I'm still digesting 2006. I'm not sure if I like it all that much. The world seemed to continue it's march toward being a really horrible place far too much of the time. But that might start changing. November's elections were amazing, all in all.
Personalwise, I had another year of heavy travel, though much of it was for work. Highlights include starting the year in Portland, Chapel Hill, N.C., Lake Powell, Lake Patagonia, Pecos, N.M., and one weekend I went on vacation in Downtown Tucson. Some good friends got married, some moved, some graduated and pretty much everybody just kept on livin'.
I dug more into music than ever, thanks in large part to high-speed internet and my at-long-last decision to stop being so damn cheap and actually my myself one of those iPod gizmos. Excellent choice.
I took in the Minions and resurrected the Kitchen Bed for a few weeks. And finally I headed for the hills right at the end, to unwire myself and forget about as much of the world as I could. (Mixed results there, I missed two Wildcats games, but on the plus side know almost nothing of Saddam's execution and heard just the scarcest of Jerry Ford eulogies - though as far as my stake in the Death Pool 2006 was concerned his passing was welcome.)
So here we go with the Year in Review, starting first with:
Catfish at the (increasingly virtual) Record Shop
2006 was big for the veterans and as much as new indie bands can keep turning out wildly creative albums, I lean just as much toward the tried and true. Here's the top:
1. Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
2. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
3. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
4. Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
5. Decemberists - Crane Wife
6. Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 - Ole Tarantula!
7. Calexico - Garden Ruin
8. Tom Petty - Highway Companions
9. M. Ward - Post War
10. Bruce Springsteen - The Seeger Sessions
Honorable Mentions (there're a lot, some that probably ought to be top 10, but I only have so much time for tunes and some good albums still need more listenin'):
Richard Buckner, The Format, The Walkmen, Dan Bern, TV on the Radio, Destroyer, Gin Blossoms, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beck, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Cold War Kids, Mountain Goats, Regina Spektor, Drive-by Truckers, Shearwater, Josh Ritter and Alejandro Escovedo).
Catfish at the Cinema:
Well, I saw XMen 3 and Tenacious D, and that's it for theatre-going. That's not much to make a list on. I caught some of last year's best on DVD (Syriana, Good Night and Good Luck, Brick, Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Constant Gardener, Squid and the Whale, Me and You and Everyone We Know, The Devil's Rejects, Broken Flowers). But mainly I stuck to TV shows, so here's a set of recommendations: Northern Exposure, Weeds, The Shield, The Wire.
Catfish in front of the Tube:
As far as new/current shows go, Earl and the Office are the shit and pretty much everything else (network at least) seems kinda like wasted time.
So that's that. Bring on 2007, for Bob sakes, and may it be a damn bit better than the one that just passed.
Happy New Year everybody, and now head over to the 2007 Death Poll for some morbid fun. Stay proper.