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Local CD honor roll December 30 2000

Critics: Jeremy Arieh, Mitchell Foy, Blake Guthrie, Hal Horowitz, Roni Sarig, Lee Smith, Tony Ware, Gregory Nicoll and Bryan Powell
?ANANDA PROJECT, Release (King Street); Chris Brann's ambitious, aqueous album of house music yearning to be released from its 4/4 beat and synth shackles. (TW)
BACH ON A HOOK, Back on a Stick (Pearineel); Chris Verene's twisted take on "Hooked on Classics"-style violin/drums rock arrangements. (RS)
BOB, Pendulum (self-release); distressed guitars, fragmented rants, splintery drumming and rumbling bass make it BOB's best (available for free at www.bob-atlanta.com). (LS)
THE BOGUES, Kitchen Sink Serenade (Casino); pure pop: jangly guitars, punky and smooth vocals mark a friendly, literate, danceable collection. (LS)
MARCELO CAMERA, Peixe Fora D'Agua (Scaramouche); authentic and exquisite Brazilian pop. (RS)
CASPAR HAUSER (home-made cassette); young experimentalists from Rome with healthy willingness to follow wherever the sonic waves lead. (MF)
CASPER FANDANGO AND HIS TINY SICK TEARS , How's Your Hand (Lookit Meee); eccentric low-fi pop and studio experimentation keeps it weird and catchy. (RS)
CAT POWER, The Covers Record (Matador); Chan Marshall remakes classic rock repertoire as her own personal confession. (RS)
THE CLOSE, 20,000 + (Moodswing); trounces between math, emo, and post-punk, keeping the momentum moving; highschool appeal with freaky falsetto and off-key backups; date music for the indie-rock set. (MF)
COLLECTIVE SOUL, Blender (Atlantic); big songs, big sound, big production and big guest star (Elton) yields big sales. (HH)
SEAN COSTELLO, Cuttin' In (Landslide); showed vocal growth, guitar economy and the feel of a mid-'50s recording. (BP)
COWBOY ENVY, Wagons Ho! (Niki Viki); three little ladies whip Riders in the Sky at their own playful game. (GN)
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, Alabama Ass Whuppin' (Secondheaven.com); band faves "live and loud way down in Georgia." (RS)
ELF POWER, Winter Is Coming (Sugar Free); the most rocking Elephant 6 band, full of unpredictable melodies; sweet on the surface, but dark and dense inside. (TW)
TINSLEY ELLIS, Kingpin (Capricorn); should've-been local blues/rock guitar hero's most soulful album. (HH)
EVAN AND JARON, Evan and Jaron (Columbia); post-boy-band pop that's surprising well-crafted and immaculately performed. (RS)
GENTLE READERS, Hihoney (Flat Earth); mixing '60s guitar jangle, '70s artschool punk, '80s pop production and a '90s literary bent. (LS)
THE GLANDS, The Glands (Capricorn); slightly skewed pop, sometimes spooky and off-kilter, fills the ears with endorphins. (TW)
GOLD SPARKLE BAND, Nu*Soul Zodiac (Squealer); further out-jazz explorations by this smart and tasteful Atlanta/NYC quartet. (RS)
CLAY HARPER, Main Street (Terminus); heard by few, Harper's first "adult" concept album is dark and dandy with cameos by tons of locals. (LS)
HERITAGE CHERRY, Waiting for the Wind to Blow (self release); charming, unpretentious mix of folk, jazz, country and pop with melodic, slightly off-kilter songs. (HH)
JANAH, World That Surrounds You (self-release); bombastic hippie-rock with energy and exoticism that makes all the difference. (RS)
JAPANCAKES, The Sleepy Strange (Kindercore); swirling, sweet and pedal steel-driven; hypnotic, kaleidoscopic enough to make 10-minute songs worth sitting through. (TW)
JUCIFER, Calling All Cars on the Vegas Strip (Capricorn); big racket from a small group, alternating sultry purring with head-ripping aggression. (RS)
MATTHEW KAHLER, Out of the Blue (SMG); Forget the James Taylor comparisons, the title track alone places it among the year's best. (BG)
KING JOHNSON, Luck So Strange (self-release); reached a new level as performers and songwriters by moving farther from blues roots, incorporating jazz, funk and rock. (BP)
LEECHMILK, Starvation of Locusts (Spare Change); blood-drenched mushcore proves the group has visited the Lord of primordial ooze and signed the bottom line. (MF)
LITTLE RED ROCKET, It's in the Sound (Monolyth); sophomore mission is a blast of horn-driven girl-group charm and indie rock on a giddy sugar high. (LS)
