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

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Ranking character, and yes, more DFW
September 16, 2008, 9:39 am
Filed under: Words, Work | Tags: , ,

– Via Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic, these maps ranking each state by qualities of character are pretty fascinating. Apparently, Maine is both one of the most extraverted and least open states in the country. That means we’re shallow, right?

– And we’re continuing other peoples’ David Foster Wallace tributes week. I highly doubt anyone reading this is as big a closet tennis nut as I am, but I forgot how awesome DFW’s profile of Roger Federer in the NYT‘s sports magazine is. (Gawker’s got a handy wrapup of freely available online articles.) The McSweeney’s tributes – including bits by Dave Eggers and Zadie Smith – have begun, and the reminiscences by his former students almost made me cry. More of those coming throughout the week. And at Zoilus, Carl Wilson gives another lovely tribute, and links to an online community of DFW freaks, where I take it there are loads more stories and articles.

– Also, I forgot to provide a link last week to my review of Why?’s album, Alopecia. He’s at SPACE Gallery on Saturday.



Nurture Through Nature Fall News

This is the first edition of “post titles from actual subject lines of emails I receive at work.”

– From the shocking coincidence department, I got around to watching Old Joy last night (which I wrote about yesterday… accurately, it turns out), and discovered that a clip of dialogue from the film is included in Why?’s album Alopecia, which I spent the bulk of Sunday writing about (link to come Thursday). The one unfortunate aspect of this coincidence is that one line of my review is about how all of Why?’s pop-culture references are too weird/specific/on-the-nose to get people to cheer along with them. I would totally cheer for an Old Joy dialogue clip at a show.

– The new album by Megafaun, which is kind of sort of a band that Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon used to be in, sounds great.

– Slate is publishing excerpts from the forthcoming collection State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America (out next week). In it, fifty writers tackle the fifty states (there’s an afterword on Washington, D.C.). Just some of the writers involved: the New Yorker‘s George Packer, William T. Vollmann, Benjamin Kunkel, Rick Moody, current literary heartthrob Joshua Ferris (Then We Came to the End), Dave Eggers, Alexander Payne (director of Election, Sideways, etc.), Susan Orlean, Jhumpa Lahiri. There are other familiar names too. Awesome. The volume is co-edited by Sean Wilsey, who wrote the pretty good memoir Oh the Glory of It All and this excellent essay/diary, which I highly recommend printing out (he also slept in the window of SPACE Gallery for a week the summer I moved to Portland).

– I hereby predict that by the time the next Okkervil River album comes out, the band is going to get even more popular and most of their torch-bearing critics are going to turn on him. They are getting seriously overheated, and these reviews read like old Decemberists praise. Remember liking them? Sure you do. The Stand Ins isn’t bad, though.

– And, bummer of bummers, one of the better music crit sites on the web has shuttered. Visit Paper Thin Walls for their preemptive singles and album of the year, complete with streams.

– I’m taking a week off from the election. Everyone’s talking and thinking crazy and, worse, talking to me about it.