Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

Book It: 2014 Reading List

This year my goal is to tackle some of my book backlog. I've got books I've had for a few years that I haven't gotten around to reading. My goal for 2014 is to read 25 books, and 12 of them are backlog/rereads (one a month). The tough ones will be Infinite Jest and 11/22/63 cause they're both really long (which is why I haven't read them yet).

In no particular order....

Double Dexter- Jeff Lindsay
Do the Work- Steven Pressfield
Moneyball- Michael Lewis
Infinite Jest- David Foster Wallace
The Keep- Jennifer Egan
The Dogs of Rome- Conor Fitzgerald
11/22/1963- Stephen King
Killer's Island- Anna Jansson
Blind Goddess- Anne Holt
The Boy in the Suitcase- Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis
The Bourne Identity- Robert Ludlum (reread)
The Virgin Suicides- Jeffery Eugenides (reread)

Book It: Glass Key Roundup

Finished the last of the Glass Key books for the year. I read 9 winning books this year and have now read 12 of the 22 Glass Key winning books in all (I think 2 more will be published in the US next year).

I enjoyed every book I read and it was a nice goal to have because I read books I probably wouldn't have read otherwise.

Here's a final list of all the books I read in a loose order of best to "worst".

A Conspiracy of Faith- Jussi Adler-Olsen (2010, Denmark)

Faceless Killers- Henning Mankell (1992, Sweden)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo- Stieg Larsson (2006, Sweden)

The Bat- Jo Nesbo (1998, Norway)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest- Stieg Larsson (2008, Sweden)

Missing- Karin Alvtegen (2001, Sweden)

Silence of the Grave- Arnaldur Indriðason (2003, Iceland)

Don't Look Back- Karin Fossum (1997, Norway)

Jar City- Arnaldur Indriðason (2002, Iceland)

The Darkest Room- Johan Theorin (2009, Sweden)

Lime's Photograph- Leif Davidsen (1999, Denmark)

Smilla's Sense of Snow- Peter Hoeg (1993, Denmark)

That's My Bowie!

2 years. 24 Albums. The David Bowie journey is finally over. I really enjoyed going through his catalogue and trying to figure out what "my Bowie" is. It really is an impressive body of work. The albums at the bottom of the list aren't even bad, just mediocre in comparison to the great albums. The top is really divided by a matter of degrees (like being lukewarm on one song). What I've learned is that "my Bowie" really depends on my mood. Although the top album is really my go-to Bowie.

24. David Bowie (1967)

23. Black Tie White Noise (1993)

22. Never Let Me Down (1987)

21. Outside (1995)

20. Space Oddity (1969)

19. The Man Who Sold the World (1970)

18. Tonight (1984)

17. Let's Dance (1983)

16. Hours... (1999)

15. Pin Ups (1973)

14. Earthling (1997)

13. The Next Day (2013)

12. Lodger (1979)
Favorite songs: Boys Keep Swinging, Fantastic Voyage

11. Low (1977)
Favorite songs: Speed of Life, Sound and Vision

10. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (1980)
Favorite songs: Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), It's No Game

9. Reality (2003)
Favorite songs: New Killer Star, Bring Me the Disco King

8. Heathen (2001)
Favorite songs: Sunday, I Would Be Your Slave

7. Station To Station (1976)
Favorite songs: TVC15, Golden Years

6. Aladdin Sane (1973)
Favorite songs: Lady Grinning Soul, Let's Spend the Night Together

5. "Heroes" (1977)
Favorite songs: Secret Life of Arabia, Beauty and the Beast

4. Young Americans (1975)
Favorite songs: Fascination, Right

3. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972)
Favorite songs: Starman, Rock 'n' Roll Suicide

2. Hunky Dory (1971)
Favorite songs: Andy Warhol, Life on Mars?

1. Diamond Dogs (1974)
Favorite songs: We Are the Dead, 1984

Best of 2012: Albums

This was a stinker of a year musically. There were some albums that I really enjoyed but definitely not enough of them. Plus, albums that I was looking forward to turned out to be disappointing (I'm looking at you, Beach House). So here's my pathetic list of albums I actually really liked this year.

