The Year in Music 2008: Tracklist | The Year in Music | Indy Week
Pin It

The Year in Music 2008: Tracklist 

Tracks 31-40 (Ph-W) of the Triangle's 40 best songs of 2008

Tracks 1-10 (A-Ch)Tracks 11-20 (Co-G)Tracks 21-30 (H-Pa)Tracks 31-40 (Ph-W)
Download all tracks (ZIP, 215 MB)

click to enlarge PHOTO BY LARA KHALIL


Download "Why Can't We Fall in Love Forever? (Anything is Possible)"

(from Snake Charmer & Destiny at the Stroke of Midnight; Trekky Records)

What makes Daniel Hart's new record so enjoyable is in part what it isn't —no conspicuous Eastern exotica, no round-the-clock ragas, no enigmatic yogi bromides. This mid-record cut is instead rooted in chamber rock's tradition of indie exuberance-meets-actual chops. That's what tethers Snake Charmer's ambitious musical conceits to our own worldly experiences, even as the novella-inspired concept threatens to soar off with our disbelief. On this song, these charging guitars, gypsy strings, thumping kicks, cymbal explosions, dustings of glockenspiel, and "Clap your hands/Stomp your feet" imperatives all rush toward an out-pouring of choral joy—a wish fulfilled, love's promise invoked. "There's more to us than just surviving," Hart sings. Halleluiah for that. —John Schacht

click to enlarge portastatic.jpg


Download "Boy from School"

(from Some Small History; Merge Records)

It's hard to go wrong with source material this strong, but you've still gotta give Mac McCaughan credit for this canny arrangement of Hot Chip's 2006 electropop monster. He flattens the original's funky hitches into stocky acoustic strums, rewrites its burbling synths for delay-kissed electric guitar, and puts the spotlight on its vocal melody, which is just as indelible wrapped in McCaughan's earthy voice as Alexis Taylor's weightless purr. The cover emphasizes that Hot Chip is the most songwriterly of dance bands, providing the insight that good covers should. Here's where we begin lobbying Portastatic for a version of Hot Chip's three-chord wonder of 2008, "Ready for the Floor." —Brian Howe

click to enlarge proclivities.jpg


Download "The Elephant"

(from Handguns and Dancing Shoes; self-released)

Syncopations and seemingly dropped beats suggest forgotten memories. Insistent guitar solos convey unresolved emotions. Lyrics declare the sometimes confusing, sometimes painful personal reconstructions that occur with every lost relationship: The Proclivities constructs "The Elephant" as the flicker of a past flame. Trying to understand what went wrong, a hyped up burlesque-tango groove emerges from an off-kilter guitar riff, mesmerizing and frustrating. Clarity comes with the chorus as bass and drums drive the beat home, building intensity. The meaning of the repeated lyric "if she has a reckless heart" transforms from delicate regret to angry accusation. But the closing lines, "It's a foolish pride... [to] make a history from a woman that you keep inside," point to a more mature perspective than the usual song about lost love. "The Elephant," then, focuses more on the memory of the relationship than the relationship itself. —Andrew Ritchey

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JEREMY M. LANGE


Download "Nice Fox"

(from Life Like; Merge Records)

If Life Like is the Rosebuds' paean to their natural surroundings, then "Nice Fox" is the memento mori that paeans are constructs of consciousness, and that Nature doesn't care a whit what meanings we ascribe to the cycle of life and death. Inspired by a dead fox Ivan Howard discovered behind his property, the Rosebuds juxtapose these readings sonically and lyrically over 212 seconds of graceful, melancholic pop. Kettle hollows haunt Howard's strummed acoustic and Kelly Crisp's keyboard comping, while Howard's near-animistic soliloquies are shadowed by a weary but insistent Greek chorus of "And it don't mean nothing at all." That a terminally ill neighbor passed away next door listening to The Rosebuds finish the cut suggests that, in the end, it's our songs that matter most of all. —John Schacht

click to enlarge PHOTO BY LARA KHALIL


Download "Out on the Main Drag"

(from The Latest Rights; Acuarela Records)

Across four albums and an EP, sole constant Struggler Randy Bickford has kept the sounds behind his voice simple and mostly clean—steady drum trots, simple guitar chords and a smattering of understated auxiliary instruments. "Out on the Main Drag" is no different, its pedal steel moans sweeping beneath Bickford's placid Southern tenor and between Jim Bob Aiken's keen rhythmic motion. It all directs us to Bickford's coming-of-age conundrum: Walking the same Charlottesville, Va., streets upon which Silver Jews' David Berman noticed the cold flotsam in the yards of the ghettos, Bickford realizes his privilege and its demands: "I was educated/ by borrowing."" He expertly pairs opportunity with aggravation, the future with its inherent anxieties, realizing that his schooling is a city upon a hill, lined with slippery slopes dropping straight into disappointment. —Grayson Currin

click to enlarge transportation.jpg


Download "Tell Me What You Want"

(from Daydreams; Fractured Discs)

An inspiration to those who believe anything can be improved by deep frying it—from the humble pickle or PBJ to the Snickers bar—Transportation prove sometimes more is better. They cram at least three songs into three-plus minutes on "Tell Me What You Want," flash-frying stuff like Cliff Notes to a rock opera. It opens as a jack rabbit, bounding like Big Dipper over effervescing indie-rock jangle and backing harmonies. The refrain slows the pace down to ballad-speed, as Robbie Scuggs begs his lady to "do me right." Suddenly, you're in a polyester sports jacket and gold chains, while someone delivers a mirror lined with cocaine. After making another circuit, a cow bell kicks off an outro, leading in a third direction, a galloping boogie rock guitar jam with a bite like Thin Lizzy. ADD doesn't always sound so triumphant. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge valient.jpg


