Favorite Music Videos of 2008

Happy New Year! This past year has been a great one for music and while most magazines and websites are listing their Top 10 albums, I thought I’d share my Top Five favorite music videos:

5. Noah and the Whale “2 Bodies 1 Heart” — Anything that combines track & field with Irish step-dancing with a Wes Anderson aesthetic sprinkled with whimsy is A-OK with me.

4. Lykke Li “Breaking It Up” — I love this video because it’s kind of a commentary on sexy dance videos but it’s also a sexy dance video.

3. Bon Iver “The Wolves (Act I & II)” — This video looks exactly how it sounds. Cold. With a fire burning in my soul.

2. Rihanna “Disturbia” — Someone on a VH1 countdown compared this video to NIN’s “Closer” only substituting the monkeys and Trent Reznor for hotass Rihanna. I say, pas mal.

1. MGMT “Electric Feel” — Jack and I were up late one night procrastinating and watching youtube videos. This was our favorite. It’s hipster wookie dance party ridiculous!

Impromptu Reading — Marisa Crawford & Seth Landman

The other night I attended one of the best readings I’ve ever been to. Seth Landman (ESPN.com writer and international man of heartbreak) invited a small group of friends over to his house on a quiet day-after-xmas Friday evening. His friend Marisa Crawford was visiting from San Francisco and, along with Seth, she gave us an impromptu reading from her manuscript “The Haunted House”–the eponymous poem is told in 60 short parts addressing issues of memory, loss, and female-ness, with some Madonna and horror movie imagery mixed in. Seth read from a series of poems called “Parker’s Band” about a boat named The Seth Parker that circled the globe in the 1930s. These new poems walked the fine line between whimsical and heartfelt and radio feedback. Seth’s friend Jake brought a bottle of super smoky scotch I’d never tried before called Laphroaig. Including the poets there were only seven of us. It was a perfect evening.

Required Reading — English 354

After much deliberation, I’ve finally decided on my reading list for the Creative Writing: Intro to Poetry workshop I’ll be teaching at UMass this spring. It includes:

We’ll also be looking at different poetic forms in Mark Strand’s The Making of a Poem. I hope it’ll be a fun semester for my students.