The 2008 USSM Music Post

DMZ · January 4, 2009 at 10:41 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Hopefully nothing happens today. In one of our long-standing traditions, during the off-season we take a break from our usual steady diet of self-importance, banning people who don’t agree with us, and conspiring with the Council on Foreign Relations to run the world to throw out random non-Mariners posts and, when the whim strikes us, the USSM Endorsements.

Here’s our traditional music post. Here’s the process of the annual list: I draft something with my top impressions. Then I go into iTunes and check the play count for 2008 albums. Did I really listen to those all that much? Were there early-year CDs unfairly being discounted?

And this year I only share one with John Richards’ list! Yeah, take that, Jim Thomsen and your accusations of KEXP worship!

Marnie Stern, This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That
No Age, Nouns
Hold Steady, Stay Positive
Beastie Boys, the Mix Up
Frightened Rabbit, Midnight Organ Fight
Sigur Ros, Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
Breeders, Mountain Battles
Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust
This Will Destroy You, This Will Destroy You
The Notwist, The Devil, You + Me
Black Keys, Attack and Release

Much, much more discussion follows.

Marnie Stern, This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That
I love this CD so much, and yet I’m almost at a loss as to why. I wrote it up on Hate Life, Will Travel. It’s so good, far beyond any reasonable expectation. I find myself listening to it catching the bus in the morning, and then later in the day find myself humming one of the songs. Marnie rocks out. And the songs are bouncy and dark and peppy and ponderous, and she shreds the guitar, and I love it. I’m strapped for cash but you could tell me she was playing a show tomorrow and I’d sell the monitor I’m writing this on to go there. So, so tasty.

No Age, Nouns
Rock out. These guys are great. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for small, simple bands that do something interesting. And Sub Pop. It’s a second-listen record, in that the first time you hear it you may well be put off by the lo-fi sound. I did. And I didn’t come back to it for a while. When I did, though, I thought “holy crap, this is great” because it was.

Hold Steady, Stay Positive
Lot of rock on this list. This is a great album. I practically wore the electrons through on this one.

Beastie Boys, the Mix Up
A whole different thing. I put this on at every event I hosted this year after it came out, and the reaction each time was the same: I’d see people start to bob their heads, and then they’d start smiling, and smiling widely. It’s like The In Sound From Way Out in a way, and back when I worked somewhere I could put music on in the store, I played that one every day I was on the counter until one of my co-workers scratched it into coaster land.

It’s so good to listen to, though, and again, as party music — it’ll make people happy and everyone will catch the beat.

Frightened Rabbit, Midnight Organ Fight
Occupying the mind-space The National held last year. That’ll make sense to some of you. Those crazy Scots.

Sigur Ros, Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
I’m such a hipster. Yes! I listen to a crazy soaring Icelandic band that sings nonsense lyrics. There!

That said, this is probably as accessible as Sigur Ros gets.

Breeders, Mountain Battles
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’re gooooooooooooooooooooooonna rise.

I listened to this the second time as a kind of charity hat-tip to Kim Deal, and I liked it enough to listen to it again, and again…

Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust
It’s almost Lush-esque shoegaze, in its way, except not.

This Will Destroy You, This Will Destroy You
I didn’t like the new Mogwai album, but fortunately I got this too, and my “huge epic super-complicated post-rock rock” of the year.

The Notwist, The Devil, You + Me
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Quality.

Black Keys, Attack and Release
Two guys, a guitar, and a drum, and the result is compelling, intimate music.

Also: what a year for Sub Pop. Holy crap. No Age, Fleet Foxes, the Flight of the Conchords album, Grand Archives, The Helio Sequence… if Sub Pop had a subscription option where they just sent me the new releases as they rolled off the CD press, I would probably have to sign up.

There’s a whole massive batch of bands (Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, etc) that put out personal, quiet albums I’m just catching up on. TV on the Radio has a CD I’ve only listened to twice. It’s supposed to be stunning, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

What else? I liked the new UNKLE, and that attracted almost no notice. Does the Transmissionary Six CD count? Q-Tip’s new one is good, and.. I just went into iTunes and counted the 2008-year albums and I have over a hundred. Yeah. 4.2 days of continuous music. eMusic: blessing and curse.

