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2008: a glance back at a great year

Sounds don’t make a U-Turn on January 1st so why it should be a year has its own distinct personality is beyond me. If there was a theme to 2008 it was everybody from My Morning Jacket to TV On the Radio -bands who have been around for years- mking not just their most commercial but more importantly (well, as importantly) their best music to date.

At another time this might be have been a best album or single list. It isn’t. This is my best songs released in 2008 based upon most listens on Itunes (one song per band or singer):

1) Cape Canaveral -Conor Oberst This is the tiny diamond in our memory come to life.

2) Crossed Out Name -Ryan Adam My fave singer/songwriter if Conor hadn’t beaten him to it: one long ache of loss.

3) You’ll Need Those Fingers For Crossing -Los Campesinos The best song off “We are Beautiful, We Are Doomed” by the best rock band in the world.

4) Evil Urges -My Morning Jacket Brilliant New Year’s Eve covering Curtis Mayfield, this is what Prince would sound like if he played Southern rock.

5) Love Story -Taylor Swift “This love is difficult but it is real”… Another first rate song off “Fearless”

6) Break My Little Heart In Two -Carlene Carter Pretty damn good at Joe’s Pub this year, this is the best song off “Stronger”

7) A-Punk -Vampire Weekend Fun during a torrential rain at Central Park Summerstage, tedious at Terminal 5 later that year, Vampire Weekend may well end up one of the great New York bands if they were just not so damn vanilla.

8) Titus Andronicus -Titus Andronicus Wow, this is the kinda band that changes your life. Stuck in an existential crises with being on one side, nothingness on the other, and Camus the diviner between the two all they can do is scream into the darkness. “Your life is over, your life is over, your life is over, your life is over….”

9) Always Where I Need To Be – The Kooks This English power-pop band have a huge problem.: they are inconsistent. Not here, but.

10) No Baby I – Old 97’s Great live, great recorded, completely consistent, with one of the best frontmen around in Rhett Miller, “Blame It On Gravity” is a fine album and this song; a mid-tempo break-up song (“No baby, I don’t want to see you hurt, you’ve got them tears, they fall like pearls, blame it on gravity, blame it on being a girl”) is what great songwriters are meant to be writing.

11) Lover’s Day -TV On The Radio If I was doing a best album list TV On The Radio would rank much higher (more about them after I see them live this June)

12) Little Miss Obsessive – Ashlee Simpson The album wasn’t up to much but this is pop 101.

13) Run -Gnarls Barkley I was a bit disappointed in the album and not even slighly in this paranoid rant.

14) Rich Girls – The Virgins Caught them opening for Be Your Own Pet at webster Hall. Loved them there, loved the EP, loved the album. They are sorta like the Stones circa “Some Girls”

15) South Georgia Sugar Babe -Justin Towne Earle A real good album cut, and a real talent at Joe’s Pub, his first album was wonderful, this year his second album suffered from the sophomore jinx.

Some more: The Academy Twins; Adele; Against Me; Aimee Mann; Air; the Airborn Toxic Event; Akon; Al Green;Alan Jackson; Alanis Morrisette; Alejandro Escavedo; Alkaline Trio; The All-American Rejects; Allison Moorer; Ana Serrano van Laan; Aphex Twins; Apocalypto; Apples in Stereo; Arms…

And that’s just the A’s.

Maybe it’s time to leave 2008 behind us… coming up soon, the Dead at MSG and more soongs from week of April 19th…

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