2007 had to have been one of the most musically packed years of my life. i think that it even rivals those great pre-missionary years when Peter Dangerfield and I practically lived at used record stores. So, here is a list of my 40 favorite albums that were released this past year. There were a few other albums that I liked that aren't here, and a few that i know i'll like but I haven't had the chance to hear yet (jimmy eat world, ghostface killa, wu-tang clan), but the list had to end somewhere, and 40 seemed about right. Also, for some of the bands, I've included some links in case you want to exercise your clicking and reading muscles. Oh, and I do have to make a confession about #39 on the list. I haven't actually heard very much of this album, nor do I own it, but i've included it because a lot of the songs that I have heard were in ryan's room the other night while Tony Salvucci gave us a very emotionaly charged karaoke session. so that pretty much made it a lock for the top 40. --matthew TOp 40 Albums of 2007 artist - album 40. Okkervil River - golden opportunitiesep 39. R. Kelly - double up 38. Yeah Yeah Yeah's - is isep 37. BOAT - lets drag our feet 36. Shocking Pinks - shocking pinks 35. Yeasayer - all hour cymbals 34. White Rabbits - fort nightly 33. Modest Mouse - we were dead before the ship even sank 32. Liars - liars 31. Sunset Rubdown - random spirit lover 30. Kevin Drew - Broken Social Scene presents... Spirit If 29. Bishop Allen - the broken string 28. Apostle of Hustle - national anthem of nowhere 27. Grizzly Bear - friends ep 26. St. Vincent- marry me 25. the Deadly Syndrome - the ortolan 24. Wilco - sky blue sky 23. Kanye West - graduation 22. LCD Soundsystem- sound of silver 21. Justice - t 20. Interpol - our love to admire 19. Black Kids -wizard of ahhhsep 18. Caribou - andorra 17. Blitzen Trapper - wild mountain nation 16. Band of Horses- cease to begin 15. the Shins - wincing the night away 14. Chromeo - fancy footwork 13. M.I.A. - Kala 12. Jay-Z - American Gangster 11. Albert Hammond Jr. - yours to keep 10. the National - boxer 9. Okkervil River - stage names 8. Radiohead - in rainbows 7. Animal Collective- strawberry jam 6. Menomena - friend or foe 5. Panda Bear- person pitch 4. Spoon - ga ga ga ga ga 3. Feist - the reminder 2. Handsome Furs - plague park 1. Arcade Fire- neon bible
Here is a little slide-show of some of our favorite photographs from the past year. There's not much more to say about it than that. Oh, but if you find yourself bummed out because you didn't make it into the slide-show -- don't fret, because you can always just try harder next year.
The wedding was Julie's, the funeral was Ashley's. Sometimes at weddings they serve a full buffet line for dinner. Sometimes they have D.J.'s. D.J.'s always, not sometimes, play awful music and make pervy jokes. Sometimes while you wait for your table to be dismissed to the buffet line, D.J.'s play trivia games. And sometimes, rare and alarming times, you look up to find your sister singing the theme song to the Jeffersons with an unknown partner. These are the times you are grateful that you have a digital camera that takes video and a blog so that you have a platform to broadcast it over the internet.
(During these same times you are able to capture a family picture like this:)
When I was single I used to frequent nail salons to have my fingers and toes serviced. I would go on Saturday afternoons, sometimes I would go with my sisters or other lady friends or by myself, it didn't matter. I just liked to go and read trashy magazines and listen to over caffeinated middle age women yell at their husbands and children on their cell phones. It was fun, but never did I think it was necessary, I was sure that I would be capable of maintaining and painting my own nails. I got married and then I got poor so I no longer went to nail salons on Saturday afternoons. And sometime after that I realized that in fact I am not capable of painting my toes and fingers. It is hard, I am very messy at it and whenever I attempt it I become depressed and miss my days of expendable income and youth. If I were ever a Young Womens leader I would give a lesson stating the facts about being young and married.
sometimes this: also means this: (I would use this very picture because it is grotesque and scary and reminds me of the photos they used in health class to scare you into being abstinent) and this: (enlarge photo to view this poorly executed polish job.) Can you deal with it?
