Here’s a list, with some links, of some of the music I listened to most in 2008. Some of it was from newly-discovered and downloaded music, some from disks I’ve had on the laptop for a while. The first five are the ones I seem to return again and again.

Note that most of them are “world” music, which seems to be pretty much all I listen to these days, even though in most cases I do not understand the lyrics.

(Almost all of these came from either iTunes or eMusic.)

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Returning of Thiseas, Takis Vouis. Vouis gets the primary credit here, but this Greek CD features a number of different performers, including Dimitris Zervoudakis, who has a marvelous voice and great touch with a song. This isn’t from the CD, but this video gives you a sense of Zervoudakis.

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Incógnita Alquimia, Dazkarieh. This Portuguese quartet is amazing, blending traditional folk, touches of rock, Celtic sounds and more, all with high energy and impeccable musicianship. Joana Negrão has a great voice. Watching their videos on YouTube has convinced me that this is a group I need to see live. Try the videos for Vitorina, Meninas Vamos A Murta or their promo video.

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Canção Ao Lado, Deolinda. Also from Portugal. I discovered Deolinda through the photos of Mário Pires . Fado Tinho or Fon Fon Fon at YouTube will give you a taste of this quirky band, fronted by Ana Bacalhau. It’s a little bit fado, a little bit Madredeus, a little bit pop and a whole lot of fun.

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Spiewam ?ycie (I Sing Life), Edyta Geppert & Kroke. Kroke is one of the neo-klezmer bands I’ve been listening to for a couple of years and they’ve steadily expanded the repertoire, bringing in lot of jazz touches, and a bit of rock. This CD, with Polish diva Edyta Geppert, gets a lot of iPod play. The combination of European folk, klezmer, jazz, cabaret and more makes for a lively mix. I can’t help dancing down the street listening to Meshuga or W?adza.

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Proskinio (Live), Eleni Vitali. A lovely, 19-song live performance from Greece’s Vitali. The CD has a great combination of upbeat and slower songs, some sounding traditionally Greek, some driven by a very tight band that was obviously raised on rock ‘n’ roll. Vitali’s voice has a nice edge to it. She’s under-represented on YouTube, but Kivotis is a great piece.

Also in heavy rotation:

Di Naye Kapelye (several of their CDs), Lura, who I saw in a great performance here in Vancouver, EnFado, a Spanish group with its own take on fado, Hanka Paldum & Ansambl Cultura Music, from Serbia, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, who I’ve rediscovered and whose music holds up amazingly well, and lots and lots of Miquel Gil. Try Cavall d’Arabia or Tinc una pena in the multimedia section of the website.

A final musical note: I have no CDs by Toše Proeski, but I have watched this video, and others of his, a number of times this year.

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