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Monday, December 27, 2004

Derrick's Top 10 Albums of 2004
with artwork, explanations, and mp3 samples

#1 Mirah's C'mon Miracle
i honestly can't pick a favorite song off of this album. i've been trying for about six months now and i really can't. just as soon as i've decided on "we're both so sorry," i'll realize that i like "you've gone away enough" even more. i've been a fan of Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn for a couple years now, and this album totally surprised me just how much i find myself singing her dainty little melodies wherever i am. her songwriting is just so open, you feel like you're really getting a good peak at this cute girl's privatemost thoughts without even the slightest bit of resistance. and its catchy, too.
mp3 - Jerusalem

#2 Les Savy Fav's Inches
the long-awaited Les Savy Fav single collection. nine 7" singles with two non-album tracks each, released on nine different labels, finally collected on one cd in reverse chronological order so you can really hear how the band has changed over the years, from post-punk to aggressive tale spinning to guitar-driven synth rock. this is a completely brilliant collection of songs with some of the most inventive rock music i've heard...well, since i first became interested in rock music. plus, a bonus dvd with commentary on each of the songs and music videos.
mp3 - Yawn, Yawn, Yawn

#3 TV On The Radio's Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
the beautiful thing about listening to TV On The Radio's material thus far is that you can follow the progress as they're really figuring out just what the hell they're doing. true, a handful of the songs on this album drag due to repetative and uninteresting loops and no song buildup, but the absolutely brilliant song writing and layered production of songs like "The Wrong Way," "Staring at the Sun," "Ambulance," and "King Eternal" surely make up for that. before this album, TVOTR was just two guys with a minidisc recorder. after touring for this album they are a five-man tour de force with more passion than a bucket full of Jesuses (Jesi? Jesum?). plus, the harmonies of tunde adibempe and kyp malone are splendid.
mp3 - Staring at the Sun (Young Liars version)

#4 The Arcade Fire's Funeral
there's something very epic about this album. its also something very riotous, as in i can see a few hundred kids storming the street, marching in synch, flaming torches raised high, with this album as a soundtrack. there's also something heart-touching and saddening about this album. i'm not referring to individual songs here. all of the songs are like all of these things, and yet, all so different. this is what i imagine Talking Heads would sound like if they were younger and more passionate and wore school uniforms and traded instruments in the middle of songs.
mp3 - Wake Up

#5 Ratatat's Ratatat
its like playing Sonic The Hedgehog, only fourteen times as awesome. in fact, over the summer, whenever i played Sonic The Hedgehog roms, i would only listen to Ratatat (incidentally, when i played Mega Man i would only listen to Minus the Bear)
mp3 - Seventeen Years

#6 Of Montreal's Satanic Panic In The Attic
so i downloaded this album the same week my dad found his thirty year-old bicycle in the closet and asked me to bring it to a repair shop. after it was fixed, he told me i could ride it if i ever felt the urge. i soon discovered that the psychadelic pop of this album was absolutely the perfect music for a leisurely bike ride along the boardwalk on sunny summer days and even made it easier not to notice the stench of suntan lotion on the flocks of tourists scared of a kid on a bike. i found myself listening to it endlessly and riding the boardwalk at least once a day, sometimes up to four times in one afternoon. needless to say, my dad revoked my borrowing-his-bike privileges after about a month.
mp3 - Lysergic Bliss

#7 Ted Leo + Pharmacists's Shake the Sheets
no, its not as musically interesting as the previous album, Hearts of Oak, but the politically charged themes made me listen to this album pretty much nonstop after november 3rd, helping come to grips with the fact that the bleeding heart liberals do indeed have a whole lot of walking to do. the music is straightforward pop-rock, but the writing is superb.
mp3 -Me and Mia

#8 Asobi Seksu's Asobi Seksu
i actually got this album in december of 2002 when i saw the band open for They Might Be Giants at a local show and they self-produced the album. my friends and i were just there for TMBG and didn't care about whatever local bands were opening, especially ones with hard to pronounce names, but when asobi seksu began to play, i was genuinely swept up in their fun and likable new wave sound. before their last song, the cute singer yuki announced "hi, we're asobi seksu and we have cds for sale downstairs." my friend dan immediately screamed "I'M GONNA BUY ONE!!!" to which she looked down at us and said "uh...thank you." dan turned to me and said "no, not really." "well, i am," i replied. "dude, can i burn it?" i listened to it for most of the following spring semester. the album was repressed this year for global consumption by friendly fire, so technically its a 2004 album.
mp3 - Walk on the Moon

