December 31, 2010

My 2010 Movie List

Here are, I think, all the movies I saw in 2010. I have tried to divide them up from best to worst according to how I feel right now about them. As you can see, we view a lot of "kid" movies. Most of the time we try to see the ones even parents will like and it usually turns out that way, thank goodness. There were actually some great family movies this year. Also, it should be noted that the top 5 are pretty interchangeable.

The Top of the Heap
1. Inception
2. The Social Network
3. How to Train Your Dragon
4. Toy Story 3
5. The King's Speech
6. Black Swan
7. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
8. True Grit
9. Nanny McPhee Returns
10. Tangled

Very Good, Indeed
The Fighter
127 Hours
Shutter Island
The Town
Iron Man 2
Kick Ass
The Kids Are All Right
The Other Guys

Hearty Entertainment
Harvey Porter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Despicable Me
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole
It's Kind of a Funny Story
The Crazies
Get Him to the Greek

Had a Few Good Qualities
Let Me In
Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Sorcerer's Apprentice
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Bored Me, Tried Too Hard or Both
Alice in Wonderland
Tron Legacy
Repo Men

But for the Company, a Total Waste of Time
Clash of the Titans
Jonah Hex

Haven't Seen But Wish I Had:
Ghost Writer
Knight and Day
Date Night
Hot Tub Time Machine

So how was your 2010 in movies? Let's hear it in the comments.

December 30, 2010

My 2010 Favorite Music List

I feel like I personally slacked in my music enjoyment duties this year. There were a few albums I completely missed by artists that I really like. There were new bands that I meant to check out that I never did. Life shifted into overdrive this year and it was really good but extremely busy. I blame my music slacking on that. Here's what I have for you.*


"Fortune" - Midlake from The Courage of Others
"Sun Hands" - Local Natives from Gorilla Manor
"Swim" - Surfer Blood from Astro Coast
"Heirloom" and "Enchanting Ghost"- Sufjan Stevens from All Delighted People EP
"I Walked" - Sufjan Stevens from The Age of Adz
"Your Hands (Together)" - The New Pornographers from Together
"Excuses"- The Morning Benders from Big Echo
"All the Pennies" and "Hourglass" - Mindy Gledhill from Anchor
"That's Some Dream" - Good Old War from Good Old War
"On My Way Back Home" - Band of Horses from Infinite Arms
"We Used to Wait" and "Wasted Hours" - Arcade Fire from The Suburbs
"Careful Crossers" and "Dreams of Dreams" - Fang Island from Fang Island
"Sailing to Nowhere" - Broken Bells from Broken Bells
"Grenade" - Bruno Mars from Doo-Woops & Hooligans
"Double Rainbow Song (feat. Yosemitebear)" - The Gregory Brothers from the Internet
"Daddy Ate My Fries" - Marceline from Adventure Time (with Finn and Jake)
"Love is My Legs" - from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (David Yazbek)


The Suburbs - Arcade Fire
Astro Coast - Surfer Blood
All Delighted People EP - Sufjan Stevens
Anchor - Mindy Gledhill
Gorilla Manor - Local Natives
Fang Island - Fang Island
Broken Bells - Broken Bells
Teen Dream - Beach House
Odd Blood - Yeasayer
The Courage of Others - Midlake

*List subject to change as memories of 2010 come back to me.

Albums I might have liked if I had listened to them more (or at all):

Contra - Vampire Weekend
Halcyon Digest - Deerhunter
This is Happening - LCD Soundsystem
Body Talk - Robyn
Lisbon - The Walkmen
Congratulations - MGMT

So, readers, what did I miss? Tell me about your year in music.

November 1, 2010


Swirling leaves in the brisk air
smell sweet and wet, lost their green

Pumpkins carved, once shined so bright
are now memories and mold

Short days, rusty sunsets turn
fast to cold and smokey nights

Two figures woven tightly
together, cashmere sweater

One in his thoughts, the other

© 2002

July 22, 2010

What's On My iPhone?

I am the owner of a really old school iPhone. It's the 3G. Yep. But I don't mind. I love it, my kids love it and Amelia ... hates typing on it.

