I am not a big shopper, especially regarding anything Black Friday related. However, I make an exception for music. And this year you have plenty to be thankful for today- Friday or when the $5 per album sale ends. So, with no further ado run over to Amazon and buy these albums (you don't have to dig through the list of over 500, since I have done it for you). Click on the album name to go to Amazon.
Aim and Ignite by Fun.- Rising from the ashes of The Format, the most underrated band of the decade comes this beautifully bombastic slice of theatrical pop. Do you like power pop with dark lyrics, sunny melodies and grand themes (ala Queen)? Fun. is truly the most fun album of the year!
Dragonslayer by Sunset Rubdown-Looking for something original? Try these guys.
The Antlers' Hospice- I think this may be the best album of 2009. It is surely top 3. It is a dark, brooding, inexplicably sad and gorgeous meditation on the death of a loved one from a kid too young to be making such mature music. Imagine Bon Iver as Radiohead.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros- Imagine Polyphonic Spree mixing with a hippy folk at a big tent revival. Now, imagine it sounding really cool. at once familiar and new.
Regina Spektor's latest Far- the usually reliable folks over at Paste missed it with this album. It is not mediocre and is prove that good music grows on you. I think it is one of the year's better albums with one glaring weakness "Machine"which does not mare Far. Just skip it.
Chunk of Change by Passion Pit- Do you like to dance?If the answer is yes, buy this.
Avett Brothers' Emotionalism- while their latest is a masterful but mellow effort, I am still drawn to the combo of raucous and beauty of this album which captures a bit of their live show more than others. If you haven't heard them, imagine bluegrass rock. They've got other Avett Brothers albums cheap also.
The Stage Names and The Stand Ins by Okkervil River- If you must pick one, go with The Stage Names, but these are thematic and musical bookends by one of the best lyricists of the decade. Songs such as Plus Ones are as good as it gets.
The 59 Sound by Gaslight Anthem- All the good bands seem to sound like Springsteen, be it Arcade Fire or The Hold Steady. Gaslight Anthem punk up Bruce and add wonderful energy. Very good lyricist and one of the best of 2008.
Flight of The Conchords by Flight of the Conchords- If you have a sense of humor, buy it.
Furr by Blitzen Trapper-This was a top 3 album according to me in 2008. It still sounds like the bastard child of Wilco and The Grateful Dead.
Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts by M83- If you like ambient or electronic music and you don't listen to them, you don't know what you are missing. They have 3 excellent albums for $5, but this is their best. If you are looking for good church music, this is a good place to start also.
The Crane's Wife by the Decemberists-An overrated band, but this is one of its better collections of tunes.
Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime- I lived this album as a kid. It is fast, dirty and sounds like the wheels are coming off. In other words, it sounds like teenage life. You may not like the rawness, but listen to what blew the minds of a few teens in 1983.
The Best of the Sun Years by Johnny Cash- If you don't own any of Cash's old stuff, this is a great place to start.
George Jones' The Greatest Living Country Singer- This is not the definitive collection and I beg to differ that he is the greatest living singer (close by default), but to understand country, one needs to hear Jones.
Greatest Hits by Al Green-Seriously, if you don't own this, you don't like music.
Paul's Boutique by the Beastie Boys- Need I say anything more?
The College Dropout by Kanye West- Yes he is a narcissist with a god complex whose subsequent albums continue to be less interesting that the one before, but this is an instant classic, one of the best rap albums of all time.
20 Best of Patsy Cline by Patsy Cline- Simply the greatest female singer of all time. This collection is missing many of ther classics, but it will force you to dig deeper into her catalog.
and yeah, they got Bon Iver, but who doesn't and you've heard the hype too much. Don't forget Hard Knock Life, Volume 2 and others by Jay-Z. Remember The Cardigans? Their album, First Band On The Moon is $5. Lastly, there is a good version of Coltrane's Blue Train and some really good classical stuff if you have holes in your collection.