Wednesday, November 19, 2008

gina's top ten albums of 2008 that were not necessarily released in 2008 and are presented here in no particular order

With the help of music nerd coworkers,*, a job that lets us play our own portable electronic mp3 devices, and the realization that long brisk walks with headphones on keep me sane (except when the stupid ear buds keep falling out), I have listened to a ton of music this year. If you like catchy songs that are complex, quirky, and/or pull at the ol' heartstrings, I recommend the following.

David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

With Byrne's familiar voice and Eno's lush composing, this is the musical equivalent of a brand new sweatshirt that just came out of the dryer.

Broken Social Scene Presents: Brendan Canning - Something for All of Us
Brendan Canning is officially my favorite member of the Broken Social Scene scene. His solo album is better than Kevin Drew's (nothing against Kevin Drew, bless his crazy soul), he's responsible for my favorite song of theirs, and he's friendly to geeked out waitresses.

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

The Beach Boys moved to the Appalachians and joined the church choir. Beauty ensued.

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
This album makes me want to move back to rural Wisconsin, lock myself in a cabin with a sweet and scruffy mountain man, and wear nothing but my (long) underwear.

Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country

Music for riding on a train, sitting in one of the backwards-facing seats and staring out the window longingly, watching the countryside (or industrial suburban Connecticut) roll by.

Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills

Like the Cure during a manic episode, and Swedish (i.e., totally weird, yet adorable).

Billy Bragg and Wilco - Mermaid Avenue

I feel like having a good cry when I listen to this and can't figure out why. I was at a bar in Boston recently where the bartender played it two times in a row. It was great. (But I didn't cry. I was drinking whiskey so that would've just been sad.)

The National - Boxer
If I had a Gina's Top Ten Albums Ever list, this would be on it. Like the rest of its imaginary cohort, it took a while to grow on me and then kept growing and growing until I'd listened to it a million times and the music became so wired into my brain I could barely hear it anymore.

Forro in the Dark - Bonfires of Sao Joao
Me: [feeling smart and insightful] This sounds like Latin Talking Heads!
Coworker: It's David Byrne singing with a Brazilian band.
Me: Well, that explains it then!

Music For Animals - Music For Animals

Every single song from this contemporary San Francisco rock band sounds like something you heard on Top 40 radio in the 90's. And I mean that in the best possible way.

*This post is not sponsored by Unfortunately. But if you want to get an subscription, which I wholeheartedly recommend (it's cheaper than iTunes, the user reviews and social networking aspect make it easy to discover new things, the site saves what you've downloaded so if you lose your files you can download them again, and you can make copies and distribute them so when you make mixes for your sister you don't have to remind her of your iTunes password), let me know so I can send you the referral email and get free songs. Thanks!