Top 10 2008

Album of the year

  1. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
  2. Vampire Weekend - Eponymous
  3. Bon Iver - For Emma, forever ago
  4. Sigur Rs - Me su eyrum vi spilum endalaust
  5. Tindersticks - The Hungry Saw
  6. Burial - Untrue
  7. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
  8. Portishead - Third

Live band of the year

Film of the year

  1. No country for old men
  2. There will be blood
  3. Juno


Scott Balikian  Declan Bates  Enda Bates  Garbhn Blake  Mark Butcher  Gerard Cagney  Tom Corcoran  Tony Corrigan  Cathryn Costello  Richie Evans  Lucas Hilbert  Brendan Jennings  Niall Lynch  Jimmy McGibney  Nathan Morehouse  John Morrissey  Derek Murphy  Dave McGuinness  Mary Naughton  Martin O'Gorman  Caroline O'Reilly  Anthony Scarfo  Peter Ward  Colin Waugh  Declan Waugh 

All time Contributors

Scott Balikian

Top 10 albums

The Presets - Apocalypso
Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town
Tom Waits - Dime Store Novels Vol. 1
Death Valley - unreleased - Portland band that would have RULED this land if their singer hadn't moved to LA. bastard.
TV on the Radio - Dear Science
Portishead - Third - can get the droning out of my head
Eef Barzely - Lose Big
Flight of the Conchords!!!
The Hands
The Heavy Hearts - A Killer of Snakes - Sounds like a return of McLusky!
The Tea Cozies - Pretty Pages/Reglous - great local seattle band
The Black Keys - Attack and Release
Dizzie Rascal - Maths + English
The Hold Steady - Stay Positive

Top shows

Bruce Springsteen in Seattle
My buddy was able to score us floor area and then magically got us in to the pit. *shhhhh* 2nd row. First time to see Springsteen. Truly an amazing show.

The Old '97s - Tractor Tavern
I think they were billed as the Satellite Riders for this small club. Great show, then stayed up until 4am drinking beers with 'em at the speakeasy under the Sunset.

The Hold Steady/Drive-by Truckers - Showbox Sodo
First time to see the hold steady. For some reason, I drank too many 24 oz PBRs. When my friend said to wait to see if there was an after-party, I forgot and grabbed a cab home. Got a text at 4am hearing about his chat with Craig Finn. Dave's such a slut.

The Whore Hands - Some guy's white basement on Capital Hill
The Whore Moans and the Hands are 2 of Seattles great up and coming bands. They sometimes play together - all 10 of them - as the Whore Hands. Great chaos.

((( selector sound )))
4622 s genesee | seattle, wa 98118

Declan Bates

1. Sigur Rs - Me su eyrum vi spilum endalaust
Listened to the cd for the first time in a hotel room in Korea, heard it live first in Parco della Musica in Rome, but the best moment was dancing around a muddy field at Electric Picnic with the kid and Bren & Edel. Soundtrack to my year.

2. Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea
Criminally overlooked album, dug it out of the cd collection and had it on the mp3 player for ages. Completely blocks out annoying Ryanair announcements, no noise cancelling headphones needed!

3. Go-Betweens - Ocean's Apart
Up there with their best stuff, especially Grant's songs - tragic to think this is their last album.

4. Sarah Mohr-Pietsch on BBC3's breakfast programme
Amazing music and what a voice that woman has - check it out online

5. Beatles - Red Album
Couldn't find the blue one for a few months, made me appreciate the earlier poppier stuff more. Paperback Writer!

6. Friendly Fires - Jump in the Pool and Paris
Shoegazer guitars combined with manic groove drumming, why did nobody think of this before? And songs about wanting to live in Paris - what more d'ya want?

7. The Enemy - Away from Here
What is it about England that kids growing up in a toxic shithole like Coventry can still find the will to make music as good as this? Lyrics and attitudes of the year!

8. Radiohead - In Rainbows
I know it's last year's, but I still can't stop listening to it.

9. The Notwist - The Devil, You + Me
Really lovely stuff, especially Good Lies

10. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Master and Everyone
Just for the first song...

