I’m getting ready to list my favorite records of 2008…but first, here’s a list of stuff I’m pissed off that I either didn’t know about or forgot about last year (for inclusion on the “Best of 07” list)… No particular order to the list, but this is stuff that definitely would have been in contention for last year’s top ten, or would have at least gotten an honorable mention. (It’s amazing how many of them I got into because of Graham Norton’s show on BBC America.)
- KT Tunstall – “Drastic Fantastic”
- Scottish girl who’s totally NOT a lesbian, even though everyone seems to think she is. She writes really smart songs and has a great pop sensibility alongside edgy rock mentality. (Credit Graham Norton for this discovery.)
- Tori Amos – “American Doll Posse”
- This record finally got me into Tori’s music. It’s got a different vibe than her other records and it’s a semi-concept record. Really cool rock moments and some almost house-music moments make for nice accent to Tori’s typical piano-stuff. Plus…y’know…she’s still hot. (Again, credit to Graham Norton for hipping me to it.)
- John Fogerty – “Revival”
- I don’t know how I forgot about this one. CCR’s frontman (I don’t care how good the guy they have now is, he’s no Fogerty) DELIVERS on this record. It’s back to his angry roots and it brings back memories of the first time you heard “Fortunate Son.” In fact, the whole thing’s crammed with political protest. The record may as well have just been called, “F*** George Bush. F*** Him in the Ear” by John Fogerty. 🙂 (Graham had nothing to do with this one.)
- Bloc Party – “A Weekend in the City”
- I got into Bloc Party by accident when I heard “This Modern Love” in an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” and fell in love with it. Bought “Silent Alarm” and this one at roughly the same time. Good stuff, even though it’s mostly a background noise band…but I dig that kind of thing.
- Rufus Wainwright – “Release the Stars”
- Loudon Wainwright III came to fame in the 70s with “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” and via a couple of irritating appearances on M*A*S*H. Rufus is his son — and he’s now more famous than his father ever was. He’s also gay as the day is long. Saw him on Graham Norton, and as soon as he walked out I said, “There’s a gay man.” Then he spoke and I said, “There’s a really gay man.” Then I found out that he’s been out of the closet since he was a teen. His sexuality bleeds over into his music…but his music’s also BEAUTIFUL. As a straight man, I have some trouble identifying with some of his work, but I can definitely appreciate the sounds he makes.
- The Eagles – “Long Road Out of Eden”
- The Eagles returned and put out a pretty good record. Sounded like them. Not much to say about it…it was just nice to have them back.
- Melanie C – “This Time”
- Another Graham Norton discovery. I haven’t actually heard it, but I loved her record “Northern Star” a few years ago. Amidst the Spice Girls reunion, this kind of got lost in the shuffle, I think. She’s definitely the talented one of the fab-five girls and I hope she one day is able to live down having been “Sporty” and can get the respect she deserves as a serious artist. (She’s come close…but she’s not there yet.) I’m going to pick this one up soon and I expect to enjoy it after having heard the single.
- Paul McCartney – “Memory Almost Full”
- Okay…Paul’s my least favorite Beatle. There. I said it. However, this record is really good. He reminds us that Lennon wasn’t the only one with talent and he does so by proving that he STILL has it. I may not care for him much…but a good record’s a good record. (I’m officially out of Graham-bands, btw.)
- Alison Kraus and Robert Plant – “Raising Sand”
- Really. Really. Good. If nothing else, one of my new favorite versions of “Fortune Teller” is on this record. Their voices really compliment each other in ways I wouldn’t have expected. Definitely worth a look, if you missed it.
…and that’ll do it for stuff I missed last year. Planning on doing the 2008 list next time.