Sunday, December 21, 2008

2008 in Review (at least from my perspective)

My list of best and worst things of 2008
Because it is that time that everyone and their mother's cousin write lists about what they liked/loved/hated in the year, I felt the blurge to join in. (Blurge is a conglomeration of the words "blog" and "urge". The word captures the urge to blog about something essentially meaningless i.e. "I am blurging to write about the snow falling.")
I initially thought about creating a top X number of music or books but that has been done so many times this month it seemed a bit excessive and superfluous. The funniest part of these lists is that at least in my case they seem to revolve around the last six months as mental recall seems to fail at any point past that.

Best thing on TV I discovered this year:
Austin City Limits (Gnarls Barkley is surprisingly good live on television; Thievery Corporation is ridiculously good live; Norah Jones is surprisingly boring.)

My top bands of 2008:
Bon Iver-For Emma Forever Ago
Fleet Foxes--Fleet Foxes/Sun Giant
Okkervil River--The Stand-Ins ( I heard Will Sheff DJ on NPR With Bob Boilen. Amazing range of musical influences and knowledge. Excellent session)
Horse Feathers-House with No Name (stellar!)
I would probably include Margo and the Nuclear So and So's but I haven't heard the whole album yet; my bad!

The one band I really, really hope releases an album in 2009:
MeWithoutYou (They went into the studio in Sept.)

First Monday Podcast and Journal AJ Hanna and Joy Austria are fantastic, witty, brilliant and informed. I faithfully listen to their podcast every month, at least once usually twice to make sure I got it all, and I seriously appreciate the range of scholars and opinions they bring through their podcast. Their sessions with Lawrence Lessig and Bloodshot Records this winter were really awesome)
NPR All Songs Considered Podcast (Bob Boilen is a walking, breathing musical encyclopedia with impeccable taste. My favorites podcasts are the ones where Bob Boilen, Carrie Brownstein, (Monitor Mix blogger), Stephen Thompson (editor for Song of the Day), and Robin Hilton (All Songs producer and host of Second Stage) get together and talk about music. I listened to The Year in Review:2008 twice in a row laughing out loud multiple times. This group did a great job with SXSW as well. Great music; great interviews and good opinions. One of the other best sessions was the Bon Iver concert from SXSW; brilliant! (These guys do an excellent job; good interviews, about 4-5 songs per session, good sound balance, really wide and awesome mix of bands. They make me want to move to Cincinnati.) Awesome library blog; diverse and informed.
In the Library with the Lead Pipe:This is also a great library blog which ties connections to library practice and other thought processes; excellent.
LibraryJuice: Great name, great concept. Titled with "On the intersection of libraries, politics and culture" and definitely meets that title quite well. Did I mention that they are also a publishing press? They have some great titles that I am eager to read, check it out here.

Best Books I read in 2008
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close -- Jonathan Safran Foer
Control Revolution -- James Beniger
The Life of the Mind -- James Schall
Surprised by Hope -- N.T. Wright
More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Metaphor -- George Lakoff and Mark Turner
Metaphors We Live By -- George Lakoff and Mark Johnson
A Mighty Heart -- Marianne Pearl
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again -- David Foster Wallace
A Dove Descending -- Thomas Howard
Jesus of Hollywood -- Adele Reinhartz

Excellent Coffee
Paradise Roaster's (These guys are super, timely and caring customer service, quick shipping, amazing and top-shelf selections of coffee. I would highly encourage a purchase of their coffee. It's good for your as well as being a spot-on sophisticated gift!!)

Personally exciting
New job as Director of Library Services at Davis College.

Personally horrible:
Not selling our home so that during the week my wife is living in Phila while I live in Binghamton, NY. Anybody want to buy a house, that would make our year!

Merry Christmas! Peace.

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