• Best of 2007

    Gen 8 2008, 0:21

    Top 25 Albums of 2007

    1) The White StripesIcky Thump
    2) Rilo KileyUnder The Blacklight
    3) RadioheadIn Rainbows
    4) Dustin KensruePlease Come Home
    5) I’m Not There – Soundtrack
    6) Kings of LeonBecause of the Times
    7) Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Living With the Living
    8) SundownerFour One Five Two
    9) Against Me!New Wave
    10) WilcoSky Blue Sky
    11) Jimmy Eat WorldChase This Light
    12) Straylight Run – The Needles, The Space
    13) StarsIn Our Bedroom After the War
    14) Streetlight ManifestoSomewhere In The Between
    15) Minus the BearPlanet of Ice
    16) Arcade FireNeon Bible
    17) Foo FightersEchoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
    18) Maxïmo Park – Our Earthly Pleasures
    19) Modest MouseWe Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
    20) Reel Big FishMonkeys For Nothin' And The Chimps For Free
    21) The ShinsWincing the Night Away
    22) The BraveryThe Sun And The Moon
    23) Queens of the Stone AgeEra Vulgaris
    24) Arctic MonkeysFavourite Worst Nightmare
    25) New Found GloryFrom The Screen To Your Stereo, Part II

    Just Missed The Cut

    Art BrutIt’s A Bit Complicated
    Bloc PartyA Weekend In the City
    Josh RitterThe Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter
    Say AnythingIn Defense of the Genre
    The Snake The Cross The CrownCotton Teeth
    Thrice – The Alchemy Index Vols. 1 & 2: Fire & Water
    Across the Universe – Soundtrack

    Top 10 Songs of 2007 (alphabetical)

    (Fork and Knife)Brand New
    Books From BoxesMaxïmo Park
    A Bottle of BuckieTed Leo and the Pharmacists
    Goin’ to AcapulcoJim James & Calexico
    Icky ThumpThe White Stripes
    Impossible GermanyWilco
    Keep the Car RunningArcade Fire
    Midsummer ClassicSundowner
    Please Come HomeDustin Kensrue
    Reckoner - Radiohead
  • Best Albums of 2007

    Nov 6 2007, 11:35

  • Top 20 Artists

    Mar 29 2007, 7:56

    List your top 20 artists, then compare your favourite song of theirs to what number it is on the last.fm artist page charts.

    Artist: New Found Glory
    Fav Song: Truth of My Youth
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 18

    Artist: Less Than Jake
    Fav Song: All My Best Friends Are Metalheads
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 4

    Artist: Brand New[/artist}
    Fav Song:
    Jaws Theme Swimming
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 5

    Artist: Big D and the Kids Table
    Fav Song: 175
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 21

    Artist: The Beatles
    Fav Song: Eleanor Rigby
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 2

    Artist: Reel Big Fish
    Fav Song: Down In Flames
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 37

    Artist: Incubus
    Fav Song: Drive
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 1

    Artist: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
    Fav Song: American Girl
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 1

    Artist: Bad Religion
    Fav Song: Atomic Garden
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 30

    Artist: Catch 22
    Fav Song: As The Footsteps Die Out Forever
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 15

    Artist: Jimmy Eat World
    Fav Song: Goodbye Sky Harbor
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 36

    Artist: Dire Straits
    Fav Song: Sultans of Swing
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 1

    Artist: Motion City Soundtrack
    Fav Song: Capital H
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 6

    Artist: Fall Out Boy
    Fav Song: 7 Minutes in Heaven (Atavan Halen)
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 12

    Artist: Ben Folds
    Fav Song: Bastard
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 9

    Artist: Say Anything
    Fav Song: Yellow Cat (Slash) Red Cat
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 12

    Artist: Atom and His Package
    Fav Song: Possession (Not The One By Danzig)
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 16

    Artist: Tom Petty
    Fav Song: Learning To Fly
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 5

    Artist: Weezer
    Fav Song: Surf Wax America
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 10

    Artist: Buck-O-Nine
    Fav Song: Round Kid
    # On Artist Profile Charts: 2
  • Top 10 Albums of 2006

    Dic 25 2006, 7:37

    To be quite honest, there wasn't really a lot of great new music in 2006. Good, yes, but great? Not so much. I spent most of the year catching up on some of the stuff I missed during the 80s (The Cars, Bob Seger, Genesis, acquiring most of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' discography) than actually seeking out new music. Much of what I liked this year were new releases by established artists than any new discoveries.

