Year in Music 2008
The waiting, the anticipation, the wondering, the hope. It burns, doesn't it? Well, your long night in the wilderness is over. Once again, my 100% metaphysically perfect list of the year's best music, including, remarkably enough, only things I've actually listened to--since, after all, if I haven't heard it, it can't be that good--open to future revision on the recognition that in a pluralistic cosmos today's metaphysically perfect may be tomorrow's metaphysically penultimate. What's that you say? You were actually waiting for our first president "Barry"? Keep waitin', bitches! You've got another day and change. Til then, here's da list.
1) Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue. How did critics miss this? Even better than her record last year with Rilo Kiley. The title track is campfire bliss, and her duet with the English Elvis on "Carpetbagger" should make her an honorary southerner.
2) My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges. Epic southern rock ("I'm Amazed"), 70s lite rock genius ("Librarian"), and militaristic WTF space funk ("Highly Suspicious"). Who could pull that off?
3) Mudcrutch, Mudcrutch. What can I say about Tom Petty? This guy may be the greatest "singles" rocker of my lifetime, but an unfortunately small # of classic albums (Southern Accents, Wildflowers). So he reassembles his boyhood band for this masterwork. "Orphan of the Storm" is the best Katrina song to date.
4) Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal. Mrs. TMcD and I saw him play at 12th & Porter maybe six years back. Phenomenal. Glad he's finally got a bigger audience.
5) REM, Accelerate
6) the Hold Steady, Stay Positive. Year's best bar band sing-along couplet: "Subpoenaed. . In Texas/ Sequestered. . In Memphis (I went there. . On business!)"
7) Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago. The year's most achingly beautiful songs.
8) Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark
9) Lucinda Williams, Little Honey
10) Ryan Adams, Cardinology
I've left some pretty good stuff off the list: She & Him, the Raconteurs, Ron Sexsmith, Nick Cave, Death Cab. Why? Does an oracle explain itself? Does a prophet make apologies? Does Rain Man scratch his equations in the margins? Feel free to scratch yours.