Sunday, February 8, 2009

The 2008 David Music Poll Results

The 2008 David Music Poll Results

1. Vampire Weekend -- Vampire Weekend (30 votes)
2. Bon Iver -- For Emma, Forever Ago (18)
3. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (15)
4. Sigur Ros -- Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (12)
Soundtrack – Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (12)
6. Portishead – Third (11)
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (11)
8. Okkervil River – The Stage Names (9)
TV on the Radio – Dear Science (9)
9. Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs (8)

NOTE: There were sixty-six respondents to this year’s music poll – lower than last year, but higher than average. For the first time ever, all three top slots were taken by new bands, with some longtime poll favorites (Aimee Mann, Coldplay, The Magnetic Fields, Bloc Party, Ben Folds, Conor Oberst) hovering outside the top ten. Other newcomers with multiple mentions include Los Campesinos, Adele, Santogold, and Ra Ra Riot. Time will tell which of these acts will make a return trip to the music poll.

Now, for the lists….

I’m biased, but stand by my top choice of the year

David’s Essentials for 2008

1. Soundtrack, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Yes, I am hardly objective on this one. I didn’t have anything to do with the song choice … but somehow it came out right around where I would have wanted it to be. I will never be able to think about 2008 without hearing “After Hours” in my head – and, I imagine, I won’t be able to ever hear “After Hours” without thinking of the rush of 2008. Add to that Vampire Weekend’s “Ottoman” – their best song, in my opinion, because it taps into something universal rather than local – and the Submarine’s remarkable “Xavia”, especially with its fake-out non-ending, as well as more familiar tunes from Band of Horses and Takka Takka. And, my goodness, there’s even a Devandra Banhart song I like! So, yes, I genuinely thing this album would be near the top, if not at the top, even if it was the soundtrack for, say, City of Ember. But I’m damn glad it’s the soundtrack for Nick & Norah.

2. Colin Meloy, Colin Meloy Sings Live!

A live album? At number two? It’s not just good memories of Colin Meloy’s excellent Brooklyn concert at the start of the year that are putting this here. It’s really a fantastic album, with “On the Bus Mall” being one of my most played songs of the year (as a certain former intern of mine can attest).

3. Kate Nash, Made of Bricks

Came out in the UK in 2007, but here in 2008, and since it wasn’t on my list last year, I’m putting it on this year. Partially because I spent the first few months of the year listening to it nonstop. It’s pretty much the musical equivalent of a teen movie, but that only makes me love it more. And “The Nicest Thing” is one of the bittersweetest love songs I know.

4. Sigur Ros, Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust

I dare you to find anything more joyous than the song “Gobbledigook” and the accompanying video. And this is not a band known for its joyousness. On this album, though, they really bring out the color instead of leaving you on the ice.

5. Coldplay, Viva La Vida

It feels like they threw it all to the wind and ended up with one of their best albums yet. And the title song is brilliant.

6. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

It’s a bit strange, to have an album that sounds like a bunch of college students appropriating Paul Simon appropriating African musicians. But if it’s not singular for world music, it’s pretty singular for indie rock, and it works incredibly well. For sheer enjoyment, it makes the list.

7. Alanis Morissette, Flavors of Entanglement

Some of the lyrics are just as clunky as the album’s title. And Alanis certainly hits some syllables in ways that should count as abuse. But, foibles aside, she gets right to the truth of the matter – which is that she’s just been through the emotional wringer of a big break-up, and she has some stories to tell. Now, I don’t believe that one has to suffer to make great art, but the break-up certainly gave her the knife with which to cut to the bone. And it works. For every lyrically awkward song (“In Praise of the Vulnerable Man”), there are two or three that are painfully honest and honestly beautiful (“Tapes”, “Torch” – maybe Alanis should stick to songs with one-word titles?) One gripe: some of the best songs are on the bonus edition, not the standard CD, which is annoying. Because, really, no matter what your age, the song “It’s a Bitch to Grow Up” should have you nodding.

Very Close to Essential for 2008:

The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound
Mates of State, Re-arranger
Augustana, Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt
Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
The Hold Steady, Stay Positive
Jack’s Mannequin, The Glass Passenger

Would Have Made my List if I hadn’t bought it in Sweden three years ago:

Robyn, Robyn

Essential Songs for 2008:

We are Scientists, “After Hours”
The Gaslight Anthem, “The 59 Sound”
The Hold Steady, “Slapped Actress”
The Stills, “Everything I Build”
The Submarines, “Xavia”
Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”
Pink, “So What”
Vampire Weekend, “Ottoman”
Fleet Foxes, “White Winter Hymnal”
Colin Meloy, “On the Bus Mall (live)”
Bon Iver, “Skinny Love”

10 Most Essential Albums (1999-2008)

1. Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism (#1, 2003)
2. The Postal Service, Give Up (#2, 2003)
3. Patty Griffin, 1000 Kisses (#1, 2002)
4. The Killers, Hot Fuss (#1, 2004)
5. Fiona Apple, When the Pawn… (#3, 1999)
6. Aimee Mann, Magnolia soundtrack (#4, 1999)
7. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife (#2, 2006)
8. Beth Orton, Central Reservation (#1, 1999)
9. Soundtrack, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (#1, 2008)
10. The National, Boxer (#3, 2007)

Special mention (for the album that I’ve listened to the most on my iPods over the past three years):
Jack’s Mannequin, Everything in Transit (not ranked, 2005)

10 Most Essential Songs (1999-2008):

(in alphabetical order, because ranking is too hard):

Aimee Mann, “Save Me”
Ben Folds, “Still Fighting It”
Coldplay, “The Scientist”
Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism”
Patty Griffin,”Rain”
The Postal Service, “Such Great Heights”
Rachael Yamagata, “Worn Me Down”
Regina Spektor, “Samson”
Sia, “Breathe Me”
Wolf Parade, “I’ll Believe in Anything”

Special mention (for the songs most played on all the iPods I’ve ever owned):
Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone”
Robyn, “Handle Me”

Jen H-S Sucks the Blood of the Music (but only on weekends)

Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend (most essential)

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist soundtrack
Ben Folds: Way to Normal
Black Kids: Partie Traumatic
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals: Cardinology
The Pretenders: Break up the Concrete
The Hold Steady: Stay Positive
Los Campensinos: We are beautiful, We are doomed
Robyn: Robyn
Sugarland: Love on the Inside

Bill K Sings, Dances, Steal Things

Essential albums of the year (2008)

1 = We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, Jason Mraz

Yes, it's poppy. It's still song for song my favorite CD this year. And I don't feel guilty about that.

The Glass Passenger, Jack's Mannequin
Rockferry, Duffy
@#%& *! Smilers, Aimee Mann
Time the Conqueror, Jackson Browne
Sam Sparro, Sam Sparro

Top Ten Albums of 1999-2008
1. Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
2. Want One, Rufus Wainwright
3. Rockin' The Suburbs, Ben Folds
4. Bachelor No. 2, Aimee Mann
5. Life in Cartoon Motion, Mika
6. MP4: Days Since a Lost Time Accident, Michael Penn
7. The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, Ben Folds Five
8. We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, Jason Mraz
9. The Ego Has Landed, Robbie Williams
10. Lost and Gone Forever, Guster

Top Ten Songs of 1999-2008
1. Go or Go Ahead, Rufus Wainwright
2. The Luckiest, Ben Folds (my wedding song, after all)
3. I Don't Feel Like Dancin', Scissor Sisters
4. Still Fighting It, Ben Folds
5. A Beautiful Mess, Jason Mraz
6. Grace Kelly, Mika
7. Supreme, Robbie Williams
8. You Do, Aimee Mann
9. Speak Slow, Tegan & Sara
10. Everything is Everything, Lauryn Hill

Hidden Gems, or Songs I Love on Albums that I Don't Like (or Don't Have)

1. G.P.T., Martha Wainwright
2. They Say Vision, Res
3. H.W.C., Liz Phair
4. Won't Give In, The Finn Brothers
5. Walter Reed, Michael Penn
6. Don't Let Me Get Me, P!nk
7. Fortress, Pinback
8. Love Me Like the World is Ending, Ben Lee
9. Come on Get Higher, Matt Nathanson
10. O Divina, Terence Trent D'Arby

Krist S. Wakes it on Up

Rosetta - Wake / Lift
This band, almost singlehandedly changed my taste in music this year. Like I have said in the past, metal with the vocals far back in the mix, creating a beautiful atmospheric noise. Amazing music to walk around new york city to.

31knots - Worried Well
Consistently one of the most underrated bands that we love here on this website. This record is what 1998 indie rock would sound like if it kept progressing in strange and interesting ways. His voice is great.

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Like I even need to write about this album. Anyone who reads this site knows how much I love this album. if you like nature based pretty ethereal music with a bluesy voice, this ones for you.

Lil’ Wayne - tha Carter 3
Like I even need to tell you who this is. Let me just say this, I am not sure if it’s the Codeine with Promethazine talking but Lil’ Wayne is pretty genius. I know I know, he looks ridiculous and seems pretty ignorant but anyone, and I mean anyone who writes rhymes yeast infection with geese erection, has to be some kind of prodigy. Either way, listen to the humor and metaphors below.

Horse Feathers - House with No Name
More soft acoustic, pretty backwoods type stuff. A pretty voice with some really nice instrumentation.

ASS - My get up and go just got up and went LP
ASS is the initials for Sweden’s Andreas Söderström and also a ridiculous band name. He’s plays all the instruments on the record and occasionally sings. Think folk without the vocals (most of the time). Not to mention he does a kick ass version of the title track from Escape from New York

Russian Circles - Station
By far my favorite instrumental record of the year. Just so calculated, so intricate without sounding soulless. Not too mention a great live show. For those who like instrumental music to be atmospheric and complex. Oh yea and they get metal occasionally too.

Portishead - Third
After a long wait, Portishead finally delivers. Third sounds like Portishead’s KID A if that makes any sense. I really liked it.

This Will Destroy You - s/t
Maybe my 2nd favorite instrumental record of the year. This one is like Russian Circles a little less complex, less metal but a bit more cinematic. Think Godspeed without 30 people in the band and huge crescendos. I do love it.

the Mars Volta - Bedlam in Goliath
A pretty good release from one of the band featuring members of my favorite band of all time. If you know them, you probably already hate them or love them. The singles are great.

The Grey Daturas - Return to Disruption
Like Neurosis without the singer, the Grey Daturas is noisy and dissonant in the same way
 Explosions in the Sky is. The kind of music that would accompany the end of the world.

Detektivbyrån – Wermland
This Swedish band sounds like the theme music to a children’s TV show or maybe to a psychotic circus. Either way, this is great soundtrack music and a real fun listen.

The Jimmy Cake - Spectre and Crown
Does anyone get the feeling that all I listened to this year was instrumental music?? Weird, I know. The Jimmy Cake from Dublin, is a nice instrumental indie rock band with some classical instrumentation. Occasionally think, a voiceless Fugazi with strings. Sometimes.

The Black Angels -Directions to see a Ghost
This Texan Psychedelic band is just good old rock n roll. Think if A Band of Horses was around in like the 60’s. Must be a great band to see live.

Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum við spilum end
I always thought of Sigur Rós as the Icelandic Radiohead. What do you think about that? I am a total late bloomer when it comes to Sigur Rós but maybe it was my trip to Iceland that did it or what but finally I love this band. And this is a beautiful record.

Asher Roth - The Greenhouse Mixtape
Next year’s Eminem, this mixtape shows a ton of potential with some great songs with a ton of stolen mixtape beats. The mixtape MC is totally annoying but if you can get over that check out the download.

Jonathan V = Youth


Essential albums of 2008 for me…


I can’t pretend that this album in particular didn’t make a huge difference in my attitude and outlook all year long. And I share their sentiment about the bears out in Provincetown.



If the 80s sounded the way the “Beyond Infinity” sequence of 2001 looked, they would have sounded like this. And if Andrei Tarkovsky directed THE BREAKFAST CLUB, this would have been the soundtrack.

ROOK by Shearwater

Another fantastic CD in the vein of the multiple-chill-inducing PALO SANTO. Genuinely haunting, with amazing (and subtle) musicianship. FYI: If you can see them live, you must. They’re like a jam band of elementals from The Plane of Ice.


The first time through, this album is like having a music stroke: Too many familiar pop clips patched over too many swatches of hardcore hip-hop, all reconstituted into something like a guilty-pleasure-paste. But on repeated listens, the genius (and flat-out mischief) of the mash-up become apparent. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to listen to The Carpenters again without wishing Mims were in the background—or without feeling disappointed when a Metallica riff doesn’t kick in right after Karen’s done singing.

THIRD by Portishead

2008 had a lot of unexpected comebacks up its sleeve, but out of all of them, Portishead’s seemed to be the most engaging and mature. An album made for night-driving through industrial wastelands. And it’s even got a scary ending…hopefully, the kind that leaves things open for a sequel.

THE STAND-INS by Okkervil River

Originally recorded to be the second half of a double-album set (which would have been released alongside THE STAGE NAMES in the Summer of 07) this is by no means a B-side collection—and it’s a little disturbing just how much good music there is packed into these two releases. Buy one album and be impressed, buy both and be kinda scared.

VIVA LA VIDA by Coldplay

And you know what? I hate Coldplay. HATE them. But I can’t deny that they’ve scored a hit with this one. And sure, I could wimp-out on that admission, and say that it had a lot to do with Brian Eno’s furry little paws being ALL OVER the production…but that hasn’t helped U2 crawl out of the suck-gutter lately, now has it? So touché Coldplay. This round goes to your grating, clunky earnestness. I’ll get you next time.


It may just be an EP, but it totally blew my mind. It’s an R&B/pop opera about a girl robot on the run from the law. Repeat: It’s an R&B/pop opera about a girl robot on the run from the law. Stevie Wonder meets…Rush?

STAY POSITIVE by The Hold Steady

Compelling, anthemic.


Just plain fun, no aftertaste.

DAY & AGE by The Killers

Cheesy fun with a touch of genius.

TO SURVIVE by Joan As Policewoman

Soulful and stirring.

DISTORTION by Magnetic Fields

Woefully underrated. It takes what Jesus and Mary Chain were attempting with PSYCHOCANDY, and perfects the experiment.

