Okay, so I'm 2 weeks late and 2 items short of a ten best list. And one of the items I did pick is artificial butter. You should be able to infer that not much gets me excited anymore.
Also, not all these things came out in 2006. But they did come to me in 2006 and that's good enough, I figure.
1. Mozart in Egypt
A strange and wonderful album that I bought used on a lark in a local record shop. Egyptian composers created music using familiar bits of Mozart. Although I don't understand much about Egyptian music, its very different timbres and tuning make exciting and startling contrasts with the music I do understand.
2. Os Piratas Do Karnak
I blogged about this album previously. A really tight rock band from Brazil led by Andre Abujamra - if I understood the words they're singing in Portuguese I'm sure the experience would be ruined.
3. Fools Paradise
Fools Paradise with "Your Host, Rex" is 2 hours of "unsung" fifties Rock & Roll records every Saturday afternoon on WFMU radio. "Unsung" as in "really obscure" "Unsung" sometimes as in "can't carry a tune". Scrunch up your ears and it can become just like modren avant-garde music - only lots lots lots more fun. Rex lists the official gamut of styles as "vintage rockabilly, R & B, blues, vocal groups, garage, instrumentals, hillbilly, soul and surf". Lousy website, alas, but years and years of shows are archived. Get listenin'.
(Disclaimer - I knew about and enjoyed Fools Paradise long before 2006 - but the music I hear on this show (and nowhere else) remains such a kick that it still seems new to me.)
A fast-paced little space opera with a real plot, actual acting, humor and plenty of explosions. Everything George Lucas forgot about making decent movies in his recent Star Wars blockbusters. But Serenity proves someone out there still remembers how to do it - please, won't someone send me more escapism like Serenity?
5. The Huntington Conservatory
The Huntington, right here in Pasadena, is a collection of boring artwork, inaccessible libraries and fantastic botanical gardens. Gardens Beyond Fantastic. Their new Conservatory, modeled after one in England, is a fine place to marvel at strange natural beauty. Honorable mentions to their cactus garden and succulent house.
Lio, a new comic strip in the Los Angeles Times, nearly wordless, about a young boy with a There's Something About Mary hairstyle, who consorts with monsters and ghouls in the most pleasant way. Here are two strips, not really typical, in which Lio is called upon to provide music to the liking of his demanding, fluffy white cat Cybil.
Click on the strips for bigger strips.
Hey it's a website. I use a lot of websites. This is the only one that never seems to screw up, is well thought out, works as advertised, never loses an upload, and surprises me with features I didn't know I wanted. Check it out Blogspot, it can be done!
Some of my snapshots live on Flickr.
8. Soy Garden
If you're about my age and weight then your doctor has probably also told you to watch your cholesterol, like by giving up dairy products. For example, butter. But I love butter.
And anyone who thinks the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter crap in any way shape or form resembles butter must be missing a few senses. Fabio, are you listening?
But this stuff, Soy Garden, tastes like butter and it even stays hard in the fridge. Alas, it has all of the calories of real butter, but none of the cholesterol.
Ten Best Tags: Mozart in Egypt. . .Poobah Records. . .Karnak. . .Andre Abujamra. . .Fools Paradise. . .WFMU. . .Serenity. . . Star Wars. . . Huntington Gardens. . . Conservatory. . . Flickr. . . Lio. . . comic strip. . . Earth Balance. . . Soy Garden. . . I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. . . Fabio. . . 10 Best List
I Can't Believe It's Not Torture