Duff’s Favorite Tunes 2008

This is pretty redundant at this point, not only because it’s nearly the end of March, but considering I did monthly reviews of pretty much everything I bought in 2008, as well as occasionally posting thoughts on individual albums. (I may have skipped things like “CDs bought in foreign countries” and such.) But this makes those “give me some music ideas” emails less annoying.

(with links to Snip commentary. sometimes.)

Favorite Albums:

Matt Costa “Unfamiliar Faces”
Quirky and unexpected. Fave songs: “Mr. Pitiful” and “Miss Magnolia”

Bon Iver “For Emma, Forever Ago” Swoon. I know all the cool kids had this album in 2007. I ain’t that cool, yo. Love the album, love him in concert (see Favorite Gigs category down at the bottom). Love love love. Fave song: Re: Stacks

Jesse Malin “Glitter in the Gutter” Rockin’. Can’t even pick a fave song, just love the entire thing.

Fleet Foxes Listening to FF is like sitting in a field of daisies in 1973 while people around you kiss and weave each other bracelets. May be a bit ‘twee for some. (But it’s so pretty!) Fave Songs: “White Winter Hymnal” “He Doesn’t Know Why” “Your Protector” “Oliver James”

Earlimart “Hymn & Her” With every album they just get better and better. Pretty and intimate. Fave songs: “Time for Yourself” “For the Birds” “Town Where You Belong”

My Morning Jacket “Evil Urges” I lovelovelove this album. But I did NOT like “Z”. At all. If you peruse le Internet, you may find that everyone who liked this album was not much of an MMJ fan before, and those who were, were greatly disappointed. Ah well. Fave song: “I’m amazed”

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin “Pershing” I didn’t even listen to this album until months after I bought it. Which is just so wrong ‘cuz it’s so good. Fave song: “Heers”

Carla Bruni “Comme si de rien n’etait” Her french albums just take my breath away. Why do I even pretend to try to learn this language? I’ll never sound like this when I speak. Fave song: “Tu Es Ma Came”

The Submarines “Honeysuckle Weeks” Has the same intimate boy/girl vibe of Earlimart but more poppy, more upbeat. It just grew on me more and more as the year went by. Fave songs: “Swimming Pool” “You, Me and the Bourgeoisie”

Keane “Perfect Symmetry” This one totally took me by surprise. Fave songs: “Better than This” “Time to Go” “The Lovers Are Losing”

Runners Up

Favorite 2008 Artist Not Mentioned Anywhere Above:

Joseph Arthur who put out FOUR EPs (“Crazy Rain” “Could We Survive” “Vagabond Skies” and “Foreign Girls”) as well as joining with the Lonely Astronauts for a full album (“Temporary Peple”). Which puts him at ridiculous output levels, along the lines of Ryan Adams and Joe Purdy. I really loved all the EPs; the full album is good, just not quite at their level. Fave songs: “Slow Me Down” “Lovely Cost” “Radio Euphoria”

Guilty Pleasure: Shwayze

Violent-Femme reminiscent: Wave Pictures “Instant Coffee Baby”

Dance, dance, dance: Cut Copy “In Ghost Colours”; Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip “Angles”

Favorite Singles: (not on any of the aforementioned albums)

Favorite Covers:

  • “Folsom Prison Blues” Everlast (Johnny Cash) This is just so many times awesome. The whistly horse sound? Yeesss.
  • “Forever Young” Audra Mae & Forest Rangers (Rod Stewart) Featured on Sons of Anarchy.
  • “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” First Aid Kit (Fleet Foxes) Even prettier than the original. Super spooky.
  • “I Should Have Known Better” She & Him (Beatles) You really can’t go wrong with a Beatles cover. Myself, I would go with “Run for Your Life”.

Favorite Gigs:
So I sorta went to 70 shows in 2008. I’d totally say that next time I wonder how I’m wasting all my time away, you could just yell “Concerts!” except I seem to have SERIOUSLY turned this trend around in 2009 (three months in and I’ve only been to two shows. What?!?). Anywho… 10 of those 70 were openers, so it was really only 60 shows. And 6 were at Monolith, 5 at Lollapalooza and 13(!) at Pitchfork, so you know, that’s really like seeing 24 sets at three shows so… Anyway, my favorites were:

  • Bon Iver Who I saw three times but my favorite was the second time which was at Lakeshore Theater, which is literally around the corner from home. and has seats. yay for both, says the old lady.
  • Crowded House Mostly because they sing my favorite song of all time and I’ve only been waiting to see these guys live practically my entire adult life. And yes, I know it’s not the FULL original lineup.
  • Matt Nathanson More for his humorous banter than for the tunes.
  • Earlimart. So so pretty.
  • Avett Brothers. These guys could fill up the world with their sound.
  • Band of Horses. A truly magical moment at Monolith.
  • Great Lake Swimmers. FINAFUCKINGLY.
  • Mumford and Sons. So unexpected.