Touch and Go / Quarterstick has a lot to be thankful for in 2008. The label has released excellent new records from newbies Peter Moren, Dead Child, The Uglysuit, Crystal Antlers, and All the Saints, while also putting out exceptional new music from standard-bearers CocoRosie, Calexico, The New Year, and Ted Leo and The Pharmacists. And you can bet that there are exciting plans for next year, including fresh full-lengths from new roster additions like Sholi and Mi Ami, as well as more great releases from some of our seasoned vets.

But before looking forward to 2009, the musicians and staff at Touch and Go / Quarterstick Records take one last look back at the past 12 months, putting together individual lists of the events, music, books, photos, and more that affected us most deeply. Without further ado, here is 2008 Year In Review, TG/QS style.


David Babbitt (Art Director)

The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower, Bob Baer A very important look at the situation in the Middle East from a Westerner that is on the ground there. Former CIA operative outlines the history of the region, the core differences between Shia and Sunni and follows the progress of Iran from it terrorist revolutionary beginnings to its present day pragmatic presence in the Mid East. Baer makes a good case for negoitaions with Iran to the point of partnering with the country on issues of Mid East stability. His other books are also worth reading, Sleeping With the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude and the cloak and dagger memoir of his CIA service : The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism of which the movie Syriana was loosely based.

Veselye Ulybki the latest album from tATu straight up pop music look for the videos for Beliy Plaschik and 220.

The Ex and Getatchew Mekurya at the Logan Square Auditorium

If you haven't yet read Howard Zinn's A People's History Of The United States do yourself a favor and check a copy out of your local library.

Rase Livade "Horoskop" 2008 Ivana Velimirac translation

Bottomless Pit - Congress

Poison Arrows - Casual Wave

Olympics opening ceremony "Spectacle"

Quantum Of Solace, the movie and the short story (has nothing to do with the movie besides Bond) from the 2008 Penquin pulp style editon

Jo Takehara shihan's retirement, 47 years in Aikido, tops an important career.

Obama Obama (Oh Eight ha haaaaa!) - ATP

The Rachel Maddow show


The Jeff Koons' retrospective at the MCA. Brought on a new and deeper appreciation for his work. And I kept my Daughter out of the Cicciolina room of the exhibit without forbidding it. Wow, that would have been a load to explain to her mother.

Payam Bavafa (Sholi)

Payam submitted a Top 13 songs list to iMeem.com, here what he put together.

Top 13 Songs of 2008

And here are the rest of our favorites of '08:

Dead Science - Villianaire
Deerhoof - Offend Maggie
Bon Iver - For Emma Forever Ago
Chief Briggum - The Ambiguous Garment
What's up? - Content Imagination EP
Fennesz - Black Sea
Imaad Wasif and the Two Part Beast - Strange Hexes
Beach House - Devotion
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Googoosh - 40 Golden Hits

John Boyer (IT)

Top 10 (or so)
Non-TGQS Music
The Better Beatles - Mercy Beat
Blank Dogs - On Both Sides
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig Lazarus Dig
Cold Sun - Dark Shadows (Reissue)
Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Primary Colours
Earles and Jensen - Just Farr A Laugh
Fucked Up - Chemistry Of Common Life
Portishead - Third
Sex/Vid - Communal Living
Singer - Unhistories
Steinski - What Does It All Mean?
Subhumans - Death Was Too Kind (Reissue)
Tim and Eric - Awesome Record, Great Songs
Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue (Reissue)
V/A - Bollywood Steel Guitar

Emily Brigham (Production)

let's admit it this has been a pretty crappy year save for a few shining moments here and there. so i've decided to make a list of the things i'm looking forward to next year. instead of wallowing in the past lets stare wide eyed into the future. so here goes.

top 10 things i'm looking forward to in 2009. 1. january 20, duh.
2. the beginning of my 30th year. (yes, i really am excited about this. strange i know.)
3. The Watchmen film finally being released.
4. no longer having to hear about Chinese Democracy.
5. the return of LOST.
6. first annual 'no pants' day at touch and go.
7. The Faces reunion.
8. the end of the recession. (don't laugh. i'm trying the power of positive thinking.)
9. my trip to Spain. (fingers crossed that nothing interferes with this actually happening.)
10. believing in possibility once again.

happy holidays but most importantly happy new year!!

