Overall, 2009 was meh. From what I am hearing from other folks, I'm not alone in this sentiment. Maybe that contributes to my reluctance to do a bests list this year, but you know me -- I can always find a little patch of goodness in the general ickiness.
My focus is usually music, and this year I have three albums that are tops. I'm sure I will be reminded of more, but it is true that every year my list gets smaller. I don't know if that means, a) I'm getting more discriminating, or b) I'm getting old.
I suppose it could also be, c) I'm having too much fun to sit in front of my record collection and computer and come up with a whole damn list. Yeah, let's go with that one! :)
I'm also going to let youtube do all the work. Ha, I'm not only old, but lazy! (I mean, um, discriminating and busy...)
1) Bat for Lashes: Two Suns
Her debut in 2006, Fur and Gold, is a gorgeous and more spare album; in Two Suns she broke out the dark disco, and it is equally terrific. Comparisons to Kate Bush are not wrong.
2) Neko Case: Middle Cyclone
One of the greatest voices of our generation.
'This Tornado Loves You'
3) A.A. Bondy: When the Devil's Loose
The latest 2009 purchase. Been listening to him nonstop. Seeing him live next week, and I am so excited!
'The Mightiest of Guns'
Best show was Echo and the Bunnymen, hands down. Live vicariously through me here.
And as I am on the eternal quest for less toxic things that I use everyday, I also want to give some love to two products I found this year that have changed my life, yo.
1) Griffin Remedy hair and body products, in San Francisco, CA
They really can't be beat. Local, with an ingredient list that is comparable in goodness to the natural bodycare veteran Aubrey Organics, but at a third of the price -- the bodycare clerk at Berkeley Bowl said they are the only other brand besides Aubrey that she recommends wholeheartedly. But Aubrey makes my hair slack and limp -- Griffin Remedy made my hair so shiny and healthy that the person who cuts my hair asked what I was using. They don't yet have their haircare line on their website, but if you call them you can order direct. *love*
2) Grateful Body moisturizer, in Berkeley, CA
Another local, all-natural standout. Oily-skinned ladies, holla -- the moisturizer for "oil-rich" skin does NOT make you feel like you need to wash your face, nor is it full of alcohol; in fact, this moisturizer will change the way your skin feels, and how you feel about your oily skin. It's pricey, so I use it very very sparingly, but even an itty bit makes your skin feel wow. One look at the ingredient list that reads like an herb and flower garden and you won't be able to say no to yourself.
Got some bests of your own? Blogged about them (or not)? I would love to hear about them (or be directed to them) in the comments.
Looking forward to the standout joys of 2010!