Information Leafblower: December 2005 Archives

December 2005 Archives

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Merry Pinkmas

The new Morrissey single will be titled "You Have Killed Me".

US CD sales down 7%, but online sales are up 148%.

Very cool.

2005's Top Spam Subject Lines. Has everyone else been bombarded with comment spam during the holidays? Ugh. Comment spam makes Mr. Pink cry.

According to my iTunes, here are the 26 songs I played the most in 2005.

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Light

information leafblower is on holiday until next Tuesday.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Bang goes another year / In and out of one ear / Everybody's doing it / So do it too

I'm going to have my blogging license revoked if I don't give everyone my Top 10 Records of the Year for the year 2005, so I'd better get on with it. Below were my favorite records of the year, not necessarily "the best", but my favorite, i.e. the one's I listened to the most. I was too lazy to put up downloads from each selection, but I'm pretty sure I've put up at least one song from each album at some point in the year. If you click around there might be a few MP3's from past posts still available. So without further ado (the suspense is killing you, I know), here we go:

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

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1) Mylo - Destroy Rock & Roll
I found this record in February and haven't stopped listening to it since. I'm not big on dance music but the appeal of this record is undeniable. Killer hooks, genius samples, I keep telling people this is dance music for people that don't like dance music. I believe this is getting released in the US in January.
2) Elbow - Leaders of the Free World
It's a testament to the band that 10+ years into their career they make what is easily their best record. Less prog and more rock than their previous efforts, Leaders of the Free World gives you something new each time you listen to it.
3) Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
These guys are making the kind of records The Strokes should be making, plain and simple. Easily the catchiest rock record I heard all year. The southern accents just add to their charm. Why these guys aren't huge on these shores I'll never know.
4) Feist - Let It Die
Part folk, part pop, part trip hop, this collection of originals and covers has serious crossover potential. Probably the record I recommended most to all my friends.
5) Spoon - Gimme Fiction
This record was a grower for me and it took longer to click than a Spoon record should. But once it did, Gimme Fiction showed surprising depth, especially on the latter part of the album. Funny how this record gets forgotten in the conversations about danceable indie rock, but it's the easiest to shake your shit to.

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6) Cut Copy - Bright Like Neon Love
Two dance records in my Top 10. Two! I hesitate to call this record Mylo or Daft Punk-lite, as it's a serious disservice to Cut Copy, but that's basically what it is. But it's catchy as all hell and has grooves for days.
7) Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask
THIS is what the latest Gorillaz record should have sounded like.
8) Super Furry Animals - Love Kraft
Their most ELO-riffic record, Love Kraft took a quite a few listens for me to appreciate fully. During the first few listens, I couldn't find enough Furrypop goodness for my tastes, but repeated listens revealed that they were just buried farther in the record than they usually are. In all honesty, the Furries needed to shake up their sound a bit and they did a hell of a job.
9) Brendan Benson - The Alternative To Love
I can't even begin to describe this record. I immediately thought of Sloan when I heard it, for the straight up pure pop chops, but this record is more than that. Buy it and you won't be disappointed.
10) Tom Vek - We Have Sound
A record that lived up to the immense hype, at least for me. Lo-fi white boy hip pop, this record has insanely catchy hooks and gets better and better with each listen.

Honorable Mention: Oasis - Don't Believe The Truth, Giant Drag - Hearts and Unicorns, Annie - Anniemal, Echo & the Bunnymen - Siberia, Maximo Park - Apply Some Pressure, New Order - Waiting For The Sirens Call, Bloc Party - Silent Alarm, Kasabian - Kasabian

RECORDS I DIDN'T THINK I WOULD LIKE AS MUCH AS I DID
Idlewild - Warning/Promises
Supergrass - Road To Rouen
Beck - Guero

BEST EP
Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey
Silversun Pickups - Pikul

