Yearly Archives: 2008

Best Music of 2008


Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
My album of 2008

Exactly one year ago, I posted my list of the best of 2007. Strange then that I woke up at 6:00am this morning thinking of putting together my 2008 list. I’m a subscriber to eMusic, so most of my music this year has come through downloads from this excellent service. As well, my experience attending some of the music portion of SXSW has helped me find new music this year. Looking over this list, some are quite recent listens, while others have become old favourites, so it’s a little hard to rank them precisely. That being said, here are my choices (idiosyncratic and personal, definitely) for the best music released in 2008:

  1. Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
  2. British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?
  3. Okkervil River – The Stand Ins
  4. Sigur Rós – Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
  5. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
  6. Deerhunter – Microcastles
  7. Love is All – A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night
  8. Islands – Arm’s Way
  9. The Jealous Girlfriends – The Jealous Girlfriends
  10. Emiliana Torrini – Me and Armini

Just outside the top ten (either due to quality or just not enough listens yet):

  • Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
  • The Dears – Missiles
  • Portishead – Third
  • The Vivian Girls – The Vivian Girls
  • Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster
  • Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

Here are some of the “pro’s” lists:

Chromewaves Best of 2008
Pitchfork Top 50 Albums of 2008
Last.fm’s Albums of the Year
Britt Daniel (Spoon) picks his best of 2008 on the Merge Records blog

How about you? What were some of your favourites?

Junot Diaz on Short Stories

I love this:

I never wanna write short stories again. They suck. They’re incredibly demanding. A story can be perfect. No novel can be perfect. Novels are awesome. Novels are like us.

From an interview with CBC News reporter Sarah Liss

I’m reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao right now and really enjoying it. Perhaps I’ll write a review when I’m finished. Perhaps not. Either way, it’s worth reading.

Nortel and Teleworking

My Twitterpal April Dunford talks about Nortel’s teleworking policy in this Youtube video (sorry, can’t seem to embed it on the page). Not only is teleworking good for productivity and the environment, but it also helps them save millions in real estate costs. I’ve long been an advocate of this kind of flexibility in working arrangements, and it’s nice to see one of Canada’s biggest telecommunications companies taking such a progressive stance.

Off to Reykjavik

cross-posted from Toronto Screen Shots

Reykjavik International Film Festival 2008

On Wednesday, my wife Brooke and I will be flying to Iceland for the fifth edition of the Reykjavik International Film Festival. We’re staying for the entire duration of the festival, which runs from September 25th through October 5th, and in addition to seeing films, we’ll be doing some sightseeing. We’ve rented a car for the entire time, and are hoping to see as much as we can, including the Golden Circle (the geyser at Geysir, the waterfall at Gullfoss and the site of the world’s oldest parliament at Þhingvellir National Park), the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, and possibly an overnight stay on Vestmannaeyjar, the Westman Islands. Other planned activities include whale-watching and horseback riding, depending on the weather.

All that to say that I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to cover the film festival yet. Ideally, I’ll be able to blog as usual, posting reviews shortly after seeing the films, but because it’s a vacation, I might just be having too much fun to post right away.

Though the entire schedule hasn’t yet been posted, the main program (Open Seas) features the following 18 films:

Some of these played at TIFF this year and some others were released earlier, but I haven’t seen any of them. So far, I’m planning on seeing the ones marked with asterisks based on either recommendations from friends or just my own interest. If you have any recommendations I haven’t marked, please comment and let me know why I should see them.

Iceland Socks Rocks

With our trip to Iceland just a few weeks away, I was delighted to discover Iceland Socks, a promotional site for the Iceland Express airline. They’re already a pretty hip company, with a great blog featuring lots of information on music and other stuff, but Iceland Socks is pretty amazing. The site lets you quickly create your own travelogue movie, starring a pair of sock puppets you can name. You can add subtitled dialogue in up to three scenes. Lots of fun and a great way to get people to think about Iceland’s “other airline”.

You can see my masterpiece here.