Friday, December 23

Lost Friday - Christmas Edition.

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Another Lost Friday is upon us. We actually have much to discuss.

First off, a bit of business. Due to the holidays, there will be no Lost Friday on December 30. It will, however, return on January 6 to get us all caught up for Episode 10 on January 11. Hoo-rah.

Speaking of upcoming episodes, here's a lengthy rundown of the next 4 new episodes, along with what you can expect to see in them. Sources have been gathered all over the interweb, and the validity is always questioned.

January 11 - 8pm EST - Episode 9.5: Lost: Revelation.

Discover the complete story of the grueling first 48 days on the island for the fuselage survivors and tailies after the crash of Oceanic flight 815.

Since the beginning, "Lost" has mystified and intrigued viewers with its interesting characters and unique style of storytelling. Season One dealt with the fuselage survivors, the hatch and a failed attempt to get off the island. Season Two continues these stories and also introduces viewers to the survivors of the tail section. "Lost: Revelation" puts these two seasons together in a linear fashion that provides an illuminating view on one compelling story.

See the sequence of the aftermath of the failed raft attempt, the opening of the hatch, how the tail section and fuselage survivors lived separately and the unwitting intersections of their lives, and how both groups ultimately collided in one catastrophic moment. "Lost: Revelation" offers new and avid viewers a fresh perspective, comprehensive and enlightening, in one of television's most intriguing series.

(This obviously is going to be a recap before the premiere of episode 10. After taking 5 weeks off, giving us an extra hour of repackaged footage is the least they can do.)

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January 11 - 9pm EST - Episode 10: The 23rd Psalm.

Master Sgt. Crystal L. Anderson was an extra in a filming of LOST in Hawaii. She played a member of a church congregation. The scene was designed to depict the mental flashback of a character in the show named Mr. Eko, played by veteran actor Adewale Akinnuowy-Agbaje. Per an interview with a local army newspaper, she says Mr. Eko is "king of the warlords" in Nigeria. He enters the church with other warlords and asks his brother, a minister in the church, to ordain him as a minister. Everyone is frightened, knowing Mr. Eko's reputation, and the church is cleared, so only two warlords, Mr. Eko and his brother, are left.

Mr. Eko interrogates Charlie about the Virgin Mary statue, Claire begins to lose faith in Charlie when she discovers his secret, and Jack is an interested observer when Kate gives the recovering Sawyer a much-needed haircut.

Mr. Eko's upcoming flashback episode, titled "The 23rd Psalm," will shed more light on why the character took a 40-day vow of silence on the island. And producers promise more info on that stick. "It has its own flashback," [Damon] Lindelof quips.

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(Woah. If what the extra says is true, that would shed a whole lot of light on Eko's past. His relation with the drug plane, along with his checkered past sounds like a fantastic flashback. And that hair cut only sweetens the deal. The idea that Eko was on the island before the crash is starting to solidify.)

January 18 - 9pm EST - Episode 11: The Hunting Party

Jack, Locke and Sawyer pursue a determined Michael after he heads into the jungle toward the dreaded "Others" in search of Walt. Meanwhile, Sun has a surprising reaction to Jin's desire to join the search party, and Hurley and Charlie commiserate over the age-old conundrum of "what women want."

Jack-centric. Julie Bowen will guest star.

This episode features two guest stars, a wealthy middle aged Italian man and a gorgeous Italian woman who may possibly recur.

(This should be the big Jack-episode we've been waiting for. We might find out how the divorce and tattoos came to be. Also, it's nice to see a good old-fashioned walkabout again.)

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January ?? - 9pm EST - Episode 12: Fire & Water.

Flashbacks will feature 8-year-old Charlie and 12-year-old Liam.

Charlie-centric episode that will feature his parents as well as his brother. We learn that Mr. Pace is a butcher. The episode will also feature Karen, the wife of a rock star (Liam?) and a British director.

(This may be the episode directed by Darren Aronofsky, but that hasn't been confirmed yet.)

Apart from all those previews, I've collected a bunch of various Season 2 spoilers that you might be interested in. These have to do with upcoming episodes, or Season 2 in general. Enjoy.

