Posted by: cousinbrandon | February 2, 2010

The “Miscellaneous” Mixes: The Best of 2008

Believe it or not, folks, but Cousin Matt actually completed his 2009 Best of CDs. Amazing, right? So why, then, am I posting his Best of 2008 mix? Well, because fuck him! This here’s my blog, and no way am I coming this close to completing my task just to be upstaged at the eleventh hour. With that, here’s his intro to 2008, which was his first online posting of his mixes:

Welcome ye all!

This is the first time I’m posting my Year-End compilation online. Due to popular demand (like 3 people). I thought it’d be good for folks to have a place to tell me how much they love me. And the music I force upon them. If you’re here then you’re probably a recipient of the compilation. And if you just stumbled here by accident, cool. We may just have something in common.

Those who’ve listened to the mix, this is your place to sound off — what you liked…hated…really hated. Or just to take a look and see what other people are saying. If anything. Okay, until next year…

Front cover – Top 12 Albums of 2008:

 #12 – Other People by American Princes
#11 – Furr by Blitzen Trapper
#10 – Arm’s Way by Islands
#9 – Little Death by Pete & the Pirates
#8 – Talking Through Tin Cans by The Morning Benders
#7 – Secrets Are Sinister by Longwave
#6 – Feed the Animals by Girl Talk
#5 – Oracular Spectacular by MGMT
#4 – Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend
#3 – At Mount Zoomer by Wolf Parade
#2 – Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes
#1 – We Breed Champions by Royal Bangs

I came to something of a realization when looking over Cousin Matt’s 2008 mix. Namely, I noticed that he chooses songs that I either vehemently disagree with as being the “best” song by a band that year, or that he picks the “hits” from a record, which I question because “hits,” ironically, don’t always hold up as well. I know that sounds ridiculous, really, but I always have this sense that the too-obvious song will one day end up on a 2 AM infomercial as part of some fucked up compilation alongside “Closing Time,” “Stacey’s Mom” and [insert “indie” hit with crossover appeal here]. Don’t get me wrong; his mixes are strong, and Cousin Matt typically picks fantastic songs. I’m just saying that I have to question choices like, say, MGMT’s “Time to Pretend,” which immediately appeared in bad movies (Ummm, 21), commercials and playlists everywhere. And then there’s the inclusion of songs like Fleet Foxes’ “He Doesn’t Know Why,” which, although a great song, is no “White Winter Hymnal.” Sorry, but it’s no contest as to which song will really hold up over time. (And I’m totally going to bring this point up again when I post his 2009 mix. That’s right – I’m looking at you, Cousin Matt, and your Ida Maria selection!)

In comparing Cousin Matt’s mixes to my 2008 mixes, Feast and Famine, it would appear we one – one – song in common, which is Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love.” In terms of bands, though, we agreed on Fucked Up, Vampire Weekend, Ladyhawk, Wolf Parade, Islands, Liam Finn, Okkervil River, Tapes ‘n Tapes, and Fleet Foxes. Impressive, sure, but again, what does that say about his selections? And, yes, you’re wondering what it says about my selections? Okay, in retrospect, let’s look at the common bands and the song choices head-to-head:

Fucked Up: “Black Albino Bones” (Cousin Matt) vs. “Magic Word” (Cousin Brandon)
Edge: Cousin Brandon

Vampire Weekend: “Oxford Comma” (CM) vs. “A-Punk” (CB)
Edge: Cousin Brandon

Ladyhawk: “Night You’re Beautiful” (CM) vs. “You Ran” and “(I’ll Be Your) Ashtray”
Double Edge: Cousin Brandon

Islands: “The Arm” (CM) vs. “J’aime Vous Voire Quitter” (CB)
Edge: Cousin Matt

Liam Finn: “Better to Be” (CM) vs “Second Chance” (CB)
Edge: Cousin Brandon

Okkervil River: “Singer Songwriter” (CM) vs. “Calling and Not Calling My Ex”
Edge: Push

Tapes ‘n Tapes: “Hang Them All” (CM) vs. “Le Ruse” (CB)
Edge: Cousin Brandon

In other words, I clearly kicked Cousin Matt’s ass in terms of the “same band, different song”-off. And by the way, Cousin Matt should lose for the sole inclusion of My Morning Jacket’s “Librarian.” Why? Because Evil Urges sucked! Seriously, quit trying to defend it, MMJ fans. It’s a bad album, plain and simple.

As is always the case with Cousin Matt’s year-end mixes, this is a “countdown” as opposed to a compilation. (Again, Track 1, in this case, is his 40th favorite song of the year.)

