Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Top 25 Songs of '08 (10-6)

10. Deerhunter- Nothing Ever Happened “Nothing ever happened to me”
With a solid beat and guitar that I love throughout, this is the strongest song off this double release. Deerhunter gets better with each album, so hopefully their next release will be the one that blows us all away. As a side note, this is really good cruisin’ music.

9. Ra Ra Riot- Suspended In Gaffa “I don’t know why I’m crying. Am I suspended in gaffa?”
If you had asked me to make this list in September, I would put this song as #1. I was literally obsessed with this song. The original by Kate Bush is flat out creepy, while this is just beautiful. Ra Ra Riot’s album was quite good, but this takes the cake for me. I just hope I can keep it from getting stuck in my head again.

8. MGMT- Time to Pretend “I’ll move to Paris, shoot some heroine and fuck with the stars.”
MGMT had quite a year. This song probably got the most exposure, and rightfully so. How can you not like this? It’s just way too catchy to deny. If you listen to this song in a playlist, chances are this is the one that pops up for days after listening.

7. Justice- Planisphère Pt. 1, 2, 3 and Finale
If you like Justice, this is the bees knees. This thing is so friggin’ epic, there’s really no words to describe it. If you don’t like Justice, well, you won't like this.

6. Fleet Foxes- White Winter Hymnal “And turn the white snow red as strawberries in summertime.”
You could argue over what the best song is off this album, but this is probably the first song you heard of theirs. And probably halfway through, you said something along the lines of “These guys are amazing.” The fact of the matter is, this song is fantastic, and it just melts your problems away.

Top 25 Songs of '08 (15-11)

15. Starfucker- Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second “All my life, there you go. Oh, please stay, just this once.”
Even if I listen to this song on my computer, I just dance in my chair because it’s so damn catchy. The nice lyrics are an added treat, but the jangling guitars are what really set it off for me. Whenever their next release might be, I sure hope it has more stuff like this on it.

14. Animal Collective- Water Curses “The color after sunset, you’ll do anything to jinx it.”
Thank the stars ’08 was not void of Animal Collective. The absolutely amazing Strawberry Jam last year left me needing more, and more I got on the Water Curses EP. This is a rather whimsical, fluttering song that could take some getting used to for those who are not familiar with Animal Collective. This is the kind of thing we look to them for, and once again, they didn’t fail to deliver.

13. The Black Keys- Strange Times “Strange times are here”
How much ass do the Black Keys kick? Off a fairly decent album, this babe shines through as the best song to answer that question. A whole lot.

12. M83- Graveyard Girl “I’m fifteen years old and I feel it’s already too late to live.”
I didn’t like Saturdays = Youth as much as other people did. It was alright, but for me, too much of this 80’s business gets a little stale after a while. Nevertheless, I love this song and prefer it to “Kim and Jessie” and “We Own the Sky” any day of the week. It’s got just the right amount of teenage angst mixed with that 80’s sound. As Neil Sedaka would say, this is just “ear delicious.”

11. Passion Pit- Sleepyhead “You were one inch from the edge of this bed. I drag you back a sleepyhead.”
Chunk of Change gets my vote for EP of the year. At first, I didn’t really like this song that much, and preferred the song “Cuddle Fuddle” instead. Yet, with more listens, this has become the clear winner. This is some of the easiest stuff to get in to that I’ve heard in a while, and I can’t wait until these guys drop a new release next year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Top 25 Songs of '08 (20-16)

20. MGMT- Electric Feel (Justice Remix) “This is what the world is for, making electricity”
Congrats to Justice for being the only remix on my list. Justice can’t do anything wrong, and this remix just proves it even more. Take “Electric Feel,” a great song from a great album, and give it that “Justice oomf,” and this is what you get. I’ll always remember cruising to this beast during summer nights, because I’m just that cool.

19. The Raveonettes- Black White “mmyeah yeah yeah”
Damn, I love The Raveonettes. This is another time when the coolness of a song makes up for the lyrics by a bunch. Don’t think about this song at all, just bask in how cool it is, and throw in the yeah’s when necessary.

18. Erykah Badu- Soldier “Do you want to see everybody rise to this decree?”
I found myself listening to Badu’s cd this year more than I thought I would. This was the first song I heard off it, and it’s still my favorite. It’s got a great beat, and it’s got spades of soul. This is about as close to hip-hop or rap as I get, so if you’re reading this to see how high T.I. or Lil Wayne gets you can stop now.

17. Tobacco- Gross Magik “You and me. Melt away. Forever”
I absolutely love this song. If you’re fortunate enough to know Black Moth Super Rainbow, than you’ll recognize Tobacco instantly as the brains behind it. Luckily, this song is still really good even if you’re not tripping on acid, which I think was the motivation behind making it and all of their kind of music in general. Just pop this pup in and relax.

16. Why?- Fatalist Palmistry “I’m lucky to be under the same sky that held the exhale from your first breath.”
This is the best song off this awesome cd because Wolf’s lyrics just embed themselves in my head. Listen and fall in love.

Top 25 Songs of '08 (25-21)

25. Metronomy-Radio Ladio “See that girl? She’s takin my breath away.”
This song makes me do this weird thing with my head and shoulders to the beat. It’s a funky little song from an even funkier cd. Something about it is just begging for a remix. Not only can you move to it, you can even shout along towards the end. R-A….D-I…OOOOOOO.

24. Ratatat- Shiller
I don’t really know why I like this song so much, or why I like Ratatat as much as I do. This song just interests me for some reason. It’s like looking at something shrouded in fog, and then the fog is instantly lifted and whatever is there is seen perfectly clear. I just get chills when that happens near the middle.

23. Moby- Alice “My head keeps turnin, turnin, like Russian roulette”
Okay, I don’t like most of the stuff Moby puts out. He’s got some alright songs, including the fantastic “Extreme Ways.” Somehow, he made this song just too cool to keep off my list. That’s all I got.

22. Portishead-The Rip “In my thoughts I have bled, from the riddles I’ve been fed.”
I didn’t like the new Portishead cd because it gets pretty boring really quickly. This song is the exception for me. While it starts off rather slow, that simple transformation it goes through just melts me. And if Radiohead covers a song, it’s got to be somewhat good, right?

21. The Decemberists- Raincoat Song “And the raincoat that you wore when it rained today, I think it only made it rain more.”
Thanks to Donovan, I’m much more versed in The Decemberists than I used to be. And, just like him, I am now greatly looking forward to their new cd in ’09. This song is just so simple, but I love it dearly. Meloy is crooning at his best, and every time I hear it I remember how good it was live.

Monday, December 8, 2008

In the Covers #1

Each week or so I'm going to try and post a great cover that I've been listening to. Why? Because it's gimmicky and I like covers. So without further ado, I present the first of many.

Let's face it: the most recent Strokes album, First Impressions of Earth, sucked. After one or two listens, this polished turd was cast aside faster than Helen Keller at a baseball game. Luckily, we have Lightspeed Champion to make it all better. Formerly of the Test Icicles, Devonte Hynes is now working as a solo act under the name Lightspeed Champion. His only album, Falling Off the Lavender Bridge, is a great musical endeavor, provided you give it a chance and get adjusted to the type of music it is. He also managed to record this live performance of "Heart in a Cage", one of the only decent songs from the aforementioned crap croissant. Enjoy.

Lightspeed Champion- Heart in a Cage (The Strokes Cover)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Top 10 Albums of '08

And no, In Rainbows is not in the running, because it was released in '07. But that's an argument for a different day.

10. The Rural Alberta Advantage- Hometowns
Well I'm certainly glad this found its way to my ears. When it was said that they channeled Jeff Mangum and Neutral Milk Hotel, it was necessary for me to take a listen. It barely made the cut due to the number of cds I wanted to squeeze into the top 10. But it's just too good to leave out. I'm giddy with excitement for what they'll bring in the future, and hopefully they keep from vanishing like Mangum and the rest of NMH.

The Rural Alberta Advantage- Sleep All Day

9. Starfucker-Starfucker
I don't care if anyone else has this in their top cds or not, this just makes me happy. Nothing revolutionary here, just synth and guitar, and two drum kits. But damn, do they do it right. While there are weaker songs present on the cd, the stronger ones certainly make up for it. If you can't enjoy this, I just can't help you.

