Barb’s Favorite Albums of the Decade

December 23, 2009

In no particular order:

  1. Confessions on a Dancefloor – Madonna
  2. Supernature – Goldfrapp
  3. The Reminder – Feist
  4. The Fame Monster – Lady Gaga
  5. Lovers Rock – Sade
  6. FutureSex/LoveSounds – Justin Timberlake
  7. Kala – M.I.A.
  8. The Greatest – Cat Power
  9. 100th Window – Massive Attack
  10. A Rush of Blood to the Head – Coldplay

Douglas’s Favorite Songs of the Decade

December 23, 2009

These are the top 25 from his carefully created list of 100 songs:

  1. “Idioteque” – Radiohead
  2. “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” – Arcade Fire
  3. “7/4 (Shoreline)” – Broken Social Scene
  4. “Paper Planes” – M.I.A.
  5. “And I Was A Boy From School” – Hot Chip
  6. “King’s Crossing” – Elliott Smith
  7. “Y Control” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  8. “Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)” – !!!
  9. “The Crying of Lot G” – Yo la tengo
  10. “RIP Static” – Gentle Friendly
  11. “All Our Base Are Belong To Them” – The Books
  12. “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” – Daft Punk
  13. “Disco Sheets” – Wolf Parade
  14. “Electric Feel” – MGMT
  15. “I Want Wind to Blow” – The Microphones
  16. “Sister Savior” – The Rapture
  17. “Banquet” – Bloc Party
  18. “(Antichrist Television Blues)” – Arcade Fire
  19. “All My Friends” – LCD Soundsystem
  20. “Playhouses” – TV On the Radio
  21. “All I Need” – Radiohead
  22. “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth” – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
  23. “Obstacle 1” – Interpol
  24. “Black Rice” – Women
  25. “Persons & Machinery” – UNKLE featuring Autolux

Abbi’s Favorite Albums of the Decade

December 22, 2009
  1. Is This It – The Strokes (2001)
  2. Brushfire Fairytales – Jack Johnson (2001)
  3. The Lillywhite Sessions – Dave Matthews Band (2001)
  4. Transatlanticism – Death Cab for Cutie (2003)
  5. American Idiot – Green Day (2004)
  6. Silent Alarm – Bloc Party (2005)
  7. I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning – Bright Eyes (2005)
  8. Illinois – Sufjan Stevens (2005)
  9. In Rainbows – Radiohead (2007)
  10. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (2008)

*She really wishes she could include Rage Against the Machine’s Battle of Los Angeles, released in November 1999, but I wouldn’t let her.

My 10 Favorite Albums of the Decade

December 19, 2009

After abandoning this blog for more than four months, I decided it would be fun to get in on the “best of the decade” hoopla and post my own personal faves.

Here they are, roughly in the order that they were released:

  1. Figure 8 – Elliott Smith (2000) – This was the last album released before he died, but I didn’t really start listening until about 2002.
  2. BB Queen – Bahamadia (2000) – Why doesn’t this lady put out more albums?
  3. Amnesiac – Radiohead (2001) – It’s tough to pick a favorite Radiohead album, but “Pyramid Song” and “I Might Be Wrong” decided it for me.
  4. Blue Horse – The Be Good Tanyas (2001) – Not sure what it is about these gals that I like so much.
  5. The Listening – Little Brother (2003) – Amazing production by 9th Wonder, fascinating lyrics by Phonte and Big Pooh.
  6. Remember Who I Am – Girlyman (2003) – Some of the best times I’ve had with my best friends have been accompanied by these sweet harmonies.
  7. Grey Album – Danger Mouse (2004) – A bootleg mashup of Jay-Z’s Black Album and the Beatles’ White Album. Enough said.
  8. Arular – M.I.A. (2005) – Sadly, I didn’t start listening to M.I.A. until a couple years after this was released.
  9. Illionois – Sufjan Stevens (2005) – Epic pop.
  10. Jeanius – Jean Grae & 9th Wonder (2008, kinda) – This was actually leaked on the internet in 2004, so most fans have been listening to it for years.

Hmm, I notice that no albums released past 2005 have wormed their way into my heart quite yet.

Color to the Music

August 9, 2009

Customizable Tracy Chapman website

I haven’t really been listening to Tracy Chapman for the past several years, but I just found something that will make me stay a while and enjoy the music.

