Monthly Archives: December 2008

The Best of 2008: The People’s Poll


The end of year list is by the people, for the people. By taking into account every scrobble, from every user this year, the list attempts to create a genuine window into the listening habits of the average music fan – as opposed to some ‘informed’ group of music critics.

How ‘average’ the average user is in terms of music tastes is arguable, there’s an obvious hipster bent to the proceedings as people who use their PCs to consume music and then sign up to a scrobbling service to have that consumption tracked are probably a little more involved in their relationship with music than the average Radio 1 listener. But hey, it’s an admirable effort to provide a snapshot of 2008 in music.

The categories and their qualifying criteria are as follows:


This list ranks only those artists who released their debut this year (so no Chinese Democracy — sorry Axl). From hotly tipped hipsters to lone folkies, which ten newcomers have made the list?

10. Santogold
09. Does It Offend You, Yeah?
08. Bon Iver
07. Foals
06. The Last Shadow Puppets
05. Katy Perry
04. Fleet Foxes
03. Sara Bareilles
02. The Ting Tings
01. MGMT


Listing only albums that had a physical release in 2008, and taken from your scrobbles throughout the year, the ten records feature power-pop to psychedelic-disco. Who takes the top spot?

10. Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust – Sigur Ros
09. Sleep Through The Static – Jack Johnson
08. Made In The Dark – Hot Chip
07. Narrow Stairs – Death Cab for Cutie
06. Konk – The Kooks
05. We Started Nothing – The Ting Tings
04. Ghosts I-IV – Nine Inch Nails
03. Third – Portishead
02. Oracular Spectacular – MGMT
01. Viva la Vida or Death and all his Friends – Coldplay


Counting your scrobbles from this year’s releases, it means album tracks have as much chance to chart as singles. The list reveals hidden gems alongside pop hits, but who crept into this year’s top ten?

10. Kids – MGMT
09. Strawberry Swing – Coldplay
08. 42 – Coldplay
07. I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry
06. Cemeteries of London – Coldplay
05. Life in Technicolor – Coldplay
04. Electric Feel – MGMT
03. Time to Pretend – MGMT
02. Violet Hill – Coldplay
01. Viva la Vida – Coldplay

As you would expect, no great surprises. Nice to see a relative victory for ‘the album’ as a format, with Coldplay’s Viva la Vida not only securing the top spot but the majority of the top tracks – or is it just a victory for the sickeningly mild and inoffensive music that Coldplay peddle? Hmmm.

And who is Sara Bareilles?

I’ll leave you with my ‘favourite’ track from the top 10 track list, and a more genuine favourite from this year that sadly didn’t make the cut.

MP3: Coldplay – 42

MP3: Beck – Chemtrails


New Justice Video – ‘Phantom pt II’

Justice had released a video for the excellent Phantom pt II. It’s comprised of cuts off their recently released live album/Tour DVD ‘A Cross the Universe’.

The video is mostly just them dicking about backstage and indulging in some decadent rock star behaviour. Whilst it would have been nice to see some more of the cinematic spectacle that featured in their previous videos, it’s still a nice enough ‘victory lap’ sort of video. Watch out for man of the moment Kanye West at 2:26.

MP3: Justice – NY Excuse

Operation Humble Kanye: An Update

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Probably one of the stranger musical ‘beefs’ but definitely one of the funniest. My favourite bits from the past two videos being:

“Why buy Kanye’s album? You can basically hear it for free. Just put a tin can to your ear and lean against a ‘Pac-Man’ machine.”

“Sir, you are not the voice of this generation of this decade. Infact with all the autotuning on your records you’re barely the voice of your own albums”

And Kanye’s witty reposte:

“Who the fuck is Stephen Colbert?”

MP3: Kanye West – Flashing Lights (Diplo remix)[zSHARE linkage]

UPDATE: A twist of Shakespearean proportions

BBC Sound of 2009: The Longlist


The BBC ‘Sound of’ shortlist has been going for over half a decade now. The list is compiled from the votes of ‘130 of the UK’s leading music critics’ and usually offers an eerily accurate prediction of the big breakthrough artists of the next 12 months; past winners include Adele, Mika, Bloc Party and The Klaxons. They know their stuff.

So who have they chosen to pluck from relative obscurity this year? Who’s going to make it big in 2009?

The Longlist is:

The Big Pink
Dan Black
VV Brown
Empire of the Sun
Florence and the Machine
Kid Cudi
La Roux
Lady GaGa
Little Boots (Yay!)
Master Shortie
Mumford & Sons
Passion Pit
The Temper Trap
White Lies

This ‘longlist’ will lose five of its number in a month’s time and the number one artist – chosen on the 9th of January – will be catapulted into the Mainstream and enjoy a successful year all round – if the successes of previous winners are anything to go by. Sure it’s all a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy, but anything that goes out of its way to promote challenging and fresh music is worth it in my view.

I’ve only heard of a handful of the artists mentioned above so I’ve got plenty of listening to be doing. What does everyone else think about the list? Good? Bad? Dull? Exciting? Who’s gonna win it? Does it matter?

MP3: Little Boots – Stuck on Repeat

‘Who the Fuck Is Stephen Colbert?’

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And Kanye’s response:


On a related note, here’s more of that ‘sunglasses display mannequin’ from one of this year’s last big releases – Common’s Universal Mind Control.


MP3: Common feat Kanye West – Punch Drunk Love