Anyway, I thought I'd do a short series on my favorite iPhone applications. I don't know what it will end up covering, as I did not outline this post before hand. I'm just going to take a look at my phone and hope that whatever I decide to write encourages reader participation.

Here goes.


Opera Mini - I use this browser for my phone 80% of the time. I just like the interface more.
Safari - Standard. Sometimes my finger accidentally touches it so I use it.


Tumblr - I've only used the app to post to my Tumblr blog once. But I use it to edit and read the Tumblr people I follow a lot. It's a great mobile blogging app.

Twitter for iPhone - I tried 2-3 other apps for Twitter before settling on this one. It doesn't have all the whistles and bells of other apps but the interface is the most user friendly, in my opinion.

Facebook - If you turn off push notifications for this app, it can be enjoyable if you just want to check in on what's going on with your friends while you are in line at the DMV.

Foursquare - I used this then stopped and used Yelp. I figured out the reason I hated using either one for a while was that no one I knew was using a location game app at all. When that changed and more people I knew got on Foursquare, I got the app and I've been a little addicted ever since. Basically, the GPS in your phone tells the app where you are and you can "check in" to stores, gas stations, theaters, etc. to get points and badges. It's also fun to see what other people are up to. Sometimes you'll see you are at Costco or a movie at the same time as one of your friends so you can avoid them! I kid. Foursquare can get really competitive too. I still get a little bitter when someone steals my Mayorships.

Glue - This one is like Foursquare for your media. Check in to TV Shows, movies and rate everything from games to music and earn badges and expert status. Like Foursquare, it will be better when more people I actually know use it.


Wikipedia - I use this at least once a day.

Evernote - This app syncs with the version on my computer so I always have the important articles or notes or webpages I clipped within a touch away.

Urbanspoon - Don't know the area you are in? This app will help you select something near you based on your mood and wallet.

Camera+ - Like the regular camera app but better.

UStream - Live streaming video to the Ustream website. People can tune in live or watch the videos later. I use it mostly at the kids' school performances.

PS Mobile - Photoshop for iPhone. 'Nuff said?

Voice Memos - Our 6 yo loves to mess around with this. She loves the sound of her own voice. (She also likes to watch herself in the mirror when she cries too but that's another story.) I use this for recording thoughts, ideas and speakerphone calls at work.

AFCU Mobile - I love the interface and how simple it is to use. You can do transfers, pay bills and other finance stuff right from the phone. I should never dip into my overdraft again! (But it will happen anyway.)

CraigsPro - Craigslist for iPhone. I've used this to take pictures of and post things we don't need anymore. Sold an old oven and microwave for $200 in just a few days without ever touching my computer to do it.

WebMD - What's this lump?!!!?!!!11!!?! Ah, just an allergic reaction to stress. Nothing to worry about. Or is there???!!!?!?!!1


Fandango - Decide to see a popular movie at the last minute? Buy your tickets with your phone and skip the line. This worked great recently when we showed up to Wynnsong 12 and there were 50 people in line for tickets and one person running the box office. We went right past all of it.

Pandora - Eerily knows just what to play for you based on what you've told it you like or what you're in the mood to hear. It's a staple during Saturday chores.

PhoneFlicks - Netflix for iPhone ... kind of. Search, add or arrange your queue from your iPhone. You are all using Netflix, right?

ESPN ScoreCenter - I only really use this during the NBA season. I don't get many opportunities to watch Utah Jazz games but this can keep me updated with push notifications of the score at the end of each quarter. If I want to dig deeper into stats and even read the recap, I can to that too.

iBooks - Still new to this one but I love that I can upload all my PDFs to it for quick reading.

Stanza - Access to hundreds and thousands of free books on all my phone. I still prefer to turn pages in an actual book but this is a good replacement if I want to read Alice in Wonderland to the kids but don't want to add it to our busting-at-the-seams bookshelves.


Plants vs. Zombies - The best game for the iPhone. Period. Pick the right plants to get those pesky undead OFF YOUR LAWN.

Armory - For World of Warcraft. You can't play from your phone but you can check your character stats, look at your guild, use the talent calculator or buy/sell stuff in the auction house. I don't use it much but I like that it's there for when the urge to get my nerd on hits.

