Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top 15 Albums of 2010

1. Beach House - Teen Dream

2. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

3. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

4. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

5. ceo - White Magic

6. Menomena - Mines

7. Future Islands - In Evening Air

8. The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards

9. Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

10. Das Racist - Sit Down, Man

11. No Age - Everything In Between

12. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me

13. Warpaint - The Fool

14. Woods - At Echo Lake

15. Das Racist - Shut Up, Dude

On this blog (for a reason none other than indecisiveness) I've made it a tradition to list my top fifteen records of the year (2007 is here, 2008 here and 2009 here) instead of a more typical top ten. I also don't say anything about why I've selected them (at least at first). Deal with it.

For more words on why I chose the top ten of these fifteen, stay tuned. Also, keep on the lookout for some Pazz & Jop action in January.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

TONY bologna

Here in New York for the week and went on in to my ol' stomping grounds of Time Out on Tuesday.

It was good to see everybody but also reminded me: There's a new website afoot and many of my links to the right are dead or wrong. I'm working to get them back to 100% but please be patient if you are hurting for some Colin St. John archive work. (Which I'm sure you all are.)

Monday, October 04, 2010

McSweeney's Second Annual Columnist Contest - I didn't win

Ah, not winning contests...it happens.

My first ever blog post here was on May 12, 2006. It was an essay that I wrote for a Vanity Fair contest that I didn't win. Well, some things never change. Below is a column I wrote for McSweeney's about the newfound predicament of living in my mom's basement.

Missives from Mom’s basement

A brief description:

After living in New York City as a writer for five years, Colin St. John, 27, decided he had had enough of the Big Apple and would move back to his hometown of Denver,Colorado. He conveniently forgot that after blowing all of his paltry savings on a three-month-long road-trip that he would be moving home quite literally.

One full example column:

Column #1: Upon the sharing of meals

She just walked past me chewing with her mouth open. That kills me every time.

Let me say, right off the bat, that my mom is great. She is generous, loving, gregarious, and on and on. But, she is 59 years old, a nonstop spark-plug with a serious work ethic, always smiling, a woman…lots of things I am not. Also, she has taken the day-one joke that I made to call each other “roommate” way too far and I don’t think she has called me “Colin,” “son” or “you” in at least three months.

Let me also say that I know thinking your mom is great is not a feeling solely held by me. It’s just that my mom is better than all of your moms. Now that I have said that, hopefully she will not kick me out of this basement.

And she chews with her mouth open. It’s the way she chews, too. Sometimes I get so annoyed by the way she eats that my dizzying infuriation makes it seem like her mouth is moving in slow motion. Kind of like that “Forever” scene The Sandlot but with cookie crumbs coming out of the sides.

It’s the type of anger that can only be reserved for someone you spend most of your time with: many of my peers may find themselves clenching their teeth when their girlfriend tucks in a sheet a particular way or wife wipes their kid’s ice cream stain up with her spit. Perhaps an indication of my relative maturity level, I get upset when my mom doesn’t close her lips.

But, open orifices aren’t really our biggest problems when it comes to meals. It’s become the nightly Achilles heel in our recent relationship. As of late, we have been embattled in a meat war. It started with some graying beef kabobs and moved on to some overly-marbled lamb that she said we couldn’t grill because it was made “for a stew.” If anyone ever says meat is made “for a stew,” that meat is shitty meat.

Because of these egregious transgressions, I forbade her this past weekend from purchasing the protein for the household from now on. The last straw came from some on-sale deli turkey that had little, clear fat windows throughout like a budget fromage de tĂȘte. (New York City has its problems but having Boars Head available on every corner is not one of them.)

