I had a really hard time coming up with a Top 10 Albums of the Year list. I could maybe come up with 5 and even that's a stretch. I guess chalk it up to my selective music taste and not being to impressed with releases from the several genre's of music that I like.
To be honest, I like to listen to music on my own terms, on my own time. If I jump on something that's currently being hyped it will just be forced to me. I've also come to realize that the only recs I really enjoy are from the group of guys I worked with at my college radio station. Most of those dudes like music that's totally different from my taste but somehow they always can pick the right bands for me.
With that being said, this was my Album of the Year:
Promise of Redemption was created based on songs that Valencia's lead singer Shane Henderson had written for his late girlfriend Dana Leigh Burrell. Her death on May 8, 2006 didn't hinder Shane's creativity, but rather inspired it to grow even further.
Back in September 2006, Shane played a demo he was working on for this album. I pretty much cried my eyes out to what is now as the track, "Remember the First Day". I knew this album was going to be a very personal account of a person's thought process after they lose a loved one.
Written over a period of two years,When the Flowers Bloom contains acoustic songs (some organ accompaniment) that captures the thought processes of Shane Henderson as he tries to make sense of her death all while celebrating her life. Starting off with an updated version of the final song on the last cd, Lights the Flicker Will Surely Fade, the album weaves through Dana's life, her death, and eventually finding a reason to believe and exist without her.
I'll admit that at first I was skeptical about this album. How could I enjoy something that was so obviously about two specific people and one specific event? But let me tell you, if you've lost someone or something in your life, then you can relate to this.
I've experienced loss in a variety of ways this year between my Nonna almost dying, three of my classmates passing away, my family closing their business after 5 years, and even just becoming single for the first time in 5 years.
No matter what time of day or where I am, this album still resonates strong with me. There are moments in each song that I can relate to and find very powerful.
Some of my favorite tracks include:
How Fast - About how the loss of someone can drive you mad enough to pack up and leave everything behind.
Oh the Way - Definitely one of the romantic songs in my life, which happens to be one of the few songs that Dana was able to hear before she died.
Rough Roads Lead to Stars - Contains my favorite lyrics off the album and probably my favorite lyrics of the year since they basically describe how I spent most of 2008:
Cause these days are so long, and these drinks are so tall
And I've been spending my time counting the minutes
Just to feel consistent
Looking for you in every aspect of the world
With that being said, this album is great for people who have experienced a loss at some point in their life and found themselves questioning the validity of everything around them. Valencia's newest album, We all need a reason to Believe is basically the epilogue to When the Flowers Bloom. I highly recommend both albums...especially Valencia's new cd. Their new album completely surpassed my expectations and it develops the pain and loss of Dana to a more personable level for people. It's definitely #2 for AOTY on my list.
If interested in checking out Promise of Redemption's album, you can purchase it on Amazon.
Sure there are the cliche quotes about "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets their wings..." but, this movie is SO much more than that.
It's about a man (George Bailey) whose dreams were always too big for his town, yet somehow he was forced to stay and ended up making it a wonderful place. One mistake over losing a chunk of money and George believes his life is over and decides to commit suicide. With a glimpse of what his dear old town would be like without him (thanks to an Angel named Clarence), George soon realizes that he has so much to live for. Once he gets back home, his learns that his wife has called everyone they know for help and the town happily rushes to his aid.
George touched the hearts and lives of so many people without really knowing it.
Truly a timeless story about the importance of just one human life.
This is my absolute favorite moment, when George Bailey's brother makes a surprise last minute visit to make a toast that summarizes the truth of the entire situation:
Here's the extending ending if you would like to see how it all played out:
Never underestimate your impact on a person's life.
You may truly be saving someone without realizing it.
So I ordered the second pre-order package option on Fall Out Boy's website on December 12.
Every day I check the mail.
Some 12 year old who hates his life won the golden ticket I wanted the most.
