1.31.2009

Listen Up 2008, pt 6 (Final)

For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver

You can hear the cold and solitude in this album. Jangly acoustic guitar. Multitracked vocals. Sparse drumming. This is all one guy, and it shows. And it shows beautifully.

I first heard Bon Iver from a live concert on NPR at this year's South By Southwest. Thought it was great, but then I just forgot until the end of the year and noticed that this album was mentioned on just about every year-end Best Of list. This is by far the best surprise of the year.

I don't know how anyone could be able to listen to this and not fall under its spell. Soulful. Minimalist, yet fully realized.

I just want to play guitar and write songs after listening to this... So hard to pick anything that stands out — it's all just so fucking GREAT! Only nine songs, though, so I'm glad there's an EP that was just released.

Favorite Tracks: "Flume", "Skinny Love", Blindsided", "Re: Stacks" and "The Wolves (Act I & II)"...




Chemistry Of Common Life, Fucked Up

This was showing up on a bunch of year end lists, as well. Needed stuff to listen to, so I gave this one a try. The name of the band is kind of a turn off — I mean, really? What are you, eighth graders? But I had heard that this was a hardcore band, and I didn't really get a lot of that kind of stuff this year...

Rough vocals and multitracked guitars. Lots of attitude, but it seems like pretty straight-forward rock 'n roll to me. Songs that make you nod your head. really easy to get into, but if the album was a little bit shorter, it probably would have kept my attention a little better.

Didn't really draw me in. Liked it fine, but it's not something I'm going to keep listening to into the new year. There's not enough time for me to listen to music that I just think is okay. I need shit that I'm gonna fall in love with. Something that really touches me — that demands my attention and needs me to give it mind...

Favorite Tracks: "Son the Father", "Days of Last", "Black Albino Bones", "Twice Born" and "No Epiphany"...




Ghosts I-IV, Nine Inch Nails

I already reviewed this album last year...

This album is just crazy creativity. It goes everywhere. Does everything. Leaves so much open, and leaves you wanting more. I swear I could just listen to this all day.

Ghosts is pretty much the reason that I have decided to make my novel into a podcast and license it under Creative Commons. Mostly because this has just inspired me so much that I have to use this music in that spirit of inspiration. Keeping it free and open. Allowing the creative energy in art to keep moving, in and out of the people creating and observing. Art can nether be created nor destroyed, just changed from one thing into another. Plucking particles from Idea Space...

I can't get enough of this. By far, this is what I listened to the most in 2008. This was my favorite (double) album of last year. Just listen to it — it's free everywhere. Streaming all over the place, like here...


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