Charlemagne - Carl Johns brought all the sensibilities of indie rock to Madison music, first through NoahJohn, then through Charlemagne. His impressionistic pop-rock meandered from acoustic folk to psychedelic rock, and national music websites like Pitchfork took notice.
The Youngblood Brass Band - D.H. Skogen and his Oregon High School buddies formed the ultimate musical melting pot, a brass band big on hip-hop, jazz and punk. In 2000, their Unlearn CD featured appearances from Talib Kweli, Mike Ladd and DJ Skooly.
Stromkern - The industrial hip-hop of Stromkern was one of Madison's most impressive musical exports this decade, making a splash across the Atlantic. The success of Ned Kirby and crew advanced the cause of Madison's electronic music scene.
El Guante - Spoken word artist Kyle Myhre made some of the best and most socially conscious local hip-hop of the decade, before signing to Tru Ruts records and moving to Minneapolis in 2007.
Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons - The theatrical punk of Shane O'Neil and Cynthia Burnson was high on humor, androgyny and excellent songwriting.
Pale Young Gentlemen - Their orchestral sound featured harp, violin, flute and xylophone and marked the height of Madison's decade-long flirtation with indie rock.
Awesome Car Funmaker - Ryan Corcoran's power-pop outfit was the ultimate UW campus band this decade. Of Lovers and Monsters was one of the best local releases of 2006.
Blueheels - No other local band made better Americana rock this decade. Their Lessons in Sunday Driving was my favorite CD of 2008.
The Rob Dz Experience - The raps of Rob Franklin were a staple of the club scene earlier this decade. His collaborations with DLO, DJ Pain 1 and Da Ricanstructa created a wave of local hip-hop success.
Steez - They're new and just beginning to make their mark, but Steez have already reinvented the Madison jam band for the electronic era.