True Enough For You

Check your thighs in the mirror, ma. I'm done.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Sounds of 2007, Cheater Style

So here are my favorite songs of the year. I wish that I could explain my criteria, but there are none, really. It's just how I feel, yo. The list would be completely different a few moments from now, and I will probably change my mind about the order or inclusion of songs as soon as I post this. But that's not important. Here's is an aural snapshot (no such thing, right?) of my 2007.

Here are the very important caveats: They didn't have to be singles or even have been commercially released this year, indeed there are some tracks that are b-sides or album only tracks. They couldn't have been from what I perceived to be previous years (for example: The Shins' "Phantom Limb", "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse or "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John aren't here because I heard them in and associate them with 2006, but "With Every Heartbeat" by Kleerup and "City" by Lo-Fi-Fnk are here because they just FEEL like 2007 to me). I tried to keep one entry per artist on the list, but if I really liked 2 songs by an artist, I just lumped them together. It works better in some cases (LCD Soundsystem) than others (Arcade Fire). Yes, all of that is cheating, but I make the rules.

Songs by Nelly Furtado, Maroon 5, VHS or Beta, Alison Krause and Robert Plant and Metro Station narrowly missed the list, and "The Way I Are" by Timbaland was not included because its grammatically incorrect name offends me so profoundly. It's a great song, though. A special shout-out to the Marv who gave me so many musical suggestions this year through his powers of persuasion. Some of them were actually quite good.

One should also know that I am more of a "singles" person than an "album" person. I rarely listen to an album straight through without getting sick of the artist, but I very much enjoyed the efforts from Radiohead (In Rainbows was my favorite Radiohead album since OK Computer), Spoon, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Mark Ronson, Feist, Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. These artists are all represented below, and the tracks I listed could easily be substituted for others on their albums.

At one point, I thought about including commentary, but this list looks so pretty and orderly without it. If you have any questions/think I am insane for including or missing a song, please let me know. I would guess that you are wrong. Enjoy. Let the debate start here.

1. "The Underdog" – Spoon.

2. "With Every Heartbeat"—Kleerup feat. Robyn

3. "Umbrella" - Rihanna

4. "I Feel It All"/ "My Moon My Man"/ "1,2,3,4" - Feist

5. "Ankle Injuries"- Fujiya and Miyagi

6. "Heimaldsgate Like A Promethian Curse" – Of Montreal

7. "Someone Great"/ "All My Friends" – LCD Soundsystem

8. "LDN" - Lily Allen

9. "Oh My God"/ "Valerie" – Mark Ronson feat. Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse

10. "Pogo" - Digitalism

11. "D.A.N.C.E."- Justice

12. "Paper Planes" –M.I.A.

13. "Golden Skans" - Klaxons

14. "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)" – UGK feat. Outkast

15. "Smokers Outside the Hospital Door" – The Editors

16. "Foundations" – Kate Nash

17. "Jigsaw Falling Into Place"/ "15 Step" - Radiohead

18. "Love is a Losing Game" – Amy Winehouse

19. "I Believe" – Simian Mobile Disco

20. "Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" – Groove Armada feat. Mutya Buena

21. "The Opposite of Hallelujah" – Jens Lekman

22. "Four Winds" – Bright Eyes

23. "Intervention"/ "(Antichrist Television Blues)"- Arcade Fire

24. "Violet Stars Happy Hunting!" – Janelle Monae

25. "Boy with a Coin" – Iron and Wine

26. "Fluorescent Adolescent" – Arctic Monkeys

27. "Music is My Hot Hot Sex" -CSS

28. "Kid on My Shoulders"- The White Rabbits

29. "Ruby" – Kaiser Chiefs

30. "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" – Bruce Springsteen

31. "Grip Like a Vice" – The Go! Team

32. "Timebomb" - Beck

33. "Dashboard" – Modest Mouse

34. "Straight Lines" - Silverchair

35. "What's a Girl to Do?" – Bat For Lashes

36. "Flathead"/ "Whistle for the Choir"- The Fratellis

37. "Atlas"- Battles

38. "I Still Remember" – Bloc Party

39. "I Want to Have Your Babies" – Natasha Bedingfield

40. "Grace Kelly" - Mika

41. "About You Now" - Sugababes

42. "Girlfriend (remix)" – Avril Lavigne feat. Lil'Mama.

