Friday, January 2, 2009

A Hastily Thrown Together Best Of 2008 List

Since I spent the better part of December internet-less while in France and Italy, I never really got around to making my yearly best-of list. So here, in rushed fifteen-minute-late fashion, is my list of all the things that made 2008 better (or at least more interesting, anyway.)

Enjoy, and feel free to chime in with any comments.

Best Albums Released In 2008 (in alphabetical order)

-Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst
-Counting Crows, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings
-The Dears, Missiles
-Dr. Dog, Fate
-Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
-The Kills, Midnight Boom
-Metallica, Death Magnetic
-My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
-Okkervil River, The Stand Ins
-The Streets, Everything Is Borrowed
-TV On The Radio, Dear Science

In a year of great singles, these albums were great all the way through. But my favorite one had to be Okkervil River's The Stand Ins; it's the most rewarding listening experience I had all year and one that I'll keep revisiting for a long time to come. Dr. Dog's Fate came in at a close second.

Best Reissues, Soundtracks & Compilations

-Juno Motion Picture Soundtrack (all right, it came out on Xmas 2007, but that's close enough for me)
-Mission Of Burma, Horrible Truth About Burma/Signal, Calls, And Marches/Vs. (Remastered)
-Mogwai, Young Team (Deluxe Edition)
-Pavement, Brighten The Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition
-The Replacements, Entire Catalog (Remastered And Expanded)
-The Smiths, The Sound of the Smiths
-Sonic Youth, Hits Are For Squares

Good Albums, But Not Up To Par To Previous Achievements (try harder next time, please)

-Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs
-The Magnetic Fields, Distortion
-Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Cardinology (all right, it was a rushed compilation culled from an aborted box set, but still....very uncohesive)
-Sun Kil Moon, April (maybe I was just never in the mood for it)
-The Walkmen, You & Me (get your voice under control, dude. It was all right for the first four albums, but now it's just getting annoying)

Most Overrated Album

-Girl Talk, Feed The Animals (fun, but c''s still just an extended mash-up)

Biggest Gamble

-Kanye West, 808's And Heartbreak (It really wasn't that good, but I appreciate you trying, Kanye. Now please go back to making party anthems.)

Biggest Cause For A Collective Sigh Of Relief

-Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy finally came out, it wasn't particularly good, but at least we can all just move on already. Especially Axl.

Best Singles Released In 2008

-"Gamma Ray" by Beck
-"Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" by Beyoncé
-"Something Is Not Right With Me" by Cold War Kids
-"Violet Hill" by Coldplay
-"See It" by Colour Revolt
-"Get-Well-Cards" by Conor Oberst
-"Los Angeles" by Counting Crows
-"Basso Profundo" by Devotchka
-"Jodi" by The Dodos
-"Hang On" by Dr. Dog
-"Veneration" by Elizabeth Grace
-"Ragged Wood" by Fleet Foxes
-"Foux Du Fafa" by Flight Of The Conchords
-"Sequestered In Memphis" by The Hold Steady
-"Come On Over (Turn Me On)" by Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
-"Acid Tongue" by Jenny Lewis*
-"What U Gonna Do" by Jim Noir
-"Heartless" by Kanye West
-"Cheap And Cheerful" by The Kills
-"Sex On Fire" by Kings Of Leon
-"A Milli" by Lil' Wayne
-"All Nightmare Long" by Metallica
-"Highly Suspicious" by My Morning Jacket
-"For Our Elegant Caste" by Of Montreal
-"Lost Coastlines" by Okkervil River
-"Machine Gun" by Portishead
-"Gettin' Up" by Q-Tip
-"Living Well Is The Best Revenge" by R.E.M.
-"Five On The Five" by The Raconteurs
-"Aly, Walk With Me" by The Raveonettes
-"Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" by She & Him
-"Gobbledigook" by Sigur Rós
-"Gardenia" by Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
-"I Love You More (Than You Like Me)" the Streets
-"Swagga Like Us" by T.I., Kanye West, Jay Z & Lil' Wayne
-"Stork And Owl" by TV On The Radio
-"A Punk" by Vampire Weekend

*How good was the song "Acid Tongue" by Jenny Lewis, you ask? Let me tell you. It was so good that one day I listened to it five times back to back, and I never do that. What can I say, she makes me do weird things.

