I'm running a bit dry for content ideas at the moment, which I attribute to the sudden shortage of links and wackiness Randy usually sends me, but which has abruptly dried up of late (what up RHPT?).
I've been doing some lists over at Comic Fodder for an end of the year wrap up. So far I've posted a sort of rambling pre-amble, and then a "disappointments of 2008" list. I'll be doing a "good stuff from 2008" list by the weekend or first of next week. So, click on those and enjoy them. Or not. You know, whatever.
But you're reading this far down thinking "Great! More comics nonsense. But what about THE MUSIC, man?"
Well, I'm going to be 100% honest here.
2008 was probably the year I paid the absolute least attention to music in my life. Aside from ACL Fest, I don't think I went to a single show*, which wasn't even true in Phoenix, I think. Or at least there I had tickets but didn't make it out. I confess that I was otherwise distracted and I'm getting old. I had a subscription to "Spin" I bought from some adorable little girl who was selling magazines door-to-door, and every time I opened that magazine, I felt like I had no idea what I was looking at. I have no perspective anymore to separate hype and that first blush interest in freshman bands from an actual romance with a band's music.
These days, I mostly listen to music in the car, at my desk at home, or not at all. I definitely no longer just sit and listen to an album while laying on my bed anymore.
Consequently, I think my tastes are as run of the mill as they've been since I bought "Invisible Touch" out of a record bin at "Skaggs Alphabeta" grocery when I was 12ish.
As I don't think I can say much about Best Albums of 2008, because, seriously, I haven't got a clue, I'm just going to go through my iPod's playlists entitled "2008 - 1" and "2008 - 2". I've made other playlists, but they're either thematic or generated by the Genius feature.
Some of these tracks became "skip" tracks. But I'll go ahead and be all-inclusive.
Begin your judging of my tastes in 3... 2... 1...
2008 - 1
1) Into the Open - Heartless Bastards
The sophomore effort wasn't as strong, but this track from this album is a favorite
2) Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem
An oddly sentimental tune from LCD Soundsystem.
3) Pretty in Pink - Dresden Dolls
Slightly different from the Psychedelic Furs' original, but I like it just as much
4) Just Like Honey - The Jesus & Mary Chain
An old favorite from, what...? Middle school?
5) Wake Up - Arcade Fire
I'm surprised this wasn't 30% Arcade Fire. But I think I listen to their albums so much that they don't show up on playlists. This song contains one of my favorite changes.
6) Bodysnatchers - Radiohead
One of my favorite songs of the year. I'm not altogether clear what it's about, but it rocks my socks off.
7) Orphan Girl - Gillian Welch
I actually really like Gillian Welch and was glad to see her at ACL Fest this year. Maybe my favorite set of the show.
8) Sleeping Lesson - The Shins
I'm not 100% on The Shins. They're a little wimpy for me, but I do like this tune.
9) Missing - Everything but the Girl
Straight up, Leaguers. This song is on, like, every playlist I have. I do not apologize.
10) Weapon of Choice - Fatboy Slim
I challenge you not to dig this song.
11) Shadowtime - Siouxsie & the Banshees
A highschool favorite
12) In Between Days - The Cure
I think I must have been going through some nostalgic kick when I built this part of the playlist. Also, I think I was learning the song on bass.
13) I Drove All Night - Cyndi Lauper
If you don't own it, I recommend Lauper's "12 Deadly Cyns"
14) Midnight Radio - Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack
Have you seen this movie?
15) Fannin Street - Tom Waits
Yeah, its about THAT Fannin Street. Check it out, Houstonians.
16) Slippery People - Talking Heads
I'm a pretty big Talking Heads nut, and this song is a favorite among even all of their wide selection of great stuff. This tune also makes many, many playlist appearances
17) A-Punk - Vampire Weekend
Dude, I love this song, even if the lyrics make, literally no sense
18) Handle with Care - The Traveling Wilburys
I went on a Roy Orbison kick about a year before Orbison died (I guess in '89-ish). Anyway, this came out right before Orbison died and is still a favorite of mine.
19) I Know What I Know - Paul Simon
20) Penny on the Train Treck - Ben Kweller
I'm not totally sold on Kweller, but on a strong album, this is, by far, my favorite track. Nanostalgic, honest, and has some great lyrics.
21) Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
I think this song, despite the fact I've known it for years and years, but it seems a little more poignant these days
22) Sea of Tranquility - Siouxsie
Siouxsie comes back with a great tune that could easily have appeared on any of her mid-80's through the end of the Banshees.
2008 - 2
1) Walcott - Vampire Weekend
Was really intended to help me set the pace of the playlist. I don't know that worked out.
2) (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding - Elvis Costello
A perennial favorite
3) If You're Into It - Flight of the Conchords
If I have to explain, I can't help you.
4) Sunshine Superman - Donovan
Dude! You have to love his tune.
5) Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac
One of my favorite Fleetwood Mac tunes
6) Along the Way - Devotchka
7) Karma Police - Radiohead
My favorite Radiohead tune, but mostly because I enjoyed the hell out of trying to play it with Jamie and Jason
8) All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem
This song summed up more about how I've felt about the past two years or so than I really want to discuss
9) Descondido Soy - David Byrne
Infectious, danceable great tune
10) Shine on Sweet Jesus - The Flaming Lips
Ah, high school. I got my first speeding ticket to this song.
11) Smoke Detector - Rilo Kiley
I think Randy pointed out this album was better than I initially gave it credit for, and then I noticed I really liked this track.
12) What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy) - Information Society
Because it samples Nimoy, that's why
13) Ceremony - New Order
I barely remember New Order, and I can't claim that I was a huge fan then or now. But even a broken clock is right twice a day, and this song is particularly a good one. One day I want to cover it while employing a Dracula voice.
14) More Than This - Roxy Music
Sigh. Okay... yeah. It's practically adult contemporary, but it's Bryan Ferry at his most romantic, loungiest, hoping for a movie finale ending... Its the song you want to play when they guy wins the girl in a wordless ending and the picture dissolves to white before the credits roll
15) Sweet Little One - Kelly Willis
I just like Kelly Willis
16) Paper Planes - M.I.A.
My song of choice for summer, 2008
17) Out of Control - Kenna
Okay, this, Paper Planes and The Crystal Cat were all played extensively during the Alamo Drafthouse pre-show and I totally dug all three. if you'e looking for a song to add to your workout mix, I'd recommend this tune
18) The Crystal Cat - Dan Deacon
The lyrics are nonsense, but Deacon fills the musical bandwidth to such a degree it flips all the right switches in my head.
*I later realized this was a not correct. We saw Radiohead in Houston with Steven and Lauren.