Download "I Hope the Ghosts of the Dead Haunt Yr Soul Forever"

(from Immortalizer; Volcom Entertainment)

Metallica released an album this year, and people said it was a return to form. I don't buy that because Valient Thorr also released an album, Immortalizer, this year: It's not that Valient Thorr sounds like Metallica used to, but the Venusian heshers are so saturated with that boozy righteousness of golden-age thrash that it doesn't feel unreasonable to at least put them in league with the old guys. Valient Thorr's sinuous dual lead guitar's slice razor sharp, harmonious lines through low-end rumbles and the vaguely melodic growls of gruff frontman Valient Himself. This punk-metal anthem, as with its predecessors, is a call to action: to mosh, to skate, to chug a beer, to fold the freakin' laundry. What you do doesn't matter as much as the idea that you're doing something. —Bryan Reed

click to enlarge waumiss.jpg


Download "Nightingale"

(from WAUMISS; Little Ramona Records)

This song bears a sneaky feeling: With a minimal setting of keyboards, guitar and beats, it's got the loopy atmosphere of psych-pop, but without the overindulgence. Everything's tucked away under a sheet of haze, so that a dream effect allows one to nod off under the song's forward motion. It's like looking at a photo with the subject tucked into one corner: Your focus remains in the frame. —Chris Toenes

click to enlarge whatever.jpg


Download "Swhatever"

(from Soft Dick City; self-released)

Raleigh's best new band spends these 150 seconds flashing into the red, both in terms of the high volume that gives the tune—pulled from the band's cassette-only debut, Soft Dick City—its fuzzy surface or the sociopolitical indignation Rich Ivey delivers in quips and dares. "It's the end of the era/ but the era sucks," he begins as the drums and guitars jump into rhythmic lockstep. He tells us about his empty pockets and his empty mind, but—most importantly—he tells us he's going to make matters personal with the dudes who turned this dirty trick on him: "I took your sister to the dance/ She let me know how much she liked the way I looked/ I let her know she looked OK/ Yeah, yeah, yeah." If you don't get the suggestion, this song might be about you. Best check your sis's bedroom, dog. —Grayson Currin

click to enlarge whistlestop.jpg


Download "You Better Praise"

(from The Whistlestop; Southern Brethren/ Apex Records)

Preaching The Word is tricky business. You want to save some souls—that's the whole point— but if you browbeat or belittle, your flock will likely head elsewhere. For a blueprint of how to do it the right way, follow the lead of Mike Roy, Rob Watson and company. "If you're gonna sing, sing for your room and board/ If you're gonna play, you got to get yourself a chord," Roy testifies. "If you're gonna dance, you got to get up on the floor/ But if you're gonna praise, you better praise the Lord." And if you're gonna preach, he might have added, preach with a gradual-burn approach culminating in a grand bonfire. Preach with the spontaneity of a first-take recording. Preach with sweat-flying intensity. And preach with a mountain of country, blues, gospel and rock 'n' roll built behind you. —Rick Cornell

Tracks 1-10 (A-Ch)Tracks 11-20 (Co-G)Tracks 21-30 (H-Pa)Tracks 31-40 (Ph-W)
Download all tracks (ZIP, 215 MB)


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in The Year in Music

  • Our Twenty Favorite Local Records of 2017

    Our Twenty Favorite Local Records of 2017

    Triangle bands put out a whole bunch of great records in a really terrible year. Here are some of the ones we liked best.
    • Dec 27, 2017
  • The Year in Music 2012: Access & Associations

    The Year in Music 2012: Access & Associations

    The Triangle's 10 best records and 32 best tracks of 2012; seven photos that see into the sound; the fame of The Avett Brothers and the similar musical history and present of our state; the carrying capacity of our local music venues
    • Dec 12, 2012
  • The Triangle's Top 10 Albums of 2012

    The Triangle's Top 10 Albums of 2012

    From outer-limits metal to inner-circle folk, the best records released by area acts this year
    • Dec 12, 2012
  • More »

Twitter Activity


I too am hoping the mp3s & critics comments are "coming soon". They've introduced me to some great bands in …

by zinger on The Triangle's Top 32 Tracks of 2012 (The Year in Music)

I bought a couple of these albums. Great stuff. Any chance of getting the mp3s so I can check out …

by bobseger on The Triangle's Top 32 Tracks of 2012 (The Year in Music)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

I too am hoping the mp3s & critics comments are "coming soon". They've introduced me to some great bands in …

by zinger on The Triangle's Top 32 Tracks of 2012 (The Year in Music)

I bought a couple of these albums. Great stuff. Any chance of getting the mp3s so I can check out …

by bobseger on The Triangle's Top 32 Tracks of 2012 (The Year in Music)

This is a wonderful, thoughtful -- and thought-provoking -- piece, Corbie.

by Mark Kemp on Will The Avett Brothers' popularity overshadow N.C.'s roots music past and sterling present? (The Year in Music)

I think this is a good article, but I have to say as a long-time Avett fan, I think that …

by Chris Eden on Will The Avett Brothers' popularity overshadow N.C.'s roots music past and sterling present? (The Year in Music)

"I'm just glad I live in a place where it's easy for a music editor to come up with a …

by 6stringcowboy on The Triangle's Top 10 Albums of 2012 (The Year in Music)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation