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December 29, 2006

Richard Florida

Best of 06

« Get out your crystal balls | Main | Mega-star cities »

Here are my 2006 "best of's" for music, books, television and film, roughly rank-ordered.

Sometimes I get down on music, but looking back it was a really great year. There are still many 06 releases, like Bob Dylan's Modern Times and Joanna Newsom's Y that I've yet to listen to.

  • TV on the Radio,  Return to Cookie Mountain. The most original and exciting new(ish) band in years.
  • Gomez, How We Operate
  • Corine Bailey Ray, Corine Bailey Ray
  • Cat Power, The Greatest
  • Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
  • Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  • Ornette Coleman, Sound Grammar
  • Sondre Lerche, The Duper Sessions
  • The Ranconteurs, Broken Boy Soldier. Proof that one really good song can carry an album. 
  • The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
  • The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
  • Beck, The Information
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium. Frusciante's brilliant guitar work makes this record.
  • The Who, Endless Wire
  • Cassandra Wilson, Thunderbird
  • Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

Books (non-fiction):  A lean year for books, but some solid ones out there.

  • Bill Buford, Heat.  The year's best by a wide margin. One of the best I've read in years.
  • Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness.  Proof that academics can communicate to a broad audience without dumbing things down.
  • Chris Anderson, The Long Tail
  • Alain De Botton, The Architecture of Happiness
  • William Taylor, Mavericks at Work

Television and Film: Ever since The Sopranos, television has shown it can compete with motion pictures. This year it did much more than that.

  • The Wire. Television and film at its very best.
  • The Office
  • 24
  • 30 Rock. The most hilarious thing I've seen in a long time.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • A Prairie Home Companion
  • Weeds
  • Big Love
  • Arrested Development
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
  • The Daily Show/ Colbert Report
  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • Borat


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