Yearly Archives: 2008

2008’s best music

I heard a LOT of new music this past year. Quite a bit of it though, seemed mediocre to me. Some albums would have a few great songs, but also a lot of filler. Is that a consequence of the single song sales on iTunes and other online music outlets? Is the complete album dying as an art form? I hope not. Whether I get them on CD or full-album downloads, complete albums are still how I listen to music. Here are the best ones I heard in 2008.

Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend
The fresh and unique sound of Vampire Weekend made this my favorite album of the year. It’s also the best debut album of 2008. See my post from last February for a review of Vampire Weekend.

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Banished from my home

My condo is currently on the market. Today I got a call from my Realtor, that someone wanted to take a look at it this evening. So, here I am hanging out at my local public library for a while.

It’s all a bit odd when a showing is scheduled for my condo. I pick up the clutter, clean a bit, and otherwise make my home look nice and attractive, and then I leave. After that there are these strangers that come. They have their own key and they let themselves in. As they look over my home, they have full access to all of my worldly possessions. Want some CDs? Stereo or computer equipment? How about my bank records? My computer backups have some pretty juicy vital records too. It’s all there if they look in the right places.

It’s not that I don’t trust the real estate agents. I’m sure they do an excellent job of keeping their clients from snooping and stealing. I just find the whole process kind of strange.

Music from the Big Blue Ball

For all the talk in the news about the downfall of the music industry, there certainly has been a lot of new releases over the past few months. I’ve had my hands (or is that ears?) on a lot of new music lately. But the album I keep coming back to is Big Blue Ball.

Almost eighteen years in the making, Big Blue Ball grew from three extraordinary Recording Weeks at Real World Studios in the summers of 1991, 1992 and 1995. The project’s originators and curators were Real World founder Peter Gabriel and Karl Wallinger of World Party and The Waterboys.

So very appropriately named, Big Blue Ball is filled with international artists, collaborating together. On “Shadow” Congolese singer Papa Wemba combines his vocal and musical styles with flamenco guitarist Juan Ca˝izares.

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Recording: Ryan Adams & the Cardinals in Madison

Thanks to Muzzle of Bees, I discovered a recording of the excellent Ryan Adams & The Cardinals show I attended about six weeks ago. Here’s one of my favorite songs from that night, “Easy Plateau.”

This is an outstanding recording, available in lossless FLAC format, released by the Cardinals themselves. The entire show is posted in the audio section of the Internet Archive: Ryan Adams Live at Overture Hall on 2008-10-05.

What a great souvenir of a great concert. A must for all Ryan Adams fans.