Conor’s half-assed list

Ok, well this won’t be nearly as exciting as Derek’s because I sucked at new music this year. When I put together my preliminary list, most of the albums actually came out in 2007. Unfortunately, music was one of the things trimmed down for me as an unpaid intern…partly because I don’t have as much money and because I’m away from my friends and don’t get as many recommendations. This is just a long way of confessing that I only have a top 5 this year. But I did just subscribe to eMusic last month and got a bunch of iTunes gift cards for Christmas, so next year looks promising!

Los Campesinos!, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
Fleet Foxes, s/t
Dillinger Four, Civil War
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, s/t
Atmosphere, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold

Obviously there was a TON of stuff that I wanted to hear this year but just didn’t, so most of my iTunes gift cards will be used to catch up on 2008 stuff. Next year I’m really looking forward to new albums by Green Day, New Found Glory (on Epitaph!), NOFX, and Two Tongues (Saves The Day + Say Anything!)


40 Responses to “The 2008 USSM Music Post”

  1. Jar on January 4th, 2009 11:11 am

    I am still working on my write up for my blog, but here is my list. I had to go Top 30, so much good music this year.

    30. Ida Maria – Fortress Round my Heart
    29. Weezer – Weezer (Red)
    28. Derek & Sandra – Ampersand
    27. Intterparysystem – Innerpartysystem
    26. British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?
    25. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
    24. She & Him – Volume One
    23. Ben Folds – Way To Normal
    22. Cut//Copy – In Ghost Colours
    21. Nada Surf – Lucky
    20. Jenny Lewis – Acid Toung
    19. Sigur Ros – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
    18. Okkervil River – The Stand Ins
    17. Lucinda Williams – Little Honey
    16. Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends
    15. Amiee Mann – @#%&*! Smilers
    14. Deerhunter – Microcastle
    13. Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
    12. Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Flight
    11. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
    10. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
    9. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Cardinology
    8. Starflyer 59 – Dial M
    7. Sun Kill Moon – April
    6. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
    5. Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes
    4. Sheerwater – Rooks
    3. Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Lie Down In The Light
    2. TV on the Radio – Dear Science,
    1. Son Lux – At War With Walls and Mazes

  2. Bo on January 4th, 2009 11:15 am

    Conor – Nice list! The Dillinger Four was my favorite of the year. If you liked that one, check out Off With Their Heads’ From The Bottom

    Other tops this year:
    The Gaslight Anthem, The ’59 Sound
    Good Luck, Into Lake Griffy
    Less Than Jake, GNV FLA
    Polar Bear Club, Sometimes Things Just Disappear
    Protest The Hero, Fortress

  3. B.W.Marx on January 4th, 2009 11:39 am

    I would also add Conor Oberst’s first “solo” album… and I thought Fucked Up’s The Chemistry of Common Life” is bringing hardcore back to the art it began as.

  4. Tuomas on January 4th, 2009 11:46 am

    The best album released this year was Edguy’s Tinnitus Sanctus, but it was pretty good year all around. Good stuff from:

    Evergrey, Torn
    Avantasia, Scarecrow
    Ayreon, 01011001
    Eluveitie, Slania
    Ihsahn, Angl
    Korpiklaani, Korven Kuningas
    Mostly Autumn, Glass Shadows
    Opeth, Watershed
    A Forest of Stars, The Corpse of Rebirth

  5. mark s on January 4th, 2009 12:03 pm

    Thank you, guys. I will research and consider all of your suggestions.

  6. lemonverbena on January 4th, 2009 12:08 pm

    Cool idea. Don’t claim the albums below to be the “best”, but I dig them good.