Taylor Brode (Direct Sales/Advertising)

Taylor.s Alphabetical Nepotism 08. (Not Including TG/QS Bands):

Blank Dogs In a Web 7. (Daggerman) . fans of shit gaze and glue wave take note-- this is the ONLY band whose name you will ever need to know post 2008.

Blank Dogs Mirror Lights Cassette (Drone Errant)

Blank Dogs Diana the Herald 12. (Sacred Bones)

Blank Dogs Two Months 7. (Florida.s Dying)

Blank Dogs Yellow Mice Sleep EP (HoZac)

Crystal Stilts Alight of Night (Slumberland)- of course, I still like our Crystal band more :)

Dan Melchior Und Das Menace Christmas for the Crows LP (Daggerman)

Deerhunter Weird Era Cont./ Microcastle (Kranky)- i am listing this two-for-one record in reverse order, because Weird Era shoulda been the follow-up to Cryptograms. Jus sayin....

Diet Cola S/T7. (Army of Bad Luck)

Eddy Current Suppression Ring Primary Colours (Goner Records) - 2nd favorite Australian export (See NOV entry below).

Fucked Up The Chemistry of Common Life (Matador) - Seventy guitar tracks might look self-indulgent on another band. Somehow these geniuses pull it off, er should i say, continue to pull it off. i even like the pop punk song w/ the douche chills guyliner guest vocalist. Fuck it, i especially like that song.

Gang Gang Dance Saint Dymphna (Social Registry) . Fully arresting live as well.

Gun Outfit S/T 7. (PPM)- This is the flannel you.ve been waiting for.

Kurt Vile Constant Hitmaker (Gulcher)- No matter how many inches of snow and sleet are on the ground outside, playing the first track on this record is guaranteed to make you feel like you.re smoking a j-bone in the Caribbean and that you really are gonna have a functional relationship with your ex.

Naked on the Vague Blood Pressure Sessions (Siltbreeze)- Listenable no wave!

Nugde Infinity Padlock EP (Audraglint) . Brian Foote is the dude behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. He is the Wizard, or possibly Oz, whichever one of those is more enigmatic, he.s that one.

Sex Vid Communal Living 12. (Dom America)- If this band stopped releasing LIVE records that sound like my cat w/ bronchitis they would pretty much be perfect.

These Are Powers Taro Tarot EP (Hoss)

VSS Nervous Circuits Reissue (Hydrahead)- it comes w/ a dvd yo!

Addendums & Crystal Balls: Blank Dogs Note- (** Yes, I did just put 5 records by ONE dude on a .top ten. list. What.s more, is that i even left off a couple BD releases from the last year.there were 12 total since spring of 07.. And they were all remarkable.)

Abe Vigoda Skeleton (PPM)- the only reason this didn.t make the list was because it got totally eclipsed when I heard Reviver, their follow-up EP which has ALREADY made my Best of 09. list.

Lotus Plaza The Floodlight Collective (Kranky)- also already on 09.s list. For those of you that have liked Deerhunter for the last couple of years, you are about to find out why.

Chris Brokaw (The New Year)

several good new art actions i enjoyed, amongst many others:

---AGATHE MAX/TONY CONRAD: Live at Issue Project Room, Brooklyn NY
---SIGHTINGS: Live at The Mohawk, Austin TX
---LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (swedish film)
---WUSSY: Live at Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT
---TAMIKREST/TINARIWEN: Live at Festival Au Desert, Essakane, Mali
released on December 8 by End All Life Productions (France), this split lp between black metal titans Deathspell Omega and S.V.E.S.T. is astonishing in scope, and a clear runner for Album Of The Year. yes, Album Of The Year. not TV On The Radio!

Titus Brown (All the Saints)

Titus created a Best of .08 track list for iMeem.com. Here.s what he compiled:

All the Saints Best of 08

Ben Crowell (Shipping)

10 records released in 2008 that I truly enjoyed in no particular order:

Harvey Milk - Death...The Best Game In Town
All The Saints - Fire On Corridor X
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Lie Down In The Light
Lambchop - OH (Ohio)
Sleepy Sun - S/T
The Dead Science - Villianaire
Earth - The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull
Bottomless Pit - Congress
Rudimentary Peni - No More Pain
Zomes - s/t

Marah Eakin (Publicity)

10 things I liked about 2008, besides music:

