Friday, January 07, 2005

The three R's and other junk

Since it's the beginning of 2005, I'm going to look back on 2004 with reviews on books, movies and TV shows. Today it's music, but I'm not going look at it, my good friend Ryan (if you're reading this from SOSH, you'll know him better as LawTown Fool) is going to take a look at the top six discs from the past year. So, it's time to go to school and learn the three R's. Not reading, (w)riting and 'rithmatic, but Ryan's Record Reveiw.

Some shit I dug from 2004:

Interpol: Antics
Don’t bang the bassist from Interpol -- the chap’s allegedly got herpes. Don’t give up on this album either -- I nearly did. I was persistent, however, and though Antics isn’t as strong as Interpol’s debut, it eventually paid off with rewards like: “C’mere,” “Length of Love,” “Next Exit” and “Evil” (one of my favorite songs of the year).

Aberfeldy: Young Forever
Oh my goodness, the glockenspiel -- Young Forever, my unquestioned favorite album of 2004, is teeming with it. This Scottish quintet’s debut is also chock full of mandolins, fiddles, bells -- even a little bodhran (which warms this Irish trad lover’s heart). The tenderness of “Tie On One” will make you teary, while the cheeky lyrics of “Vegetarian Restaurant” will make you smile.

TV On The Radio: Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
It’s difficult to categorize these guys -- they dabble in post-punk, in jazz, in doo-wop. They dabble in fucking goodness too. Tunde Adepimbe’s voice and lyrics suck you in -- right from the opening, dragged-out lines of “The Wrong Way,” the album’s first track: “Woke up in a magic nigger movie.”

The Walkmen: Bows & Arrows
This is my third pick from a NYC-based band -- I’m at peace with myself for doing this because New York’s most beloved baseball team recently engineered the greatest collapse in the history of pro sports (I had to get that in there, assbags). I picked this album up early last year and this fact, along with several of the song titles (the droning “No Christmas While I’m Talking,” the bittersweet “The North Pole” and the bouncy “New Year’s Eve”), has always given this album a wintery feel for me. Also, “Thinking Of A Dream I Had” seems fitting when reflecting -- during these most recent winter days -- upon that World Series run.

A.C. Newman: The Slow Wonder
Carl Newman, lead dude from the New Pornographers, churns out one helluva debut solo album. The fucker’s stacked with pop delights: the aching “The Cloud Prayer,” the upbeat (in music only) “Miracle Drug” and my favorite, “The Town Halo,” filled with plenty of swirling cellos. It’s something catchy to tide us over as we wait for the latest New Pornos’ release.

The Libertines: The Libertines
Okay, you know how a football player has a great season, doesn’t make the Pro Bowl, follows that up with a slightly-less-than-great season and then makes this Pro Bowl on account of him being rewarded for the previous season? That’s why the Libertines self-titled effort is on here. Their debut is far stronger, though this LP certainly does have its moments: “Can’t Stand Me Now” and “What Became Of The Likely Lads,” where Pete Doherty and Carl Barat go toe-to-toe on the vocals; “Campaign Of Hate” with the chilling lyrics, “There’s a campaign of hate/It’s waiting at the school gate”; and the amazing 20-second solo in “The Ha Ha Wall.”

This is going to be a regular thing here at 19 Thoughts, Rye knows his shit about new music and is going to let everyone what he's listening to and why it's good. We're also thinking about linking the song to web sites where you can download the tune, so if it sucks you can let us know. Of course, if it's good, you can let us know that too.

Aside from Aquaman's blog, I haven't really written too much. Luckily, not much has been happening. Aly and I just came back from my work Christmas party. Like most work Christmas party held after the holidays, it sucked.

For one thing, most of the people I work with are fucking dorks. The other thing is that it's hard to make regular chit-chat with work folk without talking about work, and no one wants to talk about work. You have to spend most of the night fishing for things that people may be into. So you end up talking about malls or cars or some other really stupid thing for the entire night.

The worst part of the night is that we came in late and had to sit with a couple of people I barely knew. Turns out that the people I sat with were cool, but it was still kind of sucky. The strange thing about my company is that a lot of people go all out for this party, one lady even wore the dress she got married in to this shin-dig. It wasn't a wedding dress, but it was sort of a white prom dress. I mean really, what the hell?

Aside from this party, it was a pretty boring week. Aly started her job on Monday and aside from some growing pains, it's going well. We took my dad out to dinner on Tuesday for his birthday. The sucky thing for my dad is that my mom is never around for his birthday. She and Ryan's mother always take a Florida vacation to visit Ellie's sister, Sally. She's a teacher and gets the same vacation time off every year. This leaves my dad alone. I don't think he cares too much because being alone doesn't bug him, still sucks for him though.

Ok, I got nothing else ... I think I'm going to bed.

EDIT: I forgot to add a book report, on Monday I finished reading Nick Hornby's "Fever Pitch". Not a bad book at all, not the greatest book that I heard that it was, but not bad at all. I liked it because Hornby does a great job of explaining what it's like to be obsessed by a team.

In his case, it's Arsenal of the English Soccer League. This guy has been crazy for them since the late 60s when he was just a boy. As he gets older his craze only grows, even going as far as moving close to their home stadium so he can walk to the games. It's something that every Sox fan can relate to ... in fact, they're turning the book into a movie starring Jimmy Fallon as a Sox-obsessed fan who dates Drew Barrymore.

It's going to suck.

The one thing that I didn't like, and it's not Hornby's fault, is that he wrote it about English soccer, something of which I know nothing about. If I knew the intricacies of the game a bit better, I think I would've gotten more out of it, but I don't, so there were some parts that I was sort of skimming over. However, he did rekindle my interest in soccer, so maybe after a bit of research, I can read this again and get more out of it.

All in all, a good read.

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