CLUE - Kids love this one. It's a spin on the original board game where you are a reporter investigating Mr. Boddy's death. Each time you win, the difficulty rises. We've got at least 3 weeks of fun out of it for 99 cents.

Game of Life - Again, it's like the board game but can be played on trips in the car or while you are waiting for your food at a restaurant or after dinner at the house if you don't want to get the real game down off the shelf. Kids like this one a lot too.

Bloons TD - The second best game for the iPhone. If you like tower defense, this is the game for you. It's got monkeys trying to pop various balloons before they get past. Monkeys and balloons. What's not to love?

Battle of Puppets - A castle defense game except you are a touring puppet show battling other shows' puppets as you travel to Broadway. It's a great looking game.

Dots Free - The classic dots game you used to play in church. Now you can play on your phone.

LocknRoll - A dice puzzle game. I don't know what else to write. Try it. It's addicting.

Lux Touch - Basically the game of Risk. Classic.

And that's it. Those are either the apps I use most often or the ones I like the most when I actually get to use them. I do love the iPhone and the best thing about it is the apps. So, what did I miss? What do you all like to use and why? Let me know in the comments.

March 12, 2010

I Watch Twilight and Scott Pilgrim Trailers and React

Warning: There is no screaming or nudity in this video.

UPDATE: I watched the "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World" trailer to give things an even fight (stuff many girls are crazy about against stuff many guys are crazy about). It is below. There is also no screaming or nudity in this video.

March 6, 2010

There Is Today

We can't see ten years from now
If the days will be good to us or
Who is finally rich or poor
No one can see where we will be
But, I hope you are happy

Nobody knows five years from now
If the world is gone or at peace
Or if there is a cure for anything
We can't see who still knows each other
But, I’m sure you are beautiful

No gypsy can predict next year
Who is married or dying
Or who will always be alone
But, if you finally let yourself trust
I hope it healed you

No fortune teller sees it all
But there is one thing I know
Looking to tomorrow and
Seeing you there is all I need
In my life

March 3, 2010

Long Night

Long Night

In the glass, reflection distorted
by rounded edges and
golden mixture
of warmth. 

At the mirror, an imperfect copy
noses the dusty
white picket fence
of courage.

Steadying the chamber, a clouded
figure cinches the
belt and buries the point
of comfort.

Seeing black, remembering
childhood in a moment. 
Eyes wet, then quiet
breath slowing, saying


© 2002

March 1, 2010

Firm Handshake

I wrote this in April of 2002 for a college class. I have taken some authorship liberties and corrected or removed some of the original. However, I do leave most of the style choices intact so you can see what I was attempting (failure or not) to communicate. 

So. Life is suffering. Most of us know this, realize this. It isn’t that life doesn’t have joy or light or good. It does. Life does. But, suffering is a constant. It is a constant for humankind and for me. Jesus knew this. He walked the earth and focused on the relief of suffering. He taught a gospel of suffering. He died suffering. If you are a Christian, you believe he did this for you and me to show us an example. I think he suffered because we all do. If God came to earth, he had to get a feel for what it felt like to be here. Suffer. What amazes me now is some people still don’t get it. The big question on many of their minds is "Why?" Doesn’t the fact that God never answers this question sort of answer the question? We are alone so we can learn suffering and God lets us. People who think life is always supposed to be good are the ones who are most upset when it isn’t. I’m not one of them. I’m not surprised anymore. I accept the fact that it will be hard. And, there was a girl.

Annie Dillard's "Holy the Firm" got me thinking about all of this. I agreed with many of her assertions but saw a searching and confused person as well. Confused like many of us. This got me thinking that there should be no “why.” We are not supposed to question God. This isn’t because he is arrogant or quiet or dead. It is because we do not need to ask. Our answer is life. Despite my hard times, I am a happy person. I am usually a kind and loving person. I have learned that, to achieve the most happiness and love, I must risk. Suffering is a product of risk. However, so is love and joy and light and good. Knowing the odds, I risked my heart and allowed myself to fall for this girl. I needed to. It had been awhile. She burst into my life, I loved her and she taught me suffering. The first thing I wanted to teach myself about risk? Fuck risk. The real thing I learned? For some reason, I would do it again in a second. Not because I enjoyed the pain or the hurt or how she changed or didn’t want to listen anymore or…or…or. It was that I enjoyed the good so much. And, there was so much good. I still thank her to this day for that. Thank you.

