Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Frederick's Anniversary Show

Off Broadway will be hosting the one year anniversary show of the closing of Frederick's Music Lounge this Saturday, February 3rd. Last February, Two Cow Garage, The Saps and Fertilizer Bomb played at the last show ever at Frederick's Music Lounge (read my review of the show here), and that exact same lineup will be gracing the stage of Off Broadway this Saturday. If you know what's good for you, you will be there.

Two Cow Garage - Alphabet City
Two Cow Garage - Found
Two Cow garage - Been So Long
The Saps - Broke My Spine
The Saps - Dead Friends
The Saps - Wait

This is the extended trailer for "The Long Way Around", a documentary on Two Cow Garage:

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Finn's Motel - "Recent Linear Landscapes"

Finn's Motel - (photo: Bob Reuter)

Thanks to Thomas Crone at 52nd City for pointing out that Finn's Motel just released the video for their song "Recent Linear Landscapes." The band also just recently released the full length album Escape Velocity, a succinct powerpop album full of indie jangle. They are playing at the Billiken Club with Gentleman Auction House and Target Market (stay tuned for a full post on them) on February 17th.

"Recent Linear Landscapes":

Noise Pop '07

This year's Noise Pop Festival, in San Francisco, has just released the final lineup for the event, which takes place over the course of five nights in later this winter (Feb. 27th - Mar. 4th). St. Louis' very own So Many Dynamos are playing this year, along with heavyweights like Sebadoh, The Dandy Warhols, Cake, Midlake, The Donnas, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Clinic, French Kicks and The Dwarves. The event takes place at various clubs throughout San Francisco, and you can purchase a wristband that will get you into all the shows at their website. So Many Dynamos will be sharing the stage with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Georgie James, and Pony Come Lately on Friday, March 2nd.

Here is the full lineup:
The Actual
Audrye Sessions
Ryan Auffenberg
Maria Bamford
Ray Barbee and the Mattson 2
The Bent Mustache
Black Fiction
Karl Blau
The Bird And The Bee
The Botticellis
Brightblack Morning Light
Built for the Sea
The Changes
Vic Chesnutt
Comedians of Comedy
The Coup
The Dandy Warhols
Death of a Party
Alela Diane
Dios Malos
David Dondero
The Donnas
The Dwarves
Erase Errata
Roky Erickson and the Explosives (13th Floor Elevators)
Ester Drang
The French Kicks
Ghostland Observatory
The Gray Kid
Gris Gris
Jolie Holland
Howlin Rain
Georgie James
Damien Jurado
Langhorne Slim
Lemon Sun
Love of Diagrams
Lyrics Born
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Magic Bullets
Willy Mason
Matt & Kim
Money Mark
The Morning Benders
The Mumlers
Alexi Murdoch
The New Amsterdams
The New Trust
No Age
The Old Fashioned Way
The Oohlas
Patton Oswalt
The Ponys
Pony Come Lately
Poor Bailey
Pop Levi
Brian Posehn
Josh Ritter
Zach Rogue
Scissors for Lefty
Sea Wolf
Will Sheff (Okkervil River)
Simon Dawes
Mariee Sioux
So Many Dynamos
Spinto Band
St. Vincent
State Radio
Street To Nowhere
The Submarines
Richard Swift
Trainwreck Riders
John Vanderslice
The Watson Twins
The White Barons
Women and Children
Wooden Shjips

Monday, January 29, 2007

Midlake live at the Paradiso

OK, I have been a big fan of the website Fab Channel for quite some time. Fab Channel is website that streams live concerts from The Paradiso (and other venues) in Amsterdam and then archives them for future viewing. The whole operation is top-notch. Owing to the time difference, I have spent numerous Friday afternoons at work, not doing work, watching an Arcade Fire show or a Broken Social Scene show on Fab Channel.

I suppose they got hip to the fact that the thing that made YouTube so successful and ubiquitous was its embedding feature and have added that feature to their website.

