East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Top ten: Teenage kicks

  1. Taylor Swift, "Fifteen": Such a perfect description of what freshman year at high school is like (or at least can be like) that only someone young enough that their memories aren't yet tainted by nostalgia or cynicism could've written it.
  2. Beyonce, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring Around It)": Dangerously in love.
  3. Hercules and Love Affair, "Blind (Frankie Knuckles remix)": The proper use of Antony.
  4. Franco, "Marie naboyi": Each disjoint section would be a career highlight for lesser lights.
  5. Verckys, "Marcello Tozongana": Saxman Verckys here sounds like he belongs in the Congolese pantheon.
  6. Franco, "Lisolo ya Adamo na Nzambe": God and Adam argue, guitar plays peacemaker.
  7. Taylor Swift, "The Best Day": Gooey, but damn, does she understand structure.
  8. Katy Perry, "Hot N Cold": I don't usually have a problem with opportunism: I liked the Fergie album guiltlessly. Still, the likelihood Perry will be around for ten years makes me queasy about liking this.
  9. The Bronx, "Young Bloods": If the song doesn't give you a seizure, the video will.
  10. Grand Kalle & l'African Jazz, "Parafifi": This was on Rumba on the River, but I didn't get into it until I heard it on The Rough Guide to Congo Gold. Either way, great groove.
Ten more:
Bon Iver, "Skinny Love"
Cee-Lo, "Closet Freak" (yes, I'm behind)
Franco, "Ku Kisanto kikwenda ko", "Bato ya mabe batondi mboka" and "Mabele"
Lady GaGa, "Poker Face"
MGMT, "Kids"
Mostly Other People Do the Killing, "Allentown" and "Drainlick"
Taylor Swift, "Forever and Always"

Top ten albums:
  1. Franco, Francophonic
  2. Taylor Swift, Fearless
  3. The Rough Guide to Congo Gold
  4. Mostly Other People Do the Killing, This is Our Moosic
  5. Hercules and Love Affair
  6. Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections
  7. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
  8. Say Anything, In Defense of the Genre
  9. The Beatles, Love
  10. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
Dud of the moment: Fleet Foxes


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I expect three of these are worth reading: the most acclaimed books of 2008

Based on 11 year-end lists I Googled, ranked according to a formula you don't care about:
  1. Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth
  2. Dexter Filkins, The Forever War
  3. Joseph O'Neill, Netherland
  4. Roberto Bolano, 2666
  5. Toni Morrison, A Mercy
  6. David Wroblewski, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
  7. Richard Price, Lush Life
  8. Philip Hensher, The Northern Clemency
  9. Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
  10. Jane Mayer, The Dark Side
Also mentioned multiple times: Kate Atkinson, When Will There Be Good News; Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering; Tana French, The Likeness; Mark Harris, Pictures at a Revolution; Ron Rash, Serena; Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey (eds), State by State; Joan Wickersham, The Suicide Index.