It’s hard to get to know an album without any recognizable ‘singles.’ I usually force myself to listen to a disc beginning to end over and over until i develop some favourites to look forward to, and then i backtrack to all the other songs relative to their position in regards to my favourites. or something. Of that massive cd influx i just experiences, Madonna’s are the only albums i know anything on, which makes each album delightfully fresh yet frighteningly unknown. The latest aural fixation is indy-rock-stars Death Cab For Cutie, who i only had previously owned a scant 5-song EP by. I owned it and loved it, so over break i paid their (excellent) label Barsuk Records a visit and came away with $30 and four discs (plus one demo tape). I’ve not managed to form opinions on the rest of my order, but DeathCab’s We have the facts and we’re voting yes is a nearly flawless album with engagingly non-poetic lyrics and that nearly trademarked indy-squeak on all of the vocals. I’ve seen both the Forbidden Love EP and the album on numerous 2000 best-of lists, and it looks like i’ll be seconding that endorsement. Currently on track 3 of my fourth repetition in the third set of repetitions. And they’re all favourites, so far.
My personal favourite music critic has just put out his best of 2000 list, and i was pleasantly surprised to find Sarah Harmer on it. I heard bits and pieces of Sarah’s disc You Were Here for the first time on our local folk station last week while at the coffee shop and decided buying it was a risk worth taking. Being the hip boy that i am, i ordered it online and inadvertently had it sent to my house, where it sat shrinkwrapped until today when i braved snow and grey skies to retrieve it. I just got back to the apartment with it, popped it on, loaded the top2000 list, and before the second track even began i was hearing about it from the mouth of my favourite reviewer. (He also endorsed Spoon‘s favourite band, and a tepidly awful Nina Gordon album.) Seeing as i’m still tracking down a few stragglers from 2000 (i also just got Joan Osborne and DeathCab for Cutie), my best-of list will probably be reserved until next month. So, in the meantime, go read the list i’d write if i had 6x the disposable income and 4x the amount of time i have to review cds. And tell him how much you love him.
Yesterday as i was coming home from working at the coffee shop, i saw what i thought was a 2 dimensional cut out of a man in a business suit. I wasn’t exactly sure why there’d be such a decoration in the middle of Suburban Station, but it struck me as whimsical and i continued to walk by when out of the corner of my eye i saw the 2d-man move. As it turned out, he was in the middle of his daily commute, just like myself or anyone else i walked past. But when i looked at him at first, he had no character to him… his edges weren’t rounded and his face was struck in a single expression held as long as my glance lasted.
I think it was just the light. Have you ever noticed that some teevee shows look more like sets with people on them than others? Two that come to mind are Roseanne and Home Improvement. Either because of the lighting or the film used, the actors on both of those television shows never seemed to be a part of their scenery to me … they stuck out just like an actor on stage does, and the burden of suspending disbelief fell upon you as the viewer. Other shows like Cheers and Friends make the environment as much as a character as the actors, and so it seems as though we’re actually watching people living their lives, even though we’re fully aware that it’s a sitcom. In this case, the sitcom has helped us suspend our disbelief.
Even though the man was wearing a business suit and carrying a briefcase, he stood out against the surroundings just like a magnet on a refrigerator. Was it something about him? Or, was it something about me?
I’m having one of those “small cog in an infinite universe” kind of days. I remember when i was younger i fancied the Earth as a single cell in a body, with all of us reduced to that stuff that floats around the nucleus – and we could barely even comprehend the sum total of our own cell let alone the entirety of our body or beyond. Of course, i eventually learned what all that stuff around the nucleus was called. As my plane came in from Florida i glanced out of the window and saw the entirety of Philadelphia laid out all in the yellow glow of street lamps and the tiny winking brake lights of hundreds of cars. It felt as though i could snap a photo of it all and load it into SimCity… replacing my apartment building with a lush condominium and widening all of the streets in South Philly so there would be room to park.
I’m nothing but a single Sim in my city. I never played any of the newer versions of SimCity, but i remember the original clearly from way-back. Imagine just a single person in that city. Would they visit every building? On any given day would they even waste a thought on the outlying suburbs or the densely packed inner-city streets? My range within Philadelphia is so very limited, and as the plane descended and i could make out distinctive landmarks it was as if my daily path was highlighted especially in the wash of all of those orangey street lamps, and it was as tiny and restricted as those country roads that i claim to despise so much. Maybe what i like about the city is the illusion of options, and not the option themselves. Or maybe i should go to sleep on long plane rides. Any thoughts?
I’ve gotten to the point where i’m just leaving a fork in my box of precious precious cheesecake so that i don’t have to rinse off a new one ever time i decide to have a piece. Leaving me here alone for more than a day or two is rather dangerous, because everything loses all semblance of order without Matt around to make me feel self-conscious about it. I practically have the door barricaded with discarding clothing, shoes, and shopping bags, not to mention the musical war-zone. And, i’m still denying that the bedroom even exists, let alone how much it needs to be organized. I mean, didn’t i just clean before i left for Florida? ugh…