The Best of 2008 front cover.

The Best of 2008 back cover.

The Best of 2008 (Disc 1):

1. The Constantines – “Do What You Can Do
2. Chad VanGaalen – “Molten Light
3. Fucked Up – “Black Albino Bones
4. Parts & Labor – “Nowhere Nighs
5. Awesome Color – “Step Up
6. The War On Drugs – “Taking the Farm
7. Kaiser Chiefs – “Tomato in the Rain
8. Gentleman Jesse – “The Rest of My Days
9. Devon Williams – “Stephanie City
10. Why? – “The Vowels Pt. 2
11. Passion Pit – “Sleepyhead
12. The Broken West – “Perfect Games
13. Nada Surf – “Whose Authority
14. Ezra Furman & The Harpoons – “The Moon
15. Vampire Weekend – “Oxford Comma” (Awesome cover)
16. Ladyhawk – “Night You’re Beautiful
17. Bon Iver – “Skinny Love
18. Looker – “Eternally
19. My Morning Jacket – “Librarian
20. Wolf Parade – “Kissing the Beehive

The Best of 2008 (Disc 2):

1. Islands – “The Arm
2. Blitzen Trapper – “Furr
3. Boat – “Topps
4. Department of Eagles – “Waves of Rye
5. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – “So Everyone
6. Liam Finn – “Better to Be
7. Ra Ra Riot – “Too Too Too Fast
8. Longwave – “Life is Wrong
9. Okkervil River – “Singer Songwriter
10. Tapes ‘n Tapes – “Hang Them All
11. Royal Bangs – “Brother
12. Pete and the Pirates – “Knots
13. American Princes – “Son of California
14. Surf City – “Mt Kill
15. Johnny Foreigner – “Salt, Pepa and Spinderella
16. The Walkmen – “I Lost You
17. The Morning Benders – “Chasing a Ghost
18. MGMT – “Time to Pretend
19. Fleet Foxes – “He Doesn’t Know Why
20. Black Mountain – “Tyrants

Well, that’ll do it. Believe it or not, the next time I hit you up with a compilation it will indeed be Cousin Matt’s Best of 2009. And while I’ve seen the track list, I’ve not yet listened to it, so it’ll be relatively new for all of us.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!




  1. Sweet, a pissing contest. Everyone loves those. Obviously, I think you’re completely wrong, and will give my take.

    Who fucking cares if a song is popular or whatever (is a “hit”). I don’t listen to the radio to know what’s even getting airplay. And, I think it’s asinine to think a song is “too obvious”. If it’s “too obvious”, then it’s the right song as far as I’m concerned. If I remember correctly, you regretted not putting Furr on your 08 mix. To me that song was “too-obvious”. But, clearly, it was the right (and only) choice.

    I don’t even want to comment on the “Time to Pretend” thing, because anything that sounds like “dance” or uses “sampled beats” you immediately dismiss. So your say doesn’t really count. If you are a fan of that song, then your realize it’s perennial iconic status. And that all the acclaim was warranted. On top of which, anyone who thinks a song is bad just because it shows up in bad cinema or TV, or shows up on various playlists – is a moron. Seriously. Aren’t we talking about the actual music and not its prevalence?

    Lastly, you can’t definitively say that White Winter Hymnal was THE best song on that album. First of all, it’s completely subjective (duh). And second of all, just last week I had a conversation with someone we both know who’s favorite song was neither of those two. As a sidebar, I put only one song from each artist, as a way to highlight more artists from that year (which is the most difficult part of making the mix). If I had chosen multiple songs, White Winter Hymnal would have easily been the next choice.

  2. Hi Brandon.
    It’s funny. When I saw Matt’s 2009 list I had a feeling there was an Ida Maria jab coming.

    I’ve got to admit my favorite tune on the Fleet Foxes record is Your Protector. I can see, in the sense where even if I’m not a big Stones guy you kind of have to acknowledge that they get to be where they are, why White Winter Hymnal is the sort of choice of choice, but Your Protector just hits my ears a little better.

    As always, I really like the choices I can speak to in here. Which, a little surprising to me I know less of these than I guessed I would. I can’t wait until things slow down at work a bit and I can catch up on sampling things. I was wondering though, nothing from Real Emotional Trash on either list?

    Thanks as always guys. Have a good one.

  3. I hate the lack of an edit button in here. I have this awful habit of changing how I’m saying something mid sentence and not realizing it. Then I hit post and you end up with meses like “Which, a little surprising to me I know less of these than I guessed I would.” Drives me nuts.

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