December 4th is an important date in the Brown household. It's a day to celebrate the births of a few of our favorite people... AtticusMinharo (our half brazillian nephew), and Sean Carter (aka: Jay-Z). I don't want to downplay our respect for Jigga, but we are able to see him anytime we want on the internet, or listen to one of his many albums that we own.But Atticus and his sister Macey are now in Pittsburgh, and that makes us miss them a lot more than Jay. So since their parents have yet to start a blog so that they can show us new pictures of them, we will celebrate with these pictures from last Christmas.
Happy 2nd Birthday Atticus! oh, and happy 38th Jay-Z!
Yesterday, mother nature said goodbye to the month of Novemeber with a nice little Guns and Roses salute... lots and lots of cold Novemeber rain. So we too decided to pay homage to Izzy, Slash, and Axl Rose with everyones favorite childhood video.
It's a little long, but so the circle of life, and that's what this video represents... Love, supermodel weddings, death, and face melting guitar solos. Oh, and just because of the awesomeness of his solos in front of the church in the desert (halfway through), or the funeral solo (at the end) I can forgive Slash of all his trespasses (ie. Slash's Snakepit, and Velvet Revolver).
In my previous post I admitted to being a thief. In this post I am admitting to being a liar, and there is no one I love lying to more than myself. I hate to camp. The last time I went camping I swore that I would never go again. I am always cold, I get seasonal vertigo and always have to get up more than once in the night to go to the bathroom. I told myself that this time would be different. I would bring a better sleeping bag, warmer clothes, dehydrate myself a week in advance to avoid peeing on my sweat pants while squatting in the woods at 3am. These were all lies and deep down I must have known it and to insure that I never lie to myself again, my body revolted against me. I was freezing, I got a terrible fever, I spent two hours in the moonlight puking around our campsite, I cried, I threw a tantrum and made Shanna take me home at 6am. Here is a slide show of pictures from the two hours of camping that I did enjoy.
We have been tagged by Cicily to share five random things about ourselves and then tag five other people. Apparently I interpreted five random things to mean five shameful confessions and urge my tagees to do the same.
Lindsay 1. I make a convincing handicapped boy. I discovered it in my high school math class and have been trying to use this talent to acquire free stuff ever since. Aren't I adorable?
2. I used to daydream about being diagnosed with a really great and tragic disease and then imagine how everyone would mourn me. I only occasional do this now, only when work is really boring, or someone has wronged me or I'm alone in the car.
3. I love minivans! I love them in their array of colors and sizes. I would own one now but am not brave enough to face the social stigmas of my peers for being a childless woman in my twenties driving a minivan.
4. I steal. I steal stuff from my parents house every time I go over there. Cleaning supplies, food, home decor, spare change..... I have no limits and rarely feel guilty for doing this. I like to think that they would have given it to me anyways so its not really stealing. But I am afraid that no one thinks this is a cute quirk like I imagine but a real problem with theft.
5. In junior high I told some of my friends that my Dad got Spinal Meningitis and was now a little "slow", in order to answer some questions they had about him. It worked.
Matthew 1. In the 11th grade my Spanish II teacher pulled me aside after class. She mentioned that the administration had informed her of my severe learning disabilities and that she would be willing to offer me extra tutoring. I angrily responded by telling her "I'm not retarded!" So, she then attempted to calm me down by saying that it must have been a mistake and that the office had me confused with one of the school's other Matt Brown's. Ever since that day, my greatest fear in life is that I actually am down-syndrome and that no one has ever told me because they fear my reaction.
2. By the end of next November, I will have voted for George W. Bush in 3 different presidential elections.
3. I wanna be MADE! For most of my life, I have sat at home on the weekends and dreamt about going to raves and foam parties, but I've never gone because of my severe self-esteem issues. So now, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that MTV's show Made, will accept my admission tape and help make me into a rave super-star.
