Wednesday, December 31, 2008
There is always a disclaimer before such lists, because of how haughty some people get regarding one's own opinion. Just remember that I haven't had a chance to listen to every release of 2008 (i.e., Fleet Foxes), which may be because I don't have lots of cashish and it's not my job to listen to music all the time. These are my personal favorites of 2008, and I wouldn't expect anybody else's list to look exactly the same - the beauty of differing opinions. What are your top ten releases of this year?
01 She and Him, Volume One
Without a doubt, my most-listened-to album of the year. I really don't have anything bad to say about the album; it's getting a lot of recognition, and I think that leads some to think it's overrated. I think it's lovely - nostalgic, fun, and sometimes emotional. Favourite. (Amazon mp3)
02 Empires, Howl
I downloaded it on a whim, and loved it immediately. Some might dismiss the album because there are so many different kinds/genres of songs, but I think it works just great together. There’s definitely some 90s alt influence, a Beatles-esque song, some lovely acoustic songs, and some real rock out songs. (STILL FREE HERE!)
03 Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, Cardinology
Everyone who loved Heartbreaker complains that Ryan Adams needs to “edit.” He writes too much! There’s ten mediocre songs for every good song! Well, the past two albums with the Cardinals have definitely demonstrated a restraint, and I think this group of songs come together for a great record. (Amazon mp3)
04 Santogold, S/T
Besides the fact that she’s good music, I like that it’s so hard to attach one specific genre to her sound. She’s more Tegan and Sara than M.I.A., and um, she used to be in a SKA band. therefore Santi White = AWESOME. (Amazon mp3)
05 Dragonette, Galore
Dragonette makes promiscuity sound fun and cheeky. They’re a bit Gwen Stefani, a bit Lily Allen. And Martina has just as much stage presence as either of them; she rocks. This album makes me dance and smile. (Amazon mp3)
06 Fall Out Boy, Folie a Deux
The songs take a few listens to get used to, but once I “got it,” I loved it. Patrick Stump sounds phenomenal, the lyrics aren't lacking, and there are a few fist-pumping moments - something I always relish in. (Amazon mp3)
07 The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound
Amazing, amazing album. Snuck into my top ten late in the game, due to me only hearing this album a few weeks ago. I love Fallon’s vocals, along with the Springsteen feel of the album. Where Sam’s Town failed, The ‘59 Sound succeeds with style. (Amazon mp3)
08 Kings of Leon, Only by the Night
Undeniably good. I don't know anyone who hasn't heard this album; therefore you should get on it if you haven't. (Amazon mp3)
09 Panic at the Disco, Pretty. Odd.
So, a bunch of kids discover The Beatles and decide they want to make an album that sounds like that. It doesn’t quite achieve greatness, but it’s some fun music. I love this album even despite what I know about them and their crew as people. Trust me, that’s saying a lot. (Amazon mp3)
10 My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
The music sets a mood from the onset. I liked listening to it in a calm mood, or when I needed to be calm or relax. That’s not to say it’s a slow album; everything else just goes away when I listen. (Amazon mp3)
Valencia, We All Need a Reason to Believe
MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
Tiger Lou, The Loyal
The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing
Vampire Weekend, S/T
Butch Walker, Sycamore Meadows
The Cab, Whisper War. I tried. I really tried. A bunch of my friends totally geek out guilty-pleasure style over this album and band, but I simply can't. I think it's awful. This is coming from someone who listens to the High School Musical soundtrack occasionally. Apologies.
Stoked for in 2009:
Monty Are I!
and of course - Motion City Soundtrack!
Note: Adrian of No Doubt confirmed they'd be touring and writing in 2009, but an album probably wouldn't be ready until 2010. Patience!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Maybe I can just have the yellow dress?! And the plaid belt I placed with it?? Sometimes I wish my wardrobe was just all fun, fluffy dresses. But I love my jeans too much.
