as if it wasn't enough just to hear you speak
they had to give you lips like that
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
You won't be sad or broken tonight
I hope everyone out there has been having good holidays and so forth, and that everyone has a wonderful New Year's Eve and a wonderful 2009. For some reason, tonight this song feels appropriate. My best to all of you.
No disrespect to any other list, including ones I participated in, but my favourite list of the year is now up and complete at What Was It Anyway?. It's mostly my favourite because the format and the writers mean it's the closest I'm going to get to seeing a Stylus list this year, really, but the writing is incredibly good all around. Look for me on Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip and No Age, and look for my good friend Theon Weber's devastating Lil' Wayne and The Kills blurbs - kid is a genius.
Jeff Weiss' fine blog the Passion of the Weiss is doing its year-end round up, and a few of my blurbs for songs wound up here (I have none in the M-Z section, by chance). It's not all gold, but it's a pretty well-written list, which is more important as far as I'm concerned.
It's not the reason I've liked Life so much, but I will admit that one of the reasons that I stopped and watched my first episode when flipping around was that they were playing a Low song (a recent one, although I've forgotten which one exactly). This week they used the band again, "Monkey" from The Great Destroyer to be exact.
Again, it's a great show completely separate from that, but I'm enough of a geek that the convergence makes me happy.
It's been a month or so (my fault, not theirs) but I have a new review up at PopMatters. It's about the new Marnie Stern, which I'm sort of torn about - I have the first nine tracks on my iPod as an album, but I'm not sure I need to keep the whole album. Still, it's a brave, original and compelling piece of work, so it's hard to fault it too much.
Do you know what was a really underappreciated album this year? Kensington Heights, by Constantines. I may be in the minority in thinking that their two last albums are their best (as albums qua albums that is, I will certainly cede the point that some of the tracks from Shine a Light are among their best, ditto with "Young Offenders"), but it really was just astonishingly solid and satisfying - not sure if it makes my top twenty, but it's a close run thing and it may actually suffer (unfairly) for 'just' being so consistent as opposed to other albums that are flashier or have more obvious conceptual hooks. But hell, being the best rock band in Canada ought to be enough for people, right?
Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man - "Tom the Model" Tortoise - "Glass Museum" The Twilight Singers - "Teenage Wristband" The Dodos - "Ashley" Wheat - "The Beginner" The Beta Band - "Push It Out" The Cramps - "Human Fly" Milosh - "My Life" Low - "Rope" Hot Chip & Robert Wyatt - "Made in the Dark"
So I quite enjoyed Festival's album* this year, and what should pop up in my inbox today but a video for the, I guess single, "Valentine." Which is not at all what I expected, but in a very enjoyable way (I have got to give bands more credit for having a sense of humour), and not just because my old Stylus comrade (and now Festival member) Mike Powell shows up as an objectified sex symbol. Although if you know the guy that alone is pretty freakin' hilarious.
*Did I really use the phrase "create a sinecure against the disenchantment of quotidian existence"? Yes, yes I did. I wish I'd caught that.
So the PopMatters top 50 singles list is up. I have one blurb, for #11 (found here). It's an interesting list, and well written, but I'm definitely feeling a little twinge of loss this time of year - I'd kill to see what Stylus' list would have been like.