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2008 Your Morning Rock In Review – Odds, Sods, And A Christmas Present For You Friday, December 19, 2008

Posted by Jerkwheat in jerkwheat, Your Morning Rock.
Tags: , , ,

While this may not be the last YMR of the year, it’s mighty close. I’ll be here for you through the 23rd, then I’m likely out until the New Year. Today, I’m just looking to go over a few songs and albums that we didn’t talk about yesterday, wrap up what the year brought us, look forward to the future (the future, Conan?), and I’ve got a download from a great new artist especially for DeadOn that will serve as my Christmas present to my fellow contributors and readers/commenters. So, let’s hit the jump and start the festivities.

Songs Which I Enjoyed

Again, I’m not usually a big fan of unnecessary numerology and rankings, so I’m just gonna go over some songs I really enjoyed this past year.

“Old White Lincoln” – The Gaslight Anthem

“Real Love” – Lucinda Williams

“Color of A Lonely Heart Is Blue” – Old 97s

“Cath” – Death Cab for Cutie

“Beautiful World” – Carolina Liar

“Heart Attack” – Low vs. Diamond

“Unless Its Kicks” – Okkervil River

“Sequestered In Memphis” – The Hold Steady

“The Weight of Her” – Butch Walker

“Something Is Not Right With Me” – Cold War Kids

“A-Punk” – Vampire Weekend

“Right Hand on my Heart” – The Whigs

“Souled Out!!” – Conor Oberst

“Can You Tell” – Ra Ra Riot

“Past Time” – The Baseball Project

“The Silence Between Us” – Bob Mould

“Catcher In The Rye” – Guns N Roses (I shit you not)

“Strawberry Swing” – Coldplay

And many many more than are escaping my mind.

So, 2008…

While it seems that many people like to whine about how music today is so awful, I think we’ve made it pretty clear in the past week that this was a pretty damn excellent year in music. I don’t know what I’m looking forward to the most in ’09 – I’ve got an unabashed love for Better Than Ezra and they’ve got a new album lined up, U2, new Andrew Bird in January, and all of the little surprises that pop up along the way between now and next December. Believe it or not, it’s a pretty exciting time to be a music fan so keep your ears open for whats out there.

One last thing…

I promised you something exciting so here it is. We’re proud to introduce you a new artist on DOB Records who recorded a special song all about our blog and its many many features.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jerkweezy.

Right click and save. (Rockabye says: It’s an MP3 now, so you might be able to play it.)

Jerkweezy: Blog Sawng



1. DougOLis - Friday, December 19, 2008

haha, +1E99, I think we have the Pitchfork song of ’09 on our hands

I have a feeling Conan really isn’t looking forward to the future that much anymore.

wooohoo, new Andrew Bird!

2. Rockabye - Friday, December 19, 2008

I’m “the dude that likes the hip-hop,” huh? Well, better than nothing.

3. Matt_T - Friday, December 19, 2008


4. DougOLis - Friday, December 19, 2008

Would you rather be the dude that likes dudes?

5. Jerkwheat - Friday, December 19, 2008

I’m wearing a top hat as we speak

6. Rockabye - Friday, December 19, 2008

Have I listened to this song three times since I was directed to it? Why, yes, I have, and I still can’t find it anything other than amusing.

If you would like a real verse or something, Random Person Who Auto-Tunes Songs About DeadOn, find me. (No, I’m serious.)

7. DougOLis - Friday, December 19, 2008


Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust. This probably comes as no great surprise given that I’m a giant fanboi, so you might want to consider the fanboi factor when normalizing the dataset. That disclaimer over, I absolutely loved the new direction Sigur Rós took on this album. When Gobbledigook was released my expectations shot up instantly and quickly fell in love with the song. We saw the beginnings of this shift in style a bit on Takk but it really took until this album for the transformation to be complete. It seems like the band takes itself far less seriously and you can actually have quite a bit of fun listening to this record. You still get lovely moments of the old Sigur Rós (Festival stands out) but it’s offset wonderfully by the new energy. I’m probably the only person to rank the album #1 but there you have it, it’s a beautiful fucking album. And I can proudly say that my top 2 did not make Pitchfork’s top 50.

MGMT – “Kids.” An unorthodox choice and one most people wouldn’t choose from MGMT, but for me it’s largely about what it represents for 2008. It was a song I highly remember for one of my most fun days/nights of the year (if not life), and for at least me it’s the theme song for those events. On top of that it’s a fantastic song and I actually kind of prefer it to “Electric Feel” or “Time to Pretend.”

