Tully Rohrer

January 23rd, 2009

This photo is from a visit with a Mae Manai Karen Hill Tribe a few hours north of Chiang Mai in Bong Duet National Park. Katie and I trekked a number of miles into the jungle and met many villagers along the way. If you’re a westerner and you’ve never been to Thailand, I have to clarify a few things for you. In Thailand, every westerner is treated like a walking ATM and every Thai is an entrepreneur. Even the children. In this case, these three kids attempt to sell the Thai version of Lay’s Potato Chips to people that trek by on the trail. They could not say a single English word - but they would do everything in their power to sell you something. At least until you demonstrate clearly that you’re not buying. Then it’s doodling on cardboard time.

More photos of these kids later.

In the meantime, enjoy my annual year-end ”Favorite Music of the Year” list:

Top Songs of the Year

20. The Notwist - Boneless
19. Mates of State - My Only Offer
18. She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
17. Portishead - Machine Gun
16. Sigur Rós - Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur
15. Annuals - Sore
14. Death Cab for Cutie - Cath…
13. The Hold Steady - Sequestered in Memphis
12. Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood
11. Thao - Beat (Health, Life and Fire)
10. Wolf Parade - Call It a Ritual
09. Deerhunter - Nothing Ever Happened
08. Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s - As Tall As Cliffs
07. TV on the Radio - Love Dog
06. The Dodos - Walking
05. Kaki King - Can Anyone Who Has Heard This Music Really Be a Bad Person?
04. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Glue Girls
03. Vampire Weekend - Mansard Roof

02. Blitzen Trapper - Gold for Bread

Coming on the heels of last year’s Wild Mountain Nation, I was hoping Blitzen Trapper would release another upbeat, twangy gem in 2009. Fortuntately there were many of them on Furr. My favorite one is this track, ”Gold For Bread”, an up-tempo, hybridized indie rock slice of perfection.

Decide for yourself: Blitzen Trapper - Gold For Bread (From the Furr LP)

01. Tokyo Police Club - In A Cave
This song is a grower. I wouldn’t have said this was my favorite song of the year unless I sat down to make this list. It never really blew my mind with unique instrumentation or stunning complexity… but I did find myself giving it more spins than anything else in 2008, and it’s continuing into 2009. Give it a listen and try not to get hooked.

Decide for yourself: Tokyo Police Club - In A Cave (From the Elephant Shell LP)

Top Albums of the Year

10. Wolf Parade - At Mt. Zoomer
09. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
08. Portishead - Third
07. The Dodos - Visiter
06. Sigur Rós - Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
05. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
04. Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s - Animal/Not Animal
03. Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell

02. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Few albums were as divisive in 2008 as this one was. I can see both sides of the argument because Vampire Weekend is not necessarily one of the most complex or even ”best” albums of the year… but it is still one of my favorites. It’s an immensely enjoyable and consistent album with a few sub-par songs that interrupt the flow a little bit. If you take the great songs from this album and put them in a playlist, though, you’re hard-pressed to find any downsides… even if the lead singer did steal your friend’s ID in college.

Decide for yourself: Vampire Weekend - A-Punk - A-Punk

01. Blitzen Trapper - Furr
If Vampire Weekend failed at all due to inconsistency, Blitzen Trapper made up for everything. Furr is an astounding achievement in its consistency - almost every track can stand out at any given time. The only downside, ”Love U”, is really only a downside because of how grating it is following the sublime ”Not Your Lover”. Portland’s best kept secret is out… buy Furr as soon as you can.

Decide for yourself: Blitzen Trapper - God and Suicide

that ’Y’ in ’Lay’ looks like an upside down ’R.’ HA. genius.

v — January 23rd, 2009

at least they’re learning to be good businessmen in the future.. :D i wish these kids fare well in their futures too.. nice shot.. :)

RianJanuary 24th, 2009

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