telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Favorite Albums of 2008.5 by Barbecue Bros
June 4, 2008, 3:02 pm
Filed under: lists, music

1. The Helio Sequence – Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Sub Pop) – This one surprised me since I was not exactly taken by the more rock-oriented Love and Distance, their last album four years ago. But the band returns to some of it’s My Bloody Valentine influences (“Keep Your Eyes Ahead” and “Hallelujah”) while also incorporating some quiet acoustic tunes (the excellent “Shed Your Love” and “Broken Afternoon”).

2. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive (Vagrant) Just in time for a summer’s worth of cooking out and drinking.

3. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (Columbia) – Didn’t realize until recently that David Friddman produced this one, but it makes sense. “Time to Pretend” is my jam of the year so far – and Gossip Girl approved, to boot!

4. Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams (Merge) – The follow up to 2005’s excellent Rubies finds Dan Bejar continuing in excellent, still hyperliterate form.

5. Vampire Weekend – s/t (XL) – Another great warm months album. This will be played a lot this summer. I will probably be wearing boat shoes, too.

6. Malcolm Middleton – Sleight of Heart (Full Time Hobby)
– Simple, folk songs expertly crafted by the ex-Arab Strap member.

7. Murder By Death – Red of Tooth and Claw (Vagrant)
– Wow, two albums from Vagrant in this list…kinda surprising. But I’ve been a fan of Murder By Death and their brand of “country gothic” for a few years now, and this is certainly an improvement to these ears over 2006’s In Bocca al Lupo.

8. Gregor Samsa – Rest (Kora)
– Brooklyn-by-way-of-Virginia’s Gregor Samsa continue to mine shoegazer, post rock and ambient influences, this time leading to a more quiet and subdued album, perhaps alluding to its title.

9. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges (ATO)
– A bit of a curveball from MMJ. “Highly Suspicious” is a huge departure, but I appreciate the band’s willingness to change things up a bit.

10. Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)
– While I think it could stand some trimming at 19 tracks, this is still a monster of an album.

Notable Mentions: SpiritualizedSongs in A&E (Castle), No AgeNouns (Sub Pop), Fleet Foxes – s/t (Sub Pop), Beach HouseDevotion (Car Park), HeadlightsSome Racing, Some Stopping (Polyvinyl)


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Hi Twoguns,

On behalf of Rough Trade, Beggars Digital and The Hold Steady, many thanks for plugging “Stay Positive” (street date 15th July) … .. thanks, also, on behalf of the label and the band for not posting any pirate links to unreleased (studio) material and, if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, “Sequestered in Memphis” is available for fans and bloggers to stream / link to on the band’s MySpace … .. check-out and for details on “Stay Positive” and the band’s 2008 shows and keep an eye out for details of further, preview material and exclusive content.

Thanks again for your plug.




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