Archive for December 12th, 2008

Listless Listlessness Averted

Appeal to Reason album cover
Image via Wikipedia
The Recession
Image via Wikipedia

OK, I know this list thing is all a ruse to get people to buy as many records as possible before Christmas, it’s wrong to measure musical epochs in terms of years, and I  place no value whatsoever in an objective hierarchy of musical quality and so on. But to hell with it, it’s Friday, and here are my top 25 albums of the year, in as particular an order as possible.

1. 808s and Heartbreak – Kanye West
2. At Mount Zoomer – Wolf Parade
3. Untitled – Nas
4. Dear Science – TV on The Radio

5. All Rebel Rockers – Michael Franti and Spearhead

6. Acid Tongue – Jenny Lewis
7. Appeal to Reason – Rise Against
8. Evolver – John Legend
9. The 3rd World – Immortal Technique
10. Los de atrás vienen conmigo – Calle 13
11. In Ear Park – Department of Eagles
12. Red Letter Year – Ani DiFranco
13. The Recession – Young Jeezy
14. You & Me – The Walkmen
15. Harps and Angels – Randy Newman
16. Tha Carter III – Lil Wayne
17. Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke
18. Microcastle – Deerhunter
19. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
20. The Age of the Understatement – The Last Shadow Puppets
21. The Renaissance – Q-Tip
22. The Way I See It – Raphael Saadiq
23. The ’59 Sound – The Gaslight Anthem
24. Welcome to Mali – Amadou & Mariam
25. Koushik – Out My Window

Some notes: If you had told me immediately after my first listen that You & Me by The Walkmen would feature in my end of year list, I would have uttered a long and disbelieving p’shaw. And yet there it is. And had you told me that Fleet Foxes would be outside the top 10, I would have walloped you with the nearest fire extinguisher. No room for Neon Neon, probably kept off the list by Koushik’s sampling of the Free Design. Some angry stuff on there too at 3, 5, 7, 9, 13, and funny angry stuff at 15, though I would have expected to see some more, given current affairs.

Some notable disrecommendations:

* Bon Iver: dreary and brittle
* Glasvegas: wearing and grating. Only good thing about it is it gives you a reason to go back to Back to Mono.
* The Hold Steady: sluggish and boring.

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Ask a silly question

Sholto Byrnes: The Tories’ alliance with the Ulster Unionists revives the bad old days of Ireland | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

What do you do if you are a moderate nationalist, broadly happy with the current state of devolution, keen to vote for the Conservatives?

You turn up at the polling station on your unicorn.

Beats Them All

Forget Veritas. Know what I would ban? Advertisements that make a virtue of being Irish. Like the Dunnes Stores ad on the radio at the moment. ‘The difference is: We’re Irish’. Depends who the ‘we’ is. Last time I was in Dunnes, the girl behind the kiosk was Lithuanian, the man behind the deli and the woman at the check out were Nigerian, the shelf stackers were Polish and Brazilian. Those, at least, were the workers there whose nationality I could identify. The manager was Irish, though. ‘The difference is: We the more highly paid minority of owners and managers are Irish’ doesn’t have the same ring to it, I guess.


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