4. When my friends would buy packs of candy cigarettes and sit around and pretend to be smoking, I would pretend that mine were laced with PCP, then I would jump through glass windows and pulverize every living thing in sight with my fists.
5. I used to tell people that I don't like to read. Then Lindsay told me that when a person says that they don't like to read, they are really just saying that they are stupid. So, lately I've been telling her that I actually do like to read, and I even go as far as to carry a book with me to some family gatherings... but the truth is, I still really don't like to read.
This is Carla V (I will not give her full name to protect her identity) to her left is Brad( who has been featured on our blog twice, and both times was wearing tank tops.) This post is the first in an installment of what I hope will be a reoccurring segment. Carla V loves to share her knowledge and opinion even when she knows she is in a room of non supporters. Last week she gave us her opinion on digital cameras and questioned why we don't try to capture our memories on 35mm. Carla V is wise and will not be tricked into thinking that digital cameras are convenient and give you the freedom to take numerous pictures and delete them later. She hates to look at pictures through the LCD screen but most of all she hates that we carry our camera with us everywhere. Perhaps she does not subscribe to the business of memory making or she is of the opinion that our lives are not nearly as interesting as we think and can not fathom why we would want to capture any aspect of it on film. I can only guess at her reasoning but I like to think that Carla V agrees with the Aboriginal school of though that taken one's picture steals their soul. My only response is that if I did not carry my camera with me at all times I would never been able to capture this:
Being in a band has got to take a lot of hard work. Between practicing, touring, recording, cocaine snorting, and womanizing, a band member is going to be stretched pretty thin. There is a certain level of dedication that is required, and it is for that very reason that our band, Proud Tears, has never really taken off. We like our boring old addiction free lives just fine for now. However, I am confident that our hiatus will end someday, and that our love for making beautiful music will be rekindled. And when that beautiful day comes I imagine that it will look something like this:
Lot's of tribal-like face paint, lots of facial hair, lots of white clothing, and lots of music from the soul. This is definitely my favorite song of the moment, and this live performance is exactly what I've always hoped that Proud Tears will someday be capable of.
Lately, the Shins have been on heavy rotation around our house, which is nice because it's like visiting an old friend that you haven't seen in a while. Then yesterday, I saw this video from one of their shows from earlier this year, and it reminded me of when we saw them in March. The video is filmed and edited well, and the song is one of their best... And plus, everyone likes the Shins, right?
This is a group of local actors doing a reenactment of the fated Bulls Vs. Suns 1993 NBA finals. Very convincing.
This is a group of local all stars who are in the throws of a 7 game play off series. Back Row from left to right: Matthew (just excited at the chance to make use of his Nike Lebron James II's that he won on ebay), Lindsay (infamous for questionable tactics and flagrant fouls), Shanna (rebound machine), Jeremy ( heart of a lion and unquestionably the smelliest man on the court), Stacie (plays shoeless to show her competitors her hardcore attitude towards the game). Front Row from left to right: Brad (stingy defense, motivated by the chance to wear tank tops), Ryan (could make Lew Alcindor cry), Ty (sports a league approved rat tail)
Game 1: 24-22 a close win by Jeremy, Brad, Shanna and Stacie Game 2: will be Monday night- details and player stats will follow.
There is not much to say about this video except that 1. It's on live TV 2. Tracy Morgan is blowing my mind right now. 3. I love how quick he is to turn the conversation to awesome, and then keep it there. 4. This just gets me pumped up to watch him on 30 Rock, tonight.
