By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Photo by Jeanne Rice> Dido, No Angel. "Abso-fucking-lutely my favorite album in a long time! Moody, haunting, addicting . . . Buy it, buy it, buy it! All thumbs up!"
> Beth Orton, Central Reservation. "Underneath mega-monster corporate-label conglomerate-produced artists (I won't mention any names) are true artists like Beth Orton. Let's get back to basics, people! Real music. Real feelings. Really good."
> Ani DiFranco, live. "Okay, so she's definitely not 'pop,' and I probably couldn't sing you one of her songs, but I still buy all her albums and jump at the opportunity to see her live. I saw her at the beautiful, historic Fox Theatre in St. Louis while I was on tour with my band (and was lucky enough to schmooze my way into the front row!). Ani is quirky, funky, funny, really funny, serious, really serious, then funny again. Two microphones (one distorted), guest artists, crowd interaction, very real. Oh-so-amazing and unpredictable."
> Sheryl Crow, live and The Globe Sessions. "This girl can do no wrong! Hit after hit, album after album, you can try not to like her, but you're lying if you say you don't. Sheryl's music will sink into your heart slowly but surely until you break down and buy it. And you won't be disappointed. A rich, textured production. I was very impressed with her live show, too, at the Rose Bowl this year. She sounds great. She looks great. She rocks."
> Dixie Chicks, live. "Let me preface this one by saying I am not a country fan and wouldn't be caught dead buying their album, but I must admit, these girls are great onstage! I saw 'em by accident at the Lilith Fair. What charisma! What charm! Star quality and talent, too (pretty hard to find these days). Chicks rule!"
> Madonna. "Period. No matter what she does."
> Corday, Welcome to My Past. "My own album. Gotta hear it at least once a month to admire the production. Big love and admiration for my producer Matt Walin for making it so amazing. Buy it, buy it, buy it! (Shameless self-promotion, but it really is good—check it out!)"
> Limp Bizkit, "Rearranged." "I'm embarrassed to admit this because I really don't like the band, and I hated their first single, 'Nookie,' for its shallow, rude, stupid lyrics—but I love this new single. I heard it on the radio and saw the video on MTV. Great song! If their whole album was like this (is it?), I'd buy it."
> Breech, live. "This LA-based indie band really impressed me with their live show. Lead singer Missy Gibson lured me in and spit me out. Awesome!"