This year has been really long. I started out this list with 12 bands, but I took it down to 8 because 4 of them I didn't feel good about supporting. They just didn't do anything for me. So, without further ado, here is the list of what I've been listening to the most in 2006:

8. The Twilight Singers | Powder Burns

I checked them out because they were the headliners at the After Hours show I went to in Seattle. I liked them. Greg Dulli, their frontman from the Afghan Whigs, is most of the band. Put it on while you are home. It rocks, but it's a sensitive rock album. It's like a comfort food. You listen to this while you are chilling around your house in your sweats. Yes, it's chilling-around-the-house-in-sweats rock music.

Standout Track - "Bonnie Brae"

7. Built to Spill | You in Reverse

This is a welcome return to long rock songs. I totally agree with Pitchfork's review of You in Reverse. It is brilliant at times, but they seem self-indulgent and without structure on some songs. I still regard Built to Spill as the coolest Idahoans ever and some of the best songsmiths that side of the Mississippi, but I think they could have eliminated a few filler songs, or at least shortened them to make a tighter record.

Standout Tracks - "Goin' against your mind", "Liar"

6. The Killers | Sam's Town

I came to a point between this album and the first where I thought to myself, "I could only be a Killers fan if their sophomore effort was good. Otherwise, I think that I'd be forced to hate them." Alas, their second album also rocks. It was what I was hoping for. So, sign me up for the fan club.

Standout Tracks - "Bling(Confessions of a king)", "Uncle Johnny", "My List"

5. The Appleseed Cast - Peregrine

I wanted to name a band Peregrine before the Appleseed Cast released this their 6th LP. This album is a continuation of the greatness that is Kansas' own the Appleseed Cast. They have continued to push out their boundaries, but there is a thread that runs through all of their albums that makes them distinctly the Appleseed Cast. Their show at the Rathskellar in Madison was 45 mins. of rock (way too short). I bought the guitarist a beer, and he shared his college football picks. If you don't know the magic that is the Appleseed Cast, check them out with a quickness. They have long been a favorite of mine.

Standout tracks - "Silas' knife" and "Here We Are(Family in the Hallways)"

4. Maritime | We, the Vehicles EP

Milwaukee band, Maritime, is great soft emo-indie rock (just don't trip on the word emo. What is emo, anyway?). They articulate their notes well, and they take a few listens to get into, but they are the band that grows on you. I found their song, "Calm", in my head for days afterwards (in a good way). The lyric is: "...we are powerful despite our injuries". Good stuff. Go local music!

Standout Track - "Calm", "Tearing up the oxygen", “Parade of Punk Rock T-shirts”

3. Band of Horses | Everything All the Time

This Seattle band deserves it's spot near the top of my list. Another highly recommended album. It has been in heavy rotation since it's release early in 2006. This band formed out of another Seattle band named Carissa's Weird (read Waterdeep, but better and not really christian). Their sound is great straightforward indie rock. It's accessible and holds it's own over time. HOT!!!

Standout Tracks - "The Funeral", "The Great Salt Lake", "Wicked Gil", "Our Swords"

2. Afterhours | Ballads for Little Hyenas
This band does not disappoint. I was able to slip them in on a technicality. Their album was released in the UK in 2005, but was released in the US in March, 2006. So, here they are in my top albums of 2006. What can I say about after hours? They are personable, extremely talented, Italian, and seeing them live at Neumo's in Seattle only made me like them more. They are outstanding live. This Italian import has yet to be fully actualized in the US, but Manuel's voice is SO powerful on songs like "There's Many Ways" that I feel it's only a matter of time. They blew the lid off of Neumo's. I was yelling song requests throughout the show. Manuel talked to me from stage. I had people asking me what to buy by them after the show. They are that good.

Standout Tracks - "Ballad for my little hyena", "There's Many Ways"

1. TV On The Radio | Return To Cookie Mountain

This Brooklyn band took me a minute to check out. I was afraid that the hype would be disappointing (read my drawn out disdain for the damned decemberists), but I was very pleasantly surprised. This band is easily my top pick for '06 (Aught Six). With songs like "I was a lover" that opens with a looped horn hook, or the infectious single, "Wolf Like Me", TV on the Radio delivers on rock.

Standout Tracks - "I was a lover", "Wolf like me", "A Method"


2007 - I am already looking forward to releases from two Milwaukee bands: Lights Out Asia and Call Me Lightning. I went to high school with members of each band, and I admire them now as I admired them then. Check out their myspace's if you get a chance.

Also, here are some other people that have posted there 2006 music choices:

To close this post, here is one of my favorite songs of 2006. The song is "A Sweater Poorly Knit" by mewithoutyou, and dad and I were at this show at Cornerstone 2006.

So, what have you been listening to in 2006?
What are your best of's?
How have you been?

9:42 PM