Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top Five Albums of 2008

It’s only November but I’m already seeing Best of 2008 lists popping up, so I’ll contribute with my Top Five Albums of 2008...

Vampire Weekend, [Self-Titled]
These guys lost a bit of their luster for me as the year went on, partly due to their overexposure, but revisiting the album proves that it’s still one of the best releases of the year. Breezy and quirky, they remind me of vintage Weezer. Hopefully VW can avoid becoming a cliché of itself, or at the very least come out with a worthy follow-up. Stand out tracks to me are Oxford Comma, A-Punk and One (Blake’s Got a New Face).

Hercules and Love Affair, [Self-Titled]
A great dance record that was an instant favorite of many of my friends. Heavy nods towards the Eighties, but the album is varied and interesting enough to avoid being too derivative. I’ve found this album will get a party dancing in no time. Best songs are Hercules Theme, Iris and Raise Me Up.

The Dodos, Visiter
Their heavy handed guitar strumming and percussion caught my attention from the first few seconds I heard this band. Just about every element of this album (the vocals, melodies, lyrics) hits pitch perfect for what I like in this genre of music. My favorite tracks are Walking, Red and Purple, Undeclared and God.

Jamie Lidell, Jim
I was blown away by how much this record sounds like a freshly minted Motown LP. But Lidell also infuses many subtle elements to bring his vintage sensibilities up to new levels. Still, I know that I’m just programmed to love this album due to my repeated exposure to the Temptations, Al Green and Otis Redding. The tracks have great grooves that also do well at parties. Best songs are Little Bit of Feel Good, Figured Me Out and Green Light.

Fleet Foxes, [Self-Titled]
By far my favorite discovery of the year. Lush harmonies and folk stylings haven’t been this gorgeous in decades. I’ve gone on at length about this group already and can’t say enough about how much I love them, so don’t get me started. Simply magnificent. The entire album is amazing (as is their Sun Giant EP).

I’ll also add my Dud of the Year, which was Beck’s Modern Guilt. Sorry Beck, I love ya, but this was a big let-down.

And that’s that for this year. Here’s looking forward to 2009 and much more great music.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Great. Looks like the MTA is headed for rougher waters. That means more headaches for Brooklyn commuters like me. It’s not like they were the model of efficiency already. It seems like half the Brooklyn trains are down on the weekends for “maintenance” from which we never see any tangible improvements.

Sounds like the G line is going to be massively affected, with it running even less frequently. The rate of trains on that line already sucks and I’ve had many miserable late night/early morning waits on the platform. It’s practically the only access to other areas of Brooklyn for me, and now they’re going to make it that much more inconvenient and obsolete. Awesome.

They’re also projecting cutbacks on staff, making me wonder how much worse can it possibly get? Stations seem under staffed as it is, and let’s face it, who is impressed by the cleaning staff already?

This whole organization reeks of mismanagement, with operations hanging by a thread while seemingly hemorrhaging money.

Oh, and coupled with these cutbacks, we’ll probably see another fare hike in the near future.

Great news to start off the day.

(image snagged off Williamsburgnerd)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Menswhere? : Ties

My line of work doesn’t necessarily require me to wear ties often (or at all) and I normally wouldn’t even consider paying top dollar for a tie... But these ties by Manfred are smokin’. Of course they’re Aussies with no retailer in NYC.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Wow. It actually happened. A part of me is still in disbelief. But last night was a sweeping, resounding victory for Barack Obama. I mean, President-Elect Barack Obama.

Senator McCain gave a classy, dignified concession speech. Too bad he didn’t run his campaign the same way. But in the end, I still consider him a good man and a patriot.

Finally, Obama’s victory speech. I feel as though it’ll be a speech that will be revered along with some of the great Presidential speeches in our nation’s history. It was powerful and moving. I can admit to feeling a flood of emotion and even a little teary-eyed with continuous calls of “Yes we can”.

Congratulations, Barack. Now comes the hard part...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Barack the Vote!

(snagged from Flickr)


I'm standing in line right now to vote. It's a historic day and I feel a great sense of honor to be participating in it. Go Obama!

Monday, November 03, 2008

One more day

Big day tomorrow. Big, big day. I hope to all that is good in the world that Obama pulls out with a win. I might have to move to another country otherwise.

Not to look too far ahead of ourselves, but NY Magazine had a good article giving insight at what sort of preparations Obama is going through in order to efficiently and quickly get things moving if he gets into office.

I admit that I’ve been so focused on the election part that I haven’t thought much about what will happen afterwards. There are a lot of skeptics (ahem, my family) who will be looking for the first chance to point out his inadequacy. But this article shows that the guy and the people he has around him are organized and thinking strategically. This campaign has been an extremely well-run operation, which I hope is indicative of how his Presidential term will play out. Lord knows there’s a lot to do.