Here are my 25 favorite songs from the year 2009. I don't boast a thoroughly exhaustive music catalog, but I do try to listen to as much as I can across as many genres as possible. From an album standpoint, I was disappointed with this year of music. But there are some great tracks. Click on most of the titles to listen/download the song.
I had a great time strolling through NorthPark Mall today. One highlight, besides hanging with my friend Cassie, was hearing the Badly Drawn Boy tune "Donna & Blitzen" for the first time. It's a fun indie holiday tune. Listen/download the track below.
Jin-Ya Huang. I first met Jin-Ya during a group excursion to the Chinati Hot Springs in the middle of nowhere, Texas (somewhere south of Marfa) earlier this year. Until last night, I never knew she was an artist/photographer. I was in Dallas this weekend and attended the opening of a group exhibition, entitled "Snow White", at Barry Whistler Gallery. Jin-Ya's piece (seen below hanging in the gallery) was my favorite of the show.
Not sure how Washed Out (aka Ernest Greene) never made it onto the blog before now. I've been listening to this stuff for awhile now. Their Life of Leisure EP is one of my favorites of 2009. Download the track "Feel It All Around" below.
Dalton Rooney. It's cold outside. Rooney has an interesting series of winter photographs you can view here. He has also discussed winter photographs on his blog here. He also has a print for sale through collect.give. Trifecta.
I heard the Celine Dion version of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" tonight on the radio. It reminded me of what a great song that is. I can't say that I track with everything that Lennon stood for, but I do believe that at the core of the Christmas season is the message of peace, that found in Jesus. So in that sense, war really is over. You can download Lennon's version of the song below.
A few weeks ago, I posted the latest single, "Cousins", from Vampire Weekend's forthcoming album Contra. I think I might like the B-side to that single even better. The track is "California English Pt. 2". You'll find Part 1 on the actual album. This reminds me a lot of Discovery. I tried and tried to find an mp3 of the song, but the best I could do was the YouTube video below.
Red River (1948). One of my favorite Western films. You can't beat a cattle drive from the plains of Texas to the fertile ground of Abilene, Kansas. Throw in a little father/step-son drama and it makes for one of the great films in the Western genre.
I have been having strange dreams lately. Normally I don't remember my dreams. These nights I remember them more often than not, but I'm not sure if that's such a good thing. Anyway, it's a good excuse to feature the track "Little Dreamer" on the blog. I think you'll enjoy it.
Home Alone is not just my favorite holiday movie. As lame as it may be to admit this, Home Alone is my favorite movie of all-time. In the 19 years since this movie was first released (by the way I can still remember seeing it in theaters over Thanksgiving in Dodge City, Kansas back in 1990), I have learned 99% of the lines in the movie. Below is the Home Alone theme, composed by the incomparable John Williams, as well as a montage of some of Kevin's best booby traps from Home Alone 1 & 2. Enjoy.
The latest Take Away Show from La Blogotheque features Phoenix roaming the streets of Paris. Like most everything Phoenix has done in 2009, the band kills it in this acoustic performance. Watch the set below. Check out the Take Away Show archives here.
A few of my favorite photographers (and some others I just discovered today) have joined forces for collect.give, an opportunity for photography lovers to purchase art and support worthy causes simultaneously. The website offers inexpensive photographs for sale, all in editions of 40 or less, with 100% of the proceeds going to support worthy causes of the photographers' choosing. You have to check it out! Allison V. Smith. Kevin Miyazaki. Susanna Raab. They all have work for sale for $75 or less, and most of the work is $40 or less. I think I'll be updating my Christmas list...
What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell, a collection of pieces Gladwell wrote for The New Yorker. I'm also asking for a year-long subscription to The New Yorker. I put Gladwell and Chuck Klosterman on the top of my list of favorite modern non-fiction authors.