Best Movies of 2004
I only saw about 30 movies in the theater this year, so it's not like
I'm the most qualified judge, and I still haven't seen The Life Aquatic
yet, but these are the ones I liked the best. Click on the link to read
my original review:
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Darko: The Director's Cut
of the Dead
Movies that, in hindsight,
I may have overrated:
that were disappointments:
Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Portman - Closer and Garden State
- I Heart Huckabees
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Napoleon Dynamite
Dallas Howard - The Village
Paltrow - Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
- The Manchurian Candidate
BEST Songs of 2004
Here are my 30 favorite songs of the year, with comments, in no real particular
order. If an Amazon.com sound clip exists, I have generously supplied
by The Scissor Sisters
When the "Schamoe... Schamoe..." chorus kicks in for the
second time, I defy you not to sing along.
Woke Me Up Again by Sufjan Stevens
The coolest religious song featuring an organ that I've ever heard.
No, but seriously, it's awesome.
Drink to Me Babe, Then by AC Newman
Makes me wanna wet myself, it's so darned perfect.
Extraordinary Machine by Fiona Apple
It's still unreleased because the executives at Sony are retarded,
but it's brilliant. I wish you could hear it.
One You Love by Rufus Wainwright
Recalls the best parts of his best work. A quintessential Rufus song.
Crossing by Elliott Smith
Sad and crushing, yet I sound really good when I sing along with it
in the car. Definitely the best song of the year.
Phone by Cake
I hate cake. I really do. But I have to admit, when it comes to catchy
songs that get stuck in your head, this one is a doozy.
Yourself Out by Jon Brion
Two minutes is too short for what is probably the best pop song of
the year, and it successfully boils down the entire point of a pretty
complicated movie like I Heart Huckabees into one and a half versus. Genius.
Instant, Last Report by Earlimart
Sounds like Elliott Smith with a little Pixies thrown in for good
measure. Inspired me to purchase the CD.
by Carina Round
She might initially come off as angry and loud, but this song is poppy
in all the right ways, and suggestively filthy without ever really being
by Har Mar Superstar
By the end of this song, he really did make me wanna have his babies.
The perfect kick-off for the party CD of the year.
Wonder by Augie March
Good sweet pop music with a rousing climax of Hi-Ho-Hum.
Shut up. You'd like it, too, if you danced to it drunk on a cruise
ship five nights in a row.
Be Home by the Old 97s
The coolest kiss-off refrain of the year: "I'm pulling off the
road, I'm opening the door, I'm giving you the pavement and I'm telling
you what for."
Lane by Komeda
A great quirky single on a CD full of great singles.
Your Cover's Blown by Belle and Sebastian
Epic and impressive and hilariously plotted. It's like a mini-movie
but insanely sing-alongable.
1976 by RJD2
Baby's a Dick by The Elected
The great title implies that it may be a novelty song, but it's not.
View by Modest Mouse
Finally, Modest Mouse write a song that doesn't sound like a rip-off
of somebody else's.
Even Now by The Owls
This local band recorded the best new Beatles song of the year.
The Tain by The Decemberists
18 minutes may sound a little long for a single song, but surprisingly,
it ends too soon.
Memory by Sondre Lerche
Pure soft-rock heaven, with a banjo to boot.
The Strip by Har Mar Superstar
Sounds like a novelty song, but it's so catchy, who cares. The best
chorus of the year by far. "Let the sluts know who's runnin' it."
Serenade by The Honeydogs
It's hard to pick one song from this CD since they all flow so seamlessly
and depend on each other so greatly, but I had to pick at least one for
The best opening track of the year with a cool and whispy atmosphere.
Messiah by Rufus Wainwright
I'm surprised this song alone didn't get his CDs banned at Walmart
for life. Subversive and cheeky.
Told Me by The Killers
Tries to hard to be cool, but mostly succeeds anyway.
by Nora Jones
I know I know I know. But I can't help it. It's one of the few songs
they overplayed on the radio that didn't make me want to puke, even after
the millionth time.
Get Retarded by the Black Eyed Peas
You know you love it.
by The Decemberists
Best B-Side of the year with the best tongue-in-cheek lyric: "Why
hold you breath until your face turns blue? A stretch of rope you know
can do that, too."
Coast to Coast by Elliott Smith
Overwhelms at first, but kicks ass when all is said and done.
The WORST Songs:
All Angels by Train
The worst lyrics to a song ever. Literally cheesier than every line
of dialogue ever written for Seventh Heaven.
Cinnamon Girl by Prince
Prince has hit rock bottom, musically. The video was even more embarassing,
which pathetically tries to be controversial about 9/11 a full three years
after it had already been discussed to death.
by Los Lonely Boys
Grating on each and every nerve in my body.
2004 by Rueben Studdard
At least he had the manners to apologize for it in advance.
Tall by John Cougar Melloncamp
A perfect boring, generic example of a boring, generic career.
Years by Fight for Fighting
More schmalzy sentiment than you could ever hope to encounter in a
Reason by Hoobastank
Pure puke on all levels.
Dei by Rufus Wainwright
Sorry, Rufus, you know you're one of my favorites, but this song seriously
My Top 10 Favorite CDs
of the 2004
Click on the link to read my original reviews:
1. Elliott Smith - From
a Basement on a Hill
2. Jon Brion - I
3. Har Mar Superstar - The
4. Sufjan Stevens - Seven
5. The Scissor Sisters - Scissor
6. Carina Round - The
7. The Elected - Me
8. Sondre Lerche - Two
9. Air - Talkie
10. The Honeydogs - 10,000
I may have overrated:
PJ HArvey - Uh
Badly Drawn Boy - One
Plus One is One
I may have underrated:
Komeda - Kokomemedada
Modest Mouse - Good
News for People Who Like Bad News
Worst CDs of the year:
Prince - Musicology
The Super Furry Animals - Phantom
Bad, but disappointing:
The Cure - The
Wilco - A
Ghost is Born
The Best Books of 2004
These are the three books I enjoyed the most, with links to my original
The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
by Augusten Burroughs
The Worst Book of 2004
And this one, by far, was the worst:
by Nicholson Baker