Biggest Re-Discoveries From The Past:

With the downturn this year, I started buying less and revisiting more. Two artists stood out as the unsung heroes of my disc-binders…

Kate Bush

She didn’t just open the door for your quirkier lady songwriters of later generations; she built the mansion, moved in, and added a new wing. Her music alone would be remarkable if it weren’t for her voice. Her voice alone would be remarkable if it weren’t for her lyrics. And her lyrics…let’s just say she’s the only songwriter besides The Davids Bowie and Byrne who could conceivably win the Hugo or Nebula.

Robyn Hitchcock

The melodies are lovely, the wit is befuddling, the charm is downright antagonizing. He’s a Grade A songwriter who doesn’t have to be a kook; the kook part, to quote the man himself, is “just plumage”.

Favorite New Song of The Whole Year:

A&E by Goldfrapp – And I still have no idea what it’s about.
KIM & JESSIE by M83 – Sounds like Jose Gonzalez being attacked by a bird from another dimension.
UNTRUST US by Crystal Castles – Magic Eye for your ears. First you think something is wrong with your speakers…then you’re in love.
FREEWAY by Aimee Mann – Like Elvis Costello at his best, she makes spite sound transcendent.
BROKEN by Tift Merritt – Warm like a good sweater.

Favorite “New To Me” Songs of Previous Years:

YOUR LOVE by The Outfield – The most depraved lyrics to ever grace a pop song.
DO YOU FEEL ME? by Anthony Hamilton – A pitch-perfect soul track from 2007 that’s really from 1972…in spirit, anyway.
WORLD AS LARGE by Parlour Steps – A standout track from their thoughtful, bop-along sleeper AMBIGUOSO.
THE EMERGENCY by Gileah and The Ghost Train – A country track with a hint of darkness at the edges.
BULLY THEME by Shawn Lee – I like to play it on repeat and pretend I’m in the game, alright?

Favorite Ten Songs of 1999-2008

1. HEARTBEATS by The Knife
2. BLACK CAB by Jens Lekman
3. MOUNTAIN LAUREL by Shearwater
4. DAWN CHORUS by Boards of Canada
5. ALL I NEED by Radiohead
6. REBELLION (LIES) by Arcade Fire
8. LET IT LIVE by Haven
9. SOCCER by Kent
10. BLOOD AND THUNDER by Mastodon

Favorite Albums of 1999-2008

1. SILENT SHOUT by The Knife
2. KID A by Radiohead
4. FUNERAL by Arcade Fire
5. CASTAWAYS & CUTOUTS by The Decemberists
7. HOT FUSS by The Killers
8. THE LIFE PURSUIT by Belle & Sebastian
9. WINGED LIFE by Shearwater
10. IS THIS IT by The Strokes

And can I just say…I really liked VESPERTINE too. Okay. I’m done.

Paula M has no trouble in dreams, or in being a destroyer

Ahhh, the music poll. I love this time of year. At the risk of "nerding myself out," I have to admit I keep a running list of my favorite albums in the 'notes' section of my cell phone.

Essential Albums of 2008

Destroyer, Trouble in Dreams
I love Destroyer. They never disappoint.

Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
Is it their best album? No, I don't think so but when you date Zooey Dechanel work probably falls by the wayside.

Atmosphere, When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold
Everything that is good about hip hop and it comes with a children's book!

Adele, 19
If I drove, I could drive around all day listening to this album. It's mellow but catchy.

Xiu Xiu, Women as Lovers
I might be alone here but I really love breathy, tortured and disturbing lyrics.

Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst
Fine, I'm emo.

Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue
Not as good as what she does with Rilo Kiley but I love her voice.

She and Him, Volume 1
All of the songs kind of sound the same but it's still nice.

The Magnetic Fields, Distortion
If you can get past the distortion, it's pretty good.

I guess my most essential would be Destroyer, Trouble in Dreams.

Top 10 -1999 to 2008, in no particular order
Once, Soundtrack
The Sounds, Dying to Say This to You
The Postal Service, Give Up
Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism
Brandnew, Deja Entendu
Bright Eyes, Lifted or The story is in the soil, keep your ear to the ground
Dashboard Confessional, The Swiss Army Romance
Destroyer, Your Blues
The Get Up Kids, Something to Write Home About
Saves the Day, Through Being Cool

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Falling Slowly
Destroyer, It's Gonna Take an Airplane
Postal Service, Nothing Better
Saves the Day, Sell My Old Clothes, I'm Off to Heaven
Get Up Kids, I'll Catch You
Underoath, Reinventing Your Exit
Xiu Xiu, I Love the Valley, OH!
Death Cab for Cutie, A Movie Script Ending
Bright Eyes, Nothing Get Crossed Out
Atmosphere, Shoes

I don't feel these lists are comprehensive or exactly right. It's just a really big task to compile a list of favorites from the last ten years. These are just some definite essentials.

Dean B’s Modern in his Guilt

Favorite Albums of 2008

1. Beck – Modern Guilt
2. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
3. Aimee Mann – Smilers
4. Portishead – Third
5. Sigur Rós - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
6. Devotchka – A Mad And Faithful Telling
7. TV On The Radio – Dear Science
8. The Walkmen – You & Me
9. Bloc Party – Intimacy
10. Ryan Adams – Cardinology
11. Frightened Rabbit – Midnight Organ Fight
12. Estelle – Shine
13. Santogold – S/T
14. Ray LaMontagne – Gossip In The Grain
15. Ben Folds – Way To Normal

Honorable mentions:

The Dodos – Visiter; Conor Oberst – S/T; R.E.M. – Accelerate; Girl
Talk – Feed The Animals; Counting Crows – Saturday Nights & Sunday
Mornings; Jay Reatard – Matador Singles '08; Grand Archives – S/T;
Neil Young – Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968

Album cuts from 2008 that're worth checking out on

> Hot Chip "Ready For The Floor"
> Thao Nguyen "Beat", "Feet Asleep"
> Conor Oberst "Cape Canaveral"
> R.E.M. "Living Well Is The Best Revenge", "Supernatural Superserious"
> Jay Reatard "Screaming Hand"
> The Dodos "Fools"
> Lil Wayne f/Jay-Z "Mr. Carter"
> MGMT "Time To Pretend"
> Dido "Grafton Street"
> Death Cab For Cutie "I Will Possess Your Heart" (radio edit) Jakob
> Dylan "Up On The Mountain"
> Counting Crows "On A Tuesday In Amsterdam"
> Beck "Profanity Prayers", "Modern Guilt" and "Volcano"
> Bloc Party "Ion Square", "Biko"
> Aimee Mann "Phoenix" and "True Believer"
> Ben Folds "Before Cologne", "You Don't Know Me"
> Bon Iver "Skinny Love", Flume"
> Devotchka "Undone", "New World"
> Frightened Rabbit "Backwards Walk", "Poke"
> Portishead "The Rip", "Nylon Smile", "Magic Doors"
> Ray LaMontagne "Let It Be Me", "Gossip In The Grain"
> Ryan Adams "Like Yesterday", "Crossed Out Name"
> Santogold "You'll Find A Way", "Creator"
> Santogold f/M.I.A. & Gorilla Zoe "Get It Up" (Radioclit Mix on Top
> Ranking
> album)
> Sigur Rós – "Med Sud I Eyrum", "All Alright"
> The Walkmen "The Blue Route"
> TV On The Radio "Lover's Day", "Love Dog"

Mainstream/Pop Guilty Pleasures:

> Secondhand Serenade "Fall For You"
> Chris Brown "Forever"
> Matt Nathanson "Come On Get Higher" & "Car Crash"
> Ne-Yo "Miss Independent"
> Gavin Degraw "Love Remains The Same"
> Carolina Liar "I'm Not Over"
> Miley Cyrus "See You Again"
> The Killers "Human"
> Staind "Believe"
> Alicia Keys "Like You'll Never See Me Again"
> Jason Mraz "I'm Yours"
> The Ting Tings "Shut Up And Let Me Go"
> Leona Lewis "Run" (Snow Patrol cover)
> T.I. "Whatever You Like" & "Live Your Life"
> Britney Spears "Womanizer"
> Colbie Caillat "Realize"
> Chris Brown "With You"
> Jordin Sparks f/Chris Brown "No Air"
> Nickelback "Gotta Be Somebody"
> Black Kids "I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance"
> Weezer "Pork N' Beans", "Troublemaker"
> Taylor Swift "Love Story"
> John Mayer "Say"
> Estelle f/ Kanye "American Boy"

Daphne’s Wicked

I am excited to be part of the poll because I have no musical taste at all and will learn things! My one vote for best album in the last ten years is the soundtrack to Wicked, which tells you just how lame I am musically :-)

Alaya, nearly slayed, but in her Golden Hour

Well, this was exciting. Top ten songs nearly slayed me, but here you go :)

My most essential album: Firewater, The Golden Hour
I saw them live for the first time this year and went nuts. Amazing, amazing album.

Little Jackie, The Stoop
Janelle Monae, Metropolis: The Chase Suite (an EP, but whatever, it's awesome)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
TV on the Radio, Dear Science
Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Nat Baldwin, Most Valuable Player
Raffael Saddiq, The Way I See It
Evangelicals, The Evening Descends

Top ten albums of last ten years (this doesn't include tons of things I've loved, but okay):

Gorillaz, Demon Days
Sufjan Stevens, Come On Feel the Illinoise!
T-Bone Burnett, The True False Identity
Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Kate Bush, Aerial
Imani Coppola, The Black & White Album
Loudon Wainwright III, Last Man on Earth ("White Winos" one of my favorite songs ever)
Outkast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Seu Jorge, The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions
The Real Tuesday Weld, The London Book of the Dead

The songs (even more ridiculous than the albums...this was painful to cut down):

Outkast (from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below), Hey ya!
Loudon Wainwright (from Last Man On Earth), White Winos
Imani Coppola (from the Black & White Album), Springtime
Gnarls Barkley, Crazy
Sufjan Stevens (from Illinoise), Chicago
Richard Thompson (from Sweet Warrior), Dad's Gonna Kill Me
Camera Obscura (from Let's Get Out of This Country), Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken
T-Bone Burnett (from The True False Identity), Zombieland
Les McCann and Eddie Harris (from Swiss Movement), Compared to What
The Real Tuesday Weld (from I, Lucifer), Bathtime in Clerkenwell
(alternate 11th: Gorillaz (from Demon Days), Feel Good Inc.)

For Brian Merrell, Forever 2008

2008 in order of how much time I've spent with them

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Annuals, Such Fun
Ray LaMontagne, Gossip In The Grain
Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs
Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue
Conor Oberst, Connor Oberst
Mike Doughty, Golden Delicious
The Faint, Fascinatiion
The Breeders, Mountain Battles

1999 - 2008 in rough order of amazingness

Bright Eyes, Lifted Or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground (2002)
Radiohead, Hail To The Thief (2002)
Sufjan Stevens, Come on and Feel The Illinoise (2005)
Iron & Wine, The Creek Drank The Cradle (2002)
Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)
Self, Breakfast with Girls (1999)
David Poe, The Late Album (2002)
The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (2002)
The Postal Service, Give Up (2003)
Rufus Wainwright, Poses (2001)
I don't remember 2002 being especially cool, but it may have been.

Nick B Cuts n’ Copies

Essential albums of the year (2008), choosing one as the most essential and the others you consider essential.

1. Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours.

Also up there (no particular order) Swimming by the French Kicks, Microcastle by Deerhunter, Third by Portishead, Temper by Benoit Pioulard, s/t by Hercules and Love Affair, You & Me by the Walkmen, and Dear Science, by TV On the Radio, 4 by Dungen

Your Top Ten Albums of 1999-2008

In Rainbows by Radiohead
In Ghost Colours by Cut Copy
Alligator by the National
Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem
Person Pitch by Panda Bear
Madvillainy by Madvillain
Kid A by Radiohead
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon
Businessmen and Ghosts by Working for a Nuclear Free City

Your Top Ten Songs of 1999-2008

"All My Friends" by LCD Soundsystem
"So Far We Are" by the French Kicks
"Star Witness" by Neko Case
"Festival" by Dungen
"Fumbling Over Words that Rhyme" by Edan
"Take Pills" by Panda Bear
"Finer Feelings" by Spoon
"The Worst Taste In Music" by the Radio Dept.
"Quiet Place" by Working for a Nuclear Free City
"The Companion" by the Mary Onettes

Sherri L., Indiepop Girl

(but only if you love indiepop!)
MiniSnap // Bounce Around


Los Campesinos! // Hold on Now, Youngster...
Of Montreal // Skelatal Lamping
Deerhunter // Microcastle / Weird Era Cont.
Hello Seahorse! // Holy A Las Ocho
Atlas Sound // Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
Vivian Girls //Vivian Girls
MiniSnap // Bounce Around
The Lucksmiths // First Frost
Girl Talk // Feed the Animals
Fuck Buttons //Street Horrrsing


The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart // Everything With You
My Teenage Stride // Theme From Teenage Suicide
The Secret History // It's Not The End of The World
Jonah Je Suis Animal // Painted In My Face
M83 //Kim & Jesse
The Faint The Geeks Were Right
The Ting Tings // Shut Up and Let Me Go
MGMT //Time to Pretend
Adele // Chasing Pavements
Black Kids //Look at Me (When I Rock Wichoo)

Marie R’s long Weekend

Most Essential Album of 2008
Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Other Essential Albums of 2008
Coldplay, Viva la Vida
The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing
Bjork, Volta

Essential Albums 1999-2008
Ranked, #1 being most essential.

1. Moby, Play (1999)
2. The Postal Service, Give Up (2003)
3. Bjork, Vespertine (2004)
4. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (2007)
5. The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree (2005)
6. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend (2008)
7. Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism (2003)
8. The Killers, Hot Fuss (2004)
9. Thievery Corporation, The Richest Man in Babylon (2002)
10. Coldplay, Parachutes (2000)

Essential Songs 1999-2008
Ranked, #1 being most essential.

1. Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready to Make Nice” (Best Anthem for the Bush Administration Years)
2. The Postal Service, “Such Great Heights” (Best Love Song about Soulmating)
3. Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism” (Best Love Song about Yearning)
4. Bjork, “Mouth’s Cradle” (Most Innovative)
5. The White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army” (Most Rockin)
6. Amy Winehouse, “You Know I’m No Good” (Best Set of Pipes)
7. Bright Eyes, “Lua” (Best Song of the Anti-Hero)
8. The Mountain Goats, “Pale Green Things” (Best Musical Narrative)
9. Franz Ferdinand, 40’ (Best Use of a Theremin)
10. Andrew Bird, “Imitosis” (Best Use of Vocabulary)

Matthue R Sways Machiner


The Sway Machinery, self-titled
Mirah, (a)spera
Tender Forever, Wider
Jeremy Jay, A Place Where We Could Go
Y-Love, This Is Babylon
Nine Inch Nails, The Slip
The Roots, Rising Down
TV On the Radio, Dear Science
Northern State, Can I Keep This Pen?


Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs
Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope
Ani Difranco, Knuckle Down
CocoRosie, La Maison de mon Reve
OutKast, Love Below/Speakerboxxx
Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
Kanye West, College Dropout
Architecture in Helsinki, Fingers Crossed
Liz Phair, Liz Phair (i know. i know. but it just keeps showing up.)

Bon Hiver, Thu

1. bon iver, for emma forever ago
2. portishead, third
3. dungen, 4
4. department of eagles, in ear park

Fiona S. makes some Electric Arguments

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová -- The Swell Season (while it was released in 2006, it's one of those albums I just kept going back to all the time)

The Fireman -- Electric Arguments

Bruce Springsteen -- Magic

Seal -- Soul

George Michael -- Twenty-Five (come on, just try staying in you seat while listening to some of those old Wham songs or to "Faith")

Carla Bruni -- Comme si de rien n'étai

Bruce Springsteen (again) -- The Rising (thanks Obama, I had to go back and listen again and again!)

Kathleen P dives into the Submarines

From a children's librarian in North Carolina, and in no particular order:

Best Albums of 2008

1. The Submarines, Honeysuckle Weeks
2. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
3. Raphael Saadiq, The Way I See It
4. Solange, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams
5. Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer
6. The Killers, Day and Age
7. Adele, 19
8. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
9. Al Green, Lay It Down
10. Britney Spears, Circus

Steven M goes all Icelandic on Us

My Favorite records of 2008

10. Vampire Weekend; Vampire Weekend

9. Marah - Angels of Destruction

8. Delta Spirit - Ode to Sunshine

7. Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead

6. Dr. Dog - Fate

5. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges

4. Pacific! - Reveries

3. Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree

2. Drive-by Truckers - Brighter Than Creation

1. Sigur Rós -Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust

My Favorite Records of the Last 10 Years

Moon Safari - Air

The Last Broadcast - Doves

When It Falls - Zero 7

7 Worlds Collide - Neil Finn

Destroy Rock and Roll - Mylo

Back To Black - Amy Winehouse

Costello Music - The Fratellis

Brighter Than Creation's Dark - Drive-By Truckers

The Great Destroyer - Low

Howl - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

My Favorite Singles of the Last 10 Years

New World - Bjork

The Origin of Love - Hedwig and the Angry Inch

La Femme d’Argent - Air

Valerie – Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse

Pounding - Doves

When I Go Deaf - Low

A Certain Romance - Arctic Monkeys

Baby Fratelli - The Fratellis

Sea Groove - The Thievery Corporation

Black Cherry - Goldfrapp

Rotem joins the Eagle Dept.

I’d say my essential album of the year is

Department of Eagles – In Ear Park

That’s all I got!

Anna C Has an Affinity for Music with Capital M’s

[for the record, I have a broken m key and have to copy-paste all of them. apparently I have an affinity for music with capital m's. apologies for inconsistency.]

The essentials of 2008:

1] The music Tapes, music Tapes for Clouds & Tornadoes
2] Nana Grizol, Love It Love It
3] mount Eerie, Lost Wisdom
4]The Kills, midnight Boom
5] Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
6] Girl Talk, Feed The Animals
7] Love Is All, A Hundred Things Keep me Up At Night
8] Dr. Dog, Passed Away, Vol. 1
9] mGmT, Oracular Spectacular
10] Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Top Ten Albums of 1999-2008

1] Circulatory System, Circulatory System
2] Radiohead, Amnesiac
3] Rilo Kiley, The Execution of All Things
4] Panda Bear, Person Pitch
5] The music Tapes, 1st Imaginary Symphony For Nomad
6] Ys, Joanna Newsom
7] Cocorosie, Joanna Newsom
8] The Gerbils, Are You Sleepy?
9] The Apples in Stereo, New magnetic Wonder
10] The magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs Vol. 1

Top Ten Songs of 1999 - 2008 (according to my iTunes most played playlist, mind you, because it's nearly impossible to choose!)

Julian Koster [The music Tapes] -Takashi & Elijah
The music Tapes - manifest Destiny
Rilo Kiley - Spectacular Views
Radiohead - Idioteque
Joanna Newsom - Sawdust & Diamonds
Andrew Bird - Tables and Chairs
modest mouse - Grey Ice Water
Cocorosie - Armageddon
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Happy
Okkervil River - John Allyn Smith Sails


most Likely To Be Sung and Danced To Out Loud Accidentally In Public/While Partially Nude and Walked In On/Guaranteed Humiliation

Of montreal - Plastis Wafers
The magnetic Fields - Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits
Brazilian Girls - Good Time
Kelly Clarkson - Behind These Hazel Eyes
Tilly & The Wall - Nights of the Living Dead
manu Chao - Rumba de Barcelona
Nina Simone - Feeling Good
Tal Bachman - She's So High
Everclear - I Will Buy You A New Life
Katy Rose - Vacation
CSS - music Is my Hot Hot Sex
Amy Adams - That's How You Know (Enchanted Soundtrack)

Great Covers. In general. Or the ones I listened to most this year.

muse (covering Nina Simone) - Feeling Good
Ben Kweller (covering The Beatles) - Wait
Jenny Owen Youngs (covering Nelly) - Hot In Herre
The Shins (covering the Postal Service) - We Will Become Silhouettes
Regina Spektor (covering John Lennon) - Real Love
Tilly & The Wall (covering Outkast) - Hey Ya!
Jeff mangum (covering Phil Spector) - I Love How You Love me
Andrew Bird (covering Bob Dylan) - Oh Sister

Beatles 2008 Playlist (because every year is a different year in your Beatles library)

Tomorrow Never Knows
Golden Slumbers/
Carry That Weight
Yer Blues
All my Loving
Baby It's You
Why Don't We Do It In The Road?
With A Little Help From my Friends
Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Best Live Performances of 2008

Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour (Circulatory System/The Olivia Tremor Control/The Gerbils/Elf Power/The music Tapes/Pipes You See, Pipes You Don't, major Organ and the Adding machine) [October, Athens] - We were the first stop on the tour and the FIRST to see all of these bands back together! Preceded by the much-anticipated film "major Organ and the Adding machine". Which ruled.

Julian Koster (The music Tapes) [November, Caroling Tour, right down the road in my friend Robby's apartment, Savannah, GA] - Okay, we are Elephant 6 geeks. You could write Julian a letter and he would show up on your doorstep with his banjo, singing saw and miniature organ and play you Christmas carols on your doorstep and in your home. And he did. And it was excellent.

Radiohead [June, Atlanta] - Best eco-friendly light show I've ever seen.

The music Tapes/mount Eerie (Phil Elvrum of The microphones/Thimble Circus) [September, Athens, GA] - Phil Elvrum had a fog machine. Awesome. And we played a game called St. Nicholas's Game for the Lamplighters that "came to Julian in a dream" in a field until 4 in the morning.

Ben Folds [march, Savannah, GA] - He put peanut tins inside the piano on one side so he was playing piano with one hand and percussion with the other...need I say more. Also, you can hear the heartcries of our Savannah audience on the first track of his new album.

Don Caballero [December, Brooklyn] - Everything it needed to be. Awkward, hilarious, and quite a spectacle packed into about a 45 minute - one hour set.

Dig, Jonas R, Dig!!!

Jonas' Mostly Mellow Year in Music, 2008:

1. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
2. Amelia, A Long, Lovely List of Repairs
3. Star Anna, Crooked Path
4. Kris Delmhorst, Shotgun Singer
5. Sons and Daughters, This Gift
6. Sagasso Trio, Burnin' Burnin' Burnin'
7. David Byrne and Brian Emo, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
8. R.E.M., Accelerate
9. HoneyHoney, First Rodeo
10. Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue

Other New Releases that Barely Missed the Top 10 List:

Dash Rip Rock, Country Girlfriend
The Watson Twins, Fire Songs
Laura Cantrell, Trains and Boats and Planes
She & Him, Volume One
Joan Baez, Day After Tomorrow
Natalia Clavier, Nectar

Sexiest Album by a First Lady:

Carla Bruni, Comme Si de Rien N'Etait by

Two I Regretting Missing Last Year:

Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat
Amy LaVere, Anchors & Anvils

Eamon T Lusts three times over

Eamon's Favorties of '08 (in order)

The Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust
MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
Kings of Leon, Only by Night
The Verve, Fourth
The Breeders, Mountain Battles
Foals, Antidotes
Hercules and Love Affair
Lightspeed Champion, Falling Off the Lavendar Bridge

Honorable Mentions:
Duffy, Rockferry (The new Winehouse)
Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul (A welcome return to form)
Ryan Adams, Easy Tiger (Another welcome return to form)
Vampire Weekend (Most Overrated, but undeniable)

Here's my favorite songs of the last 10 years...

1998 Garbage, Special
1999 Suede, She's In Fashion
2000 The Dandy Warhols, Bohemian Like You
2001 The Strokes, The Modern Age
2002 Kylie Minogue, Can't Get You Out of My Mind
2003 The Postal Service, Such Great Heights
2004 Scissor Sisters, Take Your Mama
2005 Arcade Fire, Rebellion (Lies)
2006 Lily Allen, LNDN
2007 Klaxons, Golden Skans
2008 MGMT, Kids

Danielle T Predicts a Riot


You are right. I have taken some time, and realized that there are a few albums I want to make sure are represented on your list, despite the agony of cutting others. So here I go!

A. Essential Albums of 2008 (I think I might have been too depressed in 2008 to find new music)
1. Ra Ra Riot – “The Rhumb Line” [Most Essential!]
2. Los Campesinos! – “Hold on Now, Youngster…”
3. Britney Spears – “Circus”
4. Adele – “19”
5. Mariah Carey – “E=MC2” [This is more in recognition of past accomplishment than present work]

B. Top Ten Albums of 1999 – 2008 (in no particular order, and I am sorry, but I went over – CUT ME AT 10 IF YOU MUST, but I had a short 2008 list!)
1. Shout Out Louds – “Howl Howl Gaff Gaff” (2005, U.S. release)
2. Jaymay – “Autumn Fallin’” (2007)
3. Jaguar Wright – “Denials, Delusions, and Decisions” (2002)
4. Beth Orton – “Daybreaker” (2002)
5. Alexz Johnson – “Songs from Instant Star, Season Two” (2006) (Seriously, Alexz Johnson is AMAZING – please check her out!)
6. The Comas – “Conductor” (2004)
7. Ed Harcourt – “Here Be Monsters” (2001)
8. Hem – “Rabbit Songs” (2001)
9. Lauren Hoffman – “Choreography” (2006)
10. Jill Scott – “Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 (2000)
11. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins – “Rabbit Fur Coat” (2006)
12. Cheese on Bread – “The Search for Colonel Mustard” (2007)
13. Damien Rice – “O” (2002)
14. Floetry – “Floetic” (2002)

C. Top Ten Songs of 1999 – 2008 (in no particular order, except maybe number one)
1. Kelly Clarkson – “Since U Been Gone” (2004)
2. Arcade Fire – “Keep the Car Running” (2007)
3. Stars – “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” (2005)
4. Le Tigre – “Deceptacon (DFX Remix) (2001)
5. I’m From Barcelona – “Oversleeping” (2006)
6. Mates of State – “Goods (All in Your Head)” (2004)
7. Bloc Party – “This Modern Love” (2005)
8. Mariah Carey – “Crybaby” (1999)
9. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “In This Home on Ice” (2005)
10. Sufjan Stevens – “Chicago” (2006)

OK, this was exhausting, I am going to think of a million issues later – LIKE THE GENERAL LACK OF MARIAH CAREY – but until then, THANK YOU

Michael T Feeds the Animals

Best album of 2008:

Girl Talk, Feed the Animals

Runners Up (in no order):

Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
Hot Chip, Made in the Dark
Adele, 19
Lykke Li, Youth Novels
Glasvegas, Glasvegas

Top Ten Albums of 1999-2008

Belle and Sebastian, Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant
Say Anything, . . . . Is a Real Boy
Death Cab for Cutie, Plans
Gillian Welch, Time--The Revelator
New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
Soundtrack, O Brother Where Art Thou?
Decemberists, The Crane Wife
The National, Boxer
Spoon, Gimme Fiction
Moby, Play

[It turns out that 1998 was really the seminal musical year for me: most of the important records that still matter most to me seem to have been released that year, and to a certain extent it is my Golden Age, frozen in time: Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road; Belle and Sebastian, The Boy with the Arab Strap; Garbage, Version 2.0; and Elliott Smith, X/O. 1998 was truly a great year for music, or at least for my music.]

