Your handwriting. The way you walk. Which china pattern you choose. It's all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a diary.
-Chuck Pahlaniuk Diary:A Novel

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lyman's Best of 2008: Music, no. 20-16

20. Atmosphere Sad Clown, Bad Spring #12
#12 in the 'Bad Clown' series of EPs from the Minneapolis-based hip-hop group Atmosphere. Comprised of rapper Slug and DJ Ant, Atmosphere has been on the scene for a long time cranking out great tracks. They also released a full-length LP this year "When Life Gives You Lemons Paint That Shit Gold" which I need to check out.

dig: "Happyness"

19. Margot and the Nuclear So and So's Not Animal, The Daytrotter Sessions

I've blogged about Margot numerous time before. The Indy-based Indie band's debut 'The Dust of Retreat' ranks among my all-time favorites. After recording a large batch of tunes for their big label debut, the band and record company were at odds as to what to release. The band chose the songs for the album 'Animal' which is only available on vinyl. 'Not Animal' is the collection of songs the label chose. The record is good, but I feel like I'm missing out and wonder if it could be even better had their been a more singular vision. 'The Daytrotter Sessions' is a fantastic live acoustic set from the band. I hope there are more records in these guys' future, they are one of the great indie acts around.

dig: Not Animal, "Broad Ripple is Burning"
Daytrotter, "Bookworm"

18. Brad Mehldau Brad Melhdau Trio Live
This trio has been at it for a long time. This live record by no means re-invents the band but it is nonetheless a great collection of tunes featuring some great playing.

dig: "Wonderwall"

17. Be Your Own Pet Get Awkward, Get Damaged EP

Get Awkward is a female-fronted punk band from Nashville, lots of rockin' fun, great melodies, great spirit. 'Get Awkward' is their second full-length LP. The accompanying EP is comprised of songs "too violent" to put on the LP so the label would only release it online (sounds like a marketing ploy to me). In a true punk move, the band broke up mere months after the album was released.

dig: Awkward "Bitches Leave"
Damaged "Becky"

16. Guns n' Roses Chinese Democracy

After over a decade and over $14 million in recording costs, we were finally privy to the much-delayed 'Chinese Democracy'. I expected the worst. How good could it be if Axl didn't want to release it? To my surprise this is a solid rock record throughout. Good songs, good riffs, good solos, good singing. I suspect that all of the delays allowed Axl to tinker with the tracks for too long because much of it sounds over-produced. It does lack the strong melodies and hooks of other GnR records but the artistic spirit of the 'Use Your Illusions' records is taken to the next level.

dig: "Catcher in the Rye","Better"

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