Tonight Jesse and his dudes are going to the WWE Smackdown thing or whatever (out of hilarity and FREE-ness), and CHRISTY AND JISCILLA ARE IN TOWN! That means it's girl's night, Curbside-style with my ladies. There will probably be pizza, ice cream, teen flicks, swooning, dancing, gossip, and a lot of squealing. YAY!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
My crazy rendition of Edward Cullen glittering in the sun via this post!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
(via my last.fm)
Last week I did a lot of listening to Fall Out Boy, because I obviously love that album, and listened to a few of my tops of 2008. My list will be ready after I get back from Massachusetts. Remember last year's? Anyways, like every year, I can't listen to every album or see every movie (seriously, my "Must See" movie list has about twenty films). In retrospect, my #1 movie of 2007 would have been There Will Be Blood, but it didn't hit wide release until January 2008, so I wasn't able to see it in time for my year-end list. The same will probably happen this year. Stay tuned!
After a full week of listening to the new All-American Rejects album, I have to divulge in my disappointment. I'd rather keep this short - because it's not a ranting and raving sort of disappointment. It simply doesn't click with me, and that's sad coming from a band who always did. And, to be sure, their new songs are awesome live. Better than on the album. There's just no oomph to the production and where their first album's pop charmed me, and their last album was a basic hit parade of epic proportions, this album just falls flat.
I will say - while you won't see When the World Comes Down on my Best of 2008 albums, it definitely won't be on my Worst. I'm hoping this all changes as I continue to listen to it. Sometimes albums come around after a few listens, a few years. Sometimes they don't.
In the end, as a band, they're still tops for me.
Has anybody else heard the album? What do you think?
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Yes, that's Jesse Santa Claus and our glorious tree!
I've uploaded the pictures to Facebook - see the album!
Things that may or may not have happened:
- Jesse and I made a delicious eggnog from THIS recipe - people have inquired as to where we sourced its amazingness. We added perhaps a bit too much bourbon, but it was still yummy. Plus, we doubled the recipe and put MY personal touch of scoops of vanilla ice cream in it to keep it chilled while it sat out.
- Jonah Bayer got his hair straightened. As you can see in the picture below, Christina wielded both a straightening iron and her beer as she set out on her mission...see the results in the album!
- The party was crowded from about 10 to midnight, and then as people filtered out, Team Couch arrived 20-people strong. I'm not kidding. It was amazing. The core of that group has been coming to our Holiday Party for all three years now! YES!
- It was also Tyler's birthday! Yay!
- There are no pics of ME, per se, but Jiscilla will have her pics up soon and Meik!'s already got them! He has some great party shots of everyone HERE and on his FLICKR.
- THE DRESS I WORE WAS FROM MY 10TH GRADE HOMECOMING. I don't have any full-length's yet (JISCILLA GET ON IT!), but it's basically a red satin number that's tight on top and flow-y on bottom. It hits mid calf and I wear a little tulle thing underneath to keep it bouncing. AND IT FIT. Sure, a little tight. Needed some help zipping up - but, it fit. Also, it's a pretty classy, 50s-esque dress, and I remember my mother and I bought it from a Victoria's Secret catalog back in...1998? 1999? I can't count. And yeah, it's been about 10 years since 10th grade - EEP! Oh, and I attached a large green flower to it, holiday-spirit style.
- The Dagger, Jesse and I really spiffed the place up with our tree and Erica's amazing photobooth backdrop!
- The traditional dance party was kicked off by none other than Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" - OBVIOUSLY.
- And the night was capped off at 5am by some backgammon, Sorry, and Battleship. Also, thanks to Jonah and Quinn for their help in the bottle-gathering - which made clean-up the next morning SO much easier!
Twas another successful year for our Holiday Party!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
To: Jiscilla, Erica, Kelly, Christy
Subject: Re: The 10 Curbmandments
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 20:14:50 -0500
I'm at a bar with jesse and his friends on 33rd. they're all seeing ryan adams (and oasis) tonight at msg :( jealous!
