Arcs and an Arch

Tully Rohrer

December 15th, 2007

There was so much color in the thumbnails from over the last week that I felt that it was time for a black and white image. This is Delicate Arch in Arches National Park again. I love the gentle arcs of shading in the stone in the foreground.

Songs and Albums of the year, continued:

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
While her hit single “1 2 3 4″ is undeniably cute, the best song on The Reminder, “Past In Present”, exhibits Leslie Feist at her power-chord rocking roots. If you’re not hooked by the hard-strumming acoustic intro, you will be by the slide guitar melody. And by the time she starts singing, you know The Reminder is worthy of its success on the strength of this tune alone. So, yes, there are some cutesy handclaps in the chorus, but as she laments how inescapable her past is, you understand.

Decide for yourself: Feist - Past In Present (From the The Reminder LP)

07. The New Pornographers - My Rights Versus Yours
No one writes melodies like this band. The New Pornographers are masters of the craft. Listen to the delicate “oohs” at the 35 second mark. Then listen to the stuttering bass kick in at 1:17. Listen to the simply astonishing male-female harmonies throughout. I challenge (pun intended) you to give this song three dedicated listens and then tell me that you’re not singing “A new empire in rags… the truth in one free afternoon” for the rest of the day. This is quite possibly the most infectious song of the year. Give it a chance - you’ll thank me for it.

Decide for yourself: The New Pornographers - My Rights Versus Yours (From the Challengers 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
Andorra is a grower. It took me a while to fully appreciate this album, but, boy am I glad I gave it the time - it is exponentially rewarding through repeated listens. Dan Snaith masterfully combines modern drumming and electronic instrumentation to Beach Boys-style melodies, and the result is nothing short of spectacular. With the number of varied ideas and subtle intricacies, it’s unbelievably impressive that Snaith created this album hermetically - he played every instrument and wrote and sang every note. Plus, it has “Eli” (see Songs of the Year above). It’s a work of undeniable genius.

Decide for yourself: Caribou - After Hours

07. Iron & Wine - The Shepherd’s Dog
I wasn’t sure how much more Iron & Wine I could take. As good as Sam Beam’s music was up until the release of The Shepherd’s Dog, I didn’t think that another fingerpicked song in dropped D tuning would impress me all that much. It seems that Sam heard my concerns, however, and he created an album that sounds unlike any Iron & Wine album before it. With more percussion and more rich instrumentation that ever before, The Shepherd’s Dog showcases the immense talent that Sam Beam really has. Opener “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car” floored me, and every track after it strengthens the message that Iron & Wine is one of the best artists currently making music. Plus it has “Boy With a Coin”, which is yet to come in the Songs of the Year section.

Decide for yourself: Iron & Wine - Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car

Gorgeous! It looks perfect in B&W, I love the lines, textures, and shadows. Beautiful photo.

SaraDecember 15th, 2007

Dude, exceptional job with this. The processing is great, and so film-like. What’d you do to convert this to B&W?

Jonny — December 15th, 2007

Great texture and form - nice one!

antonDecember 16th, 2007

Thanks Jonny, I appreciate your input. I actually used a blend of a hue/saturation layer and a channel mixer layer to improve the contrast of the b&w. I was pleased with the result.

TullyDecember 16th, 2007

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