Top Ten Songs of 99-2008

Not really my thing but here are the songs that seem in the heaviest rotation on my Itunes, and I'd have a hard time finding stuff I'd rather listen to:

Missy Elliott, Work It
Regina Spektor, On the Radio
Blink-182, What's My Name Again
The Postal Service, Nothing Better
Coldplay, Yellow
Aimee Mann, Wise Up
Damien Rice, Older Chests
Martha Wainwright, BMFA
Walkmen, The Rat
Paul Oakenfold, Starry Eyed Surprise

Careful on those stairs, Zac

Most Essential Album of 2008:
Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs

Other Essentials of 2008:
2. Right Away, Great Captain!, The Eventually Home
3. Bloc Party, Intimacy
4. The Gay Blades, Ghosts
5. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
6. Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, Animal/Not Animal
7. Gregory and the Hawk, Moenie and Kitchi
8. Jay Brannan, Goddamned
9. Ingrid Michaelson, Be OK
10. Her Space Holiday, XOXO, Panda and the New Kid Revival

Most Essential Song of 2008:
Death Cab for Cutie, "Your New Twin Sized Bed" (from Narrow Stairs)

Other Essential Songs of 2008:
2. Jay Brannan, "On all Fours" (from Goddamned)
3. Right Away, Great Captain!, "Down to Your Soul" (from The Eventually Home)
4. Original Cast/Soundtrack, "Were the World Mine" (from Were the World Mine)
5. Death Cab for Cutie, "Bixby Canyon Bridge" (from Narrow Stairs)
6. The Gay Blades, "O Shot" (from Ghosts)
7. Gregory and The Hawk, "Oats We Sow" (from Moenie and Kitchi)
8. Margot and The Nuclear So and So's, "The Ocean (is Bleeding Salt)" (from Not Animal)
9. Bloc Party, "Better than Heaven" (from Intimacy)
10. The Decemberists, "Valerie Plame" (from "Always the Bridesmaid: Vol. 1")

Most Essential Album, 1999-2008:
The Decemberists, Picaresque (2005)

Other Essential Albums, 1999-2008:
2. Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope (2006)
3. Damien Rice, O (2003)
4. Girlyman, Little Star (2005)
5. Belle and Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)
6. Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, The Dust of Retreat (2005)
7. Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous (2004)
8. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife (2006)
9. David Gray, White Ladder (2000)
10. The Weepies, Say I am You (2005)

Most Essential Song, 1999-2008:
Damien Rice, "The Blower's Daughter" (from O, 2003)

Other Essential Songs, 1998-2008:
2. The Decemberists, "The Engine Driver" (from Picaresque, 2005)
3. Rilo Kiley, "Portions for Foxes" (from More Adventurous, 2004)
4. Girlyman, "This is Me" (from Little Star, 2005)
5. Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, "Skeleton Key" (from The Dust of Retreat, 2005)
6. Feist, "1234" (from The Reminder, 2007)
7. Yael Naim, "New Soul" (from self-titled, 2007)
8. Elliott Smith, "Whatever (Folk Song in C)" (from New Moon, 2007)
9. The Weepies, "Gotta Have You" (from Say I am You, 2005)
10. Bloc Party, "On" (from A Weekend in the City, 2007)

Kevin W gets poetic

Once I was e'er bearded and bourboned, quite the excitable boy,
A lad who thrashed and smashed on stage, howling "Search and Destroy."
I counted as influences Johnny Thunders, Nina Shock, Bon Scott,
Kept company with T-Town Communists and other assorted sots.
But goodbye bassist, goodbye band, adios to ears a-ringing;
Hello acreage, country home, starlit sky for dreaming.
No more does my name appear on the flier above the urinal
I quietly submit instead to the land's respected journals.
And though we all if happy be must finally leave the gutter,
the gutter remains home to rock and roll strutters.
I don't regret what I now must say; I don't hesitate; I don't stutter.
This word is nothing new beneath the sun, not guarded by troll or sentry:
Tis true the pleasures are myriad to be of the landed gentry
but when the question comes – Whereth rock? – you forfeit right to make an entry.

(Or it could just be that I spent 2008 digging on the back catalogs of King Khan, Swamp Dogg and the Eccentric Soul series. Oh, and while not "essential" The Baby Shakes' "First One" is kinda cool. Plus Gentleman Jesse and His Men put out a full-length album which is probably stellar.)

My top 10 of the last 10, though:
1. Dirtbombs, Ultraglide in Black – There are certainly more original albums. More "important" albums, I suppose. But this album nails the only "concept" that a band should ever have: make sure the people who put this on have a goddamn good time. And Mick Collins is the only man alive that can cover a Barry White song and not get laughed out of the room.
2. The Paybacks, Knock Loud – Wendy Case = #$!*#%!@. Wow, she turns it loose on here.
3. The Star Room Boys, Why Do Lonely Men and Women Want to Break Each Other's Hearts? -- Is there a sound sadder than that lonesome whippoorwill? Maybe not. But this one comes close.
4. The Reigning Sound, Time Bomb High School – Greg Cartwright is the greatest living American songwriter and I'll stand on Steve Earle's coffee table and say it to his face.
5. Black Lips, Good Bad Not Evil – Black lights. Bad kids. Wasted youth. Bless you.
6. Exploding Hearts, Guitar Romantic – Brant Rumble was the first to tell me about these kids.
7. The Compulsive Gamblers, Live & Deadly: Memphis-Chicago – Greg Cartwright is the greatest living American songwriter and I'll stand in Steve Earle's cowboy boots and tell Bob Dylan.
8. The Reigning Sound, Too Much Guitar – Greg Cartwright. Seriously.
9. King Khan, Three Hairs and You're Mine – If you go to youtube and search for The Spaceshits on Canadian TV, you can see a young King Khan when he was known as Black Snake. He went on to make this and other albums. It's good.
10. The Coup, Pick a Bigger Weapon – "Bush and Hussein together in bed / giving H-E-A-D head / y'all motherfuckers heard what we said / billions made and millions dead."

Annmarie N’s Music Tapes

Might as well not waste time, there’s a lot of ground to cover:

Most anticipated, longest-awaited, most essential by default:
The Music Tapes, Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes

It was a good year for music, I could go on and on:
Nana Grizol, Love It Love It
Jeffrey Lewis, 12 Crass Songs [yeah, I know, I know, technically this is from 2007, but I didn’t do a list last year and damn this album is great]
Dark Dark Dark, The Snow Magic
Hurray for the Riff Raff, It Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You
The Black Angels, Directions to See a Ghost
Spindrift, The West
Laura Stevenson, A Record
The Great Northwest, The Widespread Reign of the Great Northwest
First Communion Afterparty, Sorry for all the Mondays and to Those Who Can’t Sing

And, for good measure, New York bands I want everyone to love as much as I do: The Beets, Air Waves, No Courage, Arliss Parker, Archipelago, Never Heard of Zeppelin, Laura Stevenson & the Cans, She Keeps Bees, The Vultures, The So So Glos, The Toothaches (half Boston / half New York), The December Sound (ditto), Silver Rockets, A Place to Bury Strangers

A Decade of Awesome, Album Edition:
2008: The Music Tapes, Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes
2007: A Place to Bury Strangers, s/t
2006: The Black Angels, Passover
2005: A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Darkness at Noon // Jack Rose, Kensington Blues
2004: The Out Crowd, Then I Saw the Holy City
2003: Jeffrey Lewis, It’s the Ones Who’ve Cracked That the Light Shines Through
2002: The Lollies, Taste
2001: Brian Jonestown Massacre, Bravery, Repetition, and Noise
2000: The Music Tapes, The First Imaginary Symphony for Nomad // Smallstone, s/t
1999: The Olivia Tremor Control, Black Foliage

And, well, I am gonna cheat on this song business. A mixtape-exchange-club I’m in recently introduced the theme of Best of the 2000s, so I hope you’ll excuse the recycle:

Spindrift, Titoli
First Communion Afterparty, The Mini Apple
Morning After Girls, Hidden Spaces
Sarabeth Tucek, Something for You
Mariee Sioux, Bravitzlana Rubikalva
Jack Rose, Kensington Blues
The Black Angels, Black Grease
The Warlocks, Shake the Dope Out
Air Waves, Broken Tides
Dark Dark Dark, Trouble No More
The Music Tapes, The Minister of Longitude
The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, Getting By
The Soft Explosions, Sister Come On

Brandi D Parades with Wolves

Essential Albums of 2008:
Most essential:
Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer
Other essentials:
MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Okkervil River, The Stand Ins
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Cardinology

Top Ten Albums 1999-2008
2008: Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer
2007: Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
2006: Bonny Prince Billy, The Letting Go
2005: Death Cab for Cutie, Plans
2004: Arcade Fire, Funeral
2003: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell
2002: Interpol, Turn on the Bright Lights
2001: The Strokes, Is This It
2000: Radiohead, Kid A
1999: Beck, Midnight Vultures

Top Ten Songs 1999-2008 (in no particular order or year):
Bonny Prince Billy's performance of R. Kelly's Ignition
Spoon, Stay Don't Go
Shout out Louds, The Comeback
Ryan Adams, If I am a Stranger
Beck, Debra
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phenomena
Arcade Fire, Ocean of Noise
The Postal Service, Such Great Heights
Radiohead, Idioteque
The National, Fake Empire

Flinn G, Foxy!
(Most Essential) Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
She and Him, Volume One
Santogold, Santogold
Sigur Ros, Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
Amadou and Mariam, Welcome to Mali
Lykke Li, Youth Novel
Kate Nash, Made of Bricks
Okkervil River, The Stand Ins
MGMT, Oracular Spectacular

Sandy breaks the block

Okee Dokee.

I didn't get a lot of new music this year, but here's three of my most essential albums released in 2008. I used these three to break writer's block. I admit, they are a bit insane, which is helpful when you're trying to hack open a resistant mind. I'd send more, but i have to turn in my revised manuscript by Friday. So it's back to the Sigur Rós.

1. Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust by Sigur Rós,

2. Spectrum, 14th Century EP by Final Fantasy

3. Daniel Variations by Steve Reich & Steve Reich Ensemble

Lauren M’s Gonna Save Your Soul

I'm ashamed to say the only album I bought this year was Gnarls Barkley's The Odd Couple, but hot damn it's good. Especially, "Who's Gonna Save My Soul." Oh wait and one more. Super indie musician Dare Dukes'
debut album "Prettiest Transmitter Of All." Utterly wonderful. Check it out. I'll wait for your results so I know what else was worth listening to. I need some new music. I've been listening to Bach for the last 6 months.

Drew L’s ’08 Sound

Best album of 2008:

The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound

Other essential albums:

Elliot Brood, Mountain Meadows
Okkervil River, The Stand-Ins
Blitzen Trapper, Furr
Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Top Ten 1998-2008

1. The Lawrence Arms, The Greatest Story Ever Told
2. The Weakerthans, Left and Leaving
3. Okkervil River, Down the River of Golden Dreams
4. Alkaline Trio, Goddamnit
5. Bright Eyes, Fevers & Mirrors
6. The Falcon, Unicornography
7. The Gaslight Anthem, the '59 Sound
8. Propagandhi, Less Talk More Rock
9. Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
10. The Distillers, Coral Fang

I'm only doing one album per band ... and Greatest Story Ever Told isn't even my favorite Lawrence Arms album of the last ten years, I just chose it because I feel like it, more than any other album, shows what a great punk album can be. I don't know. Everyone should listen to The '59 Sound though. It's like Bruce Springsteen with a little punk influence and lots and lots of nostalgia.

Catherine’s big So What


Rachel G and friends offer a topic of discussion

Okay, so I’m musically retarded, and rely on the guidance of friends. The friends would not fill this out individually, but it was the topic of discussion at a dinner party, and here’s the dinner party list (in no particular order). I have one more straggler friend I’m hoping to get, but they are as flaky as I am musically retarded…

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Ting Tings, We Started Nothing
MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
Santogold, Santogold
Animal Collective, Merriwether Post Pavilion
Gang Gang Dance, Saint Dymphna
Portishead, Third
Lykke Li, Youth Novels
Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

Virginia E. W. introduces strings (and more) to the mix

8 items, some older than 2008.

1. Brahms Piano Quintet: Leon Fleisher and the Juilliard String Quartet. Sony 2008.

2. Fiesta: Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra. Deutsche Grammophone 2008.

3. Gang He Chen, Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto: Gil Shaham, with Lan Chui conducting the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Canary Classics 2007.

4. Beethoven, the Late String Quartets: Guarneri String Quartet. BMG Classics 1990.

5. Brahms String Quartets: The Emerson String Quartet. Deutsche Grammophon 2007.

6. Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Vol. 4: Paul Lewis. Hamonia Mundi 2008.

7. Shostakovich, Piano Quintet in G-minor, Piano Trio in E-minor: The Beaux Arts Trio with Eugene Drucker and Lawrence Dutton. Phillips 1998.

8. Schoenberg and Sibelius, Violin Concertos: Hilary Hahn, with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Swedish Radio Symphony. Deutsche Grammophon 2008.

Iain S. goes into a Cave

This gets ever harder. Less time to listen to music, 40 year old's tastes finding less to like out there (it all sounds like inferior versions of stuff I like from the olden days, grumble, moan), and lazy skinflint iTunes usage means I don't really DO albums any more.

Essential albums this year:

Most (by a country mile): Dig!! Lazarus!! Dig, Nick Cave

Imperial Wax Solvent, The Fall
Third, Portishead
Do You Like Rock Music, British Sea Power

Albums of last 10 years

Knock Knock - Smog
Ease Down The Road - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
The Unutterable - The Fall
The Real New Fall LP - The Fall
Van Occupanther - Midlake
KC Rules OK - King Creosote
Tromatic Reflexxions - Von Sudenfed
Dig!! Lazarus!! Dig, Nick Cave
Ghost Dog - RZA
Sea Change - Beck

Tracks of last 10 years

Footsteps - Bricolage
The Red - Jaylib
James - Josh Rouse
Grand dark feeling of emptiness - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
The Rat - Walkmen
Klutz - King Creosote
River Guard- Smog
Today's Lesson - Nick Cave
Xralothep - The Fall
Raise Your Swords - RZA

Ronnie A. Lets the Right One In

Essential Soundtracks of 2008

Most essential: Let the Right One In

The rest in alphabetical order:

Ashes of Time Redux
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
The Fall (for the use of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7)
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Pushing Daisies
Slumdog Millionaire
Tell No One

Top Soundtracks of 1999-2008

Moulin Rouge
Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Once More With Feeling
Donnie Darko
Far From Heaven
The Incredibles
Garden State
Brokeback Mountain
Across the Universe

Lucas K looks good in ghost colours

Sorry I've been slow on this. Cataloguing my decade-al tastes is kind of an intimidating challenge, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to wimp out.

Here are my choices for 2008, though!:

10. Jukebox the Ghost, Let Live and Let Ghost
9. Mates of State, Re-arrange Us
8. Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
7. M83, Saturdays = Youth
6. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
5. Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak
4. Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line
3. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
2. Nada Surf, Lucky
1. Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours

Terra M has a suggestion

Ugggh I was so out of it this year for music. Like, utterly and completely. And I may be getting too old for this list, anyhow. :) I will say that my own personal most essential was Daniel Clay, "The Protestant." It is lovely and you would like it a lot. He is a local guy but you CAN get the album on iTunes. (What did we all do before iTunes I don't know. Mix tapes?)

