Are You Gonna Make a Best (Albums) of 2008 List?

I wasn't going to either.

But after a few recent feeble answers to that question like, "No, but if I did I'd put [Artist/Album] on there...", I ended up with a list anyway. Maybe it's my
Most Referred releases, Most Shared, or simply Most Memorable of 2008. Perhaps it's Anything, Off The Top Of My Head, Released In 2008 That Had A (Somewhat) Formative Effect On Me. In no particular order. Enjoy.

Portishead - Third
While I would have bought it anyway out of long-time fandom, I really this one. I also like that they successfully tried to shake their trip-hop fan base loose by going prog. [link]

Ladytron - Velocifero
I was never all the way into Ladytron until this album. Now I am. Big sound, catchy tunes, tight production and, as Maria says, "they always have the best hair." [link]

The Duke Spirit - Neptune
This band's singer turned up on the last UNKLE album, and this album had the same producer (Chris Goss). But it's probably her voice that quickly made this standard listening around our house. [link]

Atlas Sound - Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
There's an overabundance of chimey indie rock laced with whispery vocals, but this was one of those albums that changed the trajectory of my listening habits for weeks, if not months. [link]

School Of Seven Bells - Alpinisms
Turns out the tune on Prefuse 73's last album is also on this, and it is but one of many intricately woven tunes here. Maybe you should just give them a listen. [link] [bonus]

Christian Prommer's Drumlesson - Drum Lesson Vol 1
One of the Truby Trio busts out on his own with one of the most creative albums of the year. Check out what this guy did to Kraftwerk and Daft Punk songs. Amazing. [link]

Double Dee & Steinski - Who Owns Culture? (Live)
The founding fathers of mash-ups, bastard pop, blends (whatever you call them), Steinski and Double Dee open for DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist's
The Hard Sell (made even better by the Ben Stokes visuals). [link]

Instigator - Reduced Materials
Full disclosure: shameless self-promotion. However, strictly speaking, this
is the music I listened to most in 2008. It's my final release as "Instigator", much as this is my final post of 2008. Cheers! [link]


Stop Making Money Off My Vote Already

There's a lot of chatter this morning about the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Now, we're used to corruption in this state's politics. Rod can't help but have dollar signs in his eyes - that's how Illinois politics works. (Either you're corrupt and unethical like Rod and Ryan, or you're a completely moronic bigot like James Meeks or Monique Davis.) But Rod's arrest this morning reveals that there's yet another asshole desperate to make a quick buck off the way America voted last month.

What bothers me is the fact that no one seems offended by any of the innumerable other attempts to make money off Barack Obama's president-elect status. Every chump out there is already serving not only to cheapen Obama's presidency before he takes office, but to prolong America's reputation as a nation of blithering idiots. (If we made sense and acted responsibly, I suppose we couldn't call ourselves Americans, could we?) Too many of our fellow Americans are wasting their precious dollars on useless novelty items that commemorate a presidency that has yet to happen. Obama plates, Obama t-shirts and buttons, Obama lipgloss, wine, mousepad, pocket-knife keychains, teddy bears, action figures and bobble heads -- all this and HE HASN'T DONE ANYTHING YET! This is worse than gloating, people. It's stupid and pathetic.

The people behind this crass commercialization, and the idiots buying their wares, make me (still) embarrassed to be American and (particularly) sick to be a resident of Illinois. They should all be locked up with Blago. And then I should really think about moving elsewhere.