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The Best Music of 2008

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2008 was a pretty good year for new music.

The Best albums released in 2008 (Album –  Artist):

  1. Brighter Than Creation’s Dark –  Drive-By Truckers
  2. The Evening Descends –  Evangelicals
  3. The Chemistry of Common Life –  F**ked Up
  4. At Mount Zoomer –  Wolf Parade
  5. HLLLYH –  The Mae Shi
  6. Hold On Now, Youngster… –  Los Campesinos!
  7. Liver! Lung! FR! –  Frightened Rabbit
  8. Ice Cream Spiritual –  Ponytail
  9. Jim –  Jamie Lidell
  10. Heretic Pride –  The Mountain Goats

“You! Me! Dancing!” by Los Campesinos!, from their debut album, Hold On Now, Youngster… (also found on the 2007 EP Sticking Fingers Into Sockets)

The rest of the best (in no particular order):

  • 808s & Heartbreak –  Kanye West
  • Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
  • Third –  Portishead
  • We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed –  Los Campesinos!
  • Vivian Girls –  Vivian Girls
  • In The Future –  Black Mountain
  • Distortion – The Magnetic Fields
  • Ferndorf –  Hauschka
  • Life…The Best Game in Town –  Harvey Milk
  • Cities of Glass –  AIDS Wolf
  • Microcastle –  Deerhunter
  • The Odd Couple –  Gnarls Barkley
  • Skeleton –  Abe Vigoda
  • The Midnight Organ Fight –  Frightened Rabbit
  • The Twilight Sad Killed My Parents and Hit the Road –  The Twilight Sad
  • Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea – Silver Jews
  • Methods: (EP) –  Imperial China
  • Sing Along (EP)  –  Caverns
  • Kittens! (EP)  –  Caverns
  • Music Needs You –  Ryan Blotnick
  • Red, Yellow & Blue –  Born Ruffians
  • A Certain Feeling –  Bodies of Water
  • Nouns –  No Age
  • Smile –  Boris
  • Pop-Up –  Yelle
  • Made In The Dark –  Hot Chip
  • Lost and Found –  The Dexateens
  • Long Gone And Nearly There –  Julie Ocean
  • Litany of Echoes –  James Blackshaw
  • Arm’s Way –  Islands
  • Magnificent Fiend –  Howlin’ Rain
  • High Places –  High Places
  • Flight Of The Conchords –  Flight Of The Conchords
  • Christmas On Mars (Soundtrack)  –  The Flaming Lips
  • Street Horrrsing –  F**k Buttons
  • Visiter –  The Dodos
  • Nothing Is Precious Enough for Us –  Death Vessel
  • Drippers and  Bonus Drippers –  Black Moth Super Rainbow
  • Rip It Off –  Times New Viking

Best Re-issue of 2008:

  1. Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul –  Otis Redding

– R.H.

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The Best Albums of 2008 :

1. Is it the Sea – Bonnie Prince Billy : Our favorite melancountry superstar delivers a live album that reminds one of his greatness while examining it in a whole new light.

2. Stay Positive – The Hold Steady : Working class is not a label that readily describes Craig Finn and co but their tales of townies and misguided teenagers are just as funny, touching and perfect in their own scrappy way as ever. The world’s best bar music as interpreted by indie elitists.

3. Glasvegas – Glasvegas : Melodic catharsis in spades delivered by four Glasgowians. This young band is not infallible as a whispered poem over Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata suffers in comparison to the original but they got spirit, energy and stories of absent fathers, wounded teens and overall angst that really should not work as well as they do.

4. We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed – Los Campesinos : Cheeky and clever but much more than that. Nihilists on the outside but pop craftsmen at heart, their ruminations on youth’s assured end in dejected failure are all good fun until you stop and realize they’re telling you the party’s going to be over and there’s nothing you can do.

5. Microcastle – Deerhunter : There’s something ethereal about this band and especially this album. Playing with avant garde ideas without sacrificing listenability, these ambassadors of indie keep winning.

6. You and Me – The Walkmen : The Bob Dylan comparisons become ever more pronounced especially with frontman Hamilton Leithauser affecting nasally intonations. Still, their chief appeal is heartfelt, esoteric storytelling, aged and cackling.

7. Skeletal Lamping – Of Montreal : The hype machine finally broke down and Kevin Barnes began to tumble critically while selling out shows. The music, however, is just as inventive and grand as it ever was. Though lacking the darkness of Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, Barnes’ latest is rife with the new ideas he keeps discovering and surely will stand more prominently in the cannon once the sobering influence of time takes hold.

8. Modern Guilt – Beck : The dream team of Beck and The Gray Album mastermind Dangermouse creates surprisingly ignored quality tunes. Beck is still haunted by his demons from Sea Change but he still finds time to offer Dangermouse jubilant, sampled pop ditties to wash down the depression.

9. Saturnalia – The Gutter Twins : An album that abounds with apocalypse throughout as two musical legends push each other to the limits of their sensibilities, one high the other low.

10.That Lucky Old Sun – Brian Wilson : A musical legend who seems to be experimenting with the harmonies and arrangements that have fascinated him throughout his career not for the audience’s benefit but his own. The results are as reliably stunning as ever.

Honorable Mention: 808s and Hearbreak – Kanye West, Untitled – Nas, A Larum – Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, The ’59 Sound – The Gaslight Anthem

– Vman

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Top Ten Films of 2008

What a fascinating year in film. Although it is questionable whether or not this list will have any impact, here are my top ten movies of a very fruitful and rewarding year in film with a snippet or two about their greatness when necessary.