BEST RECORDS FROM '04 (AND BEYOND) THAT I FOUND IN '05
Phoenix - Alphabetical
St. Etienne - Finisteere
Futureheads - The Futurheads
Stars - Heart
Laila Puna - Faking The Books

RECORD THAT I LIKED THAT NO SELF RESPECTING BLOGGER WILL COP TO LIKING
The Bravery - The Bravery

Damon to NY

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(Image via Boston Dirt Dogs)

I just got tickets to see Butterstick! Get yours here. Hurry, the weekends are almost gone. I'm lazy and took a date and time later in the month to allow for maximum sleeping-in probability, but there are earlier times still available. [via Wonkette]

Also, during the summer I did an interview with Southwest Airlines Magazine, I think it's called Spirit or something like that, about the whole Nike contest. I had pretty much forgotten about it until last week when two people from work informed me that they read about me on their flight. Apparently I am the main focus of the article(which is funny because Johnny English kept asking me, "What, the 14 people that finished ahead of you in the voting weren't available?"). *Gasp* My cover has been blown! Anyway, with the holiday travel season fast approaching, I'm wondering if someone that has a flight on Southwest could grab a copy or two for me so I can check it out. Thanks!

IS anyone else obsessively reading about the transit strike in NYC? Sometimes events like this in NYC can be alot of fun. The blackout of 2003 was a hoot. But mostly because I was already home. OK, nevermind.

The Guardian on music in the year 2005: Enough Pete Doherty already. I second that emotion.

Why am I not surprised?

Me too, only for different reasons.

The Super Furries, The Darkness, The Strokes and some others yet to be announced will rock out for alternative energy in January at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium.

Related: 2005 may be the warmest year ever.

10 applications every new Mac owner should have. [via Lifehacker]

Quickrflickr. Sweet!

Like Mercury

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The Cartel Cedars show on Friday night was great. The band surprised me by not opening with "Fleets" (and further confounded me by not playing it at all!) and then punched through a set of mostly new material, which tended to bring the RAWK and cut down on the droney stuff. Different and impressive. The venue was over halfway full and most of those in attendance had their eyes on the stage. Strangely, everyone up front was standing like five feet from the stage, so I went right up there and started snapping away, thinking my unobstructed views would make up for the poor lighting. Ummm...not so much. But I did get a few decent shots (which look much more decent on my Mac at home, stupid PC video card). The band gave shout outs to me, bluestate and DCist right before they were done, so respect to them. See all my photos of Cedars at the Black Cat over at Flickr.

After they were done, it was time to get to the TomCat (+ Charles! *hangs head in shame*) Blogger Xmas party before I became the only blogger in the metro area not to attend. There are recaps and ruminations on that all over the place, so seek and ye shall find.

Saturday I came to the realization that my favorite basketball team really, really sucks this year and that signing Brian Scalabrine as a free agent this summer was an unmitigated disaster. Oh, and I did some Xmas shopping.

Last night I started on my Top 10 albums of the year and all that list crap, which might be posted tomorrow, depending on how bad my favorite basketball team loses tonight and the ratio of booze I have to ingest to make me feel better about it. Until then...

Oh, almost forgot. I started watching the new Queens of the Stone Age DVD over the weekend and it is shit hot. It almost melted my TV while I was watching it. Here is a preview of the DVD for your streaming pleasure. Highly recommended.

Well, we're officially past the halfway point of December, or as I like to call it, the "31 days of drinking" and the schedule shows no sign of letting up. Tonight I'm going to go check out Cartel Cedars at the Black Cat, perhaps with a side trip to Bliss thrown in, before getting all festive at the Annual TomCat Holiday Party. Sleep? What's that? I'm unfamiliar with the term.

