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Favorite Albums Of 2008 [Dec. 28th, 2008|11:56 pm]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
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[Whereabouts |Fairfax, VA]

Everyone else was doing it so I thought I would, too.

1. Pershing - Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Hands down my favorite album of the year. It's catchy, it's poppy, and it's more polished than anything else the band has done but it's still just as charming and personal as the other recordings. The album is great the whole way through but it's also a nice set of songs suitable for mixed cds for your friends. It's got some nice fuller, re-worked versions of older songs that really made fans happy but also made for a good introduction to those unfamiliar. I'm still kind of surprised at how amazing this album sounds and how well this band is doing.

I'll Be Lightning
2. I'll Be Lightning - Liam Finn

This was one of those accidental finds. I went to see Miracle Fortress at DC9 and this tiny adorable bearded guy opened and blew me away. His live show is kind of amazing if you've never seen it before; it's just him and this other girl named EJ and he uses a looping pedal to make things sound bigger than they are. The album is much different than the live show; it's mainstream sounding pop music but.....good. It's a decent album the whole way through but it's got a few stand-out tracks that I've caught myself listening to over and over again (Second Chance, Energy Spent). The album itself is worth buying for the awesome photographs taken by Liam in the booklet. Uh, and of course the adorable photos of cute beardy Liam himself.

Shall Noise Upon
3. Shall Noise Upon - Apollo Sunshine

Wow. Just.....wow. I'm going to say that this is the most underrated album of the year. I've been reading all the bloggy year end lists and I thought for sure that someone would acknowledge the amazingness of this album but I have yet to see it. Like, am I the only one that likes Apollo Sunshine? Am I the only one that listened to this album? It's seriously great and completely unique. I can't really tell you what it sounds like because it's all over the place but yet it's definitely one of those albums you have to listen to as a whole. I feel like those dudes in Apollo Sunshine are some of the most talented musicians out there.

The Farthest Shore
4. The Farthest Shore - National Eye

The release of this album makes me want to bang my head against the table. I am clearly one person (not a blogger that refers to herself as "we") so perhaps my opinion does not count as much as someone that writes for a blog or works for a label but this is the best thing Park the Van released this year. Guess what? NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT. It's a digital-only release. It's better than Fate and it's better than Moonwink. Yes, I totally just went there. Sigh. This album is perfect; it's obscure and dreamy as fuck. It's like a lazy journey from start to finish. Maybe like floating down a river in an intertube but in the Fall when the leaves are changing color. It's beautiful and well-written. Not only should you buy it but you should burn copies for your best friend, your crush, the helpful and hot advisor that might quit his job but you simply couldn't live without, and your mom. I am advocating illegal distribution of this album just so people will know about it because it's that damned good. **Listen to the whole album here!

Silver Sonya
5. Silver Sonya - Meredith Bragg

This came out at the end of 2007 but I didn't around to listening to it until this year so it's on here. I feel like Meredith needs some love; he's one of the most underrated musicians in DC. He's a damn good song writer and when he plays his damn good songs, he plays them like he means it -- he sings with his eyes closed. Silver Sonya is his first solo offering and it's super stripped down. There's not really a whole lot between you and Meredith, you know? Silver Sonya is naked but the kind of naked you find in art that you're not allowed to laugh at because it's kind of serious. I keep saying that Meredith reminds me of Glen Phillips and I feel like that should be a universal comparison but I have yet to read it anywhere yet. This is another album that should actually be purchased due to the fact that the cover is shiny and silver.

This Kind Of Life
6. This Kind Of Life - Olivia Mancini & the Housemates

This also probably came out last year but I didn't get it until this year. Ah, so if there's one band I got to know better this year it'd be these folks. I ate breakfast with this band before I heard the album. After seeing them like 5 times I found myself singing Jealous Type in the shower and decided it was finally time to buy it. Oh, Jealous Type. So so good. It's infectious. Last time I saw the High Strung, they were singing it backstage before they played. The rest of the album is good but I was still all like, "Where's the song about how people in DC don't dance at shows...?" Super cute stuff which is to be expected because they're a super cute band. Olivia is just about the cutest girl ever and I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little fangirlish about a few of the cute boys in the band.

Vampire Weekend
7. s/t - Vampire Weekend

The only reason I see to not think this album is great is that everyone else thinks it's great (or can't stand it). I really can't help but think of this article concerning backlash as I put this on my List. Also please note that I don't know shit about Vampire Weekend which (if you know me) is a testament to how great this album truly is.

8. Moonwink - The Spinto Band

Probably the most anticipated album of the year for me. Great songs, great recording. I only wish I had a car to listen to this album in; I've decided that's why Pershing is a better album -- I got to listen to it in a car whereas I did not have that luxury once Moonwink came out. My only complaint is that Moonwink should have come packaged with a car, the season of Summer, and a little dance by Thomas Hughes.

To Emma
9. To Emma, Forever Ago - Bon Iver

Another Vampire Weekend. Except I didn't hear Bon Iver until just a few months ago. My college's radio station has this weird format called SUCK where they play the same old mainstream shit like Katy Perry, Oasis, and Weezer and reject albums like this one. I found it in one of the reject bins and I took it and holy shit, it's beautiful! At first I was a little detached because of the shrill vocals but I kind of grew to enjoy them. I thought it was the most wonderful album to walk home to at night; it made everything seem kind of mystical and magical. Creature Fear is just lovely.

10. Rio - Aterciopelados

I like this band. I got Gozo Poderoso whenever it came out because I saw the videos for Luz Azul, El Album, and Rompecabezas on that MHz channel. I came across a review for their new album on Pitchfork a month or so back and decided it was worth checking out but wondered when this band became P-fork material. Did they review Gozo Poderoso or that greatest hits album that came out a few years ago...? (I just checked; Rio is the only album they've reviewed.) Anyhow, Rio is good. Like, really good. I have no clue what they're saying but I like it. It's catchy and very much in the same vein as Gozo Poderoso. Uplifting stuff.

Other albums I enjoyed this year:
Fate - Dr. Dog
Morning Tide - The Little Ones
Seven Summits - The Secret Life of Sofia
Amethyst Amulet - Adam and the Amethysts
Alphabutt - Kimya Dawson
Infinite Ellipse and Head with Open Fontanel - Make A Rising
If Children - Wye Oak
All Together - Pattern Is Movement
Arm's Way - Islands (...but try not to make such a longass album next time, ok?)

Albums not from this year that I got really into:
ZOMG MOXY BRAVO BY THE HIGH STRUNG. It's simply the best album ever.
Recently digging Matty Popchart's Everyone Does Everything enough to mention it.

Albums I never got:
What the Wind Will Never Tell - Nethers....uh, oops. As much as I've been wanting to hear this I still have yet to buy it. But like, it's their fault for breaking up and then releasing an album over a year later.
The Stand-Ins - Okkervil River I'm working on this now; Lost Coastlines is a great single.

Albums I Enjoyed Last Year Which Others Are Enjoying This Year:
Ode To Sunshine - Delta Spirit. It's a re-release, son.

You know what? Two bands I really love a whole lot released really shitty albums this year. I'm not going to say who those bands are but man, what a disappointment. I guess I expect more from bands I know and love so when the album comes back sounding cheesy and poorly mixed, I'm kind of upset.
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Thanksgiving 2008 Photo Post [Dec. 15th, 2008|12:47 am]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
[Whereabouts |Fairfax, VA]
[Current Music |Aterciopelados - Rio]

Go Love Like Jesus!
This year's church service was at Emmanuel Baptist again.

