2008 was the year that I really started having a love affair with my iPod. I know, I'm like years behind everyone else on this; I've had an iPod for a long time (and just got a brand new pretty purple Nano for Xmas - thanks Dad!) but this year I actually took it almost everywhere I went, listening to music and podcasts all the time. At work, walking the dog, cleaning the house, packing, on the plane, in my hotel rooms etc etc, my iPod was always close at hand.
Anyway, to that end, on this first day of 2009, I've made a list of the top 10 musical experiences for me in 2008. I say experiences because this top 10 isn't just songs or albums from this year - it's a mixed bag of a bunch of stuff. Enjoy!
Honorable Mention - The album "Black & Gold" by Sam Sparro. This young Australian kid is a genius.
10. "I Will Possess Your Heart", Death Cab For Cutie from their latest album Narrow Stairs
I usually try to avoid all bands that 20 yr old annoying college students and faux-hipsters like but dammit if this single wasn't fawking awesome. Do yourself a favor and listen to the 8 min album cut not the radio edit.
9. The album Sounds Like This but especially the track "Rock and Roll", by Eric Hutchinson
I kept on hearing the really catchy "Rock and Roll" on one of the local Seattle radio stations and then checked on Hutchinson's whole album on iTunes. I liked it so much that I downloaded it and have been listening to it ever since.
8. "Worrisome Heart", by Melody Gardot
I got the title track off the album of the same name by this young chanteuse from Philadelphia as a free iTunes track in the Spring of 2008. I immediately fell in love with the song and listened to it all the time but was always getting Gardot confused with other young lady singers new on the scene like Duffy and Adele. Then I went ahead and bought this whole album. I won't be mistaking Melody Gardot's voice, which has been described as a cross between Billie Holiday's and Tom Waits, for anyone else's again.
7. "Viva La Vida" - Coldplay
I fell for this song like many from the onslaught of iTunes commercials this summer. I've never been a huge Coldplay fan, but this song is so damn catchy it was irresistible.
6. "No Air" - Jordin Sparks w/ Chris Brown
From the very first time I heard this duet I LOVED IT. It's endearingly overdramatic and filled with just the right amount of teen angst. And then it was used to perfection in the first competition dance for Joshua and Katee in this season of "So You Think You Can Dance", cementing it's place in my top 10.
5. "American Boy", by Estelle
I danced around to this song so much when I was in Mexico in late July. It's so fun and funky. I mean I even got it as a ring tone for my phone which was the first time I've ever done anything like that.
4. The Monroes's "What Do All The People Know"
Yes, I know this song is from 1982. But I was reintroduced to its fabulousness this 4th of July and I've become obsessed with finding a MP3 of it. For now, the YouTube video will do.
3. Brandi Carlile's voice on "The Heartache Can Wait" and "Already Home"
Brandi's album "The Story" was probably one of my favorite things of 2007. This year I've fell in love with her voice specifically in 2 songs put out this year. The first was the duet "Already Home" she did with the country duo Ha-Ash. And then recently, the holiday song "Heartache" was released and Brandi's alto voice is so heartbreakingly beautiful that it's quickly become one of my all-time favorite holiday songs.
2. We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, by Jason Mraz
The best album released this year. Period.
1. Sparkling Choir of Love's performance of "North Port" at the 2008 Seattle Folklife festival
Okay, this is really more than a little self-indulgent, but my choir's performance at the Folklife festival in May of this Shaker shape-note piece was f*cking amazing. I got chills singing it and after our last auditorium-shaking note was sung there was an audible gasp of joy that came from the stunned audience before their thunderous applause and standing ovation. Yes. We rock.