BEST OF 2008 REDUX: Top 50 And More

More of our toppermost
of the poppermost. This time our contributors get the last word in.

 

 

BY THE EDITORS

 

 

To recap: yes, we thought 2008 was an amazing year for music – new, reissued, live, on film and in books.
The BLURT crew put our heads together, picked the brains of our contributing
writers, and listened to the comments of our readers and arrived at, not so
much a concrete consensus (that would be impossible, given the subjective
nature of list-making), but certainly a representative overview of the past
twelve months.

 

Below you’ll find our complete Top 50 Albums list from 2008;
our pithy descriptions, along with some selected “Best Of the Rest” categories,
follow. To view sleeve art and other spiffy stuff, click over to the BLURT
digital magazine (the one with the photo of our number one pick of the year,
Jessica Lea Mayfield, on the cover) HERE.

 

In addition to the Top 50 and Best Of the Rest, we also have
the individual lists of some of our staffers and contributing writers. Don’t
like what you see? Hey, take it up with them, or go make your own list! But we
think you’ll find plenty of food for thought just the same.

 

 

***

 

 

BLURT’S TOP 50
ALBUMS OF 2008

 

 

1. Jessica Lea Mayfield – With Blasphemy So Heartfelt
(Polymer)

2. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)

3. Shearwater – Rook (Matador)

4. Calexico – Carried To Dust (1/4 Stick/Touch & Go)

5. Future Clouds and Radar – Peoria
(Star Apple Kingdom)

6. Alejandro Escovedo – Real Animal (Back Porch/Manhattan)

7. Lykke Li -Youth Novels (LL Recordings)

8. Joseph Arthur & the
Lonely Astronauts – Temporary People (Lonely Astronaut)

9. Santogold – Santogold (Downtown)

10 Thalia Zedek Band – Liars and Prayers (Thrill Jockey)

11. James McMurtry – Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod)

12. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)

13. Black Keys – Attack and Release (Nonesuch)

14. The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia (Sub Pop)

15. Lucinda Williams – Little Honey (Lost Highway)

The Hold Steady – Stay Positive (Vagrant Records)

16. Dead Confederate – Wrecking Ball (Razor & Tie)

17. Cold War Kids – Loyalty To Loyalty (Downtown)

18. Dr. Dog – Fate (Park the Van)

19. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (Cash
Money)

20. Nick
Cave and the Bad Seeds –
Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (Mute)

21. Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New
West)

22. Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound (Side One Dummy)

23. Deerhunter – Microcastle (Kranky)

24. TV on the Radio – Dear Science (Interscope)

25. Okkervil
River – The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar)

26. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges (ATO)

27. Of Montreal
– Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl)

28. Deerhoof – Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars)

29. Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue (Warner Bros.)

30. King Khan and The Shrines – The Supreme Genius of…
(Vice)

31. Joan as Police Woman – To Survive (Cheap Lullaby)

32. Giant Sand – proVISIONS (Yep Roc)

33. Vivian Girls – Vivian Girls (In The Red)

34. Girl Talk – Feed the Animals (Illegal Art)

35. Delta Spirit – Ode to the Sunshine (Rounder)

36. Howlin Rain – Magnificent Fiend
(American)

37. Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride
(Beggars Banquet)

38. She and Him -Volume 1 (Merge)

39. Vampire Weekend – Vampire
Weekend (XL)

40. Erykah Badu – New Amerykah, Pt. One:
4th World War (Motown)

41. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Lie Down in the Light (Drag City)

42. Black
Mountain – In the Future
(Jagjaguwar)

43. Portishead – Third (Mercury)

44. Theresa Andersson – Hummingbird, Go! (Basin Street)

45. Duffy – Rockferry (Mercury)

46. Silver Jews – Lookout
Mountain, Lookout
Sea (Drag City)

47. Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple (Downtown)

48. Wolf Parade -At Mount Zoomer
(Sub Pop)

49. Mates of State – Re-Arrange Us (Barsuk)

50. Wovenhand – Ten Stones (Sounds Familyre)

 

 

INDIVIDUAL ALBUM
DESCRIPTIONS

 

 

1) Jessica Lea
Mayfield

With Blasphemy So Heartfelt (Polymer Sounds)

“I always look at things from a dark point of view,”
Jessica Lea Mayfield advises BLURT. “I’m an upbeat person when you meet me, but
for some reason I cannot write a happy song.” Indeed, the Ohio native’s
long-playing debut is pitch-dark and emotionally-saturated, pulling from rock,
indie and folk music to create some mutant blend of alt-Americana. It’s her
singular vision, piercing like a southern gothic author, and haunting voice – a
slurrysexycool cross between Jolie Holland, Edie Brickell and PJ Harvey, if you
can dig it – that captivated the BLURT staff upon the album’s release (on
producer/Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach’s Polymer label) in September. And
as we lived with the album, the realization grew that we were witnessing the
flowering of a major artist; so much so, that in addition to picking With Blasphemy So Heartfelt our top
album of 2008, Mayfield must surely be our Best New Artist, too. That’s our own
imprimatur, certainly, but when you consider some of the musicians she edged
out – among them, Lykke Li, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and She & Him – it’s
nothing less than an article of faith, too. Don’t ever give up that darkness,
Jessica. It becomes you.

 

 

2) Bon Iver

For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)

WE SAID: “Folksy at its core, but unwilling to pledge
allegiance to either the freak-folk movement or the army of bearded porch-pop
players, For Emma is a unique piece
of elegiac elegance.”

 

3) Shearwater

Rook (Matador)

WE SAID: “The album heralds [Jonathan] Meiburg’s leap from
gifted song stylist to master conductor and arranger- he’s been building
towards this moment.”

 

4) Calexico

Carried to Dust (Touch & Go)

WE SAID: “Over the course of their career Joey Burns and
John Convertino have created a readily identifiable blend of mariachi,
spaghetti western, ambling country and desert blues, and Carried to Dust is another version of its perfection.”

 

5) Future Clouds
& Radar

Peoria (Star Apple Kingdom)

WE SAID: “Peoria does have a sonic immediacy, but like
its predecessor it’s also an ambitious, complex work that demands multiple
listening sessions for its many subtleties and nuances to reveal themselves.”

 

6) Alejandro Escovedo

Real Animal (Back Porch)

WE SAID: “Real Animal brings together Escovedo’s roots in punk (“Chelsea”), country (“People”),
chamber pop (“Sister Lost Soul”), and Stonesy blues-rock (“Smoke” and “Real
Animal”) in a cohesive musical and lyrical narrative tracing the course of
Escovedo’s thirty-year-long career.”

 

7) Lykke Li

Youth Novels (LL Recordings)

WE SAID: “22-year-old Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson ain’t your
average Swedish pop/dance star… she crafts fascinating musical vehicles for
her lithe voice and swelling choruses.”

