2008. Like it came after 2007 and before 2009


Dic 16 2008, 18:01

Right here we go with the song, as Turbonegro would say:

Best Album of 2008:

Laura Marling's Alas I Cannot Swim

Quite an easy choice in the end, has the most plays in my library in the past 12 months. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of good stuff out there this year, but for me this was the only exceptional record. I don't know what's more exciting about this, that Alas I cannot Swim is a debut or that something of worth has actually arisen out of Eversley. It's almost where we live, right?

Honourable mentions:

2.Metallica Death Magnetic
3.Isobell Campbell and Mark Lanegan Isobell Campbell and Mark Lanegan Sunday at Devil Dirt
4.Mystery Jets Twenty One
5.Be Your Own Pet Get Awkward
6.The Gutter Twins The Gutter Twins Saturnalia

Worst Album of 2008:

MGMT's Oracular Spectacular

Hmm, tough decision this. I'm sure MGMT haven't actually produced the worst album of the year but you have to give it to something massively overhyped. I was considering the Mercury-winning Elbow or some of the other things I'll mention later but well, MGMT can fuck off and die. Seriously, it really pisses me off when stuff like this gets massive when it warrants no attention whatsoever.

Best Song of 2008:

British Sea Power's Waving Flags

As soon as I heard this track I knew I was going to go out and get British Sea Power's Do You Like Rock Music. Bittersweet moment really...Waving Flags is a great song, the album is pretty shaft. Other than one other decent track most of it sounded like an Arcade Fire b-side collection. It's a shame really because ten or so mini-epics akin to Waving Flags' obscure tale of immigration and czech beer could have been something really special. Hey, it still got a Mercury Music Prize nomination so what do I know. The track didn't have the most plays in my library in the past year, the two following L. Marling tracks I played more plus the Smiths' This Night Has Opened My Eyes, of all things.

Honourable Mentions:

2.Mystery Jets - Half in Love with Elizabeth
3.Laura Marling - Cross Your Fingers
4.British Sea Power - No Lucifer
5.Laura Marling - The Captain and the Hourglass

Worst Song of 2008:

Kings of Leon's Sex On Fire

Absolute twat. You may think it's a bit stupid to immediately disregard a song in a method that's borderline ungrammatical and makes absolutely no sense. Well, I've had the mispleasure of hearing this song absolutely everywhere this year and as of yet I've still to come across two better words to describe it.

There used to be something at least interesting about KOL. I've never been much of a fan so don't ask me to detail exactly what that was but Sex on Fire is just, well bland. It's like they were trying to write something in their usual quirky vein and then just thought fuck it, lets write a big poppy chorus. Two things really bother me though, one this track seems incredibly rushed, like they couldn't really be bothered putting any effort in; it has that, 'oh this will do' feel. It's an empty, vacuous, piece of trash. Secondly, what the hell is it that everyone likes about the song? If this was some filler track that would be resigned to the back pages of 2008's musical history, fine, but as it stands this is the song that's probably going to wind-up getting KOL festival headline spots next year. Now we all know how crap Glastonbury's 08 lineup was, mainly due to their presence...I just hope any festival I wind up at won't have these Nashville tossheads playing.

You know give this Worst Lyrics of 2008 while we're at it too. I can't be arsed putting all it's filth onto this journal but I think you get the gist from the first verse and chorus that this isn't exactly T.S Elliot

Lay where you're laying, don't make a sound
I know they're watching, they're watching
All the commotion, the kiddie like play
Has people talking, talking

You, your sex is on fire

Best Lyrics of 2008:

Be Your Own Pet's Black Hole

Now this may seem a little contradictory to my previous vehemence against Kings Of Leon, but Be Your Own Pet's lyrics were the most gloriously adolescent stanza to be heard in 2008. Mainly detailing drunken nights spent smashing glass bottles and engaging in general riotous behaviour, which is something I think we can all relate to in our formative years, Be Your Own Pet's Get Awkward album was full of interesting little homages to teenage chaos. What sets BYOP's somewhat puerile wordsmanship apart from that of Kings of Leon, is that it's all done firmly tongue-in-cheek. The music's meant to be light and fun; not everyone took it that way though. You may have noticed I posted the picture to the U.S ep Get Damaged instead of the album Get Awkward. Stateside, Universal removed the tracks Becky, Black Hole and Blow Yr Mind (must have been a 'B' thing), judging them to be too violent for general release. This, from the label who home Eminem and Marilyn Manson among others, is frankly laughable.

Anyway, I chose the track Black Hole, simply for one line. I think it sums up the stupidity of Universal records for removing it and the irony that courses throughout the album.

Eating pizza is really great.
So is destroying everything you hate

At this point I should add that Be Your Own Pet are The band I'm most disappointed to see spilt up in 2008. Gutting as it is, at least I got to see them live for a second time and I'm sure Jemina Pearl's solo stuff if it ever materializes will sound pretty similar.

