It's that time of year when all the top 10 lists start surfacing. I'm going to mention a few standouts for me.
-I'd have to start with a record and artist I work with, Brandi Shearer's Close To Dark. Haunting melodies and a powerhouse of a voice, make this a top pick.
-I cannot get Girls In Their Summer Clothes out of my mind. Could it be that this Springsteen song from Magic reminds of the Who's Kids Are Alright? It's a great melody. I love hearing it on the radio.
-Bright Eyes' Four Winds is another song I love hearing on the radio.
-This Big Town-ok here is something that is not out there yet, but when it is, people will be listening. It's the brainchild of Michael LaMorte (mini-king, Fictura). The amazing melodies will bring you back to the best of the early Eagles. Michael has a way of making what you hear sound new, but familiar ala Fountains of Wayne.
-The Coast of Utopia trilogy by Tom Stoppard. Who would have thought that three plays based on 6 friends, writers and thinkers from 1840's Russia would be engaging. It was engrossing. Can't wait to see Rock 'n' Roll next month.
-Juno An enjoyable movie with great touches and a not so predictable ending. Nice use of the Mott The Hoople classic, All The Young Dudes. Check out the cutouts of a young Glen Campbell and Bill Clinton on Juno's friend's bedroom wall.
-Speaking of Ian Hunter, his show at The Williamsburg Music Hall affirmed my belief in Rock Music. He stuck to classics: the above mentioned Dudes, Angeline, Roll Away the Stone, I Wish I Was Your Mother, Cleveland Rocks,..... Even though we didn't hear much from his new record, Shrunken Heads, it's a great collection of music and worth checking out.
-Nick Lowe at Housing Works. Just him, his guitar and his wit. Will never tire of it.
-Seems like every book I read this year, came out last year, standouts were The Thirteenth Tale, Never Let Me Go and Team of Rivals. I'm reading Slash's autobiography which came out this year, but so far it isn't as entertaining as I thought it would be. It could be a Lifetime After Dark movie: Kid from broken home goes astray, finds music, girls and drugs and the rest is history.
Happy New Year!