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Back Room Almanac

From BluWiki

Email received by BoardOps June 21, 2004:

I have avoided your board for the past several months, but had the misfortune of looking at it today out of sheer boredom. What's amazing is how bland the site has become after you methodically have removed every poster who disagreed with your politically correct, liberal agenda. It seems like the number of posters has dwindled to a handful of a stay at home housewives and retirees. There is little worthwhile ND football discussion on Rock's House anymore and most of the posters seem to care less about the program's success. There is also a lack of any constructive criticism of the college's administrators or any worthwhile political discussion on the Back Room. Most of what's left there are the media-enamored lemmings wishing to discuss the latest Hollywood gossip or their favorite scene from Caddyshack.

I also noticed that the Michael Moore type Bush-haters with their wacky, defamatory conspiracy theories continue posting without censure or comment.

The guys running this Board can be compared to the sort of smug characters (like the New York Times editorial board but with little or no clout) who believe they are smarter and more sophisticated than the posters on the board and whose wisdom comes from the mainly incompetent left-leaning professors forced upon us in South Bend.


Welcome to the Back Room Almanac wiki. Here's the oldskool version.


Contents

Morans.jpg
Lloydsbreasts.jpg
R.I.P. Neutron Man
RIP Gerd 11/17/2006
Morrison few 412.jpg

lDlJDY

Random Handle Generator (RHG)

Registering for NDN, and don't have a good handle in mind? Try one of these.

fountain headed jirk, Mr. Fighting For Morrissey All The Time Forever, Super Seven-Incher, You Twitface, Rich Mahagony, Dented Mango, Garbage Compactor Robot Jesus, GhostRnrOn2nd, Odd Squishing Sound, High Butthole, Jesse Spano, Tiller Doppelganger, Spasms Of Competence, Indigenous Nudity, Hamster Bit, Beloved Booberry, Double Squiggly, Swollen Forearms, Talent Tool, Witfilled Charmer, Cheeseburger Dreams, JeterBuiltMyHotRod, NJGuidoFiredFirst, Festering Uterus, Gelatinous Gagfest, BackDoor Trojan, AC Slater, Moose Screwer, Registered DumbDumb, WideStanceDumper, RedSchoendienstClassmate, TJ McStaggerpants, Nice Hot Vindaloo, MyBuddysWide, Airbus Crash Survivor, Olive Tinted Monsters, GaryGnu, Hobbit Love, Lisa Turtle, Male Geoduck, Geoduck Soup, Zectron? SuperBall?, Problematic Crack Squirrel, Zach Morris, Intellectual Property, BurnsWhenIPee, StrangerInTheAlps, ndhjumper, PillowPants, Listerfiend, Dr. Strangepork, Link Hogthrob, Velvet Brady Jesus, Princess Sofia, MrFainty, Multiple Orgasms, Look At Me, creepystalkerirish, Toetapper, Barrow Boy Spiv, VaingloriousIdolatry, InternetCrazies, Lazy-Eyed Urban Poet, Phantom Pooper, Bit of a Rembrandt, I Like Turtles, Satisfied Dorkbone, Spaz Pride Parade, LovestruckDoofus, Eeewwww, Chronic Biscuit Abuser, Repulsive Pedant, Mpemba Effect, Res ipse loquitur, Clandestine Hater, We'reNumber1Moses, Trouser Python, Squirt Tower, Rocket Surgeon, Genious, Elaborate Meat Suit, Celtic Ice Wolf 3000, MudFarmingSheepRapist, Cream Cheese Enigma, Mrs Badcrumble, Dear Ndugu, PriceTagButt, Semicriminal Hermeneuticist, OneSpectacularBM, Reilly Diefenbach, Nine Inch Brown Dragon, RomanianDeadlift, Precocious Reggae Fan, Libatius Piddlewiggins, Magic Negro, Liver Killer, Bosomly Gifted, B.F. Moran, Debbie Downer, Optimistic Beaver, Charlie's Angel, Nude Rockme, Douche Explosion, Keith Van Horn's Expiring Contract, Valentine Penis Cupcake, Corwin's Marmoting, Strategic Pork Reserve, Pigjacker, RaccoonDinner, Satan's Cookie, Client 9, the Small Guatemalan, Pubic Hair Truffle, Profligate Tipper, Isaac, Ubiquitous Chicken, Svetlana Suckakokoff, GuiltByAssociation, disavowed, SeanHannityslover, Intellect Fist, Pee Absorbing Flap, Posing Somdomite, Snake Wrangler, Semen Salesmen, Nitrogen Bull, Wide-Eyed Schmuckling, Ancient Chinese Secret, Obama's Madrassa, GoldenManThong, HaugenHurts, Phenomenal Huevos, schlafoong, Lowbrow Potbanger, Baader-Meinhof, Dune qua Dune, Smarty Whatnot, EyeBabies, iPod Winner, Kimchi Breath, Rectal Flutters, HotBeefSundae, MILF Hunter, Dick Darlington, Mustache Boogaloo, CreepyBackroomGuy, Naked Midnight Rider, Championship Persons, Tommy Kilborn, IN THE KNOW, Antone, LimpWristedAlumnus, Where's the Graty?, alien transvestite, JesusKingAslan, Blue-donged Diety, coke_sniffing_john,fountain-headed-jirk, FullFrontalNudeTailgater, Football G-Spot, FulmeresquePumpkin, Roughing the Snapper, FellatioTrauma, Miss Tickly, Fecal Glaze, Pure Irrelevance Luxuriator, Shanty Irish Mick, Vaginal Hubris, FrozenWaffleSplinter, ObnoxiousCanadianDouchebag, Expensive Poo, Birthday Thunder Ass.

the Quilt

It is what it is.

Back Room FAQ

Answers to frequent backroom questions can go here.

The Back Room Thesaurus

Want to look like a NDN veteran? Work some of these words and phrases into your posts.

20 percenter ACP agreeance aspirational peer
coforcience cranked in the fruitstand cromulent, embiggens disprove it
divorced, SUV-driving, secular-humanist soccer moms ESPioNics fundy (head exploding)
ilk in re; supra; infra [inaudible] -ist (fascist, cakist, pieist, istist, etc)
it was the goal line Joe Vannie (keyboard) "likes crabcakes"
local call moran nad-pumpingly Noosphere
novus ordo ( o Y o ) papolator pickle-chugger
pie residentiality sausage that Coffey guy
Todd Richard Branch What if we win out? wiener dog Wolyjitarian
Sorry, I have a cat

Notre Dame Admissions Advice

Call the ND Admissions Office at (574) 631-7505. Giving advice on admissions is what they get paid for. Many of the folks offering advice on the Back Room mean well, but the advice they give is often incorrect. Please call the admissions office with any questions.

The "Talk"

The fiancee/spouse has to understand that Notre Dame football stands alone and above negotiations, akin to a discussion about selling your kids into white slavery-not an option.

My wife tried to set a wedding date that happened to conflict with the ND/Florida Sugar Bowl game on January 1, 1993. I had to sit down with her and have "The Talk".

She knew in her heart that we should not be having "The Talk", because she had experienced the centrality of Notre Dame football in my life, and that I had switched my "ROCKNE" personalized license plate between cars like the "Man Without A Country" was shifted between ships, so that he never again set foot on our homeland.

So, I say with care and affection, you must have "The Talk" and tell her, "I apologize if I gave the impression that I was trading favors - that I would go to this concert in consideration of you 'letting' me watch ND football with my friends. That was a momentary lapse of good judgment and mental focus. Of course, I cannot negotiate ND football as a favor to be traded, any more than I can negotiate breathing or my love for you: these things are immutable and the lodestone to my existence. They are my raison d'etre, my heart, and my life.

"The reason that you love me is because I am devoted to you, and because I am a man of great passion. One of those passions is Notre Dame football, and I know that alldeestings, such as Notre Dame Gameday, which as you know, comes up only 11 or 12 times per year, is not a favor to be negotiated. I will negotiate things like movies- you pick one one week, and I'll pick one the other. Or restaurants - we can trade picking those. And, I'll even trade possession of the remote control, but you have to never discuss this in mixed company - in fact, keep this as private as my tendency to sit down and watch "You've Got Mail" with you when you go to it like a bee to a flower.

"There are certain absolutes in life - Notre Dame football is one of them. Another one is to never tell you that your butt looks big or that a dress makes you look fat. I've been schooled on those marital landmines -the posters on the Back Room have taught me well.

"I hope that 'The Talk' has been a moment of bonding for us. It has to, since, like I said, 'It's non-negotiable'. Don't schedule any weddings on top of ND football. Don't set up any weekends with friends, or any visits to Grandma that include me. Notre Dame Gamedays are the black hole of sociability. I'm going to be harder to find than the Unabomber or Howard Hughes.

"These things I hold to be true and just. What God has joined between Notre Dame football fans, let no man put asunder. Now go, and negotiate this no more."

-mkovac

Why I Hate Michigan

Why I hate Meechigan, by OGerry:

My conscience dictates that I bear no hatred for a person or aggregate of people no matter how whiny, annoying, misguided or gynecomastic they may be. Ideas are different, though. The truth demands revulsion at ideas that lead souls from her path. My hatred of the Meatchickens, then, must be grounded in the realm of ideas, not personalities.

On the surface, their football program appears to have much in common with the Blessed Mother's University's own. They are both ancient midwestern powers, at least by the temporal standards by which college football can be measured. Midwestern roots tend to flourish best in the rugged soil of a punishing ground attack. Both schools are competitive universities, drawing a relatively similar student body, at least in the ways that the many measure such things. The Michiganers fancy that they have a respectable national following. If it were true, that would be another similarity.

These superficial points of confluence, however, only heighten the essential dissonance between the schools, and the irreconcilable philosophies that guide each football program. EdMartinigan clings to an empty, deracinated philosophy of education. There is no Good; there are only subjective goods, many of which must be respected as equal idols. Education is an end unto itself, to be used to whatever purpose the customer may wish to apply it.

Notice well how they have no compunction about using their athletes as kinesiological pieces of meat, tools of profit for the greater institution. Notice the size of the school and the emphasis on research at the expense of the undergrad's quest for wisdom and understanding. Concern for their reputation alone sets their path, straining to seem excellent rather than truly to be excellent, the aim of the sophist. Also note well how quickly they deride any mention of religious themes when mixed with athletic competition by their southern rival. The intellectual must be kept alienated from the spiritual and both from the physical, as if any person actually exists that way. In short, the University of RichardToddBranchigan has swallowed every error modernity has ever spewed into the wheels of human history. They cling desperately to these fallacies, believing that their obstinacy makes them valiant and will lead to victory, and ridiculing any with a wisdom that surpasses their own.

The yawning chasm separating this bastion of hubris from the University of Notre Dame cannot be plumbed, even if one could measure the distance between the east and the west. At Notre Dame, the soul is gently nurtured in the understanding that all things seek but one ultimate Truth, that every endeavor under the sun only finds fullness to the degree that it furthers that pursuit. Excellence in all things becomes the goal prized by worthy and dignified creatures. They are obligated to pursue it in all they do, with all of their faculties. There is a unity in life, with a single focal point that will consummate every part, transforming them into living stones. Athletes are not merely athletes. Students are not merely students. All must share in the essential life of the school, never used simply as an object.

This is why my heart leaps every time I see Notre Dame's warrior-poets take the field, golden domes flashing in the sun. They embody the spirit of the agon, an all-encompassing pursuit of excellence alien to Ann Arbor, a wrestling with personal weakness to yield to transcendent strength. Her warriors are a visceral reminder of that very mystical body, every part dignified and fulfilled in its unique and blessed toil for the common good.

Notre Dame Paint Colors

From JoeJackTalcum: ND Navy 289, ND Gold 116, ND Metallic Gold 872, ND Green 347, White White http://licensing.nd.edu/assets/21672/original/notre_dame_logo_sheet.jpg


Note from cujays96: Go to the paint store and get a bunch of swatches you think are close. This next part I can't stress enough, you do not pick out paint at the store. Bring the swatches home and look at them in the light of the room you are painting. Hold the swatches side by side with something ND colored and don't stare at it for more than 30 seconds at a time. After 30 seconds they will start to look the same.

For the gold you will not get gold flake because it and silver paste has to be stored in solvent or it will oxidize. Therefore the can it is stored in is flammable/combustible and the stores don't like dealing with it. Ask that a pearlescent be added. It will give you the shining effect.

Pantone guides are just that guides. Because of pigment selection etc no manufacturer can exactly match the Pantone book no matter what they say.

BR Groomsmen Gift Ideas

All gifts can contain an ND logo (if applicable) or be monogrammed (with the groomsman's name, not yours).

  • Moneyclip
  • Cufflinks
  • Flask
  • Leatherman
  • Gym Bag
  • Poker Set
  • Das Boot Beer Glass
  • Custom Bobblehead
  • iPod Shuffle
  • Polar Bear Cooler
  • Beer Mug/Pint Glasses
  • Book
  • Pocket watch
  • Golf balls
  • Box of Cigars
  • Watch
  • Bocce Ball Set

Gadget BR

HDTV

When it comes to questions about HDTV or home theater equipment in general, the AVS forum is the best place to find an answer.

http://www.avsforum.com/

Here are some good general guidelines (as of August 2007)

I limit comments here to flat screen LCD and Plasma only. These will be about 4 inches deep and can hang on the wall or table mount. For screen sizes 40� and below, go with a flat screen LCD. Most every other technology has conceded this market to LCD. For screens larger than 40�, read on.

Rear projection LCD, DLP, and SXRD(Sony) TVs will typically be less expensive, but bulkier. If they have the space (depth) and want to save some money, you could look at those. The Sony SXRD are stunning. I am not a big fan of DLP, since you lose much of the brightness of the screen as you move to the side and away from directly in front of the screen. Rear projection, however, can give you an excellent resolution and nice display for quite a bit less money than the flat screens.

LCD vs. Plasma

  • LCD screens are the standard below 40�. Plasma has been the standard above 40�, but LCD screens are now getting larger.
  • LCD screens will work better in bright rooms or those with glare.
  • Plasma screens will work better in darker rooms.
  • Due to how the screens are lit, LCD screens will have whiter whites while Plasma screens will have blacker blacks. LCDs have a harder time getting completely black. If you have a picture that is not full screen (say a standard TV signal), the black bars on the sides on the LCD will give off some light. In a dark room this may bother you.
  • LCD screens are better as a computer monitor than Plasma, if you intend on attaching a computer to the screen.
  • Plasma screens are better at reproducing fast-paced action, like sports. Plasmas typically have a screen refresh rate ~2ms, while LCDs are typically ~7ms.
  • LCD screens have a potential problem with dead pixels. You will see these as a single bright spot on your screen. Manufacturers typically won't consider a screen defective unless there are up to 6 dead pixels on the screen. In a dark room, these can be quite noticeable.
  • Plasma screens require that you spend some time burning them in, so that you avoid image retention down the road.
  • Plasma screens are a little less expensive for comparable size today, but the difference is shrinking.
  • LCD screens typically have a higher resolution for a comparable size. Many LCD screens have a full 1080p resolution while most Plasmas max out at 720p/1080i. This will not typically be an issue for HDTV broadcasts at all, but could be once they get an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player.


Given all this info, I would consider the following:

Do they have the space to get a deeper TV, and not a flat screen? If so, check out one of the rear projection screens. Sony SXRD is stunning (I can't say this enough).

Is the room quite dark or quite bright? If so, choose Plasma(dark) or LCD (bright)

Would a bad pixel bother them in the middle of the screen? Would having to burn-in a screen, by following the manufacturer's instructions, bother them? If so to either, then avoid LCD (bad pixel) or avoid Plasma (burn-in).

Are you a technophile? If not, the maximum resolution is probably not an issue. All these TVs will be pretty damn good.

If none of the above is significant, then go with something affordable that you think looks good in the store.

If you have a Costco nearby, that is exactly where I would buy one. They have a phenomenal return policy and excellent prices.

Regarding manufacturers: Sony, Sharp, and Philips are the standard for LCD. Pioneer and Panasonic are the standard for Plasma. There are a large number of pretty good quality manufacturers out there and a large number of poor quality manufacturers out there. Whatever you choose, make sure you see the TV in person first and like its picture. If you like the picture and the price is right, the specific manufacturer is not overridingly important.

For detailed reviews and discussion on every TV out there, go to http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=9. It�s not a particularly easy site to navigate, but there is a wealth of information available if you are willing to cull through a very busy message board.

Once you buy a TV, calibrate its colors. Buy a ISF HDTV calibration DVD and run through the steps to make sure your colors are correct. $20-$30 and well worth it.

For cables, go to http://www.monoprice.com. They have excellent HDMI/DVI/Component cables for around $20, instead of the $60 - $100 Monster Cables.

Satellite Radio

One of the most common board questions is Sirius versus XM - which should I get? Because the two services have just about converged on price, the content offered is most often the deciding factor. You might also consider the hardware offered, as XM seems to be two steps ahead in true satellite portability and providing "tivo-like" recordable radio. Both offer devices for listening in the car as well as home. Some units have boomboxes that can be transported out for tailgates and the like.

From a commercial-free music standpoint, there is little difference between the two services. Each service has the typical array of Rock, Country, Pop, Rap, Classical, Jazz, Blues, etc. Sirius has an "all Elvis" and "all Stones" station as well as stations "programmed" by Eminem and Jimmy Buffett. Both services offer hourly shows with various celebrity hosts, such as Bob Dylan on XM and 50 Cent on Sirius.

The main difference between the two providers is their Sports, Talk, and News offerings.

From a sports standpoint, Sirius offers: the NFL, NBA, NHL, Arena Football, English Premier League Soccer, and college sports. Notre Dame broadcasts are exclusively on Sirius. NASCAR will be moving to Sirius in 2007. XM offers: MLB, NASCAR, IndyCar, NHL, PGA, and the 2006 World Cup. It also offers college sports, primarily from the ACC, Big 10, and Pac 10. Both have ESPN Radio; XM also carries Sporting News Radio and Fox Sports Radio.

For News and Talk, it's probably easiest to look at the detailed channel listings below to see if your favorite stations are on each service. There are many common news and talk stations offered by both (Fox News, Bloomberg, E!, CNN, CNBC, etc.). However, some of the differentiating offerings for Sirius are Howard Stern Radio, Martha Stewart Living, Maxim Radio, Playboy Radio, EWTN, and NPR. Some stations found only on XM are Air America, Opie & Anthony and Ron & Fez.

Both services offer weather and traffic for various cities, though XM seems to feature more cities.

Sirius has a page of its exclusive content at: http://www.sirius.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Sirius/Page&c=Page&cid=1107787275024&

The Programming lineup for XM can be found at: http://www.xmradio.com/programming/full_channel_listing.jsp?sort=number

The Programming lineup for Sirius can be found at: http://www.sirius.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Sirius/CachedPage&c=ChannelLineup&cid=1139320914821

All of the above will be moot as there are outward signs of a merger. On February 19th, 2007, an article in the NY Post reported the pending announcement, with a target date for the deal to be finalized in mid-2008.

