2006 was a good year for music – every month, it seemed, there was a new album to listen to endlessly. Some bands followed up promising albums with even better ones, like the Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America, or Phoenix’s It’s Never Been Like That. Others followed up with less than great albums – as much as I was looking forward to the Magic Numbers’ new album, it just couldn’t get into it.

Most of all, each album soundtracked a little bit of my year; inside are three of my favorite albums from 2006 – if you missed any of these, check them out and let me know what you think.

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I saw more concerts in 2006 than ever before – a great lineup of bands came through San Francisco (and I managed to be in town for them!). Some were lively and fun (The Decemberists at the Warfield), while others were disappointing (The National at the Great American Music Hall); two short reviews of my favorite shows of the year after the jump.
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