1. Quotes from Lindelof and Grillo-Marxuach at a Lost convention: The plane did not crash by accident, it crashed for a very specific reason. But he dismissed speculation that someone aboard the plane caused the crash. The crash of the plane is explained before the season ends.

2. From Damon Lindelof: [Hurley getting a love interest is] definitely something we've thought a lot about and nothing that we wanna force. There are a couple women characters we're introducing on the island over the course of the season who we do not know who they're going to end up with. We're doing 23 [episodes] this year. There is going to be a flashback story that fully explains the significance of all [Jack's] tattoos and puts it into the framework of what was happening in his life when he got them. You'll probably be seeing it in season two, but if not, very early in season three. Right now the plan is to do it this year. [23] is an important number in terms of the scheme of the show.

3. Lindelof reveals: [Season 2 will cover] roughly the next 45 or 50 days. We’re sticking to the same brand of storytelling and not taking bold jumps forward. Probably by the end of season two we’ll be in the range of day 90. The issue of what made Flight 815 crash is going to be dealt with in season two and definitively answered by the end of season two.

4. Damon Lindelof said: "Check out Marvin Candle's left hand."
(Dr. Marvin Candle has a fake hand.)

5. We'll be seeing Locke soon in another flashback, this time in his wheelchair.

6. You'll learn more about [why Ethan abducted Claire] this season.

7. As with the hatch, there will be more revelations about the Dharma Initiative, but it's all going to come at times when it's going to affect the characters most. You have not seen the last of Dharma, but it's going to be a little while before you find out a little bit more. The Dharma Initiative was a communal research facility on the island. A lot of scientists and free-thinkers got together to do a lot of different kinds of research: psychiatry, zoology - and remember that with the zoology of the film you saw some polar bears. It's possible there were some animal aggression studies going on there, as well as human psychology experiments and a whole variety of other things. The Dharma Initiative was founded by two peacenik Grad students who were trying to get to the bottom of a lot of mysteries about human behavior. There are six bunkers on the island, and they were devoted to a lot of different kinds of research. That's going to open up a lot of different avenues for us to tease you with what the kind of research was, and how it's evolved now that the Dharma Initiative seems to have fallen into disrepair. A lot has happened on the island and the Dharma Initiative is just the tip of the iceberg.

Well, that oughta do it for now. This is my last post before Christmas, so I want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday. The CDP will return next week with the last 2 posts of the year.


Thursday, December 22

Take Out Your Short List.

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You might not be aware of the New Pantheon Award, but you're certainly aware of the Shortlist Music Prize.

The Shortlist Music Prize is an award given to the most creative and groundbreaking album of the year that has sold under 500,000 copies. The name has now been changed to the New Pantheon Award for 2005. Since being started in 2001, winners include:

2001 - Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
2002 - N.E.R.D. - In Search Of...
2003 - Damien Rice - O
2004 - TV On The Radio - Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes

In December, the "long list" of nominees are announced, eventually being chipped down to a 10 album "short list" by February for the award show, just 2 days before the Grammys. During the award show, a select group of finalists will play live before the announcement of the winner.

Here now, is the long list:

Amadou & Mariam - Dimanche a Bamako (Nonesuch)
American Analog Set - Set Free (Arts & Crafts)
Andrew Bird - Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs (Righteous Babe)
Animal Collective - Feels (Fat Cat)
Antony and the Johnsons - I am a Bird Now (Secretly Canadian)
Aqualung - Strange and Beautiful (Red Ink)
Arcade Fire - Funeral (Merge)
The Ark - State of the Ark (EMI)
Atmosphere - You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having (Rhymesayers)
Bettye LaVette - I've Got My Own Hell to Raise (Anti)
Björk - Medulla (Elektra)
Blackalicious - The Craft (Epitaph)
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (Vice)
Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase (Warp)
Brazilian Girls - Brazilian Girls (Verve)
Brian Wilson - SMiLE (Nonesuch)
Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning (Saddle Creek)
The Bravery - The Bravery (Island)
Broadcast - Tender Buttons (Warp)
Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene (Arts & Crafts)
Chad VanGaalen - Infiniheart (Sub Pop)
Charlie Haden - Not in Our Name (Verve)
Clinic - Winchester Cathedral (Domino)
Damian Marley - Welcome to Jamrock (Universal)
Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask (Epitaph)
The Dears - No Cities Left (Spin Art)
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans (Atlantic)
The Decemberists - Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars)
Deerhoof - The Runners Four (Kill Rock Stars)
Devendra Banhart - Nino Rojo (Young God)
Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill (Anti)
Emiliana Torrini - Fisherman's Woman (Rough Trade)
Explosions in the Sky - How Strange, Innocence (Temporary Residence)
The Faint - Wet From Birth (Saddle Creek)
Fantomas - Suspended Animation (Ipecac)
Feist - Let It Die (Interscope)
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine (Sony)
The Futureheads - The Futureheads (Sire/679)
The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Sony)
Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike (Side One Dummy)
Inara George - All Rise (Everloving)
Jamie Lidell - Multiply (Warp)
Jamiroquai - Dynamite (Sony)
John Vanderslice - Pixel Revolt (Barsuk)
Kaiser Chiefs - Employment (Universal)
Kasabian - Kasabian (RCA)
Keren Ann - Nolita (Blue Note)
Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak (RCA)
Langhorne Slim - When the Sun's Gone Down (Narnack)
Laura Veirs - Year of Meteors (Nonesuch)
LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem (Capitol)
Le Tigre - This Island (Universal)
Leela James - A Change Is Gonna Come (Warner Brothers)
The Like - Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? (Geffen)
M.I.A. - Arular (XL/Beggars)
M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us (Mute)
Maria Taylor - 11:11 (Saddle Creek)
The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute (Universal)
Mary Gauthier - Mercy Now (Lost Highway)
Matt Costa - Songs We Sing (Venerable Media)
Matisyahu - Live at Stubb's (Sony/Or Music)
MF Doom - MM..Food? (Rhymesayers)
Mia Doi Todd - Manzanita (Plug Research)
Mike Doughty - Haughty Melodic (ATO)
My Morning Jacket - Z (ATO)
Mylo - Destroy Rock & Roll (Breast Fed)
Nada Surf - The Weight Is a Gift (Barsuk)
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema (Matador)
Pinback - Summer in Abaddon (Touch & Go)
Quasimoto - The Further Adventures of Lord Quas (Stones Throw)
Ray LaMontagne - Trouble (RCA)
Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous (Brute/Beaute)
Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures (Sub Pop)
Roisin Murphy - Ruby Blue (Echo)
Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters (Universal)
Seu Jorge - Cru (Wrasse Records)
Sleater-Kinney - The Woods (Sub Pop)
Sons and Daughters - The Repulsion Box (Domino)
Spoon - Gimme Fiction (Merge)
Stars - Set Yourself on Fire (Arts & Crafts)
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)
Thrice - Vheissu (Island)
Tim Robinson - Money in the Woods (CD Baby)
Tom Vek - We Have Sound (Star Time)
William Bolcom - Songs of Innocence and of Experience (Naxos)
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary (Sub Pop)
Z-Trip - Shifting Gears (Hollywood)

This, to me, is the most competitive long list they've ever had. There's a lot of truly great albums on here, which got me wondering. If you got to choose, what would your Short List be?

Mine is really no surprise, as 9 of the 10 have already appeared on my year-end list in some shape or form. Besides, I've been taking in Arcade Fire all year like a meth addict with a FEMA-issued credit card:

Arcade Fire - Funeral (Merge)
Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning (Saddle Creek)
The Decemberists - Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars)
The Faint - Wet From Birth (Saddle Creek)
Feist - Let It Die (Interscope)
The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Sony)
LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem (Capitol)
My Morning Jacket - Z (ATO)
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary (Sub Pop)

So, what's yours?

On a similar note, indie cornerstone Pitchfork has released their top 50 albums of the year. Where did the CDP-chosen albums end up on their list?

#42 - My Morning Jacket - Z
#30 - Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
#26 - The Decemberists - Picaresque
#18 - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
#10 - Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary
#8 - LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
#1 - Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

It would seem that I had a pretty good ear this year. See, kids? I'm still cool! If you want to see where my picks ended up on just about EVERY year-end list, I invite you to check out this link. If I were to venture a guess as to what was the overall #1 of 2005, Sufjan Stevens takes the prize, hands down.

(this post is going to rule; you'd be doing yourself a favor in checking it 'oot.)