Tivo

As for Tivo, any question you can think of has probably already been asked and answered at TivoCommunity.com

http://www.tivocommunity.com

iPhone, iPod, iTunes

iTunes-- the free software-- manages music and video collections. It can rip CDs to any of a number of formats, including MP3. Its default setting is to rip to a format called AAC-- essentially a newer MP4 format.

iPods, which sync most easily with the iTunes software, can play music stored in several formats, including AAC and MP3. AAC files are now supported by many digital music players. iPods cannot play Windows Media files (.wma) which are found on some online stores. They can be converted to a usable format by importing them into iTunes.

The iTunes Music Store-- accessible through the iTunes software-- sells songs that download in a Protected AAC format. The raw purchased file will play on any computer, and can be burned to a CD to play in any stereo, but the only portable player the raw file will play on is the iPod.

Most songs purchased from the iTMS are protected AAC files. These can be burned to an audio CD, which can then be re-ripped to a computer in any format you desire-- including unprotected AAC, and MP3. The new file has no protection or restrictions at all. This is all perfectly legal as well. Recently, Apple began selling AAC files not protected by DRM called iTunes Plus. These files cost more ($1.29 per song), but are encoded with a higher bitrate. As of January 2009, all iTunes are being moved to iTunes Plus. By April 2009, all songs on iTunes will be DRM-free, and a three-tiered pricing structure will be adopted ($1.29, $.99, $.79) based on the age of the song (expect all new releases to be in the top tier). iTunes Plus songs still embed your personal data (email address), but they can be played on any computer or device capable of decoding AAC files.

Some people think that taking an AAC file, burning to CD (which does not degrade the quality) then re-ripping to MP3 format (which uses a different kind of compression) degrades the quality of the sound. They are right, but depending on the settings used, many people cannot hear the difference. That is the trade-off to get the format you want.

Copying iPod to Computer

iPhone/iPod Touch

It isn't as easy to get songs off the iPhone as it was with older iPods that had disk use mode, but still possible. In Windows, your best bet (without jailbreaking) is the iPod plugin for Winamp - http://mlipod.sourceforge.net/?page=home. In Mac OS X, follow the instructions for Senuti below.

Windows

A reader points out a straightforward way for Windows users to transfer music from an iPod to your hard drive, without extra software:

1. Connect the iPod to your PC. If iTunes starts syncing (ie erasing) your music automatically, hit the X in the upper right hand corner of iTunes display, to the left of the search box, to stop it.

2. In Control Panel, Portable Media Devices, double-click your iPod.

3. In the Tools menu -> Options, in the View Tab, check "Show hidden files and folders."

4. Navigate to the Music folder. On my 2nd gen 'pod, the full path is Portable Media DevicesGINA'S IPOD (F:)iPod_ControlMusic

5. Select all the music folders, and drag and drop them into a folder on your hard drive, or directly into iTunes.

And you're done! The iPod music folder structure is strange and inexplicable, but once you move your files into iTunes you can set it to automatically organize your folder by artist and album to clean that up. (To do this, in iTunes Edit menu, choose Preferences and in the Advanced tab, check "Keep iTunes Music Folder organized.")

Mac OS X

Senuti - http://www.fadingred.org/senuti/ Free Mac utility Senuti could always copy music from regular iPods to your Mac, and a new beta version now supports the iPhone and iPod touch. Be sure to download the beta release (as of this writing, the latest beta is 0.50.2b7) and install it on your Mac. Fire up Senuti to get a complete list of songs on the iPhone or iPod touch connected to your Mac. Senuti will put a blue dot next to songs that already exist in that Mac's iTunes library. Select the songs you want and hit the Transfer button to copy them to your computer.

Cross-Platform

YamiPod (http://www.yamipod.com/main/modules/home/) is a small, stand-alone program that works on all three major platforms. Includes many features, including search, preview-play of files, duplicate remover, and more. Because it is stand-alone, you can run it directly from iPods that allow disk-use mode.

Recommended iPhone/iPod Apps

Here are a few Back Room recommend apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch:

Internet/IM/Productivity/Misc:

  • Google - Mobile Google search - Free
  • fring - Instant messaging for AIM, Google Talk, more - Free
  • Sportacular - Sports scores - Free
  • Sportstap - same thing - Free
  • Drinks Free - Drink instructions - Free
  • Firemail - type e-mails in landscape rather than portrait - Free
  • Evernote - if you already use the software on your computer, you know what this is - Free
  • Stanza - download books (many for free) and turn your iPhone into a Kindle - Free
  • Epicurious - recipes from the famous web site - Free
  • AllRecipes - same thing - Free
  • Inrix Traffic - real-time traffic tied into Inrix network for drivers, also traffic prediction - Free
  • Trapster - police speed trap reporting database - Free

Music:

  • Shazam - Records a sample of a song and provides artist/song/album information - Free
  • Pandora - Streaming audio - Free
  • NPR Mobile - Free
  • Stitcher - streaming podcast aggregator - Free

Restaurants/Movies:

  • Open Table - Restaurant Recommendations and Reservations - Free
  • AroundMe - Finds nearby restaurants, bars, movie theaters, banks, more - Free
  • Urbanspoon - Finds nearby restaurants - Free
  • Yelp - Finds nearby restaraunts with user ratings and menu recommendations - Free
  • Now Playing - Find movies and purchase tickets - Free

Games:

  • Price is Right - iPhone version not tainted by Drew Carey - $2.99
  • Sim City - iPhone version of Sim City 3000 - $9.99
  • Word Warp - Free
  • Astrotilt - AKA Alleyway, Brickbreaker, etc. - Free
  • ESPN Cameraman - sports equivalent of Nude Photo Hunt - Free
  • Tap Tap Revenge - like Dance Dance Revolution - Free
  • Topple - build the tower high and quickly without it falling over/bizarro Tetris - Free
  • vConquer - AKA Risk - Free

Recommended podcasts

Note that you do not need iTunes to listen to the majority of these. The audio files can usually be downloaded individually via blogs or web sites (just Google the names). And even if you subscribe through iTunes, which, frankly, is the easiest thing, you can just listen in iTunes, without having an iPod. In fact, as the file formats are mp3s, you can listen on any media player.

And do the people who provide these services for free a favor and don't download unless you're actually going to listen (there's an autorefresh option in iTunes you can turn off). They are paying for the bandwidth to host the files.

All links below open directly in iTunes.

Business, economics, and finance:

Film:

History:

Law:

Music:

News:

Science:

Slice of life (though that is really underselling how great these are):

Sports, comedy, and other vices:

Digital Cameras

Before purchasing a digital camera, it is very important for you to consider how it is that you're going to be using it. Do you want something small and stylish, always available in the briefcase or purse? Do you want something with a longer zoom, and more manual controls? Do you want to take pictures of kids and puppies scampering about the house, and need fast response? Or do you mostly take landscapes and not really care because the mountain isn't going anywhere? Are you really only ever going to make 4x6 inch prints, or are you going to want to make a 11x14 or 13x19 to show off your artistic side? The answers to these questions should help guide you in what direction you should go.

Digital cameras basically come in 3 different types: the compact or ultra compact, the more "prosumer" type, and a digital SLR (single-lens reflex). In general, the cameras in all types are shipping in the 3MP(megapixel) range all the way up to the 7 to 8MP range. Do NOT get yourself caught up in the megapixels hype! Sure, a 7 MP camera will have more absolute resolution than a 3 MP camera, but if you're only going to make 4x6 pictures, you'll NEVER notice the difference! I'm going to go on record here as saying the way you process your images in the editing software of your choice has a LOT to do with the way you're prints are going to look. (Hint: Unsharp Mask is your best friend and a filter found in any of the Photoshop full versions or Photoshop Elements, 2.0-3.0 which ships free sometimes, or similar Paint Shop, etc.. ) I've made professional quality 11x14 inch prints from a 4 MP camera that are capable of being sold as artwork; looking like they came from a high resolution film camera. I've also gone as high as 13 x19 inches from the same 4MP camera with results 99% of you would be delighted with, and I find completely acceptable. So, to simplify: 3 MP = fantastic 8x10, 4MP = fantastic 11x14. Anything more is just gravy for most people, but those extra megapixels give you the option to crop your photos heavily (zoom in) and still maintain that superior quality. And I'll go on record here as saying that a 8x10 size photograph is absolutely HUGE for most people. For example, my Mom puts 4x6's(maybe a rare 5x7) in frames around the house, never larger.

The compact/ subcompact segment consists of small to unbelievably small "point and shoot" type cameras. Most people get something like this and simply turn it on and off, shooting primarily in Auto mode, and get great snapshots. These cameras have been designed to be foolproof to use and to download onto your computer. You can buy models which are utilitarian and plastic; there's also stylish stainless steel models for the "gadget lover" in you, the person with the latest tiniest cell phone in the office, etc. Pros: size, portability, ease of use. Cons: limited features, VERY limited flash, short zooms or no zooms.

The "prosumer" segment of cameras consists of larger , more fully featured cameras. They usually have long to VERY long zooms, quick start-up times and very short shutter lag, and higher resolution/megapixels. Some of these cameras have the equivalent of a 28mm-300mm "35mm film camera" lens built right in. What a convenience! You'll be able to reach out and grab shots of Junior playing shortstop from your seat in the bleachers with no problem at all! Also, more importantly, the shutter lag has been shortened drastically, so you don't miss those perfect moments anymore. Those of you who have tried to take pictures of kids or pets with your digital camera know what I'm talking about. By the time the camera actually focuses and fires, you've missed the moment! Well, the manufacturers have really addressed this problem, and some of the cameras are much faster now. BUT, seek out some info about the camera you want, and it also doesn't hurt to actually try it out in the store. In addition, you also get a full complement of manual controls and overides, so the more adventurous and artistic of you can control your images more. The same rules apply with megapixels as does above. Buy what you need; but it certainly doesn't hurt to have more.

The digital SLR segment consists of SLR (single lens reflex) cameras. A SLR camera is the type of camera you may have used when you took a photo class in school; or the kind you imagine professionals using when you see them on TV or at a wedding. The great advantage of these cameras is you are looking directly through the lens which is taking the picture; you focus, frame, and see exactly what you're going to get! These cameras have the advantage of multiple interchangeable lenses, flashes, and accessories. It is exciting what has happened in this segment. You can now get an amazing 6 MP SLR camera from a couple of manufacturers for under $1000(even more like $800) that will do ANYTHING you could possibly want from your camera. The BEST part though is the absolutely instantaneous shutter release and focusing mechanism. Getting great shots of your pets or action shots of the kids are no longer a problem with the "what you see is what you get" aspect of these cameras. These digital SLR's were once only the domain of working professionals, but the price has dropped so drastically that it is not a stretch at all for the typical ND person hanging around here to consider one. It is my strong opinion that you should look at one of these cameras BEFORE you go ahead and spend the $500 -$800 or so on an all-in-one prosumer model as discussed above; that is if you are indeed looking in this price range.

Some other considerations:

-Buy a case, and use it. There are small, stylish cases out there that don't get in the way at all, and these small compacts and ultracompacts do not take kindly to being dropped...not even once. I cannot tell you how many of these I saw come in for repair, simply as a result of being dropped, sat on, etc. Of particular concern is the delicate lens mechanism on these cameras; try not to bump the lens or force it at all. I will tell you that the manufacturers do not cover impact damage, especially visible impact damage. If you have it in a case and it falls, maybe it stops working...but there's no "visible" impact for the repair place to quarrel over. I will also tell you the manufacturers will want $150 or so to repair that $200 camera you just broke...so in most cases, it's not even worth it to make the repair. You go get a new one.

-Continuing on this theme, it's a good thing to have a full 1 Year manufacturer's warranty on these cameras, so check with the salesperson and inside the box. I can't tell you how many I've seen come in that just "failed' or stopped working for no apparent reason whatsover. Think of them as little computers. Beware: there's one highly regarded name brand out there that begins with a "S" that only gives a 90 day warranty on its cameras; they make a good stylish product, but that warranty policy precludes their products with me. I'll also say I didn't see too many of that brand come in for repair either, so take that for what it's worth. Also, there's no need to purchase the extended warranty if offered to you by the store, unless you're going higher end. Those warranties are HUGE profit makers for the sales staff and store. If something is going to go wrong, it will usually go wrong within the warranty. If it's past a year or longer, the lower segment of the market changes so rapidly that you just go buy something that has more megapixels, is faster, is smaller, and 3/4 of the price you paid for your last camera!

-Beware of "digital zoom", as it is a misleading feature. You want "optical" zooming only, and want to disable the digital zoom feature on your camera if possible. All digital zoom is doing is cropping in on the center part of your photo digitally; basically the same effect as zooming and cropping the Jpeg later in the image editor of your choice! It magnifies the pixels, and results in image degradation. It is a false and misleading feature, designed simply as a selling point. Turn this off, and crop your photos later on.

-Try and shoot at the lowest ISO speed rating you can. That generally means anywhere from 50-100 speed. As you go up in "film" speed, the pixels become noisier, more magnified, "pixelated", "grainier"; very similar to the way film gets grainier as you go up in speed. There is a big trade off in quality as you go up in sensitivity. Most of you will just leave the ISO setting on Auto, but you'll get better color and "smoothness"if you can capture the same photo at the lowest speed setting possible.

-If you're looking at point and shoot types, consider buying cameras which use cheap readily available batteries such as AA's. You'll be able to grab a set of short-lasting alkaline batteries in a pinch. You'll also be able to buy inexpensive, long lasting rechargeable NiMH AA's which you can use in any number of devices around the house in addition to the camera! You can get a charger with 4 batteries, and an extra set to always be ready. Try and find the highest mah rated batteries you can find. Current tech batteries are now in the 2300mah + range. The manufacturers don't put a "cell phone" type battery in these cameras because of cost. At the lower price point, the customer doesn't want to pay $50 for a spare battery, when you can get cheapo rechargeable AA's. The more expensive, smaller cameras get better batteries, but you pay for it. Those "proprietary" type batteries from the manufacturer cost a fortune, and are a HUGE source of profit. So that ultra stylish mini- stainless steel camera you want is going to cost you if you want a spare battery. But, in many cases, these cameras can't even fit AA's anymore as they've gotten so small.

-Get some memory as you want to shoot at the highest resolution Jpeg ALL the time! I cannot stress this enough. Shooting a high resolution camera at low resolution is like using a new Ferrari to drive up the street at 10mph in 1st gear to get a latte! Drive the thing would ya! Unless you have specific needs and will never need to go higher (insurance claims/ emailing only of pics), you can always resize a picture DOWN to suit your needs, but you cannot go UP in resolution! More experienced users can probably come with a trade-off resolution that they like to use, but don't get stuck with that once in a lifetime shot of Junior having been taken at a low resolution; unsuitable for a 8x10 to give to your Mom, or for you to remember with a big print when Junior is all grown up. At last check, a blazing fast 1 GB CF (Compact Flash) card or 1GB SD card is now in the range of only a $100! (I remember a time when a very slow performing 128MB CF card was around $1000!) For a rough idea of how many images you'll get on a card, consider this. A 4 MP camera at highest Jpeg resolution will generate a 1.5MB to 2MB file per shot. So, a very inexpensive 128MB CF Card will store anywhere between 70-80 photos at highest resolution on a 4 MP camera ( for larger quantity cards, simply factor up in multiples of 128MB) So to summarize, shoot high; memory cost is low.

People often ask me what's the best camera to get or what's the best brand to buy. It's a difficult thing to say, as I work in the field. I usually say whatever works best for you. Some people have great experiences with products from a manufacturer whose product I would never own in a million years. Some people have bad experiences with product from whom I think is the best manufacturer. I will state here, though, that I am a big fan of a couple companies in particular: they are traditional Japanese camera companies who have been around a long time and know photography. One begins with a "C"; the other begins with a "N". Any professionals working today are using cameras from one of these 2 companies. And the "C" company is so good in design, style, ease, and technology (even more so in point and shoots), that is is a clear cut winner for most people. They are a huge company with R&D from many industries, and they utilize it.

I am a frequent lurker and poster, and I ask you to contact me via e-mail with any questions, comments, or advice. My address can be found by seeking out my profile. I can answer some questions in the public forum of the Backroom; sometimes it's best if I do not. Good luck.

ferndog

How to Protect Your Home PC

There are 4 main privacy issues to look out for on your PC that range from dangerous to merely annoying. Luckily, there are plenty of programs dedicated to handling these problems. Here are the 4 major categories of programs to have and use to keep your computer safe and clean.

Anti-Virus Software Viruses are the things that get into your computer through email attachments or the work of a hacker. The best and only way to make sure your computer is virus-free (or fix your computer should a virus infect it) is to use Anti-Virus Software. There are some free versions, but this is something where paying for a quality product is probably a good idea. The two main anti-virus software packages are from Norton and McAfee. They are both easy to use and are very powerful tools to keep your computer healthy. Read the websites and find the product that fits your level of home PC use. If you work for a large company, check with IT first. Sometimes they have copies they will let employees put on their home computers, especially if you do work from home. If you don't mind spending some extra money, some of the deluxe anti-virus software packages, like Norton's Internet Security Professional, combine an anti-virus package with the next topic, a firewall.

For free programs try out either AVG or Avast. Both work really well and AVG at least appears to take up less resources than either McAfee or Norton, which means your computer will not slow down as much.

Firewalls Firewalls are what keep your home computer shielded from hacker attempts to infect your computer or take it over completely. Basically, a firewall only lets in and out of a computer what you let it. Along with anti-virus software, a firewall is becoming a must have for the home PC...especially one with broadband internet access. The two major firewall developers are Zone Alarm and Black Ice. Some users though have reported issues with installing Black Ice. Zone Alarm is a nice option since it has a free basic version that is entirely suitable for home needs. If you want the extra whistles and bells, their professional versions are annual award winners. Another option is to buy a router that plugs in between your computer and your internet connection. Think of it as a hardware firewall, as opposed to a software one. You can buy a hardware firewall/router for ~$50, or ~$100 for one that will also give you a wireless network. Routers will then protect all the computers on the local network from common internet attacks. Linksys, US Robotics and D-Link are the best known brands. If you have Windows XP, a firewall is included and while not as robust as the versions by Zone Alarm, Black Ice, and Norton, it is better than nothing. If you're not sure if your firewall is working, run the Shields Up! test at Gibson Research to see what exactly your computer is showing to the world. This test involves probing your computer but the site is trusted and nothing malicious is being installed on your computer.

Spyware Eliminators Spyware are the programs loaded into your computer without your knowledge...much like viruses. However, unlike viruses, they are rarely destructive. Rather, they are normally used for shady marketing purposes. If you all of a sudden notice the same pop-up coming up over and over, or if your home page has changed to something you've never seen before, you probably have spyware on your computer. Spyware can also track your online surfing habits and report back to whatever company/person wrote the software. A common source of spyware are file-sharing programs like Kazaa. To get rid of these nasty programs, download a tool like Ad-Aware, which is a widely used, free, and very effective spyware eliminator. Like Zone Alarm, they offer professional versions with more features. Some people like to use multiple programs to find tricky spyware a single program might miss. If you'd like, you can run Spybot Search and Destroy as well. Unfortunately, certain spyware programs are able to reinstall themselves and take a bit more work to eliminate. One handy program is Hijack This! which reports back everything program that is tied in to your browser. Unless you know what you are looking for, it's best to save the generated log file and send it to a trusted computer expert friend or try to find the answer at a message board like www.spywareinfo.com/forums. One last program that is extremely useful is called the CWShredder, which is dedicated solely to eliminating one particularly nasty and persistent piece of spyware called the CoolWebSearch. The CWShredder is a great program to run when nothing else seem to be working. If you want to do further research into the various programs that can infect your machine, the pestpatrol website (another spyware program site) has a great definitions section with tips on how to remove all manners of spyware.

