Jesse Jarnow, host of The Frow Show, presents:
My 10 faves of 2008 in no particular order:
- "Money," Apollo Sunshine, from We Shall Noise Upon (Headless Heroes). "Imagine"re-imagined for the meltdown. (youtube link) "Wonder what I'd do if everyone forgot what money was," they sing, getting their Simon & Garfunkel on. "With all that's happened, will we still play guitars?" they ask. Yes! And harmonize!
- One Bit Music, Tristan Perich (Canteloupe). The New York composer is all about anti-emulation, programming simple chips that are his instruments. Cantaloupe finally put out a first proper "album": a hard-wired chip with an 1/8" output, housed in a jewel case, chirping gorgeously.
- sonic Obama ephemera. What better way than to capture/remember the stupid/gleeful/awesome optimism of the campaign than stupid/gleeful/awesome tunes like Obama is Beautiful World by the Everyone Brothers Band from Japan, or the peaceful reggae of Barack Obama by Coco Tea? None, I tells ya.
- Soul Folk in Action, the Staple Singers (Stax). Similarly, the Staples '68 LP was meaningful commercial music angled directly at its time. So happens that gospel about how "We've Got To Get Ourselves Together" and "Got to Be Some Changes Made" rings pretty addictively 40 years later. Also Pops Staples is still totally sweet.
- Heads Ain't Ready 7-inch, Oneida (These Are Not Records). The Brooklyn Brahs go full-frontal Deadhead, amping up two tunes the Dead recorded for their first album when they were already on speed and eating raw meat. Just feels right.