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Robby's Top 10 (or so...)


Below are my top 10 (or so) released this year, in no particular order. It's been a pretty good year for music. I've especially enjoyed the reverby vocals of Blitzen Trapper, and the fun vocal mishmosh of Fleet Foxes. Seems that there have been all these bands with "woodsy" themed names in the past few years, just recently reaching a fevered pitch. To wit: Grisly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Department of Eagles, Silver Antlers, The Mountain Goats, Donkeys, Gregory + The Hawk. Many bearded men.


I dug these records this last year:


Fleet Foxes - S/T (Sub Pop): Amazing orchestration of vocals. Melody structures are evolved from the voice. I love their rhythmic structures. Kind of other-worldly. Great mix of folk and pop, reminds me of 70s soft rock in a weird way (but a good one.. I think). They really experiment with vocals, it's a very different approach than most bands would take.



Faves from 2008

Thirteen of my favorite songs from last year.

1. "strange overtones" :: Brian Eno & David Byrne (Everything That Happens Will Happen Today)

2. "killa soundboy" :: Fort Knox Five (Radio Free D.C.)

3. "bob" :: Otto (What's Happening in Pernambuco)

4. "the whistling song" :: the Pinker Tones (Wild Animals)

5. "policia" :: Pistolera (En Este Camino)

6. "nouveau americain" :: Brazilian Girls (New York City)

7. "i hold the mic" :: Meat Beat Manifesto (Autoimmune)

8. "vampires" :: Thievery Corporation w/ Femi Kuti (Radio Retaliation)

9. "the house of games" :: Adrian Sherwood (Becoming a Cliché)

10. "harampa rija" :: Cankisou (Le La)

11. "here sat i (off jumps the don) :: Don Cavalli (Cryland)

12. "move" :: Q-Tip (the Renaissance)

13. "this will never end" :: All Girl Summer Fun Band (Looking Into It


Loud Rock Tops for 2008

1. Maurizio Bianchi...Symphony for a Genocide...Hospital - Created as a testimony to the atrocities of the Holocaust. Bianchi's abrasive electronics comprised of synthesizers and tape loops are incredibly black and devastating, with wailing alarm sounds, mechanized and annihilating beats, and a few broken vocal samples. As disturbing as it is amazing.

2. Dino Felipe...No Fun Demo...No Fun - Miami-based musician dabbles in experimental mind-melting noise-rock. Jaded, damaged and surprisingly danceable!

3. Circle...Panic ...Ektro - Thank the Gods for more NWOFHM !!! Warning: apocalyptic hardcore hatred and defiance lies inside this high speed album of piss and mayhem! More, more, more.

4. Digital Leather...Sorcerer...Goner – Any friends of the Urinals, is a friend of mine. A grinding 80s synth-punk album mixed with some industrial clamor makes for a raucous finish!

5. Uptight...Early Years...Archive - Restless guitar, acerbic feedback, and floor-shaking low-end bass are the meat of this Tokyo psychedelic rock group. Similar in style to like-minded Les Rallizes Denudes, Uptight's dark psyche sound is packed with echo and feedback with a bit of melancholy bliss.

6. Marzuraan...Five Years Worth of Fuck All...At War With False Noise - Recently released and nicely packaged retrospective of Newcastle's Marzuraan is a batch of inventively flowing, noisy and ever-morphing sludgy metal and heavy drone; a collection of demos, live cuts, and out of print releases.


Almost 30 New Releases of 08 that Brian liked (in no particular order)

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend                    Portastatic - Some Small History
Explorers Club - Freedom Wind                   All Girl Summer Fun Band - Looking Into It
Robert Pollard - Is Off to Business                    Boston Spaceships - Brown Submarine
Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster               Oxford Collapse - Bits
Love Is All - A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night              Dr. Dog - Fate
Her Space Holiday - Sleepy Tigers [EP]                               Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Her Space Holiday - XOXO Panda and the New Kid            Blitzen Trapper - Furr
Born Ruffians - Red, Yellow And Blue                         The Magnetic Fields - Distortion
Noah And The Whale - Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down


Faves of the year...

