My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #02

Number 02

It’s virtually impossible to introduce any sort of new, unique sounds if you’re a band in today’s world, with decades upon decades already passed, and countless innovations previously emerging and claiming their stamp.  To be completely unique is something of a myth,  I think, because even our greatest artists are taking from what they admire and know best, tweaking it to enhance their talent. However, there are still those that attempt to develop something they can hold onto, to branch out in ways; maybe in simply using instruments in the most unconventional of circumstances, to make their defining sound. For Dodos, a duo out of San Fransisco that consists of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber, their defining sound begins with the dominating use of the drums. In 2005, Long was playing small solo shows, independently selling his home-recorded EP, Dodo Bird, when he was introduced by a friend to Kroeber. They each had interesting, established talents that they had not been able to incorporate into music yet at that point, but the two were obviously so intrigued by the thought of meshing one’s mastering of West African Ewe drumming (Meric), with the other’s experience in different rhythm-filled bands. Soon after they would become Dodo Bird, and in 2006 released their studio debut, Beware of the Maniacs. The album was instantly a hit locally for them, and after beginning to develop a fan base, their devotees started to regularly refer to them as The Dodos, and later pressings of Beware were labeled that way, and so the name sticks upon the release of their sophmore record.

It is fair to say that Visiter, the sophmore release by these Dodos, is unlike anything I’ve ever heard and is the only album on this list that I even considered for a second to compete with my #1 choice for the year. Long and Kroeber have expanded on the amazing promise of their debut, and it’s obvious that going on months of touring in support of that one had only made them more inseparable this time around. The marriage of acoustic guitar and fiery, energetic drumming is what powers every layer on the record, and accompanied by the fascinating songwriting of Long, this becomes one of those albums I simply cannot live without. There was an ungodly amount of break-up, longing, depression, etc, records released this year (as there always are) but this one was the one that hit me the closest. “Winter” deserves to be singled out and given recognition to, at least for me personally, because it arrived to me at a time in my life that seemed ironic, reminding me that music can do things that really nothing else in the world can. There are many moments of purely psychotic folk, if you can give Dodos a genre, like on the epic “Joe’s Waltz”, live favorite “Paint The Rust”, or on closing “God?”, and mixed in with that are mood-shifting pop pieces like, “Park Song” and “Undeclared”. Long had said in an interview that the name of the album was not inly inspired by a show they played for a class of students in South Central Los Angeles, but actually taken directly from it, album artwork and all. They were so amazed that the children found their music dance-worthy, that they used the actual drawing from one of them as the cover, and so the misspelling of the word is the name of a perfect album, and hopefully one that will see its worthy acclaim over more time.

1.Walking
2.Red and Purple
3.Eyelids
4.Fools
5.Joe’s Waltz
6.Winter
7.It’s That Time Again
8.Paint That Rust
9.Park Song
10.Jodi
11.Ashley
12.The Season
13.Undeclared
14.God?

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10 Responses to “My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #02”

  1. Corey Says:

    I guess their isn’t much question to what your number 1 will be. unless you have went completly bonkers.

  2. Ferguson Says:

    Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if it is in fact the new Britney Spears album.

  3. Corey Says:

    Oh. I thought it was going to be that new Lil’ Wayne album.

  4. elissa Says:

    I figured it would be the new Young Jeezy album. Maybe I’m way off.

  5. fiendinacloud Says:

    then it MUST be The Cuntwhores and the Demons of Yesteryear’s recent reuninon release!

  6. Elissa Says:

    For the love of Bill Pullman, Andy, fucking post your number one album. I want to prove to myself that I know what it is.

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