Pop-Up Stoppers Pop-ups are the annoying windows that "pop up" while web-surfing from site to site. Usually they are harmless and are basically ads for things like Orbitz or a certain cell phone company. Pop-Up Stoppers vary widely in effectiveness so feel free to try out a few different ones. One quality pop-up stopper is built into the Google Toolbar. A nice benefit is that along with the pop-up stopper, you get a google search toolbar and Auto-Fill capabilities for online forms. Yet, there is another form of pop-up that nearly all Pop-Up Stoppers fail to catch. These annoying windows take advantage of a built-in Windows service called Windows Messenger Service. Luckily, you can turn off this mostly useless feature. Read how to do so here. A final option to stop pop-ups is to stop using Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Netscape altogether and start using Firefox. This might be for someone who's a bit more comfortable around computers though.

Power Point Usage & Training Tips

From MaxFischer January 23, 2009

Ironically, the less you know about PowerPoint, the better. There will be fewer annoying animations and things like that. Also, since you're short on time, you can spend less time putting the presentation together if you put a bigass picture on each slide with just one piece of information. Create a handout based on the outline of your presentation with the more nitty-gritty details for people to take with them.

Here are a few useful links I've compiled:
8 ideas for better slides
Persuasive presentations
8 ideas for presentations with more zing
Presentation checklist
100 PowerPoint ideas
Garr Reynolds' presentation tips

Free photo sites, from Presentation Zen (don't use clipart):
Morgue File
Flickr Creative Commons Pool
Image After
Stock.xchng
Everystockphoto search engine

One tidbit I just read the other day: the audience remembers what you said better if you use full-sentence, declarative headlines as your slide titles.
Creating PowerPoint based on research

Four unique styles of presentation
Some of these, like the Lessig Method, may be a little strange for common business situations, but I actually really like the Kawasaki Method to mix things up.
The Lessig Method
The Godin Method
The Kawasaki Method
The Takahashi Method


A few more Power Point resources from JoeJackTalcum:
Nancy Duarte offers insights on great slide design - not quick an dirty, but brilliant insights on effective communication.
Nancy Duarte's Slide-Ology Blog

Alltop listings for top speaking content
Alltop Speaking Aggregation

What ND Online Site Should I Subscribe To?

(originaly posted by SavageDragon)

I think it's a choice that has to be about one of a couple considerations: 1) interest in recruiting. Following who ND is interested in, what players like ND, and getting some scoops can be fun; if it's just about finding out news of commitments (that is, not about the speculation, anticipation, reading the tea leaves, etc.) then pay sites don't really give you anything extra. News breaks and is publicly available within 30 minutes on sites such as this, or in free articles on the pay sites.

2) interest in day-to-day reporting. The pay sites give practice reports daily, though at some point that becomes somewhat meaningless -- it's fun to read, but really, it doesn't much matter whether Scott Smith or Anthony Vernaglia or Kerry Neal looked good in practice on Tuesday, looked bad on Wednesday, or had a funny quip on Thursday. This is exacerbated by the ND policy that allows access only to the first 20 minutes of practice. That said, for those looking to get every little piece of info on the team, the pay sites provide that service.

3) a ravenous desire to read ND football information. If you want to read every article out there, and want to jump into every message board, and want to meet every fellow ND fan, and most of the ND bashers ... Seriously, there's certainly a social element to it, and each board gives you something a little different. Each may have a slightly different culture, both in terms of the boards and in terms of the writers' articles.

So that's the general answer to "are paysites worth it (for me)". Now as to my impression of the differences, let me be up front saying that I'm a member at both IE and II, and I was a member at BGI immediately after the split from Rivals, but not for long enough, and not recently enough to make any judgment there.

II gives you much higher "traffic" -- the board turns over faster, there are more conversations, and at least it seems that there are more people. You'll get probably a greater latitude for outlandishness; it makes sense: the boards aren't as tightly moderated, there's higher traffic, and there's a larger population of younger (and in some cases, far younger) fans. Further, the entirety of the Rivals network seems to be aimed at the less mature audiences, though this may be changing with Scout/MySpace alliance. Rivals has an excellent video network, and cleaner UIs than Scout, and their national boards bring a (sometimes boorish, but generally entertaining) collection of fans together. If one cares about the national analysts, I think that their national analysts are a bit more high-viz than Scout's, on the other hand they also seem to interact less with the individual sites. I will say that Jack Freeman does an excellent job for II, but the lack of support he gets with no "citizen mods" and a network-wide mandate to allow the stupidity and low levels of discourse neuter some of his good intent to make the II boards excellent.

Scout's network is clearly inferior to Rivals; the video is rudimentary and a small library, the national boards are improving but still fledgling, and they seem to have a much more contemptuous relationship with the individual site operators (as indicated by the recent defections to ESPN and ongoing strife with remaining site operators). What Scout has going for it for ND fans is the IE site itself. The population is, in my view, much more civil and mature at IE than at II, and the site is heavily moderated. Some may look at that as a bad thing -- less freedom of conversation, assumptions of censorship, etc. I look at it, in the terms of one of the mods there, as a benefit: the same level of signal with less noise to corrupt it. Also something that gives value to the IE boards is a heavy influence of coach-posters, that is, current and former HS and college coaches who give insight into the game of football and share information that the casual fan might not understand. This is a big job, and something that certainly adds to the board because the II writers (and so too with the IE ones) simply can't keep up with this amount of information dissemination on their own.

The writers/gurus on the sites are very much a matter of taste. I enjoy reading material from both sites, and they both get their fair share of "scoops" in terms of recruiting and player news. I personally prefer both Mike and Jeff from IE over the II guys, but I also do enjoy Pete Sampson and Steve Hare's work on the Rivals site, so I don't mean for my preferences to be a slap in their face.

One thing that many find a black mark against Rivals is that the II guys tend to fancy themselves journalists more than the Scout guys; Mike and Jeff are fans, they'll try to be objective but if they get caught up in homerism, they'll admit it and move on. The Rivals writers, most notably Tim Prister, seem to want to put their journalistic integrity ahead of their fandom. This is fine, except that when they get called on homerism, rather than admitting it and moving on, they seem to feel compelled to come back with a disgustingly negative article that is written for proving their journalistic bona fides to the outside world. It reeks of the same problem of Malloy's preference to look good to outsiders than to be ND and thus look good to those who matter.

At the same time, however, it opens up the site to more points of view, because people are less likely to line up behind the writers' opinions and exclude all critical thought when the writers' opinions differ. Also, in terms of reading the gamut of opinions, many people pick II just because of the higher population. This is also especially true since Mike Frank has been so giving with his time and information and provides a lot of information for free to the community, due to the situation he came from and his desire to rectify that for future years of Irish fans. On one hand, it's a great thing that he is so giving, but I'd imagine he hurts his own subscriber base by giving away so much of his information that people can get much of his stuff and subscribe to II for all of theirs, rather than subscribing to IE for 100% of Mike's and getting almost 0% of II's.

I suppose that it's something that you have to experience for yourself; I can talk/type until I'm blue in the face, but you have to jump in and figure out which culture you prefer, which writing/reporting styles you prefer, etc. I will say that most of the opinions you'll get on this site will likely strongly favour IE, as Mike is a good friend of many on this site, and they rightly want to throw business his way since they (again, rightly) feel he does a good job.

If you have any questions as to my opinions (and I must stress, that I'm not actually affiliated with either site, and am just happily a "paying member", to use the common II line, of each site) feel free to ask. I'm sure I'll have responses disagreeing, and it makes sense -- as I said, there are distinct board cultures, and each brings something valuable to the table, but each also has downsides.

Back Room Betterment

Spelling & Grammar

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

  • If you know you can't spell, embrace Firefox's built-in spell checker.
  • It's spelled "definitely", not "defiantly" or "definitly" or "definately"
  • It's spelled ad nauseAm.
  • Know your subjunctive mood. "Does Charlie Weis win the national championship this year?" is not only wrong, it's embarrassing.

Interview Tips

I asked for interview tips awhile back.

A bunch of people responded (gmurphy, GU82ND4ever, banshee, tbsone, sprack, chicago, GoDomers, Matty96, 105Marquette, RJD) and gave some awesome advice.

I'm now deciding between two offers and just wanted to thank everyone for helping out.

And if anyone's curious, here's a compilation of the tips:

  • Make sure your shoes are shined and your suit pressed.
  • Smile, be positive, research the firm, have questions to ask, ask for the job, and send thank you notes asap to those with whom you interview.
  • Learn everything you can about the company
  • Nothing is more annoying than bringing an interview candidate in and their first question is, "So who are your clients?" or "How long have you been around?".
  • Do your research - it shows you're serious about the position.
  • Good firm handshake, look them in the eyes
  • Also, say "yes" and "no", not yeah or yup, or na. its sounds basic, but many people fail to use yes, and it makes them sounds stupid.
  • Do a quick teeth and breath check.
  • Remember the name of the interviewer and use it when speaking to them.
  • be sure you can state how you will ad value to the company, not necessarily monetarily.
  • Know what are your accomplishments, be able to state them clearly.
  • be able to articulate your strengths and your weaknesses. Should they ask you about your weaknesses, limit them to something about being impatient or that you're a big picture guy and that you offset your lack of detail with complementary skills in your staff.
  • If these interviewers are worth their salt, they may ask you situational questions. e.g., a member of your staff is smart and hardworking, and produces good results, but steps on the toes of his peers. What do you do?
  • Avoid talking money, unless they bring it up. In which case, you may ask, "While I know $$ is important, I would first rather uncover all there is to know about the job first. But since you asked, what salary range is available for this position. Avoid putting a price on your head until you know where the pain begins for them.
  • Follow up letter to all interviewers, with a hand written note at the bottome of the letter. Be sure to remember something about each interviewer that you can refer to in your handwritten note.
  • Ask for the job, if it one that you like.
  • Read up on EQ (emotional intelligence) and ask how it is a component in the way people are hired, evaluated, asked to contribute and valued.
  • Be confident, you're good at what you do and exude all of that.
  • It is good to have some specific examples ready to go of some past successes in work etc. If you get into a situational interview if you have 4 or 5 good stories to tell you can almost always work one of your stories around the question being asked. They are not necessarily looking for an achievement, but on how you got there, decisions made, problems solved etc. They want to see your thought process and how you have handled some adversity in the past.
  • Also, don't forget to ask for the job.
  • Always Be Closing, and just like how a salesman must always ask for the sale, an interview is no different. Always, always, always ask for the job - but at the end of the interview, of course.
  • Get each interviewer's business card and follow up that evening with a hand-written thank you note to each one.

o Agree -- don't email them.

o Taking the time to handwrite them will show you made the extra effort.

  • Greet 'em with a solid smile but not too big.
  • First impressions are very important, so check your zipper if you made a nervous pit stop.
  • Make sure that you read you resume and can answer any questions on it because it will be the basis of questions. Many folks forget their resume once it's on paper.
  • Have a good answer for where you want to be in 5 years.
  • Maintain eye contact. Stare a hole in them if you have to.
  • From having gone through this a year ago (for consulting interviews):
  • Your first interview will likely be one case interview and one "fit" interview. The fit interview means nothing unless you nail the case.

2nd round of interviews will likely be multiple cases.

  • Ask probing questions to gather case information (you will not be told all information upfront). Use a structured framework to evaluate the data you are given and to give the interviewer insight into your thought process.
  • If you have a good rapport with your interviewer and get stuck, walk through the data at hand, he or she may give you a hint as to the direction they want you to take.
  • Most importantly, practice, practice and more practice. Get a good case guide (Wetfeet publishing makes one) and familiarize yourself with the various types of cases.
  • Then find a friend, preferably one who has consulting industry experience, to run through practice cases with you and offer you constructive feedback afterwards. Buy them beer if necessary. I would recommend at least 10 practice runs before your interview. You will feel more confident and be better able to frame the various types of cases after rigorous practice.
  • Some consulting firms will have first year associates visit campus to give case run through. Take advantage of this, as they will often give you more targeted feedback than your buddies will.

Submitted by: thegonzo


Personal Finance

The following books have been recommended as good reads for someone looking to learn about investing and personal finance.

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Investing (quick way to get yourself in the right ballpark)

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing (a time-tested classic)

The Motley Fool Investment Guide : How The Fool Beats Wall Streets Wise Men And How You Can Too

The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio (focuses on mutual funds)

The Intelligent Investor (geared towards equity investors)

The Little Blue Book that Beats the Market (geared towards equity investors)

Guide to Sartorial Elegance

This is meant to be a list of basic rules - not instructions on perfecting the GQ look. You will not be complimented outright for following them, but it just might prevent you from cramping other people's style.

DOs

  • match your shoes and your belt
  • match your socks and your pants (exception: jeans)
  • wear shirts that fit - the shoulder seam should stop at the end of your shoulder
  • wear pants with the correct inseam - they should cover the tops of your shoes but not drag on the ground
  • wear wider belts with less formal pants, narrower belts with dress slacks
  • wear only very dark brown or black shoes with navy suits
  • invest in good shoes and keep them clean and shined - they say a lot about you
  • invest in a good watch - silver bands match all clothes while colored bands do not
  • wear a brightly-colored item, provided that you are wearing subdued colors with it (exception: Zubaz must never be worn)
  • leave the top button of button-down shirts open unless you are wearing a tie
  • use a money clip when wearing a suit
  • keep your damn collar down
  • match your highliter to your tie (the Digger Phelps rule)

DO NOT DOs

Guido.jpg
  • use excessive hair gel
  • wear a sports jersey outside the privacy of your home or an actual sporting event
  • wear jeans that taper at the ankles
  • wear jean shorts (AKA "jorts")
  • wear casual pleated pants
  • wear braided belts
  • wear laceless shoes (loafer, buckle) with a suit
  • button the lowest button on your suit coat
  • wear black and brown together
  • wear grey and brown together except in extreme moderation
  • wear a belt and suspenders together unless you are Larry King
  • wear double-breasted suits unless you are "made"
  • wear a cowboy hat unless you are an actual cowboy
  • wear backwards baseball caps
  • wear a visor unless you are a card dealer, you are golfing, or you are actually standing in the ocean
  • wear a mesh shirt or a t-shirt with its sleeves cut off

Beginner's Workout

Here is a template that I would recommend for beginners. Honestly, it would work really well for intermediate and advanced trainees too. Only the intensity and volume parameters would change a little.

The first thing most will notice is that there is no bodypart split. That is an inferior way to train for 99% of the population. In this fasion, every muscle group is being trained three times per week as opposed to the conventional once per week. One main characteristic of lesser-prepared trainees is that neuromuscular coordination and overall work capacity are not sufficiently high. Training the whole body with major compound lifts three times per week solves this problem. It also means greater total motor unit activity over the course of the week, which in turn means greater metabolic activity and increased adaptive protein synthesis.

Please note that you are not going to failure on any of the primary (or most of the secondary) exercises. The adaptations to this program are induced in a cumulative manner. You don't not need to annihilate a muscle to get it to grow or become stronger. Soreness is not an indicator of a job well done. It should be viewed as an unfortunate by-product of training, not a goal to attain. It is for this reason that the Monday and Friday workouts utilize the same exercises and sequencing (although set-rep parameters change). Changing exercises too often leads to excessive soreness and slows the rate of adaptation to the stimulus.

Warm-up (same every day)

7 minute incline treadmill walk. HR @ 110-120
7 minute active warm-up
-Jumping Jacks, Walking Lunges, Leg Swings, Neck Circles, Arm Circles, Ankle Circles, Cat-Camels (from yoga), Bodyweight Squats, Bodyweight Pushups, Light Pulldowns, etc.

Monday

A. SE Bench Press - 6 x 5 (SE = Submaximal Effort. Do not approach failure on any set.)
B. SE Squat - 3 x 8
C1. Lat Pulldown - 3 x Reps (Reps = 2 reps short of failure)
C2. Romanian Deadlift - 3 x Reps
-Numbered exercises of the same letter are performed alternating superset fashion. (Take adequate rest between.)
D1. Pushups - 2 x Reps
D3. Reverse Cable Fly - 2 x Failure
E. 200 Crunches

Wednesday

A. SE Incline DB Bench Press - 3 x 8-12
B. Pull-Ups - 3 x Failure
C1. Jumping Jacks
C2. Push-Ups
C3. Bodyweight Lunge
C4. Crunches
C5. DB Shrug
C6. DB Hammer Curl
C7. Tricep Pushdown
C8. Crunches
- C exercises are performed in continuous circuit fashion, using 20 second work and 20 second rest intervals. Go through the circuit three times. If you have a heart rate monitor, use it. Try to keep HR between 120-130. If you don't have a monitor, just know you should not be sucking wind or struggling to finish reps at any time. Use a steady, rhythmic pace for all reps.

Friday

A. SE Bench Press - 3 x 8
B. SE Squat - 4 x 6
C1. Lat Pulldown - 4 x Reps
C2. Romanian Deadlift - 4 x Reps
D1. Pushups - 3 x Reps
D2. Reverse Cable Fly - 3 x Failure
E. 200 Crunches

Written by: Papa November - The Back Room's resident trainer and crazy raw meat eater

Home Buying and Selling

First step- buying or selling a home

There is an analytic that should be the starting point for either buying or selling a home. The CMA, or competitive market analysis, generates a price range for a home and is based on comparable properties that have sold in the same market as the target.

For the buyer having a CMA done on the house in which you are interested in purchasing gives you a good place to start when writing an offer. Answering the question “what should we offer?” is easier when you have a CMA and is based on fact.

Selling for the top dollar revolves around three things. Location, condition, and price. A CMA will generate a market value based on historical data. It is essential information to have when setting the listing price.

A CMA done for a buyer of a property should, by definition, be the same as done for the seller of the same property. Same comps, same adjustments, same value if the same person does both CMA’s.

Fact: Not one listing client of mine in the last 10 has listed their house in the CMA recommended price range. Not one. They all decided to list at a higher price so as to “not give it away.”

Fact: Of the last ten buyer clients I’ve done a CMA for not one has written their offer within the CMA generated price range. They all chose to write an offer much lower so they “don’t pay too much.”

When either buying or selling the place to start is a CMA. Oh, and it should cost you nothing to get one from a Realtor. If they try and charge for one, find someone else.


Home Repairs and Improvements

Buying a New Furnace

Written by Rudy36

We have finally settled on a furnace to be installed and I wanted to share some advice so that you don't have to deal with the headaches I did.

Get 5-6 estimates.

Before you have a company come out to give you an estimate, check their history with the Better Business Bureau.

Ask a bunch of questions.

Be sure that the representative actually counts the number of registers in your home, and returns. Also make sure they calculate the square footage, and map the actual duct runs. Make sure they are asking you questions about "cold spots" in the home, whether the upstairs gets really cold compared to the downstairs, etc. If they just come in, measure the furnace cabinet, tell you you need an "X" sized model, move on to the next company.