But I'm a freakin' square here! What with my white button up, dress pants and cardigan?! Everyone's all got leather and tattoos and I just came from work.
Bahhhh kinda maybe on 2nd guiness.
Jesse and I walk out of the bar after saying bye to everyone.
Me: Why are we walking this way? Subway's the other way.
Jesse: We're going to Madison Square Garden. Don't you want to see Ryan Adams?
To: Jiscilla, Erica, Kelly, Christy
Subject: Re: The 10 Curbmandments
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 20:22:23 -0500
Omg we leave the bar and jesse says he has tickets to see ryan adams for us! I'm in msg! Wtf?!?!
Cue "Come Pick Me Up" ... "Magick." Wonderful, amazing. [Both Ryan & the Fianz.]
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
So, I've been listening to my iPod on shuffle a lot, and also re-listening to entire albums in anticipation of the year-end list. I listened to a lot of Gaslight Anthem's 59 Sound, but for some reason that album's not scrobbling.
And then there's the new Fall Out Boy album. I've been mulling over Folie a Deux for the past week. At first, I was impatient. You know how sometimes you get something hotly anticipated and you just want to immediately understand all of it? It's a little bit harder with this album; I think because the music is infinitely layered. There's nothing especially straightforward and simple here, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I had to give it a few listens before I clicked with it - and now I really do love it.
Folie a Deux is Fall Out Boy-brand of catchy. Yet, the album doesn't have surefire hits like "Dance, Dance" or "This Ain't a Scene." This is hard to explain; though there are still gang vocals to chant along with and great hooks, it sounds more mature and a little less sugary. The musical montage of lines from their past hits in "What a Catch, Donnie," are sung by a myriad of other friend vocalists and the fact that it's all slowed down a bit kind of memorializes the past and maybe puts it to rest. This is a new era; these musicians have grown. (Also, Erica and I can't figure out why this isn't the last song - we think the track order is a bit off.)
The best thing about this album? Patrick Stump's voice. He sounds fantastic. AND! Without a doubt, he's finally enunciating. Like I said, I like Fall Out Boy, and I enjoyed the previous albums and even singing along to made-up lyrics because I couldn't understand what he was singing (like "also into cats" instead of "all so intricate"). However, Folie a Deux has Stump singing high and low and clearly and beautifully. The Boy have certainly gotten better at pacing and mixing in layer after layer of sounds that oddly work together for something that sounds BIG but personal. But while Pete Wentz's extracurricular activities and ever-evolving marketing ploys assure the band as a popular brand, it wouldn't be anywhere without the music to back up the hype - and that's why Stump is the real hero of this album.
That said, Folie a Deux comes out tomorrow, and I recommend it whole-heartedly. I think it's something older people can listen to without feeling embarassed; even Jonah Bayer, (old) rock critic extraordinaire, loves it. As far as the songs go, I'm particularly drawn to "America's Suitehearts" (their next single), "(Coffee's for Closers)," and "20 Dollar Nosebleed." The last song I listed there is my current favourite, and I'm not lying when I say I had to let out a bit of an exasperated sigh when I first heard it and the guest vocals came in - Brendon Urie, why do you haunt me? The song sounds a lot like a Panic! diddy, to be sure, but I'm in love with the horns and its big-band sound. If you know me and heard the album, you would have immediately said this would be my favourite, too. It just sounds happy (though, I assure you, the lyrics aren't quite). Also, sometimes those two vocalists sounds so much alike, it's hard to decipher which part is sung by whom.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Apparently The Day the Earth Stood Still opens today, so Vulture did a Complete Field Guide to the Facial Expressions of Keanu Reeves. Yeah. I would like to say I was sourced on this, but I wasn't. It's hilarious.
Brad Pitt says his new fantasy drama The Curious Case of Benjamin Button got him thinking about his own mortality.
