Most interesting albums of 2008 so far:
1. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
This album has deep, mournful soul songs about wolves and skinny girls.
3. Ruby Suns - Sea Lion
This is one of those bands that are bringing the best things the Beach Boys did into the 21st century with the same dreamy sounds + a little bit of crunch and weird noises that sound like they were sampled from water fountains and tunnels full of homeless people.
4. Girl Talk - Feed The Animals
Another chopped and mashed instant classic made entirely from chunks of classic songs.
5. Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing
Pulsing, buzzing sounds that will make you feel like you're being electrocuted — in a good way.
6. Crystal Antlers - EP
Crystal Antlers employ guitar feedback, screaming, and a catchy beat to generate the music that is aching to leap from our angry bones.
7. Why? - Alopecia
"I'm not a ladies man; I'm a land mine." The lyrics and beats of this indierockhiphop band are superb and unsettling.
8. No Age - Nouns
I have become a sucker for noise and fuzz. This duo executes the fuzzy guitars while maintaining dancibility and creative rage. Lots of fuzz and lots of cymbals — one of my favorites this year.
9. Titus Andronicus - The Airing Of Grievances
At first they sound like fuzzy, punky Conor Oberst, but then you see the vids of them at Pitchfork Music Fest and you see the lead guitar player/singer cut his finger on his strings because he's going at that shit with his beard and Batman shirt on. Yeah.
10. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
I love the Hold Steady's determination to elevate cock rock. They do it well. Some misses on this album, but overall full of summer rock anthems.
11. The Cool Kids - The Bake Sale EP
Innovative hip hop without the usual extreme braggadocio and violence.
12. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
Innovative hip hop with the usual extreme braggadocio and violence. There are some gems here: "You better wear a latex if you don't want that late text." LATE text. Get it? It's a PSA for prophylactics.
13. Black Mountain - In The Future
Some people are calling this a Zeppelin knockoff, but I think it has a little more to offer than just knockoffage.
14. The Walkmen - You & Me
This album starts off with low, crunchy toms that give way to the anthemic riffs and Dylan-ish singing/writing that carried their last two albums.
15. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Lie Down in the Light
This one took me by surprise. More country than most of his other albums. Much more produced but still retains that Will Oldham mystique.
Most fun albums of 2008 so far:
1. Vampire Weekend - S/T
Every song on this album has infectious riffs and afrobeat pulse. I mean, say what you will about their fratboyishness; these kids know pop music.
2. Santogold - S/T
This one is for fans of M.I.A. and for people who like to dance.
3. The Teenagers - Reality Check
Another danceable album. Love the Starlett Johansson song.
4. Noah and the Whale - Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down
The whistling on 5 Years Time will embed itself in your DNA.
Albums I just started listening to that I should have heard of long ago:
The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms <--good luck getting this album for less than $40. They need to re-release it — it's a great album with a big pulse.
Sebadoh - Bubbles and Scrape
Just listen to Soul and Fire and tell me it's not an amazing song.
Big Black - The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape
Listen to Kerosene.
"I was born in this town
Live here my whole life
Probably come to die in this town
Live here my whole life"
They credited their drum machine on their records. Their drummer, Roland.
The Jesus & Mary Chain - Psychocandy
I am still trying to understand and appreciate shoegaze. Whenever I listen to My Bloody Valentine I get a stomachache. I don't get one with this band.
Mudhoney - Superfuzz Bigmuff
Touch Me I'm Sick should have been at least as popular as Smells Like Teen Spirit. I don't know why it wasn't.
Neu! - S/T
Listening to this album is like listening to the DNA of Sonic Youth. Neu! employs running water and bashing instrumentals to great effect. For lovers of CAN and Sonic Youth. For lovers of interesting dissonance. For haters of uninteresting shit.