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  1.  
    I must say luving the new Stereolab LP. Also the Jenny Lewis and Glasvegas LP,s.
    Singles, so many good ones out this year and too many to list, but luving Detroit Social Club, Letters from London,
    Penetration 45rpms.
    For the Next Year?? Looking forward to Camera Obscura,s 4th LP.
  2.  
    yeah the Clash are a great band. made a huge impression on when i first heard them. the Mescaleros were quite good also. JS
    was really on to something with that group too. i've been digging Carbon/Silicon of late. maybe not the intensity of the Clash,
    but some fine songwriting and playing there.
  3.  
    haven't finalized my thoughts on 2008 yet, but so far the highlights for live shows have been Lou Reed (3x) and Wire (2x).

    can't say i'm totally blown away by any one LP, but i like bits and pieces of a lot of different material. the new thing by The Killers, Day & Age, has been getting a lot of buzz. i like their sound, sort of a mix of Bowie/ Roxy/ Pet Shop Boys. i'm not 100%
    sold that this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but i will say this: Brandon Flowers is probably the best vocalist in rock today.

    for female pop vocalist i'd have to go with Beyonce. her new single "if i were a boy" just sucks you in. plus it doesn't hurt that she's hot as hell!
  4.  
    Here is mine. (I've not yet got the new Fennesz one so that might be in there too)

    This year for me its almost all been about what I suppose you'd loosely term 'dance music'. Very little 'Rock' has done much for me this year apart from Wire, and the Mighty Fall. I am starting to get quite alarmed by the proliferation of all this denim-clad, Alt-Country/Nu-Folk/Americana or whatever its supposed to be called......

    Fortunately not everyone is intent on dragging music back to Woodstock. So here are the artists who, for me, have been trying to move music forward, or at least diagonally.
    In no particular order:

    Wire - Object 47/Read & Burn 3 - (great to hear Wire messing with "Pop Music" again!!)
    The Drift - Memory Drawings
    Rod Modell - Incense & Black Light - (Sounds like a Dub soundsystem trying to play during a heavy thunderstorm..whats not to like?)
    Theo Parrish - First Floor
    Belong - Colorloss Record - (Great songs, deliberately sabotaged by seemingly not recorded in the same studio they are being played in)
    Autechre - Quaristice/Quadrange.ep.ae
    Byetone - Death of a Typographer
    Dorian Concept - A Trebleo Beat Tape
    Jacaszek - Treny - (Enjoy it now before someone at the BBC loses the Sigur Ros CD and uses this instead)
    Kelley Polar - I Need you to hold on to while the sky is falling.
    King Midas Sound - Cool Out
    Lone - Lemurian (if you like Boards of Canada you should give this a go...and top marks for sampling Carl Wilson!)
    Wild Beasts - Limbo Panto
    LV - CCTV/Globetrotting - (Fantastic Dubstep stuff, with echoes of 'Ghost Town' by The Specials)
    Mike Slott - Flunky/7x7 Beat Series (Sounds like 52nd Street remixed on a ZX Spectrum)
    Newwordaquarium - The Dead Bears (House Music with the batteries running down..)
    Onra - Chinoiseries (bizarre cut & paste of Vietnamese charity shop records)
    Andy Stott - Unknown Exception - (Gleaming, Precision-tooled, Digital-Dub brilliance and on 'Handle With Care' the best bassline of the 21st Century so far.)
    Shed - Shedding The Past
    SND - 4,5,6
    Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
    Samiyam - Return EP
    Flying Lotus - LA EP 2x3
    The Fall - Imperial Wax Solvent

    Old stuff:
    Magazine - Complete Peel Sessions
    Chrome - Alien Soundtracks & Half Machine Lip Moves
    Gas - Nah Und Fern (Box Set) (One of those..'why have I not heard this before?' moments!)
    S-M Backwards - Serena Maneesh
    Airiel - The Battle of Sealand

    Best Gigs

    Wire - Leeds Cockpit/Manchester Academy 2/Manchester Academy 3
    My Bloody Valentine - Manchester Apollo (the Saturday night)
    Animal Collective (no they are *not* a freak-folk/americana band!) - Leeds Brudenell Social Club
    Autechre - Manchester Jillys
    Black Dice - Mcr Roadhouse
    Deerhunter & Liars - Manchester Club Academy
    The Week That Was (aka Field Music) Manchester Academy 3 (30 people in the audience!)