Wednesday, December 21

Best & Worst Of 2005.

(Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's list. I tried to make sure I got rid of all your typos.)

1. Favorite Album Of 2005.

CDP - If you want to see my favorite albums of 2005, allow me to direct you to my wack lists:

Best of 2005 (2004 Edition)
Best of 2005 (#20-#16)
Best of 2005 (#15-#11)
Best of 2005 (#10-#6)
Best of 2005 (#5-#1)

MISSUS - Since I can't even remember what albums really came out in 2005, I'll just say the ones that I remember and enjoyed more than vaguely.

Matt Pond PA - Several Arrows Later
Of Montreal - Sunlandic Twins
Nada Surf - The Weight is a Gift
Caesars - Paper Tigers

(CDP Edit: I'd like to mention that Several Arrows Later is a good album that wasn't included on my list. It impresses me each time I hear it, and 'Halloween' is one of the best songs of the year.)

SHERRY - LP - Suburban Sprawl and Alcohol

LP has such a kick-ass voice and incredible breath control (seriously, she can hold a note for like a minute). It's something different from Kay Hanley, but it's definitely just as rockin'!


1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
2. Clem Snide - End of Love
3. Iron & Wine and Calexico - In the Reins
4. Wilco - Kicking Television (live)
5. If Songs Could Be Held - Rosie Thomas
6. Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
7. Nickel Creek - Why Should the Fire Die?
8. Headphones - Headphones
9. Ben Folds - Songs for Silverman
10. The Listener - Ozark Empire

(Kathleen Edwards - Back to Me, Eisley - Room Noises, and Boondogs - Fever Dreams probably should have all been on there.)

ANDREW SMITH - I noticed that all of my newer CDs are from 2004, but nonetheless my top 2 albums came rather obviously:

1. Mediocre at Best: The Lost Classics (B-Sides & Live)
2. Captain Salisbury and the Mystery Meats: Sargeant Salad vs Vegetable Vigilante

Both CDs take me back to a time when there was a rocking music scene and I had not a care in the world. The Mediocre at Best CD features the song "600 Days" that had lived only in my mind for over 3 years. Also features live versions of songs, like the "New Song," that I had grown to love my freshman year of high school. While the CD was easily one ofthe most generous things I have ever received, it even came along with slew of patches, buttons, and other concert paraphanailia. Easily the best bundle of the year, likely the new milennia.

Captain Salisbury's long awaited follow up to their 2002 self titled CD arrived 2 years after the band had broken up. The album features the track "Jet Set," along with 5 other rockin new songs. While the CDs bring back even more memories of how I miss my high school days, they are a strong testament to two bands I miss dearly.

(CDP Edit: Thanks for the props, our massively swelled heads appreciate it.)

ERIN - I actually didn't buy any albums at all this year, except the Funny Girl soundtrack which, well, you know's not even new for 2005. I think I, as my music, am out of date.

2. Worst Song Of 2005.

CDP - Anything on the radio that didn't have a real drummer, or anything on the radio sung by someone who uses a headset during live performances.

MISSUS - Wake me up when September Ends - Green Day

That song is tripe. Crap, rubbish, trash. I can't even think of enough words to explain the way that song disgusts me.

SHERRY - I don't know the exact title of it or the idiot who wrote it, but it's the one with the chorus that has this little, high-pitched voice in the background singing, "On my Ooooooowwwwn!" It just makes me want to kill everyone around me! I mean, who ever thought that this would make a meaningful musical statement! Come on!

(CDP Edit: If you know what song she's talking about, let it be known in the comments section.)

PASTE - Anything by Usher makes me want to jam pencils in my ears, especially his big hit which I can't name.

ANDREW SMITH - Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We're Going Down

It is possible to find the song catchy at first listen, but I think it helps to have your collar completely covering your neck. I can't say I ever really hated this song until I arrived at La Crosse, when, for the first couple weeks, you could not escape it. But everyone here now has the "I knew them before they were on MTV" going for them. It’s ironic considering how trendy most people here are. They don't know anything.

3. Favorite Song Of 2005.

CDP - My favorite radio song of 2005 was Feel Good, Inc. by Gorillaz (yep). My favorite song of 2005 in all was probably In This Home On Ice, by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

PASTE - Favorite song of the first half of December 2005 is Holland 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel.