Here are four songs from Midlake's show at the Paradiso on August 16, 2006; "Roscoe", "The Trials of Van Occupanther", "Young Bride", and "Chasing After Deer." The whole show is available at the website. You should check it out.

Tapes 'n' Tapes

According to the kids at Pitchfork, Tapes 'n' Tapes are playing at the Creepy Crawl on April 17th. At this time, however, I'm not sure who they're playing with. I was out of town when they played the Creepy Crawl last October, so it'll be nice to catch them as they wind their way westward out to Indio, California for the Coachella Music and Arts Festival.

Tapes 'n' Tapes - Insistor
Tapes 'n' Tapes - Cowbell
Tapes 'n' Tapes - Omaha

The video for "Cowbell":

The video for Insistor:

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fake Post Sunday

Of Montreal - Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse:

Mogwai - Making of Mr. Beast (Part I):

Mogwai - Making of Mr. Beast (Part II):

John Congleton of the paper chase - "I Did A Terrible Thing" (live and acoustic):

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Be sure to come out to the Creepy Crawl tonight to check out surf-punk legends Agent Orange. The band's debut LP, Living In Darkness is a classic that any self-respecting fan of SoCal punk should know by heart. And I know you may be hesitant to see a punk 30-year old punk band that hasn't released anything noteworthy in years, but they still put on a great show.

Also tonight, if you aren't in the punk rock mood, head to Mangia to catch Ghost In Light, who put a on a great show to a packed house at Lucas School House last Saturday for their CD Release party, and Riddle of Steel, who are raising money for their Spring European tour.

Ghost in Light - Faces
Ghost in Light - The Snow is Soaking My Shoes
Ghost in Light - Demonolith

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Everything Comes Down To Poo

Playback|StL has put up my review of the Lapush/Jonathon Cour show on their website -- which is looking great, by the way -- HERE.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Coachella Poster Unveiled

Coachella has released this year's linup poster, and can be viewed at I also have substituted it for my previous post about the lineup. Their server is getting hit pretty hard with users, so be patient.

In the meantime, read my review and look at pictutes of last year's Coachella:
Day 1
Day 2

The Hold Steady and The Thermals

The Hold Steady and The Thermals are playing at Off Broadway on March 15, 2007. Both bands put on a blistering live show. The Hold Steady play straight-ahead, bluesy, boozy midwest rock'n'roll. The Thermals definitely have a more "punk" approach to their politically-inspired rock than The Hold Steady, but to be sure, both bring the Rock. The Thermals latest album, The Body, the Blood, The Machine, found itself in dozens of "best-of-2006" lists.

The Hold Steady - Your Little Hoodrat Friend
The Hold Steady - The Swish

The Hold Steady - "Stuck Between Stations", live at the Warsaw in Brooklyn:

The Hold Steady - "212 Margarita", live at the Sound Fix in Brooklyn:

The Thermals live:

Bonus: Kwaya Na Kisser has the recent "secret" Arcade Fire performance at St. Michael's Chuch in Montreal available for donwload here.

Coachella 2007 Lineup Revealed

Seeing the poster makes you realize how outstanding the lineup is.

Fake Post Sunday

(on Monday)

Belle and Sebastian performg "The Boy With The Arab Strap" at Coachella in 2002, from the Coachella DVD:

Ben Kweller and his bloody nose at the 2006 Austin City Limits Music Festival:

Ben Kweller's old band, Radish, performing on the short-lived Weird AL Yankovic show:

Friday, January 19, 2007

Last Dance at Mississippi Nights

Well, I am not at the last night at Mississippi Nights tonight, and I guess that makes me a bad aficionado and advocate of the local music scene. Be sure to check in with Annie Z tomorrow at the Riverfront Times Blog for her review of the night. In the meantime, download and enjoy these great shows from Mississippi Nights' past...

