- Birth: 7 lbs 1 oz
- Three Days: 6 lbs 11 oz – 50%
- Two Weeks: 7 lbs 5 oz – 50%
- One Month: 8 lbs 6.5 oz – 50%
- Eight Weeks: 10 lbs 10.5 oz – 50%
- Four Months: 14 lbs 10 oz – 50%
- Six Months: 16 lbs 2 oz – 40%
- Ten Months: 18 lbs 4 oz – 40%
- 12 Months: 18 lbs 12 oz – 40%
- 15 Months: 19 lbs 13 oz – 30%
- Birth: 20″ (we think this was .5 off)
- Three Days: 19.5″ – 50%
- Two Weeks: 20.5″ – 75%
- One Month: 21.75″ – 75%
- Eight Weeks: 22.60″ – 75%
- Four Months: 24.50″ – 75%
- Six Months: 26.5″ – 60%
- Ten Months: 28.5″ – 60%
- 12 Months: 28.5″ – 30%
- 15 Months: 29.75″ – 25%
- Birth: Unknown
- Three Days: 13 7/8″ – 75%
- Two Weeks: 14″ – 75%
- One Month: 14.5″ – 75%
- Eight Weeks: 15 3/8″ – 75%
- Four Months: 16.25″ – 75%
- Six Months: 17″ – 60%
- Ten Months: 17.75″ – 60%
- 12 Months: 17.75″ – 55%
- 15 Months: 18.15″ – 60%
So I finally completed the Best of 2013 playlist. When I sat back and listened to the playlist for the first time, I realized that music taste this year spilled into the area of dubstep with some rock and a sprinkle of instrumental. There were a couple of obvious choices, and I decided to include the kids’ favorite songs from the year. Ezra picked his, but if you are wondering how I could know the selection of a 14 month old…well, you just haven’t seen her smile and dance moves when a particular song comes on.
Like always, there are three rules that go into qualifying for the list: Rule #0 (because it applies every year): fit on a traditional CD and come to my library in the calendar year (even though the songs may be older than that). Rule #1 (becoming widely applied to all aspects of life): Don’t suck. Rule #2 (and most important): Be interesting. I thought that last year featured a narrowed eligibility list, but this year was even tighter with only 159 songs meeting the criteria for consideration.
No more delay, just music:
My Favorite: Fare The Well
The One Despite All Efforts I Couldn’t Keep Off: Either of the kid’s tracks
Biggest Surprise: Here Comes The King
Really Crank This One…No, Louder Than That: Strange answer…but Dry Sequence
Band Not Making The List For The First Time In A Few Years: Mumford and Sons, sort of.
Bands Continuing Their Run: Fun.
Dammit If They Didn’t Show Up Again: Mumford and Sons, sort of.
This Year’s Local Act: Two Fisted Tango
Last Song Dropped From The Playlist: I can’t remember anymore.
Previous Year’s Best Of Lists:
I received a Facebook challenge…you know, one of those “tag 10 friends and they must reply” type of things. Well, I actually decided to participate in this one, and here is what I came up with:
Truth be told: when I was tagged in a friend’s post asking for a top-10 list like this, I initially was going to ignore it. But I’m a music elitist, and the challenge to actually put on paper my Top 10 Most Influential Albums was worth attempting. I enjoyed reading hers (thanks Rebecca!) and felt like it would be something fun to do. So, here it is…in all of it’s Facebook glory.
1 Graceland – Paul Simon
At first, I loved this album. Then after continuous replay in the family roadster on the 12 hour drive to and from Florida, I hated this album. It wasn’t until a few years after the dust had settled that I realized its brilliance. Lyrically, it is my favorite of all time. Musically, it also tops the charts. The African influence with Ladysmith is killer and lyrically is is second to none (did I already mention that?). “The Boy in the Bubble,” “I Know What I Know,” “Diamond on the Soles of Her Shoes,” “Under African Skies,” and “Homeless” are still, some 25 years later, some of the most influential music I have ever heard. It is absolutely the go-to record for me.
2 OK Computer – Radiohead
This was an album. I mean, THIS WAS AN ALBUM! Borrowing from the concept album, full length, not just 10 songs crammed together records of the 70′s, Radiohead formally closed the chapter on a bunch of crap music in the 80′s and 90′s (not to include the rise of alt-rock). I remember listening to this and thinking “wow, just wow.”
3 Achtung Baby, U2
Man, I went back and forth and back and forth on this one or Zooropa. Zooropa is my favorite U2 record, but this one qualifies for this list by definition. It was the first CD I ever bought on my own, and on top of that it was purchased in Israel (on the same trip, coincidentally, that my cousin introduced me to Enigma). The singles off of the record speak for themselves, but “Zoo Station” has a special place in my heart as I started to sing it in my head as we left the song’s namesake while on a trip to West Germany…the Zoo Station is the last train stop in West Berlin before you enter East Berlin. Yes, I sang a song from Achtung Baby while we feared for our lives while illegally entering East Berlin.