    Books - CP Lee When We Were Thin, Bill Drummond - 17
    Podcasts - Adam & Joe, Collings & Herrin.
  5.  
    Albums:

    1. The Magnetic Fields - "Distorsion"
    2. Wire - "Object 47"
    3. Amanda Palmer - "Who Killed Amanda Palmer"
    4. Clinic - "Do It!"
    5. The Raconteurs - "Consolers of the Lonely"
    6. Portishead - "Third"
    7. Vampire Weekend - "Vampire Weekend"
    8. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!"
    9. Spiritualized - "Songs in A&E"
    10. Stereolab - "Chemical Chords"
  6.  
    Calm down, chaps. There's three weeks left!
  7.  
    as i mentioned i haven't been knock out by any one record but the following is new stuff or (bands) that i like a lot
    (in no particular order):

    Animal Collective- "Water Curses 4 song EP"
    Wire- "047 & read & burn 3"
    Vampire Weekend
    Neptune- "Gong Lake"
    Lou Reed/ John Zorn- "Stone Vol. 3"
    Coldplay- "Viva la Vida"
    David Byrne/ Brian Eno- "Everything That Happens"
    Parts & Labor (anthemic noise-rock)
    Excepter (electro freak funk)
    MGMT
    of Montreal
    John Zorn/ Marc Ribot- "Dreamers" (avant jazz)
    O'Death (hillbilly-punk from upstate NY)
    Dalek "Abandoned Language" (07)
    Silver Jews
    Old Time Relijun
    Times New Viking (opened NY Wire show)
    The Killers- "Day & Age"
    Nine Inch Nails- "The Slip"
  8.  
    Keith Says - "Calm down, chaps. There's three weeks left!"

    Yeah but don't forget the record industry goes into hibernation for several weeks now. Nobody wants to be the loser who puts a new record out on dec 22nd or 29th so new releases will be increasingly thin on the ground now till well into the new year, even more so now since Pinnacle went bust last week and lots of indie labels will be trying to sort out new distribution deals.
    Plus it gives fellow Pink Flag members some suggestions for festive listening, or maybe gift ideas!

    Support your local record shop kids.
  9.  
    Ten new (to me) from this year in no particular order:

    MAGAZINE – THE PEEL SESSIONS
    SHELLEYDEVOTO – BUZZKUNST (just discovered this one – yes I know!)
    STUMP – THE COMPLETE ANTHOLOGY
    WIRE – OBJECT 47
    HECTOR ZAZOU – IN THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS
    EIVIND AARSET – SONIX CODEX
    DORIAN CHEAH – ARA
    NILS PETTER MOLVAER – RE-VISION
    AKOYA AFROBEAT ENSEMBLE – P.D.P
    SEUN KUTI – MANY THINGS

    best performance of the year:
    Waiting For Godot (Library Theatre, Manchester)
    Endgame (Everyman, Liverpool with Matthew Kelly)
    Wire - Academy, Manchester
  10.  
    And how could I forget

    VDGG - Trisector

    and also live at RNCM, Manchester
  11.  
    Best shows of 2008:


    Oct 18th: Patti Smith @ Orpheum
    Sept 5th: Antony and The Johnsons @ Arlene Schnitzler Hall
    Oct 2nd: My Bloody Valentine @ Santa Monica Civic
    Oct 14th: Wire + Muslims @ Echoplex
    Sept 17th: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds @ Hollywood Bowl
    May 27th: Elvis Costello + The Police @ Hollywood Bowl
    June 13th: Crystal Castles @ The Roxy
    Mar 5th: The Duke Spirit @ Echo
    June 29th: Devendra Banhart @ Hollywood Bowl
    Mar 25th: Jose Gonzalez @ Wiltern
    Aug 23rd: The Germs @ The Echo
    Sept 22nd: The Raconteurs @ The Greek
  12.  
    Freakbag sed>>Lou Reed/ John Zorn- "Stone Vol. 3"<<
    I knew they'd played together at John's fave gig site, didn't realize they'd recorded it, thanx for the heads up, just ordered it.
  13.  
    Ari, yeah sorry about that! remember you asking about The Stone gig several weeks ago. yes, it was released on john zorn's
    label earlier this year. people seem to love it or hate it. (his, wife laurie anderson plays on this disc as well)

    Also there was great performance @ the Poisson Rouge in manhattan, early sept., with zorn, mike patton and ikue mori (mars or dna, can't remember). amazing harp player too. killer set loaded with sheets of noise, distortion, and feedback. lou said he might release this one too. he's doing a book signing next week so i plan to ask him about it.

    there might be a free download of lou's show in asbury park, new jersey from last spring. it was on NPR. songs, not noise!!
    does a fire and brimstone version of "i wanna know". sweet version of "guardian angel". the band just stomps through "video
    violence", another highlight.
  14.  
    R Swimmer wrote
    (I've not yet got the new Fennesz one so that might be in there too)

    Black Sea is actually released in 2009 so don't worry about having it in a 2008 list.
    OK so promo copies have been sent out for review and it is a very excellent listen, but you'd have the wrong year.

