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2006 – Diablo Rojo

April 7th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

Some time last year I decided to put together a playlist with one song from each year of my life. Some time later I decided to write about it here. I expected that I would be writing about the tracks themselves, what I liked about them, why I picked them and so on. What has actually happened is something very different. I have been writing about my relationship with music and the history of that: not so much about the music itself but how I listened to to it, how I discovered it, and other peripheral things like that.

In terms of my relationship with music, 2006 was a bit of a pivotal time. This was when I started downloading and getting away from feeling the need to own physical product. I was downloading from two sources. The first was e-music, which you paid a subscription to and could download a certain number of tracks in a month. The selection was erratic. It didn’t have all the common, popular albums so I would end up experimenting. Albums I would have got in 2006 from e-music were Ole Tarantula by Robyn Hitchcock, Bande a Parte by Nouvelle Vague, and Cansei de ser Sexy by CSS, purely on the strength of seeing them perform Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above on the Jools Holland show. I can vaguely remember catching up on back catalogue of bands like Ozomatli as well.

The other source was a bit more dubious. I had transferred to the Crawley office of our company and my new boss there recommended a site that he used. It was a suspiciously cheap Russia-based site. There is no way it could have been 100% legit, but I felt that as I was paying money for the music it was not piracy. I didn’t use the site for long because of other developments

All of this was partly because I was running out of space of everything. Some years before this I had flogged off all my vinyl to save space and some years later I ditched all the cases for my CDs which meant they would all fit into one big box rather than a wall of shelving in the spare room.

I don’t think I mentioned them before, but I was also finding that the cover CDs from magazines like Q, Word and Songlines were a good source for finsing new artists. In the early days a lot of the cover CDs were old tracks but the record companies had realised that letting the magazines use new tracks was a good promotional device, and some of the cover discs were very good albums in their own right.

All of this made up for me not working in London any more and not passing several record shops every day.

By now I was also buying music DVDs. I especially liked getting concert films of people I had seen, but also concert films for bands I never got round to seeing like White Stripes or Scissor Sisters. The other beauty of live DVDs was that it gave you a way into a band. For example, I had been aware of Rush since the 70’s but never really listened to them. By now they had such a huge back catalogue I wouldn’t know where to start. A greatest hits album would have been one way, but a ive DVD usually contains all the best tracks anyway and you get a better feel for the bad seeing them play. With Rush I started with their Rio concert. I did the same with Primus. A friend had recommended them to me so I got their Hallucino-Genetics: Live 2004 DVD.

Reading about Primus led me to reading about Phish. In their case I didn’t get a DVD but bought their Live in Brooklyn album. I figured that a triple-CD should give me a good enough sample of them.

Most of the other albums I actually bought in 2006 were from ‘heritage acts’. There was David Gilmour’s On An Island, Donald Fagen’s Morph the Cat and  Elton John’s The Captain and the Kid. No surprises in any of them, but I didn’t want surprises from them.

Albums from newer artists that I bought and enjoyed were Muse with Black Holes and Revelations, Arctic Monkeys with Whatever You Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, and Robbie Williams’s Rudebox. I think that Robbie Williams got a bit of a critical hammering about this album, but I really liked it. I particularly appreciated the cover of Manu Chao’s Bongo Bong/Je Ne T’Aime Plus, but even without that I thought it was the best album he had done.

During the summer I took the kids back to Croydon for the World Party, as they enjoyed the previous visit so much. The big name for me was Ojos de Brujo, who I had previously seen in Islington but it was also good to see De La Soul as well.

A highlight of the first World Party we went to was Rodrigo y Gabriela, who we all enjoyed. They released a new album in 2006 which was more of the same sort of thing. The standout track for me was Diablo Rojo. When my old cat Ziggy died in 2008 I got a little ginger kitten and called him Diablo Rojo after the track, though we just called him Rojo normally. He was an amazing kitten. He loved water, and was very affectionate for a cat. On Friday afternoons after I walked up the hill from work I would have an afternoon nap and he would curl up with me. Unfortunately he didn’t last long before getting run over outside the house, but there is no way I was going to pick any track other than Diablo Rojo to represent 2006 for me.

Rojo relaxing in the sink.

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