Monday, June 23, 2008

Best of 2008...So Far


We're half-way through 2008 and I've picked up a lot of music to stave off my misery. Here's my top ten...so far. (Stay tuned. The order could change before the end of 2008.)

10. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
I have yet to review this record officially thanks to a very slow postal service, but me likes the weird-ass psychedelic rock these Canucks have to offer. One down side is that this may be the ugliest album cover of the year and we're only half-way through.

9. Grand Archives - Grand Archives
Bizzaro Band of Horses release a promising debut.

8. No Age - Nouns
Lo-fi grunge and garage for a new age. Some loved this record more than I, but I still have to give it props.

7. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Lie Down in the Light
This album may creep up my list by the end of the year. Will Oldham is just a master at reinvention, making old new again.

6. Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams
Who needs Nico Neko Case or AC Newman? Dan Bejar certainly doesn't.

5. Thao Nguyen - We Brave Bee Stings and All
There is something refreshing about this record that keeps drawing me back. She has taken the female folk sound light years beyond the whimsy and earthiness of her foremothers.

4. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
This really is as a mature and complete a debut LP as I've heard in a really long time. It just feels right all the time.

3. Port O'Brien - All We Could Do Was Sing
This may be an emotional choice, but what else is there in music? This album oozes genuine earnestness, so much so that I feel like a fisherman's son myself and I live in a land-locked state with no natural lakes. (Listen to it and you'll understand.)

2. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
So what if they wear ascots and loafers. I don't care if they're way over hyped. This is a great, great record. It might be the only great album they record, but I don't care. It's on the list and will remain in the top ten no matter what.

1. She & Him - Volume 1
This is just timeless. M Ward outdoes himself and Zooey Deschanel outdoes Nico Neko Case.

Just missed the list but could move up by the end of the year: Times New Viking, The Black Keys, Joan of Arc, Mason Jennings...

Now it's your turn. Tell me your top album(s) pf 2008 so far. I feel like I've listened to more new music in the last 6 months than at almost any time in my life, but there still could be something I've missed. Let me know.

If you're interested in any of these albums, I highly recommend the folks at Insound for all your Christmas in July needs.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

You sir are an ass clown!

comoprozac said...

I might be an ass clown, but where is your list, Anonymous - if that is your real name.

Lovey said...

Anonymous, I've worked with ass clowns: I knew ass clowns; some ass clowns are friends of mine. Comoprozac is no ass clown.

comoprozac said...

Lovey, I can always count you to back me up. Now, where's your list. I need to know what you think is the best record so far this year.

Scott said...

Ouch. It's been years since I had a Top 10 for an entire year -- that is, 10 albums I loved in the same year.

Last year I don't even think I had a #1. It was like, #1 blank, #2 blank, #3 Queens of the Stone Age, #4 blank, etc...

Let's see if I've even got 10 albums I like so far this year. Alphabetical order:

Dengue Fever
detroit7
Elbow
Fleet Foxes
James Combs
Elvis Costello
Sam Phillips
Stereo Total
Vampire Weekend

Ah, well. Nine. Can I add in The Smiths, "Louder Than Bombs"?

Scott said...

Hmm. That list is alphabetical, but only in Glagolithic.

como, thanks for the reminder on "She & Him" and "Destroyer". I really earnestly keep trying to become a Dan Bejar fan; maybe there's a course I could take or something...

Lovey said...

I started this year out really worried that I wasn't going to like any new music. I'm getting to the age where I'm supposed to stop finding new artists.

Dunno if I can do 10, but lets try.

In no particular order:

Drive By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark.

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

The Grand Archives - Grand Archives

Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue

The National - The Virginia EP

Black Keys - Attack and Release

She & Him - Volume One

*cheating* Jens Lekman - Night Falls over Kortedala

*cheating* Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

I've only heard Foam Hands from Destroyer's new one, and I wish i could put My Morning Jacket on the list, but it's just not quite as tight as their other stuff.

I'll have to think and pray before I publicly release a statement on #1.

Zach said...

"comoassclown" has a nice ring to it if you don't mind the self-deprecation thing.

Evangelicals deserves a listen (dig that subject/verb agreement). If you don't feel like jumping into an entire album, just listen to "Skeleton Man." I can't imagine anything topping that song in the next six months.

comoprozac said...

Now that's what I'm talking about people!

Good list, Lovey. It looks a lot like mine. I assume by cheating you mean that those albums came out last year. That's acceptable. I always discover a few records the year after they come out. This year I'd have to include the Bon Iver, Animal Collective, St. Vincent, possibly Bishop Allen.

Yes, good subject/verb agreement, very good. I've heard of these Evangelicals of which you speak. I'm not sold on them, but will give them another listen.

Keep it coming, people. There are a few of you from whom I have not heard.

Zach said...

Also - Evangelicals is strictly nighttime music (and wintertime too, really). Daylight may shrivel any potential for enjoyment like a vampire.

comoprozac said...

OK, OK. "Skeleton Man" is a pretty good track. Check it out.

DJ Mike said...

