the blog manifesto.

the purpose of sme is simply this: to overthrow the capitalist hegemony that has a stranglehold on our beautiful, multiethnic society. contributors are asked to take part in this, our overriding mission, so the people of the green earth can breathe together in the clean air of progressive politics and non-judgmentalism. each blog post must bask in the sunlight of earnest expression, never falling into the trap of satire or parody. our aim is clarity and verisimilitude; our mission is truth and the propagation of it. the blog is the perfect place to post your old family videos, homophobic video blogs, another blog's material, awkward, poorly-drawn sketches, halo reach updates, or unexplained/irrelevant wikipedia articles--sme is home to the entire eclectic conflation that is the internet. if there is one thing entirely intolerable to the editors of sme, it is sarcasm. there is simply no room in this blog for sarcastic, humorous, and reference driven posts. if you are among those responsible for such garbage, please leave.


barnaby jones

Friday, February 5, 2010

Best of 2009: Music (2 &1)

our top two albums.

2. Noble Beast, Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird is the master of the pop song. Ok, he may not exactly be the image conjured when I say "pop artist," but he is, nonetheless, an expert at crafting catchy, memorable, and clever melodies, songs that get lodged in your head for days. But the depth of his work is far beyond casual pop fare. His lyrics test the comprehensiveness of your vocabulary and your dictionary. He expects you to think about what he creates, and his work benefits from the effort. In Noble Beast, Bird built one of the most ornate and beautiful albums of the year, swooning violin and ethereal whistling and all. The brief, but oh so majestic interlude "Unfolding Fans" sits between the masterful one-two punch of "Not a Robot, But a Ghost" and "Anonanimal." Bird's talent is such that even the bonus disc, "Useless Creatures," has several gems of its own.

1. Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear's second album, "Yellow House," was an intoxicating blend of folk and experimental rock, its complex layered vocals and dreamy instrumentation make for wondrous travels through dark aural woods and fields. When Grizzly Bear released Veckatimest, anticipation was running high; fans expected great things, and great things are exactly what Grizzly Bear delivered. The album’s opener is an absolutely epic, rolling folk anthem, and the rest of the album just follows from there. Every song is eerie and beautiful, dark and foreboding. By the time the listener reaches “Foreground,” the transcendent conclusion to the lush album, they are overcome by the masterwork that is Veckatimest, and it is a masterwork, through and through.

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