Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Getting back to my roots

Ha -I mean touching up my roots. So I am back to a red/brunette color - still not my natural one, but its not like I want that color anyway.
p.s. yes, that is my office partition in the background

Monday, December 1, 2008

Best of 2008

If Stephen King can publish his list now, so can I!

Here we go again, my top 10 albums of the year. This year I seemed to get a lot more music than in past years. This is in large part due to the fact that I was able to take full advantage of the public library system. There are some Top 10 lists that use albums that were released in 2007, but maybe did not make it big until 2008 - I call this cheating, which is why MGMT or the Juno Soundtrack (yes, I am talking about you NPR and the All Songs Considered Poll) are not on the list.

1) New Kids on the Block "The Block" - I will be perfectly honest, I had no intention of buy this album - that was until I saw them live. After hearing the new songs I couldn't get them out of my head and the album has been on repeat ever since. The songs are typical pop songs - but have also evolved to what pop music sounds like today. The songs, which most of the time, are very sexual are also very addictive and catchy. Check out "Grown Man," "2 in the Morning" and "Summer time."

2) Girl Talk -No matter what an naysayer might say - he knows what he is doing and does it well. The ability to know music so well to take songs from all different types of genres and make it flow as well as he does is nothing less than amazing. Plus, he is one of the few artists that gets incredibely and noticable better as each album progresses.

3) The Submarines "Honeysuckle Weeks"- I was beyond excited when I found out that they were coming out with a second album having fell in love with them over a year ago after hearing "Peace and Hate" on Indie 103. This second album is by far more upbeat and catchy than the first. They are also an awesoem band to see live. When I listen to the songs, it just makes me feel happy.

4)Death Cab For Cutie "Narrow Stairs"- It took me awhile to get into "Plans" when it came out a few years back. So I was afraid that the same would happen with Narrow Stairs, especially with the dramatic "I Will Posse Your Heart" intro, but boy was I wrong. I loved the album from the very first listen. It is the album that made me remember why I loved DCFC, the lyrics, the music, everything just fit perfectly.

5) Vampire Weekend "Vampire Weekend"- Their name had been thrown arond a while on the indie stations, but it wasn't until that fateful day with Ash bought their album at the Sonic Boom sale (alas we both discovered the albums we bought we not actual part of the awesome sale) that I heard them. I think that their music is fun and light - it is the perfect music for a drive in the summer.

6) She & Him - This has been my year of the Deschanel sisters (Emily is on "Bones") and when I heard "Why Do you Let Me Stay Here" I fell instantly in love with Zoey's voice. She has a bit of twang, that goes so perfect with M. Ward's guitar work. My favorite track is "Sweet Darlin'" which was coinscentaly written by J.S. who is also dating Zoey.

7) Mates of State "Re-arrange Us"- The first time I had really listened to them was at Quadstock '07. This album is on par with all the rest of their albums - with dance worthy beats and catchy choruses. My favorites off the album are "Blue and Gold Print" and "Get Better." And they are not Sweedish as it was once discussed.

8) Phantom Planet "Raise the Dead" - Ok, let's be honest here, Jason Schwartzman was th best thing about Phantom Planet - and when he left the music basically sucked. So when I heard the first single off this album "Do The Panic," I was really surprised. This is the album that shows a matured Phantom Planet who went back to their roots of a popier, rock sound. It sounds like Southern California and beaches and sun - just like the albums before JS left.
9) Jenny Lewis "Acid Tongue" - I wasn't a fan of Rabbit Proof Coat - it just seemed too mellow for me at the time I listened to it, but I my opinion has changed of JL's solo work with this reccent album. The songs on this album, while still have a mellow feel are also upbeat and fast paced. Plus, the numerous back-up singers she has including Zoey D., Jonathan Rice (her bf), Elvis Costello and Chris Robinson give it a more well-rounded feel.

10) Cold War Kids "Loyalty to Loyalty" - I loved their first album, I loved the sound of the band, with the tambourine, the keyboard and the raspy vocals. This second album delivers the same feel and did not fall into the sophomore slump. While the songs that make radio play follow the common, verse chorus, verse chorus, the real gems of their albums are the story songs. The songs like "Everyman I Meet" and "Golden Gate Jumpers."

Honorable Mention
Weezer - I don't know if they will ever make an album as great as the Blue Album or Pinkerton and I can't just put them on my list as default
Matt Costa
Nada Surf
The Hold Steady

Albums from 2008 that may have affected my Top 10 if I had been able to get them before the end of the year

Ingrid Michaelson

The Killers

Ben Folds

Fall Out Boy