Got THIS in my email on the 17th:
We have been buried with questions regarding the FOB preorder. We were just informed that the postal service was having difficulty getting out our volume of packages this week and as a result of this delay your preorder might not have been shipped to you and delivered on release day. Were extremely sorry that your package was delayed and we want to make it up to you. Below is a link to the digital version of Folie A Deux that you can download and listen to while your package makes its way to you. We are sincerely sorry and you will get your package as quick as the United States Postal Service can process the packages. We appreciate your advance understanding and have also added a 20% discount code for you to use whenever you want!
Thanks and Happy Holidays
Discount code: ******************
Casper | GOMERCH
|Address| 9410 De Soto Ave Unit F Chatsworth, CA 91311
What. the. fuck.
Thanks for the digital copies guys...but where the hell is my package that I PRE-ordered?
Where the hell is my Golden maniac freak serial killer handwriting Ticket?
As much as I can respect an artist's desire to take advantage of all the musical equipment and producers their money can buy once they hit it big, the poseur elitist in me wishes that F.A.D. had a demo sound to it.
I love this.
I usually hit replay at least 3x in the car...it makes me feel like I'm in a garage in Willmette listening to their band practice.
On the topic of FOB videos, this made me actually like the song more than I already did. Sometimes I laugh at really simple minded things:
I'm still waiting on my F.A.D. until then, it's TTYG and FUCT to hold me over.
To start it off, my Folie a Deux has not arrived. If it ever decides to show up on my doorstep, it better contain a golden ticket offering the opportunity to make a setlist or the ability to posses my favorite FOB song in Pete's handwriting...
(Okay okay, I really mean, I want the 6th ticket so we can all talk with the boys about how awesome their clothing is and when will they make another album like TTTYG.)
All in all, Fall Out Boy week has proven to be a fail.
I had to work during the WSP meetup, slept through the midnight meetup, couldn't get tickets to Nokia, went to Angels and Kings instead of their signing at Virgin, and then left @ 2AM since I didn't want to wait at the bar alone.
Speaking of AnK, spotted some bands that are occasionally or frequently AP news pieces. One band kicked about 6 people out of their spot to make an alternate VIP section. Turns out really only one of the bands members actually used it. Oh well.
Also spotted a merch dude, that I've been crushing on since probably May, cheat on his girlfriend with a girl who I thought was working the coat rack. Life is funny in that respect.
By the end of the night, as Alex Gaskarrahathathah walked out out, he waved a goodbye/hello to me and said "Hey how are you doing/how've you been".
I waved and said hello back. Inside I thought, "That's totally the hat I wanted from American Eagle".
2AM rolled around and everyone that I knew or half knew or knew from the internet had left. No sign of Pete Wentz and the fall out boys, so I high tailed it out of there, driving home more efficiently than a taxi driver.
Last night in all of my sick glory I agreed to meetup with my friend Bobby who promised me a night of free food, open bar, and an Eyeball Records Showcase. I didn't stay for the last two bands because I was pretty much dying of whooping cough. Rumor has it that Thursday was the secret guest. I guess we'll NEVER know.
Upon leaving, Bobby insisted that he was going to walk me to my car. The entire night I could tell the real reason behind this meetup. I was hoping the cough would suppress any attraction he may have felt for me but that didn't seem to be the case really.
Luckily, I WAS able to dodge the goodnight kiss but somehow I said yes to his question of "Can I see you again". I think the cold and sickness tricked me into thinking that maybe I'll have a good time and make a connection.
I'll tell you right now, there's nothing between us. Not even a curiosity.
With that being said, tomorrow may be round 2 at AnK for this week as it's a goodbye celebration to one of my co-workers.
Let's see how this blizzard fairs out.
With that, I'm off to watch one of my favorite movies of all time and ponder:
1. If I can muster even just a "Top 3" list for 2008.
2. Why this dude from LI was asking me to sleepover last weekend when he now is in a relationship this week.
3. Why a certain dude, who I would consider a buddy of mine, deleted everyone from his myspace. (Perhaps his girlfriend noticed his bad behavior?)
4. How I can eat some rice tonight without actually having to do anything to get it.