There are lots of things in life that aren't constant or consistent like people, work, school, living situations, cars, money, and whatever else you can think of. I know that I try to find things to cling to that I feel will always be there like the Pietasters or Thanksgiving at the farm. For the past 5 years, I've been documenting my journey to Piney River for Thanksgiving and I always seem to be eager to share because I enjoy myself. Well, this year I'm a little late posting mostly because nothing really great happened. I don't have a car so there were no adventures to be had. I got picked up, went down there, went to church, ate, and left almost immediately after lunch on Thanksgiving day because Uncle Leon was sick and he was the one driving me back. Anyhow, for what it's worth I did take photos...

Your photos. Show me them.Collapse )
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Pumpkins and Paisley [Nov. 16th, 2008|01:00 pm]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
[Whereabouts |Fairfax, VA]

This song has really grown on me and the video is awesome.
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I Can Haz Radio Show? [Nov. 11th, 2008|07:54 pm]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
I have a radio show every Wednesday morning 10-11AM on http://www.wgmuradio.com/

You can listen if you'd like. It's not as good as it could be because I'm not really allowed to play my own music.......but I manage to sneak some in anyway. When things get to be the way I want them then I will insist you listen but for now I won't force you. However, if you do choose to listen you should let me know by calling in or talking to me on gchat (piecorephotography). You should also request things that are not in the studio so I can complain about them not being there. (Alphabutt by Kimya Dawson is in there, though. I will play that for you.) Hopefully next semester I will be able to play the things I want and have special guests. I really want to have special guests like whoa.

Go see the Spinto Band in DC on Friday.

And someone buy me the internet for my house. And something to look at it on. And a car.

Here's a picture of Steve Jackson that I took on Halloween:

Ok? Ok.
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Money [Nov. 9th, 2008|11:08 pm]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
[Whereabouts |Fairfax, VA]

This is a video for the song Money by Apollo Sunshine. I really enjoy the message of the song and I thought this video did a really good job of giving it some visual context.
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Advising Meeting [Nov. 1st, 2008|10:41 pm]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
[Whereabouts |GMU; Fairfax, VA]

Last Thursday, I had my advising meeting for next semester. Here's how it went:

I woke up early and prepared a large meal of blueberry pancakes, fruit, fancy cheeses, and peppermint tea. I arrived just on time and was welcomed by my handsome advisor in the NCC lobby. I asked him how much time I had and he said one hour. I admitted that I had already chosen my classes and taken care of everything; he looked over a piece of paper I handed him and told me I did a swell job. When he asked why I bothered to make the appointment I told him that I had brought him breakfast. He got really excited and said, "Oh, boy! I LOVE blueberry pancakes!!!" At that point he motioned for me to follow him into his office.

I followed him through a snowy forest of pine trees. My nose was really cold but other than that, I felt great. We came to a small camp in the middle of nowhere where we sat down on logs by a fire. I took the Gladware containers out of my backpack and started to prepare the food. I asked Matt what he wanted and he selected a few cubes of parrano and some strawberries to start with. He took his mittens off and began to eat. I found some sticks and poked them through the pancakes and hung them over the fire. I sat directly across from Matt and when the pancakes were warm enough, I flung them at him. He caught them and ate them with his hands. I did the same thing. Both of us were very happy even though it was cold and snowy.

After we ate, I asked Matt what time it was. He pointed to a clock hanging on a tree which read 9:30. "Oh, I only have 30 minutes left." He thanked me for breakfast and asked if I wanted to go for a ride on his dog sled. Did I?! Oh, yes. I did. He introduced me to his 9 blue-eyed husky dogs which were named Communication, Critical Thinking, Strategic Problem-Solving, Valuing, Group Interaction, Global Understanding, Effective Citizenship, Aesthetic Awareness, and Information Technology. I patted Aesthetic Awareness on the head; she was my favorite. Matt traded his glasses for comical-looking goggles and pulled up his faux-fur lined hood. I sat on the sled and Matt stood behind me shouting encouraging words at the dogs.