My Morning Jacket - 11/22/05
1. Wordless Chorus
2. It Beats For You
3. One Big Holiday
4. The Way He Sings
5. Golden
6. Bear
7. Lay Low
8. What a Wonderful Man
9. Off The Record
10. Donadante
11. Run Thru
12. At Dawn
13. Dark
14. O is The One That Is Real
15. Anytime

Camper Van Beethoven - 10/12/89
1. Steve Pick Intro
2. Flowers
3. O Death
4. Sweethearts
5. Tania
6. Chris station ID
7. Eye Of Fatima
8. When I Win The Lottery
10. Joe Stalin's Cadillac
11. (I Was So) Wasted
12. Take The Skinheads Bowling
13. One Of These Days
14. Morgan station ID
15. Turquoise Jewelry
16. SP37957 Medley
17. Before I Met You
18. David station ID
19. Opening Theme
20. All Her Favorite Fruit
21. Good Guys & Bad Guys
22. Seven Languages
24. Waka
25. Pictures Of Matchstick Men
26. Life Is Grand
27. David station ID
28. ZZ Top Goes To Egypt
29. Sweet Virginia
30. Loser
31. Act Naturally

The Shins - Phantom Limb

The Shins - "Phantom Limb":

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Decemberists

The Decemberists have just announced their US Spring Tour and will be playing at The Pageant on April 14 (a Saturday, no less!) with My Brightest Diamond. I couldn't be happier; their latest CD, The Crane Wife topped my Best-of-2006 list and many others, as well. I have only seen them live once, at the 2005 Austin City Limits Music Festival, and they were great. This will be a great show (Caveat: which, of course, is not completely set in stone until the venue announces it...)

Here is another "making of" documentary I found on YouTube. Not much to it, but it shows The Decemberists recording The Crane Wife:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3 (the photo shoot):

The Decemberists' video for "16 Military Wives":

The Decemberists performing "O Valencia" on The Late Show with David Lettermen:

The Decemberists performing "Sons and Daughters" live:

Also, in anticipation for The Shins' upcoming show at The Pageant on February 11, here's a good video clip of The Shins performing four songs at (I believe) The Hollywood Bowl:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ghost In Light CD Release Party

Ghost In Light are having a CD release party this Saturday, January 20, to celebrate the release of their wonderful new CD, After Fox Meadow. The show is at Lucas School House and will also feature Gentleman Auction House and Ryne Watts. The night promises to be one full of great performances. GAH are always entertaining and G(i)L put on an intense and hypnotic show. I have never seen Ryne Watts live, but I like what I've heard of them on record.

Ghost in Light's take on post-rock is highly atmospheric, employing an army of effects pedals and displaying a mastery of dynamics, and often veers into slow-core, nearly ambient, passages. The band's sound evokes everything from Sigur Ros to Explosions in the Sky to Jeff Buckley to Hum. This EP is the first of two EPs the band plans on releasing in 2007 and and features more upbeat tempos and louder guitars than the band's debut album, Dead Eyes and a Traveling Mind.

In a word, the new EP is Great. The EP starts out strong with the driving "Faces" and manages to get better with each and every song, culminating in with the best three songs as the last three on the CD. For as good as the CD is, I really wanted the band to extend out out some of the instrumental passages, such as the end of the slow-building, Sigur Ros-esque "Demonolith". Other songs blend together to form what other song-suite-favoring bands such as Explosions in the Sky might mash into one song; "Hypoxia2" serves as the perfect prelude to "Jovian Chorus". The muted trumpet of "Walls of Jericho" paints the perfect picture of ducking off a busy city street into a cold and dark alley and following the music in the distance. The song steadily builds into a swirl of pounding drums, hypnotic guitars and lushly swirling vocals.

You'll definitely want to check out the show and buy a CD this Saturday at the Lucas School House.