    A.A. Bondy, American Hearts
    One Day As A Lion (Zach de la Rocha)
    Eddie Vedder, Into The Wild
    Grand Ole Party, Humanimals
    Toots and the Maytals, The Sensational Maytals

  7. Repoz on January 4th, 2009 12:12 pm

    Since LP’s are dead to me since Pendulum. I only do songs now…

    Repoz’s Idiotic Indie/Undie Top 75 Songs – 2008

    1 – Cineplexx – “Tiger Trap”
    2 – Capstan Shafts – “3 Million Weeks of Leaving”
    3 – Eddy Current Suppression Ring – “Colour Television”
    4 – Women – “Black Rice”
    5 – Mayer Hawthorne and the County – “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out”
    6 – Wire – “25 Years Too Late”
    7 – Symfoniorkestern – “Sommardepression”
    8 – Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby – “First Mate Rigby”
    9 – Für Amel – “Pink Eyes”
    10 – Drew Danburry – “I’m Pretty Sure This Is Someone Else’s Song, But I Couldn’t Figure It Out So I’m Keeping It!”
    11 – Julie Ocean – “#1 Song”
    12 – ###### Up – “Black Albino Bones”
    13 – Francois Virot – “Cascade Kisses”
    14 – Withered Hand – “Hard On”
    15 – The Spanish Prisoners – “Where God Does His Laundry”
    16 – Gigi – “The Hundredth Time”
    17 – Menahan Street Band – “Home Again”
    18 – 13 Ghosts – “Beyond the Door”
    19 – Meeting of Important People – “Mothers Pay More”
    20 – Nouveaunoise – “To Where is Alright”
    21 – Ponytail – “Beg Waves”
    22 – Jay Reatard – Always Wanting More”
    23 – When – “Toy Party”
    24 – The Gang – “Rose Island”
    25 – Army Navy – “Saints”
    26 – The Dutchess and the Duke – “Reservoir Park”
    27 – Brainstorm – “ You Know Who You Are”
    28 – Voluntary Butler Scheme – “Trading Things In”
    29 – Will Currie and the Country French – “Push Pins”
    30 – That Ghost – “Open Window”
    31 – Diamonds – “The Waking”
    32 – Soltero – “Out By the Wall”
    33 – Clinic – “Free Not Free”
    34 – David Karsten Daniels – “Oh, Heaven Isn’t Real”
    35 – Smothered in Hugs – “Blank Test”
    36 – These United States – “First Sight”
    37 – El Ten Eleven – “I Like Van Halen Because My Sister Says They Are Cool”
    38 – Snailhouse – “Superstitious”
    39 – Blue Eyed Blacks – “The Wrong Thing”
    40 – No Age – “Teen Creeps”
    41 – Peter Moren – “Social Competence”
    42 – Blood on the Wall – “Jukeee…Julieee…”
    43 – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – “Doing All the Things That Wouldn’t Make Your Parents Proud”
    44 – Silver Jews – “Strange Victory, Strange Defeat”
    45 – Justice of the Unicorns – “Jesus Has a Sweet Girlfriend”
    46 – El Guincho – “Palmitos Park”
    47 – My Little Pony – “I Don’t Know”
    48 – Capstan Shafts – “Eyeliner, Skywriter”
    49 – Basia Bulet – “Before I Knew”
    50 –Tallest Man on Earth – “The Gardener”
    51 – The Weeks – “Buttons”
    52 – Royal Bangs – “Cat Swallow”
    53 – Erik Hallden – “If I Ever Get Married”
    54 – Cineplexx – “Espiral”
    55 – Rags and Feathers – “Hey You’s”
    56 – Alt-Ctrl-Sleep – “In the End”
    57 – Andy Love – “Exit Bag”
    58 – Fujiya and Miyagi – “Knickerbocker”
    59 – Dan Friel – “Ghostown Pt1”
    60 – Salty Pirates – “Survivalist Guide”
    61 – Super Furry Animals – “Never More”
    62 – Jolie Holland – “Mexico City”
    63 – Pretend You’re Happy – “The Other Side of the Earth”
    64 – Deerhunter – “It Never Stops”
    65 – The Golden Hands Before God Conducts Incredible Magic Band & The Spirits – “Communist Party”
    66 – Banda de Turistas – “Todo Mio El Otono”
    67 – 20 Belows – “This Boys Not Giving Up”
    68 – Jay Reatard – “See Saw”
    69 – Prisonshake – “Crush Me”
    70 – Dirtbombs – “Sherlock Holmes”
    71 – The Wedding Present – “I Lost the Monkey”
    72 – Automatic Drawings – “Appalachia”
    73 – Capstan Shafts – “Space Nut To Ape Length”
    74 – Arms – “Kids Aflame”
    75 – Jeff Dahl – “All My Favorite Ramones Are Dead”

