This year has been pretty great.I started it off in Costa Rica for 10 days, and I finished it with 5 in Florida.The music wasnâ€™t too bad eitherâ€¦ we were introduced to great new bands, but lost legends like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Bo Diddly, Isaac Hayes, Richard Wright, Odetta, Eartha Kitt, and George Carlin (who I know shouldnâ€™t count under music legends but I adored him). I must say Iâ€™m really looking forward to next yearâ€™s selections (Animal Collective, Andrew Bird, Chris Cornell, Lily Allen, The Decemberistsâ€¦ and thatâ€™s just whatâ€™s coming out Jan â€“ March).Iâ€™ll also be studying in London from mid-January to mid-May (& *fingers crossed* L.A. mid-August to late-December), and I canâ€™t wait to discover hundreds of more bands across the pond!
So without further ado, hereâ€™s my favorites and least favorites of this year - songs, covers, remixes, albums, TV shows, videos & movies [in that order]. Quick sidenote: when you look at my favorite songs, make sure to factor in the songs that I put as my favorite songs of the album in my favorite albums section. I just didnâ€™t want to repeat myself, even though after re-reading this paragraph Iâ€™m not sure if I made myself any clearer. Anyway, I loved most of this yearâ€™s music, and hereâ€™s what I loved (and hated) the most.
I like to get the worst out of the way first, like ripping off a band-aid. So without further adoâ€¦
Least Favorite Songs (Or Songs That Made Me Hate Music)
10 - Flo Rida ft Will.I.Am â€“ In The Ayer
9 â€“ Rihanna - Take a Bow
8 - Kid Rock â€“ All Summer Long
7- Miley Cyrus â€“ See You Again
6 â€“ Britney Spears - Womanizer
5 - Katy Perry - Ur So Gay
4 - Katy Perry â€“ Hot N Cold
3 - Lilâ€™ Wayne â€“ Hot Revolver
2 - Soulja Boy â€“ Yahh
1 â€“ Katy Perry - I Kissed a Girl
Somehow #1 and #8 on my Most-Hated list made it to #18 and #20 on Rolling Stoneâ€™s BEST Of list, which makes me more than a little sick. But I digress. Moving onâ€¦
Favorite Songs (Just in Alphabetical Order and Probably Missing Some)
-Lil Wayne - A Milli
-Estelle feat. Kanye West - American Boy
-Mother Mother â€“ Arms Tonite
-Be Your Own Pet â€“ Becky [[Sidenote: I hate that this band broke up]]
-The Bravery - Believe
-Florence and the Machine â€“ Dog Days Are Over
-Radiohead â€“ Down Is The New Up
-MGMT â€“ Electric Feel
-Lily Allen â€“ The Fear
-Kate Nash - Foundations
-Sigur RÃ³s â€“ Gobbledigook
-Bethany Joy Galeotti â€“ Hotel Cafe
-Britney Spears â€“ If You Seek Amy
-Jamie Lidell â€“ Little Bit of Feel Good
-Vampire Weekend â€“ Mansard Roof
-Emiliana Torrini â€“ Me and Armini
- The Hush Sound - Medicine Man
-â€œThe Nightman Comethâ€ Season Finale â€“ Itâ€™s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
-Ludacris Ft. T-Pain â€“ One More Drink
-Au â€“ RR Vs. D
-BeyoncÃ© - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
-Bon Iver - Skinny Love
-Magnetic Fields â€“ Too Drunk to Dream
-Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson - Winter Song
- The Submarines - You, Me, & The Bourgeoisie
- Will.i.am - Yes We Can
Top 10 Favorite Covers (Just Alphabetical Order)
-Bang Bang â€“ Niia (Nancy Sinatra Cover)
-Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa â€“ Hot Chip & Peter Gabriel (Vampire Weekend Cover)
-Hospital Beds â€“ Florence and the Machine (Cold War Kids Cover)
-I Want You- B For Bang (Beatles Cover)
-Itâ€™s Oh So Quiet â€“ Bell (BjÃ¶rk Cover)
-New York, New York â€“ Cat Power (Frank Sinatra Cover)
-Tiger Mountain Peasant Song â€“ First Aid Kit (Fleet Foxes Cover)
Top 10 Favorite Remixes (Just Alphabetical Order)
-Puppini Sisters - Crazy In Love (The Real Tuesday Weld Remix) (BeyoncÃ© Cover)
