Best Of 2008

WarpedRealtyMagBestOf2008

+ ATLAS SOUND, LET THE BLIND LEAD THOSE WHO CAN SEE BUT CANNOT FEEL [Kranky/4AD]

“I heard a voice through a great cloud of agony and sickness. The voice was asking questions. It seemed to be opening and closing like a concertina. The words were loud, as the swelling notes of an organ, then they melted to the tiniest wiry tinkle of water in a glass.” —Denton Welch, A Voice Through a Cloud

MP3Atlas Sound, “Ativan”

+ BEACH HOUSE, DEVOTION [Carpark]

“Here all was laughter and confusion. Here beautiful women, their hair dyed gorgeous colors, squashed soft, pale furs into golden chairs, crunched diamonds around glasses of iced drink, jammed bright lipsticked cigarettes into their mouths, and exhaled a heady perfume…” —Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

MP3Beach House, “Gila”

+ DAVID BYRNE + BRIAN ENO, EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS WILL HAPPEN TODAY [self-released]

“At the same time, I felt feverish and uneasy and in a state of absolute heartache and helpless rage at the prospect of showing up at this party where I was clearly supposed to play the part of a sentimental curiosity, where I’d be a stuffed monkey.” —Grégoire Bouillier, The Mystery Guest

MP3David Byrne & Brian Eno, “Strange Overtones”

+ CASTLEMUSIC, YOU CAN’T TAKE ANYONE

“It was like her heart was too big for her body, and when she’d caught me, and taught me, she made mine the same way.” —Jennifer Stevenson, Trash Sex Magic

MP3Castlemusic, “Heaven”

+ LAND OF TALK, SOME ARE LAKES [Saddle Creek]

“And so she set off across the hot desert to see the thing that wasn’t like anything else, giving little skips in the evening air from the high spirits that bounced inside her like Mexican jumping beans.” —Jay Cantor, Krazy Kat

MP3Land of Talk, “The Man Who Breaks Things (Dark Shuffle)”

+ MATT EVERETT, BLINKING [Little Epiphany]

“This is the first sunrise in the world. Never before did this pink-turning-yellow-turning-hot-white settle onto the façade with which the house on the West, full of glassy eyes, face the silence that comes in the growing light. This time of day never took place before, nor did this light, nor did this being of mine. Tomorrow, whatever is will be something else, and whatever I see will be seen by recomposed eyes full of new vision.” —Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

MP3Matt Everett, “Telepathy”

+ SIAN ALICE GROUP, 59, 59 [The Social Registry]

“A moment since she had lit the darkened room like a torch like a long static flame burning from the floor. Until she spoke. It was her clothes. Something scarlet and over it a saffron-colored dressing-gown suggesting a thing brave and foolhardy: a tongue of fire.” —Olive Moore, Fugue

MP3Sian Alice Group, “Motionless”

+ SPIRES THAT IN THE SUNSET RISE, CURSE THE TRACED BIRD [Secret Eye]

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed: only the light moves. I sang a bit to cheer myself up. I was chilled to the bone. The Queen, in the meantime, was telling me that she fed all her horses on jam.” —Leonora Carrington, “The Royal Summons” (from The House of Fear & Other Stories)

MP3Spires That In the Sunset Rise, “Party Favors”

+ THE BREEDERS, MOUNTAIN BATTLES [4AD]

“Time ceases to follow normal rules of progression. Instead it blinks on and off like a strobe light. Moments actually vanish while you occupy them… So one instant you feel yourself spiraling into darkness; the next, light streams down onto a whole new stage set, with characters whose faces display the comfort of having been at your table for a while.” —Mary Karr, Cherry

MP3The Breeders, “We’re Gonna Rise”

+ TV ON THE RADIO, DEAR SCIENCE [4AD/DGC]

“She said romanticism starts wars and that I should lower my sights.” —Luke Sutherland, Venus As A Boy

MP3TV on the Radio, “Halfway Home”

+ VALET, NAKED ACID [Kranky]

“The sun seemed to shine on us with the specific intention of licking us clean. We moved our limbs in wonder like cripples faith-healed. …There were roses everywhere. …The first birds tried their wings. I was shining like a gold medal.” —Shelley Jackson, “Fat” (from The Melancholy of Anatomy)

MP3Valet, “Kehaar”

+ VIVIAN GIRLS, VIVIAN GIRLS [In the Red]

“All of a sudden there is a whoosh, a great blast of air as the hatch is opened. Everyone turns to stare. The twelve Girl Scouts, fully equipped with parachutes and helmets, spring out into the air. They’re looking ahead, squinting, sunlight glinting on their braces. They float down two by two, holding hands. Sailing free and brave in the wide-open sky.” —Judy Budnitz, “Scenes from the Fall Fashion Catalog” (from Flying Leap)

MP3Vivian Girls, “Blind Spot”

Also noteworthy:

• Air Miami, Sixteen Songs [Teenbeat Originals]
• Liquid Liquid reissue [Domino]
Maybe It’s Reno [Teenbeat]
• Stereolab, Chemical Chords [4AD]
• T. Griffin, A Walk Into the Sea [Soundtrack]
• The New Bloods, The Secret Life [Kill Rock Stars]
• The Slits, Return of the Giant Slits [Blast First Petite]
Wild Combination [Plexifilm]
• Tricky, Knowle West Boy (Domino)
• The Feelies are PLAYING SHOWS. I cannot contain my excitement.

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4 Comments

  1. I kind of want to hear the Land of Talk, since Justin Vernon produced it, but the fact that it’s on Saddle Creek means that I will have to illegally download it from a torrent.

  2. James

    It isn’t a new Feelies album, but Glenn Mercer did release a solo record this year that has most of the other Feelies playing. It is quite good.

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