Obsessive Year-End List Fest 2013: Dishonorable Mentions and Mild Disappointments

When going over my least favorite music of the year, I have to point out as always that there is far worse music out there than anything on this list – mostly by artists who turned me off so much with a single or two, or with obnoxious public personas, that I wouldn’t want to listen to an album of theirs to begin with. But these are all sub-par albums I managed to listen to all the way through at least twice, by artists that I’ve genuinely enjoyed in the past (with maybe one exception).

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The Best of 2009: Now Departing for Stockholm, Hawaii, New Orleans, and Points Inland

The end of 2009 is upon us, friends. It was a year that many of us didn’t look forward to, already knowing to expect financial woes and potential job losses (if not already realized ones) going into it – a year where the unexpected road ahead seemed to promise more hardship than exciting new possibilities to explore. but a poor year for the world was a rich year for music – either because artists channelled their angst into some of the best songs they’d ever written, or because more and more of them were jumping ship on the big labels and finding freedom to go where their imaginations would take them even if the audiences weren’t as big as a result. Some found artful ways to downsize while others played it as over-the-top as they could in defiance of expectations. In the end, it was a more exciting year than I could have anticipated, one that has left me with a lot to look forward to.

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Divad's Soundtrack #83: November-December 2009

Here’s the best of what I was listening to as the previous decade closed out. While I definitely ended the 2000s in a much better place than I was at the beginning of that decade, there had definitely been some hard times toward the end of 2009, and we were looking forward to a year-end trip to visit family in Hawaii. I can tell looking back at a lot of these songs that I was really longing for some rest and recreation with a beautiful beach as the backdrop.

In with the New:
fun.

Out with the Old:
Rob Thomas

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #81: July-August 2009

Our summer road trip for 2009, which was confined almost entirely to the state of California (and probably less than an hour in Nevada), may have seemed less ambitious than our 2008 trip encompassing the American Southwest, but I had made it my goal to visit a number of natural tourist spots in my home state that Christine had not yet seen, due to them being more than a day trip away from our home in SoCal. We managed to see the Humboldt Redwoods, Lake Shasta, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and Mono Lake along that trip, as well as attending the wedding of a college friend in Oakland just a day after our own four-year wedding anniversary, and also visiting family and friends in Sacramento and Mammoth Lakes. This was probably more than we should have crammed into a single trip, but we made it work. That summer also marked a great technological leap forward for me, as I finally got around to joining Facebook after several years of resistance, and I had also bought an iPod for the first time in my life preceding our trip – a green 16 GB Nano. The sudden convenience of having all that music at my fingertips without having to haul a big book of CDs with us on our travels began to revolutionize the way I consumed music. Not needing a physical CD to enjoy an album in the car helped to diversify my listening habits and gave me that extra nudge to take chances on more artists I hadn’t listened to before. My soundtrack mixes had to stretch by a track on each disc to help accommodate some of these new interests – and even then, it didn’t feel like 17 songs on each side was nearly enough space to truly do it justice.

In with the New:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The New Pornographers
Mew
Metric

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