Archive for December, 2006

Top 10 Albums of 2006

Here we go.. my favorite albums of 2006!

10. Sonic YouthRather Ripped
Noisy good pop from one of my favorite survivors of the 90’s!

9. Exene Cervenka & The Real SinnersSev7en
Half of X sounds just as good to me, especially when John Doe joins in on a few.

8. Mark Knopfler and Emmylou HarrisAll the Road Running
Wonderful duet album.. Mark Knopfler’s guitar and voice perfectly complement Emmylou Harris’ classic country twang. Would be the best country album of the year if it wasn’t for Neko.

7. Scissor SistersTa-dah!
Super catchy Elton John inspired melodies injected with Bee Gees falsettos and great lyrics = winner!

6. Richard AshcroftKeys to the World
My biggest surprise of the year. Every song on here just works, and Ashcroft’s voice and lyrics carry the album where the music might come up a little short.

5. Mates of StateBring it Back
Super poppy power duo makes a huge sounds from only drums and keyboards. Awesome! The lyrics are great and each and every song is fun to sing along to.

4. Neko CaseFox Confessor Brings the Flood
Oh man. Neko Case can’t do wrong. This is an amazing album, even if it isn’t as great as Blacklisted. This is a must buy.

3. Cat PowerThe Greatest
This is easily my favorite album from Cat Power. I was in a thrift store a few weeks ago and they were playing this, and it made me remember why I like it so much. Perfectly mellow and Chan’s voice is haunting and playful. This is one of my most played albums of the year.

2. Robert PollardNormal Happiness / From a Compound Eye
I couldn’t decide between the two, so they tie. From a Compound Eye is more in the style of his earlier Guided By Voices work, and Normal Happiness shows that Bob can edit down his prolific songwriting ability to be able to produce 16 short and sweet pop songs. Absolutely essential records. Look for about 10 Pollard releases in 2007, including the end of his Fading Captain series.

1. Belle & SebastianThe Life Pursuit
Belle & Sebastian continue to make wonderful pop music. This album is much different from the music they were making 10 years ago, which shows they have the ability to evolve while keeping their uncanny ability to make songs that make you want to sing along to over and over and over. There isn’t a single weak song on the entire record, and it seems they have settled into their roles as pop music’s under-appreciated saviors quite well.

The Where are They? List of artists:

Bruce SpringsteenWe Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
MorrisseyRingleader of the Tormentors

These two albums are from two of my favorite artists of all time! Too bad the records they put out didn’t grab me with anything new, even though The Boss put together an entirely new band for his folk stompy record. I like these records, but they just didn’t get anywhere near my top 10.

Favorite Albums bought in 2006, but not from 2006 (in no particular order)

MyloDestroy Rock n’ Roll
Joe Strummer & The MescalarosStreetcore
WirePink Flag (reissue)
The Black KeysThe Big Come Up
Brian Jonestown MassacreThank God For Mental Illness
Devendra BanhartCripple Crow
DevoNow It Can Be Told (live)
GaragelandLast Exit to Garageland
Guided By VoicesBee Thousand / Alien Lanes
The New PornographersTwin Cinema

Favorite Song of 2006: Another Sunny Day by Belle and Sebastian

Thanks for reading, everyone. See you in 2007!

-Robert

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December 31, 2006 at 5:50 pm

back in L.A.!

THANK GOD

I’m back in wonderful Los Angeles. Barf 6 times and get fake boobs!

Sylvester Stallone is the best, ever.

I got a new warm blanket. I am getting a fish. I got a new (old) 35mm camera from my dad. I got more new sheets.

I just got in a mood where I don’t want to write anymore. Soon… top albums of 2006. I’ve got a lot of top 10 lists of 2006!

December 29, 2006 at 6:57 am

Mewwy Catmas

Oregon is cold, rainy, and miserable. BURF!

This cat isn’t miserable, though! This is my cat, Oscar. She is 15 years old, but looks like she is 8! We hung out all day.
See you on New Years, everyone!

December 27, 2006 at 12:39 am 2 comments

Goodbye 2006!

I’ve lived 4 different lives. I will list them below. This is the definitive self-reflexive post of 2006.

1. Grants Pass.

This is where I grew up. This is where I grew a sense of identity and a sense of grounding. The NW will never leave my blood. An immense sense of calm comes over me when I am alone in the middle of my parent’s property. The silence and darkness that used to scare me as a kid now makes me feel like an anchor, like some sort of presence that lives in those woods but only gets to visit every once in a while.

