People like lists. Yes, they do.

My extended list today are the five bands I listened to the most in 2008. How do I know this? My iTunes tells me so, is how. My past year was immensely enriched by the wonderful amount of music I heard, the shows that I saw. Music always sets me right.


This alt/indie pop band from Oklahoma was completely unknown to me before this year, and I am so sorry it seems like I may have missed ever seeing them live. Their last album was 2006's "Drowaton," but I am hopeful they will come up with some new work soon. They are quirky and clever and thoughtful and I like every single song they have made.



Regular readers know this California trio, whose music ranges from garage to atmospheric to folk, is a major fave of mine for the last couple of years, and I was lucky enough to see them four times this year in three different states. I like that they have the confidence to play a variety of musical styles, and the talent to pull it off. My only complaint is that they should smile more, because they are really good and people like them, dammit.

I shot this video in Milwaukee. It was hot. And hot!

"Spread Your Love"


Got back into them in a big way last year, and finished getting all their albums. I got to see them play here in Seattle, briefly as the show was shortened because of (wait for it) RAIN, but I enjoyed it so much. I hear so many of my favorite bands in them. Again, they have a playfulness and intelligence which I so like. Another band where I never skip over a song -- I like them all.

"We Used To Be Friends"


This record, which was probably my favorite new indie album of 2008, took a few listens to get into, but then I was hooked. They are nerdy college kids with a taste for ska, pop, classical, and afro-beat, but the songs are instrumented very simply, almost child-like in execution. The whole thing comes off as very unique and intelligent. Many of their songs were stuck in my head, happily so, for the whole year. Like this one.



Thanks to my close friend, T.H.E. Internet, I was able to hear and see more cool Beatles songs and clips than ever. I wrote a few posts about some of that here, and I still can't get over the fact that there are STILL Beatles things that are new to me, or ways of hearing the songs that are fresh. It is a measure of both how good they really were, and that I am still open to feeling and listening and thinking in new ways. Win - win!

This made me smile. John Lennon trying not to laugh on "Shindig." One of my favorite songs.

"I'm A Loser"

So those are The Five. Ain't no jive. Kept me alive. I also like The Hives.