-Justice - D.A.N.C.E. (Feat. Mos Def And Spank Rock) (Benny Blanco Remix)
-Kanye West & Common - Get 'Em High (A-Trak Remix)
-Robin Thicke ft. Mary J Blige & Wale â€“ Magic Remix
-Saint Bernadette â€“ Money In The Air Remix
-Maroon 5 â€“ Wake Up Call feat. Mary J. Blige (Mark Ronson Remix)
-Ben Folds and Regina Spektor "You Don't Know Me" and T.I. "U Don't Know Me" - B.F. meets T.I. (Mysplice III)
Top 10 Favorite Albums (No Order)
-â€œDr. Horribleâ€ Soundtrack
I know this shouldnâ€™t count probably under some weird â€œthis isnâ€™t technically an album itâ€™s an internet musicalâ€ rule, but Iâ€™m insisting it stays since it DID make the top 40 album release list on iTunes.If you didnâ€™t watch this 43-minute sensation, saying youâ€™re missing out is a HUGE understatement. Joss Whedon's Doctor Horribleâ€™s Sing-Along Blog stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day & Simon Helberg, and tells the story of Dr. Horrible, his nemesis Captain Hammer, and their mutual love interest, Penny. The musical was created during the Writerâ€™s Strike, and apparently the low-budget mini-movie was so special that Time Magazine named it #15 of their Top 50 2008 Inventions list.Although the visuals are clearly low budget, the songs are funny, sweet, and what makes the musical so endearing. If you have ever liked any musical (or even if you havenâ€™t), make sure to give this a try.
Favorite Song off the album: â€œMy Eyesâ€
-Islands â€“ Armâ€™s Way
I promised myself I wouldnâ€™t pick favorites for albums, but the face that â€œArmâ€™s Wayâ€ dominates my Most Played iTunes list speaks for itself. This album is a lot different than Islandsâ€™ older material â€“ the guest rappers and Caribbean influences are gone, and synths, strings, and guitars playing in minor have replaced them.As far as I know, nobody else thought this album was very catchy, and thatâ€™s what turned them off of it. And yet, in my opinion, Bon Iverâ€™s album doesnâ€™t have many hooks and itâ€™s on everyoneâ€™s favorites list. Depending on what a band is trying to achieve, it doesnâ€™t have to have catchy hooks. It just has to be good. And this album is.
Favorite song off the album: â€œJ'aime Vous Voire Quitterâ€
-Raphael Saadiq â€“ The Way I See It
The last 12 months brought us great albums from artists bringing back old soul and funk sounds from the 60â€™s and 70â€™s, like Little Jackie, Adele and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.Raphaelâ€™s album was definitely my favorite out of all of these, because he didnâ€™t try to revive or reinvent the old soul genre; he simply played what he felt, like it used to be done. He was influenced by Gladys Knight & The Pips, Al Green, and the Four Tops, and made the sound his own.The album also has some great collaborations with Joss Stone, Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z.â€œThe Way I See Itâ€ definitely deserves its 2009 R&B Best Album nomination, and I hope it wins.
Favorite song off the album: â€œLove That Girlâ€
-Jason Mraz - We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things
Several of the artists on my favorites list of this year changed their image for the better. Jason Mraz stayed his silly, fun-loving self, and it truly shows in his third album. His â€œCasa Nova Sessions,â€ released as limited edition bonus tracks, are equally enjoyable and feature acoustic-Caribbean influenced versions of some of his songs.â€œWe Singâ€¦â€ peaked higher on the charts than any of his other albums, and itâ€™s definitely deserved.All of his influences shine through at one time or another â€“ reggae, pop, rock, folk, jazz, and hip hop â€“ and the simplistic way that he shows his musical diversity is what makes this record one of my favorites.
