Best of 2008: Music

Tilly and the Wall by Vern. at Flickr, Click through to Original.
Tilly and the Wall by Vern. at Flickr, Click through to Original.
I know my music tastes are wildly different from most of my readers, but I one of the reasons I blog is to remind myself of things so I am going to list my favorite music from 2008, in a couple of categories. I have a couple of follow ups on this, but this covers the major ground I wanted to remember for the year.

Best Album Released in 2008:
For me this was a tough one, with four albums in contention. First up is She & Him, Volume One. This is a very good album and has seen a large number of plays both on CD in my car and on Itunes. I am crap at labeling bands, but I guess they are Indie Rock with a good mix of pop hooks and interesting lyrics. I particularly love Sentimental Heart, but there a number of good cuts on the album. You can play their stuff at the link above and it is well worth a listen.

Next up is a comeback album, Funplex by The B52s. This album doesn’t have any single killer song for me, but I find myself playing it again and again, it is sinking in for me as an complete album. Classic B52s party music, nothing wrong with that.

The next album was actually released in 2005, but got its US release this year, it is Anna Ternheim‘s fantastic Halfway To Fivepoints. This is an album that is mostly about being down, kind of indie pop blues, but it is a very good album with gripping lyrics and a beautiful voice. To Be Gone, Little Lies and Halfway To Fivepoints are all excellent tracks on a very, very good album.

The winner for me though by a good bit was the The Indelicate’s American Demo album. This is what rock is supposed to be, angry, thoughtful and provoking. Some of the music is harsh, some is very pretty but almost all the tracks were killers. If you enjoyed the Rolling Stones when they were still young and angry, this is what they would have sounded like if they came out in 2008. A brilliant album, but sadly discontinued and unavailable in my usual haunts, but most of the tracks are available to listen to at LastFm and are available on singles.

Ten Favorite Songs I Was Listening To This Year:

These are not in any particular order and are not all songs released this year, just ten songs I really enjoyed this year.

  1. Alabama 3 – Mao Tse Tung Said
    – This song is a massive earworm for me, but I don’t hate it the way I do some songs that get stuck in my head. When it pops up in my head I just grab the album and give it a listen. Alabama 3 is the unique thing, a British band that gets American music. The last band I remember doing this was Screaming Blue Messiahs back in the eighties. Anyway, great song.
  2. The Mountain Goats – Sax Rohmer #1 – This is just a great song that starts out strong and never lets off. I have the single on my favorites playlist, but sadly haven’t picked up the album yet. They are on the list for when I am working again.
  3. Anna Ternheim – To Be Gone – Looking for work is pretty tough on the ego sometimes. Sometimes this song is exactly how I feel. Don’t worry, it passes.
  4. Sigur Rós – Olsen Olsen – A haunting beautiful song that makes me stop what I am doing and daydream every time I hear it. Can’t find a link to just the song, so this is to a video, but don’t watch the video the first time you hear the song, just listen to the music.
  5. The Puppini Sisters – Old Cape Cod – Not sure why I like this one best off their most recent album, but I do. Very pretty.
  6. Tilly and the Wall – Bad Education – Another one I can’t find as a full song for you all to listen to so this is a link to them performing the song on the Letterman Show, not a bad clip, but not the full song. Excellent flamenco based pop song. Also check out Pot Kettle Black, which they will give you as a sample. Another favorite of mine this year.
  7. Spring Break Shark Attack – El Tiburon – Ok, how could I not love a band named Spring Break Shark Attack? This is from a very good album, but I like this cut very much.
  8. The Indelicates – We Hate The Kids – This is what I mean when I say they are angry. They mean it, they hate the kids.
  9. Black Box Recorder – The Facts of Life – This is from 2000 but I only found it this year, no idea if it was a hit back then or not, I don’t recall hearing it when I lived in the UK, but this year I played it quite a bit.
  10. Ant Neely – Lucky – This link is a cheat, it is to the download site for the whole Ant Neely album, Not Fit For Human Consumption which is a great album. Lucky is the my favorite track, but only just. All the tracks are released under a Creative Commons license and Ant asks that you give the album out if you like it. I do, so I am giving the link to you. Enjoy.

2 thoughts on “Best of 2008: Music”

  1. Just picked up Hacienda’s album from 2008 (Loud is the night) and wanted to turn you on to them. The disc is strange in that every song reminds me of a different musical style. So many bands are stuck in one style or maybe two so that while there may be several good cuts, listening to a whole album can be boring. With these guys, the feel is more like a “best of” collection. They are derivative, but original enough that it’s more of a tribute to the bands they remind me of, rather than direct rip offs. Here’s the link to their record company’s site: I’m sure there’s more about them elsewhere on the web and they’ll be in DC on Feb 28th at the 9:30 (probably as an opening band since they are pretty indie).

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