OK so since I do not have a music blog (anymore) I’ll go ahead and post my “Best Albums of 2008” list on this one. I did not purchase any of these listed albums at a thrift store, I just do not have any other better public space to post this, so this will have to suffice. Friends know where to find this, pass it on. All opinions are my own, if you have something to say – comment or go make your own list.
Since I am such a renowned music critic Since I have a computer and can do with it what I want, I’m going to act like I have to make a Best-Of list at the end of the year because this is a hip blog and that’s what hip blogs do. I’ll say that I’m doing this begrudgingly only because people love when I do this and people love to read lists. You see, I don’t really have an option at this point. It’s fucking mandatory. But in reality, I love making lists and telling people what my favorite things are. So here they are. My top picks from 2008.
25 BEST ALBUMS (INCLUDING EP’s BECAUSE I’M LAZY):
DENT MAY & HIS MAGNIFICENT UKULELE – EP/7″
I happened to get a hold of his 2009 full release a little early and it’s feckin’ great, however we can only put this 7″ nugget on this year’s list but expect to hear about this band/man as his music is quirky and refreshing.
SURF CITY – S/T EP
Great Great stuff. Beach boys on meth with lots of sound layers. Expect some ruffled feathers from these guys soon. Check out the track “Dickshakers Union.”
DEERHUNTER – MICROCASTLE
This band just keeps amazing me. Super crisp layers of beautiful soundscapes and catchy lyrics (in a good way) this is absolutely in the top 3 best all-around albums of 2008.
PAUL WESTERBERG – 49:00
Good luck finding this release, suckers. If you can find it or already own it – you know what I’m talkinbout. Paul Westerberg is like a fine wine or Bob Dylan… if Bob were a fine wine, still going, still dropping incredible music on us.
JAY REATARD – (7″s and ALBUMS)
Very prolific dude. Nothing too ground-breaking musically but it doesn’t have to be, if it’s done this good. Jay definitely has his own The Clash/Buzzcocks influenced sound.
FUCK BUTTONS – STREET HORRRSING
You’ll hear a ton about this album and it’s well deserved. Trippy euphoria and whirling face melting sounds, this isn’t your average passable noise album. Best when used when working on a computer, cleaning your place, or drinking/smoking/inhaling/injecting/fucking stuff.
THE MUSLIMS – S/T EP
Real good, the full length due out soon is great too. Hot Snakes meets The Strokes. Nuff said.
PASSION PIT – CHUNK OF CHANGE EP
I am usually not a electronic-based sort of guy, but 2008 offered me some good shit in the way of digital slabs of home cooked deliciousness. I’m highly anticipating these cats’ full length.
PARTS & LABOR – RECEIVERS
What’s that…? You haven’t heard these guys, or this album? C’mon maaaaan, hop to it. Top 5 AT LEAST.
THE MAUSOLEUMS – BLACKENED FAWNS CLEANSE
“Super blown out pop metal makes me weak in the knees.” – Some other blog.
SHE & HIM – VOL. 1
Hot actress with sexy honey coated voice, indie rock stalwart dude on the ax and smokey vox, can’t wait for Volume 2.
THE WALKMEN – YOU & ME
Finally, an entire Walkmen album I can listen to front to back. I love these guys and this album is arguably their best effort all around. Best nighttime driving album of 2008.
THE DUKE SPIRIT – NEPTUNE
Another all around incredible album by these Brits. Great on wax. You don’t have to just miss your JAMC albums to really dig this band.
DEPARTMENT OF EAGLES – IN EAR PARK
Tons of buzz about this band, but the kids got it right. Shoegazey, organically warm reverby melodies, epic crescendos, vocal play, just charming album all around.
HUMAN HIGHWAY – MOODY MOTORCYCLE
This band has a Unicorns member in it – remember them? Every poser art rock college idiot lost their shit for that album. But this is wayyy better, and less ass-grabby-happy-dick slappy than the Unicorn’s material, just trust me on this one cap’n.