The overarching issue is that often I try to eat “healthy” (or, I guess it should be “healthily” for Manual of Style folks); she does not.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Penny St. John likes to eat, and to cook, prototypical Midwestern meals. She likes meatloaf, pasta and chili. Go-to eating out or ordering in can fall into one of the following categories:

1) Pizza: Let me tell you, Papa John’s possesses neither better ingredients nor better pizza
2) Cheese-covered Tex-Mex: I guess there isn’t ‘Rado-Mex
3) Cheese: Preferably school-bus-yellow block cheddar
4) Chinese: She gets the moo shu chicken now instead of pork because “it’s good” for her

So, it ain’t exactly the South Beach Diet. (The fact that that is the most recent diet trend I can recall should say something.) And, I’m a big guy—certainly not going to be starring in any Bowflex commercials anytime soon. It’s just that if I want to have, say, sushi or anything not pipelined in from Wisconsin, it’s not going to happen.

I suppose it doesn’t help that I am poor as shit and depend on my mother for many of my meals at the age of twenty-seven. It’s a high school redux down here, with Jimi Hendrix posters, a twin bed and forgotten 30-waist Dockers making my almost ten years in Boston and New York City seem like a hallucination or needless interlude. Kind of like this entire paragraph.)

I viewed our nights home together as an opportunity to explore some new culinary territory, but it really hasn’t happened. (My mother, understandably, is probably still recovering from twenty years of my father—who now lives in Chicago—being the food critic in Denver and making us eat Ethiopian four nights in a given week.) I guess the most important thing is that even if our frequent meals together now haven’t been what I expected—even if they are exactly what I should have expected—our conversations have been just swell. Maybe that’s because, unlike the overarching cinematic scholar agreement that The Sandlot is a top-ten-of-all-time film, we know this isn’t going to last forever.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today marks my first piece as a blogger for The Huffington Post. Instead of writing about something, say, political or cerebral, I chose beer.

I spent most of the past weekend at the Great American Beer Festival here in Denver and after going to three of the four sessions, this is what I found. (I also found out my liver and I are in a fight.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hail to the Chief

On Monday, I was lucky enough to shake hands with the President of the United States. Anyone who read my DNC coverage (or knows me even a little bit) understands that I would be thrilled. But, would you have guessed I would have this big of a shit-eating grin on my face in Obama's presence?

Here's another:

Seems I was on on The Today Show for a bit (54 seconds in):

All killer, no filler.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The interview that never dies...like a Phish solo

Phish is playing Jones Beach tonight and tomorrow and, hilariously/fittingly/tongue-in-cheekily, Brooklyn Vegan has posted part of my interview with Trey Anastasio from last year and linked to the whole shebang. Let the grumpy hipster comments begin!

(They killed it at Alpine Valley this past weekend, by the way.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waste Farmers

Here's the news feature I did on Waste Farmers for Westword:


My favorite part that didn't make the cut? When Celesta talks about his friend from Santa Cruz who was named Goat and lived in a tree.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer shout out

I've been traveling around this nation of ours for over a month now, so apologies for not shouting for a bit. Anyhow, my feature on Titus Andronicus in Time Out New York got some unexpected praise…from lead singer Patrick Stickles's father. From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

"My dad called me up after reading the Time Out New York review," Stickles says, speaking of the album, which is significantly more accomplished and ambitious than the band's 2008 rough-and-ready debut, The Airing of Grievances. "He said, 'Did you see this? It says you made the first great concept album of the decade!' I said, 'Dad, it's March.' "

First The New York Times
, then this. I've got you in my crosshairs now, Wall Street Journal!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Buy my roommate's book

It is good and The New York Times is running a review this Sunday. (Check that review out online right now here.)

Purchase Justin Taylor's Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever here. Now.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another AOL review

AOL's Spinner is running another one of my show reviews. This one is on last night's Beach House album release show at the Bell House. You can read it here. (You can also check out my Time Out review of the excellent new record here.)

From now on, I'll be collecting my AOL material in the sidebar like I've been doing for TONY these past couple of years. Over and out.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pazz & Jop

My Pazz & Jop ballot is available to view here. For the second year in a row, I am the proud solo voter of a single (well, okay, last year I was the only person to vote for two songs).

This year's track is the Dutchess and the Duke's "Living This Life." They give it a go here in a live session: