Category Archives: Music

Favorite Albums of 2010

I was not able to listen to as much new music in 2010 as I would have liked, but I managed to find some new favorites, from both new and old bands.  So pull up a chair, put on some headphones, and check out my favorites from the past year.  I’m sure there’s something here for everyone.

1.) The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

This album became one of my all time favorites from nearly the beginning and there was never any doubt that it was going to be my favorite album of the year.  It seemed impossible that Arcade Fire could ever release another album as good as their first, Funeral, but they did it one better.  I really wanted to see them when they came to town a few months ago, but $40 per ticket and playing at a crappy venue was just too much.  I have missed them twice now and will probably always regret not going.  Their ticket prices keep going up (I am tempted to go see them in Chicago in a few months, but now tickets are $50).  As usual, you won’t hear the best songs on the radio.  Be sure to check out We Used to Wait, Suburban War, and Sprawl IIWe Used to Wait was used in this online interactive video The Wilderness Downtown using HTML 5.  They claim it looks best using the Google Chrome browser, but it worked fine for me with Firefox.

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Dear Internets, it’s been a one sided relationship for awhile now.  I’ve been taking and not giving much back.  Is that wrong?  Instead of the usual excuses, I’ll just say that I don’t have much I want to write about.  Shall we run down the usual suspects?

Music:  Mumford & Sons concert a month ago was awesome.  Edward Sharpe, not so much.  I haven’t been able to listen to much new music lately.  I only seem to listen to new music while at work and my portable hard drive is broken.  I suppose I could listen to it on my new phone, although I’ve started listening to Pandora a lot more at work.  Here’s something I can give back today: my Mumford & Sons Pandora Radio Station.  Seriously, check it out.  I’ve had everything from Bod Dylan to The Decemberists show up.  Good times.

Phone: Picked up the HTC EVO 4G on launch day.  It’s a welcome replacement for my Instinct.  Now I have a real smart phone, not a “feature” phone posing as one.  As indicated in the name, the EVO has a 4G radio, although it’s really WiMAX and not likely to be the eventual 4G standard.  But I get a good 4G signal at work, not that I can use it much.  Pandora sounds the same and it’s hard to justify watching videos.  Too bad I didn’t know about the 4G availability until after all the World Cup games are over (SprintTV has live ESPN).

WordPress: Updated to the newest WordPress, 3.0.  More of the same?  Perhaps a new theme can kick things up a notch?

Seems like the usual suspects show some promise.  Shall we investigate them some more soon?

Favorite Albums of 2009

2009 was a great year for music, which makes coming up with a “Top 10” list pretty hard, but I’ll give it a shot.  I’ve mentioned a few of these bands on Facebook, so hopefully you’ve been able to check them out.  If not, now is a great time to ring in the new year with the best of the last.

The Hazards of Love1.) The Hazards of Love – The Decemberists

I had the pleasure of seeing this album performed twice last year.  First at Rock the Garden, an outdoor concert on a beautiful June day next to the Walker Art Center and then at the State Theater, a wonderful sit down venue.  Individually the songs are great, but only when played together do you truly get to appreciate this album.  “Rock opera” is the term most use to capture the album’s essence.  As with all of The Decemberists work, the lyrics are depressingly morbid.  Definitely my favorite album of theirs so far and one of my favorite albums of all time.  I can’t recommend this enough!

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