Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Albums of 2008

Top Albums of 2008

1. The Cardinals(Ryan Adams) – Cardinology This is such a great album. It is common knowledge that I love anything Ryan Adams puts out so I’ll spare you a long fawning write up here, just know that since cleaning up Ryan’s voice sounds light years stronger.

2. Kings of Leon – Only by the night I wrote about this album on my blog when it first came out and I still love it.

3. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago This has shown up on almost every list this year so I probably don’t need to say anything more about how awesome it is.

4. Nick Cave and the Bad Seed – Dig, Lazerus, Dig!!! Like I’ve said before, the Grinderman album that Cave and his cohorts made not long ago really added a spark to this album that sets it apart from some of his recent work. As a long time fan of the Boatman’s Call this album is right up there.

5. Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams Not as immediately catchy overall as Destroyer’s Rubies this album pays off big if you give it a little patience and a couple of extra listens

6. Okkervil River – The Stand Ins A great album, at times a little loose and jangly often poppy and melodic but superb songwriting throughout. Pop Lie reminds me a bit of the New Pornographers at their best.

7. Vampire Weekend – S/T This album is too much fun not to be included.

8. Fleet Foxes – S/T This is another album that many much better writers then myself have written about and included on their lists.

9. Girl Talk I really didn’t like this Girl Talk album when I first picked it up but being the lazy bastard that I am I didn’t erase it from my ipod, then a strange thing happened, I found myself listening to every Girl Talk track that came up on shuffle(I almost exclusively use the shuffle feature) Now at the end of the year my I tunes tells me that I’ve listened to some of these tracks more than albums I loved right out of the gate. If you haven’t heard this album it is a seemless mix of a ton of samples that couldn’t possible have been legally cleared. Part of the fun of this is trying to figure out where that bass line came from or how many decades separate the release of the lyrics and the rhythm track.

10. Herman Dune – Next Year in Zion This is a late entry for me, I’ve had pieces of this album for awhile but only recently bought the entire album. I really like the simplicity of this work and the lyrics are smart and uncomplicated. I was turned onto these guys by posters in the metro advertising one of their shows.

11. Bonnie “Prince” Billy - Lay down in the light Will Oldham at his most awesome. I’ve really not spent as much time with this album as I would like to, I’m sure it would be higher up on the list if I’d spun it a few more times.

12. Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping I probably wouldn’t have listened to this more then once if it weren’t for Gretchen. This weirdly sung collection of funky dance tracks really grows on a fella. I think what put it over the top for me was the video Gretchen showed me where the lead singer was wearing a giant fanny pack. A Giant fanny pack!

EP Love:

One Day as a Lion – S/T While it’s no Rage Against the Machine There are three really strong tracks on this ep that I’ve listened to a lot. This ep is also to blame for me loading my ipod with the entire Rage Against the Machine discography, it ust plays so well on the Metro.

The Decemberists – Always the Bridesmaid As much as Gretchen hates them I love the Decemberists. This ep has several stellar tracks, Valerie Plame is probably my favorite.

Special Mention:

R.E.M. - Murmur(Reissue) – While I could technically place this at number one on my list and be done with it that might be cheating. I’ve probably listened to this entire album more than anything else, ever. This is still an absolutely brilliant album.

Whiskeytown – Strangers Almanac(reissue) Another that could technically be placed in my top three for this year. This expanded edition is pretty awesome it has a live and early version of one of my favorite songs Houses on the Hill.

These two tracks will forever be linked in my mind with moving to Paris besides the fact that they are great songs they were played constantly on the French music channel (one of the only places to hear English).

MGMT – Time to Pretend

Estelle featuring Kanye West – American Boy

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Le Lesson 2: Nutella

The French don't seem to eat peanut butter but by God they eat a lot of Nutella. So when in Rome... like the French we have switched, in large part, to Nutella. (A tiny jar of Peanut Butter runs about 6 euro,around 8 bucks)
The lesson in this switch to Nutella is this; if you get a little Nutella on your hand or shirt it looks just like shit. This can be terribly confusing if you've just gotten up. About twice a week I have to stop what I'm doing and run it down mentally, like this.
1. Have I taken a shit this morning? No i need a little coffee and a bite first thing so... not mine.
2. Has a child touched me this morning? I'm generally the first one up and if i'm not Liam has woken me and i've automatically made him a bowl of cereal. This is done with no touching so... not ours.
3. Have i touched something D might have touched without washing his hands last night? Alarm clock, sweatpants, coffee press, water pot, coffee cup, cereal bowl, milk. Nope, so...not his.
4. Should i taste this? Why not, ohh it's Nutella. I've been lucky so far.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stuff for G

Gretchen will go nuts when she sees Largehearted Boys compilation of top ten lists.
She might pee herself when she hears the Of Montreal cover of Petty's American Girl.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Wow, some people really like those Eames Chairs. Does this give you any ideas Scot?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Le Lessons 1

I've decided to impart some of the lessons i'm learning here in Paris, some of them are Paris specific and some might apply to life in your city.
Lesson One: Ordering at Mc Donalds.
If you have small children you will find yourself at a McDo's, even in a city like Paris with so many other food options. Ordering at Mc Donald's isn't as easy as you might think even though most everything on the menu is the same in French as it is in English.
Here is the secret to ordering, numbers need to be said in french but the items need to be said in english but with a wicked thick french accent. example; "deux aumbeergers, un sheecan sanwich et deux appee meel". That's all there is to it, good luck.