    Still, if this year is anything like last year, I'll discover a half-dozen 2006 albums within the next year that I'll fall in love with or find a new wrinkle in a currently mediocre album that turns it from good to great -- thus rendering this list obsolete within 6 months, max. But, as 2006 comes to a close, these are the albums that I like best.

    Honorable mentions: A Season in Hell, Liberation Transmission, Bring It Back, As Cruel As School Children, Over The Wall.

    10. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America: Granted, I only recently got into these guys, but this album really made an impression on me. With lyrics alternately nostalgic and bitter yet that always make you want to sing along, The Hold Steady manage to be both catchy and poignant. I call it dive bar indie rock. Perfect for driving, even better for drinking. This one stayed with me long after I first heard it, and I look forward to exploring backwards into their catalogue.

    Standout tracks:
    Stuck Between Stations
    Massive Nights
    Chillout Tent

    9. Light Grenades: Being a bigger fan of A Crow Left... than most, I'd definitely say Incubus' newest falls short of that effort. However, it does contain one of my favorite tracks of the year ("Dig"), a throwback to the Make Yourself/Morning View era of the band. The rest of the album is solid, if not spectacular. While some may have thought that A Crow Left... was a bit scattered, perhaps unfocused, I thought it perfectly embodied the eclectic nature of the band's album-to-album progression. Light Grenades, in turn, feels slightly stale, a step sideways instead of a step forward (but a good step, regardless, given what I said about "Dig"). I like it, but I don't love it... yet. I have an inkling that it will grow on me with further listens...

    Standout tracks:
    Anna Molly

    8. Coming Home: Pop-punk's finest are at it again. This time, the guys in NFG further mine their softer side, territory previously explored on 2004's excellent Catalyst. Pop-punk melodies infused with heartfelt (if a little tired...) lyrics, driving rhythms, and a few flourishes of strings and keys are the ingredients here, and the end result is a bittersweet, bouncy-yet-downbeat album. Gorgeous female backing vocals supplied by the lovely ladies of Eisely add a haunting touch that lends the album a bit of depth and resonance. Hardly groundbreaking stuff (despite my probably overly-complimentary prose), Coming Home is nevertheless a solid disc. NFG has been one of my favorite bands for years and they haven't disappointed me yet.

    Standout tracks:
    Hold My Hand
    It's Not Your Fault

    7. Stadium Arcadium: Ever since 1999's Californication, RCHP has been putting out some of the most amazing, complex, sublte, rocking music that these two ears have ever heard. As John Frusciante's guitar has become as important to the band as Flea's frenetic bass playing, the band has been able to consistently stay ahead of the rock 'n' roll curve. Now this year, with Stadium Arcadium, RCHP continues to progress to legendary stature. This album feels more like a compendium of the various styles and identities that the band has embraced throughout the years. Sliding effortlessly from up-tempo quasi-funk ("Hump De Bump") to smooth, polished radio rock ("Tell Me Baby") to soft, understated neo-ballads ("Snow (Hey Oh)") and back again, RCHP shows why they're one of rock's (and last.fm's) most revered bands.

    Standout tracks:
    Snow (Hey Oh)
    Tell Me Baby
    Desecration Smile

    6. Ben Folds - supersunnyspeedgraphic: Not exactly a new release -- and that's the only reason I kept it out of the top 5 -- it nevertheless still might be my second favorite Folds release ever (after, of course, Whatever and Ever, Amen). Compiling his three excellent EPs -- with a few extra tracks thrown in -- supersunnyspeedgraphic is Mr. Folds at his unequivocal best. He has always had the perfect combination of undeniable talent and self-depreciation, and this album showcases both of these sides of him. Eleven piano-pop masterpieces, with a pop-ballad treatment of Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit" as the cherry-on-top. Worth having, even if you own all the songs separately.

    Standout tracks:
    All U Can Eat
    Bitches Ain't Shit
    Songs Of Love

    5. Black Holes and Revelations: When this album first came out, I thought it would be number one when I made this list. That's not to say that the albums ahead of it necessarily blew me away (with the exception of what ended up being number one) -- two of them were alredy out. All of which means that I've cooled a little bit on the album. Not enough to drop it out of my top 5, but still. There are some undeniably great tracks ("Supermassive Black Hole", "Starlight"), but sometimes the band's esoteric lyrics get the best of them -- some of the songs feel pretentious, but without anything you can respect. They just feel flat and uninteresting. Yet, criticisms aside, it wound up as the fifth-best album of the year, so the highs are truly high. Epic and atmospheric, exacting without being demanding, some of the work on the album is truly great. But, as a whole, it remains uneven -- yet you have to give the band kudos for experimentation. Muse is one of the most interesting bands working right now, and one to keep a further eye on.

