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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
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Monday, January 15, 2007
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Friday, January 12, 2007
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Monday, March 21, 2005
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Saturday, March 19, 2005
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Monday, February 14, 2005
Matt Landry's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Wednesday, February 2, 2005
David Howie's 'Moments' From The Year 2004

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Thursday, January 20, 2005
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Johnny Walker (Black)'s Top 10 Of 2004

Wednesday, January 5, 2005
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005
Mark Mordue's Fave Albums Of 2004

Monday, January 3, 2005
Lee Templeton's Fave Recordings Of 2004

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Matt Landry's Fave Recordings Of 2004

In no particular order:

Broken Social Scene, You Forgot It in People (Arts & Crafts): Toronto's Arts & Crafts collective, transformed from a hipster's online PBR whisper to a masterful musical monolith. From the dreamy romantic waltz of "Lover's Spit" to the driving drama of "Cause=Time" and "Almost Crimes" to the curious "Anthems for a Seventeen-Year Old Girl," no band today is constructing music as enthralling as this.

Interpol, Antics (Matador): They did it again. While not much of a departure from their debut, Antics is the natural next step forward for the chic East Villagers. The strength of this record is the middle — "Slow Hands," "Not an Exit" and "Public Pervert," all get to the center of why this band is so good: dense, dynamic compositions that "make a man want to pick up his guitar."

ISIS, Panopticon (Ipepac): 2001's Celestial took us into space and beyond the Milky Way. 2002's Oceanic wedged us deep into the light and dark of the deep. With Panopticon, ISIS reflect on Foucault's blackened conceptualization of power, which is appropriate given Aaron Turner's purposefully indecipherable lyrics. ISIS might be the only band in the world who can condense and focus their sound, and not one song on Panopticon weighs in at less than 6 minutes and 47 seconds…

Jay-Z, The Black Album (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam): Shawn Carter executes the best retirement trip around the bases since Ted Williams; Kanye West, Just Blaze, Eminem, Timbaland and even Rick Rubin come along in supporting roles. H.O.V.A. leaves the game to start and end careers in the executive chair at Def Jam, but I've got a feeling that he'll be back like MJ to win a few more titles.

Mastodon, Leviathan (Relapse): Any time a metal band from Atlanta assembles a concept album around the story of Moby Dick you run below deck… and stay there. The first cut, "Blood and Thunder," begins with the line, "I think someone is trying to kill me/ Infecting my body, destroying my mind," and you believe it. Propelled by the octopus drumming of Brann Dailor, this record is simple, unrelenting punishment.

Pixies, Amherst MA 11-30-2004 (DiscLive): Kim's the only one with any hair left, but they ran through 29 of the best songs in rock on a world tour no one saw coming — including the Pixies. Charles Thompson/Frank Black/Black Francis maintained the vocal chops to pull off all the grunts and yelps; in spite of everything Kim still sounds like an angel with a smack problem; Dave Lovering is just happy he isn't pulling rabbits out of hats in Vegas or Atlantic City; and Joey Santiago gets a college fund for his kids — not a bad way to spend a year.

Read Yellow, Radios Burn Faster (Fenway Records): You've heard it before. Fugazi meets Social D meets At the Drive-In meets whatever… Read Yellow specializes in tight songs that don't always go where you anticipate; aided by the dynamic production from Boston legend Paul Q Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies, Hole, Mighty Mighty Bosstones), Radios Burn Faster is the kind of album mall-punk fans should be buying. Featuring a dual guitar attack, with a monkey behind the drum set and a sharp, chick bass player and you've got Boston's best hope for an international impact since… Los Pixies.

TV on the Radio, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (Touch & Go): Oh, Williamsburg… how we hate and love you so. TV on the Radio = Barber Shop/Doo Wop meets CBGB's & RISD. While this record is imperfect, nothing else sounded as fresh in 2004. Live, this band was unparalleled; Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone's harmonies were lucid and lively, they added a tight rhythm section that fleshed out the album's cold recording, and David Andrew Sitek's guitar was loud as fuck. I walked out of the show feeling like I had just seen The Ramones in 1975 — the next album from these guys might change music.

Dillinger Escape Plan, Miss Machine (Relapse): It really doesn't matter who sings for Dillinger Escape Plan, whether it's original singer Dimitri Minakakis, pinch-hitter Mike Patton or current seatholder Greg Puciato. Singing is merely another element of the DEP hurricane to survive. Miss Machine is an indescribable musical car crash, featuring more time changes in the first two songs than on the last three Metallica albums. I recommend it highly for mall shopping; it has a way of making the chaos much more… calming.

* The Walkmen, Bows & Arrows (Record Collection): "The Rat" is the song of the year. The first time I heard it, I bought the record the same day, especially after loving their debut, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone. But after a few listens, the rest of the CD just didn't match up to the blind and bored blister of "The Rat." Still, I kept playing the record, and I continued to play it, over and over and over. I warmed up to it, enjoying the nuance of the slow ballad "Hang On, Siobhan" and the determined, angry shuffle of "No Christmas While I'm Talking" and the title track. Too often in our iPod/Napster/RealRhapsody world we don't give a record time to breathe; Bows & Arrows was an investment worth making.

Five That Didn't Make It, But Should Have

Dear Leader, All I Ever Wanted Was Tonight (Lunch Records): Aaron Perrino from the Sheila Divine is back. He can still out-sing anyone, and he writes a good pop tune too.

Kanye West, The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam): Super producer gives hip-hop a conscience and it sells like crazy. Any time Freeway and Mos Def share the same mic, as they did on "Two Worlds," you've got something worth hearing.

Madvillain, Madvillainy (Stones Throw): Madlib and MF Doom put their blunts together to create hip-hop's first ADD comic book.

Oceansize, Effloresce, (Beggar's Banquet): Quiet, loud, influenced by Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, My Bloody Valentine and ISIS, Effloresce was the most atmospheric rock debut of 2004.

Pretty Girls Make Graves, The New Romance (Matador): They stayed together and took another tiny step towards becoming punk's modern version of The Pretenders.

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