2006 Noise Poll

Photo: Bang Camaro


T Max

The poll to determine the Best of 2006 was conducted on www.thenoise-boston.com . We received thousands of votes—a far cry from just a few years ago when fewer than 100 mailed-in ballots was the norm. There’s no Maxie Award ceremony year (we do it every other year). If you consider yourself an especially informed local music fan, and would like to be part of our nominating crew in the future, contact me at tmaxnoise@aol.com. Here are the results of what the public chose for 2006 with some history notes from past polls thrown in.

1. (14.4%) Bang Camaro
2. (9.1%) Dresden Dolls
3. (5.9%) Shoot the Moon
4. (5.7%) The Rudds

Bang Camaro has to be the fastest climbing band I’ve ever witnessed in my 25 years of covering Boston rock. Last year Dresden Dolls won this category (they also won in 2003).

1. (11.3%) Bang Camaro
2. (10.6%) The SnowLeopards
3. (7.9%) Okay Thursday
4. (5.9%) Apple Betty

I can’t remember the last time, if ever, the best new band was also the best live band. In 2002 Dresden Dolls won best new band but The Damn Personals took best live band that year.

1. (7.7%) Corin Ashley
Songs from the Brill Bedroom
2. (7.3%) Mission of Burma The Obliterati
3. (6.8%) Hooray For Earth Hooray for Earth
4. (6.6%) Dresden Dolls Yes, Virginia

I thought I was alone in my high regard for Corin’s solo release, but obviously there are more people enjoying Songs from the Brill Bedroom. Darkbuster won last year with A Weakness for Spirits.

1. (10.2%) Hooray for Earth “Simple Plan”

2. (6.5%) Bang Camaro “Bang Camaro”
3. (6.0%) Shoot the Moon “It’s All Good”
4. (5.7%) Mission of Burma “1001 Pleasant Dreams”

Hooray for Earth’s song was added to the nominees at the last minute. Last year Darkbuster’s “Gurley’s Cell Phone Number” took the honors.

1. (10.7%) Chris Pappas (Everyday Visuals)

2. (7.1%) Mark Lind (Ducky Boys)
3. (6.5%) Sammy Miami (Shoot the Moon)
4. (6.3%) John Powhida (The Rudds)

Lenny Lashley (Darkbuster) was the previous crooning winner. Have you noticed that Darkbuster kinda dominated the poll last year?

1. (8.6%) Andrea Gillis (Andrea Gillis/ The Rudds)

2. (6.3%) Holly Brewer (Humanwine)
3. (5.8%) Jen De La Osa (Aloud)
4. (5.4%) Jen Johnson (Static of the Gods)

Ahh, our first return winner. Before Andrea’s reign, Jordan Valentine (World’s Greatest Sinners) captured the most votes here.

1. (10.7%) Roger Miller (Mission of Burma)

2. (5.9%) Alex Necochea (Bang Camaro)
3. (5.7%) Maclain Diemer (Bang Camaro)
4. (5.6%) Tony Savarino (World’s Greatest Sinners)

I swore Roger had won this category years ago, but my research proves he only took second place in 1990. The Noise poll wasn’t active back when Mission of Burma was originally popular—it started in 1985.

1. (10.6%) Jimmy Jax (The SnowLeopards)

2. (7.8%) Clint Conley (Mission of Burma)
3. (6.9%) Dave “Doz” Riley (Bang Camaro)
4. (5.2%) Michelle Paulhus (Dents)

Jimmy Jax is a new comer to this category. Michelle Paulhas won last year (and the previous year).

1. (12.1%) Seth Kasper (Hooray For Earth)

2. (8.6%) Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls)
3. (7.4%) Peter Prescott (Mission of Burma)
4. (6.9%) Andy Dole (Bon Savants/ Bang Camaro)

This is Seth’s first appearance in the drummer’s category. Last year Brian Vigilione (a multi-winner in this category) banged his way to the top.

1. (9.3%) Gary Benacquista (Hooray For Earth)

2. (8.8%) Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls)
3. (3.7%) Rick Berlin (Rick Berlin)
3. (3.7%) Elio DeLuca (The Irreverends/ Keys to the Streets of Fear)

Hooray For Earth picks up another category with Gary Benacquista placing in this category for the first time ever. Amanda Palmer was voted best key player for the past three years.

1. (11.2%) Paul Ahlstrand – saxophone (various bands)

2. (4.7%) Kris Thompson – theremin (The Lothars)
3. (4.5%) Valerie Thompson – cello (Fluttr Effect)
4. (4.1%) Donna Parker – knobs (Donna Parker)

Paul Ashlstrand plays his sax with a lot of bands. I usually see him performing during the Mardi Gras. Last year’s banjo-playing winner, Kier Byrnes, is a multi-winner in this category.

1. (7.7%) Ad Frank (… & the Fast Easy Women)

2. (6.3%) Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls)
3. (6.2%) John Powhida (The Rudds)
4. (6.0%) The Choir (Bang Camaro)

Ad Frank makes his first appearance in the stage presence contest. Robby Roadsteamer (who placed fifth this year) had the best stage presence last year.

