Friday, December 21, 2007

Favorite Songs of 2007

It's almost the end of the year and all of the best of music lists are coming out. Music was a big part of my life this year, bigger than it has been in past years. A lot of really great music was released this year that was not played on mainstream radio and it's a shame that some of these artists don't get the attention they deserve. The music industry is suffering because major labels don't know how to take risks. Everything has become so homogenized on mainstream radio. It's a sad state of affairs.

I've discovered so many great artists this year and I want to share some of my favorite songs from 2007. Some songs on the list didn't come out this year but they were in heavy rotation on my Ipod. Here's to my favorite songs this no particular order:

Young Folks by Peter, Bjorn and John on Writer's Block
Explosions by The Mary Onettes on The Mary Onettes
No Conclusions by Of Montreal on Icons, Abstract Thee
Stiff Kittens by Blaqk Audio on Cexcells
Tongue Tied by The Hong Kong on Slow Motion Gets Around
Take Me to the Riot by Stars on In Our Bedroom After the War
Mer du Japon by Air on Pocket Symphony
Champion by Professor Murder on Professor Murder Rides the Subway
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Jens Lekmen on Night Falls Over Kortedala
Too Young by Phoenix on United
You!Me!Dancing! by Los Campesinos! on Sticking Fingers into Sockets
Patty Lee by Les Savy Fav on Let's Stay Friends
Keep the Care Running by The Arcade Fire on Neon Bible
Normandie by Shout Out Lounds on Our Ill Wills
Knights by Minus the Bear on Planet of Ice
Careless Whisper as covered by The Gossip
Heartbeats by The Knife on Deep Cuts
Hearts on Fire by Cut Copy
Silver Lining by Rilo Kiley on Under the Blacklight
Your Kisses are Wasted on Me by The Pipettes on We are the Pipettes
Boyz by M.I.A. on Kala
Broken English by Scratch Massive on the Broken English Soundtrack
All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem on Sounds of Silver
Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken by Camera Obscura on Let's Get Out of this Country
1,2,3,4 by Feist on The Reminder
D.A.N.C.E by Justice on Cross
He Can Only Hold Her by Amy Winehouse on Back to Black
It's a Fact-Printed Stained by Matt and Kim on Self titled
Sea of Love by Cat Power on The Covers Record
Hospital Beds by Cold War Kids on Robbers and Cowards
If You Were Here by Cary Brothers on Who You Are

There are a lot of great albums that came out this year that I have not been able to get my hands on yet. The album I'm really excited about getting is Radiohead's In Rainbows, which would explain the omission of this great band from my year end music list. I know I could have purchased it for any price on their website but I prefer having it in my hands. It comes out on cd January 1st. I can't wait!

Monday, December 10, 2007

I went to the library today..

with the intention of checking out two books but as usual I walked out of there with 6 books! Why does that happen? Is it because I have no money at the moment to buy books so I go bonkers at the library? I love going to the library but it makes me sad when I have to return the books, especially if I really enjoyed reading a particular book. I love seeing the stacks of library books on my nightstand along with my own books. Gives me a sense of joy that I will soon embark on a new adventure. Without further ado these are the books that made their way home with me from the library today:

Veronica by Mary Gaitskill
The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares
South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

It's quite an eclectic group of books. I had started reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics about a month ago but didn't get very far. I liked what I did read so I hope I get to finish it this time. I've been meaning to read Murakami for a while but wasn't sure where to start. I chose South of the Border, West of the Sun since it seems to be one of his earlier books and the premise of the story sounds interesting. The Madonnas of Leningrad is about a woman's experience during World War II as a museum guide in the Hermitage. Casino Royale is the first James Bond novel and I've decided that I want to read all of them. I love the James Bond films, even the cheesy Timothy Dalton Bond movies. Veronica and The Last Summer have both been on my reading list for some time. I hope I can finish the stack before I have to return them.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Not much to say...

just sitting here looking out my window at a dreary winter day. Two trees are still radiantly red outside my window but I'm sad the leaves will be falling soon.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I went home to visit my family for Thanksgiving. Drove 12 hours to visit and then another lovely 12 hours driving back home. Needless to say I am still trying to recover from the drive and the whirlwind activity. I feel so tired that I cannot hold a decent and intelligent conversation. I haven't been reading much either. I started reading The Sidewalk Artist by Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk. I had to take a break from the 700+ page books I've been reading (still working on Vanity Fair and Middlemarch). I chose the Sidewalk Artist because I love art. The novel has two parallel love stories, one of which is about the painter Raphael. I don't know much about him except that he is a wonderful painter. I should be able to finish the book by the end of the week.

I am so looking forward to sleeping in this weekend!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Some random thoughts

It's been some time since I last wrote. My sinusitis is finally gone thank goodness. While recuperating I finished two books: The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

The Last of Her Kind is a novel about two women who meet in 1968 at Columbia University. The late sixties were a turbulent time in America and the author captures it beautifully. I'm too young to know what it must have been like since I wasn't born until the late seventies but I've always felt that I had a pretty good idea of what it felt like to be a young person at that time. I became pretty fascinated with the counterculture movement and civil rights movement when I was a teenager. I tried to find out as much about it as I could and am still learning about that time period. I remember watching the riots in Los Angeles after the Rodney King trial happened and I thought to myself that must have been how it was when the riots in Watts happened. I had a similar feeling when reading The Last of Her Kind. I felt like I was there when the author described certain events that did happen in that time in New York. The anti-war protestors shutting down the universities, Woodstock, and the Weather Underground. After I finished reading this novel I watched a documentary about the Weather Underground, a militant anti-war group that was responsible for several bombings in different cities in the United States who felt that peaceful protesting against the war in Vietnam was not doing enough to stop the war. It was a very enlightening documentary about the lengths people will go to in order to try and create change. I don't completely agree with their ideology and actions at that time but can see where they felt frustrated in their efforts to stop a war that was pointless. I believe peaceful protesting is more conducive to creating change although we seem to have become an apathetic society in recent years.

After the heaviness of the late sixties I felt I needed something fun and light to read. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist fit the the need perfectly. I am a music geek and it was fun reading a romantic tale involving two music geeks. This is a young adult novel but like many young adult novels it has some adult issues...or maybe young adults are growing up way too fast nowadays, hence the adult issues. After reading this I felt very nostalgic for that period in every one's life when you are about to step onto the threshold of adulthood but your dreams are still intact and you're young enough to still make stupid mistakes. Ah youth!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

At home...sick

I've been home the last couple of days per doctor's orders. Acute sinusitis is the diagnosis so I'm here resting and trying to read while I have the time but having terrible headaches is not conducive to a good reading session. I started reading The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez yesterday but only made it through the first 50 pages before I passed out. I'm going to try reading for at least an hour straight today.

I'm reading Vanity Fair by Thackeray as well and I have to say I love the clever Miss Becky Sharp. Thackeray certainly knows how to portray conniving, clever, money hungry women...or in this case Miss Sharp. I like her character despite the fact that she is not the most ideal of women. She is spunky, self-assured, and very astute in knowing the true characters of those around her. Just some observations so far. I'm only 300 pages in.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Back to the blog...

I've decided to try out blogland for a bit again. I didn't do so well last time so I'm challenging myself to keep this up to date.