Arbitrarily ordered list of albums from the aughts that Liz likes

2009 music

Ween (White Pepper)

Calexico (Feast of Wire)

The Dandy Warhols (Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia)

St. Vincent (Marry Me)

The Shins (Chutes Too Narrow)

New Pornographers (Twin Cinema)

Elliott Smith (Figure Eight)

Fleet Foxes (Fleet Foxes)

Animal Collective (Strawberry Jam)

Beach House (Devotion)

Radiohead (Kid A)

Postal Service (Give Up)

Broken Social Scene (You Forgot It In People)

Dirty Projectors (Rise Above)

Iron & Wine (Our Endless Numbered Days)

Modest Mouse (The Moon and Antarctica)

Neko Case (Middle Cyclone)

Radiohead (In Rainbows)

Wilco (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)

Joanna Newsom (Ys)

Outkast (Stankonia)

First of all, I find it extremely difficult to order this list in any sort of relevant way. After several stressful minutes of rapid cutting and pasting, I’ve decided to present these to you randomly.

Secondly, I am aware that these are all pop albums. Perhaps that says something for how innovative pop music really is, because an “I’ve got to hear it 100 more times” hook can be written by any band, and at any time. There is, of course, much merit in creating mood, inserting enticing content, or alarming the audience with noise they’ve never heard before, but what will always burn into your brain are those infectious bits you find yourself humming as you live your everyday.

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The 5 Best and Worst Horror Movies of 2009

2009 hasn’t been the best year for scary movies. Some have been interesting, others horrifically bad, but overall they’ve been disappointing in their unwillingness to take a chance. Still, a few rose to the top (and sunk to the bottom), and here they are. As always, leave your comments below!

The Best

1. Drag Me to Hell

2. Jennifer’s Body

3. A Perfect Getaway

4. Zombieland

5. Trick ‘r Treat

Honorable Mention: Orphan, My Bloody Valentine 3-D

The Worst

1. The Final Destination

2. Sorority Row

3. Paranormal Activity

4. The Uninvited

5. The Stepfather

Honorable Mention: Quarantine, Friday the 13th (the remake)

The 5 Best and Worst Movies of 2009

Film Reel - RF

What were your favorites (and least favorites)? Voice your opinion in the comments section below!

The Best

1. Gomorra

2. District 9

3. Precious

4. Taken

5. Up!

Honorable mention: Inglourious Basterds, 500 Days of Summer, Extract

The Worst

1. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

2. Confessions of a Shopaholic

3. The Ugly Truth

4. Bride Wars

5. Observe and Report

Honorable mention: I Love You Beth Cooper, Miss March, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Proposal

The 10 Best Movies to Watch on Christmas

yule log

After the presents are unwrapped and the egg nog hangover has worn off, it’s time to celebrate another age old holiday tradition — watching sappy Christmas movies. Here are ten of my favorites, just in case you need ideas for what to rent or download.

1. A Christmas Story

I could recite this movie from beginning to end. Best line: “It must be Italian!”

2. It’s a Wonderful Life

Best character: Mr. Martini!

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol

Clearly the best interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale that has yet to be made. You know that if the technology had existed at the time, Dickens would have made the story into a muppet musical himself. Just fast forward through the boring love song.

4. Home Alone

You’ve gotta love a movie that teaches young boys that it’s okay to be friends with creepy old quasi-homeless men.

5. Bad Santa

A fun twist on Miracle on 34th Street, and it really holds up over time.

6. Miracle on 34th Street

Best character: a tie between the drunk Santa at the beginning of the film and the sassy janitor kid from Brooklyn.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas

A fun twist on The Grinch Who Stole Christmas that obviously still holds up for film geeks and goth kids alike.

8. Scrooge (1951)

This is the old black and white version of A Christmas Carol, not to be confused with “Scrooged” starring Bill Murray, also an excellent film. Alastair Sim standing on his head at the end makes this whole movie.

9. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

So cynical and fun, and Boris Karloff’s narration is brilliant.

10. The Yule Log

Not exactly a movie, but still worth watching.

Merry Christmas, readers!

Laura’s Top 20 Albums of the Decade

2009 music

It’s weird to think that the 00’s (aughts? naughts?) are already almost over. Soon it will be the tens, and we’ll be dressing like Gibson girls all over again. But for the next few weeks, and probably for the first few months of the new year, there will be a lot of “Best of the Decade” lists to pore through. This is one of them.

I now present my twenty favorite albums of the decade!*

*I’m sure that in five years I’ll have a totally different list, but so it goes.

20. Arular (MIA)

19. Amnesiac (Radiohead)

18. The Fame (Lady Gaga)

17. Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? (The Unicorns)

16. Kid A (Radiohead)

15. Give Up (The Postal Service)

14. Rooty (Basement Jaxx)

13. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Flaming Lips)

12. Hail to the Thief (Radiohead)

11. Sea Change (Beck)

10. Fever to Tell (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

9. More Adventurous (Rilo Kiley)

8. Tenacious D (Tenacious D)

7. The Woods (Sleater-Kinney)

6. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (OutKast)

5. Warning (Green Day)

4. Blacklisted (Neko Case)

3. In Rainbows (Radiohead)

2. Funeral (Arcade Fire)

1. Figure 8 (Elliott Smith)