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WHEELS' PEEPS BREAK OUT THEIR FAVES OF 2008
Here's What the Industryites Who Have the Ears of Jesse and Erica (Figuratively Speaking) Listened to for Fun This Year
Thank you to Howie Abrams for providing our intro for this, our final post, in ’09. Take it away, dude…

Oy! 2008 was such a shitty-ass year (generally speaking) that music was an absolute necessity if you were to get through it with all of your limbs still attached and your knives kept securely in the kitchen drawer. We wish we had a laundry list of fantastic 2008 releases to share with you and sing the praises of, but sadly, those were few and far between…We were however, able to round up a few favorites from our friends in the biz.

That said, alongside the many classic albums I became re-addicted to in '08, there were a few goodies that made my life at least a little better over the last 12 months…

Gojira, The Way of All Flesh:
The French don't suck after all. Uncompromising and incredibly smart...not exactly how they approached WWII.

Ill Bill, The Hour of Reprisal: You can keep your T.I.'s and your Lil Waynes - the hip-hop I've always known and loved sounds more like this. This is one of the hardest, yet most meticulously crafted rap albums EVER! It'll peel the paint off your walls AND make you think about the universe. Plus the guest line-up is off the meat-rack!

Metallica, Death Magnetic: Why? Because they're still pretty much better than everyone else. Sure Hetfield isn't that angry anymore and Lars is a douche, but they bring it once again and you know the tour will kill!

Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul: Why? Because Liam and Noel said so!

Portishead, Third: Portishead rhymes with trip-hop is dead and "Third" is proof. "Machine Gun” is capable of either mesmerizing or clearing out an entire club...depending on the drugs.

Motorhead, Motorizer: Is it up to par with Ace of Spades or Overkill? Not exactly. Is it "thank god Motorhead is still doing it?" Fuck yeah!

Various, Juno: Any soundtrack (to a great movie) that features Mott the Hoople, The Kinks, The Velvet Underground AND manages to resurrect a 7 year-old Moldy Peaches song and make it a household hum-a-long is like Smuckers—it's got to be good.

As for movies and books: Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the excellent metal documentary Get Thrashed; Artie Lange's autobiographical train wreck, Too Fat to Fish.

DANIEL WERNER, A&R
My favorite record of the year is probably a tie between MIA’s "Paper Planes" and Kings of Leon’s "Sex on Fire." Both are breakthrough victories for very deserving artists. Album-wise, Miniature Tigers’s Tell It to The Volcano is an indie-pop masterpiece. As far as best artist(s), big kudos to both The Killers and Kanye for being ambitious and fearless and aiming high creatively. My favorite movie was Wall-E, and my favorite book was the 76-page Rod Blagejovich indictment that came out last week.

RON BURMAN, A&R, ROADRUNNER
Albums:
Theory of a Deadman, Scars & Souvenirs
Bat for Lashes, Fur and Gold
The Wombats, A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation
Nickelback, Dark Horse
MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
TV on the Radio, Dear Science
Black Stone Cherry, Folklore and Superstition
Feist, Let It Die
Coldplay, Viva La Vida
Portishead, Third
Ray LaMontagne, Gossip in the Grain
Cold War Kids, Loyalty to Loyalty

Movies:
Quantum of Solace; Kite Runner

MICHAEL PATTERSON, POP ANTI POP
2008 was the year of artists telling labels, "Cut you in? I just cut you out."

Song of 2008: Ray LaMontagne, "I Still Care for You." This song touches me in ways that I can't explain.

Album of 2008: Death Cab for Cutie, "Narrow Stairs." This album pretty much sums up the last two years of my life in its lyrics.

Artists of 2008: Trent Reznor for being Trent, MGMT for their album, Justice for being rock stars like rock stars used to be.

Show of 2008: Nine Inch Nails at the Forum. There were at least 20 jaw-dropping "how did they do that?" moments in the first 15 minutes of the show. It is a shame that they could not film it in 3D as they had planned. That is a prime example of an artist getting screwed from someone else controlling their copyright.