  8. lordbison on January 4th, 2009 12:15 pm

    Derek, nice list. It’s crazy how many great records Sub Pop put out this year (with Wolf Parade’s being the best IMHO). Also, make sure you give TV on the Radio more listens; some of their best work yet. Here are the lists I came up with for my blog:


    10. A Killer of Snakes – The Heavy Hearts
    9. Mono in VCF – Mono in VCF
    8. She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke – the Dutchess & the Duke
    7. Only As The Day Is Long – Sera Cahoone
    6. Strange Symmetry EP – Past Lives
    5. Censored Colors – Portugal. The Man
    4. The Grand Archives – Grand Archives
    3. Starfucker – Starfucker
    2. Fleet Foxes/Sun Giant EP – Fleet Foxes
    1. Keep Your Eyes Ahead – The Helio Sequence

    And non-local:

    10. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
    9. Saint Dymphna – Gang Gang Dance
    8. Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
    7. Made In The Dark – Hot Chip
    6. Antidotes – Foals
    5. Lust Lust Lust – The Raveonettes
    4. Dear Science – TV on the Radio
    3. In Ghost Colours – Cut Copy
    2. Microcastle/Weird Era Continued – Deerhunter
    1. At Mount Zoomer – Wolf Parade

    Pedantic reasonings here and here.

  9. derubino on January 4th, 2009 12:24 pm

    This is what I posted on my blog a couple weeks ago. I cater to people who don’t follow music since I’m trying to get them to break free of Nickelback, 3 Doors Down and others, so I apologize if you don’t think my “unknown” bands are that unknown or my “new” bands are that new. Here goes!

    Top Ten Albums of 2008:
    10. Jack’s Mannequin – “The Glass Passenger”
    9. Cold War Kids – “Loyalty to Loyalty”
    8. My Morning Jacket – “Evil Urges”
    7. Fleet Foxes – “Fleet Foxes”
    6. The Hold Steady – “Stay Positive”
    5. The Verve – “Forth”
    4. Death Cab for Cutie – “Narrow Stairs”
    3. Coldplay – “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends”
    2. MGMT – “Oracular Spectacular”
    1. Kings of Leon – “Only By the Night”

    Top 5 Best New Bands
    5. The Republic Tigers
    4. Ra Ra Riot
    3. Wild Sweet Orange
    2. Fleet Foxes
    1. MGMT

    Try These Ten Unknowns
    10. Annuals
    9. A.C. Newman
    8. Grammatics
    7. Wild Sweet Orange
    6. Bon Iver
    5. Hotel Lights
    4. Black Kids
    3. Dear and the Headlights
    2. Wolf Parade
    1. Minus the Bear

  10. Manzanillos Cup on January 4th, 2009 12:55 pm

    Tuomas: Thanks for the metal contribution, I’ll have to check some of those out! I’ll second Watershed and add obZen.

  11. yofarbs on January 4th, 2009 1:08 pm

    And for the less hip among your readers, I’d recommend:

    The Bodeans: “Still” (solid roots rock)
    One Flew South: “Last of the Good Guys” (CSNY redux)
    Mofro: “Orange Blossoms” (great swamp rock)

    and for innovative classical music:
    Brooklyn Rider: “Passport”

    I also second the votes for “Gaslight Anthem” and “Vampire Weekend”

  12. mike on January 4th, 2009 1:33 pm

    I went like this:

