A Year in Review

Disclaimer: Most people consider my taste to be, well, questionable. My roommates can testify to this. I don't provide my "best of" lists as recommendations necessarily, so be warned that stuff listed here may not appeal to all tastes!

You can select from the following categories:


Note: This section will probably change a bit due to some new acquisitions...

1996 was an interesting year for me musically speaking. It's the first time that I broke away from purely mainstream music to experience some different bands that they just don't play on the radio. It all started this summer when I went to an Aimee Mann concert in Portland. A band called The Loud Family was scheduled to open for her. I'd never heard of them--before the show I was just hoping that they would be tolerable. I mean, I'm not really into 'loud' music and didn't really know what to expect. They started playing, and they were absolutely amazing! Their performance prompted me to buy their CD Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things. And listening to the quality of that CD prompted me to buy the rest of the collection. I was hooked. In fact, I was so impressed with the band, I started buying CDs of lead singer Scott Miller's previous band Game Theory. I think the stuff is great. My admiration of this band lead me to subscribe to a mailing list focusing on Scott Miller's work. Contributors to this list discuss a variety of talented but not well-known bands. So now my tastes (and my CD collection) are expanding due to mentions of bands on this mailing list. Anyway, enough of an introduction. Onto the good stuff!

My two favorite albums of 1996 are...

  • The Loud Family--"Interbabe Concern":
    Favorite Songs from the album: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Rise of the Chokehold Princess, Just Gone, and Where They Walk Over Sainte Therese.
    Comments: This album is truly amazing. Frontman Scott Miller is the most talented musician/songwriter that I have had the privilege to listen to. Words cannot describe this album's greatness, so I won't even bother trying. I have an extra promo copy of this album if any of you are interested in listening to this album for yourself. Just send me some email, and I will lend it to you.

  • Tori Amos--"Boys For Pele":
    Favorite songs from the album: Horses, Blood Roses, Doughnut Song, and In The Springtime of His Voodoo.
    Comments: Tori really hits the mark on this album. It's emotionally moving and lyrically fascinating. The songs flow together beatuifully to form a superb album. What can I say? There is very little of hers that I don't like, so perhaps I am not the best person to give a critical view of her albums.

    Other albums from 1996 that I've really enjoyed...

  • Aimee Mann--"I'm With Stupid"
  • Ani DiFranco--"Dilate"
  • Throwing Muses--"Limbo"
  • The Sugarplastic--"Bang, the Earth is Round"
  • The Nields--"Gotta Get Over Greta"
  • The Cardigans--"First Band on the Moon"
  • Sleeper--"The it Girl"
  • The Olivia Tremor Control--"Music From the Unrealized Film Script 'Dusk At Cubist Castle'"
  • The Tape of Only Loud-Fans (a tribute to the amazing Scott Miller)

    I recently got the following albums from '96 so I don't know if they belong up above or not, but I definitely like what I hear so far! They will probably be moved up in a month or so...

  • Go Sailor (compilation of previous releases)
  • The Spinanes--"Strand"


    My three favorite concerts of 1996 are...

    1. The Loud Family/Aimee Mann, July 1996, Portland, OR
    As I mentioned above, this was the first time I heard The Loud Family, so this would have been the best concert of the year just because of that. However, Aimee Mann's performance was flawless. Her songs are bitterly brilliant. Performed live, they are even better. She even broke out an acoustic guitar for some of it! If you have the opportunity to see either of these artists in concert, do so! You won't be sorry.

    2. Tori Amos, July 1996, Portland, OR
    This was the first time I had seen Tori in Concert. She is so wonderfully talented that her concerts can hardly fail to be great!

    3. Ani DiFranco, October 1996, Berkeley, CA Ani is just cool to see in concert. Another amazingly talented lady with a guitar! Her songs are very emotional, and she performs them very well live.


    Movies I really enjoyed in 1996 were, in no particular order, Lone Star, Trainspotting, Fargo, Welcome to the Dollhouse, The English Patient, Heavy, I Shot Andy Warhol, Breaking the Waves, and Shine.


    Hands down, the best TV show of 1996 was The X-Files. The strange adventures of Mulder and Scully kept me intrigued. This seasons episodes contained the perfect mixture of wit, suspense, and unexplainable phenomenon. All in all, pretty darn good stuff.

    I didn't have time to watch much TV in 1996, so there's not much else to add here. It's funny how writing a compiler can take up so much of one's time (not that I'm bitter or anything... Really, I love being a CS major and spending weekends in Soda....)

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    Is there a band/movie/tv show you think I would like? Do you agree with my roommates that my taste in everything is horrendous? Well, send me email telling me so! srgordonatcsuadotberkeleydotedu

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    Last modified on 2/4/97