The Year in Music 

This wasn't just the year everyone you know got an iPhone. It was also a fitful, eventful year for the local music scene—full of blown speakers, broken strings, breakups, reformations, interruption memes, rock docs and No. 1 hit singles. It was a year that saw the house-show circuit expand, a band from Franklin win the hearts of Neck Biter Nation and Jack White snub Slash.

If we had to pick a band that was emblematic of the year's triumphs (and, say, put them on our cover), it would be JEFF the Brotherhood. After years of tirelessly playing shows around Nashville wherever—club, basement, crawl space—and whenever, the sibling power duo made good on all the promise they've shown, releasing one of the year's best local albums, touring alongside underground legends like Shonen Knife and Ted Leo, and bringing the noise to a growing national fan base. (Beans, the Internet hipster poster child, even flopped around at one of their CMJ shows, an event captured in pixels by Brooklyn Vegan.)

All in all, it was a pretty good year. Along the way we listened to piles of albums, got songs stuck in our heads for days and occasionally even uncrossed our arms at shows. So here's to 2009, the end of the Aughts and the beginning of whatever comes next, which—if this year was any indication—should be well worth the line at will-call. Here's what jumped out at us.

The Year in Music: Ear to the Ground
The Year in Music: Top Albums
The Year in Music: Top country albums of 2009
The Year in Music: Top Shows


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