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Mudcub's Favorite CDs of 2009

In this month's "Under The Radar" music magazine, musician Pop Levi was asked for his 2008 top ten list. He only listed two CDs: R. Kelly's "12 Play: Fourth Quarter" which will probably never be officially released, and Sun Ra & The Omniverse Jet Set Arkestra's "The Complete Detroit Jazz Centre Residency", which is an 11 CD box set of 26 hour's worth of 11 concerts. This is the ultimate of music-geek wankdom: an R&B CD that you will never get to hear, and over a full day of difficult-listening free-jazz music. I can not surpass that... I will never be as cool as Mr. Levi, so, with that said, here are my favorite CDs of 2008 (and some least-favorites):

  1. Biffy Clyro "Puzzle"
  2. Hercules And Love Affair "Hercules And Love Affair"
  3. Bob Mould "District Line"
  4. Death Cab For Cutie "Narrow Stairs"
  5. The Raconteurs "Consolers Of The Lonely"
  6. Firewater "The Golden Hour"
  7. Fleet Foxes "Fleet Foxes"
  8. The Futureheads "News And Tributes"
  9. TV On The Radio "Dear Science"
  10. Kings of Leon "Only By The Night"
  11. Bloc Party "Intimacy"
  12. The Dears "Missile"
  13. Portishead "Third"
  14. Joe Jackson "Rain"
  15. Kaiser Chiefs "Off With Their Heads"

Sigur Rós "Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust"

Robyn Hitchcock "Shadow Cat"

The Whigs "Mission Control"

Foals "Antidote"

The Kooks "Konk"

Apollo Sunshine "Shall Noise Upon"

Gnarls Barkley "The Odd Couple"

Xiu Xiu "Women As Lovers"

Radiohead "In Rainbows"

R.E.M. "Accelerate"

Idina Menzel "I Stand"

Calexico "Carried To Dust"

BoDeans "Still"

Of Montreal "Skeletal Lamping"

Le Savvy Fav "Let's Stay Friends"

Flogging Molly "Float"

The Faint "Fasciinatiion"

Cloud Cult "Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornados)"

The Proclaimers "Life With You"

Colin Meloy "Colin Meloy SIngs Live!"

Mark Weigle "Mark Weigle"

Billy Bragg "Mr. Love & Justice"

Flobots "Fight With Tools"

Tokyo Police Club "Elephant Shell"

Flight Of The Conchords "Flight Of The Conchords"

Jackson Browne "Time The Conquerer"

Beck "Modern Guilt"

The Fratellis "Here We Stand"

Ben Folds "Way To Normal"

The National "Boxer"

Drive-By Truckers "Brighter Than Creation's Dark"


Best Techno CDs of 2008


  1. Chemical Brothers "Brotherhood" (2 CD edition with "Electronic Battle Weapons")
  2. Junkie XL "Booming Back At You"
  3. Girl Talk "Feed The Animals"
  4. M83 "Saturdays = Youth"
  5. Hot Chip "Made In The Dark"


Best CD Reissues of 2008


  1. Robyn Hitchcock "I Wanna Go Backwards"
  2. Whiskeytown "Stranger's Almanac" (Collector's Edition)
  3. The Replacements "Hootenanny" (and all others)
  4. The Apples In Stereo "Electronic Projects For Musicians"
  5. Lindsey Buckingham "Live At The Bass Performance Hall"

The Lemonheads "It's A Shame About Ray" (Collector's Edition)

The Bravery "The Sun And The Moon Complete"

Carl Craig "Sessions"

The Vines "The Best Of The Vines"

Sixteen Horsepower "Live March 2001"


Worst CDs of 2008


  1. Moby "Last Night"
  2. Filter "Anthems For The Damned"
  3. Miss Kitten "BatBox"
  4. Does It Offend You, Yeah? "You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into"
  5. Lindsey Bickingham "Gift Of Screws"


Best CD Cover of 2008


1. Xiu Xiu "Women As Lovers"

2. Bob Mould "District Line"

3. Flight Of The Conchords "Flight Of The Conchords"

4. R.E.M. "Accelerate"

5. Of Montreal "Skeletal Lamping"

Worst CD Cover of 2008


1. Destroyer "Trouble In Dreams"

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I HATE HATE HATE too-cool-for-you "Best of" lists like the one you mention. There's another horrible one at Artforum magazine's Best of 2008 lists for films, which really should be titled "Most Obscure and Unavailable...".

The Village Voice does great music and film wrap-ups, since it's actually a compilation of weighted votes from dozens of respected critics, and even better are the sidebars where the critics will comment on specific works as well as trends and how the album/s or film/s made an impact culturally.

The film survey is up now: http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-12-31/film/2008-film-poll-results/

The music one is called "Annual Pazz and Jop Survey" and will be out later next year.

Radiohead's "IN RAINBOWS" is only an also-ran?

maybe you should play it again. and again. and again

...but haven't I already heard it before? Thom whining high piched vocals over bloops and bleeps. There was "Kid A" and then that other CD, and then the one with the red cover... they are all blurring together in my mind like the last four U2 records. And I'm saying this as a fan.

*gives mudcub a gentle nudge to listen to it once again*

anyone who can listen to that full SunRa set is either distracted or totally on drugs.....it's almost ambient music.

This is one of those moments when I realize how very, very old coot I am:

I have not heard any of the albums on that entire list except one. Which I adore.


It's a genre of music called "alternative". It a rarified list of too-hip young british musicians ceated by aging thirty-something former record store employees. If you haven't heard it, it's because no radio stations play that type of music... unless you're in college and live in a dorm.

THANK YOU! Now I understand!

Ask me about obscure EIGHTIES music, and I'm so there. And it was all due to WVUM - The Voice of the University of Miami, my constant companion back then.

There was this UberGoth Legendarily Cool Bar in Seattle, The Vogue, and I had the very great pleasure of shocking the living FUCK out of some of my young Goth friends by knowing the words to EVERY song that played one night.

Siouxsie, Japan, David Sylvian, Saint Peter Murphy, Bauhaus, the works... I REQUESTED songs... and got them played. Hell, that DJ played "The Chauffeur" for me, and half of the kids were like "Who is this by, this cool song?" And got totally GLEE to tell them DURAN DURAN!

I pointed out that I had loved the genre before they were actually born, i.e. I wasn't always a Big Ol' Bear. And I was WAY more alienated as an out gay kid in 1985 than they could ever dream of being.

It gave me Elder Goth cred with them, which just giggles me up.

Who knew that almost 30 years later, there'd still be a Goth culture?

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