20 Reasons Why 2008 Rocked

Hey, everyone—

So, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but every year as we head into Christmas and New Years, I put together a special CD which I send to all my friends, family, co-workers, and business contacts.  

I call it “X Reasons Why [Whatever Year] Rocked” (X being the number of songs), and it contains all my favorite songs of that year.  I also put in a little sheet of “liner notes” with a tiny blurb about why I like each song.

It’s one of my favorite things to do each year… I spent the entire year collecting songs in a special iTunes playlist, then in November and December I sort through them, find my very favorites, and but them in the order that seems to flow the best.

There are only two rules I have when making this CD:

RULE #1:  The song must be from that particular year.  If it’s a single from an album that came out the previous year, it doesn’t count.  Also—reissues are not allowed (although remakes and covers are).

RULE #2:  The song has to ROCK.  Which basically means it has to move me in some powerful way… either some bad-ass electric guitar (it’s pretty hard NOT to move me if your electric guitar is bad-ass enough)… some heart-shattering lyrics… a killer beat… whatever.  Basically, “rock” means it has to be a song that I can listen to over and over again and never get sick of.  It has to be awesome.

So without further adieu, I wanted to pass along the song list from this year’s CD.  (And while I can’t, unfortunately, send a CD to each of you, I’ll include links to songs so you can download or listen to them.  Most are also available on iTunes.)

Oh, one last rule:  I tell everyone who gets a CD that they have to give me a review.  You can like it, you can hate it, but you have to tell me what you think.  The same holds true here.

So take a listen… download what you want… and lemme know what you think!  Happy New Year!  (And for what it’s worth, I think it always sounds best cranked on your car stereo… preferably while flying down a freeway…)

20 Reasons Why 2008 Rocked (according to Chad)

1.  Rock ‘N Roll Train, AC/DC – I hear you laughing.  But put this in your car, hit the open road, and crank this as loud as it’ll go.  Let’s see who’s laughing then.

2.  Thelma & Louise, HorrorPops – Like the Misfits… with a bad-ass chick singer.  (Also—these guys may be my new favorite band of the moment.  Their whole new CD, “Kiss Kiss Kill Kill,” is incredible.)

3.  Help Me, Alkaline Trio – They may have softened, but pop-punk rarely sounds this good.

4.  Don’t Forget Sister, Low vs. Diamond – A perfect song for an age of greed and disillusionment.

5.  Sarah’s Game, The Loved Ones – Sheer, earnest punk rock energy.

6.  Fruit Machine, The Ting Tings – The year’s cheekiest, sexiest, most playful dance song.

7.  Ten Million Slaves, Otis Taylor – Rockin’ the banjo like you never thought possible.

8.  Sometime Around Midnight, The Airborne Toxic Event – Tis better to have loved and lost?… I’m not sure these guys would agree with you.

9.  I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You, Black Kids – Finally, someone who’s not just gonna do what she wants because she asks.

10. Say Hey (I Love You), Michael Franti & Spearhead (featuring Cherine Anderson) – It’s impossible to listen to this song and not feel good about pretty much everything.

11. (Doin’ The) Boom Boom, Eli “Paperboy” Reed and The True Loves – For Aaron and Kelly.

12. Human, The Killers – “Are we human or are we dancer?”  Uh… what?  (Some people want me to apologize for putting this on here.  I won’t… I like it, even if they’ve rocked harder in the past.)

13. A&E, Goldfrapp – Gorgeous and haunting.  Like your favorite memory (I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true, I swear).

14. Graveyard Girl, M83 – Adolescent loneliness and longing haven’t been captured so well since Buffy.

15. Do the Panic, Phantom Planet – The attitude of today with the bounce of vintage rock.

16. Inni mér syngur vitleysingur, Sigur Rós – The best thing Iceland’s ever given us.

17. Elephants, Rachael Yamagata – If you’ve never had someone rip your heart out and not let you heal… Rachael will do it for you.

18. Nitrogen Pink, Polly Scattergood – The best swirling, pounding, thumping fuzz of the year.  (Also, this song debuted in the U.K. in 2007, but didn’t arrive stateside till ‘08.)

19. Being Here, The Stills  – A U2-esque pump-you-up rocker.

20. Say I Won’t (Recognize), The Gaslight Anthem – Energetic… sad… and the perfect bittersweet anthem to wave goodbye to the old year and bring in the new.

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