I know the upcoming schedule for the 930 is completely craptastic, but peep what's coming up at the Black Cat:
Sat, Jan 14th: Bluestate ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY DANCE PARTY. Obvs.
Sun, Jan15th: Craig Wedren (ex Shudder To Think)
Thur, Jan 26th: Calla (really digging their new CD, I was going to put a song up for download today but I woke up late)
Wed, Feb 1st: The Hold Steady (finally! CatPita (iPod R.I.P.) and Grambo have both approved this band, so I'm intrigued)
Sat, Feb 4th: Low
Thur, Feb 9th: Feist (w00t!)
Fri, Feb 24th: Stars (I know I hated them last time, but I think I'm going to give them another shot)

I've also heard good things about Animal Collective and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, both of who are playing in February. Props to the BC for booking two solid months of shows when there generally aren't many great band on tour.

Also, let it be known, that The Hold Steady have thrown down the gauntlet for The National. WHY DOES THE NATIONAL HATE WASHINGTON DC?

Beatles sue EMI. More over at The Beeb.

Oasis added "Talk Tonight" to the set in Glasgow. Buzz.

New Moz Q&A over at True To You dot net.

Fucking best.

Come over here and tour you fuckers.

I think I already posted this, but Yay! New Underworld.

First Impressions of Earth, from widdly-woo to widdly-woeful.

Apple laptops are good.

Let It Snow

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My fortune, from today's lunch of chinese food:

How you look depends on where you go

Kind of apropos considering everything that has been happening to me lately. I've gotten quite a few emails asking me what in the hell was the good news I was talking about last week, well here's the scoop.

I got a new job!

Actually, I'm moving into a new position at my company, leaving the world of print production behind for the wonderful world of eMedia. Now I'll have an excuse to stare at a computer monitor all day long. I'm very, very excited about this opportunity and I feel like all the work I've put into the leafblower and the other sites I've written for is finally starting to pay off. You have no idea how many times me ex told me I was wasting my time writing stuff on the internet. I had to hear it alot, but in a way it just made me more determined. I guess that's why she's my ex. She mars.

So come January 3rd I'll be editing our flagship website, which gets a few hundred thousand hits a day. I'm a bit nervous about the whole thing, but in a good way.

Bob Pollard at the 930 Club on Jan. 28.

Feist at the Black Cat on Feb. 9th!

Stephen King hearts Spoon (scroll down), but Kazakhstan does not heart Borat.

Who will be the hottest bands next year?

Concert review: Oasis in Cardiff. Same old set.

Depeche Mode for Coachella.

Look out UK, here come The Wiggles.

Apple's next move.

Agreed. Stop it already.

Less Mr. Pink? For serious?

More Mister

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Sneak Peek

What?

Tired of Shopping

Head over to Flickr for the latest Mr. Pink photos.
Full Flickr archive on Mr. Pink.
Mr. Pink on the leafblower.

Now you have plans for Thursday. We'll be spinning between bands and after all is said and done.

My weekend didn't turn out quite like I had anticipated, but everything still worked out. Friday I stayed in and watched the Celtics lose yet again to the Spurs(that turned out exactly like I anticipated). I really needed a quiet night in after the week I had at work.

On Saturday I rounded up The Smith, Mike Grass and Natalya to go see Voxtrot play at the Warehouse Next Door. When we rolled up to the door, we found out that Voxtrot's van broke down in Massachussetts and they wouldn't make it to the show. Drat. So we went to plan B, bowling at the new Lucky Strike! Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea and we opted not to wait 2 hours for the next open lane. So plan C was in effect, pints at Fado. Which was also insanely packed, so we moved on to plan D, beers at RFD while watching bull riding/rodeo. Which was actually alot more fun that it sounds. I should also mention that I had originally planned on going to the Wizards v. Bulls game that night but all the cheap seats were sold out. *sigh*

Sunday I slept in a bit, did some Xmas shopping and saw The Chronicles of Narnia, which was very enjoyable, save for the overly religious themes of the movie. But the kids all did credible jobs with the acting, so I was happy.

OK, tell the truth, which was easier to predict. Theo Epstein returning to the front office or Pat Riley returning to coaching? I'm going with Riley. Let me also go on record saying I don't believe this "family reasons" BS that Stan Van Gundy is telling everyone.