Make sure they are not oversizing your unit for your home. If your house is not 5000 sq. ft. you do not need a 100,000 btu unit. For an average sized home, you probably don't even need an 80,000 btu unit.

Get the 95% high efficiency model. 2 stage. Variable speed blower. This will get you a 30% tax credit capped at $1500. That gets you a much more efficient model for the same price (after credit) as an 80% efficient.

Many, many of the name brands are owned and made by other name brands. Do your research, and get quotes from true competitors. Also, most of the actual parts are made by companies like GE, Honeywell, etc. the manufacturers mainly make the cabinets, heat exchangers, housings, etc.

What that means is that most of the brands are comprised of the same parts. Get the best warranty you can find, but still use a brand that is in the Top Five recommended. (We went with Rheem, but also liked Goodman and Lennox.) Goodman and Rheem are comparable, Lennox is a step up but I was told by a HVAC friend that the parts are more expensive.

Almost all problems with new units can be attributed to a poor installation. Be there for the install, ask questions, make sure they use a level, that the duct work is sealed, etc. Most people think that they won't know the difference between a good and bad installation, so watch a youtube of one, and make sure they do the same things.

Once you have narrowed down the estimates to two, negotiate your best deal. Know that 50% of the cost of the new furnace installation is labor. Also know that the cost of the furnace is marked up at least 25% from their cost. That is a lot of wiggle room. Use it.

After you get your best deal, go to the company's website and look for extra savings. This was big for us, as we got the company down to a certain price, that was the cheapest of our two finalists, and then our "ace-in-the-hole" was a $250 off installation coupon they had on their site that wasn't written into the estimate. We asked them to honor it, and they did.

Furnace salesmen are absolutely terrible at closing. One guy showed up to my house at 3:15 yesterday and I told him I needed to leave at 5. At 4:55 he had moved from his "soft close" to his "hard close" and actually told me I would be a bad father for continuing to not have our furnace working (note that we have a second furnace for the upstairs bedrooms). It was at that time I began picking up his calculator, tape measure, etc. and stacking them in front of him.

Wear a helmet.

Automotive Service and Repair

Changing Brake Pads

Brake pads are about the simplest repair that you can perform on a vehicle outside of an oil change.


You need the following:


  • Jack
  • Jack Stands
  • Large C-clamp
  • Socket set with standard (maybe metric) sockets
  • New pads
  • Pad lubricant


First you want to make sure the car is on level ground.

Put a brick or large board behind or in front of the front wheels depending on slope.

Loosen your rear lug nuts.

Jack up the back of your car, picking a side to start, and place a jack stand under a frame section of your vehicle. Lower the jack so that the car is resting on a jack stand. (At this point, if you are on very solid, flat ground, you can proceed to jack the other side of the car up, and place the other side's frame on a jack stand.)

Remove the lug nuts completely from the hub.

Remove the wheel and tire from the hub.

You will see a brake caliper(4,6) holding the brake pads(8) against the brake rotor(1). You do not need to remove the whole assembly(6), just the piston(4). This is done by removing the two bolts holding the piston assembly to the caliper assembly(5). There should be only two bolts.

Slide the caliper piston off of the brake pads and secure to the strut spring with a quick-tie or set it on top of the wheel hub. Do not let it dangle by the brake line(9).

Slide the brake pads(8) out of the caliper bracket. Retain the slimmest pad.

Use the slimmest old pad and the C-clamp to push the caliper piston back into it's assembly. This is done because the new pads will be thicker than the old pads, therefore the piston must be retracted into the caliper.

Open the brake pad lubricant and coat the back of the pads, and the metal part of the pads that rest in the caliper bracket with lubricant(8). This will prevent your brakes from squealing. Do not get lubricant on the pad part itself.

Insert the new pads into the caliper brackets(6).

Slide the caliper piston(4) onto the pads to hold them against the rotor(1).

Insert the bolts(5) through the piston assembly(5) and tighten them into the caliper bracket(6) assembly.

Install the wheel and tire back onto the hub.

Tighten the lug nuts to hand tight by working in a star pattern.

Lower that side of the vehicle back onto the ground.

Tighten the lug nuts by working in a star pattern.

Repeat for each additional wheel.

The image below is from a Monte Carlo but brake systems are universal so yours will look nearly identical regardless of vehicle.

Brake.png

Back Room Book Reviews

The Book list in the regular almanac is a mess. People can work together to organize a good list here.

American Lit

James Fenimore Cooper, The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, The Pioneers, The Prairie
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, The Blithedale Romance, My Kinsman, Major Molineux, The Maypole of Merry Mount, Young Goodman Brown
Ralph Waldo Emerson, The American Scholar, The Divinity School Address, Nature
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Emily Dickinson, selected poems from any decent anthology--make sure it includes Because I could not stop for death
Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Billy Budd, Benito Cereno, Bartleby the Scrivener
Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy, Sister Carrie
Henry James, Portrait of a Lady, The Beast in the Jungle, The Ambassadors
Ernest Hemingway, in our time, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, Big Two-Hearted River (Parts 1 and 2)
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, Go Down, Moses, The Hamlet
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Four Quartets
Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning, Idea of Order at Key West, The Man With the Blue Guitar
Robert Frost, Neither Out Far Nor in Deep, After Apple Picking, Birches, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, Desert Places, Provide, Provide
Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, Mr. Sammler's Planet
Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead, The Executioner's Song, The Armies of the Night
Philip Roth, American Pastoral, Sabbath's Theater
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, The Road
James Merrill, The Changing Light at Sandover
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, Broom of the System, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, Oblivion, Girl With Curious Hair
Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Jitterbug Perfume, Still Life With Woodpecker, Skinny Legs and All

British and Irish Lit

Chaucer, Canterbury Tales
Anon., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Pearl
Malory, Morte d'Arthur
Marlow, Doctor Faustus, Edward II, Hero and Leander
Shakespeare, Most of It
Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
Beaumont & Fletcher, The Maid's Tragedy
Beaumont, The Knight of the Burning Pestle
Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
Wyatt, They flee from me that sometime did me seek [sonnet]
Donne, The Canonization, A Valediction Forbidding Mourning, The Ecstasy
Herrick, Corinna's Gone a-Maying, Delight in Disorder, Upon Julia's Clothes
Milton, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, Lycidas
Congreve, The Way of the World
Johnson, Rasselas, The Vanity of Human Wishes, Introduction to his Shakespeare
Pope, The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, Windsor Castle
Fielding, Tom Jones
Sterne, Tristram Shandy
Blake, Songs of Innocence Songs of Experience
Wordsworth, The Prelude, Lines...Tintern Abbey, Ode: Intimations of Immortality
Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan
Shelley, Ode to the West Wind, Prometheus Unbound
Byron, Don Juan
Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to a Nightingale, To Autumn, Ode on Melancholy
Dickens, Great Expectations, Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend
Thackeray, Vanity Fair
G. Eliot, Middlemarch
Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Emma
E. Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Tennyson, In Memoriam
Arnold, Dover Beach, Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse, The Function of Criticism at the Present Time
Joyce, Ulysses, Portrait of the Artist, The Dead
Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love, Studies in Classic American Literature
Forster, A Passage to India
Wolf, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse
Yeats, The Wild Swans at Coole, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Sailing to Byzantium, The Tower, Under ben Bulben, The Second Coming, Among School Children, Easter, 1916, Ego Dominus Tuus
Conrad, Lord Jim, Nostromo, "The Secret Sharer," Victory, The Secret Agent
Shaw, Major Barbara, Pygmalion, Caesar and Cleopatra, Man and Superman
John Cowper Powys, Wolf Solent, Glastonbury Romance

World Lit

Hesiod, Works and Days, Theogony
Homer, Iliad, Odyssey
Aeschylus, The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides)
Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Oedipus at Colonus
Euripides, Bacchae, Iphigeneia at Aulis, Medea
Virgil, Aeneid
Dante, Divine Comedy
Rabelais, Gargantua, Pantagruel
Cervantes, Don Quixote
Montaigne, Essays
Goethe, Faust
Moliere, The Misanthrope
Racine, Berenice
Rousseau, Emile
Diderot, Rameau's Nephew
Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil
Tolstoy, War and Peace, Anna Karenina
Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, The Brothers Karamazov
Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Kafka, The Trial
Proust, Remembrance of Things Past
Camus, The Plague, The Fall
Sartre, Nausea
Chinua Akebe, Things Fall Apart

Non-Fiction Business

Darrell Huff, How to Lie with Statistics
Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Peter F. Drucker, entire works
Levy, Parker and Blass, The 52nd Floor: Thinking Deeply About Leadership
Eliyahu M. Goldratt, The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
Greenleaf, Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness
Tyler, Secrets of Seasoned Professionals: They Learned the Hard Way so You Don't Have To
Abrashoff, It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
Lou Holtz, Winning Every Day
Miller, Heiman and Tuleja, Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by America's Best Companies
Dan Pink, Drive,A Whole New Mind
Malkiel, A Random Walk Down Wall Street

Non-Fiction History

Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
Thomas Friedman, From Beirut To Jerusalem

Non-Fiction - General

David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Consider the Lobster, Up Simba, Everything and More: A Brief History of Infinity

The Civil War: Topics

George Rable, The Confederate Republic: A Revolution Against Politics
Richard N. Current, The Lincoln Nobody Knows
Richard N. Current, Lincoln and the First Shot
Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers
James Robertson, Soldiers Blue and Gray
James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War
Gerald F. Linderman, Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War
Larry J. Daniel, Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee
Charles Royster, The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans
Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians
Herman Hattaway, Shades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War
Grady McWhiney and Perry D. Jamieson, Attach and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage
Archer Jones, Civil War Command and Strategy: the Process of Victory and Defeat
Joseph T. Glatthaar, Partners in Command: The Relationship Between Leaders in the Civil War
Steven E. Woodworth, Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West
Steven E. Woodworth, While God is Marching On: The Religious World of Civil War Soldier
Drew Faust, Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War
Frank Vandiver, Their Tattered Flags: The Epic of the Confederacy
Dudley Taylor Cornish, The Sable Arm: Black Troops in the Union Army, 1861-1865
Noah Andre Trudeau, Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War
Lonnie Speer, Portals to Hell: The Military Prisons of the Civil War
Charles Sanders, While in the Hands of the Enemy: Military Prisons of the Civil War
Gaines Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause and the Emergence of the New South
Charles Reagan Wilson, Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause
Mark Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis

Non-Fiction Psychology

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Dread

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Non-Fiction Theology/Religion

Saint Augustine, Confessions
Karl Barth, Epistle to the Romans
Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History
Karl Adam, The Spirit of Catholicism
Gustavo Guti�rrez, On Job
Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain
St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul

NavyJoe's Fantasy Book Reviews

Last year, during Thanksgiving, I began reading The Codex Alera, by Jim Butcher. Since then, I've read/reread somewhere around 50 fantasy novels:

For whatever reason, providing plot summaries causes my blood pressure to rise, so I am copying short summaries from Wikipedia. I then will add some quick thoughts beyond that. I don't plan on ranking the books and series, but I will let you know whether they are worth reading.

The Codex Alera Series, Jim Butcher

The series chronicles the coming-of-age of a young man named Tavi in the realm of Alera, an empire similar to Rome, on the world of Carna. Every Aleran has some degree of command over elemental forces or spirits called furies, save for Tavi, who is considered a freak. As the aging First Lord struggles to maintain his hold on a realm on the brink of civil war, Tavi must use all of his intelligence to save Alera.

NJ's Thoughts - These books are not as popular as the Dresden Files but are, in my opinion, quite a bit better. Good plot, good pacing, compelling characters, and in set in a Roman milieu, which is unique as far as I know. I thought that these books were grand in scope but not nearly as sprawling/confusing as some of the other series I have read (e.g., Malazan, Ice and Fire).

The Malazan Books of the Fallen, Steven Erikson

NJ's Thoughts - Frankly, this series is much too epic in scope to summarize--it makes A Song of Ice and Fire look contained and concise in comparison. It is absolutely worth reading, but I caution you to be prepared to slog through a few hundred pages of action where you have to stop every few pages and ask yourself what the fuck just happened. Despite the fact that this series is comprised of 10 books that are each 800 pages long, the very first book starts in the middle of things...

The Kingkiller Chronicles, Patrick Rothfuss

The series is essentially the biography of a famous musician, mage, and adventurer named Kvothe. After gaining notoriety at a young age, he disappears from public life and is eventually tracked down to a backwater inn by Devan Lochees, who is known as "the Chronicler". After some persuasion, the Chronicler convinces Kvothe to tell him his life story, which Kvothe announces will take three days (hence the name of the novel—The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day One—and its division into volumes). However, Kvothe's tale is occasionally punctuated by interludes set in the story's "present day", during which it becomes clear that faerie folk, known to the locals as demons, are showing up uncommonly frequently. Meanwhile, Kvothe's friend and apprentice Bast is unwilling to let the Chronicler tell all of Kvothe's story, and Kvothe is implied to be an untrustworthy narrator. The story thus proceeds on two levels: Kvothe tells his life story via First-person narrative, while the framing device hints that his life story may not actually be complete yet. The 3 books are just divisions in the same narrative, none of them standing alone in the story.

NJ's Thoughts - Much has been said of this series in the Backroom over the past few years, so I won't get too carried away. I honestly think that this series has the potential to be the best fantasy series ever and that Rothfuss is probably the most talented pure fantasy writer outside of Neil Gaiman.

The Fionavar Tapestry, Guy Gavriel Kay

It all began with a lecture that introduced five university students to a man who would change their lives, a wizard who could take them from Earth to the heart of the first of all worlds--Fionavar. And take them Loren Silvercloak did, for his need--the need of Fionavar and all the worlds--was great indeed. And in a marvelous land of men and dwarves, of wizards and gods--and of the Unraveller and his minions of Darkness--Kimberly, Dave, Jennifer, Kevin, and Paul discovered who they were truly meant to be. For the five were a long-awaited part of the pattern known as the Fionavar Tapestry, and only if they accepted their destiny would the armies of the Light stand any chance of surviving when the Unraveller unleashed his wrath upon the world

NJ's Thoughts - I really loved this series. I only wish that I would have heard it about it years ago (the series is over 20 years old). Not only does the author have one of the great names of all time, but he also manages to weave a retelling of the Arthurian Fantasy into the series. I'd recommend reading The Once and Future King before embarking on this series, if only to be familiar with the Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot story. This story brought me to tears. It may not have the scope of LOTR or ASoIaF, but this is as good as any fantasy story ever written.

The First Law Trilogy, Best Served Cold, The Heroes, Joe Abercrombie

The trilogy is set in an epic fantasy world reminiscent of medieval/renaissance Europe. There are three major nations involved: the Union, a large kingdom similar to Europe; the Gurkish Empire, which is similar to the large Middle-Eastern empires of antiquity; and the Northmen, a rough alliance of several northern tribes with Viking and Anglo Saxon overtones under the leadership of a warrior-king named Bethod. The Union is drawn into war against the latter when the Northmen invade the Union's northern province of Angland, and against the former when the Empire attempts to annex the city of Dagoska.

The trilogy centers on the fortunes of three major characters: Sand dan Glokta, a crippled torturer in the Union's Inquisition; Jezal dan Luthar, a self-centred nobleman and swordsman; and Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian warrior of the North forced into an uneasy alliance with the Union to defeat his sworn enemy, Bethod. In addition to these characters, the story follows Collem West, an anger-prone and constantly worried Union officer; the so-called Dogman, a world-weary and experienced northern scout; the fierce southern woman Ferro Maljinn, an ex-slave bent on revenge; and the scheming wizard Bayaz, First of the Magi.

NJ's Thoughts - This trilogy--and the two subsequent stand-alone novels--is uniformly excellent. It basically takes every fantasy cliche you are familiar with and turns them on their head: a philosophical barbarian; a compassionate torturer; a hero that is reluctant to fight. There are, literally, no black and white characters in this book. Everyone is grey to some extent. That can make for tough reading, because you really aren't sure who to pull for, but it does make for much more compelling character development.

As an aside, Best Served Cold is probably one of the top 5 stand-alone fantasy books that I have ever read. Decidedly not for the faint of heart though...

Kingdom of Thorn and Bone, Greg Keyes

They follow the story of Anne Dare, descendant of Virgenya Dare, a famed ruler who used her magic to aid the kingdom [2]. Her descendants rule the kingdom of Crotheny, until a traitorous plot to overthrow them leads to tragedy.

The books generally follow the overall fate of its several protagonists and the lands from which they hail. The events recounted deal mainly with the destiny of the kingdom of Crotheny. However, there are several multi-stranded plotlines which sometimes lead to one another while also expanding the history, characters and events of the series. The series leans more on its character development to develop the plot from several different perspectives, but is also peppered with legends, myths, detailed world backstory, kingdoms, wars and monsters that characterize the genre.

NJ's Thoughts - I really enjoyed this series while reading it but now, only half a year later, I find myself struggling to really remember what it was about. Not much staying power, but still worth checking out.

A Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin

NJ's Thoughts - I reread the series in preparation for the release of the HBO series and A Dance with Dragons. Much has been said here regarding the series, so I am not going to belabor the point too much. I think the first three books of this series are about as good as anything ever written in the fantasy genre. I think the subsequent two pale in comparison. I believe that GRRM has a vivid imagination and has a great vision of what he wants to accomplish; however, I do not know if he has the literary chops to actually complete it. In my opinion, he is not nearly as talented a writer as some of the others on this list (Rothfuss, Sanderson, Abercrombie, King, Kay).

The Demon Cycle, Peter Brett

The novel follows three POV characters in their passage from childhood to maturity. They are inhabitants of a world plagued by the attacks of demons known as corelings, which rise from the planet's core each night to feast upon humans. The ongoing attrition of these attacks have reduced humanity from an advanced state of technology to a 'dark age'. The only defense against the corelings are wards (magical runes) that can be drawn, painted, or inscribed to form protective barriers around human settlements. These are, however, fragile and prone to failure unless properly maintained. As the novel progresses, the protagonists each embark upon their own "hero's journey" in an effort to save humanity.

NJ's Thoughts - While the plot description would seem to indicate that this is a simple good vs. evil adventure story, it is actually much more than that. In writing the tale, Brett was keen to move beyond a simple adventure story, to present a fantasy novel about fear and its impact. I thoroughly enjoyed this series and am looking forward to the next book.

The Stormlight Archives

The world of The Way of Kings is one constantly assaulted by hurricanes, referred to in the book as highstorms. Flora and fauna have evolved to cope with this condition.[3]

In response to an attack by malevolent entities (known as Voidbringers), the "Almighty" fashions magical weapons and suits of armor, called Shardblades and Shardplates. The "Almighty" equips knights, known as Radiants, with these, and, eventually, the Radiants defeat the evil Voidbringers.[3]

Then, for unknown reasons, the Radiants turn against mankind, ignoring their cause and vanishing. They leave their Shardplates and Shardblades for all who want them, thus creating wars and strife. The book begins at a phase where warlords have, for many years, been gathering armies around Shardblade-wielding fighters. These armies fight over possession of the remaining Shardblades in an attempt to acquire a decisive advantage

NJ's Thoughts - This was a powerful novel that did almost everything well. Supposedly, this is the first of a ten book series and considering that this puppy was 1002 pages long, this series will probably become the most vast in the fantasy universe. I cannot recommend this book any more highly. It is up there with The Kingkiller Chronicles.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

Follows the adventures of a group of con artists known as the Gentlemen Bastards. They live in a city called Camorr, heavily based on late medieval Venice. The book is divided into two interspersed stories. In the present time, the Gentlemen Bastards must contend with the Grey King, a powerful figure terrorizing Camorr's criminal community. Every other chapter, however, delves into the history and mythology of Camorr, the Gentlemen Bastards, and especially the protagonist Locke Lamora.

