So let’s pretend you’re Zach Braff and I’m this impossibly quirky-but-troubled indie chick who just stumbled into your life at the most unexpected time, and as you’re trying to figure me out, I hand my big headphones over to share with you the songs, movies and TV shows of 2007 that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I suggest standing in the rain and crying while you read this.
***The Top 10 Songs That Will CHANGE YOUR LIFE***
10. “Pace Is The Trick” by Interpol – I feel like this album sort of got unfairly written off, but then again I might be the only one who still enjoys Droning Sleazy Subway Rock as a musical genre.
9. “Nothin’ No” by David Vandervelde – Trying to sound like Bowie is a dangerous proposition for even the most talented artist, but David Vandervelde infuses just enough originality in his homages to 70’s glam rock to keep things awesome.
8. “My Old Ways” by Dr. Dog – As the first three selections (this one included) on my list demonstrate, sometimes there’s nothing wrong with being derivative. Dr. Dog sounds like the best parts of The Beach Boys and The Beatles, and this song makes me feel like I made the right choice by becoming a boring old yuppie.
7. “Heart Made Of Sound” by SoftLightes – This is one of those songs that most of my friends have never heard, but whenever it comes on, they all want to know who it is. A bit Braffian maybe, but the song sounds too good to hold that against it.
6. “Hurt Me Soul” by Lupe Fiasco – Attention: obligatory hip-hop song on a white indie rock nerd’s year-end music list! But seriously, this track is amazing and I listened to it a million times this year.
5. “The Well and the Lighthouse” by Arcade Fire – I could have put any of the songs from Neon Bible on this list, because the album is that good, but I chose this one because I like the way this morality fable (whose message is vital to our apathetic generation) is told in such a toe-tapping, snappy manner.
4. “Poison Cup” by M. Ward – This is simply one of the best love songs I’ve heard in a long time.
3. “I Made A Resolution” by Sea Wolf – Just in time for New Year’s Eve!
2. “New York I Love You” by LCD Soundsystem – This goes to show how much of a cranky misanthropic asshole I am, to pick the sad piano dirge about the death of culture in New York City among an entire album’s worth of brain-exploding party anthems.
1. “Bullets” by Tunng. – I literally cannot stop listening to this track on repeat, which I don’t think I’ve done since “November Rain” came out when I was 12. My constantly listening to this would probably be driving my fiancee and friends crazy if it wasn’t such a f*cking amazing song.
**Alex’s Top 5 Movies of 2007 That Will CHANGE YOUR LIFE**
5. The Lookout – No big stars, no big fuss, just a great little movie with style and suspense to spare. Netflix this one if you missed it in theaters.
4. I’m Not There – Granted, I’m Not There will likely be enjoyed only be the most hardcore Dylan fan (and the inexplicable, totally unnecessary Richard Gere portion by no one at all), but I am that fan, and despite its aforementioned Gere problem, I loved this movie for its daring, unconventional method of examining the life of the most inscrutable rock genius of our time. And Cate Blanchett deserves every ounce of the awards buzz she’s getting for this.
3. Into the Wild – Seeing as how it happens to be my own private fantasy to one day stop writing this bullsh*t for you guys, sell all my worldly possessions, donate the money charity, then disappear to live a more natural life of simplicity in the mountains, I was particularly drawn to the subject matter of this film, which was directed by Sean Penn, but amazingly lacks his ham-handed political soap-boxing. The performances are all amazing, and despite being incredibly sad, the story was relentlessly entertaining.
2. No Country For Old Men – I’m in perfect agreement with everything my blogging cohorts have already said about this film. It’s about as close to perfection as one can expect from the cinema these days, and the badass badassitude of Anton Chigurh alone all but makes up for that “Ladykillers” blemish on the Coen Brothers‘ 20 year-long pristine directorial resume.
1. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford – The stunning cinematography, the innovative soundtrack, the devastating performances, the tension and excitement of story about a group of best friends who are also merciless killers, and that story being told in a manner that is almost poetic? Everything about this movie worked together like a perfect equation for total awesomeness. Not to mention that it has one of the coolest movie titles I’ve heard in years.
Movies I Haven’t Seen Yet But Suspect Might’ve Made The List: There Will Be Blood, The Diving Bell & The Butterfly, The Savages, Michael Clayton, The Bratz Movie
Honorable Mentions: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Zodiac, 300, Paris, je t’aime, , American Gangster, Ratatouille
**Alex’s Top 5 Television Shows of 2007 That Will CHANGE YOUR LIFE**
5. Paula’s Party – If the Food Network is like pornography for your stomach, this is the filthiest, sexiest, steamiest stomach porn you can find. It’s all butter-fried crispy cheese & bacon, which I could never actually bring myself to eat, but somehow savor when the world’s friendliest gradma is shoving it into people’s mouths on television. I watch it secretly, alone, with the volume on low, like some kind of pervy truck driver sneaking into a nudie booth at 2 in the morning.
4. Heroes – I try to look past people’s problems and see the best in them, which is how this show still made it onto my list despite blowing my sky-high expectations for it with a bunch of lame teen romance subplots and a hopeless addiction to adding more and more characters. The show started to show some promise towards the latter part of the season, which was cut short because of the strike, meaning that it was effectively saved by the bell. You’d better impress me in ’08, Heroes, or you’re going back on the bench.
3. 30 Rock – Sorry Scranton, but my TV office of choice happens to be right here in Manhattan.
2. Friday Night Lights - As someone who openly hates sports, I would never have expected that one my favorite television shows would end up being about a high school football team in rural Texas. And the irony is that dorky Blue State blogger-types like myself seem to be the only ones watching this show, while the middle-American suburb-dwellers who stereotypically tend to enjoy things like football and cheerleading are, for some reason, not tuning in. Weird.
1. The Wire – You’re probably sick of people like me saying this to you, but this is the greatest television show in the history of the medium and you owe it yourself and to me to get on board and watch it already.