This is my eldest sister Ashley. She is nice, has good hair and her blog is linked to mine in the right hand column. She has not updated her blog for 7 weeks. This displeases me. Each morning as I eat breakfast before leaving for work I indulge in all of the new and exciting blog posts that were created the night before. Imagine my disappointment as each day I find that same old crusty post from 7 weeks ago. Blog reading is my one true joy in the morning. I have quit reading the news (Us magazine online) and instead read funny anecdotes aboutJessica's kids and the weird things you can make inside a pumpkin (by the way Jessica, my mom has rated your blog number one because she thinks you are so cute and also I think she has a crush on your husband. Who can blame her after that barf training video?) Ashley, you are in the ripest blog season of you life- trips to Argentina, late night visitors showing up in loin clothes, survivng adult braces. I will out you if I have to. Post or I will de-link you and tell your stories on MY blog. This are my demands, you have 48 hours.
This yet to be released commercial is such a blessing to the world that it makes my body weep... not just my eyes, but my whole body. As if Steve Nash wasn't already at a level of awesomeness that was otherwise unheard of for a white person to reach, he goes and does something like this...
Nash is so ferociously awesome in the skateboarding/basketball clips that he even tricks an American like me into believing that soccer is a cool sport.
We started out on Friday with a smooth cruise around the valley's freeway system, which eventually led us to the Verschoor's pad for a Suns game extravaganza. That's where we got Senator V to show us his new vespa cruiser (see picture above), and then the Suns were crushed by what should have been a much weaker Laker team (see link above). On Saturday after we helped Jimmy and Allison move, we decided to let loose and celebrate. So, we met up with Brad and Shana and hit the valley festival circuit, which consisted of the Scottsdale Greek festival and the Chandler Day of the Dead Celebration. We spent all day getting cultured, and it ended up feeling pretty nice. Luckily, we took way too many pictures, and we put them to use in this pretty little slideshow. Also, in an even luckier turn of events, we found the perfect song to accompany any slideshow. You're welcome.
Can you guess what Matthew and I are for Halloween?
A) The best looking boys from the 8th grade? (you know the ones who developed early and got all the babes because they could man up and grow mustaches and acne.)
C) or are you not sure that this is a costume and are more worried that we are going to shiv you and steal your camera?
Unfortunately there are no winners to this Halloween guessing game because I am not sure what the original thought was behind these poorly executed costumes. All I know was that I spent Saturday night in my in-laws backyard with a drawn on mustache and no real explanation. Should I question why I dressed up like a 14 year old boy when all the other self respecting girls my age are dressed as a sexy (you fill in the blank: kitten, nurse, pirate...)?
I guess the only other person that needs to do more soul searching than myself is the owner of this curiously pink Honda Del Sol that I spotted in the SCC parking lot. Judging by their vanity plates we can assume they are known as "Supa Human"
Supa Human if you are still out there and have found yourself reading my blog, then look me up. I'm the strangely feminine boy in a hoodie with a penciled in mustache. I think we can relate.
Does this look like dinner to you? If you come to my house around supper time, it will.
This blog post was started by a very ambitious Lindsay, but along with a few other household projects tonight, she was unable to finish it because of a severe case of the crankies. She asked me to wrap up this post in her stead, and like my two biggest heroes -- Sir Lancelot and King Aurthur, I am a man of my word, and finish it I will. So, while Lindsay lets Tyra Banks and America's Next Top Model calm her in the next room, let me start out by saying that she (Lindsay) is a really great cook. She is creative in the kitchen and usually she comes up with healthy and delicious meals for us, but tonight she wasn't having any of that. So she followed her inner chubby-kid, and she made us a dinner of microwavable Lean Pockets, cottage cheese, and soda. We followed this entree with a popsicle dessert. While it may not have been her finest culinary hour, it did lead us to an important discovery, which is the real reason behind this post. ...Lean Pockets make you lose weight!!! Just check out this link, and you'll find out for yourself why dozens of folks are already telling the conventional school of thought behind healthy eating, to, "Go To Hell!" Tales from the Scales I mean, come on! Lean Pockets made one of these dudes loose 282 pounds, and now he can fulfill his "life-long dream". There's even a gal on there from my very own hometown of Chandler (ages 2 - 12), who lost 100 lbs, and that hits home for me. Thank you Lean Pockets, and thank you Lindsay.
