Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2005 In Music and Words

Yes, I make lists. Sort of. What of it?

(Too bad this is a smiley-free zone.)


2005 was a good year for music. I discovered some older artists who were new to me and found I liked plenty of the new kids on the block too. (No, not them!)

I always liked the blues but tended to focus more on blues-influenced rockers like the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck, George Thorogood, Wet Willie, the Allman Brothers and Led Zep. I'd listen to some B.B. King and Albert King and Johnny Winter now and then but it wasn't until last year that I spent time going to the source. This year I discovered Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Bobby Blue Bland and a host of others.

The simplicity and emotion of the blues speaks to me. It's just pure storytelling, set to music.

As for the current crop of folks, I like a lot of them: Green Day, Coldplay, The Killers, KT Tunstall, 3 Doors Down, Martha Wainwright, Low Millions and a bunch more I forget.

Song of the year is a tough call. Leading contenders are The Arcade Fire's Rebellion (Lies), KT Tunstall's Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, Green Day's Holiday and the Goo Goo Dolls' Better Days.

But (fusses with envelope) the winner is:

The Killers' All These Things That I Have Done!

This is a multi-layered song that risks a lot - it plays fast and loose with traditional structure while somehow maintaining a toe-tapping (okay, headbanging) beat. It's hynoptic but not in the way trance music is. It's simply a terrific song by a band that I think has a good shot of become one of the all time greats.

Up and coming band: The Arcade Fire (and not because they're Canucks). These folks are good.


A shortish list because I didn't read tons this year.

I enjoyed Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Robin Hobb's Fool's Fate was a satisfying conclusion to her Tawny Man trilogy. Victoria Strauss' The Burning Land was excellent - truly engrossing. It was runner up to my favourite book this year...(drum roll)....

Reading Dan Simmons' Ilium was a pure pleasure. It's a wild blend of history, fantasy and SF that defies a capsule description. You'll just have to pick it up if you like an entertaining writer whose talent is as boundless as his imagination. (And who doesn't?)

Other Stuff

I didn't see a single movie in 2005. Nope, not a one. Not in the theatre. Not on tv. Not via a rental.

HAY! I never claimed to be normal. Oh wait. Yes I have. Often.

Okay. I was fibbing.

I don't watch much tv either, except for Six Feet Under (season #4 up here now), Monk and the Trailer Park Boys.

The latter is hands-down the funniest, most bent, most offensive show I've ever seen. It was bumped from American cable tv. A bit too raw for their tastes I guess. Although there's no nudity or sexual content (beyond innuendo), there is drug (pot) use and a distinct disdain for most societal mores. If it doesn't play where you live, and a near constant stream of expletives isn't going to give you the vapours, try renting a few episodes. They're on DVD now.

There's my cultural highlights of 2005. I'd love to hear about a few of yours.


Anonymous said...

My dad is so smrt lol he liks alot of musik that I lik 2. 1f he played warcrft he would be ub3r l33t |-|4><0|2 lolol!!11!one!1

Good post. Now just do, say, three of these a day and you can call yourself a blogger. :)


Frank Baron said...

Thanks "anonymous" son of mine. ;)

And I was JOKING about using that "l33t" stuff! :)

Anonymous said...

Okay Frank, you HAVE to find the "Blind Boys of Alabama" and download snippets of their songs: in particular, "There Will Be a Light", "Amazing Grace", "Wicked Man". Theirs is a bluesy, soulful mix of clever new lyrics and old gospel hyms....Amazing Grace is to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun"....really cool.

Frank Baron said...

Hey Sandra. Yeah, I have a nodding acquaintance with some of the Blind Boys stuff - particularly the tunes they did with Ben Harper. I like 'em. I'll check out these too.

Thanks. :)

Dawno said...

I am looking forward to more musical experementation in 2006 curtesy of my Christmas iPod. In the car I listen to, and occasionally yell at, NPR, not music. I love 70's rock and a weird eclectic blend of 30's and 40's crooners, jazz and classical.

Your lists are great, and it's fun to get a peek into someone's mind via the lists they share.

Happy De Lurking week! Spread the joy!

Dawno said...

experimentation, too...*sigh*

once the fingers get flying you never know what's going to end up on the page.

Frank Baron said...

Better than "expermentation" Dawno.

That's what you'd do when the contraception plans went awry. :)

Mac said...

*headsmack* I see I got here just in time for the sperm jokes.


Frank, what is this fascination with little critters that swim?

Frank Baron said...

Well Mac, you gotta admire their pluck. I suspect the little beggars know that it's a suicide mission for 99.9999% of them, 99.999% of the time.

Does that deter them?


They put their little heads down and lemming-like, jump off the cliff so to speak.

All in the name of duty.

Excuse me...I seem to have something in my eye....

Anonymous said...

They don't just do it in the name of duty. There's always a cervix charge...

Frank Baron said...

What is it that Jewish folks say when they smack their foreheads..."Oyvary?"


You deserved that one Hilary. :)

Dawno said...

This puts the whole comment I made about "once the fingers get flying you never know what's going to end up on the page." really, really BAD.

Frank Baron said...

Yes it does Dawno. :)

This was a highbrow thread til you came along and lowered the tone. ;)

Dawno said...

Dawno: blissfully unaware that she's supplying the straight lines for 48 years. Accept no substitutes.

Ray Wong said...

Can't take you people anywhere.