Top 100 Songs of the Decade: 30-21.


30. Kool Keith - Operation X
2006
In this track, Kool Keith reimagines city blocks as a war zone, where you stick "dynamite in a BMW," ask people to "cover [you] while you go to the store," "duck down low," and "hold these bombs and make yourself a bowl of Honeycombs."

29. Klute - Hell Hath No Fury
Hell Hath No Fury 2005
I love art that deals in juxtaposition. Highbrow meets lowbrow. Hard meets soft. Dark meets light. This list is full of these dichotomies and this song epitomizes all of these things. With tinkly, warm pianos layered over dark, brooding bass and frenetic drums, I want to dance my ass off and watch shooting stars simultaneously.

28. Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down
Twenty One 2008
I found this song while looking for a video of Dolly Parton's Two Doors Down (which incidentally has some of the best writing for a pop song ever) and was instantly smitten with its 80s throwback vibe. They don't rely on the novelty however. It's quality songwriting of its own. "Maybe I should say what's up, invite her around."

27. Bjork - Who Is It?
Medulla 2004
Medulla was made almost completely of sounds made my human mouths. While it's cool as a conceit, the thing that matters to me in the end is the quality of the song. This song is simply beautiful; the beatbox element simply adds a layer of intrigue.

26. Ratatat - Lex
Classics 2006
I believe this song is referred to as a scorcher. Reviewers called it a retread of the best tracks from their first album. Yeah, but at least it's a retread of the best tracks.

25. Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Veckatimest 2009
Just beautiful harmonies, perfect melodies, and awesome production.

24. M83 - Kim & Jessie
Saturdays=Youth
It's all about the chorus, which sounds like it's falling from the sky.

23. Digitalism - Pogo
Idealism 2007
The lyrics say "you have to settle," but the music clearly doesn't want you to do that. Of course, they follow that line up with "bring it on."

22. Aesop Rock - No Regrets
Labor Days 2002
Typically Aesop Rock's lyrics are so dense that after 100 listens you're still not totally sure what you heard, and even if you are sure, you don't know what it means. It's a big part of what makes him so impressive. No Regrets on the other hand tells a story simply and beautifully, and it's a story so poignant I wonder if an album full of No Regrets would shoot straight to the top.

21. Ratatat - Kennedy
Classics 2006
Ratatat are you serious? These beats are putting professional rap producers to shame.
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Wow! Only $5.


A friend of mine works for a local venue in Portland called Someday Lounge. They put on some good and usually local acts. He asked me if I could design a poster for a show they're having. I checked out the bands and gave a little sense. It had an 80s vibe so I went for a more 80s palette but with some current sensibilities; here's what I came up with.


typefaces: Museo Sans
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My camera collection. #3: Lomo Lubitel 166U.



Maker: Lomo
Model: Lubitel 166U
Year: 1984–1988
Film type: 120
Usability: works likes a charm
My cost: $0 (it was a gift from my best friend)

This camera was my first foray into the world of medium format, and what an enjoyable foray it was. I'd like to say the Lubitel was easy, but it wasn't really. It's a pretty basic camera, but it's so basic that you have to watch out. There's nothing to keep you from taking multiple exposures in the same frame, which I did a number of times. Focusing is a pain (there's a little magnifying glass that pops down so you can actually see what you're doing). There's no exposure meter, so exposure settings are your best guess (thank Ford for the sunny 16 rule).

But I got some great shots. The new large square format was exciting, and taking pictures from a different angle really changes your perspective on composition. This is definitely one of my favorites.




...sample images...
01. "Parking Clearance"
02
08. Makenna on pink C.

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A logo for incontinent adults.

My step-mom recently got in contact with me about making a logo for her new business. She's starting an online business with her friend that sells products that help adults with bladder incontinence. They needed a logo for their website and products that conveyed balance. I wasn't quite sure what I could do as far as iconography, because anything bladder or urine-related would be kind of off-putting. They suggested perhaps just a stylized version of their acronym (EAI) would do the trick, so we went with that

The idea behind the logo is that of rhythm and balance. The soft swooping lines are very comfortable and there are no sharp edges. The line that runs through the letters conveys the concept of steadiness and also balance. The letters are spaced out to give a rhythm that mimics that of a heartbeat and also the concept of repeating tasks, as one must keep on top of their incontinence problem to keep it in check. The "e" is lightened to de-emphasize it and the lower "e" and ".com" are thinner weights so that "adult incontinence" punches out.

