Best of 2009: My favorite things you people posted on this site
Some friends and I were talking the other day, sharing our thoughts about the things we did this year. As we looked back over the year that had passed, I realized I spent most of my time working. Granted, I love my job, and it feels a little bit like play or entertainment much of the time. But, nonetheless, it was a year full of job-related events. My personal highlights included things like the ND Festival, Pickathon, the Archives launch, AMA Conference…you get the picture. I could easily rack off the 20 best concerts I saw, the best albums I heard, etc. Of course, then again, I saw at least (if not more than) a dozen wild Orcas on the ferry ride between Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., on my birthday. I also raised a sizable amount of money for breast cancer research, then walked 60 miles in three days for that cause. But those were the only two non-work-related highlights I could recall.
Anyway, to the topic at hand. I decided that, if I’m going to measure 2009 in work-related items, I should just draw up a list. So I began.
The list evolved, and I eventually came to the conclusion it would be much more interesting and fun to come up with my favorite items which have been posted on this site. After all, I reckon I’ve spent a little more time here than almost anyone other than Kyla, and it’s my job to read everything you write (among other things). Perhaps there are items you all have missed and would have enjoyed had you seen them. So, without further ado, here are Fifteen Things You People Posted on This Site in 2009, Which I Particularly Enjoyed (in no particular order):
1. Forum: What’s your favorite Wilco album? (Jonathan Hull)
The funny thing about this forum item is that it was posted by Jonathan Hull way back when we were testing the site – before it was live – to show us how the forum function works. It’s now one of the most trafficked forum items on this site, and people keep casting their votes now, 11 months into this community’s existence.
3. “Making a living, not a killing” (Lost Hills)
This quote from Utah Phillips pretty much summed up the late folksinger’s life’s work. Here is a video from Phillips’ conversation with NPR’s Amy Goodman, prefaced by a nice primer about his career in folk music. Some timely and provocative ideas from one of the great working man’s troubadours.
4. Music from the Tibetan plateau (Douglas Heselgrave)
A very informative post about a kind of music from somewhere most of us probably never even consider. This is the kind of post that makes my day – about an artist I never would have happened upon, much less sought out on my own.
5. Celestial music with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (B. Dutch Seyfarth)
A quick Q&A with one of my favorite artists I just discovered this year (thanks to recommendations from this site).
6. Pieta Brown, Bo Ramsey and this thing about a four-letter state of mind called Iowa thats been on my mind lately (Easy Ed)
A terrific look at some remarkably good music emerging out of Iowa, of all places.
7. How I got produced by Jim Dickinson, and other ramblings (Roscoe)
It was a rough year in terms of losing remarkable contributors to the music world. This was just a nice, timely personal memoir and a smooth, easy read, in memory of the late producer Jim Dickinson.
8. “Why, Why, Why” hasn’t Doug Sahm been considered for induction into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame? (Rod Ames)
An excellent background check on one of the finest overlooked (by MSM) artists in this genre, and a couple of legitimate questions. Rod has contributed more than a few fabulous blog posts to this site, but this one stands out for me for some reason.
9. Alan Lomax in Haiti (Bob Moses)
An impressive history lesson on one of the greatest folk song collectors in the history of the field.
10. Lake Fever Sessions Videos
There are so many great videos from these Nashville-based folks, I didn’t even know which one to include in this list. They’ve introduced me to a few artists I’d never heard of, and shared great performances from those I have. It’s a great way to become introduced to some up-and-coming roots artists.
11. Live review: Gogol Bordello (Steve Leftridge)
I’m not personally a huge Gogol Bordello fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed this review. It was enough to make me think I shouldn’t turn down an opportunity to see the band, my non-fandom withstanding.
12. WHY LES WAS MORE: How Two Electric Guitarists (and One Songwriter) from the Midwest Saw to the Changin’ Times (Kevin Long)
A great historical piece recalling the memory of Les Paul, among several other things. Terrifically researched and a good read. Who says long articles aren’t readable online? (Okay, I know I’ve said just that before, and I’ve since decided that was hogwash.)
13. Robbie Fulks remembers Michael Jackson (Linda Ray)
Linda received permission from Fulks to post this email with his thoughts on Jackson’s passing. Fulks was planning an album covering Jackson’s music and, like so many other folks working in music these days, considered Michael Jackson a major musical and cultural influence.
14. Remember Jay the right way (Paul Cantin)
A terrific memorial to Jay Bennett – yet another exceptional artist who passed this year.
15. Karl Paulnack’s speech on the importance of music (Kyla Fairchild)
Just an excellent statement for those of us worried about the future of music and the music industry, and an important assertion regarding the import of music in general.
Of course there’s plenty more where those 15 posts came from, but those are just a few highlights which stood out for me. You’re turn…what have you enjoyed reading about this year?