Search Results for: best of 2008

The Best Of 2008, Musically Speaking

For a part of the gift that I gave to Mary for the gift exchange, I made a mix tape (okay, CD) of the best music that I came across in 2008. And since we have the blog thing happening, I figured it was a good place to share it with all of you! Most of the music is here because lyrically it hit the mark (the best of the best: #1, #6, #13, #14). There are two African covers of U2 tunes (#2, #11), some electronic stuff (#16), something close to pop (#7, #12, #15), and some good old fashioned rock-n-roll (#18). Enjoy!

1. Patrick Park: Here We Are

2. Angelique Kidjo: Mysterious Ways

3. Eddie Vedder & Jack Johnson: Constellations

4. The Fratellis: Flathead

5. Mike Doughty: Busting Up A Starbucks

6. Kimya Dawson: Loose Lips

7. Coldplay: Viva La Vida

8. Au Revoir Simone: Fallen Snow (Redux)

9. The Avett Brothers: In The Curve

10. Adem: Loro

11. Soweto Gospel Choir: Pride (In The Name Of Love)

12. Yael Naim: New Soul

13. Jake Troth: All The Weight Of God

14. Flobots: Handlebars

15. M.I.A.: Paper Planes

16. Nine Inch Nails: Echoplex

17. Goldfrapp: Ooh La La

18. The Raconteurs: Salute Your Solution

Best of 2016 Playlist

 

Ready…it turns out, that once you remove all of the songs from Ezra’s plays, there is a whole lot less music than you think. Somewhat unfortunately, this has become the reoccurring theme over the past few years – a whole lot less – due to the time/space warp that are kids and life…and it doesn’t stop at music: skiing, camping, house cleaning, and photography are also easy victims of this dilemma. My several year long non-intentional transition away from jam bands and into more electronic music continues, but there are still songs on the list that hint backwards to a style of music I cannot forget. The playlist builds throughout, so if you feel slow/bored near the beginning…don’t fret, it’ll come around.  Some songs on the list are here because they defined a particular moment in the year, some because they just kept playing and playing, and some because they are just that damn good.

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: Don’t suck. Rule #2 (and most important): Be interesting.

1 – Judah & The Lion – Stockholm

2 – The Strumbrellas – Spirits

3 – Pandas & People – Hands

4 – Mudcrutch – I Forgive It All

5 – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats – I Need Never Get Old

6 – Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Beyond Belief

7 – Mitski – Your Best American Girl

8 – Japandroids – Near To the Wild Heart Of Life

9 – Radiohead – Burn The Witch

10 – Animal Collective – FloriDada

11 – Odesza – Kusanagi

12 – Kaytranada – Lite Spots (not Explicit although it sounds like it)

13 – Busdriver – Worlds To Run

14 – Sylvan Esso – Radio (Explicit)

15 – Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Arthropoda

16 – The 1975 – The Sound

17 – Esperanza Spalding – Earth To Heaven

18 – Ages And Ages – As It Is

19 – Cold War Kids – First

20 – Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling

  • Elia’s Song Choice: Spirits
  • Ezra’s Song Choice: Stockholm
  • My Favorite: Lite Spots
  • The One Despite All Efforts I Couldn’t Keep Off: Spirits
  • Biggest Surprise: Can’t Stop The Feeling (watching the kids dance to this is what got it a spot)
  • Really Crank This One…No, Louder Than That: Lite Spots, Your Best American Girl
  • Band Not Making The List For The First Time In A Few Years: Pan Astral
  • Bands Continuing Their Run: Pandas & People
  • Dammit If They Didn’t Show Up Again: The 1975
  • Last Song Dropped From The Playlist: The Growlers – I’ll Be Around

Previous Year’s Best Of Lists:

Best of 2015

Best of 2014

Best of 2013

Best of 2012

Best of 2011

Best of 2010

Best of 2009

Best of 2008

Best of 2015 Playlist

If you needed a representation of 2015 in notes, melody, and taste…here it is! All year long, I think about this list and if a song may or may not make the cut for consideration. As I sat down to put together the list, I had some preconceived notions as to the direction of the music; but setting those aside and choosing the songs lead the list in a rather different direction. Of course, each kid has the opportunity to pick a song to go onto the list – their favorite for the year. In the rest of the list, I found a few reoccurring themes: notably, the heaviest Colorado band influence to date, songs that finish a lot better than they start (which is the exact opposite of my very first qualifier to a good song – a first 30 seconds that sinks it’s teeth into you), and a lot of input from television shows and movies. That brings me to my next confession: this is one of the smallest raw pools of music that I have had in years. I really didn’t visit a lot of the music blogs that I normally would have (and one of the best, I am Fuel you are Friends, is shutting/slowing down), so my exposure this year was mostly through friends, entertainment, and podcast. The result is a few gems that I probably wouldn’t have come across in other years, and a few songs that may have had a tougher time making passing grade in other lists. Either way, these are my favorite songs from 2015…

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: Don’t suck. Rule #2 (and most important): Be interesting.

