Best of 2012

It’s been a fairly eventful year for me, so quite late.

That said, of 144 albums I bought last year, 89 were released in 2012, and it took a while to parse them all.  I’ll say that it was a really strong year overall.  There’s so much music being put out that it’s hard to keep up, but that’s a good problem to have.

My top 10 albums of 2012:

Japandroids (Celebration Rock) – Never any doubt about this.  Simply the strongest pop punk album in many years.  Starts and ends with (literal) fireworks because it’s a celebration.

Cloud Nothings (Attack on Memory) – A close second.  Way more angsty, but no less driving.

Perfume Genius (Put Your Back N 2 It) – It’s rare that I find myself thinking that a song could be longer, but that’s exactly the case with a lot of these.  I want more, but they’re just quick explorations of a melody or concept and then on to the next.

Allo, Darlin’ (Europe) – I admit I fought this a little.  So… twee.  But also so catchy, there’s no escaping it.

The Men (Open Your Heart) – Part of a trend of trainwreck noise that I cannot encourage enough.

Place to Bury Strangers (Worship) – Signed to a pedal company, you do the math.

Dinosaur Jr. (I Bet on Sky) – A good Dinosaur Jr. record.  That’s enough for me.

Purity Ring (Shrines) – I know it was inescapable all summer, but there’s something about the fresh (to me) sound that I really enjoy.

Two Gallants (The Bloom and the Blight) – two piece cowpunk, nothing of a departure from their earlier stuff, because if there’s nothing broken…

Diiv (Oshin) – dreamy with a frantic Galaxie 500 feel to it.  Argue with that.

Read More…

Posted in Music at April 16th, 2013. Comments Off on Best of 2012.

Ten years on

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI think by now nearly everybody realizes that we made a mistake, and most even agree on what the cause was and how it happened.

And yet we keep letting the same things lead us into making more mistakes.

I hope everyone takes a moment today to think about where we’ve been, what we’ve become, and how we can take at least a few small steps in the direction of what we want to be.  What we deserve to be.

Posted in New York, Politics at March 20th, 2013. Comments Off on Ten years on.

Injustice

Reptile is many times better than Under the Milky Way.

(Posting this here to make sure I remember how to do it.  It’s obviously a mis-placed tweet.)

Posted in Music at January 18th, 2013. Comments Off on Injustice.

Meanwhile in a world populated by grownups…

… And I’d like to take a moment to address this charge that I’ve cut Medicare by $716 billion, and by so doing reduced benefits to seniors.

First of all let me categorically state: this reduction in our Medicare expenditures does not come at the expense of any current or future benefits.  Please understand that and also understand that anyone who says otherwise is not giving you the full truth.

Let me explain.

My opponent and I both agree that we need to do something to curtail the growth of Medicare spending.  If we don’t make important changes the costs of healthcare for America’s seniors will bankrupt future generations.  On this there can be no debate and it’s one of the many things that the governor and I agree on completely.

To that end, my administration negotiated and reached an agreement with healthcare providers and insurance companies that would reduce their reimbursements under Medicare by $716 billion.  They were willing to accept this reduction because the additional coverage provided by Obamacare (I still do love that name) would benefit them.  This is exactly the type of public / private partnership that Governor Romney has often said is beneficial.

So in summary:

  1. we agree that Medicare costs need to be reduced
  2. I made a reduction in those costs without cutting benefits
  3. I worked with businesses that were involved in the process and agreed to this reduction to everyone’s benefit

Let me be clear: we need to fix Medicare in order to fix our ailing healthcare system.  We can’t continue to cast every cut in costs as a cut in benefits.  We agree we have to cut costs – I want to do so without hurting our seniors and I have done so.   Vilifying these reductions without giving people all of the facts makes our country weaker, not stronger and lessens our national debate on an important issue.

(just dreaming about rational debate vs. war of the soundbites.  I know it’s too much to ask)

Posted in Politics at October 4th, 2012. Comments Off on Meanwhile in a world populated by grownups….

Revisiting 2011

As promised, I want to slightly amend my Best of 2011 list.  I’ve actually been meaning to do this for months, so please don’t judge me on the fact that it’s nearly 2013.

  • Youth Lagoon – I seriously could not stop listening to this in January / February.  It’s a damned quirky record, but genuinely beautiful and when it rocks it gets the job done.  In an era when a lot of bands just push play in order to perform, the live show’s also surprisingly worth seeing given the few instruments involved.
  • The Rural Alberta Advantage – I’ll admit to being initially upset that the new album wasn’t like Hometowns, but the fact is that I don’t think anything will ever capture the fun and excitement of experiencing this band for the first times.  Those drums and the vocals / lyrics were enough to always bring a smile to my face, but the new album just didn’t grab me the same way.  I forgot that it’s not important that it doesn’t have the same effect, ultimately it’s a good album with songs that stand on their own.

It’s too late to put them into any sort of order, so I won’t try.

 

Posted in Music at August 2nd, 2012. Comments Off on Revisiting 2011.

WTC

This is what the WTC site looks like today from my office window.  I feel like sharing.  I’ve been lucky to see it go up these last few years, and someday I’ll share the video I’ll make out of the one-photo-per-day-(mostly) project.

Posted in New York at July 19th, 2012. Comments Off on WTC.

Celebration Rock

Just assume if you’re talking to me this month I’m thinking about Japandroids and probably not listening to you.

Posted in Music at June 13th, 2012. Comments Off on Celebration Rock.

Conversation

Her: What time’s your show tonight

Me: I don’t know, it’s at a DIY space in Bushwick so I don’t think there’s a schedule.  You know, the one that I thought I got bedbugs from last year.

Her: … How’s 39 treating you?

Posted in Music, Shows at June 9th, 2012. Comments Off on Conversation.

Bike up Hudson

  • Total distance: 50.94 km (31.7 mi)
  • Total time: 2:26:33
  • Moving time: 2:14:40
  • Average speed: 20.85 km/h (13.0 mi/h)
  • Average moving speed: 22.69 km/h (14.1 mi/h)
  • Max speed: 57.04 km/h (35.4 mi/h)
  • Average pace: 2.88 min/km (4.6 min/mi)
  • Average moving pace: 2.64 min/km (4.3 min/mi)
  • Min pace: 1.05 min/km (1.7 min/mi)
  • Max elevation: 193 m (632 ft)
  • Min elevation: 57 m (188 ft)
  • Elevation gain: 561 m (1841 ft)
  • Max grade: 15 %
  • Min grade: -28 %

View Map

Posted in Phone at April 24th, 2012. Comments Off on Bike up Hudson.

Two! Two. Two?!

Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.’

Two dissents.  Two.

Posted in Politics at February 19th, 2012. Comments Off on Two! Two. Two?!.