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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Favorite Songs of 2008 (To be cont'd)

I hope you all got to revel in your patriotism this week. I don't know if you caught Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger doing Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" at the Obama Inaugural Celebration Concert, or as I like to call it, Obamapalooza. I'm not ashamed to admit, I had a great big lump in my throat during that performance. I would have posted the actual footage-- you can still find it on Youtube, but I'm sure HBO will be taking all those down soon.

Anyway, I've started finalizing my year in music. It was tougher than usual, because I picked up so many new things over the last couple of months of the year (and really right into January). Lesson learned. I'm going to try to stay on top of it this year. There are a few albums that I don't think I gave a fair shake. C'est la vie. Here's my first list and the first of three compilations of great 2008 tunes:


01. “Lost Coastlines” by Okkervil River – Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff duet on this instant classic, from The Stand-Ins. (5:32)

02. “The ’59 Sound” by The Gaslight Anthem – Springsteen for a new generation, from The ’59 Sound. (3:10)

03. “Something in My Life is Missing” by Paul Westerberg – Introspective Westerberg at his finest from the download only 49:00. (3:45)

04. “Gillian Was A Horse” by Damian Jurado – [Spoiler Alert!] From my favorite album of the year, Caught in the Trees. (3:21)

05. “Supernatural Superserious” by REM – Best song from a fine effort from the Godfathers of College Rock, from Accelerator—dig those Mike Mills background vocals! (3:25)

06. “Into the Stream” by The Tallest Man on Earth – Nobody ever really deserves the “new Dylan” tag, but Sweden’s Kristian Matsson is as worthy as anyone, from Shallow Graves. (2:47)

07. “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend – I guess it’s no longer cool to like these guys, but I think they were a band worthy of the hype, from Vampire Weekend. (2:18)

08. “Phony Revolutions” by Crooked Fingers – DeVotchKa helps out on this amalgam of influences, from Forfeit/Fortune. (3:09)

09. “Furr” by Blitzen Trapper – This particular song reminds me of “Ooh La La” and that’s never a bad thing, from Furr. (4:08)

10. “Sultan” by What Made Milwaukee Famous – WMMF will never be accused of sparking a new sound, but there is something comforting about a band that you feel as though you’ve heard before, from What Doesn’t Kill Us. (2:46)

11. “Always a Friend” by Alejandro Escovedo – This song is perhaps the very definition of Rock & Roll, from Real Animal. (3:38)

12. “Dark as Days” by Army-Navy – Harkening back to the Posies’ best work, Army-Navy are one of the new torchbearers of power pop, from Army-Navy (3:42)

13. “Middles of June” by The Capstan Shafts – There seemed to be a bit of a lo-fi renaissance in 2008, and this has a very Tobin Sprout-era GBV feel to it, from Fixation Protocols. (1:51)

14. “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes – The first song I heard from this band, sadly the rest of the album did not measure up to this wonderful track, from Fleet Foxes. (2:27)

15. “Byrdgirl” by Matthew Sweet – Tambourine, jangly-guitars, and sweet harmonies, what more can you ask of Mr. Sweet? From Sunshine Lies. (3:18)

16. “Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife” by Drive-by Truckers – The musical arrangement on this song is pretty amazing. Piano, bango, pedal steel, driving back beat and yet it still comes off as a very simple tune, from Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. (3:06)

17. “Rat Patrol and DJs” by Centro-matic – I’ve been slow to embrace Will Johnson, but I’m starting to come around, from Dual Hawks. (2:47)

18. “For Emma” by Bon Iver – Another band that I’m not quite as smitten with as others, but I can’t deny the beauty of this song, from For Emma, Forever Ago. (3:41)

19. “Sidewalks” by Gentleman Gesse & His Men – I love this mid-tempo rocker, which sounds like it could have been done by the Shangri-Las or the Flirtations, from Gentleman Jesse & His Men. (2:31)

20. “Willow Tree” by Chad VanGaalen – The lead track from VanGaalen’s wonderful third album, Soft Airplane. (3:14)

21. “Home in the Highrise” by Cobra Verde – Perfect pop from Cleveland’s Glam rockers, from Haven’t Slept All Year (3:13)

22. “You Swan, Go On” by Mount Eerie & Julie Doiron – Okay, I have an unabashed love for Julie Doiron’s voice, but the real surprise for me is Mount Eerie, who I had never heard before. From Lost Wisdom. (1:25)

23. “Take Off Your Sunglasses” by Ezra Furman & the Harpoons – Equal parts Violent Femmes and Bob Dylan, from Inside the Human Body. (3:36)

24. “Strangers” by The Dutchess and the Duke – This wasn’t recorded in 1967? From She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke. (2:00)

25. “Watch as They Go” by American Princes – “Open Letter” from 2006 is one of my top five songs of the current decade, this one is pretty great too. From Other People. (3:32)

Total Time: 1:18:05

Download it here:

2008 Vol.1

So, what were your favorite songs of the year?


cmp said...

Awesomeness. Thanks for the blog. It's amazing how many of our favorites match up these days...

Chris Carpenter said...

What a sad commentary on my life that I have not heard almost all of these songs. I've fallen into the 'tried and true' rut whenever I have a chance to listen to some tunes. Live music...I can't remember the last time.

Thanks for the comp. Off to take my Geritol.