Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Year in Music: 2006 edition

You will have noticed by now that I am neither very prolific nor very prompt when it comes to this whole blogging business. Take, for instance, the Ehmke(e) Awards, an annual ritual of mine for the last, god, at least 15 Thanksgivings. (This 2004 entry tells you all you need to know about the basic concept.) I never quite got around to announcing the 2006 winners, and now it's already time to reveal the class of 2007. I made some notes a year ago about who won what, and I even had pictures to accompany some of them, but now I don't know where the notes are and I don't want to take the time to find the photos, a process which would only remind me about a whole bunch of other posts I never posted here during my various extended absences.

So in the interest of moving on to 2007, I'm giving you the 2006 winners off the top of my head. Maybe I'll remember the missing ones later, or find those damn JPEGs, but if I were you I wouldn't hold my breath.

SONG OF THE YEAR: Believe me, this shocks me way more than it's going to shock you, but the award went to ...
Justin Timberlake (and, really, Timbaland) for "SexyBack". As proof that I made the right choice, I can still stand to listen to this thing a year later, now that it is a staple on the wedding-reception circuit. Thanks to the lo-fi vocal mix and the deliberately abrasive effects throughout, I'm pretty sure it's one of the weirdest-sounding songs to be a smash hit in a long time (although a lot of hiphop has been sounding pretty weird for a while now). Neko Case was runner-up for "Margaret vs. Pauline," which was stuck in my head for a long time, along with a lot of other lovely stuff from the Fox Confessor album.

CONCERT OF THE YEAR: This was very easy to pick. Pet Shop Boys at Hummingbird Centre, Toronto. I'd never seen them live, and it was one of the most brilliant shows/performance pieces I've ever seen, starting with the multiple faux PSBoys who began the show, then that incredible stage (an enormous and enormously malleable light cube), those dayglo outfits, the wonderful backup singers/dancers, and the set list. I'd catch them again in a heartbeat--and I have a feeling that, while the songs would be pretty much the same, the staging would be quite different.

Here's a video from a different stop on the same "Sodom and Gomorrah Show" tour, promoting a new concert DVD I just learned about. It looks fairly representative, in a super-condensed form, of what unfolded onstage in Toronto:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Uh oh, I don't remember. Maybe I'll find the notes and add this later.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Drawing another blank.

This is what I get for waiting 365 days to post. But fear not: the gap between 2006 and 2007 will be much shorter. Behold!

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