I had some food, green tea and decongestants and I’m back with the second part of my 2008 records list. (Oooh, I also made a best of 2008 mixtape, check the end of this post)
Paul Baribeau – Grand Ledge
Yes, yes I know that technically this was released in 2007, but it was released on vinyl this year so it’s going on my list. Don’t let the fact that AP called him the greatest living folk artist deter you. Paul Baribeau is a genius. Honest yet never whiny, he sings about the trials and tribulations of twenty something non corporate lifestyle. In this record he carefully jumps from super sad songs, to songs full of hope and positivity. He seems like the kind of dude you would want to be your best friend. The track Christmas Lights can sometimes make me cry (in the good way).
Fake Problems – It’s Great to Be Alive
This may not technically be out yet, but I’ve got it, and I’ve listened to it a shit ton, so it’s going on my list. I saw Fake Problems twice this year, and they ruled both times. I liked the last two records, but this one it like, wo-ah, you know? There are actual songs, but still enough crazy hand claps and group shout alongs to keep anyone happy. Positive even when dealing with the most negative narrative, they’re a band I often tag on last.fm as “impossible to be sad to”. All the songs are great, but Dream Team has had my foot tapping more in the last month than almost anything else this year.
Whiskey Trench – The Good Sun ep
The Whiskey Trench ep rules. In a simple, honest and gruffy punk kind of a way. A band made up of other bands (including Sainte Catherines) it’s not that they’re necessarily doing anything new, but they’re doing it really fucking well. This record makes me happy, and also makes doing household chores something that resembles fun. I’m excited about a full length.
Tom Gabel – HeartBurns
As if I wasn’t going to put this on my list. Everyone’s favourite credible punk rock crush takes some time out from Against me! to get back to some solo grown up punk rock angst. It actually really doesn’t sound like Against me! and has far more in common with Tom’s early stuff, just older and better produced. Random Hearts gets stuck in my head almost daily. That part of November when he joined the reunion tour? I wanted to die from not being able to go. Music swoon.
Gaslight Anthem – The 59 Sound
This is easily my record of the year, I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve listened to it, and although I had a spectacularly bad live experience with these boys earlier this month I still can’t stop being in love with almost every song on this record. From the perfect opening to the (okay I’ll give you this one) incredibly Springsteenesque Backseat, it flows the way Afghan Whigs records did. Playing pick the influences is a fun game, but joking aside, I can’t say anything bad about this record and the magical retro Jersey romanticism it brings whenever its played. It also sent me back into the motown phase I haven’t re-visited since my teens. It kills me that my favourite current record is written by a teetotal christian, but that’s just the icing on this years weird cake.
Here, is my kimlovesstuff best of 2008 to download and acquaint yourself with. Tracklisting is as follows
- Paul Baribeau – Christmas Lights
- Fake Problems – The Dream Team
- Gaslight Anthem – Old White Lincoln
- The Riot Before – Threat Level Midnight
- Ben Nichols – Toadvine
- Whiskey Trench – The Good Sun
- Chinese Telephones – Back to You Again
- Tom Gabel – Random Hearts
- Murder by Death – Fuego
- For Science – East of E
- Death Cab for Cutie -The Ice is Getting Thinner
- The State Lottery – Cities We’re not From
- Lemuria – Pants
- The Ergs! – Books about Miles Davis
- Gaslight Anthem – Blue Jeans and White Tee Shirts