I remember the day I realized this girl was going to teach me something. I had just been to my sister’s grave for the first time since her passing. She would have been 43. My sister Carrie suffered through life, at times, but not at the end. I liked visiting her but it was very difficult. It is a good spot near a tree and the road. It is the easiest grave to locate of all my Dead. Toward the end of this day, this hard and tender day, I wanted to be somewhere safe. Driving home, my jeans still had green and brown memories of her in half-circles on my knees. “Please, God…let Carrie be safe and Mom and…me.” Let me. But, the girl wouldn’t let me. Instead, my suffering was weak, selfish and unattractive. I lay there and thought for the first time, “She is going to teach me something and I’m not going to like it.” I wonder what Carrie was thinking then. I wonder. That day she lay in a cold coffin and I said goodbye, we were both unattractive and weak. So, I had paid a somber visit and, later that evening, this girl could not understand my grief. It had only been two months. All I wanted was some time to mourn and some safety and that wasn’t allowed. I felt foolish for needing that. Since then, I often look back on the misery and heartbreak this girl put on me. I look back and know that we needed each other for a time. Time has been good to me. I still thank her for the good but I also thank her for the suffering. It is mine.

Most of the time we think we'd never want to relive something terrible. We would be crazy to want loss or betrayal or embarrassment or pain or death again. However, there is this part of us that does wish we could have some moments back. We think that if we get them back, it would be different. I have moments sometimes where I get to choose again. Most of the time I choose well. Recently I had a chance. Girl and I had been apart a month and a half. I had time to get over her. To realize I was better without her. To tell myself she was better without me. I thought I was prepared. If we saw each other again, I would be ready. And, the time came. The Les Miserables tickets purchased became our ticket to relive some of these moments.

I thought I was prepared. We had spoken during our hiatus. I had heard her voice so seeing her would not be that different. Then, I saw her. In that moment, I wanted to take Jean Valjean’s brick and throw it through the nearest window and Javert can cart me away for 19 years. Maybe I’ll forget her then. But, that was fiction and France and this was real. So, I swallowed my lump and we went out together. It wasn’t supposed to be like this: it was nice. Time does heal some things. We kissed in the parking lot. I made some good choices that night as I got to do some things over and say some things I had wanted to say. I was able to see that we could probably and honestly be friends. She would no longer be “girl.” She would again have a name and be beautiful. I felt a little upside down. And, there was a vagabond.

This is where it all comes together. This is where the tears start. This is, as Dillard says, the joke of the world and I don’t see the rake. I am high from a kiss, a kiss from a woman who has taught me more about love and suffering than anyone else. But I was about to learn more. I didn’t even see him. His wheelchair made him a chameleon against the urban cityscape. But, she saw him. I kept driving. Can I have that moment back? She said, “Is there anything we can do for that guy back there?” Give him money. “Do you have a blanket or something in here?” I have jumper cables. “I really think we should do something.” I didn’t see him. Can I have the moment back? I turn the vehicle around and I am glad. The almond-sized raindrops have turned to snow like triple-action razors, cutting diagonally down at his shape. I pull around. That cannot be a man. She is crying now. Everything happens so fast. There is a brick in my throat. Jean Valjean and Jesus put it there. I wish I had his(His) bread now. This bent figure I approach is a man. A denim flap over a stubby limb is dangling beneath his chair. He is huddled and contorted as the razor snow comes at us. Can I do anything for him? “You can buy me a cup of coffee,” he says. I hear and smell alcohol. “Isn’t there a homeless shelter?” I have five-dollars. “You have a five spot? That would be nice.”

As I go to give it to him, he is reaching to shake my hand. It is firm. Holy and firm: I am in touch with the Absolute. I feel dirty. I feel homeless. I want him to drive my date home and leave me there without a leg, clutching the five. I am worthless. What have I done for him? I gave him money to die with. He can’t use Lincoln as a shield from the hurling ice. He can’t even use Jesus. Can I have this moment back? As I let go of his hand, I know him. I see his eyes and hear his drunken voice and I know him. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." I wheel him out of the wind and against a building. He now has five-dollars and a dry spot. If it is Jesus, he'll still freeze. An ambulance pulls up because someone was smarter than I am. Vagabond will make it but not because of me. Who else died tonight? We get into the car and drive away.

