Bradley's Almanac

2008: My Favorite Music

Posted on January 22, 2009 at 8:00 am | No Comments

I’ve finally come to accept the inevitable tardiness of my yearly list of musical faves, and really, it’s only tardy when compared to everyone else’s list. Y’see, I listen to way too much music in the waning months of the year, using extra-long workdays and holiday travels to catch up on discs I haven’t spent enough time with. A couple of the albums below didn’t even hit my ears until last month, but rose quickly above many others. And then I need these first few quieter weeks of the new year to let some sounds settle, to narrow down the contenders and pull together this post. So here it is.

As with last year, I’ve come up with an alphabetical list of the 20 discs that defined 2008 for me, along with a couple of EPs that stood out. At the bottom I also rattle off some also-rans, albums I either a) liked a lot but didn’t spend enough time with, or b) enjoyed some of but had too many skip-worthy moments. These are the ones that would round out a top 30 or 40, but even I’m not that self-indulgent.

I long ago abandoned the futile exercise of numerical ranking, and it should go without saying that these are not the ‘best of’ the year, just the ones I heard and loved most. And believe me, given my ever-demanding dadly-duties, there is a lot I didn’t hear. Hell, I’ve been listening to something for a few weeks now that should probably be in this list, as it was technically released a couple months back… but I’ll save that one for a later post.

With each album listed below you’ll see a few things — the titles of my favorite couple tracks, a link to the record label where you can buy the disc directly, and of course, an artist/label/promo-sanctioned downloadable Mp3 from each album. If an Mp3 wasn’t officially made available last year, I’ve included a link to where you can stream some songs instead.

Keep an eye out next week for a extensive post about the albums I’m most looking forward to this year (I love looking at last year’s version and comparing it to this favorites list). Time permitting, I’m also hoping to pull together a list of last year’s live shows that moved me most.

But first, the albums…


British Sea Power“Do You Like Rock Music?”
(on Rough Trade)

faves: “No Lucifer“, “Down On The Ground

Mp3: Waving Flags



The Broken River Prophet
“With Infinite Arms To Cradle The Flames”
(self-released)

faves: “Burned In Place“, “She Gives Me Hope

Mp3: Burned In Place



Centro-Matic / South San Gabriel“Dual Hawks”
(on Misra Records)

Centro-faves: “Quality Strange“, “Counting the Scars
SG-faves: “Kept on the Sly“, “Alabama Crusade

Mp3: Centro-matic – “I, the Kite
Mp3: South San Gabriel – “Trust To Lose



Crooked Fingers“Forfeit / Fortune”
(on Constant Artists, Inc. / Red Pig Records)

faves: “Cannibals“, “Your Control

Mp3: Phony Revolutions



Death Cab For Cutie“Narrow Stairs”
(on Atlantic)

faves: “Cath“, “Long Division

Mp3: Long Division” (Seattle Session)
(via Stereogum)



Land of Talk“Some Are Lakes”
(on Saddle Creek)

faves: “Some Are Lakes“, “Give Me Back My Heart Attack

Mp3: Some Are Lakes



Mogwai“The Hawk Is Howling”
(on Matador Records)

faves: “The Sun Smells Too Loud“, “Thank You Space Expert

Mp3: The Sun Smells Too Loud



My First Days On Junk“No Order”
(self-released)

faves: “Count Me In, I’m Good To Go“, “Try Hard

Mp3: Count Me In, I’m Good To Go



New Radiant Storm King“Drinking in the Moonlight”
(on Darla Records)

faves: “Clouds Cover Everything“, “Eraser

Mp3: Senseless



The New Year“The New Year”
(on Touch & Go)

faves: “X Off Days“, “MMV

Mp3: The Company I Can Get



The Notwist“The Devil, You + Me”
(on Domino)

faves: “Gravity“, “Boneless

Mp3: Good Lies



Plus Minus“Xs On Your Eyes”
(on Absolutely Kosher)

faves: “Unsung“, “X’s On Your Eyes

Mp3: Unsung



Retribution Gospel Choir“Retribution Gospel Choir”
(on Caldo Verde)

faves: “Take Your Time“, “What She Turned Into

Mp3: Somebody’s Someone
Download: Full live shows @ the Live Music Archive



School of Seven Bells“Alpinisms”
(on Ghostly Int’l)

faves: “Connjur“, “Face to Face on High Places

Mp3: Connjur

Mp3: Connjur (acoustic)
(from the Stereogum Decomposed Session)



