Well, happy '09 to each and every one of you. Here are some releases that made me all tingly in '08, starting with full-length releases. Let's begin, shall we?
These are in no particular order:
Hot Chip "Made In The Dark"- alternating between dance and contemplation, this release sounded fresh and reassuring all at once. Looks like they could be fun live, also:
Raconteurs "Consolers Of The Lonely"- Bringing the full-on rock, taking the stuff from the 70's, throwing it into a Jack White-Brendan Benson blender, and turning it up to 11. Here they are doing the title track, my favorite, on the Jools Holland Show:
Aimee Mann "@#%&*! Smilers"- Here's a little quote from Mark Eitzel (American Music Club): "Fuck craft, and fuck songwriters who think craft matters. Genius is somebody who tells the truth." Ah, Mark, I agree. But what happens when you find someone who combines craft with genius? You get somebody who has a lot more staying power than you, buddy. See "Freeway" and "31 Today" as examples. I don't think Aimee is going to be putting out a hip hop album any time soon, and that's OK with me. Keep practicing that craft, girl.
The Cool Kids "The Bake Sale"- Old skool rap sounding bright and fresh, with plenty of contemporary asides, truly fun.
Flight Of The Conchords- It's business time.
Gentleman Auction House "Alphabet Graveyard"- Along with So Many Dynamos, one of the best indie rock outfits of St. Louis. Critical acclaim has followed this group's latest release, and I predict that they will keep getting bigger. Fun live, also.
MGMT "Oracular Spectacular"- I'm not sure what to say about these guys, except that I listened to this a little when I got it, and then couldn't live without it. It's a grower. Watch a video here or here.
Blitzen Trapper "Furr"- My favorite by far this year, like Neil Young, CSN&Y, Gram Parsons, and Pavement all rolled into one. Beautiful.
And here are some of the Old Skool Institute's favorite songs from the year that was 2008'
Raconteurs "Consoler of the Lonely"
Atmosphere "Shoulda Known"
Nick Cave "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!"
Blitzen Trapper "Furr" (Of course)
Death Cab For Cutie "I Will Possess Your Heart"
MGMT "Time To Pretend"
The Rapture "No Sex For Ben"
So Many Dynamos "New Bones" Coming to Vagrant Records in April 2009!
AA Bondy "Vice Rag" OSR does not endorse drug use, but sometimes songs about drugs and addictions (See the Atmosphere song above) are good.
There you go, folks. Hug your dog, go see live music, and if you like anything you hear, buy it so you can support musicians.