The Best of 2008

Every year I make a mix for my dad with what I think the best songs of the year were. It’s like a time capsule of the year and I have done it for the last four years. I decided to share with you this year, catagory-wise (because I can’t rank them, that’s for stupid people):

What could be considered Rock Songs:flight

You Won’t Be Fooled By This — Albert Hammond Jr

Fascination — Alphabeat

The Kelly Affair — Be Your Own Pet

Strange Times — The Black Keys

Furr — Blitzen Trapper

Mercury — Bloc Party

For Emma — Bon Iver

Lights Out For Darker Skies — British Sea Power
Lost? — Coldplay

Lights Off — The Dears

Tiger Mountain Peasant Song — Fleet Foxes

The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room) — Flight Of The Conchords

The French Open — Foals

Ulysses — Franz Ferdinand

My Friend John — The Fratellis

Wonderlust King — Gogol Bordello

Love Hurts — Incubus

In The Rushes — Islands

Sleep Through The Static — Jack Johnson

Always Wanting More — Jay Reatard

Sex On Fire — Kings Of Leon

Always Where I Need To Be — The Kooks

The Age Of The Understatement — The Last Shadow Puppets

Kim And Jessie — M83

Run To Your Grave –The Mae Shi

All Nightmare Long — Metallica

Kids — MGMT

Veiled In Grey — Mystery Jets

Sleeper Hold — No Age

I’m Outta Time — Oasis

St Exquisite’s Confessions — Of Montreal

Negative — Project Jenny, Project Jan

Salute Your Solution — The Raconteurs

No Sex For Ben — The Rapture

Gravity — Sara Bareilles

Gobbledigook — Sigur Ros

Dinosaurs — The Stills

London Bridges — This Is The Ivy League

Great DJ — The Ting Tings

Red Dress — TV On The Radio

M79 — Vampire Weekend

Pork And Beans — Weezer

What could be considered Rap Songs:cool-kids

Dang — Buck 65

In Search Of The Youth Crew — Cadence Weapon

She’s So High — Charles Hamilton

What Up Man — Cool Kids

American Boy — Estelle

Coldest Winter — Kanye West

Cappuccino — The Knux

A Milli — Lil’ Wayne

Superstar — Lupe Fiasco

Kill Joy — N.E.R.D.

Royal Flush — Outkast

Move — Q-Tip

Shove It — Santogold

On The Flip Of A Coin — The Streets

The Freestyle (Roc Boys) — Wale

What could be considered Dance Songs:justice-dance

Coming From A Higher Place — Baby Charles

Lights And Music — Cut Copy

With A Heavy Heart (I Regret To Inform You) — Does It Offend You? Yeah?

O Shot (Dmerit Mix) — The Gay Blades

Hercules Theme — Hercules And Love Affair

Shake A Fist — Hot Chip

Little Bit Of Feel Good — Jamie Lidell

Planisphere — Justice

These Girls Are Dressed To Kill (Russ Chimes Mix) — The Outrunners

Silence — Portishead

Circus of Horror — Quiet Village

Mirando — Ratatat

When You Talk — The Twelves

Golden Cage (Fred Falke Mix) — The Whitest Boy Alive


GOAT List: Jesus Walks — Kanye West

kanyechurchOne of the best starts of a song that I have on this list is the one that starts Jesus Walks. The pounding march of the soldiers, and the gospel humming and Kanye delivering one of the most poignant lyric in the rap world: “We’re at war. We’re at war with terrorism, racism, but most of all, we’re at war with ourselves.” Easily one of the most important popular songs to come out of this generation is Kanye’s first single from the phenomal College Dropout album. This song has highs and lows on an epic scale that people like Diddy have tried to replicate for a long time, but Kanye nails on this one song. Also for a Kanye song, it’s very low key in the self-boasting that he’s known for. It’s a social conscious song that bands like Public Enemy before him were known for. A song that is not afraid to ask the questions of the generation. In the 80’s it was racism and predujice, this time it’s about apathy and the out of control spiriling of the world. It’s humble and full of questions, but at the same time powerful and relevant. It mixes the power and spectacle of war and rap in general, with the social commentary and singing of gospel and jazz. Also it has a hell of a beat, and intense lyrics. I also believe that Kanye, with a string of amazing songs, will never top this. It’s beyond him now, this was when he was just starting to be popular, now I think he’s too much of a celebrity and a bigger than life person to lower himself enough to record something that moves as much as Jesus Walks.