It was fantastic; like driving with the windows down in the middle of winter after a sweaty concert. The dogs dragged us over snowy plains and rainbow bridges that led to other snowy plains. I looked back at Matt and he admired how handsome he looked in the big coat with the faux-fur trimmed hood. I asked him about his full beard which he previously told me he would never grow. He answered that it was a necessity when he got into the whole dog sled scene. I asked him what time it was again and he said I had 10 minutes. I asked if we could talk about cute boys and he said, "Totally!"

We talked about cute boys for 10 minutes and he made me a list of all the hot young professors I should seek out. He had the dogs take us back to the NCC lobby but before we got there he asked me to help him push everything into a small closet. We took the snow and the trees and the dogs and the rainbow bridges and the fire and the warm clothes and even his beard......and tossed it into the closet. A lady came in and told him his 10:00 was there. He winked at me and said, "Good luck next semester! I'm sure you'll do fine; I believe in you!"

As I walked out the door I heard him go, "Ooh, ooh, ooh! Wait!" I turned around and asked what he wanted. He opened a desk drawer and took out a shiny green stone hanging from a thin rope. He hung it around my neck and told me it was magical. "If you ever want to return to the Land of Snow and Rainbows, just close your eyes, hold this stone, and think about it. If it doesn't work just email me."

"If it doesn't work, I'm gonna come find you in the Gay Office in the morning."

"Pride Office, you mean."

"Yeah, totally. Thanks. By the way, you were so hot in that fir-trimmed hood."


"Seriously, dude. You should wear it more often. It matches that one pair of shoes you have..."



"Hmmm. Maybe. I've gotta go now. Have a nice day!"

And that was how my advising meeting went.
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My Friends Have New Albums [Oct. 14th, 2008|05:26 pm]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
[Tags|, , , ]
[Whereabouts |GMU; Fairfax, VA]

I love Jesse Gallagher.

Pitchfork reviewed the following albums:
Apollo Sunshine - Shall Noise Upon
The Spinto Band - Moonwink
These United States - A Picture of Us... & Crimes
Birdmonster - From the Mountain to the Sea

3/4 of these reviews are way too harsh......which is silly for me to say because I've only heard 2/5 of these albums. That being said, someone please buy me the new albums by These United States and Birdmonster.
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These United States vs. Jukebox the Ghost [Oct. 2nd, 2008|08:22 pm]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
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[Whereabouts |GMU; Fairfax, VA]

Please read this letter These United States wrote to Jukebox the Ghost and then read this letter which Jukebox the Ghost wrote to These United States. When you're finished, please watch this:

Untitled from Jukebox the Ghost on Vimeo.
You're probably wondering which show I'm going to. The answer is that I'm going to neither; instead I'm going on a retreat into the mountains for the weekend.
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When Life Gives You Lemons... [Sep. 29th, 2008|11:49 am]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
[Whereabouts |GMU; Fairfax, VA]

watch cat videos on youtube.

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Akron/Family Interview [Sep. 26th, 2008|07:07 pm]
Katie L. Thompson writes this.
[Whereabouts |GMU; Fairfax, VA]


"When we play for a room of people, I always want them to turn up the lights enough so that I can see the people. When we do certain things and I see people smile, that to me, that's amazing. That was what makes this the best job in the world. That's what makes this spectacular and really amazing. I want to say that to someone, and I really feel completely blessed to be able to have that be something that I get to do. That's amazing, but if I say that, at the back of my mind, I'm a little nervous that that's going to be taken as me being just ironic. ... I definitely want to do something that's beyond just making cool music. I want to make people smile. I want to do my part in that way to make people happy. I feel like that's a way I can really contribute to the world, and I want to do that. And if it doesn't feel like I'm able to do that, then I'd rather just get a regular job and do this on the side just to have fun and make songs."
-Miles, Pitchfork interview with Grayson Currin

That interview took about an hour to read; it's obnoxiously long but if you're a fan of the band it's a must-read. There's a lot of good stuff in there about the evolution of the band and what happened after Ryan left. I'm actually kind of glad that Grayson did the interview because I'm fairly sure he's their buddy and he knew exactly what to ask and talk about.
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