5. Kimbra- Vows
Favorite songs: Settle Down, Plain Gold Ring

4. David Byrne & St. Vincent- Love This Giant
Favorite songs: Who, The One Who Broke Your Heart

3. Twin Shadow- Confess
Favorite songs: Run My Heart, The One

2. Divine Fits- A Thing Called Divine Fits
Favorite songs: Baby Get Worse, Shivers

1. Sharon Van Etten- Tramp
Favorite songs: Give Out, Leonard

Dishonorable mention:

2012: seriously, it was that bad of a year.

2011 album that should've made last year's list:

Raphael Saadiq- Stone Rollin'

Looking forward to in 2013:

Atoms for Peace, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Neko Case

2012: Music Resolutions

Typically at the beginning of the year I'm so burnt out on albums from the previous year from all my list making activities, I take a break from all those albums and listen to older stuff. Last year, I made a list of albums I wanted to spend more time with, which ended up being pretty nice (I never did get around to listening to the Bright Eyes ones though). So here's what I'm planning to listen to more in 2012.

R.E.M.: once the Bowie journey is over, the plan is to listen to all the R.E.M. albums from the beginning.

Destroyer- Trouble in Dreams: never got into this album when it first came out

Okkervil River- Black Sheep Boy

Pearl Jam- Vitalogy

Sonic Youth

2012: Crafty Resolutions

I don't usually make resolutions of any kind, but I like the idea of having some crafty goals for the year. These are definitely subject to change depending on my employment status this year.

1. Make those Christmas cards I flaked out on last year.

2. Try knitting again. It was a frustrating, borderline disaster that really made me question wanting to knit in the first place. I'll try again in the fall.

3. Open an Etsy store. this is going to be my big project of the year (like my site redesign was last year). I've gone back and forth on the whole Etsy thing for a few years, but I think I'm ready to do it and see what happens.

4. Finish (and stitch) at least one pattern that I've put on hold.

5. Stitch something I'm really proud of. It's been awhile since I've done that. Still taking my stitchy break though.

Setlist Wishlist: The National & Neko Case

Shockingly, this will be the first show I've been to since Thom Yorke at the end of 2009. I'll blame a lack of good shows and money for that. And really, at this point I've seen almost every band I've really wanted to see at least once. So it takes a lot for me to get excited about a show.

Anywho, I saw The National back in 09, but I didn't make a wishlist for that show. So here goes..

  • Available (I've heard this one, but now I love the song even more)
  • Conversation 16
  • Afraid of Everyone
  • Runaway
  • Sorrow
  • Baby We'll Be Fine (heard this one too, but it's one of my favorites)

And songs I know I won't hear (a girl can hope):

  • Karen
  • 90 Mile Water Wall (there would be some serious freaking out if they played this)
  • Slipping Husband

Then there's Neko Case. I've never seen her live, so my wishlist is long.

  • Maybe Sparrow
  • That Teenage Feeling
  • The Needle Has Landed
  • Runnin' Out of Fools
  • Things That Scare Me
  • Pretty Girls
  • Deep Red Bells
  • This Tornado Loves You
  • Magpie to the Morning
  • Vengeance is Sleeping
  • I'm an Animal
  • Whip the Blankets
  • Twist the Knife

Should be a fun night.

Best of the Decade Update

So, there'll be no more monthly album lists. For the remainder of the year I'll be working on compiling the best of 09 list, albums of the decade and possibly songs of the decade. Haven't decided whether the album list will be 50 or 100, although I'm still leaning towards 50. Still have alot of albums to sift through, been slacking lately.

Required Listening: September

2006 was a decent enough year. Neko Case and Thom Yorke were highlights. I forgot how much I liked Sondre Lerche's Duper Sessions.

This months' 2007 albums should be pretty easy, since they're so recent. I've listened to most of them in the last few weeks. I really need some new music to listen to.

Beirut- The Flying Club Cup
The Good Life- Help Wanted Nights
PJ Harvey- White Chalk
Interpol- Our Love to Admire
Kings of Leon- Because of the Times
Sondre Lerche- Phantom Punch
The National- Boxer (which is NOT better than Alligator)
The New Pornographers- Challengers
Radiohead- In Rainbows
Silverchair- Young Modern
Spoon- Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Tegan and Sara- The Con
David Usher- Strange Birds
John Vanderslice- Emerald City

And for point of reference, my best of 2007 list.

