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!
Do you like bluesy, southern fried garage rock in the style of The Black Keys, White Stripes and Kings of Leon? Then I think you’ll like this San Francisco trio called Leopold and His Fiction. I sure do. Their self-titled debut is out now and are expected to release a new album early 2009.
I was taken the first time I heard Fremont-based band, Okay. Mostly by Marty Anderson’s voice, which is strange, compelling and beautiful all at the same time. His sound may not resonate with everyone but I find his songs with simple lyrics and sparse instrumentation achieve something bigger.
Oakland-based Port O’Brien has received critical acclaim for their autobiographical second album, All We Could Do Was Sing. Their ragtag indie folk/rock sound evokes the sounds of Neil Young and Bon Iver at times and back porch, drunken singalong sessions at others.