My Own Private 2008: Hey, There Were Actually Some Really Good Parts!

noah | December 31, 2008 12:30 pm

When 2008 started, I was sure it was going to be awesome. “It’s going to be two-thousand-great,” I told anyone who would listen, ignoring the various signs (MTV ringing in the New Year with Tila Tequila, hints of economic collapse, etc.) that things wouldn’t exactly go as planned. Or even be much good at all. But at least there was music to help the seemingly endless parade of bad news plod along a bit more jauntily, right?

THE GOOD: Getting back into R & B full-throttle thanks to Ne-Yo, Erykah Badu, Estelle, and Solange; Ida Maria’s twitchy “Oh My God,” which I am going to try and have every person I know hear at least once over the course of the coming months; Prince and Jarvis Cocker owning gigantic open spaces; Ne-Yo turning girls into goo.THE BAD: You don’t want to hear about the bad aspects of my 2008. (And honestly, typing a blow-by-blow out would just depress me all over again.) So instead I’ll note that I often hate making lists because even though they’re supposed to be overviews, they’re inevitably of the specific moment at which the list was made, which means that completely worthy entrants will get slighted, or pushed out by space limitations, etc. Here’s a “sorry” to Black Mountain’s In The Future, the Air Miami demos that were reissued by Teen Beat, Panic At The Disco’s Pretty. Odd., Deastro’s “The Shaded Forests,” The Academy Is…’s Fast Times At Barrington High, Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows,” and the Robin Thicke record that was mysteriously forgotten about by everyone.THE WHAAAA? Before August, if you had said that I would have put Billy Joel on any list that didn’t count down the reasons my ninth-grade social studies class was completely absurd (hi there, three-day lesson on “We Didn’t Start The Fire”), I would have laughed so, so hard. And yet, his show at Shea Stadium was totally solid, not only because of his undeniable showmanship but for the ways it stoked my nostalgia about growing up on Long Island.

ALBUMS 1. Ne-Yo, Year Of The Gentleman (Def Jam) 2. Portishead, Third (Mercury) 3. Santogold (Downtown) 4. Solange, Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Dreams (Geffen) 5. High Places, 03/07-09/07 / High Places (eMusic Selects / Thrill Jockey) 6. Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Vol. 1: Fourth World War (Motown) 7. Fall Out Boy, Folie A Deux (Island) 8. Hercules & Love Affair (DFA) 9. Estelle, Shine (Atlantic) 10. Beach House, Devotion (Carpark) 11. Kanye West, 808s & Heartbreak (Roc-A-Fella) 12. Maybe It’s Reno (Teen Beat)

SINGLES 1. Ida Maria, “Oh My God” (RCA UK) 2. Lloyd ft. Lil Wayne, “Girls Around The World” (Universal) 3. The Duke Spirit, “The Step And The Walk” (Artist First) 4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, “Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!” (Anti-) 5. Lykke Li, “Little Bit” (Atlantic) 6. Sybris, “Oh Man!” (Absolutely Kosher) 7. Headlights, “Cherry Tulips” (Polyvinyl) 8. TV On The Radio, “Golden Age” (Interscope) 9. Beyoncé, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” (Sony) 10. Gym Class Heroes ft. Estelle, “Guilty As Charged” (Fueled By Ramen / Atlantic) 11. Girls Aloud, “The Promise” (Polydor UK) 12. Alphabeat, “Fascination” (EMI Europe)

LIVE SHOWS 1. Prince @ Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif. 1. Jarvis Cocker @ Union Park, Chicago 3. Ne-Yo @ Madison Square Garden, New York 4. Fall Out Boy @ North Star Bar, Philadelphia 5. Kirsten Ketsjer @ Mohawk, Austin, Texas 6. Portishead @ Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif. 7. Wye Oak @ Union Hall, Brooklyn, N.Y. 8. Ponytail @ Ms. Bea’s, Austin, Texas 9. Billy Joel @ Shea Stadium, Flushing, N.Y. 10. Black Mountain @ Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif. 11. Mussels @ Homeslice Pizza, Austin, Texas 12. Bring Me The Horizon @ Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.