Josh Potter - State of Mind writer

1. Make a Rising - Infinite Ellipse and Head with Open Fontanel
2. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
3. Apollo Sunshine - Shall Noise Upon
4. Marco Benevento - Invisible Baby
5. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
A crazy‚ schizophrenic‚ but ultimately inspired year for the ear. I found myself cycling backward to as many important discs of the past that I'd overlooked as focusing on all the creative current stuff. That fact that I found myself as excited about TV on the Radio as Vetiver‚ Dr. Dog as Icy Demons‚ The Boredoms as These United States‚ means that the music world is (still) changing for the better.

Doug Collette - State of Mind writer

In compiling my "Best of‚" I find myself asking the musical question about what music I would take to a desert island‚ so I'm thinking as much in terms of quantity as quality of music.
Accordingly‚ I relished the haltingly quick turnaround to Manhattan in blustery February to experience the transcendence of Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton. I had no fear in braving the elements of a New England road trip to catch consecutive nights of Phil Lesh and Friends‚ this inauguration of summer finding its echo as I savored the comforts of home down by Lake Champlain on a beautiful August night awaiting The Derek Trucks Band.
Need I say more about how the season turned to autumn the glorious weekend of My Morning Jacket on the water in Boston? Just a harbinger of The Felice BrothersDr. Dog and Rose Hill Drive back in the cozy confines of Higher Ground over the course of the fall…
I love the life I live and here is the latest version of the soundtrack to that adventure…
1. Grateful Dead - The Complete Winterland Recordings 1973
2. Pat Metheny Trio w/Christine McBride & Antonio Sanchez - (Tokyo) Day Trip
3. Brad Mehldau Trio w/Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard - Live [2-cd]
4. Jeff Beck - Appearing This Week Performing Live at Ronnie Scott's
5. Mudcrutch - Mudcrutch/Extended Play Live

Ryan Lowell - State of Mind writer

1. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
The rest (in no intentional order):
2. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
3. Dr. Dog - Fate
4. Raconteurs - Consolers Of The Lonely
5. Farm - The Cave
The live music of 2008 taught me a lot. At a Wu Tang show‚ I learned that when he's not slamming a hype-ass verse till your head hurts‚ Ghostface Killa loves to watch football -- his favorite player is Brett Favre. Then there was the Radiohead gig‚ where I learned that somehow a band can actually make millions by giving their music away. And then there was Dinosaur Jr.‚ who taught me to enjoy those screeching tones in my eardrums‚ because it would be the last time I would ever be able to hear that frequency. Ahh‚ so many memories. We're supposed to be in an economic crisis right now‚ but considering how much money I pumped into the music industry this year‚ I think the country will be alright. Instead of Langerado‚ get R.E.M. and the Beasties to headline the National Bailout Tour in 2009 and all of our problems will be solved.

Matthew Shapiro - Associate Editor

1. TV on the Radio - Dear Science
2. The Cure - 4:13 Dream
3. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
4. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Real Emotional Trash
5. David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Highlights of 2008:
The Verve at the WAMU Theater: I had waited for years to see the Verve and I didn't care that this show was 3 days after I had back surgery. I loaded up on painkillers hobbled to the show and Richard Ashcroft and the boys were absolutely amazing!!! ... The Cure at Madison Square Garden: The band again reborn‚ this time as a lean and mean quartet‚ provided by far the best arena show of the year‚ just incredible. They sounded hungry and driven and rocked for three and a half hours without a break … The Jammy's‚ also at WAMU Theater: For me it was a blast to see Glenn Tilbrook play with Warren Haynes‚ but obviously the highlight was seeing the four members of Phish onstage together again. I will never forget the excitement and the hope that provided. That must have been the most well received acceptance speech ever … The Saratoga Music Festival: Though it was cool to see Bob Dylan and Levon Helm on the same bill‚ the highlights were provided by the Swell Season (WOW!!!)‚ Conor Oberst and Steve Earle … The Police and Elvis Costello at Saratoga Performing Arts Center: There's nothing like rolling up to a show with 40 of your friends‚ just a great experience. Elvis was his normal stupendous self and the Police supplied a great but way too short set. ... Trey Anastasio at the Palace Theater: He's Back!!! I really think this was the best I've heard Trey play in 10 years ... Visit Interviewing Adrian Belew at Revolution Hall: His power trio is awesome; then getting to hear him share stories about his lustrous career‚ including tales about Zappa‚ the Talking Heads‚ Bowie‚ King Crimson and Nine Inch Nails was just unbelievable. What a nice and gracious man.

Garret Woodward - State of Mind writer

1. Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creations Dark
2. moe. - Sticks and Stones
3. G. Love and Special Sauce - Superhero Brother
4. Q-Tip - The Renaissance
5. The Black Crowes - Warpaint

2008. Holy shit. Another year of amazing albums‚ and even more magical live performances‚ comes to an end. It seems it always gets better‚ more enjoyable‚ every year. Further down the "rabbit hole" of live improvisation and genre-bending formations. I honestly lost track of the amount of shows and festivals I found myself at... but‚ there were numerous highlights I will never forget. Witnessing the Drive-By Truckers (Band of the Year‚ IMO) tear through Salt Lake City at The Paladium in February‚ a sweat-drenched‚ bourbon-filled crowd (and band) rockin' hard enough to rattle the nearby Mormon Temple. Others include Radiohead at the Outside Lands Festival (me‚ sitting in a tree and basking in the glow radiating from the stage as the fog rolled in from the San Francisco Bay)‚ Maceo Parker and company setting the Knotty Pine ablaze in Idaho‚ The Black Crowes and Wilco at the Jackson Hole Music Festival (shadowed by the mighty Tetons‚ swallowed up by a never-ending blue sky)‚ relaxing in the natural hot springs at the Love Your Mother Earth Festival as western Montana's finest noodled under the stars‚ shaking my moneymaker to a late-night Bassnectar rave party at Burning Man in the Nevada desert‚ and ending the year back home in the Champlain Valley‚ immersed in the Yonder Mountain String Band at Higher Ground in October (who I also grooved to in Wyoming in July as they graced a rodeo grandstand with their presence). Here's to another great chapter at State of Mind‚ all the strangers that became friends in 2008 and all those who are soon to be in the coming year.

Mike Carney - State of Mind writer

1. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
2. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours
3. Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
4. Delta Spirit - Ode to Sunshine
5. Bon Iver - For Emma‚ Forever Ago