Required Listening: August

Between being sick and vacation, I kinda slacked off on my '05 albums and still have a few to listen to. Luckily the list for '06 is fairly short.

Here goes:

Beirut- Gulag Orkestar
Black Keys- Magic Potion
Brand New Heavies- Get Used to It
Neko Case- Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Cursive- Happy Hollow
Gnarls Barkley- St. Elsewhere
Grizzly Bear- Yellow House
Emm Gryner- Summer of High Hopes
Sondre Lerche- Duper Sessions
Placebo- Meds
Corinne Bailey Rae- Corinne Bailey Rae
Silversun Pickups- Carnavas
Thom Yorke- The Eraser

Been in a Sondre Lerche mood lately. Listening to Two Way Monologue a bunch. It's much better than I originally thought. Nice when albums surprise you like that. Definitely looking forward to the new album and the show in Sept. He's one of the artists I've been wanting to see again.

Required Listening: July

July's albums (another short list):

  • Nikka Costa- can'tneverdidnothin'
  • Emm Gryner- PVT
  • Emm Gryner- Songs of Love and Death
  • Jimmy Chamberlain Complex- Life Begins Again
  • Kings of Leon- Aha Shake Heartbreak
  • The National- Alligator
  • New Pornographers- Twin Cinema
  • QOTSA- Lullabies to Paralyze
  • Spoon- Gimme Fiction
  • David Usher- If God Had Curves
  • John Vanderslice- Pixel Revolt

Now that I've crossed into the second half of the decade, it's time to say goodbye to the albums that were sacrificed to the Smoke Monster.

  • Black Keys- The Big Come Up
  • Coldplay- Parachutes
  • Nelly Furtado- Woah Nelly!
  • Good Life- Novena on a Nocturn
  • David Gray- White Ladder
  • Emm Gryner- Dead Relatives
  • Interpol- Antics
  • Long Winters- When I Pretend to Fall
  • Muse- Origin of Symmetry
  • Muse- Absolution
  • Nada Surf- Let Go
  • The National- The National
  • New Pornographers- Electric Version
  • Orbit- xlr8r
  • Roland Orzabal- Tomcats Screaming Outside
  • Placebo- Black Market Music
  • Remy Zero- The Golden Hum
  • Bic Runga- Beautiful Collision
  • Silver Scooter- The Blue Law
  • Sunset Valley- Icepond
  • Travis- The Man Who
  • David Usher- Morning Orbit
  • John Vanderslice- Mass Suicide Occult Figurines
  • John Vanderslice- Life and Death of an American Fourtracker
  • John Vanderslice- Cellar Door
This is not to say these albums are bad (although a few are borderline), but to create a top 50 list, some things have gotta go.

Required Listening: June

So 2003 wasn't so bad, although it certainly didn't live up to the hype I manufactured in my head. These next few years (2004-06) should be interesting because I think they are hands down the worst of the decade overall. Not to say there weren't good albums released in those years, but the overall level of quality sunk to its lowest (particularly in '04). But here's the 2004 albums I'll be listening to:

  • Black Keys- Rubber Factory
  • Franz Ferdinand- Franz Ferdinand
  • Interpol- Antics
  • Keane- Hopes and Fears
  • PJ Harvey- Uh Huh Her
  • Sondre Lerche- Two Way Monologue
  • Sonic Youth- Sonic Nurse
  • Tegan and Sara- So Jealous
  • John Vanderslice- Cellar Door
Since I'm at the halfway point of the decade, I'll also be re-listening to some albums from previous years that I think require more attention (see below). And post a list of the albums that have been fed to the Smoke Monster so far.

  • The Black Keys- Thickfreakness
  • Interpol- Turn on the Bright Lights
  • Muse- Origin of Symmetry
  • The National- The National

Required Listening: May

2002 was a pretty damn solid year for music. I enjoyed everything I listened to and all the albums will most likely make the list. I especially enjoyed listening to the Long Winters first album again. It has that debut album magic that is hard to replicate on future albums.

Up next, 2003, the year I've most been looking forward to for some unknown reason.

