Yup, it’s that time of year for list making and the best ofs…
But during this time of worry, wondering if my job is going to be there tomorrow, I’ve found this activity to be quasi healthy, as it perpetuates hopefulness. A promise. Something that I’m terrible at.
“Any tiny positive thing is good,” so says my lover, the Buddha. So, in an attempt to be hopeful about the future, I’ve created my list of favorite songs, and albums for 2008. Because as much as I make fun of her Buddha remarks, my lover is semi right. Reflecting on your favorite things, what makes you laugh, smile a little, that brings you joy is worth making a list of and keeping in your empty pocket, or maybe on your ipod.
In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite songs and albums, that kept me alive in 2008:
Object’s Black Swan, because these kids reek awesomeness, especially live. I saw their last show for the year this past Friday night, and they did all new stuff, with the inclusion of their unrecorded and my favorite, Disappear. Most of their new stuff is instrumental metal, a new direction (maybe?), which began as a Halloween side project. These kids are sickly talented, and I can’t wait to hear what they bring in 2009. See previous post here: Object. Listen: OFF THE RECORD
The Netherlands‘s BDF-German Hardcore, because they’re effin crazy, and their songs remind me of James Brown: some soul meets rock, meets noise possibly? My faves: Teenage Sun, BDF-German Hardcore, Warleola!, The Gogo Dancer, and The Cocain Knightz. This is a great band. I can’t wait for their insanity to explode. Listen: BDF GERMAN HARDCORE
Yo! Majesty‘s Kryptonite P***y EP and Futuristically Speaking… Never Be Afraid. Some of the words, and phrases I associate with Yo!: Risk Takers, Unapologetic, Dynamism, Hott, Scandalous, Blasphemous… Scandalous and Blasphemous because isn’t that what makes 2008 especially special? When we think about all our leaders being caught in the act, and all these words become attached to their behavior. Like “phenomena”, as if they’ve created a new trend. I wonder sometimes what exactly is phenomenal about what they’re doing, especially when they can get away with it. These guys, however, Yo! Majesty, push the queer in funkadelic, rap, hiphop. Added to this mix and their in your face lyrics Yo! fuses Soca and Club music, making their sound completely sick. Faves: Break Bread, Kryptonite P***y, Night Riders, Hott, Grindin’ And Shakin’, Never Be Afraid.
Swati‘s Big Bang. This is probably one of the most uplifting songs I’ve listened to in awhile. It makes me feel electric from my finger-tips to my toes. I walk to work imagining that I could play guitar like it was my sword, singing the lyrics like they were a spell, ready for whatever awaits me…
Renminbi‘s The Phoenix. Renminbi, pronounced REN-MIN-BEE, is an experimental three piece, that kept changing drummers on me. My band had the opportunity to play with these guys, and they’re amazing: both as musicians and human beings. For me that’s all it takes. My faves: Lachine, Fight Song, Siren, The Shore. Listen: SIREN
Pianowire‘s The Throws, still gives me goose bumps, or as we say in Trinidad, make meh pause raise. So good. They’re a mixture of Elton John, Billy Joel and Queen. I also love Contact. These guys are coming out with an album soon. Listen: THE THROWS
Holy Fuck‘s Royal Gregory, because you couldn’t be in a much better mood after listening. It’s a great mixture of electronic, experimental and rock music. See, it’s very possible to like electronic music, once it’s done well and it’s not repetitive. Another band that I appreciate a lot, that does the same (bridging the gaps between electronic, experimental and rock) are the Battles.
Lupe Fiasco‘s The Cool is supposedly an antithesis to Miles Davis’s Birth of Cool and if I may the Cool Jazz movement, as it critiques and decontructs the current “cool” state of hip hop (a derivative of bebop jazz) which no longer challenges the status quo, discusses social issues, but again and again chooses to be distracted by the bling and pussy. Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem We Real Cool also comes to mind when listening to this album:
We Real Cool
THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.
We real cool. We
Left School. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We