43. "You! Me! Dancing!" – Los Campesinos

44. "Discotech"- Young Love

45. "Lovestoned" – Justin Timberlake

46. "The Takeover, The Break's Over" – Fall Out Boy

47. "City" Lo-Fi-Fnk

48. "Roscoe" - Midlake

49. "Like a Boy" Ciara

50. "Can I Get Get Get"- Junior Senior

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Profiles In Courage

It was a sad day for world politics and democracy at large today, as Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide bombing that killed her and at least 20 others at a political rally. She was the first female Prime Minister of a country in the Muslim world. She was no saint, flawed by allegations of corruption and other family problems during her stint as Prime Minister. More notably, she could have just rested on her laurels as an heiress of a wealthy family, but instead spent her life trying to affect change in one of the world’s most strategically important countries.

After ending her self-imposed exile and returning to Pakistan under dangerous conditions, including many death threats from current government (installed by the United States. Thanks, George!), she began to rally the people of her country to press forward for democracy. She did this under house arrest at times, while government-sanctioned military forces stood outside her door or disrupted her motorcade. She did this in a place where a woman's role is rarely at the forefront of political movements. Her death potentially leaves open the door for chaos in a country where bedlam and confusion are de rigueur.

But more even importantly than this on a world scale, Heidi totally called off her wedding to Spencer on the Hills! You guys, I know! Where as some women who think they are so important would just stay in their houses all day while the military waited outside, Heidi stood up to the bullies that tormented her and got a new nose and titties. Take that, bullies!

Plus, Heidi did all of this while a.) under constant supervision from television cameras as she lived out her totally real life and b.) while her former best friend forever wouldn’t even give her the time of day. The only solace I can take in Heidi’s case is that she’s still going to give her relationship with Spencer a chance. Also, was Bhutto under the extreme pressure of recording a hit dance single while she was fighting for democracy. Our searches on youtube indicate that she felt no such anxiety. Boring!

Today may be a dark day for democracy and progressive women making their mark in the world, but it’s a little bit brighter knowing that there are profiles in courage like Heidi out there for the next generation of young ladies to emulate.

P.S. I would have talked more about Bhutto’s remarkable life and impact on the world, but she didn’t have a myspace page or a television show where she pretended to be bisexual while looking like a shriveled pea with implants. So, asking around, it was difficult to find any more information about her.

Sing for peace, Heidi!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

30 Rock

Dear You Guys:

So I am totally going to start blogging again after my year hiatus. I just thought I needed some time to find myself. Predictably, I did not. Some highlights of my life since last you heard from me:

1. Apparently, I have watched 1,053 videos on youtube. I feel like that's a lot.
2. I found a Korean on the street. If I cook for him, he washes the dishes. He also helps clean my house if I let him watch my Netflix movies. He is, for some reason, reticent about the fact that I will write about him from time to time. Not only do I think he secretly likes it, but it will also be useful to keep him in line.
3. I have decided, rather definitively, that I enjoy Australia's Next Top Model more than America's.
4. I have renewed my commitment to go back to the gym with sometimes hilarious results. For example, there is a huge bruise on my right hand at the moment. It is the result of walking into some machine that you use to strengthen your legs. (I have no idea how to use it.)
5. I turned 30. Holy shit.
6. I found a dead f*cking cat in my backyard. It was the most horrifying ordeal of my life. It will be addressed in a later post.

That's basically it. You didn't miss much. I will be checking in periodically with shorter posts. the audience in mind will be, as usual, me. I will again be elaborating on the things that please me, things that annoy me and things that somehow happen to me and only me.

I missed you! I hope you missed me. If you'll remember, I am incredibly self-centered. So, we'll talk soon.

Kisses, ZRW

P.S. As a holiday bonus, here's some video footage of Christmas at home last year with my family.