I want that moment back for a hundred reasons. I want it back so I am the first to see him instead of her. I want it back so neither of us will see him. I want it back so that I am the one who calls for help. I want it back because she doesn’t deserve to feel so deeply about a stranger something she never felt for me. She cannot possibly feel something so powerful about a person I did not even see. She is the cause not the cure ... Wait. Hold on. Wait. The one who taught me how cold people can be about loss, who shut me off when I needed someone, finished me off and left me wondering how quick love can stale was teaching again. Here it was: what is my pain anyway? Nothing compared to a dead man with a five in his hand. She wanted to stop and try. Her tenderness is breaking me. “…The meanest of people show more mercy than hounding and terrorist gods,” writes Annie Dillard. Suddenly, this woman was an angel. Again, I am a fool. Can I have this moment back? I want to see its purity again. Despite our wonderfully conflicted past, I need friends like her. She wept half the way home and all I could think about was how much I loved her. Because beneath all the callousness she had shown me in moments past, beat the heart of Christ. She is Love. She is Risk. She is much of what I hate but more of what I want. She is the perfect contrast of humanity. She is a teacher. Why should we care about our past? People are dying and there needs to be more good in the world. My friends are a part of that. There is good everywhere, even in suffering. So. Vagabond suffers. She suffers. I suffer. Jesus. And, I’m starting to get it.

February 17, 2010

For Those Who Mourn

From When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d by Walt Whitman. He wrote this after the assassination of President Lincoln. He considered his friend's death, obviously, a great loss.


O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved?
And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that has gone?
And what shall my perfume be, for the grave of him I love?

Sea-winds, blown from east and west,
Blown from the eastern sea, and blown from the western sea, till there on the prairies meeting:
These, and with these, and the breath of my chant,
I perfume the grave of him I love.

February 12, 2010

Across the Table

Amidst the clamour of
busy laptops, 
sipping lips
clattering cups,
I barely hear
the words:
“My favorite movie is
Both eyes roll in my head
then out onto the floor.
From across the table,
this pop culture princess
wages war
with my patience
on a front made up of
salad trenches and
battlements of roast
beef on rye.
Her tic-tac grin
and gumball eyes
have turned this café
I have only one thought:
Disney is the new Bible
I am
the Anti-Christ.

- Published in Touchstones in the Fall of 2002

February 10, 2010

2 a.m.

Not words,
no signs or signifiers.
Not the rancid pudding
of language,
this is the fresh baked
smell of action.
A glistening sequence,
Pops and buzzes,
the squelching
feedback of motion.
Not a sweaty compromise in
positional rhetoric
but, the moonlit entanglement of
corporal consent.
Now is not
It is
a soft utterance,
the affirmation of

- Published in UVU's literary/art magazine Touchstones in Spring 2003.

February 9, 2010

Poems and Such

I've been digging through my old collections of writings from college. It's a lot of fun in most cases and a little embarrassing in others to see how my brain worked from 1998-2003. So, I think I will post the poems I've found, some stories I've written and maybe even an academic paper or two over the next few weeks.

Some will be bad.
Some will be mushy.
A few will be pretentious.
Some will be pushy.

But maybe one or two will touch me again. Make me think. Maybe some of it will be enjoyed by you. In all cases, let me know what your thoughts are. I love hearing from you.

Who knows? Maybe doing this will inspire me to write more in the present about all the things my brain is focussed on.

January 7, 2010

My Decade of Music: 2000-2009

Here is a breakdown of my favorite and/or most influential music from the past decade. I think there are close to 80 albums listed but only ranked the first 25. After that, I ordered them within their individual sections.

When I look at this list I am amazed at how each album really did have an effect on me over the years. I can look at one title and start playing it in my head and remember specific places and people and feelings and events.

For example, I remember how comforted I felt listening to Ryan Adam's "New York" from "Gold" just weeks after 9/11.