This, of course, is a picture of Lindsay before her lean pocket/cottage cheese dinner made her cranky. ***P.S. -- the bottle of wine in the background was a gift from our Phoenix landlord, KoYu. For the last year and a half this unopened bottle has been displayed in each of our homes as a reminder of his great landlordship. ***P.S.S. -- Sorry for the strong language in this post (My fantasy basketball league has already threatened me with disciplinary action for my inappropriate language on the message boards this season, and the season hasn't even officially begun yet. I guess that it's just my way.) But since my Mom would be the most likely reader to be offended by this, and she's already told us that she doesn't read our blog anymore because of my R. Kelly post, I decided to just go for it. ***P.S.S.S. -- Mom, if you have for some great reason decided to give this blog a second or third chance, then I do sincerely apologize.
May I apologize to the faithful viewers of our blog (if we have any) for our absence. We have been moving this last week. And with all of the joys of moving there is the joy of decorating a new house and finding a new place for Mrs. Kitty.
Oh my, have I not introduced you to Mrs. Kitty? Pardon me. I came across Mrs. Kitty in a discard bin at Ross. I know what you are thinking, they have a discard bin at Ross? Yes, yes and a double meow-yes. At first she did not catch my eye because she is not hideously outrageous or tacky, she is more subtle and refined and that is how she won me over and practically stole the $2.39 out of my pocketbook.
As you can see she is not just another cat dressed as a human she is a cat dressed as a lady of the Renaissance. Other then wanting to dress my walls with great art, I bought Mrs. Kitty because everyone hates her and people who do not know me well become embarrassed for me when they see her hanging on my wall. She also makes an interesting statement, not about herself but about people who create the market for animals dressed in human clothing. You know who you are, you are probably watching season 1 of Ellen on DVD right now.
Mrs. Kitty's close up
me getting pumped up to find Mrs. Kitty a new home.
This is our friend Brad. We like Brad. He is loyal, he is a civil war buff and he looks great in a grey tank. We went to dinner with Brad and his wife Shanna. We had a good time, but we had an even better time once Brad asked us if we would be interested in seeing him in his grey tank. As a rule, we are always interested in seeing a man in any color tank. So this one is for you Brad, dinner was great but you were even better.
First of all, let me just say that the USA network owns the market on daytime television, period. Why on earth would anyone need to watch any other channel from 8am to 4pm? USA has it all. As for Walker today, it was a doozy, and it pretty much rewrote the whole history of the church. It all started when the gang of Rangers got involved in a fierce family history/genealogy session. After a while, they couldn't control themselves any longer and they decided that they had to tell the tale of one of Walker's ancestors. I think his name was Cooper, and he was from the exact same cut as Walker. They both love boots, hats, chaps, horses, and perfectly executed roundhouse kicks. The only noticeable difference between the two is their patrol territory. While Walker works the modern day Dallas streets and pastures, Cooper was all about marshaling the wild west. The differences stop there... in fact, Cooper and Walker looked exactly the same, and they executed their martial arts in exactly the same way, too. It felt like science to witness such awesome DNA being passed down through the generations. But to make a 60 minute story short, I will get down to business. Cooper met up with a strange but charitable group of plains crossers, called Mormons. He defended them from vicious mobs of hillbillies, and he must have even found time to apply their make-up and to do their hair, because those pioneers looked good. Eventually he led them to the Salt Lake Valley, and then rode off into the wilderness, while all of the men and women stared at him longingly. Then the narrator sang a rockin' country tune about Cooper and the Mormons, which I'll be looking for in the next edition of the primary songbook.
In addition to the journal entry I'll try to include a Texas Ranger highlight clip. This one is brought to us via the worlds second biggest (second only to Ty's dad) Walker fan, Conan O'Brien. In this clip Walker does some substitute teaching at the school of Hard Knocks.
When someone special in your life has a birthday you ponder the ways in which you can celebrate them. Well, for you Adrianne, this was the only way we knew how. FelizCumpleanos, hermana! * we apologize for the quality of the video but not the dancing, that was strait from the heart.