If there’s anyone out there who’s been reading this little brokenbranches blog since it’s conception, they’ll know what keeps me going during the (yet again pathetic excuse for a) summer, is that sparkly promise beckoning a mere month away: Lowlands!!! Indeed, due to an overwhelmingly positive response from all hangers on in the last two years, Lowlands is yet again the summer festival of choice this year. It more than delivers a long list of “up-and-comers” that satisfy the early adopters like myself, but it also has a fine set of dj’s for the groovelovers, and film, dance and comedy for culturelovers who aren’t quite so obsessed by music.

So as flatlinetime at the office commences and I deal with the fact that all my free days have already been spent in New Zealand, and that summer in Holland so far consists of an exciting mix of greyness, clouds and rain… What better way to lift the spirits than by creating the annual pre-festival-anticipation-cd!

Last year I crumbled under the pressure of indecision and finally created a double cd, including my personal favourites as well as artists I felt should be represented because they are in some way relevant to the music scene even if I personally couldn’t care less (case in point: the appearance of Nine Inch Nails and Motorhead on the 2007 edition). This year my friends made a special request: “Go back to your core business! We want to be educated under brokenbranches doctrine, impose your taste upon us!”. Right then, none of this politically correct nonsense, all brokenbranches all the way!

Based on the artists that had been confirmed by last week, I created the following 21 track compilation after a painstaking editing process (all songs are clickable for youtube clips).

LOWHOMEWORK 2008 tracklist
01 Blood Red Shoes – Say Something, Say Anything  [most looking forward to]
02 The Kooks – Always Where I Need To Be  [just to catchy not to include]
03 Amy Macdonald – Mr Rock & Roll  [risky, could be a big let down live?]
04 Hot Chip – Ready For The Floor  [can’t wait to get dancing at their gig]
05 Foals – Red Socks Pugie  [most interested to see how they pan out live]
06 Iron & Wine – Boy With A Coin  [beautiful song, amazing video too!]
07 Los Campesinos! – You! Me! Dancing!  [all out dancing frenzy expected]
08 We Are Scientists – Chick Lit  [could go either way, but like this track]|
09 Le Le – Hard  [brilliant lyrics, mean beats, must see]
10 Black Kids – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You
11 Sigur Rós – Gobbledigook  [Sigur Rós never won me over, but this I like]
12 Laura Marling – My Manic And I  [possibly hit and miss?]
13 dEUS – The Architect  [dEUS back in full force!]
14 Gogol Bordello – Supertheory Of Supereverything  [see 7 + pogo]
15 The Hives – Tick Tick Boom  [what’s not to like? ROCK at its finest]
16 Santogold – L.E.S Artistes  [more getting on of ones groove]
17 Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Dawn Of The Dead  [favourite cd now, no video]
18 Roisin Murphy – You Know Me Better  [the diva that always delivers]
19 MGMT – Time to Pretend  [most likely to become Lowlands anthem of 2008]
20 Presidents of the USA – Boll Weevil  [sheer nostalgia, ahh the nineties…]
21 N.E.R.D. – Everyone Nose  [all the girls standing in the line for the bathroom!!]

Check out the custom made artwork too:

As I said, editing was painstaking and there’s quite a few gems that didn’t make the cut… The Dresden Dolls spring to mind, as do Elbow, Late Of The Pier, Tunng and The Wombats. Also in the past week the Myspace pages of Lykke Li and Sam Sparro added Lowlands dates, both would definitely have made it to the shortlist.

Feel I blatantly missed out the stars of the festival or it was a sin to have excluded someone? Editors and Franz Ferdinand perhaps? I’m interested to hear who you think should have made it onto the cd, drop a comment!!