PRINT December 2006


Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard


1 Jason Pierce, “Devil Town,” performed at screening of The Devil and Daniel Johnston, The Barbican, London Deceptively slight when heard in the context of Daniel Johnston’s album 1990, “Devil Town” was in Pierce’s performance rolled into a version of Spiritualized’s “Lord Let It Rain On Me,” unearthing the song’s fragile majesty.

2 J. Tillman, “Jesse’s Not a Sleeper,” from Documented: 2006 Tour EP (Keep Recordings) With few exceptions, we obsess about individual songs rather than entire albums. We came to Tillman via Damien Jurado and were so entranced by played nothing else for a month.

3 Nikki Sudden, “Green Shield Stamps,” performed at 12 Bar Club, London A new song from Sudden’s album The Truth Doesn’t Matter. He performed it in public for the first time at what turned out to be his final UK show. An enduring presence in our lives, Nikki was without doubt the last bandit.

4 Smog, “Rock Bottom Riser,” from Rock Bottom Riser (Domino Records/Drag City Records) Our turntable was unusually folk-tinged this year. We stumbled onto this title track on a free cover-mounted CD, which led us to trawl through Bill Callahan’s past eighteen years of recordings in just a few weeks.

5 Richard Thompson, “Mingulay Boat Song,” from Hal Wilner’s Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, & Chanteys (Anti) A haunting sea song about the island of Mingulay in the Outer Hebrides, which has been uninhabited since 1912.

6 Cat Power, “Lived in Bars,” video directed by Robert Gordon, from The Greatest (Matador Records) This standout from the colossal new album was made truly extraordinary by Gordon’s video, which features the Memphis Rhythm Band and a cameo by William Eggleston. This was the year that Chan Marshall stepped up to the mic.

7 John Cale, “Pablo Picasso,” performed at the Garage, London After a blistering two-hour set and encore, Cale unexpectedly returned to the stage to tear through a visceral version of one of Jonathan Richman’s most Velvets-influenced songs.

8 Devastations, “Take You Home,” from Coal (Beggars Banquet) A collision of most of our favorite artists that doesn’t sound like a poor imitation of any of them. It’s an equation that shouldn’t work, but with this band it does.

9 Liars, “The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack,” from Drum’s Not Dead (Mute) The perfect close to a mesmerizing album.

10 Wild Billy Childish and the Friends of the Buff Medway Fanciers Association, “John the Revelator,” performed at Dirty Water Club, London A riotous rendition, with Childish accompanied only by the stomping feet of a few hundred people crammed into the last ever Buff Medway gig.

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard are artists based in London. Their recent projects have included the performance and installation Silent Sound for the Liverpool Biennial 2006.