Welcome to 2009. I've returned to find my office just as cold as it was when I left, so it's good to see that some things just don't change. But here's hoping a few things do change for the better as we move forward with a new year. It's easy to reflect on some of the negatives of 2008, and I won't mention the laundry list of problems our society currently faces, but we all know there are some significant barriers to overcome, particularly from a socio-economic standpoint.
All of this aside, as sort of a supplement to Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton's All Songs Considered blog post on 12/30, I'd like to briefly reflect on some of my musical highlights for 2008. I feel compelled to do so because in the face of negativity, music has the transcendent power to alleviate all worries, and personally, 2008 was one of the greatest, if not best music specific year of my life.
Seeing Fleet Foxes in their first of two 2008 headlining dates at The Black Cat - click here for the All Songs Considered recording
Catching Dr. Dog twice...1st time at Iota with Delta Spirit, and 2nd at 9:30 club. 9:30 show was the better of the two, if for no other reason than it represented a massive shift in venue size for the band, resulting in a 2+ hr. show time and a wildly energized Scott McMicken.
Ari Hest at The Barns at Wolf Trap. Brilliant singer/songwriter in the vain of John Mayer meets Jeff Buckley.
Wilco, everytime I see them, but especially at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in March. Never heard them sound that good.
My Morning Jacket in Charlottesville. Got to see them before Jim James fell off the stage at a later show and cancelled the rest of his tour.
Wild Sweet Orange in Charlottesville. A day before the MMJ show at a tiny, tiny little club on a co-bill with What Made Milwaukee Famous, who were just, ok.
Radiohead at Nissan Pavilion. It rained 1.5 inches that day, but I didn't care.
Andrew Bird at Virgin Mobile Festival. Possibly the most talented individual I've ever seen.
The Everybodyfields at Iota. Love Jill. Sam's new beard is questionable.
And lastly, discovering Bon Iver. His debut LP, For Emma, Forever Ago, is a hauntingly beautiful musical storybook of emotional strife and struggle that singer Justin Vernon clearly had bottled inside him for a long while, and finally let it be released.
What made your 2008 musically memorable?