The Year in Review


No one has been beating down my door to get my year end top 10 lists, but here they are anyway. Actually, I do get asked a lot about what I am listening to and I often can't think of anything, even though I listen to a lot of music. So here are the lists of things I liked. Maybe you will like them too.



Top Ten Films of 2004

1.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

What can I say, I still think this is my favorite movie from 2004. It's a great synthesis of style and substance, something that a few other films this year tried, but didn't quite perfect as well as this one.

2.Shaun of the Dead

I loved every minute of this flick. Seeing it with a packed promotional audience helped, but the fact that it's funny and sad and serious and horrific but mostly still funny is what wins out.

3.Napoleon Dynamite

It's funnier if you pronounce Dynamite as "Dy-No-MITE" but either way, this was an unexpected treat. It's funny and honest and warm-hearted and PG! How many times does a movie get laughs without resorting to jokes about bodily fluids or cuss words?

4.I Heart Huckabees

This could easily be #2 or #3 as well, as it worked for me about as well as anything else. It's another great, weird comedy that's surreal and intelligent without being so obtuse as to lose everyone. The second great movie for Jason Schwartzman, even if he is essentially playing the same character.

5.Spider-Man 2

I thought this was better than the first one, so that's a step in the right direction. For big budget comic book fun, my money is still on the X-Men movies, but I liked the character Peter Parker moments a lot in this one.

6.Primer

The twistiest, most head-spinning plot of any movie this year belonged to a tiny film that seemed to be made by a couple friends in their garage. I loved it. It inspired me to want to make movies too.

7.Sideways

This was the second most "adult" film I saw this year, and it's the kind of thing I wouldn't have had the patience for 8 years ago. The jokes at the expense of wine-people were great, and overall it was just a worthwhile story and a showcase for some good acting.

8.Kill Bill vol. 2

While I still think the two movies need to be made into one, I liked the second part just fine. The serious tone and lack of action made part 1 seem even more zany and over the top by comparison.

9.Garden State

This movie was actually less emotionally involving than its trailer, but it's still a nice date movie and one of the few that I've seen twice this year.

10.Japanese Story

It went from being predictable to being shocking and cathartic in about 10 seconds, which was amazing to watch. The last third of the movie makes the first two thirds really seem like something you need to watch again.



Top Ten Records of 2004



1.hope for agoldensummer - i bought a heart made of art in the deep deep south

I wasn't expecting to fall in love with this record, it just happened. It says something I think that I listen to 90% electronic music and that my favorite record of the year is throw-back, old timey acoustic music made by a full band with banjos, slide guitars, accordians, and blocks of wood.

2.Mothboy - The Fears

Someone will think it's dishonest for me to put this so high since I actually contributed to a track on it, but really, I played guitar in a vacuum and couldn't have imagined what would become of it. The record is stellar, the kind of mature work you just don't see too often. It's a true album, and one of my recent favorites.

3.Various Artists - Shockout Vol. 1

Everybody needs the ragga/dub/break fusion of Shockout. EVERYBODY.

4.Enduser - From Zero

The greatest of the great breakcore mashup beat destroyers. I don't know how much more evicerated jungle madness I can take, but I love this record as it is.

5.Octavius - Audio Noir

This is twisted, dark, and fractured hip hop noise like nothing else. Well, it IS actually a bit like Dalek and Techno Animal, but this is somehow less congealed and more raw.

6.Pan Sonic - Kesto

If Pan Sonic has a record out, you can almost count on it being in my top 10. With four discs ranging from minimalist nothingness to industrial stomp, this is so ambitious that it has to get noticed.

7.Shadow Huntaz - Corrupt Data

Finally some good hip hop with interesting electronic beats. Though the production wears on me after about 8 songs, I still think there are enough gems on this record to make it a new classic.

8.xela - tangled wool

This is beautiful pop music that just needs a singer.

9.[sic] - Gorilla Masking Tape

Dark, spacious, noisy ambient drones from Piehead. Pick up a copy if you like any of those adjectives, honestly.

10.Jack Dangers - Loudness Clarifies

The first disc of new meat beaty stuff is great. The second one is interesting though I must profess, hard to get through a second time.