NJ's Thoughts - Think Ocean's Eleven meets Scarface. Probably as startling a shift in tone as any fantasy book I have ever read. I haven't gotten a chance to read the second book in this series yet, but it is on my list. The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch The Warded Man & Desert Spear, Peter Brett

His Dark Materials, Phillip Pullman

NJ's Thoughts - I understand that this is a highly regarded series and while I enjoyed The Golden Compass, I did not feel a strong desire to jump right into the sequel. I will at some point--perhaps some convincing from the group might prod me along--but right now I am much more interested in reading what Brandon Sanderson and Scott Lynch have to offer.

The Black Company, Glen Cook

The series combines elements of epic fantasy and dark fantasy as it follows an elite mercenary unit, The Black Company, through roughly forty years of its approximately four hundred year history.

NJ's Thoughts - Despite its reknown, I was not blown away by the first book of this series. In particular, I found Cook's prose rather stilted and I'm not sure whether I should subject myself to six more books. I have no real urge to read further. Should I?

Under the Dome, Stephen King

NJ's Thoughts - This may be King's worst book. If you are an avid fan, I suggest reading it just so someone else will agree with me. If you have not read any King, please do not read this because it may turn you off from him forever.

UR, Stephen King

Wesley Smith, an English teacher at a college in Kentucky, wants to go "New School" and buys a Kindle. Due to a minor mistake in his credit card number, he is sent a pink Kindle (even though Kindles are always white). Slowly he realizes that this edition was meant for another Wesley Smith in a parallel universe.

Smith's Kindle has a peculiar function called UR that can search multiple universes for data. Smith finds four "new" books by Ernest Hemingway, books he wrote in an alternate dimension where he lived for three more years. Wesley also discovers yet another function concerning newspapers that were published in an alternate universe

NJ's Thoughts - Fantastic novella by King that is only available to read via Kindle (I believe).

Elantris, Brandon Sanderson

NJ's Thoughts - Excellent, stand-alone fantasy novel that has the potential to be expanded in the future; though with his numerous commitments right now, I have no idea when Sanderson would have enough time to accomplish that.

The Terror, Dan Simmons

The novel is a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin's lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to the Arctic to force the Northwest Passage in 1845 - 1848. In the novel, while Franklin and his crew are plagued by starvation and scurvy and forced to contend with mutiny and cannibalism, they are stalked across the bleak Arctic landscape by a monster.[2]

NJ's Thoughts - Dan Simmons is a backroom favorite (Hi Gail!) and for good reason. This novel is probably one of the two or three best stand-alone fantasies of all time, along with The Stand, by Stephen King and Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman (I don't really like American Gods). It is exciting, terrifying, and brutal. In other words: totally awesome. Read it today.

11/22/63, Stephen King

Novel about a time traveler who attempts to prevent the John F. Kennedy assassination which occurred on November 22, 1963 (the date of the novel's title). Although the novel contains science fiction and alternate history elements, the majority of it is historical fiction dealing with real-life events and people between 1958 and 1963. The novel is a departure for King since it required deep research to accurately portray the late 1950s and early 1960s.[5] King commented on the amount of research it required, saying "I've never tried to write anything like this before. It was really strange at first, like breaking in a new pair of shoes."[

NJ's Thoughts - Currently reading this one, and through 200 pages it is basically everything that Under the Dome was not. Critics seem to agree--it is getting rave reviews. This has the potential to be one of the best King novels in the past two decades. Say what you will about King, but he has an almost eidetic memory of the late 1950s and the setting really comes alive on the page.

the Back Room's Favorite Movies

Required Viewing

If you haven't seen these, you probably live in a cave. Once you get electricity, rent them immediately.

  • Airplane
  • Animal House
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Back to School
  • Big Lebowski, the
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Blues Brothers, the
  • Braveheart
  • Caddyshack
  • Casablanca
  • Die Hard
  • Godfather I & II, the
  • Goodfellas
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Jerk, the
  • Knute Rockne, All-American
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Lord of the Rings - Trilogy
  • Love Actually
  • Monty Python & the Holy Grail
  • Office Space
  • Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark series
  • Rudy
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Shawshank Redemption, the
  • Star Wars 4-6
  • Stripes
  • Swingers
  • Usual Suspects, the
  • Young Frankenstein

the whole list, by votes

Keep in mind that every movie on the list is, at the very least, recommended by someone -- so don't think that just because a movie got only 1 vote that it isn't worth seeing. It is. Somebody cared enough about it to include in his or her top 10, so keep them in mind for your Netflix queue. And at the end of the poll results is the list of "Obvious, Must See Movies".


11 The Princess Bride banshee, DEA, El Kabong, ewillND, gmurphy, lbbeachrat, Mr. Natural, PMan, PUgrad NDfan, scal_irish, shamrock
11 Rushmore Dillon1998, Domer25, Final_Flanner, Jameson, JPH, Legacy, minister, Mr. Natural, shamrock, SoCaliDomer, socalnd

10 Fargo banshee, BostonDomah, Denver Jim, ewillND, FourLeafDomer, Francisco Brothers, Khaddafi, MCB, rknsaw, shamrock, Oldomer
10 Groundhog Day banshee, FourLeafDomer, gmurphy, Irish96, JacksDaddy, minister, Mr. Natural, RJD, SoCaliDomer, Special_K
10 Memento banshee, bbill99, BostonDomah, DEA, ewillND, Final_Flanner, FOFM, Francisco Brothers, JacksDaddy, PUgrad NDfan

9 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Angel, Denver Jim, drmurray, Fantom, FourLeafDomer, Francisco Brothers, Khaddafi, RJD, rknsaw
9 Tombstone DEA, gmurphy, Irish96, irishvol, MCB, minister, PMan, PUgrad NDfan, RJD

8 Amadeus drmurray, Final_Flanner, Irishted, JacksDaddy, MCB, Mike Embrey, NDFoil, PUgrad NDfan
8 Bottle Rocket Brandywells, Dillon1998, Final_Flanner, FOFM, Francisco Brothers, shamrock, SoCaliDomer, Spiral_Stairs
8 Chinatown Denver Jim, drmurray, Irishted, lbbeachrat, Nitschke, PUgrad NDfan, shadyirish, Special_K, Oldomer
8 Dr. Strangelove banshee, bbill99, drmurray, FONToKNOW, Irishted, JacksDaddy, RJD, shadyirish, Oldomer
8 Full Metal Jacket bbill99, Denver Jim, FourLeafDomer, NDEE01, Nitschke, PeteatND, PUgrad NDfan, tbsone
8 Gladiator drmurray, Irish96, Mike Embrey, NDEE01, NDoggie78, rknsaw, SoCaliDomer, tbsone
8 Glory drmurray, El Kabong, Glass, Irish96, irishvol, JacksDaddy, Marine Domer, PMan
8 L.A. Confidential BostonDomah, Denver Jim, ewillND, Irish96, Irishted, Nitschke, Rallying Son, Special_K
8 Raising Arizona drmurray, ewillND, FOFM, Francisco Brothers, JacksDaddy, Mickey, minister, shamrock
8 Seven BostonDomah, Final_Flanner, lbbeachrat, MCB, NDoggie78, PUgrad NDfan, rknsaw, tbsone

7 2001: A Space Odyssey bbill99, Denver Jim, Dillon1998, FourLeafDomer, Francisco Brothers, JacksDaddy, shadyirish
7 American History X Angel, banshee, Final_Flanner, lbbeachrat, minister, NDoggie78, PUgrad NDfan
7 Band of Brothers (HBO) bbill99, BostonDomah, El Kabong, Final_Flanner, NDoggie78, PUgrad NDfan, SoCaliDomer
7 Cinema Paradiso bbill99, BostonDomah, drmurray, ewillND, JacksDaddy, MCB, PMan
7 Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon DEA, Dillon1998, Final_Flanner, FONToKNOW, Francisco Brothers, JacksDaddy, Spiral_Stairs
7 Graduate, the Denver Jim, drmurray, Fantom, FourLeafDomer, JacksDaddy, Khaddafi, Special_K, Oldomer
7 Great Escape, the ewillND, FONToKNOW, FourLeafDomer, GMatous, PeteatND, PUgrad NDfan, shadyirish
7 Heat banshee, FONToKNOW, gmurphy, irishvol, NDFoil, PMan, Trosa
7 Hoosiers Domer73, ewillND, FourLeafDomer, Khaddafi, Mike Embrey, Mr. Natural, tbsone
7 Old School DEA, irishvol, NDEE01, PUgrad NDfan, rknsaw, SoCaliDomer, Special_K
7 Quiet Man, the El Kabong, Fantom, irishtattoo, Khaddafi, Mickey, NDoggie78, scal_irish
7 Sting, the drmurray, ewillND, FourLeafDomer, gmurphy, JacksDaddy, Mickey, PUgrad NDfan

6 Best in Show banshee, DEA, Domer25, Domer73, irishvol, lbbeachrat
6 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Denver Jim, drmurray, ewillND, Fantom, RJD, shadyirish
6 Clerks Dillon1998, El Kabong, Final_Flanner, irishvol, PUgrad NDfan, tbsone
6 Fish Called Wanda, A DEA, Domer73, El Kabong, ewillND, Fantom, Mr. Natural
6 Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the 47oft, Denver Jim, Irishjoeinnc, PMan, SoCaliDomer, Special_K
6 Hoop Dreams BostonDomah, ewillND, Final_Flanner, FOFM, Francisco Brothers, rknsaw
6 Life is Beautiful DEA, Fantom, FourLeafDomer, MCB, PMan, shamrock
6 Searching for Bobby Fisher Brandywells, ewillND, Final_Flanner, GMatous, JacksDaddy, SoCaliDomer
6 Silence of the Lambs, the Denver Jim, FourLeafDomer, lbbeachrat, NDEE01, NDoggie78, PeteatND
6 Super Troopers DEA, Final_Flanner, irishvol, NDEE01, PUgrad NDfan, Spiral_Stairs
6 Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the Buddy Jeans, Denver Jim, hobbs, Irishjoeinnc, Mr. Natural, Rallying Son
6 Unforgiven Fantom, JPH, minister, NDoggie78, Nitschke, PMan
6 Waiting for Guffman Domer25, Domer73, Fantom, Final_Flanner, FOFM, shamrock
6 Waking Ned Devine drmurray, ewillND, Fantom, gmurphy, NDoggie78, shamrock

5 Breaking Away Domer73, ewillND, JPH, Mr. Natural, shamrock
5 Bull Durham banshee, Dillon1998, ewillND, RJD, shamrock
5 Cool Hand Luke DEA, Fantom, Nitschke, RJD, shadyirish
5 Deer Hunter, the Francisco Brothers, Khaddafi, lbbeachrat, shadyirish, Spiral_Stairs
5 Fight Club BostonDomah, FONToKNOW, Francisco Brothers, MCB, tbsone
5 Good Will Hunting gmurphy, Irish96, MCB, NDoggie78, scal_irish
5 Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels BostonDomah, FONToKNOW, Francisco Brothers, Jameson, Trosa
5 Marathon Man, the 47oft, Fantom, FourLeafDomer, JacksDaddy, Khaddafi
5 Meet the Parents bbill99, Domer25, irishgambino, irishvol, SoCaliDomer
5 Mulholland Drive bbill99, Fantom, socalnd, Spiral_Stairs, Trosa
5 Natural, the Dillon1998, FourLeafDomer, MCB, Mike Embrey, tbsone, Oldomer
5 O Brother, Where Art Thou? banshee, NDoggie78, PMan, rknsaw, shamrock
5 Patton Dillon1998, drmurray, FONToKNOW, Irish96, shadyirish, Oldomer
5 Rear Window Dillon1998, Final_Flanner, Khaddafi, Mickey, shadyirish
5 Requiem for a Dream Angel, BostonDomah, Buddy Jeans, Francisco Brothers, Marine Domer
5 Rocky Dillon1998, irishvol, Mike Embrey, Mr. Natural, NDEE01
5 Rounders BostonDomah, ewillND, Final_Flanner, irishvol, Trosa
5 Royal Tennenbaums, the Francisco Brothers, gmurphy, Irishted, shamrock, SoCaliDomer
5 Run Lola Run DEA, Domer25, Final_Flanner, FONToKNOW, shamrock
5 Schindler's List irishvol, JacksDaddy, Khaddafi, Mike Embrey, Nitschke
5 Shrek DEA, drmurray, gmurphy, irishvol, NDoggie78
5 Terminator, the 47oft, Khaddafi, NDEE01, NDoggie78, PeteatND

4 After Hours FOFM, Francisco Brothers, socalnd, Special_K
4 Almost Famous GMatous, MCB, Rallying Son, socalnd
4 Amelie BostonDomah, DEA, FOFM, MCB
4 Big Chill, the 47oft, Domer73, drmurray, irishtattoo
4 Blade Runner Khaddafi, lbbeachrat, NDEE01, Trosa
4 Blue Velvet bbill99, Brandywells, Francisco Brothers, Spiral_Stairs
4 Body Heat Domer73, FourLeafDomer, hobbs, Rallying Son
4 Bronx Tale, a Brandywells, Irish96, minister, Mr. Natural
4 Diner FourLeafDomer, MCB, mkovac, shamrock
4 Do the Right Thing FOFM, Khaddafi, minister, Nitschke
4 Dumb and Dumber DEA, Dillon1998, irishvol, SoCaliDomer
4 Few Good Men, a gmurphy, Khaddafi, NDoggie78, shamrock
4 Four Weddings and a Funeral irishtattoo, NDFoil, NDoggie78, Special_K
4 Frailty DEA, Francisco Brothers, PeteatND, PUgrad NDfan
4 Game, the 47oft, Domer25, Final_Flanner, rknsaw
4 Glengarry Glen Ross Denver Jim, Domer73, Jameson, Special_K
4 House of Games drmurray, FOFM, Francisco Brothers, Mr. Natural
4 L.A. Story Domer73, El Kabong, Final_Flanner, gmurphy
4 Manchurian Candidate, the banshee, Denver Jim, FONToKNOW, Khaddafi
4 Miller's Crossing bbill99, Francisco Brothers, Irishted, Nitschke
4 No Way Out DEA, GMatous, NDFoil, Rallying Son
4 Ordinary People Angel, irishtattoo, Nitschke, rknsaw
4 Professional, the BostonDomah, Buddy Jeans, Mr. Natural, Spiral_Stairs
4 Scarface irishvol, minister, PMan, rknsaw
4 Shakespeare in Love FourLeafDomer, gmurphy, Mike Embrey, Trosa
4 Sixth Sense, the banshee, DEA, Domer25, drmurray
4 Sleeper drmurray, Khaddafi, RJD, shamrock
4 Sling Blade irishgambino, JacksDaddy, MCB, Nitschke
4 Taxi Driver bbill99, Khaddafi, mkovac, Nitschke
4 To Kill a Mockingbird Angel, Dillon1998, Khaddafi, Mr. Natural
4 Verdict, the Dillon1998, ewillND, GMatous, Mr. Natural
4 What About Bob? 47oft, banshee, irishvol, Mr. Natural
4 Zero Effect, the Dillon1998, JacksDaddy, Ohio Domer, Special_K

3 African Queen, the Angel, Fantom, Irishjoeinnc
3 Aliens Dillon1998, JacksDaddy, NDEE01
3 American Psycho bbill99, MCB, PeteatND
3 Apollo 13 47oft, El Kabong, SoCaliDomer
3 Babe banshee, FOFM, JacksDaddy
3 Being John Malkovich Buddy Jeans, Mickey, Trosa
3 Being There FONToKNOW, FourLeafDomer, Francisco Brothers, Oldomer
3 Big Trouble in Little China Buddy Jeans, Irishted, Special_K
3 Bridge on the River Kwai, the Denver Jim, FourLeafDomer, shadyirish
3 Bullets Over Broadway Domer73, ewillND, Mickey
3 Chariots of Fire Domer73, JacksDaddy, JPH
3 Christmas Story, a ewillND, Mr. Natural, rknsaw
3 Clockwork Orange, A Domer73, REM, shadyirish
3 Conversation, the Jameson, Khaddafi, Rallying Son
3 Dazed and Confused Dillon1998, irishvol, minister
3 Dead Again FOFM, Francisco Brothers, Jameson
3 Eyes Wide Shut bbill99, rknsaw, socalnd
3 Fast Times at Ridgemont High Mr. Natural, NDEE01, Special_K
3 Ferris Bueller's Day Off Dillon1998, ewillND, irishgambino
3 Fletch El Kabong, Irish96, lbbeachrat
3 French Connection, the BostonDomah, Irishted, Khaddafi
3 Gangs of New York Fantom, SoCaliDomer, Spiral_Stairs
3 Gods Must Be Crazy, The minister, Rallying Son, REM
3 Guns of Navarone, the GMatous, Khaddafi, PMan, Oldomer
3 Hard Day's Night, A 47oft, REM, RJD
3 Hunt for Red October, the DEA, FONToKNOW, NDFoil
3 It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World DEA, drmurray, hobbs
3 Kelly's Heroes irishgambino, PMan, RJD
3 Life of Brian BostonDomah, El Kabong, shamrock
3 Lone Star Brandywells, Rallying Son, REM
3 Longest Day, the drmurray, Glass, irishgambino
3 M*A*S*H Denver Jim, drmurray, Fantom
3 Major League DEA, Glass, irishvol
3 Mission, the Final_Flanner, FourLeafDomer, NDFoil
3 Mister Roberts Brandywells, Fantom, FourLeafDomer
3 Parenthood GMatous, Rallying Son, shamrock
3 Passion of the Christ, the bbill99, NDEE01, SoCaliDomer
3 Platoon PMan, rknsaw, tbsone
3 Right Stuff, the Irishted, PeteatND, Rallying Son
3 Ring, the DEA, Denver Jim, NDEE01
3 Road to Perdition BostonDomah, Domer25, SoCaliDomer
3 Road Warrior, the FOFM, lbbeachrat, Mike Embrey
3 Sandlot, the PeteatND, rknsaw, Spiral_Stairs
3 Scrooged banshee, bbill99, Mr. Natural
3 Seven Samurai, the BostonDomah, Mr. Natural, Rallying Son
3 Sleepers Domer25, Glass, minister
3 Straight Story, the Domer25, Francisco Brothers, JPH
3 Three Days of the Condor 47oft, Domer73, Mr. Natural
3 Virgin Suicides, the Angel, Special_K, Trosa
3 Wall Street FONToKNOW, irishvol, Trosa
3 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory banshee, MCB, SoCaliDomer
3 Wonder Boys Brandywells, Jameson, minister

