Archive for December 2008
For a limited time MySpace is streaming 50 of the year’s best albums.
The list includes such standout albums of 2008 as: Fleet Foxes, T.V. on the Radio, Snow Patrol, The Mars Volta, King of Leon, Lil Wayne, Erykah Badu, My Morning Jacket, Common, Atmosphere and Oasis.
This is the first time MySpace has compiled such a list, and asked the artists to stream the album. Majority of the artists are currently streaming all, or part, of the album.
It’s a nice bonus Christmas gift to listen to through the new year, and reminisce some of 2008’s brighter musical moments.
Check it out at MySpace
In the new digital age of music a band is almost required to have a MySpace page to get its sound out there.
From small indie groups to major label superstars, MySpace is the virtual jukebox of the 21st century. So to be named the most popular band on the social networking site is no small achievement.
The Gorillaz’s are the most popular band on MySpace for 2008, according to the website. Pretty impressive considering the virtual hip-hop group, started by Blur’s Damon Albarn, hasn’t released a new album since 2005’s Demon Days.
Last year the Gorillaz’s released a two-disc set of remixes and a few unreleased songs like the hit “Bill Murray.” Yet, with no new releases this year the band’s MySpace page was frequented more than Coldplay, Madonna and Oasis, all of whom released new material this year.
NME.com reported today that the website named its top eight most watched, listened to and popular acts. As well as the top eight most watched videos.
Other big acts in 2008 included: Bullet for My Valentine, Coldplay, MIA and Amy Winehouse. Madonna, The Verve and BPA took the top three spots for music videos.
2008’s Most Popular Musical Acts on MySpace:
Gorillaz (682,875 friends)
Bullet for My Valentine (596,885 friends)
Amy Winehouse (542,268 friends)
Coldplay (525,110 friends)
Lily Allen (462,159 friends)
M.I.A. (399,858 friends)
Oasis (353,484 friends)
Imogen Heap (351,484 friends)
Top eight music videos on MySpace:
Madonna – ‘4 Minutes’
The Verve – ‘Love Is Noise’
BPA featuring David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal – ‘Toe Jam’
Justice – ‘DVNO’
Oasis – ‘I’m Outta Time’
Dragonforce – ‘Heroes of Our Time’
Sigur Ros – ‘Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur’
The Raconteurs – ‘Old Enough’
The Liner Notes’ “Top 10 albums of 2008” list, announced yesterday, has made a list of its own.
Musical blog largehearted boy posted – Today’s Updates to the Year-End “Best of 2008” Books & Music Lists (December 21th, 2008) – today featuring The Liner Notes.
The extensive list of sites rating top books and music for 2008 also includes: The A.V. Club, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The UK Times.
Music in 2008, like the economy, was disappointing.
It seems as if the last album to really warrant any acclaim was Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” released in Dec. 2007.
In the past 12 months there have been some big names with high expectations to release some so so albums.
Kayne West’s “808’s and Heartbreak” is the first to pop to mind. However, amid the reels and reels of rubbish released this year there were some bright spots that leave a sense of hope for creativity, progression and the art of music.
Here are the top ten albums of 2008:
10) When life gives you lemons you paint that sh@! Gold by Atmosphere
The year of 2008 witnessed a new Slug; a happier lighter Slug, which earns Atmosphere a spot on the list. When life gives you lemons… is just plain fun. The rhymes are still highly personal, but tracks like “You” add a stylized sweet flavor to the masterful beats mixed by Ant. This album launched the duo into a new spotlight taking part in larger shows like the Monolith festival.
9) Viva la Vida by Coldplay
Coldplay has a formula. They are very very good at it, and it works. Viva la Vida is no exception. The band put together another powerful group of songs here including, “Violet Hill,” and “Viva la Vida” and “Cemeteries of London.” Polished as ever, Coldplay is still on top of their musical game five albums later, and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
8) Ghosts I-IV by Nine Inch Nails
Ghosts is just that, a little glimpse into the mind of Trent Reznor. Following Radiohead’s template, Reznor gave away Ghosts I for free and it was good enough to hook fans for II-IV. With no lyrics, Reznor is free to focus on his mixers, stabilizers, faders, guitars, beats and a plethora of other toys that combine to make Ghosts an album to rival Burial.