Garth Brooks @ Staples in January. Garth Brooks is an amazing performer and one of the best live acts around. If you ever get the chance to see him, definitely go. Growing up he was my favorite musician and getting the rare chance to see him again was incredible. He’s a hell of an entertainer as he brings an incredible energy (still), rocks out, gets intimate with the crowd, makes the arena feel much smaller than it is, and naturally gets everyone to sing and dance along with him. Pretty much everyone was singing along most of the time but it wasn’t in an annoying way that some people do a certain concerts; at this show it greatly added to the experience. It’s impossible not to have fun at his shows and go crazy during each song. Getting the chance to see him with my sisters (and a couple other friends) was my favorite show of the year.

8. DougOLis - Friday, December 19, 2008

Honorable Mentions

M83 – Saturdays=Youth
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
The Walkmen – You & Me
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Lie Down In The Light
Britney Spears – Circus
Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs
Okkervil River – The Stand Ins
Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue
Ryan Adams – Cardinology
My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
Girl Talk – Feed The Animals
Mogwai – The Hawk is Howling
Bloc Party – Intimacy

2007 Albums that could be placed high in 2008
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
Radiohead doesn’t count, that was completely 2007 to me

Vampire Weekend – “M79”
Kanye West – “Flashing Lights”
Patrick Watson – “To Build A Home”
M83 – “Graveyard Girl”
Radiohead – “House of Cards”
Sigur Ros – “Gobbledigook”
Jenny Lewis – “Acid Tongue”
TV on the Radio – “Lover’s Day”
Nick Cave – “Dig, Lazarus Dig!!!”
Vampire Weekend – “Oxford Comma”
Elbow – “One Day Like This”
M83 – “Kim & Jessie”
My friend Greg covering Patrick Watson’s “Slip Into Your Skin”
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – “I’ll Be Glad”
Kings of Leon – “Sex on Fire”
Jenny Lewis – “Carpetbagger”
My Morning Jacket – “I’m Amazed”
TV on the Radio – “Golden Age”

9. Jerkwheat - Friday, December 19, 2008

Britney Spears – Circus

I completely agree in a totally non-ironic fashion. It’s a really good pop album. I was pleasantly surprised.

10. Greek McPapadopoulos - Friday, December 19, 2008

I really thought 2008 was a disappointment for music, mainly because some anticipated releases didn’t live up to my expectations. On the other hand, I think coming up with a top ten list was pretty difficult. Here’s what I thought was the cream of the crop:

10. Kings of Leon – “Only By The Night”. I’ve been a fairweather fan (I have all their albums, but it’s not like I get happy when they show up on iTunes), but over half of the tracks on this album are fantastic.

9. Beck – “Modern Guilt”. Even though he put on an overall disappointing show when I saw him, Beck still puts out great new material (and the new stuff sounds great live). It’s an interesting mix of sadsack Beck and funky Beck, and I think I like it. Note: This won’t be the last time that a Danger Mouse album ends up on here

8. Portishead – “Third”. The wait was just about worth it. Fantastic comeback, picking up where they left off, just like the reunited-Dinosaur Jr. did with “Beyond” last year.

7. The Walkmen – “You & Me”. The Walkmen are finally getting some credit after being initially hyped then pretty much ignored. How can a band that purposefully tries to sound kind of shitty sound really good?

6. Vampire Weekend – “Vampire Weekend”. I didn’t hear anything about the hype, I just saw the video for “A-Punk” on Subterranean, and I had to check out the rest. Though I doubt any followup will be any good, I’ll still be playing their debut years later.

5. Tokyo Police Club – “Elephant Shell”. I was kind of disappointed with this release at first, because it didn’t have some of the diverse sounds that “A Lesson in Crime” did, but in the end it’s still a very good group of songs.

4. Sigur Rós – “Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust”. Whenever these guys put out an album, it’s going to end up in my top ten. These guys have mastered the art of repeating past successes while moving in new directions.

3. British Sea Power – “Do You Like Rock Music?”. There are some fantastic songs on this album, and I thought it might help break these guys into the mainstream. Then I realized that if “Remember Me” couldn’t do it, I don’t know what would. Also, one of the best shows I saw last year.

2. The Black Keys – “Attack & Release”. Yes we know what to expect from The Black Keys, but the addition of Danger Mouse and other instruments helped expand their sound in fantastic ways. Very underrated effort.

1. Gnarls Barkley – “The Odd Couple”. Brilliant front-to-back. None of the standouts like “St. Elsewhere”, but also not as uneven. I’m just kind of bewildered that this isn’t getting the acclaim that it deserves.

New Guys who caught my eye (but I need to listen more of):
Los Campesinos! – “Hold on Now Youngster”
Ra Ra Riot – “The Rhumb Line”
No Age – “Nouns”

Special Mention:
One Day As A Lion – “One Day As A Lion” [EP]. With 5 songs, Zack de la Rocha showed more creativity than 3 Audioslave albums. And I say that as a guy who didn’t totally hate Audioslave.

11. Greek McPapadopoulos - Friday, December 19, 2008

I’m breaking up my review into two sections, for clarity’s sake.

Honorable Mention
Coldplay – “Viva La Vida”. Whatever, I like these guys, even though “X&Y” showed total creative bankruptcy. At least they’re back making music that’s interesting at the least.

TV on the Radio – “Dear Science”. Everybody else is throwing up praise for this one, but I hated it the first time I listened to it–I hated the flow, and some of the songs just seemed awful. But I’ve listened to it a few more times, and it grew on me. I still say “desperate youth, bloodthirsty babes” is their high point.

Eagles of Death Metal – “Heart On”. I love these guys, and the schtick hasn’t worn thin yet.

Dr. Dog – “Fate”. I like these lo-fi Beatles.

My Morning Jacket – “Evil Urges”. Granted, it’s a fun album, and I’ll throw it on. But it just doesn’t measure up to their previous work. I thought this would be their big breakthrough, and would justify to the masses why I felt this band was so great. It just wasn’t the case. Instead, I’ll have to continue converting people with my stagings of “Okonokos”.

The other great disappointment? With all the mentions of Sarah Palin and her supposed sexy-librarian looks, nobody quoted the song “Librarian” from this album.

Wolf Parade – “At Mount Zoomer”. You can’t match the brilliance of “Apologies to the Queen Mary”, so it’s no fault to these guys. The songs are all very good, but they just lack the same spark that they had on their debut that would bring me an element of joy, no matter how depressing the lyrics were.

Bloc Party – “Intimacy”. It’s not bad at all, but it definitely sounds rushed. If they spent a bit more time on this, it would be a better album. That being said, the CD release added some good songs to the early-download-only title.

Nine Inch Nails – “Ghosts”. When I hear “Nine Inch Nails” and “instrumentals”, I think of the brilliance of “A Warm Place” and “Just Like You Imagined”, which truly stand alone as pieces by themselves. Instead, I got a soundtrack to a movie I don’t particularly want to see. “The Slip” was a good followup though.

The Verve – “Forth”. It’s good to see these guys back together, but it’s clear these guys lost something.

Secret Machines – “Secret Machines”. B-o-r-i-n-g.

Top songs (in no order)
Kings of Leon – “Sex on Fire”
Flobots – “Handelbars”
Wolf Parade – “Kissing the Beehive”
TV on the Radio – “Family Tree”
Sigur Rós – “Festival”
Gnarls Barkley – “Going On”
Los Campesinos! – “Death to Los Campesinos!”
Tokyo Police Club – “Your English is Good”
My Morning Jacket – “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream, pt. 2”
Beck – “Profanity Prayers”
Vampire Weekend – “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance”
The Raconteurs – “Salute Your Solution”
British Sea Power – “Atom”
The Black Keys – “Things Ain’t Like They Used to Be”
The Walkmen – “In the New Year”

12. DougOLis - Friday, December 19, 2008

Nice list Greek.

Beck was quite disappointing at Street Scene as well (probably the worst act I saw) but I guess there were technical difficulties so I was reserving a bit of judgment; if he wasn’t so good when you saw him either then maybe there’s more to it.

I liked You & Me but it underwhelmed me a bit and I was expecting more. Also, how do they not get any comparisons to …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead?

Maybe I should give The Odd Couple a better listen

Coldplay – agreed
TVotR – had the same problem but it keeps getting better and better
MMJ disappointed me too
Bloc Party didn’t really disappoint me because my expectations weren’t that high

13. undergroundBTO - Sunday, December 21, 2008

Did I get a “BTO…whatever” as my shout-out? That’s harsh!

14. Jerkwheat - Sunday, December 21, 2008

It was “BTO…..REAL WORLD!!!!”

I could never be harsh to an OG

15. Rockabye - Saturday, February 21, 2009

I still have to write my year-end recap. Um. Monday?

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