Favorite songs off the album: â€œIâ€™m Yoursâ€ & â€œIf it Kills Meâ€
-Ingrid Michaelson â€“ Be OK
I really really really love Ingrid Michaelson. Maybe because sheâ€™s the celebrity that most looks like me, maybe because she promoted herself to the top, maybe because sheâ€™s so great in concert. Either way, when I found out she was releasing an album this year, I knew itâ€™d be on my Top 10 List. The album consists of previously unreleased music, live recordings, and covers. A portion of the proceeds from the album's sales are donated to Stand Up To Cancer, a charity established by media, entertainment and philanthropic leaders who have been affected by cancer. Her cover of â€œCanâ€™t Help Falling In Loveâ€ is beautiful and uses lots of key changes that Elivs didnâ€™t have in the original, while her cover of â€œOver the Rainbowâ€ is simplistic with just an acoustic guitar, similar to Israel Kamakawiwo'oleâ€™s famous cover.If you havenâ€™t heard of Ingrid by now (â€œThe Way I Amâ€ was in an Old Navy commercial last year, and â€œKeep Breathingâ€ was in Greyâ€™s Anatomy), you need to take a listen.
Favorite song off the album: â€œYou & Iâ€
-Fleet Foxes â€“ Fleet Foxes
Iâ€™m not sure what I can say about this band that hasnâ€™t already been said. Theyâ€™re one of the most talked-about indie bands of the year, and I personally think itâ€™s very well-deserved. The best description I could use is on their wikipedia page, and it says that their music is "baroque harmonic pop jams." The excessive reverb and haunting harmonies make the five-piece Seattle band both unique and reminiscent of many other bands like CSNY and the Animal Collective. Rolling Stone also compared the band to the Beach Boys, and coincidentally this was my favorite album to listen to while at the beach all summer.
Favorite song off the album: â€œTiger Mountain Peasant Songâ€
-Cage the Elephant â€“ Cage the Elephant
I can pretty much guarantee that Iâ€™m the only person whoâ€™s going to have this band on their top album list, but thatâ€™s why this is MY favorite albums.Theyâ€™re a funk-jam-rock band from Kentucky, and I found them by stumbling on their Myspace by accident one day (and Iâ€™m SO glad I did).The electric guitar on â€œFree Loveâ€ rocks harder than any new music Iâ€™ve come across in a long time, and â€œLotusâ€ is very reminiscent of the Chili Peppers with the way that Matt Shultz (vocals) sort of raps while heâ€™s singing. If you like Queens of the Stone Age, the Chili Peppers, or pretty much any jam/funk band, you NEED to check this band out.
Favorite songs off the album: "Ainâ€™t No Rest For the Wicked,â€ â€œIn One Earâ€
-Girl Talk â€“ Feed The Animals
As Greg Gillis always says, heâ€™s not a DJ â€“ heâ€™s a mashup artist. The main difference between Girl Talk and 98% of all other DJâ€™s is that he never lets a song play out â€“ by the time you recognize a sample, heâ€™s on to the next track. Feed the Animals ups the ante from his previous Night Ripper; Ripper has about 150 samples, Animals has over 300.The thing thatâ€™s so fantastic about him is that he doesnâ€™t discriminate by genre or popularity or age â€“ â€œLike Thisâ€ uses BeyoncÃ©, Rick Astley, Nine Inch Nails, and Yo La Tengo, among others.If you donâ€™t have fun listening to this album, you need to get out more. Seriously.
