of Maine

The Best Albums of 2008 (top 25)

snail1The suspense has been excrutiating, I know.

A note or two on the list: if there were a #1 in my brain here, it’d either be Bon Iver or Erykah Badu; #1 in my heart, maybe Women. Been kind of “not liking music” lately (this is the reason for the delay), but we’ll try to get things back on track here at of Maine HQ. I’ll either talk about things I do like right now (basically Hauschka and the two other things I’ve listened to in 2009), whine about things I don’t really like that everyone else does (buzz kids of the week The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), or talk about how underwhelming this year’s Best Picture nominees are.

Here I thought I liked winter… Anyway.

Arthur Russell, Love Is Overtaking Me
Beach House, Devotion
Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
Chad VanGaalen, Soft Airplane
Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours
Dan Friel, Ghost Town
Deerhunter, Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.
Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
Fuck Buttons, Street Horrsing
Gang Gang Dance, Saint Dymphna
Grouper, Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
Hercules & Love Affair, s/t
Los Campesinos!, Hold On Now, Youngster
M83, Saturdays = Youth
Max Tundra, Parallax Error Beheads You
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, s/t
No Age, Nouns
Sam Amidon, All is Well
The Tallest Man on Earth, Shallow Graves
The Walkmen, You & Me
The War on Drugs, Wagonwheel Blues
White Denim, Exposion
Why?, Alopecia
Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer
Women, s/t


Alias and Sexy Books: Work Links

– Alias, storied Anticon producer and one of the nicer guys around, has a strong new album, Resurgam, out this week. I review it in this week’s Phoenix.

– I also wrote this fairly silly article about “five books to read (or pretend you’re reading)” to land your first college mate. It’s kind of dumb and snarky, but that’s sort of the point.

– I was also just thinking about how Michelle Obama looked pretty hot on Tuesday night at the DNC. Can’t find a picture, but that’s probably for the best. And, via Gawker, coverage of how the Convention is destroying MSNBC. (This makes it a significant bummer that their online video feed is just the convention proper and none of this bonkers commentary.)

– More big praise for the new Walkmen album. Still probably gonna write about that soon.

– And the latest in the Onion A.V. Club’s awesome “New Cult Canon” series – which is pretty loosely defined, because most of these films are movie buff movies and not much more – about Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom. (Do yourself a favor and read the piece on Showgirls. Hilarious.)

Four Friday Links

– This month’s issue of the Atlantic asks some big questions. About termites. Do their tummies hold the key to new alternative energy sources? Can the desires of a stomach override those of a brain?? The mind boggles. Some pretty good campaign coverage in the issue too.

– I’ve been considering writing a bit about the new Walkmen album, You & Me, which I like an awful lot. It’s a huge step up from the lazy travelogue of A Hundred Miles Off, and a nice compromise of that album’s generous instrumentation and the band’s earlier intensity. This Pitchfork review may oversell the album a bit, but otherwise nails it.

– At the halfway point of this week’s New Yorker, George Packer writes an exhaustive, absorbing, informative, superlative article about Burma/Myanmar. (Anthony Lane’s take on the first week of the Olympics, meanwhile, is just as boring and unfunny as everything else I’ve read about the events in Beijing.)

– The New York Times reviews a Vivian Girls show! At a DIY venue in Brooklyn! And likes them a lot! I haven’t yet mentioned how great their album is. In due time.