1 – Worthless by The Yawpers

2 – Who I Wanna Be by Pandas & People

3 – We’re Going To Be Friends by The White Stripes

4 – Grew Up At Midnight by The Maccabees

5 – Bend To Colors by Chemistry Club

6 – Clearest Blue by CHVRCHES

7 – The Skylab Plan by Daniel Pemberton

8 – Occupied by The Radio Dept.

9 – Oceancrest by My Body Sings Electric

10 – Fresh Blood by The Eels

11 – When Summer Comes by Pan Astral

12 – Squeeze by Monroe Monroe

13 – Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

14 – Girlfriend by In The Whale

15 – The Feast And The Famine by Foo Fighters

16 – Go’head by Rocstrong

17 – Can’t Keep Checking My Phone by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Elia’s Song Choice: Red Right Hand (right? my 3 y/o digging post-punk? awesome)
Ezra’s Song Choice: Who I Wanna Be (he has picked Pandas & People two years in a row)
My Favorite: Worthless
The One Despite All Efforts I Couldn’t Keep Off: The Skylab Plan
Biggest Surprise: We’re Going To Be Friends (mostly because it sounds nothing like The White Stripes)
Really Crank This One…No, Louder Than That: Girlfriend or The Feast And The Famine
Band Not Making The List For The First Time In A Few Years: RAC
Bands Continuing Their Run: CHVRCHES, Pandas & People
Dammit If They Didn’t Show Up Again: Pan Astral
Last Song Dropped From The Playlist: Sea Of Love by The National

 

Previous Year’s Best Of Lists:

Best of 2014

Best of 2013

Best of 2012

Best of 2011

Best of 2010

Best of 2009

Best of 2008

The Best of 2014 Playlist

Presenting the Best of 2014 soundtrack…it’s perhaps a hair mellower than a couple of the previous years, and has two under-the-surface themes that run the length of the playlist: FIFA and Swedish women. Yea, weird right? There is a growing amount of songs included that are directly a result of the kids, but if these are what they are listening to, then I am holding up my end of an educated childhood for them. Special recognition for being a huge new contributor to my music wonder is a new podcast called Song Exploder…make sure to check it out.

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. We made a bit of ground this year by having the largest selection list in a few years at about 200 songs that made it through the 12 months, but then I looked at it again and realized that was significantly boosted by the inclusion and relatively recent addition of the Frozen soundtrack. Meh.

1 – Let Go by RAC

2 – Arrows by Fences

3 – Stay Gold by First Aid Kit

4 – Worship You by Vampire Weekend

5 – Mother & Father by Broods

6 – I Won’t Be Long by Pan Astral

7 – Rhea by OK Ikumi

8 – Fairytale by Milky Chance

9 – Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot

10 – Divisionary by Ages and Ages

11 – Business by Tune-Yards

12 – We Sink by CHVRCHES

13 – I Know It’s You by Guards

14 – Here by Robert DeLong

15 – Brain by Banks

16 – No Rest For the Wicked by Lykke Li

17 – Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon

18 – The District Sleeps Alone Tonight by The Postal Service

19 – Howling Moon by Pandas & People

My Favorite: Stay Gold
The One Despite All Efforts I Couldn’t Keep Off: Shut Up and Dance
Biggest Surprise: Sundown (WTF, right? It’s almost 40 years old!)
Really Crank This One…No, Louder Than That: Let Go
Band Not Making The List For The First Time In A Few Years: Actually not applicable this year
Bands Continuing Their Run: OK Ikumi
Dammit If They Didn’t Show Up Again: Pan Astral
Last Song Dropped From The Playlist: Let Her Go, Passenger

Previous Year’s Best Of Lists:

Best of 2013

Best of 2012

Best of 2011

Best of 2010

Best of 2009

Best of 2008

The Best of 2013 Playlist

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:

