We appear to be smack-gob in the middle of another golden age of music, at least for the music I like.
In 2006 a man named Mathias hired me for the second time, I moved from Leyton E10 to South Woodford E18, I turned 32 and my band Little Monkeys released a live album on 6th June (6/6/6).
Twitter was launched, NASA successfully obtained dust from a comet, Pluto lost its status as a planet, Ban Ki-moon became head of the UN and Paul McCartney - writer of the song "When I'm 64" - turned 64.
And there was some music.
Buckcherry - 15
Buckcherry went and vanished for a while after their epic 2001 release Time Bomb but when they did show up again five years later, this is what they had for us, and it's a beauty. Top track: "Everything"
Like many people my first encounter with DragonForce was at the end of Guitar Hero III on the Xbox. It intrigued me enough to get the album and I loved it immediately. What I love about their music is that it's honest - it's shreddy speed metal with a sense of humour and it's not trying to be anything else. Fun. Fun fact: I've jammed with Herman Li of DragonForce a couple of times. He's terrifying. :-) Top track: "Through the Fire and Flames"
I've been playing guitar for over two decades. When people used to ask me "Alright, so who's the best guitarist in the world, then?" I used to have to say things like "Well, it's not like that, there are great shredders and real virtuosos, and then you've got amazing band players like Slash and Page, and songwriters like Knopfler and..." but that's all gone now. Now I just say "Easy, it's Guthrie Govan. Next?" Top track: "Fives"
I used to hate The Killers. It wasn't helped by designers at the ad agency I joined in 2006 playing this album over and over on the office stereo. But over time it grew on me, and I realised that "The Best British Band to Come Out Of Las Vegas" had produced a classic. Top track: "When You Were Young"
Muse! Need I say more? Matt Bellamy is an utterly astonishing musician and they just keep knocking out brilliant album after brilliant album. If you don't love this album then I'm not sure we can be friends. True. Top track: "Knights of Cydonia"
And the winner is...
See previous re MCR being emo. Whether they were or weren't, I honestly couldn't care less, as underneath there was a damned excellent hard rock band. I've checked out their first two albums and the quality isn't quite there to be honest, but this - their third studio album - is utterly flawless from start to finish.
So come one - come all - to this tragic affair, and make sure you play it loud.
Top tracks: "This Is How I Disappear", "House of Wolves", "The Sharpest Lives"
Turkey of the Year
New feature! If there was really an album that stuck out to me as being a low moment of the year, I shall record it so that others might not make the same mistakes I did.
This was the last Satriani album I bought, though he's released several more since. I just couldn't keep doing it. I couldn't keep going back to the same well and drinking the same dull sugary water any longer. He's still an incredible musician, but this was a bridge too far. Too many predictable ballads, too many mid-tempo groovers that go on for 4? 7? 10? minutes or basically until you rip the CD out and put something fun on. If you want to listen to some cracking Satch, stick on Crystal Planet and avoid this at all costs.