10) Flyleaf - All Around Me. I hate myself for liking this group, and I blame it all on MySpace. It just goes to show you that Pastor Skip's line from the Movie, Saved! is true: You just can't tell the difference between christ-rock and secular music anymore. If I pretend that Lacey is singing to some hot guy, or girl for that matter, and not Jesus this song is amazing.
9) The Living End - Long Live the Weekend. Simply put this song is the anthem for every person who ever hated their job. The older generation had "Take This Job and Shove It" we have one of Australia's best punkabilly bands extoling the vertures of Friday through Sunday night.
8) The Be Good Tanyas - Ootischenia. I caught on to this record late in the year, so 8 is a pretty high spot for this Canadian folk/blue grass outfit. Their harmonys are amazing and they really have an amazing feel for the traditional sound. You might think they came from the dirty South but they're from the frozen north.
7) Pretty Girls Make Graves - Parade. These Seattle indie rockers have been at if for 5 or 6 years but they never quite hit it big here at home. They released their newest record two months eairler in Australia and the UK then they did in the US. I knew the Brits and Aussies had it better then we did. On this Track Andrea Zollo calls on the workers to throw down their push brooms and hang up their apron ties, and Strike! You gotta love a call to arms.
6) Killing Heidi - Decide. I still don't know if this song will ever be released, since the band is on a break. They were 95% done with their 4th studio record and they decided they needed to take a break from one another and try something different. That's not surprising since they have been playing together for 10 years. That said, it is my hope that Ella, Jesse, Adam and Warren get it back together and put this puppy out. Once again thanks to MySpace, because that is the only way I was able to hear this song.
5) Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken. I think CO lead singer Tracyanne Campbell may have one of the best singing voices I have ever heard. You get just enough of her Scottish accent mixed amongst her fantistic range and smooth tones. The song is reminicant of 80's pop music, but in all the best ways and is an amazing listen.
4) be your own PET - Bunk Trunk Skunk. This song comes off of my favorite record of the year, but is was next to impossible to pick a favorite. Jemina Abegg may be my new favorite rock singer (in close compition with Kate Jackson from the Long Blondes) because you get nothing but raw power and emotion when she sings. The first four tracks on this record cover about 7 minutes and all flow together so well I was tempted to put them all on the list together. "I'm a independent, motherfucker, and I'm here to take your money. I'm wicked rad and I'm here to steal away your virginity."
3) Artic Monkeys - Fake Tales of San Francisco. Ok, sure, you probably got sick of hearing about how these guys were the next big thing out of England. Well they are, so get over it and enjoy. I can only immagin that the best way to hear the Monkeys would be after your third pint, in a tiny pub in a bad part of town. They just have a very real grimy feeling to them, and it is great. To top it all off, they are another group who choose to sing with all the splendor of their native accent, marvelous!
2) Johnny Cash - Like the 309. This about as honset and real as music making can get. With Cash in the December of his life Rick Rubin let the the tape roll and captured one hell of an amazing song. "It should be a while till I see Dr. Death..." sings Cash to start the song, but he goes on to sing about being "put in my box" in an acknoledgment that his time is almost up. It is Genius in it's purest form.
1) Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Handle With Care. Ok, I know it's a cover, and some will say that the Wilburys did it better, but not me. Jenny Lewis penned some amazing songs of her own on this record, and two of them are on my list (#22, #86) but her version of Handle really jumped out at me. Some of the words that Dylan, Harrison, Orbison etc, wrote in '88 are so much more meaningful today. "Been stuck in airports terrorized, sent to meetings hypnotized. Over exposed, comeritalized. Handle me with care." Add to that the guest vocals of Death Cab's Ben Gibbard and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and you have the best song of 2006.