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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  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Friday, April 19th
    Foals
    Preoccupations
    Omni
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday & Saturday
    April 19th & 20th
    Todd Rundgren
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, April 21st
    Laura Jane Grace &
    the Devouring Mothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, April 22nd
    Black Lips
    Fucked Up
    Wooing
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, April 23rd
    Girlpool
    Hatchie
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, April 24th
    Camp Cope
    Thin Lips
    Oceanator
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    Thursday, April 25th
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    Friday, April 26th
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    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, April 27th
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    Thalia Zedek & Chris Brokaw
    @ an Allston living room


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    Moving Targets
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, April 27th
    Foxing
    Now Now
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, April 28th
    The Mountain Goats
    @ The Wilbur


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    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Monday, April 29th
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    @ Great Scott


    Monday, April 29th
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    Ryan McMullen
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, May 2nd
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    Ian Noe
    @ the Paradise Rock Club


    Friday, May 3rd
    Stephen Malkmus
    (Pavement/The Jicks)
    solo electronic set
    with Eleanor Friedberger
    @ the Armory, Somerville


    Saturday, May 4th
    The McGunks, Silver Screams,
    Revilers, Damnation,
    and Live Nude Girls
    Day Show @ the Midway


    Saturday, May 4th
    The Drums
    Tanukichan
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, May 5th
    UV Rays
    Hellrazor
    Pet Fox
    Curse Word
    @ O’Brien’s


    Tuesday, May 7th
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    The Vacant Lots
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, May 9th
    Nitzer Ebb
    Liebknecht
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 9th
    Movements
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    @ the Royale


    Saturday, May 11th
    Tugboat Annie (reunion)
    @ the Lilypad


    Saturday, May 11th
    Pedro the Lion
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    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, May 11th
    Graham Parker
    @ City Winery Boston


    Monday, May 13th
    The Mark Lanegan Band
    (of the Screaming Trees)
    with Simon Bonney
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, May 14th
    Damien Jurado
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Cursive
    mewithoutYou
    The Appleseed Cast
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, May 15th
    Tacocat
    @ the Sinclair


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    Jessica Pratt
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, May 16th
    Basement
    Nothing
    Teenage Wrist
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, May 16th
    Meat Puppets
    Sumo Princess
    Stephen Maglio
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, May 16th
    Royale Trux
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Friday, May 17th
    Guided By Voices!
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, May 17th
    Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo)
    @ Cafe 939, Berklee


    Saturday, May 18th
    Dream Syndicate
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 18th
    The Felice Brothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, May 18th
    Pup
    Ratboys
    Casper Skulls
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    Sunday, May 19th
    Thalia Zedek
    Anna Connolly
    Weather Weapon
    Cotton Candy
    Day Show @ the Midway


    Sunday, May 19th
    Mono
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    halfsour (record release!)
    Mini Dresses
    Anna Altman
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    Laura Stevenson
    Kississippi
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    American Football
    Pure Bathing Culture
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Passion Pit
    The Beaches
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, May 23rd
    Filthy Friends
    Dressy Bessy
    @ the Sinclair


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    The Undertones
    Dot Dash
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 25th
    Slayer
    Lamb of God
    Amon Amarth
    Cannibal Corpse
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Wednesday, May 29th
    Glen Hansard
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday & Friday
    May 30th & 31st
    Local Natives
    Middle Kids
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, May 31st
    Lady Lamb (full band)
    Katie Von Schleicher
    Benjamin Lazar Davis
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, June 6th
    Fog Lake
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Thursday, June 6th
    Coheed and Cambria
    Mastodon
    Every Time I Die
    @ the Pavilion


    Friday, June 7th
    The Rural Alberta Advantage
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, June 8th
    The Figgs
    two shows!
    4pm & 7pm
    @ the Burren


    Saturday, June 8th
    Howard Jones
    Men Without Hats
    All Hail the Silence
    @ the Paradise


    Monday & Tuesday
    June 10th & 11th
    Perry Farrell’s
    Kind Heaven Orchestra
    @ City Winery Boston


    Tuesday, June 11th
    Craig Finn and
    The Uptown Controllers
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, June 12th
    Wu-Tang Clan
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, June 13th
    Yeasayer
    @ the Paradise


    Friday & Saturday
    June 14th & 15th
    Jawbox
    with Second Letter (14th)
    and LaPeche (15th)
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Lemonheads
    Tommy Stinson (Replacements)
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, June 15th
    Droneflower
    (Steve Brodsky & Marissa Nadler)
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, June 15th
    The Specials
    @ the House of Blues


    Monday, June 17th
    Dido
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, June 18th
    Earth
    Helms Alee
    @ the Once Ballroom


    Thursday, June 20th
    Kristin Hersh (trio show)
    Fred Abong
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Thursday, June 20th
    Kishi Bashi
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, June 21st
    Spencer Krug
    (Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown)
    @ Cafe 939