David Levi’s dear Science

Top Ten Albums of 2008

1. TV on the Radio, Dear Science
2. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
3. Vampire Weekend (self-titled)
4. Fleet Foxes (self-titled)
5. The Dodos, Visiter
6. The Walkmen, You & Me
7. Hercules & Love Affair (self-titled)
8. Sigur Ros, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
9. Le Trio Joubran, Majaz
10. Portishead, Third

Top Ten Albums of 1999-2008

1. Radiohead, In Rainbows (2007)
2. Sigur Ros, () (2002)
3. Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator) (2001)
4. Radiohead, Kid A (2000)
5. The Walkmen, Bows + Arrows (2004)
6. Andrew Bird, The Mysterious Production of Eggs (2005)
7. Sufjan Stevens, (Come On, Feel the) Illinoise (2005)
8. Devendra Banhart, Rejoicing in the Hands, (2004)
9. Mos Def, Black on Both Sides (1999)
10. Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism (2003)

Top Ten Songs of 1999-2008
1. The Walkmen, “The Rat”
2. The White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army”
3. The Postal Service, “Such Great Heights”
4. LCD Soundsystem, “Tribulations”
5. Amy Winehouse, “Back to Black”
6. The Futureheads, “Hounds of Love” (adapted from Kate Bush)
7. Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out”
8. Hercules and Love Affair, “Blind”
9. Modest Mouse, “Float On”
10. M.I.A., “Paper Planes”

Albums 1999-2008: Honorable Mentions

TV on the Radio, Dear Science (2008)
Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)
The Roots, Things Fall Apart (1999)
The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
Fleet Foxes (2008)
Kings of Leon, Aha Shake Heartbreak (2005)
Wilco, Summerteeth (1999)
Futureheads (2004)
The Decembrists, Picaresque (2005)
The Arcade Fire, Funeral (2004)
Sigur Ros, Takk (2005)
Thom Yorke, The Eraser (2006)
LCD Soundsystem (2005)
Vampire Weekend (2008)
Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (2006)
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (2007)
Outkast, Stankonia (2000)
The White Stripes, Elephant (2003)
Radiohead, Amnesiac (2001)
The Notwist, Neon Golden (2003)
The Postal Service, Give Up (2003)
Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
My Morning Jacket, Z (2005)
The Streets, A Grand Don’t Come for Free (2004)
The Killers, Hot Fuss (2004)
The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema (2003)
Radiohead, Hail to the Thief (2003)
Gillian Welch, Hell Among the Yearlings (2003)
The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow (2003)
Rage Against the Machine, The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)
Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004)

a couple more honorable mentions:

Bjork, Vespertine (2001)
Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary (2005)
Aimee Mann, The Forgotten Arm (2005)
Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans (2004)
Bonny “Prince” Billy, The Letting Go (2006)
Nitin Sawney, Beyond Skin (1999)

Josh A.’s Day and Age

Top Albums of 2008
The Killers - Day and Age
Coldplay – Viva la Vida

Top 10 Albums of last 10 years
Coldplay – Rush of Blood to The Head 2002
The Killers – Sam’s Town 2006
U2 – All that you can’t leave behind 2000
Eminem - Marhsal Mathers 2000?
Amy Winehouse Rehab 2007
Green Day American Idiot 2005
Coldplay Clocks 2003
U2 All that you can't leave behind 2001
Limp Bizkit Significant Other 1999
Nsync no strings attached – not a fan, but was a good album

Top 10 Songs (I only could come up with 7)
Hurt by Jonny Cash Metallica remake
When you were young by The Killers
Fix You by Coldplay
What it's like by Everlast
Nookie by Limp Bizkit
Move Along by All American Rejects
Crazy in love Beyonce

Erin C.’s Spectacular list

Essential Albums of 2009:
MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Top Ten Albums of 1999-2008 (no particular order):
Badly Drawn Boy, Hour of Bewilderbeast
Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
The Strokes, Is This It?
The White Stripes, Elephant
The Doves, Last Broadcast
Daft Punk, Alive 2007
Libertines, Libertines
Belle & Sebastian, Life Pursuit
LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver

Top Ten Songs of 1999-2008 (no particular order):
Hives, Hate to Say I Told You So
MIA, Paper Planes
Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
Postal Service, Such Great Heights
Morrissey, First of the Gang To Die
Black Kids, I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You
Franz Ferdinand, Take Me Out
MGMT, Time to Pretend
Peter, Bjorn & John, Young Folks
The Streets, Fit But You Know It

Laura D loves them Vampires

Most Essential for moi

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

These guys are my favorite new discovery last year. I just love their sound. With extra points for a band from my NYC alma mater CU & for having a tune on Nick & Norah soundtrack (that's a nod to you, Mr. David)

Also Essential for moi

Aimee Mann, @#%&*! Smilers
Coldplay, Vida La Vida
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Santogold, Santogold
B-52s, Funplex (for me, anything Kate Pierson is essential and has been since 9th grade)
The Submarines, Honeysuckle Weeks (saw them @ Aimee's concert for first time and the lead singer has a contagious joy that sucked me in!)

Most Essential Albums

2007: Radiohead In Rainbows
2006: KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope
2005 Bright Eyes I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine
2004 The Killers Hot Fuss and Elliot Smith From the Basement... (RIP)
2003 The White Stripes Elephant
2002 Norah Jones Come Away With Me
2001 Ryan Adams Gold
2000 Aimee Mann Bachelor No. 2
1999 Moby Play

Most Essential Songs

2007: Feist "1234"
2006: Regina Spektor "Fidelity"
2005: Gwen Stefani "Hollaback Girl"
2004: The Killers "Mr. Brightside"
2003: Coldplay "Clocks"
2002: Norah Jones "Come Away With Me"
2001 John Mayer "No Such Thing"
2000: Aimee Mann "Red Vines"
1999: Beth Orton "Central Reservation"

Stephenie M.’s Season of Poison

Essential Album of the Year:
1. Shiny Toy Guns – Season of Poison

Other Essentials:
2. Carolina Liar – Coming to Terms
3. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
4. Coldplay – Viva la Vida
5. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
6. Jack’s Mannequin – The Glass Passenger
7. R.E.M. – Accelerate
8. The Twilight Soundtrack

Top Ten Albums of the Last Ten Years:
1. Muse – Absolution
2. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
3. Gomez – How We Operate
4. The Strokes – Room on Fire
5. Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory
6. My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
7. Blue October – Foiled
8. Ok Go – Oh No
9. Elbow – Leaders of the Free World
10. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head

Top Ten Songs of the Last Ten Years:
1. Muse – Hysteria (Absolution)
2. Arcade Fire – Intervention (Neon Bible)
3. Refused – New Noise (The Shape of Punk to Come)
4. Jack’s Mannequin – Dark Blue (Everything In Transit)
5. Stars – Your Ex-Lover is Dead (Set Yourself on Fire)
6. Rhinocerose – Cubicle (Rhinocerose)
7. Phoenix – Consolation Prizes (It’s Never Been Like That)
8. Motion City Soundtrack – Hold Me Down (Commit This to Memory)
9. Brand New – The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot (Deja Entendu)
10. Marjorie Fair – Empty Room (Self Help Serenade)

Best Songs by Artists That I Wasn’t Previously Aware Of That I’ve Heard in the Last 6 Months:
1. The Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name
2. Too Many Sisters – When I Get My Confidence Back
3. Asteroid Galaxy Tour – Around the Bend
4. Pink Spiders – Gimme Chemicals
5. Fol Chen – Cable TV
6. Glasvegas – Geraldine
7. Pendulum – Propane Nightmares
8. Greg Laswell – Days Go On
9. Hot Springs – Tiny Islands
10. The Waking Eyes – Keeps Me Coming Back

Chris S.’s golden age is upon us


Most Essential: TV on the Radio, Dear Science

Still Essential:
Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Eef Barzilay, Lose Big
Ben Folds, Way to Normal
Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
Sun Kil Moon, April
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue
Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst

Top Albums of 1999-2008

1. Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
2. Radiohead: In Rainbows
3. Outkast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
4. Elliott Smith, Figure 8
5. Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog
6. The National, Boxer
7. TV on the Radio, Dear Science
8. Belle & Sebastian, If You're Feeling Sinister
9. Arcade Fire, Funeral
10. M. Ward, Transfiguration of Vincent

Top Songs of 1999-2008

1. Iron & Wine, The Trapeze Swinger
2. Outkast, Hey Ya!
3. Radiohead, Jigsaw Falling into Place
4. Sufjan Stevens, Casimir Pulaski Day
5. The National, Slow Show
6. Feist, Mushaboom
7. Bright Eyes, First Day of My Life
8. Elliott Smith, Twilight
9. The Arcade Fire, Rebellion (Lies)
10. M. Ward, Post-War

Annie M will be OK

Essential album of 2008:
I didn’t really buy much music this year, so nothing stands out as essential. Classified more as “enjoyable” than “essential”

Dr. Horrible soundtrack
Ingrid Michaelson, Be OK

Essential songs of 2008:
Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”, “It’s a New Day”

Top Ten Albums of 1999-2008 (in no particular order except for #1):
#1 Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once More with Feeling
Eels, Daisies of the Galaxies
Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
Eels, Shootenanny
Liz Phair, Liz Phair
Liz Phair, Somebody’s Miracle
U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind
Beck, Sea Change
Sinead O’Connor, She Who Dwells…
Madonna, Music

Overflow from the Top Ten Albums of 1999-2008 that are essential enough to be included too (it was hard enough to whittle it down to this!):
Ben Folds, Rockin’ the Suburbs
Shins, Wincing the Night Away
Jill Sobule, Pink Pearl
Feist, Let It Die
Jem, Finally Woken
Magnetic Fields, i
Sinead O’Connor, Collaborations
Joseph Arthur, Redemption’s Son
The 6ths, Hyacinths and Thistles
Nellie McKay, Get Away from Me
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Garden State soundtrack
The O.C. soundtracks (multiple volumes)
Grey’s Anatomy soundtracks (multiple volumes)

Top Ten Songs of 1999-2008 (in no particular order):
If a song (like U2’s “Beautiful Day” or “Stuck in a Moment”) were on an album on the top ten list above, I didn’t include it here ‘cause there would have been too much crossover. These songs are ones that make me happy singing along with the radio, or the standout song that makes me pick up a CD that didn’t quite make the top ten album list.
OutKast, “Hey Ya”
Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone”
Green Day, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”
Pink, “Just Like a Pill”
Bree Sharp, “David Duchovny”
Lily Allen, “Smile”
Magnetic Fields, “Buzby Berkeley Dreams”
Nelly Furtado, “I’m Like a Bird”
Kim Richey, “Hello, Old Friend”
Scrubs musical episode, “I’m Going to Be OK”

Since Broadway has to represent, here are Top Broadway/Off-Broadway Cast Albums of 1999-2008 (in no particular order):
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Bat Boy
High Fidelity
The Full Monty
Avenue Q
The Producers

Anica gives us some Time

Ack--I wish I'd done this weeks ago. If I'm near a computer this weekend, I will send you both lists...but that likely won't happen, so I'm going to cast my vote now for the Single Most Essential Album of 1999-2008:

Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator)

Karen gives Billie Joe a shout out

Pretty much the last artists I recognize are from about 2003. However I look forward to seeing the list. Green Day American Idiot is my best of decade.

Andrew P, Infinitely playlisting

Ok, so put my vote in for the N&N soundtrack, because, aside from Coldplay's latest (which I also quite liked), it's the *only* album I bought this year. I know, sad, right?

I was working so much, and listening to NPR when I wasn't. It wasn't a huge music year for me... unless I can add Terry Gross / Fresh Air to the list...

Bryant P’s Skinny Love

Bryant's Most Essential Album of 2008:
Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago

Other Essential Albums of 2008:
Thao, We Brave Bee Stings and All
Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line
Okkervil River, The Stand Ins
Bloc Party, Intimacy
Girl Talk, Feed the Animals
Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
The Morning Benders, Talking Through Tin Cans
Panic at the Disco, Pretty. Odd.

Essential Guilty Pleasure of 2008:
E=MC2 by Mariah Carey

Best Concert of 2008
Thao Ngyuen with the Get Down Stay Down at the Empty Bottle, Chicago, August 9

Bryant's Top Ten Albums, 1999 - 2008
10. Bloc Party, Weekend in the City
9. Bon Iver , For Emma, Forever Ago
8. Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of This Country
7. The Decemberists, Picaresque
6. Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
5. Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism
4. The Roots, Things Fall Apart
3. Okkervil River, The Stage Names
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
1. Death Cab for Cutie, Plans

Bryant's Top Fifteen Songs, 1999 – 2008
15. Andrew Bird, Imitosis
14. Rufus Wainwright, 14th Street
13. The Decemberists, The Sporting Life
12. Death Cab for Cutie, Your Heart Is an Empty Room
11. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood
10. Ryan Adams, Come Pick Me Up
9. Beyoncé, Irreplaceable
8. Kelly Clarkson, Since U Been Gone
7. Modest Mouse, Float On
6. Bloc Party, This Modern Love
5. Jason Mraz, I'm Yours (original demo, 2005)
4. Elliott Smith, Pretty (Ugly Before)
3. Mos Def, Ms. Fat Booty
2. Okkervil River, Black
1. Death Cab for Cutie, I Will Follow You Into the Dark

Andrew F gives us just a Little Lovin’

Very quiet music year for me. I only bought five albums, so these must be my Essential for 2008:

Most Essential:
Shelby Lynne, Just A Little Lovin'

Emmylou Harris, All I Intended To Be
Aimee Mann, @#%&*! Smilers
Tift Merrit, Another Country
Lucinda Williams, Little Honey

Essential in 2007, but Most Essential in 2008:
Lori McKenna, Unglamorous. I thought it was great last year, but this year it has become my go-to album. Nearly all of the cuts are great, but the title song is about a loving couple with five young kids and one t.v. set. What are the odds?