1. Breathe by Laura Marling

2. Don’t Leave Me by Regina Spektor

3. Here Comes The King by Snoop Lion

4. Come With Me Now by Kongos

5. Original Don by Major Lazer

6. My Body by Young The Giant

7. Up Past The Nursery by Suuns

8. I Want You To by Weezer

9. Four Simple Words by Frank Turner

10. Good On by Two Fisted Tango

11. Came Back Haunted by Nine Inch Nails

12. Chocolate by The 1975s

13. On My Way by Pandas & People

14. Fare The Well by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford

15. Dry Sequence by OK Ikumi

16. This City by Steve Earle

17. Closer by Tegan and Sara

Elia’s Favorite:

18. Some Nights by Fun.

Ezra’s Favorite:

19. Levitate by Hadouken!

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:

Best of 2012

Best of 2011

Best of 2010

Best of 2009

Best of 2008

The Best Of 2012 Playlist

I know that you have been salivating at the proposition of this posting coming out for a while. You have been following and subscribing to the blog, receiving and reading lots of posts only ‘because you have to’ just to get to this one…so without any further delay, here is this years Best of Music playlist.

This year features the smallest list yet. This is due to two complicating factors: a weaker than normal music accumulation system (some 115 less options than 2011), and several songs playing themselves out of contention by being overplayed everywhere. Like always, there are three rules that go into qualifying for the list, and the last two change annually: 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. This year, for the first time, also featured a second judge who helped narrow down a few choices and danced his way through this collection to verify it’s standing: Ezra.

Also, the last two on the playlist are of the spoken word variety. The first one is Ezra and his sister’s heartbeat (previously featured on the blog), and the last one is a 30 minute stand up special by Tig Notaro. While it’s outside of the normal parameters of it being music, it is unequivocally the best, most personal, and most honest comedy that I have ever heard. At times it made me laugh, cry, and have difficulty listening – and I am not sure that I could ever watch a stand up act again without comparing it to what this set presented. It’s worth your few dollars to listen to the entire thing yourself.

Prepare your torrent. 384 pared down to 14:

1. State Trooper by Drop the Lime
2. Anna Sun by Walk the Moon
3. Amsterdam by Imagine Dragons
4. Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
5. City of Refuge by Abigail Washburn
6. Winter Song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
7. Below My Feet by Mumford and Sons
8. We are Young by Fun
9. Immigrant Song by Trent Reznor
10. ICU by Pan Astral
11. Kill Your Heroes by AWOLNATION
12. Pennywise Tribute by Bassnectar
13. Heartbeat by Ezra and Elia
14. Live by Tig Notaro

My Favorite: ICU
The One Despite All Efforts I Couldn’t Keep Off: We are Young
Biggest Surprise: Live
Really Crank This One…No, Louder Than That: State Tropper
Band Not Making The List For The First Time In A Few Years: Laura Marling
Bands Continuing Their Run: Of Monsters and Men, AWOLNATION
Dammit If They Didn’t Show Up Again: Mumford and Sons
This Year’s Local Act (and an absolutely OUTSTANDING record): Pan Astral
Last Song Dropped From The Playlist: Run Right Back by The Black Keys

Previous Year’s Best Of Lists:

Best of 2011

Best of 2010

Best of 2009

Best of 2008

Occupy 2011: The Best Of Playlist

A fashionably late arrival so as not to be mixed in, confused with, or otherwise overshadowed by the run-of-the-mill Best Of 2011 lists that populated the interwaves two weeks ago. Yea, I just made up the word interwaves…I’m that cool.

Competition to land on this year’s list was fierce, although three simple rules had to be obeyed. Rule #0 (because it applies every year): fit on a traditional CD. Rule #1 (becoming widely applied to all aspects of life): Don’t suck. Rule #2 (and most important): Sound great at a really high volume level. These rules combined to create an interesting array of music from all across the genre universe. Some of the music is a little more poppy and popular than in previous lists, and some of the music surprised me at it’s inclusion. Narrowing down the field was a treat filled with happily disturbing both the world around me and my ear drums while doing errands. The result of what I am calling a ‘confused listening style’ is music that sounds great outside of the perfect speaker set-up, and leaves you anxiously running through the store singing out load while rushing to get back to the car. Also, because why not go overboard with this, an award list is below the songs.

