TOP ALBUMS, SONGS AND SHOWS FROM OUR WRITERS AT KAFFEINE BUZZ
My Top 10 albums of 2008 – Anne Vickman
1. Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes)
Anyone who has not heard this album should do so, immediately.
2. The Black Keys – Attack and Release
Strange times hands down best track. if you don’t dig this there might be something wrong with you.
3. The Nightwatchman – The Fabled City
Morello takes old skool folk rock to a new level
4. She & Him – Volume 1
M. ward and zooey deschanel take old skool folk rock to an old skool level
5. TV on the Radio – Dear Science
They have yet to disappoint me.
6. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
I give a fuck about oxford commas…anyone who doesn’t use them needs to bow down to Chicago style
7. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig Lazarus, Dig!
Have you seen this video? it’s hysterically terrible, but this is their 14th studio album, and it’s awesome, so suck on that!
8. Sigur Ros – Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (ish!)
I think we’re all pleasantly pleased that this band has gone from wispy crystalline fragility to a new phase of ethereal indie rock.
9. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
“Grounds for Divorce” is, apart from its title, a sexy, sexy song. This record is amazing.
10. Deerhunter – Microcastle
What is it about plucky, dreamy male songwriters that i love? well just that, i suppose. I love the vintage nouveau stylings of this record. it’s like 2 parts Yo la Tengo (before that I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass crap), and 1 part something else that is at the tip of my musical brain catalog…!!
Best 3 shows (well, 1 best show, the other 2 I’m pissed I missed):
1. Nightwatchman, Middle East, Cambridge, MA
2. Junior Brown. Anywhere.
3. Girltalk. Anywhere.
– Anne Vickman
My Top 10 Albums from San Francisco – Jef Hoskins
1. Bored Stiff – From The Ground Up
2. The Dodos – Visiter
3. Machete Vox – Sneak Preview
4. One Block Radius – One Block Radius
5. TOPR – The Marathon of Shame
6. Bart Davenport – Palaces
7. Thee Oh Sees – The Masters Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In
8. Kelly Stoltz – Circular Sounds
9. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
10. N.E.R.D – Seeing Sounds
– Jef Hoskins
My Top Three Shows from 2008 – Doug Whittner
1. Kraftwerk on April 22, Fillmore
2. ohGr – Nov 27, Bluebird
3. Infected Mushroom – Oct 29, Fox Theatre
Honorable mention…Subtle – May 13, Bluebird and Danny Teniglia – May 25, Beta.
My Top 10 Albums for 2008 – Kim Owens
1. Hot Chip – Made in the Dark
2. Elbow – Seldom Seen Kid
3. The Stills – Oceans Will Rise
4. Midnight Juggernauts – Dystopia
5. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
6. Yelle – Pop Up
7. The Wombats – The Wombats (EP)
8. Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold
9. 3OH!3 – Want
10. Earlimart – Hymn and Her
Top 5 Shows for 2008
The Stills – The Fillmore
Having just interviewed Tim Fletcher and heard his personal feelings about the state of the world, the upcoming election, and insight into the concept of art as a message made songs like “Snake Charming the Masses” and “Snow in California” that much more personal to me. At the show, X showed a personal side as well when he explained the background story to a song he wrote, “Panic.” I felt the passion from their songs down to the cellular level, and when I go back to hear the songs in my car or any other time, that those feelings come rushing back. That’s what makes live music such a magical experience.
Elbow – The Bluebird
After experiencing the band’s new album, I couldn’t wait to feel those orchestrations up front and in person. Guy Harvey was his usual friendly and spirited self, interacting with the enamored audience with sharp Brit wit and professional grace. The highlight was taking him up on his invitation to sing along to “One Day Like This,” as the hundreds that filled the Bluebird bellowed with optimistic glee, “So throw those curtains wide! One day like this a year’d see me right!”
Yelle – The Ogden
This three-piece blew me away more than I expected. I first heard her track “Je Veux Te Voir” on BBC6, and when the new Pop Up CD arrived it was like Christmas had come early, especially when I got to hear what other ear candy she had hidden up her creative sleeve. But the show took those tracks and charged them with nitris, blowing up the walls of the Ogden. Here colorful attire sparkled and bounced as Yelle threw herself into every song. When she jumped on the Tom Tom drums, joining into the tirade of rhythms of “A Cause des Garcons” almost threw Emily and me from the balcony into the sea of people below. Fantastic.