Sigur Ros“Med Sut I Eyrum Vit Spilum Endalaust”
(on XL Recordings)

faves: “Inni Mar Syugur Vitlajsingur“, “Vid Spilum Endalaust

Mp3: Gobbledigook



Stereolab“Chemical Chords”
(on 4AD)

faves: “Three Women“, “Vortical Phonotheque

Mp3: Three Women



Sun Kil Moon“April”
(on Caldo Verde)

faves: “Moorestown“, “Tonight in Bilbao

Stream “Moorestown” at Caldo Verde
and more songs at MySpace



Tokyo Police Club“Elephant Shell”
(on Saddle Creek)

faves: “Juno“, “Listen To The Math

Mp3: Juno (Ra Ra Riot/Andrew Maury Remix)



The Wedding Present“El Rey”
(on Manifesto)

faves: “Palisades, “The Thing I Like Best…

Stream songs at MySpace



Wye Oak“If Children”
(on Merge Records)

faves: “Warning“, “I Don’t Feel Young

Mp3: Warning
(more Mp3s at their site)

And a couple of 2008 EPs I really dug…


Bottomless Pit“Congress” EP
(self-released on vinyl/cd, on Comedy
Minus One
digitally)

faves: All four tracks (Hey, it’s Bottomless Pit)

Mp3: Fish Eyes



50 Foot Wave“Power + Light” EP
(self-released)

faves: the whole epic 26-minute beast

Stream in its entirety at CASHmusic
(physical release coming soon)

The honorable mentions (aka ‘If I’d made a longer list‘): The Breeders“Mountain Battles”, The Cure“4:13 Dream”, Frightened Rabbit“Midnight Organ Fight”, Grand Archives“Grand Archives”, Ida“Lovers Prayers”, Magnetic Fields“Distorion”, The Night Marchers“See You In Magic”, Okkervil River“The Stand-Ins”, Shearwater“Rook”, The Stills“Oceans Will Rise”, Nada Surf“Lucky”, Ra Ra Riot“The Rhumb Line”, REM“Accelerate”, Silver Jews“Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea”.

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    Saturday, July 17th
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    @ ONCE @ Boynton Yards


    Saturday, July 17th
    Thalia Zedek
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    @ Gateway City Arts, Holyoke


    Thursday, August 5th
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    @ the Xfinity Center


    Thursday, August 5th
    Soul Asylum
    Local H
    Juliana Hatfield
    @ Vault Music Hall
    in New Bedford, MA


    Friday, August 6th
    Modest Mouse
    @ Some Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, August 7th
    The Spearmint Sea
    @ ONCE x Boynton Yards


    Saturday, August 14th
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    Worshipper
    Sidewalk Driver
    The Glitter Boys
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, August 24th
    Wilco
    Sleater-Kinney
    Nnamdi
    @ Some Bank Pavilion


    Sunday, August 29th
    Cloud Nothings
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, September 3rd
    Thalia Zedek Band
    Helen Money
    Chris Brokaw Rock Band
    Hilken Mancini & Chris Colbourn
    @ the Middle East Upstairs


    Saturday, September 4th
    Alanis Morissette
    Garbage
    Liz Phair
    @ Xfinity Center


    Tuesday, September 7th
    Mint Green
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, Sept. 10th
    Slaughter Beach, Dog
    Shannen Moser
    Gladie
    @ The Sinclair


    Saturday, Sept. 11th
    Guided By Voices
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, Sept. 16th
    Bob Mould Band
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, Sept. 17th
    Julien Baker
    Thao
    Katie Malco
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, Sept. 17th
    Flogging Molly
    Violent Femmes
    Me First & the Gimme Gimmes
    THICK
    @ Some Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, Sept. 18th
    Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
    @ the Wang


    Sunday, September 19th
    Middle Kids
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, Sept. 22nd
    Future Islands
    W. Hinds
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, Sept. 22nd
    OH SEES
    @ The Sinclair


    Wednesday & Thursday
    September 22nd & 23rd
    Soccer Mommy
    Squirrel Flower
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, Sept. 23th
    Toad the Wet Sprocket
    @ the Wilbur


