Monday, December 17, 2007

Welcome to FitT

Welcome to the first post of my new (my first) blog. I'm tentatively naming it "Frozen in the Tundra," because, well, it's now a scorching 19 degrees outside. I think I may opt for something more punny in the future.

Well, I'm at the end of my first semester at college. It's been an interesting four months or so. I know that I've changed during my time here away from home. I'm not quite certain how I've changed; I think being home, with familiar people and places, will place the changes in sharper relief.

This past week has been the first time since I came to Minneapolis for school that I've wanted to go back to Baltimore. It's been the first week I've been without classes as well, which I'm sure has a lot to do with wanting to go home. I'm one final down and one to go before I can go home. Most of my friends are back home already, no doubt frolicking. It should prove an interesting break with my friends, especially given my rather more liberal attitudes towards partying that I've acquired since coming to school.



I'm looking forward to reading a lot, taking bubblebaths, partying a bit, having adventures, and thinking to myself, 'I should get a job.'

After the Minneapolis cold (avg. 2-10 degrees) Baltimore will seem balmy. I plan to shovel snow in my driveway wearing a t-shirt.

Eating real (read: non-dorm) food will be nice for a change.

I had a great Thanksgiving break. This is a sidebar. (see picture, in a winery.) By the way. I suppose reflection on this past semester would be ideal. I've been so happy here. More than that, I feel like I'm supposed to be here, doing the things I'm doing and learning from these teachers. It only recently occurred to me that some people (a lot of my friends from home, apparently) aren't happy at college. I feel fortunate.

Hey, how about this kind of reflection--a year-end list of my favorite songs of 2007? Since I've already made the mix, that seems like a good idea for this blog, which I have extremely vague ideas about. User Comments: i dont understand who this blog is intended for, what are its aims, why are you writing it, who are you, why can't you be more coherent?

Right then:

Your Arms Around Me- Jens Lekman (from Night Falls Over Kortedala)
I love this whole album so much. I love Jens Lekman's voice. I listened Oh You're So Silent Jens to death, and I love this album even more. Disco bingo jam suits him so well. The harp intro into this song is fantastic, and I love the beat when it kicks in. This version doesn't have either of those, but it highlights the fact that Jens Lekman is an adorable, balding, Swedish man.

Chores- Animal Collective (from Strawberry Jam)
Yay Baltimore. I haven't listened to this album as much as I hoped I would. I like this song.

The Perfect Me- Deerhoof (from Friend Opportunity)
What a good song. This is exactly what I'd hoped this album would sound like--a Japanese girl riding an intense amusement-park ride and singing while eating cotton candy.

Lovesong of the Buzzard- Iron & Wine (from The Shepard's Dog)
Sam Beam somehow extended the calming effect of his incredibly intimate first albums into this wide-screen, lush jungle-adventure. Like a whole album of The Trapeze Swinger, one of my favorite songs, probably my favorite Iron & Wine song. I love Sam Beam's beard.

I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You- Black Kids (from Wizard of Ahhhs EP)
Really cool when I think about the fact that it's basically a demo tape. I like imagining I'm friends with the band and they burned me this CD.

In The Mausoleum- Beirut (from The Flying Club Cup)
Another album I haven't listened to as much as I intended. The opening chords sound like Sufjan Stevens, but then the sad strings come in. I love his voice, like a drunk and stoned Jeff Buckley geeked out of brass and strings and piano instead of guitar.

Neon Bible- Arcade Fire (from Neon Bible)
I first heard this song watching a video of the entire band playing this in an elevator. The drummer ripped pages out of a magazine, one at a time, to make the sound of the drums. I can't absorb a lot of this album, but this song always felt personal to me. Oh, here's the video: (the elevator bit comes towards the beginning)

We All Belong- Dr. Dog (from We All Belong)
I like pretty much all the songs off of this album, but this one is particularly epic.

Will You Return- Avett Brothers (from Introducing Emotionalism)
Thanks, Allie.