The logo is designed to work with just acronym, so that when it appears on products, the user isn't instantly outed as suffering from bladder problems.

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Movie clips.


Bachelor Party (5.5/10)
This movie needed to be even more ridiculous.

Moon (8/10)
Sam Rockwell is one of the best actors of our time, hands down.

Greenberg (8/10)
It was like watching myself amplified on screen and snorting coke.

Let the Right One In
(7.5/10)
115 minutes of quality filmmaking, almost ruined by thirty seconds of CG cats.

Gilda (7/10)
I could have spent this entire movie saying "ooh burn" and "oh snap" and it wouldn't cover half the insults hurled in this film.
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My 100 Favorite Films. Entry #34: Election.


Election (1999)
written by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor (from a novel by Tom Perrotta)
directed by Alexander Payne
starring Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon and Chris Klein
country: usa
genre: comedy

Visuals: 7
Writing: 9
Everyday watchability: 7

Every time I take a break from writing about film, and then get back into it, it's an uphill battle. I've fell out of using terms like "mise-en-scene" and "diegesis," and getting to the heart of films is awkward at best. Nevertheless, that's what I try to do. And at the heart of Election, I would say you find denial. Great big piles of it. The film is constantly showing characters voicing one opinion, but acting out another. After having seen the movie about ten times now, it's reaching the point of ridiculousness.

The film follows a teacher who, tired of an overachieving student, attempts to ruin her campaign for student body president. He comes to a point where he believes he's doing it for moral reasons, and for many viewings I was firmly on his side. This moral high-road is just another delusion however; he's really only striking out as a self-defeating means to escape his prison of boredom.

I'm making this film sound like a downer, but it's not in the least. The movie is hilarious. Their denial is played not only as a window into the viewer's own ego, but also for a good laugh. Here's a perfect example: "It's not like I'm a lesbian or anything. I'm attracted to the person. It's just that all the people I've been attracted to happen to be girls." So true.





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Top 100 Songs of the Decade: 40-31.





40. The Raconteurs - Level
Broken Boy Soldiers 2006
The Raconteurs decided to give song structure a miss with this tight little ditty that packs plenty of rock into its 142 seconds.


39. The Strokes - Hard to Explain
Is This It 2001
Listening to this song nine years after The Strokes were part of the so-called rock revival (along with The Hives and The Vines), I sort of wonder what people were talking about. Rock revival or not, this song is amazing, driving forward on the simplest of programmed drum loops.


38. Bloc Party - Helicopter
Silent Alarm 2005
I always thought this album was a continuation of what The Strokes were doing four years prior, but adding more energy, more politics and better drumwork.

37. Feist - I Feel It All
The Reminder 2007
More poignant and more pointed than 1234, I Feel It All didn't need a hit video to get its point across, it just needed Feist's emotional vocals and the tinniest handclaps I've ever heard.


36. The Radio Dept. - The Worst Taste In Music
Pet Grief 2006
Thankfully your current boyfriend isn't into The Radio Dept. I don't think I could handle that.


35. Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We're Goin' Down
From Under the Cork Tree 2005
Say what you will about emo, but holy shit these guys can write hooks.


34. Primal Scream - Kill All Hippies
XTRMNTR 2000
"You've got the money; I've got the soul." It's like Pet Shop Boys' Opportunities for the new millennium.


33. The Postal Service - Such Great Heights
Give Up 2003
Somehow the blend of Ben Gibbard's twee vocals match so well with Jimmy Tamborello's crunchy snappy drums and bleeps and bloops. This song kind of jumpstarted a whole genre, convincing kids everywhere to start a band with a instead of a drumset.


32. Evil Nine - Crooked
You Can Be Special Too 2004
I really hoped that tracks like this would start to tear down at the wall of mainstream hip-hop. It was too much to hope for.



31. Animal Collective - My Girls
Merriweather Post Pavilion 2009
This song is like a brainworm, hypnotically burrowing into your brain and forcing you to sing along to its ludicrous lyrics.
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