1. Arthur Russell - Love is Overtaking Me (Audika, 2008)

2. Iron Curtain - Desertion 1982-1988 / Artifact (Pylon, 2007/8)

3. Das Kabinette - Spy Thriller (Minimal Wave, 2008)

4. VA - BIPPP:  French Synth-Wave 1979/85 (Born Bad, 2006/7/8)

5. Betty Botox - Mmm, Betty! (Endless Flight, 2008)

6. The Lines - Flood Bank / Memory Span (Acute, 2008)

7. Hercules & Love Affair - s/t (DFA, 2008)

8. Portishead - Third (Island, 2008)

9. Gang Gang Dance - St. Dymphna (the Social Registry, 2008)

10. Alex Moulton - Exodus (Expansion Team, 2008)




Max B.'s top 10 of 2008

Love is Overtaking Me, Arthur Russell (Audika)
Imperial Wax Solvent, The Fall (Narnack)
Tell Tale Signs, Bob Dylan (Columbia)
Congress EP, Bottomless Pit (Comedy Minus One)
Third, Portishead (Island)
Microcastle | Weird Era. Cont., Deerhunter (Kranky)
Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules and Love Affair (DFA)
St. Dymphna, Gang Gang Dance (Social Registry)
Singles 06-07 and Singles 08, Jay Reatard (In the Red, Matador)
Francophonic, Franco (Sterns Africa)


Sarah Harlan --- Top 10 of 2008

1. Arthur Russell -- Love is Overtaking Me
2. Hercules and Love Affair -- S/T
3. Barbara Morganstern -- BM
4. Gang Gang Dance -- St. Dymphna
5. Betty Botox...Mmm, Betty!
6. V/A -- Don't Stop: Recording Tap
7. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds -- Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
8. V/A -- Nigeria Disco Funk Special: The Sound of the Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-1979
9. V/A -- Bearded Ladies vol.1
10. Antony & the Johnsons...Another World EP


Stewart's Top 10 of 2008

10. Eddie Floyd-- Eddie Loves You So
9. Cut Copy-- In Ghost Colours
8. V/A -- Don't Stop: Recording Tap
7. V/A-- Bipp: French Synth Wave 1979-85
6. Hercules and Love Affair-- S/T
5. Brazilian Girls -- New York City
4. V/A-- Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986
3. V/A-- Calypsoul 70: Caribbean Soul and Calypso Crossover
2. Lou Reed-- Berlin Live at St. Ann's Warehouse
1. V/A -- Nigeria Disco Funk Special: The Sound of the Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-1979





Phil B.'s Top 10 of 2008

1. M83 - Saturdays = Youth

Nostalgia might be cheap, but Anthony Gonzalez pulled all the right strings with this one. There's something to be said for making you remember the pain and wonder of growing up while avoiding the traps of exageration and whimsey. Instead, through the layers of synths and reverb we get a longing for youth, and a celebration of everything good and bad about it: nothing more, nothing less, and completely earnest.

2. Why? - Alopecia

Few artists can be this honest on a record and get away with it, but Yoni Wolf opens up the darkest, funniest and most bizarre parts of his mind on every track. Like all great pieces of writing, you can take something different away from his lyrics each time you hear them. Little details that might be glossed over in the deluge of speak-singing on first listen become little gems that keep you coming back. Oh, and it also helps that Wolf and company write some catchy tunes to go along with those lyrics.

3. Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now Youngster

I'm pretty sure that Los Campesinos! is probably the bane of many musical tastes, including those of my fellow WXDUers, and part of me completely understands. If you let it get under your skin, this music could definitely be obnoxious. If you dare to let yourself roll with it, it's also a freakin' blast. So these guys a re a bunch of brats, sure, but they're brats with serious amounts of energy, willing each song to a higher level. Give them a chance and maybe you'll be banging your head to "Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats" too.

4. The Walkmen - You & Me

This album was subdued, murky and gorgeous. "In The New Year" is near the top of my favorite tracks for this year, and the rest of the album, while never reaching as high of an apex than this, doesn't really have a valley of declined quality to speak of.

5. Marnie Stern - This Is It...

After her debut album, it was a tossup as to whether I actually liked Marnie Stern or whether I was just gripped enough by her curious, quirky style to listen to her a few times. This album made my mind up for me. She may be over-hyped in terms of virtuosic geetar shredding (she can be kind of sloppy at times), but she certainly deserves all of the praise for doing something different and interesting.


thanks to latarsha and stephen for setting up the music blog!

now i am free to post things... unknown things...

seriously, thanks you guys.