7) Third by Portishead
Brooding, dark, beautiful and powerful, Third is all of these and more. It was the album of 2008 that would surmise a bad day, provide a soundtrack to a rainy night or simply numb everything. Its sound seeps into the pores, and sweeps over the body.
6) Modern Guilt by Beck
With the infusion of Dangermouse’s creative beats Beck’s still manages to brave new sonic ground on his 10th album. Full of creative catchy songs, Modern guilt is a mix of Beck’s off the wall antics and social commentary on today’s world. While short, the work is sure to stand the test of time as one of 2008’s brighter moments.
5) Only by the Night by Kings of Leon
Perhaps with Kings of Leon’s shift from hard southern rock to a more polished sound with this album, placing them at No. 5 is generous. But, Only by the Night is a sound album from start to finish. It is filled with standout songs like “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.” Different, yes, but regardless the music speaks for itself.
4) Tha Carter III by Lil Wyane
Obligated to make the list? Yes. However, it took years of collaboration, hard work and writing to create “Tha Carter III.” And it’s arrival signified a paradigm shift in the world of hip-hop. Wyane is really ahead of his time with this. It will take years before the effects of this album are really seen in the industry.
3) Dear Science, by TV on the Radio
This is a grandiose sweeping album for this Brooklyn band that shows a band really coming into its own here. TVOTR set its sights high with this effort and connected on all targets. The music flows smoothly from one song to the next painting a sonic soundscape for the listener that is both relaxing an intriguing at the same time. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Dear Science is how effortlessly TVOTR makes this album appear.
2) Forth by The Verve
After a 11 year hiatus The Verve seemed to seamlessly appear out of the clear blue sky depicted on Forth’s cover. Since the band’s massive success with “Urban Hymns” there was a sense that this was a last ditch effort by a band past its prime. For that reason it flew under the radar receiving little press. The truth is this album is a masterpiece. It is composed with the utmost care to detail. Every note speaks to the listener on a personal level. The intricacies of how the music is blended, takes a minimum of 10 listens to even begin to dissect. High point “Love is Noise.”
1) The Bedlam in Goliath by The Mars Volta
This album is louder, faster and more composed than anything Mars Volta has released to date. And that is saying something. These West Texas boys know how to let loose. From its first song, “Aberinkula” through “Wax Simulacra” and the title track “Goliath” the pace leaves little room to breathe. Delving into new terrain, Mars Volta turns it up to 11 on Bedlam earning it this year’s No. 1 spot.
Watching Innerpartysystem live is a multifaceted experience.
Part rock show, part techno rave and part dance party, Innerpartysystem, named after the ruling party in George Orwell ‘s novel 1984, stage presence is huge.
The Marquis is an intimate venue, and lead singer Patrick Nissley and guitarist Kris Barman made the most of it. Bouncing around the stage from keyboards to synthesizers, the manic group was often drowned out by the spiraling noise and frantic flashing lights.
Jared Piccone kept time on the drums, while Jesse Cronan set the upbeat tempo on his synthesizer. The capacity crowd of all ages flooded the floor literally made the floorboards flex up and down as it jumped in rhythm to the electronic music.
Innerpartysystem’s sound is unique in that it seamlessly manages to mesh industrial rock with electro to create an infused sound unto itself.
The show spanned the Pennsylvania quartet’s self-titled album with such songs as “Die Tonight Live Forever,” “Heart of Fire,” “Don’t Stop” and “Last Night in Brooklyn.”
However, the boys saved their hit single, “Don’t Stop,” for the big finale. With inflections ranging from Nine Inch Nails to Daft Punk, the show was a massive assault of sight and sound that left fans bobbing their heads as they departed into the cold night.
Denver bands The Pirate Signal and The Epilogues opened the show. While both got the crowd moving, The Epilogues are one of the three finalist bands for 93.3’s Hometown for the Holiday’s which The Fray and Flobots made their bones on in past years.
I was able to chat with lead singer and guitarist Chris Heckman following his whirlwind set, and he seems like a pretty chill guy who likes to rock the Kayne West look with the huge neck scarf.