Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year in Lists

Okay if anyone is in suspense as to my list of best music and such for 2008, here goes. I was going to go with top ten, and really ten is kind of an arbitrary number, mostly I feel this way because I do not have a way to shrink my favorites down to 10. So here's some of my favorite albums of 2008, check 'em out (or don't...Not saying any of these are the best of music of 2008, just that these albums or bands seemed pleasing to me in some way).

Okay not too too particular in order.

1) Los Campesinos- Hold on Now, Youngsters...

Probably listened to this album more than anything else this year, infectious, punky at times, and with a general sense of cacophony and friendship, it was quite fun.

Year in Lists

2) I'm From Barcelona-Who Killed Harry Houdini?

Whats better than a 27 person band? Not much. A bit darker than their previous album(Let me Introduce my friends), but showing throughout that its okay to stay a kid, even its only in your heart.

3) Born Ruffians-Red, Yellow and Blue

Unconventional, and undeniably poppy. Recommended by my friend Chris, and wow the whole album is quite phenomenal.

I Need A Life

4) The Hold Steady-Stay Positive

Probably one of the more summery albums of the summer, maybe. It rocked and told a story, plus there was ample harpsichord(not sure what sort of requirement that is, but hey harpsichord is a harpsichord). If you did listen to this album this year, try out their other albums to get the full picture, the songs kind of loosely interweave into a story.

5) The Broken West-Now or Heaven

Jangly and well just great, good piano and lyrics. At one point this year I was sure that this was definitely the best album of the year, it still might be, but more than anything else I think it was just what I really needed right then.

6) Tokyo Police Club-Elephant Shell

I am still not sure what exactly sure what an elephant shell is..most likely a giant shell of an elephant like a snake skin, except big enough to hide in? Anyway I thought that this album was fairly amazing, I guess some people found it a bit boring, but I think it grows on you a bit quicker if you've listened to their first album, A lesson in Crime which is much faster and crazy.


7) Cloud Cult-Feel Good Ghosts

A lot earlier in the year this album came out, it was the first I had heard of Cloud Cult, and I guess its the last album they're putting out for awhile, so good thing they gave us something great before they left.

8) Mystery Jets-21

I think i explained Mystery Jets pretty well in my second post here

9) Cut Copy-In Ghost Colours

This year and the past couple have been surprisingly good for electronic dance music. I was intrigued at how full In Ghost Colours is, previously I had a feeling that it was going to only be highlighted by singles.

Hearts on Fire

10) The Break and Repair Method-Milk the Bee

The Break and Repair Method was a band that I got to review for the radio station at OU. Okay just really if you need any proof as to its coolness, it has a song with this name-

You Won't Be able to Be Sad

11) Crystal Castles-Crystal Castles

Another electronic dance album which was also quite good. Plus the name of the band is pretty awesome, for me it makes me think of a castle made of crystal hanging in the sky, or it could be just named after the video game.

12) Noah and the Whale-Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down

I was going to tell you guys about this album a lot earlier but it is very hard to embed their videos which are very well done. And I suppose I could have just put up a link, but somehow that's not the same to me, ah well. Noah and the Whale are an indie folk band which well its a bit dancey(okay very lite dancey but still) and the lyrics are top notch. Hope I'm still doing this in five years time, and we're all still friends.

5 Years time

13) Tom Gabel-Heart Burns

More of an solo EP, but a great fist-pumping anthemic album nonetheless. Not a huge change from his band Against Me!, in my opinion it doesn't matter, it was really good.

14) Plus/Minus-X's on Your Eyes

+/- anyone? The name sounds like it should be that of a math-rock band, its not. They're more straight indie rock, with slow startups leading to faster tempos and chaos when you least expect it.

15) Ben Folds-Way to Normal

I've listened to many of his albums, perhaps all of them, and I think that Way to Normal is one of the better ones. Its funny, poppy, and dancey I would say it was a success.

16) TV on the Radio-Dear Science

Really before I was not sure about TVotR but this album was more accessible than their last couple. I mean tell me you don't start dancing just a little to this.

Dancing Choose

17) Ra Ra Riot-The Rhumb Line

Not what I expected at all...in a good way. Though many times I feel that I should stop having expectations in general, when I'm against something, not always, but sometimes it turns out to be incredibly great. For example Harry Potter, I was really against it when the books first came out thinking that it was just another fad, but they were insanely good, so my bad there.

18) Nada Surf-Lucky

At first I was unsure, but with more listens, its quite the album. A bit deeper, a bit older, but still had songs you could sing along to, and some to rock out to.

okay just a few more..

19) Tilly and the Wall-O

Each copy of O came with a piece of custom artwork inspired by one of the songs on the album. That certainly made it worth buying, well plus the fact that the songs were all very good. And if you are uninformed Tilly and the Wall use tap dancing as percussion.

Pot Kettle Black

20) The Little Ones-Terry Tales and Fallen Gates

listen to a song from The little Ones and try to not smile. I bet you can't.

21) Bon Iver-For Emma, Forever Ago

You can really feel the winter in this album. Which is apparently what Bon Iver means in french I guess its a play on Bon hiver which means good winter.

22) PSAPP-The Camel's Back

Just got around to listening to them a few days ago, toytronica is pretty fun I've got to say.

