Listen to the top rock records of 2006

Better late than never, here is my submission to the best-of-2006 music debate.

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After dutiful collecting and listening to dozens of new records this year, here are my favorite five rock and roll picks from 2006:

Silversun Pickups (Carnavas) — This is an exciting band with an urgent yet sonic sound. They have the brown sound of the Smashing Pumpkins in Gish and a set of great songs on their CD. Groomed in Silver Lake (LA), they are poised for something big.

Raconteurs (Broken Boy Soldiers) – Jack White joins forces with players from The Greenhornes and songwriter Brandon Bensen to create a perfect rock record. Part seventies, part sonic youth – this record is chocked full of great songs. Steady As She Goes is the song of the year – as 7 Nation Army was back in ’02.

Babyshambles (Down in Albion) – When Pete Doherty imploded The Libertines, he immediately took up Babyshambles and wrote a bucket of great songs for the debut CD. There is a realness and urgency to Doherty’s songwriting, and it comes through throughout Down In Abion.

Artic Monkeys (What People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not) – Way back in the beginning of 2006, the new Monkeys landed in North America. We caught them in San Francisco at a packed house gig. This debut record delivers a strong point of view and an aingst that reminds me of The Clash. Ten great songs make this CD a must own from 2006.

Red Hot Chili Peppers (Stadium Arcadium) – I found this record to be an unexpected surprise. The first time I played it, I heard their energy delivered in full force. Huzzah! Rick Ruben captures this incredible foursome (especially John Frusciante’s soaring but simple guitar work) and this double record is a great psyche-up-work-out tool. Who says a bunch of forty-somethings can’t rock?

Honorable Mentions:
Phoenix (great new band from Paris),
Morningwood (The Motels meet the B52s),
Beck (The Information means he’s back/beck).
Sam’s Town by the Killers (If the backend of the CD was as good as the first 20 minutes, it would have been on my top-five list!)