Happy New Year. I hope this finds everyone happy and healthy and living large in 2005. As always, feel free to respond to me with your complaints, compliments, or--better yet--your very own "best of" lists.
BEST RECORDS OF 2004
I always begin this list with an apology, since I know lots of people are offended by my glaring omissions. I'm a total indie-mindy (I know, I know) and I love sad, depressing music. Deal with it. So, I'm just going with the records I listened to the most last year. For example, I Know everyone loves The Killers, but I probably only listened to that record twice. Same with Franz Ferdinand. Great records, to be sure, but they didn't exactly burn up my stereo in the way the following records did...
1. Low - A Lifetime of Temporary Relief (box set)
2. Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
3. Luna - Rendevouz
4. Blonde Redhead - Misery is a Butterfly
5. Secret Machines - Now Here is Nowhere
6. Rogue Wave - Out of the Shadow
7. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
8. Kings of Convenience - Riot on an Empty Street
9. White Magic - Through the Sun Door
10. Earlimart - Treble & Tremble
11. The Futureheads - Futureheads
12. My Morning Jacket - Accoustic Citsuoca e.p.
13. Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing in the Hands
14. Dios - Dios
15. Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
16. Bloc Party - Bloc Party e.p.
17. Slowdive - Catch the Breeze (compilation)
18. Camera Obscura - Underachievers Please Try Harder
19. The Cure - The Cure
20. The Walkmen - Bows & Arrows
BEST LIVE SHOWS OF 2004
I see a lot of rock shows, which means that no matter how much I love seeing live music, I can still get a little big jaded about the whole thing. Here are the shows that totally knocked my socks off in 2004.
1.Pixies @ Coachella Festival. (totally thrilling high school nostalgia moment #1)
2.Broken Social Scene @ Bowery Ballroom. (for my money, this band basically has no equal. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful)
3.The Cure @ Curiosa Festival (totally thrilling high school nostalgia moment #2)
4.Secret Machines @ Bowery Ballroom (fucking awesome psychedelic freakout, like nothing else)
5.Blonde Redhead @ Bowery Ballroom (gorgeous art-school bullshit. totally made me want to fall in love with something)
6.The Only Children @ Siberia Bar (old friends, good times, ridiculous all-night dancing to follow)
7.Green Day @ Irving Plaza (shockingly, shockingly good)
8.The Von Bondies @ Bowery Ballroom (caused Heather Sperber to dance so hard she actually broke her bra)
9.And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead @ Siren Festival (any show that involves an entire case of bottled water being thrown at a fan is a guaranteed good time)
10.My Morning Jacket @ Asbury Park (watching this band play while standing on the boardwalk in front of the ocean--in the misty rain, no less--was one of the most gorgeously surreal moments of my year. I couldn't possibly love this band any more)
BEST MOVIES OF 2004
I know plenty of people might argue to the contrary, but 2004 really seemed a particularly dreadful year for movies. Scraping together a list of 10 movies that I was generally inspired by in the past year was tougher than it should have been.
These were pretty good though...
1. Bad Education
4. Control Room
5. Napolean Dynamite
7. Dawn of the Dead
9. The Woodsman
10. A Letter from True
BEST BOOKS OF 2004
I tend to read at least one book a week, if not more, but I rarely ever manage to read books that are actually new. It was hard to make this list and exclude any books that weren't published in 2004, but that's what I did...because I love you.
1.Bend, Don't Shatter - edted by T. Cole Rachel and Rita D. Costello
2.The Sleeping Father - Matthew Sharpe
3.America (the book) - edited by Jon Stewart, Ben Karlin, and David Javerbaum
4.Kings and Queens: Queers at the Prom - David Boyer
5.Arts and Letters - Edmund White
6.Strike Sparks: Selected Poems - Sharon Olds
7.It Disappears - Nate Powell
8.1968: The Year that Rocked the World - Mark Kurlansky
9.Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World - Davy Rothbart
10.Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants - Robert Sullivan
I guess that's it. I hope you have enjoyed my yearly dose of list-making nerdery.
Much love in the new year.