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Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:12 PM
Bath Albums
 by Fëanor

When I was younger, I feel like my default unit of music was the album. My brother's, too. When we heard a song we liked, we didn't buy the single. (Well, maybe once or twice we bought some cassingles. Remember those??) We went out and bought the whole album. If we liked the album, we went back and bought all the other albums that band had made. Or, as many as we could find at the record store. Remember when you had to just keep going back to every record store you knew of to find albums you wanted? And if those stores didn't have those albums, you were just out of luck? Crazy.

Anyway, not long after I embraced MP3s and moved my entire music collection onto my iPod, my default unit of music changed to the song. I stopped listening to whole albums and I started listening to playlists on shuffle. It was kind of a seismic shift. It felt freeing. I love the weird juxtapositions a random shuffle can create. And there's no commitment or continuity in a random shuffle; you can break off and start again whenever or wherever.

But for whatever reason, I'm starting to embrace the album again. I'm buying albums of music, and I'm listening to whole albums with my son, instead of playlists on shuffle. And I'm seeing again what you can do with an album, how it can be a deeply meaningful grouping, how putting a bunch of songs together like that can give them more power and meaning than when they're just ripped out and played alone, out of context.

All of which is to say, I'm playing albums when I give my son a bath at night, and here are some of the classics I'm revisiting and new stuff I'm discovering:

  • Abacab - Genesis

  • Abbey Road - The Beatles

  • Achtung Baby - U2

  • Act II: The Father of Death - The Protomen

  • The Suburbs - Arcade Fire

  • Band on the Run - The Wings

  • Beaster - Sugar

  • Genesis - Genesis

  • Sheer Heart Attack - Queen

  • So - Peter Gabriel

  • Specter at the Feast - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

  • Strange Cousins From The West - Clutch

  • Jesus Christ Superstar - Andrew Lloyd Weber

  • The Protomen - The Protomen
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Griffin (Not), Lists (Not), Music (Not), Parenting (Not)
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012 02:27 PM
(Last updated on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 03:26 PM)
Best Albums of 2012
 by Fëanor

10. Some Nights by fun.

I'm a little embarrassed to include this on my list, because to be honest this album is just a bunch of cheesy hipster music. But it is really catchy, well done, emotionally effective, cheesy hipster music, so what can I do?

9. Neck of the Woods by Silversun Pickups

Although I like their previous stuff a bit more, the new record from Silversun Pickups is solid indie rock.

8. Blunderbuss - Jack White

Jack White finally strikes out on his own and... it sounds a lot like Jack White when he plays with other folks! Which means when it rocks, it really, really rocks (see embedded video). And when it doesn't rock... it's kinda dull. But mostly it rocks!

7. King Animal - Soundgarden

Dude, Soundgarden is back!!! No real surprises here - this is just another Soundgarden record - but I'll take another Soundgarden record any day. Steady, reliable rock.

6. Port of Morrow - The Shins

The Shins are probably one of my favorite contemporary bands. Unexpected, heart-piercing lyrics, beautiful music that just embeds itself in your soul. The song I've included here is probably my favorite on this record, but they're pretty much all fantastic.

5. Silver Age - Bob Mould

Gotta love Bob. Dude just keeps churning out the noisy rock year after year. He's doing it again here, louder than ever. Long may he reign.

4. Channel Orange - Frank Ocean

I didn't expect to like this record as much as I did, mostly because it's classified as R&B, a genre I generally don't take to. But it's really more an expert melding of pop, R&B, and hip-hop, and it's clever and wry and personal and heartfelt.

3. Sun - Cat Power

I wasn't nearly as big a fan of The Greatest as everybody else seemed to be, but this record really impressed me - especially the track I've embedded, "Ruin." Catchy and powerful.

2. The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do - Fiona Apple

Another raw, beautiful, poetic, bruised record from Fiona Apple. "Hot Knife" is probably my favorite track, but there are many stand-outs, including "Every Single Night" and "Daredevil."

1. Theatre Is Evil - Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra

Warning: the video above, like pretty much all of Amanda's videos, is NSFW! I'm perhaps biased towards this record a bit because I contributed to its production, by funding Palmer's slightly controversial, but wildly successful, Kickstarter. But setting all that aside, I think if you give it an impartial listen you'll agree it's a pretty powerful piece of work, just as raw and brutal and personal as Apple's release, but with a New Wave spin. This record will tear your heart out of your chest and dance on it. (UPDATE: I feel it necessary to note that one of the B-sides for this record, "Ukulele Anthem," is easily one of my favorite songs of all time - a silly, angry, defiant, insightful, passionate, screaming, loving manifesto on art and life.)

Honorable Mentions
  • Sounds from Nowheresville - The Ting Tings

  • A Blessed Unrest - The Parlour Trick (listen to the whole thing here, and then purchase if you like)

  • Life Is Good - Nas
Tagged (?): Lists (Not), Music (Not), Video (Not)
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Monday, September 24, 2012 02:19 PM
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Art (Not), Avengers (Not), Clothing (Not), Comedy (Not), Dune (Not), Harry Potter (Not), LEGO (Not), Links (Not), Lists (Not), Mario (Not), Mashups (Not), Monsters (Not), Movies (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Shirts (Not), Tolkien (Not), Toys (Not), Video (Not), Video games (Not), Weather (Not), Web comics (Not)
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012 11:34 AM
(Last updated on Thursday, July 5, 2012 10:55 AM)
Love Is
 by Fëanor