    10) Blitzen Trapper – Furr
    9) Silver Jews – Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
    8) Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
    7) Howlin’ Rain – Magnificient Fiend
    6) TV on the Radio – Dear Science,
    5) Love As Laughter – Holy
    4) My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
    3) The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia
    2) Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!
    1) Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Real Emotional Trash

  13. xxtinynickxx on January 4th, 2009 2:07 pm

    Before I post, is Minus the Bear really still an unknown? Common they have been around for a long while now get played on few music video channels etc. just saying……

    Top 2008
    10. Difear – Live the Strom
    9. Ill Bill – Hour of Reprisal
    8. The Humpers – Alex’s Bar
    7. cavalera_conspiracy-inflikted
    6. Children of Bodom – Blood Drunk
    5. millencolin-machine 15
    4. Hanson Brothers – Take the Walk
    3. a forest of stars – the corpse of rebirth
    2. proclamation – messiah of darkness and impurity
    1. MC Chris is Dead

    Others who just didn’t quiet make my list……..
    Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends
    The Killers – Day & Age
    Acoustic Psychosis – Demo Ep
    New Kids on the Block
    Messuggah – Obzen

    Id post more but frick I have things to do today, maybe later………

    To be Continued……perhaps?

  14. drakelelane on January 4th, 2009 2:08 pm

    quite a few duplicates here from above, but here’s my 50:

    1. TV on the Radio – Dear Science
    2. No Age – Nouns
    3. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
    4. Deerhunter – Microcastle
    5. Hercules and Love Affair – Hercules and Love Affair
    6. Q-Tip – The Renaissance
    7. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
    8. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
    9. Blitzen Trapper – Furr
    10. Portishead – Third
    Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
    The Walkmen – You & Me
    Shearwater – Rook
    15. M83 – Saturdays=Youth
    Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer
    Santogold – Santogold
    Atlas Sound – Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See or Cannot Feel
    Los Campesinos – Hold Now, Youngster
    20. The Week That Was – The Week That Was
    Frightened Rabbit – Midnight Organ Fight
    Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
    Department of Eagles – In Ear Park
    Beach House – Devotion
    25. The Dodos – Visiter
    School of Language – Sea of Shore
    Amadou & Mariam – Welcome to Mali
    The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia
    Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna
    30. Vivian Girls – Vivian Girls
    Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
    Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
    Harvey Milk – Life… the Best Game in Town
    The Saturday Knights – Mingle
    35. Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
    Foals – Antidotes
    Marnie Stern – This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That
    My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
    Sam Roberts – Love at the End of the World
    40. Hot Chip – Made in the Dark
    Los Campesinos – We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
    Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Real Emotional Trash
    Eagles of Death Metal – Heart On
    Deerhoof – Offend Maggie
    45. Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams
    Girl Talk – Feed the Animals
    Lil’ Wayne – Tha Carter III
    Times New Viking – Rip it Off
    Black Keys, Attack and Release
    50. The Bug – London Zoo

  15. Evan on January 4th, 2009 3:11 pm

    I hate new music. Most years there’s literally no new album I can point to and say “This is really good.”

    2008 was different. A really brilliant album was released in 2008, and chances are none of you have heard it because the band isn’t new. Or young. Or even vaguely cool.

    Uriah Heep – Wake the Sleeper

    If you’re a fan of organ-driven rock with prog tendencies, this is the best album that’s been released by anyone since Deep Purple’s 1999 album Purpendicular.

    Even if you think the entire genre sounds terrible, you owe it to yourself to give this a listen.

  16. daveblev on January 4th, 2009 4:01 pm

    i think 2007 was better than music. DMZ, nice listing on The Mix-Up, it was my second favorite album of 2007, me being a huge Beastie Boys fans. (they are re-issuing a remastered Paul’s Boutique on Jan 27th).


    1. MINUS THE BEAR – “Acoustics”
    2. TIM BARRY (of Avail) – “Manchester”
    3. PAINT IT BLACK – “New Lexicon” (yes, i’m 31 years old and still listen to hardcore/punk.)
    4. THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES – “Tail Swallower and Dove”
    5. THE RIOT BEFORE – “Fist Buried In Pockets” (richmond, va punk rock…it’s itunes)
    6. MOUTHEATER – “Lot Lizard” (melvin-ish from va beach,va…also on itunes)

    that’s all..i dj weekly and listen to a lot of older stuff..britpop, hardcore, punk, etc.

