Hungry for Blondes

Tully Rohrer

December 9th, 2007

While we were in the Canyonlands, we were approached by this very hungry young coyote. He probably thought he could make easy work of a quite diminutive 5′ 1″ (in heels) Katie. I took this picture as he was trotting away, hence the motion blur.

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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
This was the first song I got from Band of Horses‘ new album Cease to Begin, and it has been one of my favorites all year. More than anything, this track becomes a sing-along because the melody is so infectious. Cease to Begin was not given as much press as the band’s debut EP, but as Ben Bridwell sings in this song, “What the writer’s say means s*** to me now.” And rightfully so, because the music speaks for itself.

Decide for yourself: Band of Horses - The General Specific (From the Cease to Begin LP)

13. St. Vincent - Now. Now.
For the second year in a row, Annie Clark makes a mark on my year-end list. Now. Now. is the opener to her debut album, Marry Me, and it sends the message that St. Vincent is going to be a fixture of the independent music scene for a long time. Known mostly for her work with The Polyphonic Spree as a guitar virtuoso, Clark also has an enchanting voice and a keen songwriting ability. While the highlight of Now. Now. is indeed her dancing guitar work played with harmonics, she supplements it with a chorus of voices, distorted bass, and fluttering strings until she breaks it all down in an awesome cacophony of sound. I expect great things from Annie Clark.

Decide for yourself: St. Vincent - Now. Now. (From the Marry Me 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
Handsome Furs is made up of Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner and his wife Alexei Perry. It’s no secret that Boeckner is the brains of the operation, and the band succeeds despite the fact that Perry can support only with the help of a drum machine. That, however, makes it all the more impressive how strong Plague Park is. Lyrically, it depicts a passive struggle with technology and urban life, while musicically the songs amble about at a passive mid-tempo that allows the focus to shift towards Boeckner’s unique voice and melodic structures. Most importantly, it is satiating as we wait for the next Wolf Parade record to be released.

Decide for yourself: Handsome Furs - Hearts of Iron

13. St. Vincent - Marry Me
The aforementioned Annie Clark created both one of the best songs of the year in “Now. Now.” and also one of the best albums of the year with Marry Me. If that weren’t enough, she’s also funny. Take the song title “Jesus Saves, I Spend” for example. Or how about the fact that the title of the album comes from the retort Maeby (from TV’s Arrested Development) uses to deflect criticism or uncomfortable situations. Fortunately for Clark, there should be little criticism of this album. The orchestral and sinister “Paris is Burning” was one of my top five songs of 2006, and the album continues to build on one strong song after another. “All My Stars Aligned” wraps sweeping strings around a beautiful ballad, “The Apocalypse Song” runs an undercurrent of urgency into a soaring chorus, and title track “Marry Me” is dangerous to listen to because it will be stuck in your head for weeks. Most impressive is the sophistication of the arrangements - Annie Clark has a long musical career ahead of her. Marry Me is definitely the most impressive debut album of the year.

Decide for yourself: St. Vincent - Paris is Burning

”oh, hey, katie, do you mind getting some fire wood?”

daunte culpepper — December 9th, 2007

I love that you can see every hair on his pretty little head!

Annie — December 10th, 2007

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