Sunday, December 30, 2007

Best of 2007 

So it's that time again, and I remembered that I forgot to do this last year. I didn't buy much music last year, so here's my five favorite discs:

Best of 2006
5. Neil Young - Living With War
4. Chin Up Chin Up - This Harness Can't Ride Anything
3. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
2. Tom Petty - Highway Companion
1. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America

For 2007, I have:
Caribou - Andorra
I have to listen to this one again. It's a nice, pop album without being too cloying.

The White Stripes - Icky Thump
This is one of those albums I respect, but don't find very listening to very often. Doesn't bear many repeat listens. Kind of grates. It's very rough, and sounds like they're trying awful hard. With that said, it's a rocker.

The National - Boxer
This is very downbeat, and is a grower. It's very earnest.

Ryan Shaw - This is Ryan Shaw
Nobody's got a better voice than this guy. Amazing.

Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends
They're that band that nobody knows who can crash a battle of the bands competition and blow every band away. People can never be ready for these guys.

The Bees - Octopus
I can't figure out why people have forgotten about this band.

Neil Young - Chrome Dreams II
Through the bouncing around, there are real stalwarts here. This is one that will float on by -- that people will forget about. But years down the road, this will be the sleeper from the later years that keeps getting play.

Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Probably my favorite of the year. I saw them in November and had forgotten how good this album was. Not for everyone, but right up my alley.

Radiohead - In Rainbows
I'm really not a true believer, not some diehard, Radiohead nut. There are aspects of this band I generally dislike. But this is a beautiful piece of music. Damn near perfect.

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
I couldn't not put this as #1 because I kept coming back to it more than any other album. Very simple and direct, but also catchy and outspoken.

Best opening track: "Don't Make Me a Target", Spoon
Best 2-song sequencing: "Fly Trapped in a Jar"-"Education", Modest Mouse
Best track: "Reckoner", Radiohead

Best music purchased all year: A tie between two Chin Up Chin Up records -- their 2004 debut, "We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers", and their 2005 follow-up self-titled EP. They are criminally overlooked and ignored.

Best Popcorn Movie: The Bourne Ultimatum
Best Film Movie: The Kite Runner

It was a good year. Time management is still a rough spot, though. I would have liked to have run more. In 2006, I averaged 34.9 miles a week. In 2007, it'll end up being 26.4. I kept the consistency, but never really maintained a long enough string of 40+ weeks to ramp up workouts and get in better racing shape. I'm at 35 right now, so hopefully that's a good start for '08. I would like to do another marathon, but '09 is looking like a better opportunity with the kid in school more. But, who knows? If I get in good shape with time enough to plan a nice, 12 week cycle . . . anything could happen. And that's what I love about new years. Not "New Year's", mind you -- new years. That built in idea we all have that we can start all over again. It's partially bullshit to think there's nothing on the slate -- but that's OK. It's better to not think about how hard it will be. Otherwise, we may never begin.

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