 

8) Joseph Arthur
& the Lonely Astronauts

Temporary People (Lonely Astronaut)

WE SAID: “A widescreen collection of mini-symphonies as
memorable as they come. It’s a career-capper in every sense of the word, an
album that should permanently install Arthur in the minds of the public.”

 

9) Santogold

Santogold (Downtown)

WE SAID: “Pan-cultural, like M.I.A., but deliciously sautéed
in the melting pot of the U.S.A. Dub, poppy New Wave, electro/hip-hop and more
swirl around her lusciously chirpy vocals. You can dance your ass off to her,
too.”

 

10) Thalia Zedek

Liars and Prayers (Thrill Jockey)

WE SAID: “And that voice! The former Come frontwoman sounds
like a more gravelly version of Patti Smith on a few of these songs, and her
lyrical work, laced with subtle political commentary, results in some
fascinating takes on everyday relations.”

 

11) James McMurtry

Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod)

WE SAID: “If you’ve heard ‘God Bless America,’ the bitter,
biting indictment of our political and corporate leaders first released in 2007,
then all you really need to know about Just
Us Kids
is that it’s not even the best song on the album, which is the best
of McMurtry’s career.”

 

12) Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)

WE SAID: “Picture My Morning Jacket’s Jim James sitting
around a campfire with Crosby, Stills and Nash and you’ll get the idea. Fleet
Foxes can be beautifully intimate (‘White Winter Hymnal’) or create a sound
that seems as wide and open as the Plains (‘Ragged Wood’).”

 

13) The Black Keys

Attack and Release (Nonesuch)

WE SAID: “From the get-go, there’s a lot to assimilate. It’s
not like they got a bassist or anything, but the Black Keys entering a studio
to record their fifth long player is a big change. The end result is the Keys’
most expansive record. Crank it up.”

 

14) The Gutter Twins

Saturnalia (Sub Pop)

WE SAID: “For all its sludgy slow electric pianos and
“Ohio”-like guitar squeak, Lanegan sounds like he’s having the time of his
life. That’s what hanging around your best pal (Dulli) will do for you.”

 

15) Lucinda Williams

Little Honey (Lost Highway)

WE SAID: “From the album’s opening track, the surging,
angular, almost punk-feeling riff-rocker “Real Love”; through several blues
compositions, country-honker “Well Well Well” and the swampy,  slide/ harp-fueled “Heavy Blues;” Little
Honey never falters.”

 

16) Dead Confederate

Wrecking Ball (Razor & Tie)

WE SAID: “Dead Confederate retain hints of Southern rock,
but where that genre can be predictable this cranks a left turn and crashes
into Nirvana-stained grunge and takes it to blurry new terrain where everyone’s
eyes are dilated and dark as wet pavement.”

 

17) Cold War Kids

Loyalty to Loyalty (Downtown)

WE SAID: “Cut to the chase: Loyalty to Loyalty is a scary fucking record, an indie rock version
of the Rolling Stones at their darkest, a whole album as harrowing as “Midnight
Rambler” or “Gimme Shelter… it haunts your dreams.”

 

18) Dr. Dog

Fate (Park the Van)

WE SAID: “It’s how they wear their inspirations on their
sleeve that makes them more than just the sum of some really cool record
collections. That, and the way they’ve filtered damn near everything that
wasn’t nailed down through their own distinct approach.”

 

19) Lil Wayne

Tha Carter III (Cash Money)

WE SAID: “The long-awaited album has finally arrived, and
feel free to rejoice: it was worth the wait. Don’t let the ‘Lollipop’ fool you.
There’s more to Lil Wayne than just candy-as-sex (see: Marcy Playground) puns.
In fact, there may be enough here to name him the new best rapper alive.”

 

20) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Dig!! Lazarus Dig!! (Mute)

WE SAID: “Dig‘s
sneering, bleary-eyed tracks have a bold potency to go with their fuzz-tone
organ’s pop-psychedelic fizzle and frying guitars. It’s positively
cum-filled.”

 

21) Drive-By Truckers

Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)

WE SAID: “At 19 songs and 75 minutes, this could be a
sprawling, meandering mess. Instead, Brighter is one of the more tightly-focused, energized DBT records to date.”

 

22) Gaslight Anthem

The ’59 Sound (Side One Dummy)

WE SAID: “Springsteen comparisons are a dime-a-dozen these
days, but these guys actually deserve it, far more than Arcade Fire or even the
Hold Steady, as much for vocalist/guitarist’s Brian Fallon’s wild and innocent
vocals as for the band’s unabashed belief that rock and roll is a life-or-death
proposition.”

 

23) Deerhunter

Microcastle (Kranky)

WE SAID: “Yes, Deerhunter is as good as the prescient
blogging community and new-music-obsessed youth say they are. Resistance is
futile, so turn it on, turn it up, and, at least for 40 minutes or so, tune the
rest of the world out.”

 

24) TV on the Radio

Dear Science (Interscope)

WE SAID: “TVOTR has become unstuck in rhyme, beat and
overall execution. It’s pretty interesting to observe the pull-and-tug, and on
an individual basis, many of the new songs rank among the band’s best.”

 

 

25) Okkervil River

The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar)

WE SAID: “Will Sheff’s nesting doll narratives fire big
sloppy anthems and balladeer dramas about self-important singer-songwriters, magazine
models, gay glam rockers, and anyone else who was ever put on a pedestal or
aspired to be (and those who put them there).”

 

26) My Morning Jacket

Evil Urges (ATO)

WE SAID: “MMJ are grounded in their earthy, Kentucky roots but their
branches and leaves stretch into the cosmos. Free of genres and restrictions,
they’re a distinctly American band that the whole universe can get down with.”

 

27) Of Montreal

Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl)

WE SAID: “Kevin Barnes’ songwriting remains as surreal,
scattered and frenetic as ever, a million ideas crammed into the space of 15
songs in just under an hour… this hectic formula has reaped great musical
rewards.”

 

28) Deerhoof

Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars)

WE SAID: “Deerhoof have fulfilled some of their greatest pop
potential here… overall, Offend Maggie is a
smashing success for the band, a big step up in content, arrangement, tonality, and accessible experimentation.”

 

29) Jenny Lewis

Acid Tongue (Warner Bros.)

WE SAID: “While her Rilo Kiley lyrics are less personal,
here there’s a darker, deeper  mix of the
personal and the character-narrative, yet all the heavy heady sad moments are
also ripe with lightness of being.”

 

30) King Khan and The
Shrines

The Supreme Genius of… (Vice)

WE SAID: “Montreal
mayhemist King Khan (aka Blacksnake) made his name in the legendarily
destructive Spaceshits and in scorching garage rock partnership with Mark
Sultan, but he comes into his own with the R&B-horned Shrines.”

