Thursday, 25 December 2008

Two thousand and eight

Well, seeing as everyone has gone end of year, 2008 crazy, I'll quickly list my highlights and put up a comp for you (once it's uploaded at 2 in the morning!). It's the least I can do, really.

Top 5 Albums

1. Rook - Shearwater (Matador)
Not just my album of the year, album of the last two. Incredibly strong, intricately crafted work from multi-instumental artisans.

2. Asleep at Heaven's Gate - Rogue Wave (Brushfire)
Musically powerful Alt-Americana, at times surging, at others understated. Grower of the year, definitely got the most plays.

3. Saturdays = Youth - M83 (Mute) An 80's synth pop homage it may be, but Saturdays = Youth has a genuine freshness and innocence that simple imitation doesn't often provide. Excellent all round release, containing single of the year 'Graveyard Girl'.

4. Lust, Lust, Lust - The Raveonettes (Fierce Panda)
There's some filler on here, but there's more JAMC/Spector goodness on here than you can shake a stick at, too. Criminally underrated this year, and due a critical reappraisal but unlikely to get one from the fickle *NOW* obsessed British music press.

5. We're Alive, but Not Alone - Popular Workshop (Fake DIY)
Good old fashioned 'angular' indie rock delivered by Gypsy and Co. The best record Albini has touched since In Utero. Probably.

Top 3 Singles of the year

1. Graveyard Girl - M83.
All the teen angst you can fit in one song, a John Hughes film distilled and crystallized in pop sugar.

2. The Beautiful Light - Slow Down Tallahassee
Best lyrics on a single this year. Has a BiS like alternacharm, and a crisp chorus. So many it's almost not worth quoting them, but I will anyway.

"Just listening to the rain as it falls on the ground,
I never met a motherfucker yet, who didn't love that sound."

"I'm surrounded by parasites, and the scum of the Earth, I'm gonna walk into the beautiful light and cut off all my hair..."

3. Money Babies - The Dears
A band who've brought more bad luck on themselves than feasibly possible, still dropping singles like this like it ain't no shit. They've buried the Blur comparisons with this one, writing about the pressures of being in a band and bringing home the bacon, yet still managing to make it sound fun.

Gigs of the year
Tom Waits at Le Grand Rex - Paris Tied with 1. Okkervil River at the Borderline
2. Rival Schools at KCLSU
MBV at the Roundhouse

Festival of the year
Offset, Hainault Forest, Epsom
Good bands, proper facilities, great vibe, excellent value. Doing it next year, definitely; if it happens in the New Credit Crunch World.

End of year comp. Hidden from plain sight. Tracklisting also secret but worthwhile. Sssshhhh. Apologies if track sources are from other blogs. It's cheap and dirty, but sometimes that's ok, right? I should tell it to a priest....

Monday, 22 December 2008

Hola Amigos

I know, it's been a long time since I rapped at ya. It's just work, man. Work, all day long. While it can be fun earning 10.1p per minute, you really have to up the actual hours you work to get anything out of the deal. So I, as Retail Monkey, have been working long into the night, and in the early hours. And all the hours in between. Delivering service of a higher standard to you, the Debenhams customer.

This has eaten up all my downloading, reading, writing and listening time. So November and December have been EAT. SLEEP. WORK.

My plan is to get a post done on Christmas day, with a little '2008 Best of' comp action.
I'll be filling out all those boxes marked end of year polls, too.