2008 -- Year in Music


Here is my 2007 Music Review
Here is my 2006 Music Review

The year 2008 actually started off extremely slow for listening to new music, but I came on strong as the weather got colder and I listened to a bunch of new stuff, mostly from the old tried and true, by the end of the year. Below are the new albums I listened to, most of them were reviewed on this blog (click album to read review).

Paul Westerberg - 49:00
Walkmen – You & Me
Ting Tings – We Started Nothing
Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
The Wedding Present – El Rey
Weezer – The Red Album
REM – Accelerator
Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue
The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

As I posted earlier, I hated the Walkmen and loved the Wedding Present, with El Rey my favorite Album of the year. The Jenny Lewis album was a disappointment and Stay Positive by The Hold Steady was nice. Accelerator was o.k. Nice rockin’ album but not a classic by any stretch of the imagination. That Paul Westerberg release was a fun little experiment that I find myself listening to every so often as well. Overall a pretty weak year for new music.

Rediscovered Albums
My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
The Wedding Present – Seamonsters, Bizaro, Hit Parade
Ike Reilly – Junkie Faithful
Built to Spill – Perfect From Now On

I really got into The Wedding Present this fall with Bizzaro and Hit Parade on heavy rotation. The My Bloody Valentine and Built to Spill albums were long lost classics I am glad I re-discovered. They were off my radar screen for far too long. I really grooved on that Ike Reilly disc too and might check out some more Ike in 2009.

That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
Carpetbagger – Jenny Lewis w/Elvis Costello
Killing the Blues – Robert Plant and Alison Kraus

That’s Not My Name was by far my favorite song this year. I just crank the volume every time I hear it. Carpetbagger was cool too – I just love Elvis Costello’s vocals – that’s why I was so disappointed in the rest of that Jenny Lewis album. Killing the Blues was actually released in 2007 but I really didn’t hear it until 2008. Great lugubrious song.

Bob Dylan

Click on each individual show for my review. Not a whole lot of concerts this year. In fact that Bodeans concert was from New Years but obviously fell into 2008 too so I included it. The Mekons was kinda a concert but hey live music counts is a concert right? I missed a couple of good ones including The Wedding Present, some shows related to the RNC in St. Paul, and a Flaming Lips show at a festival in Detroit Lakes. Not sure what 2009 brings.

So not the greatest year in music but what the heck, I’m not 22 any more. What did you like musically this year?


Deerhoof Offend Maggie: Another winner from the SF, CA art-rockers, now (again) a quartet. These guys are on a serious roll since Reveille.

Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago: A gorgeous achievement, full of heart-breaking beauty. Probably get my vote for Album of the Year. Highly recommended.

Blitzen Trapper Furr: Portland combo with retro and post punk stylings. A little Neil, a lot of Bob, some Moby Grape, and a good stretch of Pavement. (I also discovered their previous LP Wild Mountain Nation this year too. Eclectic to the point of sounding like a mix tape--but of really cool bands.)

Land of Talk Some are Lakes: Bought this because a friend of mine put the title track on a mix-tape. Was a bit disappointed that nothing was as good as that song. I need to give it a few more spins, though, as singer Liz Powell has a wonderful voice.

Fleet Foxes Ragged Wood: Another one that skews retro, but does it with such grace, it's hard to find fault with it. Beautiful vocal harmonies paired with strong melodies. Another contender for album of the year.

Ruby Suns Sea Lion: A weird mash-up of Pet Sounds-era Brian Wilson, afrobeat and New Order. A very fun record.

TV on the Radio Dear Science: This kinda got lost in a shuffle of new albums. I definitely need to listen to it some more. "Shout Me Out" is a great song.

Hold Steady Stay Positive: A couple of stellar songs to add to their catalog, but not a career high.

Found myself going back and re-discovering some stuff as well. Syd Straw, Giant Sand, Kirsty McColl, Wire, Robert Wyatt, and Television are all old faves who resurfaced this year. In fact, a couple Television bootlegs were among the year's greatest finds.

A new discovery of an old performer that I wasn't familiar with was Terry Reid. (I took a flyer on him because he gets several shout-outs in the Mat's book, All Over But The Shouting.) I picked up Super Lungs a 2-CD retrospective late last year, and it received massive play at home, in my car, and at the studio. The guy has one of the great voices in rock history--he was Jimmy Page's first choice for Zep. (He said, thanks, but no thanks. Then he recommended Robert Plant.)

E-6, your new choices are a lot more introspective than mine, I think you might be a program director for The Current? :o)

I should have mentioned that Fleet Foxes release. I heard a lot of it and what I heard didn't really move me. Same with Bone Evair. I've been meaning to check out Blitzen Trappen for some time now.

If you checked my review of 2006, I redescovered Wire then. Fun to hear how so much music today is derivative of Wire.

Finally checking out This Mortal Coil based on your comments last week.

Bone Evair

Hooked on phonetics! :-) You should really listen to that one again, as it's an "album" in the truest sense. Carve out a 39 minute block, pour an adult beverage of your choice, and let it work it's magic. It will grow on you.

Given what pops up on your Random-10's, I can't see how you wouldn't like Blitzen Trapper. A really fine band. Plus, in addition to what I said above, nearly every song has a great little 70's-style guitar lick or solo that just makes me smile.

MBV, Built to Spill, and The Wedding Present have always been in play for me. Great bands, all. (I neglected to mention El Rey as something else I enjoyed this year.)

This Mortal Coil It'll All End in Tears has some fantastic moments--especially when Liz Frazier (Cocteau Twins) sings. "Song to the Siren" (a Tim Buckley cover) and "Another Day" (a Roy Harper cover) are two for the pantheon.

And as I haven't listened to the Current in over a year, are you talkin' trash, man? I kid, I kid. (About the trash talk, anyway. I really don't listen to the radio...)

E-6, check out the Current's best of 2008 list when it comes out next week, you'll see a lot of overlap with your list (not that there's anything wrong with that).

I guess I should give Bon Iver another listen. I know someone who dropped $300 to get one of only 100 copies of his demo disc. Obviously single and has no wife to explain that purchase to.

Excellent article. Very interesting blog. Keep it up!

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This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on December 23, 2008 9:31 AM.

Books Read 2008 was the previous entry in this blog.

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