I recently listened to an argument about how people that are still discovering new music are just dedicated and people that used to, but now aren't, are just old. The other friend argued back something about having time and making time. I posed a third option: perhaps people are no less dedicated or have no less time. Perhaps people have different kinds of time-- some which allows them to peruse every album that drops, and others that don't.
Ironically, my argument was an effort to defend myself for not bringing much to the table that was new for either one of them. I was surprised later when I realized that I had actually acquired a good bit of music that I really enjoyed this year...
You know where all the other "Best Of..." lists are, so I'm not going to link them. But, the best one to read, I think, is MOKB: Senior Superlatives.
I didn't buy everything I wanted, and I didn't like everything I bought (or heard). But here is what I bought and liked...
In late 2006, Justin Vernon, a musician in Eau Claire, Wis., recorded nine songs while staying at his parents' hunting cabin in northern Wisconsin after a breakup with a girlfriend and his long-time band. He used just a desktop computer with recording software, a three-piece drum set and a guitar.
A few months later, Mr. Vernon posted the songs on his MySpace page, hoping to get some listeners and feedback. He also printed 500 copies of a CD with those songs to sell to friends and fans and send to music bloggers for review.
He got that and much more.
Interesting story about Bon Iver's success being driven by the blog world as well as shifting trends within the music industry. The article concludes:
"The Internet has been like the French Revolution for the music business," says Panos Panay, founder and CEO of Sonicbids. The aristocracy "has faded" as the "cost of distribution, production and even getting connected has come down." Now, he adds, anyone with "a niche and devoted fans can make a living."
I would guess that For Emma, Forever Ago has gotten more play in our house than anything else this year and will definitely be in the top, if not at the top, of my 2008 "Best of" list (coming tomorrow).
Do yourself a favor if you haven't already-- take some of the money that grandma gave you DOWNLOAD For Emma, Forever Ago right this minute! (it can even be on your "best of 2008" list!)
It was brought to my attention today, once again, to my deep shame, that I have not updated my Books & Music lists since 2005. No. Really. The main excuse on my really long list of excuses is that something got screwed up in the code of the way I was posting stuff I was reading and listening to, and I never took the time to fix it (If someone wants to show me how to use last.fm I might be up for that)
So, for Wes (who already knows what I'm listening to) and the other two people that care, here goes...
In other news, I am working on my list of favorite albums of 2008, though I have not listened to that much new music this year. When I was working on my Th.M, I read something like 15 hours a day-- which had me perfectly situated to listen to every new album that dropped. Since I've entered the world of fatherhood and church planting, I haven't had that kind of time. Nevertheless, look for my (albeit smaller) list of favorite albums of 2008, sometime next week. There has been some great music this year!
Finally, just because they've been playing Christmas music in stores since midnight on Halloween doesn't mean that it's good. Obviously I love Sufjan's Christmas albums, but I'm also a huge fan of Duvall's Christmas album, O Holy Night. But as far as real Advent music goes, I don't think it gets any better than Sojourn's Advent songs. Find out how to get it free below...
The article contains an embedded mp3 from Lori's 2003 record 1Beginning and discusses her return to song writing.
"The Christian music industry caused me to shut down," she says. "It's a little too much propaganda and not enough art."
She mentions the time that a Christian radio station insisted on removing the word bimbo from a Waterdeep song. (The band obliged, grudgingly.) Also frustrating: her sense that she was stuck in a genre that left no room for complexity, including the things that most inspired her — "hard stuff, sadness, confusion." (read more)