    Standout tracks:
    Supermassive Black Hole

    4. Brand New- The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me: I'm still not quite sure how I feel about one of 2006's most anticipated releases, other than the fact that I like it. Some of the songs feel like the best the band has ever written ("Jesus Christ", "Millstone", "You Won't Know"), but some just feel like filler ("Not The Sun", both of the instrumentals). It's tough to follow up an album like Deja Entendu, and The Devil and God... is certainly an admirable attempt... perhaps attempt is the wrong word, since the album is, overall, a success. At times haunting, at times beautiful, at times brutal -- yet always affecting. Jesse Lacey's vox (and lyrics) seem to take a backseat to the musicians this time around (most notably Vin Accardi's edgy, chiseled guitar work), and the result is a more cohesive album than any of their previous work. Without some of the more "meh" tracks (of which there were precisely zero on either Deja or Your Favourite Weapon), this might've been number one. Another likely candidate to rise as I grow more familiar with it.

    Standout tracks:
    Jesus Christ
    You Won't Know

    3. Like Vines: Say what you will about their record label, but I am absolutely in love with this band. Uber-catchy melodies, thoroughly beautiful harmonies, and some of the smoothest vocals I've heard in a long time. Polished to perfection in the studio, Like Vines is a step up from TSH's debut, So Sudden. Featuring more interplay between Bob Morris and Greta Salpeter (both vocally and instrumentally), the album is a more mature, melodic, and memorable. Like Vines is -- and I say it unabashedly -- indie-pop genius.

    Standout tracks:
    Don't Wake Me Up
    Wine Red
    Out Through the Curtain

    2. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not: This one took me by surprise. I heard "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" on the radio, liked it, and resolved to acquire the album. I did, and it proceeded to remain forgotten about until I put it on my iPod a few weeks later. After a few close listens, it grew on me. And grew. And grew. Et cetera. You know what I mean. The Arctic Monkeys' debut is trashy, invective, addictive, and a helluva good time. Abrasive guitars, devil-may-care vocals, deeply biting lyrics, and a general "fuck off" attitude all add up to one of the year's few great albums.

    Standout tracks:
    I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
    When the Sun Goes Down
    Fake Tales of San Francisco

    1. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife: Flat-out, drop-dead, unequivocally, the best album of the year. Their most polished effort to date, The Crane Wife might also be The Decemberists' best. I'm always a sucker for concept albums, and the band has built this album around the eponymous Japanese folktale. The result is a dreary, folky, at times almost-funky, smooth indie-folk masterpiece. The Crane Wife combines both poppy, accessible tracks ("O, Valencia", "The Perfect Crime #2") and epic, intimidating opuses ("The Crane Wife 1 & 2", "The Island") -- and the listener barely notices as they traverse the album. Listen after listen, the album is constantly unfolding to reveal new details, new twists (especially in the longer songs). With folky, strummy, guitars, soft yet decisive percussion and keys that are almost reminiscent of The Doors at times, The Crane Wife is easily the class of 2006 releases, and an album that only figures to get better with time.

    Standout tracks:
    The Perfect Crime #2
    Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)
    The Island

    So there you have it. A precious few five-star releases, a smatterig of flawed (potential) masterpieces, and a whole lot of solid music. This is my list as it stands now -- but just remember, there are dozens upon dozens of potentially great albums that I just haven't discovered yet. Some of them may even be sitting in my iTunes as we speak, forlorn and awaiting. May they be discovered and given their due as 2006 rolls into 2007 and beyond. And, if anyone out there would like to post anything they feel I may have overlooked, please do. Thank you, and Merry Xmas.
  • Weekly Top 10: 3/19 - 3/26

    Mar 30 2006, 11:34

    I listened to a lot more than I have in the last couple weeks. I also didn't listen to nearly as much newly-acquired stuff as I have been. This is a lot more indicative of what I usually listen to. Although, I think next week will be back to more new shit... I've been getting a lot of rap, so that might show up on there.

