9. the sword, age of winters. nice riffousness. metal up your proverbial ass.
8. uv rays, night of the living dudes. best show in rochester. flying beer bottles, the uneasy sense that at any minute the place might collapse into one big brawl, mark falling down a flight of stairs. and the band not knowing about it until twenty minutes later.
7. peeping tom, self-titled. there i was, eagerly anticipating my order for "firecracker," the acting debut of mike patton, where he plays a crazy nut who rapes his brother as well as a crazy nut who runs, like, this circus. then i watched about half of the movie, turned it off, took it out of the dvd player, and wondered how i might be able to surgically remove the parts of my brain that had been exposed to it. at least peeping tom was awesome.
6. beastie boys, awesome: i fucking shot that! dvd. dude. don't tell the charming and delightful ms. westra, but i've never been to a beastie boys concert i liked. but this? i went to the little about ten million times to see this movie. (ok, 2 times.) now that it's on video, i can watch and watch.
5. tv on the radio, return to cookie mountain. when david bowie's singing backup? you have to know you're doing something right.
4. gnarls barkley, st. elsewhere. i think rolling stone (for once) got it right: "crazy" is the best prince song prince never wrote.
3. decemberists, the crane wife. "the island" - all three hours of it - is the bomb. and "shankill butchers" is the bomb. and the ten thousand parts of the title track? the bomb.
2. scissorfight, jaggernaut. my proclamation: no other band on this planet riffs as hard as scissorfight. i saw them - finally - this summer and get all goose-bumpy just thinking about it. just fifteen people, standing in front of iron lung, head-banging. awesome.
1. vernon reid and masque, other true self. duh. it's vernon reid, the reason i left the confines of my basement and all that dungeons and dragons and went to rock and roll. his depeche mode cover is, in my opinion, the best thing he's ever done, and his radiohead is a close second. that is, behind all that living colour stuff.