It’s list time again folks! And Laura says I can write some lists too!! So here are some lists of some random things – books, records, songs, etc. It’s long but I hope you enjoy it some… either way, it’s the end of the year wrap up!!
Since I write the throwback Thursday section sometimes I get to be the resident cranky person. I love it since I can often be found shaking my fist at baggy pants wearing teenagers who have the gall to walk on my lawn!
Anyway, here is a list of things that are dumb and/or irritating to me right now. They aren’t in any real order except number 1 is probably in the right spot… I would say that this is for the whole 2012 but I can’t remember all the way back an entire year!
So this will be heavy with recent stuff. Also I rank some music and maybe other things down below this list…
10. The new version itunes. That shit sucks.
9. Right to work laws! What the fuck?! I thought Indiana passing these was an anomaly but now Michigan has passed right to work laws. This is some bullshit and we need to fight back against this attack on unions. Do you like weekends? Then you should hate right to work laws. Read this article in case you don’t know what right to work laws are all about . And listen to this while you read it.
8. Fun. Those guys are terrible! I just watched a video of some dumb song where they act like they’re in the civil war. What the fuck? And the singer I think is fighting for the confederacy?? At least he gets shot at the end of the video (I think. It’s hard to tell what is going on really because the song is so dumb…).
7. Misogyny has got to go. I’ll focus briefly on music related stuff since that is what this blog is all about. Anyway I should NEVER have to read a review of a band where the male members have ‘talent’ and ‘skills’ while the female members of the band are ‘hot’ or ‘sexy.’ Sorry, dickholes, cock rock is over. And stunted man-children misanthropes who seem to write a large number of music reviews (especially at the local level) need to get a fuckin clue and end this shit. People are speaking out about this and it is changing and that kicks tons of ass. I’m also gonna throw in this category all the rape idiocy that’s going around too – usually from right wing nutjobs. But also, Rape jokes – knock it off. It’s not fuckin funny to joke about a dehumanizing and traumatic event in someone’s life. Using rape as shorthand for something being bad – ie. ‘That test raped me!’ SHUT IT DOWN.
6. Shooting up places. I don’t really know what to say about the Connecticut school shooting other than shit is real fucked up. This article does a good job with a lot of my thoughts.
5. Django Django. Ok so I know some of you put this record on your top 10 list but I can’t get beyond the song Default where it seems to me they continually use the word default incorrectly. Get a dictionary fellas.
4.Motherfuckin charter schools! These corporate shills for subpar education and siphoning profits from education are killing our public schools. This is not the school reform we need. Watch this great documentary to get the real facts. (NOTE: Hey! Sometimes you win in this fight like we did last night in Austin!! Check it out here!!
3. The Shins. Look I love the Shins. However the Shins are not the Shins anymore! When you get rid of the entire rest of the band I think you can’t call yourself by that name anymore. I love the first two Shins records a lot. And Oh, Inverted World was my number one record from 2001 (I first saw them when they opened for Preston School of Industry and they were great!). But the band playing now is not the Shins! It’s the James Mercer show. Change your band name. And if Wilco ever gets rids of John Stirratt then this will apply to them too.
2. Cops shooting black and brown people (and really racism overall)! This shit has got to stop. It is open season on black people out there. Cops are above the law and they know it and they flaunt it. This is total racist bullshit and needs to stop. Fuck the police. Also things are getting super tense out here and victimized communities are near their breaking point. I expect riots somewhere soon.
Racism is the worst and has literally disfigured the entirety of life in the US for hundreds of years. This is no joke. We need to stand up to racism all the time. So two quick things here: your racist joke is not ironic and it’s not funny because you are a cool guy who is totally not racist. KNOCK IT OFF! Also saying that the real racists are the people that point out things that are racist is idiotic. If you think that (and even more so if you say it) you are just outing yourself as a moron. Learn something new.