-Twilight, and other vampire related things, like HBO's "True Blood" - both dramatically underrated and overrated at the same time.
-Getting really into BBQ - especially brisket
-Obama winning - obviously
-Everything is Terrible - the world's most amazing blog
-My DVR, still - best $8 I spend every month.
-MetroChic, a grey-purple nail polish from Sephora.
-Cholula Hot Sauce - delicious on everything!
-Friends and Vacations, like taking a weird backlot tour in LA and watching "Desperate Housewives" tape from Wisteria Lane, or rolling dice at Pitchfork right here in Chicago.
-The Little League World Series - My world stops for these two weeks in August
-Going to Michael Symon's restaurant Lola in Cleveland - it happened at the end of 2007, but it's still the best meal I've ever had, year be damned.

Howard Greynolds (A&R)

Crystal Antlers - S/T (self-released)
All the Saints - Fire on Corridor X (Killer Pimp)
Sleepy Sun - S/T (self-released)
Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue (WB)
Deerhunter - Microcastle (Kranky)
Disappears - 2008 two 7"'s (self-released)
Kirsten Ketsjer The Rock Band -FFFFOO K TSSCCHH (yoyooyoy)
The Shaky Hands -Lunglight (KRS)
Sic Alps U.S. EZ (Slitbreeze)
Vivian Girls S/T (In the Red)

Mike LaFauce (Accounting)

Favorite show: Neil Halstead (of Slowdive/Mojave 3 fame) at Schuba's Tavern on November 6. A guy, a guitar, really great songs. There was also a banjo player- or was it a mandolin? Hey Neil, give me a call. We should hang out sometime.

Melody other than "The Chicken Dance" that has been stuck in my head the most this year: fantastic beginning of "Anthem of the Arctic Birds" by the Uglysuit.

Favorite fox-related song that is not by Fleet Foxes: "Nice Fox" by the Rosebuds. Spoiler alert: the fox dies, having ignored all the narrator's warnings. "So I wrote 'Nice Fox' on a wooden cross" gets me every time.

Band that I was twice too tired/impatient/cranky to wait around for but in retrospect should have: Cut Copy. Once at the Pitchfork festival and once at the Metro. This was before I knew I liked them. Oh well, maybe next year...

Miranda Lange (Publicity)

Top Ten:

1. All the Saints - "Fire On Corridor X" (Touch and Go) I do their PR, so what. I'd be doing everyone a disservice if I didn't scream from the mountaintop of touchandgorecords.com that this record is a slamming piece of hot rock and roll, both dangerous and dreamy. That's what it's all about right?

2. Spiritualized - "Songs In A&E" (Fontana) Fragile, like a baby in your arms. J Spaceman feels perfectly exposed here, revealing more emotion (and melody) than usual but still keeping us at bay from his body bubble. The most captivating Spiritualized album to date.

3. Kelley Polar - "Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling" (Environ) An extremely talented, Julliard trained musician, makes imaginative classically-informed style of dance music with vocals and lots of violin.

4. Sleepy Sun - "S/T" - (self-released) This is an action record. When Sleepy Sun comes on, I feel like sky diving, driving recklessly, pinching Nick Cave's ass...

5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!" (Anti) And in 2008, another chapter of the Bible was created and it is good.

6. Portishead - "Third" (Mercury) Dario Argento for the ears.

7. Hercules & Love Affair "S/T" (Mute) An all purpose jam, perfect for cleaning the house, lip-syncing, a lite cocktail party or a full on dance-a-thon.

8. Nico Muhly - "Mothertongue" (Brassland) Incredibly fresh experimental music that will take you on a journey to a new fantastic place every time you listen to it.

9. Judson Claiborne - "Before Midnight Scholar" (self-released) The latest effort from former Low Skies leader Chris Salveter. The album is mostly narratives about Chris' strange and beautiful travels, encounters, adventures, family, lovers, and dreams. He's retold the story of his Great Grandmother Vida's tragic relationship with her third husband Crow. He wrote a love song to Elegua, the mythological spirit or orisha who stands at the crossroads in our lives. There are a few covers, songs by James, Tim Buckley, Ross Cashiola, and Paul Seibel.

10. M83 - "Saturdays = Youth" (Mute) Kate Bush, Xanadu, Depeche Mode, New Order and My Bloody Valentine all rolled into one. This record should come with a stick of eyeliner and a discount coupon towards the purchase of a fog machine.