    1 New Found Glory (70)
    If I had to name a favorite band of all time, these guys would definitely be on the shortlist. I don't know if I could ever truly name one, but I think long and hard about the NFG. I actually got drunk and listened to all 70 of those songs in one night. So I was drunk by myself... fuck off, lol.

    2 Buck-O-Nine (27)
    One of my most favoritest ska bands. They really don't get too much love though... I think Twenty-Eight Teeth is one of the four or five best ska albums ever. Asbolutely fantastic. And Libido is thoroughly underrated. I wish they'd record another album...

    3 The Beatles (26)
    Do I even need to say anything here? Okay, I will... Rubber Soul + Revolver = FTW.

    4 Metallica (23)
    I actually cannot stand James and Lars, personality-wise, and I actually don't really like their older stuff, pre-Master of Puppets, specifically. And St. Anger just sucked. That said, Garage Inc. is their best album.

    5 Peter Gabriel (21)
    I'm only really big on his singles. A lot of his album tracks are too esoteric and just plain weird for my tastes. However, Solsbury Hill is an amazing song. As are Sledgehammer, Steam, and especially Shock the Monkey.

    6 Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (20)
    7 Tom Petty (19)
    I FUCKING LOVE Tom Petty, and his Heartbreakers. Probably my favorite individual musician of all time. His Greatest Hits album with the Heartbreakers is one of my favorite releases of all time. And Wildflowers fucking owns. Easily his most mature, lyrically affecting work to date.

    8 Jeffries Fan Club (18)
    Definitely like these guys. Like I said about them last week, they're just plain fun. Like I Voted For Kodos... fun. If I heard right, I believe the guys from Jeffries went on to form The Forces of Evil with Aaron Barrett? I love them as well.

    9 Arctic Monkeys (17)
    What can I say, I really like these guys. I'm usually the first to deride the "hot" new band of the moment (i.e. The Strokes, the White Stripes, Muse, etc.), but I always wind up coming around. This time, I just skipped the whole "hate" phase, and just loved them right away.

    10 Papa Roach (16)
    Haha. A bit of a throwback to my high school metal/nu-metal days. These guys really suck now, and I feel embarassed even listening to them sometimes, but Infest is actually pretty good, and stands up well, even today. I can't say the same for any of their other stuff, but I stand by Infest, lol.
  • Weekly Top 10: 3/12 - 3/19

    Mar 30 2006, 11:13

    1 Dire Straits (27)
    These guys were my first favorite band. My dad used to play 'em for me all the time... mostly Brothers in Arms. I actually think their first two albums are probably better, but two of my favorite songs are on Love Over Gold: Telegraph Road and Private Investigations. Lovelovelove these guys.

    2 Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (25)
    Discovered these guys a few weeks back, and just haven't been able to get them out of my rotation. They're just one of those bands that when a song comes on, you go, "This song?!? YES." Every song is just so catchy, it's uncanny.

    3 Foo Fighters (19)
    Ah, the Fighters of Foo. One of the most consistently solid bands out there. From their self-titled to their latest, it's all great. My favorite is probably The Colour and the Shape, but their best is definitely One by One. Make sense? Oh well.

    4 ZZ Top (18)
    Dusted off an oldie but a goodie, a la Bob Seger a week or so ago. I just love delving into a greatest hits collection and hearing so many songs that you know and being all, "These guys do this song?" Good shite.

    5 Rival Schools (15)
    Got their CD on a whim, and it did not disappoint. It didn't come out and wow me, but I was definitely into it... something I'll have to listen to a few more times to get a firm grasp on, but I definitely liked it.

    5 The White Stripes (15)
    I think these guys have been on here before. They're not a band that I'm head-over-heels crazy about, but they have some damn good songs, especially off of Elephant. A bit overrated, but not overappreciated. Dig?

    7 Thievery Corporation (14)
    I fell in love with their song on the Garden State soundtrack, so I got one of their albums. I'm very new to the whole trip-hop, downtempo thing, but if there's more stuff like this out there, I'll definitely listen to it.

    8 blink-182 (13)
    Ah, blink-182. They get sooo much hate. I guess I can see why, but I still love 'em, especially their last CD. They sort of got annoying during the Enema of the State phase, but they rebounded nicely with blink-182. Too bad they broke up. Oh well... hopefully Angels and Airwaves and Plus-44 will pick up the slack.

