This is tough for me. I already submitted my Top 10 Albums of 2008 to CMJ, but I think this one will deviate a bit for two primary reasons: the first being that I made that list in a hurried state of my usual brand of absurdly spastic excitement, and the second being that I want to make the list longer than ten records. Here we go, in no particular order, I don't think.
Miniature Tigers Tell It To The Volcano
I know every word to every track on this record. I waited so patiently for this release, after whetting my palate with the Mini's Black Magic and White Magic EPs, and it's not only perfectly accessible, lyrically charming and a record I could listen to on repeat for weeks (I kid you not.), but these dudes are based in Arizona! If they are not proof that the Phoenix scene has evolved and only continues to foster better, more promising projects, and that, despite Idolator's uninformed musings, all Arizona bands don't actually sound like the Gin Blossoms. Good local music makes me love my job(s). Miniature Tigers make me love our city's potential.
Marnie Stern This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That
This is as close as we got to Riot Grrrl this year. In '07, I was totally into The Little Bicycles, but this year I didn't hear much along the lines of Kathleen Hanna's brand of yelly, angry lady punk. My only grievance with This Is It and I Am It is when Marnie gets all motivational on us, particularly the line, "The future is yours, so write this part in." The more I consider why I am so bothered by it, the more convinced I am that I prefer miserable music to uplifting. Whatevs, there are plenty of awesome lines that combat the hints of cheesiness.
The Helio Sequence Keep Your Eyes Ahead
Listening to The Helio Sequence is like coming in from a cold, rainy, windy day and wrapping yourself in a warm, but not too warm, blanket. Songs are sad, but not depressing; it's the kind of sad that makes you smile because you relate. Plus, have you seen these guys live?! There's such an electric, enompassing vibe about them, not to mention when I saw them at Rhythm Room, they did their cover of Tomorrow Never Knows, a.k.a. my favorite Beatles song, and I died.
The Breeders Mountain Battles
Kim Deal = I die. Listen to Bang On, and if that doesn't convince you, you probably hate music.
The Cool Kids The Bake Sale EP
I saw these guys twice at CMJ in 2007, first opening for New Young Pony Club at Studio B and then at Terminal 5 with MIA. I'm almost positive that they're impossible to dislike. I mean, they rap about riding bicycles and flossing. C'mon.
This is why: "I'll suck the mallow out, and break your hollow bones, Yoni." Lyrics that make total sense whilst trying desperately to masquerade only as jaded, dark, sexist, selfish, neurotic and childish. Pfft. How about all that and more? Yoni Wolf and company will murder your ears in a totally hatable nasaly voice spewing devilish imagery and deviance.
Of Montreal Skeletal Lamping
I, along with presumably all other Of Montreal fans, have a curious crush on Kevin Barnes (duh), and when I hear that the concept of this album was to change what people perceive as songs as far as structure goes, I wanted to make out with him more than ever. And hey. Can we talk about the innovation that is the packaging options for this record? Genius, if just for the possibility that you could have a poster, plus CD, plus vinyl, plus tote bag, plus baby unicorn, plus etc.
Oxford Collapse Bits
This rocking follow-up to Remember The Night Parties was worth the two-year wait. This Sup Pop trio of New Yorkers made a record that I kept in my car for the duration of August. I think it was the scratchy melodies and and leftover punky straining yelps.
Fujiya & Miyagi Lightbulbs
Sigur Rós Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaus
Cadence Weapon Afterparty Babies
More to come. Stay tuned.