I remember listening to Radiohead's "Kid A" in headphones for the first time and having my mind blown that a band could change so drastically and still have me in the palm of their hands.

How I just kept smiling and smiling as I put The Shins' "Chutes Too Narrow" on repeat and tried to sing at the top of my lungs with James Mercer.

My jaw dropping the first time I listened to "Funeral" by Arcade fire all the way through then sharing it with everyone I knew for the next three years.

How I was getting tired of Death Cab until I heard the title track from "Transatlanticism" and then how I wanted to cry with sadness and joy at the same time. Epic.

Then there is Wilco's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." Say what you want (overrated, don't get it, etc.) But it shaped me as a music fan, consumer, student, poet, writer and artist like no other album I can recollect. It was a huge deal for me. I am still amazed by it.

I could go on and on. If you want me too I will. But let's just say that music has been a huge part of my decade, my life. It's there through depression, heartbreak, trials and love, success and adventure. I hope I have another great music decade ahead of me.

The Game Changers:
1. "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" Wilco
2. "Kid A" Radiohead
3. "Chutes Too Narrow" The Shins
4. "Funeral" Arcade Fire
5. "Illinois" Sufjan Stevens
6. "Transatlanticism" Death Cab for Cutie
7. "Oh, Inverted World" The Shins
8. "Trials of Van Occupanther" Midlake
9. "Feels" Animal Collective
10. "Give Up" Postal Service
11. "Apologies to the Queen Mary" Wolf Parade
12. "Sunlandic Twins" Of Montreal
13. "In Rainbows" Radiohead
14. "Everything All the Time" Band of Horses
15. "Emblems" Matt Pond PA
16. "Lifted ... " Bright Eyes
17. "Several Arrows Later" Matt Pond PA
18. "Rainy Day Music" The Jayhawks
19. "Spelled in Bones" Fruit Bats
20. "It Still Moves" My Morning Jacket
21. "Writer's Block" Peter, Bjorn and John
22. "Misery is a Butterfly" Blonde Redhead
23. "Gold" Ryan Adams
24. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" Flaming Lips
25. "No More Stories ..." Mew

Repetition Addiction
"Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" Phoenix
"Vampire Weekend" Vampire Weekend
"Violence in the Snowy Fields" Dolorean
"Is This It" The Strokes
"The Mysterious Production of Eggs" Andrew Bird
"Destroyer's Rubies" Destroyer
"Want One" Rufus Wainwright
"Logic Will Break your Heart" The Stills
"Ghosts of the Great Highway" Sun Kil Moon
"Loneliness Knows My Name" Patrick Park
"Begin to Hope" Regina Spektor
"You Could Have It So Much Better" Franz Ferdinand
"Let It Die" Feist
"All Day" Mates of State
"Not Going Anywhere" Keren Ann
"The Con" Tegan and Sara

Entertain Me
"Gimme Fiction" Spoon
"The Green Album" Weezer
"Twin Cinema" The New Pornographers
"Silent Alarm" Bloc Party
"Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
"LCD Soundsystem" LCD Soundsystem
"Late Registration" Kanye West
"The Weight is a Gift" Nada Surf
"Life on Other Planets" Supergrass
"Anniemal" Annie
"Daisies of the Galaxy" Eels
"American Idiot" Green Day
"Summer in Abaddon" Pinback

Odd but Oh So Good
"You Forgot It in People" Broken Social Scene
"Hail to the Thief" Radiohead
"The Flying Club Cup" Beirut
"The Secret Migration" Mercury Rev
"Strawberry Jam" Animal Collective
"Amnesiac" Radiohead
"Dear Science" TV On The Radio
"The Stage Names" Okkervil River
"The Runners Four" Deerhoof
"Advisory Committee" Mirah

"Rockin' the Suburbs" Ben Folds
"The Last Broadcast" Doves
"Ancient Melodies of the Future" Built to Spill
"Sebastopol" Jay Farrar
"Figure 8" Elliot Smith
"Sea Change" Beck
"Set Yourself on Fire" Stars
"Life in Slow Motion" David Gray
"A Rush of Blood to the Head" Coldplay
"The Rising" Bruce Springsteen
"More Adventurous" Rilo Kiley
"Riot on an Empty Street" Kings of Convenience
"Turn On the Bright Lights" Interpol
"Us" Mull Historical Society

The list groups should be self-explanatory but if you need further clarification, please comment. Also please leave a comment if you think the list is awesome or if you think I forgot something or if you think my taste is crazy or stupid.