Jon Langford (Mekons)

My Top Ten things of 2008 are these photos of the Langfords, Tutens and Millers in Grant Park, Chicago on a 70-degree night in early November:

Daniel Martin-McCormick (Mi Ami)

Women Who Ruled My World Edition 2008:

Intro: Boystown is so boring. This year I noticed a lot of women came through for me in the arts.

-The Nameless Narrator of "Wittgenstein's Mistress" by David Markson: I read this book in August and it is still haunting (hunting?) me. Markson achieves something I have never really encountered before in my literary adventures: prose that feels like shimmering light, slowly building in intensity, divebombing into a vortex with a heartbreaking non-event ending. The narrator ruminates with equal measure on the mundane and profound, but the feeling of intimacy is so strong as to suggest more the echo chamber of someone's most private psyche rather than any kind of dialogue with the reader. As a meditation on loss and memory, this made me feel quite compelled to step it up in new ways for '09. Praise be.

-Grouper "Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill" Speaking of loss and intimacy... Grouper truly floored me with the the whole album but especially the first two songs. "Heavy Water" is one of the great heartbreakers of our time i think. I have a fascination with artists coming out of "noise" or whatever into melody, and the way the exploration of more classical, normal musical tools get put to use by people with a strong sense of themselves/unique perspective. More than that, though, the mood of mourning without doom is so fucking powerful and personal and real. I can barely make out the lyrics but they are really all there.

-U.S. Girls Saw the U.S. Girl play with a bunch of dudes in SF and totally steal the show with a tape deck and a super delayed mic. Playing on her knees, too, viciously staring down anyone who dared to walk by the stage. This performance confirmed something for me about presence being a huge part of the equation. Not that the music slouched, though. Fucking heavy to the max, with a serene calm at the center.

-51717 Well, anyone who has followed our lists (the few that there have been thus far) might notice i really love the music of 51717. It is true. I do love it. If you are into the intersection of spacious techno, Bowie ambience, harsh noise and lo-fi gear, you should check it out... although right now myspace is the only venue. Perhaps New Yorkers could pettition her to play? Some of my favorite songs of the year came from this woman's inpenetrable mind. I wish others could hear them with ease.

-Lina Leandersson in "Let the Right One In" WHHHAAAATT is up with this movie???? My favorite part being the completely-on-point depiction of a very young, pre-sexualized love between 12 year olds. The vampire aspect was super intense too...

-0th Pronounced zeroth for those of you who need to know. A rare band which continues to baffle me. Neither noise, nor post-punk, nor electronica, nor any other genre that I can think of, all the while borrowing scraps from whatever they want for their fucked up collage. They have this one song "Tammy" where they stop very suddenly, say something mundane and demanding to a woman named Tammy, and then start again (also abrupt) over and over again. Watching it, I got really uncomfortable imagining this woman in an abusive relationship, wherein each request from the aggressor/partner is laced with dread and anxiety. Then I asked them about it and they told me that when the band was only two people, they joked about having a secretary named Tammy to take care of everything for them. That's it. Choice stage banter from last night's set: "This one's from our record.......... which took us three years to make."

Peter Morén

best of 2008:


CONGRATS TO U.S.A FOR THE ELECTION OF OBAMA. Hope it works out fine! And the economical crisis; honestly in some ways I think it's good that at least some people have less money to spend, it makes you prioritize better and realize what is really important.


1. Esther Me and my girlfriend got the sweetest little puppy this fall, so it's been all about Esther lately. She's a cross between an American cocker-spaniel and a cavalier king charles spaniel. I adore her.

I never thought I would become a dog person but once you're used to it, you can't remember how it was before.

2. Apartment We bought our first 2-room apartment this spring in a calm green Stockholm suburb filled with normal Swedes who aren.t filthy rich. It's pretty small, but really cozy. We love it!

3. Touring solo Doing it on your own is so scary when you feel the audiences aren.t fully captivated, you can't blame anyone else. At first it was really hard. But after a bunch of gigs I hit my stride and now I feel really comfortable about it and I'm glad I had the guts to try. Especially a couple of UK gigs with José Gonzales in August was really nice.

4. Recording PBJ's fifth album. .was amazing. We never have made such a planned recording and the result is thereafter. It's gonna be great.

5. Jamming with friends Got a new side-project coming up with some really good friends. We recorded 6 songs this fall and it was super laidback and great, great fun.

