Thoughts on 2008: Exclaim! Associate Editor Cam Lindsay

Thoughts on 2008: Exclaim! Associate Editor Cam Lindsay
To tide us over while we indulge in the holiday spirit gorging on stuffing and egg nog, we asked a bunch of our contributors to tell us their thoughts on 2008, as well as their favourite records that helped make it a memorable year. Cam Lindsay loved how lo-fi stole the spotlight:

For me, what stood out the most in 2008 was the return of lo-fi in a big way. Long have I missed the days of the early '90s, where I cut my teeth on indie rock's no budget approach to recording via the scene's heroes like Bob Pollard, Lou Barlow, Daniel Johnston, Pavement, Bill Callahan and of course, the inimitable Calvin Johnson, primarily the work of Beat Happening. Sure, lo-fi never disappeared but this year it seemed like artists were thrust into the indie spotlight more than ever in the last decade or so.

The only explanation I can give is that the music has gotten better, or maybe it's that the '90s are the new '80s, or simply the crashing economy has forced musicians to seek cheaper production measures. Who knows? What I do know is that I couldn't get nearly enough of what labels like Fuck It Tapes, Woodsist, Slumberland, PPM and Siltbreeze were doing. And then there were all of the LPs, EPs, seven-inches and tour-only CD-Rs that No Age, Harlem, Sic Alps, Times New Viking, Vivian Girls, Bradford Cox, Abe Vigoda, Jay Reatard, Crystal Stilts, Chad VanGaalen, Love Is All, Eat Skull, and my latest obsession, Wavves, were putting out there to consume and collect on a regular basis. And of course, the best thing to come from this? A ridiculous sub-genre like "shitgaze," coined by Psychedelic Horseshit as a joke to describe their lo-fi mess.

Below is a list of my 25 favourite albums. Naturally, a list-making fiend like myself didn't limit an exciting year like 2008 to just that. If for some reason you're interested, you can see more of what excited me on my blog, Barfin' Up Rainbows, which has a much more extensive list, as well as my favourite tracks, reissues, EPs and comps.

1. Hercules & Love Affair Hercules & Love Affair (DFA/Mute)
2. Deerhunter Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. (Kranky)
3. No Age Nouns (Sub Pop)
4. Cut Copy In Ghost Colours (Modular)
5. Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
6. She & Him Volume One (Merge)
7. Times New Viking Rip It Off (Matador)
8. Portishead Three (Polydor)
9. Gang Gang Dance Saint Dymphna (The Social Registry)
10. M83 Saturdays=Youth (Mute)
11. Zomby Where Were U in 92? (Werk)
12. Kanye West 808s & Heartbreak (Good Music/Roc-A-Fella)
13. Atlas Sound Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (Kranky)
14. Jay Reatard Matador Singles '08 (Matador)
15. Lykke Li Youth Novels (LL)
16. Titus Andronicus The Airing of Grievances (Troubleman Unlimited)
17. Wavves Wavves (Woodsist)
18. Abe Vigoda Skeleton (PPM)
19. Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)
20. Spiritualized Songs in A&E (Spaceman/Universal)
21. Metronomy Nights Out (Because)
22. Empire of the Sun Walking On A Dream (EMI)
23. Vivian Girls Vivian Girls (Mauled By Tigers/In the Red)
24. Quiet Village Silent Movie (!K7)
25. Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money)