You've Been Asleep for a Hundred Seconds

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Music: The Year in Review

The Top Ten:
1. Graham Coxon - Happiness in Magazines
A Brit Pop masterpiece. Graham sounds more like Blur on this album than Blur has in a decade. Pure pop pleasure from start to finish.

2. Mirah - C'mon Miracle
This is an album that I would never have never checked out without file sharing. Quiet, creepy songs that are both personal and political. Portland's Mirah is kind of like Cat Power minus the preciousness. Easily, the Best album from K Records since Boot Party.

3. Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Shake the Streets
This was supposed to be the album celebrate Bush's defeat with, but its still a fantastic collection of Jam-esque political pop songs of the catchiest kind.

4. Camera Obscura - Underachievers Please Try Harder
Mellow Scottish twee pop at its finest.

5. Robyn Hitchcock - Spooked
Another great album by favorite artist of all time. This acoustic album contains at least 3 all time classics "Television", "If You Know Time", and "Full Moon of My Soul".

6. Guided By Voices - Half Smiles of the Decomposed
The final album by the world's last great rock band. Not as immediately catchy as their last three albums but fantastic in its own way. "Window of My World" is a gorgeous song.

7. Harry and the Potters - Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock
I've raved about these guys before in the blog but this album is really special. This is essentially Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix turned into a rock opera/song cycle. "The Human Hosepipe" is one of the angstiest songs in years.

8. Morrissey - You Are the Quarry
With a 7 year wait between albums, I haven't anticipated an album this much since XTC's Apple Venus. Luckily, the Mozzer did not disappoint. This is easily his best album since Vauxhall and I if not Your Arsenal.

9. The Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed
John Darnielle was my big discovery this year. I still haven't figure out what is about his music (it's sure not his voice!) that I like but I know I dig it.

10. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
These guys really turned me off at first but the more I listened the more I liked it, until I couldn't stop listening to it over and over.

Honorable Mentions:
Destroyer - Your Blues
The Guild League - Inner North
Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
A.C. Newman -The Slow Wonder
Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
Wilco - A Ghost is Born
Brian Wilson - Smile

Also Great:
Air- Talkie Walkie
Belle & Sebastian - I'm a Cuckoo and Books EPs
Bjork - Medulla
Jon Brion - I Heart Huckabees Soundtrack
Neko Case - The Tigers Have Spoken
Lloyd Cole - Music in a Foreign Language
Elvis Costello and the Impostors - The Delivery Man
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
The Lashes - The Stupid Stupid EP
Magnetic Fields - i
The Minus 5 - In Rock (Reissue)
The Minus 5 - At the Organ EP
Andy Partridge - Fuzzy Warbles Vol. 5 & 6
Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins (Reissue)
Grant Lee Phillips - Virginia Creeper
Puffy AmiYumi - Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi: Music From the Series
Of Montreal - Satanic Panic in the Attic
Sgt. Major - Rich, Creamery Butter
Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
Smoosh - She Like Electric
Jill Sobule - Underdog Victorious
Visqueen - Sunset on Dateland
Kanye West - The College Dropout
Paul Weller - Studio 150

Good Solid Albums:
Badly Drawn Boy - One Plus One is One
The Bees - Free The Bees
Frank Black - Frank Black Francis
Jon Brion - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Soundtrack
David Byrne - Grown Backwards
Johnny Cash - My Mother's Hymn Book
Danger Mouse - The Grey Album
The Decemberists - The Tain
Elf Power - Walking with the Beggar Boys
The Fastbacks - Truth, Corosion, and Sour Biscuits
Finn Brothers - Everyone Is Here
Keane - Hopes and Fears
Le Tigre - This Island
Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
The Old 97s - Drag It Up
Pedro The Lion - Achilles' Heel
Robert Pollard - Fiction Man
Preston School of Industry – Monsoon
RJD2 - Since We Last Spoke
The Sadies - Favourite Colours
Snow Patrol - Final Straw
They Might Be Giants - Indestructible Object EP
They Might Be Giants - The Spine
Various - Read: Interpreting Bjork
Tom Waits - Real Gone

Disappointing or Just Plain Sucked:
The Beta Band - Heroes to Zeroes
Interpol - Antics
Lambchop - No, You C'mon
N*E*R*D - Fly or Die
The Thrills - Let's Bottle Bohemia
U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Various - This One's For the Fellows
Brian Wilson - Gettin' In Over My Head

Glenn Tilbrook - Transatlantic Ping-Pong

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Confessions of a Trekkie

Two years ago I would have considered myself a mild fan of Star Trek. Sure I'd seen all the movies, probably seen most episodes of the original series, had watched most of The Next Generation in its initial run, and occasionally watched Deep Space Nine. But the magic of Netflix changed all that.