My Top Ten Albums of 1999-2008, in Alphabetical Order:

Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Once More With Feeling
Dixie Chicks, Taking The Long Way
Green Day, American Idiot
Shelby Lynne, I Am Shelby Lynne
Aimee Mann, Bachelor No.2
Lori McKenna, Unglamorous
Liz Phair, Liz Phair
Bruce Springsteen, The Rising
Lucinda Williams, Essence

Christopher O, Standing In

Essential album of 2008:
The Stand Ins - Okkervil River

Some other notables that came out in 2008:
Ane Brun - Changing of the Seasons
Anna Ternheim - Leaving on a Mayday
Calexico - Carried to Dust
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

Top ten albums of 1999 - 2008
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Editors - An End Has A Start
Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
Lambchop - Is A Woman
Ryan Adams - Gold
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
Tori Amos - Scarlet's Walk
Coldplay - X & Y
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Top ten songs of 1999 - 2009
Radiohead - All I Need
Travis - Sing
Editors - When Anger Shows
Iron & Wine - He Lays in the Reins
Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek
Thom Yorke - Harrowdown Hill
Woven Hand - Blue Pail Fever
A Perfect Circle - Weak and Powerless
Radiohead - No Surprises
Bright Eyes - No One Would Riot For Less

Glenn B, of Montreal (but not Canadian)

I found it hard to compile the list this year as I felt there was a dearth of good stuff out there...
Here's what I ended up with:

1) of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping (Bonus points for being the best live act I saw this year)
2) Beck, Modern Guilt
3) Santogold, Santogold
4) MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
5) Snow Patrol, A Hundred Million Suns
6) Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
7) Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul
8) Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords
9) The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely
10) Deathcab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs

Oh! Mighty Nick E

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
Neil Halstead, Oh! Mighty Engine
Sun Kil Moon, April
The Magnetic Fields, Distortion
Soundtrack, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

TOP 10 ALBUMS 1999-2008

1. The Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs
2. Radiohead, Kid A
3. Bright Eyes, Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
4. Iron & Wine, The Creek Drank the Cradle
5. Trembling Blue Stars, Broken by Whispers
6. Sun Kil Moon, Ghosts of the Great Highway
7. The 6ths, Hyacinths and Thistles
8. Dolorean, Not Exotic
9. Jens Lekman, When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog
10. Calla, Televise

TOP 10 SONGS 1999-2008

1. The Magnetic Fields, I Don't Want To Get Over You
2. Jens Lekman, Your Arms Around Me
3. Trembling Blue Stars, Maybe After All
4. Dolorean, Morningwatch
5. Belle and Sebastian, The Model
6. Doves, There Goes the Fear
7. Iron & Wine, Upward Over the Mountain
8. Enio, We Sabotage Ourselves
9. Vermont, Bells of Saint Alcohol
10. Sun Kil Moon, Carry Me Ohio

Dan E hits some Black Ice

Essential album of 2008: AC/DC "Black Ice" Have to say, best AC/DC album since "For Those About to Rock."
As always, my other essentials are 2008 remastered reissues, but they reflect my catholic tastes:
* The Stranger, Billy Joel
* The Smiths, The Smiths
* Murmur, REM

Top 10 albums 1999-2008 (Only 3 reissues, okay!)
How the West was Won, Led Zeppelin
Sea Change, Beck
Return to Cookie Mountain, TV on the Radio
Humpty Dumpty LSD, The Butthole Surfers
Something Deeper than These Changes, Stew
Motor Booty Affair, Parliament
Fishscale, Ghostface Killah
To the Five Boroughs, Beastie Boys
Steady Groovin', Soulive
The Singles, The Clash

Top 10 songs are too hard...cop out I know...

Nico climbs that Tree and finds a Swede

This is admittedly rushed, so I may regret some of these choices later... But this is my gut feeling.....

Most Essential Album(s) of 2008
A Tie btwn
1. Goldfrapp: Seventh Tree (so soothing and utterly gorgeous)
1. Robyn: Robyn (such beautifully done, slick, modern pop music--"modern" by US standards, since this actually came out in Europe in 2005)

Tied @ 2nd are
2. Lady Gaga: The Fame (my GOD, this album is so fun that it makes me feel like a lame old geezer for listening to it)
2. Cut Copy: In Ghost Colours

Honorable Mention
Portishead: Third

In the "I Bought It in 08 But It Came Out in 07 Category" is:
Radiohead: In Rainbows (probably my favorite of theirs, ever, and that's saying a lot)

Top 10 Albums of 1999-2008
1. Nine Inch Nails: Year Zero
2. Goldfrapp: Supernature
3. Madonna: Confessions on a Dance Floor
4. Placebo: Sleeping with Ghosts
5. Garbage: beautifulgarbage
6. Kylie Minogue: X
7. Marilyn Manson: Holy Wood
8. No Doubt: Rocksteady
9. Fiona Apple: When the Pawn...
10. Christina Aguilera: Stripped

Top 10 Songs of 1999-2008
1. Garbage: Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
2. Madonna: Get Together
3. Goldfrapp: Ride a White Horse
4. Nine Inch Nails: The Great Destroyer
5. Christina Aguilera: Dirrty
6. Robyn: Cobrastyle
7. Britney Spears: Toxic
8. Rihanna: Don't Stop the Music
9. No Doubt: Hella Good
10. Radiohead: Exit Music (For a Film)

In the "Thank Goodness I Didn't Have to Factor in the 1998 Albums" Category:
Garbage: Version 2.0
Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals
Tori Amos: From the Choirgirl Hotel
Madonna: Ray of Light

Brian Masino Says Definitively That It Was Worth the Wait, and Thus After a Ten Year Stretch, The Music Poll Can No Longer Taunt Him On This Point

Guns N' Roses, Chinese Democracy

O'Death, Broken Hymns, Limbs & Skin
The Mars Volta, Bedlam in Goliath
Blue Sky Black Death & Jean Grae, The Evil Jeanius
Portugal. The Man, Censored Colors
Lightspeed Champion, Falling Off the Lavender Bridge
Okkervil River, The Stand-Ins
Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
Dr. Dog, Fate
MGMT, Oracular Spectacular

The Verve, Forth
Cool Kids, The Bake Sale
The Roots, Rising Down
The Dears, Missiles
Johnny Flynn, A Larum
Dead Meadow, Old Growth
Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple

TOP 11 ALBUMS 1999-2009 (in no particular order)
Guns N' Roses, Chinese Democracy
Sunset Rubdown, Shut Up...I'm Dreaming
Murder By Death, In Bocca Al Lupo
The Dears, Gang of Losers
Mars Volta, Amputechure
Elvis Perkins, Ash Wednesday
Bonnie Prince Billy, I See A Darkness
The Icarus Line, Penance Soiree
John Frusciante, Curtains
Nirvana, With the Lights Out
The White Stripes, White Blood Cells

Boards of Canada, Music Has the Right to Children
Hawkwind, Warriors on the Edge of Time
Drop Nineteens, Mayfield
The Family of Apostolic, The Family of Apostolic
The Microphones, The Glow Pt. 2
Alamo Race Track, Birds at Home
Beefeater, Need a Job
Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs
A.A. Bondy, America Hearts
Okkervil River, The Stage Names
The Jayhawks, Tomorrow the Green Grass
Gliss, Love the Virgins
Smoosh, Free to Stay
Jack Starr, Born Petrified
Brenda Lee, Sweet Nuthin's
Lucero, The Attic Tapes
Mudhoney, Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles
Tappi Tickerrass, Miranda
Those Poor Bastards, Songs of Desperation

I couldn't even begin to think about 10 songs, but I'll put a vote for Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy"

O’ Sarah-Maria

2008 top 10

O’death - Broken Limbs, Hymns and Skin
Fratellis - Here we Stand
Dr dog - Fate
Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement
MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
Raveonettes - Lust, Lust, Lust
The Kills - Midnight Boom
Kaizers orchestra - Maskineri
Madrugada - Madrugada
The Duke Spirit - Neptune

2008 Honorable mentions:

Raconteurs - Consolers Of The Lonely
Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha
Johnossi - All They Ever Wanted
Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul
Dears - Missiles
Fleet foxes - Fleet Foxes
Figurines - When The Deer Wore Blue
Murder by Death - Red of Tooth and Claw
Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
Kooks - Konk

Biggest Discoveries of 2008:
-Shout out Louds - I can listen to "Impossible" at least 5 times in a row
-Admiral James T - he's Swiss and he rocks

Top 10 albums of the last ten years

Blur - 13
The Good, the Bad and the Queen - The Good, the Bad and the Queen
Madrugada - Grit
Kaizer's Orchestra - Oompa Til Du Dor
The Kills - The Kills
The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
HIM - Dark Light
Placebo - Black Market Music
Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills
Mando Diao - Never Seen the Light of Day

Erin B’s got a new soul

Most essential 2008 album that I actually bought in 2008: Yael Naim
- also, the Nick & Norah soundtrack, which goes with most fun movie of 2008
- also Vampire Weekend, which I don’t own but listened to a lot with our friends because their 4-month-old likes it. I do too, though I actually am a big fan of the Oxford comma.

Most essential recent albums/artists that would have been perfect if I’d discovered them earlier:
- Feist
- Rachel Yamagata
- Casey Dienel
- Regina Spektor

Scrolling through the previous polls, it seems that not enough people who’ve responded have spent much of the past 10 years learning to drive, and then proceeding to do so around New England, NY and NJ. Because if they had, they would need good driving-on-highway-during-the-summer-with-windows-down music (or sitting in traffic on the way to the shore music), and would agree that the most essential albums 1999-2008 are:

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication, By the Way, and Stadium Arcadium

Billy M is Fleet, AND he’s a Fox

1999 - 2008
Reveling, Reckoning - Ani DiFranco
Radiohead - Kid A
Fiona Apple - When the Pawn…
Poses - Rufus Wainwright
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 - Lauryn Hill
For the Birds - The Frames
Now It's Overhead - Now It's Overhead
I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning - Bright Eyes
1000 Kisses - Patty Griffin
Runners Up
Greetings from Michigan, The Great Lakes State - Sufjan Stevens
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
All of Our Names - Sarah Harmer
Supernature - Goldfrapp
Wincing the Night Away - The Shins
Wet From Birth - The Faint
Kala - M.I.A.
To Venus and Back - Tori Amos
Give Up - The Postal Service
Lost in Space - Aimee Mann
Vespertine - Bjork
Once Soundtrack
In Rainbows - Radiohead
Alanis Unplugged - Alanis Morrissette
Odessey - Fischerspooner

***Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Annuals, Such Fun
Portishead, Third
Goldfrapp, Seventh Tree
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist soundtrack!

Wilson May Be Two Years Old, But He Has His Opinions

My Only Essential Album of 2008:
1. Dan Zanes & Friends /¡Nueva York!

My Top Albums of 1999-2008:
1. Dan Zanes & Friends / Family Dance
2. Dan Zanes & Friends / House Party
3. Genevieve Goings / Choo Choo Soul
4. Dan Zanes & Friends /¡Nueva York!
5. Dan Zanes & Friends / Catch That Train!
6. Dan Zanes & Friends / Night Time!
7. Randy Kaplan / Five Cent Piece
8. Dan Zanes & Friends / Rocket Ship Beach

My Top Twelve Songs of 1999-2008:
1. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Jump Up”
2. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Wonder Wheel”
3. Dan Zanes & Friends / “House Party Time”
4. Dan Zanes & Friends / “All Around the Kitchen”
5. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Colas”
6. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Malti”
7. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Hello”
8. Genevieve Goings / “ABC Gospel”
9. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Catch That Train!”
10. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Pay Me My Money Down”
11. Dan Zanes & Friends / “The Hokey Pokey”
12. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Let’s Shake”
13. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Down in the Valley”
14. Dan Zanes & Friends / “Shining Star”

Kristin is related to Wilson

2008 Essential
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (far too finite in my opinion)
Dan Zanes & Friends Nueva York

The Most Dear of the Decade
Yo La Tengo And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
Dan Zanes & Friends Family Dance
Blur 13
The Go! Team Thunder, Lightning, Strike
Mali Music Mali Music
Aimee Mann Bachelor No. 2 Or, Remains of the Dodo
Badly Drawn Boy About a Boy
Mojave 3 Excuses for Travelers
The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs
Ted Barnes Short Scenes
Beth Orton Central Reservation
Stars Set Yourself on Fire
Gotan Project La Revancha del Tango

Tunes That Claimed Many Moments and Memories
Yo La Tengo “You Can Have It All”
Gorillaz “Feel Good Inc.”
Clem Snide “Happy Birthday”
Feist “Feel It All”
Zwan “El Sol”
Moulin Rouge Cast “Come What May”
Sukpatch “Stuck On Me”
M. Ward “Poison Cup”
Ryan Adams “Nuclear”
Belle and Sebastian “Wrapped Up in Books”
We Are Scientists “After Hours”
Yann Tiersen “Le Valse d’Amelie”
Ben Folds “Still Fighting It”
Drive-By Truckers “Outfit”
Wilco “California Stars”
The general sound of The Shins
Any Dan Zanes song … absolutely any one

Brant Forsakes Dan Zanes for Vampires

My Top Ten Most Essential Albums of 2008:
1. Vampire Weekend / Vampire Weekend
2. Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist
3. Sigur Rós / Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
4. Mates of State / Re-Arrange Us
5. Los Campesinos! / Hold On Now, Youngster…
6. She & Him / Volume One
7. Santogold / Santogold
8. Deerhunter / Microcastle
9. TV on the Radio / Dear Science
10. Aimee Mann / @#%&! Smilers

Track Listing for My Most Essential Songs of 2008 Mix:
“After Hours” / We Are Scientists; “Jigsaw” / Mates of State; “I Stand Corrected” / Vampire Weekend; “Kids” / MGMT; “Never Stops” / Deerhunter; “Lights Out” / Santogold; “Lost Coastlines” / Okkervil River; “Gobbledigook” / Sigur Rós; “New York” / Cat Power; “Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s)” / Los Campesinos!; “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” / She & Him; “The Beat Dies” / The Raveonettes; “Lost!” / Coldplay; “Freeway” / Aimee Mann; “He Doesn't Know Why” / Fleet Foxes; “The Turning” / Oasis; “Gardenia” / Stephen Malkmus; “Crossed Out Name” / Ryan Adams; “The Nun's Litany” / The Magnetic Fields; “Sing a Song for Them” / Jenny Lewis; “Chemtrails” / Beck; “Black President” / Nas

My Top Ten Most Essential Elder Albums That I Didn’t Focus On Until 2008:
1. The Who / Sings My Generation
2. Paul McCartney / Band on the Run
3. Spoon / Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
4. Nick Lowe / Jesus of Cool
5. The Kinks / Arthur (or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire)
6. Lou Reed / Transformer
7. Benny Goodman / B.G. in Hi-Fi
8. Goldfrapp / Supernature
9. Jason Isbell / Sirens of the Ditch
10. The Mountain Goats / The Sunset Tree

Above the Next List:
The entire output of Belle & Sebastian. The first three albums were originally released prior to 1999, and nothing they’ve recorded since has quite reached those heights, but that hasn’t kept them from being my favorite band for the past ten years. Two of their albums could have easily made the list below, but I’ve decided instead to put them all, along with the EPs, live sessions, bootlegs, soundtracks, compilations, and guest spots above the list. Seems fair.

