Impending Cheer : Monitor Mix All right, let's get the year-end list out of the way so that we can usher in 2008.

Impending Cheer

All right, let's get the year-end list out of the way so that we can usher in 2008.

First, however, I'll answer my own inquiry from the previous post:

I think Hillary Clinton might in fact make a horrible president, but as some readers pointed out, anyone might.

I have seen a Pink Floyd laser show. It was at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.

I would have made out with Robert Plant in 1974. Hopefully while listening to Physical Graffiti.

And I can't recall for certain, but during my high school years I probably used song lyrics to express myself in a letter. Most likely The Replacements. Paul Westerberg was my poet laureate for a long time.

That's it, I'm afraid.

Ok, 2007.

Albums: The National's Boxer and Blitzen Trapper's Wild Mountain Nation.

The National caught me off guard. I had not listened to their previous work and I bought Boxer on a whim. The first surprise was that I liked it immediately. Not in the instantly gratifying way that actually predicts fatigue, if not outright rejection, after subsequent listens (this phenomenon happens a lot with catchy songs on albums, it's harder to tolerate those songs later on). With The National, it was the singer's voice that drew me in. Deep but not booming. Subdued in a way that conjures atmosphere not apathy. It's vulnerable without veering towards a mock sensitivity. The National's songs remind me of some of The Church's great tunes. The way they swirl around the room so that there is no reason to pick anything apart, they seep into the space and fill the air. The songs take on the shapes of the surroundings, of living room walls or car interiors, like the melodies are turning solid objects into porous ones. For this reason, I listened to Boxer more than any other album this year, it made the spaces I was in sing.

Blitzen Trapper came through my speakers with claws. The first three songs on Wild Mountain Nation were enough to let me know they were the band I was going to preach about all year at cocktail party sermons and in email asides. The opening song, Devil's A Go-Go, is jerky and contorted, it forces the listener to chase the beat but you only get to claim it for a moment. I felt like a cat following a laser pointer. The title track is a beautiful song that brings to mind The Dead, The Kinks, and The Band, if they sang from mountaintops and lived for sunny days when you can see Mt. Hood from any Portland street corner.

In brief.

Television: The Wire Season 4 on DVD.

Film: No Country For Old Men (But maybe only because Portland is too small a market to have yet given us The Savages or There Will Be Blood)

Books: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan and Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke.

Untimely Farewells: Dan Fogelberg and Liam Rector. R.I.P

Monitor Mix will be taking a break from blogging during the holiday week.
Have a wonderful Christmas.
Thank you for reading and take care.