Monday, November 30, 2009

50 favorite albums of the decade

Alright, it is time. while i am quite certain this list will change the second i post it, here it is in all it's temporary glory. i have listed the top 5 in order of preference followed by the remaining list in chronological. also, if 50 albums seems to daunting a task, feel free to post your 50 favorite SONGS of the decade instead.

1. Wilco- yankee hotel foxtrot (2002)
2. eels-daisies of the galaxy (2000)
3. Ryan Adams- heartbreaker (2000)
4. Shout Out Louds- howl howl, gaff gaff (2005)
5. Loretta Lynn- van lear rose (2004)

Big Smith- big rock (2000)
Billy Bragg and Wilco- mermaid avenue vol. II (2000)
Ryan Adams- gold (2001)
Bob Dylan – love and theft (2001)
Gillian Welch- time the revelator (2001)
Jay Farrar- sebastapol (2001)
Kasey Chambers- barricades and brickwalls (2001)
Bob Dylan- bootleg series 5: the rolling thunder revue (2002)
Ben Kweller- sha sha (2002)
Spoon- kill the moonlight (2002)
Gillian Welch- soul journey (2003)
Jay Farrar- terrior blues (2003)
Damien Jurado- where shall you take me? (2003)
The Decemberists- her majesty (2003)
Drive by truckers- decoration day (2003)
Wilco- ghost is born (2004)
Rilo Kiley-more adventurous (2004)
Bonnie Prince Billy- BPB sing greatest palace music (2004)
Iron & Wine- our endless numbered days (2004)
Son Volt- Okemah and the melody of riot (2005)
Bright Eyes- I’m wide awake it’s morning (2005)
eels- blinking lights and other revelations (2005)
Sun Kil Moon- tiny cities (2005)
Sufjan Stevens- come on feel the Illinois (2005)
Jenny Lewis- rabbit fur coat (2006)
eels- live at town hall (2006)
Tom petty- highway companion (2006)
Cat power- the greatest (2006)
wilco- sky blue sky (2007)
Rilo kiley- under the black light (2007)
Neil young- live at massey hall (2007)
Band of horses- cease to begin (2007)
Shout Out Louds- our ill wills (2007)
Ryan Bingham- mescalito (2007)
Elliott Smith- new moon (2007)
The Avett Brothers- emotionalism (2007)
Bob Dylan- bootleg series 8: tell tale signs (2008)
SSLYBY- pershing (2008)
She & Him- vol. 1 (2008)
Fleet Foxes- fleet foxes (2008)
Bon Iver- for emma forever ago (2008)
Pete and the Pirates- little death (2008)
Ben Kweller- changing horses (2009)
Ryan Bingham- roadhouse sun (2009)
Iron & Wine- around the well (2009)

Top 50 Albums of the 2000s

It's the end of the decade. This is great news for those of us who love to make lists because we not only get year end best of lists, but also best of decade lists.

BSD and I undertook the project some time ago to come up with a list of the best (i.e. our favorite) albums of the 2000s. This list is as I see it today. I can't guarantee that if I had made a top 5 of 2000 in 2000 that it would have included the albums listed below. But it does now.

The albums are in year order. At the bottom, however, is a ranked top 5. Please feel free to leave your lists in the comments.

2000 The White Stripes – De Stijl
2000 Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun
2000 Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica
2000 Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker
2000 Eels – Daisies of the Galaxy
2000 Radiohead – Kid A
2001 The Strokes – Is This It
2001 The White Stripes – White Blood Cells
2001 Spoon – Girls Can Tell
2001 System of a Down - Toxicity
2002 Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
2002 Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2002 Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf
2002 Ryan Adams – Demolition
2002 Los Halos – For Ramona
2003 Postal Service – Give Up
2003 Sun Kil Moon – Ghosts of the Great Highway
2003 Pearl Jam – Lost Dogs
2003 Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
2003 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
2003 TV on the Radio – Young Liars
2004 The Black Keys – Rubber Factory
2004 Arcade Fire – Funeral
2004 Old Crow Medicine Show – OCMS
2004 Wilco – A Ghost is Born
2004 Dallas Jones - Wherever You Roam
2005 The National – Alligator
2005 Spoon – Gimme Fiction
2005 Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak
2005 The New Pornographers – Twin Cinema
2005 Iron and Wine – The Creek Drank the Cradle
2005 Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
2006 Tapes ‘n Tapes – The Loon
2006 Cold War Kids – Robbers and Cowards
2006 The Walkmen – A Hundred Miles Off
2006 TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain
2006 Tom Petty – Highway Companion
2007 Kings of Leon – Because of the Times
2007 The National – The Boxer
2007 Peter Bjorn & John – Writer’s Block
2007 Radiohead – In Rainbows
2008 TV on the Radio – Dear Science
2008 Vampire Weekend – VW
2008 The Walkmen – You & Me
2008 The Dodos – Visiter
2008 Johnny Flynn – A Flarum
2008 Bob Dylan - Bootleg Series Vol. 8
2009 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz
2009 Pearl Jam – Backspacer
2009 Ryan Bingham – Roadhouse Sun

Top 5:
5. The White Stripes – De Stijl
4. The National – The Boxer
3. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2. Spoon – Gimme Fiction
1. The Walkmen – You & Me

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Hey all,

I hope everyone has a safe and happy time giving thanks and eating your body weight in food.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Healthcare Reform in Missouri

Kathleen Sebelius has a website that breaks down what healthcare means to each state. The link to Missouri is here.