Favorite songs off the album: â€œSet it Offâ€
-The Killers â€“ Day and Age
See my review here: http://www.prettymuchamazing.com/mp3/the-killers-day-and-age-album-review/
Favorite Song of the album: â€œSpacemanâ€
-Jenny Lewis â€“ Acid Tongue
Most people recognize Jenny Lewis from her band Rilo Kiley, and their album â€œUnder the Blacklight.â€ Like â€œBlacklight,â€ â€œAcid Tongueâ€ spans over many genres â€“ counry, garage rock, and pop.From a lyrical standpoint, this album is reminiscent of her first solo effort, â€œRabbit Fur Coat,â€ in that it tells of murder, drug abuse, and sin.Each song is completely different, and â€œThe Next Messiahâ€ is a three-part, eight-minute epic that moves from raw guitar to country funk.The record includes collaborations with Zooey Deschanel, the Black Crowesâ€™ Chris Robinson, and Elvis Costello.Sadly, Jenny said after this album was released that sheâ€™s unsure of the return of Rilo Kiley, but as long as she keeps churning out great solo albums, the loss will be a lot easier to handle.
Favorite song of the album: â€œSee Fernandoâ€
Bon Iver â€“ For Emma, Forever Ago
EmilÃana Torrini â€“ Me and Armini
Mother Mother - O My Heart
Radiohead â€“ In Rainbows (since it was physically released in Jan. 2008)
Vampire Weekend â€“ Vampire Weekend
Besides music, Iâ€™m obsessed with television (I am, after all, a Television-Radio major). So I took the liberty of making another best of list for TV shows of this year. I was going to throw Pushing Daisies on this list, but then it got canceled, sadly.
Top 5 Shows Youâ€™re NOT Watching But NEED To
5 â€“ Dexter [Only #5 'cause ALMOST everyone watches this]
4 - Samantha Who?
3 - Californication
2 - Itâ€™s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
1 - The Life and Times of Tim
Favorite Fan-Made Music Video For A Non-2008 Song (But The Video Came Out This Year)
Complicated category, one clear winner.
Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trolls
Favorite Fan-Made Music Video For A 2008 Song
Complicated title due to the last category. Although I wasn't a huge fan of Coldplay's new album, and their free Madison Square Garden show that I attended wasn't so great either... this single is great. And this video is adorable.
Coldplay - Lost?
Worst Video of 2008
I know this started last year, and all I know is I never found it funny EVER, and it's still not funny now. And it took over YouTube this year on April Fool's Day this year for some reason, AND hijacked the Thanksgiving Day Parade (which is bad enough to start with).
No, I'm not putting up the video. It's a bad 80's song that got revived for some reason, and I STILL DON'T GET WHY RICK-ROLLING IS EVEN A THING. Also, In September 2008, Rick was nominated for AND WON the 'Best Act Ever' award at the MTV Europe Music Awards. WHAT? NO. GO AWAY RICK ASTLEY, GO AWAY. PLEASE DON'T COME BACK IN 2009. PLEASE.
Best Videos of 2008
Anybody that knows me knows I spend WAY too much time on YouTube, and Luis would kill me if I put up every video I liked this year, so I'll just do this.
Best Music Video:
Terrordactyls - Devices
Best Other Videos:
Look up "Notorious Hitler - Where Brooklyn at," "You Can Drink This Shit And It Ain't Butter," "Take On Me (Literal Version)," "Drunk History" [on funnyordie.com], all of the retro videos on everythingisterrible.blogspot.com, and watch this which covers pretty much the rest of them:
And, what the hellâ€¦
Top 12 Movies
(Sidenote: I Missed a few of the â€œOscar Contenders,â€ [Slumdog Millionaire, JCVD, Wrestler, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Synecdoche, etc etc...] so you can probably just assume that those are on there for me when I catch up)
12 â€“ Milk
11 - Choke
10 - Doubt
9 - Horton Hears A Who
8 â€“ The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7 â€“ Religulous
6 â€“ TIE: Iron Man & Revolutionary Road
5 â€“ Charlie Bartlett
4 â€“ Dark Knight
3 â€“ Tropic Thunder
2 â€“ Wall-E
1 â€“ The Fall
Have A Happy & Healthy 2009!