new tunes for ’09

and now, some musicians to keep your eye on for 2009?

said the whale
check out the city’s a mess here.

elliott brood
a little man man esque, have a listen.

okkervil river
these fellers stole my heart shortly after they were recommended to me. haven’t heard a boy on boy duet this good since kings of convenience.

commentary, music

the top of 2008

i’m a real sucker for top-albums-of-the-year lists, and so here’s my contribution to the internetz pool – twelve albums that meant something to me this year, for one reason or another. read on…

sam cooke, the man and his music
i’ve always loved oldies, but it was more of a passive love that i only sought out on the radio while driving. but, last winter break i raided my dad’s cd collection and came back with a slew of jazz and oldies greats. sam cooke proceeded to win my heart and speakers in no time.

miles davis, kind of blue
again, acquired from raiding my dad’s phenomenal cd collection, this album perfectly complemented the snowy days in the early months of 2008. i started listening to this album around the same time miriam and i got christmas lights in our room, and the combination was just too much for the romantic in me to resist. so i didn’t.

lemon jelly, lost horizons
introduced to lemon jelly by – believe it or not – gary knight, i can’t listen to these tracks without thinking of the angkor temples or late night editing at the fcc in siem reap. that alone would be enough to get it onto this list, but it certainly helps that the music is awesome, too. that one’s for mort.

broken social scene, you forgot it in people
this album took many listens to get into, but boy oh boy am i glad i stuck it out. this is one that you can and should play straight through, and the interplay of all the different instruments and vocals work fantastically.

st. vincent, marry me
recommended by dear stm, the title track off this album has my top four things needed to make a song great: handclaps, female vocals, horns, and strings. not only do annie’s piano riffs and haunting voice never fail to please, but she also wears the cutest darn dresses. yes!

rilo kiley, execution of all things
i never quite understood that rilo kiley had more (and better) albums before more adventurous, which was the first one i listened to of theirs. my obsession with these songs started at the tail end of 2007, where jenny lewis’ strong vocals helped push me through a crazy finals period, and then continued on into 2008, as i slowly came to love each and every track.

various artists, you’re not alone
this isn’t an album anyone else can buy, but rather a phenomenal mix by mr. furman that fills you up exactly like the title promises. i’d tell you the tracklist but shhh! it’s a secret.

various artists, arts & crafts – vol. 4
given to me by my sophomore year roommate, miriam, for my birthday after i had repeatedly professed my love for the canadian indie label, i actually didn’t pull it out of my drawer until early 2008 (lame!). but, after the first play, i kept it on repeat and couldn’t get enough of the the other lovely artists of a&c (new buffalo, los campesinos!, jason collett).

the decemberists, the crane wife
yes, i’ve had this album for years, first listening to it obsessively during my freshman fall at tufts. perhaps it was nostalgia, perhaps it’s just because this is a fantastic album for autumn, but whatever it was, i revisited the crane wife in fall 2008. with that came a newfound appreciation for this incredible album – “crane wife 1 and 2” walked me home many a late night, and it’s certainly an absolute favorite.

the hood internet, mix volume one and two
turned onto these fellers by a friend, and oh my are they everything i could possibly hope for in music. my humble theory as to why i fell so hard for these albums? acoustic/indie/folk music often has the lovely melodies and lyrics that i miss in those great rap songs, which have the beats that the aforementioned mellower tunes lack. mix them together and – perfection!

radiohead, in rainbows
i, like everyone else, adore this album – but unlike most others, i’ve never been much of a radiohead fan before. well, it didn’t take many listens to this album to make me one, and here i am, albeit a few years late!

coldplay, viva la vida
okay, i admit it, i harbor an unwavering love for coldplay and all music they create. granted, my heart is still with parachutes, but every time they produce a new epic and soaring album, i swoon and regress to my early teen years when i first heard the scientist and made this video. sigh.

so there it is! grab a copy of these if you haven’t already, and give them a couple spins – i hope you’ll enjoy them as much as i have. thanks for reading!