Twenty aught eight was truly a great year for music, regardless of which genre you prefer… Better than ‘07, I think, and close to ‘06. It’s all relative to your music taste, I guess. Tons of wonderful albums came out this year, and many that came out last year become prominent this year.
Even more notably, local music found a very special place in my heart this year… The Minneapolis / St. Paul music scene is fascinating, “the backbone of the area’s counterculture”… (Fodors.com) Even Mpls mayor R.T. Rybak says, “This is a great music town, and you can come in here and find something that is not out of some kind of box or the big chain stores.” (Citypages.com) And living in the city has given me many opportunities to see live music this year – and it hasn’t disappointed.
There are simply too many great venues to enjoy music that I couldn’t possibly get to them all in just a couple years, but I tried. My favorite venue, by far, is the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown. It has a retro feel with excellent sound and lighting systems. It’s also in a great location, walking distance from the Loring Pasta Bar and Annie’s Parlour.
If you’re interested in more of the history of the scene, here’s a great, all-inclusive article on music past here in the cities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Minnesota And here’s a radio broadcast on the history of rock in Minneapolis: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/12/24/midday2
Also, don’t forget to tune into The Current on New Year’s Day to hear all the top tunes of the year as voted on by their listeners. It should make for a good day of music-listening. Their annual music poll. Now on to my lists… Most of the web has their “top ten” or whatever, so I just decided to showcase some local gems:
Favorite Local Albums:
Haley Bonar | Big Star (1)(video)
Chris Koza | The Dark, Delirious Morning (1)
Doomtree | Doomtree (video)
Bon Iver | For Emma, Forever Ago (sort-of local)(1)(video)
Jeremy Messersmith | The Silver City (1)(video)
A Night In The Box | Write A Letter (You just have to see them live…)
Atmosphere | When Life Gives You Lemons… (1)(video)
Kanye West | 808s and Heartbreak (only because it took so long to figure out if I liked it or not) (video)
M.I.A. | Paper Planes (video) Fabulously addictive song with a great message… And it was featured in the recent movie, Slumdog Millionaire, one of the best of the year…
Favorite Live Shows I attended:
Haley Bonar acoustic set in the rain @ Mears Park
Fleet Foxes early show @ The Cedar Cultural Center
A Night In The Box @ 331 Club – And they just so happen to be playing here again on New Year’s Eve!
Ra Ra Riot @ 7th St. Entry
The Fiery Furnaces @ The Whole
Favorite Radio Station:
89.3 The Current (listen online)
What was your favorite music this year?