as I have been in the previous '00 years, but I tried to keep my ear to the ground. I usually do a "Best Albums" list, but always miss some of the best ones. Last year along I missed Joanna Newsom, Arcade Fire, and Regina Spektor. In 2006 Sufjan Steven's Illinios blew away the competition so much that I'm strained to think what would even come second: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Howl, perhaps, followed by Broken Social Scene. At this point I could keep going, but I feel more comfortable doing a "Top Songs" list. This are roughly ordered beginning with the greatest, but it's silly to compare such artistic pinnacles.
I apologize in advance for the whiteness of this list. "Special Awards" are noted to the right.
Antony & The Johnsons: "Fistful of Love" Best Guest-Appearance (Lou Reed)
José González: "Crosses"
Sufjan Stevens: "John Wayne Gacy"
The Raveonettes: "Twilight"
TV on the Radio: "Dry Drunk Emperor" Best Hurricane Katrina Song
Wolf Parade: "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts"
Bright Eyes: "Take it Easy (Love Nothing)"
Okkervil River: "The Latest Toughs"
Single Frame: "Exact Copy of This in the Basement"
Spoon: "I Turn My Camera On"
Bloc Party: "Banquet"
Imogen Heap: "Hide and Seek"
Beck: "Ghettochip Malfunction (Hell Yes)" Best Remix
Sufjan Stevens: "Decatur"
Cat Power and Entrance: "Do the Romp" Best Cover
Daft Punk: "Human After All" Most Welcome Comeback
The Kills: "No Wow"
The Decemberists: "The Sporting Life"
Stars: "The Big Fight"
Giant Drag: "This Isn't It"
Neon Blonde: "Chandeliers and Vines"
Karen O. & Squeak E. Clean: "Hello Tomorrow (adidas Version)
Soulwax: "NY Excuse"
The Bravery: "Public Service Announcement" Best Lyrics in a Dance Song
Kiss Me Deadly: "Dance 1"
M. I. A: "Amazon"
Nine Inch Nails: "The Hand that Feeds" Best Political Song
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: "Ain't No Easy Way Out"
Xiu Xiu: "Pox"
Broken Social Scene: "Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)"
Kanye West: "Diamonds From Sierra Leone"
The Postal Service: "Be Still My Heart (Nobody Remix)" Best Song Featuring Ben Gibbard
Robbers on High Street: "Spanish Teeth"
Halloween, Alaska: "All the Arms Around You" Best Band Name
My Morning Jacket: "Off the Record"
Death Cab for Cutie: "Soul Meets Body"
. . . And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead: "Caterwaul"
Aqueduct: "Growing Up with GNR"
Airborn Audio: "Bright Lights"
Fischerspooner: "Never Win"
The Cloud Room: "Hey Now Now"
Depeche Mode: "John the Revelator"
Louis XIV: "Ball of Twine"
Danny Elfman: "Veruca Salt" Best Vocal Song from a Film
The Go! Team: "The Power is On"
Circa Surive: "Act Appalled" Best Mars Volta Impression
The New Pornographers: "The Jessica Numbers"
M83: "Car Chase Terror"
Sleater-Kinney: "Modern Girl"
Antony & the Johnsons: "For Today I am a Boy"
Shout Out Louds: "The Comeback"
The Chemical Brothers featuring Q-Tip: "Galvanize"
Ludacris and Field Mobb: "Georgia"
Broken Social Scene: "Swimmers"
The White Stripes: "My Doorbell"
Ted Leo: "Since You've Been Gone"
Be Your Own Pet: "Spill"
Stepehen Malkmus: "Baby C-mon"
Prefuse 73 featuring Kazu (of Blonde Redhead): "We Go Our Own Way"
. . . And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead: "The Lost City"
Bloc Party: "Blue Light (Engineers Anti-Gravity Mix)
The Blue Van: "Revelation of Love"
The Bravery: "An Honest Mistake" Best New Order Impression
Bright Eyes: "When the President Talks to God"
Dangerdoom featuring Ghostface: "The Mask"
Dead Meadow: "Heaven"
The Decemberists: "16 Military Wives"
Iron & Wine: "Freedom Hangs Like Heaven"
Hot Hot Heat: "Middle of Nowhere"
The Impossible Shapes: "Bombs"
The Kills: "Rodeo Town"
Ladytron: "International Dateline"
The Legendary K.O.: "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People"
Minus the Bear: "El Torrente"
And a special category for songs I like but never want to hear again:
Franz Ferdinand: "Do You Want To?"
LCD Soundsystem: "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" Most Annoying Song
Kaiser Cheifs: "Na Na Na Na Na Na"
On second thought, maybe a best album list would have been better . . .