6. South American Trip Combining work and pleasure is the best part of this so-called job. I brought Christine with me to tour Brazil and Argentina with PBJ and we then stuck around in Buenos Aires for a week. An amazing city and only the steaks was worth the trip!

best of 2008/retro-releases/reissues

1. Take Me To The River/A Southern Soul Story 1961-1977 Just got this the other day. Oh, how I love those slow burning, yearning tracks. If all I ever had to listen to for the rest of my life was vintage soul, I think I would be pretty OK.

2. Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds and Nigerian Blues There are so many great compilations coming out now with amazing West-African stuff I can't get enough of. This was one of the best.

3. Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue Beautiful sad music from a troubled surfer.

4. Titan: It's All Pop! Obscure, geeky power-pop from old Kansas indie collected for the first time. Many rare gems.

5. Rodriguez: Cold Fact Combines 2 of my favourite f-words in a superb way; folky and funky!

New releases

1. Frida Hyönen: Silence Is Wild All the best Swedish new artists are women. We better watch out, us guys! And Frida's lyrics and sense of melody are unique and fantastic!

2. Robert Forster: The Evangelist Go-Betweens are one of my all-time favourite bands and this solo effort from Robert started life as a band-album before Grant McLennan.s unfortunate early passing. But this lives up to the band.s legacy and are up there among their finest.

3. Vampire Weekend 4. Fleet Foxes So hyped both of them, but for once I agreed with the hype. Both bands are in different ways right up my alley and have really solid songs to offer. I wish them long careers after the blogger/magazine/hipster-love is long gone.

5. David Byrne/Brian Eno: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today Described by themselves as electronic gospel-folk. At least I feel both religious and euphoric when I listen. David has never sung better.

Stuff I wish I listened more too:

1. Deerhunter I've seen them live twice and have been totally blown away. Why I never check up the records is a mystery I can't comprehend. Have to change that.

2. Beach House I loved the debut and have the new one, but haven.t really given it a shot yet. Will do.

3. First Floor Power Swedish band which I adore and still I haven.t bought their new one. Stupid me.

4. Park Hotel Same as number 3. Stupid me again.

5. High Places Loved their show at SXSW. Have to get the record.

Chad Nelson (Projects Manager)

Some things that I liked in 2008 in the order that I type them:

Ne-Yo Year of the Gentleman - Recipe for a great R&B album: a dash of Ready For The World, a sprinkle of Babyface, and a healthy pinch of Michael Jackson: bring to a boil, serve hot.

The Art of Pizza - Stuffed spinach/mushroom and a medium Sierra Mist for here, please.

The Uglysuit S/T - I try not to include bands/records related to my job, but this record is so beautiful and fully-realized that I say unto you: fuck that rule.

Role Models - I don't remember laughing that hard at a movie since birth.

Russian Circles Station - An instrumental metal record with warmth, melody, aggression, dynamics, heart, and chops for days. Also: the record release show at Subterranean was ridiculous in the very best ways.

"The New Adventures of Old Christine" - I've developed a weird thing for post-Seinfeld Julia Louis Dreyfuss.

All the Saints Fire on Corridor X - Fire indeed. The opening riff of "Regal Regalia" does it every time.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists playing Madison Square Garden - Also:

The Night Marchers See You In Magic - Swinging, hook-laden dirty rock jams loaded with John Reis swagger.

Jason Noble (Shipping News / Rachel.s / Young Scamels)

Hi . Here.s a long (and rambling) list of favorites from 2008. I will say the VERY best thing this year was watching Barack Obama give his acceptance speech on Nov. 4th at Grant Park. I saw the broadcast in Louisville in a convention center where people were FREAKING OUT... quite happy and even crying. Let.s hope we can bring the country back from the president-who-shall-not-be-named.

1 THE NEW YEAR "S/T" Written over a four year period, this record is incredibly beautiful without being saccharine in any way. Features the always amazing Chris Brokaw. The first track ("Folios") is totally inspiring.

2 MESHUGGAH "OBZEN" Words fail to describe this band... the most mutant, lyrical, punishing, sci-fi Heavy Metal in the world. Think James Earle Jones as Thulsa Doom in the first "Conan." All others must weep.

3 BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE "DOLORES" Excellent super-dark music from this accomplished German group. Kinda like jazz, kinda like the severed head from "Re-animator." A perfect Holiday album.

