Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Return (And the 2008 Toasties)

Well, the ransom has finally been paid and Mister Toaster has safely returned to Toaster Talks, Blogosphere. Thanks for those who sent love notes and nail files during his extended absence.

On programming note: It is official. The Toaster Talks, due to residual laziness, will no longer be a weekly publication. Instead, we hope to post regular reviews and mixes on a not-so-weekly basis. Let's start with this year's Toasties (below). Next up is the Top 100 Songs of 2008 and the Top 10 Albums of 2008.

Toaster Odds and Ends Awards 2008

Best Band Name: Alphabeat

Worst Band Name: She & Him (sic)

Best Album Name: Albert Hammond, Jr., Como Te Llama?

Best Song Title: The Very Most, "When Not Being Stupid Is Not Enough"

Best Comeback From Oblivion: Lindsey Buckingham

Biggest Let-Down: Matthew Sweet

Best Follow-Up to Greatness: Okkervil River

Biggest Surprise Love: Fleet Foxes

Best Summer Song: The Hold Steady, "Constructive Summer"

Best Winter Song: TIE: Kathleen Edwards, "Buffalo" / Fleet Foxes, "White Winter Hymnal"

Best Attempt at Bringing Despair Down All Around Us: Death Cab for Cutie, 76-minute intro to "I Will Possess Your Heart"

Best Album to Get Blotto To: The Hold Steady, "Stay Positive" (I think this category was made for The Hold Steady)

Worst Moment by a Great Artist: The wearing sexual deviance on Of Montreal's Skeletal Lamping. (We get it, guys.)

Best Opening Act: Okkervil River (for The New Pornographers)

Incident/Artist That Yielded the Most Cases of Music Blogs Losing Our Respect: The inclusion of Bon Iver and MGMT on so many 2008 best-of lists when they were clearly around last year.

Biggest What-the-Fuck?: All the "Fuck"-named bands.

Biggest Where-the-Fuck-Have-They-Been? (or, They Released an Album in 2008?): Keane

Most Concise Song: Jay Reatard, "Always Wanting More"

Most Imitated: Feist

Most Anticipated Albums of 2008: A.C. Newman, Franz Ferdinanad, Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, The Decemberists, Doves, Neko Case, Condo Fucks

Worst Lyrics: Britney Spears, "Womanizer"

Best Lyrics We're Not Sure We Understand: Fleet Foxes, "White Winter Hymnal"

Best Live Show of 2007 (Witnessed by The Toaster Talks): Okkervil River / The New Pornographers, April 22, Beachland Ballroom

Best Marketing Concept: Nine Inch Nails, like Radiohead if they had released 85 albums and given away a lot of it for free

Worst Marketing Concept: The gross gold vomit on the Santogold record

Best Soundtrack: Slumdog Millionaire (thanks to the inclusion of M.I.A.)

Best Release from a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer: TIE: R.E.M., Accelerate / Brian Wilson, That Lucky Old Sun

Best Song That Scares the Shit out of Me: Still M.I.A., “Paper Planes," because it's still everywhere

Biggest Tragedy: Mister Toaster's kidnapping and subsequent period spent as bait for ransom.

The Andrew Bird Eerie-but-Damn-Catchy Award: Frightened Rabbit


Worst Album Name: Beyonce, I Am...Sasha Fierce

Consistency of Quality Award: Beck

Most Successful Attempt to Reach Beatlesque Hugeness: Coldplay, Viva La Vida Or Death And All of His Friends

Best Song Co-opted by Apple: The Submarines, "You, Me and the Bourgeoisie"

Best Side Project: TIE: She & Him (M. Ward); The Fireman (Paul McCartney)

Most Topical: Young Jeezy (feat. Nas), "My President"

TOASTIES on hiatus (at least in 2008)

Worst Release Date
Best Release Date