Bag Of Songs Top 25 Albums of 2008 : 16 to 20

January 1, 2009 by · 1 Comment
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Happy New Year’s 2009 everyone, five more of the Bag Of Songs Top 25 albums of 2008 for you.
Again, feel free to chime in with comments along the way,let me know your picks, what you think I missed, etc.

20 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago [BUY]
I’m sure by now you ‘ve all heard the story of how Justin Vernon holed up for three months alone in a cabin in the woods of northern Wisconsin in the winter to make this record. If you’ve listened to it you know how he managed to translate the heartbreak of a breakup combined with all of that isolation into a set of stunning, powerful,intimate songs. It’s worthy of all the raves you’ve been hearing. What’s even more amazing is that his live show is even better than the record.

Bon Iver – Skinny Love

19 MGMT – Oracular Spectacular [BUY]
Giving keyboard based electronic pop their own twist, this is one of those albums where your favorite songs change as you listen to it more. Filled with some of the years best singles in Time To Pretend,Kids and Electric Feel, just about every song is a winner.

 MGMT – Time To Pretend

18 The Major Labels – Aquavia [BUY]
Sort of a supergroup of sorts, The Major LabelsMike Viola, Bleu, and Ducky Carlisle rolled all their influences into what is arguably the best pure power pop record of the year,jangly, fun, and filled with irresistable sugary hooks. They also put on one of the best live shows I saw this past year.

 The Major Labels – Don’t Hear A Single

17 The Rosewood Thieves – Rise And Shine [BUY]
Steeped deep in songs influenced by the likes The Beatles and T Rex, The Rosewood Thieves put out one of the most overlooked records of the year in Rise And Shine.

 The Rosewood Thieves – She Don’t Mind The Rain

16 James Hunter – The Hard Way [BUY]
Another strong contender bringing old school style R&B and soul into the present, where Eli Reed mines the Southern sound of artists like Otis ReddingJames Hunter is more akin to people like Sam Cooke and Ray Charles, and even spent some time in the past in Van Morrison‘s backing band.

 James Hunter -Jacqueline

Number 21 to 25

LIVE : 02.20.08 Black Mountain , Bon Iver @ Johnny Brenda’s

February 21, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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A few pictures from last nights dazzling, sold out Black Mountain and Bon Iver show at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia. Bon Iver‘s hushed acoustic numbers took on an even greater intensity as they opened with a set that held the audience in silent rapture for the whole thing. It reminded me a lot of the shows Ryan Adams used to do with just himself and a guitar in his early post Whiskeytown days. A powerful quiet intensity. Black Mountain then turned it around 180 degrees with their thundering psychedelic juggernaut of sound. Playing a set consisting of mostly material from their new In The Future disc and closing out with a blistering encore of Don’t Run Our Hearts Around from their first disc. A stunning live band not to be missed if their tour comes near your city. Check out more photos from SinABox Camera along with Carly’s excellent writeup of the show over at Girl About Town.

Bon Iver
Black Mountain