Best Artist to have back in 2008:

Brody Dalle - Spinnerette

Ahhh the woman with the unhealthiest looking complextion in the world returns. Heroin's a helluva drug. I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't a big fan of the Distillers' early stuff yet I loved Coral Fang, despite most of their fanbase hating it. Well, now that she realised there's more to life than having children, Brody Dalle is back with her new band Spinnerette. It's hardly the biggest mutation in musical sound you'll ever hear but this is no Coral Fang redux. I guess f***ing Josh Homme enough times can have an impact on your songwriting (let's hope they were going through a rough patch when he was writing Era Vulgaris).

Artists I didn't care to have back in 2008:


Portishead, did we need this? Trip-hop? Really? Well I'll probably be lambasted for this one but this seemed a pretty pointless reunion. Bristol's time has come and gone. As for calling their third album, third, who do they think they are Soulfly or something?

Here's some more little things that there isn't a lot to expand upon:

Best Cover of 2008:

We Are Scientists covering Ace of Base's All that she wants at Reading Festival. Terrible really, but I'm glad that someone is still flying the flag for Scandanavia's finest pop act. What...Abba...who are they?

Best duet of 2008:

Isobell Campbell and Mark Lanegan. Total cop-out I know, but I could have said Lanegan and Greg Dulli's The Gutter Twins

Best purchase of non-2008 origin:

Mastodon's Blood Mountain. Metal Hammer called this an early contender for album of the decade upon it its release, similar hype followed from elsewhere, I'm not too sure why it took me so long to grab a copy. It's very good, bloody excellent in places but Mastodon just don't seem to write very good songs amongst all these amazing riffs.

Worst purchase of non-2008 origin:

Hole's Celebrity Skin. Always, and I mean always avoid albums where the title track is first up and is released as the first single from the record. It usually means the rest is a load of filler s**t. Well I forgot my own advice here and guess what I ended up with, a shaft cd to add to my collection.

Best Live Performance of 2008:

Metallica @ Reading Festival 2008.

Yeah there was no banjo action to be seen unfortunately, but it was an awesome set. It's always great when you see a festival headliner who's willing to chuck some money at their performance like Metallica did with some brilliant lighting, flamethrowers, a multi-levelled stage and a big f*** off screen. Funilly enough the stage and screen were up all Sunday but no one else was able to use them. That's Metallica for you, corporate asses. It was probably nowhere near an objectively judged best live performance of the year but I've waited ages for an opportunity to see Metallica at a festival where I wouldn't have to fork out 40 quid plus to see them on their own.

Honourable Mentions:

2.Amplifier @ Manchester Academy 3 13/12/08
3.Florence and the Machine @ Reading Fest
4.Amplifier @ Manchester Academy 3 02/02/08
5.Manic Street Preachers @ Reading Fest

Worst Live performance of 2008:

Tenacious D @ Reading Festival 2008

I guess it's all about the juxtaposition...utter, unbrindled sh*t. Seriously, their spot in 2007 was graced by the brilliant Nine Inch Nails. It is an atrocity of the highest order that there ever be a comparison between these two bands. Tenacious D are meant to be funny, I wasn't expecting great sound quality or anything, maybe just one or two comical moments. I have never been so annoyed in my life. How much were these two f***wits paid to bring on some costumed characters and twat about like retards? I mean where was the effort...Mr Black and Glass deserve to be lynched for this and even then I'm thinking it's letting them off easy.

It's about here that I want to mention Coldplay. Long time battlers with Snow Patrol for most sanctimoniously, sentimentally dire act, they charged 50 quid for a ticket to their Viva La Vida tour at the M.E.N. I know some people who went, who then couldn't afford to go see someone else the next day for a fifth of the price. And that ladies and gentlemen is why the likes of Chris Martin must be eradicated off the face of the earth.

Best Demo of 2008:

Charlie Barness No Offenkk

Now upto three weeks ago, I'd never heard of Charlie Barnes. Then of course Amplifier, despite previously having stated they had plans for their December support act, announced they were accepting demos off anyone willing to play. Que alleged Amplifier fan Mr Barnes.

Now his stuff won't be everyone's liking and I can imagine people may find it quite dull. For some however, this will truly be aural magnificence. Imagine Rufus Wainwright covering Imogen Heap, add in some beatboxing over the vocodering and you're starting to get the idea of what this sounds like. It's epic...he doesn't have any stuff on lastfm yet so get yer' hinds down to myspace and check out his stuff.

