! = recommended
* = all-ages
Don't see your show on our calendar? Contact our calendar editor.
I don't know how it happened, but half the year officially is over! That means that we're half way to end of the year list time! I know that for a bunch of us, there are few things we love more than lists and mix tapes (I usually make a mix for friends of my year-end list favorites) -- so it makes sense we should do a mid-year check in and see what's topping our Best of 2009 list. Here's my off-the-cuff list of what albums would vying for Top 10 of 2009 in my book:
Upset. The word of the our 2008 Best Northwest Releases of 2008 Readers' Poll is upset.
With the Fleet Foxes winning readers and critical polls alike, who would've thought they wouldn't get top honors in our humble little Northwest poll? But they didn't -- they placed a distant second to New Faces, another debut record from some very talented, very young Northwest fellas.
We had other surprises as well, with unsigned newcomers such as Hey Marseilles, the Kindness Kind, and Kaylee Cole cracking the top ten, beating out Northwest heavyweights such as Death Cab for Cutie. We did not expect that. And we love it when you surprise us, dear readers.
We imaginaries like to champion the up-and-comers from the Northwest, and our results indicate that you do as well. We think you all also have fabulous taste, as always. Thanks to everyone who participated in our poll. We couldn't be more proud or thrilled to present the top 50 winners on your behalf...
TIG staffers are a lot like you -- coming up with our list of faves for the year is a fun and gripping process. After comparing/contrasting/debating our individual favorites, we figured the sum of our imaginary parts would make for an interesting list.
While ChrisB and Keenan, among other things, brought in the power-pop elements, Chris Estey stood by the smartie subtle elements of this year's Northwest offerings. Imaginary liz, as usual, loved the lo-fi and indie-pop songs, while imaginary dana spent much of the year obessed with Throw the the Statue and of course, the Fleet Foxes. And nearly all of us agreed that the Saturday Knights album was a force to be reckoned with. Here's our our staff votes tallied up...
I'm a chronic procrastinator, so here it is, January 5th, and I'm finally ready to make sense of the musical chaos and wonderment that was 2008 and compile a list of favorites.
Don't even try to make me rank these releases in order, or I'll never, ever finish my list. Let's just say these were some of the very best local bands in my iTunes list this year, presented alphabetically.
Mere moments ago, we posted our TIG Best Northwest Releases of 2008 Readers' Poll, for your voting pleasure. We hope you cast your vote for your top five favorites. This has been yet another killer year for music from the great NW, and we recognize how hard it can be to narrow it down to just five. But please, do you best.
It can also be quite the challenge to recall every record released this year -- especially those pesky January/February releases. We plan to keep a running list here of NW bands that released at least one record in 2008, for voters to use as reference. We'll update this page with bands who receive votes, as well as suggestions that come in the comments. So please, if you know of a band, pipe in below!
As of today, we're officially in the second half of 2008. Welcome! To gear you up for another fabulous six months of local Northwest releases, we here at imaginary headquarters have brainstormed an imaginary mix for all of you, containing some of our favorite songs by Northwest artists released this year to date thus far.
No promises that each of these will make our Best of 2008 Reader's Poll final list, but at least this way you have the next six months to follow-up and listen to these releases before you have to decide. To paraphrase imaginary ChrisB, we feel like this list is pretty unfuckwithable. But that doesn't mean that we didn't inadvertently overlook something great. If you have additions for our list, please chime in with your comments below.
Blogger Glenn McDonald has crunched the numbers of every ballot submitted in each poll and compiled a list of each voter and how they ranked according to how their votes landed within the final vote totals. Not only does McDonald do that, but he lists the ten closest voters that each person's ballot resembles the most.
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to pouring over annual, best of lists (I'm still biting my nails in anticipation of the Idolator critic's poll that should be out soon), and I'm always intrigued by what the favorites of people who work in the business of music but aren't (necessarily) critics or reviewers. So, I asked Chop Suey's brand new booker Pete Greenberg to submit his list of favorite albums with the promise of posting them here - to which he happily complied.
Here's what made his list:
1. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)
2. Future of The Left – Curses (Too Pure)
3. Handsome Furs – Plague Park (Sub Pop)
4. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone Records)
5. The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (Merge)
6. Big Business – Here Come The Waterworks (Hydra Head Records)
7. Beach House – Beach House (Carpark Records)
8. Blonde Redhead – 23 (4AD)
9. Band of Horses – Cease to Begin (Sub Pop)
10. Siberian – With Me (Sonic Boom Recordings)
11. Matthew Dear – Asa Breed (Ghostly International)
12. Lavender Diamond – Imagine Our Love (Matador Records)
13. Peter Bjorn & John – Writer’s Block (Almost Gold)
There were about 1000 films given proper theatrical releases in 2007 -- and this total doesn't take into consideration increasingly popular methods of alternate distribution, or homegrown DIY works showcased in booming alt-cinemas across the land, or the countless films featured at major (and minor) festivals around the world that never got picked up by a distributor.
The ten films that made my yearly best-of list, plus the 76 honorable mentions that follow below, represent about a third of what I saw last year. So I still missed most of what was out there.
Given the sheer volume of films, and the amount of quality work on display last year, whittling down my favorites to a list of only ten was the most difficult it's been since I started writing for TIG in 2002. The masterful No Country for Old Men is undoubtedly the best I saw in '07, but (skipping a "razor-thin margin" pun) Sweeney Todd is a very close number two. It kills me not to be able to rank the wondrous Emma's Bliss, my favorite film of SIFF 2007. Same for the superbly written, sharply feminist boy-movie-for-girls Juno, Julien Schnabel's astounding Jean-Dominique Bauby biopic The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Ang Lee's nasty sexpionage drama Lust, Caution... oh, I could go on.
But I won't. Here's my list:
Being a regular contributor on here on TIG takes the show going experience from something you do on the weekends to part of your regular routine. I'll never forget shoving five shows in one week, or running from set to set during Bumbershoot trying to frantically interview all the local bands. Sometimes I still can't believe I'm here.
Very few shows I regret seeing, the vast majority were really good. But there's a distinct ten still stuck in my mind, shows I talk about to this day. The bands who made this list are not just comprised of musicians who stood up there and played -- these were performers who demonstrated how their band is more than a job or hobby, it's their lives. In each case they provided a memorable experience where I left feeling I'd just witnessed the most talented artists making music today.