Monday, December 26, 2011

2011: A Recap

(updated on 12/31/2011)

Well 2011, I can't say I'm gonna miss ya. This year has been a bitch, with a few moments of brightness thrown in here & there.  To read all about it, continue after the jump...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Top 20 Fanciest Songs of 2011

At this time, dearest readers, I present you with the big kahuna of lists, my Top 20 fave tunes of the past year (REVISED 12.30.2011):
20. "Contact High" - Love Jones (d)
19. "Are We Lovers or Are We Friends?" - Acid House Kings
18. "Rope" - Foo Fighters
17. "We Can Fly" - Yes
16. "Cold Feet" - Liam Finn
15. "Breathe Out, Breathe In" - The Zombies (d)
14. "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster the People
13. "Sanctified" - fDeluxe
12. "Cauliflower (offend remix)" - dan le sac VS Scroobius Pip
11. "A Beautiful Life" - Donny & Marie Osmond (d)
10. "Stand" - Lenny Kravitz
9. "Babyfather" - Sade
8. "Forward to Love" - Ziggy Marley (d)
7. "Ghost on the Canvas" - Glen Campbell
6. "Girl Panic!" - Duran Duran
5. "Mine Smell Like Honey" - R.E.M.
4. "Blue Tip" - The Cars
3. "Funky But Chic" - New York Dolls
2. "What I Heard" - Blondie
1. "Anna Lee (sweetheart of the sun)" - The Bangles
NOTE: All songs except those marked with a (d) are currently available on VINYL.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: Ziggy Marley's Wild and Free album was released on vinyl in November, 2011.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2011 Best of Qtr IV

Here she is, my quarterly "best of" list, aka the 20 songs I've enjoyed most over the past three months (REVISED on 12.22.2011):
20. "Wall Street" - Van Dyke Parks
19. "Bad Girl" (d) - Eli "Paperboy" Reed
18. "House" - Ben Folds Five
17. "The Bare Necessities" (d) - Brian Wilson
16. "#Trendin'" (d) - The Original 7ven
15. "Sweet Christmas" (d) - Shonen Knife
14. "Turn 2 Dust (kevan frost mix)" (d) - Boy George
13. "Contact High"(d) - Love Jones
12. "Secret Weapon" - Annette
11. "Vega-Tables" (2011 SMiLE Sessions single mix) - The Beach Boys
10. "Body and Soul" - Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
9. "Leave a Light On" - Duran Duran
8. "A Beautiful Life" (d) - Donny & Marie Osmond
7. "She Walks the Night" - Matthew Sweet
6. "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster the People
5. "You and I (we can conquer the world)" (d) - George Michael
4. "In My Arms" - Glen Campbell
3. "We All go Back To Where We Belong" (d)- R.E.M.
2. "I'll Never Be Through With You" (d) - The Bangles
1. "Good Vibrations" (2011 SMiLE Sessions version) - The Beach Boys
 Note: Tracks that are shamefully not available on the physical vinyl format are indicated with "(d)".

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

New Ringo Starr vinyl: 1/31/2012

Titled simply "2012", this is Ringo's 2nd self-produced LP.
Street date: 1/31/2012.

Track listing:

1.     Anthem (Richard Starkey/Glen Ballard)
2.     Wings (Richard Starkey/Vince Poncia)
3.     Think It Over (Buddy Holly/Norman Perry)
4.     Samba (Richard Starkey/Van Dyke Parks)
5.     Rock Island Line (Arrangement by Richard Starkey)
6.     Step Lightly (Richard Starkey)
7.     Wonderful (Richard Starkey/Gary Nicholson)
8.     In Liverpool (Richard Starkey/Dave Stewart)
9.     Slow Down (Richard Starkey/Joe Walsh)

Worth noting: Two of the tracks are covers, while two others ("Wings" and "Step Lightly") are remakes of songs Ringo wrote & recorded in the 1970s.  Ringo's last release (also on vinyl) was quite good in my opinion, so I'm really looking forward to this one!  Ringo is far too often overlooked for his talents as a songwriter and singer. It also makes sense that he has talent as a producer -- he was a BEATLE for Godsakes. 

Monday, December 05, 2011

12.5.2011: Saditude

Today marks the 4th anniversary of my dad's passing. It's also the first year of recognizing this day without mom, who passed away earlier this year.  The first person I want to talk to today is mom because she was his life partner, the one who knew and missed him most. Having them both gone today makes the pain seem new again, if that makes sense.

So yeah, I feel an intense sadness this morning (at 4:00 am!), but also a remarkable sense of gratitude for having these two individuals for my parents. As I've gotten older I've been able to appreciate them for their humanness. Things that I might have considered shortcomings while they were alive are now just part of who they were.

In the case of my dad, I am able to embrace his triumph over the disease of alcoholism, which had beat him down more than once. Despite the challenges he worked the program and was able to live his last 20 or so years as a sober person. I doubt he viewed his sobriety the same way that I did, but I consider it to be the greatest gift he could have given his family. Through his sobriety we were able to become closer and recognize the love and appreciation we all had for our little family unit. My brother and I also learned from his example that money and wealth do not equal happiness; It's how you manage what you have that counts. Money is worthless if you end up sick just trying to make more of it.

So today's for you, dad. I hope you knew/know how much we love you and that we truly understand the sacrifices you made for us. Your life was not an easy one, but in the end I hope we were able to make it all worthwhile.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ten fave vinyl reissues of 2011

2011: A banner year for vinyl re-issues
  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik (red vinyl 2LP)
  2. Ben Folds Five (1995 self-titled LP)
  3. The Monkees - HEAD Soundtrack (clear vinyl)
  4. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
  5. Sugar - Copper Blue
  6. Paul McCartney - McCartney 2LP
  7. Glassjaw - Worship & Tribute (white vinyl)
  8. Journey - Greatest Hits 2 2LP
  9. Paul McCartney - McCartney II 2LP
  10. Go-Go's - Beauty and the Beat (pink vinyl)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

WORDS officially on