Best Music of 2014

What a horrible year for new music.  There were quite a few albums I was looking forward to (The Antlers, Fanfarlo, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Lily Allen, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Beck, Lykke Li, Wooden Wand, How to Dress Well, The Rentals, Alt-J) that just completely disappointed me.  Especially you, Wooden Wand.  Get it together.  You were going to be my new favorite band.

These are the albums that I enjoyed. There is no order, because none of them were outstanding enough to be given a rank:

Andrew Bird – Things Are Really Great Here, Sort of… – This is an album of covers of Handsome Family songs.  It’s an Andrew Bird country album.  I like Andrew Bird, and I’ve been going through a big country phase, so I enjoyed this.  It also led me to explore the Handsome Family’s albums, which I just couldn’t get into.

Slow Club – Complete Surrender – I hadn’t been a big fan of Slow Club in the past, but this is very nice and R&B-like.  I’m pretty sure this is not what their other albums sounded like.

Allo Darlin’ – We Come From the Same Place – I liked Allo Darlin’s last album too.  This is more of the same.  They have a really good bassist, and that goes along way with me.

Chet Faker – Built on Glass It took me awhile, but I found my sexy album for 2014.  This is what How to Dress Well could sound like if they decided to focus on melody.

Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music – Every best of list has this one on it.  It’s pretty good.  It’s edgy enough that you can listen to country music without feeling like you are listening to country music.

Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker – I think DP would like this album.  It’s aggressive bluesy rock n roll.  This guy can yell, and sometimes you need that.

LVL UP – Hoodwink’d – This gets a mention just because the lyrics reference the Silver Jews.  At first I thought that the album was supposed to be all cut up, but now I think my copy is just bad.  Anyway, I’ve got at least 7 songs that are whole, and I like pretty much all of them.  It’s got a nice 90s sound.

Sun Kil Moon – Benji – Now everyone who knows me knows that I love sincerity in my pop music.  If the lyrics are so sincere that you just want to cringe yourself into a ball, then I am right there.  Sun Kil Moon is like the indie Counting Crows.  This guy is pouring his heart out there on every song.  He likes to make mention that he’s the kind of guy who writes songs and goes on tour and connects with his audience.  There’s even a song about the Newtown massacre, that gets stuck in my head sometimes.   I’m cringing just thinking about it.

Brent & Kent’s Best Songs of 2011

The Annual Combo List of our favorite songs, ranked and averaged.

Top 20:


1. Sadness Is a Blessing – Lykke Li
2. Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out – The Antlers
3. Rolling In The Deep – Adele
4. Hanging From a Hit – Okkervil River
5. The Words That Maketh Murder – PJ Harvey
6. California – EMA
6. Two Cousins – Slow Club
8. Carrying the Torch – Generationals
9. Shangri-La – YACHT
10. Walking Far From Home – Iron & Wine
11. Go Outside – Cults
12. My Mistakes – Eleanor Friedberger
13. Runner Ups – Kurt Vile
14. Wicked Games – The Weeknd
14. Dust Bowl III – Other Lives
16. The Last Goodbye – The Kills
16. Hate Me Soon – Yellow Ostrich
18. Sleep – The Dodos
19. Lovers Lane – Hunx & His Punx
20. Serve the People – Handsome Furs
20. Meantime – Givers
22. Would You Say Stop? – Acid House Kings
22. Deep Oblivion – David Lowery
24. I Miss My Friend – Madeline
24. Civilian – Wye Oak
26. I Was There – The War on Drugs
27. Spitting Blood – Wu Lyf
28. Drover – Bill Callahan
29. Tina Said – Those Darlins
29. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Byé Lai Mar – This one isn’t in the playlist above, because it is cooler than you.
31. Mr. Know It All – Kelly Clarkson
31. The Hunt – Youth Lagoon

The Lovely Bones

My apologies for not updating this in awhile.  In order to try and make myself update more regularly, I’m going to try to put reviews of movies/music that I have recently seen up here.  Since I usually see movies about a year after they come out, I will not feel bad about posting spoilers.

The Lovely Bones.

I never read the book, but I’ve heard many people have.  It seemed like there was a lot in this movie that would be better with a deeper exploration, the kind you can do with a book that is harder to do with a movie.  I don’t feel I am the kind of person who needs a happy/satisfying ending every time, but it really seemed to me that the ending of the film said that it didn’t really matter that these children had died in terror at the hands of a brutal killer, so long as they had each other in heaven.  It was pretty unsatisfying.  Because I wanted a little justice in my ending, it made me feel like a movie watcher with totally unrefined and pedestrian tastes.

