I'm counting down an exhaustive Top 25 records of 2008, I hope to finish the list before I leave for Indy on Thursday. After each entry I will include one or two definitive tracks from the record for you to check out if happen to be interested. There are quite a few more albums I wish I could have picked up, but I think the list is pretty solid regardless. So let's jump in.
25. Steinski What Does It All Mean? Retrospective 1983-2006
Steinski is a highly influential hip-hop DJ active in the 80s. He was a part-time musician with a full-time job, after winning a re-mix contest from Tommy Boy Records in 1983 he started re-mixing records in his free time and many DJ greats site him as an influence. His tracks are collected here for the first time (and perhaps the last due to licensing issues ... ahh, the golden age of sampling!)
dig: "The Payoff Mix"
24. Living Legends The Gathering
Living Legends is a collective of MCs and DJs primarily from the West Coast including greats like Murs and Aesop. Their tracks are definitive West Coast underground hip hop. 'The Gathering' is solid through and through.
dig: "War and Peace", "After Hours (Extended Euromix)"
23. Paul Westerberg 49:00
Westerberg is the lead singer for post-punk icons The Replacements, this solo outing is one continuous track that strings together songs with interesting and experimental production. From Wiki: "On July 17, 2008 it was announced that on "June 49" (July 19) Paul Westerberg would release an album with 49 minutes' worth of music for 49 cents. The album, 49:00... Of Your Time/Life, was released on July 21, 2008. A few weeks after 49:00 was released, it was taken down from Amazon.com and TuneCore store. In its place, Westerberg released a song titled "5:05" (in reference to the fact that 49:00 was really 43:55 long, 5:05 shorter than 49:00). From the lyrical content of "5:05," it is believed that 49:00 was recalled due to copyright issues in the ending cover medley."
22. Esperanza Spalding Esperanza
Bassist/vocalist Spalding was the "it" girl in jazz this year, much hype accompanied her debut even performing on Letterman. She incorporates world rhythms and sings in different languages. Its a good record, but it may be more hype than hip. I've heard her live show is fantastic though.
dig: "I Know You Know"
21. Times New Viking Rip It Off
If you've never heard Noise Pop before Times New Viking is quite exemplary. Pop hooks combined with lo-fi, dirty, loud guitar riffs and sounds. Good stuff but the EQ on the record can be a bit much after a prolonged listening.
dig: "My Head"
20-16 coming soon!
The Pearl Thief
2 months ago