Year In Review: Music


The 2008 year musical year in review had me going to four shows (which is about 4 more than I usually go to), getting introduced to a CD now on my all time favorite list, a new Swedish crush, as well as two CDs from Amanda Palmer.

On the live show front, the year opened with a Swedish trio and introduced me to Anna Ternheim, who has rapidly become a real favorite of mine. I saw her open for Joseph Arthur and I sure could have used more Anna and less Joseph. I also saw a very nice show by Bess Rogers at Johnny D's in the spring.

But the best show of the year had to be Amanda Palmer's show last month. Odd that I didn't do a write up on it, but it opened with Vermillion Lies, a very good sister act. They were followed by The Builders and the Butchers, who completely blew me away with their two drummers and incredible energy. And then of course, there was Amanda, who just put on a whale of a show, wrapping it up with a blistering version of Leeds United where everyone showed up on the stage to help out. Fantastic night of music.

On the CD front, it was Gorillaz's Demon Days CD and concert video that grabbed me early in the year and remains in constant play today. Really dig this "virtual" group's 2005 release and even bought the DVD of the debut concert in London. Hard to pick just one song from the CD. Other top CDs include Amanda's Who Killed Amanda Palmer, Goldfrapp's A&E, Verimillion Lies' What's In The Box, and El Perro Del Mar's From the Valley to the Stars.

Geek out ahead. Skip to after the player if you don't care about the technical details...

As for my songs of the year, I was using Muxtape to keep track of it, until the RIAA Nazis shut it down. So I installed my own opentape page, which does a fairly good job of mimicing Muxtape. The 0.12 release didn't work out of the box for me. I used and then copied over the xspf.php file from the -0.11 release. Now it works okay.

I'd love to take some time to add new features to it. Or just write my own. I'm not a big php fan, so I'd probably use python with the Flash audio player. Yeah, sure, some day...

A few notes on the songs:

  • These aren't songs released in 2008, just songs I heard for the first time in 2008
  • Like I said, it is impossible to pick just one song from Demon Days. The whole CD hangs together incredibly well. And I can really recommend the London show DVD.
  • The Savath & Savalas, Laura Veirs and Robyn songs came from the Stereogum free downloads. I would just play a month's worth of songs in the background and then be grabbed periodically by an especially catchy tune.
  • Primal Scream's Screamadelic CD is a modern classic, and I had heard the Loaded song before, but hadn't really known about the whole thing. Plenty of excellent other songs on this CD.
  • The Amy Winehouse CD was a bit of a disappointment, as was the M.I.A. one. The only songs that grabbed me are here.
  • I first heard the M.I.A. and The Real Tuesday Weld songs on, which has exposed me to plenty of great songs.
  • The Faces song I first heard over the ending credits of Rushmore, a solid if somewhat forgettable movie save for the soundtrack, which had plenty of other great songs. I picked up the Faces Greatest Hits collection which has a few other good songs as well.
  • Union Jack's song was first heard on's Groove Salad, a favorite Internet radio station, especially when I'm programming. It exposed me to lots of other great electronica.


[this is good] I recently happened upon the Stereogum treasure trove of free MP3s myself. Thanks for sharing your song picks.

How does the London "Demon Days" video compare with the Apollo one?

It's different but not wildly so. No live Dennis Hopper, for one. I like the mix on the Apollo show a little better, but otherwise they are pretty similar. The London (actually Manchester) show was the debut, so a few kinks got worked out for the Apollo show.

Thanks for the tip (and Union Jack was my favorite of your list).  I listened to Groove Salad for a while, but I just switched over to Tag's Trip and I think it's more my speed (at the moment).  Now if only Amarok would scrobble from streams...

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on December 31, 2008 9:56 AM.

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