Here are a few of the big numbers:

790,000 residents who do not currently have insurance and 335,000 residents who have nongroup insurance could get affordable coverage through the health insurance exchange.

516,000 residents could qualify for premium tax credits to help them purchase health coverage.

961,000 seniors would receive free preventive services.

171,000 seniors would have their brand-name drug costs in the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” halved.

79,900 small businesses could be helped by a small business tax credit to make premiums more affordable.

(Side) Hug the Ones You Love

When I was in high school, I remember occasional proselytizing about the dangers of oral sex or even heavy petting. I do not remember, however, anything as militant as warnings not to hug people before marriage.

Apparently, times are changing:

Yes, now it’s abstinence only for Christian teens when it comes to hugs. The basic message is that “front hugs” should be saved until marriage, This is told to us while using a lot of ghetto rap hand motions. (”Word!”) I think the fear here is if teens give each other a “full frontal hug” it’s leads towards the Satanic road of no return of crotch-to-crotch dry humping. The next thing you know, you’ll be on that slippery slope of supporting gay marriage and believing dinosaur bones aren’t a test from God. Best to keep it safe with a “side hug” (at least until one is declared man and wife).

Via Matt Yglesias.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Airlines Suck

I normally don't like to use this blog as a forum for bitching about my personal life, I'm making an exception. There has bee a lot of attention paid over the last few months to airlines charging for bags.

I, of course, don't care for this move anymore than anyone else. However, I like to think I am pretty easy going and I decided to take it in stride. What I didn't know, until this trip anyway, was that some airlines will charge you to pick your seat in coach. "Premium seats" I believe they are called.

I also was not aware that the common practice now is to charge you not for a flight change if you make it on standby to an earlier flight, but to charge you for the "opportunity" to go on standby whether or not you actually make it on the earlier flight.

I was talking to Nate about this and he pointed out that fuel prices could usher in the era of high speed trains in the next couple of decades. That sounds great to me, but then I suppose the trains may end up being run by former airline executives.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Your Road Map to the Salary Cap

Via Matt Yglesias, here is Larry Coon's comprehensive FAQ about the NBA salary cap.

I realize about 3 of you may be find this interesting, but maybe you're the three most important.

One of my favorite discoveries was that there is a provision named after Gilbert Arenas. Unfortunately, it is not generally known as the "Hibachi Provision."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Eat It Buffalo!

That is what Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams was apparently thinking, and is now taking some heat for, after his team knocked off old AFL rival Buffalo on Sunday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"The Blew-Gray Game"

Bill Simmons points out the utter misery that is Sunday's Chiefs-Raiders game.

By the way, I am declaring this game ungamble-able. The Chiefs are the only 2009 team without a rushing TD; Oakland has given up 13. The Chiefs have given up 12 passing plays of 40-plus yards; the Raiders have a QB with a 48.3 rating. The Chiefs have amassed 2,231 yards and given up 3,172; the Raiders have amassed 1,793 yards and given up 3,086. The Chiefs have given up 30 sacks; the Raiders have turned the ball over 25 times. I'd say this was the worst game of the year, but remember, Oakland plays in Cleveland in Week 16. That's the Stupor Bowl. This is more of the Blew-Gray Game.
Kansas City sports!

Swimming on the Moon

Humankind was just given our most recent reminder that we really don't know anything.

A "significant amount" of frozen water has been found on the moon, the US space agency said Friday heralding a major leap forward in space exploration and boosting hopes of a permanent lunar base.

Preliminary data from a moon probe "indicates the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater," NASA said in a statement.

