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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Best Of 2007: Other Cool Things

So these lists took a lot longer to get out than I expected, but forgive me, as I was moving halfway across the world.

This is the last installment of Foggy Ruins Of Time Best of 2007 lists and its basically any random stuff that I wanted to mention that didn’t fit into any of the three previous categories. I became a lot busier in 2007. I made three albums and played almost a dozen shows, worked on and acted in a few school films, wrote a screenplay and started filming it (more on that soon!) and started this blog. I also started reading again for fun. It was my most productive year yet!

Best Blog of 2007: RetroLowFi

Whether it was arguing/gushing with Chris and Marc over certain contest artists’/films' merits, getting advice from Emily, discovering always great new music (from the bloggers themselves or whatever they fancied), or being given one of the most flattering, but sincerest reviews of my musical career so far I have to say that the blog RetroLowFi definitely was the place for discovering new artists/songs/movies/books in 2007.

Every writer has a unique personality but an unquenchable passion for all things in life. They were one of the biggest inspirations for starting Foggy Ruins Of Time and I am indebted to them. Thank you Marc, Chris, Emily, Nicole and John.


Best New Source Of Inspiration in 2007: The Harmonica

Foto courtesy of Alex Tengco

I’m not going to lie and say I’m not a huge Dylan fan; I consider myself to understand the legend more than anyone (or at least anyone I know), but he was the chief source of interest in the harmonica as an instrument. Step two in my harmonica cultivation was my roommate and one of my best pals, Evan. He is a wonderfully talented harmonica player and seeing him in action is lovely. He is humble, but still able to create cool licks and colorful melodies.

With those two things in my mind I bought a few harmonicas and harmonica brace in around April and I haven’t looked back. The amazing thing about a harmonica is it makes you a better musician period. It has helped me understand what keys are and how vital playing in particular keys are too. It helped my writing of songs by making melodies much more satisfying and easier to create. It made my guitar playing better too and my live shows infinitely more interesting.

Everyone needs to play the harmonica.

The Harmonica on wikipedia
You Tube video of the song "A Winter's Tale Told In Spring" featuring some ace harmonica by me

Best You Tube Video(s) of 2007: Brotherhood 2.0

I am addicted to You Tube. I watch it more than TV now. In 2007 I saw many hilarious videos, but the daily video blog Brotherhood 2.0 was special because not only did it provide humor, but it was just an interesting experience seeing these two adult brothers (activists, writers, etc.) get to share with the world everything that they were concerned about and get recognition and rally people to particular causes.

The two brothers are John and Hank Green and the goal of Brotherhood 2.0 was a year’s worth of textless communication. They communicated by making a vlog every other day. Both John and Hank are very charismatic (for nerds lol), intelligent and funny. They kept it going for an entire year, something anyone can be astonished by. I came kind of late in the game (October), but since then I’ve kept up daily and it’s a part of the day that I really look forward to.

Two of my favorite videos by the vlogbrothers:

John Green


Hank Green

John and Hank's You Tube page

Best Facilitator of My Neuroses in 2007: last.fm

I listen to music always. I say always because I don’t I ever sit around in silence. Whether I’m showering, sleeping, doing homework, I pretty much always have music on in the background. Now I used to be one to bemoan digital music, I have an incredible CD collection and a tiny record collection, but I am past that now. Being semi-neurotic and OCD, the application last.fm was a perfect fit for my love of music and my personality disorders. Now I could see literally who I was listening to and how much. I am obsessed with my charts and boy does last.fm have plenty of charts. What’s even funnier is that I am my second most listened to artist…

My last.fm profile

Best New Record Label: Wee Pop! Records

I’m out of breath from all the praise I can give Thor and Camila of Wee Pop! Records, a tiny lo-fi CD label in the UK. For some of you looking for any Wee Pop! releases in my best albums of 2007 list you probably noticed that none were on there. But, that was because they would have dominated it. Everything Thor and Camila do is filled with so much love, not because it’s a living, but it’s a passion. They pick only the best artists and every release is handcrafted perfection and they will conquer the world, no your heart. I’m a true believer.

Some of the best songs from their catalogue in 2007:

Tinyfolk-“Really, Really Blue: A Tale Of Unrequited (Perhaps) Romance and Lizardry”
Bunnygrunt-“Where Eagles Dare, Pt 2”
Desmond Reed-“First Proud, Then Sad”
Sunny Intervals-“Sunset On Parliament Hill”
The Darlings-“Emily”

Wee Pop! Records
My Wee Pop! reviews of almost all their releases!

Best Personal Achievement of 2007: A Winter’s Tale Told In Spring

I love this fucking album. Everything before this was child’s play. These songs came together so naturally, so effortlessly. The recording process itself was almost nightmare inducing due to several technological scares, but whenever I completed a song I felt so satisfied. There is no filler here, its one of the truest expressions of myself I can possibly imagine. People responded with so much love and passion for these songs that they found nuances and meaning that I never even dreamed of. I know its only the beginning for me musically, but A Winter’s Tale Told In Spring was an early benchmark that will always hold up.

Existential Hero-“Almost Spirited Away”

Existential Hero on myspace
Download the album on CLLCT
Review of the album at RetroLowFi

And there you have it.


Lshap Productions said...

it's really cool that the things you praise, are installations in your daily life.

Steven Ray Morris said...

haha I never thought of that, but you are correct.

alex t. said...

"What’s even funnier is that I am my second most listened to artist…"
what's that say about yourself? lol..
but yes! last.fm.. new stalker app. love it.. harmonica can make me cry, love that too.

your best personal achievement of the year is different than most people's. and fun. and to be able to say "i made an album and i LOVE it." bravo.