  17. Jar on January 4th, 2009 4:07 pm

    So, some of you actually liked the new My Morning Jacket? I was so disappointed. After their last album I was really looking forward to it. I couldnt even listen to most of the songs all the way through, it was awful.

  18. DMZ on January 4th, 2009 5:10 pm

    Why would you remaster Paul’s Botique? It’s one of the best-sounding albums I own.

  19. bunk_medal on January 4th, 2009 5:55 pm

    Nice to see Frightened Rabbit get a mention, I’m from Selkirk (where they come from), so they’d definitely be on my “local” list. Top 5:

    1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig Lazarus Dig
    2. Mogwai – The Hawk is Howling
    3. Stephen Malkmus – Real Emotional Trash
    4. Frightened Rabbit – Midnight Organ Fight
    5. Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of this Country

  20. Bossy Joe on January 4th, 2009 8:48 pm

    In no particular order (except maybe the first one, which is easily my favorite) since there are some great albums that nobody has mentioned:

    Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts
    Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
    Death Cab – Narrow Stairs
    Mates of State – Rearrange Us
    TV on the Radio – Dear Science
    Los Campesinos – Hold on Now Youngster
    The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
    Sigur Ros – (Something Icelandic)
    Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

  21. Seth on January 4th, 2009 9:01 pm

    My top 10:

    1. Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes
    2. The Stand Ins by Okkervil River
    3. Dear Science, by TV On The Radio
    4. For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
    5. Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
    6. Stay Positive by The Hold Steady
    7. Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend
    8. Rook by Shearwater
    9. Made In The Dark by Hot Chip
    10. Vivian Girls by Vivian Girls

  22. daveblev on January 4th, 2009 9:12 pm

    DMZ, well 2009 is the 20th anniversary of Paul’s Boutique so they are celebrating that. For vinyl fans like myself they are reissuing it on 180 gram vinyl. The CD version will feature a digital download featuring track by track commentary by MCA, Adrock, and Mike D, which their commentary is always hilarious and never should be taken seriously. As for the reissue reason, people have been asking for one on their message board.

    IMHO, I think Licensed To Ill needs some major remastering, it has a very airy sound to it on CD, though the vinyl sounds great.

  23. msb on January 4th, 2009 9:17 pm

    this reminds me that Soren aka Scraps got out for a meal outside the rehab hospital, and has been posting on occasionally his blog again and (I see) has Marnie Stern on his ‘heavy rotation’ list

  24. busplunger on January 4th, 2009 9:51 pm

    Chinese Democracy is undeniably the best album of the year and probably of all time, or so I assume having not actually listened to it.

    But seriously, thanks everyone (especially Derek) for posting your favorites. The last couple years I’ve scoured the lists and always found new bands to fall in love with that I never would have been exposed to otherwise. Been looking forward to this post for quite awhile!

  25. currie on January 5th, 2009 12:20 am

    2008 was not a good year for me musically, but these three albums are wholeheartedly recommended:

    Woodpigeon “Treasure Library Canada” (cf. Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens)

    Vampire Weekend “Vampire Weekend” (cf. Three O’Clocks)

    Beach House “Devotion” (cf. Georgia Hubley [Yo La Tengo], Kendra Smith [Opal])

    Best newcomer: {{{Sunset}}}.

    Discovery of the year: Michael Mazzarella (formerly The Rooks). Think an older, wiser but ragged Elliott Smith.

    Baseball related #1:
    The Baseball Project – “Volume One: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails”
    Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5, REM) and Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) team up and sing about “Ted Fucking Williams”, etc.

    Baseball related #2:

    I’m Not Jim – “The Pitchers Gave Up”
    Yes, they are singing about that 30:3 massacre.

    A more complete list with Myspace/CD Baby links.

