fotoflexer_midlakeAs our editors prepare to (finally) release our Top 20 CDs of 2008 list, we thought we would correct a wrong and claim Midlake’s exceptional album “The Trials of Van Occupanther” an honorary best of 2006. We were just turned on to this fine concept album by our friends at the opium den known as PlanetRoz. I know why we skipped it 3 years ago: the title. Really? I hate/love goofy word mash-ups. Plus, they’re from Denton, Texas. Strike 2. However, I must confess I can’t take it out of the CD machine in my metal suit. Wowsie! It’s indie rock with all of the best elements of the 70s. Lindsay Buckingham guitar solos, Michael Murphy songs about horses, Steely Dan electric piano. Delightful, indeed.

It appears to be a concept album about either a European colonialist in Africa who has a dead, young wife, or an Appalachian miner. Kind of fuzzy on the details. But don’t let that deter you. Buy it. Today. Geez, I sure hope they release something new soon. I guess I could check out their MySpace page, but then I would have to go to MySpace.

Here are 3 gems to download: Roscoe, Young Bride,Bandits. Get started. While they get compared to psyche rock oddballs like Flaming Lips, Grandaddy and Mercury Rev, I’m not hearing it so much. While I enjoy all 3 of those bands, none have ever produced a record this good. Thus my mea culpa for excluding them from the party that was 2006.

Other new music news: Chancellorpink has released his latest, “Life Like Sad Music.” It is available through normal rock channels and  Samples available on MySpace as well. Check it out and get back to us.