I recently went back and looked at my post I made a year ago detailing my favorite music of the year, and I have to admit some of the albums I listed have not found there way into regular rotation. It was actually difficult to come up with a list of 10 albums I really liked from 2012. A lot of my favorite bands put out albums I felt were a bit mediocre (Animal Collective, Band of Horses). All of the albums I had previously not on my list were sorely because I had never listened to them before. Plenty of new artists (to me at least) were making great music, showing that if I push past some of my boundaries I can find some great music.
I have a feeling it will be so much easier for my end-of-year for 2013 (so much good music)If I were to change my rankings right now it would look like this:
10 (7). JJ DOOM - Key to the Kuffs
I may not love every track off this album (like any MF DOOM album it’s full of skits and instrumental/skits) but here DOOM raps over different types of beats than we’re used to from him.
9 (NR). Trail of Dead - Lost Songs
I’m a huge Trail of Dead fanboy so the only reason this wasn’t on the list was because I hadn’t listened to it yet. Not my favorite by them but another great album.
8 (2). Grizzly Bear - Shields
Not much more to say than what I said last year. Moved down the list mainly because I discovered music I liked more than it.
7 (NR). Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
In a great year for the rebirth of R&B, here’s another one. The songs here are very catchy. While not groundbreaking like Frank Ocean, that’s not the intent here.
6 (3). Beach House - Bloom
This album made me really like Beach House. Before Bloom I thought they were a bit overrated but this one really changed my mind.
5 (NR). Grimes - Visions
I hated this at first. Thought “her voice is too high”, “where are the songs?”, “WTF is she saying?” But after awhile I realized those things don’t matter to me. Oblivion and Genesis are amazing songs and from those alone it would be a top album. But the rest of the album is great too.
4 (NR). Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
When I’m feeling particularly angsty there is little I feel like listening to more than this one. The riffs are loud and chugging while also memorable.
3 (9). Japandroids - Celebration Rock
I wasn’t in the mood for their style of epic choruses and loud guitars when I first got it, so I forgot about it for awhile. But once I picked it up again I fell in love with it. Try to listen to this and not get super amped, and think you can take on the world.
2 (1). Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE
While initially I thought nothing could top this album, I’ve realized my listening habits for Frank Ocean have really dropped off. He’s a great artist, trying to work outside of traditional R&B.
1 (NR). Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city
While I could do without the skits (hmm seems to be a pattern) the songs here are awesome. They are all dense lyrical odes to Compton, while also full of infectious beats and memorable lines. I can’t wait to hear what he’s next album will be like.
Fell off list: Animal Collective - Centipede Hz, Lana del Rey - Born to Die, Band of Horses - Mirage Rock, The xx - coexist, Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits
After watching Captain Philips recently, I had an epiphany; I should write my thoughts down for movies that I’ve recently seen. Even if no one else reads this at least I’ll be getting some practice writing. After years of math-intensive classes with very little writing requirements, I feel like my skills are deteriorating. Anyway, enough already of this Pitchfork-like beginning to this review.
Captain Philips is a terrific movie. It’s just that simple. If you followed the news, or South Park, a few years ago it was unavoidable to hear about the rag tag Somali pirates brought down by the full force of the US Navy, then you already know the ending. Irregardless of knowing the resolution, I was still literally on the edge of my seat throughout the movie. I honestly didn’t know if there were any casualties on the hijacked ship (I won’t spoil it here), and I was rooting for them during their whole ordeal.
Much has been said about the fact that the REAL Captain Philips may have been an asshole, and not as heroic as portrayed on screen. To that I say, this is a movie. It’s trying to tell a story. Real life can’t always make the best stories. I didn’t go to see The Social Network because I wanted a documentary on how Facebook was born. And I didn’t go to see this movie expecting to see the truth. I can go home and read the true accounts, but even that won’t effect how I felt about the movie.
The Pirates: Barkhad Abdi second from left
Now onto the acting, which I felt was the greatest part of the movie. Tom Hanks is fantastic as always. The audience loves him too much to let him play any type of huge jerk; He definitely was a dick in certain situations, but any Captain or boss would have to be. What really surprised me (although maybe it shouldn’t have) was how terrific the first time actors playing the Somali pirates were. Barkhad Abdi (who played the Somali pirate captain Muse) was phenomenal. We could see how conflicted he truly was. He acted like he was in complete control, almost the entire movie. But we could read it on his face and in his eyes that he knew their mission was ultimately doomed. Tom Hanks should certainly get a Best Actor oscar nod (and probably win) but I’m really hoping Barkhad Abdi gets some love and a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. How cool would that be; he acts in his first movie and instantly wins an oscar? I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him.
There was certainly a political element to the movie. In the end, I was actually feeling bad for the pirates. Here are 4 guys (kids mostly, the ages are never said but I’m going to guess teens, early 20s) coming from a shitty village with no infrastructure or hope for work. The waters have been overfished and the only way to make money is to ransom ships. And these guys end up facing off against the US Navy. The pirates never really stood a chance. If they abandon the kidnapping and go back to Somalia they probably are killed for weakness by their warlord boss. Or they wait long enough to get killed or captured by the Navy. Two terrible choiI’m sure much more could be said (and more eloquently) about the movie, but I hope anyone reading this goes out and sees the movie. I can’t recommend it highly enough.