Modern Skirts – I got my first listen to this Athens-based band on Paste Magazine Music Sampler #20. Seventeen Dirty Magazines led me to My Lost Soprano and finally the purchase of the entire album. Catalogue of Generous Men has great pop hooks built on a strong piano base and reinforcing harmonies. You can visit their MySpace page to get a sample of their musical magic.
Thumbsucker – I have a soft spot for quirky indie films. Each character in Thumbsucker has their own clear, odd motivation (mom is addicted to the addicted movie star, son is angry and tries various drugs to fix it, dad can’t communicate). You’ll need Netflix or an equivalent to find this one.
Project Blackbox – Sun is developing a datacenter that fits in a standard shipping container.
BLAM – Barenaked Ladies inspired me this year with the release of Barenaked Ladies Are Me. The group wrote 29 new songs to be released in two “albums”. The first came out in September, released under BNL’s own label in a variety of formats and renditions. With the rights held by the group, more innovative methods of packaging and distribution were possible. Oh, the music is pretty good too. Sound of Your Voice is probably my favorite.
Battlestar Galactica – The television series continues to provide a stark reflection of the world we live in. This season the show has explored suicide bombing, torture, vigilante justice, and forced species extinction. To keep up, you’ll need to move with it to Sundays in January.
My two favorite pieces of business writing this year were The Risk Pool by Malcolm Gladwell and How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take To Change The World? One. And You’re Looking At It. by Charles Fishman. Both are about the past, the future, and how actions can be taken now to deal with both.