I read a lot of music blogs. (Nine Bullets and Twang Nation are two of my favorites.) I also listen to a lot of music podcasts, with Sound Opinions and All Songs Considered topping the list of faves. Everybody is doing their year-in-music wrap-ups, and I thought I'd do something similar. So here's my thoughts about the music of 2008.
Best Album: "All Rebel Rockers" from Michael Franti and Spearhead, which is the only CD I bought this year, and I bought the deluxe version with DVD. One problem I have with modern music is how violent, nihilistic and misogynistic so much of it is. And that's why I love Michael Franti. He is a positive person making the world a better place with his music and his actions. His music is energetic enough to work out too, and sweet enough to merit a spot on my Ipod playlist called "Kim" (about which I will say no more.)
Franti has his own channel on Youtube. Check out all of his songs and tell me if you find one there that is less than magnificent.
Song of the year: No question about it. "Furr" from Blitzen Trapper. I love this song and I still get happy when it comes up on the Ipod cuz I never got tired of it. It's freaky, funny and philosophical. I wrote a whole column about it. It reminds me of one of my favorite books of all time -- Jack London's "The Call of the Wild."
Favorite new 80's band: Kid Creole and the Coconuts. I really didn't pay much attention to popular music in the 1980's -- or maybe I did but there wasn't much memorable about it. Either way I somehow missed Kid Creole and the Coconuts, but I'm certainly enjoying discovering them now. They don't look like an 80's band, the 30's maybe since Kid Creole likes to wear zoot suits, and they don't sound like anybody else of any era.
I love working out to this one. I'm not as much like Endicott as I'd like to be, but I think he's something to shoot for. But like Endicott, I am up at 5 o'clock and giving it all I've got.
Favorite alt-country (whatever that is) band: Reckless Kelly. I played some of their stuff for a friend at work. He loves Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, but he said he couldn't enjoy Reckless Kelly cuz he couldn't get past the twang, so he went back to living in the past. Too bad, these guys rock.
Best alt-Swedish band: I'm From Barcelona. (Warning: if you don't like your music as upbeat and positive as I do, this video might be hard to take. However you might just love it.)
Favorite workout lyric: This song never fails to get me pumping just a little bit harder, especially this one lyric. See if you can pick it out.
Yep, "I'm gonna strut like a cock until I'm 99."