full life

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1. Suddenly I'm in love with music again. I made an iPod playlist yesterday which basically consists of my favorite albums of 2004, and, quite honestly, that's a lot of music. My early contenders for Album Of The Year, in no particular order:

Honorable Mention:
  • Morrissey, You Are The Quarry
  • Sufjan Stevens, Greetings From Michigan - Yes, I know this came out last year, but I didn't get it until this year, and I love it.

2. Friday night, Kath and I rented Van Helsing, which turned into our own private MST3K viewing, especially since the guy playing Dracula appeared to be channeling Bono, right down to the faux-drunken stagger. Ominous chimes prompted such quips as "Sorry, it's just the piano tuner," and it quickly went downhill from there.

3. Saturday - Jongre's birthday + Scaryoke. I took pictures, which I haven't uploaded yet. Good times.

4. Sunday - band rehearsal. (!!!) Giants win.

5. Today - day from hell.
I often use Pitchfork as a reverse barometer. A Ghost Is Born is my favorite Wilco album now hands down.

Thanks for the tip on Dungen by the way. Thats some awesome stuff... even if I have no clue what they are saying! :)
Re: A Ghost Is Born: It's fucking genius, is what it is. Just taking the middle of the album - tracks 4-10 - that's one knockout song after another, and perfectly sequenced, to boot.

Re: Dungen - isn't it awesome? It's so much fun to listen to.
holy shit there's a company on my back!
Yeah, Ghost didn't hit me on first listen, but it sorta pushed its way into my heart. It's easily Tweedy's most pointed and personal writing. Hell is Chrome still gives me chills. I could have done with a slight edit on Spiders, but otherwise... whoa.

Dungen is pretty enlightening. I think Pitchfork actually nailed the review on that one. It's like a long lost 60's psyche album without sounding derivative.
Re: holy shit there's a company on my back!
This para from the P-fork review nails it right on the fucking head:

To be sure, there's a major difference between retro and somehow embodying your parents' vintage zeitgeist: It's damn-near impossible to believe that the humming tubes, crackling drums, smoky backdrop, and complexly interwoven melodies on Ta Det Lugnt were birthed in a quick-fix iPod age. But perhaps even more impressive is that, despite the music's headiness and intricacy, its anachronistic results feel unusually effortless, earnest, and unpretentious: Dungen seem driven to this sound not for bloodless cred points, but out of a very sincere devotion to the music from a bygone era.
Have you heard "Seven Swans" yet? I like that a bit more than Michigan, and it's currently my favorite album of the year. It's pretty religious, but I'm okay with that - might turn off others though.
Now that I've gotten Michigan, I'm a lot more intrigued by Mr. Stevens and will most likely pick up Seven Swans shortly. Also because the drummer my band has been playing with is about to go on tour with him in a few weeks.
I was going to echo the sentiment of toddv above...well, though, "Seven Swans" isn't my favorite album of the year...right now I'd have to give that to Iron and Wine's "Our Endless Numbered Days"...which you absolutely must check out at some point.
yeah, man. "a ghost is born" is so underrated. and "SMiLE" is perfect.
other albums from this year you should check out if you haven't already:
-pinback - "summer in abaddon"
-shugo tokumaru - "night piece" <---especially this album...trust me
-william shatner - "has been" <---not kidding
-tom waits - "real gone" <---so filthy...the man can do no wrong
-madvillain - "madvillainy"
-beta band - "heroes to zeroes" <---also really underrated. why did everyone turn against poor beta band?
Pinback - I've been almost downloading it from iTunes for a couple weeks now.
Shugo Tokumaru - yeah, I'm gonna have to get this, too
William Shatner - eventually. I'm so in love with what I'm listening to right now to get this.
Tom Waits - I own absolutely no Tom Waits. Would I start here, or go back to Rain Dogs, etc.?
Madvillian / Beta Band - I own both of these, but neither of them really stuck with me. I'll give them a few more shakes before the year is up.
-try the pinback. do you have any other of their stuff? this is a good starting place if you don't. they have a very distinct sound that i can't compare to anyone. it's definitely not for everyone. i never like any of there albums at first, but once you listen a few times they're really rewarding. i just them in concert for the second time a few weeks ago, and they put on a great show. the lead singer, rob crow, is the biggest nerd alive. i love him.
-yeah, shugo. yeah. trust me. it's only 25 minutes, but every second is genius.
-i'm a huge tom waits fan. i have all his stuff. i'd say rain dogs is probably the best starting point. from there, if you like his dirty sound, go forward. if you like it more lounge-bar-smokey-drunk, go backwards. either way, get "mule variations" from a few years back...i think from '99. it's near perfect.
Agreed on Pinback. It's quite good. I'm not willing to say it beats the last two yet, but well worth the purchase! The first song is awesome especially.
Yeah the Wilco album has my vote. A very good and "deep" album.

I also recommend the new Camper van Beethoven - New Roman Times. It is one of their best and needs to be taken as a whole (it's kind of an anti-Bush concept album)