December 31, 2007

Lyrics: More Than Words (Part Five)

In honor of the New Year, here are three songs to get you reflecting on 2007 and on 2008.

"A Long December"
- Counting Crows from Recovering the Satellites

A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leaving
Now the days go by so fast

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven...I wish you would

The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California...I think you should

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after 2 AM
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her

And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

And it's one more day up in the canyon
And it's one more night in Hollywood
It's been so long since I've seen the ocean...I guess I should

"New Year's Day" - U2 from War

All is quiet on New Year's Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you,
Be with you night and day

Nothing changes on New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it's true, it's true
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I will begin again
I will begin again

Maybe the time is right
Oh, maybe tonight

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we're told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year's Day

"The New Year" - Death Cab for Cutie from Transatlanticism

So this is the new year
And I don't feel any different
The clanking of crystal
Explosions off in the distance, in the distance

So this is the new year
And I have no resolutions
For self assigned penance
For problems with easy solutions

So everybody put your best suit or dress on
Let's make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
Lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
As thirty dialogs bleed into one

I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then i could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speed trains, or freeways
There'd be no distance that can hold us back

So this is the new year

2007 Has Come To An End

I have one hour left of work in 2007 and I think I'll spend it not doing any work. I don't like making resolutions. But I think it's appropriate to make some public blogging goals for 2008.

1. Blog more. I've slipped a lot in frequency and I think I need to overlook quality (read: perfectionism) in order to be more consistent. Twitter and Facebook have shown that being brief and pithy can be effective.
2. Post more pictures (that I take). I have a great camera and live in a great place that many people who read my stuff have no concept outside of movies and Jeff Corwin.
3. Officially and formally launch
4. Comment on and link to the blogs I read regularly more often.
5. Get back to covering lots of topics (music, film, lit, art, news, politics, sports).

Let me help you make some resolutions of your own...

1. Join Facebook. When you do or if you already have, add me.
2. Sign up for Twitter (and add me).
3. Sign up for Flickr (and add me).
4. Start a blog if you don't have one yet.
5. Take a chance on music people (not Clear Channel) recommend.

Buon Anno.

December 15, 2007

2000 New York Yankees

Is it me or does the Mitchell report looks a lot like the 2000 New York Yankees roster?

Chuck Knoblauch, David Justice, Glenallen Hill, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, Denny Neagle, Jason Grimsley

I'm not saying, I'm just saying...coincidence it was the last World Series they won?

December 14, 2007

10 Years, 10 years

Do you remember what you were doing 10 years ago? While the date passed on Wednesday, 12/12/1997 was a Friday, however, so tonight is the night I choose to recognize. Still lost? Were you part of the famous sweet 16? Ring any bells? On December 12, 1997, U2 played one of the last major concerts in Seattle's Kingdome and myself and 15 other friends were in the front row for it. Most of those 16 have gone their own way over the last 10 years, but I do still keep in regular contact with many. It will always be a special night. So, Riche, Mad Fishicist, [Sch]metzger, Chindo, J-Nard, Laura, Fearing, Freshmaker, Thunderchuck, Homdrom, Gladney, Reaney and others I can't distinguish (it's been 10 years, give me a break) at this hour. Someone somewhere has a photo from that night I remember posing for it a few minutes after convincing Bono to bring "40" out of the vault.

December 7, 2007

I Prefer My TV in 3D over HD

I'm convinced that someday soon, I'll get on the HD train and buy a high definition TV...but for now I'm convinced that 3D TV has way more value than HD TV. What do I mean by 3D TV? Television with three dimensions. No, not the goofy glasses with one blue and one red "lens." I'm talking about stories that go deeper than shallow characters and linear plot lines. I learned early in my days of dabbling in fiction that there are really only 5 basic conflicts from which to base fiction. Man vs. Man, Man vs. Himself, Man vs. God, Man vs. The World, Man vs. Nature. Three dimensional television should creatively wrap 3 or more of those conflicts together at the same time. My favorite show on TV right now is LOST and I think you can make the statement that all five conflicts are playing out on and off the island before and after the crash of flight 815. It's creative enough and the characters are developed well enough to sustain the tangle of conflicts. Comedies, sit coms especially can get away with humor surrounding a premise and with an electric enough cast and good enough writers, can ride a premise for season after season without needing to tangle conflicts. I just caught up on the latest episodes of Life and it's proven that it can successfully meld at least three of the conflicts together. I've thought of it before, but I thought I would try and put words to it. A good story, good character development and elements of our real world mixed with a world we don't live in (figuratively or literally) will always win out over any effect made more special by high definition television. I support the writers in the WGA and their strike, even as it affects shows I love, because there are story elements, characters, conficts and magic that studio heads, special effects designers, and executive producers can't begin to dream up.

December 3, 2007

If You Want To Make The Best Album in 2008...

...learn a lesson or two from these artists.

It's that time of year again....everyone else is doing it so why shouldn't I? 2007 has been a long, funny diverse year in my life and the music business has been pretty much on par with it. I'm breaking lists in half this year to recognize not only the best albums of the year, but also the breakthroughs, discoveries, fresh looks too. Obviously neither list is in any particular order.

First the 13 best breakthroughs...
Deerhunter - Cryptograms
Au Revoir Simone - The Bird of Music
Peter, Bjorn & John - Writer's Block ("Young Folks" might scream 2007 in 5 years, but it might be the song of the year...and a good ringtone)
Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
St. Vincent - Marry Me
Foreign Born - On the Wing Now
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black (surprised?)
Elvis Perkins - Ash Wednesday
Okkervil River - The Stage Names
Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
I'm From Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My Friends (Incidentally makes a frigid Alaska day feel a bit warmer)
Kathy Diamond - Miss Diamond to You
Coconut Records - Nighttiming

The 13 Best Albums of 2007
Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
Bruce Springsteen - Magic
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Feist - The Reminder
Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
The National - Boxer
Bjork - Volta

And finally 13 albums I know I'm leaving off...but they're not far from the list
Travis - The Boy With No Name
Eisley - Combinations
KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic
Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
Colin Hay - Are You Lookin' At Me? (great cameo in Scrubs in season premiere of Scrubs)
Son Volt - The Search
Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full
Athlete - Beyond the Neighbourhood
The Broken West - I Can't Go On, I'll Go On
Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Dan Wilson - Free Life

Incidentally I'm looking forward to some very promising new records in 2008, but that's another post.

And in case you missed it, here is my post for the Best of 2006. And get your copy of Superbad Tuesday.

December 1, 2007


Seriously, do you know how many posts I've started in the last month? It's officially December, so my boycott of NaBloPoMo is over. Things haven't been overly busy, or overly crazy, or overly anything. I just didn't have it in me. It's not that the WiFi doesn't reach my igloo, or a corporate NDA, or me running off to join the Police Academy, I haven't run off to join Ron Paul's campaign...just slow blog month (I hereby trademark 'sloblomo', thanks). No promises on catching up on the last month of music, ideas, stories, or controversial statements. But seriously, enough with the "What happened?", "What's wrong?", "Where are you?" emails unless you're looking for more metaphysical or existential answers, but if you are...stick around.