I had a list up, but it didn't get posted. It involved your list pretty much exactly. Except for Wolf Parade, whom I haven't heard, and Vampire Weekend, who just doesnt' do it for me, and it included Sun Kil Moon and Plants & Animals and DBT. Also, it made reference to She of She & Him being in M. Night Shaymylan's movie.

DJ Mike said...

Also, is "asshat" a compliment or an insult? It sounds kinda hot, but I guess I can see it being a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

I should apologize for the lack of clarity in my comment earlier. There are several reasons why I think you are a complete ass clown. First, I live in Missouri as well, it's not that bad, get the fuck over yourself. Second, and this is what prompted the post, you missed spelled Neko. If you are going to blog about music at least take the time to be informed. It's not Nico as in the heroin chic Andy Warhol model / musician. It's Neko, as in NEKO FUCKING CASE. Also, there is no way that "Zooey Deshanel out does Neko Case." I'm sorry but that is simply not possible. She is an actor, she is acting like she can sing. There are 3 good songs on that album and that is it. If you want to hear M Ward and a good female singer, listen to "To Go Home." Finally, Vampire Weekend is the worst band ever. Just because they got some hype doesn't make them good. How's that for a list?
Yours truly,
Anonymous

comoprozac said...

And there you go, folks. Anonymous has finally spoken. Thanks for the insight. However, you still haven't shared your best of 2008 so far.

Let Nico and Neko know how terribly sorry and embarrassed I am.

comoprozac said...

Oh, by the way, it's misspelled, not missed spelled.

Zach said...

priceless

comoprozac said...

I think you meant priced less.

Pizza Cottontail said...

Also, Anonymous never answered my question. Is "asshat" a compliment or not?

I feel obligated to mention that Anonymous uses far, far too many run-on sentences and comma splices in his/her second comment to be taken seriously. This is the Internet, for heaven's sake. If you want to be taken seriously, you must avoid grammar errors. How else can a reader tell if your comments are insightful or silly things?

Perhaps, comoprozac, it is anonymous (and not you) who is the asshat, assuming "asshat" is not a compliment.

I agree with Anonymous about Vampire Weekend, though. WTF?!?

comoprozac said...

Ah, Pizza Cottontail, you are always the voice of reason.

I stand by Vampire Weekend. Ignore the hype, the loafers, and those stupid-ass scarves the keyboardist always wears. Their album is solid from start to finish.

Pizza Cottontail said...

I just don't like Vampire Weekend's name, that's all. My idea of a "Vampire Weekend" is a Forever Knight marathon.

Pizza Cottontail said...

I just noticed that you have a lot of comments on this post! Way to go!

I hope Anonymous won't take offense because I pointed out his/her poor writing style. After all, this is the Internet, and it's supposed to be a kind place, where people can learn from their mistakes. In that spirit, I've created a post with some mind puzzles to help Anonymous improve his/her sentence structure.

Lovey said...

Pizza is right. The internet is a kind and gentle place where learning is always encouraged and unique opinions are nourished like little baby birds in the nest.

You know, eating worms, bugs, and stuff mashed in their own mother's mouths?

That's what the internet really is.

comoprozac said...

Truer words were never commented on my...err...comments. Thanks all for playing. I'll be back with another post sometime tonight or tomorrow. Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out Pizza's post. It's a classic.

Gil said...

The Internet was invented for scientists to share data with each other over long distances! And considering how scientists are generally dicks, the Internet wasn't meant to be kind! The only thing the Care Bears should be doing on the world wide web are pedaling boner pills or trying to get me to refinance my home! The Internet now is a place to get ass-blasted! And call out people on their ass-hattery (Pizza) and general ignorance of things they think they know, but of which they know nothing!

Also, Vampire Weekend fucking sucks!!! When a music legend says so himself, that's all I need to hear! Not from someone who couldn't tell the difference between The Velvet Underground and Velvet Revolver!

comoprozac said...

Gil...or should I say Anonymous, I'm still waiting for that list.

I don't know whether you're attacking poor Pizza Cottontail or myself with the Velvet Underground/Velvet Revolver comment, but it should be stated that we do know the difference between the two. You're not the only one with an opinion on music. In fact, we know enough not to mention those two bands in the same comment.

What I really want to say is "thanks". You have pushed my Google Analytic numbers to new heights and have made this post my second-most commented upon.

Please, come again.

Pizza Cottontail said...

I just noticed that "Deschanel" is also missed spelled, ass clown.

And I don't want to be an ass hat, but nobody's answered my original questions. I'm beginning to think that "ass clown" is a compliment, but "ass hat" is derogatory. Please help!

Also, what's your most-commented post?

comoprozac said...

Will this ever end? It's now fixed with a rather sarcastically italicized "c".

Ass clown is no compliment, and neither is ass hat.

My most commented post was the one on my friend who committed suicide.

ks said...

I don't have a long list for you, but I would add Plants & Animals "Parc Avenue" and The Constantine's new one. Both Canadian bands, I believe, so they fall under your "Move to Canada; Make a Good Indie Rock Album" rule....Oh, and I never knew you to be an ass hat or an ass clown.

comoprozac said...