Grace Kelly- Mika (from Life in Cartoon Motion)
What a good song!

You! Me! Dancing!- Los Campesinos (from Sticking Fingers into Sockets EP)
I love geeks dancing. And they're so twee British and cute.

The Glory- Kanye West (from Graduation)
I really like this album in general. And Kanye singing along with the sample at the beginning.

D.A.N.C.E.-Justice (from [that album with the cross])
What a fantastic song to boogie to. Like Girl Talk, but all one artist.

The Crystal Cat- Dan Deacon (from Spiderman of the Rings)
Yay Weirdo Baltimore. Makes me sad I never knew about Wham City while I still lived close.

A Girl in Port- Okkervil River (from The Stage Names)
A really good album. Another song I got really into via a video:

Walcott- Vampire Weekend (from Vampire Weekend)
I just downloaded this album because Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear, one of my favorite bands, talks about them all the time in his blog. I like this song a lot.

Alligator (Choir Version)- Grizzly Bear (from Friend EP)
Speaking of Grizzly Bear... This features Beirut, among others.

A Paw in my Face- The Field (from From Here We Go Sublime)
This is really beautiful. I have an amazing view of the Mississippi River from my dorm room, and I like to lay on my bed and look out at the ice floating down the river while listening to this.

Rotten Hell- Menomena (from Friend and Foe)
I remember when Julia, my ex-girlfriend, first played me this band in sophomore year. I thought they were weird and just ok. I really like them now. Thanks, Julia!

Fake Empire- The National (from Boxer)
Ha ha! I have always liked Bruce Springsteen, and I'm happy about the Springsteenism of The National and Hold Steady. Now, if more bands would start ripping off The Wild, The Innocent, and The E-Street Shuffle instead of Thunder Road, I'd be really happy.

Bros- Panda Bear (from Person Pitch)
Three cheers for Baltimore! What a cool album. Like the really magical mystical campfires mist-harmonies of Animal Collective.

The Magic Position- Patrick Wolf (from The Magic Position)
I remember having this on repeat and driving around, singing at the top of my lungs. Turn it up.

Let's Call it Off- Peter Bjorn & John (from Writer's Block)
I can't remember if this was released in 2007 or 2006. I remember Scott telling me that Young Folks wasn't the best song on the album. Thanks, Scott!

Faust Arp- Radiohead (from In Rainbows)
Actually not my favorite song off of In Rainbows (that would probably be Reckoner) it's still a really pretty Beatles-esque guitar sing-along. By Radiohead.

Too Strong- The Sea and Cake (from Everybody)
If there are two kinds of beach music, and the Beach Boys are one kind, this is the other kind. I can't find a good video for this song. But it's still really good.

Must Be The Moon- !!! (from Myth Takes)
This album isn't quite as danceable as Louden Up Now, with the notable exception of this song.

My Little Japanese Cigarette Case- Spoon (from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga)
This is my first Spoon album. Spoon is awesome. Here is a video that proves it.

You Are Allowed 20 Birthday Parties- Patton Oswalt (from Werewolves and Lollipops)
Patton Oswalt is funny.

I've also been reading this interesting book, On Blondes by Joanna Pitman, about cultural perceptions of blondes through human history, from the Greek and Roman sexual worship and imitations of Aphrodite and Venus through Renaissance portrayal of Eve as the sinful blond and the Virgin Mary as the pure blond to Aryan blonde-eugenics to Hollywood blonde-bombshells. Er. It's interesting. I've also been enjoying a collection of McSweeney's humor writing called Written in Darkness by Troubled Americans. It includes articles such as "How Important Moments in My Life Would Have Been Different If I Was Shot Twice in the Stomach," "My Beard, Reviewed," and "Attack of the Fabulons!"

And etc. It is now bedtime, since tomorrow will ideally be a big, successful, and fulfilling day of study for an Astronomy Final. (Tarot cards joke.) Thank you good night.