GOAT List: Jungle Strut — Santana

santanaAll I know of Santana, and all you need to know of Santana is three albums. I know he’s done a gagillion albums and resurrected his career singing with Wyclef and Nickleback but that’s all garbage. All of it. The young latinos of the world are gonna start to hate but the old school ones will know what I’m talking about when I say that the only Santana albums worth your undivided time and attention are Santana I, Abraxas (Santana II), and Santana III. The first three albums, the ones he did with the same band he took to Woodstock and killed with Soul Sacrifice. That band broke up after III to create Journey. Flippin Journey ok? The first three albums were what I hope that Santana would always sound like. Brash, electric, experimental, lots of instruments, smooth ass guitar solos, much more youth than the old, veteran background instrument that he is now.  Jungle Strut is from album III and it perfectly exemplifies what Santana used to be, and what he isn’t now. It’s an instrumental track that starts with a typical 70’s organ and it switches back and forth from that organ to Carlos’ kick ass guitar. In the background you can hear bongo beats, a second guitar, and synchronized drumming. It starts with basically the chorus of the song then delves into soloism. The guitar and the organ dueling each other, until it comes back to the “chorus.” But this track has so much jive, so much cool, so much brass, so much intensity that it can’t simplified to just chorus, solo, chorus. This is what I hear when people mention Santana, not the new age crap he released later, nor those 2000’s albums with a bevy of guest stars that dilute Santana’s true power. Jungle Strut and Santana III (one of my favorite albums of all time) make me proud to be latino. One day I really would like to sit Carlos down and make him listen to his first three albums over and over again until he gets it. I know he would never replicate it but damn it we need a band like this again, maybe he could manage it or something.


Justice’s “Stress”

I saw this video recently on another blog and it literally scared me and awesomed me at the same time. That gang incorporated everything that is scary for a “typical” North American: teenagers, black and brown teenagers, sexual assault, random violence, fire, hijacking, billy clubs, foreign languages, graffiti, black leather jackets, and a huge cross. With little to no consequence for their actions. It’s intense, scary, and stressful.


New CD’s I checked out while my blog checked out

It finally hit spring/summer time here in the crazy north weather.  We had a stretch where we got snow again. I was so pissed off, and it was even worse because I didn’t even know what or whom to be pissed off at. When crazy weather like that happens, people tend to smirk or just laugh at the audacity of the situation, not this time. The week before it was sunny and happy and people were smiling then bloody snow. People were mad, I was mad. It wasn’t funny at all. But at least I had some good music to keep me company

The Kooks — Konk

Their last CD was great, it was that perfect mix of radio worthy pop and indie type rock. That song “Naive” was ultra catchy and one of my favorites of that year. It reminded me of England, all rainy and depressing but cool and hip at the same time. This new one is along the same veins, all that great song writing is there and this time it sounds like The Kooks are trying for something bigger, to break that ever important North American barrier. I actually hate that idea, after the 70’s only losers broke the American barrier like Robbie Williams and the such. Boy bands and wannabes. Why do you care so much about having dumb North Americans appreciate your music when they make stupid crap like Soulja Boy popular? Stop caring UK! You already make cool music, just continue doing that.

The Roots — Rising Down

I got into the Roots after I downloaded “Things Fall Apart.” Yeah I can hear all your rap people cringing, that’s like saying “Yeah I really got into the Beatles after I downloaded Sgt Pepper.” I should’ve already heard and loved “Things Fall Apart” already, it’s a classic of a classic. But whatevs, c’est la vie musique. Anyways after that I got a hold of “The Tipping Point” and the last one “Game Theory” and then I became a Roots fan. So this new effort I found kind of lacking. It has all the cool beats and cool rhymes, but it didn’t have anything to stand out. That sucks because The Game Theory had a ton of songs that stood out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good and if it’s like someone new people would be all over it. But it’s The Roots. I’m sorry if that’s not fair The Roots, but you raised the bar that high.

Be Your Own Pet — Get Awkward!

Unlike The Roots, here’s a band that I totally BFF’d with from the start. Heard those songs, bought the album first hand, went to a concert in the UK, got the band to sign my t-shirt which Jemima sold herself. So I was so happy to hear BYOP again. Again it’s a solid effort, but the problem I have with BYOP is that all the songs blur with each other. So take them singularly and it will go great with any mix cd you will make. Like for instance the childish and short “Food Fight!” would be fantastic on it self with like the Dead Kennedys following it, but not in the album itself. The prototype I think is the fantastic lead single “The Kelly Affair.” The only song that really stands out as being different is “Becky” the song about high school and murder. But if you listen to “Get Awkward” the whole way through and you’ll get a headache. It’s like drinking a slurpee, take careful sips.