Best Display Of Racism In Song

-"Arab Money" by Busta Rhymes (and that dance is kinda lazy, too)

Best Saturday Night Live Digital Short Which, Incidentally, Also Describes My Reaction To Listening To Jenny Lewis' "Acid Tongue"

-"Jizz In My Pants" by The Lonely Island

Best Concert

-Tom Waits, July 5th, at the Fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta.

Sure, I went to a few other shows this year, but this one was the only one that mattered. I've said it before and I'll say it again --he's a national treasure and should be treated as such. He's also probably the coolest motherfucker on the planet. And his band fucking kills live.

Best Live Use Of An All Star Tambourine Choir

-Rebecca Loebe, May 6th, 2008, at Smith's Old Bar in Atlanta (I might be a little biased).

Best Movies

-The Dark Knight
-Iron Man
-No Country For Old Men
-Quantum Of Solace
-There Will Be Blood (also starring my favorite actor)
-Tropic Thunder

Movies I Suspect Would Be On The Preceding List Had I Actually Seen Them

-The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
-Rachael Getting Married
-In Bruges
-Son Of Rambow
-Gran Torino
-Slumdog Millionaire
-Synecdoche, New York (maybe?!? I heard mixed things)
-The Wrestler

Best Movie To See Before Spending The Night At A Strange House Where Strange Things Might Happen

-The Strangers

Best Television

-Entourage: Season 5 (HBO)
-Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO)
-True Blood: Season 1 (HBO)
-Weeds: Season 4 (Showtime)
-Dexter: Season 3 (Showtime)
-30 Rock: Season 2&3 (NBC)
-The Office: Seasons 4&5 (NBC)
-Survivor: Gabon (CBS)
-The Daily Show With John Stewart (Comedy Central)
-The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
-It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 4 (FX)
-No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain (Travel Channel)
-The Soup (E!)
-Top Gear (BBC)
-IFC Media Project (IFC)
-Pardon The Interruption (ESPN)
-Top Chef: Season 4 (Bravo)
-Attack Of The Show (G4)

My Celebrity Girlfriends

-Padma Lakshmi
-Mary-Louise Parker
-Tina Fey
-Kaitlin Olson
-Olivia Munn
-Heidi Klum
-Selma Blair
-Katy Perry
-Jenny Lewis
-Adriana Lima

My Celebrity Boyfriends (a few, just to be fair)

-Jon Stewart
-Anthony Bourdain
-Charlie Day
-Conan O'Brien
-Stephen Colbert

Wow, I guess I really like a guy who can make me laugh.....

Best Blogs

-The Big Picture
-Boing Boing
-Daily Kos
-Garfield Minus Garfield
-Passive Aggressive Notes
-The Superficial
-Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Best Blogs By People I Actually Know

-Black Century
-Caren Explains It All
-Cole's Rambletown
-Fear Of Arthropods (although lately, Julia's busier with Paste:Local Atlanta)
-Insert Witty Pop Culture Reference Here
-Isle Of Everything
-More Adventurous (tsk, tsk....hasn't been updated in a while)
-The Stace Place

Best Way To Keep Your Out Of Town Fans Engaged

-The Tennessee Titans start 10-0 and ultimately end the season at an NFL best 13-3 (Now, let's make some waves in the playoffs, please).

Best Reason To Move Along In Your Naturalization Process

-America shocks the hell out of itself (and me) by electing a competent, cool headed man as president instead of an old curmudgeonly grouch and a dangerously wacky dingbat for once. Congratulations, America. We'll make something out of you still.

All right, that ought to do it. My psychologically pleasing urge to list things is over for now. See you in about a year.


  1. Your list is much better than mine (as yet to be posted because my laziness rivals yours). Good show.

  2. You forgot Pineapple Express.
    Also, people still make music? I had no idea. I'm glad you're here to tell me about it. Maybe I'll give this stuff a listen.



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