2 Aguirre: the Wrath of God 47oft, BostonDomah
2 Alien minister, NDoggie78
2 All About Eve hobbs, scal_irish
2 All That Jazz socalnd, Special_K
2 American Movie BostonDomah, FOFM
2 American Splendor Glass, Spiral_Stairs
2 Amores Perros BostonDomah, Spiral_Stairs
2 Andre Rublev Rallying Son, The Shrubberer
2 As Good As It Gets gmurphy, MCB
2 Babette's Feast FONToKNOW, Rallying Son
2 Bad News Bears, the GMatous, Mr. Natural
2 Bad Seed, the Buddy Jeans, Irishjoeinnc
2 Barton Fink bbill99, Francisco Brothers
2 Basquiat FOFM, Spiral_Stairs
2 Batman gmurphy, NDEE01
2 Before Sunrise Dillon1998, Rallying Son
2 Big Night ewillND, PMan
2 Black Cat White Cat Special_K, The Shrubberer
2 Blackhawk Down NDoggie78, SoCaliDomer
2 Bonnie and Clyde Fantom, RJD
2 Boondock Saints minister, Trosa
2 Brazil Jameson, Trosa
2 Breaking the Waves Rallying Son, REM
2 Brian's Song banshee, hobbs
2 Brothers McMullen, the rknsaw, Trosa
2 Chicken Run FONToKNOW, Spiral_Stairs
2 Clear and Present Danger bbill99, PeteatND
2 Crimson Tide NDFoil, PeteatND
2 Dead Presidents bbill99, minister
2 Dirty Dozen, the 47oft, RJD
2 Eight Men Out ewillND, irishvol
2 El Mariachi Spiral_Stairs, Trosa
2 Election banshee, Brandywells
2 Endless Summer, the Domer25, RJD
2 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Domer25, Trosa
2 Fever Pitch Mickey, Trosa
2 Finding Forrester Brandywells, GMatous
2 Five Easy Pieces Denver Jim, mkovac
2 Flirting With Disaster FOFM, Rallying Son
2 Forrest Gump DEA, Irish96
2 Freshman, the Domer73, ewillND
2 Gandhi Fantom, FONToKNOW
2 Gaslight ewillND, hobbs
2 Gattica Marine Domer, socalnd
2 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner FONToKNOW, Marine Domer
2 Hearts of Darkness FOFM, socalnd
2 Heathers banshee, DEA
2 High Fidelity Dillon1998, socalnd
2 Hope and Glory ewillND, JPH
2 Ideal Husband, an ewillND, MCB
2 Identity banshee, PUgrad NDfan
2 In America Final_Flanner, FOFM
2 Iron Giant, the Dillon1998, socalnd
2 Jaws JacksDaddy, Mike Embrey
2 King of New York, the MCB, Trosa
2 King of the Hill FOFM, Rallying Son
2 Knute Rockne, All-American NDFoil, RJD
2 Little Big Man Fantom, REM
2 Local Hero Francisco Brothers, irishtattoo
2 Love and Death JacksDaddy, shamrock
2 M BostonDomah, The Shrubberer
2 Man For All Seasons, a 47oft, Irishted
2 McCabe and Mrs. Miller Domer73, Special_K
2 Mean Streets 47oft, bbill99
2 Memphis Belle minister, PeteatND
2 Midnight Run Domer25, NDFoil
2 Moonstruck Jameson, scal_irish
2 Nashville Domer73, Special_K
2 North by Northwest Fantom, shadyirish
2 Omen, the FOFM, NDEE01
2 On Golden Pond Angel, FourLeafDomer
2 Once Upon a Time in America Rallying Son, REM
2 Outlaw Josey Wales, the irishtattoo, Nitschke
2 Philadelphia lbbeachrat, tbsone
2 Philadelphia Story, the Angel, scal_irish
2 Pi FONToKNOW, Spiral_Stairs
2 Pianist, the Final_Flanner, SoCaliDomer
2 Pitch Black minister, NDoggie78
2 Planes, Trains and Automobiles banshee, lbbeachrat
2 Raging Bull Khaddafi, RJD
2 Real Genius Dillon1998, Spiral_Stairs
2 Rififi BostonDomah, The Shrubberer
2 Say Anything banshee, Buddy Jeans
2 Scent of a Woman Fantom, Irish96
2 Simple Plan, a Domer73, minister
2 Singin' in the Rain Fantom, Special_K
2 Sirens Rallying Son, tbsone
2 Some Like it Hot PMan, scal_irish
2 Spaceballs banshee, irishvol
2 Spanish Prisoner, the BostonDomah, FONToKNOW
2 Stalag 17 Denver Jim, Mr. Natural
2 State of Grace MCB, Trosa
2 Three Kings Final_Flanner, Rallying Son
2 To Have and Have Not Buddy Jeans, irishtattoo
2 To Live and Die in LA Special_K, Trosa
2 Toy Story Mr. Natural, SoCaliDomer
2 Twelve Angry Men Dillon1998, Mickey
2 Vertigo Irishted, Khaddafi
2 When We Were Kings Brandywells, Domer25
2 Wings of Desire FOFM, JacksDaddy
2 Woman of the Year Angel, irishtattoo
2 Y Tu Mama También Jameson, Legacy
2 Zelig FOFM, Jameson

1 10 Things I Hate About You MCB
1 1,000,000 Years BC mkovac
1 400 Blows, the Spiral_Stairs
1 About a Boy Final_Flanner
1 Ace in the Hole 47oft
1 Adam's Rib irishtattoo
1 Aladdin rknsaw
1 Alive PeteatND
1 All the President's Men JacksDaddy
1 All the Real Girls Special_K
1 Amarcord The Shrubberer
1 Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz 47oft
1 At Close Range Domer73
1 Awakenings rknsaw
1 Back to the Future NDEE01
1 Bad Day at Black Rock Irishjoeinnc
1 Ball of Fire socalnd
1 Band Wagon, the socalnd
1 Barbarella mkovac
1 Barcelona shamrock
1 Battle at Firebase Gloria PeteatND
1 Beautiful Thing lbbeachrat
1 Belle époque Legacy
1 Ben Hur PMan
1 Best Years of Our Lives, the hobbs
1 Big Deal on Madonna Street The Shrubberer
1 Black Narcissus socalnd
1 Black Robe JPH
1 Blind Date banshee
1 Bloody Sunday Spiral_Stairs
1 Blow Dry Legacy
1 Boogie Nights BostonDomah
1 Boot, Das JPH
1 Bounty, the Denver Jim
1 Bram Stoker's Dracula Denver Jim
1 Breaker Morant Brandywells
1 Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo Spiral_Stairs
1 Breathless Spiral_Stairs
1 Brewster's Millions Buddy Jeans
1 Bridge Too Far, a PMan
1 Bringing Up Baby 47oft
1 Buffalo 66 Spiral_Stairs
1 Cable Guy, the Domer25
1 Caine Mutiny, the FourLeafDomer
1 Car Wash 47oft
1 Carousel Irishjoeinnc
1 Chicago Fantom
1 Christmas Carol, A scal_irish
1 Cidade de Deus minister
1 Class GMatous
1 Cleopatra hobbs
1 Conan the Barbarian NDEE01
1 Contempt Special_K
1 Count of Monte Cristo, the PUgrad NDfan
1 Crossing Guard, the rknsaw
1 Damn Yankees! 47oft
1 Dark City Irishted
1 Deep Cover FOFM
1 Delicatessan The Shrubberer
1 Diabolique hobbs
1 Diggstown Domer73
1 Doctor Zhivago drmurray
1 Dogs of War, the FOFM
1 Empire of the Sun Final_Flanner
1 Englishman Who Went Up a Hill... NDoggie78
1 Escape from Alcatraz Denver Jim
1 Everlasting Piece, An Trosa
1 Family Man GMatous
1 Fatal Attraction NDFoil
1 Father of the Bride gmurphy
1 Field of Dreams Dillon1998
1 Finding Nemo irishvol
1 Fish that Saved Pittsburgh, the tbsone
1 Flirt FONToKNOW
1 Fog of War, the SoCaliDomer
1 Four Days in September FONToKNOW
1 From Russia With Love mkovac
1 From the Earth to the Moon (HBO) NDoggie78
1 Full Monty, the Buddy Jeans
1 Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Irishjoeinnc
1 Galaxy Quest PeteatND
1 Gettysburg irishvol
1 Ghengis Blues JPH
1 Ghost and Mrs. Muir, the socalnd
1 Giant Brandywells
1 Goin' South Fantom
1 Gone With the Wind Irishjoeinnc
1 Grease ewillND
1 Great Race, the scal_irish
1 Grifters, the rknsaw
1 Gung Ho Francisco Brothers
1 Half Baked Domer25
1 Harvey REM
1 Haunting, the (original) 47oft
1 Hidden Fortress, the The Shrubberer
1 High and the Mighty, the Irishjoeinnc
1 Highlander Trosa
1 His Girl Friday Irishted
1 Homicide FOFM
1 Hopscotch scal_irish
1 Horse Soldiers RJD
1 Ice Age irishvol
1 In the Name of the Father Spiral_Stairs
1 Intolerable Cruelty shamrock
1 Italian Job, the FONToKNOW
1 Jackie Brown Buddy Jeans
1 Jagged Edge GMatous
1 Jason and the Argonauts 47oft
1 Jean de Florette / Manon of the Springs The Shrubberer
1 Jeremiah Johnson REM
1 Jesus Christ Superstar Spiral_Stairs
1 JFK JacksDaddy
1 Johnny Stechino drmurray
1 Jules et Jim Special_K
1 Kaspar Hauser The Shrubberer
1 Kentucky Fried Movie Buddy Jeans
1 Killers, the The Shrubberer
1 King Kong (original) drmurray
1 Krays, the rknsaw
1 Kung Pow Domer25
1 La Femme Nikita shamrock
1 La Strada The Shrubberer
1 Last Detail, the The Shrubberer
1 Last Emperor, the hobbs
1 Last Waltz, the Irishted
1 Laura socalnd
1 Legends of the Fall tbsone
1 Life 47oft
1 Life and Death of Colonel Blimp socalnd
1 Lilies of the Field FourLeafDomer
1 Long Good Friday, the The Shrubberer
1 Long Riders, the RJD
1 Lost in Translation mkovac
1 Loved One, the The Shrubberer
1 Mac Francisco Brothers
1 Magnificent Seven, the RJD
1 Maltese Falcon, the shadyirish
1 Man Who Knew Too Little, the PUgrad NDfan
1 Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, the The Shrubberer
1 Man With Two Brains, the shamrock
1 Max Dugan Returns Domer25
1 McClintock irishtattoo
1 Metropolitan shamrock
1 Minus Man, the Spiral_Stairs
1 Mixed Nuts Domer73
1 Mosquito Coast, the minister
1 Mostro, Il PMan
1 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Dillon1998
1 Narc Trosa
1 Near Dark Irishted
1 New York (documentary) Brandywells
1 Night at the Opera, A Mickey
1 Night of the Hunter, the hobbs
1 Noises Off Buddy Jeans
1 Notting Hill irishtattoo
1 Old Man and the Sea Irishjoeinnc
1 On the Edge Domer73
1 On the Waterfront Khaddafi
1 Once Upon a Time in the West RJD
1 One Hour Photo SoCaliDomer
1 Open Range PeteatND
1 Organizer, the 47oft
1 Paint Your Wagon Irishjoeinnc
1 Parent Trap, the GMatous
1 Pawnbroker, the Khaddafi
1 Payback Mickey
1 PCU banshee
1 Pelle the Conqueror FONToKNOW
1 Personal Best Domer73
1 Presumed Innocent GMatous
1 " Prizzi's Honor rknsaw
1 Producers, the Irishjoeinnc
1 Promises rknsaw
1 Public Enemy bbill99
1 Quiz Show shamrock
1 Random Harvest socalnd
1 Rebecca shadyirish
1 Red River hobbs
1 Red Shoes, the socalnd
1 Ref, the PUgrad NDfan
1 Remains of the Day, the rknsaw
1 Return From the Ashes socalnd
1 Road Home, the JPH
1 Rob Roy NDoggie78
1 Rocco and his Brothers The Shrubberer
1 Rocky Horror Picture Show, the irishgambino
1 Rolling Thunder Denver Jim
1 Room With a View, A PMan
1 Rush minister
1 Ruthless People 47oft
1 Salton Sea, the Ohio Domer
1 Samurai, the Buddy Jeans
1 Sand Pebbles, the Domer73
1 Sans Soleil socalnd
1 Saving Silverman MCB
1 Secret of Roan Inish scal_irish
1 Seems Like Old Times rknsaw
1 Sense and Sensibility MCB
1 Serpico minister
1 Seven Days in May FONToKNOW
1 Seventh Seal, the The Shrubberer
1 Shadow of a Doubt hobbs
1 Shall We Dance Legacy
1 Shallow Grave Legacy
1 Shawshank Redemption CincySubDomer
1 Shop on Main Street, the The Shrubberer
1 Shot in the Dark, A Mickey
1 Silverado Mickey
1 Simon Birch 47oft
1 Slapshot irishvol
1 Sleepy Hollow MCB
1 Sleuth Mickey
1 Some Came Running hobbs
1 Spellbound (the documentary) Final_Flanner
1 Spoorloos (the Vanishing) BostonDomah
1 Spy Kids drmurray
1 Stagecoach Buddy Jeans
1 Stardust Memories mkovac
1 Strangers on a Train shadyirish
1 Strictly Ballroom ewillND
1 Suicide Kings minister
1 Take the Money and Run Mickey
1 Tao of Steve, the MCB
1 They Died With Their Boots On RJD
1 Thief of Baghdad 47oft
1 Third Man, the Khaddafi
1 Time of Their Lives, the RJD
1 Titanic RJD
1 To Catch a Thief irishtattoo
1 Trading Places RJD
1 Trial at Nuremberg Irishjoeinnc
1 Trust Special_K
1 Truth or Consequences, N.M. Trosa
1 Twelve O'Clock High Mickey
1 Umbrellas of Cherbourg Special_K
1 Wages of Fear (original) The Shrubberer
1 Wait Until Dark ewillND
1 Way of the Gun, the minister
1 West Side Story Irishjoeinnc
1 What's Eating Gilbert Grape MCB
1 Wheeler Dealers, the irishtattoo
1 Where the Heart Is irishgambino
1 White Heat bbill99
1 White Hunter, Black Heart irishtattoo
1 Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 47oft
1 Wild at Heart bbill99
1 Wild Bunch, the Denver Jim
1 Without Limits Domer73
1 Witness for the Prosecution hobbs
1 Wolfen Mr. Natural
1 Women on the Verge... Legacy
1 Women, the hobbs
1 Woodstock REM
1 World According to Garp, the FONToKNOW
1 Wuthering Heights Mr. Natural
1 Year of Living Dangerously, the lbbeachrat
1 Yi Yi Spiral_Stairs
1 You Can Count on Me Brandywells
1 Young Lions, the irishtattoo
1 Z FONToKNOW

Back Room Music Reviews

the 2006 Back Room Classical Music Poll

Top Mozart:
W.A. Mozart
(1) Requiem Mass (K.626) (BejingIrish, the hiberian, SU3xSU2xU1, ndalberta, CMC Irish, IrishPreacher, NDL89, Wetbird, NDDL99) 9 votes
(2) Eine Kleine Nachtmusik/Serenade for Strings in G Major(K.525) (EddieAnderson, irishjoeinc, BejingIrish, ugoirish, Sprack, NDL99, FONToKNOW) 7 votes
(3) Don Giovanni (K.527) (NDDL99, Wetbird, DFW, SU3xSU2xU1, the hiberian, BejingIrish, Atticus) 7 votes
(4) Le Nozze di Figaro (K.492) (NDDL99, DFW, NDL89, SU3xSU2xU1, Atticus, EddieAnderson) 6 votes
(4) Symphony No. 40 in G minor ( K.550) (Sprack, CMC Irish, ndalberta, ugoirish, SU3xSU2xU1, Atticus) 6 votes
(4) Clarinet Concerto in A Major (K. 622) (mmb, EddieAnderson, ndalberta, Sprack, NDDL99, FONToKNOW) 6 votes
  • Honorable Mention
    • Symphony No. 41 in C Major (K.551) (CMC Irish, ugoirish, SU3xSU2xU1, the hiberian, mmb) 5 votes
    • Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major (K.216) (Webird, Sprack, the hiberian) 3 votes
    • Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major (K.219 ) (Wetbird, Sprack, ndalberta) 3 votes
    • Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor (K.460) (the hiberian, mmb, FONToKNOW) 3 votes
    • Cosi fan Tutte (K.588) (DFW, BejingIrish, FONToKNOW) 3 votes
    • Bassoon Concerto in B Flat Major ( K.191) (EddieAnderson, FONToKNOW) 2 votes
    • Symphony No. 29 in A Major (K.201) (BejingIrish, FONToKNOW) 2 votes
    • Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major (K.467) (Wetbird, NDL89) 2 votes
    • Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major (K.503 ) (CMC Irish, Atticus) 2 votes
    • Symphony No. 39 in E flat Major (K.543) (ndalberta, ugoirish) 2 votes
    • Quintet for Clarinet & Strings in A Major (K.581) (BejingIrish,mmb) 2 votes
    • Die Zauberfloete (K.620) (DFW, CMC Irish) 2 votes
    • The Gran Partita (K.361) (EddieAnderson) 1 vote
    • Horn Concerto In E Flat Major (K.417) (Atticus) 1 vote
    • Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor (K.491) (NDL89) 1 vote
    • Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major (K.453) (NDL89) 1 vote
Top instrumental:

(symphonic, chamber, solo) of the Classical period

Ludwig von Beethoven
(1) Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E flat Major, Opus 55 (Sprack, DFW, SU3xSU2xU1, BejingIrish, EddieAnderson, mmb) 6 votes
(2) Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92 (Sprack, ugoirish, SU3xSU2xU1, mmb, FONToKNOW) 5 votes
(3) Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Opus 13 (NDDL99, Wetbird, CMC Irish, EddieAnderson) 4 votes
(4) Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik/Serenade for Strings in G Major (K.525) (NDDL99, EddieAnderson, Irishjoeinc) 3 votes
(4) Haydn, Symphony No. 94 in G Major (NDDL99, CMC Irish, EddieAnderson) 3 votes
(4) Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Opus 68 (Atticus, mmb, FONToKNOW) 3 votes
(7) Handel, Music for the Royal Fireworks, (C-3P0, FONToKNOW) 2 votes
(7) Mozart, Symphony No. 40 in G minor (K.550) (CMC Irish, ndalberta) 2 votes
(7) Haydn, String Quartet No.62 In C Major (ndalberta, Atticus) 2 votes
(7) Haydn, Symphony No. 104 in D Major (ndalberta, FONToKNOW) 2 votes
(7) Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Opus 27, no. 2 (DFW, Atticus) 2 votes
(7) Beethoven, Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Opus 21 (Wetbird, FONToKNOW) 2 votes
(7) Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Opus 67 (Sprack, BejingIrish) 2 votes
(7) Beethoven, Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Opus 93 (SU3xSU2xU1, mmb) 2 votes
(7) Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Opus 73 (ugoirish, BejingIrish) 2 votes
  • Honorable Mention
    • Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major ( K.216) (Sprack) 1 vote
    • Mozart, 12 Variations for Piano ("Ah, Vous Dirai-je Maman") (K.265) (NDDL99) 1 vote
    • Mozart, Symphony No. 39 in E flat Major (K.543) (ndalberta)
    • Mozart, Symphony No. 41 in C Major ( K.551) (CMC Irish) 1 vote
    • Mozart, Clarinet Concerto in A Major (K.622) (NDDL99) 1 vote
    • Beethoven, String Quartets 1-6, Opus 18, (ndalberta) 1 vote
    • Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 13 in E flat Major, Opus 27, No. 1 (Wetbird) 1 vote
    • Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Opus 57 (Atticus) 1 vote
    • Beethoven, Violin Concerto in D major, Opus 61 (ugoirish) 1 vote
    • Beethoven, String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Opus 131 (BejingIrish) 1 vote
    • Haydn, Concerto for Trumpet in E flat Major (CMC Irish) 1 vote
    • C.P.E. Bach, Concerto in G Major for Organ, Strings and Continuo (Wetbird) 1 vote
    • C.P.E. Bach, Concerto in F Major for Two Pianos and Orchestra (Wetbird) 1 vote

Mr. Natural's Back Room Music Polls

Backroom Top 10 of 2008

Methodology: I took everyone’s lists and assigned points in inverse order of ranking: if you listed 10 albums, your first one got 10 points and your 10th one got one point. Then I went back and gave an extra five points for each first place listing. I have the idea that an album should be rewarded a little bit more for being someone’s very favorite one.

