Jesse's Best of 2008

Jesse Raub
Web Editor

1 Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Lie Down In The Light (Drag City)
Will Oldham’s a genius, and this one’s flawless.  The perfect blend of folksie acoustic guitars, spiritual meditation, and honest lyrics of love and loss through some of the most powerful music out there.
2 Akimbo – Jersey Shores (Neurot Recordings)
A powerhouse trio of crushing riffs and mind-blowing atmospherics wrapped up in a forty-five minute concept album about shark attacks in New Jersey in 1916.
3 31 Knots — Worried Well (Polyvinyl Record Co.)
Prog-leaning post-hardcore post-rock with a flair for the dramatic; actually, fairly un-classifiable awesomeness that’s fun to try and classify.
4 Constantines – Kensington Heights (Arts & Crafts)
Everyone’s favorite Canadians indie rock Bruce Springsteens span folk-lite slow burners and full on rockers.
5 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (XL Recordings)
Four upper class New Englanders play like The Talking Heads covering Paul Simon’s Graceland.
6 The Sword – Gods of the Earth (Kemado)
Heavy metal revivalists stripped out the bass, added thrashier guitars, and longer songs about more specific giants, battle axes, and demons.
7 Crooked Fingers – Forfeit / Fortune (Constant Artists, Inc./Red Pig Records)
Eric Bachmann’s new band is playing like Bruce Springsteen covering traditional Spanish folk music with the production team behind David Bowie’s Berlin period.  These comparisons are getting tiring.
8 Capillary Action – So Embarassing (Natural Selection)
A one man band (with a lot of talented friends) who likes adding samba interludes between metal riffs and elevator muzak – a truly schizophrenic work of genius.
9 Lords – Fuck All Y’All Motherfuckers (Blackmarket Activities)
Chris Owen’s crazed, art-heavy SST thrash project has a new drummer, more hardships, and a “fuck you, too attitude.”  Easy listening.
10 Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life (Matador)
Absurdist hardcore band who relishes in poppy chord progressions and weird expansions.  In reality, a conglomerate of record nerds geeking out.
11 Deerhoof – Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars)
An exploration of Japanese tones throughout Deerhoof’s regular blend of the weird with ripsaw riffage.
12 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig Lazarus Dig (Anti-)
A dirty man with a mustache records the rock record we all wished Grinderman had been.
13 Cale Parks – Sparklace (Polyvinyl Record Co.)
A drummer who plays like Animal from The Muppets releases a mellowed-out electronic album somewhere in between new wave and Peter Gabriel.
14 Graveyard – Graveyard (TeePee)
Long-haired Swedes rockin’ out blues riffs as hard as they can, a true tribute to ’68 hard rock.
15 Dead Meadow – Old Growth (Matador)
Not-so long haired spacey riff group pares down one member, pushes through the haze, and gets rootsy.