Thursday, December 23, 2004

Father Christmas

I'm home for the holidays (we get Christmas Eve off because Christmas Day is a Saturday this year), but so far everyone is miserable. Lily, Hannah, and Deb are all battling colds, while I've fully recovered from a three-week cold but am exhausted because I was up with Lily half the night. Hopefully the girls will feel better soon. At least it's not in the single digits here anymore like it was earlier in the week; today it was in the 50s and rainy out. We're staying local this year, with a visit Monday from Deb's brothers and their families. My mom's staying up in Toronto and my brother is visiting his inlaws in Minneapolis.

I had my first physical therapy appointment Monday to work on my foot injuries. The therapist diagnosed my problems as a swollen bursa sac in my right foot and a strained tibialis muscle in my left leg. She gave me some stretches to do; I was supposed to have my second appointment today but had to cancel because Lily stayed home sick. The therapist also said I'd need to get orthotics made for my shoes if I want to run again. The injuries I have are fairly common and she thinks I should be able to recover in a decent amount of time.

This was announced a while back, but now it's official: the Australian band INXS has resorted to a reality show (created by Mark Burnett of "Survivor" and "Apprentice" fame) to find a new lead singer. They were a great band in the '80s and early '90s before tailing off. Singer Michael Hutchence died in 1997 of what was believed to be suicide, but what could have been autoerotic asphyxiation. Whatever the case, this is kind of a sad development. I saw them a few times, including a show at Radio City Music Hall in NYC during the peak of their fame in 1987, and they were a magnificent live band. They reunited in '99 with Terence Trent D'Arby as their new singer for a few gigs, and then played with a couple of other guys, but now they're going to pick some schmuck off the street as their vocalist. Contestants at the auditions (and yes, they're coming to Boston) are supposed to sing three songs. If I were to do it, and I have fronted a band before (once), I'd sing: AC/DC's "TNT," Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla" and "Tragedy" by the Bee Gees. Of course, I'd also be very, very drunk.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week suspended one of its reporters for comments he made in his blog (thanks to Largehearted Boy for the tip). Apparently, the guy wrote it using a pen name, but used the blog as a forum to criticize articles that he was assigned. Not smart. The paper was tipped off by an item in the Riverfront Times, an alternative weekly. Coincidentally, I did a Google search at work to see if a woman did a book for my company and ran across a blog written by a coworker. In it, he dishes occasional dirt about his boss, which probably isn't enough to get him fired, but certainly wouldn't make his boss happy to read. And if I could find it inadvertently, you can bet others can. I think people forget that anyone can find anything on the InterWeb at any time.

Finally, because it's that time of year, here are my top 10 albums of 2004. Keep in mind, I don't get free CDs sent to me, so there's a lot of cool stuff that I've yet to hear that could have made this list. Such as the new albums from Ted Leo, the Walkmen, Green Day, Elvis Costello, Shatner (!), the Hot Snakes. But this is what I really dug this year:

1. The Arcade Fire--Funeral
2. Mission of Burma--OnOffOn
3. Modest Mouse--Good News for People Who Like Bad News
4. Sonic Youth--Sonic Nurse
5. The Tragically Hip--In Between Evolution
6. DJ Danger Mouse and Jay-Z--The Grey Album
7. Interpol--Antics
8. Franz Ferdinand--Franz Ferdinand
9. Wilco--A Ghost is Born
10. The Black Keys--Rubber Factory

Honorable mentions: Von Bondies--Pawn Shoppe Heart; PJ Harvey--Uh Huh Her; Dizzee Rascal--Boy in Da Corner

All in all, I thought it was a pretty good year for music. Here's hoping 2005 is even better.

Happy holidays, y'all!

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