Top 10 of 2008: By the Numbers

Justin Vernon. Courtesy rcrdlbl.

A whole 17 days before the year ends, we did it. We summarized the best our favorite music of 2008 on our humble blog, and its name was Justin Vernon. The Jagjaguwar re-release of Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago, our favorite album of the year, made it into six of our nine lists, all in the top five (that was a lot of single-digit numbers, more coming). The lists had three mentions of "re:stacks," two of "Skinny Love" and one of "Lump Sum." Some other numbers after the jump.

  • Kanye was the second most acknowledged artist, with five appearances-two for "Street Lights" and three for his guest spot with Estelle.
  • Vampire Weekend had four nods, each for a different song: "Walcott" and singles "A-Punk," "Oxford Comma" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa."
  • Dan Rossen had four mentions as well, two for Department of Eagles and one for each of the Grizzly Bear singles from the band's upcoming release
  • Mash-up artists the Hood Internet and "Laptop Artist" Girl Talk each grabbed a spot on a list
  • Three mentions: Fleet Foxes, TV on the Radio, Bradford Cox (one as Atlas Sound, two as Deerhunter) and MGMT's "Time to Pretend" (which had a hard release in 2008)
  • Two mentions: the Dodos, Sigur Ros, Okkervil River, Lil Wayne, Beach House and Black Kids
  • A total of 62 artists made appearances on our lists (this counts Atlas Sound and Deerhunter as different, Kanye as different from his track with Estelle, Grizzly Bear as different from Department of Eagles, etc.)
  • This also means that each list had an average of 6.89 original artists
  • "Single Ladies" did not appear on any of the lists.

Some observations and inferences: of the artists mentioned above, a surprisingly small number are Brooklyn-based. Their homes range from San Francisco and Oakland to Austin, Atlanta and New Orleans to Baltimore and Iceland to Seattle and Eau Claire. Certainly domestic, but this is not 2007.

The frequent presence of Justin Vernon could mean that his music is just that great or two-thirds of the recess staff had significant break-ups this year or we are generally sad. Nonetheless, the convergence of our musical tastes evinced by artists like Vampire Weekend, TVotR and Bon Iver reveals our subscription to a Pitchfork-approved, American Apparel-garbed musical ideology. And singular appearances by unknowns like Shugo Tokumaru demonstrate that "Oh, you've never heard of him. I mean, not many people have." one-upping that lists like these so often hint at.

But regardless, it's safe to say that everyone who contributed a list is incredibly white.

Look forward to a few more year-end lists from the blog, including the aforementioned "10 Albums of 2008 I Didn't Listen to that Suck."


Share and discuss “Top 10 of 2008: By the Numbers” on social media.