#9 Elliott Smith's From a Basement on a Hill
over a year ago, my girlfriend called me at school from philly, told me that she was jogging and listening to NPR and they announced that Elliott Smith was dead and that she was just distraught and couldn't talk. i was haunted for the next three days by the song "everything reminds me of her" and my life was filled with sadness. after a couple of weeks i was still pretty broken up about it but i was no longer haunted. then, towards the end of the summer i heard "a distorted reality is now a neccessity to be free" which was to be the final track on this, supposedly elliott's final album. the song instantly created the illusion that elliott was still alive after all and that maybe things weren't as bad as he'd once made them sound. maybe there was a bright side, we just had to fight for it. it was a good feeling.
mp3 - Twilight

#10 The Thermals Fuckin' A
there's no great reason behind this. its more or less meaningless pop-punk styled aggression with distortion filters applied to everything, but oh man is it fun. "a stare like yours" was my anthem for like two months appropriately bridging my elliott smith and ted leo phases.
mp3 - How We Know

6:49 PM
0 comments sanskrit

happy holidays, all! the second day of kwanzaa here and we got two inches of snow! funfunfun

to lighten the world for you at this time, go check out the online portfolio of Clio Chang. very pretty pictures.

6:23 PM
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Thursday, December 23, 2004

happy holidays to anyone who reads this. you've obviously got spare time if you think to look here.

i would continue with the list of possible songs of the year, but i'm not online enough while home to devote myself to such thoughts.
my album of the year is Mirah's C'mon Miracle
my film of the year is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

thoughts are continuing on the album/minicomic front and i found a cd printing service that i'm liking so far. 100 greyscale cds with bifold 4-color printed graphics for $125
do i put the minicomic in those graphics or do i make a seperate photocopied thing? i don't feel like making more than 100 of those but i feel like just having those sit about at MoCCA would result in a rapid depletion...either that or total embarrasment for me.
i'm still thinking distribute copies to people i like at the fest, have a few out there, and keep an ammount for myself to sell at 2 or 3 buck apiece. that'd be fun, i guess.

the prospect excites me. also, now has unlimited storage space for members, so i think i'm going to upload songs there whenever i feel like it. this means that the whole album will probably be available online before i distribute hard copies after all, but not amazingly easily available, so people will still be surprised or whatever. just so i can direct people to it for opinions or whatever. i get flustered thinking about doing anything for real.

5:04 PM
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Thursday, December 09, 2004

the eighth nominee for my favorite song of the year is "Perfect Fit" from Tilly & The Wall's Wild Like Children:

One heart attack and you stumble,
lost into a light you make so brightly false.
And I watch as blood spills down your arm and makes its way to me.
So here I stand, puddled underneath,
trying to believe you're nothing like you seem.

I, I, I, I just don't know.
Well, I, I, I, I just don't know.

By the kitchen sink you talk to me, saying, "I don't remember."
And I knew right then it wasn't you,
just some weak imposter.
But how could you, my lovely friend, get caught in their current?
(No, I don't believe.
No, no, I won't believe.
You will remember.)
And I would hold your hand if you came to me.
I would do anything to see you walk free.

I, I, I, I just don't know.
Well, I, I, I, I just don't know.

With these perfect tree branches, though,
there's bound to be a lynching.
With the crowd, one side is screaming out;
the sound gets overwhelming.
And they want you to believe them.
Yeah, they'd love to see you hanging.
And I know the noose is tempting, and it seems like a perfect fit.
Don't go through with it.

I, I, I, I just don't know
I, I, I, I just don't know
I, I, I, I just don't know
I, I, I, I just don't know.

2:40 AM
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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

the seventh nominee for my favorite song of 2004 is "A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity to Be Free" from Elliott Smith's from a basement on a hill:

I'm floating in a black balloon
O.D. on Easter afternooon
My mama told me, "baby stay clean
there's no in between."
But all you ladies and you gentlemen
between's all you've ever seen or been
Fit poorly and arrange the sight
Doll it up in virgin white

You disappoint me
you people raking in on the world
The Devil's script sells
you the heart of a blackbird

Shine on me baby
'cos it's raining in my heart

Sun's rising on a choppy glare
Rain dropping acid bought up in the air
A distorted reality is now a necessity
to be free

It's so disappointing
first I'll put it all down to luck
God knows why my
country don't give a fuck (fuck)

