Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Top 29 of 2009

As promised, here are my favorite tracks from 2009. I figure 29 of them is good, given a lot of the songs I dug last year were from 2007 or 2008 so that narrowed the field.

Drumroll please...

29. 7 Worlds Collide "Red Wine Bottle"

28. A Place To Bury Strangers "In Your Heart"

27. Baby Gravy "You Set Me On Fire"

26. Wes Carr "You"

25. Starlight Mints "Paralyzed"

24. La Roux "I'm Not Your Toy [Data Remix]"

23. Chris Cornell "Enemy"

22. Carbon Leaf "Another Man's Woman"

21. Blue October "Say It"

20. Mechanical Moth "Black Queen Style"

19. Dan Black "Yours"

18. Juliette Lewis "Fantasy Bar"

17. Smile Empty Soul "Don't Ever Leave"

16. Eyes Set To Kill "The World Outside"

15. White Lies "To Lose My Life"

14. Sugar Army "Tongues In Cheeks"

13. Project Jenny, Project Jan "Pins & Needles"

12. Metric "Gold Guns Girls"

11. Peter Bjorn & John "It Don't Move Me [The Knocks remix]"

10. Bear in Heaven "You Do You"

09. The Color Turning "Me vs Me"

08. Doves "Kingdom Of Rust"

07. Simian Mobile Disco "Audacity of Huge"

06. Sliversun Pickups "Panic Switch"

05. The Ropes "Be My Gun"

04. FUKKK OFFF "Love Me Hate Me Kiss Me Kill Me"

03. Manchester Orchestra "Wolves At Night"

02. K-OS "Uptown Girl"

01. Bombay Bicycle Club "Evening/Morning"

"I fed them bullshit, I fed them fake gold. We all were waiting..." - Summerbirds in the Cellar, Beware of False Prophets

Goodbye "Kennedy Seat"

Okay, okay, I won't gloat too much. I knew Brown was going to win, didn't you?

Man, I can't wait for November now. Halloween and the dems getting their asses handed to them will happen the same week!

"Make every phone ring at exactly 11:14, we'll tied up the lines, throw in the wrench, make a big enough stink, make you gnash your teeth at night, we just might... throw some money at it."- Black Lipstick, Throw Some Money At It

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby Got Shot

Finally, after waiting for months for NH to get enough stock in, I got my flu shot today. Who ever would have guessed that people would be so eager to have a needle jabbed in their arm? (A lot of people are getting a nasal mist, but I'm not one of the people allowed to due to having asthma.) If anyone out there is wondering, it doesn't hurt. I barely felt it.

I'm really relieved to have gotten the shot at last because so many of my coworkers think nothing of bringing their germs into work with them when they're under the weather. That's how I got the flu the only time I ever have. I know it'll take a week or so before I'm fully immune to this flu, but that's okay. I'm just glad to have gotten it now, when the normal peak of flu season is still a month off.

FYI - when determining which version you should get, the question can be a little vague. "Are you in good health" is code for asking if you have asthma or an auto-immune disorder, so if you do, say no, and they'll assign you to get the shot rather than the mist.

Stay well!

"You make me sick, but I love what we're doing here" - Egypt Central, You Make Me Sick

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

December Music

I'm working on a list of best singles from 2009 (once I'm finished adding years to songs), but it might take me another week or so to get my act together on that. Having 3/4ths of your Christmas vacation unexpectedly canceled does stuff like that to even the most anal rententive of music listeners. You can bet my best of list won't have The Mountain Goats, Animal Collective, Neko Case, or The Flaming Lips on it, unlike Pitchfork's. blech.

Anyway, besides listening to my favorite Christmas songs, I added a whole bunch of new MP3s to my collection last month.