    Fennesz was great at the Nightmare Before christmas, as were Manorexia, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Butthole Surfers, Dirtbombs, Melvins and Boss Hog. I also enjoyed the Damned way more than last time I saw them, especially when they blasted out Machine Gun Etiquette, which I didn't expect!
  15.  
    Another day another ten for the best of 2008 (all reissues, all reggae):

    CEDRIC BROOKS - FROM MENTO TO REGGAW TO THIRLD WORLD MUSIC
    DENNIS BROWN - A LITTLE BIT MORE
    CULTURE - AND THE DEEJAYS AT JOE GIBBS
    JOE GIBBS - AFRICAN DUB CHAPTERS 1-4
    FREDDIE McGREGOR - BOBBY BABYLON
    SUGAR MINOTT - DANCE HALL SHOWCASE VOL II
    V/A - EVERY MOUTH MUST BE FED
    V/A - LIFE GOES IN CIRCLES
    V/A - SCORCHERS FROM THE MIGHTY TWO
    WAILING SOULS - CLASSIC CUTS 79-84
  16.  
    Also Wire have some reggae records on itunes...
  17.  
    ha ha
  18.  
    quite possibly saw the show of the year on fri night. had planned to go to my brother's weekend house in upstate ny, but a massive ice storm hit the northeast and knocked out train service. we got lucky though when we saw tkts were still available
    for Ray Davies current acoustic tour on the east coast. really lucky because he played the 2nd part of the ny show with his full band who were smoking hot. just a fantastic show covering his entire career. he was loose and talkative and witty from beginning to end really making an effort to connect with the crowd. the songs were all brilliant. you know that. but what was
    simply amazing, and the mark of a true artist, is how effortless he made it all appear. and how brutally honest he was in talking about himself describing his move to new orleans as a "mad folly", how he's not good at long term relationships, and how he came to write "the morphine song" while recovering from a gunshot wound. and much more. all this with charm and grace and good humor. i mean (LOL) can you imagine lou reed talking about his personal life, or david bowie writing a song about his heart attack in dusseldorf?!

    some highlights were "see my friends", about the death of his sister in india, originally done i think with a sitar, "i'm not like everybody else", and "apeman", all acoustic. the full band came on and they just rock it. a new song, "the tourist" was esp.
    good, as were the 4 or 5 encores. the event took place in the hammerstein ballroom, not as well known as carnegie hall, or
    radio city, but just as big, and for such a large auditorium, RD made it seem like a quite intimate show.

    here's a blog review and setlist that i came across:
    http://christuthill.blogspot.com/2008/12/ray-davies-at-hammerstein-ballroom-1212.html
  19.  
    Albums:

    These New Puritans - Beat Pyramid (just absolutely ace, one of those records that's almost impossible to resist listening to again immediately...)
    Dusk and Blackdown - Margins Music
    Trim - Soulfood Vol. 3
    Scuba - A Mutual Antipathy
    Fennesz - Black Sea
    Gareth S Brown - The Gallows
    High Places - High Places

    Re-issues:

    Gas - Nah und Fern (what R Swimmer said)
    Gore - Hart Gore / Mean Man's Dream (especially the latter - an album so blunt, basic and single-minded that, if anything, it actually sounds better than it did twenty years ago)

    Live:

    Meshuggah at Brighton Concorde 2 (extreme metal executed with such split-second precision, elegant poise and breathtaking force that it felt as if you were in the presence of gods; everything else has seemed puny, sloppy and lifeless ever since)

    Hopes for 2009:

    A new Silo album. Well, you never know....
  20.  
    Now the year IS over, my (probably) favourite 20 of 2008 in alphabetical order:

    A Silver Mt. Zion – 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
    Aidan Baker / Tim Hecker – Fantasma Parastasie
    Cloudland Canyon – Lie in Light
    Earth - The Bees Made Honey in the Lion‘s Skull
    Expo 70 – Black Ohms
    Fennesz – Black Sea
    Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing
    Grails – Take Refuge in Clean Living
    Kevin Drumm - Imperial Distortion
    Larsen – La Fever Lit
    Lawrence English – Kiri No Oto
    Parts & Labor – Receiver
    Portishead - Third
    Spiritualized – Songs in A&E
    Strange Attractor – Mettle (if only for Graham singing in "The Best Things are Left Unspoken")
    Ulaan Khol – I
    Ulaan Khol - II
    Windy & Carl – Songs for the Broken Hearted
    Wire - Object 47
    Zomes


    Reissues:

    Current 93 – Dogs Blood Rising
    Current 93 – Nature Unveiled
    Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean Blue
    Jesus & Mary Chain – The Power of Negative Thinking
    Kluster – Admira
    Kluster – Volcano
    Loop – Heaven’s End
    Loop – Fade Out
    Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
    Mogwai – Young Team
    Neil Young – Sugar Mountain
    The Residents – Eskimo
    The Residents – Duck Stab
    Robert Wyatt – all records