My Last 2008 Best-Of

January 8, 2009


2008 is over, so I’ll issue my one last best of ‘08 recap and move one. I’ve perused AMG, Rolling Stone and NPR’s best of music recaps and found some overlap and similarity to my personal picks and some differences. Once I see Paste and Mojo’s choices I’ll be done with that. As for films, I’m holding out for the Oscars to see how they fall in (I tend to completely overlook People’s Choice and Golden Globes).

Anyway, there are three close runner ups to my music list that I‘ve gotten since I posted my list. All three I heard after my final selections had been made and all three are excellent. I stand my by top ten though, but these three come close:

1)Al Green: Lay it Down
This is the best soul record I’ve heard in years. The only modern soul singer that holds a candle to Mr. Green is Anthony Hamilton but Green surpasses him in sheer maturity and range. Ahmir “?Love” Thompson of the Roots aided in production of this disc but he in no way infuses hip hop into it. He encourages Green’s natural talents and sensibilities and the overall sheen is retro pop perfection. The few folks who aid in the songs vocally, with duets and background vocals are Anthony Hamilton, Corrina Bailie Rae and John Legend, and all are at the top of their game. “Lay it Down” is best in one long, hour dose. Though it’s also good song by song,, it’s the sum of those parts working together that most effectively showcase the last living soul great’s artistry.

2) Vampire Weekend :

This album was the hipster buzz album of the year, preceded by a year’s worth of hype and internet chatter. The reason it’s so buzzed about and critically raved this year, I think, is because it sounds like nothing else. The music is a mixture of classical (seriously, violins, orchestra style classical) and Afro pop. The vocals are pure indie rock, the backing vocals are post punk. The lyrics are collegiate. It all blends together in an artsy, thinking, dancey way and it’s never quite pretentious. Each song is memorable.

3) Jenny Lewis: Acid Tongue
Jenny Lewis has, as many have noted, gone from the alt country/indie pop hybrid lead singer of Rilo Kiley to Costello influenced alt indie on “Rabbit Fur Coat” to this, a lady of laurel canyon folk singer. She’s even moved to the canyon and been involved in starting a music scene there again. Acid Tongue is a great album, full of shining moments. The shifting and three tiered eight minute “Next Messiah,” the Costello duet “Carpetbagger,” and everything else here is fun and unique.

Okay, so my Best Films 08 list was listed in no particular order, completely unranked. I’ve seen a few of the films I was holding out for, but have still not seen “Doubt,” “Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” or “Gran Torino,” all look terrific. So what follows is my ranking of the films I enjoyed the most from the 08 release year. Some important and relevant, some merely entertaining.
10-Zack and Miri Make a Porno
9- Forgetting Sarah Marshall
7- Iron Man
6-Shine a Light
4- W
2-The Dark Knight

Finally, some notable events of ‘08 that weren’t negative.
· The 2008 Baseball season-
A)the longest all star game ever with a pre-show featuring Yogi Berra, etc.
B)the road to the world series, which was constantly surprising
C)The World Series, featuring last years last ranked team actually competing for the title. A full, long Series full of fun.

· SNL this year featured some of its best political satire, entertaining musical performances and weekend updates. Poehler’s last year was great and Fey’s constant cameos as Palin were spot on.

– The election. Hopefully progressive politics take hold and work effectively now.

That’s it for 2008 articles. 2009 is here, which means new music, new movies, new events. Articles that are upcoming include the last few book reviews that tie in with “10 Examples of Comic Literature,” articles involving the “Kingdom of God,” and various other theology articles, etc. Stop back by!


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