SHERRY - LP - Wasted

I just can't think of anything off of the radio. I didn't even attempt to listen to what everyone else in the U.S. was listening to this year. It's an awesomely awesome song with a rockin' drum beat, and I could listen to it over and over again for the rest of my life.

(CDP Edit: Knowing Sherry, she will listen to it over and over again for the rest of her life.)

ANDREW SMITH - Gorillaz - Feel Good, Inc.

My somewhat guilty pleasure song. This song was incredibly catchy, and had the same effect on me as when I was a 6th grader and heard Tubthumper for the first time. I couldn't get the song out of my head even though I had no idea what they were saying, at least for the first couple listens. I actually had no "real" favorite song of the year, but I did enjoy this.

4. Favorite Film Of 2005.

CDP - Batman Begins.

I wasn't really digging around for any indie masterpieces this year, and only managed to get to the theater about 5 times. Christopher Nolan is a genius, and I've loved every film he's made in his still-early career. This is the best Batman movie ever; you hear me Tim Burton?

MISSUS - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

I recognize that I have done nothing but complain about this film since I saw it, but despite the "difficulties" I have with this movie, it's still Harry Potter and therefore it's still better than anything else.

PASTE - I didn't see very many movies in the theater this year. Narnia was great once you get around the press-manufactured controversy and Disney's seedy marketing strategy. They showed a trailer for it at my church, which made me feel greasy. There should be some indie-type film or doc I should mention, but I can't think of any that came out this year that I saw.

SHERRY - Batman Begins.

Christian Bale is so hot, and his acting is excellent. He turns me on with his commitment to his roles. I love his huge muscular arms in this movie. The whole Batman voice thing is kind of wierd, but the movie is 100,000 times better than the other Batman movies made in the 90's.

ERIN - I only say The Aviator, North Country, Elizabethtown, and that may be it although the year is not over and I intend on seeing Rent as soon as possible. So far Elizabethtown is superior. It is a fine mix of Orlando hotness and cinematography. I loved it, and just so you know that I'm not an idiot, my brother Steve (who is super cool) loved it as well and considers it also a favorite of 2005.

ANDREW SMITH - Batman Begins.

I am a huge Batman fan and I didn't feel the last run of movies really did him justice, especially the last two. It was much darker as well, and as realistic as a super hero movie could really be.

The only problem with Batman Begins was the lack the showstopping quotes from Mr. Freeze in "Batman and Robin:"

Cop: “Please show some mercy!
Freeze: “I'm afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy.”

Mr. Freeze: “Ice to see you!

Mr. Freeze: “What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age!


5. Best Book Read In 2005.

CDP - Blink - Malcolm Gladwell

MISSUS - Could this be any more predictable...Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. What could be better than learning about the young Lord Voldemort?

ANDREW SMITH - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

I find the Harry Potter books just keeping getting better with each new installment. There is also so much up in the air after this one, mostly on Dumbledore's instincts, that it will be very interesting to see how the next one plays out. I have really enjoyed that the books progressively have gotten darker.

ERIN - I read "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" and it was awesome for all of those English fanatics out there. I also read some other good ones like The Turn of the Screw, Dictionary of the Khazars, and some other great books that I had to read for school like She's Not There and My Year of Meats. All excellent, reading is awesome!

SHERRY - I didn't read a whole lot of interesting books this year; most of them I read were for school and on music education. But I did enjoy The Da Vinci Code. It turned me on to the concept of Jesus being married and having kids, etc. It will have you salivating at the thought of being able to turn to the next page and reading the next chapter.

PASTE - I don't read very often, but here's what I read and am reading:

Blue Like Jazz: Non-religious Thoughts on Christianity -Don Miller

The first couple pages are available to read on Amazon. Any description I make of it will probably make it sound like it sucks, which it doesn't at all.

Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live In It - Thomas De Zegontita

A friend of mine is using this in the high school philosophy class that he teaches. Fascinating commentary on pop culture in the last several decades. First sentence: "ASK YOURSELF THIS: did members of the Greatest Generation spend a lot of time talking about where they were and what they did and how they felt when they first heard the news from Pearl Harbor?"

