Dear the majority of music journalists: You bore me. This time of year you always publish your self-aggrandizing lists of favorite records, proving that yes, you do love indie "off the wall" artists like the Decemberists, but you're also not "too cool" to appreciate (with tongue firmly planted in cheek, of course) major-label commercial bullshit like Justin Timberlake and, God forbid, Fergie. Your lists name-drop nontraditional genres (e.g., Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins and/or Joanna Newsom), yet still boast at least one or two really fucking noisy bands (Wolf Eyes, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead) to prove your ears are still young. Yawn.

But whatever. I want in on the list makin' too, so here are my top 10 musical moments of 2006. This list of songs, albums, bands... anything related to the music in some way is in no particular order. It's also not as trendy as those folks at Pitchfork, but it suits me just fine.

1. The Juno reunion. In-fucking-credible.

2. Meeting J. Robbins. I've admired J. since his Jawbox days (and also as an oh-so-talented producer who's worked with favorites like the Dismemberment Plan, Against Me!, and the good Promise Ring records) so when I flew to Baltimore on assignment to visit Stranger Big Shot winners Speaker Speaker while they recorded their full-length with the icon, it was this nerdy girl's dream come true. The fireflies that gathered outside the studio every night were icing on the cake.

3. Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live. True, this book was released in 2005, but it came out in paperback in 2006, so we'll allow it. It's hilarious, smart, and thoughtful. At one point, Klosterman breaks down his entire history of lovers by comparing them to the roster of KISS members (former and current, including studio musicians). So funny, so good. Read it.

4. The Vera Project's groundbreaking ceremony. The new space is going to look amazing, and it was pretty exciting to see the past couple of years of relentless fundraising finally come to fruition. Get stoked, Seattle. New venue is set to open in 2007.

5. The Rentals' show at Neumo's. Complete with a cover of "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams," and Sean Nelson appearing as guest vocalist during the encore.

6. Alicia Blake and Liz Martin. The hard work that these women have put into the Paradox in recent years was pulled out from under them when Mars Hill decided the all-ages venue needed to fall back into the church's hands. But Blake and Martin battled on through the storm of controversy and confusion for the sake of the all-ages community, and thankfully they'll continue booking shows at various venues around town under the guise of Make Believe. Support them; they're great.

7. The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America. There's a reason this record will be on the majority of top-10 lists this month: It's really, really good (except the song "Chillout Tent," which features Elizabeth Elmore from the Reputation. Her voice makes me cringe).

8. My Chemical Romance, "Welcome to the Black Parade" video. I've watched this video an uncountable number of times—it's hypnotizing. Their lackluster and cocky performance at Deck the Hall Ball, however, broke the spell. I'm over it.

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9. Smoking Popes, "Pretty Pathetic." I'm so glad the Smoking Popes are back. I've listened to this song, the live version on At Metro, hundreds of times this year. I love the point when the crowd is just a step ahead in the lyrics, and the goof-up causes singer Josh Caterer to chuckle.

10. Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas announcing retirement. As in, she'll never, ever, ever perform music again. Dammit, that was only a dream? Well, it was the best dream I had all year.