So when we thought making an albums of the year post was hard, this one proved to be even harder. How do you take literally thousands of songs and narrow it down to the best 40 of the year? Not too sure how to answer that question, but we tried. Each of these songs scream 2008 in our ears. As evident by this list, the year in music was quite a good one and we had some tough choices to make. We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you or links to the song on youtube. Follow the jump to see if your favorite tune of the year made the list.
A few days ago, we gave you part one of our albums of the year list. Today we bring you the best of the best from a wide range of artists who brought the noise this year. We’ve fought it out amongst our ATH writers for weeks and these are the albums that we all loved. These 15 albums went into thunderdome and emerged victorious. Follow the jump to see if your favorite band made the Top 15 of 2008.
Vinyl collectors consider yourselves lucky! Tomorrow, seminal North Carolina label, Merge Records, will be re-issuing some of the great hits from their catalogue on vinyl. Some of these albums have been out of print for a long time, so this might be your first chance at grabbing them. Click here to pre-order Camera Obscura, The Magnetic Fields and Polvo or hit up your local record store.
On October 14th, the Magnetic Fields will be blessing us with their ukulele driven baroque pop. The show takes place at the Paramount Theater, and you can be sure that this show will be one of those moments that will live on in your memory for years to come, if not for a lifetime, at least those are my expectations–thus why I bought a front row ticket. Stephin Merritt is clever and genius, and he’s been doing this for well over a decade, almost two. Label me stoked. Click here to buy tickets for the Magnetic Fields Show
What does one actually have to say about instrumental music that can garner any attention? How on Earth do you come across a Ratatat record and give it any justice without completely losing the point of the album? I’m not sure how to do this, so I am going to take a different approach.
Shiller: The curtain is pulled back immediately, revealing a lonely woman in a chair. A light appears just above her heart, and it pulsates with the rhythm. Her eyes blink candidly, occasionally shooting towards the window at the back of the stage as lightning strikes. Towards the end of the scene, rain falls hard against the window; her heart beats on.
Falcon Jab: This is a Lance Armstrong commercial. He is pedaling slowly uphill, fighting the winds in his face. Down he cruises through the town, racing past buildings on all sides. Stopping, he takes in a few short breaths, then continues on his journey.
Mi Viejo: While in Mexico for summer vacation a few years back, I sat outside a local bar at the outskirts of Saltillo. Empty, I opted to sip slowly on my Negro Modelo. Suddenly, two dancing sirens entered the bar, bright flowing dresses circling their ankles as they pulsated to a silent rhythm. Mesmerized, my beer grew warm. I opened my eyes and they were gone.
Mirando: This is the sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Tired of the l label of classically trained aliens, only able to play symphonic harmonies, the aliens step it up. Instead of their traditional beeps, they opt to add some guitar; all riffs taken from their latest version of Guitar Hero.
Flynn: This is what it feels like to be on mushrooms in the middle of nowhere, as your college roommate plays guitar by the firelight. He thinks he is the next Bob Marley.
Bird Priest: I’ve never been able to beat the game of Zelda. I bought Nintendo Power Magazine because it had all the maps to get through the game in the quickest fashion. I’m not good with directions, and my father never told me how to read a map, so I just sat there watching the credits roll down my anti-HD TV.
Shempi: Iv’e been sitting in my room all week trying to write music to dance to with my friends. I’ve got some solid loops going in the background; the basic beats aren’t anything special. Still, when I threw those bongo beats in at the end, we grabbed our glow-sticks and shook it until my mom told me to turn it down.
Imperials: DJ Shadow is a close friend of mine. We like to get together and blow a lot of bubbles while lounging in the comfort of his home. Occasionally, we just chill out while he lets the washing machine make the bubbles for us. Today was one of those days.
Dura: When you hang out with Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields you think that he is only good for one thing; brilliant ukulele songs. This is not true. On off nights in New York City, he likes to write serious electronic music. I still hear the ukulele.
Brulee: Girls love to jump rope, especially when its double-dutch. Sometimes they jump and jump and jump, and the rope becomes a blur on the horizon of the suburbs. At some point, they have to catch their breath, pouring water over their heads to cool off in the summer heat.
Mumtaz Kahn: Electronic dragons are the biggest thing in Japan right now. Instead of roaring and shooting flames, which we know is not good indoors, they now purr like kittens. It’s the perfect house pet, and sure to keep the neighbor’s minding their own business. Of course, they all come with their very own Mongolian Kahn.
Gipsy Threat: Do you like to listen to Beirut? I do. The problem is, I only have a computer; there isn’t money enough for real instruments. I spend my days trying to write Beirut cover songs with Garage Band. I made you this one for you.
Black Heroes: We all know that Bruce Leroy defeated Sho’nuff in their epic battle during the eighties, but most never saw this side of the two enemies. In the Criterion Collection of this movie, it has a flashback scene where Sho’nuff and Bruce Leroy were making lemonade in their neighborhood. This is just before they parted ways, most likely due to a poor profit margin.
Now you try.
Hear opening track “Shiller” below or listen to “Mirando” elsewhere on our website: