Sunday, 21 December 2008


Back injury and work, when it comes to blogging they are pitiful excuses, but excuses they are, the blight of Kev and myself, work for me and back problems for Kev. So it is apologetically I put this post together.

This year for me musically it has been dull, for some people out there it was a year for gleeful joy that new albums by Coldplay, Keane and Oasis hit the shelves, that Chinese Democracy stopped becoming a story and became a reality, a year where Dido returned and indie boybands took over the charts.

Not me though, 2008 was the year I despaired at the state of modern music, the year that I stayed away from festivals, the year that I enjoyed mainly back catalogue tunes.

Normally around this time of year I would compile my top ten tracks and albums, the music that made the year special, I can’t this year, I would struggle to think of ten, therefore following Kevs lead, 3 of the best new albums and 3 of the best new to me albums, followed by my favourite singles of the year, the latter may be very short.

So my favourite new album of the year, Glasvegas, their self titled debut is still magnificent and swooping and retrospective whilst being circa now, the mangled cod Reid posturing aside their influences all be them worn so publicly are just a façade to their own sound, their own style of songwriting, JAMC, Primal Scream, even the BMX Bandits all jostle for space, Buddy Holly, Doo Wop, The Beach Boys the influences are there, but they are the right influences and I listen to the album again and again and think if this is what they do now, how glorious will they be in 5 years time, hopefully not friends of Bono or a Gallagher.

Flowers and Football Tops (Demo) - Glasvegas

My second favourite album and a possible contender for my favourite of the year is Save The World, Get The Girl by The King Blues, a punk, ska, reggae, rap hybrid of an album that sounds like none of them and all of them at the same time, its punk ska but not [Spunge], its reggae rap and dub but its not King Tubby, It’s The Clash, but its 3rd side of Sandinista, not London Calling. The album deals with being young, squat life, punks and ultimately getting the girl. Think Jaimie T but sans his London set, where he has his bass guitar this punk has a ukulele. This band could be, could be my new favourite band.

My Boulder - My Boulder

Finally my third new favourite album is Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pips’ Angles. This album is phenomenal, if this is hip hop then this is the future, as the track recites, intelligent hip hop not that channel U malarkey, no guns bitches or bling, but Scroobius rapping the periodic table, a beautiful tribute to Tommy Cooper, a song about self harm and oh so much more. Glasvegas and King Blues are purely personal things but Dan le Sac and Scroobius Pip, once you hear it, you WILL love it so I really do stress that you listen to this, savour the lyrics, the music and the production, this record will mess with you preconceptions.

Tommy C - Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip

My favourite new to me album this year is American Beauty by The Grateful Dead, this went from a passing reference in the TV show Freaks and Geeks to being a musical revelation. Men, and they are always nearly always men, but men who take drugs discuss the virtues of The Grateful Dead, but in doing so they unfortunately put you off for life, think also Pink Floyd, Phish and early Genesis. They make them sound like some prog rock experiment, that teases the ears and is a wonder for the eyeballs, noodling 20 minute solos designed to numb the senses. With heavy heart I thought I would give American Beauty a try. Oh my life, noodle free, psychedelic whoop de do it was not, a slab of Americana Gene Clark would be proud of and disciplined with it. I was later told that I only need to listen to two Dead albums, American Beauty and Workingmans Dead, I have only listened to them two, and loved them like a child.

Box of Rain - The Grateful Dead

My second favourite new to me album is an album that wasn’t new to me, I had heard it maybe once, maybe twice at a push, but this year I really listened to it and listened to it a lot and that is Metamorphosis by The Rolling Stones. A very interesting Stones album out of band whose output I love more than any other band barring NOFX or The D. A often overlooked compilation of rare and different versions, I am still listening to alot.

Family - The Rolling Stones

My third favourite new to me album is the reissue of Arthur by The Kinks, both this and Percy also by The Kinks have received a lot of play over the last 12 months and The Kinks 70’s output has been the real surprise for me, I was aware of their hits and some of which appear on Arthur, but it’s the stuff that wasn’t released as a single which has done it for me. The news that Ray and Dave may be working together in 2009 was really good to hear and hopefully they will be a band concentrating on going forward and not resting on former glories. That all said Arthur is by a fair chalk the third best album in 2008 that was new to me.

Arthur - The Kinks

So that leads us on to singles.

This year has been a bit bereft of classic singles, the rather pedestrian but altogether nice, mainly for its use of the minor chord, Human by The Killers really earwormed it’s way in late in the year, there is no shame in that, however you know it appears when you say this in mixed company, people tend not to hear Human is an alright song, but actually hear, I have been sleeping with my nan. This is not my favourite track of the year though, it illustrates perfectly how bad it has been for singles.

Now I am discounting any song by anyone that appeared on any of the albums that made up the best of the year or I would be hear with Mans letter to god, get the girl and Flowers and football tops.

Another record that I really liked was the Adele cover of the Dylan track, To Make You Feel My Love. Its Dylan a few miles away from his classic period covered by Adele, I shouldn’t like it, at least it isn’t the troll like Duffy. This song though I prefer by Adele, there is something about her that charms me, unlike Duffy. The thing that I find with Adele though is even though she isn’t some talent show reject, she seems like she is. That’s a bad thing and not the reason why I like her.

To Make You Feel My Love - Adele

Finally then its Heart Song by Weezer, from their first for me, disappointing album, a band that I have followed since their debut single and I will follow for many years to come, but Heart Song was probably the only good song on a bad album, one of my favourite bands Ballboy also produced a new album and that too was a disappointment, I am nervouse thinking about Camera Obscuras new one next year. Back to Weezer though, Heart Songs lists a load of songs, that’s the long and short of it, and unless I can think otherwise those are my favourite new tracks of the year.

Heart Songs/Sliver - Weezer

My most played track according to Last FM is Don’t Stop Believing by Journey so make of that what you will.

Don't Stop Believing - Journey

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