Finally, more than two weeks into 2009, here they are: My Picks For The Best Music of 2008:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
1. Bob Dylan: "Tell Tale Signs"
Who would have thought that a collection of outtakes and alternate versions of previously released tracks from the years 1989-2006 would be this good and would sound so little like a compilation and so much like an incredibly coherent album? But it does. And it's not just good, it's the Best Album Of The Year... an album that just gets better and better with each listen. Proof to any doubters out there that Bob remains as relevant, essential and important as ever.
This is truly a special week for all fans of great music. I mean, how often do you get treated to new albums from the likes of Bob Dylan, Todd Snider and Lucinda Williams all within a few short days? For me, personally, we're talking about new albums from three of my all-time favorite artists - all within an 8-day span. It doesn't get much better than that.
Here they are, finally, My Picks For The Best 15 Albums and 40 Songs of 2007. I'm not necessarily claiming these are "The Best" albums and songs of the past year since there were thousands of albums and tens of thousands of songs released over the year and I simply haven't heard them all. What I am claiming, however, is that the selections you'll find below are my favorite tunes and discs from the past 12 months - damn good music, all of it. Enjoy! And let me know anything I've missed.
Ok, so after a 2-week break it's now time to return to the telling of our story of love: our love for Kerala, that is. Yes, our story of Rum, Rock 'n' Ram ('n' Soccer), Jew and Muslim Streets, Sewage River/Canal, Fort Kochi, loads of great music, Bill, The Thursday Night Party Club, A Bunch Of Guys Named Joe and more - all in the beauutiful, lush green, tropical Southern Indian state of Kerala. My first four Kerala letters only covered our first week in Kochi, so there's still a lot - a whole lot - more to tell.