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Monday, December 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 35.0° F  Overcast with Haze
The Daily
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My top ten Madison songs of 2008
Sit back, relax, and listen.
Sit back, relax, and listen.

(Please read in the voice of Casey Kasem.)

From East Washington to University Avenue, from Northport Drive to Broadway, we're countin' down the top Madison hits of 2008.

We have already shared my ten favorite Madison albums of 2008, perhaps the best year in the city in at least the last decade. Now, we have assembled my favorite Madison songs from each one of those albums.

So sit back, relax, start from #10 and take a listen to each one.

(Music) The hits from coast (of Lake Monona) to coast (of Lake Mendota)!

And now, on with the countdown.

At Number 10, Andy Brawner of Time Since Western takes us back to the kind of sweet lo-fi garage-pop the Replacements engineered twenty years ago with "Bottom of the Sea."

At Number 9, Laduma Nguyuza of Stink Tank raps over a hauntingly beautiful and hypnotic sample in "Ring King." The beats are smooth as silk all the way to the end.

At Number 8, Jai and John of Sensuous Enemy broaden their electronic horizons with the help of live rock guitar and keyboard in "Over." Jai's voice soars like Annie Lennox.

At Number 7, Whatfor offers up their signature two-minute pop song "I Want A Girl" that invokes all the charm and wonder of the Beatles.

At Number 6, the delicate verses of Pale Young Gentlemen shine bright. "We Will Meet" is pure poetry, a place where harp gives way to guitar in a perfect transition.

At Number 5, Blake Thomas gives us the kind of warm, breezy country song in "How Long" that is meant to be played traveling down a rural road in summer, windows rolled down.

At Number 4, Harmonious Wail opens with a sonic diversion to the Far East in "Lung Shan Temple Chant." But don't wander away. A homespun fiddle rises a minute later, and western roots suddenly run deep.

At Number 3, Lucha Libre delivers a blast of hip-hop exhilaration with "Midwest Bang." The horns and beats are pure adrenaline. Da Ricanstrucka's production rules the region.

At Number 2, Sleeping in the Aviary pleads to rid themselves of a love they can't relinquish in "Write On." The bittersweet accordion is a serenade to everything in life that might have been.


And at Number 1, the song of the year is a soaring rock song from the Neenah-turned-Madison band, the Blueheels. "Lion and the Lamb" is punctuated with muscular guitar riffs in all the right places, and Robby Schiller's voice is a dreamscape all its own.

That concludes our countdown for this year. Until next year, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

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Related Files:

Bottom of the Sea - Time Since Western.mp3  Ring King - Stink Tank.mp3  Over - Sensuous Enemy.mp3  I Want A Girl - Whatfor.mp3  We Will Meet - Pale Young Gentlemen.mp3  How Long - Blake Thomas.mp3  Lung Shan Temple Chant - Harmonious Wail.mp3  Midwest Bang - Lucha Libre.mp3  Write On - Sleeping in the Aviary.mp3  Lion And The Lamb - Blueheels.mp3

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