I always used to think of new year’s resolutions as an inane exercise. Whoever conceived the idea seemed to be proposing that we should only target improvement once a year, a notion that we all would dismiss promptly and adamantly. As inconsequential of a gesture as it is, the new year’s resolution has actually begun to carry some weight to me. I don’t view it as a single goal for for the next 365 days, but rather as an impetus for change. For example, my 2011 resolution was to get a “real person” job. It’s not like I wasn’t providing a valuable service to the community at my local grocery store, but as a college graduate with a B.A. in mathematics and a B.S. in education, it was rather underwhelming…even considering the abysmal state that the economy was in. I was always on the prowl for a career-oriented opportunity, but I knew that I wasn’t completely applying myself. That admission alone was enough to compel me to set a clear, definable goal – and it just so happened that the new year (and new year’s resolutions, subsequently) coincided perfectly with my desire to take my professional life to the next level. I put myself on a strict weekly schedule for submitting applications, made an effort to visit more potential employers on location, and I even branched out and started my own tutoring program. It only took three months to pay off. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have gotten a job anyway over the course of the past year, but there is no doubt in my mind that my new year’s resolution sparked a change in my daily pattern and made me more productive. For that reason, I will look to do the same in 2012 as I find out what the next mountain is that I need to climb.
On a more microscopic level, I would like to propose my 2012 Sputnik Music Resolution. Anyone who regularly reads my reviews or blogs knows that I’m a stereotypical indie/alternative rock guy. I love Radiohead, Brand New, Fleet Foxes, The National…pretty much anything that is cathartic enough for me to heal to since I don’t know how to deal with my negative emotions in real life. But as many of you also know, I became something of a pop whore during the second half of the year, at one point reviewing Lady Antebellum, Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift. Starting in 2012, I would like to do a better job bringing you reviews of albums by bands that you haven’t heard of. You might call it an effort to become more of a hipster, but I don’t see it that way when it provides more useful information to readers both within the site and outside of its rigid confines. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to review music that I like (regardless of genre), and you can bet your sweet ass that I’ll be all over Taylor Swift. Hell, I might even review her album. But for me, I aim to make 2012 the year of discovering the undiscovered, unveiling the obscure, and uniting eager fans with music that they won’t necessarily find during their usual web searches. This new blog (with its freshly witty title) is where I intend to begin. Each quarter of the year I hope to create a playlist of under-the-radar songs that match the changing seasons. I hope you enjoy this batch of wintry compositions, and any feedback is welcome either here or in my shoutbox.
(1) Papercranes – Synapses
(2) Horse Feathers – Curs In The Weeds
a roaring fireplace to relieve the cold draft
(3) Julian Lynch – Just Enough
a sleigh ride towards the sunset over top of slowly melting ice
(4) Freelance Whales – Generator (First Floor)
The feeling of warmth under your blankets when it’s time to wake up in the morning
(5) Great Northern – Just A Dream
a storm on the horizon