Ghost in Light - Faces
Ghost in Light - The Snow is Soaking My Shoes
Ghost in Light - Demonolith
Gentleman Auction House - Everyone Has Taken Their Hat Off But You
Gentleman Auction House - A Hospital or Heaven
Ryne Watts - 3 Months
Ryne Watts - I'm Sorry, Son

Update: Annie Zaleski has a feature on Ghost in Light in this week's Riverfront Times. You can read it online here. I found her description of "Demonolith" perfect: "The twinkling percussion and ebb-and-flow chords on 'Demonolith' is the desolate soundtrack to driving aimlessly on pitch-black freeways at night." That description sums up my feelings perfectly, especially considering I first listened to After Fox Meadow (twice) on a dark and cold drive in the middle of nowhere on Christmas night on the way to see Ms. Dividing By Zero and family in Bonne Terre, MO. I just wanted to keep driving and keep playing the CD over and over...

I also want to give a major "hats off" to Annie Z for vigorously and consistently giving recognition and attention to local music since she started as music editor at the Riverfront Times, especially considering she has not lived in St. Louis for long. To that end, she is starting a new feature at the RFT focusing on reviewing local bands, every week. This is what she has to say about it and how you can get involved:
"So in the name of self-improvement in terms of the music section, I've decided to implement a new, weekly column in the clubs section that focuses exclusively on local CD reviews. We don't always have space to run a page of reviews in the proper music section, and I'm always trying to fit in as much local stuff as possible. Look for the first installment in the January 25 issue of the RFT.

What this means for bands: I need your CDs! Demos! Half-formed noodlings! Please send them care of Christian Schaeffer to the Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130. And clearly mark packages as local, so they don't get lost in the weekly mail avalanche."


Someone sent me the link to this documentary of Tool recording their classic album Undertow. It's not so much a documentary that features any sort of commentary (or speaking of any sort, for that matter), as much as a true documentation of the recording (in the fly-on-the-wall sense).

part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fake Post Sunday

Mogwai - "You Don't Know Jesus":

Built to Spill - "In the Morning":

Riddle of Steel - "Baby Bird":

The Trip Daddys - "Double Wide":

Page France

Baltimore's Page France is playing at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room on March 11, 2007. The band's appealing mix of folk indie-pop are perfect for the Duck Room's intimate setting. The band has a new Tour EP out, called Tomato Morning Tour EP, which is available for purchase at Suicide Squeeze's website and from the band on tour. The following MP3 is from that EP.

Page France - Without A Diamond Ring

Friday, January 12, 2007

Apples in Stereo

Those grand purveyors of 60's power pop, Apples in Stereo, have a new album coming out, called New Magnetic Wonder, and it hits stores on February 6. They will be playing at the Duck Room on March 3rd.

Apples in Stereo - Energy (via yousnedit)

...And I assume you saw head Apple Robert Schneider perform Stephen Stephen on the Colbert Report as an intro to the Stephen Colbert/Decemberists Guitarmageddon shred-off. If not, here it is:

Memories of Mississippi Nights

Thursday, January 11, 2007


What: Gentleman Auction House, Tree Heart Orchestra, and Fleur de Lune
Where: Cicero's
Why: Why not?


While I can't say I saw it coming, it doesn't completely surprise me either; Sloan and Belle and Sebastian have become the same band. Apparently, the merger took place in London, sometime around 1974. That's the impression you'd get if you only listened to Sloan's infectious new single, "Who Taught You To Live Like That." Check it out for yourself:

Sloan - Who Taught You To Live Like That (via Indieblogheaven)
Belle and Sebastian - White Collar Boy (via The Torture Garden's Best Songs of 2006)

The band's latest album (their eighth), Never Hear the End of It, has a heaping 30 songs on it, yet never feels like it's 77-minute length could have. It was released in the US on Jamuary 8th.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Brain Regiment

Brain Regiment, a local band that has consistently been playing shows in the region for the past three or four years, has decided to call it quits. The band's take on alt-country/roots rock has a definite -- for lack of a better term -- psychedelic feel to it that is shaped by singer, songwriter, and vocalist Corey Saathoff's rough-hued lyricism and guitarist Jack Jacobson's fluid and effects-laden leads, both of which combine to form songs that stick with you as much as they resonate with you.

Here's what the band has to say about the end:

Greetings one and all... Brain Regiment wishes you a Happy 2007. We are wrapping up a new CD of tunes to get out to you this spring, so stay tuned for that.

