Tuesday, December 22, 2009

from http://unsolvedmysteries.tumblr.com/

Monday, December 21, 2009

Things my friend Mike made

My friend Mike can do anything, like this kitchen. After a couple of inconclusive conversations in which Cath and I try to express our "vision" he just comes over and makes stuff and we end up thinking "damn, our vision was good."

This here is what he started with. Not the best "before" photo because it doesn't show the awful stuff Mike had to rip out before he could put in the new range hood and that cool white paneling, but you get the gist of it.
And then there's this, too, the kinds of shelves I've gone to sleep thinking about since I was twelve. Could a Kindle ever give you the feeling you get when you sit down and look at something like this--your books, some of your things, just there for you, if and when you need them?
Deciding what books to put where was not easy. Not all of them made the cut and got left in other corners. Those that did I decided to arrange by color, though it came out kind of random.
Goodbye, bricks and boards. Unfortunately, now I have no excuse not to finish the couch project that supplied me with those long plywood planks. I need a new biscuit joiner, though. Maybe that's my excuse.
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Prettiest Bay

Just uploaded some pictures from Thanksgiving finally. Here's Mom and me crossing the street in Petoskey on our way to some lazy shopping in the more "authentic" of the two bookstores in town. It is hard for me to imagine a bay prettier than Little Traverse, the one in the distance down there, all year long, too. If a bay can't show me four seasons then forget it.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Favorite Music, 2009, Part Two

5. Bibio--Ambivalence Avenue

Just something to play in the background and not think about too hard. Silence is good for that, too, but this record can take the edge off of silence when you need it to.

4. Washed Out--Life of Leisure
Just an ep, like 16 minutes long, but that just means you get to put it on repeat and hear your favorite songs more frequently. This is the 80s like you remember it, songs that sound like what was playing in the car when I was in high school, driving to a friend's house where I was hoping a girl I liked would be there or maybe driving home from dropping her off at her house later.

3. Animal Collective--MPP
I kind of think of this album as the death of Animal Collective now, and not because it made them kind of popular but because or yeah maybe that is the reason. I just know I play the live versions of these songs more than this record. But still, they're just all alone out there, doing the things they do. I wish that I went up to play soccer with them before the show in Detroit when I had the chance. I was concerned about getting a good spot near the stage, tho.

2. Dirty Projectors--Bitte Orca
This one is so cool and intense I have to set it down and walk away for a few weeks at a time, but it's one of the few from this year that I can see myself still really liking in the future, like in 2099.

1. Grizzly Bear--Veckatimest
Pretty bandwagonesque safe move here, but this is a no-brainer, as they say. At least for me it is. Didn't much care for it the first couple of times because it doesn't have any obvious "Knife"-like songs that stand out. They win "Band I'd most like to be in" for 2009.

0. Deer Hunter--Microcastles
Last year's #1 is still just so awesome and I play it so much that I have to put it on the list here, too.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Favorite Music, 2009, Part One

So, this is really for me, I guess, but in case you're interested. Really strange list this year for some reason. To end some of the suspense for them, here are the honorable mentions: Camera Obscura, Bill Callahan, Mountain Man, Washed Out, Atlas Sound, Yo La Tengo, Neon Indian.

10. Wavves

We were supposed to be bored of this dude months ago, but you can't deny the fun. If you had half an hour, you could have written most of these songs, but you don't have it.

9. Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dandelion Gum

This didn't come out in 2009, but I have played it 4,000 times this year and I still can't tell if it sucks or not, which says something. Not sure what. Makes me think of snow.

Sometimes sounds like Boards of Canada and sometimes sounds like this.

8. Au Revoir Simone--Still Night, Still Light

Three sylphs dancing behind their synthesizers like they are at a Belle & Sebastian show. David Lynch tweeted about them.This is the wussiest entry on the list this year.

7. The XX--XX

It is just so good--clean and simple and I love the way the dude's voice sounds along with the girl's voice. I think they're real young, this group, so I don't know how they learned about The Cure.

6. Real Estate

Most recent pick up, and I first tried it just because Pitchfork said it was decent. And they were right. It is either lo-fi or just poorly recorded or maybe that is the same thing. A little more "jangly" than most of my music usually. Or maybe that's not true. Maybe they fit in the Ola Podrida, Band of Horses kind of sound.

5. Avey Tare and Kria Brekken--the re-reversed version of Pullhair Rubeye.

So they recorded an amazing album and then reversed it, making it a bad one, and released it that way, and then people re-reversed it and it is good again. I strum the songs on guitar and it doesn't sound that good but it doesn't have to now does it.