Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Musical Monday: Best of 2013

So the arbitrary standard for "Best of" is that I craved listening to a song, and it came out in 2013.  There are plenty of earworms this year that happened to come out near the tail end of last year or even earlier. And there are plenty of other songs that were fantastic this year and are on everyone's "Best of" list (i.e. Vampire Weekend) That I just didn't connect to in the same way as these.

I divided them into categories as best as I could with maybe a tiny bit of fudging, just so every song had a category.

If you just want to hear the music, without my explanations you can catch the Youtube Playlist of (almost) all the songs HERE 

Upbeat Dance Jams
I am all about music that makes you jump up, bob your head, or dance with your shoulders (I do that a lot when driving and grooving) and these songs all got me moving, even if in completely different ways to the different genres.

Avicii: Wake Me Up

Memory Tapes: Sheila

Fall Out Boy: My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark

Zedd: Clarity (feat. Foxes)

Pharrell Williams: Happy

MS/MR: Fantasy

Love is Complicated
Really I could include almost any song on here, love is the songwriter's ultimate muse.  However, from the aggressive entreat of Fey Moth to be "conquered," Phosphorescent waxing a slow regret, the ladies of Haim venomously pleading to be let go, Gungor's take on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Oh Land's metaphor of love as passport, these songs all show how something so universal can be such a unique experience, as experienced through song.

Fey Moth: Alexander
There is no video for this song and the embedding code isn't working so head here to a past post highlighting this song

Phosphorescent: Song for Zula

Haim: Let Me Go

Gungor: Beat of her Heart

Oh Land: Green Card

Hits from Down Under
I love me some Australia. In fact, I;ll be posting on my favorite global music survey next week (as well as posting my votes) The Triple J Hottest 100. Two of my favorite Aussie artsts with new tracks this year make the cut, Matt Corby and Gossling both taking their sounds in a new direction in 2013. New Zeland gets a shout out too this year with the world's new favorite teen Ella Yenich-O'conner, AKA Lorde. New band FAIRCHILD also joins with a song that I almost put in the "Dance" section with Dancer. Their video inspired a lot of pretending I knew ballet.

Matt Corby: Resolution

Gossling: Never Expire

Lorde: Team


UK Beats
From the other side of the world The 1975, CHVRCHES, and Bastille show that HRH Baby George wasn't the only awesome thing to come from the Kingdom this year.

The 1975: Chocolate

CHVRCHES: The Mother We Share

Bastille: Sweet Pompeii

Close Your Eyes and Sway
Sometimes, you just need a slow jam. Whether it's about making it out of this world and into the presence of the Creator or needing your girl, music has a way of expressing longing, hope, expectation, loneliness, and "all of the feels" in a way that no other medium can. Also, inexplicably after the slow build through the bridge, the banjo and subtle beat drop at 3:36 was my favorite moment in a song all year.

Gungor: Finally

The National: I Need My Girl

What were your favorite songs on 2013? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter: @itzbizr

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Say "What!?" Wednesday TwelveEighteenThirteen

So I usually keep it pretty fun/detached/non-serious here in my Bitzy corner of the blogosphere.  After all, this is supposed to be something I enjoy and it's easier to enjoy things that are happy.

But this week I came across a collection of essays I couldn't ignore and feel compelled to share with you here on what is one of the biggest humanitarian crises in recent times.

The Washington Post compiled eighteen strikingly powerful photo essays with images of the tragedy playing out in Syria. The accompanying stories are well-written and offer a context for the pictures but the photographs themselves tell such a compelling tale. It's truly and interactive multi-media experience with videos and infographics as well.

I'll give you a moment to take it all in:

Eh, so there's not much to follow that with that won't seem thin or cheap.

I dislike posting such a downer during this Christmas season, but sometimes the things we need to see are hard to see. I don not think there is any easy solution forward in Syria and much smarter people than I are trying to formulate some sort of policy that will help more than harm the innocent civilians caught up in the conflict. And I know that I will go on to my holiday dinner tonight and this will pass from my mind as I enjoy good food and company. And when I do remember it, I will feel guilty for forgetting. But in the meantime, and every new moment I remember it, I can pray.

And in praying I can hope that the future of Syria will be better than the present.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Foto Friday: Walking (to Court) in a Winter Wonderland

So this past week we had some winter weather here in DC (and apparently in most of the country as well). On Monday I had a hearing in Alexandria Court. While Old Town Alexandria is normally picturesque, (and filled with incredible historic minutiae) with the snow & ice it looked magical!

I tried not to be too creeper and I avoided pictures of people's awesome indoor decor (cause that would've been too much). Here are a few shots from my journey to and from Court:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Foto Friday: Doctor Who in the Workplace

This week's Foto Friday was less about showing off photography skills as simply showing things I like.

So when you work/volunteer in an office with fellow whovians, you get to see gems like these:

What would your signature Doctor piece be? Let me know in the comments below or on twitter @itzbizr

Thursday, December 5, 2013

"Say What!?" Wednesday TwelveFourThirteen

Say What Wednesday: week three

Let's dive right in:

U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam — by parachute — to kill snakes
Washington Times

U.S. helicopters descended upon Guam on Sunday with cargo meant to kill, although this $8 million mission was unlike most others — 2,000 mice on cardboard parachutes were released into the forest surrounding Andersen Air Force Base as bait for brown tree snakes.
Guam’s population of brown tree snakes hovers around 2 million, with a density of 13,000 per square mile in some areas, CNBC said. However, the snakes are sensitive to Tylenol — 80 milligrams of acetaminophen can kill them. That’s where the mice come in.

The 2,000 rodents that were parachuted into the canopy were all pumped with the painkiller; when the snakes take a big enough bite, they die. Data-transmitting radios embedded within the mice help scientists gauge how well their program is working.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/3/us-drops-2000-mice-guam-parachute-kill-snakes/#ixzz2mbyQ3dnp
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Now, at first I thought, "Woah, COOL!" Then I read some of the comments which used simple math to break down the cost that even if all the mice get eaten by snakes (and not cats, to which tylenol consumption  is also fatal) and there's a 100% success rate it would still cost $4,000 per snake... and there'd still be 1.98 million snakes left on the island... maybe not the most cost effective or well thought through plan.

But it' still neat to picture the mice parachuting from helicopters... I imagine them with little mice helmets too =)

So unfortunately I ran out of time yesterday, which is why Say "What!?" Wednesday is out on Thursday this week and why I only have one news item instead of three. Sorry bout that. Christmas and its various time-consuming related activities have started taking over my life... but I'm not complaining =)