2. Portland.

This is where I became the person that I am. Portland taught me how to live in the “real world,” as well as giving me the best times in my life. For almost 5 years, I had great friends, great experiences, great concerts, great relationships, a great job, and a great sense of placement. If I could say I belong anywhere on the west coast, it would be Portland.

3. Eugene.

Eugene was somewhere where I expected to tie up loose ends, and I ended up picking up a lot more than that. I met some of the most awesome, sincere, and amazing people in Eugene. I came down to Eugene expecting to spend two years and no more, but I ended up investing myself into people that I know I will be friends with for life. Eugene dealt me a few hands that I am still handling today, but I know I will be better for it. It was two of the best years of my life.

4. Los Angeles

I can’t describe Los Angeles yet. It is like being in the middle of a hurricane. You can’t ask for a description of the experience until the person is thrown out of the middle. I’ll admit, sincere people here are few and far between. Los Angeles will definitely be a year (or two) where I look back and I realize that life is much more than you expect it to be. I love it down here because I live in the same city as my best friends, and I also have had the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing people. I feel like you really haven’t lived until you experience Los Angeles. I have that step taken care of.

I’ve lived 4 lives, and I hope that you, reader, have been part of at least one of them! After all, you are who I am writing this for. Life is so short, and so sweet, and so complex, and so incomprehensible. It makes the most sense when you see it reflected in your friends and experiences. I feel honored to know everyone in my life that I’ve met.. my friends, my relationships, my family, my teachers. I love you all, and let’s look forward to 2007, and make it everything 2006 wasn’t. Happy holidays and happy New Years, everybody.

-Robert

December 17, 2006 at 7:55 am 2 comments

Important Stuff

Hey everyone. My friend Isabelle’s sister is missing. If you could take a look at the poster below (clicking on it will make it bigger) or even print this out and keep an eye out that would be awesome.


If you see her and don’t have this flyer on you, please don’t approach her. You can call me and I can get in touch with the right people. Thanks everyone!

December 13, 2006 at 7:07 pm

chord progression

Most of my “me time” has been spent at home lately diving headfirst into Robert Pollard’s extremely prolific universe of songs and albums. I’m either making lists of which of the albums I need for the entire Fading Captain Series (50, including 3 boxsets) or I’m downloading the copious amounts of lo-fi demos that freely available on the internet. The most awesome resource is Guided By Voices Database. It has pretty much all the information you could ever want on all of Bob’s works, although I wish they would go all Smiths/Morrissey on the songs and allow some interpretations of certain songs. It could benefit by going wikipedia style.

When I’m not listening to this, it has mostly been Wire, X, The Damned, Bruce and Beck. Most of this has been in my iPod on my way to and from work, as well as at work.

I guess my true favorite comic book movie is American Splendor.

I totally fell asleep watching Touch of Evil. I didn’t get good sleep last night, but it didn’t help that everytime Charleton Heston walked onto screen in brown-face, he basically gave his Planet of the Apes final speech over and over again. That guy is just a bad actor. He’s like Captain Kirk times a million. He makes my brain hurt.

The winter solstice is coming, which means we will start getting longer days again. It is getting ridiculous with the darkness coming at 4:30! I can’t wait for those long warm nights again. Soon.. soon.

December 12, 2006 at 5:42 am

the longest day

Today was the longest day. It’s only 10:45 right now. I did so much, but not so much. A typical Sunday. I went to a great art show.. I was really impressed with the stuff there, my friend’s work in particular.

The weather was windy today, and I almost wiped out on a turn. I don’t know if I hit an oil spot or what but I was leaned over taking a corner at normal speed, and the back tire slipped. It wasn’t bad, but it startled me pretty bad. I don’t ever want to wreck on my Vespa. I’ve wrecked a million time on dirtbikes.. but that’s different.

I’m reading the 33 1/3 Bee Thousand book.. it is really good. I can’t believe Christmas is two weeks away. I guess I’m sort of flipping out.

I don’t want to turn into an old person, with their buzzard necks and their garish decorations. It’s really frightening. I guess I have a few years before that happens, though.

I watched The Mayor of Sunset Strip, and it made me realize all the stuff in Los Angeles that I’ve been missing out on.

This time last year was a weird time in my life. One year later.. I’m feeling the same for different reasons.

Goodnight.

December 11, 2006 at 6:45 am

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