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    1.RYAN ADAMS - Cold Roses
    Hyperactivity is not necessarily a bad thing. Channel-ing the Deadís American Beauty gave him his strongest album in a short but very busy career. 29 and Jacksonville City Nights were almost as good.

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    More hooks per song than some bands manage in an entire career.

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    3.YOUNG DUBLINERS - Real World
    They have come of age in the last two albums. Like other Irish bands of note, now living in California.

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    4.THE WHITE STRIPES - Get Behind Me Satan
    It took a real long time for me to get beyond my initial expectations and finally listen to the songs.

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    This came out of nowhere. Retro-rockers reference Ginsburg and turn to acoustic blues.

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    6.THE CHARMS - Pussycat
    Best album from the garage last year.

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    7.THE MAGIC NUMBERS - The Magic Numbers
    I didnít buy the comparisons to the Mamas and Papas except for the fact that this is a very good pop band.

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    8.LUCINDA WILLIAMS - Live at the Filmore
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    LOS LOBOS - Live at the Fillmore

    Last year was an exceptional year for live albums. There havenít been this many albums recorded at the Fillmore since Bill Graham closed the place more than 30 years ago. These are good sets from two of the best live acts that Iíve seen in the last 15 years.

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    9.FRANZ FERDINAND - You Could Have It So Much Better
    No sophomore slump.

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    10.THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO - Sunrise Over Sea
    I think thereís more here than just an outback Dave Matthews.

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    11. OASIS - Don't Belive the Truth
    Their best since Wonderwall. Ofcourse they lessen the achievement by throwing in a live bonus cd from 11 years ago just to remind you exactly how much promise this band once had.

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    12.RY COODER - Chavez Ravine
    In his other world music travels to India and Cuba, he occasionally sounded like a tourist. He is much more at home here in the LA of the 1940ís and 50ís.

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    13.THE RAVEONETTES - Pretty In Black
    This sounds like a soundtrack to a David Lynch rock and roll movie.

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    14.THE DUHKS - The Duhks
    Eclectic Canadian folk group that seems smarter than the rest.

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    They are beginning to drop like flies. Nice mixture of straight gospel and covers of more recent material as theyíve been doing on the last couple of albums.

  • 16.WILCO - Kicking Television - Live in Chicago
    Proving that regardless of how experimental the group can be in the studio, at itís heart is a hell of a rock band.
  • 17.SLEATER-KINNEY - The Woods
    In which they find a grunge pedal and turn the volume up to 11.
  • 18.SON VOLT - Okemah and the Melody of Riot
    A tougher sound than in the past. Is Crazy Horse moonlighting while Neil works out some issues?
  • 19.TEENAGE FANCLUB - Man-Made
    Despite having a much higher profile in the 90ís, Teenage Fanclub has continued to make great guitar pop albums fully grounded in the Byrds and Big Star.
  • 20.KATE BUSH - Aerial
    Itís like listening to a time capsule from the 80ís. Her world does not extend beyond sunsets and the most current reference is to Elvis P. Totally unique.
  • 21.JOHN TAMS - The Reckoning
    Third album in five years after more than a decade away from the studio. Thereís a bit more reliance on traditional material this time around but the performances are still strong.
  • 22.THE REAL McKENZIES - 10,000 Shots
    Real men wear kilts and play electric guitar.
  • 23.THE DARKNESS - One Way Ticket to Hell
    This yearís winner of the ďDazed and ConfusedĒ award. Incredibly stupid fun as you spot the AC/DC, Boston, Queen and even Big Country influences.
  • 24.THE DANDY WARHOLS - Odditorium
    The anti-heroes from Dig! return to their roots with guitar driven trance music.
  • 25.PURPLE WIZARD - Purple Wizard
    The old guy is kind of creepy but for the most part this consists of well chosen garage-girl group- r&b- brit invasion covers.


  • 1.ARETHA FRANKLIN & KING CURTIS - Live at the Fillmore West
    Donít Fight the Feeling
  • 2.GRATEFUL DEAD - Fillmore West 1969 - The Complete Recordings
    See #8 above. Combined, they represent one hell of a week at the Fillmore. If youíre looking for peaks in the history of soul music, one of the candidates has to be Aretha, King Curtis and Brother Ray on ďSpirit in the DarkĒ. As for the Dead, their best work was a couple of years down the line but the album culled from these shows defined the band in concert for the rest of their career.
  • 3.VARIOUS ARTISTS - One Kiss can Lead to Another : Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found
    Chick mcnuggets.
  • 4.THE BAND - A Musical History
    I swear this will be the absolute last anthology or box set from the Band that Iím ever going to get. Thankfully, I think itís difficult to get any more definitive than this.
  • 5.SPIRIT - Model Shop
    One of those bands that I didnít really appreciate until 20 years later. Randy California was a very underrated guitarist.
  • 6.MC 5 - Purity Accuracy
    Speaking of definitive, this 6 cd box set of rehearsals, outtakes and concerts should close the book on what was one of the hardest hitting groups ever.
  • 7.BOB DYLAN - No Direction Home
    I prefer the more focused volumes of the Bootleg series to this hodgepodge but the video was exceptional.
  • 8.VARIOUS ARTISTS - Children of Nuggets
    Neither as comprehensive nor riveting as itís forefathers but itís a good collection of music on the fringe that kept me sane while commercial music sank into mediocrity.
  • 9.JANIS JOPLIN - Pearl Deluxe
    Simply for the live Festival Express disc.
  • 10.ROKY ERICKSON - I Have Always Been Here Before