  26. DMZ on January 5th, 2009 12:29 am

    Also, the hearing the guitar opening to “Son the Father” on Fucked Up’s The Chemistry of Common Life was my favorite moment listening to music all year. And the guitar work on the album keeps on like that.

  27. galaxieboi on January 5th, 2009 7:51 am

    This Will Destroy You, This Will Destroy You

    I recently discovered, This Will Destroy You. Very badass.

    Like I mentioned in an earlier music thread, my favorite record (and I do mean RECORD) for 08 was Russian Circles’ ‘Station’.

  28. galaxieboi on January 5th, 2009 7:53 am

    Also, has anyone else caught the Sigur Ros film on Sundance? It follows them around Iceland playing all these weird, mostly outdoor spots for free. Pretty amazing, with some unbelievable sound for being live.

  29. vj on January 5th, 2009 8:04 am

    No love for PUSA? I notice that they have developped a knack for releasing new albums in years when the M’s are terrible.

    BTW, Chinese Democracy is surprisingly good, a lot better than AC/DC’s last effort that I find pretty boring.

  30. bill1410 on January 5th, 2009 8:09 am

    Great lists guys. I did see the Sigur Ros film and I agree it was amazing. I so wanted to go to Iceland afterwards (before their economy collapsed).

    And I absolutely love that DMZ put This Will Destroy You on the list. I’ve been talking them up all year. Here’s the list from my blog.

    1. Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer
    2. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns
    3. This Will Destroy You – s/t
    4. Sigur Ros – Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
    5. Fleet Foxes – s/t
    6. Okkervil River – The Stand-Ins
    7. The Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride
    8. iLiKETRAiNS – The Christmas Tree Ship EP
    9. The Notwist – The Devil You & Me
    10. The Walkmen – You & Me
    11. Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster
    12. Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams

  31. Cowboy Dan on January 5th, 2009 9:23 am

    These are some nice lists. I’m looking forward to checking out a bunch of these albums I missed. I’ll throw in a few I liked quite a bit that didn’t get too many mentions above.

    The Hands – The Hands. A small Seattle band that is a ton of fun live. ‘Praying Hands Will Make Fists (Or Be Chopped Off)’ is a good place to start if you’re curious.
    The Dodos – Visitor
    Pete and the Pirates – Little Death
    Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line
    New Faces – Two Years. Another local band, give ‘Impulse’ a listen.

  32. TylerDurden on January 5th, 2009 9:24 am

    Not much love for In Rainbows by Radiohead or Attack and Release by the Black Keys?? Two very good albums.

    1. Dear Science- TV on the Radio
    2. At Mount Zoomer – Wolf Parade
    3. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
    4. Rising Down – The Roots
    5. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
    6. Oracular Spectacular – MGMT
    7. You & Me – The Walkmen
    8. Attack and Release – Black Keys
    9. In Rainbows – Radiohead
    10. Furr – Blitzen Trapper
    11. Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst
    12. Loyalty to Loyalty – Cold War Kids
    13. Acid Tongue – Jenny Lewis
    14. The Renaissance – Q-Tip
    15. Dig Lazarus Dig!!! – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

  33. vj on January 5th, 2009 9:52 am

    In Rainbows is from 2007. And was mentioned in last year’s post.

  34. TylerDurden on January 5th, 2009 10:00 am

    Oops I guess you’re right. I just considered it from 2008 since it wasn’t released in the US until January. Regardless, a great album from my favorite band of all time.

  35. unkrusty on January 5th, 2009 11:45 am

    I loved Parc Avenue by Plants and Animals. Not seeing it listed so far (I think). Add it to your Library Queue.

