Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Playlist

Amateur blogging is difficult in this sense: no matter how time-at-work consuming, cathartic, or otherwise enjoyable it may be, every once in a while your life will up and make you busy enough that you realize that you do, in fact, have other things you can and should be doing. Such has been the last several weeks: a huge project at work, time with the family, partial identity theft (yay!), and even the occasional holiday-themed get-together with good friends in the greater Boston area. A girl really can't complain... but now I'm bored and putting off doing the dishes, so back to the blog I stealthily creep.

I don't have much to say in the way of local sports, since I'm trying not to jinx the Pats (and sleeping in my super-old Tom Brady jersey from high school) until Saturday at 8:15 pm, and the Celtics continue to be very good but kind of uninteresting. Also, the Mitchell Report can suck donkey nuts. I refuse to talk about it, even though everyone keeps asking me what I think of it. Yeah, Roger Clemens has been my favorite athlete of all time ever since I was a wee tot learning about The Curse and going on my first trips to Fenway with my uncle, and even though he's devolved into an egotistical attention whore (even worse than me!) in the years since, it fucking slays me that everything he's done might be called into question because of this report. But, I'm not going to talk about it, so there. Also, if you're a baseball fan with no real loyalties looking to settle down, I advise you to consider moving to Detroit before April.

So, not sports for now. It's the end of the year and all that, so I'm saving up for some sort of ingenious list like everyone else comes up with. Right now is not a great time to do that, though, since I'm pretty sure any kind of Top 10 (regardless of the topic) I tried to come up with at this moment would look something like this:

Item 1: Cranberry vodka
Item 2: The Futurama movie
Items 3-8: Cranberry vodka
Item 9: Those cookies from Trader Joe's with the candy cane pieces in them
Item 10: uhhhh what's on TV?

I really don't see enough movies to do Top 10 Movies, and most of the books I've read this year didn't come out in 2007 so a Top 10 Books list would just be a self-congratulatory Look How Sophistimacated I Am piece of garbage rather than a topical and timely literary review. Boo.

So, naturally, I turn to music as the thing that I know most about for purposes of list-making. I hate to do rankings, though, since my taste in music tends to fluctuate wildly. Hands-down, the best album of 2007 is "The Search" by Son Volt (YES. YES. YES.), but beyond that, I find that my "favorite" song, album, or artist tends to very much depend on my current mood, circumstances of the previous several days, and, most notably, the season. What I tend to do is create playlists by season and listen to them endlessly throughout -- so, rather than subjecting the musicians I love to pointless ranking that might hurt their feelings (as per the most recent South Park), here is my Winter 2007 playlist in order of play. It's different from a summer playlist: less folk music and Wilco, more emphasis on lyrics of regret (yeah it was that kind of November), lots of artists named Ben (pure coincidence). This summer was about The Kooks, but the winter is about piano rolls and angst. All of these songs belong on everyone's iPod this January, so soak 'em up.

  1. So Here We Are -- Bloc Party. Tell me those mournful rolls aren't the best way to start out a long drive through the snowy Massachusetts countryside.
  2. The Animals Were Gone -- Damien Rice. Saw him do this live last December at the Orpheum.
  3. Are You Nervous? -- Rock Kills Kid. Actually my favorite song right now. Holy crap this song is good. "This song is about MEEEE!"
  4. Brighter Than Sunshine -- Aqualung.
  5. Sunshine -- Keane. I'm pretty much the president of the Keane fan club, even though nobody else I know likes them... suck it. They're so underrated.
  6. Crown Of Love -- The Arcade Fire. Definitely directed at a certain someone.
  7. Lazy Eye -- Silversun Pickups. Kind of reminds me of what I loved about Nirvana.
  8. Nothing Happening -- Ben Kweller. Come on, this can't be ALL sad songs.
  9. Hideaway -- Rock Kills Kid. The only band duplicated on here, with good reason.
  10. Diamonds On The Inside -- Ben Harper.
  11. Lazarus -- Porcupine Tree.
  12. Half Light -- Athlete. This is such "hero in a movie realizes he has to do whatever it takes to get the girl of his dreams in just the nick of time" music... and god help me, I love it.
  13. Starlight -- Muse. Perhaps the most rock-out-able track on here.
  14. The Crane Wife 3 -- The Decemberists.
  15. Take Me To The Riot -- Stars. This album came out the day before my birthday, and I couldn't wait to have it. It's not as good as it could have been, I don't think, but this song builds up in the best kind of way.
  16. Methamphetamine -- Son Volt. Not 100% fitting with the rest of the indie-pop on here, perhaps, but this is the best song off the best album of the year. It's stark and lonesome, even though it's a partial duet, and does perfect justice to Jay Farrar's reedy drawl and twangy guitar tunings.
  17. Here We Are -- Creeper Lagoon. So emo it's embarrassing, but driving and pensive in just the way a winter song should be.
  18. Lightning Crashes -- Live. There's a great story behind why this is on here, but that's for another time. Suffice to say this: it's all about a boy (a boy in a Randy Moss jersey, as I remember him best), and that shouldn't surprise you.
  19. Landed -- Ben Folds. This song ends on the perfect note to end this playlist, and even though the lyrics are imbued with loss and regret, it's just upbeat enough to leave you feeling warmed rather than drained.

So that's the playlist... trust me, it's good. And now I really should get to those dishes.

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