“Angie and I do not fight anymore,” he says. “What occurred to me on this film, and also with the passing of her mother [actress Marcheline Bertrand in 2007], is that there’s going to come a time when I’m not going to get to be with this person anymore. I’m not going to get to be with my children anymore. Or friends, people I love and respect. And so, if we have a flare-up, it evaporates now.” Adds the actor, 44, “I don’t want to waste time being angry at someone I love.”
Thursday, December 11, 2008
How amazing was Galifianakis last night?! Well, he was hilarious, and he had some great guest stars. He showed us a video of himself interviewing JON HAMM (light of my life! What? Did I say that out loud? JK! Where am I?) and Galifianakis himself then brought out a friend to interview him on stage. Who? WILL ARNETT. Via Arrested Development's GOB BLUTH, he just had a baby with his wife, "Please welcome Amy Poehler's husband!" (Zach's introduction). Great surprise. Truly AWESOME.
I would say more, but how unfunny is it when people try to retell jokes from a comedy show? We were all busting up, I can assure you of that.
PS Upcoming posts(when I have time): Top Artists of the Week (ugh, Last.fm is getting really slow with their weekly updates, so I don't even know my tops for last week yet!), to include my thoughts on the new Fall Out Boy album, an interview with a not-so-popular-yet luminary of the blog scene, and my thoughts on the Golden Globe Nominees.
Also, I don't do year-end lists until way way closer to the end of the year. :)
Back to being productive!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
As a little holiday present to myself, I pre-ordered Ryan Adams' book, Infinity Blues. It came in the mail over the weekend, along with a special exclusive chap book. Both are signed and numbered (710/1000) and the book doesn't even come out until April 2009. Yes! Once I have some time, I'm excited to curl up in bed and start reading. I've already cracked open the chap book and read the first short story.
Anyway, it's the time of year where time seems to dwindle because there's so much going on. It's also the time where I do my "wish I had more money!!!" dance. Ha. I'm racing to get all my gifts in and also wedding planning and holiday party planning and apparently making plenty of aggravating missteps along the way. Planning isn't as fun as the day of. When I get to see my friends and family open gifts or party with my friends or you know, get married. And I have to wait til next year for that one! Okay, I'll stop.
Tonight a group of my friends and I are traveling to 92nd Street (SO FAR AWAY) to see the comedian Zach Galifianakis. (Yeah, I had to look up the spelling.)
Here's a quote from Ryan Adams, about New York City in the short story I mentioned:
"Because what you learn here, if you learn anything, is that you will never be great. But with a little heart, some perseverance, and a loud constant speaking voice, you can fool anybody."
Monday, December 8, 2008
Last week, most days after work I was doing one or the other. So when Friday rolled around I was pooped and crashed on the couch. And then Jiscilla showed up! Since moving outside of the city, I've missed that girl and was stoked when I heard she'd be in town! So the couch hangs continued with Jiscilla. Then the boys came over for the now-traditional Friday night poker game and I came in third to break even, but had pretty lousy hands all night.
I cherished my Saturday morning sleep-in, and then Jesse made Jiscilla, Erica, and I bacon-egg-cheese croissant sandwiches after his run (I know, so lucky). Then we took little Keanu for his last booster shot at the vets. We spent the rest of day checking off a lot of wedding planning whatnots, and then we played Jesse's new game obsession, Cribbage, and he taught me Backgammon.
I know. We sound like we're eighty years old. I promise we acted our age on Sunday.
I woke up early on Sunday morning and finished up some projects while letting Jesse sleep. Then I scheduled the rest of our day and promptly woke him up, ha. We got brunch, and then went to a movie, all in time to go to Standings to watch the Patriots game. Except something happened with the theaters and when we arrived at 1:57 for the 1:55 film, there was a huge line outside the theater. Very confusing. The movie (Rachel Getting Married) was running twenty minutes late, which totally irked me and my organized plans. ("A plan is just a list of things that don't happen.") So we didn't sit down in the theater until twenty-five minutes after the thing was supposed to start, thus, we were late to the football game and missed the first quarter. But that doesn't matter because we had a grand time drinking with our friends and watching the Pats WIN. YES!