I present you the World Cup draw.

The US is in Group E with Italy, Ghana and the Czech Republic.

Yikes!

Soap Opera

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Today on "As The Red Sox Turn"

This kid Marte is apparently pretty damn good. Someone in the Braves front office said "he’s the best player we've ever traded". Yes, he said BEST EVER.

But it gets better. Is Theo making these moves? Like Woah.

Even if Marte starts the year in AAA, the Sox figure to have an entirely new infield, with Mike Lowell at third, Mark (aka Adam) Loretta at second and Kevin Youkilis at first. Who will play short? How about Miguel Tejada? Umm.....wow.

Related: The Top 20 Red Sox prospects.

The World Cup draw is today/tonight!

Best movie mistakes of '05.

Quoth the Peabs: Whatevs is the new Retrobuzz.

So I was at Best Buy the other night looking for the new Rogue Wave CD and that live Pulp DVD (yes, I am aware of how incredibly stupid that statement sounds) and even though I didn't find either of those, I did buy this!

Blur are about to go back into the studio, but there is still something missing from this picture. Not to be outdone, Graham drops the knowledge on his next solo joint.

Today's Forgotten Favorite:

Pink Floyd : Fearless (MP3) - Not a huge Floyd fan by any means (although it's all you hear on classic rock stations in North Carolina) but this song is a favorite of mine, if only for the backwards soccer chants that are looped at both ends of this song. Best.

California Roll

My week from hell at work is almost over.

Last night quite a few of us DCist's went out to Sushi Taro for a self created "sushi gauntlet", which will be revealed in an upcoming food post on DCist. I went mostly for photojournalistic purposes, and to eat as much eel and drank as much sake as possible. Mmmmmmmmmmm...eel and sake. I'll have more pics up tonight or tomorrow.

Ah, the Grammy nominations, so utterly and completely predictable. The committee needs to stop kidding themselves and just create a new category for u2, that way they can give them an award every year. Which they already do anyway.

Captain Rock is back! Music needs Mad Richard.

Feist tour dates!

I give you this link not only for the Mark Gardener live MP3's but also the cool tale that comes with them. Nice one Brad. Also...related. Good lookin' out.

Fucking best.

Can't we get this over with already?

So close.

Today on "As The Red Sox Turn"...You know that guy we overpaid to play shortstop when we COULD HAVE KEPT MIGUEL ORLANDO CABRERA FOR LESS(nope, not bitter at all)? Well we got rid of him today. For a prospect. We also said goobye to Doug Mirabelli and hello to Adam Mark Loretta.

At least we can beat the Nooch.

The Sports Guy Apologizes

After what happened last time, I was a tad apprehensive to go back and do the whole book signing thing again, but I figured the cold weather would keep most of the people away, and I was right. Michelle and I left the office a little before 5:00 and made our way down to the ESPN Zone. When we got there, there were 12 people in line before us. The wait in line wasn't very long and before I knew it, it was my turn. I made sure to tell The Sports Guy that the person in front of me bought the last book at the last signing (which was on 10/4, not 10/3) and he was very apologetic, overly so in fact. I asked him why there was no NBA fantasy draft column from this year (it happened really fast and wasn't very funny), why on earth Justin Reed gets any PT (he must have naked pictures of Doc Rivers somewhere) and his thoughts on Kendrick Perkins (So far, so good). Then I was out the door and on the subway by 5:42. So I had plenty of time to get home and eat dinner before watching the Celtics play their worst game of the season against the Rockets. Tracy McGrady was nigh unstoppable.

Slightly off topic, I received some very good news today that I'll share with everyone when the time is right. And no, it has nothing to do with the Super Furry Animals, which is a big change, I know.

Pink Paws

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Pink Paws





The Rest Will Follow

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Time to start recapping the year. I haven't even begun on my Top 10 albums list (maybe this weekend?), but here are some of my favorite songs from January - June of 2005. I'll reveal the best of July - December next month.