MARVELOUS 3, ReadySexGo! (Elektra); Atlanta's Cheap Trick pounds out trashy, garage pop with enough spunk to make you overlook otherwise mediocre songs. (HH)
MASSINFLUENCE, The Underground Science (Boulevard Connection); subterranean hip-hop with plenty of intelligence and flavor. (RS)
MICRANOTS, Obelisk Movements (Sub Verse); pan-Africanist hip-hop, from the old-school but in the new world. (RS)
MOONDY, Turnip (Bitter Poodle); a low-key and intimate set of exceptional pop songs made by friends and about friends. (RS)
MOTO-LITAS, Talk Your Way Out of This (self-release); bringing back memories of the early '80s scene, a winning combo of surf guitars, chirpy vocals and new-wave sensibilities. (LS)
MUDCAT, Mo' Better Chicken (self-release); The latest artifact proving Dudeck and friends keep getting less typical and more interesting. (BP)
SHAWN MULLINS, Beneath the Velvet Sun (Columbia); a varied landscape anchored by gritty, folky, cinematic worldview amped by modern production. (LS)
MYSSOURI, Furnacesongs EP (self-release); dark, mysterious, spooky and melodic; moody enough to stick with you for weeks. (HH)
DIANA OBSCURA, Diana Obscura (self-released); an ethereal fairy tale of spooky ravens, sirens and saints by cellist/vocalist with literary intelligence and chilly intensity. (LS)
OCELOT, Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow (Samizdat); jagged and suspenseful, building from simple chords to energetic, instrumental climaxes. (JA)
PINEAL VENTANA, Axes to Ice (Unit Circle); cerebral art rock with powerful rhythms and eerie vocals shows the inscrutable quintet's constant improvement and inflexible integrity. (JA)
PLASTIC PLAN, Basic (Samizdat); quirkrock prog-instrumentalists with synth-pop like some krautrock/Jan Hammer hybrid. (TW)
POUFF, Pouff's Playland (self-release); released through MP3.com, Pouff showed how anyone could produce and distribute label-quality skittery breakbeat. (TW)
REHAB, Southern Discomfort (Epic); tuneful rap-rock with humor, intelligence and feeling. (RS)
DORIA ROBERTS, RadioDoria (Hurricane Doria); collection of acoustic political songs from "pissed-off rock 'n' roll dyke nigger bitch." (RS)
ROCK*A*TEENS, Sweet Bird of Youth (Merge); more upbeat and tuneful than ever, capturing their signature sound — like a calliope reverberating down dark alleyways. (JA/TW)
SAVATH+SAVALAS, Folk Songs for Trains, Trees and Honey (Hefty); more to do with mouse clicking than cricket chirping, Scott Herren still managed a more organic album than most live bands. (TW)
SEELY, Winter Birds (Koch); their most fully realized effort, loaded with buzzing samples, blissful melodies and vocal perfection. (JA)
6X, Thunder Bomb (Daemon Records); a winning and witty collection of supercharged turbo bubblegum firecrackers. (LS)
SLIM FATZ, Hard Time Ago (Raw); ragged, riveting and criminally overlooked; Fatz's gritty voice chills with edgy simplicity. (HH)
SOME SOVIET STATION, Some Soviet Station (Moodswing); impressive debut from local punk/emo trio that attacks each song with intensity and melodic power. (JA)
SOUND TRIBE SECTOR 9, Offered Schematics Suggesting Peace (Landslide); an evolutionary leap for electronica-jam band, connecting jazzy drum 'n' bass and funky improvisation. (TW)
STB, Spit (Elbo); explosive yet intimate, capturing the empowerment trio's live sonic fury. (LS)
THE UNION, To Be Good at Something (Ghostmeat); unsung pop heroes fly high with scratchy acoustic shuffles and fuzzed-out paint-peelers. (LS)
VARIOUS ARTISTS, Hidden Tracks (Railroad Earth); with rare and unreleased material by local scene legends (Benjamin, Kelly Hogan), a priceless snapshot of pre-'96 Atlanta art-rock scene. (GN)
BEVERLY WATKINS, Back in Business (MusicMaker/Cello); with a variety of tempos and grooves, showcased Watkins' considerable power and presence as a bandleader. (BP)
WOGGLES, Fractured (Telstar Records); twang gang fires up a sizzling baker's dozen of all-original teen dance party stompers. (GN)
SHANNON WRIGHT, Maps of Tacit (Quarterstick); raw and emotionally intimate indie rock, full of disorienting sounds and syntax. (RS)
YOUNG ANTIQUES, Wardrobe for a Jet Weekend (self-release); intelligent, heartfelt and inspiring combination of country, punk and folk, with hooks to spare. (LS)