As the year winds down, I can't help but reflect on the stand out moments, people and events that made this year so memorable. The end of the aughts, recession or not, for me personally, this year was one of the best ever! From social media to music festivals, new products to new political figures, the year started off with a bang, and kept it exciting in more ways than one (See #8, Lady Gaga). The following is my 'Best of' list for 2009 - I gotta say it was a good year.
With one month left in 2009, I traded in my Blackberry, and joined the iPhone nation and I'm here to say that the hype is true. I was thrilled to rid myself of that annoying little blinking light that notified me of all my unread messages, giving me so much anxiety I wanted to open my my sliding glass door every morning and toss it into the pool. Now with my iPhone, I'm so obsessed with it I check it every 2-3 minutes for new messages (much better than a blinking light, right?). The apps are amazing, the design is perfection and I'm paying at least $40 less than what I spent on my monthly plan with Verizon. #1 spot well-deserved!
Never in my adult life have I been so inspired and emotionally charged as I was during this year's election and the campaign that preceded it. Simply put, I dig this President. I think the Obama for America and the Organizing for America campaign was/is brilliant and has changed the face of politics in America, and has empowered people to get involved online and off.
This was one of my greatest discoveries of 2009. There aren't many things in life you consider to be perfect, for me, my Linus Bike is perfect in every way. Read more about 'The Bike of my Dreams' here.
See the full review, "The Bike of my Dreams".
Hands down, best album of the year, and there were many to choose from. There was much buzz around this beloved hometown band's album 'Swoon' and they did NOT disappoint. I got to see them perform it live when they came home from their European tour in support of the album and they totally blew my mind. If you aren't familiar with the Silversun Pickups, do yourself a favor and pick up Swoon, you will not be sorry. Swoon review on Lunch is forthcoming.
If you've ever wandered the web aimlessly for hours only to realize that you just lost 3 hours of your life you will never get back, and have nothing to show for it - you may want to pay closer attention to what Lunch is about. Lunch has given me a virtual soapbox to share my thoughts and opinions about things I feel passionately about, no matter how big or small. In doing so, I've connected with people I might never have realized I had anything in common with. A company built on exposing common ground and promoting tolerance has to succeed and, in my opinion, it will.
Mayer Hawthorne & The County debuted their album 'A Strange Arangment' this year, and built a cult following almost overnight making them the band to watch in 2009. Mayer's smooth vocals are remniniscent of old Motown jams, and are infused with smooth musicanship and a bit of a hip-hop vibe. The entire album is solid from start to finish, but their song Just Ain't Gonna Work Out is by far my favorite, and the video is adorable. I had the opportunity to see their live show more than once this year, including their very first show of the tour which kicked off in L.A. It's hard not to love these guys no matter what musical genre you're in to.
This was the second year for the Sunset Strip Music Festival, and this time it happened to fall on my birthday (happy birthday to me!). The weather was hot and the bands were hotter. The participating venues opened their doors to everyone for cold drinks, AC and live music. The whole thing was radical! Here are some of the bands we got to see that day:
Lady Gaga stands out in my mind because I first heard about her on NYE this year. I had a small dinner party at my house, and the clock stuck midnight hours beforehand which means we were good and sauced up off of champagne. We had some music videos playing in the background and Lady Gagas 'Poker Face' came on and we all stopped dead in our tracks. After someone (it might have been me) made a snarky comment along the lines of 'this-Christina Aguliera-wannabe' we sat in silence until the video was over, looked at each, and proceeded to declare our love of Gaga. She has managed to maintain my interest this entire year, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next.
If I could be in two places at once, one would be Los Angeles and the other would be Seattle. I lived up there after college, and fell in love with everything about that city - yes, even the rain. After I moved back I managed to take multiple trips a year to visit friends, and this year I squeezed in a trip in September and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.
Unlocking the power of Twitter was an eye-opening experience this year. Since then, I have spent countless hours proclaiming my love of Twitter with friends, most of the time my proclamations fell on deaf ears, but nonetheless my love has not waivered. Twitter is my go-to news source. It levels the playing field and allows people of every demographic, celebrity or blue-collar interact, which I think is a pretty incredible thing.
I must seem a bit biased having not one but two LA-based bands on my best of list for 2009, but this was a good year for music and these two bands in particular brought the heat. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been one of my favorite bands for years now, and so I was eagerly anticipating this new album. Imo, 'It's Blitz!' is a heavy-hitting electro-punk record, completely solid from start to finish and has been added to my favorite albums of all time list.
Hot as hell, but damn, well worth it. This year was especially significant because the weekend lineup led off with Morrissey, Silversun Pickups, The Black Keys and none other than, Sir Paul McCartney. And that was only the first night! By the time I got back to the condo we rented on Saturday my feet were so swollen I could barely walk, the next day I could barely get out of bed. So I didn't. I swear, the things I will do for Rock-n-Roll.
Because of various jobs in the tech industry there have been times where I have spent several weeks at a time in San Francisco, and I can honestly say that I have never eaten better food, drank yummier cocktails and partied so hard in all of my life as I do when I am in SF. Anyone who knows me, knows I am completely infatuated with my hometown of Los Angeles, but I will admit, I'm glad that SF is just a hop, skip, and a jump (or hour plane ride) away.