Best music of 2008

Thurston Moore has still got itIt’s time (well, past time, but…) for my yearly list list covering the best music releases of the year, 2008. I continue the trend of discovering more music online through mp3 blogs, and social sites like and where you can not only see what people are listening to, but how their tastes spread out from that certain selection that you like. This kind of RIYL (the old ‘recommended if you like’ suggestion from CMJ Journal) has always helped me jump from band to band and genre to genre, opening up far more than I would have had access to. As I carve out my ‘dj list’ at I build a ‘station’ where you can do this same kind of thing, and with you can peek over my shoulder and see what I just listened to and how many times I’ve listened to Mogwai, Elliot Smith or Girl Talk last year. Remix, reuse, mashup, right? I also have to mention that this was the year I bought my first McIntosh, no, not computer, McIntosh, the legendary stereo amp specialists from the 60s. After buying my MA 6100 (ca. 1972 - as dated by a McIntosh employee) I simply had a new appreciation for the subtleties of my music, with acoustic, low-fi and jazz cds seeming to gain the most from the switch. It happens like that, a new piece of upgraded hardware will change the sound I’m building, and I’ll hear new things in my favorite old recordings. (2009 may be the year of the speaker!) Ok then, so here’s my list, and as always, my list from the past years, going all the way back to 2001, can be found on my Noise page. What selections below do you dig? What did I miss? Please, go on…

CardinologyRyan Adams “Cardinalogy”

byopBe Your Own Pet “Get Awkward”

Blitzen TrapperBlitzen Trapper “Furr”

Born RuffiansBorn Ruffians “Red, Yellow & Blue”

Brutal KnightsBrutal Knights “Living By Yourself”

Liam FinnLiam Finn “I’ll Be Lighting”

Girl TalkGirl Talk “Feed The Animals”

Mountain GoatsMountain Goats “Heritic Pride”

Smothered In HugsSmothered in Hugs “The Healing Power of Injury”

Magnetic FieldsMagnetic Fields “Distortion”

The New YearThe New Year “The New Year”

Thurston MooreThurston Moore “Trees Outside the Academy”

Tokyo Police ClubTokyo Police Club “Elephant Shell”