For no particular reason that I can recall, I decided that it would be fun to start rewatching The Next Generation. I was just going to get the occasional disc and figured that with seven seasons of TNG at seven disks a season it would take me years to work through TNG. But I complete fell in lvoe with it and became obsessed and soon my queue was filled with TNG and I was getting five discs of TNG at a time. Next thing I knew I was biding for Reg Barclay action figures on Ebay.

Soon with in a few months I was all out of TNG so I moved on to DS9 and watched that series with equal speed. While inferior to TNG, DS9 is definitely my personal favorite especially the intricate plots of the later seasons. Way too many Ferengi centric episodes though. Once I was done with DS9 I started watching Voyager as the seasons came out on DVD this year and even though the series is highly mediocre for the most part I can't stop watching it. I just got the first disc of season 7 today.

Earlier this year I started watching the old two episodes on disk DVD of the Original Series but when word came of real TOS box sets I stopped getting those. Now thanks to Christmas gifts from my father I now own all three seasons of TOS.

Last fall I even started watching the much maligned Enterprise on UPN and found that I really liked it. The third season Xindi arc was a lot of fun and this season has turned out to be phenomenal. I really hope there is a fifth season. And of course I am looking forward to seeing the first two seasons on DVD in the future.

All tolled in the past 22 months I have watched 10 Star Trek feature films and 572 episodes of the various Star Trek series on DVD or on the air with another 48 episodes of TOS in possession to be watched. That's pretty scary and definitely makes me a big Trekkie. But this evening I crossed the point of no return. I bought a Star Trek novel. A DS9 novel called Unity and I'm really excited to read it. Kill me now. Please. Really.

Now for a bunch of embarassing Trek top fives:

Series Rankings:
1. Star Trek: The Next Generation
2. Star Trek
3. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
4. Star Trek: Enterprise (only based on seasons 3 and 4)
5. Star Trek: Voyager

Captain Rankings:
1. Picard (TNG)
2. Kirk (TOS)
3. Archer (ENT)
4. Janeway (VOY)
5. Sisko (DS9)I love the character but he's not a great captain.

Favorite Characters:
1. Spock (TOS)
2. Picard (TNG)
3. Gul Ducat (DS9)
4. Worf (TNG, DS9)
5. The Doctor (VOY)

Worst Characters:
1. Dr. Pulaski (VOY)
2. Neelix (VOY)
3. Kes (VOY)
4. Troi (TNG)
5. Chakotay (VOY)

Most Promising Yet Underdeveloped Characters:
1. Tuvok (VOY)
2. B'Elanna Torres (VOY)
3. Hoshi Sato (ENT)
4. Travis Mayweather (ENT)
5. Geordi LaForge (TNG)

Best Episodes:
1. Tapestry (TNG)
2. Mirror, Mirror (TOS)
3. The Visitor (DS9)
4. Far Beyond the Stars (DS9)
5. All Good Things... (TNG)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

And Now I'm Older Still

This is Jackson the sweetest dog in the world. He could probably kill me with in 5 seconds but he such a weenie the thought would never occur to him. He is deathly afraid of the vacuum. So much for a pit bull/rotweiller mix being a tough dog.

I now have a digital camera courtesy of a birthday present from my mom and step-dad. It's a really fun gadget. Now I just need to learn how to take quality pictures with it.

I spent most of the day downtown with my mom and I had a real blast. I finished most of my Christmas shopping and used the last of my birthday money to pick up a copy of Freaks and Geeks on DVD. I had a really nice time hanging out with mom and while it was busy downtown it was not insanely busy. Afterwards we went to dinner and Nishino with my brother and Amy. High end Japanese food can be so yummy. After dinner I went home and met up with Merychippus and we enjoyed the three hour finale of Survivor and I was most pleased with the final result.

