Someone stopped Kanye from chewing on his lo-fi vocoder for just long enough to record one really good jam. I dunno if I really really like this song or if I'm just so shocked that it's Kanye doing R & B really well that I think it's a really good song. Really.
Sometimes it takes a while for me to get something. Sorry. I'm not the bleeding edge. Music has to percolate through me for a bit before I can come on here and post about it. I'm not into wasting mine and everyone else's time to write something just for the sake of bumping my blog every eight hours. So when I do put something up here, you should be reading it, listening to it and then talking about it with every person you know. I'm doing all the goddamn legwork here.
What the hell is that thing get it away from me!?
It's just a digital camera Sanjeep.
I'm like your barber. You can visit me every few weeks and be fine. Stay away longer and risk turning into a social outcast. Come by every day and it'll be hard to hide the fact that you're unemployed and living above your parent's garage.
There just aren't five good songs / bands /events / (What else is worth blogging about?) a week that are worth writing about. Other times I just literally don't hear shit until months after its release. Which is sort of the case with Glasvegas. Full disclosure: I think I did hear them once on WOXY but I actually looked into them with earnest after I saw them ranked highly on NME's year end list. Ya I'm the guy that reads that shite.
So here it is, some quality Scottish tunes in the vein of The Twilight Sad. Sorry, the comparison is just too obvious.
Believe it or not I somehow entirely missed the album released by Sia via Australia via the Starbucks imprint this year. Of course I've also been inside of a Starbucks store for about ten total minutes in my life.
I was reading up on the top albums of the year and I found a list which had the error of having Sia at number one. I think it might have been a joke list because it also had Fleet Foxes and Coldplay up there in the top ten. So I had to check me out some Sia and I found out she used to be in Zero 7 which gave her at least some credibility. First song I found is the below linked jam "Buttons" which is super catchy (Thank You CSS) and spuriously lifted my expectations.
So then I wasted 30 seconds of my life walking over to my living room to visit one of the three Starbucks locations in my apartment where I was hoping to find her album. I either did that or I wasted 30 seconds downloading it for free from soulseek. Either way I'm never getting those 30 seconds back.
Before I fell asleep 11 seconds into the first track I remember starting to think that this was quite possibly the most unobjectionable music I've ever heard in my - and then I fell asleep - which is also to say that it is also probably the most unlistenable album of 2008.
But somehow CSS remixed this song "Buttons" and turned it into a really killer track worth checking out.
Acting is hard
I'm also throwing in "Breathe Me" because I'm pretty sure it was used to score the montage in the recent Ben Affleck/Hugh Jackman/Richard Gere + Goldie Hawn Jr./Jennifer Aniston/Julia Roberts film during the part where the male lead storms out of the Hospital/4-Star Restaurant/Wall Street Skyscraper/Crackhouse where he has been neglecting his female lead for far too long and sprints (tracking shot) through the rainy streets of New York/Seattle/Boston/Philadelphia, darting through the offices of the up-and-coming fashion brand/chocalatier/newspaper (editorials floor)/ where he finds the initially impassive female lead who puts her thin well-manicured hand to her mouth, doesn't know to laugh or cry, does both and just as Sia rasps "Be my Friend. Wrap me up. Hold me. Unfold me. I am Sma-a-a-a-all and Needy. Warm me up and Breath me," they embrace each other, make out and roll credits.
Any single that I came across in any form this year qualifies. Remixes qualify. Remixes of last year’s songs qualify. Songs released last year on album’s released this year don’t qualify (Sorry MGMT/Black Kids/Bon Iver etc.). If I don't have a link, then you should be able to easily find the track on Hypem.com or I've linked it somewhere else on the blog so don't be a lazy ass.
The world needs more hot Lykke
and less lazy asses.
40. School of Seven Bells – “Half Asleep” – I think this is the only dream pop band cracking the top 40 this year. What ever happened to dream pop? I used to love that stuff.
39. Los Campesinos! – “You! Me! Dancing!” Life is too short to not love Los Campesinos.
38. Frightened Rabbit – “The Modern Leper” – A fine song. Makes me want to shatter my existence, pick up the pieces and reassemble myself as a miracle worker in Bangladesh or Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.
37. Cloud Cult – “Everybody Here is a Cloud” – Stellar rhythm parts.
36. Girls – “Hellhole Ratrace” – You won’t get it after one listen. After a while you’ll get it. It’s too endearing.
18. Raveonettes – “Sad Transmission” – 4/4 doesn’t get any better than this. Ba dum a dum dum dum dum. Ba dum a dum dum dum dum.
17. M83 – “Graveyard Girl” – Although honestly I could have picked seven songs off this album to take this spot.
16. Amadou et Mariam – “Sabali” – Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. That. Is. All.
15. Parts & Labor – “Nowhere’s High” – This band has been one of those critical darlings forever it seems and I’ve never been able to get into their stuff. Finally they release an album with a little more pop and it’s got some good tunes.
14. Ra Ra Riot – “Oh La” – This song has to have been on The OC at least once this year. O well. I like it. I’m gay. Whatever.