Some folks will be fortunate enough to get this from me on CD….as for everyone else….got your illegal music download service ready? 497 pared down to 20:

1. When You Were Mine (Prince cover) by John Heart Jackie
2. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. by Noah & The Whale
3. Exhaustible by DeVotchKa
4. Always Gold by Radical Face
5. Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
6. Sophia by Laura Marling
7. The Loneliness And The Scream by Frightened Rabbit
8. Sail by AWOLNATION
9. Uprising by Muse
10. Truth by Alexander
11. A Brief Introduction On Dubstep Production by Dubba Jonny
12. Around Us by Jonsi
13. Slow by Rumer
14. Someone Like You by Adele
15. From Finner by Of Monsters And Men
16. There There by Evaline
17. Your Surrender by Neon Trees
18. My Body by Young The Giant
19. Hit ‘Em Up Style by Carolina Chocolate Drops
20. Old Mythologies by The Barr Brothers

My Favorite: The Loneliness And The Scream
The One Despite All Efforts I Couldn’t Keep Off: Someone Like You
Biggest Surprise: Dubstep
Stolen From A Kid’s Movie: Around Us
Really Crank This One…No, Louder Than That: Uprising
Band Not Making The List For The First Time In A Few Years: Mumford and Sons
Bands Continuing Their Run: Laura Marling
This Year’s Local Act (although not someone that I know personally): DeVotchKa
Last Song Dropped From The Playlist: Holdin’ On To Black Metal by My Morning Jacket

Previous Year’s Best Of Lists:

Best of 2010

Best of 2009

Best of 2008

All Roads Travel Through Bestemor’s Farm

Special On The Road Edition: Minneapolis To Iowa To West Salem

So after some mind-clearing breakfast yesterday morning we set out for the farm in Iowa to visit with Ahna’s grandmother and Aunts. The side roads were at times difficult, but the interstate was surprisingly clear. The lack of melting on the roads is a different phenomenon than what we encounter in Colorado since the temp almost immediately gets above freezing after a storm…and generally the roads clear pretty quickly. But not here in the upper-midwest, where cold is very cold, and for a long while. 

We got to the farm just before lunchtime, and just before two other vans pulled in: KJ, Jamie, Johnathan, and Isaac in one of them, and Dave and Mary Jo in the other. We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the farm, with a ‘typical’ amazing meal of which at least a couple recipes were requested. 

We left the farm in the late afternoon to begin the 3+ hour drive to West Salem. The original intent was for all three cars to huddle together and break trail in unison, but after a quick meal in Albert Lea, we all separated for different reasons (we stayed behind for a little while to feed Ezra). The roads themselves were pretty good, but the drive seemed to take extra long because it was the end of a long day of lots of driving. 

We awoke this morning to more cold temps: like -12 or -15….and several inches of new snow. To quote some family from yesterday “they know how to do Christmas here.”

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A Little Pre-Christmas Party

As is the annual tradition, Jay, Karen, David, Cyrilla, Tanner, Ahna, Ezra, and I got together for a nice meal and a celebration among friends. We decided long ago (like several weeks) that the dinner would be our gift to each other, and we would instead spoil the kids with some gifts. Of course this year featured Ezra for the first time, but the old-school veteran – Tanner – made sure to show him the way of the feast…..well, maybe not the feast, but certainly the gift opening. 

Ezra did his best to eat his way through the wrapping, but seemed to be instantly in love with the gifts that he got – both frog themed. Is that odd to anyone else? He also took an immediate liking to David’s new set of blocks, and had a desire to make sure that they all tasted okay. 

Enjoy the pics!

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VH1 Presents: Behind The Announcement

It seems as though the announcements have reached their destination coast-to-coast, so it’s time to post it here for all of you who we would love to share it with, but don’t have addresses. 

The quick story: the photos were taken on Dave and Mary Jo’s couch while we were back in Wisconsin for Ezra’s baptism and Bestemore’s birthday. A little of finishing done in Photoshop and they were ready for their big debut. We searched the web for announcements that we liked and chose a couple of designs and colors, eventually settling on a combination of a few of those. I created it in Photoshop using a 4×6 format so we could print it off at a local photo printing shop and so that it would fit into a normal envelope. We are pretty happy with the result…one more thing: the toughest part of the design wasn’t the pictures, or the colors, or the layout…it was the font choice. I went through a bunch of options not being satisfied with any of them – but then I remembered a movie and a design story…so the font on the announcement is Helvetica. 

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