Colin Meloy : Jack the Ripper (MP3) The Decemberists dude covers my favorite Morrissey song.

Mylo : In My Arms (MP3) Hands down my favorite song of the year. Found it in early February and never stopped listening to it. Brilliant sampling and a bouncy beat. Listen to this track four or five times in a row and tell me if you don't get a huge smile across your face.

Cartel : Fleets (MP3) - This DC group is now known as Cedars. I'm too lazy to change my MP3 tags. These guys are at the Black Cat on December 16th.

Doves : Walk In The Fire (MP3) A forgotten song from a CD that probably won't make many Top 10 lists(I don't see it making mine), but that doesn't mean it's not good. Yay for album cuts!

ProductShopNYC interviews Sam Champion and the band works in two refernces to O'Connors, the best dive bar (ever) located in my old hood of Park Slope. Apparently Elliot Smith wrote most of X/O there. Who knew?

The dude from OK Go wrote an op/ed for the NY Times. Wait, where have I seen that article before?

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On Friday night, I dragged The Smith to my office's Xmas party to take advantage of the open bar and free food before we headed over to Bliss and Annie at the Black Cat. I was also hoping to score one of the corporate giveaways that are the highlight of the party (last year I won a $100 gift card to Borders) but that was not to be. So after quite a few G & T's and some champagna, we headed across town to catch the show. Unfortunately, we had to check our coats, which took over 30 minutes and caused us to miss Annie's first two songs. But once we were settled, we made our way up front and I got a nice vantage point in front of the speakers, stage right.

Annie tried her best but her stage presence is sincerely lacking. I don't mean to nitpick, but as my photos can attest, she doesn't really know what to do on stage yet. I'm sure she'll improve, but she has a ways to go. She spent the show behind the mic stand, only venturing out from behind it a few times. But she can sing, the songs sounded great and she's hella cute, so it's not all bad. I had alot of fun at the gig and it seemed like everyone else there did too. It was a pop show and everyone behaved as such, singing along and dancing, which is very unusual for the normally stoic DC crowd. We grabbed another drink after the gig and then waited another 20 minutes to get our coats back. The Black Cat needs to step up their coat check game, it's seriously lacking right now.

Head over to Flickr to see all of pictures of Annie at the Black Cat. Some of them look really amazing. I'm really loving my new camera. Props to the Black Cat for finally turning up the lights on stage so I can get a decent photo.

I took it easy on Saturday. I finally went and saw the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Corcoran and then caught the Harry Potter movie later that night, which i really enjoyed. I heart Alan Rickman, he's so best. This was the first Potter movie that made me want to go read the book, probably because it differed from the first three movies, which all seemed to follow the same basic story outline.

How about Sean Dockery? He totally got Shelden Williams off the hook last night. The Landlord missed the front end of a 1 and 1 that would have sealed the game and then didn't block out on the ensuing posession and let Virginia Tech get a tip-in to take the lead with 1.6 seconds left. When the shot left Dockery's hands, I thought it had a chance but I didn't seriously think it would go in. Josh McRoberts pass set everything up, so he deserves his propers too.

David Garrard makes me look good and the Panthers finally beat Mike Vick. I'm going to beat this Garrard thing into the ground, so be warned. There are only like four successful alumni from ECU out there, so I'm flying the flag while I can.

The Yankees lost anywhere from $50 to $85 million last year.

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L Boogie is now in serious contention for the title of "SFA fan most willing to make impromptu road trips to see the band", as evidenced from this photo she sent me last night from the backstage shenanigans at the San Diego gig (the last of the tour). I had a chance to go with her, but I couldn't do it because of work. From the sounds of her email, I missed a good time. Even better, she passed along a little nugget of info that may make the semi-depressing news I learned in DC null and void. Let's all cross our fingers then, even if you have no effing idea what I'm talking about. I think the band is off for the rest of the year. I hope they enjoy their time off, they've earned it.

anniepic.jpg Tonight DJ Will Bestman and Bliss bring Annie to the Black Cat. Very excited! I have to attend my office Xmas party beforehand, so after imbibing on mucho free alcohol there, I'll be at the gig, suit and all. Should be fun.

