of Maine


The Best Albums of 2008 (Honorable Mentions, L-Z)

Little Joy,  s/t
The Mae Shi, HLLLYH
The Magnetic Fields, Distortion
Marnie Stern, This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is That and That Is That
Mount Eerie, Lost Wisdom
The Mountain Goats, Heretic Pride
Nat Baldwin, Most Valuable Player
Nico Muhly, Mothertongue
Oneida, Preteen Weaponry
Paavoharju, Laulu Laakson Kukista
Parts & Labor, Receivers
Portishead, Third
School of Language, Sea From Shore
Shearwater, Rook
Subtle, ExitingARM
Sun Kil Moon, April
Thomas Function, Celebration
TV on the Radio, Dear Science
Vampire Weekend, s/t
Vetiver, Thing of the Past
Vivian Girls, s/t
The Week That Was, s/t



Friday errata, and more to come.

– Well, we’re a little time constrained today, so my overeager deconstruction of this song will have to wait until next week. Regardless, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, guys. Big name, big talent, and a heck of a grower of a self-titled album.

– It’s a very good day to visit Pitchfork in general. They give a nice rave to the Vivian Girls album, which is finally available in stores. (Do wish they’d stop addressing albums in the context of the hype machine they’ve helped to create, though.) More obscure but no less exciting, can’t wait to check out The Week That Was, a band featuring Peter Brewis of UK indie pop band Field Music, who released what I’d argue is the most underrated album of 2007, Tones of Town. This sounds… just as good.

– At the frequently hilarious Intensities in Ten Suburbs, acclaim for David Bowie’s portrayal of Nikola Tesla in one of Chris Nolan’s pre-Dark Knight near-masterpieces, The Prestige. Always happy to read about the film, which seems to be quickly establishing a sort of cult status.

– Browsing the website for one of my favorite quarterlies, Cabinet, it turns out they have a bountiful art and web art section. Click here and select the first option, a neat map art project by Jackie Goss about the development of maps of the United States. Can’t wait to delve further into this page.

– A smart pan of the new, bloated Of Montreal album at Dusted. Better yet, a review of the new, punk as fuck Marnie Stern album, which I haven’t listened to much, but it’s definitely a big step forward from her last one, which I didn’t “get.”

– The venerable, recently deceased alt-country magazine No Depression is back in action, on the web.

– Lastly, this one’s important! A sobering, inspiring endorsement of Barack Obama by the editors of the New Yorker. (Not that they need to convince their readers or anything…) Also, it’s Barack and Michelle’s 16th wedding anniversary today.



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.