This is the first year in a while I haven't had a print magazine bugging me for my top ten in September, so I just started thinking about it this afternoon. Here's a very provisional stab at my favorites from 2008.
Feel free to throw things.
Here’s my back-of-the-envelope first stab at this.
BTW, I thought TVOTR was fine, but nothing earth-shaking, but I’ve felt that way about everything after the first EP.
I’ve got one reissue in the top ten, which will get shunted aside in some lists to its own category, so I’m allowing myself 11.
1. Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal...rockin’ Al at his career best
2. Big Dipper, Supercluster...fantastic survey of a band I missed the first time around, this one comes out if we’re excluding the old stuff*
3. Wovenhand, Ten Stones...why is this guy not at the top of the heap? this is the best of the wovenhand lot, which was already pretty good
4. Experimental Aircraft, Third Transmission...fantastic shoe-gaze-y kind of thing, totally took me by surprise and I fully expect to be the only one to vote for this anywhere.
5. the Dirtbombs, We have you Surrounded...almost a career-best as well, except for some sub-par stuff near the end it would have beat Ultraglide..."Leopardman at C&A” is my #1 played song for this year and probably my favorite.
6. Thalia Zedek Band, Liars and Prayers...wonderful full-band outing from one of my favorite, underrated artists
7. Man Man, Rabbit Habits...just about missed this, since they’ve graduated from the labels and press people who send me stuff, but I bought it and it’s about five times better than Six Demon Bag and 2-3 times better than Blue Turban...what a great, weird-ass band, long may they run.
8. Calexico, Carried to Dust...Not as good as Feast of Wire, to my ears, but pretty great nonetheless. What great musicians these guys are, what beautiful tone they get out of their instruments
9. Mt. Eerie and Julie Doiron, Lost Wisdom...hauntingly beautiful, absolutely simple and pure
10. Human Bell, Human Bell...dual acoustic guitars from Dave Heumann of Arbouretum and Nathan Bell of Lungfish, wonderful stuff, hardly anybody wrote about it
11. Lights, Lights...totally cracked, electrified take on freak folk with extraordinarily beautiful female voices and trippy psychedelic guitar effects...i said it sounded like the Roches in front of Piper-era Floyd, and I stand by that, I guess.
Some that didn’t make it but were also very fine
King Khan and the Shrines, the Supreme Genius Of
Retribution Gospel Choir, S-T
Mogwai, The Hawk Is Howling
Bardo Pond, Batholith
Jay Reatard, Singles (both actually, the In the Red set and the ones from Matador)
Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago
Kelley Stoltz, Circular Sounds
Chicha Libra, Sonidas Amazonicas
Giant Sand, proVISIONS
Erykah Badu, New Amerika
Oneida, Preteen Weaponry
I don’t even want to think about songs yet.