I wrote two songs this weekend, like flipsides of a coin: one bitter and detached and the other one guarded and head over heels. Pretty much the A-side/B-side to my life right now. So far they seem to be titled “Splinter” and “Hold on Me,” but lyrics are still in flux. God, where the hell did this come from? Two months of dry spell and suddenly i have something to say. Go figure.
I’m long overdue on commenting on the best music of 2000, aren’t i? To be fair, i got some of my favourite albums of last year in a post-christmas shopping spree, so i needed some time to adjust to them. However, i think i might have a top five ready to go – only, it’s not so much a top five as it is five #1’s in different categories. Here we go…
Stories From the City, Stories from the Sea, PJ Harvey – Albums this good aren’t made all that often. Crunchy rock songs, flowing earthy ballads, and the ability to turn love into a tangible wavelength of sound for three minutes at a time. Hardly a single song misfires, and standouts like “Good Fortune” and “You Said Something” are easily some of the best songs to have been released all year. A must have.
The Trouble With Poets, Peter Mulvey – It’s hard to be objective about this album, because i’ve known it for so long. The live album that preceded it featured its title track, and i had seen Peter play over half of the album live in 1999 and early 2000. But, the album’s release was anything but anticlimatic; Peter’s sparse live acoustic sound is something totally different than the textured mix found on his album, complete with sighing backing vocals and drums that just emphasize the incredible rhythms he establishes with his guitar. Every song is good, but the title track is perfection itself.
You Were Here, Sarah Harmer – I would have never bought this album, except that i came into work early one day and heard it played straight through on our local folk station. Of course, i was busy making lattés and hardly could pay the sort of attention Ms. Harmer warrants, but i definitely was intrigued by her sound. On a whim i picked up her disc in my post Christmas shopping spree, and i have to say that it’s the best whim i’ve had in years. The album as a whole resides somewhere in the vast expanse between Ani DiFranco and Sarah McLachlan, but individual songs like “HideOut” and “Lodestar” defy such easy categorization as much as they defy you to not like them. Album opener “Around This Corner” is almost too catchy to even recommend to you for fear you might never listen to another first track the same way again, the wailing “Weakened State” conjures up more angst then any Limp Bizcuit song i’ve ever suffered through while still sounding great, and “Basement Apartment” definitely deserves to hit it big on college or AC radio. This album has something for almost any fan of female folk or pop music, so i suggest you listen.
The other two albums of the year are still in flux. Do i sell out and pick Madonna’s Music just because it’s Madonna and surpassed my wildest expectations. Can i really place indy-rock Death Cab for Cutie’s We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes amongst some of my musical idols without a flinch? Or, is Veruca Salt’s first post-humus effort deserving of the best of recognition for it’s shining moments even when there are terrible ones mixed in… I’m altogether unsure. I’ll tell you as soon as i figure it out…
As sick as i may or may not be, there will be a new Trio tonight. If you have any requests, get them in now so i can rehearse.
I’m so tired of the internet. Sure, it’s the information super-highway and all that bullshit, but lately it’s just plain sucking. It seems like quality content is slipping through the cracks everywhere i turn, and established sites that i’ve always loved are just dull and boring now. I suppose the question is – did the internet out-grow me or did i out-grow it? Sitting here staring at my screen i think i’ve clicked every bookmark link i have and none of them has held my attention for more than a minute or two. Maybe it’s just because i’m not feeling well, or maybe i’ve finally developed an acute case of attention deficit disorder, but i am hating my computer. Someone, please, send me a link i can like!
You really know your brand name is totally proliferated when any similar product is referred to by the general populace by your trademark. For instance, on my last day at the coffee shop my co-worker Sara asked me for the Windex. Now, we’ve never had Windex for the entirety of my time there, and we didn’t have it that day either. What we did have was bluish-green glass and surface cleanser in a squirt bottle, which basically equates to Windex. I got it for her without missing a beat, and didn’t even think about it until later.
My personal favourite example of this phenomenon is in tampons. When i was growing up the only brand of tampons ever to be seen in my house were Tampax tampons, and to this day i honestly don’t know that i could name any other brands. In conversation, i refer to singular “tampon” as “tampon,” and small groups of “tampons” as “tampons,” but any significant grouping or package of tampons is referred to as Tampax – because that’s the only way i ever knew them growing up.
Wow… now there’s a story about condoms and about tampons on the main page at the same time. Search engines are gonna love me….
So, wow, i got a huge response both in visitors and in posts from SurvivorBlog about my final words. Ian of the peanut gallery even got all huffy and called me an irritating prick! Don’t you love pushing people’s buttons? Maybe he’ll actually be around a little more often now; i think that’s the most i’ve ever seen him post in a single day as it is. To counteract his comment, MJ says she misses me already. However, none of the sBloggers expressed much remorse other than Alayna, who invited me to come and visit her in New York (an invitation that my girlfriend is less than thrilled about, i’m sure).
I honestly feel somewhat shitty about writing my last words in such a spiteful fashion; it wasn’t that i was angry, i just felt like saying everything i had neglected to say so far. Maybe i burned a bridge or two, but i at least sparked some conversation in the sBlog itself and in the Peanut Gallery, and god knows they need something to talk about these days.