  • Black Keys- Thickfreakness
  • Cursive- The Ugly Organ
  • Kings of Leon- Youth and Young Manhood
  • Long Winters- When I Pretend To Fall
  • Muse- Absolution
  • Nada Surf- Let Go
  • The National- Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers
  • New Pornographers- Electric Version
  • Placebo- Sleeping With Ghosts
  • Radiohead- Hail to the Thief
  • Those Peabodys- Unite Tonight
  • David Usher- Hallucinations
(Suggestions are always encouraged)

Required Listening: April

This decade has been pretty lousy for music, which doesn't come as much of a surprise to me, but I really thought that the early years were much better than they actually were. The stupidest realization I've had during this process is that hey, there's a reason you haven't listened to some of these album since they were new....THEY ARE CRAP! Imagine that, some rhyme and reason to my listening habits. 2001 was filled with albums from bands that just went to hell afterwards, and in some cases, on that particular album (I'm looking at you, Remy Zero). I was going to post my original best of list from 2001, but frankly, it's embarrassing. Let's just move on to 2002.

  • Bic Runga- Beautiful Collision
  • The Black Keys- The Big Come Up
  • Bright Eyes- Lifted....
  • Neko Case- Blacklisted
  • Emm Gryner- Asianblue
  • The Good Life- Black Out
  • Imperial Teen- On
  • Interpol- Turn On The Bright Lights
  • Sondre Lerche- Faces Down
  • Long Winters- The Worst You Can Do is Harm
  • Sonic Youth- Murray Street
  • Spoon- Kill the Moonlight
  • Queens of the Stone Age- Songs for the Deaf
Not too much for 2002, luckily there have already been a number of solid albums released this year so far, the Emm Gryner, Neko Case and Cursive albums are current favorites of mine.

Required Listening: March

I thought 2000 had too many boring albums. Too much middle of the road, non-offensive music for my taste, but I think that's all the UK was producing the first few years of the decade. Hopefully 2001 will be better. This is what I'll be listening to.

  • Death Cab for Cutie- The Photo Album
  • The Faint- Danse Macabre
  • Emm Gryner- Girl Versions
  • Ed Harcourt- Here Be Monsters
  • Muse- Origin of Symmetry
  • The National- The National
  • Orbit- XLR8R
  • Roland Orzabal- Tomcats Screaming Outside
  • Radiohead- Amnesiac
  • Remy Zero- The Golden Hum
  • The Sheila Divine- Where Have My Countrymen Gone
  • Silver Scooter- The Blue Law
  • Spoon- Girls Can Tell
  • Sunset Valley- Icepond
  • Those Peabodys- Those Peabodys
  • David Usher- Morning Orbit
  • John Vanderslice- Time Travel is Lonely

Required Listening: Jan/Feb

Recently, it was brought to my attention that 2009 means best of the decade lists. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to anguish over another best of list, only this time, it can be drawn out for the entire year! Luckily I have a partner in music snobbery  who is into this as much as I am. So a very long list was compiled of all albums from 2000-08 that are currently owned (211). Some initial cuts were made, because let's face it, beautifulgarbage should not be on anyone's best of the decade list. So that leaves approximately 90 albums for me to listen to throughout the year, along with whatever comes out this year and the possible addition of other albums I may have missed out on the first time (suggestions very welcome). All to create a top 50 albums of the decade list.

To break things up a bit, I'm taking it one year at a time, of course starting with 2000. So for the rest of Jan until the end of Feb, I'll be listening to the following albums:

  • Bjork- Selmasongs
  • Bright Eyes- Fevers and Mirrors
  • Neko Case- Furnace Room Lullaby
  • Coldplay- Parachutes
  • Cursive- Domestica
  • Death Cab for Cute- We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
  • Nelly Furtado- Whoa Nelly!
  • Emm Gryner- Dead Relatives
  • The Good Life- Novena on a Nocturn
  • David Gray- White Ladder
  • PJ Harvey- Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  • New Pornographers- Mass Romantic
  • Placebo- Black Market Music
  • Queens of the Stone Age- Rated R
  • Radiohead- Kid A
  • Travis- The Man Who
  • John Vanderslice- Mass Suicide Occult Figurines
Some of these albums are a lock to make the list, but some I haven't heard in so long I really have no idea.