4 JUANA MOLINA "UN DIA" One of world music's brightest stars returns with her fifth album. A brilliant (literally shining) combination of folk, electronica and percussion with lovely singing in Rioplatense Spanish. Odd, engaging,experimental... this Argentina-based songwriter will seize your heart.

5 YOUNG WIDOWS "OLD WOUNDS" LP Louisville's most evil-sounding rock music as performed by some if its nicest guys. If you're worried that indie music is going all softly pop or acoustic...this skeleton-shattering album will make you smile. Check out the vinyl edition if you get a chance.

6 Antietam .OPUS MIXTUM. One of the all-time great bands... Much Louisville love.

7 Portishead .THIRD. Their best record yet... so good.

8 SHELLAC * Live 2008. Blistering show to the largest crowd I've seen them with... enraptured. Then they drop my favorite ad-lib lyric of the decade... "35 years ago a doctor pulled a full grown man from a women's vagina."

9 EXTRA GOLDEN / TORTOISE Live in Louisville at The Forecastle Festival 2008. Best show I've seen in 500 years.

10. Isabel Bayrakdarian .Gomidas Songs. Beautiful Armenian classical music... with stunning vocals by Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian. Highly recommended.

11. POLVO - Live 2008. FUCK YEAH! The best rock-post-rock band on the earth or in space or shrunk down and injected into your bloodstream or... _______


1. MAN ON WIRE (DVD). See this documentary as soon as you can...

2. Roman de Gare (DVD) - Great french thriller/sort of comedy/brain-challenger with the ultimate bad-ass Dominique Pinon (City of Lost Children).

3. The Mindscape of Alan Moore (DVD) Excellent documentary on Alan Moore (writer of WATCHMEN, SWAMP THING, PROMETHEA and many more). He's my favorite author of all time and this is a rare treat. May I suggest you kiss the smoldering foreskin of Beelzebub?

4 THE SIGNAL (DVD) Upsetting, hyper-interesting Indie horror film (with great Sci-fi elements) made in Atlanta, GA. Super-brutal, often thoughtful and weirdly heart-breaking...this apocalypse/not-really-a-zombie film is worth your time. Not for all tastes, not for any "date" viewing and not for people who are afraid of technology. You will never see your headphones the same.

5 THE DARK KNIGHT (DVD) The most intense police/vigilante/criminal movie since "The Dancer Upstairs" and "Sexy Beast." Crazed, complicated, dedicated... all the things we need from Batman. Is it right wing? Is violence the only answer? Doesn't purple look good if it's used just right? You decide. I always thought Chicago felt like Gotham...

speaking of...


1. GOTHAM CENTRAL (COMIC) The most under-rated comic in many years, this is a hard boiled, sometimes savage take on the lives of Gotham City's police force. The BATMAN himself is made more mythic and terrifying by his shadowy background presence. This series is the best mainstream book I've read in a very, very long time.

2. TOP TEN: Volume One (COMIC) Alan Moore does it again... with this incredible book set in the 10th Police Precinct (TOP TEN) of Neopolis... a city populated entirely by super beings. Hilarious, painful and strangely pure.

3. THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin (BOOK) A must for anyone who likes music in any form...

4. IRON COUNCIL (Book three of the New Crobuzon trilogy) No living author is quite like China Miéville... for sheer force of creativity, humor, darkness and human heart his trilogy is (in my humble suggestion) the greatest fantasy writing of the new century. I was simply in awe (for every second) of every page.

5. DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson (BOOK). A sinister, beautiful, jaw-dropping non-fiction account of the Chicago World?s Fair of 1893.

HAPPY NEW YEAR - Lots of love (necrophilic or otherwise) from Kentucky, -J Noble

David Pajo (Dead Child)


-The Mindscape of Alan Moore DVD
-Cannibal Corpse documentary DVD
-Get Thrashed DVD
-Meshuggah 'Obzen' CD
-Cynic 'Traced In Air' CD
-Aura Noir 'Hades Rise' CD
-Darkthrone 'Black Flags And Dark Thrones' CD
-Enslaved 'Vertebrae' CD
-Bloodbath 'The Fathomless Mastery' CD
-Carcass 'Pathologist's Report' CD catalog reissues
-Exodus 'Let There Be Blood' CD
-Origin 'Antithesis' CD
-Young Widows 'Old Wounds' CD
-Exmortus 'In Hatred's Flame' CD
-Touring with Behold... The Arctopus ["Cdr's are more brutal!"]
-Seeing/hearing/playing with Asunder in Santa Cruz
-Seeing/hearing/playing with Samothrace in Lawrence
-News about The Jesus Lizard!
-Reading 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy

Damon Palermo (Mi Ami)

Blade Runner - The Final Cut
88Boadrum 8/8/08 LA
Dam-Funk - Rhythm Trax Vol.4 (Stones Throw)
Droids - Star Peace (re-issue)
La Düsseldorf - Viva (re-issue)
Methusalem - Journey Into The Unknown (re-issue)
Various - Blackdisco (Blackdisco)
Liquid Liquid - Liquid Liquid (re-issue)
Theo Parrish - Theo Parrish - Sound Sculptures Volume 1
Silver Apples - Selections from the Early Sessions (re-issue)

Adam Reach (Production, lover of cats)

Each year, we're inundated with Top 10 Lists. It's natural at this point - David Letterman's made sure of that. However, year-end Top 10 lists are a bit misleading. Who is to say that one person's favorite new album of any given year is the same as the album they listened to the most during that same year. Yeah, kinda fucked up, I know!


Harvey Milk "Life...It's The Best Game In Town"
Portishead "3"
Monotonix "Body Language"
The Nodzzz "I Don't Wanna (Smoke Marijuana)" 7-inch
Singer "Unhistories"
No Age "Nouns"
Black Taj "Beyonder"
All The Saints "Fire On Corridor X"
Brother JT3 "Jelly Roll Gospel"
Endless Boogie "Focus Level"
Gun Outfit "On The Beach" 7-inch
18th Dye "Amorine Queen"
Deerhunter "Microcastle/Weird Era Cont."
Bottomless Pit "Congress"
Dead Meadow "Old Growth"
Snowman "The Horse, The Rat and The Swan"
High Places "S/T"
Dianogah "Qhnnnl"

Listened to the most/2008:

The Clipse "Chinese New Year"
Harvey Milk "The Pleaser"
Howlin' Wolf "This Is Howlin' Wolf's New Album"
ZZ Top "Tejas"
The Satanics "Speak Of The Devil"
Girls Against Boys "Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby"
Faith/Void/Faith "s/t"
Pharaoh Overlord "#1"
Scientists "Weird Love"
Redd Kross "Phaseshifter"
Misson of Burma "Vs"
Deep Purple "In Rock"
Loop "A Guilded Eternity"
Ike & Tina Turner "Come Together"
The Oblivians "Soul Food"
Black Flag "Everything Went Black"
The Kinks "Muswell Hillbillies"
Cirle "Forest"
Von Sudenfed "Tromatic Reflexxions"
The Jesus Lizard "Head"
Slayer "God Hates Us All"

Eric Ruud (Sholi)

"alone.... something something..." (repeat indefinitely)

It's 2pm on Good Friday and I'm in Oakland, walking home from the BART train to my apartment at 29th and Fairmount, trying to place the melody and words. What is this song that is stuck in my head? After a few seconds of scanning my memory, I'm fairly certain it's the new Why? record, Alopecia, and I make a mental note to listen to it when I get home.

There is a punch line coming.

Payam (from Sholi) had given me the record a few weeks earlier, and I recall telling Jon (also from Sholi) at SXSW, as we walked to the stage where Why? was playing, "it's pretty good, but I probably won't listen to it more than 4 or 5 times." Then I saw the show.

I was charmed, I was moved, and I was proven wrong. I had been groaning all day about how the festival reduces music to pure commodity, about how bad of a time I was having, but this was living and completely relevant, and I snapped out of it. There was an awkward post-show exchange - I exaggerate, but essentially it was this one: "Yeah, I play in a band too, maybe you've heard of us"..."No, not really" ... "Oh, ok, well it's funny that we live in the bay area and we meet here" ... "Yeah, totally man... catch you later." This is not to say that they were distant or unkind, it's just the way these things happen at SXSW. I think they played about 8 shows in 4 days. Apparently Jon by random chance hung out with Josiah (Why?'s drummer and percussionist) at a party in El Cerrito a few months ago, but I wouldn't say we're tight with them or anything. Flash back forward to Good Friday, and I'm home with headphones on, kicking back after a half day at work. I've decided to finally give a close listen to Alopecia. A few minutes in, I clearly hear Yoni (Why?'s frontman) say, "the Friday before Easter was not good." Huh? That's today . . . weird. . . oh well, strange coincidence . . . Anyway, since I'm home early, I take the opportunity to do some laundry. Hit pause, and I walk to the Fairmount St. side of the building where the laundry room is. I drop some coins in the machine, press start, and head back to my house to dive back into the record. Soon I reach the melody that had been stuck in my head earlier, which is in "Song of the Sad Assassin." I swear I'm not making this up!

