Saturday, December 20, 2008

My albums of the year.

Here are some of my favorite albums of 08':

Titus Andronicus - The Airing of Grievances

"So there's pissed off youth in Puerto Rico?" It was fitting that Titus front man Patrick Stickles answered my question of whether they would be willing to play in the island with that question of his own. You don't have to be young or pissed off to enjoy Titus' nihilistic yet anthemic songs......but it couldn't hurt.

Like "The Replacements" before they've managed to create an angst ridden record about being young, growing up, and not knowing what the fuck will happen next or if there's even a purpose. It's full of punky, sing along, shout out load moments with raw emotion and energy. Never has existentialism sounded so fun.

Portishead - Third

I like trip hop. Maxinquaye is one of my favorite records of all time. That said, Portishead were never really a band that I listened to a lot. I know that's blasphemy to a lot of people but for the most part they never blew my mind like some other artists did. Because of that I ignored this record for a while. I thought it would be more of the same. It wasn't till months later that I decided to give it a listen and I couldn't believe it. As soon as I put it on my first reaction was: Portishead go krautrock? Wait a minute, Portishead go krautrock and post punk?...... Fuck! Portishead go krautrock, post punk, and industrial? I proceeded to hang my head in shame and feel dumb for ignoring this for so long.

The Bug - London Zoo

Post-apocalyptic dancehall. The world is going down the shitter, we're surrounded by urban decay, and hope seems scarce. At least we can go down dancing. More about it here.

Rounding out my top 10 are:

Grails - Doomsdayer's Holiday
El Guincho - Alegranza
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles
TV on the Radio - Dear Science
Lindstrom - Where You Go I Go Too
Santogold & Diplo - Top Ranking
DJ Rupture - Uproot

Honorable mentions to: Steinski, Karl Hector & The Malcouns, Nomo, Arthur Russell, and Hercules & Love Affair.

Sandunga Cat:

Well, 2008 was full of apalling trends and bullshit disco releases (kids, you'll never surpass Moroder, Chic and Larry Levan, so just stop) but it also had plenty of good shit hovering around. Let's see:

Kevin Drumm - Imperial Distortion

Noise master Drumm starts to see the beauty among the charred ruins and produces a stark, overwhelming but wondrously beautiful work that hits you strong in the chest.

Arthur Russell - Love is Overtaking Me

Singular proof of Russell being one of the best songwriters of the 20th century, shame we had to realize it on the 21st and 18 years after he died. His country, folk and pop songs still feature his amazing wit, self deprecation and nostalgia for open spaces that feature in other works, but structured within easily digestible formats, they can pack a punch twice as big. Amazing shit.

Sightings - Through the Panama

Andrew WK comes to the fold as producer and provides an astonishing clarity to this trio's uncompromising, punishing sound. Guitars slash your aorta, bass turns your intestines into jelly and drums make the Guggenheim collapse into itself. Music to make you fibrillate.

Valet -Naked Acid

Honey Owens of Nudge and Jackie-O Motherfucker dips her songs into delicious drone bliss, producing a ghostly spacedelia that sounds like it contains the secret of America's dark endeavors. Laudanum for your ears.

And others:

Pinch - Underwater Dancehall
Gas - Nah Und Fern

Braxton/Parker/Graves - Beyond Quantum

The Bug - London Zoo
Aethenor - Betimes Black Cloudmasses

Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80

Honorable mentions to Steinski's long awaited retrospective, El Guincho, Portishead, Grails, A Handful of Dust box, Zomby, Excepter's Debt Dept, Peter Rehberg, Bohren's Dolores, Fennesz's Black Sea and Juaneco y su Combo. Yeah, looking back, it was a pretty good year.


  1. Great year indeed. A ver si este proximo año kicks it up a notch con Titus tocando en la Respuesta... o en la sala de Mr. Roark un domingo por la mañana. Eso estaría cozy.