Failed again

So the Corps of Engineers has fucked us again, this time denying the permit to build protective barrier islands off the Louisiana coast:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not allow land barriers to be built to protect the state’s coastline, Plaquemines Parish Billy Nungesser told The Lens today.

“They turned it down,” Nungesser said. “They denied the plan to do the barrier islands, so I don’t know, so we’ll have to come up with something else. We’re going to plan B, but I don’t know what plan B is.”

This is the same type of project that folks have said would help rebuild the wetlands and protect the people living in southern Louisiana from flood surges and hurricanes.

I suspect the real reason it was denied was money.  BP won’t pay for it.  The federal government doesn’t want to pay for it.  So it doesn’t happen.

I got in a nice drunken argument with Dave over the weekend about this.  I don’t know how anyone who has paid a speck of attention to the Gulf Coast in the past five years can say that the federal government has any attention of helping.  They have repeatedly hung us out to dry (or drown).   Dave insisted that surely they are doing the best they that they can, that they have the best minds around working on the problem.

I agree that they have the best minds working on the problem.  Unfortunately for us, the problem as the government sees it is saving money and maintaining their cozy relationship with the oil companies.  They will do everything they can to make sure that they fix the problem.

Awesome has great photos of the oil disaster.

Heather Neville of Tristate Bird Rescue and Research rinses off an oiled brown pelican which was captured on a barrier island off the fragile Louisiana coast on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at a triage center in Fort Jackson, Louisiana. (MIRA OBERMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Heather Neville of Tristate Bird Rescue and Research rinses off an oiled brown pelican which was captured on a barrier island off the fragile Louisiana coast on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at a triage center in Fort Jackson, Louisiana. (MIRA OBERMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

This is a bad situation.

Goodbye Mr. Nagin

You are a turd.  You couldn’t just go quietly, you had to sully one more thing before you leave office:

C. Ray is a turd

Yes, that is the Lombardi Trophy in C. Ray’s official portrait.  Because of, you know, all the stuff C. Ray did in bringing that thing to New Orleans.

From the City of New Orleans website:

Inside the portrait, painted by Mr. Newt Reynolds, two symbols emerge from a shadowy background. A hurricane graphic, representing Hurricane Katrina, and an image of the Lombardi trophy, symbolizing the Saints first-ever Super Bowl victory, signify the challenges and difficult times as well as the unity and resiliency of New Orleanians. Mayor Nagin’s one-of-a-kind portrait reflects the distinct legacy he will leave in history.

I think that blue thing above his shoulder is the hurricane graphic.

Yay cops

Two years ago at Mardi Gras, Leslie tackled my Mom on the neutral ground of St. Charles as shots were fired into the crowd.  Seven people got shot.

Today, charges were dropped against the shooters, because the cop that confiscated the gun found on the suspects is one of the cops that recently pled guilty to planting a gun in the Danzinger bridge case.

Cursing under his breath as he left a courtroom Thursday, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro had his office dismiss all charges against three young men accused in connection with the 2009 Mardi Gras parade shooting that sent seven parade-goers, including a toddler, to the hospital with gunshot wounds.

“I want them back in f—ing court,” Cannizzaro muttered repeatedly to an assistant as he walked away from Judge Frank Marullo at Criminal District Court.

The state’s case became troubled recently, when New Orleans police Lt. Michael Lohman admitted in federal court that he planted a gun in an effort to cover up a deadly police shooting days after Hurricane Katrina.

Lohman is the cop who also confiscated the guns allegedly used in the Mardi Gras shooting.

According to prior courtroom testimony by Detective Jeff Walls, Brooks was a gunman that day and was tackled by a citizen and Lohman as he tried to run away.

When Brooks hit the ground, a fully loaded 9-mm gun fell from his waistband, police said.

What a proud moment for the NOPD.  A shooting on St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras, and your corruption lets the gunmen go free.  Thanks.


The DA has re-opened the cast.  Apparently, charges were dropped mistakenly by an Assistant DA:

Cannizzaro said the dismissal took place only because of a “breakdown in communication” between him and Pipes, and that his office will bring  Brooks,  21, Lewis, 19, and Gray, 19, to trial for discharging a firearm along the parade route.

What kind of idiot is that Assistant DA?  “Yeah, sure let them go, we don’t care.”