So, here it is. My 2008 music post. It's not nearly as insane as last years monstrosity, so that's good. My Honorable Mentions list is still a little out of control (but trust me, that list was twice the size it is now), but I think it's a good smattering of a decent portion of the worthwhile music from last year. As usual, you can call "B.S." on any of it in the comment section.
I've heard a few complaints that this year "just wasn't that good" for music. This is complete horsecrap. There were a lot of really good albums released this year. Like, a ton of them. So shut up, you freaking babies. Shut up and just rock out.
Honorable Mentions (or) A Still Pretty Long Short List:
Beck / Modern Guilt
Brian Wilson / That Lucky Old Sun
Death Cab For Cutie / Narrow Stairs
Dr. Dog / Fate
Fleet Foxes / Fleet Foxes
Gnarls Barkley / The Odd Couple
Islands / Arm's Way
Jonathan Richman / Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild
Langhorne Slim / Langhorne Slim
Los Campesinos! / Hold On Now, Youngster... / We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
MGMT / Oracular Spectacular
The Mountain Goats / Heretic Pride
Plants and Animals / Parc Avenue
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals / Cardinology
Santogold / Santogold
The Sea and Cake / Car Alarm
Silver Jews / Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
Times New Viking / Rip It Off
Tokyo Police Club / Elephant Shell
Travis Morrison Hellfighters / Hellfighters
Utah Rangers / Breaking Your Heart Takes Training
Vampire Weekend / Vampire Weekend
The Walkmen / You & Me
White Denim / Workout Holiday
Wolf Parade / At Mount Zoomer
Top 10 Favorite Albums of 2009 (or) The Shorter List:
Born Ruffians / Red Yellow & Blue
I read a review somewhere that summed these guys up as Vampire Weekend without the white guilt/cultural pilfering perpetrated by preppy Ive Leaguers, and yeah, that sort of fits. It's a joyous, bouncy album full of great hooks, layered vocals and shouts. It deserves to be on the list for "Hummingbird," if nothing else.
David Byrne and Brian Eno / Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
If you were expecting a sequel to My Life In the Bush Of Ghosts, this collection of laid-back, poppy tunes probably knocked you for a loop. As a rock record, it more than satisfies. It's hopeful, interesting and beautiful. And come on, it's David Byrne and Brian Eno; did you really think it wasn't going to be on my list?
Herman Dune / Next Year In Zion
If you can find me a happier record from this year, I will eat my hat. Listen to it if you're having a particularly rough day.
Hot Chip / Made In The Dark
I swear, everybody forgot about this just absolutely slamming record. Music to get your white @$$es shaking and fists pumping.
Mates Of State / Re-Arrange Us
A song cycle about making love and family work as rock and rollers, it's the most polished effort from this husband-wife duo. At their best, Mates Of State remind you just how much joyous, beautiful, noise two people can make. And this is them at their best.
No Kids / Come Into My House
If Sufjan Stevens and Hot Chip made a weekend party record, this would be it. Excellent debut.
R.E.M. / Accelerate
After the unforgivable (and unlistenable) abortion that was Around the Sun, the Southern boys just like you and me turn in an album that rocks like a band 25 years younger, putting all those pretty little posers (that's aimed at you, Killers) to shame. Just a solid album from a band that refuses to become irrelevant. Well played, boys. Well played.
Sam Amidon / All Is Well
A haunting collection of traditional folk songs reworked with all their weirdness and weariness intact. Just a stunning album, this.
Stephen Malkmus / Real Emotional Trash
A jammy, raucous set from a guy who just gets better with age.
TV on the Radio / Dear Science
TVOTR - like Radiohead - is one of those bands that, while I know they're great, I never really connected with their work the way I felt I should. Until now. So yeah, believe the hype; Dear Science is fantastic.
Click here for the BRR Honorable Mentions 2008 Mix.
And click here for the BRR Favorites 2008 Mix.
And leave me a comment to tell me if I've totally lost my mind of if I neglected something you loved or just to say "hello." Enjoy.