INDIAN JEWELRY – FREE GOLD!
A lo-fi masterpiece cloaked in layers of vibrato and guitar wash.
BLACK TIME – DOUBLE NEGATIVE
YES! Blisteringly chaotic, dirt-covered-microphone UK punk done right.If you’re into any In The Red Records artists, then these guys are for you. I can’t seem to let a week go by without spinning this.
WIRE – OBJECT 47
Softer than Wire’s usual material, but as a whole it’s an incredible album. If rock and roll were a college these guys would be that wise old professor who shows the kids how to take their heads out of their asses and get her done.
THAO NGUYEN W/ THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN – WE BRAVE BEE STINGS
This probably got the most listens according to my iTunes stats. I’ll also admit that this is probably the best full album of 2008.
HOUSEGUEST – WELCOME, ALL THINGS DIFFICULT
Most under-appreciated and refreshing band in rock right now. This was definitely in top 5. This also qualifies as the album most likely to get stuck in your head and repeatedly piss of your friends singing it around them. Super infectious.
TORCHE – MEANDERTHAL
Sorry but I love this, reminds me of my old Grade records. The album art is worth the purchase alone. Why aren’t these guys huge yet?
LYKKE LI – YOUTH NOVELS
Not sure if this gal will catch on here in the States, but with an album this good it’d be a crying shame if she doesn’t.
AA BONDY – AMERICAN HEARTS
Alt-rock-sorta country-in-a-good way bad ass acoustic-y sounding ballads.
JOHNNY FLYNN – A LARUM
Traditional English alt-rock-sorta country-in-a-good way bad ass acoustic-y sounding ballads.
BOB DYLAN – TELL TALE SIGNS: RARE AND UNRELEASED
It’s Bob – of course it’s gonna be good.
DARKER MY LOVE – 2
Reverb soaked JAMC-inspired weedly weedly albums are always going to make this list. But seriously check this album out, it’s great.
KING KHAN AND THE SHRINES – THE SUPREME GENIUS OF KING KHAN
This dude doesn’t make bad music. Funky, sassy, guitar fury.
25 HONORABLE MENTIONS WORTH PURCHASING OR STEALING:
BORIS – SMILE
Q-TIP – THE RENAISSANCE
HERCULES & THE LOVE AFFAIR – S/T
FRIDA HYVÖNEN – SILENCE IS WILD
THE WEDDING PRESENT – EL REY
FRIGHTENED RABBIT – THE MIDNIGHT ORGAN FIGHT
THE DODOS – VISITER
GLADIOLA – SO SUCH SO EP
BLACK ANGELS – DIRECTIONS TO SEE A GHOST
DILLINGER FOUR – CIVIL WAR
NO AGE – NOUNS
SHADRACH KABANGO – THE OLD PRINCE
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS – HERETIC PRIDE
SILVER JEWS – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, LOOKOUT SEA
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS – DIG!!! LAZARUS DIG!!!
WOMEN – S/T
BECK – MODERN GUILT
SPIRITUALIZED – SONGS IN A&E
JENNY LEWIS – ACID TONGUE
ALBERT HAMMOND JR. – COMO TE LAMA?
M83 – SATURDAYS = YOUTH
CUT COPY – IN GHOST COLOURS
GNARLS BARKLEY – THE ODD COUPLE
MGMT – ORACULAR SPECTACULAR
SANTOGOLD – S/T
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS – S/T
20 THINGS (TO TRY TO BITCH AT ME ABOUT) THAT DIDN’T MAKE THIS LIST BECAUSE I DIDN’T/DON’T LIKE /OR WAS HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED BY THEM:
KINGS OF LEON – ONLY BY NIGHT
Really people? Really? This sounds like when Europeans try to do classic rock. Completely boring and uninspired.
GUNS & ROSES – CHINESE DEMOCRACY
Was it really worth the 10 year wait? Keep a heads up for their next release in 2019!
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – NARROW STAIRS
I respect the direction change, but this sort of bored me, couple decent tracks but just couldn’t get with this. Best thing about this album was the cover art.
