So Wrong, And You Know It

Awhile back, I took up a Hipinion challenge to list my five favorite songs by my five favorite artists. Now, a new challenge has arisen, asking for an update on my ten favorite records of the 00’s. I will not link to the thread proper, as it’s pretty much a disaster, I’m disappointed in and surprised at everyone’s poor taste. Not that my tastes are any better:

Favorite albums, 2000-2006:
01. Joanna Newsom – Ys
02. The Exploding Hearts – Guitar Romantic
03. The Books – Thought for Food
04. The Mountain Goats – The Coroner’s Gambit
05. The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
06. Weezer – Weezer [The Green Album]
07. Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
08. Destroyer – Streethawk: A Seduction
09. Shugo Tokumaru – Night Piece
10. Liars – They Were Wrong So We Drowned

Breakdown by year:
2000 – 2 albums (#4, 7)
01 – 2 (6, 8)
02 – 1 (3)
03 – 2 (2, 10)
04 – 1 (9)
05 – 0
06 – 2 (1, 5)

Feel free to post your own lists for comparison/ceaseless-mocking.

I know I’m going to catch a ton of flak for The Green Album. Not even most Weezer fans really like it. But I will defend it until the day I die; it’s one of the best pop albums in my collection. The singles are my least favorite songs on the album, strangely enough.

Looks like 2006 has been an amazing year. Yo La Tengo’s new album just missed this cut as well. By that breakdown, it looks like 2005 was really terrible, but I think the albums last year were pretty consistently good, there just weren’t any unbelievable standouts in my mind. For the record, Andrew Bird was my top album of 2005.

It’s a pretty embarrasingly lightweight list in general, I haven’t taken any huge risks here, you’ll find all of these albums on many other people’s lists as well. Yeah, what a silly list. Just looking at it, I hate it. What am I thinking. My indie elitist attitude wants me to find some obscure records to casually toss onto the list, but I can’t summon up anything else that I could honestly say tops these. I’ve excluded EPs by the way, so no The Tain, no Pas/Cal, etc.

Speaking of Pas/Cal, it has recently come to my attention that the first track of their upcoming Dear Sir EP is now making the rounds on the world wide web. A quick “Google” search revealed a link to the song entitled ‘C.A.U. (Sans Muscle)’ at the blog You Ain’t No Picasso. I have a really unhealthy obsession with this band; they’ve become one of my favorite bands ever despite the fact that they’ve only released two EPs to date. The Dear Sir EP, due in November, will be the third, with the full-length Citizen’s Army Uniform due out in 2007, I believe. I have already preordered my copy of Dear Sir, and I fully expect Citizen’s Army Uniform to eventually become an inclusion on the above top ten list. This song, by the way, is not bad at all. A lot less structured than the typical Pas/Cal tune, reminds me somewhat of a condensed version of ‘What do the American Girls Have on Jennifer Jo Jo’. Man, I really love Pas/Cal, and I just don’t know why. And that’s how love works, innit. Edit: Last.fm will likely be needed to confirm this, but I think that over the past day, I’ve listened to this track over forty times, which would immediately catapult it into my top 30 overall chart, even though I may not exhaust this track for another few days, not even considering the amount of play I’ll give the full EP once it actually arrives. This track has breakout potential, and I’m loving it more and more.

Oh, I’ve listed it, but I don’t think I’ve discussed The Crane Wife here. I was in the process of elaborating on my views in a lengthy, epic blog post, but deleted the draft after only a single paragraph. For now, my capsule review on WSRN’s spiffy new webpage should suffice. Mr. Baker has posted a harsh criticism in The Phoenix, which I may or may not decide to respond to. I’m not sure it’s really worth it, in the long run, so I doubt I will. He’s got good tastes, and it’s not like we’ll ever change each other’s minds, so we’ll let things lay as they are.

I’ve probably got a lot of other topics that I’m forgetting to cover, but that’s just about it for now. We’re done with the first quarter of my junior year, and I’m about to head home for the fall break. It’s really unbelievable to realize that the semester is already half-over, meaning that after another quarter I’ll probably be off to the Australian rainforest, with just six weeks remaining to see this year’s graduating seniors. And after that, I only have one year left at Swarthmore. And then it’s off into the real world. Unbelievable.

