Monday, December 29, 2008

dear music lover,

thank you for purchasing a PRO-JECT AUDIO record player.

Oh man.

Nothing beats listening to For Emma, Forever Ago. On my new turntable. In my living room. Bon Iver will not make an appearance on my top ten of 2008. Why, you damned fool? you ask, casting away the last shreds of faith you may have had in my musical tastes. Well, it was already on my 2007 list. At 6. Check Facebook, if you dare. It'd be number one this year, though. If I included it.

Yes, the picture is a little blurry and dark, but I liked it best.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

drastic plastic

I am a recovering compact disc addict. This is a good thing. Mostly.

My collection broke 1500 during 2007, spurred by a weekly three-disc habit (thanks a lot, Electric Fetus). And then, 2008 hit. I believe I've purchased fewer than 20 CDs this year, and that's a generous estimate.

I partially blame Wired, because I decided in 2008 to purchase albums on vinyl, if at all possible. CDs no longer held any physical appeal for me.

There was a time when I loved nothing better than the scent of a just-opened jewel case; new car was nothing compared to fresh polywrap and plastic. I'm sure there was something Pavlovian about it.

Along with the record company execs, I blame the Internet for the demise of the compact disc. But for me, the lack of anticipation is what killed my love of CDs. That, and the fact that 1500 CDs take up space. Lots of space. And are a pain to move. A real pain.

I digress. Anticipation, go. I remember eagerly awaiting the release of Pearl Jam's No Code during the summer of 1996. Hell, I remember begging a ride to Best Buy in Woodbury to pick up the first single off No Code, "Who You Are." Pearl Jam was easily my favorite band when I was 15, so it was an event when they put out something new.

For three months straight, I listened to almost nothing but No Code. Before I went to sleep, while I rode the bus, after I got home from school. That just doesn't happen anymore, and I know why.

Release dates don't mean a damn thing anymore. I have Bon Iver's fantastic new EP, Blood Bank, and I'm sure you have it too. And if you don't have it, it's only a few clicks away. I love Bon Iver now almost as much as I loved Pearl Jam when I was 15 (and I say "almost" because I don't think it's quite possible to love things at 27 the way you loved things at 15). January 20, Blood Bank's release date, won't hold any special significance for me. I won't mark it like August 27, 1996.

By the time Blood Bank is physically released, I will have moved on to a dozen other albums or EPs or Internet-only remixes that were leaked or legally made available on the Web.

I still hunger for new music, but it's not the same. I am always scouring the Web for something new and exciting, whether it's some hot remix featuring a new Dr Dre verse or Justin Vernon and co. covering The Outfield.

I know I loved at least a few albums that came out in 2008 (list forthcoming), but I'm already thinking about mid-2009. Perhaps it's my Web addiction, or maybe I'm just making excuses for procrastinating on my year-end top ten. Seriously, I'll get around to it... as soon as I find my copy of that Pearl Jam single to sell to Half Price Books.

Monday, December 15, 2008

the ship doesn't sink at the end of this one

Shelve those boos and hisses. Put away that skeptical look you reserve for fans of Coldplay (which deserves a post of its own). Sure, Kate and Leo are starring in the film adaptation of the Richard Yates novel, directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Jarhead), but Revolutionary Road is no Titanic II.

Then again, upon talking with Mr Joshua Casey this weekend, I realized perhaps Yates' masterpiece of realism is a bit like a sequel to the bloated James Cameron tearjerker. But instead of Jack Dawson sinking into the deep and keeping forever frozen his and Rose's star-crossed, steam-streaking love (hope I didn't ruin that for you), they get married, have a few kids and move to the suburbs only to realize the life they have is not the life they dreamed.

The New Yorker and Atlantic have excellent essays about Yates and Revolutionary Road, but they're full of spoilers, so wait to check them out until you've read the book or seen the film.

With its bleak analysis of the suburbs and a glowing endorsement from Kurt Vonnegut ("The Great Gatsby of my time..."), how could I not fall in love with this book?

Check out a high-quality version of the trailer or just watch the YouTube clip.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

one hundred things i love:

because everyone has a muse...

1. kanye west
2. grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
3. checked vans slip-ons
4. songs that sound like snowstorms
5. a good clean rain
6. breezes through open windows
7. f. scott fitzgerald
8. black t-shirts
9. american apparel hoodies
10. lions licking their wounds
11. a good hook
12. tetris
13. british children's fantasy
14. the second part of trilogies
15. unagi nigiri
16. joe mauer's swing
17. wes anderson movies
18. trains
19. minneapolis
20. skipping stones on lake superior
21. used book stores
22. animated robots
23. diner coffee
24. bangs
25. sleeping in
26. moleskine notebooks
27. public radio
28. dark-humored, canadian comic strips
29. deciding what people's daemons would be
30. sweater vests
31. button downs
32. the sexual tension in the empire strikes back
33. bar booths with ripped upholstery
34. the super nintendo entertainment system
35. hayao miyazaki
36. breakfast joints
37. cheap beer
38. libraries with ladders
39. rappers whose genesis was comic books
40. girls who are bookish with a hint of glamour
41. literary tattoos
42. "rooftop" by the envy corps
43. listening to one song on repeat for eight hours
44. sledding
45. reading other people's favorite books
46. the online edition of the new yorker
47. travel section slide shows
48. almost anything neil gaiman touches
49. ann curry
50. advocating book loves
51. digital delay
52. the way dave grohl plays drums
53. an ice cold fountain coke, especially when i'm hungover
54. lakes
55. autumn leaves
56. ice sculpture
57. pop culture writing
58. splitting a pitcher at the c.c. club
59. pizza by the slice
60. public transportation
61. dystopic film and fiction
62. "wonderwall"
63. reading while it snows
64. cooking with someone who knows what she's doing
65. subtext
66. theatre concerts
67. kickball
68. tazo refresh tea
69. kung pao chicken
70. shrimp etouffee
71. the sunrise across a northern minnesota lake
72. canadian chanteuses
73. the sound a needle makes when it touches a record
74. naps on the sectional
75. comic books
76. plaid
77. warm chocolate chip cookies
78. passionate people
79. mint chocolate cupcakes
80. partners in crime
81. fables and myths
82. dragons
83. a good burger
84. scrabble
85. the smell of coffee and donuts
86. furtive hand holding
87. shoreline
88. the smell of dust jackets
89. british post-punk
90. imagining what i'm going to do with my powerball winnings
91. hemingway short stories
92. playing shows
93. listening to people read their work
94. amusing others with my chopstick skills
95. farfisa
96. recording in the studio
97. the word tricksy
98. rereading tolkien
99. milkshakes with the tin
100. cinematic moments