Christmas is sneaking up on me… and I have no gifts yet. Luckily, and wisely, Sharaun gave me a wishlist this year. From past gift-giving performances, I suppose she decided a pointed-list would be her best bet. Not that my gifts suck or anything, but sometimes I have a hard time remembering what she’s hinted at wanting in months preceding holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. With me, a list is definitely the best bet. As specific as possible really, because even if the list says “scarf set,” I’ll still mess it up. I need things like ISBN numbers or other unique identifiers, or I’ll get it wrong. Undoubtedly, I will recruit some female to come shopping with me, as I always do – because I simply don’t trust myself to buy things that are “hip” and relevant. I have no taste, and I don’t really mind… taste is overrated or something.
Here I sit… talking on the phone to some people in Taiwan. Somehow, the sound of my voice is being turned into little pulses and funneled under the ocean or bounced off satellites in the sky, over to a little island where it’s morning instead of evening. And even though I’m the only whiteboy on the call, ten native Chinese-speaking people are speaking broken English for my sake. Could give you a big head, y’know. How much more important, how much more intellectually superior must I be to warrant such treatment? Yeah, I know… not very, but it’s fun to take the notion to extremes. I feel this tired theme of the differences between Taiwan and the US is played out here… I will end this paragraph now.
Ever since writing about SMiLE last week, I’ve been admittedly obsessed with it. I broke out the old bootleg version I’d had (what I now know as the “Guidry Mix”) and meticulously compared the ’67 tracks to the ’04 tracks. I researched at high-volume, comparing verse and chorus and hi-hat and cymbal. I read volumes, headphones blaring, amazed at the amount of data and writing that exists in the electronic-ether of the Internet on the subject. What made me dismiss the sessions when I first downloaded them, I have no idea. I submit though, that I may be a victim of the hype here. There’s some truth to the notion that if you’re told something is Godsend often enough and by enough people, you may just tend to be a little more willing to proclaim it Godsend yourself. I don’t know if that’s it, but I genuinely like the album… and I don’t like the Beach Boys, they are sooo… whitebread. Oh god, someone stop me… I can only write about what consumes me.
Shortly here, folks. Shortly here and I’ll be another year on this orb. I think the ones I’ve spent here thus far have been pretty good, all things considered. My parents are still married, I’ve never been to a funeral, and I’m happy. I can only hope things go on as swimmingly as they’ve been, and I really have no reason to think they won’t. Birthdays are cool, they kinda make you feel special. I don’t think I’ll ever be one to fret about aging, just like I don’t fret much about balding. So what. I get old, I get bald. Now, tease me about back-hair or lack of athletic-acuity and I’m a sniffling mess… but stay away from that and I’m indestructible.
The Arcade Fire show tonight is sold out, and I love that. As Pat put it, I find it awesome that we get to go and others don’t. I mean, some people wanted to go – but couldn’t. We can; they can’t. And while yes, I’ve been on the other end of that concert-elite, and it sucks, I’m glad to be on the rad-end of it today. Since I’m on the musical theme for this entry, and I because I think it’s safe to call the year at this point, I’m gonna go ahead and do it. The top albums of 2004, according to me, ranked from #1-best to #10-10th-best:
1. The Arcade Fire – Funeral
2. The Killers – Hot Fuss
3. Brian Wilson – SMiLE
4. The Radio Dept. – Lesser Matters
5. Interpol – Antics
6. The Go! Team – Thunder, Lightning, Strike
7. Modest Mouse – Good News for People Who Love Bad News
8. The Stills – Logic Will Break Your Heart
9. DJ Danger Mouse & Jay Z – The Grey Album
10. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
As always, these are ranked relative to a few criteria: longevity (how long the album lingered in the player), content (further subdivided into emotional, musical, production, etc.), personal-impact (did it make me feel good, sad, fix itself as the soundtrack for new memories?), and finally artistic-impact (how important was the album in the musical landscape?, groundbreaking?, etc.). I know no one cares… but I love making the list, so whatever. Yeah, I know the Stills’ album was late 2003, but I didn’t get it until this year… so yeah. And that’s it… seems kinda anticlimactic now.
Goodnight everyone… I’m tired.