Shine on me baby
'cos it's raining in my heart
Shine on me baby
'cos it's raining in my heart

11:46 PM
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the fourth nominee for my favorite song of 2004, and this is a late-comer, is "Romantic Rights" from Death From Above 1979's You're A Woman, I'm A Machine:

Your romantic rights are all that you got
Push'em down son it's more than just lip
C'mon girls I know you know what you want
C'mon, C'mon now and give'em all shhhhh
You're beating walls now you just won't quit
You play with shapes but they just won't fit
I know you love me you don't know what you like
You're watching TV I stay up all night

I don't need, I want you

South carolina kid is heating things up
His wounds are bleeding and we're filling the cup
This game will save us if we don't die young
C'mon, C'mon now yea have a little fun

Come here baby I love your company
We could do it and start a family
She was living alone unhappily
We could do it, it's right romantically

fifth nominee for song of 2004 is "Seventeen Years" from Ratatat's self-titled debut. its instrumental, so no lyrics.

the sixth nominee is "Huddle Formation" from The Go! Team's Thunder, Lightning, Strike":

i honestly have no clue what the lyrics are for this song. i can't understand them, but its just so goddamned catchy that it doesn't matter. i'm pretty sure a couple of the lines are "give me some sugar," and "i've got a girlfriend," and at one point they say "if you don't, you won't, i'll give it to you" or something along those lines.

7:45 PM
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we've already established that i'm a Mal fanatic. no need to explain that anymore. if you haven't read Lost At Sea or Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life then you just don't read amazing things. what's the matter? scared a little comic book is going to ruin your brain? well, screw you, buddy!
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1 - Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life was one of the best things i've read in years, and i've read alot of things, ok?
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 2 - Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World comes out in februrary. Oni Press just posted a five-page preview of it, which is apparently the start of a rather lengthy flashback to give us some history of Scott's life before volume 1:

so yeah, that's a good reason to keep active until february. scott pilgrim rocks so hard.

1:55 AM
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Sunday, December 05, 2004

at the risk of seeming like a hipster follower, i'm trying to figure out what my favorite song of the year is. all of the major candidates are going up right here, because if i don't document it somewhere, i'll totally forget.
the first nominee is "We're Both So Sorry" from Mirah's C'mon, Miracle

I know you didn't mean it and you're sorry that i left
I'll go right on pretending i've got nothing to regret
Except all of the times we wasted getting only second best
You always seemed to lose the spark when i was only half undressed
I drove across a sea of ice to find my own command
The distance paid a lonesome price to see its motherland
Now if you would unbuckle sir, receive your reprimand
And hey i'm sorry 'bout so much baby but i know you'll understand
I'm sorry 'bout so much baby but i know you'll understand

How can i ever apologize? I meant you no such harm
I never knew i could possess that fatal kind of charm
I just wanted to be good to you but i found i was disarmed
By a lifetime of disillusionment and the distraction of the stars
I abdicated now i'm just a prince without a land
My subjects all adore me but for this i have been banned
Now could i trade my guilt for a good flogging by your hand?
And hey i'm sorry 'bout so much baby but i know you'll understand
I'm sorry 'bout so much baby but i know you'll understand

I can't understand why you refuse my one request
Just to press against my weaponry and then lay bare your chest
Challenges like these can be won or lost or laid to rest
Now we both agree to separate from the lonely castle steps
The kingdom is destabilized, the watchtower unmanned
The bedroom lies abandoned and the future is unplanned
But we've got the past to remind us of what's chivalrous and grand
And hey i'm sorry 'bout so much baby but i know you'll understand
I'm sorry 'bout so much baby but i know you'll understand

the second nominee is "Ambulance" from TV On The Radio's Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes

your slim frame
your eager eyes
and your wild mane
oh they keep me where i belong
all wrapped up in wrong

you're to blame
for wasted words of sad refrain
oh let them take me where they may
believe me when i say

oh i will be your accident if you will be my ambulance
i will be your screech and crash if you will be my crutch and cast
i will be your one more time if you will be my one last chance
so fall for me

your slim frame
your simple stare
and your wrong wrong name
they keep me where i belong
all strung out in song

why so tame?
we could shoot wilder vines through younger veins
sip slow from nights deep wells
and watch our garden swell
once the seeds are sown
wild and overgrown
you'll see
hearts colors change like leaves

oh sweet sweet dream fall for me
fall fast
fall free
fall for me
because i will be your accident if you will be my ambulance
i will be your screech and crash if you will be my crutch and cast
and i will be your one more time if you will be my one last chance
so sweet dream fall with me
fall fast
fall free
fall with me

