Monday, January 19, 2009

DJ's real best music of 2008

I spent the year mostly cut off from what is going on out in the Western music scene. I've been trying to find good Japanese music which is frustrating but is slowly reaping rewards (more on that later, keep those grubby exophilic paws under your ass for now). Back to my point, I've spent some time post-annuum looking back at the years music. I've found that if there was a trend, it was that there has been some really beautiful music made last year. Stunning, and with some real emotional depth. These bands are the ones who I see as making the best new music and setting the trends for where I hope music is going. I've plumbed the internet's best of lists and also the tracks that I've accumulated over the months; this is what I've come back with for you, dear reader.

In no particular order:

Kim & Jesse - M83

I posted this one recently, but I need to include it in this list if I want to go about making something aiming toward definitive. I still love it.

Tiger Mountain Peasant Song - Fleet Foxes

I was introduced to Fleet Foxes via a British friend. I guess I'd read some online hype before that as well, which is not hard to understand now seeing that Pitchfork made them the number one band of the year. I think my original comment was the totally understated "I guess hippies aren't so bad after all." I still stand by that.

Courtship Date - Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles are another band I found out about from the above-mentioned British friend (we spent a lot of time talking about music). It's got everything I like about electronic music without losing the things that I like about songwriting and pop music. Catchy, and there's enough attitude to bring those squeaks and beeps to human life.

Owl - Crystal Antlers

Might as well put both Crystal Something Something bands back to back, I found out about Crystal Antlers the old fashioned way, through Pitchforkmedia. I forgot about them for a while, but when I had a conversation with a friend after work I realized that I really needed to go back and give them another listen since I hadn't really figured them out yet. Definitely the most difficult group on this list, and maybe the most rewarding after multiple listens.

Beg Waves - Ponytail

is definitely one of the most interesting new bands I've found. They do whatever they want, switching between ecstatic wall of sound and shouts to heavy complex riffing. If the Boredoms and Lightning Bolt had a baby and baptized it in the cleansing fires of electric guitar feedback, this would be it.

Night Of The Crickets - Mr. Gnome

This one I found out from a friend from back home who just left the states again to live in Taipei. I knew I loved Mr. Gnome the second I heard them. Freak Folk meets Shoegaze is perfect equation and the repetitive hook ties it all together so well. And there's a pretty twisted music video to boot.

We Are The Plague - Snowman

Post-punk has finally gone all out dark with Snowman. They don't seem so popular, but I feel like there is a lot of potential in this band to hit it big in an underground sort of way. Let's hope they only get better and really break out in the future.

Wuji - Hanggai

Also, making a first release last year was the Inner Mongolian folk band Hanggai. I saw a movie a long time ago called Cry of the Snow Lion, the soundtrack was all Mongolian throat singing and you were shown scenes of people around the world and all the misdeeds we have committed against each other and our planet. It's kind of like that but with drinking songs.