1. Synecdoche, New York – By far the most ambitious film of the year. Charlie Kaufman has come close to doing what Caden never managed to do. Most assuredly, it is not for everyone but delving into the despair at its heart yields immeasurable joy.

2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – The best mainstream film of the year, rife with deep sadness. Fincher and Pitt continue to put out excellent work. An instantly classic American epic.

3. Milk – This movie oozes style and talent. Gus Van Sant seared the feel of the 70s into every frame. His impressionistic, empathetic camera combined with Sean Penn’s tour de force were a spectacular combination.

4. Rachel Getting Married – Jonathon’s Demme’s seemingly simple hand held cinematography and unaffected performances all around yielded a near flawless, naturalistic masterpiece.

5. Waltz With Bashir – completely redefines the documentary format with visuals that are near revolutionary.

6. The Wrestler – Aronofsky is much more subtle but just as great. Mickey Rourke brings out his demons and hits exactly the right note of bittersweet.

7. The Dark Knight – Imbued with far more depth than it had any right to have. The Dark Knight was an example of the greatness that can result when artists are allowed to tackle a mainstream film. Heath Ledger is simply stunning.

8. WALL-E – Animation is no longer for the kids. Although wrapped in a layer of sweetness, it is deeply affecting satire that is near perfectly crafted.

9. The Wackness – A perfect portrait of 90s New York City. Levine takes stylistic risks and they all pay off, creating the overlooked gem of 2008.

10. Burn After Reading – The best comedy of the year. The Coen Brothers berate their audience with darkness and constantly push boundaries, making you laugh and cringe simultaneously.

Honorable Mention (in order of Honor attained): Frost/Nixon, In Bruges, Hancock, Funny Games, Mongol, Australia, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Iron Man, W., Tropic Thunder, Religulous,

-Vman

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Nike and the Boredoms Present… 88BoaDrum!!!!!!!!

For those of you who have come across this site in search of news about the Boredoms, well, here’s a tasty tidbit: (The) Boredoms have announced their second crazy, mass-drummer experiment, set for (as predicted) August 8, 2008 (8/8/08).

It’s taking place in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn, New York. They’re both free public events. They’ve got 88 drummers. They’re both sponsored by Nike. They’re both… Wait. What? Nike? Yep. The Boredoms increase the weirdness factor every time we run into each other.

Don’t forget other artists teaming up with Nike in recent times. LCD Soundsystem. The very recent A-Trak release. Beat maker Lance Armstrong. Etcetera.

And according to Pitchfork, Soft Circle’s Hisham Bharoocha is the 88BoaDrum (the name of this crazy percussion-wild event) artistic director. (Soft Circle toured with the Boredoms recently. Check out our review.)

The drummers will be in L.A. it seems, while friends of the Boredoms Gang Gang Dance take care of Brooklyn duties.

Get the full details over at the aforementioned Pitchfork.

Sounds like a good time. Anybody making a road trip out to one of the events?

– R.H.

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Notes About the Site

Hello Friendly Readers,

We here at Two Silenced Voices like music. Heck, you could even say we love music. Matter of fact, we’re passionate about music. So passionate that it easily distracts us from updating this blog 24/7.

And being passionate music lovers, we enjoy our share of live music. And, what the heck, we might as well report on some of the concerts that we go to. So today begins the chronicling of our live music ventures. We probably will not report on every show we see and we may not report too often, but every once in awhile, expect a review/recap of a show. These ‘reviews’ might not be entirely strict music journalism reviews, but they might be peppered with unique-to-blog insights about the crowd, the personal adventure to get to the venue, etc.

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Don’t be afraid to go back to posts. Sometimes, Vman will write a post and sometime later, I will contribute to that post. It’s like a two-for-one deal. Pretty great, no? You’ve just got to be sure to check back and see if the post has been updated. Same goes for me when I post, and then Vman contributes. Get twice the perspective at double the bargain!

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On April 13, 2008 Two Silenced Voices reached 1,000 views! Thank you! We apologize for the only-so-often posting, but we hope you enjoy what you find!

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Thank you for reading.

– R.H.

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The Decline of Western Civilization

Ryan Seacrest is now hosting the oldest and most-watched New Year’s Eve program in the world. And Dick Clark’s wonderful voice is no longer what it was. That wonderful radio voice. (even though he may not like Michael Moore, we appreciate Mr. Clark)

Happy New Year everyone.

– R.H.

I wish to make it clear once again that the Happy New Year greeting is from R.H. alone, every new year i think about all that I have accomplished and realize that my life is a failure, I encourage you dear readers to do the same. And Ryan Seacrest is a cyborg, an asshole cyborg, I’m sure of it. Why is fergie famous? Who is this Sean Kingston fellow and what in the name of Zeus does he have around his neck? How can his neck support the sheer weight of that…thing? Since when do diamond studded guitars mean you’re good at music? and finally, why did Hanson change it’s name to the Jonas brothers?

-Vman

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Season’s Greetings!

We here at Two Silenced Voices would like to wish all of our readers a very, very happy holiday season. If a holiday of yours has passed, we hope you had a great time and we give a belated ‘Happy day!’ And for everyone, enjoy the time you have with your friends and family (as well as your movies and gadgets and music and gizmos) this season.

Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Solstice! Happy Boxer Day! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays!

Cheers!

P.S. Several year-end best-of lists will pop up in the beginning of the new year as we try to gobble up all that 2007 has given us. We’ll be catching up on those limited release December ’07 films and the music that has eluded us, best we can. Thanks for your readership!

-R.H.

I would like to make it known that this post was posted preposterously prior to my learning of it. I disagree with the propaganda presented in R.H.’s message. I do not wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I never will. Long live Richard Dawkins!

-Vman

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