2008 – My Top 5 Albums

The year’s almost over so I figured why not be on time with the years Album Top 5 for a change. Let me start by saying it’s a personal Top 5, so please try and keep the ‘Where’s Kanye?’s, and the ‘You mussed be kidding not to include MGMT!’s and such to a minimum. I can tell you however that I haven’t really heard Lil’ Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter III’ but it’s supposed to be great, I guess the ‘A Millie’ single therefore should have made my list, but since it’s an album listing well… it can’t. Albums I have heard but didn’t make the Top 5 however are (among others) Beck’s ‘Modern Guilt’, Santogold ‘Santogold’, Hot Chip’s ‘In The Dark’, Hercules and Love Affair’s self titled album, Erykah Badu’s ‘New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)’ and MGMT’s ‘Oracular Spectacular’ (which would have made No. 6 if this were an Album Top 6). I guess the picture above pretty much gave it away, but here’s my Top 5, 5 to 1 style:

5. Marnie Stern ‘This Is it and I Am it and You Are…’
on 5 because I haven’t heard it more than three times, but those three times must have all been within the last week. It’s, excusez le mot, ‘original’, it kicks ass, it annoys the hell out of people who know jackshit about music and it features Hella’s Zach Hill (earlier mentioned on this blog here). Download it!

4. Fleet Foxes ‘Fleet Foxes’
I guess everyone with ears will agree to this one. Fleet Foxes is the new Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. If their next album is going to sound like this one tho they’ll be forgotten before the fall of 2009.

3. Benjamin Herman ‘Hypochristmastreefuzz’
The Herm did it again! Hypochristmastreefuzz is Herman’s second homage to the Dutch Godfather of improv, Mischa Mengelberg. Herman’s genius on this recording makes ‘De sprong O Romantiek Der Hazen’, a Chicago Art Ensemblish weird Mengelberg track sound more like a Phil Woods ballad and Broezimann an introspective Monkish Mengelberg track like it was performed by The Revels, but still manages to keep the album from going all over the place. Insightful, occasionally sweet and action packed, once again.

2. Fuck Buttons ‘Street Horrrsing’
Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power are often being called the new Neu!, but that’s a compliment that merely does justice to the quality of both Street Horrrsing and the concert I saw may something this year. Sure, they’re as ‘droney’ as their thirty year older colleages, but their drones seem to fit better in the now than the drones that must have fitted the seventees earlier. Couple of weeks ago I was on a trainride thru the The Green Heart (a region in Holland where there’s a lot of meadows, farmland, occasional birds of prey and such) which was covered in early snow and blurred with fog while hearing ‘Sweet Love for Planet Earth’, the albums opening track. I felt like crying, I felt like smiling, I felt like calling loved ones, I felt like shutting up forever. If Street Horrrsing had come out eleven years earlier I guess it would have been the soundtrack to Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm. Great record!

1. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds ‘DIG, LAZARUS, DIG!!!’
Here’s the record I’ve been listening to all year. I must have made at least fifty dinners this year singin’ along stuff like ‘everybody’s coming round to my place! everybody wanna be a midnight man…’, ‘we’re gonna have a real cool time… TOOOOOOO-NITE!’ and ‘…and what an enormous and encyclopaedic brain… and we called upon the author to explain!!’. Like all Nick Cave albums, it reeks of crime, rocky landscapes, literature, opium dens in the wild west, self knowledge and an ever present God laughing in our faces. Only this time Cave laughs along. And therefore it’s easier for me to relate to Nick Cave than on any of his earlier recordings. I’m not an all-time Nick Cave fan and I certainly don’t think The Birthday Party was all that great (although the actual Harold Pinter play was quite spectacular). I only stepped in when first seeing the ‘Stagger Lee’ (from the Murder Ballads album) video on MTV and I believe Cave and the Seeds have gotten better with every record since. For example, a year ago I thought Grinderman was the bees knees and of course the soundtrack for ‘The killing of Jesse James…’ was awesome. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

