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2008 Your Morning Rock In Review – Les Folies De Jerkwheat Thursday, December 18, 2008

Posted by Jerkwheat in jerkwheat, Your Morning Rock.
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Wooo! It’s my turn now children. Although, this has probably already gone on too long, right? And nobody really wants to hear what terrible albums I’ve been listening to for the past year. And, if we’re honest with ourselves here, you’re probably pretty sure Matt already covered most of the same ground I’m going to cover. However, if you feel otherwise, I encourage you to follow me to freedom after the jump

As long as we’re going to total honesty here, I’ve only got about four albums that I knew exactly where they placed on my list. Rather than try to fully realize a numerical hierarchy here, let’s be all independent and shit and break it down by categories…

Indie Rock Bullshit

There are certain albums that I am required by Internet Law to mention in this post. If they are neglected, then they will only have 78998 writers mentioning them instead of 78999. Plus, I hear you lose your WordPress posting ability if you don’t claim to love these particular artists. So, uh, here:

Fleet Foxes

Bon Iver

Los Campesinos

That Band Only One Guy In Williamsburg Has Seen

Andy Williams

Congratulations to all of you for being Best of Blog. We’re all proud of you and I swear your music changed my life and I’ll never feel the same way about new music ever again.

Horribly Overproduced Hills-esqe Music That I Enjoyed Immensely In Spite Of A Lack Of Artistic Merit

Carolina Liar – Coming To Terms
Fuck you, you caridgan wearing hipster. I don’t give a shit that the evil Max Martin was the brains behind this operation. I don’t care that your 14 year old sister LOVES it. So do I. It’s catchy and poppy and contains one of the better power-pop singles of the past few years. Plus it’s all around well done and a pretty damn solid “driving album”. Great in the car. Really.

Other Albums That I Really Liked That I Don’t Need To Justify

Drive-by Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
January releases are often overlooked in these lists, as they are long forgotten by our ADD musical tastes, but DBT managed to release yet another excellent album this past year. The loss of Jason Isbell wasn’t too noticible (btw, Isbell’s solo work is also fabulous) and the lead cut “Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife” is the type of Americana that brought me into the damnable alt-country fold to begin with.

Flight of the Conchords – Self-titled
Comedy/Novelty albums are rarely recognized for their actual musical worth, but FotC managed to create a full-length that was not only hilarious, but was full of fully realized songs that were good for more than just a laugh or two. You know damn well that you had “Business Time” on a mix cd you made in the last year (and maybe you had a crappy rip from the old comedy half hour from a few years ago on a cd you made back in like ’06 – you are so cool) and that your brain automatically says “Hiphopopotamus/My Lyrics Are Bottomless” every time you see a Hippo.

Kathleen Edwards – Asking for Flowers
Another early in the year release that’s fallen by the way side, this album found Edwards fully realizing the potential that she showed on her amazing debut, Failer. Not that Back To Me wasn’t also quality, but Flowers found her songwriting sharper and her melodies a lot more hummable, especially with “The Cheapest Key” and the witty couplings of “I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory”.  Also, the Jenny Lewis Rule applies here as she is both really talented and rather easy on the eyes too.

Bob Mould – District Line
“Stupid Now” and “The Silence Between Us” are two of the finest songs you didn’t hear this year. Although he should really ditch the auto-tune unless he plans on gold-teeth and a top hat in the near future…

Butch Walker – Sycamore Meadows
One of the few late in the year releases to really just POP out at me, I’ve long been a fan of Walker’s work. But it’s really great to hear him back to the upfront straight power-pop that first brought me into the fold way back in the days of Marvelous 3. “The Weight of Her” is definitely in the running for a Top 5 song slot for me in ’08.

Albums Which I Have Loved

4) The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

I had to drive solo from DC to Grand Rapids, MI late in the summer and I think I played this album for at least 60% of the time I was driving. It was great every time through and, like Matt, not many days/weeks go by where I don’t give it a spin. Bar rock at its finest and it never hurts to have a song about my hometown of Memphis. NEVER.