1. Capitalism. People are totally out of work. No one can make a decent living – especially writers and artists and the majority of americans many of whom work for wal-mart. We need to get rid of rape, right to work laws, racism, and fun. but this will be insufficient unless we get rid of capitalism. Or as Refused liked to say, “capitalism is indeed organized crime and we are all the victims. “ and until we overthrow it for something more democratic, we will continue in a down spiral of exploitation and oppression and repeating disasters (of both the BP oil well kind as well as the banking collapse kind) until the planet is completely and utterly incapable of supporting human life. Fuck that shit. I want a world where we are equal and the rich don’t rule and we decide collectively what to do with our collective resources.
Ok so that was all the crap I don’t like. Now let’s get to some other things! How about my top 5 records of the year!
1. The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten. This record is just a straight up jam. It’s for people who love Bruce Springsteen and who grew up on working class punk music. Or really anyone who is me.
2. Kishi Bashi – 151a. I listened to this on constant repeat for a month. And his live show is even better. Even if you were sort of meh on this record, go see him live.
3. Beach House – Bloom. They never disappoint.
4. Lower Dens – Nootropics. Likewise, and this is their best one yet. So moody and tense. I love it.
5. Titus Andronicus – Local Business. A sleeper! Most reviewers admit this is a decent record but because their last one was so good, this one MUST look bad by comparison. The thing is, though, I didn’t like their last record nearly as much as their first one. So perhaps I can enjoy this one better than most. But it’s a grower in a way none of their others really were.
Here are some awesome things from this year:
1. I got married!! Sure it was just so Laura would let me post on her blog (JK!) but I am super stoked about it. I love you, Laura. Thanks for marrying me! Also our wedding was super fun! Our first dance was to In an Aeroplane Over the Sea. So BAM! Here is one of our engagement pics as well as a wedding one!
2. We moved to Austin! This is bittersweet as I miss my Houston friends and my Houston haunts but on the upside, Austin friends!! Yeah, I got all dem.
3. Related to the previous one, Laura started her phd at UT! Laura is super smart and I am so proud to see her doing so well and just generally kicking tons of ass at life right now. And by extension, I am kicking ass at life too.
4. My daughter started high school! Well done, Emma! Surprising that she is old enough for high school and that, by extension, I am simply old but she’s an awesome kid (or young woman I guess now…) and I am super proud of her. Go Emma!
And here are the top 5 books I read this year. These did not necessarily come out this year but I did read them this year. If you click on the book you can read my review of that book on goodreads.com. (this post is already long enough so I didn’t put the reviews here)
1. The Nazis, Capitalism and the Working Class (in case anyone was wondering, this is NOT a pro-nazi book.)
3. Saying Yes
These are what I have just determined to be my top 5 songs of the year… Click the song title to hear it on youtube.
1. The Gaslight Anthem – “Handwritten” – Like everyone else, 45 was my first favorite song on this record. It kicks things off and does it well. But as I got more into it, I found this was the song I came back to. I love to scream along to it and I love the slow break in the middle too. Just beautiful.
2. Niki & The Dove – “Tomorrow” – This was one of the best shows I saw this year. So good and this song just makes you want to party all night. Play it loud when you are drinking a tall boy as you get ready to go out for what you KNOW is gonna be an amazing Friday night!!
3. Titus Andronicus – “In a Big City” – Classic Titus Andronicus. Scream along and feel free/young.
4. Kishi Bashi – “Manchester” – This song is even better live but either way it’s a beautiful uplifting love song that you can sing along to. There is very little better than a well written and well executed love song.
5. Chvrches – “The Mother We Share” – When I was young, I loved The Sundays. If you did too then you will love this song. All that is best from that period of pretty European (Scottish really) indie pop is back again in this song.
so thanks for reading all the way to the end! As you can see, 2012 has been a pretty solid year for me – both personally and politically speaking. And the music has been pretty great too! Sure, some shit’s all fucked up but you know what? People aren’t really standing for it as much anymore. We still got racism and sexism but we got A LOT more people now willing to challenge those ideas. So bravo to you brave stander-upper for fighting for what is right! Keep up the good work, fed up radicals…
I hope you all have a great holiday season and I’ll see you in the new year! Well that is after I post my special xmas edition throwback Thursday later this week…
Dan Sharber wants you all to have a great holiday and hopes that your 2013 is filled with hope. And most importantly he wants you to remember that what humans built, humans can replace.