The Current tshirtTwenty 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”… ( 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.” ( 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: And here’s a radio broadcast on the history of rock in Minneapolis:

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)

Most-Listend-To Album:
Kanye West | 808s and Heartbreak (only because it took so long to figure out if I liked it or not) (video)

Most-Listened-To Song:
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:
(a given…)
89.3 The Current (listen online)

What was your favorite music this year?