  36. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on January 5th, 2009 11:48 am

    Wow…I didn’t realize everyone on here was so music saavy as well. Most my friends who are into music aren’t big sports fans and vice versa…nice to see there’s others who can merge the two. Oh yeah…fav’s of 2008 (no order)
    Songs: MGMT – Electric Feel; Bad Relgion – Sorrow (acoustic); NIN – Discipline; Vampire Weekend – A-Punk; Spoon – Don’t you Evah; Cold War Kids – Something is Not Right With Me. There’s a ton more.
    Albums: MGMT – Oracular Spectacular; Beck – Modern Guilt; Sonic Youth (and others) – Andre Sider Af Sonic Youth (it’s more of their experimental stuff, but they can do no wrong to me); Black Keys – Attack and Release; I’m sure there’s many others.
    Bands I saw live: The Toadies at the Showbox; Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, Fall of Troy, Walkmen, Black Keys, Band of Horses and more at Bumbershoot; Nada Surf at Showbox; The Poises reunited at Winterland in Bremerton (I’m sure there’s many more here too I’m forgetting now).
    It was a good eyar for music in my overall opinion. I heard more I liked and less I didn’t; a stark contrast from 2005-07 (not that they too didn’t have their moments).

  37. vj on January 5th, 2009 12:47 pm

    Since I have a soft spot for blue eyed soul I would like to endorse Eli “Paperboy” Reed.

    One musical eye opener I had last year was Tina Turner’s performance in Gimme Shelter.

    Anyway thanks for the post. I always appreciate those.

  38. marc w on January 5th, 2009 2:58 pm


    This is the most overlap we’ve had in many years, mr. Zumsteg. ‘Nouns’ should be on my list too, though I find myself pulling out their old LPs more and more now.

    Frightened Rabbit – I just got into this. I was in Glasgow last summer, where I had a conversation with a bartender who kept playing The National. He mentioned his friend was in a band, and they were going to open for them soon. Called themselves ‘Frightened Rabbit.’ I totally forgot that until i got their tune ‘It’s Christmas, so We’ll Stop’ which became my xmas song of 2008 and reminded me of this drunken conversation.

    This Will Destroy You – wow. It took me a long, long time to get into this. I liked their previous LP much, much more at first. But this is a grower.

    Raveonettes – Totally agree. I’ve heard most everything they’ve done, seen them a few times, and yet still didn’t really get all the hype they got. Then Lust, Lust, Lust came out. Brilliant; I really didn’t think they had it in ’em.

    Notwist – I like it, but I think I keep comparing it to Neon Golden.

    The one big disagreement has to be the Black Keys. I love that band, but their last record was just…bad. I blame the production. Yikes, I’d just like to forget that happened. Kind of like Parts and Labor’s 2008 offering. My god. ‘Mapmakers’ was one of my favorite albums of the decade, and you follow it with…that?

    Conor: Thanks for putting the Dillinger Four album up there. What a great record… at least SOMEONE can release a long rumored album that most fans had finally given up hoping for, and then have it kick ass.

    Totally agree on Los Campesinos! too. WABWAD is better than their hyped debut. And Fleet Foxes deserve the plaudits they’ve received.

    Other things I listened to a lot in 2008:
    Why? – Alopecia (maybe my favorite of 2008)
    Auburn Lull – Begin Civil Twilight
    Centro-Matic/South San Gabriel – Dual Hawks
    Thee Oh Sees – The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In
    Deerhunter – Microcastles
    The Rural Alberta Advantage – hometowns

  39. andy w on January 7th, 2009 12:15 pm

    The Notwist was an interesting one. After the years of anticipation building up from Neon Golden, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from the new album. But on first listen it felt a horrible let down. I’m not sure if I was hoping for something completely new and unique or just Neon Golden 2, but either way I didn’t think The Devil, You + Me really cut it. However after a few listens I found it worming its way into my head from where it just wouldn’t leave. Now it would definitely make my top 5 albums of the year.

    1. Mogwai – The Hawk Is Howling
    2. Lambchop – Oh (Ohio)
    3. Sigur Ros – Meo suo i eyrum vio spilum endalaust
    4. The Notwist – The Devil, You + Me
    5. Calexico – Carried to Dust

    Fleet Foxes looks like it is also going to be really superb, but I only got it a couple of weeks back, so I haven’t had chance to listen to it properly yet.

  40. Nayners on February 19th, 2009 12:25 pm

    Shucks, I missed out on this! Some great recommendations here. I will be checking a bunch out. Thanks!

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