ashthomas//blog: August 2005


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina's wake

My wife and I sit here in safety while on the other side of the world, members of our family and our friends are in a disaster zone. Unable to contact them, we don't know if they are alive or safe, we don't know if their homes are still standing. My wife's parents are with her brother in Baton Rouge, since they wisely fled their home in Wiggins, MS a few days ago. Friends of ours decided to stay, however, and we have no way of contacting them to see how they are. Wiggins is just north of Biloxi and Gulfport, where Katrina hit shore, and we don't how bad the damage is there. I have been searching news articles for mentions of the town.

From the LA Times:

In Wiggins, Miss., a hill community 20 miles north of Gulfport, Olene Walters, 56, one of the town's holdouts, ventured out into the winds and returned in shock.

The storm had stripped the roof off her beauty parlor and pulverized the Lake-A-Way RV Campgrounds she owns five miles outside of town.

Snapped pines, oaks and pecan trees littered the highways, she said. "I stuck it out and now I'm wondering why," she said.

Hopefully telephone lines will be up again soon, and we can stop worrying about Clay and Veronica. They have a reasonably new house that seemed quite solid. We should know by tomorrow.

Even if everyone is safe, the towns are going to take a long time to rebuild. It is hard to believe that the places where I was sightseeing less than a year ago may not be there. I am particularly worried about the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library
on the Gulf Coast and the D-Day Museum in New Orleans.

New Orleans will never be the same again. From the AP:

A full day after the Big Easy thought it had escaped Katrina's full fury, two levees broke and spilled water into the streets on Tuesday, swamping an estimated 80 percent of the bowl-shaped, below-sea-level city, inundating miles and miles of homes and rendering much of New Orleans uninhabitable for weeks or months.

"We are looking at 12 to 16 weeks before people can come in," Mayor Ray Nagin said.

Less than a year ago, we were there, and it is all under water now. I have been looking through our photos of our visit to New Orleans and wondering if I'll ever see it again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

100 Greatest Albums

I've been loading up the iPod mini that I got for my birthday, so I was very interested when I came across Spin Magazine's 100 Greatest Albums 1985-2005 and how many of them I have (either CD or mp3). Spin's site only has a part of the article online, so I have reproduced it here in full with the ones I own in bold.

1. OK Computer Radiohead 1997
2. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back Public Enemy 1988
3. Nevermind Nirvana 1991
4. Slanted and Enchanted Pavement 1992
5. The Queen Is Dead The Smiths 1986
6. Surfer Rosa The Pixies 1988
7. 3 Feet High and Rising De La Soul 1989
8. Sign O the Times Prince 1987
9. Rid of Me PJ Harvey 1993
10. Straight Outta Compton NWA 1988
11. Achtung Baby U2 1991
12. Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys 1989
13. New Day Rising Husker Du 1985
14. Daydream Nation Sonic Youth 1988
15. Exile in Guyville Liz Phair 1993
16. Odelay Beck 1996
17. Illmatic Nas 1994
18. Appetite for Destruction Guns n Roses 1987
19. Live Through This Hole 1994
20. Enter the Wu Tang Clan (36 Chambers) Wu-Tang Clan 1993
21. Fear of a Black Planet Public Enemy 1990
22. Loveless My Bloody Valentine 1991
23. Stankonia Outkast 2000
24. Dig Me Out Sleater-Kinney 1997
25. The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails 1994
26. Post Bjork 1995
27. The Head on the Door The Cure 1985
28. Definitely Maybe Oasis 1994
29. 13 Songs Fugazi 1989
30. Ready to Die Notorious BIG 1994
31. You're Living All Over Me Dionsaur Jr 1987
32. Tim The Replacements 1985
33. AmeriKKKas Most Wanted Ice Cube 1990
34. Either/Or Elliott Smith 1997
35. The Chronic Dr Dre 1992
36. Doolittle The Pixies 1989
37. Bee Thousand Guided by Voices 1994
38. The Low End Theory A Tribe Called Quest 1991
39. Lucinda Williams Lucinda Williams 1988
40. Raising Hell Run DMC 1986
41. Siamese Dream Smashing Pumpkins 1993
42. Nothing's Shocking Jane's Addiction 1988
43. Criminal Minded Boogie Down Productions 1987
44. Dookie Green Day 1994
45. College Dropout Kanye West 2004
46. This Nation's Saving Grace The Fall 1985
47. Paid in Full Eric B & Rakim 1987
48. Kid A Radiohead 2000
49. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Lauryn Hill 1998
50. Low Life New Order 1985
51. In Utero Nirvana 1993
52. Licensed to Ill Beastie Boys 1986
53. The Battle of Los Angeles Rage Against the Machine 1999
54. Last Splash The Breeders 1993
55. Dig Your Own Hole The Chemical Brothers 1997
56. To Bring You My Love PJ Harvey 1995
57. White Blood Cells The White Stripes 2001
58. Master of Puppets Metallica 1986
59. The Lonesome Crowded West Modest Mouse 1997
60. De La Soul Is Dead De La Soul 1991
61. Pinkerton Weezer 1996
62. Supa Dupa Fly Missy Elliott 1997
63. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain Pavement 1994
64. The Marshal Mathers LP Eminem 2000
65. Remedy Basement Jaxx 1999
66. Aquemini Outkast 1998
67. Reign in Blood Slayer 1986
68. Maxiquaye Tricky 1995
69. Entroducing DJ Shadow DJ Shadow 1996
70. The Blueprint Jay Z 2001
71. Psychocandy The Jesus and Mary Chain 1985
72. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Raekwon 1995
73. Different Class Pulp 1995
74. Dummy Portishead 1994
75. Le Tigre Le Tigre 1999
76. If You're Feeling Sinister Belle and Sebastian 1997
77. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Wilco 2002
78. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses 1989
79. Everything Is Wrong Moby 1995
80. Voodoo D'Angelo 2000
81. Mellow Gold Beck 1994
82. Grace Jeff Buckley 1994
83. Relationship of Command At the Drive-In 2000
84. Superunknown Soundgarden 1994
85. Automatic for the People REM 1992
86. Up on the Sun Meat Puppets 1985
87. Parklife Blur 1994
88. Emperor Tomato Ketchup Stereolab 1996
89. Fever to Tell Yeah Yeah Yeahs 2003
90. Sister Sonic Youth 1987
91. Skylarking XTC 1986
92. Atomizer Big Black 1986
93. Ten Pearl Jam 1991
94. Spiderland Slint 1991
95. Elastica Elastica 1995
96. Rum, Sodomy & the Lash The Pogues 1985
97. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea Neutral Milk Hotel 1998
98. When I Was Born for the 7th Time Cornershop 1997
99. Gentlemen Afghan Whigs 1993
100. Is This It The Strokes 2001

So there is my measly possession of what are supposed to be the best albums of the last twenty years. I don't know how much I agree with the list, but it is great to see a good deal of diversity there. I was especially glad to see that Pavement got onto the list. If you have any thoughts about what Spin left out, or what I get from the list that I don't have, let me know in the comments section below.