The music inside

I have been running through in my mind how I would write this one epic end of the year music post detailing the best music that has been released this year in my mind. It seems like a simple enough idea, right? Well I started to go through my music looking and reminding myself what has been released this year that I have really loved and I found way to music music to list here and I also find that a lot of the music I have loved that I have found this year is not new at all.

I got to thinking about the whole idea of a top (insert number here) list for the year but I a drawing a blank. I just don’t think its possible really and I don’t understand how other people do it. I look at other blog posts and sites with such lists and I cant help but wonder if these lists are as much of a “look how cool I am for listening to this” kind of a list. Maybe everyone really did like the same music this year. Maybe the albums I hear talked about all the time are simply that good. And maybe I like the same ol’ same ol’ to and im just being cynical..

Maybe I am rambling a bit to much here about this.

So I decided to narrow down my favorite albums, then narrow those down into my favorite songs, then narrow that down to one 120 minute mix. Only that mix ended up not really being the best of the year, it ended up being more the music that I love at the moment that just so happened to be released this year. These songs were not just favorite songs but hold significance in my mind outside of the traditional, what a great song that is, kind of a thing.

These songs are the ones that changed me. They are the songs that I have listened to countless times recently and they are the songs that held me together and kept me sane this year.

Do you ever find yourself listening to a song that somehow locks in with your existence in such a way that you fear that if the song were to end that you may just fade away into the silence along with it? I feel this all the time about some songs. These are those songs.

The ones that held me together. The ones that played during moments of the year that I can not shake. So, here they are, in alphabetical order by artist. If you are interested in hearing this music let me know and perhaps I can send you a copy of the mix.

I would make links to where you can get all of these songs but not all of them are easy to find online really. Ok ok, enough chatter, I will list the name of the song, the artist, and what about the song I find amazing.

“Skinny Love” by Bon Iver from the album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’
This song was played dozens of times in the last couple of months, it was hypnotic to me somehow, something inside the melody and the presentation of the song in its recording really struck me as something familiar yet new somehow.

“re: Stacks” by Bon Iver from the album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’
This is the last song on this record and was the last one of the songs to really catch my attention for whatever reason but one night I was listening to this album and the song grabbed hold of me and would not let go, something in its subtlety and mood was just perfect. It’s just a beautiful song really.

“To Build A Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra from the album ‘Ma Fleur’
This song is one I can’t describe. A song so gently played it feels like it could break at any moment, something in this song that I can’t find words for. Simply a beautiful favorite.

“Breathe” by the Cinematic Orchestra from the album ‘Ma Fleur’
This song holds a special place in my mind after my trip to Europe. I find that listening to it turns up all sorts of memories that were beautiful and ones that I am happy to relive through this song.

“This Time Tomorrow” by The Kinks from the soundtrack to ‘Darjeeling Limited’
Yes, I know I know, this song was not technically made this year but it was on a release this year so it counts. Parts of this movie were really amazing to me and this song stands out in my mind from the film somehow. Without getting to deep into the reasons I like it, it just makes me smile and want to cry somehow. Strange.

“Intuition” by Feist from the album ‘The Reminder’
I remember finding this album somehow earlier in the year before it was actually released. I did not really know much about the artist all I knew is that I really loved the album. Who knew it would explode this year the way it did. Seems like I’ve heard a couple of the songs from it all over the place. This song is my favorite from the album. Just a perfect performance of the song and I love the end when other voices come in to carry along a second layer to the melody. Wonderful.

“So Long” by Jason Anderson from the album ‘Tonight’
This song is an alternate version of a song he had already released but I love this version so much. Jason Anderson writes songs of little pieces of life and love and the beauty of being alive and this song has echoed through my head ever since I heard it the first time and it brought tears to my eyes. Being a little to honest here perhaps? How could you not connect with a crowd of people singing along with Jason singing at the top of their lungs “The best thing in the world, is to love someone, and they love you back”?

“Your Arms Around Me” by Jens Lekman from the album ‘Night Falls Over Kortedala’
It’s amazing to me that a song can be written like this, a story about cutting of a piece of a finger that ends up being so beautiful and heartfelt. Really, its a beautiful song and one of my very favorites this year. It is another that brings to mind memories of the times I listened to it. Amazing album by the way…

“All the Way Down” by Glen Hansard from the soundtrack to ‘Once’
This whole soundtrack has a number of songs that I really loved this year and I have to admit I heard the music before I saw the film and I prefer the music. This one song was one of my favorites and I listened to it many many times since I found it. Something in the simplicity of it in comparison to the rest of the songs really stood out in my mind.

“Wolves” by Phosphorescent from the album ‘Pride’
I loved his first album and discovered at some point that he had a new album out this year and I instantly fell in love with the songs on it. All of them bring a sense of wonder somehow. Like you are floating on air as you listen to the songs. The singers fragile voice breaks and adds a personality to the music that is just perfect. This song is such a strange tale and is probably my favorite among the other songs on the album. Really amazing.

