Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The 2007 Feltron Annual Report is a well done report on the authors year.
And absolutely riveting.
I like the disclaimer on the drinks section: "Please note: Due to the vagaries of the author's recollection while consuming alcohol, several drinks may have gone unrecorded."
Friday, January 11, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
He has written several books including the lauded Kitchen Confidential.
There is an interesting interview with him in The Onion.
In this interview he talks about writing fiction and he says,
"Things I can't say in non-fiction, I can say in fiction. But there's that damn plot thing. I really resent plot. I like creating characters and environments. That's really fun for me. But having to create a story arc is something I have always resented."
And here is where I get to my point, a few weeks ago, listening to MPR, I heard an interview with Nora Ephron where she says dissmisively that she can't watch a lot of TV because she like "stories," that she likes "plots." It had a lot to do with the way she said it, but it just seemed like the most arrogant thing to say. As if she were above anything that was just mindless fun, and that the people who might enjoy an hour of watching somebody get drunk and be a smartass are base and incapable of creating art.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Part One is here.
7. Dress Blues – Jason Isbell
This is a devastating song about losing a friend in the war. Every couplet is like its own poignant vignette of the way loss affects people. “Now the high school gymnasium's ready/ full of flowers and old legionnaires/ Nobody showed up to protest/ just sniffle and stare
“But there's red, white, and blue in the rafters/ and there's silent old men from the corps/ What did they say when they shipped you away/ to fight somebody's
8. Chemicals Collide – Cloud Cult
This album, The Meaning of 8, hit me hard this year. The theme of loving and losing a child, and the vivid descriptions of a child’s carefree life resonated intensely to me. Becoming a parent this year, I can’t imagine not filtering the contents of this album through that lens. This CD was in my car when my daughter was born and I remember listening to it on my way to the hospital one morning when my daughter was just a few days old. It struck me dumb, as I spent that week in a daze, listening to lines like, “These days it’s hard to tell what’s outside from what’s in my mind.”
9. All The Stars – The Evening Rig
10. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) – The Ramones
The obligatory Christmas song on my CD. Not the greatest song, but I think it works.
11. Bus12 – The Umbrella Sequence
This came of the underrated record, Events. I just love the part where the music drops out and the last syllable of the word “Possibly” sails up and bridges the gap until the electronic-pop music starts again. This whole song is worth it for me just for those five seconds.
12. John Allyn Smith Sails –
Just as I knew that Mouthful of Bees would open this mix CD, I knew this
previous spectaculars: 2006 2005
Friday, January 04, 2008
1. The Now – Mouthful of Bees
I knew from the moment I heard this song, the first track on my mix CD would belong to this group of youngsters. A frenetic, warbling, lo-fi song filled with a propulsive drum beat and guitar hooks to make Doug Martsch jealous.
2. Diggin’ on You – Stook!
I don’t know if this is the best song on Stook’s newest record, When the Need hit the Wax. The whole album is great with tracks like “Lovesick Firecracker” and “
3. Trampolining –
I was racking my brain, thinking off all the bands we covered in the HWTS podcasts this year. This is one that I kind of forgot about, but listening to it again, I have to say this is just catchy-as-hell pop song. And that is pretty much all I know about Ice Palace, except that their album, Bright Leaf Left, came out on Darren Jackson’s (Kid Dakota) label, Speakerphone Records.
4. Soulful Automatic – Little Man
Last year, when Duplomacy’s album, All These Long Drives, came out, I told people it would be in everybody’s year-end best-of list. They made it to mine, but not many other peoples. I said the same thing this year when Little Man’s album came out. It’s definitely on my list, and I’ve seen it on a few others. A classic-rock infused record, the songs are just plain good, and that’ll get me every time.
5. The National Side – Romantica
I was a big fan of Romantica’s first album; It’s Your Weakness that I Want. When I first heard the new album,
I haven’t always been a fan of Olson’s work outside of the Jayhawks. The Creekdippers seemed a bit too hippie for me. This album, however, features Olson’s intimate and fragile songwriting without a lot of pretext. This is what I love about music—the artist laying his or her feeling out on the table and saying, “have at it.” This song has nothing to do with the
Part two is here.
Dan Israel - Triangle
Matthew Ryan - Blackbird
His Mischief - Rock Song (Hyperopia)
Cloud Cult - Pretty Voice
Thursday, January 03, 2008
The commercial spoofs Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights." The problem with all of this is that the songs just gets stuck in my head. I wake up in the middle of the night with that song playing in my head. Driving to work, I'm singing, "Let me sleep on it/ Baby, Baby, Let me sleep on it." Please, Please, someone make it stop...
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
I thought that there would be more local music on The Current’s top 89 songs of 2007. Six out of 89 is not a very good showing; I don’t think that necessarily reflects the quality of local music in the past year, but the quality of voters in the poll. The highest ranking artist is Brother Ali, which is no surprise, but I thought that he and Cloud Cult would crack the top 20, at least.
20. Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth
22. Cloud Cult – The Meaning of 8
27. Dan Wilson – Free Life
42. Low – Drums and Guns
69. Prince – Planet Earth
79. The Alarmists – The Ghost and the Hired Gun
I did vote in the poll, but I can’t remember what I picked exactly. Locally, I know that I picked Brother Ali and Cloud Cult. I also picked Romantica, The Glad Version and Dan Israel. There were two artists that were not on the ballot, surprisingly, but I wrote them in anyway. They were Little Man and Stook. Some of the national acts I chose were Wilco and