6. Favorite TV Show Of 2005.


#10 - Saturday Night Live
#9 - Malcolm In The Middle
#8 - Supernatural
#7 - Mythbusters
#6 - My Name Is Earl
#5 - Night Stalker
#4 - The Office
#3 - House
#2 - Arrested Development
#1 - Lost

MISSUS - Lost. I am very glad that my mother turned me on to it.

But for laughs, I reckon I'd have to say The Office, because that show almost makes me cry every week. Michael is the saddest human being ever.

Best NEW show? Nightstalker. Enough said.

PASTE - Lost, duh.

SHERRY - Lost! I can't tell you how awesome this show is; there are no words to describe it (refer to Ryan's posts on Lost).

Arrested Development- This is the only time when I laugh histerically at the TV. Not many things amuse me the way this show does.

ANDREW SMITH - This year, my favorite show to watch was "The Office." A lot of fans of the original BBC version didn’t really give the show much of a chance in the beginning, but I really feel the show has surpassed all expectation. I don't think they could have done a better job at casting, and the little subtelties between the characters really make the show even funnier. It may be hard for me to justify it being the best show of 2005, as it is a remake, but I find it funnier than any show on TV this season. My Name is Earl is definitely heading up my list, though.

ERIN - I only watched TV for about three months total of this year so I'm no longer a good judge of TV since I can't watch much anymore besides my daytime soaps.

(CDP Edit: Best run-on ever!)

7. Best Or Worst Moment Of 2005.

CDP - I'll be devoting a post to this before the end of the year. Sit tight.

MISSUS - Worst - Gabe's urinary blockage.

Close Second - Having to give Gabe his medicine.

Best - The day when we realized Gabe's mouth was no longer rank.

I realize these are not nationwide or worldwide events, but my world is really quite small.

Best THING about 2005 is that a Harry Potter book AND movie both came out. That just plain rules.

ANDREW SMIFF - Best Moment - The turn around of the Brewers, most notably the Twins game in which Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks each homered.

The Tony Little Geico commercial (self explanatory).

Hurricane Rita not hitting Houston.

Worst Moment - Obviously Hurricane Katrina has to be up there.

Ted Thompson mailing the season in, in order to rebuild. We are automatically a contender with Brett at quarterback, and he deserves to at least be sent out with a shot. Put some pieces around him, what's the difference if we rebuild in a couple years when we won't have one of the greatest QBs of all time. This makes me mad, but its nowhere in the league of Katrina.

(CDP Edit: I like the way Andrew thinks. Katrina was a horrible incident, but the Packers season wasn't without its heartbreak. In fact, it's brought me much more personal trauma than pretty much anything this year.)

SHERRY - Best- Flipping off the White House and saying,"Impeach Bush" with 300,000 other people surrounding me who also know how corrupt and evil everything had become in the anti-war march in Washington, D.C.

Worst- All the people being ignored after Hurricane Katrina, and having to pay the price for the government's stupidity in sky-rocketing gas prices.

Personal Best - Getting married... again! I had the wedding of my dreams with all my close friends and family watching; I never want to go through it again.

PASTE - It's kind of obvious, but Katrina was the most affecting in that it raises so many different types of Big questions: Racism, poverty, Gov't responsibility vs personal responsibility, Federal gov't vs local gov't, environmental impact, nature vs. man, reality vs. what's reported, bureaucracy in the face of immediate need, Fox vs Arrested Development, etc...

(Thanks again for pitching in, and continue the conversation in the comments section.)


Tuesday, December 20

Please Stand By.

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Year-end festivities are on the way.

Monday, December 19

Top 20 Albums Of 2005 - Part 4 Of 4.

After more than a week of posts, general banter and chit-chat, we've finally come to the end of the countdown. Here are my top 5 albums of the year, for your consideration and approval.

Each of these 5 albums are breakout performances in one way or another. For 3 of the bands listed, it was their debut album. For the other 2, it was their career-defining moment. In either case, these 5 bands represent the hopeful present and future of indie music in all facets and sounds. Good for them; they make me want to never pick up an instrument again.

Let's go.

