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Off-Topic: The Musical!

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Note: Most of the baseball-related talk will probably be over here today. Feel free to skip over my front-page, off-topic nonsense and go straight there.

Do you like magic? Do wanna see something cool? Check this out:

'Tis the season of dead time. There's a little baseball news, I guess. Rafael Furcal is back with the Dodgers. Mark Teixeira, sorry. Dozed off, there. After the Vegas all-nighter that was the Winter Meetings, this week is a big pile of drunken catch-up sleep. So I'm going to post something off-topic, and I'm going to do it at night, as there's no way I'll have time to write on Thursday.

Just watch. The Giants are going to acquire Dan Uggla in a seven-team trade on Thursday, with Madison Bumgarner going to the Royals and Fred Lewis going to the Nippon Ham Fighters. And while I'm out gallivanting around a shopping mall like a good little consumption monkey, the entire internet baseball kingdom will check in with McCovey Chronicles to read a front-page meltdown. They'll instead be treated to my dippy thoughts on music. And the news about the trade will be posted in a FanShot, so the fascist moderators will delete 62 attempts at trade-related FanPosts.


With that out of the way, here are my favorite albums of 2008:

5. TV on the Radio - Dear Science

I'm not sure if I trust anyone who doesn't like TV on the Radio.

4. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

It's hard to listen to this album and do anything else. I have no idea what the first song is about, but I stop whatever I'm doing whenever it comes on. It's probably the prettiest song I've heard in five years. I can't even find a better adjective. It's just pretty. Pretty, pretty song. Just so pretty. Oh, so pretty. It has a pretty mouth. The song has a pretty mouth. I'll stop now. Good album.

3. Opeth - Watershed

Listen to the third track, "The Lotus Eater." It's the perfect representation of the band's sound, so after 45 seconds, you'll know if Opeth is right for you and your needs. Metal enough to drive my wife nuts, and nerd enough to tour with Dream Theater, Opeth is consistently awesome. This album is their formula of soft-growl-soft done with the perfect balance. There's also a freaking clavinet breakdown in the middle of one of the songs, which cost them 500 metal points, but it was worth it.

2. Human Highway - Moody Motorcycle

I'm a sucker for sappy and catchy, and this is about as sappy-catchy as it gets. It feels like a magic album that was recorded over a week as a side project...which is exactly what it is. The combination of melody, laziness, and harmony is like some sort of musical Serpentor for me. They didn't even need to waste time digging up Woody Guthrie's DNA.

1. Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue

They remind me of seventeen different bands. Sometimes they remind me of Arcade Fire; that's good. Sometimes they remind me of Rusted Root; that's, uh, not as good. But I love, love, love every tangent they attempt on this album. When they shuffle off into a David Byrne groove, I'm there. When they mush up a My Morning Jacket intro with a Beta Band-swiping outro, it makes perfect sense. I'd hate for their next album to have focus.

Comment starters: Your favorite albums of 2008. If you didn't have that many favorites from this year, just list some albums that you discovered recently.