Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Best of 2008

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. My musical faves for 2008...

New discoveries: Bedouin Soundclash (Canadian Reggae), Bon Iver (Somber & Soulful Folk), Cheb I. Sabbah (Traditional Central Asian w/bass & drums), Colour Revolt (Straight on Rock n Roll), Fleet Foxes (Sweet Harmonic Folk), Giant Bear (Country Rock), Grand Archives (Sweet Harmonic Folk), Hoots and Hellmouth (Country Rock), Horse Feathers (Sweet Harmonic Folk, my favorite CD of the year), The Moondoggies (We don't need The Band to reunite as long as these guys are playing), Vampire Weekend (Hard to nail the genre, but it's fun and I like it), West Indian Girl (Psychedelic Pop).

Older bands with great 2008 releases: AC/DC (The best CD they have ever done), The Black Crowes (Solid effort from America's answer to The Rolling Stones), Blue Mountain (Country Rock), Merle Haggard (Merle unplugged), Sun Kil Moon (Mark Kozelek makes great wooden music) , The Waifs (The sisters from Down Under release their best disc yet).

I should mention the two shows I saw in the latter part of 2008 that were not featured in my blog:

Greg Brown-Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall, Seattle. 17 Oct 08. I met my wife at a Greg Brown show at the Back Stage many years ago and I've been partial to him ever since. He is he consummate entertainer, musician, songwriter and storyteller. He played a wonderful mix of older and newer material. His rich baritone and acoustic guitar delighted a nearly filled hall. If you like folk from a soulful, bluesy perspective go see Greg the next time he's in town. If you're looking for a Greg Brown CD I would recommend Covenant (Red House Records, 8 Aug 2000)

The English Beat-The Showbox, Seattle. 4 Dec 08.
30 years and counting with their last release in 1982 (I have it on vinyl) they've had a lot of time to perfect their craft. It's no secret that Dave Wakeling and his band enjoy playing music. You can see it in the performance. And they are very good at what they enjoy.
I was fortunate to witness the show from a great vantage point, seated by the small bar (thanks John) and I had several good friends with me. It was a fantastic show from the opening chords of Whine and Grine/Stand Down Margaret to my favorite Beat song, Save It For Later We had to catch a boat so we missed the encore, but was told that they played a new song. Could a new English Beat CD be in the works for 2009? One can only hope.

Happy New Year!

More to follow...