I figured there were at least double the amount of tracks I obsessed over than albums this year so here are my favorite 64 tracks of 2008.

64. Lindstrom - Grand Ideas
63. Invisible Conga People - Cable Dazed
62. Four Tet - Ribbons
61. Jay-Z - Jockin Jay-Z
60. Max Tundra - Which Song
59. Lykke Li - I'm Good, I'm Gone
58. T.I. - Dead and Gone (feat. Justin Timberlake)
57. James Pants - Finger on the Knife
56. Atlas Sound - Airedales
55. Air France - Beach Party
54. Kanye West - Robocop
53. Shugo Tokumaru - Parachute
52. Chromatic - Lady
51. Shugo Tokumaru - Parachute
50. Osborne 16th Stage
49. Tobacco - Truck Sweat
48. Stereolab - Three Women
47. Daedelus - Fair Weather Friends
46. Animal Collective - Water Curses
45. Yo Majesty - Club Action
44. Big Boi - Royal Flush feat Andre 3000 and Raekwon
43. Black Keys - Psychotic Girl
42. Low Motion Disco - Things are Gonna Get Easier
41. John Legend - Green Light (feat. Andre 3000)
40. Illa J - Timeless
39. High Places - Head Spins
38. Lonely Island - Jizz in My Pants
37. Alexis Taylor - Baby
36. Antony and the Johnsons - Shake That Devil
35. Pacific - Sunset Boulevard (Lord Skywave Remix)
34. Radiohead - Reckoner (Flying Lotus Remix)
33. Rye Rye & MIA - Tic Toc
32. Sebastien Tellier - Kilometer
31. Blaqstarr - Bang Hard
30. Syclops - Where's Jason's K
29. Takka Takka - Everybody Say
28. Philip Jeck - Fanfares
27. Brazilian Girls - Good Time
26. Kelley Polar - The Feeling of the All-Thing
25. Samamidon - Fall On My Knees
24. Little Joy - Don't Watch Me Dancing
23. TV on the Radio - Dancing Choose
22. Department of Eagles - No One Does It Like You
21. Blitzen Trapper - Furr
20. Jamie Lidell - Another Day
19. Hot Chip - Ready for the Floor
18. Dodos - Fools
17. Hercules and Love Affair - Blind (feat. Antony Hegarty)
16. Hotstylz - Lookin Boy
15. Passion Pit - Sleepyhead
14. Gang Gang Dance - House Jam
13. Q-Tip - Gettin Up
12. Sigur Ros - Gobbledigook
11. Yelle - Ce Jeu
10. M83 - Kim & Jessie
9. MGMT - Electric Feel (Justice Remix)
8. Bon Iver - Re: Stacks
7. Lil Wayne - A Milli
6. Raphael Saadiq - 100 Yard Dash
5. Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream
4. Vampire Weekend - M79
3. The Walkmen - In the New Year
2. Nic Xedro - Smells Like Teen Spirit
1. Fleet Foxes - Mykonos
Here are my top 32 records of 2008. Don't ask me why I put 32, I just couldn't give any of 'em up. Also, as a side point, as albums go, I don't think there's a single one that comes even close to the consistence of quality, songcraft, melodicism, and sheer beauty of my choice for number one. That record will remain a classic for me for a thousand more insane Lil Weezy joints to come (and you know there will be). Look out for my best tracks of 2008 coming in the next few days.

1. Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant EP/Fleet Foxes
2. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
3. Girl Talk - Feed the Animals
4. Flying Lotus - Los Angeles
5. The Walkmen - You & Me
6. Samamidon - All Is Well
7. Q-Tip - The Renaissance
8. Hercules and Love Affair - Hecules and Love Affair
9. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
10. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
11. Philip Jeck - Sand
12. Raphael Saadiq- The Way I See It
13. Arthur Russell - Love is Overtaking Me
14. Nomo - Ghost Rock
15. Stereolab - Chemical Cords
16. Hot Chip - Made in the Dark
17. Antony and the Johnsons - Another World EP
18. Santogold - Santogold
19. Department of Eagles - In Ear Park
20. Little Joy - Little Joy
21. TV on the Radio - Dear Science
22. Bonnie Prince Billy - Lie Down In The Light
23. Truckasaurus - Tea Parties, Guns & Valor
24. Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet - Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet
25. Autechre - Quaristice
26. Tobacco - Fucked Up Friends
27. Lukas Ligeti - Afrikan Machinery
28. Black Milk - Tronic
29. Underground Resistance - Electronic Warfare 2.0
30. Maryanne Amacher - Sound Characters 2
31. Gas - Nah und fern
32. Luciano - Fabric 41
Special Holiday Treat courtesy of Monsieur Johnny A.
Let's Paint, Exercise, & Blend Drinks TV! This extraordinary broadcast is brought to you by the folks at public access Santa Monica. The guy's name is John Kilduff, who's (I understand) an MFA candidate at UCLA and if this is his work then he's a certified genius. It's unreal how many cholos are watching enough public access to want to harass this poor jackass. If you're interested he's got around 170 you tube clips up at http://www.youtube.com/user/letspainttv. His activities range from painting pies, performing open heart surgery, playing chess, painting meatballs, and shaving. The fun does not stop there. Anyway enjoy this bliss filled entertainment and happy holidays.

Hecuba, a local L.A. band from a label now becoming sort of ubiquitous round these parts, Manimal Vinyl, has a weird accumulation of parts. Some part plain old indie pop, vocals a bit dead pan like Ms. Friedberger from Fiery Furnaces (who cribs it from Yoko Ono and Patti Smith anyway), playful repetitions of lyrics, kiddy toy noises, but with a tendency for some squonky glitch, some doomy dub, and a feisty temper that comes out of no where. Something darker lurking underneath to be sure, hard to place it exactly. They definitely like hip-hop but they won't flirt with high production values or fancy synths opting instead for old oscillators, a moog, and a roland juno or something. Irreverent as hell. But also completely quixotic and catchy as fuck, especially that arpeggiating bleepy synth lick in Tom and Jerry which is cut straight from Pharrell's book of tricks.

Tom and Jerry
Barry Prophet's 'Synthecycletron'. Amazing installation/instrument from Toronto based composer and instrument architect, Barry Prophet. It's basically a pedal-powered synth that allows anyone (up to 4 people) to create improvised music by pedaling and moving their bodies to shape the sounds. Here's his own intro to the work which exhibited in Toronto over the summer and into the fall.
He gives this break down of the title of the piece:

synthesis: Combination, composition, putting together; building up of separate elements esp. of conceptions, propositions or facts, into a connected whole, esp. a theory or system.

cycle: Recurrent period. Cycle per second. One complete wavelength. What is technically a double vibration is conventionally called a vibration, cycle or oscillation.

bicycle: Two wheeled mode of transportation powered by foot or hand crank.

cyclotron: Apparatus for acceleration of charged atomic particles revolving in magnetic field.

Synthecycletron is a site specific pedal powered sound sculpture containing electronic sound components within structures of steel, sheet metal, rattan and wood. The dimensions of the sculpture are approximately 8 ft high with a 14 ft. square foot print. Four stationary bicycles serve as turbines to generate electricity to power synthesizer components housed in a metal tower. The bikes radiate out from the tower to connect with Theremin pedestals which house Theremin synthesizers. When a person pedals a bike, they will generate energy which powers the synthesizer components creating patterns of sounds. When they or someone else wave their hands in front of the Theremin Pedestals, pitch bending electronic sounds are generated from the Theremin synthesizers.
Visitors to the Synthecycletron will be encouraged to pedal and play with sound. From a distance, observers will see people pedaling and waving their arms at the base of something that looks like a wildly painted space ship. What they will hear will be improvised sound art.

