In no particular order:
30 SECONDS TO MARS - A BEAUTIFUL LIE
I’ve listened to this perfect album so much and seen the band so many times this year that I think I’m retroactively thanked in the liner notes.
SIGUR ROS - TAKK
Another beautiful album, and without a doubt the best live band on the planet. If you have not yet been converted to the Sigur Ros Army, get on board.
MUGISON - MUGUIMAMA
The most original band/person/alien to release an album in ten years. Completely indescribable, but a spectacular must-own.
BUCKETHEAD AND FRIENDS – ENTER THE CHICKEN
I know you think this is on here because of the name of the album, but I assure you Bucket earned his spot with this, his best album yet, which is saying a lot. Special guests like Saul Williams make this his most accessible release as well.
DEF HARMONIC - ALL THESE WORLDZ
Two years in a row now a hip-hop album has made it into my top ten... what's happening to me?!? Seriously, the fact that these Milwaukee artists are not known throughout the world is a crime! The perfect blend of George Clinton, Prince, and pure originality. Yeah, I’m spaced out!
ANDREW BIRD - ANDREW BIRD AND THE MYSTERIOUS PRODUCTION OF EGGS
One of the many great artists I was turned onto this fall. After seeing Bird’s live show, this album has stayed in heavy rotation. His lyrics are pure scientific poetry. After all, who else has ever rhymed "formaldehyde" and "fratricide"?
NINE INCH NAILS - WITH TEETH
Although they’ve been teasing Wayne and I by playing everywhere except Milwaukee (at least until early 2006-- Woo-hoo!), and it may not have been quite the masterpiece I was hoping for, With Teeth has provided me with many hours of listening entertainment. It’s no Downward Spiral... but then again, what the hell is?
VAUX - BEYOND VIRTUE, BEYOND VICE
Stunning and brutal. Keep an eye out for these guys.
ZOË KEATING - ONE CELLO X 16: NATOMA
A soundscape of layered cellos that both touches on classical music, and forms something completely new. Simply beautiful in its complexity.
MEW - AND THE GLASS HANDED KITES
Somewhere between Elbow, Sigur Ros, and Keane is Mew, who are destined for great things. I don’t know when this album comes out in The States, but it’s worth paying for the import just so you can say you heard them first.