"The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon," it added, as ecstatic scientists celebrated the landmark discovery.
If only it had been cheese that they had found.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


A great article by Daniel Gross at Slate. He talks about 2000s as the lost decade economically,and he leaves very few depressing stones unturned,

In September, on a seasonally adjusted basis, there were 108.5 million private (nongovernment) payroll jobs in the united States—almost precisely the number there were in June 1999.
...stocks went precisely nowhere in the past decade, despite all the efforts to help the market, from slashing capital gains and dividend taxes to keeping interest rates extremely low to bailing out just about everyone.
According to the securities industry's Equity Ownership in America 2008 report, the proportion of the population that owned stocks or bonds fell from 57 percent in 2001 to 48 percent in 2008.
The latest report from the Census Bureau on income, poverty, and health insurance is full of interesting data that show that median household income in 2008, at $50,303, was below where it was in 1998. The same report shows (see Table B-1 on Page 44) that both the number and the percentage of people living below the poverty line rose, from 11.9 percent in 1999 to 13.2 percent in 2009.
Between 1999 and 2008 (see Table C-1, Page 59 of the census report), the population of the United States rose 9 percent, but the uninsured population of the United States rose 19.5 percent.
Once the housing market peaked in the summer of 2006 and foreclosures started to mount, the homeownership rate declined. Today, it stands at 67.6 percent—almost precisely where it was in the fall of 2000.
And yet, I still regularly read pieces from the right talking about economic ruin that will befall us if don't allow tax cuts to continue, or we impose regulations on industry, or we raise the minimum wage, or... you get the picture.

If you read such a piece or talk to such a person, take the time to ask them exactly what a tax-cutting, deregulated, pro-development, anti-worker, poor healthcare, debt-encouraging economy has produced for us. If they have a good answer, please let me know.

And It Makes You Feel Happy Too

You really can't drink red wine for breakfast without people staring at you like you're sitting on the curb drinking from a bottle of gin. But if you are trying to fight off atherosclerosis, maybe now you don't have to:

Blood tests found that after participants drank chocolate milk twice a day for four weeks, they had significantly lower levels of several inflammatory biomarkers, though some markers of cellular inflammation remained unchanged.

Participants also had significantly higher levels of good HDL cholesterol after completing the chocolate milk regimen, according to the study, which appears in the November issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and is already online.
And, of course, there is the side benefit that drinking chocolate milk makes you feel like you're 10 years old. And that is almost never a bad thing.

When In Rome

Go see this incredibly designed modern art museum.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Whatever You Say J.R.

The notes attached to NBA game recaps are not usually where you go for comedy gold. But this is the funniest thing I've read in a some time.

Denver's J.R. Smith scored five points in his first game after serving a seven-game suspension. He said he wants to go by his given name, Earl III, although the Nuggets plan to keep calling him J.R.
There are various levels of being in the doghouse, but I think the bottom level has to be when your organization refuses to call you by your own name.

Monday, November 9, 2009


And that one is Anh Cao of Louisiana, the only Republican to vote for the healthcare bill on Saturday.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Yeah, a Few Maybe

Michael Gerson in a fundamentally silly piece about Tuesday's elections signaling Obama's ceding of the center:

By creating deficits unequaled as a percentage of the economy since World War II, by proposing to nearly triple the national debt in the next 10 years, by using the economic crisis as an excuse for the massive expansion of government authority over health care, Obama has become a polarizing figure. Of course, some Republicans thrive on ideological combat and would seek it even if unprovoked.
Maybe one or two.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Bit Puzzled

My question for today:

How is it that two gubernatorial wins coupled with two Congressional losses equals a groundswell of support for the GOP and a stern rebuke of Obama?

No one has really explained it yet, but they all keep saying it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Classic Ad 2

The same site, Martin Klasch, also has this testament to truth in advertising.

Classic Ad

While working on our department Christmas card at work, I stumbled across this gem of a holiday ad.

Is There Enough Handicap Parking on Pennsylvania?

One fact in these three paragraphs stands out to me as odd.

An 81-year-old man told police that he was robbed this morning while waiting for his wife who was shopping for groceries.

The robbery occurred about 1:55 a.m. at the Hy-Vee store at 7620 State Line Road in Prairie Village.

The man told police that he was waiting in his car while his wife popped into the store. The woman approached his car, opened the door and pulled him out, according to police.
If you asked yourself why an 81 year old man was out grocery shopping at 1:55 a.m., you have a similar thought pattern to me.

I've known several 81 year old men, and I can't remember one who I ever knew of going out after 10, let alone 2. Maybe there are some special circumstances.

Or maybe not. I'll be looking for octogenarians the next time I'm out late in Westport.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The All-Time Team (mostly of guys from long ago)

The aforementioned bastion of journalism excellence put out a Chiefs all-time team for the organization's 50th anniversary. A few facts about the list:

There are 26 people on the list.

15 of those players became Chiefs before 1970.

Of the remaining 11, 5 played in the 80's and 90's.

All of those guys were defensive players.

The final 6 were from the Dick Vermeil era (00's).

All of those guys were offensive players.

There are 0 current Chiefs on the team.

Todd Haley is not the all-time coach.

Who Needs facebook When You have the Star?

Newspapers really are in trouble. What other conclusions can you draw when the Star now has what appears to be a permanent place at the center of the homepage reserved for party pics?

If the only reason someone is going to read you is that you might include a picture of someone they know, you should probably be an alumni magazine... not the newspaper of record for a top 50 media market.

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