Also, I swear it's like Panic! at the Disco hides in the corners of New York bars - Spencer, the drummer, was at Standings watching football. Or just talking to his managers, whatever. I highly doubt any football patronage from the likes of him. He wasn't wearing a jersey like the rest of us!
Afterwards, we wanted to continue our victory celebrations, and our reign of complete fun, that Erica, Jesse, Sean and I headed with Katie and Perry to their place a couple of blocks away. Now, pay attention here, cause Sean ran into a restaurant on the way and asked for a plastic fork, and Jesse picked up a discarded pizza box lying on the street. And then when we got to the apartment, Jesse made this:
What is this, you might ask?
This is a cribbage board Jesse constructed with promises of endless entertainment, that became less promising while Perry, Katie, Erica, and I began sipping sake and watching the Ravens game. The night continued with laughs and jests (seriously, I'm so eighty!) and then we went home to a couple of more games and glorious, glorious sleep.
Now it is Monday and it's a little less fun. How was your weekend?
Friday, December 5, 2008
I forgot to share what our tree looks like! Jesse, Erica and I are rocking the holiday spirit with the first Christmas tree in our apartment. We decorated it in all gold! Now we're just on the hunt for a star...
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Yay Trainwreck Winter Formal! Yay awkward! I had tons of fun! Each week I feel so proud of Erica (& Rob, whatevs) for putting together a smashing party. Those two really do work hard to provide a) jams b) drinks c) hilarity and d) the ocassional semi-famous guest star. I also call Perry their Partner in Crime - she supplies the hour-long open bar every Tuesday as part of her job.
And so, I had one gripe on Tuesday that had to do with the fact that some of the people there were total rudemeisters. In one instance, two girls were talking to each other in the VERY crowded bar and I politely said, "excuse me" as I tried making my way from the bar to my friends. She looked at me and rolled her eyes as I stood there with drinks and smiling. Then I said it louder and she moved about 2 centimeters. I said it a third time, and with no response I shoved past her and they began muttering under their breath. Now, honestly, who cares, right? It was like two seconds of my life, some people suck, and WHO CARES.
When I got to my friends, I was talking to Perry about the rude interchange and she said that her and Erica had just been handed the stink treatment from those same two. They were elbowing and pushing Erica and Perry repeatedly. When Erica and Perry moved, they even had the gall to walk up to them and say, "Are you talking shit about us?" Erica and Perry obviously were a bit shocked, because they acutally weren't talking about the girls. They just said no and turned away.
Here's what I would have said if I had been standing there.
"Oh, hi. Do you realize just how pathetically rude you're being and to whom? This is Erica, she's Rob Hitt's right hand gal and co-chair of this here party. In fact, she's up to DJ next. The reason Brendan Urie is here and why, I'm guessing, you are, is because of her and Rob. And that drink you have in your hand? Yeah, that was provided to you by my friend here, Perry. She's here every week, as well, making fun happen. So, sorry Brendan is most assuredly going home with that peroxide blond tonight, but at least you have these two girls here making sure your night is full of music and booze - for free."
GAR! I hate rude people! Especially when my lovely friends get the brunt of it. Manners, people, c'mon. Everybody's just trying to have fun and you're stankin' (skankin'?) up the place!
Oh, wait, there it is. AWKWARD TOWN.
I mean, I believe I said, "let's take an awks prom picture!"
I just didn't think we'd be so accurate in my direction.
Stiff arms (check!), weird hand positions (check!), messed up hair (check!), hints of an ill-fitting dress (check!), wan facial expressions (check!) and mysterious shadows (check!)
Done and DONE.