Thanks, ks, for both your list and kind words. I'm hearing Plants & Animals over and over. I will have to check them out.

KR said...

Jesus. Better late than never, I guess....

Como, are you still alive over there? Living in Misery gets the prize for Most Blog Hits, I think.

And, Vampire Weekend rocked the house down both times I saw them live. And every time they shuffle through my iPod. So, get over YOURself, Gilnonymous.

Scott said...

Yeah... Possibly the least relevant thing Anonymous said --quite a mark of distinction, that-- "just because [Vampire Weekend] got some hype doesn't make them good." I don't know if I can speak for all trendy hipsters here, but in general our weakness isn't embracing bad bands [shows/novels/movies] because of hype; it's renouncing good bands because of hype. comoprozac addressed this pretty clearly in his original post.

Pizza Cottontail said...

Anonymous is getting a little testy. He's upset with my Care Bears post as well.

I wanted to teach a valuable lesson about the importance of humility (and sentence sructure) and he went off on me.

What an asshat.

GE said...

Yikes. I'm very late to this "party". All I want to add is that Gilnonymous might be your ticket to the big time, CP! New York magazine did an entire cover story on an angry anonymous commenter who trolled the popular Brooklyn real estate blog Brownstoner.

Check it out: http://nymag.com/realestate/features/47224/

comoprozac said...

Thanks again for the support from my faithful readership. I am sorry that Gil has been wrongfully confused for Anonymous.

I think this issue has finally been laid to rest in my follow-up post.

Pizza Cottontail said...

I still have questions about Gil.

Juliet said...

Hopefully now that the smoke has died down (or people are directing their nameless rage on your newest post), here's my list of 08 albums in no particular order

Drive by Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark
The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia
Sun Kil Moon - April
Portishead - Third
The Black Keys - Attack and Release
Kathleen Edwards - Asking for Flowers
Basia Bulat - Oh, My Darling
DeVotchKa - A Mad and Faithful Telling
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

Cheers!

comoprozac said...

Good list. I've heard some good things about the Gutter Twins record. Also, Pizza is sending me some Sn Kill Moon.

Pizza Cottontail said...

Juliet--

Great list. I agree with you on about 9/10 of it, esp. the Fleet Foxes and Sun Kil Moon. Kathleen Edwards and DBT are strong, too. Good, good stuff.

But you'll have to tell me about Evil Urges. I'm a big MMJ fan, so I've been listening to the new album quite a bit, but I just can't figure it out. I can't decide if I'm just turned off by "Highly Suspicious," or if the album's a "grower," or if it just doesn't click with me.

Jake said...

In no particular order:

Portishead - Third
M83 - Saturdays = Youth
Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple
Black Keys - Attack & Release
Kelp - Ex-Aquarium
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles
Sigur Ros - New album I can't spell

This is an admittedly naive list--there's so much I want/have to hear, so it's no doubt this list will change.

Jake said...

Woops, that should be Kelpe, not Kelp.

Scott said...

Buttjester.

comoprozac said...

Jake, I think the idea is that the list will change, but I just want to take account of where we are so far. I'm seeing The Black Keys repeated a couple of times. They almost made my list. I should have included them just for being buckeyes.

Scott, thank you for the new moniker.

Scott said...

Not you, you heineychapeau. That was for Jake, for misspelling Kelpe like a buttjester.

comoprozac said...

I assume "heineychapeau" is French for "assclown", no?

Scott said...

Henceforth, everyone who publicly defends Vampire Weekend will receive their own derogatory French nickname, plus a complementary VW(TM) logo-emblazoned ascot.

comoprozac said...

You have got to comment here more often.

Scott said...

OK. But whenever you whine about our town, I'm gonna call you a rumpmime.

comoprozac said...

Figure out a way to work in "corn hole" and you have a deal!

Mom said...

Okay, I have heard of "ass-wipes" but never ass clowns or asshats - what is this world coming to?! This is like reading junior high essays sometimes when the focus of the topic is lost. Kudos to those who actually commented on music.

comoprozac said...

Ahem, Mom, where is your list?

Catfish Vegas said...

Howdy. Actual music commenter here...
I definitely stick by my 10 at this point, but hell, the whole point of half-year lists are to catch up on stuff you should catch up on. Five of your top are in my to-listen-to/to-listen-to-more pile. I don't have the full Wolf Parade, but I think both singles released top anything on their debut, and I'm gonna go immersion style on the record 'cause they're heading to the desert later this month.
And I just saw Grand Archives and picked up the CD a few days later and haven't even gotten in a single listen, but no doubt it'll rate highly.
As for Malkmus? Hell yeah! Maybe his most rockin' album. But lots of that is context, and stood about 10 feet from him in two shows for that album and those songs translate great live. Plus, don't for a second discount what Janet Weiss brings to the band/album. Spin it again...

Catfish Vegas said...

Anyway, props back, and link added...
Catfish