LA LA: Weiss' Top 10 Local Albums of 2008
10. Dengue Fever-Venus on Earth (M80)
MP3: Dengue Fever-"Seeing Hands"
9. Abe Vigoda-Skeleton (Post-Present Medium)
MP3: Abe Vigoda-"Dead City/Waste Wildnerness"
MP3: Mae Shi-"Run To Your Grave"
7. Le Switch-And Now...Le Switch (Autumn Tone) Aquarium Drunkard" Gage and his Autumn Tone imprint for releasing the full-length debut from Silverlake stalwarts, Le Switch. A shambling, boozy and beautiful 38-minute bender, Aaron Kyle and his talented bandmates, eschew au courant influences for simple, straightforward songcraft. With a skeleton of Ram-era McCartney, Nilson Schmilsson, and The Band, Le Switch are Los Angeles' answer to Dr. Dog. Dismissing their sound as overly familiar misses the point; Le Switch's influences might be well-worn but their voice is unmistakably unique. Don't miss their February Monday night residency at Spaceland. Download:
MP3: Le Switch-"Simple Gifts"
6. Johnson & Jonson-Johnson & Jonson (Tres)
MP3: Johnson & Jonson-"Mama Always Told Me"
5. Beck-Modern Guilt (Interscope)
The 60s pysch of Modern Guilt is the best thing Beck's done since Mutations. Granted, it's nowhere near perfect. There's something soulless and robotic to it-- the work of a prodigiously talented craftsman on auto-pilot, capable of churning out great song after great song without breaking a sweat. Yet removed from the context of "another Beck album in 2008," it's better than most guitar rock records made last year. Sure it's a little dull and lacking in joie de vivre, but that never stopped you from liking Fleet Foxes.
4. No Age-Nouns (Sub Pop) with Fluxblog in the great No Age debate. There's an undeniable brilliance to their ability to seamlessly fuse punk, shoegaze and ambient; their live show is vicsceral and snarling, and their tee-shirt game is vicious. Nouns is a very good record--no doubt. But what's most thrilling about it, is the potential Dean Spunt and Randay Randall evince. If they treat Nouns as a starting point and avoid letting their quirks ossify into mannerisms, No Age are a lock to become the best Los Angeles punk band since The Minutemen. And thus, help wash away the stain that was/is Social Distortion.
MP3: No Age-"Teen Creeps"
3. Flying Lotus-Los Angeles (Warp) Nate Patrin's Pitchfork review, Sasha Frere-Jones' New Yorker profile, and Sach O's year-end blurb for this website, Los Angeles received more critical justice than anything released this year. So I'll just selfishly utter that this was the One Word Extinguisher follow-up that I had always hoped Prefuse 73 would make.
MP3: Flying Lotus-Breathe . Something/Stellar STar
2. The Knux-Remind Me in Three Days (Interscope) its official Top 10 Best LA Albums list. I wrote the blurb for Remind Me In Three Days. It's probably overly pretentious, but I think it speaks to the greater context of this album. At this point, saying that I have nothing left to say would be total meosis.
MP3: The Knux-"Fire"
1. Madlib-Beat Konducta V0l. 5: Dil Cosby Suite (Stones Throw) I also wrote the Madlib blurb for the Weekly. If you aren't already aware, Otis Jackson Jr. is my favorite beat-maker of the decade. You probably won't agree if you're into that whole sobriety thing.
MP3: Madlib-"Do You Know (Transition)"
Honorable Mention: Mezzanine Owls-Mezzanine Owls EP, The Parson Redheads-Crowds EP, The Broken West-Now or Heaven, HEALTH-HEALTH/Disco, Gary Louris-Vagabonds
Where The Fuck Was My Promo Award? (For The Albums That I Wanted To Hear But Never Did) Everest-Ghost Notes, The Henry Clay People-For Cheap Or For Free