 

31) Joan as Police
Woman

To Survive (Cheap Lullaby)

WE SAID: “Joan Wasser’s captivating voice-from high to
mid-range, pleading and frail one minute, husky and dreamy 
the next-coupled with her lyrical smarts can really paint a picture.”

 

32) Giant Sand

proVISIONS (Yep Roc)

WE SAID: “The main thing you take away from proVISIONS is the schizophrenic
suggestion that these are the most polished and accessible off-the-cuff
improvisations Gelb’s ever done.”

 

33) Vivian Girls

Vivian Girls (In The Red)

WE SAID: “The Girls’ layered vocal harmonies and echo
chamber recording sound like a lo-fi Phil Spector Wall of Sound. But this Brooklyn-based
band injects oodles of punk rock spirit, power chords, and technique into its
‘60s pop.”

 

34) Girl Talk

Feed the Animals (Illegal Art)

WE SAID: “The talent behind Girl Talk is his taste when it
comes to the treatments – like the window dressing your girlfriend puts in your office that
makes you smile or scowl. You’ll want to hear Dan Gillis zip through the
culture in Ratatat-meets-Paul’s Boutique fashion like a pitch-shifting snippet-stealing bar mitzvah DJ swallowing globs
of amber crystal meth.”

 

35) Delta Spirit

Ode to the Sunshine (Rounder)

WE SAID: “Think Stones and Band coursing through the veins
of these lapsed punks, whose take on traditional Americana might actually be closer to the
true emo-tional spirit than all the emo bands out there.”

 

36) Howlin Rain

Magnificent Fiend (American/Birdman)

WE SAID: “These cuts are so old-fashioned, they’re almost
fresh by default. In the end, though, what’s remarkable is not how well Howlin
Rain remembers the 1960s, but how completely it forgets everything that came
after.”

 

37) Mountain Goats

Heretic Pride (Beggars Banquet)

WE SAID: “From the angry, piano-tingled title song to the
desperate, devastating ‘Craters of the Moon’ to the bloody flashrock of
‘Lovecraft in Brooklyn,’ John Darnielle
channels his anger into grist for some of his strongest songs in a while.”

 

38) She and Him

Volume 1 (Merge)

WE SAID: “…and that’s what probably made this first (but
not last, insist both) Volume so
rich: they formed a bond because he’s a boldly intuitive producer and she’s a
dynamic sympathetic voice and recording partner that entered and exited She
& Him together.”

 

 

39) Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend (XL)

WE SAID: “Their breezy, endless weekend sound makes them a
sure shot to become Gen Z’s answer to Jimmy Buffett- which beats the hundreds
of bands copying Dave Matthews now.”

 

40) Erykah Badu

New Amerykah, Pt. One: 4th World War (Motown)

WE SAID: “A stunning, and overdue, return-to-form from the
soul-jazz mistress, this time boasting gutsy hip-hop riddims,
explosive-to-the-point-of-psychedelic arrangements and some pointedly political dropping-of-science.”

 

41) Bonnie ‘Prince’
Billy

 Lie Down in the Light
(Drag City)

WE SAID: “Having polished his distinctive brand of spare,
spooky Southern gothic folk-rock until it’s a genre unto itself, Will Oldham
decides to loosen the reins, indulging his country-cinematic side for an
upbeat, uplifting set of tunes.”

 

42) Black Mountain

In the Future (Jagjaguwar)

WE SAID: “The Canuck quintet clears the bong and coughs up
another masterpiece. They weave a tapestry of trippy tunes both heavy and deep
– a tight, intense ride, all sound and fury signifying awesome.”

 

43) Portishead

Third (Mercury)

WE SAID: “Maybe you thought the UK trio was gone for good; turns
out they were just digging deeper into their brooding, moody mindset. It may
have taken eleven years but you can’t rush the kind of genius we find on Third.”

 

44) Theresa Andersson

Hummingbird, Go! (Basin
Street)

WE SAID: “From the very start, you sense you’re in the
presence of something special: opening track ‘Na Na Na,’ with its strings,
Calexico-like percussion and guitars, and buoyantly keening vocals, is one of
those insta-anthems that sticks in your mind after a single listen.”

 

45) Duffy

Rockferry (Mercury)

WE SAID: “Don’t hold Amy Ann Duffy’s good looks or prefab
sound against her. The 24-year-old Wales native is no different in
concept-a bold vocalist backed by a phalanx of older men-than Petula Clark,
Dusty Springfield, or any of the other ‘60s artists mentioned in the same
breath.”

 

46) Silver Jews

Lookout Mountain, Lookout
Sea (Drag City)

WE SAID: “It may not take a genius to pen lyrics such as
‘How much fun is a lot more fun/Not much fun at all,’ but it does require a certain
enviable madness to write a song about a ‘Suffering Jukebox’ and still sound as
winningly innocent as a grade-school choir.”

 

47) Gnarls Barkley

The Odd Couple (Downtown)

WE SAID: “You must be crazy if you don’t love ‘em. From the jittery, paranoid ‘Run’ to the bluesily soulful
‘Who’s Gonna Save My Soul’ the duo matches the extant excellence of their
previous St. Elsewhere.”

 

 

48) Wolf Parade

At Mount
Zoomer (Sub Pop)

WE SAID: “The album-renamed from the original title, Kissing the Beehive-may include only
nine tracks, but they’re a melodic mix, with singer Spencer Krug and his crew
drawing heavily from the sounds of David Bowie, Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire.”

 

49) Mates of State

Re-Arrange Us (Barsuk)

WE SAID: “Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel are occasionally
(with a wink) lumped into the so-called ‘couple-core’ subgenre of indie rock, and in
truth, their buoyant, hooky, hypnotic pop has a delightfully reassuring
traditional-values vibe.”

 

50) Wovenhand

Ten Stones (Sounds Familyre)

WE SAID: “More like a band effort than another de facto
David Eugene Edwards solo release, it’s wildly diverse, everything from gothic-tinged
bossa nova to hard-rocking psychedelia to Edwards’ signature droney, atmospheric,
apocalyptic folk.”

 

 

 

***

 

 

BEST OF THE REST

 

 

 

BEST NEW ARTIST:

1) Jessica Lea Mayfield

 

Lykke Li

Bon Iver

Fleet Foxes

She & Him

 

 

 

BEST MUSIC
FILMS/DOCUMENTARIES:

1) Lou Reed Berlin,
dir. by Julian Schnabel  (Genius)

 

Control (Ian Curtis/Joy Division), dir. by Anton Corbijn
(The Weinstein Company)

Arthur Russell – Wild Combination, dir. by Matt Wolf
(Plexifilm)

Silver Jews – Silver Jew (Drag City)

Flaming Lips – Christmas On Mars (Warner Bros.)