    9 Arctic Monkeys (11)
    Ah yes, the hot, critically-acclaimed band of the moment -- which I usually hate. But I heard "I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor" on the radio, and I was hooked. Then, when I listened to the CD, I found out they also sang "When The Sun Goes Down." Great, great stuff, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

    10 Jeffries Fan Club (10)
    One of the very few somewhat well-known ska bands that I hadn't heard. Partly due to apathy, partly due to how tough it was to track down their stuff. But I got it, and I loved it. Fast, catchy and FUN... something that ska seems to be lacking nowadays. Fun. Streetlight, ASOB, it's all good, but it's just not... fun. Yay for fun.
  • Because I'm bored: A - Z

    Mar 16 2006, 6:57

    Or technically, # - Z. I think I'm probably the last person to do one of these. I'm just a sucker for things like this. However, I'll be doing this right -- only one band per letter. That's right, going hardcore... or something.

    # 311
    A Atom and His Package
    B Brand New
    C Catch-22*
    D Dire Straits
    E EVE 6
    F Ben Folds
    G Garbage
    H Head Automatica
    I Incubus
    J Jimmy Eat World
    K The Killers
    L Less Than Jake
    M Motion City Soundtrack
    N New Found Glory
    O The Offspring
    P Tom Petty**
    Q Queen
    R Reel Big Fish
    S Sublime
    T Tenacious D
    U Unwritten Law
    V Van Halen
    W Weezer
    Y Yellowcard***
    Z ZZ Top

    *considered to be inclusive of all of Tomas Kalnoky's work
    **inclusive of his work with the Heartbreakers
    ***by virtue of being the only artist beginning with y in my collection.
  • Weekly Top 10: 3/5 - 3/12

    Mar 16 2006, 6:30

    This was a bit of a slow week for me, didn't listen to as much as I normally do. Weird fucking mix of bands though, I will say. And, with what I've been downloading, next week will probably be much the same.

    1 Queen (30)
    Okay, seriously. Who doesn't love Queen? Just the right mix of humor, theatricality, experimentation, and outright talent. The Greatest Hits that I have is a little long, but it's got everything you would want on there. I think a lot of people kinda forget about these guys. They're really missing out.

    2 Say Anything (23)
    Yep. They're back... what can I say? Try as I might, I can't seem to overplay them. Usually, I get tired of bands real quick when people play them too much, but there's just too much going on in each song for me to get bored. That said, I don't *think* they'll be back next week. But don't quote me on that.

    2 Rilo Kiley (23)
    My other new pet band. I've been getting into this whole folk/indie/pop scene lately, and these guys are among the best of the bunch. I'm a sucker for female vocalists, especially ones as intelligent and bold as Jenny Lewis. Their range is incredible -- everything from pop to ballad to atmospheric to melodic rock. I'm hooked.

    4 Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (14)
    An old classic -- this guy's songs were all over the radio when I was growing up. He's a lyrical storyteller (a la Tom Petty) that knows how to have fun as well. And while I have to give the slight edge to Metallica's cover, Turn The Page is a kickass song -- I hadn't heard the original in years.

    5 Muse (13)
    Critics drooled over these guys when Absolution came out. My knee-jerk reaction is to shun bands like that, but I bought the album anyway (as I usually wind up doing). I wasn't too keen on it at first, but the more I listen, the more I like. It runs the gamut from pretentious atmospherics to balls-out hard rock, and it mostly works. A few tracks are clear misses, but songs like Dying Thoughts Of An Atheist and the few singles they released make it a worthwhile listen.

    6 Bear vs. Shark (11)
    I just heard these guys broke up, so I busted out Terrorhawk (one of my favorite albums of '05) in memoriam. I don't really know how to describe these guys, so I won't even try. Just give 'em a try -- and keep an open mind, because these guys are anything but ordinary.

    6 Ours (11)
    Honestly, I only listen to this as background music, and it's phenomenal in that capacity. With haunting melodies and avant-garde sensibilities, it can take your subconscious to interesting places if you aren't paying attention.

    8 Thrice (10)
    If I had started using this journal thing a few months ago, you would've heard me babbling on and on about how great Vheissu is. I freaking love this album. I'm not too big a fan of their earlier, more unpolished work, but The Artist In The Ambulance hooked me right away, and Vheissu builds on that. While Artist was more or less a pop album, Vheissu takes a much more experimental, atmospheric (that seems to be the key word this week...) take. Love it (it also happened to be my number one album of '05).