Like Woah! Bob Hillburn is retiring.

New Travis album on the way. I have no rational explanation as to why I am such a big Travis fan. But I am. There, I said it.

Did everyone catch The White Stripes on the Daily Show? If not, ProductShopNYC has the video. I missed the interview, but the two performances were great. Oh, and if what TuningFork is saying about Jon Stewart is true, my respect for the man just reached new heights. Back in 2002, Stewart said his favorite band was Buffalo Tom. Fuck yeah. Respect.

Worst. Game. Ever. Seriously.

I keep forgetting to link to the Sports Guy's State of the NBA piece. He, like everyone else, is down on the Celtics.

I actually remembered to upload an MP3 for My Forgotten Favorite today. Here ya go:

Blur: Trimm Trabb (MP3)

Second best song named after a pair of trainers ever? I am completely biased about 13. I think it's brilliant, but then again I worked on it back when I was working with William Orbit. And by "worked on it" I mean I did alot of paperwork for the album. Anyways, this is my favorite track off of that record and it popped up on my iPod on Wednesday, the first time I'd heard it in many moons. I love the loop-like drums at the start of the song and the way they sit behind Alex's big, slinky bassline. I still brace myself when Graham comes in with the huge, buzzsaw guitars at the 2:53 mark. I think this record is some of the best playing Coxon did as part of the group. This is a record the band never could have or would have made with Stephen Street. I'll let you decide if that's a good or bad thing.

mylo.jpg Oh hell yeah! Mylo tour dates for the US! Pencil me in for the NYC date on Feb. 11th. Jeezy Creezy. I am jump-up-and-down happy right now. Pleasepleaseplease book a DC date too. Thanks to the ever present Chromewaves for the heads up.

Tour news from Mylo is about the only thing that can take top billing over this rant statement from the Mighty Mozzer about Mike Joyce. So how much would a Smiths reunion cost? Quoth the Mozzer neverever:

In legal fees alone, Joyce has cost me 600 thousand pounds - this is quite apart from any payments made to him, and is quite apart from any money seized by him. In total, Joyce has cost me 1 million, 515 thousand pounds. This is an approximate figure - it could even be higher.

Moz goes on to explain that Joyce is also holding back money from Andy Rourke, Johnny Marr, John Porter, Stephen Street, Grant Showbiz and Steve Lillywhite.

The Joyce action is continuous. Because of his Default Judgment he continues to take my royalties, and the royalties of others mentioned above, from Warner Music - consequently I have not received record royalties since 2001.

Since 2001, the money claimed by Joyce is charged, to me, at 100 pounds a day in interest.

Fascinating stuff.

Only slightly, only slightly less fascinating, Scott Stapp v. 311.

Ah, corporate synergy.

Yes, they get some cool points for this, but u2 still suck.

Airline security is a waste of cash. I read somewhere (I forget where) that the government spends a little over $9 in security for each airline passenger, but only 1 cent for each person that rides public transportation.

Maybe we should start calling JJ Redick The Mamba. Duke is now 7-0 in the ACC/Big 10 challenge. Not much of a challenge is it? It must have pained Pat Forde to write something positive about Coach K and the Dookies. I have only seen brief glimpses of the team so far this year, so I will write something on them once I get a gander.

Welcome to the NBA Kendrick Perkins. Big Perk recorded career highs in points (12), total rebounds(19), offensive rebounds (8), assists (4) and minutes (27:43) in a win over the Sixers last night. It was the second highest rebound total by a Celtic in five years. It's about time something positive happened to my beloved C's. Tony Allen may be back tomorrow against Chicago, so hopefully this be the start of a trend. I DVR'ed the game last night and can't wait to watch it.

Can you believe this is still going on?