 

 

BEST
REISSUE/ARCHIVAL:

1) Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean
Blue (Caribou/Legacy)

 

Rodriguez – Cold Fact (Light In The Attic)

Nick Lowe – Jesus of Cool (Yep Roc)

Replacements – catalog reissues (Rhino)

The Clash – Live at Shea Stadium (Epic/Legacy)

 

 

BEST BOOK:

1) Mike Edison – I Have Fun Everywhere I Go: Savage Tales
of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues,
American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World
(Faber & Faber)

 

Alex Ross – The Rest
Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century
(Picador)

Danny Goldberg – Bumping
Into Geniuses: My Life Inside The Rock And Roll
Business (Gotham Books)

Thurston Moore and Byron Coley – No Wave Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980. (Harry Abrams Publishing)

Juliana Hatfield – When I Grow Up (Wiley)

 

 

BIGGEST OBSESSIONS:

 

BEEFCAKE:

Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal)

Jay Reatard

Will Scheff (Okkervil
River)

Lil Wayne

Devendra Banhart

 

CHEESECAKE:

Lykke Li

Juliette Commagere

Lenka

Kaki King

Santogold

Zooey Deschanel

 

 

BEST LIVE SHOW:

1) Of Montreal

 

Avett Brothers

Alejandro Escovedo

My Morning Jacket

Sun City Girls

 

 

BEST TOUR:

1) Hold Steady + Drive-By Truckers

 

Radiohead

Nick
Cave & the Bad Seeds

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

 

 

COOLEST WHATEVER:

Finally! Democracy! (Obama gets elected)

Vinyl’s stubborn refusal to die

NPR’s “Tiny Desk” concerts

The “Wassup 2008” YouTube video

Radiohead’s webcasts

 

 

MOST ANNOYING
WHATEVER:

The death of print music magazines

Download-only tracks not available on disc

Kanye West

Camel and Rolling
Stone
‘s “Indie Rock Universe”

The overuse – use, actually – of auto-tune

 

 

 

BLURT STAFF + WRITERS’
BEST-OF LISTS FOR 2008 (PART 1)

 

 

 

FRED MILLS, Blurt
Managing Editor
(fmills@blurt-online.com)

 

TOP ALBUMS:

Joseph Arthur & the Lonely Astronauts – Temporary People
(Lonely Astronaut)

Theresa Andersson – Hummingbird, Go! (Basin Street)

Calexico – Carried To Dust (1/4 Stick/Touch & Go)

Wovenhand – Ten Stones (Sounds Familyre)

Alejandro Escovedo – Real Animal (Back Porch/Manhattan)    

Future Clouds and Radar – Peoria
(Star Apple Kingdom)

Toubab Krewe – Live at the Orange
Peel (Upstream)

The Verve – Forth (On Your
Own/Megaforce)

Steve Wynn – Crossing
Dragon Bridge
(Rock Ridge)

The Ettes – Look At Life Again Soon (Take Root)

Lykke Li – Youth Novels (LL)

Okkervil
River – The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar)

James McMurtry – Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod)

Thalia Zedek Band – Liars and Prayers (Thrill Jockey)

Giant Sand – Provisions (Yep Roc)

Black Angels – Directions to See a Ghost (Light In The
Attic)

Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)

Santogold – Santogold (Downtown)

Aterciopelados – Rio
(Nacional)

The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia (Sub Pop)

Lucinda Williams – Little Honey (Lost Highway)

Portishead – Third (Island)

 

BEST REISSUES/ARCHIVAL:

Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean
Blue (Caribou/Legacy)

R.E.M. – Murmur Deluxe Edition (IRS/UMe)

Rodriguez – Cold Fact (Light In The Attic)

The Clash – Live at Shea Stadium (Epic/Legacy)

Saint Etienne – Boxette (Foreign Office)

Individuals – Fields/Aquamarine (Bar/None)

Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff Deluxe Edition (Sub Pop)
Midnight Oil – Diesel and Dust Legacy Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

Van Duren – Are You Serious? (Water)

Neil Young – Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968 (Reprise)

Bob Dylan –  Telltale
Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 (Columbia/Legacy)

Whiskeytown – Strangers Almanac Deluxe Edition (Geffen)

Damon & Naomi – More Sad Hits (20/20/20)

Suicide – Live 1977-1978 (Blast First Petite)

Blue Ash – “No More, No Less” (Collectors Choice)

U2 – October Deluxe Edition (Island/UMe)

Liz Phair – Exile In Guyville (ATO)

Cheap Trick  – Budokan! 30th Anniversary Edition
(Epic/Legacy)

Various Artists – Carolina
Funk: First In Funk 1968-1977 (Jazzman)

Various Artists – Do The Pop! Redux Part One (Savage Beat/Shock
Australia)

 

BEST MUSIC FILMS/DOCUMENTARIES:

Control (Ian Curtis/Joy Division), dir. by Anton Corbijn
(The Weinstein Company)

Arcade Fire – Miroir Noir, dir. by Vincent Morisset
(miroir-noir.com download)

Flaming Lips – Christmas On Mars (Warner Bros.)

Joe Strummer – The Future is Unwritten, dir. Julian Temple
(Sony Legacy)

Holy Modal Rounders – Bound to Lose, dir. by Sam Wainwright Douglas, Jesse Fisher, Francis Hatch and
Paul Lovelace (Badbird)

Dan Deacon – Ultimate Reality, dir. by Jimmy Joe Roche (Carpark)

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, dir. by Lou Adler
(Rhino reissue)

Sigur Ros – Heima (XL Recordings)

 

BEST NEW ARTISTS:

Theresa Andersson

Lykke Li

Gaslight Anthem

Santogold

Benji Hughes

Jessica Lea Mayfield

Toubab Krewe

The Heavy

Duffy

Zach Hill

 

BEST BOOKS:

Mike Edison – I Have Fun Everywhere I Go: Savage Tales of
Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues,
American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World
(Faber & Faber)

Juliana Hatfield – When I Grow Up (Wiley)

Emma Pettit & Kathe Monem,
eds. – Old Rare New: The Independent
Record Shop
(Black Dog)

John Einarson & Chris Hillman
Hot Burritos: The True Story of the
Flying Burrito Brothers
(Jawbone)

Isis Aquarian with Electricity Aquarian – The Source: The
Untold Story of Father Yod, Yahowa 13 and the Source Family
(Process Media)

Thurston Moore & Byron Coley – No Wave: Post-Punk.
Underground. New York.
1976-1980. (Harry Abrams Books)

 

BIGGEST OBSESSIONS:

Lykke Li

Katie Price (aka Jordan)

Barack Obama/John McCain (tie)

 

BEST LIVE SHOW:

Avett Brothers Dec. 28, Orange Peel, Asheville NC

Alejandro Escovedo July 15, Orange Peel, Asheville NC

Theresa Andersson October 18, Grey Eagle, Asheville NC

Warren Haynes Christmas Jam Dec. 12 & 13, Asheville Civic Center, Asheville NC

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals March 6, Orange Peel, Asheville NC

Jason Isbell July 23, Grey Eagle, Asheville NC

 

BEST CONCERT TOUR:

Hold Steady + Drive-By Truckers

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

 

COOLEST WHATEVER:

-The “Wassup 2008” YouTube video for Obama.

