Thursday, January 01, 2009

there will be lists

We ended the year alternating between lame New Year's Eve broadcasts from Niagara Falls and lame New Year's Eve broadcasts from Toronto. Having bloated stomaches groaning from way too much crab and melted butter did not help in making the televised celebrations any more palatable.

But today the entire family worked out and ate sensibly, and tried to murder each other in a no-holds-barred, fight-to-the-death Crokinole match. Nobody lost an eye or anything, but there were a couple of flicking finger injuries, and plenty of hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing over botched shots.

2009 is off to a good start.

But there is a bit of business left over from 2008 that I had best address before I start remembering even more albums that could very well be contenders for best album of 2008 except that I haven't listened to them properly. Because in addition to those overlooked albums listed the other day, I have also realized that I have not properly listened to these 2008 releases either:
Women - Women
Ghost Notes - Matthew Barber
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
I Worked on the Ships - Ballboy

I did listen to a few albums in 2008, though, and as you would expect, I have a few opinions about what I heard. So before this year gets too old, allow me to present

BTZ's favourite dozen albums of 2008

12. Youth Novels - Lykke Li
- fresh and refreshing, Lykke Li with her cute little Swedish accent and dance beats is just what you need to get you through those winter nights without making yet another trip to IKEA
11. Kensington Heights - the Constantines
- even when it is not their best effort to date, the Cons always come out to rock
10. In the Future - Black Mountain
- trippy retro prog rock at its finest
9. A Mad and Faithful Telling - DeVotchKa
-lush and gorgeous melodies evoking the drama unfolding within a gypsy caravan
8. XOK - NQ Arbuckle
- powerful and mesmerizing country tinged tales of hard living Canadiana from an utterly mesmerizing band
7. Coyotes - Brian Borcherdt
- this one is an EP, but it is so utterly gorgeous that I had to include it; these heartfelt and personal songs of fragile beauty are pretty much the polar opposite of the electronica offered up by his other band, Holy Fuck
6. Colin Meloy Sings Live - Colin Meloy
- so what if it's a live recording and most of the songs are on other Decemberist albums? The intimacy that Colin Meloy shares with the audience is truly charming
5. Dig Lazarus Dig - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
- bluesy and dirty and beautiful, it's Nick Cave at his finest
4. Mountain Meadows - Elliott Brood
- even though I didn't get this cd till Christmas, it immediately shot to the top, it's that good
3. Third - Portishead
- dark and dreamy and richly textured, Portishead are back and it was worth the wait
2. Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust - Sigur Ros
- more upbeat than most Sigur Ros albums, this is also sweepingly gorgeous and so beautiful you will want to weep
1. Soft Airplane - Chad VanGaalen
- okay you know that I am a huge Chad VanGaalen fan, but I can say unequivocally that this is the best album of the year; every track is splendid and utterly unique
- truly Chad VanGaalen's finest to date and the finest of the year

And I think I might still have a couple of lists left in me yet.


mister anchovy said...

Wow, I haven't played crokinole in about a million years. What fun!

Joe said...

Cool list.

Dig Lazarus Dig is a favorite around here, too, and seeing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds live was a highlight of 2008.

bloody awful poetry said...

Aaaah. To see Sigur ros ALL the way up (or in this case, down) at number two is a truly satisfying sight indeed.You may just be my most successful convert in years! I'm so proud of us!

mellowlee said...

The Nick Cave and Chad VanGaalen in my favorites too :O) I am making a top twenty of 08 CD, would you like a copy Barb? Happy New Year! xoxox

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You and your family are like the ideal 1950's family on LSD. :)

Joe said...

And, by the way, You took 2nd place in the Germany or Florida contest

Gifted Typist said...

Crokinole, why am I laughing so hard at the idea of zombies murdering zombies over crokinole.

Did I ever tell you I used to live near Portishead, the town for which the band is named. And yes, I like them too.

glassmeow said...

Nick Cave and Portishead - yeah!

I scored Third the day before it was supposed to be released (okay it was about 8 p.m.) by whinge-ing hard at the record store clerk.

Saw Nick Cave live in Seattle - from the front row! Wow! (Hey, when you're under 5' tall, you either make it to the front or you don't see anything)

& Colin Meloy was standing a few people behind me most of New Year's Eve - listening to Jenny Conley, John Moen and various other Decemberists and friends playing with Two Beers Veirs at the
Laurelthirst Pub.

Happy New Year!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

We haul the crokinole board out of the basement every Christmas and wallop each other at it, Mr Anchovy. I highly recommend it to battle cabin fever.

I am jealous of you and the other Bubses, Bubs! I only saw Youtube clips of Nick Cave.

It's a testament both to your uncanny Sigur Ros salesmanship and to the power of the beauty of their new album, BAP. It was a pleasure being converted.

You know that I would ADORE a copy, Mel! Thank you, I am sure it will be a splendid mix. Happy New Year to you too, sweetie.

Is that what we've been cooking up in the basement, Dr M? I was wondering about that. It explains so much.

Yay! And you run a tough Germany or Florida contest, too, Bubs, so I am extraordinarily proud of myself.

Oh it's an ugly sight around here, to be sure, Gifted.
I don't think I knew you lived near Portishead. Is that anywhere near Cheddar? How far from Reading?

WOW, that sounds like an incredibly fun New Year's party, Glassmeow! Sort of makes my tv watching sound pedestrian or something.
Never underestimate the power of effective whingeing.
Front row for Nick Cave! Nice work!

Allison said...

Ah, crokinole is a blast. We played a game called Apples to Apples yesterday (its a word game) and that was much fun.

Youth Novels - Lykke Li and Black Mountain were on my overlooked albums of last year. I really need to give them a listen...but where does one find the time? The latest K-OS has leaked...already 2009 is off to a grand start!

glassmeow said...

d'oh! I misspelled Jenny's last name. It's Conlee, of course.

justacoolcat said...

Vampire Weekend sucks, way over rated.

Listen to Vampire Hands, now there's a rock band.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I don't know Apples to Apples, Al, but I love word games, even though I have been known to play Scrabble way too hard. I believe that I have broken blood vessels in my eyes from that game.
Let me know if you need to hear any of those albums. If you ever get time to listen to some new stuff.

Well naturally, Glassmeow. I knew that you knew that.

One must always support a local band, JustA, even if one needs to diss other similarly named bands in the process.

Sean Wraight said...

That's some fine list making my friend! I knew it wouldn't be long before you exorcised that demon proper. So nice to see you recognize some great music; the Brian Borcherdt certainly would have been a part of mine had I discovered it earlier.

It's nice to see you showing the Van Gaalen love as well. That record really does seem to get better with every listen. So many subtle nuances on that one.

Nice job Barb!


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am fully convinced that Soft Airplane is the album of the year, Sean. It really is an incredible and as you say, just gets better with each listen.
Brian Borcherdt's EP is incredibly beautiful, I have rarely heard such fragile beauty in an album.

Will said...

Three cheers for musical diversity. My favorite part of "best of" lists is going through them and finding out what I missed. I do have the Portishead but have not spent a great deal of time with it. I do plan too, though.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

And isn't it funny, Will, how one runs across a name they have never heard on one person's list, and then magically that person appears on everyone's list?