30 Seconds To Mars - This Is War
A Match For The Curious - Solid Ground
Able Baker Fox - Brand New Moses
Absent Kid - Shoot On Sight
AFI - Prelude 12 21
As Tall As Lions - You Can't Take It With You
Astro Firs - Battery Power
Bear In Heaven - You Do You
Blood On The Tracks - Without You
Blue Knives - Million Stars
Bombay Bicycle Club - What If
Boy & Bear - Mexican Mavis
Brand New - Sowing Season (Yeah)
Dan Bryk - Love Me For Christmas
Deacon Blue - Your Town
Deadboy & the Elephantmen - Waking Up Insane
Dirty South - Sleazy
Dredg - I Don't Know
Elevator - Memories Of You
Elf Power - The Spider And The Fly
Elysian Fields - Bend Your Mind
Evermore - It's Too Late
Field Music - She Can Do What She Wants
Flyleaf - Again
Ginny Clee - I Wrote Your Name
Grand Prize - Break Me
Gyroscope - Beware Wolf
Hymns of Eden - All I Need
Juliette Lewis - Ghosts
Kori Linae Carothers - Crystal Fields
Looking For Heather - Night Song
Noon Blue - We Always Said
Pearl Jam - Immortality (I know, I'm surprised too given I generally dislike them)
Plants and Animals - Feedback In The Field
Rachael Yamagata - Faster
Red - Death of Me
Shooting John - War (I Hardly Know You)
Simon Field - Need Out
Starlight Mints - Paralyzed
Taking Back Sunday - Sink Into Me
The Bicycles - Australia
The Cure - Lullaby
The Kooks - Do You Wanna
The Phoebus Mass - Attention Seeking Behaviour
The Pigeon Detectives - This Is An Emergency
Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun - Bones
William Fitzsimmons - Heartless (Kanye West cover?!)
Winter Gloves - Invisible

As usual:
Bold = I have other songs by them in my mp3/cd collection
Italic = I'd heard but didn't like other songs by them
neither = never heard of them before

So...if I really like a song, I'm prone to putting it on repeat...for as long as an hour or two. So it shouldn't surprise you, then, that not only do I collect multiple versions of my favorite Christmas songs (all neatly filed into folders by song title), I also on occasion will listen to several versions of the same song all in a row too. This apparently makes other people around me a little stabby, but what can you do?

I'll limit myself just to a favorite version of each of my favorite holiday songs, though.

Robert Downey Jr - Wish I Had A River (from Ally McBeal)
Barenaked Ladies - Footprints
Elvis - Blue Christmas
August Burns Red - Carol of the Bells
Death Cab for Cutie - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Christine McVie- Coventry Carol
Vertical Horizon - I Believe in Father Christmas
The Kinks - Father Christmas
Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings
Wham - Last Christmas of the twenty-two versions I have, I still like this one best
Doll Squad - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)
As Fast As - Wonderful Christmastime I like this despite their association with Rusted Root

"Satan, settle down. Keep your trousers on. You can warm the globe, but leave my wretched soul alone. I don't know you, and I don't owe you a thing." - Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos, A Children's Crusade on Acid

Horror for Wusses

Warning: this rant contains spoilers for Paranormal Activity and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.

When I'm in charge around here, people who are complete wusses will no longer be allowed to recommend "scary" books or movies. Why? Because their picks oughtn't scare anyone who doesn't sleep with a nightlight on. As to why I'm het up about this all of the sudden, I recently saw the movie and read the book listed above.

Let's take on Paranormal Activity first. I want to know what people in the trailer were watching, because it couldn't have been this movie. You ever watch that show ghost hunters or its clones, and sit through people making a fuss about a loud noise or two, and maybe a book falling off a shelf? This movie exactly like that. Except it also contains two fairly unlikable characters who swear a lot, and forbid each other from doing things. If you think a moving sheet or footprints in flour are scary, you're in for a treat. Otherwise, you'll probably think the movie is lame too.

Then there's The Little Stranger. A book that is almost 500 pages long and nothing happens. Ever. I'm going to spoil this for you right now and spare you the pain of reading it: the so-called scariest parts of the book - according to people who actually liked the book, mind you - involve the terror of moving a cabinet and discovering that someone wrote on a wall (gasp!) and another scene where a shadowy figure runs up and down a hallway (covers eyes). Don't you feel a thrill of fear reading about that? You won't after suffering through the other 460 pages of descriptions about why living in a decaying mansion sucks and why a homely girl who won't be loved by anyone else not putting out for you sucks, either. This is the tamest, most tepid, most tedious ghost story I have ever read...considering I have an English education degree and have read lots of boring books, that's saying a lot. I'm angrier about it than the movie, because the book took a lot longer than two hours to read.

So, if you recommend either of these works, you're going on my secret list of people to ignore recommendations from. You'll be joining people who think House of Leaves was a horror novel, and those who wet themselves with fright while watching The Ring or The Grudge. That is all.

"Who's getting scared? Who's getting scared now?" - Imogen Heap, Getting Scared