Rajeev's Picks For 'The Top 40 Bands in America'

Here are my picks for Information Leafblower's "top 40 bands in America" list. A few quick thoughts:

Making a list like this makes me realize, like Jason, how much non-American stuff I listen to. Between the omitted bands from abroad and the mostly European electronic stuff I've been into lately, a list like this ends up feeling like a very distinct subset of my take on 2006 music. That said, this is pretty much the new American music that I've listened to the most this year. My iTunes play counts were a very helpful guide in constructing my list.

Taking a close look at those play counts also made me realize how much old and "old" (i.e. non-2006) stuff I listen to. In retrospect, I probably should've included some of those bands on my list - in particular, Deerhoof and Sleater-Kinney come to mind, as do the Fiery Furnaces (forgive me, Eleanor...), Cat Power, and the Rapture.

I was really surprised to see Lavender Diamond make the final list. I've been super into them all year (especially post-SXSW), and I guess others share the feeling. They seem to have been the band to have inspired the most hate in the ILB comments, which also surprises me - I hadn't seen them get reactions like that before. Perhaps the exposure that comes with opening for the Decemberists does the trick. Who knows.

Thanks to Kyle for asking us to participate again! It's always fun doing something like this. Anyway, the list:

1. Lavender Diamond. Their first LP is due next spring and, from how the songs sound live, I suspect it'll be fantastic. I've now dragged five people to their shows and not once was a person was disappointed. Becky Stark's voice is almost enough on its own. I haven't been this excited about a new band in ages.

2. Matmos. Whenever I listen to "Steams and Sequins for Larry Levan" (which is quite often according to iTunes), I wish it would never stop...

3. Brightblack Morning Light. Chillout album of the year. Love the Rhodes!

4. Sonic Youth

5. Yo La Tengo. My love affair with YLT is almost a decade old now and it shows no signs of waning, especially not with an album as solid as their new one in the mix.

6. Asobi Seksu. They've been playing one great gig after another in NYC for a few years now, but Citrus finally does a great job of capturing them on record.

7. LCD Soundsystem. Only LCD could make a list like this on the strength of a single song. "45'33"" is just that good.

8. Au Revoir Simone

9. The Psychic Ills

10. The Evangelicals