Happy New Year everyone! I stayed home this year, drank Lagunitas Brown Shugga beer (and some Russian River Brewing Co. beer of course) and watched “Iron Man” on Blu Ray. The lady at the video store (an aged, larger lady) told me at least 7 times in a 3 minute span that “Iron Man is the best movie to get on Blu Ray. My son says so. I’m going to get it for him because he says it’s the best movie you can get…on Blu Ray.” I swear, she just kept saying that over and over and I agreed and nodded and acted interested and all the things you do to make a person stop being irritating but it was to no avail. I finally resorted to “well, I’ll let you know!” as I ran out the door. I mean, you work in a video store…how hard is it to get your kid this frigging Blu Ray!?! Which, in case you have not heard, is the best one you can get on Blu Ray.
But I digress…here’s 6-10 of my favorite albums of 2008!
6. THE RACONTEURS Consolers of the Lonely
Once again Jack White jumps back to his bigger, badder rock band and puts out another truly great album. This one is better than their first one and more diverse. In fact, I see no reason why White would go back to the White Stripes as The Raconteurs are a “better” outlet for his burgeoning genius.
7. AC/DC Black Ice
I frigging love AC/DC. A lot. Like, a ton. Nothing can put me in a better mood faster (besides DLR era VH) than when they come on the radio or if I pop in an AC/DC CD. Whoa…that was weird to type. AC/DC CD. But “Black Ice” is an ass-kicking album that to me sound more “musical” than anything else they’ve done. I suspect rock producing God Brendan O’Brien (does that guy make bad albums? No…he does not) had a lot to do with it and I also suspect there may be a new rhythm section, but I’m too lazy to find out. Point is, if you like AC/DC, you will like “Black Ice.” Plus I noticed one of the lyrics for the song “Big Jack” goes “Santa ain’t the only one who’s gotta big sack.” Ah, to be pushing 60 and still be in high school mentally.
8. SHE & HIM Volume One
Probably the most surprisingly sweet album I’ve heard in a long, long time. Zooey Deschanel teams up with M. Ward to make a really cool, sweet, angelic, funny, witty and great album. I can’t really explain what this album is, but it’s a mish mash and throwback and a nice way to spend an hour. And, I love Zooey Deschanel. A lot. And also, this video rules all:
9. STEVE POLTZ ”Travelling
Steve Poltz is one of my favorite performers and songwriters and this album is just plain awesome. Awesome I tells ya! Then why isn’t it ranked higher? I dunno. Now I feel like a creep. But seriously, there’s like 4-5 songs on here I’m crazy about and then the rest, I hate to say, I kind of skip over to get to the ones I love. Sorry, Poltzy. Hey, Top 10 is pretty good considering I went through about 40 CD’s this year!
10. TEDDY THOMPSON A Piece of What You Need
I bought Teddy Thompson’s first, self-titled CD a few years back and did not like it. At all really. I mean, the guy has a terrific voive and his dad is THE Richard Thompson, but something about the album left me cold. I read some interesting articles about him and found it incredibly cool that he did an album of classic country songs when his record company wanted more mid-tempo adult alternative, so I gave him another chance with the new album. Admittedly though, it wasn’t until the wife and I saw him on “Live at Abbey Road” one night that I gave in. And I’m glad I did. If you like wry, witty songwriting coupled with a truly great voice, go get Teddy Thompson’s “A Piece of What You Need.” You won’t be disappointed.
Hopefully Sunday, I’ll get my Top 5 up here. We’re going to a wedding in Monterey tomorrow so it won’t be till Sunday. Speaking of, who wants a bottle of old tennis shoes?