Honourable Mentions:

1.The Jessie Rose Trip
2.Broadcast Radio

Saw both these bands at In the City 2008, at the same gig incidently and they were the only two out of the 15 or so I managed to catch across the three days that had any lasting impact on me (well honestly, I was drunk at one gig and couldn't remember any of it the next day). The Jessie Rose Trip you would expect to become successful, kind of bouncy soul stuff that would garner critical and commercial acclaim but I think they've only just started out so who knows. There are some rather obvious vocal comparisons to be drawn but well, check them out for yourselves.

[Edit - The Jessie Rose Trip got the coveted support act slot when a certain Joss Stone rolled into town for a small show at the Ruby Lounge, so presumably big things on their horizon]

Broadcast Radio on the other hand are all the way from Canada. Their stuff on lastfm, was the last time I checked, all old stuff. They've recorded their second album Hallways of the Twenty-First floor, which is on myspace. Is this really a demo? Not exactly, I mean it's a full length of professional quality and the band are signed. It was recorded at the Hotel 2 Tango which Arcade Fire and British Sea Power have used which tells you a lot about BR's sonic direction. I'm only including it here because they don't have a UK distribution deal as far as I'm aware and the it seems the album was done mostly off their own backs. Oh and it's f****ing great.

Best New Band of 2008:

Florence and the Machine

Haha, that picture makes me laugh. There aren't many artists who'd leave something like that in one of their videos but I think it's suffice to say Florence Welch is a little bit special. I discovered Florence and the Machine for the first time when she was supporting Pete Doherty in Manchester. I didn't actually watch any of her set other than their duet cover of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues, the reason being I was 'flyering' (this is probably the only time in my life so far where something good other than money has come about from working). I heard the bloody awful cover of the Cash song and abandoned where I was meant to be handing out gig-guides to go have look. At that point I thought she was terrible and went back to work. However, the name F&TM stuck and a few months later I was seeing Flo at Reading Festival armed with a full knowledge of her back-catalogue.

Any of you who were lucky enough to catch Florence in 2008 should consider yourself very fortunate. What with the debut album dropping potentially next May and the BBC sound of 2009 nod, the NME tour, the Brit award nomination it's all quite obvious that Florence and the Machine are going to explode next year. I caught Flo's PJ Harvey/Patti Smith/Kate Nash (teacher stroke nurse whatever - haha) salmagundi again at the Manchester Warehouse Project and it's clear you won't ever see her playing these kinds of intimate gigs ever again.

Onwards to 2009:

Okay so that was all a bit epic...but 2009's could potentially be so much bigger. Here's some things I'm looking forward to:

New Morrissey album

Ok, so Years of Refusal will probably be rubbish...it's probably a bad omen that the producer Jerry Finn died shortly after it's completion.

Emmy the Great's debut

Well this hits stores as well in February, I'm not expecting a classic but should be fairly decent

Florence + the Machine's's debut

I'm hoping this is more of Dog Days are over rather than tracks of the Kiss with a fist ilk. Could be brilliant.

Arctic Monkeys @ the Rancho de la Luna

I can't wait to hear any recordings the AMs did whilst out in Dave Catching's desert studio. Yeah sure Fred Drake's sadly been dead for awhile and Joshua Homme's magic touch seems to be fading if you ask me, but all bands who record there seem to come out with something special. I mean even The Eighties Matchbox B-line disaster produced some pretty awesome stuff.

New Mark Lanegan stuff

Yeah sure, Soulsavers, The Gutter Twins, guesting on Isobell Campbell, Queens of the Stone Age stuff, we love all that. But Bubblegum was such along time ago. We need some more Waits-esque crooning solo material.

Other potential artists with releases to look forward to:

Our Lady Peace
Alice in Chains
Imogen Heap

But most importantly, The Octopus by Amplifier

Amplifier spent a great deal of 2007 and all of 2008 in the studio, at first announcing 1 double-album to be followed by a further release, then changing this to just a single release: The Octopus. Despite the quite frankly, s*** title this could well be the best album, well, ever. From what I've heard so far I would bet my life on it being the best release of 2009.

[Final edit - Just to note I've only just realised I didn't mention the Bronx anywhere on this journal, perhaps at the time I was a little disappointed with III, and even now the jury's still out on that one, but odd that they don't feature at all]


  • r-o-s-s

    Ha Our Lady Peace and Snot? Get out. Fully appreciate the effort you've put in here though!

    Dicembre 2008
  • ServalCat

    Oh shut up. You don't have to hate everything that's mainstream just to try and be elitist.

    Dicembre 2008
  • candyrunts

    Yeah because the likes of Morrissey and Metallica don't sell any records. And Laura Marling is the most alternative s*** you've ever heard...

    Dicembre 2008
  • r-o-s-s

    Yeah go back and listen to your Paramore records you pretentious snob!