Sundry links:

  • Related to my list, what’s the best novel of the past 25 years?
  • Why is 8.5 x 11 the standard size for paper in the United States?
  • This guy looks like the best teacher ever.
  • Terrell Owens has a series of children’s books coming out. I laugh everytime I think about this. Too bad he’s sinking my fantasy team and his real team as well. What a circus.
  • Some little kids playing streetball. I really was this good in elementary school, I promise, until I altered my shot mechanics and stopped working on my dribbling.
  • Those silly jack-o-lanterns are for wussies, this is how real pumpkins should be carved.
  • Watch street artists work on a constantly mutating painting for a week.
  • Some sadly rejected games for the upcoming Nintendo Wii.
  • The final tracklist for Guitar Hero II has been unveiled. I will be all over this game, the list looks even better than the last.
  • The new game Bully, by the makers of Grand Theft Auto, is not what people expected at all. Turns out it’s actually a moral lesson for the kids. Props to the developers.
  • Find out how to send an elevator straight to your floor, skipping all floors in-between even if a fellow passenger has selected them. Sadly this didn’t work on the Parrish elevators, but I’m keeping my hopes up.
  • The X Prize Foundation, which previously rewarded the race to produce a privately-constructed space rocket, has now focused its attention on the human genome. I really respect this use of resources.
  • How commitment helped out in this great poker story. This is from the author of that Freakonomics book.
  • Finding animals in the London Underground.
  • Various tourmates tell their worst stories about Yo La Tengo. Often brought the lols.
  • Related to my top record of the decade, here’s an interview with Joanna Newsom, conducted over email by Carl Wilson, mostly concerning the album. David Byrne also has some things to say about Newsom, along with some interesting notes on music in general.
  • Some seriously nice workplaces. Once again, Google tops the list, but I’m glad to see that the VW Phaeton plant makes the cut as well. I actually kind of want a Phaeton now.
  • By now you’ve probably seen the USB air darts, but now we have a USB Circus Cannon. Yes.
  • For the cinephile in your life, the DVD Rewinder. Yeah, lol.
  • Using the same concept as those hybrid vehicles on the road, take a step towards getting off the grid by switching to hybrid lighting, with tax credit available as a bonus.
  • Spectacular panoramic shot of Rio de Janeiro, taken from just below Christ the Redeemer.
  • A quirky addition to your writing tools, a pocket brush pen.
  • Michelin is developing airless tires.
  • Find out when fall colors will peak in your area. Also, here’s some instructions for crafting roses out of maple leaves. This reminds me that I seriously need to get back into the Ecology lab to finish up my litterfall work.
  • Last week, I posted composite photos of the typical Sydney resident, and now we have a composite photo of the typical attractive woman. Very nice, I agree.
  • After North Korea’s recent nuclear weapons test, the Hiroshima Peace Clock has been reset. Meanwhile, here’s North Korea’s official announcement on the test, which is really disturbingly funny, the very definition of black humor it seems. For me, the scariest part isn’t what NK will do with the bomb (though that’s obviously pretty scary in and of itself), but who they’ll be willing to give the technology to.
  • I don’t wish to imply anything here, but here’s an article on Koran recitation competetions. This actually seems like a really interesting spectacle to witness, and I admire the determination and dedication of these kids.
  • Jackson Pynchon, who is Thomas Pynchon‘s son, is on facebook. I’m beginning to wonder: have his friends ever seen his dad? Does he have family photos on his computer or anything? Has Thomas Pynchon ever gone to a parent-teacher conference or anything? Or a performance that Jackson was involved in? Still the best author.
  • I might be visiting the State Fair over the break, and as a reminder of what to expect, here’s some Deep Fried Coca-Cola. Once they nail down sweet tea, I’m there.
  • A new finch species has been discovered from a remote region of Colombia.

And finally, my condolences go out to the friends and family of Cory Lidle. Rest in peace.

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