Nancy here with my top 3 things in 3 categories of 2008.
2008 was a pretty weak year for music as far as I’m concerned. It’s not that I did not particularly like most of the albums that my favorite artists released including Chris Walla’s Field Manual(Seriously buddy, stick to the backup vocals), Jenny Lewis’ Acid Tounge, and Louis XIV’s Slick Dogs And Ponies. However there were a few diamonds in the rough and here they are.
3. Connor Oberst – Connor Oberst
Connor Oberst from Bright Eyes fame released his first solo album in 2008. Most people think Bright Eyes is just his alias and that whats the point of releasing a solo album? Well his good friend Mike Mogis plays a slew of instruments as well as producing the Bright Eyes albums and was not involved with this record so Oberst decided not to use the name for the project.
The band involved in this project Oberst put together and named them the Mystic Valley Band. They all went down to Mexico and rented a house and recorded an the album.
The record has a more upbeat tone than what fans are used to with Bright Eyes. A lot of faster paced, happier themed music was on display which was a nice change of pace for Obersts song writing.
Favorite Tracks: Cape Canaveral; Souled Out!!!; Milk Thistle; Maob.
2. Dr. Dog – Fate
Fate was one of my most anticipated after buying their first two albums about a year earlier. I was not disappointed. I love the old reel-to-reel sound that they produce and it really seems as if every sound was thought about very thoroughly before it was recorded. It seemed a lot simpler than the previous We All Belong but was still strong in that vocal harmony that makes me weak in the knees.
Favorite Tracks: The Breeze; The Old Days; The Rabbit, The Bat, And The Reindeer.
1. Heathers – Here, Not There.
These sensational indie teenagers from Ireland were first brought to my attention by the Dunc. After months of trying to track down a way to find the album I finally found the record label’s website where you could buy it. A few weeks later I was the proud owner of one of the most vocally satisfying albums I’ve ever heard.
Armed with one guitar and two incredible voices, these two Irish friends sing all the words together but hardly ever sing the same note. Their understanding of harmony is one thing, but their execution of singing them is a whole other thing. They seem to sing up and down scales never getting lost to where they are or where their counterpart is. Such a conscience awareness of music amazes me everytime I listen. They are THE most talented musicians I’ve come across in a long time and hope they expand beyond just one acoustic guitar.
Favorite Tracks: Remember When; Margie; Fire Ants.
Top Video Games
In order to regain some of the respect from Sean I have lost over the years I reinstated my video game career. Heres some stuff I stumbled on this year.
3. NHL 09
This game rocks. It has a completely different engine from the previous titles that I had played making it even more exciting. Utilizing the two analog sticks for basically everything it makes the game much more realistic, some times to a point where it starts to annoy you. Pro’s for that system is hitting people. Just like in Madden you can lay people out with one flick of the stick. Some cons are things like dekeing (juking) and shootouts. In shootouts its basically impossible to score so if you and a buddy are tied after one overtime you might as well give up. But all in all it is a great experience and the “Be a Pro” mode is oodles of fun.
2. Shaun White Snowboarding
The thing I always hated about games like 1080 and SSX was the racing element. I always wanted a game just like Tony Hawk except for snowboarding. There was one back in the day with the same engine as Tony Hawk but I don’t remember liking it this much. The great thing about Shaun White is they got the engine right utililzing the analog sticks for most of game play and including the GTA element. The four levels are absolutely HUGE and it would take you at least 10 runs to explore each mountain fully. There are tons of different lifts and helicopters to take you where ever you want to go.
1. MLB The Show 2008
Even though this franchise is supposed to be heralded for its “Road to the Show” mode, I’ve never played it. All I’ve been doing is playing the Franchise mode where you get complete control over a franchise. Everything from blockbuster trades and free agent signings to ticket prices and concessions. They have rosters from Double-A up to the Bigs they only real minor league players are Triple-A players that have had a taste of the majors. It would be really cool if they had all the minor leaguers and stadiums but I guess thats a bit much to ask.
As John mentioned I’ve probably seen 10 movies but I’d rather just be consistant post. Whats the point of a top 10 list if you are just gonna include all 10 you’ve seen?
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This movie was f**ked up. I thought it would have been cooler if he was born like big. Cuz its not like he grows up to be a huge baby. He’s just a normal baby. But he’s born a baby-old man. Something to chew on.
2. The Dark Knight
I’ve still only seen it once. Ben got it for Christmas, maybe I’ll watch it again soon.
1. Clone Wars
Syke. Forgetting Sarah Marshall was definitely my favorite movie of 2008. I’ve seen it about dozen times in the last 4 months just because it is constantly playing on our TV. So many quotable scenes and Aldice Snow is one of the funniest characters. EVER. On a scale of 1 to 1.
As you see the lists get weaker as it goes down, but thats just how blogging works. Heres to hopefully a great 2009.