    Dicembre 2008
  • candyrunts

    That's something I forgot to add...Paramore are back in the studio, HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111oneone

    Dicembre 2008
  • candyrunts

    Rolling Stone's Top 50 records of 2008 50 No Age - Nouns 49 Hot Chip - Made In The Dark 48 Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It 47 Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping 46 The Academy Is... - Fast Times at Barrington High 45 Be Your Own Pet - Get Awkward 44 The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely 43 Nas - Untitled 42 David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today 41 AC/DC - Black Ice 40 Jonas Brothers - A Little Bit Longer 39 Taylor Swift - Fearless 38 Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line 37 Nine Inch Nails - The Slip 36 The Hold Steady - Stay Positive 35 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! 34 Stephen Malkmus - Real Emotional Trash 33 Ne-Yo - Year Of The Gentleman 32 Jamey Johnson - The Lonesome Song 31 MGMT - Oracular Spectacular 30 Duffy - Rockferry 29 Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago 28 The Knux - Remind Me in Three Days... 27 Brian Wilson - That Lucky Old Sun 26 Mudcrutch - Mudcrutch 25 The Magnetic Fields - Distortion 24 Girl Talk - Feed The Animals 23 Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst 22 Jackson Browne - Time the Conquerer 21 Kaiser Chiefs - Off With Their Heads 20 Kings of Leon - Only By The Night 19 Erykah Badu - New Amerykah, Part 1 (4th World War) 18 Lucinda Williams - Little Honey 17 B.B. King - One Kind Favor 16 Randy Newman - Harps and Angels 15 The Black Keys - Attack & Release 14 Ryan Adams And The Cardinals - Cardinology 13 Blitzen Trapper - Furr 12 Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy 11 Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes 10 Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend 09 Metallica - Death Magnetic 08 Beck - Modern Guilt 07 Coldplay - Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends 06 Santogold - Santogold 05 John Mellencamp - Life, Death, Love and Freedom 04 My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges 03 Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III 02 Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs:The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 01 TV on the Radio - Dear Science

    Dicembre 2008
  • candyrunts

    NME's Top 50 records of 2008...lol @ no.1 50 Heartbreak - Lies 49 Bloc Party - Intimacy 48 Ida Maria - Fortress Round My Heart 47 The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound 46 Blood Red Shoes - Box Of Secrets 45 Black Keys - The Attack & Release 44 Lykke Li - Youth Novels 43 Black Kids - Partie Traumatic 42 School of Seven Bells - Alpinisms 41 These New Puritans - Beat Pyramid 40 The Kills - Midnight Boom 39 Chairlift - Does You Inspire You 38 Beck - Modern Guilt 37 Primal Scream - Beautiful Future 36 Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight 35 Cass Mccombs - Dropping The Writ 34 Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed 33 Deerhunter - Microcastle / Weird Era Cont. 32 Mogwai - The Hawk Is howling 31 Coldplay - Viva La Vida 30 Hot Chip - Made In The Dark 29 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! 28 British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? 27 Hercules And Love Affair - Hercules And Love Affair 26 Verve - The Forth 25 Portishead - Third 24 Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago 23 Scarlett Johansson - Anywhere I Lay My Head 22 Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul 21 Lightspeed Champion - Falling Off The Lavender Bridge 20 Spiritualized - Songs in A and E 19 Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life 18 Late Of The Pier - Fantasy Black Channel 17 Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid 16 Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke 15 Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of Understatement 14 Laura Marling - Alas, I Cannot Swim 13 Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes 12 Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles 11 Neon Neon - Stainless Style 10 Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires 09 Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night 08 Mystery Jets - Twenty One 07 Santogold - Santogold 06 Metronomy - Nights Out 05 Foals - Antidotes 04 Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend 03 Glasvegas - Glasvegas 02 TV On The Radio - Dear Science 01 MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

    Dicembre 2008
  • red157

    Loving your choices of Worst album and song respectively. Can see where you're coming from with the Era Vulgaris comment, nice mention of Brody Dalle as well. Shame Tenacious D were such a let down. They remain a (Slightly guilty) pleasure of mine and I bought their latest DVD today, which would no doubt me much funnier/improved if I was watching it stoned... Alas I didn't.

    Dicembre 2008
  • red157

    And holy christ, both of those top 50's are awful.

    Dicembre 2008
  • GarethBlinx

    The Octopus is going to do be a double disk 16 track album. Then Mystoria will be released after they tour Octopus. I spoke to their drummer on myspace awhile back about it. I don't agree with everything your saying in this journal, I don't mind Sex On Fire that much. But i almost certainly fucking do agree that The Octopus will be the best record of 2009. There's a previewup on www.myspace.com/ampcorp Also, they are in abit of a financial crisis and without a label. So this is make or break for them. So lets spread the word.

    Dicembre 2008
  • candyrunts

    That's far too much Amplifier to have time to listen to anything else!! This is of course no bad thing.

    Gennaio 2009
  • CasualtyofYouth

    this sucks.

    Gennaio 2011
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