Monster Song

Whew...wow that was a lot, maybe just 10 next year. Heh, but with my indecisiveness, probably not. So how bout a few books that I read this year that I thought were pretty cool? It's hard to find a top whatever of books actually written in the current year, but I'll just put up the ones that I read that were from any year that seemed to be good.

1) Handling Sin by Michael Malone

Handling Sin was a long book that got better with every page, it had a surprising amount of adventure and improbable situations that seemed like they could happen.

2) Kurt Vonnegut

I read quite a few Kurt Vonnegut books this year, here's some that I might start with(they are all very good in my opinion, but you're not me so you might hate them) Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, or The Siren's of Titan

3) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close-Jonathan Safran Foer

Basically the story of a kid finding closure after his father's death, it is a powerful story. The boy is creative and resourceful and the story is realistic.

4)The Discworld Series-Terry Pratchett

I ended up reading quite a bit of the discworld series, each of them satirical and fantastical and quite good. I think they are also the reason that I am led to believe that disk can be spelled disc, or really can't it? bah whatever. hehe. recommended starting places-Going Postal, The Night Watch, Thud!, Colour of Magic.

5) The Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko

I think I termed it the adult Harry Potter at one point, and perhaps its a bit hard to follow, but wow, its epic and has vampires, werewolves, wizards, and right now it probably sounds really unoriginal, but trust me its not.

okay I think that's all I have the energy for. Sorry if the writing is spotty at all. Apologies also if all the videos don't load correctly.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Started a Web-comic

A) if you are cool you should check out the awesome new blog that me and my friend Matt have started at Almost Artifactual. There's sure to be crazy adventures, or misadventures, some varying art styles possibly, mythical beasts(?), friends, enemies, and I should probably stop promising things that we may never pull through on, nah most of that will actually be there. B) An observation on the side, it seems as things slow down and more time is made for relaxation, less posts have been made by myself. Hmmm... Lets thoerize this for a moment, shall we? Could it be that a lack of activity leaves a greater lack of experiences and thereby no catalyst for posting new insights? Possibly, but I have had new experiences, maybe just nothing to say anything as of late. Or maybe creativity is partially caused by an influx of stress? Also could be, but I am inclined to disagree, though I could be wrong. Well this seems like a senseless thing to think over too long, really. Let's just say as for present that I am a hibernating bear, or more like a cat-napping bear in terms of productivity, but really should this be seen as something productive? Bah! who cares? I need to stop having these one-sided arguments in my posts, tis a bad habit(hopefully its also unintentionally amusing too). Hopefully I will be able to mesh together some sort of top ten for the year, that'd probably be a cool idea. That's something I will either try to do later tonight, or maybe this weekend...the year is not at an end as of yet.

Oh wow, I just found a couple They Might Be Giants videos that use Tiny Toons, its strange, but cool. I think they may have been aired on actual television back in the day, huh weird. Enjoy this one, I'll post the other one eventually.

They Might Be Giants
Istanbul(Not Constantinople)

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Last night I watched the movie Stardust. Wow, it was quite really good in my opinion. The movie plays out kind of like a fairy tale in a great way. It had all the things needed for a great movie; action, comedy, suspense, love. And it wasn't horribly predictable. The movie was adapted from a book of the same name by Neil Gaiman, a great storyteller. I probably have not done this justice in any way, but friends, you should watch this movie, it was pretty good.

Stardust Trailer

Also it seems I've been really behind in posts this month, and I do not know that I am going to catch up, only that I might try for some sort of year end list since that seems somewhat customary.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just remembered

So I was doing something and then I remembered this video. The problem was that I could not remember the song or artist in conjunction with said video. Now that may seem like quite the problem, but I am resourceful. So using the magical powers of google I have found the video and in the process lost the catalyst that made me start the search, oh well. Basically the band, Bat For Lashes are pretty cool, they are kind of dark electronic maybe? well maybe not, you're probably thinking of something completely different right now for the sound, stop it, stop thinking of whatever you may be thinking about, that's not quite what it is, just watch the video and maybe I did have it right, maybe not, we shall see(greatest run on sentence). Also the video has people in animal costumes doing bmx tricks which reminds me a bit of Donnie Darko. The whole thing might have been more appropriate at Halloween, but I forgot. Should I save it for next year? Probably, but I'm not going to, so take that I guess.

Bat For Lashes
What's a Girl to Do?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Snow Flakes falling outside

The ground is greenish and small white snow flakes are meandering their way down to the ground. Are they sticking? No, not quite yet. Sometimes snow seems purposeful, like it has a mission to cover the ground in a certain amount of time. Right now it seems like its just there to swirl around and play in the air, to give the illusion of being in a great big snow globe. There's a furry dog curled upon the couch, the house kind of has that half light, it would be the perfect time for a nap if I were tired and had not awoken only 2 hours previously(its 1:07PM it always says something different when I post). And I feel really calm maybe serene, brain isn't itching for a crazy scheme for once but that's okay.

So take a breath and relax for a second.

Here's to hoping that if this were a snow globe it doesn't get shaken without abandon. Cause things are peaceful for the moment, but really that's all there are; moments.

I picked a Bright Eyes song. I wish I could write backwards, that'd be a cool skill. And furthermore I think Digital Ash in a Digital Urn was a good album.

Bright Eyes
Easy, Lucky, Free

PS Happy St. Nick's Day!