Monday, January 5, 2009

Musical Resolutions for 09

New Years greetings from HSW!

2008 was great, wasn't it? Some fantastic new bands burst onto the scene (Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver), and old standbys continue to churned out the goods (TV On the Radio, The Hold Steady.) But that doesn't mean 2009 can't make 2008 its bitch. So here are a handful of resolutions I've whipped up to better myself from a musical standpoint in the fresh year:

1. Buy The Disc

Actually, I'm a pretty dedicated CD buyer. My CD tower has recently reached its maximum capacity and my car usually has a sediment of CD cases covering the back seat and floors. But in 2008 I became a little complacent with digital music. I do embrace the technology, but I'm letting my principles disintegrate a bit by settling for downloaded versions. In 2009, I vow to buy my new music from either Amazon or my favorite local record store. Although I won't shy away from a digital download, it shall be a temporary/supplemental fix, not an alternative.

2. Finally get Orphans

As a Tom Waits superfan, I'm ashamed to say I have yet to purchase 2006's Orphans, for no good damn reason. It's an unfortunate synergy of laziness and frugality, I suppose. But I know it's a cant-miss. I'm familiar with a handful of the songs, and the thing is one of Metacritics all-time best rated albums. But it's like 30-something dollars! If any dedicated reader would like to supply me with Orphans, I will gladly accept it. But please, hard copy only (see above.)

3. Discover what the big deal about the Velvet Underground is

I bought the Andy Warhol-produced Velvet Underground & Nico a few years ago and found very few redeemable qualities. "Heroin" was OK I guess. But the rest didn't sit well with me. First of all, Nico makes me want to rip off my ears and toss them skyward at a skeet-shooting range. And I don't really get all the acclaim that's awarded to Lou Reed. But there's gotta be something, right? It seems every credible artist these days namedrops the VU. And I like Pavement; Malkmus kinda sounds like Lou Reed right?. I plan on revisiting the banana and delving into some of the Underground's other offerings. Suggestions?

4. Upgrade my iPod headphones

I'm still sporting the factory-provided earbuds, and it's not hard to recognize their supreme level of suckiness. These don't isolate sound. In fact, they seem to welcome all peripheral sounds in to join the party. Nothing like trying to enjoy Dear Science only for it to be inadvertently mashed up with my co-worker's 3:15 consultation call with Bill in Eugene, OR.

5. Scratch a few 'must-see' live acts off my list:
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • Arcade Fire
  • M. Ward
  • Gillian Welch
I'd also like to try and catch Ryan Adams and Wilco again, who seem to becoming less and more entertaining respectively. But it's become a tradition: I've managed to catch Ryan every year since 2004 and Wilco every year since 2005. I've actually already got tickets for Ryan and the Cards in Charleston on March 12th. Hopefully Wilco will swing back through after their dominant performance at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center last August.

6. Keep this blog a'rollin!

Even if only a small handful actually reads this thing--even if it's just me, to be honest--I'd like to maintain a steady output of posting. Ideally I'd like to double our count from last year. 100 posts ho!


Thomas said...

Thanks for keeping the dream alive, George. Sorry ive been lazy. DBT 1/31 asheville mang. oh but they are playing in charleston too. sweet!

Andrew said...

I don't like Velvet Underground & Nico very much either.

Instead, I love Loaded and consider it one of my favorite albums of the 70s. Check out the self titled one and the outtakes collection VU as well.

White Light/White Heat has its moments too but sometimes it's a little too weird.