Rock Talk

Okay, so the Best Of 2008 music lists are starting to trickle in, which makes me say to myself, "Self, you really need to listen to a lot of music to get caught up, man. You're slipping."

And I am. Every year, I swear I get less and less cool, which is unfortunate, because I wasn't all that cool to begin with. This means that soon, I will be in cool debt and then in cool default. My remaining cool will be repossessed and I will be left cool-less, destitute, like one of those people you see wearing a Billy Ray Cyrus t-shirt unironically. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. There are millions of fading hipsters out there who may default on their allotment of cool. And onc ethat happens, you can expect a crash of the cool market, forcing such venerable institutions of hipsterism like Pitchfork to find ethemselves pleading with the Federal government for a cool bailout.

And it will all be my fault.

So, in order to avert a catastrophe of biblical proportions, I am going to do a public service and try and boost some cool. I'm gonna take a few of the Best Of 2008 lists I've seen and boil them down to the stuff you (and I) should probably try and listen to by the end of the year (if we haven't already) before we look like total fools at our office Christmas parties when approached by some snobby hipster who asks us, "So, what have you been listening to?"

A lot of these on this list have been represented on this years' BRR Monthly Mixxes, so if you've been keeping up, you may be safe.

For now.

So yeah, here's my "short list" of stuff I need to listen to - whether it's again, more closely, or for the first time - before the end of the year. So I can make an informed Best Of list. Because this "trying to look like a hipster" stuff serious business:

Beck Modern Guilt
The Black Keys Attack & Release
Blind Pilot 3 Rounds and a Sound
Blitzen Trapper Furr
Bob Dylan Tell Tale Signs — The Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
Brian Wilson That Lucky Old Sun
Chad VanGaalen Soft Airplane
Coldplay Viva la Vida
Crystal Castles Crystal Castles
David Byrne and Brian Eno Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Death Cab for Cutie Narrow Stairs
Department Of Eagles In Ear Park
Elbow The Seldom Seen Kid
Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes
Forest Fire Survival
Gnarls Barkley The Odd Couple
The Hold Steady Stay Positive
Hot Chip Made in the Dark
Kings of Leon Only by the Night
Mates of State Re-Arrange Us
MGMT Oracular Spectacular
M83 Saturdays=Youth
My Morning Jacket Evil Urges
Neon Neon Stainless Style
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Of Montreal Skeletal Lamping
Plants and Animals Parc Avenue
Ra Ra Riot The Rhumb Line
The Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely
The Rural Alberta Advantage Hometowns
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals Cardinology
Santogold Santogold
Stephen Malkmus Real Emotional Trash
TV on the Radio Dear Science
Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend

Anything I'm missing?


Ryan C. Adams said...

Perhaps I skimmed through the list too fast, but am I correct in stating Chinese Democracy is not on your list? If not, you better add it, or Axl will sue you.

Dylan said...

Axl sucks. GNR sucks. Chinese Democracy - the album as well as the idea - sucks. Bring on yr lawyers, Rose. I'll send them home crying.

ash said...

"Short" list? I'm screwed.

jason quinones said...

i can't tell you what you missed as i am about as cool as a warm cup o' pee sitting on hotplate in the middle of the mojave desert.

but from my own experience i can tell you to pay special attention to...

Santogold: Santogold

and especially

TV on the Radio: Dear Science

you can skip Vampire Weekend ALL TOGETHER as i DO NOT get those guys at all!!!

preppy white guys capitalizing on African music that's done way better by African groups. or at least done way better by guys like David Byrne or The Police or the dozens of other guys who've done this before Vampire Weekend ever came along or were even born.

but that's just me.

p.s. saw a t-shirt on threadless.com that said:


...and i thought of ya buddy!

you can find it at


p.p.s- the word verification is


Dylan said...

Jason, your advice - as always - will be taken under consideration as I put together what is sure to be an insane iTunes 2008 playlist. (In fact, after I made this list, I started looking through my library and found a bunch of other albums I'd like to give some attention to before years' end, so ... yeah, like the label says, I have a problem.)

But I must tell you that you are wrong on Vampire Weekend. That album is pretty awesome. It's fun, catchy and makes no pretense about what it is: co-opted African music played by Ivy League preps for summer parties. I respect those polo-shirted rich kids for their transparency.

And I'd love to wear that t-shirt, but I only wear t-shirts that don't exist yet.

Dylan said...

And Ash, I'll post a shorter "Short List" by the end of the year. Forgive my OCD.

Huston said...

I don't think The Hold Steady's album is deserving of any honor's here. And i like 'em, but stay positive was pretty uninspired. same with cardinology.

I'd put Wolf Parade's 'At Mount Zoomer', and Tokyo Police Club's 'Elephant Shell' there. But that's just me.

'Dear Science' was the best album of the year. It's that good.

Dylan said...

Huston, this list is sort of an amalgamation of a handful of 2008 lists I'd stumbled across. The Hold Steady and Ryan Adams albums are both ones that I barely gave a decent listen to, so I'd like to have listened to them all the way through at least once before passing judgement. I don't think my opinion of those albums will change (in fact, I think Stay Positive will be the album that makes me admit that I really don't like the Hold Steady), but at least I gave it a try.

Plus, I always am underwhelmed by Ryan Adams' albums at first. I remember first listening to Cold Roses and thinking "This should have been a single album," and now, I can't get enough of it. Go figure.

And both those albums (Wolf Parade and TPK) have been added to my "getting longer by the minute" iTunes listening list.

And, if the few Best Of lists I've seen are any indication, it looks like Dear Science is going to be the clear winner this year, accolades-wise.

jason quinones said...

Huston thinks TV on the Radio's Dear Science is THE BEST album of the year.

the year's not over but at this point i'd probably agree.

take heed Dylan, teh intranet has spoketh!

chrishaley said...

Sloan's "Parallel Play" was so much better than that My Morning Jacket album.. which was not good.
That is all.

chrishaley said...

Also, (proving that the above was not in fact "all") Travis's new album was also very good.