Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Favorites of 2004

This is my year end wrap up of my favorites things of 2004. The things weren't necessarily new in 2004, they didn't even have to be new to me in 2004. This is just the stuff that had the most resonance with me this year.



Music

I don't think I've ever blogged about my musical tastes before. I know I've gone on about how much I like my iPod but never anything on music in general. This isn't because music isn't an important part of my life, but rather because I find writing about it so hard. Anyway, here goes, my first music review.

I've been a Neil Young fan since the mid 70s. I don't like everything this eclectic artist produces but when he produces something good I generally think it's pretty phenomenal. Neil's album Greendale is just that.
Greendale isn't a typical collection of random songs, instead the songs tell the intertwined stories of the Green family and the small town they live in. While that may sound like standard rock opera fair, it's really quite different. In Greendale the lyrics are very verbose and the cadence in which it is sung or spoken lends more to the narrative than the music. At times Neil speaks/sings phrases that are almost jarring but somehow they still end up working. The result is a very unique listening experience. Even though it's still rather new, I have to rank it as one of my favorite albums of all time.



Movies

This year wasn't great year for me and movies. I can't even draw a good line between the movies of 2003 and 2004. I really enjoyed seeing the finales to The Lord of the Rings and Kill Bill but few movies struck a chord. I know I waxed on about Man on Fire in a previous post and I still think it's a very good movie but I'm hesitant to elevate it to being called a favorite. I guess if I had to pick one film that stuck with me more than any other it would have to be Lost in Translation. I know that film put a lot of people to sleep but I liked it a lot.



Books

I didn't read as many novels as I usually do this year. I plowed through some sci-fi that was pretty good and I enjoyed the Dan Brown romps through Europe but my favorite was probably Life of Pi. Not only was it a good read it provided much food for thought.
In non-fiction I usually read even more and this year I read next to nothing. I still have three or four software books that I purchased just sitting on my shelf unread with little ambition to do so. Even though I didn't read as much as usual I did run across one older book in the early part of the year that I thought was great: Component Development for the Java Platform. I blogged about it back in February.



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