Friday, December 31, 2004

Top Albums of 2004...

So the year end is upon us, and since I am a music nerd, there's nothing better than displaying your "best of" lists to everyone so they can go "ah, yes" or "what? idiot." Of course if you are in the latter category, you are stupid because my choices are beyond cool. Anyways, here are my top 15 favorite records that had their debut this past year, and in order of significance. Perhaps you've heard of them, perhaps you haven't. Maybe it will inspire you to go out and buy something new. Happy New Year!

  1. The Arcade Fire - Funeral - From the opening notes, to the very last chord, this album is flawless. If they never release anything at this level again, I wouldn't care.
  2. Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News - I remember some kid at freshman orientation telling me that Modest Mouse was just too weird. Can we say surprise radio hit of the year? Not up to par with Moon and Antarctica, but head and shoulders above everything but the Arcade Fire.
  3. AC Newman - The Slow Wonder - Best power-pop record of the past five years, even better than his New Pornographer's output.
  4. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes - Took some time to really digest, but when it clicked, it clicked.
  5. The Black Keys - Rubber Factory - This is the band I always wanted to be in. Enough said.
  6. Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days - Sam Beam tops his sub pop debut with this amazing record that is so intimate I didn't want to share him with anyone.
  7. Interpol - Antics - Faced with the unenviable position of trying to top their flawless debut, Interpol gets pretty darn close with this one.
  8. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans - Sufjan Stevens made me start practicing banjo again. God bless him.
  9. Air - Talkie Walkie - Even though I just bought this a few days ago, it is a beautiful record, that, if given more time, would have certainly risen on this list.
  10. The Features - Exhibit A - Amazing Middle TN band, my favorite driving record of the year.
  11. The Killers - Hot Fuss - Say what you will, "Somebody Told Me" flat out rocks. The first five songs on this record are all worthy of #1 status.
  12. Q & Not U - Power - Funkiest DC area record of 2004.
  13. The Walkmen - Bows and Arrows - Another one that took some time to get into, but it is a stunning album.
  14. Jens Lekman - You Are The Light EP - Hindered only by being an EP, can't wait to get his full length.
  15. Tom Waits - Real Gone - Tom Waits can be hard for some people to take, but I love him.

Biggest Disapointment of the Year - The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat - Maybe I'm just dumb, but I really don't understand all the praise heaped on this album. It's like a kid with ADHD took the tape, cut it up, and threw it back together.

My Most Anticipated Release of 2005 - Bloc Party - I dunno when it comes out, but their song "banquet" was simply amazing, and I can only hope the full length matches its potential.

And there we go, my faves of 2004. Hope you enjoyed it.


Thursday, December 30, 2004


The new Air album I picked up in Evansville, IN is pretty much the best chill out music ever. Ah.


Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Why? Not only does Ashley live there and they have a sweet river, but I made my first snowman ever today. Ok, I know what you're thinking...lame, and yes, to my readers who are from "The North" it might be. But to a son of Texas such as me, this is a once in a lifetime event. It wasn't a very big snowman, but I did it. He even had little twigs for arms. So cute. Of course by the time we got back from lunch he had melted...oh Frosty, if only you could laugh and play the same as you and me. But nooooooo. You had to try to be cool and smoke those cigarettes. Sigh.


Monday, December 27, 2004

This assimilation thing isn't going as I planned...

Ok, I go to Wal-Mart to get some hooks for my door so I can put my scarves on them. I find them and then proceed to the check out line. Everything is going smoothly until I had the lady my money. She looks at me, then says.

"You're not from around here, are you?"

At this point, I'm getting scared. I have this feeling like this will turn out like those movies where the rednecks corner the poor black guy in the back of the convenience store, then they lynch him.

I go, "No, I'm from San Antonio, TX."

Her face lights up like I just revealed I was wearing black face.

"Texas!? Well hey there, I have a joke for you!" she says.

Right about now, I start to look around for a way out. No one is behind me in line. No one is remotely near us. So much for an escape.

She starts telling it, and halfway through, she forget it. She then proceeds to reach behind her and pick up a Reader's Digest and turns to the joke section. She reads me the joke, having something to do with Texans, Californians, New Yorkers, and beef shortage. I laugh nervously, trying to be cool. By this time, someone has gotten behind me in line. I feel better, knowing the chances of me being lynched have gone down...or gotten worse, depending on the mentality of the guy behind me and if the checkout lady decides to sell me out. Anyways, I laugh some more, grab my bag and walk away. Somehow I have survived.

