Every year I host a music swap with my music geek friends where we share our top albums of the year. This year we spiced it up a bit by adding a new component – a mix of your favorite songs of 2008 by artists not represented in our Best Albums of 2008 list. (Ryan’s rules, not mine.) So here it is, my mix of some of my favorite indie rock tunes for 2008. I was struck by a lot of San Francisco local music this year and have noted those artists with an asterisk (**). I enjoyed the emergence of such good music from my hometown and hope you will too. Enjoy!
- ** Pigeonhold by Port O’Brien
- Testify by Carney
- ** The Drag by Ty Segall
- Pot Kettle Black by Tilly and the Wall
- Operation by Deerhunter
- There Are Birds by The Ruby Suns
- The Dazzled by Crystal Stilts
- The Shedding Path by The Lord Bird Dog
- Chemtrails by Beck
- Oppressions Each by Brightblack Morning Light
- The Columbia by Lackthereof
- ** Hellhole Ratrace by Girls
- ** New York Through York by Lady Genius
- Charlyn, Angel of Kensington by Jason Collett
- My Baby by Juliana Hatfield
- Furr by Blitzen Trapper
- ** Peg by Cryptacize
- Lady Luck by Richard Swift
- Don’t You Worry by Jim Noir
Portland’s Blitzen Trapper has been stirring up quite the buzz for the past year. Their last album, Wild Mountain Nation, made my ‘Best of’ list last year and was a darling in the indie music blogosphere. While some people didn’t take to that album’s lack of focus, I adored their schizophrenic romp through musical genres. It was very reminiscent of Pavement to me – weird and whimsical, which is a good thing.
The sound from their fourth album, Furr, is much more refined, honed in and mature. They seem to have grown up and figured out what works for them. And it works very well. Furr is like Bob Dylan meets Dr. Dog. They’ve taken the folk/Americana genre and played it out beautifully. No longer does the group sound like a bunch of teenagers trying every passing trend on for size. This album is cohesive and exudes a kind of confidence and talent that comes with maturity. It’s the real deal.
Blitzen Trapper plays tonight at The Independent in San Francisco.