    Saturday, June 22nd
    seBADoh
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, June 23rd
    Slothrust
    Weakened Friends
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, June 24th
    The Lonely Island
    Demitri Martin
    @ the Bank Pavilion


    Thursday, June 27th
    Foxwarren
    Hannah Cohen
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, June 28th
    Wand
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, June 29th
    Lithics
    @ O’Brien’s


    Sunday, June 30th
    Cate Le Bon
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, July 2nd
    Jackson Browne
    @ the Pavilion


    Saturday, July 6th
    Velvet Crush
    Sleepyhead
    Hilken Mancini & Chris Colbourn
    DJ Ty Jesso
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Monday, July 8th
    Third Eye Blind
    Jimmy Eat World
    Ra Ra Riot
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 9th
    Psychedelic Furs
    James
    Dear Boy
    @ the House of Blues


    Tuesday, July 9th
    We Were Promised Jetpacks
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, July 10th
    Bill Callahan (smog)
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, July 13th
    Belle & Sebastian
    Ex Hex
    @ the House of Blues


    Sunday, July 14th
    The Messthetics
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, July 16th
    Carly Rae Jepsen
    @ the House of Blues


    Wednesday, July 17th
    Heart
    Sheryl Crow
    Elle King
    @ Xfinity Center


    Friday, July 19th
    Okkervil River
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, July 21st
    Weird Al Yankovic
    @ the Pavilion


    Tuesday, July 23rd
    Elvis Costello & the Imposters
    Blondie
    @ the Pavilion


    Saturday, July 27th
    The Faint
    Ritual Howls
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, August 1st
    Iron Maiden
    with The Raven Age
    @ Xfinity Center


    Saturday, August 3rd
    Ben Folds
    Violent Femmes
    @ the Bank Pavilion


    Monday, August 5th
    Bryan Ferry
    performing Roxy Music’s
    “Avalon” & more
    @ Boston Opera House


    Wednesday, August 7th
    The Paper Kites
    @ Somerville Theatre


    Tuesday, August 13th
    John Fogerty
    @ the Pavilion


    Tuesday, August 13th
    Neurosis
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, August 15th
    Beck
    Cage The Elephant
    Spoon
    Sunflower Bean
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Wednesday, August 21st
    The Alarm
    Gene Loves Jezebel
    Modern English
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, August 22nd
    Bitch Mountain
    Birthday Ass
    Puppy Problems
    Prior Panic
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Sunday, August 25th
    Alex Lahey
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Vampire Weekend
    @ Agganis Arena


    Sunday, September 8th
    Avail
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, September 8th
    Fontaines D.C.
    Pottery
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, September 9th
    The Raconteurs
    @ House of Blues


    Monday, September 9th
    Hot Chip
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, September 11th
    Jethro Tull
    @ the Chevalier, Medford


    Friday, September 13th
    The Who
    @ Fenway Park


    Wednesday, September 18th
    ZZ Top
    Cheap Trick
    @ the Pavilion


    Wednesday, September 18th
    The Julian Lage Trio
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, September 19th
    Bloc Party
    performing “Silent Alarm”
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, September 19th
    King Crimson
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Friday, September 20th
    The Feelies
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, September 21st
    Andrew Bird
    Calexico and Iron & Wine
    @ the Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, September 21st
    Massive Attack
    “MezzanineXX1” tour
    @ the Wang


    Sunday, September 22nd
    Mac DeMarco
    @ the Orpheum


    Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday
    September 25th, 26th, & 27th
    Three nights of Built To Spill
    “Keep It Like A Secret” Anniversary Tour
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, September 29th
    Stereolab
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, September 29th
    Graham Nash
    @ the Berklee Performance Center


    Thursday, October 3rd
    Ladytron
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    October 3rd, 4th, & 5th
    Three nights of Billy Bragg
    “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 5th
    Maggie Rogers
    Empress Of
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Saturday, October 5th
    Mudhoney
    Pissed Jeans
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, October 6th
    Mt. Joy
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, October 11th
    The Black Keys
    Modest Mouse
    Jessy Wilson
    @ TD Garden


    Sunday, October 13th
    Big Thief
    Palehound
    @ the Wilbur


    Wednesday, October 16th
    Oh Sees
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday & Sunday
    October 19th & 20th
    Cave In
    Miltown
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday & Saturday
    October 18th & 19th
    The Town and the City Festival
    returns to Lowell, MA!


    Friday, October 25th
    Jenny Lewis
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday & Saturday
    October 25th & 26th
    Steely Dan
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, October 26th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday & Wednesday
    October 29th, 30th, & November 1st
    Steely Dan
    @ the Orpheum


    Wednesday, October 30th
    Jónsi & Alex Somers (Sigur Ros)
    “Riceboy Sleeps”
    with the Wordless Music Orchestra
    @ the Wilbur


    Thursday, October 14th
    Robert Forster (Go-Betweens)
    @ City Winery Boston


    Sunday, December 8th
    Cher
    with Nile Rogers & Chic
    @ the Garden