Monday, December 29, 2008

The Year That Was - media edition

Best Music

Yes, this is only a "top 9"...there just simply wasn't a tenth album I will claim as good. A weak year, musically.


  1. Two Cow GarageSpeaking in Cursive

    While I have been a big fan of this band for quite some time, this album is a monumental step forward, in terms of depth and quality. Just buy it already.

  2. The Hold SteadyStay Positive

    Take off one or two songs with gratuitous keyboards, and this thing really rocks. "Lord, I'm Discouraged" alone has enough lyric power to make you weep. Combine it with "Hey Sapphire," and whoooboy. Plus Craig Finn now sings!

  3. Ben FoldsWay To Normal

    Many have expressed disappointment with this album. They're nuts. "Kylie from Connecticut" alone (one of the most beautiful songs of the year?) should propel this into your top album lists. Good, rythmic virtuousity as well.

  4. The Pink SpidersSweat It Out

    While the production is poppier than I would like and there is (unfortunately) a power ballad (skip "Don't Wait For Me"), this is still a very good album. "Gimme Chemicals" and "Seventeen Candles" are catchy as all-hell.

  5. Magnolia SummerLines from the Frame

    Many have brought up the Jayhawks comparison. I'll just say that this is alternately lush, rocking, and lyrical. Go buy it.

  6. Jay BennettWhatever Happened I Apologize

    The best thing he's done since The Palace at 4am. This all-acoustic effort is sweet, complex, and fun. Plus, you can download it for free!

  7. The RaconteursConsolers of the Lonely

    A good second album of rock, although this sounds more like a band effort than their debut. Consolers more than makes up for the disappointment that was the last White Stripes disk.

  8. Paul Westerberg49:00

    Sloppy, sticky, catchy in parts, and (sadly) no longer available through official channels.

  9. Gaslight AnthemThe '59 Sound

    Nice bar rock with (if I'm not mistaken) a little Clash thrown in.

Top Songs


  1. “Brass Ring,” Two Cow Garage
  2. “Lord I'm Discouraged.” The Hold Steady
  3. “Glass City,” Two Cow Garage

Musical Disappointments


  • We will probably never see another album from Brent Best, Caitlin Cary.
  • You Am I forgot how to rock.
  • The Drive-By Truckers lost it.
  • Ryan Adams has gone all slick

Music I'm Looking Forward To

  • New Wilco, Grand Champeen, We Are The Fury, Jason Isbell

Someone I Discovered Much Too Late

  • Josh Ritter

Best Movies


  1. Wall-E

    Gorgeous. Hardly any dialog, but the emotion and meaning couldn't be any clearer. A scathing critique of consumerist culture, and a tear-jerking tale of love and hope at the same time.

  2. Vicky Christina Barcelona

    Woody Allen makes a fresh film. It's young, lively, and gorgeously shot. The only down side is that the supreme gorgeousness of everyone in it might make you question your own looks...if you were not as pretty and confident as I.

  3. Zach & Miri Make A Porno

    Kevin Smith knocks one out of the park. Both hilarous and touching, more so than it should ever be.

Cinematic Crap

  • Cloverfield

    This one wouldn't be so bad except for one thing: I hate everyone in it.br?
  • Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

    Space aliens? Space aliens??? Is this really the best they could do?

Why in the Hell Haven't These Opened Here Yet?

  • Synecdoche, New York
  • The Wrestler
  • Zombie Strippers (okay, so I could probably rent this one...)

The Year in TV

  • The Shield ended perfectly
  • I got absolutely hooked on Burn Notice
  • Jeez, The Office is SOOOO much better post-strike

My Year in Technology

    Why buy newspapers when you can get Darkgate Comics Slurper
  • I know I'm late to this one, but I love my Wii
  • Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog was probably my favorite bit of entertainment all year.

4 comments:

Rob said...

Here's number 10:
http://www.emusic.com/album/Will-Quinlan-The-Diviners-Navasota-MP3-Download/11324264.html

Dan Williams said...

I completely missed the new Hold Steady! Sad face. Well, I'm putting the record shop up the street to good use in the morning. By the way, Happy New Year to you and Lori! Wish I could be there but public radio demands my afternoon...damn them and their intelligent programs and pledge breaks and non-biased news coverage...

Kelley from Portland said...

Glad to see The Pink Spiders made your top 9 list. Most excellent. I recently had Stranglehold stuck in my head so violently that I let it play hard while driving a wave runner around Key West. Catching air, risking bones, rocking hard. Doesn't really get better. See them live if you can -- more raw but just as juicy.

dr alex said...

omg, "don't wait for me" is one of my favorite tracks on sweat it out!