I listened to it too late, so it didn't make my list of 2006, but honourable mention should go to Mogwai for Mr. Beast - a tight, melodic, at times loud and beautiful record. It even has smatterings of steel pedal and lyrics/ spoken word. Ignore the Pitchfork review.
Also, if you've read all the bad press The Fountain received and don't know whether it's worthwhile, go and watch it for the music. Written by Clint Mansell and performed by Mogwai and Kronos Quartet, it structures and guides the movie perfectly through its different story lines. The overlong ending sucks, and not even the music can make up for that, but Darren Aronofsky knows his craft.
Explosions in the Sky has a new album out.
Now playing: Set Fire to Flames: Sings Reign Rebuilder (the title of which eMusic managed to misspell).