Actually it’s that weather again, so it’s time for a slurpee mix!


The Fu-Funk

Today we hit an unprecedented 23 degrees above the brrrr, AND I had a day off. So I had to go outside, come on it would’ve been criminal. I went to my uncle’s cabin the boonies of Alberta to celebrate the birth of my 12 year old cousin. I, of course, gave her some CD’s so I can save her from her eventual descent to hideous music that everyone goes through when they are a teenager. My sister said she listened to the Jack Johnson CD and she really liked that, so that’s what she got from her. I gave her the Strokes’ second album and the Juno Soundtrack because they were both 2 for 25 bucks. I hope to save her soon and bring her to the light side, I already successfully saved my cousin Jose, and I hope to be like what my dad was to me. A sage, a wise old music sage.

But this is not what I was going to write to you about. Ok so I did all that and today I went to lunch with the parents (at IKEA which is pretty good for lunch for some reason), then I went to pay Erin for the Radiohead tickets …wait hold on..

…I GOT RADIOHEAD TICKETS!! After all that fretting my best friend came through in the clutch, and now me and my sis and my roommate and my cousins are ALL going to Vancouver to see them. YAY! So excited I can’t even explain….

Ok, so because of that and seeing her and then playing the first street hockey game of the season it became a pretty awesome day. You know what was my soundtrack of the day? Baby Charles. This band is a Fu-Funk band whatever that means. I think it’s just a modern funk band, but I felt like I was in the movie Superbad. Driving down to the Whyte Ave, with the windows down, sun shining in my face, looking and feeling awesome. I had a spring in my step the whole day and I owe it all to this perfect record to play. All this guitar funk, and singing, and happy cool vibes. I didn’t know if I was in Edmonton or some cool place in California. Anyways if you ever have one of those days, please acuire this album and you will also feel as awesome as I did.

If you can’t find her album for some weird reason, then check out Quiet Village’s Silent Movie. It’s not as funky or happy stepping, but it’s a great sampling instrumental record. These british blokes take some old Motown and 70’s records and mash it up to create some more 70’s sounding and Motown records. Very cool, and very cinematic sounding. It’s not something to dance to, or cruise to, but it’s music to relax and preferably smoke some weed with it, or like talk nonsensical stuff with at 4 in the morning.

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor — Baby Charles

Circus of Horror — Quiet Village


GOAT List: Until The End Of The World — U2

I love U2. Ok let’s change that, I love old U2, new U2 kind of bores me. I don’t get it, especially when I hear that their new album is a “reinvention” and that they are “back” to what they were before. I don’t know what that means. For me U2 starts at the song “New Years Day” and ends with the album “Pop.” In between is some of the greatest popular rock music of that time, of one generation. Rock wise no one touched them, their albums were amazing (Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum, Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and Pop) and their shows legendary. Even songs they did for movies that blew were amazing (Hold Me, Kiss Me for Batman Forever). Their fucking greatest hits album was amazing. This is where this song comes from, right in the middle of that era. I don’t think this song was ever a single, and some people might dispute it but for me “Until The End of The World” musicifed everything that U2 was about during that age. Achtung Baby is quoted as being about love, and this is what this song is about. Stupid, stupid love. It has a great guitar riff from an in form Edge, amazing lyrics by Bono, and crazy instrumentation by the rest of the band. The many times I listen to this song and I still don’t know what it means, it still has that air of mystery. Is it a crazy girl? Or are we the crazy ones for not seeing her truth about the end of the world? Or does it even matter because it’s about this guy who is obsessed with this girl who only cares about the world, just like Bono sings at the end “I’ve reached out for the one I tried to destroy, but you, you said you’d wait til the end of the world.” This song also serves as a metaphor for the band, the girl being Bono and U2, and the singer is us the fans. “Everyone having a good time, except for you, you were talking about the end of the world,” is that political? Or is it obsession? I feel this way about girls sometimes. Then I feel an awesome Edge guitar solo. It’s a fantastic pop song that sucks you in at every listen, and U2 even knew this because they included it in their Greatest Hits compilation. It’s so good that it’s the only U2 song I need in the GOAT list, because this song IS U2. Well the one that I know and love.

Until The End Of The World — U2