A Royle Flush

Five CDs that make this D.C. rocker happy:

The Hold Steady, "Almost Killed Me" (Frenchkiss): People ask me about influences and I wince because it's basically an impossible question to answer. But, I can tell you what inspires me, and the Hold Steady inspire me. I am like a 13-year-old girl for this band, it's all jumping around and smiles. Are you good at hypothetical musical meetings? You know, "blah blah blah" meets "blah blah"? I am: The Hold Steady sounds like Allen Ginsberg fronting ACDC.

Chris Isaak, "Forever Blue" (Reprise): Oh Chris, if only I was a younger woman. . . . man . . . I mean man! Sorry, I was delightfully lost in his bittersweet tenor for a moment there. I'm better now. Chris Isaak, I like Chris Isaak in a completely heterosexual way, like football and sweaters from Polo Ralph Lauren.

Shooter Jennings, "Put the 'O' back in Country" (Universal South): This album by Waylon's son rocks really hard. On CMT they'd call this kind of music Rebel Country, which just means Good Country. Every track is about sex, drugs or sex, which always makes me happy. On one track, Shooter gets arrested for possession of marijuana, but then is let go because the judge wants an autograph. I bet Nelly wishes he'd thought of that. Plus there's a cameo by George Jones.

Maximo Park, "A Certain Trigger" (Warp): You know that whole post-Britpop, post-indie dance music thing going on in England? No? Me neither. Maximo Park is a lot like the Kaiser Chiefs or Franz Ferdinand. Good music, but there's something lacking substance-wise. Alas, I am still such a sucker for buzz bands from Britain. Like, I am seriously worried about Pete Doherty.

Neutral Milk Hotel, "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" (Merge): I have this policy about not buying an album more than three times. Last week this album became the exception. The best indie rock album of all time ever. I have never given it to someone who didn't love it. Cosmic man, cosmic.