I broke the list into three parts. First, the discs that got three or more votes (36 in all). Second, the discs that got exactly two votes (31). If you find your disc on this second list, look on the individual lists and find your buddy. See what else that person listed. I have found a lot of good music by this tried-and-true method. On the two-vote list are some perennial Back Room favorites who, it must be said, are suffering a bit of a slump: Lucinda Williams, Ryan Adams, Kanye West, Coldplay… how the mighty have fallen! And, perhaps passing them on the way up, rough-and-ready alt country outfit the Surreal McCoys. The Surreal McCoys are gonna be dead, and you're gonna be telling people "I been listening to them for years!" Third, the discs with only one vote. This is a long list (120 records!!!), and necessarily will include some very good records, even ones with only one point.

Thanks for your participation and I hope you enjoy reading the results. I appreciate everyone’s contributions and always find some good new stuff. That’s actually why I started doing this, and why it continues.

Artist, Album, Votes, Points 1. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend, 16 votes, 174 points… Bright, sweet, sunny, cute, fun, happy… is this a litter of golden retriever pups or a rock band? I found it catchy but not much more. Others obviously found more staying power in this outfit.

2. Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound, 12 votes, 156 points… To paraphrase Triumph: “Hey Gaslight Anthem, I liked you better the first time, when you were called John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band”… just kidding, this is good solid working class rock music with a stirring punk influence. Points are deducted in my book, though, for actually quoting Springsteen. Come on, guys, be a little bit more creative.

3. The Black Keys, Attack & Release, 15 votes, 133 points… With this album, they may have topped Rubber Factory or at least come close to that peak. I like the new direction they’re taking with Dangermouse (I assume it’s Dangermouse’s influence with the keyboards on “Oceans and Streams” and “Until He Breaks”). Auerbach sings like a very old soul and Carney’s drumming will break your back.

4. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive, 16 votes, 132 points… Perennial Back Room favorites remain in the Top 5 with latest album full of songs about partying and partying… at least, I assume that’s what it’s about. “I still don’t get it”.

5. Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago, 8 votes, 123 points… this topped several lists. Apparently, it’s the creation of a sensitive guy with a beard who spent the winter in a snowbound cabin in Wisconsin and it sounds like… a sensitive guy with a beard who spent the winter in a snowbound cabin in Wisconsin (hard to believe Iron & Wine didn’t trademark this schtick already). Seriously, it’s a very affecting record with a singular sound. I read a nice interview with the artist, who acknowledged that, while cathartic and emotionally affecting, this is not territory he is interested in mining over and over. He said his next record may sound like the Jackson 5.

6. Centro-matic/South San Gabriel, Dual Hawks, 8 votes, 123 points… Will Johnson comes close to topping Love You Just the Same and The Carlton Chronicles, the finest releases to date by Centro-matic and South San Gabriel respectively, in the space of one two-disc release. The care put into his recordings and his live shows is nearly anachronistic. One instance of this: listen to the layered vocals on “Quality Strange”.

7. TV On The Radio, Dear Science, 14 votes, 118 points… A terrific record which really folds in the hip-hop influences in unexpected ways and throws in rock elements in unexpected places.

8. Frightened Rabbit, The Midnight Organ Fight, 4 votes, 75 points… This might be the highest votes-to-points ratio in the history of this little old poll. Obviously, those who loved it felt very strongly about it, which makes sense since these folks are not pulling any punches. I think “cathartic” might be the best one-word description.

9. The Raconteurs, Consolers of The Lonely, 7 votes, 64 points… There’s a real Rod Stewart/Ronnie Wood feel to this record, a nice complement to the Plant/Page stylings of last year’s White Stripes offering.

10. Sun Kil Moon, April, 5 votes, 55 points… There is some beautiful music on here, and some music that seems to really drag. Clearly there’s enough of the beautiful to land it in the Top 10.

11. Drive-by Truckers, Brighter than Creation's Dark, 9, 53

12. The Walkmen, You & Me, 7, 53

13. Blitzen Trapper, Furr, 5, 52

14. R.E.M., Accelerate, 8, 51

15. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges, 8, 48

16. No Age, Nouns, 4, 45

17. Robert Pollard, Robert Pollard Is Off To Business, 3, 43

18. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes, 5, 37

19. Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer, 5, 36

20. Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs, 2, 35

21. Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal, 5, 33

22. The Manhattan Love Suicides, Burnt Out Landscapes, 2, 31

23. Old 97s, Blame it on Gravity, 5, 29

24. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular, 4, 28

25. Lil Wayne, Carter III, 3, 28

26. Metallica, Death Magnetic, 3, 28

27. The Whigs, Mission Control, 4, 26

28. Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line, 3, 26

29. Beck, Modern Guilt, 4, 24

30. David Byrne and Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, 3, 24

31. Black Mountain, In The Future, 3, 22

32. She & Him, Volume 1, 4, 20

33. The Dodos, Visiter, 3, 18

34. Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs, 3, 12

35. Santogold, Santogold, 3, 10

36. Tift Merritt, Another Country, 3, 8

Two-vote discs:

37. The Henry Clay People, For Cheap or For Free, 2, 41

38. Boston Spaceships, Brown Submarine, 2, 26

39. Circus Devils, Ataxia, 2, 26

40. Deerhunter, Microcastle, 2, 25

41. Julie Ocean, Long Gone and Nearly There, 2, 24

42. Q Tip, The Renaissance, 2, 22

43. The Cool Kids, Bake Sale, 2, 20

44. Mates of State, Re-Arrange Us, 2, 19

45. Carolina Liar, Coming to Terms, 2, 18

46. Matthew Ryan, Vs. The Silver State, 2, 18

47. Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak, 2, 17

48. Lucinda Williams, Little Honey, 2, 16

49. Mogwai, The Hawk Is Howling, 2, 15

50. Robert Pollard, Superman was a Rocker, 2, 15

51. Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell, 2, 15

52. Nine Inch Nails, The Slip, 2, 14

53. Ryan Adams, Cardinology, 2, 14

54. Portishead, Third, 2, 13

55. Surreal McCoys, The Bottle & The Gun, 2, 13

56. Coldplay, Viva la Vida, 2, 12

57. Flogging Molly, Float, 2, 12

58. Foals, Antidotes, 2, 11

59. Hayes Carll, Trouble in Mind, 2, 11

60. The Broken West, Now or Heaven, 2, 11

61. The Kooks, Konk, 2, 11

62. El Guincho, Alegranza, 2, 8

63. Oxford Collapse, Bits, 2, 8

64. Mudcrutch, Mudcrutch, 2, 5

65. The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing, 2, 5

66. Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles, Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles, 2, 10

67. Los Campesinos!, Hold on Now Youngster..., 2, 9

One-vote wonders:

68. Fucked Up, The Chemistry of Common Life, 1, 25

69. Santogold/Diplo, Top Ranking, 1, 25

70. Tallest Man on Earth, Shallow Grave, 1, 25

71. The Airborne Toxic Event, The Airborne Toxic Event, 1, 25

72. American Princes, Other People, 1, 22

73. Helio Sequence, Keep Your Eyes Ahead, 1, 22

74. Michael Franti and Spearhead, All Rebel Rockers, 1, 21

75. Sleepercar, West Texas, 1, 21

76. Neil Halstead, Oh Mighty Engine, 1, 20

77. Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust, 1, 19

78. The Dirtbombs, We Have You Surrounded, 1, 19

79. Glasvegas, Glasvegas, 1, 18

80. Chad VanGaalen, Soft Airplane, 1, 17

81. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dig Lazarus Dig, 1, 17

82. The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age of Understatement, 1, 17

83. Dillinger Four, Civil War, 1, 16

84. Low vs Diamond, Low vs Diamond, 1, 16

85. Minisnap, Bounce Around, 1, 16

86. Steve Wynn, Crossing Dragon Bridge, 1, 16

87. The Heavy, Great Vengeance and Furious Fire, 1, 16

88. Various artists, Look Directly Into The Sun: China Pop 2007, 1, 16

89. Chris Knight, Heart of Stone, 1, 15

90. High On Fire, Death is this Communion, 1, 15

91. John Mellencamp, Life Death Love and Freedom, 1, 15

92. Sasha, Invol2ver, 1, 15

93. Supergrass, Diamond Hoo Ha, 1, 15

94. Calexico, Carried to Dust, 1, 14

95. The Shop Assistants, Will Anything Happen, 1, 14

96. Harvey Milk, Life . . . the Best Game In Town, 1, 13

97. Noah and the Whale, Peaceful the World Lays Me Down., 1, 13

98. Lykke Li, Youth Novels, 1, 13

99. Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords, 1, 12

100. Sigur Ros, Icelandic Gibberish, 1, 12

101. Flying Lotus, Los Angeles, 1, 11

102. Sloan, Parallel Play, 1, 11

103. Thievery Corporation, Radio Retaliation, 1, 11

104. I'm Not Jim, , 1, 10

105. Marah, Angels Of Destruction, 1, 10

106. The Mountain Goats, Heretic Pride, 1, 10

107. AC/DC, Black Ice, 1, 9

108. Bonnie Prince Billy, Lie Down in the Light, 1, 9

109. John Digweed, Transistions Vol. 4, 1, 9

110. Ruby Suns, Sea Lion, 1, 9

111. Tanya Morgan, The Bridge EP, 1, 9

112. The Bug, London Zoo, 1, 9

113. beach house, devotion, 1, 8

114. Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours, 1, 8

115. Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard, 1, 8

116. Matt Costa, Unfamiliar Faces, 1, 8

117. Old Crow Medicine Show, Tennessee Pusher, 1, 8

118. Panic at the Disco, Pretty. Odd., 1, 8

119. Primal Scream, Beautiful Future, 1, 8

120. T.I., Paper Trail, 1, 8

121. These Arms are Snakes, Tail Swallower and Dove, 1, 8

122. Times New Viking, Rip it Off, 1, 8

123. Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple, 1, 7

124. Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their heads, 1, 7

125. Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid, Tongues, 1, 7

126. Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul, 1, 7

127. 88 Keys, The Death of Adam, 1, 6

128. Cat Power, Jukebox, 1, 6

129. Dexateens, Lost and Found, 1, 6

130. fuck buttons, street horrrsing, 1, 6 131. Kathleen Edwards, Asking for Flowers, 1, 6

132. Neil Young, Sugar Mountain: Live At Canterbury House 1968, 1, 6

133. The Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust, 1, 6

134. Nine Inch Nails, Ghosts, 1, 6

135. British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music?, 1, 5

136. Crystal Stilts, Alight of Night, 1, 5

137. Empirical, eponymous, 1, 5

138. James, Hey Ma, 1, 5

139. Secret Machines, Secret Machines, 1, 5

140. Martha Wainwright, I Know You're Married But I Have Feelings Too, 1, 5

141. Alkaline Trio, Agony & Irony, 1, 4

142. Ben Nichols, Last Pale Night in the West, 1, 4

143. Brendan Canning, Something for All of Us..., 1, 4

144. Bun B, II Trill, 1, 4

145. crystal castles, crystal castles, 1, 4

146. Matthew Sweet, Sunshine Lies, 1, 4

147. The Weepies, Hideaway, 1, 4

148. Al Green, Lay it Down, 1, 3

149. Counting Crows, Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings, 1, 3

150. Dolly Parton, Backwoods Barbie, 1, 3

151. Girl Talk, Feed the Animals, 1, 3

152. human highway, moody motorcycle, 1, 3

153. Lucksmiths, First Frost, 1, 3

154. Nick Warren, Lima (Global Underground 35), 1, 3

155. Snow Patrol, A Hundred Million Suns, 1, 3

156. The Dandy Warhols, Earth to the Dandy Warhols, 1, 3

157. The Flaming Lips, Christmas on Mars, 1, 3

158. The Magnetic Fields, Distortion, 1, 3

159. The Mars Volta, The Bedlam in Goliath, 1, 3

160. The Virgins, The Virgins, 1, 3

161. Black Milk, Tronic, 1, 2

162. Bloc Party, Intimacy, 1, 2

163. Duffy, Rockferry, 1, 2

164. George Strait, Troubadour, 1, 2

165. Griffin House, Flying Upside Down, 1, 2

166. Headlights, Some Racing Some Stopping, 1, 2

167. James McMurtry, Just Us Kids, 1, 2

168. Kings Of Leon, Only by the Night, 1, 2

169. Mark Kozelek, The Finally LP, 1, 2

170. Rick Ross, Trilla, 1, 2

171. Silver Jews, Lookout Mountain Lookout Sea, 1, 2

172. The Cops, Free Electricity, 1, 2

173. The Matches, A Band In Hope, 1, 2

174. The Surreal McCoys, Let's Make a Love Sandwich: The Surreal McCoys Cover the Best of Bread, 1, 2

175. titus androncius, the airing of grievances, 1, 2

176. 2652, Aerial, 1, 1

177. Adele, 19, 1, 1

178. Belle And Sebastian, The BBC Sessions, 1, 1

179. Butch Walker, Sycamore Meadows, 1, 1

180. Jamie Lidell, Jim, 1, 1

181. Joshua Radin, Simple Times, 1, 1

182. Killers, Day & Age, 1, 1

183. King Khan and the Shrines, The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines, 1, 1

184. little joy, little joy, 1, 1

185. The Bad Plus, Prog, 1, 1

186. The Roots, Rising Down, 1, 1

187. Todd Rungren, Arena, 1, 1

188. The Kills, Midnight Boom, 1, 1

Mr.Natural Centro-Matic/South San Gabriel, Dual Hawks Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs Robert Pollard, Robert Pollard Is Off To Business American Princes, Other People Sleepercar, West Texas The Black Keys, Attack & Release The Dirtbombs, We Have You Surrounded The Henry Clay People, For Cheap or for Free No Age, Nouns Steve Wynn, Crossing Dragon Bridge Circus Devils, Ataxia Boston Spaceships, Brown Submarine The Manhattan Love Suicides, Burnt Out Landscapes Julie Ocean, Long Gone and Nearly There Black Mountain, In The Future Marah, Angels Of Destruction Matthew Ryan, Vs. The Silver State Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark Old 97's, Blame It On Gravity The Raconteurs, Consolers Of The Lonely Mogwai, The Hawk Is Howling Matthew Sweet, Sunshine Lies TV On The Radio, Dear Science Headlights, Some Racing Some Stopping Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal

Cath0de Beck, Modern Guilt TV on the Radio, Dear Science Nine Inch Nails, The Slip MGMT, Oracular Spectacular The Black Keys, Attack and Release David Byrne and Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today The Flaming Lips, Christmas on Mars Lil' Wayne, Tha Carter III Ryan Adams, Cardinology

Irishted The Hold Steady, Stay Positive AC/DC, Black Ice TV on the Radio, Dear Science The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely The Black Keys, Attack and Release Secret Machines, Secret Machines Foals, Antidotes Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Bloc Party, Intimacy King Khan and the Shrines, The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines

RandalGraves Frightened Rabbit, The Midnight Organ Fight Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago Glasvegas, Glasvegas Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dig Lazarus Dig The Heavy, Great Vengeance and Furious Fire Supergrass, Diamond Hoo Ha Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer The Black Keys, Attack and Release The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound R.E.M, Accelerate The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely Black Mountain, In the Future Primal Scream, Beautiful Future Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul The Whigs, Mission Control British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music? Oxford Collapse, Bits Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs The Hold Steady, Stay Positive The Broken West, Now or Heaven

Beer30Light Tallest Man on Earth, Shallow Grave Lil Wayne, Carter III Hold Steady, Stay Positive Chad VanGaalen, Soft Airplane Sun Kil Moon, April Metallica, Death Magnetic TV on the Radio, Dear Science Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak Sigur Ros, Icelandic Gibberish My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges Mogwai, The Hawk is Howling Black Keys, Attack and Release Times New Viking, Rip it Off Cool Kids, Bake Sale Nine Inch Nails, Ghosts Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Bun B, II Trill Girl Talk, Feed the Animals Rick Ross, Trilla 2652, Aerial

Max Fischer Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Calexico, Carried to Dust Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line Sun Kil Moon, April Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer The Hold Steady, Stay Positive TV on the Radio, Dear Science The Walkmen, You & Me Black Keys, Attack & Release Dexateens, Lost and Found My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges Brendan Canning, Something for All of Us... The Whigs, Mission Control Silver Jews, Lookout Mountain Lookout Sea REM, Accelerate

Rocksteady74 Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Frightened Rabbit, The Midnight Organ Fight The Henry Clay People, For Cheap or For Free Helio Sequence, Keep Your Eyes Ahead Michael Franti and Spearhead, All Rebel Rockers Neil Halstead, Oh Mighty Engine Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust The Manhattan Love Suicides, Burnt Out Landscapes TV On the Radio, Dear Science Minisnap, Bounce Around Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound The Shop Assistants, Will Anything Happen Noah and the Whale, Peaceful the World Lays Me Down. Julie Ocean, Long Gone and Nearly There Thievery Corporation, Radio Retaliation Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line The Bug, London Zoo Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles, Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles No Age, Nouns Santogold, Santogold Lucksmiths, First Frost Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell MGMT, Oracular Spectacular

Irishnc12 The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely The Black Keys, Attack & Release My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound TV on the Radio, Dear Science Metallica, Death Magnetic Langhorne Slim, Langhorne Slim and the war eagles David Byrne & Brian Eno, Everything that happens will happen today Black Mountain, In The Future Beck, Modern Guilt

Irishvol The Black Keys, Attack & Release Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely Vampire Weekend , Hold Steady, Stay Positive The Whigs, Mission Control Centro-Matic/South San Gabriel, Dual Hawks Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound Matthew Ryan vs. The Silver State , The Walkmen, You and Me Old 97s, Blame it on Gravity TV on the Radio, Dear Science Drive by Truckers, Brighter than Creations Dark Hayes Carll, Trouble in Mind Al Green, Lay it Down REM, Accelerate Surreal McCoys, The Bottle & The Gun

Slainte Joe Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend The Hold Steady, Stay Positive Centro-matic, Dual Hawks R.E.M., Accelerate The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark The Black Keys, Attack & Release Hayes Carll, Trouble in Mind Blitzen Trapper, Furr The Whigs, Mission Control Flogging Molly, Float Tift Merritt, Another Country Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal The Walkmen, You & Me