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Bluebird / Monolith / Great American Music Hall
I had first heard about this band from our writer Jef, who had hit practically all the gigs this UK dance outfit played this past year at SXSW, along with their stop in San Francisco at Slim’s. After getting hooked on their 2008 release, You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into, I was all stretched out and ready for their show at the Bluebird. They did not disappoint, and show no signs of wear when they came back around for Monolith, getting the small room bouncing and sweating with a ferocious happiness. As luck would have it, I was in San Francisco the following weekend for the Treasure Island Music Festival and was able to catch them one more time at one of my all-time favorite venues, Great American Music Hall.
The Presets – Monolith
This show was just plain crazy. I had set myself up in the front in order to get some good shots, and was grateful that I had such a prime spot to drink it all in. It floored me to experience such energy and sound from just two blokes, and had to stop myself from playing photographer so I could join into the frenzy of head and body shakes.
Hot Chip – Treasure Island Festival
Listening to live versions of songs that were on your top 1 of top 10 albums for the year was…well, I was ecstatic. It was a sunny day in San Francisco, I was with my best friends, and life was good.
3 Shows That I Was Bummed To Miss (just to name a few)
1. Filter – Actually ran into Richard Patrick and the rest of the group at Cherry Creek Mall before they were scheduled to play the Bluebird the following night. Having missed them “back in the day” during their Short Bus tour, I was stoked to catch them…finally. I had shaken hands with Mr. Patrick that day, who told me he was feeling under the weather. Oddly enough, when I awoke the next day my throat was swollen and, you guessed it, I missed them AGAIN!
2. Duke Spirit – I was all set to see this UK group after listening to Neptune relentlessly for months. Then the thermometer hit 20 degrees below zero, and I realized that I didn’t have it in me to make the 45 minute drive in that kind of cold, and neither did my car.
3. Of Montreal – Serena and I had caught the last minutes of their show at Lollapalooza a few years before. Having taken in the beauty and bouncing tracks of Skeletal Lamping, I was stoked to find out they would be making their way into Denver. Then I realized that the Denver Film Festival was happening at the same time, and that I would have to wait a bit more. But my friends were more than happy to tell me what a great show I missed. Thanks guys!
My Top 10 Albums from 2008 – D Tha Man (not necessarily in this order)
1.Ichiban – Psycle Analysis
Local boy making good (I understand he made CMJs top 20 list!), the frontman for the formerly known band 5-Style Fist, made a superb solo record. From start to finish you can hear lyrical content, lively hood, bullshit and consciousness. It is a testament to his skills that he was able to pull it all together. And, he produced most of the music himself, as well. Also, his album release party at the Marquis Theater gets an honorable mention as one of the tightest shows of the year; you just had to be there.
2.Magnetic North- Magnetic North
Coming out of the Southern California sunshine, but currently residing on the cold ass east coast, this male/female duo produced one of the best hip hop records in a very long time! Just listen to “Drift Away”, “Dear Hip Hop” and Dozens of Dimes, and you hear not only their vast love of the genre, but great talent, as well.
3.Tech N9ne – Killer
W hile not as all encompassingly dope as his previous releases, it is a double album, after all, this KC native brings the real with cuts like “Black Boy” with Ice Cube and Brother J, as well as Pillow Talkin’ with Scarface. He also continues his penchant for realness with songs like “Psycho Bitch”, “One Good Time”, and especially “Happy Ending”. Never one to shy away from a good concept, the album cover itself (a toss back to the legendary MJ’s Thriller album) should earn this Strange Music production props.
4.Solange – Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams
I admit it, I was ready to diss Beyonce’s little sis and maybe take this record for a frisbee toss. But, surprisingly, it has soul. It has wit. It has some damn good songs. This is the best album that nobody is listening to!
5.Terrance Howard Shine Through It
So you love his brown eyes. Were hypnotized by his performances in movies like The Brothers and But who knew he could sing? Better yet, he plays the guitar and arranged the whole of this record himself. He may not be the best singer to grace a microphone, but his spirit and his music really do shine through here!
6. Jean Grae- Jeanius
Produced entirely by super producer 9th Wonder. This isn’t Jean’s best all around effort, but if you haven’t heard one of Hip Hops greatest lyricists, now is the time. “Don’t Rush Me”, “My Story”, and “This World” Forever cement her spot inthe pantheon of great writers.
7. Pharaohe Monch – Desire
Yes, quite simply one of the best all around records ever!
8. Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons….
Slug and Ant did some different stuff here and for the most part it all works. Check especially “The Waitress”, “Yesterday” and “In Her Music Box”. Who knew the rapper that many thought was a brotha when he started would turn into a poet as well….
9. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool
Just listen to this record and you’ll know for yourself why it was chosen. “Superstar”, “Go Go Gadget Flow”, Little Weapon, and “Intruder Alert”, it only gets better with time.
10. Nas ‘you know the name of this one’. much maligned and derided, the album is probably one of his most consistant ever. Period. Check out “Fried Chicken” with Busta Rhymes and “Breathe”. Vintage Nas, really.
*Honorable mention should go to:
The Flobots – Fight With Tools
This album was consistant and fatured great songs throughout (not just “Handlebars”); Alicia Keys “As I Am” and Common’s “Finding Forever”; as well as, Whiskey Blanket’s “Credible Forces” –Boulder never sounded so good.
The Roots – Rising Down
First listen isn’t what this album is about, you’ve got to marinate on this one!
Estelle – Shine
While the single with Kanye West “American Boy” was fine and danceable. Every other song on the album was better than that one. West’s protege John Legend did a good thing bringing her out of the British underground. Try in your ipod “Wait A Minute (Just A Touch)” a sly rap joint, “No Substitute Love” an obvious nod to Lauryn Hill, but not a rip off, and “More Than Friends” for anyone wanting to know that the benefits aren’t going to be ending any time soon!
My Top Shows of 2008
The DNC concert at The Denver Coliseum with Age Against The Machine, The Flobots, The Coup and others. Although it took a long time to get in and find a great spot, once the show got started it was definatley worth it. The Coup’s Boots Riley got the mostly oblivious crowd rocking to the Funk, even though the sound wasn’t what it could’ve been. And, though the Flobots have performed better in smaller venues, they were a crowd favorite and did not disappoint their fans. It was clear that the many months of touring that ed them to this performance turned them into veteran performers. But the showstoppers and headliners, Rage Against The Machine lived up to the hype. It didn’t matter that they haven’t been together for whatever. It didn’t matter that they may never record another record together. They sounded fuckin’ awesome and they knew how to play to the audience. The march afterwards was probably the cherry on top, but the show itself was worth missing the 9-5 If you were there, you know what I mean!
The Hip Hop Live Tour at The Fox Theatre in Boulder. Featuring the 10-piece Rhythm Roots All-Stars backing the likes of Talib Kweli, David Banner, and Little Brother. While I was personally hoping for an appearance by the latest ATLien phenom B.O.B. the folks on had brought the ruckus (not to be confused with the uncle on The Boondocks!) The show itself was a pleasure to behold, replete with David Banner climbing down from the balcony and stage diving, and Talib spotlighting members of the L.A. supergroup Strong Arm Steady during his set. But it was the after show, or encore, that made this show so special. While the Rhythm Roots band ripped through songs by the likes of White Stripes, Rick James, Hall & Oates, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson and T.I., to name a few, the MC’s of the evening freestyled, and in the case of Little Brother’s Phonte, sang their way through another 1 plus of showtime! David Banner even brought the Beat Box while Talib, Rapper Pooh and others busted rhymes. It was all capped off by David Banner’s proclamation that this tour was repped by the South (himself from Mississippi, and LB from North Carolina) and the emissary of the East Coast, Talib. As well as representation from the left coast in Strong Arm Steady. This is what hip hop is supposed to be about. This is what live performance means. This was the shiznit!
Lastly, Harvest Ball 2008, the Circus Verde presented by Michael Franti and Spearhead. While Mike Relm represented the Friday night show in fantastic fashion, I am sure, I was only present for the Saturday show featuring Lyrics Born. I was hoping for his whole band to be on hand, but the bay area lyricist held it down with his wife Joyo Velarde and a DJ. Then Mister Franti and the band proceeded to host what could easily have been 3 hours of wonderful entertainment. They played many favorites, some stuff from the new album and the young lady Cherine Anderson, that they featured on the latest album rocked a small set of her own. This was the show that brought various people together under one roof and had them partying and sweating and not even thinking about physical confrontations! Truly a great time. Leigh I won’t forget.
My Top 10 Albums of 2008 – Josh Jones
1. Apocalypso – The Presets
2. Third – Portishead
3. Invol2ver – Sasha
4. Fasciinatiion – The Faint
5. Animals – Minilogue
6. Mushroom Jazz vol. 6 – Mark Farina
7. Guinea Pig [Vocal Variation Mix] – Ben Watt feat. Julia Biel
8. Long Way Down – Tom Demac
9. Music In Passion feat. Max Lodin – Ozgur Can, AGS
10. Headphone Silence [Henrik Schwarz Remix] – Ane Brun
My Top 3 shows of 2008
1. The Faint
3. Jimmy Van M