Enda Bates

Top Albums
1 Portishead - Third
2 The Notwist - The Devil, You + Me
3 Adebisi Shank - This Is The Album
4 Jape - Ritual
5 Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood OST
6 The Jimmy Cake - Spectre and Crown
7 Mogwai - The Hawk Is Howling
8 Sigur Ros- Me su eyrum vi spilum endalaust
9 MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
10 Lite Phantasia

Top TV
1 Mad Men
2 The Wire
3 Generation Kill
4 The Shield
5 BBC Imagine Documentaries
6 Charlie Brookers Screenwipe
7 The Mighty Boosh
8 Sons of Anarchy

Top Gigs
1 My Bloody Valentine - Manchester Apollo,
2 Wilco - Electric Picnic Festival
3 Adebisi Shank - Boom Boom Room, Dublin
4 Jape - Electric Picnic Festival
5 Sigur Ros - Electric Picnic Festival
6 James Blackshaw at The Chapel, Trinity College Dublin
7 Isabel at Sunset - Ballroom of Romance, Lower Deck, Dublin
8 Dan Deacon - vicar st. Dublin
9 Faust - Electric Picnic Festival
10 Lite - Whelans, Dublin

Garbhn Blake

2008 Highlight? That's easy - two weeks in the outskirts of Accra, Ghana helping to rebuild a junior school in an area of abject poverty. Incredible kids - football games at lunch (they were barefoot) - staring in the windows at us working for AGES - fasination at their photos on digital cameras. Great bunch of people - unfortunately won't be going in 2009 - others from ESB will be getting that honour. Also, my first time since Feile '93 to camp at a festival. Electric Picnic certainly was not the experience I remember from Thurles 15 years ago - much more grown up and refined and not a drunk teenager in sight. Looking forward to EP '09 already. Right so.....

Blocker's Top 10 Albums 2008

  1. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Sunday at Devil Dirt
  2. Difficult to believe that Lanegan's bass and Campbell's whispering vocals were recorded on different sides of the world, such is the chemistry. Beautiful bluesy melodies, with a wonderful dark undercurrent in every tune.
  3. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
  4. The follow up to Broken Boy Soldiers and more of the same in your face classic rock - no complaints there.
  5. Robert Forster - The Evangelist
  6. Emotional first release since the tragic death of Grant McLennan - although his influence is more than apparent on this record. McLennan had written some of the music - Forester completed those songs after his death. 'From Ghost Town' is the particularly poignant closing track.
  7. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
  8. Simple, stripped down acoustics from an isolated Wisconsin cabin. Delicate layered harmonies makes this a refreshing variation to the tired 'singer/songwriter with guitar' format.
  9. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
  10. One of my favourite artists over the past few years - whether it's in Rilo Kiley, with the Watson Twins or here on her own. Elvis Costello and M Ward guest, but there's no doubt who stands out most on this recording.
  11. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
  12. We've waited 3 years for the follow up to their fabulous debut offering 'Apologies to the Queen Mary'. This is more of a grower and less instantly memorable, but still a fine art school pop record.
  13. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
  14. Unrepentant rock stars sing of excess - 70s synth pop music springs to mind - Bowie, T-Rex, Roxy Music all seem to have music and style influences here.
  15. Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark
  16. Jason Isbell is gone, his ex and bassist Shonna Tucker steps up. Down from 3 to 2 guitars, there's some great stories and aunique southern sound from these stalwarts. Who else could get away with a song titled 'You and Your Crystal Meth'?
  17. Sigur Rs - Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust
  18. The band's fifth album and maybe didn't get the reaction of the previous four as we've come to expect original genius. Still, there's some incredible tunes and even some lyrics in English! Mesmorising live.
  19. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
  20. Debut from this New York band is a catchy, pop recording with a world music feel without being at all pretentious or over serious. You gotta love any song that starts with 'Who gives a f*@k about an Oxford comma?'
  21. Bonnie Prince Billie - Lie Down in the light
  22. Just realized that I missed out Bonnie Prince Billy's album - probably his best in years. I knew that there was distinct lack of country on the list!!!!

Honourable Mentions

Gigs and live events