The biggest one though is that for the past month or so I've been in a terrible, uncreative rut that I really need to dig my way out of. The idea of writing anything, albeit however small and flippant, has been both terrifying and hopeless, and I've hated almost everything I've put into words.
Then I realized! Nothing really gets me in the mood to flap my digital mouth on and on than to talk about things I love. So here's something dumb: albums I've listened to this year that I really like! I suppose this would be a "Brian's Best Albums of 2007" list if you would like to think of it as such. But only pretentious assholes make "Best Of" lists and nobody likes those guys. Except perhaps other such hated minority groups, like poodle groomers, pay toilet vendors, and bat taxidermists.
"Neon Bible" by The Arcade Fire
Neon Bible is so powerful, dramatic, and downright amazing that it almost defies hyperbole. It's been available since February, so if you haven't listened to it yet you sadly have NO EXCUSE.
"The Reminder" by Feist
It's somewhat sad that it takes an iPod commercial for Feist's hauntingly beautiful voice to register in the pop-culture database, but I doubt she minds the fact that The Reminder is about to hit double-platinum sales or whatever. "Brandy Alexander" still sends a chill down my spine.
"The Good, the Bad & the Queen"
The minds behind the Gorillaz ditch the pop/hip-hop credentials for a much heavier, somber adventure, and the results are downright hypnotic.
Aw hell yeah. Loud, obnoxious, and obscene. Nick Cave cuts loose and teams up with The Dirty Three for a sweaty and swear-filled good time.
"Ruff Draft" by J Dilla
So this is technically cheating a bit since Ruff Draft was originally finished some years prior, but I can include it because it wasn't officially released until early this year, some time after J Dilla's untimely passing. A shame, since even deceased Dilla produces some of the freshest and most unique sounds in hip-hop.
"The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter" by Josh Ritter
For once, I actually agree with the little blurbs on the album cover: "The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter is his most adventurous, fresh, and freewheeling work to date."
"Challengers" by The New Pornographers
Not one of the New Pornographers, either together or on their numerous solo projects, manage to disappoint, and Challengers is no exception. A delightful explosion of some of the best sounds in pop music, with particular standouts being Neko Case's title track "Challengers" and "Go Places."
"Writer's Block" by Peter Bjorn & John
When an old friend of mine came back from Cambridge England to visit family, he of course asked what music I was groovin' to and I replied with Peter Bjorn & John, and added, "...but, living in the UK, you're probably sick of it by now. But I still love it."
"...yeah, I guess. I could certainly do with less of the whistling. Little bit sick of hearing that."
"Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" by Spoon
Spoon is so good at writing and playing the sounds and songs that they play, they could probably release a new album of completely new material every month if they wanted. And the world would be a much brighter, catchier place.
"La Cucaracha" by Ween
Ween's been overdue for a full-length album for some time, and La Cucaracha is definitely worth the wait. It's still not everybody's cup of tea, but if you're seriously down to listen to some of the weirdest shit ever recorded and pressed onto an optical format, then check it out.