-LEGO classic album cover recreations.

-USB turntables and cassette decks.

Achewood (www.achewood.com), which ain’t exactly the
next Get Your War On but, with that
scheduled to fold, it’s the next best thing.

-Band of Horses & James McMurtry play BLURT’s
post-Austin City Limits show on Sept. 27, 
a combined coming-out party for us and a benefit for the Health Alliance for
Austin Musicians. (It was an instant sellout when tickets went on sale Sept.
19,  by the way.) Pardon us while we blow
our own horn.

 

MOST ANNOYING:

-Harp magazine –
BLURT’s predecessor – gets the ax in the middle of SXSW and I have to spend the
rest of the festival trying to explain to people what happened.

-Labels and publicists trying to pass of digital promotional servicing as “green” when they’re really
just trying to save money (the former) and being lazy (the latter).

-Republicans.

-“The New CSNY/Grateful Dead” (Fleet Foxes et al) movement of snooze-core folkies.

-Having to do these damn best-of lists year after year when
we all know that nobody gives a shit what rock critics think.

 

 

————————————-

 

 

ANDY TENNILLE, Blurt
Associate Editor
(atennille@blurt-online.com)

 

ALBUMS:

Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal (Back Porch)

Drive By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)

My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges (ATO Records)

The Felice Brothers, The Felice Brothers (Team Love)

Howlin Rain, Magnificent Fiend (American)

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)

Dear Science, TV on the Radio (DGC/Interscope)

Jessica Lea Mayfield, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)

Erykah Badu, New Amerykah, Part One (4th World War) (Motown)

Blitzen Trapper, Furr (Sub Pop)

The Raconteurs, Consolers Of The Lonely (XL)

Backyard Tire Fire, The Places We Lived (Hyena Records)

The Weather Underground, Bird in The Hand EP

Dead Confederate, Wrecking Ball (Razor & Tie)

MGMT, Oracular Spectacular (Sony)

Kings of Leon,
Only by the Night (Sony BMG)

The Voices of Como, Como Now (Daptone)

The Dirtbombs, We Have You Surrounded (In The Red)

Etran Finatwa, Desert Crossroads (Riverboat)

 

REISSUES:

Dennis Wilson, Pacific Ocean
Blue

The Clash, Live at Shea Stadium

Whiskeytown, Strangers Almanac

Bob Dylan, Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8

Good God! Soul Messages from Dimona (Numero
Group)

 

NEW ARTISTS:

Jessica Lea Mayfield

The Felice Brothers

Fleet Foxes

The Weather Underground

Dead Confederate

 

TOUR:

Blitzen Trapper/Fleet Foxes, Spring 2008

Etran Finatawa/Vieux Farka Toure, Fall 2008

Drive-By Truckers/Hold Steady

Avett Brothers/Jessica Lea Mayfield

 

ANNOYING:

Kayne West, Bonnaroo 2008

Vampire Weekend

Blake “Incarcerated” Fielder-Civil

Live Nation’s “360-degree” artist deals

Bands whose albums break based on Internet hype but can’t
play a lick live

 

DVD:

Wetlands Preserved: The Story Of An Activist Rock Club

 

BOOKS:

Da Capo’s Best Music
Writing 2008

1,000 Recordings To
Hear Before You Die

 

——————————————-

 

 

A.D. AMOROSI, Blurt
Associate Editor
(divaland@aol.com)

 

ALBUMS:

Joan as Police Woman – To Survive (Cheap Lullaby

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (Columbia)

Mostly Other People Do the Killing – This is Our Moosic (Hot
Cup)

Byrne/Eno – Everything That Happens will Happen Today  (Todo Mundo)

Matthew Herbert Big Band – There’s Me and there’s You (CFP

Aterciopelados – Rio
(Nacional)

Monkey: Journey To The West (XL)

Nick
Cave & the Bad Seeds
– Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (anti)

Portishead – Third (Mercury)

Ximena Sarinana – Mediocre (WB)

Ting Tings – We Started Nothing (Columbia)

Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit
Gold (Rhymesayers)

Raphael Saadiq – The Way I See It (Sony)

Talkdemonic – Eyes at Half Mast (Arena Rock

Kanye West – 808s + Heartbreak (Def Jam)

King Khan and The Shrines — The Supreme Genius of… (Vice
Records)

Diplo- Blow Your Head EP (Mad Decent)

Matthew Gerken, Jefferson Pitcher,
Christian Kiefer – Of Great and Mortal Men:
43 Songs for 43 U.S.
Presidencies (Standard)

TV on the Radio –
Dear Science (Interscope)

Hercules and Love
Affair – Hercules and Love Affair (Mute)

 

REISSUES:

Anthony Braxton The
Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton (Mosaic)

Philip Glass – Glass
Box: A Nonesuch Retrospective (Nonesuch)

Various artists –
Titan!: It’s All Pop (Numero Group)

Miles Davis Kind of
Blue 50th Anniversary (Columbia/Legacy)

Ornette Coleman
Town Hall 1962 (ESP-Disk)

Hank Williams – The
Unreleased Recordings (Time Life)

Genesis – 1970-1975
(Rhino)

Suicide – Live
1977-1978 (Blast First)
Various artists – Eccentric Soul: The Young Disciples (Numero
Group)

Bob Dylan – Tell
Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8 (Columbia/Legacy)

 

NEW ARTISTS:

Little Joy

Kilroy

The Model

Gemini Wolf

Tobacco

 

DVDS:

Flaming Lips –
Christmas on Mars

Arthur Russell –
Wild Combination

 

BOOKS

Thurston Moore and Byron Coley -No Wave Post-Punk.
Underground. New York.
1976-1980. (Harry Abrams Books)

Philip Norman – John Lennon: The Life (Ecco)

 

WORST TREND:

Download only tracks

Barack Obama

Wilco doing more stuff

 

 

———————————————————–

 

 

JEN KELLY

 

ALBUMS:

1. Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal
2. The Dirtbombs, We Have You Surrounded
3. Woven Hand Ten Stones
4. Thalia Zedek Band, Liars and Prayers
5. The Gutter Twins, Saturnalia
6. Man Man, Rabbit Habits
7. Experimental Aircraft, Third Transmission
8. Human Bell, Human Bell
9. Mt. Eerie and Julie Doiron, Lost Wisdom
10. Jay Reatard, The Matador Singles

 

REISSUES:

1. Big Dipper, Supercluster
2. Roy Harper, stormcock,

3. Ian Matthews, If You Could See Thru My Eyes
4. The Friggs, Today Is Tomorrow’s Yesterday
5. Karen Dalton, Green Rocky Road

 

NEW ARTISTS:

Bon Iver

Thank You

Larkin Grimm

Lykke Li

Lights

Human Bell

 

ANNOYING: 

Lo-fi as a mannerism…see Crystal Castles, caUSE-coMOTION
and, especially, especially Vivian Girls.

