Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Best of 2006

Here's my list of best albums of 2006. Since they are all so good , it's hard to rank them so they are in no order

Asobi Seksu Citrus
Shoegazing was reborn in 2006 with this near flawless album. It's hard not to draw comparisons to My Bloody Valentine , but loud guitars and a ethereal voice is a perfect formula

Thom Yorke The Eraser
No Radiohead this year, but Thom released a solo album worthy of Radiohead. This album reminds me of Kid A and Amenesic in the way it sounds and really challenges classic song structure

Muse Black Holes and revelations
By now everyone has heard of Muse but this is a great rock album. The sound is bigger than their last album Absolution.

Starflyer 59 My Island
This is Jason Martin's best since Old. I've liked everything that SF59 has done but the last album Talking Vs Singing was just a little to slow and quiet. This is another good rock album. Solid yet SF 59 continues to go unnoticed.

Jarvis Jarvis
The debut solo album from the frontman of Pulp still hasn't hit the US yet. Jarvis Cocker can write great pop songs with a little humor. This album, he really speaks his mind and it is worth listening to

Keane Under the Iron Sea
Kind of what you expect for a follow up to Hopes and Fears. Keane continue to put out catchy pop songs that you can hum along to. They tried to be a little darker on this album, but they are only fooling themselves

Mojave 3 Puzzles Like You
I discovered this year the genius of Mojave 3's stripped down and laid back approach. Their songs are simply beautiful. On this one they add a little pop to this formula

Snow Patrol Eyes Open
Probably the best album of the year. This album proves that Snow Patrol is ready to be the next Coldplay. This album is flawless and concert ready. I can't wait to see them in Feb

Editors The Back Room
The best debut album of a Joy Division sounding band since Interpol. I can't wait to hear where this band goes with their sound next

Richard Ascroft Keys to the World
I have to admit, that after Richard's last album, I kind of gave up on him. But this is the best album he's done since the Verve Urban Hymns

Embrace This New Day
This album has been out since the first of the year and still hasn't hit the US shores yet. Embrace doesn't break new ground here but they continue to do what they do best, and that is Coldplayish style anthems that are catchy and uplifting

Monday, December 18, 2006

X mas parties

This weekend Wah-Wah and I went to both our X-mas parties from work. I noted quit a difference in the parties and believe it is because of the differences between our professions.
The X-mas party my work had was at a coworker's modest size home. My coworker's husband did a lot of the cooking and everyone brought something. There was a lot of beer for everyone as well. This was suppose to be a family friendly party so there were other kids there besides mine. One of my coworkers bought gifts for all the kids.
I spent most of the evening talking to my coworker's husband about music. Turns out he likes a lot of the same stuff I do. I also talked to another coworker about her stories of being a punk in London and going to see bands I could only dream of. The karaoke machine was brought out and everyone thought it was cute when Nibbles and Woogy danced to some of the music. Over all, I'd say it was a fun evening.
On Saturday we went to Wah-Wah's X-mas party. This party was being thrown at the Director of Nerou Sciences house which was in a really exclusive part of Portland. Frankly it was a little too stuffy for me. I was the only guy in jeans there. There was nothing but wine to drink and all the food was Asian. Most of Wah-Wah's co workers are very clicky and the rest don't speak English very well. Wah-Wah's director has a very nice house with lots of art work that took some time to look at. But overall, we didn't really talk to anyone and basically stood in the corner holding our wine glasses. I noticed a big difference from the way that social service people host parties from people in science and research.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas in Portland

Last weekend, we visited the Grotto for their annual Christmas festival. The Grotto is a catholic shrine located near our house. I have to say that I really enjoyed it. They have a path through a forest that you can walk through filled with X-mas lights. People are walking around in Biblical clothes and some were dressed like angels. They had a petting zoo and puppet shows for the kids. People were going around selling coffee and hot chocolate. They had carolers outside and a church choir inside. I think what I really liked about it was their was no Santa Clauses or anything else that represented the commercialism of Christmas. This really puts you in the Christmas spirit.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My House

Here are pictures of my lovely new estate

notice the Xmas tree is a obvious fake

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lost in Portland

I have lived in Portland for almost a month now and I can say I still don't know my way around. This is the most confusing city that I have ever been in. There isn't a lot of landmarks to go buy either. A lot of people around here take public transportation or ride their bikes so the city city apparently invested more on their public transportation system then their roads.
I guess half my problem is that I am relying on Mapquest too much. Mapquest has got to be one of the worse programs I know. It gives the same street three names when all you really need is one.
The other compliant I have is that the streets around Portland are so dimly lit that you can't read the sign until after you passed it. The street signs are also pretty small (or maybe I need glasses). Portland also has more one way streets than most downtowns do. A lot of the streets break up and pick up again a couple blocks later.
The other day I was trying to get to a client's house and some how I ended up in Chinatown (I didn't even know Portland had a Chinatown) . I would have stopped for a visit if I had had the time.
Maybe everyone complains when they move to a new city, but I remember it didn't take hardly anytime to learn KC

Monday, December 04, 2006

Star Wars Muesum

This weekend was our first weekend without my parents around so we decided to explore Portland. I decided to take Woogy to the Star Wars Muesum at the Portland science center. Everything on display was real and used in the movies. Still, I thought the price was a little steep for what you got. I don't think Woogy really liked it honestly. The Stormtrooper greeting everyone at the front door scared him