Starfucker- Isabella Of Castile

8. Department of Eagles- In Ear Park
Proving that Grizzly Bear dominates the indie rock scene, Department of Eagles takes Dan Rossen from the band and turns out a spectacular album. Does it sound a lot like Grizzly Bear? Yes. Does it matter? No. Much like Starfucker, listening to this just makes me feel fuzzy inside. And a lot of times, that's all you need when you're listening to music.

Department of Eagles- No One Does it Like You

7. Hercules and Love Affair- Hercules and Love Affair
Well, either you hate them or you love them. In my case, I can't imagine this year without them. Can disco really make a comeback in this day and age? Probably not, because it died long ago. But if someone can do it, it's these guys. Not by resurrecting it, but by morphing it so it adjusts to the times. And they've started off on the right foot here. Another album that challenges you to stand still, permitted you're into it.

Hercules and Love Affair- Hercules' Theme

6. Foals-Antidotes
Foals found itself deeper than I initially thought it would be in my top 10. With repeated listens, I find myself liking almost every song. Though some may say it's a bit repetitive, I wouldn't mind even more songs with a similar formula on this album, because it just works that well. Again, nothing overwhelmingly innovative here, just music that's easy to get into, and hard to get out of.

Foals- Two Step Twice

5. MGMT- Oracular Spectacular
It sounds selfish, but I was disappointed that MGMT got as big as they did, because I wanted them all to myself. Why is this here? You guessed it: it's easy to move to and down right infectious. Synth and guitar blend perfectly for not only an amazing album, but a couple of fantastic singles. Listen and enjoy while you fend off the people asking, "Hey, what movie is this song from?"

MGMT- Electric Feel

4. Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago
It doesn't get easier than this, just a guy and an acoustic guitar. In a way, I'm kind of glad that Justin Vernon got a stretch of bad luck and secluded himself in a cabin, otherwise we wouldn't have this. Despite the unoriginality, Vernon finds a way to make this his own, mainly through his rather soulful voice. It's hard to not feel for the guy, and it's even harder not to like this.

Bon Iver- Flume

3. Why?- Alopecia
Here's the oddball of the bunch. This is a classic example of a cd that's alright at first, but gets better and better with more listens. This album is made great by lead man Yoni Wolf, whose lyrics flow perfectly with the music. I really can't explain what makes this so good, it just has to be experienced. Not for everyone, but certainly for me.

Why?- A Sky for Shoeing Horses Under

2. TV On the Radio- Dear Science
How do you follow up a great cd like Return to Cookie Mountain? Exactly like this. It is a bit pop-ish, but it's just too good to deny it a high spot like this. TVOTR managed to make each song compelling and catchy, while still making them different from one another. Absolutely fantastic album, and the only reason it's not number one is because Fleet Foxes also made an album this year.

TV On the Radio- Halfway Home

1. Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes
This was a shoe-in for album of the year for me. Not a bad song on the album. Filled with the best vocal harmonization you can get today, accompanied by relaxing, yet catchy melodies, the baroque tunes these guys produce is breathtaking. Collecting comparisons to My Morning Jacket, The Beach Boys, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, the only place Fleet Foxes can go is up. This isn't just the best album of the year, it also needs to be in the discussion for best debut album. Period. It's just that good.

Fleet Foxes- He Doesnt Know Why
Fleet Foxes- Blue Ridge Mountains

Well, that does it. In addition to these, honorable mentions need to go to: Deerhunter, Metronomy, Erykah Badu, Women, Ra Ra Riot, She and Him, Takka Takka, and The Dodos.

Overall, a solid year for music filled with great cds, not to mention some fantastic EP's. *cough* Passion Pit. While I'm a little sad to see this year pass, '09 looks to have some highly anticipated releases which are sure to please.

Top singles of '08 coming soon.

Rave on, Raveonettes

Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo of The Raveonettes have been eating their Wheaties. Lust Lust Lust, their fourth and arguably best studio album, was released in the US in February of '08. They followed that up with EP's Sometimes They Drop By and Beauty Dies, in September and October. Finally, they recently released the EP Wishing You a Rave Christmas, which helps break up the monotony of those pesky Christmas tunes. To celebrate, I thought I'd post a song that's from none of those. But it does deal with Christmas, and it definitely makes the kids want to dance. And by kids I mean me.

The Raveonettes- The Christmas Song