Mike Giant in Paris

I just found out that Mike Giant will be part of a show with Dalek at the Magda Danysz Gallery here in Paris on April 25th. Magda Danysz is right down the road from our place.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Post it show

Tom, one of the Igloo Tornado members(he of the Blot fame), is taking part in a post it show. Like it sounds, the art is done on post it notes and Tom has done several portraits of famous artists. Check out his work here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

There as been alot of talk around my house about how tame my music tastes have become, here's what i listened to on the metro today and yesterday. BTW i've been using my wife's shuffle so i just go with what it wants.
Fallen from the sky - Glen Hansard
If you need a reason - Mason Jennings
Take the power back - Rage Against the Machine
Come on! Feel the Illinoise! - Sufjan Stevens
Ripchord - Rilo Kiley
Disturbance at the Heron house - REM
Harborcoat - REM
Pickpocket - At the drive in
Gimme Sunshine - Ryan Adams
Chapel Hill - Sonic Youth
Helicopter - M. Ward
Sausalito - Conor Oberst
We Fight We Love - Q Tip
Wolves - Iron & Wine
Rock the House - Run DMC
How I could just kill a man - Rage Against the Machine
Amie - Damien Rice
Stupid Girl - Rolling Stones
Candy Everybody wants - 10,000 Maniacs
Regina - Possum Dixon
No Rolling Back II - Jay Farrar
junkie Man - Rancid
Parental Discretion Iz advised - NWA
Bad Party - The Dead Milkmen
Oh my god, Whatever, Etc - Ryan Adams
Up in the North - The Fiery Furnaces
Neighborhood #1 Tunnels - Arcade Fire
Glory Days - ruce Springsteen
Mother's Little Helper - The Rolling Stones
Pretenders - Ryan Adams
Walking with a Ghost - Tegan and Sara
Evil Urges - My Morning Jacket
Waste of Paint - Bright Eyes
Wicked Gil - Band of Horses
You are a runner and i am my fathers child - Wolf Parade
Man on the Moon - REM
Vibrate - Ghostland Observatory
A small victory - Faith No More
Olympia Wa - Rancid
Jesu the Mexican boy - Iron & Wine
The Hardest Part - Ryan Adams
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
Artichoke - Gabrial Mann
Superstar - Lupe Fiasco
Six Pack of Beer - Hank III
The Rat within the grain - Damien Rice
Houses on the Hill(early version) - Whiskeytown
Jus De Canneberges - Malajube
Secret Meeting - The National
Miss Sunflower - Ryan Adams
Paper Kitten Nightmare - Margot and the Nuclear so and so
Why would you wanna live - Wilco
Losering - Whiskeytown
Dirtfloor cracker - Mofro
Monty Got a raw deal - Catfish Heaven
Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem
Another Sunny Day - Bellle & Sebastian
Metronome Arthritis - At the Drive in
Ship Of Fools - Ron Sexsmith
Mendocino County Line - Willie Nelson
Bonita Applebum - A tribe called quest
Dead mans will - Iron & Wine
Get Busy - The roots
Let me ride - Dr. Dre
making Friends - Bishop Allen
Sheila Take a Bow - The Smiths
War on War - Wilco
Benzie Box - Danger Doom
Someday soon - Wilco
Suffer - Smashing Pumpkins
Greatest Hits - Sublime
The Gulag Orkestar - Beirut
I Ain't the 1 - NWA
I can see clearly now - Johnny Nash
Answering Bell - Ryan Adams
Fake Plastic Trees - KT Tunstall
I Can't wait - Hepcat
Wild Internatonal - One Day as a Lion
Maria - Rage Against the Machine
Hysteria - Def Leppard
Fuck the Creationists - MC Hawking
Gold Digger - Kanye West
Flatheat - The Fratellis
Sad Sad City - Ghostland Observatory
Cosonaut - At the drive in
Ain't no nigga - Jay Z
First Tube - Phish
Mr. Jones - Counting Crowes
Blue - The Thorns
Ask me lies - The Replacements
I may know the word - Natalie Merchant
Instant Pleasure - Rufus Wainwright
Wild flowers - Ryan Adams
10 Seconds - whiskeytown
Happy Alone - Kings of Leon
Good Intentions - My Morning Jacket

Ok, i guess i might be a little lame.