Andrew Stewart Poop 08

Best Music of 2008

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1. Blitzen Trapper/Furr:
Sounds like a lost Big Star record, with a healthy dose of Gram Parsons plus hints of the Beatles, Bowie and Chicago. Every single song is great: a classic.

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2. Born Ruffians/Red Yellow & Blue
(sounds like: Violent Femmes + Shins + Dismemberment Plan). These cocky fuckers kick down the door with their edgy, angsty indie-rock sound.

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3.A.A. Bondy/American Hearts:
(sounds like: Whiskeytown + Jeff Tweedy + Dylan). This dark, mostly acoustic album (a re-release from 2007) is solid, timeless alt-folk that echoes icons.

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4. The Whigs/Mission Control:
(sounds like: Pixies + INXS + The Damnwells). Pulsing, punky power-pop with miles of appeal and huge, hearty, fist-pumping choruses.

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5. The Walkmen/You & Me:
(sounds like: Velvet Underground + Strokes + Dylan). An eye-opener from this previously bland-ish band, this one has an intense, brooding, epic guitar sound.

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6. Vampire Weekend/Vampire Weekend:
(sounds like: English Beat + Talking Heads + Paul Simon). Despite a ton of early hype, this stood up well all year long; put it on again, and enjoy.

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7. Okkervil River/The Stand-Ins:
(sounds like: Long Winters + Rufus Wainwright). Another polished gem, this thoughtful, complex indie album thrills with close, repeated listens.

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8. Calexico/Carried to Dust :
(sounds like: Sadies + Iron & Wine). There is a rich, full sound to the songs here that highlights all the band’s best qualities; groovy, lustrous, and really enjoyable.

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9. Bon Iver/For Emma, Forever Ago:
(sounds like: Chris Lee + Elliott Smith). This passion-filled, grievous acoustic gem reveals its power over many listens. The acclaim is deserved.

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10. Collin Herring/Past Life Crashing:
(sounds like: Tim Easton + Ryan Adams + Boz Scaggs) Dense, sturdy alt-country/rock album from Austin TX singer, raw and rough-edged but complete.

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11. Port O’Brien/All We Could Do Was Sing:
(a joyous, sloppy, awesome indie-rock record)

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12. Mountain Goats/Heretic Pride:
(like a dry desert flower, J. Darnielle finally decides to bloom)

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13. War On Drugs/Wagonwheel Blues:
(grungy-sounding, spacey, Dylanesque rock album)

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14. Dr. Dog/Fate
(underrated set conjures The Band, Beatles and Replacements: great classic sound)

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15. The Dodos/Visiter:
(acoustic + percussive = impressive: think Led Zep + Jose Gonzalez + Smiths)

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16. Wolf Parade/At Mount Zoomer:
(ambitious, new-wavey assault on their status quo: sounds big)

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17. The Hold Steady/Stay Positive:
(a step down, but the formula holds true: big chords and irony)

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18. The Black Keys /Attack & Release:
(this blues-rock pair get smarter and slicker, but stay amped)

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19.The Moondoggies/Don’t Be a Stranger
(Allman Brothers, meet the Doobie Brothers. Toke?)

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20. Death Cab For Cutie/Narrow Stairs
(ambitious, progressive, and very underrated: worthy)

21. Alejandro Escovedo/Real Animal:
(a smart, fierce, rocking contemplation of mortality)

22.Bonnie “Prince” Billy/Lie Down In The Light
(again: quiet, intense and off-key – but less so)

23.Grand Archives/The Grand Archives
(a mellow ‘70’s sound, updated: Band of Horses + America)

24. The Shaky Hands/Lunglight:
(Tom Petty fronts the Strokes, covers Gomez)

(cheery, retro indie album owes a debt to The 88 and New Pornographers)

Other Good Stuff

Adem/Takes: (awesome acoustic cover tunes, drags a little over the length of the album)
Amadou & Mariam/Welcome to Mali:(upbeat African disco-pop)
Aterciopelados/Rio : (frisky Colombian disco-rock)
Beck/Modern Guilt : (funky, gritty and good)
Deerhunter/Microcastle : (yeah, it’s a pretty cool, intense sound; but what’s all the fuss?)
Delta Spirit/Ode to Sunshine : (spirited and fun, though derivative; Exile-era Stones + Beatles)
Easton Stagger Phillips/One For The Ditch : (a middleweight folk “supergroup” overachieves)
Fleet Foxes/Ragged Wood : (overrated! but still pretty good)
Al Green/Lay It Down : (it’s fuckin’ Al Green, baby; lighten up and listen)
Ray LaMontagne/Gossip in the Grain : (great, and you love it – but your mom loves it too)
Daniel Ledwell/Two Over Seven : (promisingly morose acoustic folk; the next Elliott Smith?)
Love As Laughter/Holy : (Pavement + Modest Mouse + Wilco)
Mon Khmer/Mon Khmer EP : (obscure Brooklyn band channels the Stills + Secret Machines)
The Morning Benders/Talking Through Tin Cans : (Fruit Bats + Shins + Beulah)
Oxford Collapse/Bits : (punky Brooklyn three-piece rips it up)
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down/We Brave Bee Stings… : (appealing indie-pop, watch this band)
TV On The Radio/Dear Science : (exciting, energetic, and modern – but still more brains than heart)
The Whipsaws/60 Watt Avenue : (Drive-By Truckers + Bottle Rockets + V-Roys)

Should Have Done Better (Ryan Adams Memorial Award)

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals/Cardinology
The Broken West/Now or Heaven
Mike Doughty/Golden Delicious
Drive-By Truckers/Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
Gary Louris/Vagabonds
Stephen Malkmus/Real Emotional Trash
My Morning Jacket/Evil Urges
Old 97’s/Blame It On Gravity
Cat Power/Jukebox
The Raconteurs/Consolers of the Lonely
Tapes ‘n Tapes/Walk It Off
Andrew Stewart
Rhinebeck, NY