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Red Cortez's Top 20 of 2008

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Photo via Red Cortez's ">Myspace

December is list-making season. And for us music journalists, it is a time to look back on scores of albums, reflect upon the music and recapitulate our favorites. But this year, just like the last, we took this opportunity to flip that tradition upside down, asking the artists that influenced us what influenced them. The prompt was not limited to albums that came out in 2008.

Red Cortez (formerly known as the Weather Underground)

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So here we are packing up to do a few rounds in the pacific Northwest with a band called Little Joy, whose record this year was one of our favorites. As I write this I am uploading the ipod for the road and I am thinking about our top records this year. Realizing our choices need brief footnotes. Some of these are releases of bands that we've toured with this year and have really left an impact in one way or another. Others are artists we saw or on the road, or somewhere down the road, or at festivals we played (we saw Sigur Ros when we played Bonnaroo this summer : beautiful). Still, drafting up a top ten for the year left us pretty pensive and with ceaseless uncertainty, but that delicate line was eased by choosing releases of the just this year. Honorable mention goes to Little Joy's record and Cesaria Evora cause I've been listening to that a hell of a lot. So here is our top 20 of 2008 (with the exception of Jelly Roll Morton, which is explained below).

Red Cortez - "All The Difference"