3) Old 97s – Blame It On Gravity
I might be guilty of the return to form pick here, but after  quasi-stinker in Drag It Up, the 97s got back to recording great songs
and provided what is probably Murray Hammond’s greatest lead singer turn yet with “Color of a Lonely Heart Is Blue”. 13 tracks, not a one of them that asks to be skipped over. It’s a lovely mix of the sheen of the 97’s Fight Songs-era work and the skronk of Too Far Too Care. Winnar.

2) The Gaslight Anthem – That ’59 Sound
It’s been kind of weird to see the sudden acclaim for this album over the past couple of weeks. I’d like to thank eMusic for recommeding it to me shortly after its release in August and I’ve been in love with girls in high top sneakers and sailor tattoos ever since. This is Jersey pop-punk done right. A little bit of Springsteen and some big hooks can go a long way my friends.

1) Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs
My number 1 and number 3 both came out at the same time, so I think May 13th is the winner of “Best Day of Releases” this year. Your mileage likely varies. I don’t care about the “changes” DCFC has made or how they’ve “sold out” or whatever other bullshit is mentioned when you dare to discuss these guys these days. What hasn’t changed is the band’s ability to write great songs. “Bixby Canyon Bridge” provided the perfect backdrop for a beautiful scene on FNL this year. “I Will Possess Your Heart” is one of the few 9 minute songs that you’ll hear on the radio these days. The nine songs that follow are also near-perfect bits of sweet and heartbreaking pop.

So, yeah, there you go. Commence making fun of me in the comments. Tomorrow I present you my odds and ends from the past year, as well as a special Christmas present for you all.



1. DougOLis - Thursday, December 18, 2008

loser, way to be a mainstream poser

So I guess that makes Death Cab and The Hold Steady the DeadOn bands of ’08?

Is this the first time Gaslight Anthem has come up on here? I find that hard to believe; I could have swore we talked about them before.

2. Jerkwheat - Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jesus, I might as well be working at the Gap and taking the kids to suburban daycare. SO MAINSTREAM.

Per Gaslight, oh yes, we’ve discussed them before. I think I even managed to use “That ’59 Sound” at least twice as YMR in about a two month stretch.

3. Rockabye - Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spoiler alert: “I’m Not Over” and “I Will Possess Your Heart” will both show up on my Songs of ’08 list.

4. Matt_T - Thursday, December 18, 2008

I finally got the Gaslight Anthem the other day, and I should have listened to Jerkwheat when he told me to get it immediately instead of waiting to get it. Its fantastic.

We need a DeadOn road trip to see a Hold Steady sho

5. DougOLis - Thursday, December 18, 2008


Department of Eagles – In Ear Park. In my opinion this was by far the most overlooked/under appreciated album this past year. If Fleet Foxes was Pet Sounds, then this is Sgt. Pepper’s; and while that’s a lofty comparison to make I think it’s reasonable and justifiable. It’s musically more sound and complex than Fleet Foxes while aspiring to the similar levels of intimate lyrics. I’m a big fan of Grizzly Bear, but somehow Daniel Rossen was able to put out an album I like even more than his primary band has done. It’s kind of strange I never mentioned this release back in October because I picked up on this one pretty quick, hmmph.

Fleet Foxes – “White Winter Hymnal”. Yeah, whatever Jerkwheat, I’m an indie douchebag and I don’t care because this song is the balls. While I called “Skinny Love” the most beautiful song of ’08 the other day, this has to be the most hauntingly beautiful song of the year. The song is so simple, sweet, and catchy but it has that underlying twistedness as well.

Sigur Ros @ Copley Symphony Hall (October ’08) – A fucking orgasmic show and I think I came out of it far happier than I ever have before at a concert. It’s pretty rare that a musical experience can make you feel high on life. Their setlist was incredible and they played just about every song I wanted to hear. Sitting, clapping, dancing, and singing a bit with good friends to good music = happy times. The confetti raining down on Gobbledigook to end the main part of the set put it over the top. It would have been cool to see them in Berkeley when the rain started falling during Popplagid (the environment was supposedly better too) but I don’t care, our show was amazing and we had a better setlist.

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