 

——————————————

 

 

JASON GROSS

 

ALBUMS:

The Whigs “Mission Control” (ATO)

Hot Chip “Made in the Dark” (Astralwerks)

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “Honeydripper”
(Rhino)

The Mountain Goats “Heretic Pride” (Beggars
Banquet)

The Heavy “Great Vengence & FUrious Fire”
(Ninja Tune)

Los Campesinos! “Hold On Now, Youngster…”

Clark “Turning Dragon” (Warp)

James McMurty “Just Us Kids” (Lightning Rod)

Absentee “Victory Shorts” (Memphis Industries)

Münchener Kammerorchester “Haydn, Yun: Farewell –

Symphonies Nos. 39 and 45 / Chamber Symphony I” (ECM)

Paul Westerberg “49:00” (Dry Wood Music)

Girl Talk “Feed the Animals” (Illegal Art)

GZA “Pro Tools” (Babygrande)

Lil Wayne “Tha Carter III” (Cash Money)

Martha Wainwright “I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got
Feelings Too” (Zoe)

Lucinda Williams “Little Honey” (Lost Highway)

The Knux “Remind Me In 3 Days…” (Interscope)

Nine Inch Nails “The Slip” (nin.com)

Okkervil
River “The Stand
Ins” (Jagjaguwar)

Mavis Staples “Live: Hope at the Hideout” (Anti-)

 

REISSUES:

Fairport Convention “Unhalfbricking” (Water)

Nick Lowe “Jesus of Cool” (Yep Roc)

Mission of Burma
“Vs” (Matador)

Pavement “Brighten the Corners- Deluxe Edition”
(Matador)

Blue Ash “No More, No Less” (Collectors Choice)

Philip Glass “Glass Box: A Nonesuch Retrospective”
(Nonesuch)

Johnny Cash “At Folsom Prison” (Columbia/Legacy)

Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter “Old Records Never

Die: The Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter Anthology” (Shout
Factory)

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic “Dawn of the Cycads”
(Cunieform)

Various Artists “Analog Africa No. 3: African Scream
Contest (Analog Africa)

 

NEW ARTISTS:

Pretty and Nice

Killa Kella

Brother Kite

Beat Union

Lykke Li

 

TOUR:

The Bottle Rockets

Neil Innes

Manuel Göttsching

Sun City Girls

Gwar

 

ANNOYING:

Britney’s insistence on not disappearing

“Chinese Democracy” finally coming out

Bookstores closing

Record Stores closing

Newspapers cutting staff

 

DVDS:

“The Holy Modal Rounders- Bound to Lose”

“Young at Heart”

 

BOOKS:

Alex Ross “The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the
Twentieth Century” (Picador)

David Sheppard “On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times
of Brian Eno” (Orion)

 

————————————————–

 

 

BEN WESTOFF

 

ALBUMS:

Wolf Parade, At Mount
Zoomer (Sub Pop)

Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III (Cash Money)

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend (XL)

Mates of State, Re-Arrange Us (Barsuk)

The Magnetic Fields Distortion (Nonesuch)

9th Wonder and Buckshot The Formula (Duck Down)

Vast Aire, Deuces Wild (One Records)

Jamie Lidell, Jim (Warp)

Jake One, White Van Music (Rhymesayers)

Deerhunter
Microcastle (Kranky)

 

BOOKS:
Marybeth Hamilton, “In Search Of The Blues”
Steven Kurutz, “Like A Rolling Stone”
Tyler Gray, “The Hit Charade: Lou Pearlman, Boy Bands, and the Biggest Ponzi Scheme In U.S. History”

 

 

————————————————-

 

 

REV. KEITH GORDON

 

ALBUMS:

1. Scott Kempner – Saving Grace (00:02:59 Records)

2. The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound (Side One Dummy
Records)

3. B.B. King – One Kind Favor (Geffen Records)

4. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive (Vagrant Records)

5. Buddy Guy – Skin Deep (Silvertone Records)

6. Alejandro Escovedo – Real Animal (Back Porch Records)

7. Sonny Landreth – From The Reach (Landfall Records)

8. Joe Louis Walker – Witness To The Blues (Stony Plain)

9. Will Hogue – Draw The Curtain (Ryko)

10. Meshuggah – Obzen (Nuclear Blast)

 

 

REISSUES:

1. Nick Lowe – Jesus
Of Cool (Yep Roc Records)

2. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Willy & the Po’ Boys
(Fantasy Records)

3. The Replacements – Let
It Be (Rhino Records)

4. Drivin-N-Cryin – Fly
Me Courageous (American Beat Records)

5. Warren Zevon – Warren
Zevon (Rhino Records)

 

NEW ARTIST:

The Gaslight Anthem

 

DVDS:

Delbert McClinton & Friends – Rocking The Boat (JC Communications)

Cactus – Live (Music Video Distributors)

 

 

BOOKS:

Martin Popoff – Ye
Olde Metal: 1977 (Power Chord Press)

Ann Wicker, editor – Making
Notes: Music of the Carolinas (Novello)

 

TOUR:

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Dave Cousins & Ian Cutler

 

ANNOYING:

This year’s most annoying trend is the continued crappy
production and mastering of Albums on CD that removes all the creativity of
nuance and composition in favor of making the damn thing sound loud and uniform
when blasted through the listener’s iPod earbuds. Some of us still listen to
music the way that God and Chuck Berry intended… through a home stereo
system…and don’t need EQ that makes our ears bleed.

 

COOLEST:

That a multi-racial, mid-America-raised community organizer
from Chicago could defy mainstream media expectations to not only beat the
monolithic Clinton political machine but to also swarm the death star and knock
out the minions of the evil empire to be elected President of the United
States. 

