I don't have the money or time to listen to all the music I want, read all the books I desire or see all the movies that come out...so I couldn't pick a top ten list of any of those things. Or they at least wouldn't all be from 2007. So I'll just make a list of all my favorite things from this, the year of our Lord two thousand seven. Many of these things aren't actually from 2007, but this is just when I happen to get around to them.
In no particular order:
1. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible: So flipping good. Go to www.beonlineb.com to see an interactive video their song Neon Bible. It's kind of freaky, in a classic horror movie sort of way, but I couldn't take my eyes off it and watched it at least four times this weekend.
2. Rosie Thomas, These Friends of Mine: I love her voice and how innocent it sounds. She's friends with Sufjan Stevens, so that automatically makes her worth listening to. I could listen to Paper Doll on repeat for hours.
3. Over the Rhine, The Trumpet Child: How the heck have I gone this long and never heard of or listened to these people? Her voice! His songs! So good. Whenever I listen to The Trumpet Child, I feel like I'm sitting in a smoky bar with low lights and a good drink.
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: The perfect end to an amazing series. I laughed, I cried like a baby, and I didn't want it to end.
5. Radiohead, In Rainbows: Even if the music sucked (which it didn't), the fact that you could pay what you want was brilliant. Not only did they pull the greatest marketing ploy ever (gotta love it when a musician sticks it to the out-of-touch recording industry and actually succeeds), but the album was worth every pound you paid (or didn't pay). Most people seem to be choosing Weird Fishes/Arpeggio as their favorite, but Nude has to be my favorite. That base line gives me goosebumps.
6. Etsy.com: This site is for anyone who loves one-of-a-kind and handmade artwork, crafts, clothes, and accessories. It's kind of like eBay for artists, except you don't bid on things. Anyone can open up their own Etsy shop and sell their wares. Most of the items are more expensive than what you'd buy at Target or even Urban Outfitters (depending on what you're buying), but you get items you aren't likely to see at your friend's house. And you're supporting artists because the money goes straight to them. Bonus!
7. Sex God by Rob Bell: I've only read it through once and I want to read it again to get the big picture. Bell has a way of taking something complex and profound and making it completely accessible to anyone. This book not only makes an excellent case for abstinence and its beauty, but it uses the traditions found in the Old Testament to show God's love for each of us. There is so much more to this book, but I'm trying to be succinct. Just go read it.
8. Bishop Allen, The Broken String: This group is so much stinking fun, I can hardly stand it. They don't make any profound statements with their music or even do anything groundbreaking, but it's mindless fun. I've heard they're great live because they seem to just be excited to be playing their music.
9. Waitress: I feel like the majority of good movies this year were depressing, but Waitress left a smile on my face. I'm a big Keri Russell fan and she's great in this film. It will also inspire you to go home and bake a pie or two or fourteen.
10. Anne of Green Gables: This movie was actually made in 1985, but I didn't see it for the first time until this summer. It's absolutely adorable and will make you want to move to a small town, buy an old farmhouse, and adopt a red-headed girl (and then bake pies like Keri Russell in Waitress, heh heh).
11. Casino Royale: This is the only Bond movie I've ever seen and I loved it. Part of me never wants to watch another Bond movie so I can maintain the image of Bond from this film in my mind. The womanizing picture of Bond doesn't appeal to me. Shocking, I know.
12. Friday Night Lights: I was late to the game (no pun intended) with this show (as I was for Lost, Arrested Development and The Office), but every single one of you need to watch this show. Put it on your Netflix cue right now and be prepared to fall in love with this show, its characters and its well-written gloriousness.
13. Jane Eyre: BBC made this marvelous four-hour version of one of my favorite books and then Masterpiece Theater aired it. This is one of the few 'chick' novels that I believe many guys would also enjoy and the BBC did an excellent job on this version. The scene right after Jane saves Rochester's life is reason enough to watch this series over and over again.
14. Waterdeep, Heart Attack Time Machine: I'm a sucker for acoustic music and anything Waterdeep or Enter the Worship Circle puts out. This album did not disappoint. They have a way of telling simple stories in a profound way, all while making you love the music they've put with the story.
15. Lost: I watched the first season on DVD in two days (it was exam week...what else was I going to do?). Season three had its ups and downs, but the season finale blew me away. The one resounding reason I want the writer's strike to end is so I can see the entire fourth season of Lost uninterrupted.
Honorable mentions: Joanna Newsom, Spoon (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga), Band Marino (The Sea and the Beast), Till we Have Faces by CS Lewis, Pushing Daisies, Chuck, Feist (The Reminder)
Things I abhored this year: The Squid and the Whale, Man of the Year (has Robin Williams just given up making good movies?), The Break-Up, American Idol (there. I said it. I can't stand that show)
That's all for now. Here's to the new year and what lies ahead.