Category Archives: Non-Sports

Columbia House Party: 13. Wilco – A Ghost Is Born (2004)

Title: Columbia House Party: 13. Wilco – A Ghost Is Born (2004)
Date: January 27, 2020
Original Source: Columbia House Party
Synopsis: In the 13th episode of Columbia House Party, we’re joined by Steve Sladkowski, the guitarist for PUP, to discuss Wilco’s A Ghost is Born.

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Columbia House Party: 12. The Decemberists – The Crane Wife (2006)

Title: Columbia House Party: 12. The Decemberists – The Crane Wife (2006)
Date: January 20, 2020
Original Source: Columbia House Party
Synopsis: In the 12th episode of Columbia House Party, we dive into the very good and very heavy 2006 album from The Decemberists, The Crane Wife.

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Columbia House Party: BONUS: Blake & Jake’s Best of the Decade

Title: Columbia House Party: BONUS: Blake & Jake’s Best of the Decade
Date: January 17, 2020
Original Source: Columbia House Party
Synopsis: In the latest Patreon bonus episode of Columbia House Party, we go through our favorite albums of 2010-19.

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Columbia House Party: 11. The Postal Service – Give Up (2003)

Title: Columbia House Party: 11. The Postal Service – Give Up (2003)
Date: January 13, 2020
Original Source: Columbia House Party
Synopsis: In the 11th episode of Columbia House Party, we dive into indie-pop supergroup The Postal Service and their lone album, Give Up.

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Columbia House Party: 10. Desaparecidos – Read Music/Speak Spanish (2002)

Title: Columbia House Party: 10. Desaparecidos – Read Music/Speak Spanish (2002)
Date: January 6, 2020
Original Source: Columbia House Party
Synopsis: In the tenth episode of Columbia House Party, we dive into Conor Oberst’s punkier Bright Eyes side project, Desaparecidos, which rules.

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Columbia House Party: BONUS: December Mailbag

Title: Columbia House Party: BONUS: December Mailbag
Date: December 31, 2019
Original Source: Columbia House Party
Synopsis: In the latest Patreon bonus episode of Columbia House Party, we open up the mailbag to talk desert island albums, Gami Gang, and a whole bunch more.

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My favorite albums of 2010-2019

I started ranking my favorite albums of the year in 2015. Really, it started back when I would do my own weekly Much Music Countdown list in a journal, but there are sadly no longer records of my rabid Third Eye Blind stanning. Instead, the official record begins in 2015.

That made creating an all-decade list a little stressful, as it required me to remember things from 10 years ago and hope that Wikipedia records of album releases and other people’s lists jotted my memory enough. And that was before remembering 2015-2018 albums I discovered after each of those years, excluding them from my annual lists. I failed. Upon sending these in to the team at Columbia House Party, I realized I’d left out at least one album (sorry, Danny Brown). It’s also a little difficult to balance recency bias, how an album feels to me now versus when it came out, and so on. I tried my best.

What follows are the albums I enjoyed most from 2010 to 2019. We also discussed these on a Columbia House Party bonus episode.

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Columbia House Party: 9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell (2003)

Title: Columbia House Party: 9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell (2003)
Date: December 30, 2019
Original Source: Columbia House Party
Synopsis: In the ninth episode of Columbia House Party, we’re joined by Sarah MacDonald to discuss the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ 2003 debut, Fever to Tell.

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Columbia House Party: 8. Motion City Soundtrack – Commit This To Memory (2005)

Title: Columbia House Party: 8. Motion City Soundtrack – Commit This To Memory (2005)
Date: December 23, 2019
Original Source: Columbia House Party
Synopsis: In the eighth episode of Columbia House Party, we dive into Motion City Soundtrack’s Commit This to Memory, a personal favorite.

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My favorite albums of 2019

I started a music podcast this year.

I know, I know. But for a long time now, I’ve wanted a more consistent outlet for my love of music, and while me adding to my plate is probably something my therapist would be angry about if I ever went back, it’s been refreshing so far. I don’t feel a need to turn every passion into a work project, but it’s allowed me to express more about myself and engage more creatively than I get to by sticking to basketball. (I love my job, obviously. Variety is appreciated, though.)

Doing the project – Columbia House Party – with my friend Jake has the added wrinkle of exploring and appreciating a variety of music that we maybe don’t agree on. Music is subjective, and how you relate with it is often an ethereal, intangible experience. Jake and I have a lot of overlap in our musical tastes, sure. We also have very little annual overlap in the very tops of your year-ends or most-listened-tos. There’s some Venn Diagram to the show, to the shows we go to together, and with most of my friends I share tastes with.

Diving into albums from both of our pasts and exploring why those albums resonated with different people at different times has lent helpful perspective to this, one of my favorite annual exercises. Foremost – and this is something I realized in introducing The Phoebe Bridgers Corollary in 2018 – albums are timeless and it’s not always necessary to experience them immediately. If you’re going deep on one album and it means you listen to a little less new stuff for a while, live in that first album. The others aren’t going anywhere. (Consequently, I listened to 119 albums this year, down about 20 percent from 2018.)

Additionally, it’s lessened the pressure I feel to get the list “right.” There’s no such thing, and even people with similar taste can amicably split hairs on what albums hit them hardest. It’s a favorite albums list, not an objectively best albums list.

This stuff should be obvious. Sometimes it’s hard to separate a job where you’re evaluated on the accuracy of your analysis and a side-passion where you’re just allowed to feel. It’s a welcome balance. It also made the tougher decisions a little easier to lock in for a year that was defined more by the amount of good albums (my initial pass at a top-75 had 90-plus albums) than the amount of great ones.

Ironically, the side project also cut into the time I had to do this list, so it’s coming out later and with briefer blurbs than in the past.

What follows are the albums I enjoyed most in 2019.

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