Well, without hestitation, the band & album of 2006 that continues to leave me speechless is the Long Winters "Putting the Days to Bed". I've heard these guys before...but none of their previous albums have captured me quite like "Putting the Days to Bed". Much like Colin Meloy of the Decemberists (who also make my Top 10 list), John Roderick's writing is so imaginative that you almost need to break it down line by line...and then put it back together again for anything to make sense. It's beautiful.
Van Hunt makes the list...he continues to be as true as an artist as there is out there. The Damnwells "Air Stereo" is a reminder that Alex Dezen is a seriously overlooked songwriter with "sky is the limit" potential. It was a breath of fresh air to have new music from Starsailor this year. A lot has been said about The Killers, but these guys kick ass! It's an easy way out of reviewing something to say "sophomore slump" - and "Sam's Town" is far from a slump.
Cold War Kids is the late addition to the list...it's scary to think that "Robbers & Cowards" is their debut!
The recent success that has found Regina Spektor is something that leaves all of us at the station - very, very proud. It is a true testament to artist development and stations like WTMD making a difference in the careers of artists like Regina Spektor. (and same could be said for Mat Kearney)
Without any more rambling...here's my Year End list (random order):
1. Long Winters "Putting the Days to Bed"
2. Damnwells "Air Stereo"
3. Killers "Sam's Town"
4. Van Hunt "On the Jungle Floor"
5. Starsailor "On the Outside"
6. Cold War Kids "Robbers & Cowards"
7. Gomez "How We Operate"
8. Regina Spektor "Begin to Hope"
9. Decemberists "The Crane Wife"
10.Gnarls Barkley "St. Elsewhere"
And earlier this year Dave Matthews Band released a 4 CD set from their show at Fenway Park in Boston (booo red sox!) Nevertheless, DMB covered "Sweet Caroline" - if you haven't heard it ... here it is to see!