Heretofore, the game has gone like this:
1. Gather all end-of-year lists, including the random ones from the New Yorker "Talk of the Town" section, the New York Times list, lists I get sent from various music subscription services, the list in Rolling Stone, the list in Spin.
2. Compile a list based on the above lists, recommendations I've been given, and intuitions I have.
3. Try to cadge music from others who have it, buy it used, download it from emusic, etc.
Here's my list so far. Let me add a rule: you may endorse selections, but mocking is highly discouraged. Feel free to tell me stuff I haven't thought of or heard of. Offers to lend music for a listen highly encouraged.
Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not
Justin Timberlake, Futuresex/Love Sounds
Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood [already downloaded]
Willie Nelson, You Don’t Know Me; The Complete Atlantic Sessions
John Lee Hooker, Hooker
Weather Report, Forecast: Tomorrow
John Coltrane, Fearless Leader
Susan Christie, Paint a Lady
Nellie McKay, Pretty Little Head
Tom Waits, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards
Yusuf, An Other Cup
TV On the Radio, Return to
Roseanne Cash, Black Cadillac
Ornette Coleman, Sound Grammar
Andrew Hill, Timelines
Billy Hart, Quartet
Nelly Furtado, Loose
Paul Motian Trio 2000 + One, On Broadway Vol. 4 or The Paradox of Continuity
Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Solo
John Legend, Once Again
A Hawk and a Hacksaw, The Way the Wind Blows
Norfolk & Western, The Unsung Colony
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat
Jolie Holland, Springtime can Kill You
Sparklehorse, Dreamt for Lightyears in the Belly of a Mountain