 

 

———————————————-

 

 

CHUCK EDDY

 

ALBUMS:

1. Jamey Johnson – That Lonesome Song (Mercury)

2. The Knux – Remind Me In 3 Days… (Interscope)

3. Ne-Yo — Year Of The Gentleman (Def Jam)

4. James McMurtry – Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod)

5. Sugarland – Love On The Inside (Mercury)

6. Amanda Shaw – Pretty Runs Out (Rounder)

7. Chris Knight – Heart Of Stone (Drifter’s Choice)

8. The Baseball Project – Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes And Dying
Quails (Yep Roc)

9. Reckless Kelly – Bulletproof (Yep Roc)

10. Old Crow Medicine Show – Tennessee Pusher (Nettwerk)  

11. Santogold – Santogold (Downtown)

12. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal Motown)

13. Labelle – Back To Now (Verve Forecast)

14. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive (Vagrant)

15. Opeth – Watershed (Roadrunner)

16. Alejandro Escovedo – Real Animal (Back Porch/Manhattan)

17. Jay Reatard – Singles 06-07 (In The Red)

18. Kathleen Edwards — Asking For Flowers (Zoe)

19. Hayes Carll – Trouble In Mind (Lost Highway)

20. Dolly Parton – Backwoods Barbie (Dolly)

 

REISSUES: 

1. Ross Johnson – Make It Stop!
The Most Of Ross Johnson (Goner)

2. Woodbox Gang – Drunk As
Dragons (Alternative Tentacles)

3. Banastre Tarleton Band –
Huzzah! Greatest Hits (Green Horse)

4.  (Various) – More Dirty
Laundry: The Soul Of Black
Country (Trikont)

5. Donnie Iris – Back On The
Streets/King Cool (American Beat)

6. Steinski – What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006 Retrospective (Illegal Art)

7. Charlie Pickett And-Bar Band Americanus: The Best Of
(Bloodshot)

8. Skafish – What’s This?:
1976-1979 (289)

9. Kid Creole – Going Places:
The August Darnell Years 1974-1983 (Strut)

10. The Individuals – Fields/Aquamarine (Bar None)

 

NEW ARTISTS:

Carter’s Chord

New Bloods

Home Blitz

Amanda Shaw

Beat Union

 

ANNOYING:

John Rich’s Republican bootlicking.

Convoluted critics bending over backwards to blame their
entirely predictable dislike of Katy Perry on her supposed homophobia.

The warped idea that anybody should care about a Metallica
album in 2009.

The warped idea that anybody should care about a Guns N
Roses album in 2009.

Digital promos
replacing ones I can hold in my hand.

 

 

—————————————–

 

BRIAN CREECH

 

ALBUMS:

1  “Fleet Foxes”  Fleet Foxes  Sub
Pop

2  “Feed the Animals”  Girl Talk
 Illegal Art

3 “Visiter” Dodos  French Kiss

4  “Stay Positive”  Hold Steady  
Vagrant  

5  “Volume 1”   She and Him   Merge

6   “The Stand Ins”  Okkervil River
  Jagjaguwar

7   “New Amerykah”  Erykah Badu  
Universal

8 “Lie Down in Light”  Bonnie
“Prince” Billy
 Drag City

9  “Blame it On Gravity”  Old 97s
 New West

10 “Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!”   Nick Cave
and the Bad Seeds   Mute  

11  “Acid Tongue”  Jenny Lewis 
Warner Bros.

12  “Attack and Release”  Black Keys
 Nonesuch

13  “Brighter Than Creations Dark”  The
Drive-by Truckers   New West 

14  “Tha Carter III”  Lil Wayne
 Cash Money

15  “Graduation”  Kanye West 
Roc-A-Fella

 

REISSUES:

1  “Pleased to Meet Me”   The Replacements
   Rhino

2  “Stranger’s Almanac”  
 Whiskeytown   Geffen

3  “Exile in Guyville”   Liz Phair
   AKO

4  “The Bootleg Series Volume 8: Tell Tale Signs
 Live and unreleased 1989-2006”  Bob Dylan   Columbia 

5   “It’s a Shame About Ray”  
Lemonheads     Rhino

 

NEW ARTISTS:

1  Zooey Deschanel

2  Dodos

3  Fleet Foxes

4  No Age

5  Vampire Weekend

 

ANNOYING:

1  Skinny Jeans

2  stuffwhitepeoplelike.com

3  Li’l Wayne’s guitar playing

4  Weezer’s Self-titled albums

5  Jackson
5 reunion

 

TOUR:

1  Neil Young with Wilco

2  Hold Steady and Drive By Truckers

3  REM with Modest Mouse and the National

4  Durham,
NC’s Troika Festival

5  The Yard Dogs Road Show

 

DVDS:

1  Lou Reed’s Berlin

2  Silver Jew/ Silver Jews

 

BOOKS:

1  Hot Burritos: The True Story of the Flying Burrito
Brothers by John Einarson with Chris Hillman

2  “It Still Moves” by  Amanda Petrusich

 

 

——————————————

 

JOSE MARTINEZ

 

ALBUMS:

Guns N’ Roses “Chinese Democracy” (Geffen Records)

La Rocca “OK Okay” (Dangerbird Records)

Nada Surf “Lucky” (Barsuk)

JD Souther “If The World Was You” (Slow Curve)

The Bravery “The Sun and the Moon Complete” (Island Records)

Counting Crows “Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings”
(Geffen Records)

The Airborne Toxic Event “The Airborne Toxic Event” (Major
Domo)

The (International) Noise Conspiracy “Cross Of My Calling”
(Vagrant)

The Subways “All Or Nothing” (Sire)

Oasis “Dig Out Your Soul” (Warner Bros/Elektra/Atlantic)

Kings of Leon
“Only By The Night” (RCA)

 Deerhoof “Offend
Maggie” (Kill Rock Stars

 AC/DC “Black Ice” (Columbia)

 

REISSUES:

Van Morrison “Catalog Reissues” (Universal)

Cheap Trick “Budokan! 30th Anniversary Edition” (Epic/Legacy)

Johnny Cash “At Folsom Prison: Legacy Edition”
(Columbia/Legacy)

 

BOOKS:

“Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside The Rock And Roll
Business” By Danny Goldberg (Gotham
Books)

“Reckless Road: Guns N’ Roses And The Making Of Appetite For
Destruction” By Marc Canter & Jason Porath (Shoot Hip Press)

 

FAVE MUSIC-THEMED DVDS

The Flaming Lips “Christmas On Mars” (Warner Bros.)

“Air Guitar Nation” (New Video)

 

 

——————————————————

 

ZACH HERRMANN

 

ALBUMS:

1)      The Walkmen – You & Me
(Gigantic Records)

2)      Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl)

3)      The Black Keys – Attack
& Release  (Nonesuch)

4)      Department of Eagles – In Ear Park
(4AD)

5)      Vampire Weekend – Vampire
Weekend  (XL Recordings)

6)      Calexico – Carried To Dust
(Touch and Go/ Quarterstick Records)

7)      The Raconteurs – Consolers
of the Lonely  (Third Man Records/ Warner Bros.)

8)      Bonnie “Prince”
Billy – Lie Down in the Light (Drag
City)

9)      Paul Westerberg – 49:00
(Amazon.com)

10)  Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs – Dirt Don’t
Hurt  (Transdreamer)

 

 

REISSUES: 

1)      The Replacements remastered
albums – all of ’em (Rhino)

2)      The Clash – The Clash
Live at Shea Stadium
(Epic)

3)      The Byrds – Live at
Royal Albert Hall 1971
(Sundazed Music Inc.)