The question that begs to be answered here is how did this woman know I wasn't from Columbia. I know that it's a small town, but surely everyone doesn't know everyone...I could have slipped through her radar. What tipped her off that I wasn't a native? My lack of accent? My tragically stylish dress? The fact I'm buying hooks to put scarves on? I thought maybe she saw something suspect in my wallet, but I have a TN licence, so I'm cool on that part. I suggested that maybe she smelled foreigner, and of course when I tell this to Christina, she goes "yeah, you have a scent," which makes me think I need to change deoderants. Do I smell like TX? It seems to be the only logical explanation.


Thursday, December 23, 2004


Dear Columbia,
Please point me in the direction of a coffee shop that is not seem like it is run by middle aged women. Show me a place where I can get a cup of black coffee and no one will look at me like I'm weird. Lead me to an establishment where I can sit and not be interrupted by loud people. Guide me to a place where the waitress knows my name, and knows exactly the right time to refill my cup. But until that blessed day comes, I will be forced to make my own coffee and sit in the flat and drink it. Please Columbia, I want to feel trendy. You're not helping. For Godsakes, I dressed like I was Al Pacino from that 70's movie about the tattletale cop, and no one said anything. Do I need to shout out my hatred for gun freedom? Something's gotta get me noticed around here.

But no.

I think I'll buy a Dale Earndhart hat and assimilate. Take that corporate America!

-Love, ed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Reflections on Texas...

Most Surreal Moment: Sitting in Goerke's Diner, surrounded by construction workers, and Abba's "Dancing Queen" is playing in the background

Funniest Story: Sara's sister telling about the pregnant stripper who didn't know she was pregnant.

Best Wedding Moment: Playing the opening 3 chords of "Sweet Home Alabama" at the request of the groom's family...because that's the only part of the song we knew.

Best Taco Experience: Sitting in Bill Miller's, reading the Current, drinking 5 cups of coffee, eating 2 sausage and egg tacos, and eavesdropping on the 10 Mormon's behind me.

Time I thought I was going to die the most: Thursday Night, around 10:30pm. Sara and Kristen know what I mean.

Most Metal Moment: The page long tribute to Dimebag Darrell in the SA Current.

Best Coffee: Denny's...probably around 10 refills.

Worst Coffee: Jim's, 12am. Enough said.

Oh confuse me. I like the people, can't stand the place.

MOST REDNECK MOMENT EVER: So I'm at Kroger, standing in the checkout line, and I look towards that machine that'll convert your change into dollar bills. I had to look twice, but I swear, there was this guy with the most amazing mullet I've ever seen, emptying two bottles of change into the machine. But as this was no ordinary mullet, these were no ordinary bottles. Two huge Crown Royal bottles, filled with pennies. Trust me, if you had been there, you would have died of laughter, which I almost did. Ah...Columbia.


Friday, December 10, 2004

Best Songs of 2004...

Before I list them off, I would like to say that the vast majority of these songs were released in 2004, but I keep this list open to older songs I might have discovered this year along the way, such as the Cat Stevens song. That said, here's my picks for best songs of 2004, in the order randomized on my iTunes play list:

  1. Sweet Summer Night in Hammer Hill - Jens Lekman
  2. Hoist That Rag - Tom Waits
  3. All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
  4. Paperwings - Damien Juardo
  5. Hardcore Days and Softcore Nights - Aqueduct
  6. Here Comes My Baby - Cat Stevens
  7. Miracle Drug - A.C. Newman
  8. The Art Teacher - Rufus Wainwright
  9. Ocean Breathes Salty - Modest Mouse
  10. Our Mutual Friend - The Divine Comedy
  11. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) - The Arcade Fire
  12. Evil - Interpol
  13. 10 A.M. Automatic - The Black Keys
  14. He War - Cat Power
  15. In the Devil's Territory - Sufjan Stevens
  16. Even Tho - Joseph Arthur
  17. Passing Afternoon - Iron & Wine
  18. Banquet - Bloc Party

And there you have favorite songs of the year. I'll gladly burn a copy of these for anyone who wants them...the are amazing. I'll follow with the Top 10 Albums of the year soon, promise.


I defended my honors paper like a friggin' champ.

I am now done with that part of my life.

This is something worth noting. And celebrating.


btw...I want to live in whatever fake 70's Belle and Sebastian and Josh Rouse currently inhabit.