My Top Twenty Albums of the David Music Poll Era:
1. Yo La Tengo / And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out
2. Aimee Mann / Bachelor No. 2 Or, The Remains of the Dodo
3. Badly Drawn Boy / The Hour of the Bewilderbeast
4. The Go! Team / Thunder, Lightning, Strike
5. Ryan Adams / Demolition
6. Weezer / Weezer [Green Album]
7. The Strokes / Is This It
8. The Magnetic Fields / 69 Love Songs
9. New Pornographers / Electric Version
10. The Exploding Hearts / Guitar Romantic
11. M. Ward / Post-War
12. Stars / Set Yourself on Fire
13. Mojave 3 / Excuses for Travellers
14. Japancakes / The Sleepy Strange
15. Cat Power / The Covers Recordthe who sing my generthe who
16. Lambchop / Aw C’mon; No You C’mon
17. Ambulance Ltd / LP
18. Drive-By Truckers / Southern Rock Opera
19. Dan Zanes & Friends / Family Dance
20. The National / Boxer

My Top Twenty Songs of the David Music Poll Era:
1. M. Ward / “Poison Cup”
2. Yo La Tengo / “You Can Have It All”
3. The Magnetic Fields / “The Book of Love”
4. The Go! Team / “Bottle Rocket”
5. Aimee Mann / “The Moth”
6. Bright Eyes / “Easy/Lucky/Free”
7. The Exploding Hearst / “Throwaway Style”
8. Belle & Sebastian / “I’m a Cuckoo”
9. Ambulance Ltd / “Heavy Lifting”
10. Sukpatch / “Stuck on Me”
11. Weezer / “Island in the Sun”
12. Blur / “Sweet Song”
13. Stars / “Reunion”
14. The Raveonettes / “Uncertain Times”
15. The New Pornographers / “The Laws Have Changed”
16. Cat Power / “I Found a Reason”
17. Fiest / “I Feel It All”
18. Ben Folds / “Still Fighting It”
19. Drive-By Truckers / “Heathens”
20. The National / “Apartment Story”

Michael S. Gets Better With Each Listen, Too

Here are the few albums I loved from last year, in the most random order:

1. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
—My favorite record in a long, long time. Gets better with each listen.
2. Vampire Weekend, [eponymous]
—Kind of unassailably great.
3. Fleet Foxes, [eponymous]
—Has grown on me. Also, their EP is terrific, too.
4. Duffy, Rockferry
—I expect to hear from the haters about this, but I actually thought it was more than a sixties girl singer reboot post-Winehouse. And played it more than I care to admit.
5. Okkervil River, the Stand-Ins
—Love these guys.
6. Mike Doughty, Golden Delicious
—A mixed record, but man, I could not stop playing "Fort Hood" and found it an emotional touchstone for a time.
7. R.E.M., Accelerate
—They're not back in top form, no, but this is the closest they've come in a long, long time.

And then a grab bag of three not-quite-perfect-but-still-weirdly-lovable-to-me albums:
8. Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue
—Nowhere near as good as Rabbit Fur Coat, but ... so what? Still good.
9. Shelby Lynne, Just a Little Lovin'
—I have had a love/hate relationship with Ms. Lynne since the superb I Am Shelby Lynne. This one logged on the love side of the equation.
10. Sharleen Spiteri, Melody
—Lead singer from Texas goes out with an often mediocre collection of sixties inspired pop songs. Lame. And yet I kind of sort of guiltily loved it.

Anton’s intimate bloc party


There were so many albums this year that I loved, that I simply couldn’t choose a favorite. Don’t make me! It’s like picking a favorite child. So for that reason, I’m just going to list six of my essential albums for 2008, in no particular order, and you can take it from there….

BLOC PARTY — “Intimacy”
There’s no question that Bloc Party is one of the most original and exciting bands around. Their music is super-charged, powerful and emotional, and like nothing else out there. They have one of the most fascinating and intriguing lead singers, and they perform some of the most electrifying and memorable shows. Plus, they know how to keep their fans continually pumped, from one album to the next. The delivery of “Intimacy,” their third studio album, was no exception. While on a live, fan-interactive web video chat, the band simply announced that their new album could be pre-ordered right then, and would be released digitally later that week. The anticipation for “Intimacy” was like nothing I’ve ever experienced with a band before. Having already heard new tracks like “Flux” and “Mercury,” it was clear the band was heading in an exciting new direction while still staying true to their unique sound. I was on a high all week, and when the digital tracks were finally ready to download, the band did not disappoint. Even better, more tracks kept coming in the weeks to come — including my favorite, “Talons,” a song that hits you like a twister and leaves you craving for more. This band intrigues me like no other, and my obsession has no signs of fading any time soon.

THE DEARS — “Missiles”
The Dear’s have been on a slow and steady rise to stardom, starting with 2004’s “No Cities Left” and continuing with 2006’s “Gang of Losers.” So when their next album was getting ready to hit, it was surely going to become their most commercially successful album yet.
However, when they did NOT deliver that radio-friendly hit-machine with “Missiles,” it almost seemed like a step back for them. Not only that, the band was falling apart behind the scenes, to the point that all that was left was lead singer Murray Lightburn and his wife Natalia Yanchak. It did not look good for my favorite Canadian band. On first listen of “Missiles,” even I — one of the most devoted Dears fans I know — was a bit disappointed. But then I realized the band wasn’t necessarily planning to be “the next big thing” anyway. All they wanted was to deliver a beautiful and soulful album of songs, and that’s just what “Missiles” is. From the breathtakingly beautiful opener “Disclaimer” (“See I’ve come back, from almost death…”), to the jazzy mellowness of closer “Threats” (“It’s going to be all right…”), The Dears know exactly what they’re doing — and that’s all right with me. If you haven’t given it a listen, or if you have and had written if off, I implore you to give it another go, and another, and another. The more you listen, the more the music enters your soul and simply won’t let go.

JAMES — “Hey Ma”
James is one of the most underappreciated bands in modern music history, and they should really be MUCH bigger than they are. But I kind of like that they’re not — otherwise how else would I have been able to enjoy their amazing show at the legendary (but extremely tiny) Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ? Unfortunately they’re remembered as a band with a string of hits in the early ‘90s, but not much else going for them. Some people don’t even realize they’re still around. True, they hadn’t released anything since 2001’s amazing “Pleased to Meet You” (sadly, not a single song of which was played at their Stone Pony show). So it’s not surprising that no one was expecting much from their latest album, “Hey Ma.” Well, except for me — I knew the band could do no wrong. What I didn’t realize was that this would be their best album yet — containing songs both fun and uplifting, and others powerful and emotional.

BEN FOLDS — “Way to Normal”
This was another great way for a new album to be delivered. Ben and his band decided to make “fake” versions of the songs from their upcoming album, where the song titles were the same, but everything else was different — and then they “leaked” the album onto the web, for anyone to find and download. Written in one night, these songs had a fresh spontaneity to them, while the lyrics were deliciously absurd and silly. The album was so unlike the rather boring-in-comparison “Songs for Silverman,” that some had thought Ben had lost his mind, while many other fans actually thought the fake album was better than the real one that eventually debuted later. Which is surprising — since “Way to Normal” is easily his best album since “Rockin’ the Suburbs” in 2001. “You Don’t Know Me,” featuring Regina Spektor, was an early, unexpected surprise. And of course, there’s not a single person who hasn’t fallen in love with “Cologne” upon first listening. But it’s the quirky songs, like both versions of “Bitch Went Nutz,” and the amazingly kinetic “Brainwascht,” that prove just how much a genius Ben really is. All together, the fake and real albums combined, along with a fantastic tour, made 2008 Ben’s best year yet.

R.E.M. — “Accelerate”
I was seriously ready to write off R.E.M. for good. Ever since the departure of drummer Bill Berry, they’ve been off their A-game. “Up” was their first fall down, in my opinion. And while “Reveal” garnered a couple of gems, “Around the Sun” made me completely rethink my love for this band. They were almost approaching deadly dull “adult alternative” status, which many other once-favorite bands — like U2 — had seemed to go. Basically, no longer musically relevant. So when I got an early hold of “Accelerate,” I almost didn’t bother giving it a listen. But a music-loving friend of mine, with almost identical tastes and the same attitude about R.E.M.’s latest output, said that I had to give it a chance. The R.E.M. he loved was back again, and the new stuff ROCKED.
And rocked it did, indeed — at first listen it was almost TOO intense, and something I wasn’t quite ready for. But by the second go-around, I was deep, deep in love.

BLACK KIDS — “Partie Traumatic”
Black Kids are hands down the most promising new band of 2008, delivering an incredibly impressive debut with “Partie Traumatic.” The band members are so young, and yet already their first album is lightyears ahead of the output of other bands who’ve been around the block for a while.
Though the album is also unabashedly NOT “mature.” It’s fun, energetic, and full of poppy, catchy, danceable tunes but with a decidedly indie edge. It makes me seriously want to listen to every future album of theirs RIGHT NOW. Hurry up kids!!

Every year I make a playlist of my favorite songs, making sure they all fit onto a single, 80-minute CD. Here’s mine for 2008:
THE DEARS — “Disclaimer”
THE STILLS — “Don’t Talk Down”
THE VERVE — “Love is Noise”
BLOC PARTY — “Talons”
MORRISSEY — “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris”
R.E.M. — “I’m Gonna DJ”
TRAVIS — “Something Anything”
BLACK KIDS — “Look at Me (When I Rock Wichoo)”
BEN FOLDS — “Cologne (Piano Orchestra Version)”
THE CURE — “Only One”
KEANE — “Spiraling”
STARS — “14 Forever”
WOLF PARADE — “Call it a Ritual”
DEATH CAB FOR A CUTIE — “I Will Possess Your Heart”
JAMES — “I Wanna Go Home”

BEN FOLDS — “Rockin’ the Suburbs” (2001)
TRAVIS — “12 Memories” (2003)
ARCADE FIRE — “Funeral” (2004)
THE KILLERS — “Hot Fuss” (2004)
MORRISSEY — “You Are the Quarry” (2004)
METRIC — “Live it Out” (2005)
THE DEARS — “Gang of Losers” (2006)
THE STROKES — “First Impressions of Earth” (2006)
BLOC PARTY — “A Weekend in the City” (2007)
GLEN HANSARD & MARKETA IGLOVA — “Once (Soundtrack)” (2007)


SUEDE — “Can’t Get Enough” (1999)
BEN FOLDS — “Not the Same” (2001)
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE — “Lover’s Spit” (2002)
DOVES — “The Sulphur Man” (2002)
ELLIOTT SMITH — “Coast to Coast” (2004)
FRANZ FERDINAND — “Take Me Out” (2004)
THE KILLERS —“All These Things That I’ve Done” (2004)
MORRISSEY — “Ganglord” (2004)
THE DEARS — “Ballad of Humankindness” (2006)
ARCADE FIRE — “No Cars Go” (2007)

Cecil is so Eno

Top albums of 2008

David Byrne & Brian Eno / Everything that happens will happen today
Jolie Holland / The Living and The Dead
Adele/ 19
Jill Barber / Chances
Herman Dune / Next Year in Zion
She & Him / Volume One
The Weepies /Hideaway
Lykke Li / Youth Novels
Title of Show / Original Cast Soundtrack
Auf der Maur / OOOM (this is my bff, and I am so throwing a shout out!)

Sub Category Best Comedy Album of 2008:

Sean Cullen / I Am A Human Man

Fave song of 2008:

Oh My My / Jill Barber

Best Rediscoveries this year -

Archers of Loaf / Icky Mettle
The Muppet Movie Soundtrack
Thompson Twins / Into the Gap
Yaz / You and Me Both
NOFX / Punk in Drublic

Best new discovery from 2004
Joel Plaskett Emergency / Truthfully, Truthfully

Top Ten Albums of the last Decade ( just a sampling!)

Ben Lee / Awake is the New Sleep
Elliot Smith / Basement on the Hill
Joanna Newsom / Ys
Feist / Let it Die
The Killers / Hot Fuss
Rufus Wainwright / Poses
Nouvelle Vague / Nouvelle Vague
Coco Rosie / The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn
Explosions in the Sky / The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place
Dean & Britta / L'Aveventura

Some essential songs of the last decade (so totally not complete, consider a girly tasting and it's 15)

Let it Die / Feist
Remember me as a time of day / Explosions in the Sky
Stronger/ Kanye
Beautiful Life / Anna Waronker
Gamble Everything for Love / Ben Lee
First Day of My Life / Bright Eyes
Hurricane Glass / Catherine Feeny
Knives From Bavaria / Dean & Britta
Not Ready to Make Nice / Dixie Chicks
You Can't Hold the Hand of a Rock and Roll Man / Okkervil River
Peace and Hate / The Submarines
Say So / Uh Huh Her
Joanna Newsom/ Sprout and the Bean
Nine Things / Title of Show Soundtrack
Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole (BFMA) / Martha Wainwright

Med Sud I evr… Dan P

Most Essential:
Sigur Ros, Med Sud i eyr...

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Adele, 19
Robyn, Robyn
Laura Marling, Alas I Cannot Swim

Oh gosh... and now the most essential from the past 10 years???

Patty Griffin, 1000 Kisses
Madonna, Confessions on a Dancefloor
Patrick Wolf, The Magic Position
The Postal Service, Give Up
Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
Sarah Harmer, You Were Here
Rufus Wainwright, Poses
Radiohead, Kid A
The Killers, Hot Fuss
Sufjan Stevens, Illinois

And now for some essential songs:

Kelly Clarkson, Since U Been Gone
Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism
Rihanna, Umbrella
Coldplay, The Scientist
Robyn, Handle Me
Madonna, Hung Up
Kylie Minogue, Can't Get You Out of My Head
The Arcade Fire, Rebellion
Franz Ferdinand, Take Me Out
Beyonce, All the Single Ladies

Tricks are for kids, and Rabbits are for Joe P

15. Robyn
What in Holy Hell is this? In what can only be described as Best Comeback Ever, Robyn, the tweeny pop tart of 1998, rises like a veritable phoenix from the snowbanks of Sweden and unleashes a dizzying eponymous collection of tracks that are guaranteed to inspire grooving. It’s what pop music should be: fun, catchy, and a little too smart for its own good – which means it will be outdated soon, so enjoy it while you can.
Peaks: Dream On, Eclipse, Handle Me, Who’s That Girl?

