Friday, December 26, 2008

George's Final Answers

Tatonka friends!
In no particular order (already tough enough to include just 10)

The Walkmen- You & Me

One of my musical highlights of this year was seeing Hamilton Leithauser belt out "New Country" in Madison for their set opener. Keeping it real and keeping it real intimate at the same time is not an easy thing to do. The last time I was as transfixed on a singer was Nick Rivers performing "Tutti Fruti" in East Germany. That should give you a clue as to how fucking cool Leithauser is.

Standout Tracks:
"In The New Year"
"Red Moon"
"New Country"

Clipse- Road To Till The Casket Drops

Till The Casket Drops is slated for a 2009 release so the Road To Till The Casket Drops is actually a mix tape Clipse released this year (should still count under league rules I believe). The Thorton brothers (Malice & Pusha T) put together my favorite hip hop album of the year (sorry wayne) and my anticipation for the new album grows with each listen to the mix tape. Their newest effort will release them from their previous reign under the Neptunes and allow other super producers such as Timbaland, Scott Storch, Kanye West, and Rick Rubin to work their magic with the Thorton brothers and the rest of the Re-Up Gang.

Standout Tracks:
"When Haters Wish"
"Swagga Like Us"

Oasis- Dig Out Your Soul

Anyone who knows me knows that I put the Gallagher Brothers up on the highest pedestal. They are fuckin' rock in roll in the purest sense and they did not disappoint with 2008's Dig Out Your Soul, their best record in a decade (and best album cover). I knew the album was off to a good start when Noel went down to storied Abbey Road studios and payed for the studio with a giant bag of money, bumping previously scheduled U2 out of its reserved spot. On bumping U2 Noel responded:

"I was like, 'U2? U2 have to have a f---ing six-hour meeting [to decide] whether to get tea or coffee in the rehearsal room! They are not coming in here any time in the next five years.'
I can go on, and on, and on, about how legendary Oasis I'll just leave you with a Liam quote.

"You either get it or you fukin' don't"

Standout Tracks:
"Bag It Up"
"The Turning"
"Waiting For The Rapture"
"The Shock Of The Lighting"
"I'm Outta Time"
"Falling Down"

TV On The Radio- Dear Science

What hasn't been said about these hipster favorites. Vaulting into nearly every critics end of the year lists its no surprise that the word is out on TV On The Radio. Dear Science is a complete album that although being complex and varied still remains to be poppy and catchy. They managed to shed the dreaded "overproduced" label a la Oasis' "Be Here Now" and are now on the threshold of becoming indie legends. I'm intrigued to see what they do in the future but for now I'm all about the science.

Standout Tracks:

"Halfway Home"
"Dancing Choose"
"Golden Age"
"Lover's Day"

White Denim- Expoison

This album edged out some others to be included in the top ten list due to the insane amount of repeat listening I have had with it. If you want to clean your living room and kitchen and are looking for an album to inspire you, look no further. Clocking in at just under 40 minutes Expoison is filled with electrifying Hendrix inspired guitar riffs and an intriguing arsenal of songs which include punk rock infused rockers, Decemberists inspired ballads, and beautiful instrumentals. If you haven't heard Expoison this year do your self a favor and pick it up and make sure you put the headphones on max volume.

Standout Tracks:

"You Can't Say"
"All You Really Have To Do"
"Shake Shake Shake"

Spiritualized- Songs in A&E

If anyone can touch my inner Jesus or bring out the Devil in me its Jason Pierce. Songs in A&E instantly became a classic after first listen and solidified me as a Spiritualized believer. "Soul on Fire" is a standout track from 2008 and is as catchy as any song this year. The live performance earlier this year was one of the most memorable concerts in memory. It also may have had something to do with drinking with Jason after the show until 2am or that he wore silver shoes. Foud memories of him not remembering opening up for Radiohead and Moshe getting furious at me for offering Jason a cigarette. (yes I've heard "Death Take Your Fiddle" but he was eyeing my fags up big time)
No one shreds a guitar like he does and with unbelievable stage presence backed by gospel singers Jason Pierce and Spiritualized were back in a big way in 2008.
Standout Tracks:

"Death Take Your Fiddle"
"I Gotta Fire"
"Soul on Fire"
"You Lie You Cheat"

Deerhunter- Microcastle

Although I was oddly turned off when I recently read of lead singer Bradford Cox performing live in sundresses with fake blood smeared all over his face and hands I always have the option of turning on my ipod in the comfort of my home and staring into space listening to Deerhunter's 2008 masterpiece Microcastle. As ambient as it gets I feel completely transformed into another world when this album is in. The great vocals, deliberate effective guitar riffs, and dreamy atmosphere make this a translucent rock opera. "Nothing Ever Happened" is a standout tracks that sounds kind of like an early Doves song if they weren't such fucking pussies.

Standout Tracks:

"Nothing Ever Happened"
"Never Stops"
"Twilight at Carbon Lake"

Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever ago
Count Justin Vernon as another player in the indie game who has had tremendous success in 2008. For Emma, Forever ago is an album I can say proudly was recorded in Wisconsin, no disrespect to Coo Coo Cal. Much more intricate under the surface then the album appears, the haunting vocals and tortured mind and spirit of Justin Vernon comes full circle to create one of the most beautiful albums of the decade. Not only that I'm pretty sure a fucking wolf is singing with him in a song.

Standout Tracks:
"Skinny Love"
"The Wolves (Act I and II)"

Girl Talk- Feed The Animals
Any album that manages to mash up Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike" with TI's "What you Know" is going to get my attention. Speaking of attention I recommend this album to anyone who has ADD because the mash ups keep coming strong throughout but manage to stay cohesive and that is what makes Feed The Animals as a stand out album in 2008. Get some drinks, move the coffee room table and couches and press play for an instant party. Anyone who enjoys music will have a hard time not enjoying Girl Talk. Also recommended for speeding tickets.

Standout Tracks:

"Play Your Part (Pt. 1)"
"Hands in the Air"
"Play Your Part (Pt. 2)"

Lil Wayne- The Carter III

No one had a bigger 2008 than Lil Wayne and The Carter III was the direct result of Wayne's tireless work ethic. Although Wayne contributed to many more tracks in 2008 as a result of mix tapes and collaborations with other artists that may be better than some tracks on the Carter III ("My Life" comes to mind with The Game, as well as "See You In My Knightmares" with Kanye on 808's and Heartbreaks) the album will still go down in Hip Hop legacy and has opened the door for a Lil Wayne assault in 2009. "3 Peat" is one of my top 5 hip hop tracks of the year and blew my fucking mind the first time I popped in the Carter III. Show some respect, drink some Robitussin, and have sex with a cop with Wayne in 08.

Standout Tracks:

"3 Peat"
"Mr. Carter"
"A Milli"
"Let The Beat Build"
"Shoot Me Down"

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