June Gloom

  • Finished Rant last night. I enjoyed it, although there was some pretty messed up stuff going on. But from what I know about Chuck Palahniuk that's par for the course. I'll be starting Atonement this week.
  • The best part from the otherwise boring spelling bee

  • Yet again, new month means new albums. I enjoyed listening to both Placebo and Spoon. I had some serious nostalgia going on while listening to A Series of Sneaks. That album reminds me of Austin so much. Without You I'm Nothing, even though I can remember when I bought the album, doesn't remind me of anything else. Nut listening to it for a month reaffirmed that it's not my favorite Placebo album. Since those albums have 2 of my favorite album covers, I thought i'd make a proper list..
In no particular order...

Joe Jackson- Look Sharp!

Placebo- Without You I'm Nothing

Keane- Under The Iron Sea

The Police- Ghost in the Machine

Spoon- A Series of Sneaks

This month's albums are similar because I used to really like these 2 bands and then they started to completely suck and sadly, I've abandoned them to the point that I don't even listen to their good albums anymore. So this month I'll be constantly wondering what went wrong and thinking how good these bands used to be. I've actually been looking forward to these albums.

Death Cab For Cutie- Something About Airplanes
I'd guess it's been 6 or so years since I listened to this album. I gave up on death cab around the time Transatlanticism came out and Ben Gibbard did all that horrible electronic crap known as The Postal Service (which in my opinion is what ruined his ability to write good songs). But way back in 98, I was just hearing about Death Cab and for 3 albums they were really fucking good. So it's going to be hard to listen to this album without wanting to curse the music gods for turning Ben Gibbard into a complete toolbox. No doubt I will like it as much as I did back when it was new.

Snow Patrol- Songs For Polar Bears
    Um....I last listened to this album maybe 6 years ago as well. Unlike Death Cab, I think this is Snow Patrol's only good album. Their second album had some good songs on it, but overall kinda sucked. And then after that they decided they wanted to turn into Coldplay (who now wants to be U2, go figure), changed their sound and got successful. For the record, it's not the success that bothers me, it's the turning into Coldplay. Anyway, I think this first album is pretty good, and it's sad they've changed so much from what they used to be.

Random Thoughts

  • Thank you Kansas and Memphis for ruining my chances at winning either one of my tournament pools.
  • Saw the Black Keys last week. Good show, but too short. I'm liking the new album.
  • I think XTC is one of those bands I think I should like more than I actually do. I've listened to 'Skylarking' a bunch of times, and I do like some of the songs, but it's just not doing it for me overall. I definitely hear the influence the album had on Blur's 'Great Escape'.
  • It's almost vacation time!
  • Some thoughts after a week of listening to Bic Runga and Madonna (see last entry)...I remember why I liked 'Drive' so much, and how much I like Bic Runga's voice. 'Ray of Light' can definitely tell it's Madonna's "motherhood has changed me" album. There are some songs I still like though. But it got me thinking about my favorite Madonna chronological order....

    1. Material Girl (this is mostly for sentimental reasons, when this song was out, pink was my favorite color, so the video was like heaven to me)
    2. Into the Groove
    3. Open Your Heart
    4. Like a Prayer
    5. Secret
    6. Human Nature

Top 13s

Spent the evening making and discussing top 13 favorite songs by various's some of mine...

(In no particular order)


never tear us apart
stay young
need you tonight
to look at you
kiss the dirt
taste it
by my side
i'm just a man
the stairs
faith in each other
devil inside

Smashing Pumpkins

ava adore
tonight tonight
stand inside your love
in the arms of sleep
let me give the world to you
everlasting gaze


street spirit
fake plastic trees
the bends
black star
how to disappear completely
no surprises
karma police
let down
punchup at a wedding
there there

Emm Gryner

this mad
phonecall 45
the good you make
your sort of human being
big day
half sorry
queen of the boys

John Vanderslice

everything changed
my old flame
radiant with terror
me and my 424
time travel is lonely
you were my fiji
up above the sea
they won't let me run
trance manual
keep the dream alive
letter to the east coast

PJ Harvey

long snake moan
the dancer
send his love to me
no girl so sweet
the garden
we float
cat on the wall
a place called home
the slow drug
the darker days of me & him
the whores hustle and the hustlers whore
you said something


the guestlist/the execution
anything you want
the fitted shirt
paper tiger
i turn my camera on
the way we get by
the delicate place
the two sides of monsieur valentine
i summon you
my mathematical mind
take a walk
jonathon fisk