14. Ray LaMontagne “Gossip In The Grain”
In what is perhaps The Greatest Fake-Out Of Modern Music, LaMontagne kicks off his third album with the sexy, Motown-infused “You Are The Best Thing”. For 3:55, you think, “Wow, look at Ray go! What a great change of style!” The nine tracks that follow, however, are typical LaMontagne: tender and sad love songs, all sung in his glorious teddy bear of a voice, and all of which are better than the fake out.
Peaks: Sarah, Winter Birds, Gossip in the Grain, I Still Care For You

13. Bloc Party. “Intimacy”
Equally ironic titles for this album would be: Warm Fuzzies, Love & Cuddles, and Puppies Are Awesome!. Tongue-in-cheek or not, Intimacy is anything but. Jarring and aloof schizophrenic dance beats mash up against jabbing guitars that razor frenetic melodies while rousing mantras collide with unholy choirs. All the while frontman Kele Okereke bleats along like the excitable goat he is.
Peaks: Flux, Ion Square, Zephyrus, Talons

12. Aimee Mann “@#%&*! Smilers”
Many critics grouse that Aimee Mann churns out album after album of similar but likable and competent pop. I say there’s something to be said about consistency. With Aimee Mann, there are no surprises: expect melodic, beautifully written songs with wrist-slashing lyrics about dead end people in their dead end lives. With @#%&*! Smilers, that’s exactly what you get; except Mann adds synthesizers to the mix just for giggles.
Peaks: 31 Today, Ballentines, Freeway, Phoenix

11. Greg Laswell “Three Flights From Alto Nido”
A good pop song is like a love letter: simple and a bit predictable while being memorable and sweet. With his sophomore album, Three Flights To Alto Nido, Greg Laswell has written eleven perfect love letters, each crawling through the cyclonic prairies of relationships, bleeding and exhausted, but undeniably hopeful. I want to send this man a Valentine every day of the week.
Peaks: I’d Be Lying, The One I Love, Not Out, Sweet Dream

10. Goldfrapp “Seventh Tree
Allison Goldfrapp can be accused of many things, but resting on her laurels is not one of them. After dabbling in one album of psychedelic-fused trip hop and two albums of sex-kitten electrotrash, the woman makes the most brilliant move of her career: electronica-tinged folk. In lesser hands, it would have been a wreck. In Goldfrapp’s hands, it is unforgettable poetry: Seventh Tree is the most dazzling album of her career.
Peaks: Eat Yourself, A&E, Clowns, Monster Love

9. Snow Patrol “A Hundred Million Suns”
Brrring! Brrrring! “Hello, Snow Patrol speaking.” “Hi! It’s Grey’s Anatomy! We loved the radio-friendly nature of your last album, but it was a spectacularly shitty release! We’d really enjoy an album full of panoramic, sweeping anthems to exploit on our show without the puffy stench of sell-out.” “So you want more of the awesomeness we displayed on our album Final Straw?” “Yes.” “Consider it done.” “Kthnxbye.”
Peaks: Disaster Button, Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands, The Lightning Strike, If There’s A Rocket Tie Me To It

8. Coldplay “Viva La Vida/Prospekt’s March EP”
The triumphant French woman rises above the toppled bodies, her fist clenching her nation’s flag, her face defiant. Quite honestly, Coldplay couldn’t have chosen a better album cover. After wallowing in mediocrity, the band collectively decided it was high time to kick ass, to crush their critics and nay-sayers, and release a bombastic record heralding their return to the limelight. Congratulations, boys. I’m friggin’ impressed.
Peaks: Strawberry Swing, Glass of Water, Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love, Death and All His Friends

7. Fleet Foxes
The sunrise gently crests the hills, illuminating the thin layer of fog that carpets the ground and hugs the roots of the trees. In the distance, a flock of starlings alight and fly toward the horizon as dawn dips its way into the moss-scented forest. It is a morning for celebrating the glories of Mother Gaia and the sounds of Fleet Foxes’ ingenious and vaguely granola-hippie-dippy debut grace the valley with their presence.
Peaks: Ragged Wood, Your Protector, Oliver James, Blue Ridge Mountains

6. Amanda Palmer “Who Killed Amanda Palmer?”
Let’s line up the suspects, shall we? 1.) An old flame. 2.) Mental illness. 3.) The constrictive nature of relationships. 4.) A soccer team and sour mash. 5.) Blake 6.) A tormented teenager 7.) A rock star/video game. 8.)Loneliness. 9.) Rogers & Hammerstein musicals. 10.) An abortion. 11.) Depression. 12.) Heartache. Whoever is responsible for killing Amanda Palmer should do it again if it results in albums this brilliant.
Peaks: Astronaut, Have To Drive, Runs in the Family, Strength Through Music

5. elbow “The Seldom Seen Kid”
Definitive proof that they are incapable of recording a lackluster album, Elbow delivers another truly remarkable piece of craftsmanship. Coasting on melancholy tides and adding even more unexpected flourishes, The Seldom Seen Kid grapples with post-millennial ostracism, pays a visit to the pope, and waltzes through pubs of broken dreams before succumbing to contagious joy on the rapturous “One Day Like This”.
Peaks: One Day Like This, The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver, Weather To Fly, An Audience With The Pope, Starlings

4. Vampire Weekend
Thanks to a Pollyanna Mormon and her shitty imagination, American teens can’t get enough of vampires. What they should obsess over is Vampire Weekend. On their wildly enjoyable eponymous debut, four cheeky, too-smart-for-their-own-good Columbia University graduates hammer out eleven gleeful ditties that manage to marry the choppy hooks of The Police with Afro-Caribbean beats and nonsense lyrics. Sickeningly fun.
Peaks: Walcott, M79, Oxford Comma, Bryn, Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

3. Portishead “Third”
It’s been a decade since Portishead graced the music world with their presence, and the hiatus has not rusted their talent. The title of their third release is the only unimaginative thing about it, for the record boasts the most creative and creepy music the band has yet written. From the jarring, breakneck pace (for Portishead, anyway) of opener “Silence” to the terrifying, apocalyptic foghorn squalls that wash out “Threads”, Third is the strongest entry in a spotless and illustrious career.
Peaks: The Rip, Plastic, Magic Doors, Hunter, Silence

2. Bon Iver “For Emma, Forever Ago”
Winter descended on the hunting cabin in northwestern Wisconsin. The dusky twilight revealed our disheveled protagonist, depression taking a toll on his bones, a cold cup of coffee in his hands. “I’m sad!” announced Justin Vernon (a.k.a Bon Iver). “My band broke up! I feel desolate!” And like all great artists, Vernon turned his sadness into art: For Emma, Forever Ago, a so-painful-it’s-palpable song cycle of regret, loneliness, and fear. Music this personal comes along once in a decade, and Vernon captures every emotion perfectly in his pining falsetto and battered acoustic guitar. Sublime.
Peaks: The Wolves (Act I & II), For Emma, Re: Stacks, Skinny Love, Flume

1. Frightened Rabbit “The Midnight Organ Flight”
It’s the morning after. The dull ache still remains in your chest and the hollow feeling in your cheeks is the residual effect from crying jags. The sun may be filtering through the curtains, but there’s nothing cheerful on the horizon. There is only an endless, lonely day ahead of you. For anyone who has experienced the gritty ache of a failed relationship, Frightened Rabbit’s sophomore effort will strike almost too close to the heart.

Angry, hopeless, and desperate, but wrapped in anthemic arrangements, the songs that make up The Midnight Organ Flight refuse victimization while turning an uncomfortable critical eye to the hurt we inflict on one another in the tenuous waltz of love. Most striking are the razor-sharp lyrics, which are sung with such conviction (and in an endearing Scottish brogue), that you swear Scott Hutchinson is using your soul as his mirror. It's not the most groundbreaking music you'll ever hear, but it's some of the most affecting.
Peaks: The Twist, Keep Yourself Warm, Poke, Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms, The Modern Leper

The Single of the Year Award
Beyonce “Single Ladies”. Really, though. Is anyone surprised? How could it not be this song?

The Album Cover of the Year Award
Coldplay “Viva La Vida” – Simply because three words one wouldn’t associate with Coldplay are death, destruction, and mayhem. Way to fake us out.

The That’s Not Art! Award
31 Knots “Worried Well” – How To Give Joe A Panic Attack Via Artwork. Seriously. What the hell is wrong with this band?
The Top Five Songs of the Year Award
1. “Slapped Actress” The Hold Steady
2. "Acid Tongue" Jenny Lewis
3. “Astronaut"/"Have To Drive" Amanda Palmer
4. “One Day Like This” elbow
5. “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur" Sigur Rós

The Drive My Head Through A Plate Glass Window Award
The year's top three songs that make me want slice my ears off with a straightrazor.
1. "The Club of Fathomless Love" – Wild Beasts
2. “Incredible” - Madonna
3. “Joy Ride” – The Killers

The Guilty Pleasure Award
Wild Beasts “The Devil’s Crayon" –

Hold on Now, Kevin K…

Top Ten Albums of 2008

1. Los Campesinos! – Hold on Now, Youngster… - The band’s moniker is Spanish for “the farmers” or “the peasants” but they possess a sound that is more fitting for a spastic indie-punk party than a simple, backwoods music circle. It is tough to pinpoint their sound, but I have tried by saying that if you put The New Pornographers, Art Brut, The Decemberists and Architecture in Helsinki in a blender you would get a sound similar to this seven piece band from Wales. It is almost cliché to say that a band is “hyper-literate” but it is a description, along with hilarious, energetic, and talented, that best fits Los Campesinos! Best Tracks – “Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats,” “Death to Los Campesinos!,” “Don’t Tell Me to Do the Math(s),” “You! Me! Dancing!,” “..And We Exhale and Roll Our Eyes in Unison”

2. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend – Early in 2008, the debut full-length CD from this preppy band from New York City was on the verge of being over-hyped. I jumped on the wagon early and never found a reason to jump off. This CD has the feel of early Police with a flavor of Paul Simon’s Graceland which many of the critics called “Afro-pop.” The lyrics are smart and the tunes are filled with exuberant hooks that will keep you bouncing in your seat for days. A CD destined to become a classic. Best Tracks – “Oxford Comma,” “A-Punk,” “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” “M79,” “Campus,” “One (Blake’s Got a New Face),” “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance”

3. Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords – How could you not love a duo that calls themselves the, "4th most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo" in New Zealand? Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement are not only hilarious but also very talented musicians and songwriters. On their debut CD they pay homage to Marvin Gaye, Pet Shop Boys, Radiohead, and David Bowie without becoming carbon copies. Best Tracks – “Inner City Pressure,” “Think About It,” “Robots,” “The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room),” “Business Time”

4. Blitzen Trapper, Furr – The best “campfire” CD of the year. This Portland, Oregon band spins yarns of men turning into wolves and serial killers with music reminiscent of Neil Young recording with the guys from Elephant Six. This is music that could quite possibly define the sound of the early 21st century. Best Tracks – “Sleepytime in the Western World,” “Gold for Bread,” “Furr,” “Black River Killer,” “War on Machines”

5. Nada Surf, Lucky - For most of the year I was claiming that the newest CD from the NYC trio was my very favorite. At first I didn't think it was anything special, but the more it kept popping up on the iPod, the more I became a believer. Lucky is filled with catchy power pop, perfect for the weekend. Best Tracks - "I Like What You Say," "See These Bones," "Beautiful Beat," "Weightless"

6. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago - Justin Vernon spent a winter in Wisconsin, holed up in a cabin to record this amazing debut CD. His voice sounds like a blustery wind and his lyrics stir up feelings of a broken world. Best Tracks - "Skinny Love," "Flume," "The Wolves (Act I and II)"

7. The Mountain Goats, Heretic Pride - John Darnielle is one of the best songwriters in music. He consistently crafts songs about characters struggling with very heavy topics. This CD takes a look at religion. Best Tracks - "Sax Rohmer #1," "San Bernardino," "Lovecraft in Brooklyn"

8. Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line - What happens when you add a string section to a indie pop band? In the case of Ra Ra Riot you get pretty sweet music filled with intelligent lyrics. Tragically the original drummer of the band died while working on this record. This is the first of five debut CDs in the Top Ten. Best Tracks: "Dying is Fine," "Can You Tell," "Ghost Under Rocks"

9. Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their Heads - The third CD from this band from Leeds, England is Brit pop at its finest. Grammy winning producer Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen) has helped the boys craft a winner. Best Tracks: "Never Miss A Beat," "Addicted to Drugs," "Good Days, Bad Days"

10. R.E.M., Accelerate - After the three previous less than mediocre CDs, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, and Mike Mills came close to reclaiming their title as indie rock Kings. Best Tracks: "Supernatural Superserious," "Mr. Richards," "I'm Going to D.J."

Best 40 Tracks of 2008
1. Alejandro Escovedo - Always A Friend
2. Army Navy – Right Back Where We Started From
3. The Baseball Project – Past Time
4. Be Your Own Pet - The Kelly Affair
5. Blitzen Trapper – Gold for Bread
6. Bon Iver – Skinny Love
7. British Sea Power – Waving Flags
8. Chairlift – Bruises
9. Conor Oberst – Get-Well-Cards
10. Crystal Castles - Crimewave
11. Cut Copy – Out There on the Ice
12. The Decemberists – Valerie Plame
13. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
14. Flight of the Conchords – Inner City Pressure
15. Frightened Rabbit – The Twist
16. The Gaslight Anthem – Great Expectations
17. Hercules and Love Affair – Blind
18. Hot Chip – Ready For the Floor
19. Human Highway – The Sound
20. Kaiser Chiefs – Never Miss A Beat
21. The Kills – U.R.A. Fever
22. Los Campesinos! - Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats
23. Los Campesinos! - Ways To Make It Through The Wall
24. Lucinda Williams – Real Love
25. MGMT – Time to Pretend
26. The Mountain Goats - Lovecraft In Brooklyn
27. Nada Surf - I Like What You Say
28. Okkervil River – Lost Coastlines
29. R.E.M. - Supernatural Superserious
30. Ra Ra Riot - Dying Is Fine
31. The Raconteurs - Salute Your Solution
32. Robyn – Cobrastyle
33. Santogold - L.E.S Artistes
34. She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
35. Slow Runner - Love And Doubt
36. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Gardenia
37. Thao – Bag of Hammers
38. Ting Tings – Great DJ
39. Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
40. The Wombats - Let's Dance to Joy Division

Top Ten Albums 1999-2008

1. Belle & Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress
2. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
3. The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
4. The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
5. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
6. M.I.A., Kala
7. Sufjan Stevens, Greetings from Michigan
8. Emmylou Harris, Stumble Into Grace
9. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
10. Los Campesinos!, Hold On Now, Youngster...

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