On a down note, Brain Regiment will only be playing a handful of shows before calling it quits. While some of the band's members will undoubtedly join together for something new later this year, the final chapter of the band you know and love will be written with a "CD Release/Farewell Show" somewhere in St. Louis during late March... until that as-yet-unconfirmed date, [there are] three remaining full band shows for the mighty Brain Regiment. It's been fun.

Brain Regiment's second- and third-to-last shows are as follows (the final show will be in March):

Friday, Jan. 12 @ TEN MILE HOUSE
(9420 Gravois Rd., Affton, MO)
Brain Regiment w/ other act TBA
Music at 10 pm

Friday, Jan. 19 @ LEMMONS
(5800 Gravois, St. Louis, MO)
Brain Regiment w/ other act TBA
Music at 10 pm

MP3's (via yousendit):
Brain Regiment - Wrong Headline (from their forthcoming EP)
Brain Regiment - Full Speed Lobotomy
Brain Regiment - You Throw Satellites

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Hi-Pointe

Here's a cool little documentary by Leon Lamont on the last night at the Hi-Pointe.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Bishop Allen

Bishop Allen released the final two installations to their EP-a-month project on December 31. All in all, they released 58 tracks in 2006 (Eleven 4-song EPs and a 14-song live "EP" in August); quite the feat. They released some great music as a part of this project, pushed the boundaries of what most people expected of them, and definitely managed to creat a buzz about themselves with the project.

Here's what they have to say about the EPs:

Well, we've finished. December & November are out; two songs are posted above. We've packed all the love, sadness, joy, and wonder that we have into this year's 12 records. Come what may in our lives, we'll never be able to say more whole-heartedly: Happy New Year, everyone. Thank you so much for listening.

All of the EPs are available at their website.

Bishop Allen - Tea For Two (from November)
Bishop Allen - Calendar (from December)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fake Post Sunday

SO, I think I'm gonna start posting Youtube clips on Sunday so I don't have to do any writing or thinking...

Explosions In The Sky - "Your Hand in Mine" (live):

Mission of Burma - "Dirt" (live):

Thanks to Matt at You Ain't No Picasso for posting this and alerting me (and the world) to its existence... Man Man covering "Bulls On Parade" (live):

Friday, January 05, 2007

LaPush and Jonathon Cour

Last night, I went to Blueberry Hill's Duck Room at the request of a friend to check out two local bands - LaPush and Jonathon Cour.

I have been a fan of LaPush for awhile and have seen them live a few times. I first saw the trio about five years ago at a Sunday afternoon show at Cicero's with Dozemarypool and, I believe, The Floating City. At the time, I thought they were a great Travis-ripping acoustic/indie band. They seemed very likable. Last night was the third time I'd seen them this year -- the first was an in-store performance at Vintage Vinyl's 25th Anniversary party and the second was at the Duck Room during the RFT Music Awards showcase in September. Their sound has slightly changed since I first saw them. The most obvious comparison to their current sound is Muse. There is more distortion, more drone, and more compressed and slightly distorted vocals. This is not a bad thing, just an interesting development.

On stage, they are great musicians - the sound is impeccable and singer/guitarist Thom Donovan obviously knows his way around his guitar and effects pedals. The problem is, and has been at all the shows I've seen of them this year, that the band -- save for some hip swings and guitar slashes by Donovan -- hardly moves and they certainly don't engage the audience. The feeling you get is that the band is indifferent to being on stage and has absolutely no sense of humor about themselves. This was most apparent when I saw them at the Duck Room in September and a very drunk heckler was, um, heckling bassist Kevin Bachmann, who handled the situation with so little humor and so poorly that I was embarrassed for him, not the drunk guy. I feel bad saying all this because I really do like the band's songs, but I just wish they took themselves a little less seriously on stage and maybe, you know, smile a bit.

