Monday, January 4, 2010
i killed my dinner with karate.
dropped off all my work down at the Basement Gallery yesterday. the gallery smells like fresh paint and i was greeted with a grand smile from the new owner who, taking on the re-painting of the space completely solo, was covered in droplets of white paint. i was unsure what to expect on our first encounter, to be honest, as i find most british ladies can be one of two sorts: staunchly proper, or (my favorite) a bit unpredictable, likable and sometimes kooky. (is kooky even a word? because that word sums it up perfectly.) she was well likable.
i read the news of the sale of the gallery in the Boise Weekly back in november and thought the article too worried.. in my opinion and experience thus far, it's gone smoothly and i'm excited for the changes. i have no doubt that the new owners will keep up the standard of The Basement Gallery as ace and we'll continue to see cutting-edge art and pop surrealism seep from its walls.
the show opens for First Thursday this week (january 7th) and i hope to see you all down there.
on my way home from the downtown, i stopped for a taco because i haven't purchased any groceries that didn't consist of either energy drinks, frozen chicken nuggets, or ramen since who knows how long. (the chick who delivered this tasty meal to my carside looked like meg prescott +50 lbs with glasses and i sooo wanted to take a photo with my phone to show my sister-- who would get a righteous kick out of that-- but had a feeling i would look and feel like a Creeper, so i refrained.) then i took a mini-coma. after which, i was woken up by The Roomies' two black devils barreling excitedly down the hallway to go to bed and the sound of whining from my chihuahua who sat bedside and stared at me with a look of mild concern.
i know it's a few days late, but i'm ready for the new year. i've given my top 10 songs of the last decade great thought.... before deciding that was impossible and had to make it a top 19. bite me, it was hard, yo!
the criteria for my list was simple: songs either had to be off an album that i enjoyed at least 90% of or could listen to straight through, after the first time i'd heard the song i was turned onto the band because of it, cared enough to see the band live, and/or it just plain rocked my ipod probably way too often. oh and release date within the 00's.
1. The Acorn - Crooked Legs
i love a band that has so many instruments it should seem chaotic, but just builds until you see the necessity of every single noise. the album and songs are inspired and culled from stories from the lead singer's mother. because the song is personal, it resonates with more authenticity, i think. there's a horn section and the percussion is brilliant here, with use of (what sounds like) a marimba, a shaker, and claves.
2. Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Feel the Illinoise! The World's Columbian Exposition...
this guy and his band will blow your socks off if you see them live. this one's from his Illinois-tributed album. it changes seamlessly around the 2:20 mark then again at 2:50 into what could be completely different songs. amazing composition and instrumentation. plus, it has a tambourine, and you know they don't get enough love.
3. The Decemberists - The Legionnaire's Lament
fell in love with this band after hearing "lesley anne levine." they bring back the element of storytelling within music. this song perfectly encapsulates and best demonstrates their style. and, accordion love. i still laugh when i think about the concert where they played "The Mariner's Revenge," pulled out a giant cardboard whale and accidentally smacked some kid up in the front on the head with a resounding thud and an apology.
4. The Get Up Kids - Forgive & Forget
god, i miss this band. i have many fond memories tied to this band since discovering them early on in college. i mostly turn to their earlier punk-influenced albums, but i'm hard pressed to find an album of theirs i don't like. this song is probably my favorite. on a whim, i once drove with a dude i barely knew for 5 hours both ways just to see these guys in atlanta, joorjah.
5. Hood - L. Fading Hills
a mellow tune with droning complexities you have to absorb. this is, by far, my favorite song to listen to while driving through the nevada desert at night. life never feels more beautiful than at that moment. (this was tied with Royksopp's "In Space" for exactly the same reason. probably shoulda won on account of Melody A.M. being a top album for me.. but it didn't. don't judge.)
6. Florence & the Machine - Cosmic Love
though "You've got the Love" was the first song of hers i heard and liked, this one is my pick off her album Lungs. but it was hard to choose as i like, well, at least 90% of that album.
7. Tokyo Police Club - Citizens of Tomorrow
their song "Nature of the Experiment" was enough to peak my interest in TPC. later, among their oeuvre, i discovered the tune "Citizens of Tomorrow." it would inspire many thoughts and artworks of futuristic robot rebellion within me. plus, there's hand-clapping. always a bonus, if you ask me.
8. Death Cab For Cutie - Title and Registration
first song of theirs i heard, couldn't stop listening to them after. i love that the drumming in this band is never predictable. their earlier stuff is less produced, but you can still find a few gems among their later work like "Brothers on a Hotel Bed." (great drumming in that one too.)
9. Frightened Rabbit - Poke
when i first heard this one, sent to me by an old friend, i didn't give it the attention it deserved. the more i listen to it, the sadness radiating from it becomes harder to ignore. no doubt the dissolution of my friendship with said friend this year plays a large factor in my heartache over this song. but, regardless, it's beautiful. with warm, melancholic tones it may just soak into your skin as well.
10. Radiohead - Idioteque
my pick off, probably, my favorite album of the decade. i remember some car speeding by me on a warm, savannah afternoon blasting this whilst i walked home from the library. it filled the air and the neighborhood with a dancey passion that made me chuckle.
11. The Sounds - Song With a Mission
the song i listen to most when i need to get up and moving in the morning earlier than i want to. which is often.
12. A Perfect Circle - Judith
josh freese is one of my favorite drummers and this is one of the first songs i learned on the drums. it's still my first pick to play when i get agitated. Mer de Noms is also one of my favorite albums. i wish these guys would make more music. 'cause they're kinda good at it.
13. Modest Mouse - Dashboard
i listen to this song a lot on the drive to work. (i also sing along to it really loudly while in the car. people look at me funny but i think they're not grasping the idea of really living.) great drumming here, a rolling bassline and well-written lyrics, as usual, keep modest mouse always somewhere in my top ten.
14. Bloc Party - Pioneers
okay so, it's gotta be obvious at this point on the list that the drumming in a song dictates whether or not a song is a good one for me. this one is not only fun to play on the set, but it's fast and it builds. it's got an energy, as most their songs do, that i find inescapable.
15. Final Fantasy - This Lamb Sells Condos
though Owen Pallett's cover of joanna newsom's "peach plumb pear" was the first song of his i heard and liked, this one is my pick. apparently, it's an attack on the toronto realtor brad j. lamb and his "ostentatious lifestyle," but i just like the build of frustration and anger that eventually takes over near the end.
16. The Good Life - Album of the Year
excellent lyrics in this one. about the start and eventual disintegration of a relationship, the topic is far from original. what makes it stand out is the moment the first line of "the first time that i met her, i was throwing up in the ladies room stall" is uttered. it's a sad tale delivered in an uncharacteristically matter-of-fact manner. though i'm sure the break-up was a tough one and it doesn't end happy, it never sounds sad.
17. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Frank, AB
i already posted this one a few entries back as it's included in my winter playlist, but i have a feeling this song will be one that i'll play a lot of now and in the future.
18. The Album Leaf - Always For You
has anyone seen the video for this song? i think i get it, but sometimes i wonder. the song's got electronic influence and quirks, but the drums and keyboard drive it. the lyrics are simple, but the singer's voice really makes this into something.
19. Ani DiFranco - Garden of Simple
this is, easily, my top pick of hers. i listened to this a lot during my time in savannah and have very fond memories of my roomie shawna and i driving to jacksonville to see her in concert. we drove back to savannah that night after and i just remember looking up through the sun roof of the car into the night feeling so content and happy.