30 January 2010

FAVORITE THINGS: 2009 [part two - music]

It is almost February so I'll keep the rest of this brief. Here are my favorite albums of 2009.

St Vincent - ACTOR
Annie Clark's songs and arrangements are truly magical. This album, while a bit less pop accessible than her debut  MARRY ME, is a beautiful exploration of artifice by way of dark Disney-soundtrack-like sounds. She is charming, graceful, and cute as a button when she is not scaring you to death with her occasional guitar shredding skills. Yeah, I admit it, I have a severe musical crush.

For the full effect check out her film quality tour blogs: http://ilovestvincent.com/blog/. She'll put a spell on you and you won't want to break free.

Bazan (formerly of Pedro the Lion) puts into song the  deep forbidden questions most childhood Christian evangelical have had simmering below the surface for years. This year not just a few of my friends, and myself, have wrestled with this gorgeous and heart wrenching album from a guy who has been telling us like he sees it through edgy song-parables since our high school years.

Highly recommended for everyone, even if you don't want to think about.

More soothing samba-tinged, spare sounds from Norway's harmonious duo that sit you on a beach, in a boat, at a table, and in a whispered debate with an imaginary significant other. Great music for a Sunday afternoon or any winding down tim

Propellant, fun pop goodness from France. If you haven't heard at least one of these songs on a car commercial, pop radio, or TV I would be shocked. Not surprisingly, this is a great road trip CD. Easily my 2009 album of the summer.

10 January 2010

FAVORITE THINGS: 2009 [part one]


Our friends, Aaron and Kristin, had one of the best theme parties I've ever been invited to. It was a Twin Peaks marathon. Without giving all of their original ideas away I can say the party's food reflected key foods from the series. A late addition to the food creativity, or early quitter preventative measure, was that we wait until each food item appeared in the series before the party could indulge. Don't worry, most foods appear pretty early so we didn't go hungry for long. Plenty of ideas on how to do throw this sort of party are online, so do some digging.

If you give this a try don't expect to make it through the whole series in one day, we didn't. The pilot and most of the first season is a good goal. Most viewers took and will take the initiative to complete the series on their own while spreading the word of Twin Peaks' bizarre and wildly addictive world.

As for Twin Peaks itself, David Lynch and Mark Frost's 1990-1991 ABC television series told the story of a big city FBI agent in the deceivingly ordinary small town of Twin Peaks investigating the murder of the town sweetheart, prom-queen Laura Palmer. As small pieces of the puzzle are solved, if only temporarily, new layers of the mystery are revealed as the viewer is drawn deeper and deeper into the seductively fascinating and unsettling muck of Twin Peaks.
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