Friday December 19th 2008, 4:28 pm
When You Awake’s Best of 2008
Filed under: News | Posted by:

With 2008 drawing to a close, we look back on an excellent year for new artists and new releases. For better or for worse, we’ve certainly been surprised by how much some independent folk has been embraced by the mainstream (I think Starbucks just discovered the Fleet Foxes). We want to share some of our favorites with you.

We’ve asked various contributors here at When You Awake to list their top 10 favorite albums released in 2008. This is not really a best-of list, but more along the lines of what we enjoyed. We’ve also included some honorable mentions and a couple of other made-up categories.

It is interesting to see how we define what music accompanies this page, and then what we listen to outside of these parameters. While no one endorsed Girl Talk here, some of our choices are very interesting and genre-bending.

We’d love your feedback! Use that comments section at the end of this article and give us your list.

Dave Harmon, Nashville Contributor

Best (or Most Enjoyable) Albums of 2008:

Jody’s List:
Blitzen Trapper- Furr
Dr Dog- Fate
Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago
Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes
Deer Tick- War Elephant
The Felice Brothers – The Felice Brothers
Hymns- Travel In Herds
Department of Eagles- In Ear Park
The Tallest Man on Earth: Shallow Graves
O’Death – Broken Hymns, Limbs, & Skin

Dave’s List:
The Black Keys – Attack & Release
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Beach House – Devotion
Beck – Modern Guilt
The Dutchess & The Duke – She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke
The Eagles of Death Metal – Heart On
My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
Dr. Dog – Fate
Department of Eagles – In Ear Park
Sigur Ros – Med sud I eyrum vid spilun

Jenna’s List:
Dodos- The Visiter
Noah and the Whale- Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down
Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes
Blitzen Trapper- Furr
Beck- Modern Guilt
Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago
The Ruby Suns- Sea Lion
Vetiver- Things Of The Past
Beach House- Devotion
Dr. Dog- Fate

Honorable Mentions:
Avett Brothers- The Second Gleam
Black Mountain: In the Future
Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Lie Down in the Light
Port O’Brien- All We Could Do Was Sing
Horse Feathers- House With No Home
Plants and Animals- Parc Avenue
Old Believers- Eight Golden Greats
Devotchka- A Mad & Faithful Telling
Watson Twins- Fire Songs
Lucinda Williams – Little Honey
Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend
Conor Oberst- Conor Oberst
Little Joy- Little Joy
Wolf Parade- At Mt Zoomer

Best Re-releases/Live Albums:
Neil Young- Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House
Gene Clark- Silverado ’75- Live and Unreleased
Bob Dylan- The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs: Rare and Unreleased 1986-2006
Dennis Wilson- Pacific Ocean Blue

Best Use Of Music In A Movie or TV Show:
Rachel Getting Married/True Blood (Jody)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona/ Weeds (Jenna)
Flight of the Conchords (Dave)

Best Live Show:
Hackensaw Boys/Doc Watson(Jody)
My Morning Jacket (Dave)
Spoon/Beck (Jenna)

Best Festival:
Bristol Rhythm and Roots, followed closely by SXSW (Jody)
Sasquatch (Jenna)
Bonaroo (Dave)

Best Reunion:
Beachwood Sparks (Dave and Jody)

3 Comments so far
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Nice lists! Here’s my Top 20:

1 Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean Blue (Legacy Edition)
2 Rodriguez – Cold Fact
3 I See Hawks In LA – Hallowed Ground
4 Neil Young – Sugar Mountain – Live At Canterbury House 1968 CD/DVD
5 Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes / Sun Giant EP
6 Wooden Shjips – Volume 1
7 Howlin’ Rain – Magnificent Fiend
8 The Lemonheads – Varshons (unreleased, was coming out on Rhino, now Vagrant in 2009)
9 The Quarter After – Changes Near
10 The Baseball Project * – Vol. 1 Frozen Ropes & Dying Quails
*(Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey, Linda Pitmon, Peter Buck )
11 Spirtualized – Songs In A & E
12 Black Mountain – In The Future
13 Vetiver – Thing Of The Past / More Of The Past EP
14 Mudcrutch – Mudcrutch / Live! Extended Play EP
15 Neil Halstead – Oh! Mighty Engine
16 Lucinda Williams – Little Honey
17 Mercury Rev – Snowflake Midnight / Strange Attractor
18 Destroyer – Trouble In Dreams
19 The Explorers Club – Freedom Wind
20 Waylon Jennings – Waylon Forever

The rest of my faves this past year, in no particular order:

The Letter Openers – No Gods Before Me (unreleased)
Heather Waters – Propellers
Everest – Ghost Notes
The Binges – The Binges
Hank Williams III – Damn Right, Rebel Proud
The Neighborhood Bullys – What?
Chatham County Line – IV
Spindrift – The West
The Flaming Lips – Christmas on Mars (Soundtrack)
Rodney Crowell – Sex and Gasoline
Old Crow Medicine Show – Tennessee Pusher
Shelby Lynne – Just A Little Lovin’
Dave Insley – West Texas Wine
The Black Angels – Directions To See A Ghost
Earth – The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull
The Black Keys – Attack & Release
The Verve – Forth
Drive By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
The Broken West – Now Or Heaven
The Band of Heathens – The Band of Heathens
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Sigus Ros – Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
Randy Newman – Harps And Angels
Willie Nelson – Moment of Forever
Crystal Antlers – Crystal Antlers EP
Animal Collective – Water Curses EP
Dead Meadow – Old Growth
The Black Crowes – Warpaint
Jim Noir – Jim Noir
The Clientele – That Night A Forest Grew
Matthew Sweet – Sunshine Lies
Blitzen Trapper – Furr
Brightblack Morning Light – Motion to Rejoin
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Drippers EP
Alaska in Winter – Holiday
Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue
Gary Louris – Vagabonds
Nick Lowe – Jesus of Cool (great YepRock reissue)
Blue Ash – No More, No Less
My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
Ray Davies – Working Man’s Cafe
Dungen – 4
Calexico – Carried To Dust
Supergrass – Diamond Hoo Ha
The Racounteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely
Glen Campbell – Meet Glen Campbell

Comment by Bryan 12.19.08 @ 6:19 pm

I love the lists, far more complete than ours which went:

1. Fleet Foxes
2. Dennis Wilson

everything else we felt was nice, but not essential to being a better human being.

Comment by howard 12.20.08 @ 4:41 pm

Well like most of you, Fleet Foxes would probably be near the top of my list.
I also enjoyed
The Felice Brothers,
The Tallest Man On Earths’s ‘Shallow Grave’ and Neil Young’s ‘Sugar Mountain’.

Randy Newman outdid himself with ‘Harps and Angels’. And I liked Jackson Browne’s ‘Solo Accoustic Vol 2’ (not so impressed with his new studio album).

Comment by Adam 12.21.08 @ 6:02 pm

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