January 03, 2005


A Few of My Favorite Things
(Best of '04 Edition)

The following items are in no particular order. Nor were they all necessarily products of 2004 - but it's the year I experienced them. And yes, I know I'm a walking contradiction: These lists are as silly as it gets but I figured a day away from death and destruction is not such a bad thing after all.

The Best:

01) Nick Cave: Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus (2 powerful discs of gospel-fueled ballads, rock 'n' roll and country blues by a true survivor)


02) Tom Waits: Real Gone + his hilarious interview segment on Letterman (someone get this man his own TV show)


03) The Station Agent (one of those movies that cruises along like a really good song: not a single, wrong note)

station agent

04) The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Seen Greer (the haunting story of a man who, after entering the world in the tiny body of a 70 year old, "grows" physically younger as he ages; also a neat history of late 19th-early 20th century San Francisco)


05) Howard Dean (pre-Iowa; post-Nov. 2nd) Dean

06) Elvis Costello: The Delivery Man (not his best but better than most of garbage out there)

07) Lucinda Williams: Live at Central Park Summerstage (the loosest I've ever seen her; a true honor to have been in the crowd; I'm still waiting for that live disc Lu...)


08) Marianne Faithfull: Before The Poison (finally, an idea that sounded good on paper - Marianne Faithfull + Polly Jean Harvey - actually worked)


09) Wilco: A Ghost is Born + Live at Radio City Music Hall (Jeff Tweedy turns into a bonafide rock star and loses not a single ounce of cred)

10) The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem (comic books, the birth of grafitti & hip-hop and the gentrification of Brooklyn, not to mention great storytelling)


11) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (two words: Kate Winslet)


12) Kill Bill Vol. 2 (two words: Q & U)Kill Bill

13) Fahrenheit 9/11 (two words: My Pet Goat)


14) Bernard Kerik's "Nanny Problem" (or the end of Rudy G's undeserved sainthood)


15) Lost & 24 (the reason they invented TIVO)abc24

16) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (the best book with an autistic narrator, ever)

Curious Incident

17) Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band: Vote for Change Concert on Sundance Channel (Bruce made you believe that the good guys were gonna win this year...guess I'm a sucker)


18) Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (I'll never understand why Mick thought the Stones were upstaged by The Who; they were indeed great but the Stones were mesmerizing)


19) Any Book Written by Richard Russo (probably the most famous little-known writer in America - and the best; if you've never read him, run, don't walk, and read Straight Man; and I lied: I've been reading Russo for a number of years...I just wanted to give him a shout out)
Straight Man

20) Air: Talkie Walkie (possibly my favorite album of '04; works both as wallpaper and music you have to pay attention to)


21) The Grey Video (the multi-tasker of copyright violations)

Grey Video

22) We Decide (the best non-partisan political ad ever; a truer vision of America then the divided America of George W. Bush)

we decide

23) The 3 Presidential Debates (the smart, presidential Giant Douche clearly beat the crap out of the stupid, defensive Big Turd Sandwich; half of America decided not to pay attention, so perhaps this belongs on the list below)



The Worst:

01) November 2nd

02) December 21st

03) December 26th


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