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

    Sunday, February 17th
    “Schitt’s Creek (the show):
    Up Close and Personal”
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, February 19th
    Gang of Four
    Minibeast
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Wednesday, February 20th
    J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.)
    Luluc
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, February 21st
    It Looks Sad.
    Lost Film
    Dewey
    @ O’Brien’s Pub


    Saturday, February 23rd
    Hallelujah the Hills
    Argo Arkestra
    @ the Lilypad


    Saturday, February 23rd
    Julia Holter
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, February 24th
    Rhett Miller (Old 97s)
    Mike Gent (the Figgs)
    @ City Winery Boston


    Sunday, February 24th
    Deerhunter
    Mary Lattimore
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, February 28th
    Ty Segall & White Fence
    Axis:Sova
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, February 28th
    Bad Bad Hats
    The Beths
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, February 28th
    Lloyd Cole
    “The Retrospective Tour”
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, March 1st
    Wicca Phrase Springs Eternal
    Angel Du$t
    Guardin
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, March 1st
    The Monochrome Set
    The Very
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Monday, March 4th
    Mike Krol
    Savak
    Earthquake Party
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, March 8th
    Tokyo Police Club
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, March 11th
    Teenage Fanclub
    The Love Language
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, March 14th
    The Flesh Eaters
    Porcupine (w/Greg from Hüsker Dü)
    @ City Winery


    Saturday, May 18th
    Dream Syndicate
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, March 22nd
    Jawbreaker
    War on Women
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, March 26th
    The Antlers
    “Hospice” LP 10-year
    Anniversary Acoustic Tour
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, March 27th
    Swervedriver & Failure
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, March 28th
    Spiral Stairs (Scott K. from Pavement
    & Preston School of Industry)
    @ O’Brien’s


    Thursday, March 28th
    Better Oblivion Community Center
    (Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst)
    Lala Lala
    Christian Lee Hutson
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, March 29th
    Vundabar
    Sidney Gish
    Future Teens
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, March 30th
    Delta Sleep
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Sunday, March 31st
    & Tuesday, April 2nd
    Fleetwood Mac
    @ TD Garden


    Monday, April 1st
    Japanese Breakfast
    Long Beard
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 6th
    Japanese Breakfast
    Long Beard
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 6th
    Jeff Tweedy (Wilco)
    Buck Meek
    @ Berklee Performance Center


    Sunday, April 7th
    Charlotte Gainsbourg
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, April 9th
    Mott The Hoople ‘74
    @ the Orpheum


    Tuesday, April 9th
    Patty Griffin
    Ruston Kelly
    @ Sanders Theatre


    Thursday, April 11th
    Mark Eitzel
    (American Music Club)
    @ an Allston living room


    Thursday, April 11th
    Nick Lowe
    @ the Wilbur


    Saturday, April 13th
    Telekinesis
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, April 14th
    Spiritualized
    @ the Wilbur


    Monday, April 15th
    The James Rocket
    @ ONCE Lounge


    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
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Thursday, April 25th
    Pup
    Diet Cig
    Ratboys
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, April 27th
    Jennifer O’Connor
    Thalia Zedek & Chris Brokaw
    @ an Allston living room


    Saturday, April 27th
    The Proletariat
    Moving Targets
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, April 27th
    Foxing
    Now Now
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, April 28th
    The Mountain Goats
    @ The Wilbur


    Monday, April 29th
    Tyler Ramsey (ex-Band of Horses)
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, April 29th
    Snow Patrol
    @ the Orpheum


    Thursday, May 2nd
    Son Volt
    @ the Paradise Rock Club


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


    Saturday, May 4th
    The Drums
    Tanukichan
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, May 7th
    The Dandy Warhols
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, May 9th
    Nitzer Ebb
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, May 9th
    Movements
    Boston Manor
    Trash Boat
    Drug Church
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, May 11th
    Pedro the Lion
    John Vanderslice
    @ 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
    Jessica Pratt
    @ Great Scott


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


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


    Saturday, May 18th
    Dream Syndicate
    @ the ONCE Ballroom


    Saturday, May 18th
    The Felice Brothers
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, May 18th
    Pup
    Ratboys
    Casper Skulls
    @ the Royale


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


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    Laura Stevenson
    Kississippi
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, May 22nd
    American Football
    @ the Paradise


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


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


    Friday, May 24th
    Undertones
    @ 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


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


    Friday, May 31st
    Lady Lamb (full band)
    @ the Royale


    Friday & Saturday
    June 14th & 15th
    Jawbox
    @ the Sinclair


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


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


    Monday, June 17th
    Dido
    @ the House of Blues


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


    Tuesday, July 2nd
    Jackson Browne
    @ the Pavilion


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


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


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


    Sunday, July 21st
    Weird Al Yankovic
    @ Blue Hills Pavilion


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


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


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


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


    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Vampire Weekend
    @ Agganis Arena


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


    Friday, September 13th
    The Who
    @ Fenway Park


    Thursday, September 19th
    King Crimson
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Sunday, September 22nd
    Mac DeMarco
    @ the Orpheum


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


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


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


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