Book of 2008: Jack Pendarvis, Awesome

ALEX FREDERICKS, KEPLER CAMPBELL, LLC
Best Single: Rodney Crowell, "Sex and Gasoline"

Best Album: Saxon Shore, It Doesn't Matter

Best Film: Michael Clayton

Favorite book: Cathy O’Brien, TRANCE Formation of America

Best Meal: Chinatown Brasserie, 380 Lafayette St., NYC

Best Relaxation:10th Street Russian Turkish Bath, NYC

Best Unsigned Artist: Nell Bryden

Favorite Tour Moment of ’08: Drinking a Coke on the roof of Saddam's Palace in the
Baghdad Green Zone

Best Night Out: Cuban Food on South St., Philadelphia

Most Ironic Moment of ’08: Got married and apartment next door to mine burnt to ground during the ceremony.

JOSH SANDERSON, BLACK SAND MUSIC
Some of my favorite things from 2008...

On the speakers: School of Seven Bells, Annuals, Jaguar Love (also air guitar album of the year) and Friendly Fires

On the Big Screen: Slumdog Millionaire and Tell No One

On the tube: John Safron vs. GOD, Summer Heights High and Generation Kill

Online: Prop 8: The Musical and SleepNever.com

ANDREW HARPER, WORLD’S END/THE VOLUME AGENCY
I listed artists who had a breakthrough or entered people's radar in 2008. Here is my top five:

1. The Duke Spirit, Neptune
2. Children Collide, The Long Now
3. Joe Purdy, Take My Blanket and Go
4. The Black Ghosts, Repetition Kills You
5. The Old Believers Eight Golden Greats

NIKI ROBERTON, WORLD’S END/IAMSOUND RECORDS
Best movie : Elegy; Let the Right One In
Best albums: Lykke Li, Youth Novels; El Guincho, Alegranza
Best single: Little Boots, “Stuck on Repeat”
Best live: Antony and the Johnsons with the L.A. Phil at the Disney Hall; Florence and the Machine at BBC introducing show at SXSW

OLIVER HILD, NBC/UNIVERSAL
Battles, Mirrored:
This album continues to hurt my head, in the coolest way possible.

Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals:
They're just hip and full of sensation.

Kings of Leon, Only by the Night:
Could become a classic.

Civil Twilight, Human—Passion:
Sick live. Badass bass player.

Friendly Fires, Friendly Fires:
What can I say? Impossible not to move to these guys.

Raphael Saadiq, The Way I See It:
So fun to hear this music being made 45 years later!!
 
DARYL BERG, DIRECTOR, LICENSING AND MUSIC SUPERVISION, FUEL TV
What I listened to more than once and loved this year, in no particular order:

Albums:
Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours (Modular/Interscope): I hated synth pop in the 80s,  mostly because I thought drum machines were evil. It’s kind of irrelevant because these guys have a real live drummer and are one of the top-notch live acts around. But it still sounds like synthpop. Really, really good synth pop. Send me an angel…right now.

Grampall Jookabox, Ropechain (Asthmatic Kitty):
Rarely do unique albums get made anymore. I guess Beck ended that with his genre jumping, but this comes as close to uniqueness as anything in a long time. It’s blues; no, it’s hip-hop; no, it’s indie rock; no, wait…it’s… it’s really, really great.

Awesome Color, Electric Aborigines (Ecstatic Peace):
Led Zeppelin for people who hate Robert Plant. Big, obnoxious and noisy classic rock leaning dissonant rock.

Singles:
Airborne Toxic Event, “Sometime Around Midnight”: U2 are a band that’s 99% full of BS, and most of the bands that go for that big, building Joshua Tree sound stink. These guys are the broken clock being right once every 12 hours.

Estelle, “American Boy”:
I danced shirtless to this at my birthday party; it wasn’t pretty.

Duffy, “Mercy”:
Good makeup job on her album cover…and if Amy Winehouse dies, she better take up heroin, or I’ll be sorely disappointed.

Chairlift, “Bruises”:
I’m a sucker for the iPod commercials…sorry.

SIMI DUBE, NAT’L PROMOTION, A&M/OCTONE
Movies: WALL-E, Charlie Wilson's War, Slumdog Millionaire
Books: The New Kings of Non-Fiction; Twilight; Eat, Pray, Love
Bands: MGMT, Lady Gaga, Ting Tings, Adele


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