"Alone, putting three coins into a washing machine, under the caulked, cracked wall, in a basement on Fairmount Street..."

- Rewind. Did I hear that correctly? Yes, he's actually saying that.
Consider my mind blown.

As I listen I can imagine Yoni jotting down lyrics on a day much like this, in this very same place Payam and I lived and worked on our album every night for months, and this becomes a key for unlocking everything else. Maybe that makes me simple-minded? All of the fucked up sexuality, all of the strange references to bodies and illness, all of the identity paranoia, the "great unutterable joke," I'm with them. Even as "Song of the Sad Assassin" enters the stratosphere and Yoni is stuttering about film loops of Lee Harvery Oswald and Jack Ruby, and then Billy the Kid, it all makes sense. It's in the words, it's in the delivery, and I'm hearing it in every instrument. I just get it, and the album becomes impervious to dissection in the way that all of my most beloved albums always have been.

For better or for worse, that means this isn't criticism.

I always tell people I don't have favorites and that 'best-of' lists frustrate me, and that's usually the truth, but not this year. Alopecia is my favorite record of 2008.

Sara Tolbert (Radio/Video)

1. Obama
2. Puppy cams
3. All the Saints: Fire on Corridor X
4. Rihanna
5. Dlisted.com
6. Sleepy Sun: Embrace
7. Finally watching The Wire and Dexter (but not the third season yet, shhhhhh)
8. The Jesus Lizard announcing reunion shows
9. Don Rickles on Broadway
10. Lurking Facebook status updates

The Uglysuit (compiled by Colin Bray . guitar, vocals; and Kyle Mayfield . guitar, vocals)

Top 8 Albums listened to this year:

Viva La Vida-Coldplay
In Rainbows-Radiohead
Such Fun-Annuals
Cease To Begin-Band of Horses
Me Su I Eyrum...-Sigur Ros
Fleet Foxes-Fleet Foxes
Narrow stairs-Death Cab For Cutie
The Devil, You + Me-The Notwist

Josh Zanger (Online Promotions)

I submitted a Top Albums list for another website, so here is a list of the jams that kept me going throughout the year. In no particular order:

Q-Tip "We Fight / Love" - From The Renaissance - Just when I thought I had lost all interest in Q-Tip, he comes out with an album full of great stuff. This song bumps, and fuses some great rhyme runs with an awesome bendy bass line.

Black Milk "Losing Out (ft. Royce Da 5'9")" - From Tronic - My favorite track of the year. The sped-up vocal sample...drums that are hard as hell...spitfire words from Milk and Royce ("I got more cases in a muthafuckin' AR clip than they got on our mayor"). Detroit hip-hop strikes back, again.

American Draft "Diet of Worms" - From Hawk - Metal that chugs and blazes all in one 5+ minute composition. These Chicago guys mix progginess with sludge and a sense of humor. Check 'em - http://www.myspace.com/americandraft.

A Light Sleeper "Everyting As You and I Know It" - From No Sudden Movements EP - Loop experimentation from a Chicago three-piece. They make some great, dark sounds from a very simple instrumentation. http://www.myspace.com/alightsleeper

The Uglysuit "...And We Became Sunshine" - From "The Uglysuit" . This song got me hooked and I think anyone else that gives it a chance will fall prey too.

Jimmy Edgar "Turn You Inside Out"

Build Buildings "A Solar Panel" - From Ceiling Lights From Street

Osborne "Wait A Minute" - From Ghostly Swim - Super dance-y texture with a vocoder thrown into the mix. This is a groove.

Flying Lotus "Camel" - From Los Angeles - Jagged, deeply funky beats and samples. FlyLo brings something new to the table.

The New Year "The Idea of You" - From The New Year

Why? "Song of a Sad Assassin" - From Alopecia

JDSY "Sabatour" - From Adage of Known

Bon Iver "Skinny Love" - From For Emma, Forever Ago