OKKERVILL RIVER – THE STAND IN’S
Another quiet-core rock band with legions of unexplained fans. They always have a good track or maybe two, but mostly I fail to see the dedicated hype.
WEEZER – THE RED ALBUM
NOTE: See Cover art. The end.
RAVONETTES – LUST LUST LUST
Have never dug this band, will probably never dig this band.
THE MARS VOLTA – BEDLAM IN GOLIATH
This release solidifies my theory of “too much” drug use. There’s a finite amount someone can take before you fry all your creative braincells and produce shitty art.
BLACK KIDS – PARTIE TRAUMATIC
Further proof that the art school indie rock dullards and clueless music media can proliferate utter shit albums. If it has dancy beats, sassy lyrics with a neon vector font on album cover the idiots will go gaga over it. At least it has an actual black guy in the band.
CSS – DONKEY
Overly digital, over-produced crap. (See above explanation.)
GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY – ROBOTIQUE MAJESTIQUE
What the hell happened guys?
WOLF PARADE – AT MOUNT ZOOMER
Dude’s got a good voice, but they fall prey to the sophomore slump. I’ll stick to my Arcade Fire records to fulfill any need for Canadian indie rock jams.
RYAN ADAMS – CARDINOLOGY
Again legions of hypnotized fans unable to decipher that this guy redefines the word mediocre. I respect his vast output of material, but there is a fine line between knowing when to self-censor and doing too much cocaine. Hopefully this wakes people up to the fact that this guy is phoning it in.
RATATAT – LP3
Pass. I had high hopes for this to be as cock-thrusty and biting as their previous albums, but no dice pal. I’ll let them try to redeem themselves on LP4.
THE HOLD STEADY – STAY POSITIVE
This hurts to type this, as HS is one of my all-time favs in the past few years. This album wasn’t terrible, but just lacked more than a couple real good tracks.
TV ON THE RADIO – DEAR SCIENCE
OH SHIT! NO. HE. DI-INT. This was a COMPLETE let down. Even the cover art and album title was lame. I wanted to love this – I really did. Couple tracks worth a toe-tap, but they stripped everything I dug about them. No acapellas, no slithery guitar effects, no incredible organic harmonies. I’ll hold out for thier next one.
THE KILLERS – DAY & AGE
Props on the Lou Reed collab. But I just can’t see these guys for another indie-pop one hit wonder that they are. This album didn’t even use any tracks for Apple commercials, sad.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND – S/T
It’s hard to hate this album, and I definitely don’t hate it. But this is total shopping at Gap or Urban Outfitters music. If we needed more Paul Simon albums we’d call up Paul Simon.
MY MORNING JACKET – EVIL URGES
Mitch says this was a “major disappointment.” Mitch jerks off to their old stuff and even pay-per-view ordered their live concert thing last year, so I’ll take his word for it.
PETER BJORN & JOHN – SEASIDE ROCK
I didn’t even know this had come out. Now I know why.What the feck happened? Sea and Cake has the whole minimal lyrics and good electronics thing covered guys. Try harder next time.
BECK – MODERN GUILT
Yes this simultaneously made the honorable mentions, but it also makes this list because it’s that same old Beck album we love and know.
CONOR OBERST – S/T
I’m a fan of this guy, he’s talented but this album lacked the more-than-2-good tracks syndrome.
HER SPACE HOLIDAY – XOXO, PANDA AND THE NEW KID REVIVAL
Love this guy’s older albums. But he must have found his prozac and an acoustic guitar. I miss sad mopey electronic HSH. Someone cancel his prescription, please.
THE STREETS – EVERYTHING IS BORROWED
Very inconsistent for what he is, he’s got to stick with what he’s good at. These lyrics are OK but the sound is kitschy. This is that awkward uncle in the room at during the holidays, you want him there, but it’s sorta awkward.
For some guaranteed good tunes visit my lil’ record label over at : http://www.oddsmakerrecords.com to purchase items.