As for Jonathon Cour, I have two words about them: Radio. Ready. Jonathon Cour is a 21-year old singer/songwriter that is backed by a band of musicians from several of St. Louis' former "modern rock" radio-warriors such as Colony, Seven Star, Just Add Water and Lord Baltimore. On the positive side, the band seemed genuinely happy to be on stage and had a good amount of stage presence. Unfortunately, they also looked like they stepped off the set of the O.C. and probably travel with a stylist and a hair-person. Their image has been perfected to a science and their sound honed to attract as many 20-something females that consider themselves "into" music as possible. They are all, obviously, great musicians and Jonathon can sing very well, but it all just seems so inauthentic - from the hand-picked band of musicians to the perfect wardrobe, that it's hard to take it very seriously. That being said, I will probably look like a fool when you hear their songs on Grey's Anatomy or One Tree Hill next fall, which you undoubtedly will.

I have a couple interesting shows that I want to make you aware of. First, TV on the Radio just announced a spring tour, but no shows in St. Louis. they will be playing at the Blue Note in Columbia on March 10, in Kansas City on March 17 and in Chicago on March 12 & 13.

Also, on March 12, the Scissor Sisters will be playing at The Pageant. I saw them play there two years ago, and it was a blast. Granted, it was a midnight show on a Friday and this upcoming show is a primetime show on a Monday, but still...

Sparta is playing at Pop's on March 19. I heard good reports about their recent show at the Creepy Crawl.

Finally, the Electric Six are playing at the Creepy Crawl on May 2nd. I have missed them the past few times they've played in St. Louis, but I did manage to catch them once, at Coachella in '04, and thought they were great.

The Shins at The Pageant

The Shins have just announced a spring tour and will be playing at The Pageant on Sunday, February 11. The band's third full length album, Wincing the Night Away, will be released on January 23, 2007, and I can tell you it's a doozy. Not quite as much straight-ahead pop as Chutes Too Narrow, but songs like "Australia", "Turn On Me" and first single "Phantom Limb" are as good and poppy as anything they've done. If you have followed and tracked down various band and solo bootlegs over the past three years, you will have no doubt heard some of these songs in other forms, in particular "Girl Sailor", which was labeled "Won One Too Many Fights" on various James Mercer solo-performance bootlegs.

I saw The Shins play in St. Louis in what I think was their last performance here, at the Galaxy Club on Washington Avenue in support of Oh, Inverted World. There was a respectable crowd, but, by no means, was there much buzz about this little band from the Northwest. I imagine this show at The Pageant, however, will easily sell out.

The Shins - Phantom Limb

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mississippi Nights Closing

Well, if you missed the Bottle Rockets and Todd Snider show at Mississippi Nights on New Years' Eve and were worried that you missed the last show at the storied venue, fear not, as there will be at least one more show before it officially closes at its current location. Even though the rumors of its closing have been put to rest, the future of the club isn't entirely clear either, as Annie Zaleski reports in a recent entry on the RFT Blog.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Best of 2006

Well, the time has come: my Best of 2006 list. I hope you had a good holiday season and New Years. I suppose I should have posted this list before I took a break from posting for the holidays, but I'm a rebel like that.

Most people don't care about these lists, but they are usually good for a quick brush through. More than anything, it's a nice way for me to take stock of what I listened to this year, see what held up over the year, and take note of what I need to still listen to.

These rankings are based on a complex algorithm taking into account whether I think the album is objectively good, whether I still actually listen to it over and over, how much I enjoy listening to it, regardless of how objectively good I think it is, my expectations of the album, and where it stands in the band's cannon. That being said, these scores are relative only to one another, so no comparing them to OK Computer or Master of Puppets.

My Top 35 albums of 2006 (which is, frankly, nearly all of the albums I listened to this year from beginning to end). Numbers 21-35 fall anywhere from "good" to "meh," with several "disappointments" thrown in for good measure. Numbers 1-20 are my favorites of the year and albums I still listen to and consider great albums:

35. Trail of Dead - So Divided
Much better than World's Apart, but nowhere near Source Tags and Codes.

34. Joanna Newsom - Ys
When I'm in the right mood, I find theis CD to be really moving; when I am not, it is nearly unlistenable.