That’s it! Next Top: same time, next year.
photo above (detail) taken by one Polly Borland

10 Comments

  1. Gyz La Riviere
    Posted December 22, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Nick Cave is God!

  2. rufus.k
    Posted December 22, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Nee joh, da’s Eric Clapton

  3. niels
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    The Raconteurs – The Consolers of The Lonely
    The Kills – Midnight Boom
    Lupe Fiasco – The Cool
    Black Mountain – In The Future
    Nightmarchers – See You in Magic
    Niet alleen de beste albums, maar ook de beste album titels

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51FqjkYW67E

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
    In Hawaiian legend, Nightmarchers (huaka’i pō or “Spirit Ranks,” ‘oi’o) are the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors. On certain nights, they are said to come forth from their burial sites to march out to past battles or to other sacred places. Anyone living near their path may hear chanting and marching, and must go inside to avoid notice. They might appear during the day if coming to escort a dying relative to the spirit world. Anyone looking upon or seen by the marchers will die unless a relative is within the marcher’s ranks- some people maintain that if you lie face down on the ground they will not see you. Others say that this only works if you are naked. Still others say that you should be naked, lie face up and feign sleep. Placing leaves of the ti (Cordyline sp.) around one’s home is said to keep away all evil spirits, and will cause the huaka’i pō to avoid the area.

  4. rufus.k
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    ok, die night marchers was ik misschien alweer vergeten. Terwijl ie verdraaid vaak voorbij komt op m’n shuffle.

  5. rufus.k
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    en die kills, ik heb ’m na het kopen heel vaak gedraaid en ik kan er nu eigenlijk niet meer naar luisteren. Behalve met draaien. dan zet ik ’r af en toe nog wel eens een poekoe van.

  6. leon
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Oneida – Preteen Weaponry.
    Les Savy Fav – After the Balls Drop.
    Howlin Rain – Magnificent Fiend.
    TV on the Radio – Dear Science,.
    Deerhunter – Microcastles.
    Portishead – Third.
    Dodos – Visiter.
    Fuck Buttons – Street Horrsing.

    Zoiets.

  7. Aad
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    zeer goed die vijf, nou ja, die vier, want tot Cave was ik wel gekomen…

  8. ganderbai
    Posted December 25, 2008 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    true dat, true dat

    i love top 5´s – they’re casual

    not so definitive or laborious as, say

    top 3′s or top 10′s (even though 2008 was a mighty long year wouldn’t you agree ? longer than zum beispiel 2001, that shit flew by like a kid’s summer holliday, wich it was i guess. maynn ! ..but i digress)

    keep up up the good work fellers as i wonder what’s going to be up in 2009

    maybe some medium size (emmetjes)
    t-shirts with your killer logo
    or HUMOBISTEN, THE BOOK in his (moustache) and hers (spectacles) themed versions ?

    ha-ha
    i jest,

    big love from germany

  9. Posted December 27, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Ik hoor mensen klagen dat 2008 zo’n beroerd jaar was, maar die hebben dan niet de les geleerd die Nick Cave geeft in Today’s Lesson: We’re Gonna Have A Real Cool Time Tonite! (herhaal 28x)
    Als je het maar vaak genoeg zingt, wordt het vanzelf een beetje waar.
    Check de meester bij Jools Holland:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XChfbWQ6Ogc

    Mazzl!
    Peter

  10. max
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    bedankt allemaal, weer een hoop downloadmateriaal voor deze donkere dagen.
    check ook yop’s lijst: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=66912080&blogID=459601506

    en rufus, dat gevoel dat je je geliefden wilt bellen.. dat ken ik..
    alsnog gefeliciteerd en een goed nieuw jaar.

    Een van mijn favorieten van dit jaar:
    Lenny Kravitz – It is time for a love revolution

    It is!