A Great Place to Sit

Tully Rohrer

December 17th, 2007

While I was frantically running around taking pictures, the smart people were sitting at the top of the bowl enjoying the sunset light on the Delicate Arch. But I have more to show for it, don’t I?!

The countdown continues!

Top Songs of the Year

20. Handsome Furs - Sing! Captain
19. Beirut - Elephant Gun
18. Spoon - Don’t Make Me a Target
17. Kevin Drew - Lucky Ones
16. Rogue Wave - Lake Michigan
15. Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
14. Band of Horses - The General Specific
13. St. Vincent - Now. Now.
12. The Shins - Sleeping Lessons
11. Caribou - Eli
10. Andrew Bird - Dark Matter
09. Modest Mouse - March Into the Sea
08. Feist - Past in Present
07. The New Pornographers - My Rights Versus Yours

06. The National - Mistaken For Strangers
If you don’t know The National, you should. They craft songs with no weaknesses - the lyrics, atmosphere, instruments and vocals are as strong as can be. It’s probably best to listen to “Mistaken for Strangers” four times. First, listen to the understated melody. Secondly, focus on the driving drum work. Thirdly, pay attention to the beautiful surrounding instruments. And finally, decipher the lyrics. “Mistaken for Strangers” cynically describes the truly bizarre mid- to late-twenties period of one’s life. Beringer sings, “Another uninnocent, elegant fall into the unmagnificent life of adults…” You know the scene - your debaucherous, ripped jeans-wearing college friend that gets a job as a financial planner wearing a suit all the time. “You get mistaken for strangers by your own friends when you pass them at night under the silvery Citibank lights.” The story is vivid enough that even if you don’t have that friend, after listening to this song, you’ll think you do.

Decide for yourself: The National - Mistaken for Strangers (From the Boxer LP)

05. John Vanderslice - White Dove
While this song is sonically spectacular, this one is all about lyrics. After describing the kidnapping of his neighbor’s daughter, Vanderslice questions the whereabouts of our metaphorical “white dove”. Perhaps one of the most poignant criticisms of the state of the world in music, there was no sadder, more moving, nor more powerful song made this year.

Decide for yourself: John Vanderslice - White Dove (From the Emerald City LP)

Top Albums of the Year

20. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
19. Elliott Smith - New Moon
18. Blonde Redhead - 23
17. Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
16. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
15. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
14. Handsome Furs - Plague Park
13. St. Vincent - Marry Me
12. Feist - The Reminder
11. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
10. Rogue Wave - Asleep at Heaven’s Gate
09. Kevin Drew - Spirit If…
08. Caribou - Andorra
07. Iron & Wine - The Shepherd’s Dog

06. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Yet another fantastic album from one of the most legendary indie bands. In my opinion, the first single, “Dashboard”, is the weakest song on this album. The addition of ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr was a seamless addition, and resulted in arguably the most consistent Modest Mouse album since The Lonesome Crowded West. Background vocals from James Mercer of The Shins are also excellently used to complement another strong performance from Isaac Brock. Impressive from start to finish.

Decide for yourself: Modest Mouse - We’ve Got Everything

05. The New Pornographers - Challengers
For the fourth album in a row, The New Pornographers have created an amazingly consistent listening experience. I have a great deal of difficulty listening to just one Challengers‘ track in a sitting because when one song ends, I just want to hear the next one. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - in terms of blissful melody, there is no better band. None. Any track off this album could take the “catchiest melody of the year” award. Impeccable. Flawless. Throw any positive adjective out there, and chances are that it applies to Challengers.

Decide for yourself: The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbour

This is a great photo T, especially since at first I thought the title was ”A Great Piece of Shit”. I especially like how the holes in the stone almost make it look like a small piece of pumice or something, when in reality its so huge.

Becky — December 17th, 2007

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