Here's an example of the kind of sounds this thing will make:

Field Recordings of the Synthecyclotron

Here's a photo:

I kind of love the dorky 6 year old paint splotch job although if he was really going for a space ship, I think he could have done something a bit more technological seeming. But this is pretty lo fi technology that makes this thing work, I mean it's pedal powered and uses theremins...not that I could put it together or anything. Just sayin...
A kind of tribute here to the late George Brecht, who died Dec 5. One of the primary forces in the Fluxus art movement from the '60s, Brecht started out making chance oriented paintings and print work and then like so many, took a class from John Cage at the new school in experimental music and started making chance music and conceptual scores often with little or no reference to noisemaking whatsoever as a primary condition for music making. In that sense he really pushed the boundaries of what music could be defined as and at the same time opened up art making (along with Naim June Paik and co.) to a praxis of music score oriented work. His work is often modest in its size and use of materials, but has the conceptual punch of other great prankster provocation artists. I posted a couple of his event score pieces that have been really influential for some of the scores I've been working on, as well a video piece called entrance to exit that's about as spare and clean as you can get. It's really refreshing to get back to stuff like this, it reminds you how not to think when you're trying to understand.

Switzerland based band Low Motion Disco put out a dreamy downtempo record over the summer that I'm glad I'm finding midwinter as 08 closes down. God bless end of the year lists (I promise mine before the year is through). "Things are gonna get easier" is a reimagining of "O-o-h Child" for a a blissed out, airy perspective. It's like if you just decided to lay down in the middle of the dance floor: it's not exactly useful and it's a little embarrassing to all your disco friends who are dancing their ass off, but it produces EXTREME relaxation. And I'm all about extremes here people. Let's get sleepy y'all! Apparently Sebastien Tellier did a remix which is probably getting more play than the original. Unfortunately he must have decided that the original was just a little bit too sleepy so he basically cleared room for the vocals and Frenchified the beat and bam, the song loses all mysterious charm. So tough, I posted the original.

Things Are Gonna Get Easier
Hudson Mohawke is a precocious 22 year old kid from Glasgow making beats, soon to come out with his first record on Warp (not a bad start). He belongs with this newish subgenre of music that combines house and techno, early video game music, IDM and glitch, maybe some dubstep and hyphy, and all with sense of a hip-hop beat pushed so loosely on the backbeat that it almost sounds like a drummer making mistakes. The affect of this trait is a kind of humanization of beat programming (something some IDMers, those who weren't attempting to obfuscate the beat so much that it became alienatingly other, were after) in that it approaches the beat more in the way a jazz drummer would. Jazz drummers (or really any drummer with any sense at all) know that where you place your hit, either on top of the beat or behind it, changes everything about how the sense of the rhythm is conveyed. A beat on top pushes the piece forward, drives it, while being behind feels lazy, or halted. The way these beats seem to work (although it's frequent enough that one feels some other type of alchemy involved) is that there's enough going on before the beat as after it, and they 'errors' kind of cancel each other out. But they also call attention to themselves so the process of humanization isn't really that it sounds like a human playing a drum kit (badly), but rather human rebelling against and breaking free of the grid clock of computer programs. Tic toc tic toc boom.
The term that often gets used to talk about this is 'wonky' although the confusing thing is that 'wonky' came about in describing a music really more rooted in techno. It was dudes making techno with rubbery funk bass lines and a steadily shifting beat structure (mostly in London, Glasgow, and to a lesser extent Berlin) that were thought of as 'wonky'. These guys, on the other hand, owe their sense of rhythm and instrumentation to hip-hop - slow stoned tempos, big downbeats, shakers, pitched up high hats, claps, glossy synths and obscured soul samples. In particular, it seems that pretty much everyone (including LA's Flying Lotus and Mike Slott, SF's Lazer Sword, Montreal's Megasoid, and fellow Glaswegian Dustie) references J Dilla often enough that one could pretty safely call him a kind of absent dad unknowingly fathering a sort of freakish offspring from his blend of downtempo, soulful, hip-hop. The thing they share most with him isn't just the self conscious placement of the snare, or the warmth and depth of his mixes, but the underlying sense of a dorkish studio wizard, staying up too late drinking Dr. Pepper and taking bong rips and living a kind of hermetic lifestyle. In that sense, many of these artist's beats feel like an inside joke, or a tangential point in a stoned internal monologue in which the train of thought begins and ends without direct reference to anything except feeling high and happy and kind of dark, but mostly free. In the world of instrumental hip-hop, where the gloomy posturing of Burial marks one overbearing end, and the euphoric pop collage of Girl Talk who shuns any sense of crafting one's own sounds from scratch, marks another exciting but slightly vacuous end, with Prefuse 73 lying somewhere uninspiring for either moody or dance advocates in the middle, this emergence of...I read someone call it 'aquacrunk' but I had to get creative and think of something else and I vote that it start getting called 'thunk' - apparently thunk isn't just a funny way of saying thought (although that's not a bad connection either) but it's a word used in computer programming in order to describe a piece of code used to perform a delayed computation which I find fitting for numerous reasons (see above's discussion of rhythm)...this emergence is as fascinating as it is healthy for the future of hip-hop.
Hud Mo, the diminutive, puts together a banger with "Polkadot Blues", a soul sample squeezed into chipmunk territory, a lopsided but headstrong beat, and a very strong resemblance to a J Dilla production. Heralds of Change's "Spotted" is a glamorous anthem, blinged out bleepy synth, a cowbell hammering out "my drink and my twostep" like the drunk uncle joining in with the wedding band and playing way too loud, and a warm pad and some gauzy bass wrapping everything up in some secret sauce. And Mike Slott's 'Flunky' is a like a etude on this whole scene. I get the weird feeling he's gonna be the next to get heard.

