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