1. (17.8%) WFNX

2. (10.6%) WERS
3. (5.9%) WBCN
4. (5.7%) WAAF

Since our poll has switched from a mail in to an online operation, the college stations have a hard time competing against the giants. WFNX (the largest percentage winner this year) also place first last year.

1. (14.6%) Dave Duncan (WFNX)

2. (6.9%) Carmelita (WAAF)
3. (5.9%) Mark Hamilton (WBCN)
4. (4.6%) Shred (WBCN)

Dave Duncan won last year too. Shred won the year before that. Again, notice that the votes are going to the station with a much larger audience. Where are the college station DJs?


1. (7.3%) Joe Coughlin
2. (6.6%) Brett Milano
3. (5.2%) Luke O’Neil
4. (4.0%) Steve Gisselbrecht

Joe Coughlin is the comeback kid here. He won three years ago. Steve Gisselbrecht won last year, and Brett Milano won the year before that.

1. (9.2%) Just Bill

2. (7.0%) Kelly Davidson
3. (5.8%) Liz Linder
4. (5.2%) Nicole Tammaro

Kelly Davidson and Michael Byrne tied last year. I believe this is the first time Just Bill clicked his way into the Noise record books.

1. (11.6%) Fenway Recordings

2. (7.4%) Lunch
3. (5.9%) Curve of the Earth
4. (5.3%) Hi-N-Dry

Mark Kates (Fenway Records) grabs this category two years in a row now. The year before that Abbey Records won the category.

1. (8.2%) Dave Minehan

2. (6.6%) Paul Q. Kolderie
3. (4.8%) Nick Zampiello
4. (4.2%) Hugh Wyman

David Minehan is now a seven-time winner, though he didn’t win for the last two years. The honors then went to Paul Kolderie and Nick Zampiello.

1. (16.1%) The Middle East

2. (9.9%) T.T. the Bear’s
3. (8.6%) Great Scott
4. (6.1%) Abbey Lounge

Wow, the Middle East has top this category fourteen times! The last club to edge out the Middle East was the Abbey Lounge in 2003.

1. (10.3%) Robby Roadsteamer

2. (5.3%) Slimedog
3. (4.3%) Joe Coughlin
4. (3.7%) Gary “Rotten Drunk” Taylor

Robby Roadsteamer has held on to this crown for three years in a row now. Joe Coughlin was on top before Robby showed up.

1. (9.9%) Andrea Gillis

2. (4.9%) Carmelita
2. (4.9%) Honah Lee
3. (4.3%) Lizzie Borden

Andrea Gillis holds on to her title for the second year in a row. Carmelita won two years ago.

1. (8.0%) Rachael Ieszenberg (issue #266)

2. (5.3%) Monique Ortiz (issue #264)
3. (5.0%) Tony Savarino (issue #265)
3. (5.0%) Kara Trott (issue #258)

Okay, I get the message—more sex in the centerfolds. Rachael Iezenberg offered the boldest display of nudity this year. Last year Gina Rebel (Three Day Threshold) won by licking the neck of her bass.

1. (17.3%) Pay-to-play “battle of the bands” hog the clubs

2. (8.2%) Nemo lacks credibility
3. (4.8%) O’Brien’s closes for renovations
4. (4.5%) RIP: Johnny Pics (The Chainletter)
4. (4.5%) AChick resigns from the Noise Board

The public sends a high percentage message to the clubs about this indecency to bands. Bands should get the message and refuse to play. Last year’s winner was Ashley Simpson headlines Nemo.

1. (11.2%) Bang Camaro sells out their first
headline show

2. (9.8%) Mission of Burma returns (again)
3. (4.7%) Aberdeen City get signed
4. (4.3%) Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra’s A Night at the Opera

Bang Camaro obviously made their mark this year. Will their popularity last? Only time will tell. Last year Dinosaur Jr.’s reunion was the highest highlight.


This category is not part of the public poll. The Noise editors (T Max, Francis DiMenno, Lexi Kahn, Kier Byrnes, Joe Coughlin, Steve Gisselbrecht, Robin Umbley, Shady, and Joel Simches—the last two were recently promoted) each choose three possible inductees.

Already in the Noise Hall of Fame are: Willie Alexander, Roger Miller, Jeff Conolly, Rich Gilbert, Peter Prescott, Albert O, David Minehan, Mark Sandman, Tris Lozaw, Thalia Zedek, Aimee Mann, Oedipus, Billy Ruane, Kenne Highland, Dickie Barrett, Mikey Dee, Richie Parsons, Alvan Long, Asa Brebner, Brett Milano, and last year’s inductee, Carmelita.

This year a number of people got multiple votes from our editors, but one man came out the clear winner above JJ Rassler, Tanya Donelly, Steve Morse, Allen Sheinfeld, and Peter Moore. That man, and the newest member of the Noise Hall of Fame, is Rick Berlin.

Congratulations to Rick and everyone and every organization that placed in the poll. You all deserve more coverage in The Noise. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.

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