As always, thanks for reading.

January 4, 2010

Music! 2009

Here is a pretty complete list of all the music I bought (or downloaded) in 2009. It was an off year for me musically as I usually buy (or dowload) a lot more stuff. But "with the economy the way it is" and what with me trying not to steal music, I have been more conservative. So, take a look then sample the song I feature from each album and tell me what you think.

Fall Be Kind EP and Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective
Rating: EP ***** / MerriPostPav ****
I love song "Graze" so much. It's worth the price of the EP all by itself. I was expecting more from MerriPostPav. Some say it's AC's best and most accessible. I don't agree. It's good but nowhere as good as Feels or even Strawberry Jam for me. Try "Lion in a Coma."

Hospice by The Antlers
Rating: ****
Probably the "find" I am most pleased in, well, finding. I nominate "Kettering" as my favorite song of the year. Give it a try.

Logos by Atlas Sound
Rating: ***
Has a few gems on it but I get bored with it after a bit. "Walkabout" is the song to sample.

Ambivalence Avenue by Bibio
Rating: ***
I just blindly decided to try this out. I forget where I heard of it. For a stab in the dark, it was pretty good. Try "Lovers Carvings" or "S'Vive."

Noble Beast by Andrew Bird
Rating: ****
He just keeps getting better and better, doesn't he? "Oh No" is the best song here, in my opinion.

Union by Boxer Rebellion
Rating: ****
Reminds me of James and Coldplay in parts (in a good way). Try "These Walls Are Thin."

There is No Enemy by Built to Spill
Rating: ***
In traditional BTS fashion, the songs feel like (and sometimes are) nine minutes long. That is either a good thing or not depending on how you feel about "jam" bands. Still "Hindsight" is one of my favorite songs of the year.

Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors
Rating: ****
"Two Doves" is wow. This is one of those albums I can have on play all day and not want for anything.

Fever Ray by Fever Ray
Rating: *
I am trying to pretend I never heard any of this.

Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear
Rating: ****
A little inaccessible for most, I would think. But I enjoy their complexities. Be brave and check out "Two Weeks." Chances are it'll get to you.

Spark Large by Marching Band (released Dec. 2008)
Rating: *****
It was technically released in very late 2008 but it still dominated my iTunes in 2009. This and the Phoenix album easily win the Most Repeat Listening Potential award. Try "68."

No More Stories ... by Mew
Rating: *****
Epic and amazing. Try any song from the album or EP and prepare to have your mind blown. Or if you are scared give "Beach" a listen.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix
Rating: *****
Probably my top album of the year because of its funness, high-quality and re-listenability. I may have just made up most of those descriptive words. Go for "Lasso."

Real Estate by Real Estate
Rating: ***
I wanted this to be better. It's dreamy beach pop-ish but it runs out of fun for me. "Green River" is my favorite song from it.

Actor by St. Vincent
Rating: **
"I know! I'll make my sophomore effort really odd, confusing and boring!" Success.

Dark Was the Night by Various Artists
Rating: ***
Songs from Grizzly Bear, New Pornographers, Decemberists, Bon Iver and Arcade Fire make this a decent collection if you are into those bands. Wikipedia says proceeds benefit "the Red Hot Organization, an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS."

Warm Heart of Africa by The Very Best
Rating: ****
To be honest, I have only heard the title track. But I plan on buying the rest when I can. It is a perfect song to cheer a person up during these months of winter blah bleh mehs.

Wilco (the album) by Wilco
Rating: ***
Wanted more from them. Have since "Ghost is Born." Never even bought "Sky Blue Sky." Am I missing something? Or are they? Again, from a mediocre album comes one of my favorite songs by Wilco and of the year: "You and I"

Thanks for reading. Let me know what your faves were and if you agree or disagree with me. Happy music listening in 2010.