Her website design is brilliant: You can select colors from a rainbow palette and color in the letters, trees, grass, houses, clouds, and even the birds as they fly by! All while listening to “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution” and other tunes.

Best idea ever. Not only does it give fans a reason to stay and interact with the website; it shows off some gay pride too.

Ready for Summer?

June 1, 2009

One of my favorite things about NYC is the free summer concerts. Every spring, I make a list of about ten shows I want to see—but I usually only actually make it to one or two of them.

Little Brother in Fort Greene Park, BrooklynSome of the best (or at least most memorable) concerts I’ve been to have been the free ones: the Roots on Pier 54 in July 2005, one of the best nights of my first summer in New York; Little Brother in Fort Greene Park in 2006, where they said hello to me before the show on my way to the bathroom, but I was too shy to respond; Cafe Tacuba in Central Park in 2007, where I was knocked around in a humid, smelly, dusty mosh pit; Girlyman at Madison Square Park in 2007, when we took awkward pictures with Ty and found out that Doris used to be a camp counselor of someone my girlfriend knew from college; Lauryn Hill at Wingate Park in 2007, even though she showed up three hours late, looked and sounded almost unrecognizable (and, well, not that great); Jean Grae, 9th Wonder, and Talib Kweli at Fat Beats in 2008, where I stood five feet from the Jeanius herself.

Here are some I might make it to this summer:

My Name Is Daichi and I Want to Be the Beatbox Battle Wildcard

May 14, 2009

My brother sent me this video. Just watch it! It speaks for itself.

A Nine-Year-Old Girl Rocking the Mic, Paying the Bills

May 7, 2009

P-StarOn Saturday I saw the documentary P-Star Rising at the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s the story of nine-year-old rapper P-Star (Priscilla Star Diaz) growing up with her father and sister in Harlem. She is one interesting character, and a genuinely talented emcee; she was writing her own rhymes, battle-rapping on the streets, performing in clubs, and sharing studio time with Remy Ma, all as a nine- and ten-year-old kid.

As cute as she was, it was far from a cutesy/feel-good film. As a young girl, Priscilla became the breadwinner of the family, as the early profits from her music career allowed them to pay all of their bills and move into a more spacious apartment. The family went through a lot of problems, from trying to track down their druggie mother to sorting through trust issues with record executives. And as P-Star’s rap career started to go downhill while she was still only 11 or 12 years old, viewers were left wondering if she and her family (and especially her father) had really been making the right choices.

Check out the trailer here! (I couldn’t embed it.)

Priscilla, her sister, and her father, as well as the filmmaker (Gabriel Noble), were all at the screening to answer questions from the audience. The family seemed to be doing well, and P-Star—upon request—spit a nice verse for us all.

I hope to hear more from P-Star as she gets older!

Playlist: IMPACT

March 11, 2009

Last weekend I went down to the University of Maryland for the IMPACT Conference, a national conference for college students who want to make a difference in the world through service, activism, and advocacy.

My friend Heather, who organized the conference, asked me to make a 30-minute “soundtrack” that would be played before and after the opening and closing sessions of the conference, as people were walking in and out, and waiting for the program to begin. She said the vibe should be “more M.I.A. than Jack Johnson.” So I looked for songs that were positive and energizing, with thoughtful lyrics and good beats. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. M.I.A. – “Galang”
  2. Santogold – “Creator”
  3. K’naan – “In the Beginning”
  4. TV On the Radio – “Dancing Choose”
  5. The Roots – “The Next Movement”
  6. A Tribe Called Quest – “Can I Kick It?”
  7. M.I.A. – “Pull Up the People”
  8. Emmanuel Jal – “Warchild”
  9. Santogold – “Unstoppable”
  10. OK Go – “This Will Be Our Year” (covering the Zombies)

“M79” in danger

February 26, 2009

Cross-town busIf you’re like me and your favorite Vampire Weekend song is “M79” (or even if it isn’t), listen up!

The M79 crosstown bus referenced in the song is just one of the New York City bus routes that risks losing its overnight service as part of the MTA’s proposed service cuts. Most of us in the five boroughs will be affected by the proposal, which includes huge fare hikes, less frequent subway and bus service, and completely eliminating some bus routes.

Visit the Comptroller’s website to find out more and to send a message to New York politicians letting them know how you feel about the proposed service cuts!