There are good times for the Boston music scene and there are bad times. But thanks to the return of key players as diverse as Mission of Burma and the Prime Movers, the rise of the-ain’t-afraid-to-be-artsy Dresden Dolls, a hip-hop scene that’s thriving even if it’s not well represented in our 2006 Top 10, an all-ages hardcore scene that just won’t go away, and everything from Abbey Lounge garage-rockers to avant-garde noisemakers, things are about as interesting as they’ve been in a long time. That means we just couldn’t include everyone, but, well, we thought of you all.
HOORAY FOR EARTH: Mixing rock guitars and dance beats.
1. The Dresden Dolls | Yes Virginia . . . | Roadrunner | After a tour opening for Nine Inch Nails and a big ol’ Coachella showcase, the Dolls came back with an album that proved their punk-cabaret thang ain’t no shtick. Or if it is, it’s working. Oh, and they have their own ART show. Is there anything this band can’t do?
2. Mission of Burma | The Obliterati | Matador | And we thought it was just a little reunion thing they were doing. Instead, they’ve come back to release what may be their best album ever. And they’re still one of the most influential bands to come out of Boston. Not a bad résumé.
Mission of Burma, "Donna Sumeria" (mp3)
3. Converge | No Heroes | Epitaph | See, punk is not dead. It’s just hiding under the guise of metal or some ’core or another. Converge are one of the heaviest, hardest, and most uncompromising bands around, period. In Boston or anywhere else. But we’re happy to have them.
Converge, "No Hereoes" (mp3)
4. The Lot Six | Get Baked on Youth Kulture | Plastic | Okay, so the Lot Six did the right thing and quit at the top of their game with one last release to keep fans happy. And then they spun off several great side projects, one of which has become one of the best bands in town, the hauntingly rootsy Frank Smith.
5. The Campaign For Real-Time | Yes . . . I Mean No | self-released | Any band who can combine hip-hop, rock, metal, and all the other stuff that goes into a typical C4RT tune and sound like more than the sum of their disparate parts has gotta be doing something right. This was one campaign out of Boston that was a winner all the way.
Campaign For Real-Time, "In Your Dreams" (mp3)
6. Hooray For Earth | Horay for Earth | self-released | Mixing rock guitars with dance beats is nothing new these days. But Hooray for Earth made sure that Boston had its own band who excelled at that art on their debut LP.
Hooray For Earth, "Simple Plan"
7. Christians & Lions | More Songs for Dreamsleepers & the Very Awake | ECA | Ben Potrykus must have known he was leaving something pretty good when he said goodbye to his frontman slot in the Receiving End of Sirens. But he must have figured that if he could do it once, he could do it again. Christians & Lions proves he was right.
Christians & Lions, "Sexton Under Glass"(mp3)