Thursday, December 31, 2009

So long, 2009!

Hello from lovely, snowy New York. I am not going anywhere near Times Square, but I am in close proximity to the city.

I've been thinking a little bit about what I could say about 2009. I don't want to do a "looking back" meme. I had no really huge events to recap on in 2009 other than my accident and finger surgery. I haven't traveled anywhere and I haven't seen anything spectacular. I can't even give you my top ten albums of 2009 because I think I've only listened to maybe three albums that were released this year.

I guess this all means that 2009 was mostly mediocre. And it was. It wasn't the worst year I've had, but it wasn't the best to date either. I'm happy to see it go, and I'm really hoping 2010 is going to be an amazing year - at least, I'm going to try really hard to make it one.

Anyway, so as not to disappoint and merely trash talk 2009, here are the ten albums that I clung to the most in 2009. Enjoy this, please.

1. XTC - Apple Venus Volume 1
I heard this exactly one year ago today. I was lucky enough to be wearing headphones during my first listen so I could enjoy the full experience. It still feels like the first time every time.
2. Fleet Foxes (self-titled)
I never thought I'd love this album as much as I do. I get chills every time I hear it. I like to sing along with it. My family will endure listening to it. There's just nothing wrong with this. And seeing the band live was a treat - they perform well.
3. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
I'm always a little bit wary of new albums from bands/musicians that I already love. Because eventually it ends in disappointment. This album was a bit different to my ears from previous offerings from Mr. Bird, but it was really well done. Took a few days to grow on me, but I listen to it frequently now.
4. Tears For Fears - The Hurting
This came heavily recommended and I liked it upon first listen. That never happens.
5. XTC - English Settlement
If I could just put every XTC album I've heard on this list, it would probably be more accurate. But that's not fair. I like to listen to this one while I'm cleaning.
It's really fantastic. It was only posted in October and I've already listened to it over 100 times, I'm sure of it. Download it. Also, Eric did an XTC mix that was excellent. And some others too. I'm constantly impressed.
7. St. Vincent - Actor
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about St. Vincent when I found out she was opening for Andrew Bird in Charleston. I bought the album, forgot to listen to it, and saw her with no previous knowledge of her work. I will say that she was amazing on stage - I prefer her live performances to the album. But the album grew on me quickly, and I really would love to hear more from her in the future.
8. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
This has always been my favorite album from The Shins and that still hasn't changed. Their music makes me happy - I like to dance around to it while I'm working in the kitchen.
9. Nick Drake - Pink Moon and Five Leaves Left
I can't choose one. And I usually listen to them back to back anyway. Great albums. I heard them both for the first time on the long drive to Minnesota with my mom a few years back.
10. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part
Oddly enough, this is a Christmas album of sorts for me. As soon as it starts getting cold outside, I dig it out and revisit it. It also is the album I listen to while I'm trying to sleep at night.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I've been staring at this thing for a couple of days, knowing that I've neglected it and should write something, but not able to think of anything. It's not that nothing has happened since I last wrote - quite a bit has - but nothing really worth talking about so much.

Staci and I *did* go to Presents for Punks at Mellow Mushroom this year. It was a charity art show type thing. Locals artists donated some of their work and most of it sold for under $50 - some pieces were just straight sales, others were sold in silent auctions. It was a nice event and we each left with one piece. We had them picked out within ten minutes of entering the room, so I'd say we did good. The event is only in its second year, but I'd really like to see it go on for many years to come.

Currently, I'm home in Pennsylvania again, and ready to get out of here. Ready to get out of anywhere I call home, really. I'm in a bit of a rut and am having a hard time getting out. It feels like time for me to move again.

Anyway, hopefully in the next day or so I'll have something to say about 2009 since it's drawing to a close. I'm a little happy about its passing. In 2010, maybe I'll be better at this. But don't count on it... :)