4 Apollo 18 – They Might Be Giants
Ah, the band that by no reasonable rights should be in anyone’s top-10 lists…but for some reason always are. The memory of one of the most fun concerts that I have ever been to (TMBG with NRBQ at Wolf Trap) is second only to the memory of flawlessly singing all 20 parts of “Fingertips” on the drive to school with Alex. The funny thing is that I can still do it. Now, the kids have been introduced and MUST STOP SPIDER!
5 Full Moon Fever – Tom Petty
Yes, the front side of this album has three of Petty’s most popular songs, but it’s the B-side that really makes this album special. “Yer So Bad” made for years of inside jokes, and “The Apartment Song” and “Alright For Now” are highly underrated efforts and some of my favorite Tom Petty lyrics. I remember Full Moon Fever with the high school gang, and on a ski trip to Pennsylvania with my Mom; and for an album to pull that off must mean it’s good.
6 Blues For Allah – Grateful Dead
During my senior year of high school, I was discovering the Dead for the first time. And with that came a totally random purchase of Blues For Allah. “Help,” “Slipknot,” “Franklin’s Tower,” and “The Music Never Stopped” turned out to be an extremely addictive intro to the Dead. I recognize that this isn’t the normal way that people fall in love with the Dead, but it’s a slippery slope from here…
7 13 Songs – Fugazi
After the first time I heard this record, I finally realized what underground anti-establishment punk rock was all about. Seeing Fugazi play in the student centers at both George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth, and then in the basement of a church in downtown DC, solidified their place in this list. To have a band that influential and that popular continue to push for accessible shows and require that their albums sell for no more than $10, set a precedent that a lot of sell-out musicians could learn from.
8 Sigh No More – Mumford and Sons
So these guys, and largely this album have narrated a lot of our lives over the past four years. I stumbled on the first two singles from Sigh No More, “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man” on an independent music blog some four+ months prior to the album coming out, and have been hooked since. I noticed those two songs out of a bunch I had downloaded while unpacking the new house, then we went to their concert at the tiny Ogden Theater while Ahna was pregnant with Liam. The album made for comforting music that we all sang along with while in the hospital with Liam. We have seen them two more times, including at the video taped Red Rocks shows two years ago…this time pregnant with Elia.
9 The Best of Miles Davis and John Coltrane – Miles Davis and John Coltrane
Do I really need to explain this one? Okay: I was sitting in a local pizza place in the town of Okemo, Vermont when this album first came to me. It played throughout our dinner, undoubtably making the memory of the pizza fantastically better than it actually was. It was instantly purchased and instantly made it’s way into the music rotation.
10 A String Cheese Incident – String Cheese Incident
The album that launched me into String Cheesedom. Jazz, bluegrass, jam, and rock are all intregal to these tracks, including an amazing cover of “Walk This Way.” Some 30+ concerts later, I still go bananas to hear “How Mountain Girls Can Love” and “San Jose.”
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Wow. Wow. Wow.
Your response to Liam’s birthday has been incredible. We will give it a few days (to allow some more greatness to happen) and post an update on who, what, and how things got done.
Tomorrow is supposed to be Liam’s third birthday. Alas, it is actually a day that has this off combination of current reality and memory, and a day where all of the emotion doesn’t have a place to release. Last year we asked a favor of you, and within that favor we looked for ways to cope with the absence. And you delivered it to us in ways that we couldn’t have imagined.
So guess what…we are asking again. I’m not sure if this is going to turn into the same request each year – there might be a slight modifier in the future – but so far, this request hasn’t jumped the shark. It’s still relevant, and there is still much that can be done. So as a reminder of what we asked last year (or if you are new on this journey with us), we are asking that you go out and do something nice for someone else.
The recipient can be a family member, a friend, a coworker, or a complete stranger. All that we ask is that you expect nothing in return, and that whatever you choose to do will have positive outcomes in a way that would be appropriate for celebrating Liam (it doesn’t have to be for a kid or kid-centric, but you know what we mean).
You can do it tomorrow, or within a few days…but please don’t delay: keep your act of amazingness relative to the inspiration. Give someone the gift of a free coffee or meal, pass along something that you don’t need anymore to someone that does need it, give your employees some extra family time, donate, or find your own way to give. You will know what you need to do when you look for it…and if something smacks you in the face, don’t ignore it because it’s hard or it’s something that isn’t easy.
It would be an honor if you remembered Liam and celebrated him with us in this fashion. Let us know (if you want) by posting either here or on Facebook what you did: it will allow a geography dissecting celebration of Liam possible.