33. Elf Power - Back to the Web

32. Silversun Pickups - Carnavas
The hype had me, um, hyped for this album, but it didn't quite deliver the way I wanted it to.

31. Granddady - Just Like the Fambly Cat
I am very sad they broke up, but this wasn't the best way to go out.

30. Centro-matic - Fort Recovery
Probably just a minor dip in creativity from this otherwise brilliant band.

29. The Drams - Jubilee Drive
A little too overproduced for my taste, but it's great to see Brent Best still making music.

28. the paper chase - now you are one of us
It breaks my heart that I didn't enjoy this album as much as I wanted to. They just sound tired and out of ideas. I really hope they find some of the spark again.

27. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Three or four absolutely brilliant songs, but I don't find myself listening to the CD that much anymore.

26. Drive-by Truckers - A Blessing and A Curse
It's hard to follow up three straight masterpieces.

25. Tool - 10,000 Days

24. The Secret Machines - Ten Silver Drops
Considering how great their debut was, this was a bit of a disappointment for me.

23. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers

22. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
This is the first CD I've heard of theirs and I think it's great.

21. The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth

20. The Theater Fire - s/t
They deserve to be better known. Definitely check them out if you have not already.

19. Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA
This went way too far under the radar for most people, unfortunately.

18. The Flaming Lips - At War With the Mystics
I still listen to it, but I still skip about four songs when I do.

17. The Changes - Today Is Tonight
One of my favorite personal discoveries of 2006.

16. Gentleman Auction House - The Rules Were Handed Down EP
I LOVE these guys; I would have ranked them higher if this had been a full-length.

15. Beck - The Information
Perfect combination of his two sides.

14. The Long Winters - Putting the Days to Bed
This one grows on me with every listen

13. Built to Spill - You In Reverse
"Goin' Against Your Mind" may be the best BTS song yet. A great improvement over Ancient Melodies of the Future.

12. Baboon - s/t
Another band that the whole world should know about. Their best album in a 15-year career.

11. Mission of Burma - The Obliterati
Destroys my face every time I listen to it.

10. Yo La Tengo - I am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

9. Girl Talk - Night Ripper
You have to listen to it in one sitting; downloading a track or two here or there does not do it justice.

8. TV on the Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
Three brilliant songs, and the rest are merely outstanding.

7. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped

6. Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
Expanding their sound for the better.

5. Band of Horses - Everything All of the Time
I cannot express how much I love this CD. It was a definite grower for me.

4. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Love Their Country
MFATGG are my ultimate guilty pleasure. This is their base CD since Blowin' In the Wind.

3. M Ward - Post War
Brilliant. I love the fuller sound a whole backing band gives him.

2. Mogwai - Mr. Beast
The shorter songs are a nice touch. Although there is no "Mogwai Fear Satan" on here, "Friend of the Night" is about as perfect of a Mogwai song as you can get.

1. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
This incredibly ambitious, boundary-pushing, prog-rock teasing concept album retains enough of the band's touchstones to keep it in my CD player since (before) it came out. I certainly did not see this one coming from this band.

***Honorable mention*** - There is no way I could compile a "Best of 2006" list without mentioning Bishop Allen. Their one-EP-per-month project this year was easily the most ambitious project of the year and yielded some outstanding music. They released 11 4-song EP's and one 13-song live "EP" for a total of 57 released songs this year. That's the equivalent of 4 full-length albums. At least four or five of the EPs would have ended up in my Top 20, which would have just muddied up the whole process. Or, if I had culled my favorite 12-16 tracks from all of them and considered that one "album", it would have certainly ranked in my top 3 of the year. However, taken as a whole, which includes some less-than-perfect songs (hey, let's see YOU write, record and release nearly 60 songs in a year), the whole project easily finds itself in the same category as those "proper" albums listed in my top 10.

For the record, my Top 4 Bishop Allen EP's of the year are:
1. March
2. June
3. January
4. February