    8 Straylight Run (10)
    One of my favorite acts to come out in the past few years. Their self-titled debut was probably my favorite album of '04, successfully melding pop, what some would call emo and piano rock. Michelle Nolan's tracks are two of my favorite on the album, and her sweetly haunting background vocals are present throughout the album. And she's wicked hot. So yeah.

    8 The Phenomenauts (10)
    I downloaded an album of theirs on a whim, after I heard from a friend that they had an interesting live show. I can't say I was disappointed, as I had no expectations, but it's not something I'd listen to regularly. Sort of a weird blend of folk and punk, with a space theme going on as well. Just... odd. Not in a uniformly bad way, just... odd.
  • Five by five

    Mar 9 2006, 0:15

    Five bands/artists that you will always love
    * The Beatles
    * Dire Straits
    * Tom Petty
    * Incubus
    * The Offspring

    Five bands/artists you will always hate
    * Creed
    * Simple Plan
    * Juvenile
    * Hawthorne Heights
    * Bono

    Five bands/artists you think are too overrated
    * Nirvana
    * Green Day
    * Aerosmith
    * Against Me!
    * Panic! at the Disco

    Five bands/artists you would like to see live
    * Tom Petty
    * Dire Straits
    * Ben Folds
    * The Eagles
    * Sublime

    Five bands/artists you liked when you were a kid
    * Neil Young
    * Dire Straits
    * Green Day
    * The Offspring
    * Coolio
  • Weekly Top 10: 2/26 - 3/5

    Mar 8 2006, 5:02

    Ska took the backseat as I went in a more experimental direction. Listened to a few new bands, dusted off some old stuff I hadn't heard in a while. I was pretty much addicted to Ted Leo and Say Anything, though. I really have no idea what to expect from next week... should be an interesting chart.

    1 Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (44)
    I went on a downloading spree the other week, and picked up a few albums by these guys, at the suggestion of a friend. All I have to say is, "Good fucking call." Catchy as hell, clever lyrics, undeniable talent.

    2 Say Anything (41)
    I was right, they're right back here. Their re-release of Is A Real Boy is fucking amazing. These guys just seemed primed to blow up.

    3 Against Me! (22)
    I keep hearing these guys are one of the greatest things since sliced bread, but I just can't buy it. They've got some pretty good tracks, but their albums just don't jump out and grab me. Don't Lose Touch is a great song though.

    4 Something Corporate (19)
    Oh, Andrew McMahon. So many people love to hate you. When If U See Jordan came out, I thought it was the lamest thing I'd ever heard. But since I got into Jack's Mannequin, I've gone back and listened to the SC albums and... huh. They're pretty good.

    5 The Get Up Kids (17)
    These guys are pretty much the precursor to all those emo/pop/punk bands that everyone's listening to now. I've never really been that into them, and a lot of their stuff strikes me as "okay" at best. I dunno, it'll take a few more listens to really formulate a good opinion.

    6 Johnny Cash (16)
    I'm not really too big a fan of his early stuff, but goddamn if The Man Comes Around isn't a great album. The sparse instrumentation and Johnny's cracking voice combine to make something special. The title track is awesome, as well as his covers of In My Life and Hurt.

    7 U2 (14)
    I don't listen to anything they've put out since the mid-nineties. ANYTHING. And I've always thought Bono was a fucking douche. Lose the shades and the ego, man. That said, their stuff during the late-eighties, early-nineties is some damn good music. There's really no point in denying it, and I guess that's why the drivel they put out now still wins Grammies.

    8 Frenzal Rhomb (13)
    These guys had been on the fringe of my radar for a while, and I acquired an album of theirs (Sans Souci) on a whim. A good find, I'd say. Fast, fun, upbeat punk rock with personality. Not the most polished band I've ever heard, but I'll probably get another album or two.

    9 Incubus (13)
    Ah, Incubus. One of my all time favorite bands. I've been into them since S.C.I.E.N.C.E. (which I still think is their best album), which is more than you can say for most Incubus fans. [/elitism] I think these guys are one of the most talented bands out there. I hear there's a new album in the works for this year? (one can only hope)

    10 High School Football Heroes (13)
    I've had their full-length for a while and think it's kickass stuff. So I finally acquired their demos, and I must say, they're one of the fastest-rising ska bands in terms of how much I like them. They kind of remind me of I Voted For Kodos a little bit. Which is a good thing.