“House of Cards” by Radiohead form the album ‘In Rainbows’
How could you not know about this album. The great self released album from music legends Radiohead. I personally thought it was completely brilliant what they did. Aside from all the publicity it really was a pretty amazing release. A blend of their history as a band. A little bit classic and a little bit new. A perfect balance. Of all the songs on the album House of cards really stuck out and I remember wandering Paris while this song was stuck on repeat in my head.

“We, Emmanuel Light, Love Ocean” by Robin Allender from the album ‘The Bird and the World”
Simply a beautiful song I found this year that holds a place in my mind as one of the more beautiful songs written this year. Simple and warm. The mood this song holds feels like a perfect day. I can only hope my life is as peaceful as these four minutes are.

“Castrée: Tout Seul Dans La Forêt En Plein Jour” by Woelv from the album ‘Tout Seul Dans La Forêt En Plein Jour, Avez-Vous Peur?’
Yeah, long titles here but it’s a beautiful song. I first head Woelv at a concert a couple of years ago and I have been waiting for a full length for a long time now. This song is one to get lost inside and ends with 5+ minutes of an ambient recording which I think makes the song what it is..

Although there were dozens of other songs that settle in my mind from this year this list is just a little piece of it all and hopefully some of you will discover something new within it. As time goes on I will continue to discuss new music I find here on the site so keep an eye out. I just love music so much…

Well 6 hours until the new year… time to dive in.

England

This is the first of a series of desktop posts containing images taken on a recent trip to Europe. Because there are so many of these images I have decided to bundle them up into little packs of desktops. Each pack has six images each within a zip file. Below you will find thumbnails of all 6 images in each pack.

These packs, if you did not notice from the title, are both full of images from England. The next series I post will be images from elsewhere on my trip.This whole desktop pack idea is not something I will most likely be using often. It just seemed like the best way to get caught up a bit with some images I wanted to turn into desktops and share.

Please note that as always, the images here are for your personal use only and are not to be redistributed or used in any other manner outside of as your desktop/wallpaper! Please don’t be afraid to contact me at john{at}twistedsun.net with any questions or requests.

To download a desktop pack simply click on the bunch of thumbnails below that you would like to download. There are two to choose from. Enjoy!

london_one

london_two

In the old arms of the new

I recently found myself in the possession of a new/old Canon rangefinder called a Canonet and shot my first roll on it. I really love this camera and I can not wait to see where it takes me. Here is a handful of images from the roll… (use the “read more” link so see more)

downstairs

(more…)

So it begins…

Here we are. A new year with new opportunities, new chances, new risks, and new inspirations. Everything around me is changing. Work, friends, the planet, love, life, everything. The past year was a transition into this one. 2008, I feel, will be a year to remember somehow. The year when everything changed. I feel that I have been climbing and climbing and I have reached the peak of whatever this mountain is called. The view is wonderful from here and I can see that the path ahead looks beautiful. Don’t mean to sound to melodramatic here… ;)

Anyway, with all of this freshness I found that it would be a perfect time to dive right into something new with my online presence. My old site, twistedsun.net served me well for years and years and years but there was always something in that project that never felt quite right. I tried countless things to be happy with it but I never felt fully satisfied by it so I have decided to leave it behind. Let it sit as a memorial to the time that was spent on it and the thousands of people who wandered through its halls.

Why the change? Why take something that had grown that much and throw it out? Simply put, its time for a change. I have been talking about it forever it seems. I would hint and grand new projects all the time on the pages of twistedsun.net but life always somehow got in the way of me taking the plunge. Something always held me back somehow. Sometimes time, sometimes motivation, but here I am. A new beginning.

So, John, whats going to change? Surely you wont stop putting out desktops right?… right!? Nope, desktops will still be a key feature within my online presence. I love to share images with people in this way and I will continue to do so both my own images and hopefully still the occasional guest image. The only difference really will be that the desktops will all be incorporated into the main blog. I have decided to let the categories be well defined and therefore easy to use as quick jumps to the type of content you want to see here on the site.

I will be getting things started right with desktops using images from my recent trip to Europe which just so happens to have been the catalyst for all of this change in my mind. I think I will release images in packs of desktops and some will most likely already be up and available by the time I announce this site to the world officialy.

So all of this out of the way I hope everyone enjoys the new look and the new name. The look of the site has been through a lot of tweaking and trial and error but it has finally settled in my mind. The idea is to make the content king of the site. I wanted photos to be bold and obvious and the navigation to be unobtrusive and out of the way. I can’t thank my friend Dave Jansen from foreverlost.net enough for all the help he has given me with the theme here. He was the one who got the great java menus just the way I wanted and helped tame a picky footer and just kind of cleaned up after the mess I made!

Ok, surely this is not the end of the introductory chatter but I just wanted to clue everyone in on my thoughts as all of this change around here is happening.

So here is to a new beginning, and to change, and to happiness and everything else good in this world.

Heres to the future.

-john

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——

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Thank you for your understanding and support!

-John Carey (curator, owner)

fiftyfootshadows.net

fiftyfootshadows@gmail.com