4)      The Magnetic Fields – The
Charm of the Highway Strip
180 gram vinyl (Merge Records

5)      Robyn Hitchcock – Luminous
Groove
(Yep Roc Records)

 

NEW ARTISTS: 

1)      Vampire Weekend

2)      Jessica Lea Mayfield

3)      She & Him

4)      The Last Shadow Puppets

5)      Hacienda

 

 

TOURS:

 1)      My Morning Jacket at
Bonnaroo 2008

2)      Radiohead – In Rainbows tour

3)      David Byrne – The Songs of
David Byrne and Brian Eno tour

4)      The Raconteurs – Consolers
of the Lonely
tour

5)      Robert Plant, Alison Krauss
and T Bone Burnett – Raising Sand tour

 

THINGS WE ALL COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: 

1)      The deaths of George
Carlin, Isaac Hayes and Tim Russert

2)      Rolling Stone‘s comparing
The Jonas Brothers to Big Star

3)      Kanye West v. The Media

4)      Cowboy Junkies’ Trinity
Revisited
album  

5)      Hurricanes

 

COOLEST:

1)      Election 2008 results

2)      Radiohead webcasts

 

DVDs

1) Love Story – documentary on Love (the band, not
the emotion)

2) Control – narrative film about Ian Curtis, Joy
Division

 

BOOKS:

Mike Edison – I Have Fun Everywhere I Go: Savage Tales of
Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues,
American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World

 

 

——————————————————-

 

 

HAL BIENSTOCK

 

ALBUMS:

Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)

Nick
Cave & the Bad Seeds,
Dig Lazarus Dig!!! (Anti-)

TV on the Radio, Dear Science (Interscope)

The Hold Steady, Stay Positive (Vagrant)

Langhorne Slim & the War Eagles (Kemado)

The Black Keys, Attack & Release (Nonesuch)

Mudcrutch (Warner Bros)

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)

Blitzen Trapper, Furr (Sub Pop)

Drive By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)

No Age, Nouns (Sub Pop)

She & Him, Volume 1 (Merge)

My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges (ATO)

Raconteurs,  Consolers
of the Lonely (Warner Bros)

Calexico , Carried to Dust (Quarterstick)

Jay Reatard, Matador Singles ‘08 (Matador)

Death Vessel, Nothing is Precious Enough (Sub Pop)

Santogold (Downtown)

Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal (EMI)

Elvis Costello & the Imposters, Momofuku  (Lost Highway)

 

REISSUES:

Bob Dylan, Tell Tale Signs (Columbia)

The Clash, Live at Shea Stadium (Legacy)

Otis Redding, Live in London
and Paris (Stax)

Mission of Burma, Signals,
Calls & Marches/Vs. (Matador)

Mott the Hoople, Old Records Never Die (Shout Factory)

Replacements catalog (Rhino)

Neil Young, Live at Sugar Mountain
(Warner Brothers)

Nina Simone, To Be Loved (Legacy)

Dennis Wilson, Pacific Ocean
Blue (Legacy)

Big Dipper, Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology (Merge)

 

TOURS:

The Hold Steady/Drive By Truckers Rock & Roll Means Well
Tour

Wilco

My Morning Jacket

Fleet Foxes

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

 

NEW ARTISTS:

Fleet Foxes

She & Him

Jay Reatard

Santogold

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down

Wye Oak

Delta Spirit

 

—————————————-

 

STEPHEN DEUSNER

 

ALBUMS:

1.    Drive-By Truckers: Brighter Than
Creation’s Dark (New West)
2.    Fleet Foxes: Sun Giant/Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
3.    Jessica Lea Mayfield: With Blasphemy So Heartfelt
(Polymer)
4.    Cut Copy: In Ghost Colours (Modular)
5.    Nick
Cave & the Bad Seeds:
Dig Lazarus Dig!! (Mute)
6.    Lykke Li: Youth Novels (LL Recordings)
7.    Vapnet: Döda Fallet (Hybris)
8.    TV on the Radio: Dear Science (Interscope)
9.    VA: Awake My Soul/Help Me to Sing (Awake Productions)
10.    Calexico: Carried to Dust (Quarterstick/Touch & Go)
11.    T.I.: Paper Trail (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
12.    Hercules & Love Affair: Hercules & Love Affair
(Mute)
13.    Gaslight Anthem: The ’59 Sound (Sideonedummy)
14.    Erykah Badu: New Amerykah (Motown)
15.    Lambchop: OH (Ohio)
(Merge)
16.    Hold Steady: Stay Positive (Vagrant)
17.    Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Lie Down in the Light
(Thrill Jockey)
18.    Kathleen Edwards: Asking for Flowers (Rounder)
19.    Port O’Brien: All We Could Do Was Sing (self-released)
20.    Be Your Own Pet: Get Awkward (UK edition only) (Ecstatic Peace!)

 

REISSUES:
1.    Otis Redding: Otis Blue (Rhino)
2.    R.E.M.: Murmur (Deluxe Edition)
3.    Replacements: album reissues (Rhino)
4.    Nina Simone: To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story
(RCA/Legacy)
5.    VA: Memphis
70: The City’s Funk and Soul in the Decade after Otis 1968-1977 (Townsend)
6.    Johnny Cash: At Folsom Prison (Columbia/Legacy)
7.    Roy Orbison: The Soul of Rock and Roll
(Orbison/Monument/Legacy)
8.    Warren Zevon: Warren Zevon (Collector’s Edition) (Rhino)
9.    Mudhoney: Superfuzz Bigmuff (SubPop)
10.    Elvis Presley: The Complete ’68 Comeback Special (RCA)

NEW ARTISTS:
1.    Jessica Lea Mayfield
2.    Fleet Foxes
3.    Hercules & Love Affair
4.    Lykke Li
5.    Titus Andronicus

TOURS:
1.    Hold Steady/Drive-By Truckers
2.    Nick
Cave & the Bad Seeds
3.    Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
4.    Theresa Andersson/Ane Brun/Tobias Fröberg
5.    Port O’Brien/Bodies of Water

ANNOYING:
1.    Katy Perry’s Reality TV show pop song
2.    People bitching about AutoTune
3.    Album delays
4.    Songs about either presidential candidate
5.    Russell Brand

DVDS:
1.    Awake, My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp
2.    I Got the Feelin’: James Brown in the ’60

BOOKS:

1.    Amanda Petrusich: It Still Moves: Lost Songs,
Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music (Faber)
2.    Carl Wilson: Celine Dion’s Let Talk About Love (Continuum)

COOLEST:
T.I. and Rihanna turning O-Zone’s “Dragostea Din Tei” into a
life-affirming rap anthem

 

 

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