In order to begin, we must first know that while many of these bands & artists seem familiar to most of us…is it my fault that THEY are THE ONE’S who are putting out quality material? I think not. Hence they are simply voted into the crucial, the essential, the masterful, the chosen few, the coolest of the cool, the best, quite simply THE POOP!

While there are quite possibly 10 records that I could list this year, I am only coming up with 6 GEMS. Now I will mention a few at the end (that I was not fortunate enough to hear completely – only bits and pieces) However, If I had been so lucky as to hear them in their entirety, and own them, who knows? They too might have been right here on this very same list you are currently about to embark on. I present to you the succulent six, ENJOY!

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  • QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – Lullabies to Paralyze
    “Medication” for the most part kicks off this journey into greatness, once you get past the intro (Lanegan moaning). Great guests for the most part – aside from ML. Guests include Billy Gibbons, Chris Goss, Brody Dalle – the new mother of JH’s kid, Jesse “The Devil” Hughes (EODM), Shirley Manson, and many others. I like the theme of the record too – very scary! The hooks, riffs & vocals are right on as usual, and still fresh as always. I have not heard the live release from them this year, but the studio record leads off this years poop. Caught em’ live right after they released the record and as always- tremendous!

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  • SON VOLT – Okemah and the Melody of Riot
    Jay and his new band are delivering the goods just as good, and don’t hold me to this but quite possibly a bit better than his previous band mates did. The live show on the other hand varies depending on the venue & night. I saw them right after the CD came out – literally 2 days after the release at a free show @ NYC’s South Street Seaport, outside, on a nice spring/felt like summer night in lower Manhattan. They played for an hour & a half, possibly one of the finest shows I have ever seen, of SV or any band for that matter – I know quite a bold statement right? – Well it was. Then I saw them in October at Webster Hall in NYC, paid for the ticket, and it was one of the biggest disappointments that I could never have seen coming. I guess my expectations were too high. The sound was horrible, and I dare I say, I actually left before it was over (blasphemy). Now let’s get to the CD shall we? I mean this is not a live review poop, it’s about the recording they released. Quality through & through. The music, the lyrics, the production – all great. Some of the songs like “Jet Pilot” were short, and kept me wanting another verse, but still rocked. This record is typical Jay. Rockin’, heartfelt, pissed off, softy (“world waits for you” – very Neil Youngish) – Overall Definite poop from the 1st listen. The included bonus DVD was OK – standard stuff like the interview, some non-album tracks live etc etc. OK, I guess I’ve pooped long enough on this one.

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  • THE WHITE STRIPES – Get Behind Me Satan
    Diversity is everything with this band, keeping the great sound in tact. While no song sounds anything alike, it adds to the enjoyment. I guess the working with Loretta bled into his own record on “little ghost”. Songs such as “Denial Twist” & “Take, Take, Take” are 2 faves on the record, but overall still strong all the way through. Lot’s more piano on this one than in the past. The only real guitar driven rock song starts off the record, but the riff is infectious. I still never heard that coca-cola jingle they were working on, I guess I will have to get a hold of that in 06’.

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  • STEPHEN MALKMUS – Face The Truth
    While it’s no Pig Lib, and I think it’s minus the Jicks as well, however still quite good. “No More Shoes” is 8 friggin’ minutes long and has the essential jam for this record (ala 1% of 1). “Pencil Rot” starts things off nicely, while “Loud Cloud Crowd” also “sticks that in your craw” – ok, enough past references for those of you who are getting them. Just go and get it, if ever a fan, you’ll be glad you did.

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  • NADA SURF – The Weight Is A Gift
    Better than their previous effort, it rocks, it’s polished and it’s very melodic (hints of Sloan at times, depending on which track you are listening to). That’s it short & sweet.

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  • BECK – Guero
    This guy, while some might say he’s inconsistent, come on now, he doesn’t miss a beat. “Hell Yes”, “Farewell Ride”, “Rental Car” all are responsible reasons for the continued head bobbin’ throughout the record. Whether it’s samples or obscure instruments, he is easily one of the most unique creators who gets away with well, whatever the fuck he wants to, to put it bluntly. He can pull it off, and anyone else who tries to, will without question come under heavy scrutiny as they should. He’s the man, hence the 1 word name BECK, which is Latin for the word ________ fill in your own adjective. (Just make sure it’s positive)

    heard bits & pieces of,sounded good, but NEVER GOT TO HEAR IT ALL SECTION

    QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – Over the Years and through the Woods – Live CD/DVD
    WILCO – Kicking Television - Live in Chicago
    BECK – Guerolito - the remixes
    WHITE STRIPES – Walking With A Ghost- EP
    THELONIOUS MONK / JOHN COLTRANE – Live at Carnegie Hall 1957

    Wishing you all happy listening in 2006’