It was a completely fantastic birthday weekend. I feel very loved.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Older Than I've Ever Been

Tomorrow is my 28th birthday. Five years ago I would said "whoa 28? That's old!" but now it doesn't seem so bad. Maybe that's just wishful thinking but I really like who I am, where I am and where I'm headed. May the next 28 years be just as good. Although as I heard on NPR's Day To Day this week even 26 is considered old by teenagers today.

Last night, I went out to dinner with Headstart, AA, FCW and her no longer FC, my brother and his girlfriend Amy, and K and her new beau. Sprizee and Xan were invited but otherwise engaged. Dinner was delightful and the conversation ranged from carrier plans to Bremerton to the awesomeness of this week's episode of the OC. And when the check arrived it turned to the metaphysical implications of check spliting. Mind blowing. I also snagged some great presents including the new Jill Sobule album, a deluxe Goodfellas DVD, Green Lantern Christmas ornaments, and a bunch of nice books. Afterward, most of us went to see Ocean's Twelve which turned out to be a really entertaining piece of fluff. Unlike the tightly plotted Ocean's Eleven, the plot seemed like is was made up on the spot as they filmed it but it was still fun.

Today, I went out to lunch with my dad, step-mom, and brother. We mostly talked about politics and the future of the Democratic party. Some really great debate from all sides and I, as always, came out comparatively looking like right winger. My dad is now the chairman of the 26th District Democrats and my step-mom is the secretary. Afterwards, we went to University Village where I spent some gift certificates I had gotten as gifts and I ended up with Chinatown, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Bubba Ho-tep, and May DVDs. A great birthday weekend so far.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


I played pub trivia at the Old Pequliar tonight with a bunch of friends including keith and Grumbles. We had to split into two teams because there were two many of us. My team was called Personality Crisis and Grumbles team was called (as always) Faces of Defeat. While we struggled a bit on the figure skater picture round Personality Crisis was in second place at half time with Faces of Defeat not far behind. In the second half we continued our success by nailing some tough questions in the TV round including one about Magnum P.I.. Our perfromance was just good enough for us to win! We won $140 and split it with Faces of Defeat. After trivia was over stuck arond for an hour or so and chatted. Thong provided the highlight of the evening by putting some Toby keith on the jukebox and then telling us his plans to get people arrested by misusuing stolen neighborhood broadband. The plan was far to nefarious and hilarious to even mention here. I also found out that Grumbles' friend Kate went to Davis High School in Yakima with my brother and even went with him to a high school dance. Small world indeed!

Fear For Me

This weekend I watched the first three episodes of Dallas (via Netflix) and really dug it. I mean I thought it was fantastic! But what does this say about me? Am I really turning into Bill from Freaks and Geeks? help!

Monday, December 06, 2004

X-Mas Dilemma

I can never figure out what to by my mom and step mom for christmas. Everyone else on my list is fairly easy to shop for. But that's because I everyone else ends up getting either books, CDs, or DVDs. Is it just a guy thing or is there some other reason i only seem to buy media products as gifts? Obviously, I am a major consumer of media myself so maybe that's just my frame of reference. i could buy them books or CDs but I'd like to get them something more exciting and personal. I'm sure something will come to me but for now im stumped. Any ideas?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Television Say You Love Me...

Just a little end of fall TV round up.

The best new show of the season is clearly Veronica Mars (Tue 9PM on UPN). This bizarre combination of teen soap and crime drama is the one show I can not miss. All the characters have proven intriguing and likeable even characters like Logan, who I thought was going to be a paper thing bad guy, and Duncan, who seemed rather drab and boring at first. Each episode has a self-contained mystery story coupled with more revelations about the late Lily Kane and Vernonica's missing Mom. Both parts of th show are always statisfying and Enrico Colantoni as Veronica's dad steals every scene he's in. If you aren't watching this show now you are really missing out.