Things that Love Is, according to the songs on my iPod:
  • A Battlefield

  • A Ghost in America

  • A Good Thing

  • a Mutt from Hell

  • a Rose

  • All We Have

  • Blind

  • Blinding

  • Blindness

  • Coming Down

  • Not Enough

  • Stronger Than Justice

  • The Drug

  • The Seventh Wave

UPDATE 1: If you're looking closely, you'll notice a glaring omission here - A Battlefield. I hope to correct this error soon.
UPDATE 2: Corrected!
Tagged (?): Lists (Not), Music (Not)
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012 03:05 PM
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Animals (Not), Animated GIFs (Not), Art (Not), Cartoons (Not), Celebrities (Not), Comedy (Not), Comic books (Not), Diablo (Not), Doctor Who (Not), Hulk (Not), Links (Not), Lists (Not), Movies (Not), Music (Not), News (Not), Photography (Not), Pixar (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Superman (Not), Toy Story (Not), TV (Not), Video (Not), Video games (Not)
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 06:35 PM
Uh uh
 by Fëanor

I realize it's totally pointless to argue with somebody else's top ten list, because opinions never match! But man, I have serious issues with io9's list of the top 10 best comic book movies of all time. To save you from clicking over if you don't want to, I'll give you the short version:

10. Superman: The Movie
9. X2: X-Men United
8. Hellboy
7. Spider-Man 2
6. Scott Pilgrim
5. Persepolis
4. Iron Man
3. Akira
2. The Avengers
1. The Dark Knight

Now, first off, I haven't seen two of the movies on this list (Persepolis and The Avengers), so obviously they get a pass. But I've never been all that impressed with the first Superman; Superman II I've always enjoyed a lot more, even if it is a ridiculous film. I have similar feelings about the next three movies on the list. The X-Men movies are pretty good, but X2 is probably my least favorite of them. And Hellboy 2 is definitely way better than the original Hellboy. Of the Spider-Man movies, 2 is maybe the best one, but that's like picking your favorite cancer. Those movies suck, dude. They are made of cheese.

The rest of the movies I can't really argue with. Scott Pilgrim, Iron Man, Akira, The Dark Knight - all great, great movies. But if you're going to include Akira, I feel like you have to take into account movies like Ghost in the Shell, the Lone Wolf and Cub movies, and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. It sounds like they left off Batman Begins for the sake of variety, but... dude. Batman Begins! And then what about Captain America: The First Avenger?! Thor? Constantine? The Incredible Hulk? Justice League: The New Frontier? Men in Black! Road to Perdition!

I think my list looks like this:

10. Men in Black
9. Captain America: The First Avenger
8. Constantine
7. Akira
6. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
5. Thor
4. Batman Begins
3. Iron Man
2. Road to Perdition
1. The Dark Knight

I wish I could have fit Shogun Assassin and New Frontier in there, but there wasn't quite enough room.

What does your list look like? Are you enraged by mine like I was enraged by io9's?
Tagged (?): Comic books (Not), Lists (Not), Movies (Not)
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Thursday, January 26, 2012 11:40 AM
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Art (Not), Avengers (Not), Batman (Not), Books (Not), Celebrities (Not), Comedy (Not), Craft (Not), Fairy tales (Not), Harry Potter (Not), Links (Not), Lists (Not), Monty Python (Not), Movies (Not), News (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Tarsem (Not), Video (Not)
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Monday, December 19, 2011 12:21 PM
(Last updated on Monday, December 19, 2011 01:49 PM)
 by Fëanor

Hey, remember when I used to post things like this to this here blog?? Thought I'd try it again, just to see how it goes. Enjoy!

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Advertising (Not), Aliens (Not), Art (Not), Avengers (Not), Batman (Not), Boardgames (Not), Comedy (Not), Commercials (Not), Craft (Not), Food (Not), Gaming (Not), Holiday (Not), LEGO (Not), Links (Not), Lists (Not), Mashups (Not), Movies (Not), News (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Song of Ice and Fire (Not), Star Wars (Not), Tolkien (Not), Toys (Not), TV (Not), Video (Not), Web comics (Not)
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Friday, September 16, 2011 02:27 PM
Not really a full-on Recyclotron...
 by Fëanor

... but here are some fun things I saw today.


Creepy llama.

Amusing Harry Potter animated GIF that imagines what Snape's after-life in his headmaster portrait must be like.

I like that license plate!

Steven Soderbergh is directing a new movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, or Alexander Skarsgard may be up for a role?! Woah!
Tagged (?): Animals (Not), Animated GIFs (Not), Art (Not), Batman (Not), Celebrities (Not), Comedy (Not), Comic books (Not), Harry Potter (Not), Hayao Miyazaki (Not), Links (Not), Lists (Not), LOL (Not), Movies (Not), News (Not), Photography (Not), Photoshop (Not), Tolkien (Not)
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Monday, September 12, 2011 12:26 PM
 by Fëanor

Fëanor pours the entire internet into the Recyclotron, and only the best links come out the other end for you to enjoy.

Tagged (?): Art (Not), Books (Not), Business (Not), Clothes (Not), Comedy (Not), Comic books (Not), Craft (Not), Doctor Who (Not), Food (Not), Fringe (Not), Ghostbusters (Not), Links (Not), Lists (Not), Lovecraft (Not), Movies (Not), Music (Not), Parenthood (Not), Photography (Not), Recyclotron (Not), Shirts (Not), Space (Not), Star Wars (Not), Tolkien (Not), Toys (Not), TV (Not), Video (Not)
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