Hello, blogosphere. I'm George Booker and this here is a blog I am using to plug content into until the awesometastic launch of 24sevencities.com on January 16, 2009. I thought I would start out by sharing the list of hastily compiled 2008 music favorites I sent to my friends at noripcord.com for their year-end list. I've done as much writing on music in the last year as ever, but I find myself missing the environs of v89, wvfs tallahassee, my college station at Florida State, and Relative Theory Records, the best music shop Norfolk, VA ever did see, where I worked until its closing last year. Anyway, I didn't get to hear everything I wanted to this year, which is quite a bummer for me. Still, I can't complain about a year with at least 24 releases I really loved. Conspicuously, I have not heard "808s and Heartbreak" in its entirety, but from what I have heard it may have placed very highly. That is why these are "favorites" and not the "best".
1. Steinski "What Does It All Mean?"
Not just important, but awesome as well. Illegal Art is definitely label of the year.
2. Neon Neon "Stainless Style"
Abstract West Coast hip-hop producer meets Welsh indie rock cult icon to make a retro conceptual biography of John DeLorean. Normally something that would sound better in the imagination than in practice, but this is truly fantastic.
3. Portishead "Third"
The great comeback of the year, totally different but still the same. "Magic Doors", like "Glory Box" 13 years ago, proves that Beth Gibbons dropping high-minded vaginal metaphors is always classic.
4. The Bug "London Zoo"
This is my "anger and violence" music for 2008, what I would play in my car if for some reason I had to track and kill something. Menacing.
5. Koushik "Out My Window"
Hip-hop is making much better California Sunshine Pop than rock 'n roll these days.
6. Girl Talk "Feed The Animals"
Shuts up the haters who say that sampling isn't an art unto itself.
7. Raphael Saadiq "The Way I See It"
As good as any retro-soul album yet, feels like it was beamed from the past and the proccess made it better. Saadiq and Sharon Jones should battle one day.
8. Hercules and Love Affair (s/t)
The pansexual early-80s disco dance fantasy I didn't know I had within me.
9. James Pants "Welcome"
James Pants is the heir to Gary Wilson in the parents' house geek funk pantheon.
10. Ratatat "LP3"
The best hip-hop producers not usually recognized as being hip-hop producers. Did Dan Deacon do this video?
11. Al Green "Lay It Down"
?uestlove finds the sound Green's previous secular reunions with Willie Mitchell were looking for.
12. Gnarls Barkley "The Odd Couple"
Seeming less weird and more like what classic modern pop just is year by year.
13. Lil Wayne "Tha Carter III"
The most ubiquitous thing on this list. If you don't know, you're trying too hard.
14. GZA "ProTools"
Another stellar release from the Wu's steadiest wordsmith. Check RZA vamping on Gary Numan on "Life Is A Movie"
15. Flying Lotus "Los Angeles"
Martian sound-dust from Warp's futurist hip-hop maniac, familiar from bumps on Adult Swim. Speaking of Adult Swim, Tim & Eric made a blinky, psychedelic pornographic video for "Parisian Goldfish".
This video below contains some explicit cartoon scenes, flashing lights and is FOR OVER 18's ONLY.
Directed by Eric Wareheim (Tim & Eric) in association with Warp Records and Warp Films. Music by Flying Lotus. Co Directed/ Animation by Devin Flynn. Co Directed/ Edited by Eric Fensler. More info at dancefloordale.com
16. N*E*R*D "Seeing Sounds"
Represent. Aww, come on guys! Represeeent. Please?
17. Snoop Dogg "Ego Trippin'"
I believe this is his best since "Doggystyle", and I eagerly anticipate a full-length collaboration with DJ Quik and VB's Teddy Riley. The Prince homage for "Sexual Eruption" was my favorite video last year.
18. David Byrne and Brian Eno "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today"
This is nothing close to "My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts", but does find the two oddball geniuses at ease making great, surprisingly direct tunes.
19. Del The Funky Homosapien "Eleventh Hour"
Its Del rapping. When has that ever been bad?
20. Murs "Murs For President"
Another West Coast hero who is always cool. A curiously timed major label debut, it falls just a touch short of his full-length collaborations with 9th wonder.
21. Spiritualized "Songs in A+E"
Near death precedes drug addled space cadets most focused collection of songs.
22. Goldfrapp "Seventh Tree"
Alison takes the dark dance cabaret back to organic, Wicker Man English folk styles. Smooth and sexy as always.
23. RZA as Bobby Digital "Digi Snacks"
Oh, no. It must be Bobby. "In your Atlantic I'ma sink my Titantic"...this metaphor makes me think one part is very small or the other must be huge, ratio-wise.
24. Dizzee Rascal "Maths + English"
Not his best album, but he's still among the best British shouters out there.