Hudson Mohawke: Polkadot Blues

Heralds of Change (Hudson Mohawke's project with Mike Slott): Spotted

Mike Slott: Flunky
Super pleasurable shoegaze from Oregonians band Paper (formerly Landing).  The record 'As As' came out just less than a year ago but I don't think it really got any attention. Nice woody bass line and some waify crooning in "Boy" but "Cloudy, Cloudy, Cloudy" is the better of the two and sports a beat that's totally cribbed from my favorite shoegaze band Ganger (see track "lid of the stars"). It's bouncy, bubbly, and fully diverting.

Nisennenmondai are an all girl three piece from Tokyo. Apparently the band name means 'computer bug problem' which is cool enough only the implied electro hacker sensibility doesn't exactly fit here. A lot of the double ep Neji/Tori is rougher and tougher than the track I'm posting but hey, I only like the tracks on Sonic Youth records with comparatively less distortion. The pummeling DNA style drums is what gets me, and I'm a sucker for guitar harmonics...and offbeat punchiness (le sacre du printemps returns in the form of a grizzly all girl psych punk band...anyone?). This should remind us why the Tokyo noise rock scene is always cooler.

Andrew Bird - Sectionate City

Andrew Bird - From the Basement from QandnotU on Vimeo.

Reliable (and beautiful) source found this clip of Andrew Bird playing a new tune of his in Nigel Godrich's (the longtime producer/engineer for Radiohead and many other essential bands Pavement, Air, Beck etc) web show called 'from the basement'. You know I was just recently feeling glum about Andrew Bird after listening to a tune of his I used to dig in a J. Crew but then I realized I was the one paying J. Crew and they were paying Andrew Bird, plus I got an awesome red cap. Also Andrew Bird works really well with lyrics despite the fact that they make as little sense as Beck's lyrics, they sound good coming out of his mouth. Plus a nice paired down song optimizing that loop machine; stacked pizzicato lines, a nice self chorusing effect, some col legno ethereality (that's when he plays with the wood of the bow instead of the hair, and his old school big vibrato whistle. Boy's got some skills and he's made a nice niche for himself writing these offhand, crafty songs that are really pretty affecting.