    Friday, Sept. 24th
    Primus
    @ the Some Bank Pavilion


    Sunday, September 26th
    Phoebe Bridgers
    Muna
    @ the Some Bank Pavilion


    Tuesday, September 28th
    Quicksand
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, September 29th
    Heartless Bastards
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, Sept. 29th
    José González
    Rufus Wainwright
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, Sept. 30th
    an evening with
    Mary Chapin Carpenter,
    Marc Cohn, & Shawn Colvin
    @ the Chevalier


    Thursday & Friday
    Sept. 30th & Oct. 1st
    Caspian
    Junior Beef
    @ The Sinclair


    Saturday, October 2nd
    Todd Rundgren
    @ Big Night Live


    Sunday, October 3rd
    AGP15:
    Thalia Zedek Band
    Honey Radar
    Andrew Cohen
    @ O’Brien’s


    Monday, October 4th
    Gary Numan
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, October 5th
    Will Sheff (Okkervil River)
    Damien Jurado
    @ City Winery


    Thursday & Friday
    October 7th & 8th
    Lady Lamb
    with strings
    @ City Winery Boston


    Tuesday, October 12th
    Idles
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, October 13th
    Nothing
    @ The Sinclair


    Thursday, October 14th
    St. Vincent
    @ the Wang


    Saturday, October 16th
    Waxahatchee
    Katy Kirby
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, October 16th
    Lucy Dacus
    Bartees Strange
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, October 18th
    Manchester Orchestra
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, October 20th
    Diet Cig
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday & Saturday
    October 22nd & 23rd
    The Town & the City Festival
    a stacked lineup of artists
    @ venues around Lowell, MA


    Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
    October 23rd, 24th, & 25th
    The Magnetic Fields
    Christian Lee Hutson
    @ City Winery Boston


    Saturday, October 30th
    Wild Nothing
    Beach Fossils
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, October 30th
    The Monkees
    Farewell Tour
    @ the Chevalier, Medford


    Tuesday, November 2nd
    Buck Meek
    (of Big Thief)
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, November 5th
    beabadoobee
    @ the Royale


    Friday, November 5th
    Titus Andronicus
    performs “The Monitor”
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 8th
    Tennis
    Molly Burch
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, November 14th
    The Psychedelic Furs
    @ the Cabot in Beverly


    Monday, November 15th
    The Flaming Lips
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday & Tuesday
    November 8th & 9th
    Beach Bunny
    Miloe
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, November 10th
    Adrianne Lenker
    (of Big Thief)
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, November 13th
    Moving Targets
    @ the Middle East


    Tuesday, November 16th
    Half Waif
    @ Sonia


    Wednesday, November 17th
    Nada Surf
    Pom Pom Club
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, November 18th
    Deer Tick
    Delta Spirit
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, November 18th
    Tokyo Police Club
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, November 19th
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    @ the Chevalier


    Tuesday, November 23rd &
    Wed., Nov. 24th (ska dream night)
    Jeff Rosenstock
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, November 27th
    Dinosaur Jr.
    The Lemonheads
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, December 1st
    CHVRCHES
    Donna Missal
    @ House of Blues


    Friday, December 3rd
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    Rosali
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, December 7th
    Metz
    Preoccupations
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, December 11th
    Slow Pulp
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, December 12th
    Runnner
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, December 14th
    Steve Gunn
    Jeff Parker
    @ The Sinclair


    Wednesday, December 15th
    Bully
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, January 24th
    Best Coast
    Rosie Tucker
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, February 5th
    Erasure
    @ the Orpheum


    Wednesday, February 8th
    Courtney Barnett
    Bartees Strange
    @ the Wang


    Friday, February 24th
    Sleigh Bells
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, March 1st
    AFI
    Cold Cave
    @ the Royale


    Monday, March 7th
    Microphones
    Emily Sprague
    @ Somerville Theatre


    Thursday, March 13th
    Reigning Sound
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, March 19th
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    @ Sonia


    Low
    Friday, April 1st
    @ Columbus Theatre
    in Providence


    Sunday, April 3rd
    Andy Shauf
    @ the Paradise


    Monday, April 4th
    Airborne Toxic Event
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, April 21st
    Fruit Bats
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, April 22nd
    Mogwai
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, May 1st
    OMD
    @ House of Blues


    Monday, May 2nd
    Hoodoo Gurus
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, May 14th
    Built to Spill
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, August 16th, 2022
    Goo Goo Dolls
    @ Some Bank Pavilion


    Sunday, September 19th, 2022
    New Order
    Pet Shop Boys
    @ Some Bank Pavilion