21 December 2004

Bests of the Year, 2004...

I figured I'd throw my hat into the ring of year end sum-ups, though I can't do my favorite movies yet because I haven't seen The Aviator, and I think that may factor in a decision. So, I'll make some lists, you'll read 'em and disagree... it'll be a blast. Come on, join me!



Albums

  1. DJ Danger Mouse- The Grey Album

  2. Interpol- Antics

  3. Modest Mouse- Good News for People That Love Bad News

  4. Loretta Lynn- Van Lear Rose

  5. Franz Ferdinand- Franz Ferdinand

  6. Madvillain- Madvillainy

  7. Mclusky- The Difference Between Me and You Is That I'm Not On Fire

  8. Elliott Smith- from a basement on the hill

  9. The Hives- Tyrannosaurus Hives

  10. Brian Wilson- SMiLE

  11. PJ Harvey- Uh Huh Her

  12. Wilco- A Ghost Is Born

  13. Beastie Boys- To the Five Boroughs

  14. Kanye West- College Dropout

  15. Various Artists- Soundtrack to the Film Garden State


At the end of the day, the first time the Broseph burned me a copy of The Grey Album by DJ Danger Mouse, it was all over. Alongside some of the great rhymes and verses in Jay-Z's career, Danger Mouse erected these skeletons of Beatle-tunes- only they were hybrids- a femur from "Dear Prudence," a shoulder blade from "Helter Skelter," a fibula from "Savoy Truffle". Part of the fun, certainly was the music- the web of White Album tunes were really beautifully constructed and satisfying. They weren't P Diddy samples- dumb-as-a-post full song lifts that left nothing to the imagination. This was the true spirit of hip hop- rearrainging the culture and spitting it back out into something new and inspiring.

The other great thrill of The Grey Album was the fevered attempts at identification from every thin, severed bit of Beatle songery. You could tell from the chime of the guitar that there was a bit of "Julia" here, and the drums on another were very "Glass Onion"-like. Anything that forces you to reassess and reingest Beatles songs is a great thing.

Meanwhile, Interpol's Antics gave it very, very strong competition. Building on what was built on the dark and musky Turn on the Bright Lights, this record is a flat out brilliant group of songs- "Narc," "Last Exit," "Take You on a Cruise," "Evil"- they branched off the base of Joy Division/ Cure/ Bowie homages to some great, strong, catchy songs.

Modest Mouse is one of those bands I was never a hard-liner for- I have no problems identifying myself as a fairweather fan of theirs, and GOod News for People Who Love Bad News is really one of those records in a band's career that tends often to alienate a band's core audience (be that from looser "ethics" or, well, success), and as such make that much more palatable for someone like me. I could pull it apart with my teeth and look at it versus older Modest Mouse records I've heard, but I'll just say- I really love rock music, and this album is really, really great rock music.

Between Loretta Lynn and Franz Ferdinand, I felt like I had to wade through a ton of hype before actually listening to the record(s) on "my own." All this stuff shone through about Jack White and "next big things," so after I stopped reading about both of them every time I opened a magazine, I felt more like I was listening to it without anyone else telling me I should like it. So, you know- I liked them both immensely.

Elliott Smith's record was a bit of a disappointment, but still solid- Brian Wilson's resurrection of SMiLE was good, but gets on the list purely because he re-recorded "Good Vibrations" for the song cycle... and it didn't suck!! A tremendous achievement to be sure. I was wary of it not having the same cohesion or whatever that Pet Sounds had absent all the other Beach Boys, especially Carl- until I realized they really didn't do much of anything on Pet, and Carl's voice was the only thing I missed.

Songs

  1. Interpol- "Evil"

  2. The Darkness- "I Believe in a Thing Called Love"

  3. Modest Mouse- "Float On"

  4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- "Y Control"

  5. Franz Ferdinand- "Take Me Out"

  6. Loretta Lynn- "Miss Being Mrs."

  7. The Hives- "Walk Idiot Walk"

  8. Jay-Z- "99 Problems"

  9. Von Bondies- "C'mon, C'mon"

  10. Kanye West- "Jesus Walks"

  11. Beastie Boys- "Ch-Check It Out"

  12. Destiny's Child- "Lose My Breath"

  13. Jimmy Eat World- "Pain"

  14. The Killers- "Somebody Told Me"

For whatever reason, I saw the Modest Mouse song and the Ferdinand song as like, twin brothers. The good rock songs of the year. Of course, there were more, but they always stuck together for me. Anyway, the Interpol song is just sick- totally bombastic, catchy and out there. Good stuff. I tried fitting "Heart of a Champion" on there somewhere, Broseph, but I just couldn't.

Also, the Pixies recorded a song that, in good faith, I couldn't include cos I hated it so fucking much. "Bam Thwok" was just awful. Sorry, I love them too- but it was.



Video Games

  1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  2. MVP Baseball 2004

  3. X-Men Legends

  4. SpiderMan 2

  5. Tony Hawk's Underground: 2


Really, putting any game on a list is a total insult to the greatness of GTA: SA. But, I did put it on a list, and I don't want you to think I mean to insult it. That game may be the single greatest thing ever created by man or God. It's retarded good.

That's it, and to prime you for the movies list, here's a quote from Paul Giamatti in Rolling Stone Magazine:



What was your biggest regret this year?

I'm a big Red Sox fan. I saw all of the playoffs, but I didn't get to see many of the World Series games.

What made you the happiest?

The Red Sox [laughs]. That's also what makes me most depressed, because I don't know what happens now. My brother says, "Well, they'll lose again next year. So we'll go right back to the old days."

Who changed your life in 2004?

Maybe Johnny Damon. I don't know. I try to avoid people as much as possible. They might change my life!

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