Long live rock, I need it every night

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Best of 2008: Jumbo Slice Edition

Jimbromski already posted his top picks for 2008 so I figured I'd better post mine while Baby New Year is still in diapers.

Before you start bitching about my picks, note this is not my list for the best albums and EPs of 2008. It's my Top Albums and EPs of 2008 of bands I saw in concert. We primarily review shows so I'm sticking with the theme. The rankings are based partially on what I thought of their live performances but mostly I how much I listened to each record.

Jumbo Slice's Top Ten Albums of 2008

10. Offend Maggie, Deerhoof

This isn't my favorite Deerhoof album and their performance at the Fun Fun Fun Fest wasn't the best I've seen by them, but I can't deny these guys are still one of my favorite bands. Consistently creative, they added humor to their latest record, along with lots of jarring riffs and ramshackle drums. Even after releasing so many records they continue to break new ground and win over new fans.

9. What Did You Do During The War, Daddy? , The Jet Age

After meaning to see The Jet Age in DC I finally got to see them after moving to Austin. Some call this album a rock opera, others say is a concept album. I have no idea if it's one or the other. I just know it's got a lot of muscle and seeing them play it from start to finish was worth the wait.

8. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

I surprised myself ranking the hippies above Deerhoof and the power of The Jet Age but Fleet Foxes deserve the recognition. When I saw them open for Blitzen Trapper I went in as a skeptic, expecting to hate them. I left impressed and a fan of their soaring vocal harmonies. Their show at the Mohawk was just as good despite the lead singer wearing a wool cap in 90 degree heat. Some things you just come to expect from a dirty hippie.

7. If Children, Wye Oak

I listened to this album over and over. I love Jenn Wasner's voice - especially when she sings quietly moments before the music descends into a mess of smashing cymbals and dissonant guitar. The record touches on a full range of emotions and makes me anxious to hear what's next to come from this Maryland duo.

6. Midnight Boom, The Kills

Okay, technically I didn't actually see this band perform this year. I did however pay for the ticket to their Austin City Limits performance and I love this album so much, I'm including them in my Top 10.

5. Trying Hartz, Danielson

I'm still reeling from their show at Mohawk. There are many critically acclaimed bands I find totally overrated. It's not often I do a complete 180 like I did with Danielson. It took seeing them in concert to finally understand what all the hype was about. They're a bit bizarre yet they make odd, quirky, but most of all, memorable music.

4. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

From the moment this was released you knew the backlash was coming. A record with that much hype is bound to have haters. I'm not one of them though. It's the catchiest album of the album and having a front row spot to their Rock & Roll Hotel show was one of my highlights of 2008.

3. Exposion, White Denim

I'm ghey for this band.

2. We Brave Bee Stings and All, Thao and The Get Down Stay Down

Far and away, We Brave Bee Stings and All was the album I listened to the most in 2008. It's been cool seeing the stature of this band grow throughout the year. They started 2008 by opening for Xiu Xiu and then toured with Rilo Kiley before embarking on their first headlining tour. Now their ending the year with a spot on a number of top 10 lists (including eMusic and The Washington Post). I saw them perform three times in 2008 and each show was fantastic.

1. Midnight Organ Fight, Frightened Rabbit

No other record in 2008 resonated with me like Midnight Organ Fight. For some, the album lacked the same intensity of their live show but I found it just as riveting with each and every listen. I love the earnest but not sappy (and often quite naughty) lyrics. The funny Scottish accent is also a plus. I had a chance to talk with them after one of their Austin shows and they were as funny and down to earth as any musicians I've met. I have not doubt I'll be listening to this album for years to come.

Jumbo Slice's Top EPs of 2008 - originally I had some of these lumped in with the albums but it was easier to create a second category. Anything to prevent me from making tough choices.

4. Rise & Shine, The Rosewood Thieves
They killed when they played Austin in May. The next show in September wasn't that great but considering they drove 14 hours that day, you have to cut them some slack.

3. Flashlights, Loxsly
Lamprey Eel off this record might be my favorite song of 2008.

2. August Exhaust Pipes, Peel
A great band live and on record.

1. Methods, Imperial China
I saw these guys at the Velvet Lounge when I was in DC the other week. They continue to get better and better. I enjoyed their new songs and I'm hoping they make it down to Austin for SXSW in March.

1 comment:

JetAgeEric said...

Dude, it's the soundtrack to an imaginary musical. Read the fucking one sheet!


Glad we were able to rock you in '08. We plan on visiting you in the Lone Star state this fall, and I'm sure I'll have rough mixes for you in a couple of months. Happy New Year! -E