in no particular order:
Neil Halstead: Oh Mighty Engine
Its sweet, and pretty, and soothing. A bit more folky than Mojave 3’s recent albums. And the song “Baby, I Grew You A Beard” should be a Portland Theme Song.
The Baseball Project: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails Volume 1
I”ll preface this by saying I know NOTHING about baseball. This is a very good record. “Ted Fucking Williams” is really catchy, and you have to love a song that manages to fit in the names of all 17 pitchers with no hitters. Not an easy task when really none of them rhyme
The Doll Test: Mosque Alarm Clock
It’s maybe not as good as last year’s Gasoline and Banks EP, but I have a feeling its the only record we’re gonna get out of the Doll Test as there are rumors of the drummer moving to Montana. I gotta feel bad for Scott Sutherland ’cause every band he’s in is awesome – and then they break up.
Anyway, the stand out song on this album is “My Future Self.” Where the narrartor sees himself walking down the street, wearing the same hat, and filling out a racing form. His future self won’t pay any attention to him
R.E.M. : Accelerate
I give this record credit for 5 of the 25 pounds I lost this year. Almost every song on it is a balls out rocker, and at only 38 minutes by the time you’re done listening to it you’re done at the gym.
I love “Supernatural, Superserious” and the lines that go: “Now there’s nothing dark and there’s nothing weird, don’t be afraid I will hold you near. From the chaos where you first displayed, and open heart on a darkened stage”
Also, “I’m gonna DJ” with the lyrics “and the weblogs that get tangled as you willie and you wangle. IN your walk-up in Seattle where you fought the nascent battle and you threw the thread and throttle let us raise another bottle. Raise another bottle”
I’m taking a few points off, however, for the bag of poop bonus disc with the stomach churning documentary.
John Wesley Harding: Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead
This one might not count, completely. I guess it’s official release will be in March 09 but you could order it and download it from Wes’ website in November. So…
Standout tracks: “My Favourite Angel”, “Oh! Pandora”, and my favorite “Top of the Bottom” a ragtime-esque tour through the rise and fall of a fictional folksinger – all taking place withing the course of 1 year
Ray Davies: Working Man’s Cafe
This year I learned that my suspicions were right. His last name isn’t pronounced the way its spelled. It’s pronounced “Davis.” Chalk one up to lessons learned from NPR and John Wesley Harding Records.