Archive for December, 2007

Songs of the Year – Best of 07: Number 10

Dec 31 2007 Published by under Media

The year is 2001. The setting is Kingston, Ontario, a beautiful old town with bitterly cold winters and chilling winds, located at the tip of Lake Ontario.

Your author, a 19 year old first year student, is tucked away in a small dorm room on the 6th floor of Vic Hall. It’s the beginning of the self discovery period of his life and the soundtrack is powered by an ethernet connection and #DSP on IRC.

Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, El-P, Sunny Day Real Estate, and the like made management of the 4 gb hd difficult.

Songs appeared. Life happened.


One day Saul Williams made an appearance, receiving a cautious greeting. The album, Amethyst Rock Star, was hard to define. Was it spoken word? Was it rap? Was it rock? Whatever it was, it was intense. It challenged. It pushed. And it advanced.

One song in particular resonated. Wine.

This year Saul Williams reentered my life. An album produced by Trent Reznor and released under a pay-what-you-want model, it was clear that Williams continued to advance. Art forms, business models, and trains of thought.

Williams and Reznor did an exceptional job with the album and it delivers strongest when listened to in its entirety. Here’s Raise to be Lowered, a rallying song (“To through away the pen and pad and simply be the poem”) that gives you a good taste of what Williams is about and my 10th top song of the year.

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Themes for 2008

Dec 30 2007 Published by under General

I’m not a soothsayer I just play one on this blog. In the days (let’s be realistic) weeks ahead I’m going to share some thoughts on what we’ll see in 2008. Here’s what’s coming:

1) What my mom can teach us about technology adoption.
2) Zach Morris and the most important social graph.

mr. social graph

3) How everyone in the world came to embrace their inner exhibitionist.
4) Obama, Hilary, Giuliani: How the web makes things that actually matter, matter.
5) Why the best way to succeed in 2008 is to stop doing what made you a success.

Let me know by show of hands which one you want to read first.

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Songs of the Year – Best of 07

Dec 30 2007 Published by under Media

Time to blow the dust off of this thing and revisit the songs that provided the soundtrack for 2007. Remember the rules:

1) Albums are dead. Tracks are all that matter.
2) It doesn’t have to be a song from this year. I had to discover it this year.

We’ll start the countdown tomorrow. “Sophomore jinx leading to unfulfilled expectations” captures one personal music theme for 2007. Bands who dominated ear drums in years past released sophomore albums that failed to leave a mark. Bloc Party’s A Weekend in the City and Hard-Fi’s Once Upon A Time In The West disappointed.

Were my expectations incorrectly set following superb debut albums? Doubt it.

Here’s a link to Bloc Party’s song, I Still Remember. It’s ok. Check out Hard-Fi’s disappointing lead single, Suburban Knights (get it!?).

What type of top list starts out with songs that disappointed? When it’s a major theme of my musical year it’s important to share :)

To leave you with an astonishingly great song (that has nothing to do with this year’s top list!) check out Belle and Sebastian’s Price of a Cup of Tea.

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