Image hosted by #5 - The Decemberists - Picaresque

"The Decemberists are what Arcade Fire wants to sound like when they grow up," sniffed an indie critic when Picaresque came out. He's right, too. Where Funeral's main topic of conversation was the death of youth and rebellion to the monotony and acceptance of adulthood, Picaresque embraced the freedom and wonder of a fleeting adolescence. From another era altogether, the Decemberists travel the high seas and remember their travels and accounts via troubled sing-along. Led by the brilliant Colin Meloy, we're offered a glimpse of a well-established and respected band simply adding to their legacy.

Image hosted by #4 - The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike

Thunder, Lightning, Strike is the Paul's Boutique of the new millennium. When asked to describe the cut-and-paste sound of the Go! Team's debut album, I'd say, "Pretend that you're listening to the radio. One station is playing 70's soul. Another station is playing hip hop. Station three is playing theme songs to 70's TV shows. Still another station is playing hopscotch and cheerleader jams. Take the dial and spin it from right to left for 45 minutes, and you'll get Thunder, Lightning, Strike." Breathlessly energetic and full of non-stop action, the Go! Team will have to move heaven and earth to out-do themselves when they enter the studio again next year.

Image hosted by #3 - Architecture In Helsinki - In Case We Die

You'd assume that with a name like Architecture in Helsinki, the 8-member collective would hail from Finland. Not true, smartass. Actually, this multi-gendered group comes to us from Australia, single-handedly apologizing for Silverchair and Paul Hogan in one fell swoop. In Case We Die is non-annoying twee at its absolute finest; a hand-clapping cuddle party with countless instruments and multiple vocalists. If one track doesn't suit you, the next one will bore a hole into your skull until the next time the Democrats take office. Diverse and brilliant, In Case We Die is a textbook example of indie done perfectly right.

Image hosted by #2 - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

This is how an album is supposed to be made. The New York quintet recorded, produced and released their self-titled debut without any label or manager assistance. Through live shows and word of mouth, they gained a cult following, leading to a glowing review on Pitchfork. Much like Funeral, CYHSY! became an internet phenomenon, causing the band to run out of merch and start a sold-out headlining tour without any booking agents or press kits. They have since signed to a label that re-released this debut to a wider audience.

I don't know what I can tell you about this album that would do it justice. It's an indie rock album. It has guitars, bass, drums and vocals among other things. It's warm and nostalgic, yet new and trendsetting. It's abraisive and gentle, reminding you of the best moments of your past without having actually been there at all. Just purchase it and give it a try. You'll be amazed at how something so simple can grow on you.

Drumroll please...

Image hosted by #1 - Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins

Oh, Kevin Barnes, you magnificent bastard. You've done it again. Last year, Satanic Panic In The Attic nearly took home CDP Album of the Year honors, but Of Montreal just couldn't be stopped in 2005.

My story with The Sunlandic Twins starts in April of last year. I got an advance copy to review for the newspaper, and didn't enjoy it much. After SPITA, it didn't seem like Sunlandic could hold a candle to it. My review reflected this, and I sort of slammed the record. However, as is the case with critics with deadlines, I didn't have enough alone time with the album. Like a fine wine, Sunlandic blossomed and bloomed with psychedelic melodies, danceable beats and insanely deep production. To break from what Of Montreal was known for and create something like this took...well, it took a lot of balls, and Kevin Barnes is the undisputed master and king of testicular girth.

I had the pleasure of interviewing this genius months down the road as they brought their tour into Madison. We talked about critics and reactions to the new album; for me a silent apology to him for not appreciating the record on first listen. He was shy and soft-spoken. Brilliant and thoughtful. My interview made up for the dismal critique, and their live show was one of the best times I've had all year. Barnes sheds all inhibitions when he takes the stage, breathing new live into his already textured beats and complexities. It was amazing.

The Sunlandic Twins pulls off the impossible, in that it's a wonderful album about wonderful things. Normally, depression and despair write the best music, but in the case of Barnes, starting a family was the topic of conversation for the new record. Tracks like "So Begins Our Alabee" and "The Party's Crashing Us" may have sounded disposable upon first listen, but they are still two of the best tracks I've heard all year. This album leaves me positively giddy in wait for the new one, which is about the nicest compliment I could give to a working musician.

The Sunlandic Twins is the CDP's Album of the Year. What do you have to say about it? Sound off in the comments section, and thanks for checking out my list.


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