There will be an end of year post tomorrow

I will see to it. And it will be…well, not that monumental per se, it’ll be more about the last couple of days. But right now all I have to say is that I’ve put something like 750 CDRs into proper CaseLogic storage cases.

And yeeps, I’m tired.

(Among my resolutions — about time for that external hard drive…)

One last OC Weekly review for 2007

Published two days’ back — my take on Tusk’s The Resisting Dreamer. Great record, and one last confirmation that this was indeed a fine year in music (which it was artistically — economically, the writing is ever more on the wall, I think).

Christmas in photos

Or at least some:

San Francisco on Christmas Eve morning

Merry merry

A Christmas walk on the beach

My dream home

More photos here and here.

The woozy part of a break

That’s kinda how I feel right about now! I’m back from up north after a wonderful time with my sis and folks — great holiday all around — and I don’t have to go back to work until next Wednesday — but my sleep schedule is (entertainingly) discombobulated and I’m still trying to process a whole bunch of things and year-end stuff. Which now includes the death of Benazir Bhutto, about which more when I feel more up for it (there’s already been a lot of nonsense said — it’s interesting watching the hackles rise between people over in NROville — while Christopher Hitchens’ rightfully ambivalent remembrance probably serves as the best English-language snap judgment so far).

But yes, a very woozy time, and I also feel I’ve been a bit slack on detailed thoughts about recent books and movies and music and so forth, so there’s a bit of a resolution coming on about those! That might have to wait until the new year, appropriately, but it’ll happen.

A movie review in brief

Namely, Walk Hard. Great? No. Good funny dumb humor? Yes, exactly, and on that level a perfect success. Someone on ILX openly wondered whether or not Judd Apatow was essentially going to cast the same people in his movies over and over again and that’s probably accurate. But John C. Reilly assayed the role with the appropriate gusto and his singing voice is pretty damn sharp. Tanked at the box office over the weekend, though — pity, Reilly deserves better. Hopefully the next film, whatever it is. (And getting Jackson Browne, Jewel, Lyle Lovett and Ghostface on the same stage together, in a way, was pretty WTF — but not so much as Jack White’s bizarro Elvis…though imagine if they had got Bruce Campbell in for that.)

Anyway, my sis loved it, my dad enjoyed it, I loved it and my mom avoided it. About what I would have guessed!

Merry merry

And hope yours is a good one, if you celebrate, and just plain relaxed if you don’t. (In my case, I aim for good AND relaxed.)

And a quick Tim F. update

Word has been passed along from his family that the surgery’s gone well, the tumor had not spread and that things are looking very positive indeed. Now there’s a Christmas present! We’ll all see where it goes from here.

Best wishes for Tim Finney

Yesterday Tim mentioned in a note on ILM that he’s facing a bit of hefty surgery:

After a month-just-gone of increasingly severe headaches, this week I was diagnosed with an impressively large, but hopefully benign, brain tumor lodged in my cerebellum behind my right ear.

I’m having this removed on Monday, in what will hopefully be a fairly straightforward operation – the tumor is fairly close to the skull so the surgery will be on the less invasive side of things.

All things being equal I can expect to be fully recovered in about two months. If worse scenarios move from faint possibility to unavoidable reality I will certainly let people know, but there doesn’t appear to be any reason to panic at this stage – I’ve met with my neurosurgeon and the signs are all fairly good in this case.

The positive comments and best wishes have been rightly pouring in. Tim’s perhaps most well known for his regular work over at Pitchfork — here’s a link to many of his excellent reviews — but I’ve had a chance to know him, as have a number of friends and fellow writers, for almost a decade now.

We all got to know him when he appeared towards the end of’s run at being a good place to hang around towards the end of the nineties — Tom Ewing had started Freaky Trigger but ILX wasn’t around yet, and we used the newsgroup as a general discussion area. Into it all came this enthusiastic and very well-spoken fellow from Melbourne, Australia, talking about his love for a variety of things with energy and deft observation. The fact that he was only something like 16 at the time made us all feel very old and very jealous. At the time his greatest touchstones could be described as female artistes in a broad vein — Joni Mitchell, Ani diFranco, Kate Bush, Bj√∂rk — as well as the continuing impacts of post-punk and shoegaze on a wide front. However, as both he and I remember it, one time we were talking either on the board or on private e-mail and he ventured that he really would like to see what dance music was all about beyond the general hybrids he’d already encountered. I strongly encouraged him — and I’m sure I was but one voice of many, and after all he’d already figured out something was up — and soon he was off to the races.

And how. Over this decade he’s easily made his mark as one of the finest pop and dance writers on the planet — the archives of his blog Skykicking, in both its initial and later incarnations, makes for essential reading, there’s his Pitchfork work as mentioned, while over on Facebook he’d recently started a year-end overview for 2007 that shamefully I’ve only just noticed — and in all cases his unbridled passion for documenting things as they happened meshed with an original style all his own, erudite, informed but aimed at all readers rather than an academic subset. Another good recent example can be found over at ILM on the thread for the new Burial album Untrue — I’m not a fan of it beyond general moodiness but Tim’s comments and back-and-forth debates with others not only covers his larger thoughts on the album and creator but the scene it’s situated in and the roots of the music over the last ten years, and much more besides. It’s an instant history lesson and it’s one of many he’s provided — and I still regret we were never able to work out a proper pitch last year for EMP on Disco Inferno as a joint presentation.

Some years back I had the pleasure of meeting him in Melbourne on my brief visit there — I remember one of the first things we spoke of was Mya’s “Case of the Ex,” always a good beginning — and found that in person he’s just as remarkable a fellow, friendly and considered and in love with life. We and others had a fine day out and I’ve since envied people who’ve had a chance to meet with him either in his home city or in his visits to London. One day when I finally get back there we’ll chat again. As his note indicates, he’s sounding very confident about this situation and I’ve no doubt it’ll all be put right. He’s one of the good ones. My best again, sir — and if you’ve not had a chance to read his work, take the plunge. You will find yourself rewarded.

And I’m about out for the holidays

I’ll be online here and there over the next few days and will have a couple of blog posts as I go, I’m sure! But mostly I’m ready to just disconnect for a bit and relax with family and catch up with a couple of friends up north and the like. A fine fine thing.

If you’re celebrating, hope it’s a great one! If you’re not or don’t have a chance to, hope you find some calm moments as you go. If things are tough, my best wishes, and if things are well, then I hope it continues. Above all else, smile! There’s always some light somewhere.

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Some year end AMG reviews