nominee the third is "21 (2004 remake)" by Kupek. a four-year old demo song rerecorded in january and totally beautiful, it was on PureVolume for a good while (still is, i think) and later thrown on to Kupek's "Nameless, Faceless" compilation along with a mess of other recent tracks.
(not even the right disc, but whatever)
"it's getting cold," she said
"well there's a blanket on my bed,"
i said, "and i could warm it up for you.
you know, there's room enough for two."
and there's a rumor on the street
that you still think i'm kind of sweet.
why don't you lean back in your chair?
relax, let down your hair.

"it's getting cold," she said
"well there's a blanket on my bed,
you see, and you could warm it up with me,
and you can light that up. feel free."
and there's a rumor that i've heard
but i won't say another word
i've got some wine that we could sip
and then you know i'd like to taste the cigarette on your lips

tonight, i don't want to have to fly.
there's something in your eyes,
some still smoldering fire.

tonight, the ashes in your eyes,
they match the smoke on your tongue.
the night's still young.

3:23 PM
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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

about two-thirds of all the Google results for "Kennelty-Cohen" are me. naturally the others are members of my family, but i outnumber all of them combined 2 to 1. maybe i just like typing my name alot around the internet?

with that in mind, it's official, i am now listed on the MoCCA website as Exhibitor Coordinator for the 2005 Art Festival.

can't wait to go home and watch tv. i am so out of the loop with what is actually in the public eye because everything i know this semester i get from blogs and internet news sites. it wasn't until an mp3blog yesterday referred to The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou as "criminally underpublicized" that i realized it didn't have commercials airing every five minutes on every station, because so many of the websites i go to have ads for it or talk about it and i just naturally assumed all of the free world was talking about this movie.
i assumed that there'd be alot of buzz around the new eminem cd and the nirvana collection, but i don't know how either was received by the public or what else is happening in music, aside from the fact that i know i'll hate it regardless. i did see that lindsay lohan music video. that sucked.

people tell me i'm better off having not seen television at all this semester and that it only rots your brain. the thing is, i usually don't watch television to be entertained. i watch it to understand people. i'll always have a good idea about the people around me, but without television my public view is seriously limited.

8:43 PM
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i downloaded the last couple songs i needed to finish Ted Leo and the Pharmacist's latest album, "Shake the Sheets," which is currently preparing me for another day of graphic design and library with very little food.

i also downloaded Tilly and the Wall's "Wild Like Children" album which maintained a certain degree of lightheartedness all last night.

i'd been hearing of them for a while. first because they were the first band signed to Connor Oberst(Bright Eyes)'s still newborn label, Team Love, which immediately set up some hype about them being rather special, in both the fascinating and the arm-slapping-chest way. i heard more about them a couple months back when they started opening for Rilo Kiley. all of a sudden there was this buzz about this pretty little band that had a tap dancer instead of a drummer. and now that i have the album...well, its pretty and it makes my arms hop from side to side in delight.

there's a week and a half left of class and then i get to go back home to new york and watch movies, read comics, see friends and family, go to museums, eat real food, wear sweaters and coats, and most importantly, watch television.
remaining projects and the amount of work still to go into them:
3D Problem Solving - construct packages for my two figures (see below photographs). the layout for the box is done, i am about 45% complete with the illustrations for the box and 80% complete with the text. i still need to buy cardboard and steal some turpentine from somebody, though i think they have it in the print lab.
Graphic Design 2 - as of yesterday afternoon i have redesigned the signage system for the Mote Aquarium to a system i like. i just need to make a whole bunch more of them. also, i need to redesign the console for the electronic shark guide and its navigational system. i hate this part.
Exhibition Design - we've got two more class periods in which to keep working on our orchid displays. tobey seemed enthusiastic about my type studies last class so let's see where i go from there today.
Gay and Lesbian Issues in Art History - over the weekend i must write a short paper about how AIDS has affected the art world, and then we have one more guest lecture next week.
Biodiversity of the Earth - nothing. i'm done. technically i should still show up for next week's class and see everyone else's presentations (i made mine this week and everyone seemed genuinely fascinated and impressed, which shocked me) but since i have no absences so far i could skip out on it if i wanted to. still, i don't think i will.

so i have to do all that and then i pack and go home for a month. its actually not that bad a work load. lighter than usual.
i just don't want to do it.

11:01 AM
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