Here are my Top 5 albums of 2008 and 25 songs I really liked and think you would too. A word of explanation on the albums - I've fully made the jump to downloads and am rarely listening to albums all the way through. I'll need to defer to Engaged Boy [former Boston friend who was recently engaged] since he's still buying vinyl, I think.
- Hold Steady, Stay Positive
- Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
- R.E.M., Accelerate
- Kings of Leon, Only by the Night
- Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Honorable Mention: Play, Brad Paisley
Here is where I give a shout out to the best radio station in New York City, 101.9 WRXP, FINALLY, a station to replace my beloved 'FNX. Why am I plugging a random NYC radio station? Well, I'll let you in on a little secret Triplets, NY radio SUCKS. Sure, Fordham has a decent college station, but if you want to here anything recorded after 1994 that isn't Beyonce, Kanye or Nickelback, you were SOL before WXRP came along. WXRP is where I first heard new Kings of Leon, R.E.M., My Morning Jacket, Pretenders, The Hold Steady, Flobots...
Some of these for the first time - yes, having kids and working a job with unreasonable hours has the side effect of not getting out and getting to know that bands like The Hold Steady and MMJ are out there. So there you go - my new favorite band? The Hold Steady. Stay Positive is excellent from the roota to the toota, as Yacc is wont to say. My old favorite band, Kings of Leon also had a great release, but you can't top Stay Positive.
As for Fleet Foxes, I wanted to hate them since I saw their album for sale at Starbucks, but they are too good. Not every day music, but perfect for unwinding at the end of the day, or background to, I don't know, writing blog posts... My Album of the year - Fleet Foxes, S/T.
Songs (with vidoes embedded - enjoy!)
- A-Punk, Vampire Weekend. Hey, I live near Washington Heights.
- Oxford Comma, Vampire Weekend. No, no serial comma necessary.
- Salute your Solution, the Raconteurs. Better than the last White Stripes tracks.
- Horse to Water, R.E.M. Wow.
- Man-Sized Wreath, R.E.M. Wower. Stipe is Really Energetic Michael after all.
- I'm Amazed, My Morning Jacket. Yup. And this made me buy Z. Awesome.
- Gettin' Up, Q-Tip. Check out Believe too. Tip's still got it.
- Use Somebody, Kings of Leon. Sorry. I love these guys. Sex on Fire sucks, but 17 is good too.
- White Winter Hymnal, Fleet Foxes. Best secular hymn of 2008.
- Put On, Young Jeezy (feat. Kanye West). Autotone Kanye w/ a keffiyeh? Hell yeah.
- Cath..., Death Cab for Cutie. "You were living someone else's dream." Saddest lyric of 2008.
- Lost!, Coldplay. [sheepishly grins] I liked Viva la Vida too [/sheepishly grins]
- Saved by Old Times, Deerhunter.
- Magick, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals. I never really liked this guy, but this song is solid and short (2:20 or so).
- Constructive Summer, Hold Steady. Yes. Let's raise a glass to St. Joe Strummer.
- Sequestered in Memphis, Hold Steady. A business trip never sounded so good.
- Magazines, Hold Steady.
- Come on In, Brad Paisley (feat. Buck Owens). From the Streets of Bakersfield to the best guitar player in the USA. All of Play is tremendous.
- Never Miss a Beat, Kaiser Chiefs
- Sometime Around Midnight, Airborne Toxic Event. Much love for the De Lillo reference. Song is good too.
- Handlebars, The Flobots. All-K, These guys are Cake, if they decided to rap.
- Moab, Conor Oberst. Hyperliterate and Correct.
- Boots of Chinese Plastic, The Pretenders. Some comeback.
- Anything 'cept the Truth, Eagles of Death Metal. You sure this isn't QOTSA?
- Take Back the City, Snow Patrol. Anyone else hear Mike and the Mechanics before and during the chorus?
By the way, if Paper Planes by M.I.A. is an official 2008 release? That wins HANDS DOWN.
Groups who released acclaimed albums I just can't get into:
Bon Iver - The mythology is a lot to get over. Saw him on Letterman. Meh.
TV on the Radio - I'm trying. It's not working. Sorry Brooklyn!
Portishead - Engaged Boy - Help me out here.
Fucked Up - Yes - I guess I'm not hardcore enough. Go Canada!
Off to macrame myself a pair of jean shorts.