The second best show is obviously lost right? Nope it's Star Trek: Enterprise (Fri 9PM on UPN).. Yes the show that was so bad it almost killed the Star Trek Franchise is now one of the best shows on television. Ok maybe I'm just a geeky fanboy but Enterprise has been really great. It got off to a bumpy start with Nazi time traveling Aliens (the less said the better). But once this season started telling its own stories its has been phenomenal. The Eugenics War story with Brent Spiner was great and the current Vulcan storyline has been even better. Easily the best Trek since the end of DS9. My two favorite Shows are on UPN there must be something wrong with me

Without a doubt Lost (Wed 8PM on ABC). is a phenomenal show. The fact that a show like this is also a huge hit is really exciting. High concept shows that work are supposed to last 13 episodes and then be cancelled. I was worried that this show wouldn't be able to sustain itself but the twist in last night's episode gives me hope that they have the creativity to do anything with this show.

Like most HBO dramas its is hard to judge a season of The Wire (Sun 9PM on HBO) accurately until its completed. This season the focus has returned to the west Baltimore drug trade and there is a really great City Hall sub plot. McNulty continues to be one of the best characters in TV history. And if they ever make my life into a movie I demand that Clarke Peters play me. So what if I'm a fat white guys and he's a 50ish black man. Anyway if you haven't seen this show I highly recommend getting Season 1 on Netflix.

The second season of the The O.C. (Thurs 8PM on FOX) is just getting going but damn what a fun show. Ryan is as angsty as ever doing his mini-Russell Crowe thing, Seth is getting some much deserved flack for being a selfish twit and he's still funny, Summer is getting more rounded and more delightful with each episode, Sandy is the only TV dad in history that made me wish he was my dad (no offense Dad!), and Jimmy is apparently now a drunken pirate. Of course its not all roses, the Achilles heel of this show is Marissa, she's supposed to be the Kelly Taylor of the show but Mischa Barton's absolute lack of acting skills can almost ruin otherwise perfect episodes. Recast Marrissa and this show has potential all-time great status.

I've only seen a few episodes of Arrested Development (Sun 8PM on FOX) this season but damn is that funny show. My favorite character? Annyong.

Survivor (Thurs 8PM on CBS) continues to be best reality show ever. This season started out so-so but the svengali-like Ami and her all-girl alliance made things interesting, but last week's episode turned everything on its head with one of the best betrayal/power shifts in the history of the show. It was one of those moves that you always you think people should make but never do. Bill Simmons expounds on it here.

The Apprentice (Thurs 9PM on NBC) is not as good in this time as it was in the first season but it's still pretty compelling television. The people on this season are clearly crazier than the first season which is always a good thing, but the commercial ties in each episode get old.

It's weird having something to watch on Sunday nights that doesn't involve football or HBO. Desperate Housewives (Sun 9PM on ABC) is solid show, well written, interesting mystery, and plenty of eye candy but I don't know if they can keep it up and when I miss an episode I don't really care to find out what happened. Boston Legal (Sun 10PM on ABC) is frivolous but usually entertaining. James Spader is excellent as is Shatner. The only bad part of show is the music they use. That has to be the most annoying score in TV history.

The one show that I started watching these season but have since dumped is Smallville (Wed 9PM on WB). This was never that good a show to begin with but this season I lost all interest. First the gay subtext between Clark and Lex seemed to evaporate. It's no fun the watch if you can't find the gayest look of the episode. The final straw for me was when Lana's mystical tattoo made her into a reincarnated French witch. C'mon if I wanted to watch Charmed then I'd watch Charmed.

Keep Your Fingers Busy Mentally or Physically

This has been a really weird work week for me. Lots of people have been out sick so its been very quiet. On Monday, I did the same repetitive task over and over again. I was really productive but at the end of the day I wanted to kill myself. On Tuesday, I didn't roll into work until afternoon because of doctors appointment. I ended up doing the same repetitive task but since it was only a half day and I had trivia and nerd games to look forward to it didn't bother me. We almost won trivia too which was cool. Yesterday, I ended up staying home sick due so work was not an issue. Today work was really fun! I worked on about 5 different tasks so I stayed busy and engaged and was never board and I didn't use my head phones to listen to music or NPR even once! I don't think that has ever happened. I guess some variety can make work kinda fun.