This past month An Aquarium Drunkard was asked to participate in Information Leafblower’s 4th annual “Top 40 Bands In America” feature. It turns out I was supposed to send in my top ten picks, but I misread the instructions and sent in a list of who I felt were the most interesting top forty American artists working today. Anyhow, I now have a list of my present favorite music-makers in the U.S.A.

First, be sure to read Information Leafblower’s list here. It is comprised of nominations from 24 different audio blogs. Not surprisingly, my top 40 list is vastly different from the one that made the final cut over on Leafblower so I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. Note, my submissions were not rated 1,2,3,4, etc, but is just a (current) list of my favorite American artists working today.

Here it is, exactly as sent to Leafblower, below. Have at it…who did I leave off that you love…hate…despise, etc. Oh, and yes, I’m well aware the Decemberists are omitted…though they almost made the 40 mark. Also, Look for the official Aquarium Drunkard Year In Review next month.
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The National ++ last year’s “alligator” destroyed. can’t wait to see what comes out in 2007.
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals ++ love him or hate him, he writes better songs than you.
Wilco ++ tweedy and co. just continue to get more interesting. revisit “ghost is born.”
My Morning Jacket ++ jim james. angelic, ferocious.
The Whigs ++ further proof athens, ga still has it. Listen to their debut LP. Excellent.
Okkervil River ++ realllly excited for next full length record.
Will Oldham ++ just continues to excel year after year, project after project.
Iron & Wine ++ reinvigorated this “sound.”
The Shins ++ they’ll like, change yer life, or something to that effect.
Robert Pollard ++ Released two albums this year, the 1st was the best guided by voices record in years.
Stephen Malkmus ++ baby, c’mon. baby c’mon.
The Hold Steady ++ making bar rock unsafe again.
Sufjan Stevens ++ someone still loves you sufjan stevens.
Bob Dylan ++ how can you still be making albums this good?
Horse Feathers ++ out of nowhere (the pacific NW), this quiet duo’s debut album hit me.
Daniel Hutchens ++ one of the most under appreciated/unrecognized singer/songwriter working today.
Jack White ++ one multi-talented cat.
Modest Mouse ++ how many bands are now aping their sound in 2006?
Sonic Youth ++ three albums in a row in my top ten. the sound of nyc.
Yo La Tengo ++ they won me back over with this year’s release
TV On The Radio ++ blowing shit up. period.
Brendan Benson ++ the king of pop. it melts off this guy.
Sparklehorse ++ he’s bringing weird/sad shit back. yeah.
Jay Farrar ++ after years of dull albums he’s climbed back on his horse w/ Son Volt and Gob Iron.
Ben Kweller ++ pure poppity pop pop.
Cat Power ++ the greatest,the greatest
Centro-matic ++ will johnson has something to say. pick up “fort recovery.”
Drive-by Truckers ++ these guys own the true Rock Show, southern or otherwise.
Howlin’ Rain ++ the grateful dead for the indie-rock/cool-haircut set.
Doveman ++ he floats the quiet masterpiece.
Eef Barzelay ++ solo or with Cem Snide. Doesn’t matter.
The Evens ++ their 2nd album more than makes up for no fugazi.
Howe Gelb ++ rootsy gospel by an American treasure.
Justin Timberlake ++ dude’s bringing sexy back. yeah.
Lambchop ++ have you heard 2006’s “damaged”??
Modern Skirts ++ one of the best breezy piano pop indie outfits out there.
Page France ++ charming, intelligent folk. one to watch in ’07.
M. Ward ++ brittle, sometimes brilliant compositons.
Midlake ++ one word. roscoe.
Lucero ++ the sounds of memphis rawk.

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+ Many artists listed available through eMusic’s 25 Free MP3 trial offer.
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+ Visit
The Hype Machine for additional MP3s.

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