13. Ravens & Chimes – “Archways” – It took me about ten tries to really get this song. Then I got it and I couldn’t get rid of it.
12. Florence and the Machine / Kid Harpoon – “I’m Goin’ Down” - The year’s number one cover recorded on a demo / at a radio station. I just can’t get over how beautifully earnest it is.
5. Santogold – “Lights Out” – I really had trouble putting this song so high because of its obvious overcommercialization but I just had to be honest with myself so I’m putting this song where it would be if I hadn’t started hearing it during halftime of college football games.
4. Cajun Dance Party – “Amylase” – This song just absolutely goes off. 17 year old British kids just nailing it. To quote/paraphrase Derek from GWFA "Without a doubt the best song ever written during an eleventh grade chemistry class."
3. Tokyo Police Club – “Be Good” (RAC Remix) – Yes this song was on the 2007 TPC EP. But this remix embraces this band’s sound so perfectly and takes the track to a whole new level (dog).
2. Mr. Gnome – “Pirates” – This song runs you over like a Mack truck. It still blows me away every time I hear it. Its soft/loud dynamic is other worldly. The only thing I can compare it to is Zeppelin.
I'm more of a singles guy than an albums guy. That's more a reflection of how the music industry, and my buying/pirating habits have changed over the last few years. It has nothing whatsoever to do with dating habits and girlfriends. There is no correlation between liking singles more than albums and engaging in casual unprotected sex more than having a steady girlfriend period. I can't even imagine why anyone would think that there was a correlation unless they were just really really really stupid and dense. God people are dumb.
Dear Mrs. Claus,
Meet in stables ASAP, Rudolph out at pasture. I'll bring the eggnog + pheromone oils
It's just way easier to grab a few tracks here and there in order to get an impression of a band. If you like what you hear, you go steal the rest from soulseek or something.
Still, I decided to do a best of 2008 albums list. I may do a singles list later, if I can get over the inertia that keeps me from doing posts in the first place. I may do a worst of list as well. Or, most overrated or something; mainly because this is a blog and I don't really have to answer to anyone for what's said here.
I guess what one of my big problems with making the albums list is that some of my favorite stuff I get exposed to comes from EPs. For example, Bon Iver is on this list, but I have hardly listened to him at all this year because his EP from last year was so good. Some of this other stuff I can hardly believe was released in 2008 (See #1) but I'm using the release date that Itunes has listed as the ultimate release date judge.
Anyhow this list is gonna be broken down into a couple of sections. The top 5-10 are indispensable, which means that at some point I played a song from one of these albums 9000 or more straight times or that I listened to the album on repeat for the better part of a month. The albums below that are albums that didn't suck and are worth listening to for one reason or another.
Overall I find it strange how this list definitely drifts into very mainstream territory as we get towards the top.
They made the list at the expense of a few other bands that I probably listened to more or may be a bit better - actually who the fuck knows, we’re on number 25, it’s not like I’m batshit crazy for these guys.
24. Kings of Leon – Only By The Night (August 26th, 2008 RCA/Sony)
Everyone has a guilty pleasure. At least mine doesn’t involve farm animals or white hoods.
Shhh...I can keep a secret
as long as you can.
23. Air France – No Way Down (October 5th, 2008)
This was actually just two EP's bundled together. I apparently can't adhere to principles. This band just barely made the list. I didn’t listen to them a whole ton this year but they have some very cool music.
20. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (February 19, 2008 Jagjaguwar)
If this list were made last year and included EP’s, Bon Iver would have made the top 5. Even though this music is timeless, I just find it hard to bump something I hardly listened to this year any higher.
“Sleepyhead” carries this EP on to the best of the year album list. It woulda been the #1 single if I woulda done a singles list. It’s an irresistible jam that makes me twist and jump like nothing else.
The reason I wake up in the morning
is because this person.
In the same world as me.
BRB buying megaphone
and starting band.
11. Lykke Li – Youth Novels (August 19th, 2008 LL)
Every time I hear “Lights and Music” I feel like I’m hearing the definitive stereotypical club jam. I mean I like the song, but I can also actually take something away from the rest of the songs besides a coke induced endorphin drip.
9. Black Kids – Party Traumatic (July 22nd, 2008)
I really can’t believe this album has a 2008 release date. I swear this album got huge last year. So many songs on here that just make me feel like dancing.
8. Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (April 8th, 2008)
As cheesy as this is to say, this album is just full of life. If I wanted to start a high tech company and work in Silicon Valley I’d probably just pump this album through my blood and be a trillionaire in six to eight weeks.
Top to bottom this is probably the best album of the year. There really were no monster singles though and I guess MGMT’s pop power really put them over the top for me.
2. Tokyo Police Club – Elephant Shell (March 25th, 2008 Saddle Creek)
I fucking love every song on this album and every remix of every song. Maybe it’s because they all sound the same. I don’t care. Huge credit for making me love a band that plays a genre (post-punk) of music from a label (Saddle Creek) that I really don’t care for.