My 2008 discoveries

discoverI have some year-end stuff on the way but it’s not quite ready because I haven’t seen/heard all of the things I need to before I can put 2008 to rest. I plan to count down my top ten songs of the year as part of the Song of the Day series, and I’ll do that as soon as I’ve listened to the albums I just bought to see if anything on them will crack that list (so far I know at least one will).

In the meantime, I figured I’d list some people and things I very happily discovered this year. This list excludes anything I was a fan of prior to Jan. 1, 2008.

Please add your own discoveries in the comment section (and remind me of any I might have missed).

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2008 Summer movie preview

Well, it’s not even May yet, but in the movie world Summer is upon us. The Summer season — home of the blockbusters, sequels and an occasional original idea (and sometimes a combination of the three) — kicks off this Friday with Iron Man, Jon Favreau’s comic book flick with the wonderfully twisted Robert Downey Jr. in the starring role.

I’m really looking forward to that one — and 17 others. Follow me to the jump to see exactly which ones, in order. Disclaimer: These rankings are subject to change… titles will no doubt fall off this list, and dark horses I’ve left out might emerge.

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Upcoming album releases

It’s been a good year for music so far, with three great albums already released (see list on the right side of the page). As for the rest of the year… the current issue of Rolling Stone lists a bunch of releases due over the next few months. Most of them I have no interest in, but these stood out:

May 6:
Elvis Costello – Momofuku

June 10:
Jakob Dylan – Seeing Things

June 17:
Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends

July 15:
John Mellencamp – Life, Death, Love and Freedom

August:
Ben Folds – Title TBA

The last one, obviously, has me the most excited. Folds has yet to let me down. I’m also very curious to see what the surprise Elvis Costello CD is all about. He’s done everything from punk to chamber music, big band to ballet… no telling what Momofuku promises.