Ndlarryj Deerhunter, Microcastle Ruby Suns, Sea Lion The Walkmen, You & Me Foals, Antidotes Los Campesinos!, Hold on Now Youngster... Crystal Stilts, Alight of Night El Guincho, Alegranza Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes TVOTR, Dear Science

Officer Tim McCarthy Various artists, Look Directly Into The Sun: China Pop 2007 The Black Keys, Attack and Release Tanya Morgan, The Bridge EP Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid, Tongues 88 Keys, The Death of Adam Empirical, eponymous Portishead, Third Dolly Parton, Backwoods Barbie George Strait, Troubadour The Bad Plus, Prog

Naughman Santogold/Diplo, Top Ranking Frightened Rabbit, The Midnight Organ Fight TV on the Radio, Dear Science Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Q Tip, The Renaissance The Walkmen, You & Me The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound The Cool Kids, The Bake Sale EP and That's Stupid EP The Hold Steady, Stay Positive Flying Lotus, Los Angeles Blitzen Trapper, Furr Portishead, Third The Dodos, Visiter Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple The Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust Beck, Modern Guilt El Guincho, Alegranza The Black Keys, Attack and Release Black Milk, Tronic Jamie Lidell, Jim

Czarobski Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound David Byrne and Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes MGMT, Oracular Spectacular Blitzen Trapper, Furr Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords Lucinda Williams, Little Honey The Broken West, Now or Heaven Bonnie Prince Billy, Lie Down in the Light Sun Kil Moon, April My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges Neil Young, Sugar Mountain: Live At Canterbury House 1968 The Dodos, The Visiter Santogold, Santogold The Magnetic Fields, Distortion The Surreal McCoys, Let's Make a Love Sandwich: The Surreal McCoys Cover the Best of Bread The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing

JDinPortland Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal Bob Dylan, Tell Tale Signs Bootleg Series vol. 8 I'm Not Jim , R.E.M., Accelerate She and Him, Vol. one TV on the Radio, Dear Science Cat Power, Jukebox Drive By Truckers, Brighter than Creation's Dark Blitzen Trapper, Furr The Hold Steady, Stay Positive The Black Keys, Attack and Release My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges

Blazesboylan Fucked Up, The Chemistry of Common Life Centro-matic, Dual Hawks Sun Kil Moon, April Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago Dillinger Four, Civil War High On Fire, Death is this Communion No Age, Nouns. Harvey Milk, Life . . . the Best Game In Town The Gaslight Anthem, The ’59 Sound TV on the Radio, Dear Science The Mountain Goats, Heretic Pride The Hold Steady, Stay Positive These Arms are Snakes, Tail Swallower and Dove Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal The Walkmen, You & Me Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Oxford Collapse, Bits Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer Mark Kozelek, The Finally LP REM, Accelerate

Fayt1ND Bon Iver, For Emma Gaslight Anthem, '59 Sound Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely Metallica, Death Magnetic Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes Black Keys, Attack & Release She & Him, Volume 1 Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Death Cab, Narrow Stairs Duffy, Rockferry Adele, 19

Porpoiseboy Sasha, Invol2ver John Digweed, Transistions Vol. 4 Flogging Molly, Float Nine Inch Nails, The Slip Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs James, Hey Ma Beck, Modern Guilt Nick Warren, Lima (Global Underground 35) Kings Of Leon, Only by the Night Killers, Day & Age

GMatous Sloan, Parallel Play Robert Pollard, Superman was a Rocker Carolina Liar, Coming to Terms The Dandy Warhols, Earth to the Dandy Warhols Robert Pollard, Robert Pollard is off to Business Todd Rungren, Arena

JLiebs The Airborne Toxic Event, The Airborne Toxic Event The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound Blitzen Trapper, Furr The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age of Understatement Low vs Diamond, Low vs Diamond Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago Carolina Liar, Coming to Terms Ryan Adams, Cardinology Centro-Matic, Dual Hawks Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend R.E.M., Accelerate The Kooks, Konk Matt Costa, Unfamiliar Faces Frightened Rabbit, The Midnight Organ Fight My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges The Hold Steady, Stay Positive TV On The Radio, Dear Science Snow Patrol, A Hundred Million Suns Griffin House, Flying Upside Down Joshua Radin, Simple Times

Cash Robert Pollard, Robert Pollard Is Off To Business Boston Spaceships, Brown Submarine Circus Devils, Ataxia Robert Pollard, Superman Was A Rocker Centro-Matic/South San Gabriel, Dual Hawks Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark Old 97's, Blame It On Gravity TV On The Radio, Dear Science The Black Keys, Attack & Release My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges She & Him, Volume One Tift Merritt, Another Country R.E.M., Accelerate

Romolux bon iver, for emma forever ago deerhunter, microcastles no age, nouns beach house, devotion the walkmen, you and me fuck buttons, street horrrsing dodos, visiter crystal castles, crystal castles human highway, moody motorcycle titus androncius, the airing of grievances little joy, little joy

ndredhawk06 Gaslight Anthem, The ’59 Sound The Hold Steady, Stay Positive Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Mates of State, Re-Arrange Us Coldplay, Viva La Vida Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer Alkaline Trio, Agony & Irony Los Campesinos!, Hold On Now Youngster The Matches, A Band In Hope Butch Walker, Sycamore Meadows

Memphis Sub Mates of State, Rearrange Us My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges Drive By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark Ben Nichols, Last Pale Night in the West The Hold Steady, Stay Positive The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely The Roots, Rising Down

Thejet403 Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago T.I., Paper Trail Lil' Wayne, Tha Carter III Q-Tip, The Renaissance Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line The Hold Steady, Stay Positive Belle And Sebastian, The BBC Sessions

Cujaysfan Surreal McCoys, Bottle and the Gun

Old 97's, Blame it on Gravity Drive-by Truckers, Brighter than Creation’s Dark She & Him, Vol I Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend The Cops, Free Electricity The Hold Steady, Stay Positive

Flanner96 Gaslight Anthem, The ’59 Sound The Hold Steady, Stay Positive Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Kathleen Edwards, Asking for Flowers Lucinda Williams, Little Honey Mudcrutch, Mudcrutch Counting Crows, Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings Old '97s, Blame it on Gravity Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Tjnd88 John Mellencamp, Life Death Love and Freedom Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Panic at the Disco, Pretty. Odd. Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their heads Coldplay, Viva la Vida R.E.M., Accelerate The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing The Mars Volta, The Bedlam in Goliath The Kooks, Konk Mudcrutch, Mudcrutch

CuzTeahan Chris Knight, Heart of Stone The Hold Steady, Stay Positive Old Crow Medicine Show, Tennessee Pusher Drive By Truckers, Brighter than Creation's Dark Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal The Black Keys, Attack and Release Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Tift Merritt, Another Country James McMurtry, Just Us Kids Sun Kil Moon, April

Allumeuse Lykke Li, Youth Novels Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago MGMT, Oracular Spectacular Martha Wainwright, I Know You're Married But I Have Feelings Too The Weepies, Hideaway The Virgins, The Virgins Santogold, Santogold The Kills, Midnight Boom


Backroom Top 10 of 2007

Methodology: I took everyone's lists and assigned points in inverse order of ranking: if you listed 10 albums, your first one got 10 points and your 10th one got one point. Then I went back and gave an extra five points for each first place listing. I have the idea that an album should be rewarded a little bit more for being someone�s very favorite one.

For the first time, I think, we had a tie at the top. Tiebreaker is number of votes, although I suppose it could be argued that the opposite (i.e., points per vote) means the other is tops. Ahh, what�s music if not something to fight and bludgeon one another over the heads with our opinions about?

I broke the list into three parts: first, the discs that got three or more votes (50 in all). Second, the discs that got exactly two votes (23). If you find your disc on this second list, look on the individual lists and find your buddy. See what else that person listed. I have found a lot of good music by this tried-and-true method. Third, the discs with only one vote. This is a long list (83, I think), and necessarily will include some very good records, even ones with only one point�

Thanks for your participation and I hope you enjoy reading the results. I appreciate everyone�s contributions and always find some good new stuff. That�s actually why I started doing this, and why it continues.

THREE OR MORE VOTES:

Album, Votes, Points

1. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 23 votes, 234 points� Always a Backroom favorite, this Austin band may get back to major-label status and soon.

2. The National, Boxer, 22 votes, 234 points� Given high marks for its �grown-up rock� sound. Dad-rock is making a big comeback, it seems.

3. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible, 21 votes, 193 points� New bands with intriguing debuts are nice, but new bands with great second albums are a rare commodity, and to be treasured like gold. Or frankincense or even myrrh. Arcade Fire is like rock and roll myrrh.

4. The White Stripes, Icky Thump, 13 votes, 137 points� Very strong record from Nashville rock strongman Jack White, continuing and yet improving on the harder rock sound of last year�s Raconteurs disc.

5. LCD Soundsystem, The Sound of Silver, 11 votes, 125 points� Tops on several lists. It must be the phat beats. Lotta beats on this record...

6. Radiohead, In Rainbows, 16 votes, 119 points� They created a big stir by releasing the thing at a �name your own price� basis on their website before wheeling out the cd�s, which neverthess have climbed the charts. The music is pretty highly-regarded, as is the norm for Radiohead.

7. Dinosaur Jr., Beyond, 10 votes, 119 points� Highest vote-to-points ratio of any entrant on this year�s poll. All hail the triumphant return of J Mascis! If you liked this disc, make sure you don�t miss last year�s Lemonheads return� J is all over that one.

8. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, 13 votes, 110 points� Good record that seems destined to lose a lot of the bandwagon fans who joined on the basis of �Float On�, but to redeem them with fans of their great early albums like Lonesome Crowded West.

9. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Magic, 12 votes, 102 points� It is my understanding that this record is good enough to make Republicans buy it, and that the Boss is not just coasting on fumes anymore. Good for him.

10. Band of Horses, Cease to Begin, 12 votes, 99 points� Good songs, well-recorded second record from this group. Funny thing is, they were sort of viewed as Shins soundalikes, but polled better than the Shins most everywhere I looked this year.

11. Okkervil River, The Stage Names, 9, 92

12. Jason Isbell, Sirens of the Ditch, 5, 72

13. Kanye West, Graduation, 10, 66

14. The New Pornographers, Challengers, 8, 65

15. The Shins, Wincing The Night Away, 11, 64

16. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky, 9, 56

17. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Living With The Living, 5, 56

18. Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, 9, 53

19. Dropkick Murphys, The Meanest of Times, 6, 53

20. Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City, 8, 52

21. Broken West, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On, 4, 42

22. The View, Hats Off to the Buskers, 4, 42

23. Daft Punk, Alive 2007, 3, 42

24. Joe Henry, Civilians, 3, 42

25. Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam, 5, 41

26. Battles, Mirrored, 4, 41

27. Jay-Z, American Gangster, 3, 40

28. Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew � Spirit If..., 3, 35

29. Menomena, Friend and Foe, 4, 34

30. M.I.A., Kala, 3, 34

31. Beirut, The Flying Club Cup, 3, 32

32. Lupe Fiasco, Lupe Fiasco�s The Cool, 3, 31

33. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, 100 Days and 100 Nights, 4, 30

34. Justice, Cross, 3, 30

35. Panda Bear, Person Pitch, 4, 29

36. Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends, 3, 27

37. Maximo Park, Our Earthly Pleasures, 4, 26

38. Josh Ritter, The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter, 5, 23

39. Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog, 3, 23

40. The Besnard Lakes, The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, 4, 22

41. Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala, 4, 20

42. Feist, The Reminder, 3, 19

43. Interpol, Our Love to Admire, 4, 17

44. Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha, 3, 13

45. Art Brut, It�s a Bit Complicated, 3, 13

46. Ryan Adams, Easy Tiger, 3, 13

47. Voxtrot, Voxtrot, 3, 13

48. Lucinda Williams, West, 3, 11

49. Dr. Dog, We All Belong, 3, 10

50. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder, 3, 9


TWO-VOTE DISCS

Album, Votes, Points

51. Centro-matic, Operation Motorcide EP, 2, 40

52. Robert Pollard, Coast to Coast Carpet of Love, 2, 32

53. Aretha Franklin, Rare and Unreleased Recordings, 2, 27

54. Bloody Hollies, Who to Trust, Who to Kill, Who to Love, 2, 27

55. Secretary Bird, Secretary Bird, 2, 25

56. Avett Brothers, Emotionalism, 2, 24

57. Neil Young, Chrome Dreams II, 2, 24

58. The Apples in Stereo, New Magnetic Wonder, 2, 17

59. Grinderman, Grinderman, 2, 15

60. Travis, The Boy With No Name, 2, 14

61. Black Francis, Bluefinger, 2, 13

62. The Bees, Octopus, 2, 13

63. Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero, 2, 12

64. Bright Eyes, Cassadaga, 2, 11

65. The Thrills, Teenager, 2, 11

66. Talib Kweli, Eardrum, 2, 11

67. Steve Earle, Washington Square Serenade, 2, 10

68. Aqualung, Memory Man, 2, 9

69. Arctic Monkeys, Favourite Worst Nightmare, 2, 9

70. Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, Raising Sand, 2, 9

71. Ghostface Killah, The Big Doe Rehab, 2, 8

72. Grizzly Bear, Friend EP, 2, 8

73. Kings of Leon, Because of the Times, 2, 7

74. Mika, Life in Cartoon Motion, 2, 4

ONE-VOTE DISCS:

The Clash, The Singles, 1, 30 Pela, Anytown Graffiti, 1, 24 Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals, 1, 22 Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend, 1, 19 Peter Bjorn and John, Writer's Bloc, 1, 18 Pinback, Autumn of the Seraphs, 1, 18 The Breakup Society, Nobody Likes A Winner, 1, 18 The Blakes, The Blakes, 1, 17 Pharoahe Monch, Desire, 1, 16 The Aliens, Astronomy For Dogs, 1, 16 The Twilight Sad, Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters, 1, 16 Ian Brown, The World is Yours, 1, 15 Joanna Newsom, Ys Street Band EP, 1, 15 Neil Young, Live from Massey Hall 1971, 1, 15 Sloan, Never Hear the end of It, 1, 15 Sunset Rubdown � Random Spirit Lover, 1, 15 The Fratellis, Costello Music, 1, 15 The Good, the Bad and the Queen, [ST], 1, 15 Betty Davis, Betty Davis, 1, 14 Dan Deacon, Spiderman of the Rings, 1, 14 Rascal Flatts, Still Feels Good, 1, 14 The Cribs, Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever, 1, 14 Cassidy, B.A.R.S., 1, 13 Superdrag, Changin� Tires on the Road to Ruin, 1, 13 Blitzen Trapper, Wild Mountain Nation, 1, 12 Cool Kids, (no album -- just what I have heard on-line), 1, 12 Maroon 5, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, 1, 12 Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, 1, 12 Pelican, City of Echoes, 1, 12 Glenn Mercer, Wheels in Motion, 1, 11 Common, Finding Forever, 1, 10 Eddie Vedder, Into The Wild Soundtrack, 1, 10 The A-Sides, Silver Storms, 1, 10 Chemical Brothers, We Are The Night, 1, 9 Coheed and Cambria, Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV : No World for Tomorrow, 1, 9 Kenin, In Place, 1, 9 Linkin Park, Minutes to Midnight, 1, 9 Mary Gauthier, Between Daylight and Dark, 1, 9 Stars, In Our Bedroom After the War, 1, 9 The Black Lips, Good Bad Not Evil, 1, 9 The Takeovers, Bad Football, 1, 9 Brad Paisley, 5th Gear, 1, 8 Dogs, Tall Stories From Under the Table, 1, 8 El-P, I�ll Sleep When You�re Dead, 1, 8 Liars, Liars, 1, 8 Stars of the Lid, And the Refinement of Their Decline, 1, 8 Akron/Family, Love Is Simple, 1, 7 Amy Winehouse, Back to Black, 1, 7 Bon Jovi, Lost Highway, 1, 7 Daughtry, Daughtry, 1, 7 David Kilgour, The Far Now, 1, 7 Paul Oakenfold, Greatest Hits & Remixes, 1, 7 Ryan Adams, Follow The Lights (EP), 1, 7 Tragically Hip, World Container, 1, 7 Various Artists, Juno Soundtrack, 1, 7 Aesop Rock, None Shall Pass, 1, 6 Bettye Lavette, The Scene of the Crime, 1, 6 Chris Cornell, Carry On, 1, 6 James Blunt, All the Lost Souls, 1, 6 PJ Harvey, White Chalk, 1, 6 Sparkle Motion, Sparkle Motion, 1, 6 Tegan and Sara, The Con, 1, 6 Wu-Tang Clan, 8 Diagrams, 1, 6 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Baby 81, 1, 5 Bone Thugs, Strength & Loyalty, 1, 5 Caribou, Andorra, 1, 5 Tim McGraw, Let It Go, 1, 5 Devendra Banhart, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, 1, 4 Elliot Smith, New Moon, 1, 4 Hard Fi, Once Upon A Time In The West, 1, 4 Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood soundtrack, 1, 4 Ministry, The Last Sucker, 1, 4 Musiq Soulchild, Luvanmusiq, 1, 4 Patty Griffin, Children Running Through, 1, 4 Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration, 1, 4 The Ponys, Turn The Lights Out, 1, 4 Genesis, Love Over Europe 2007, 1, 3 Jon McLaughlin, Indiana, 1, 3 Lyle Lovett & His Large Band, It's Not Big It's Large, 1, 3 Richard Swift, Dressed Up For The Letdown, 1, 3 Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight, 1, 3 Robert Pollard, Silverfish Trivia, 1, 3 The Field, From Here We go to Sublime, 1, 3 Against Me!, New Wave, 1, 2 Brandi Carlile, The Story, 1, 2 Casey Neill, Brooklyn Bridge, 1, 2 Fall Out Boy, Infinity on High, 1, 2 Frog Eyes, Tears of the Valedictorian, 1, 2 Handsome furs, Plague Park, 1, 2 Kaiser Chiefs, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, 1, 2 Mark Knopfler, Kill to Get Crimson, 1, 2 Norah Jones, Not Too Late, 1, 2 Queens of the Stoneage, Era Vulgaris, 1, 2 Radio Moscow, Radio Moscow, 1, 2 The Hard Lessons, Wise Up, 1, 2 The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, [ST], 1, 2 Carbon Leaf, Love, Loss, Hope & Repeat, 1, 1 Fujiya & Miyagi, Transparent Things, 1, 1 Future of the Left, Curses, 1, 1 Minus The Bear, Planet of Ice, 1, 1 Simian Mobile Disco, Attack Decay Sustain Release, 1, 1 The Hiders, Valentine, 1, 1 The Killers, Sawdust, 1, 1 The Last Goodnight, Poison Kiss, 1, 1 Timbaland, Shock Value, 1, 1

BILLSHAKESPEARE Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience, Grace Jimmy Eat World, Chase This Light Fall Out Boy, Infinity on High Rodrigo y Gabriela, Rodrigo y Gabriela Wilco, Sky Blue Sky The Shins, Wincing the Night Away Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank The White Stripes, Icky Thump Josh Ritter, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter Kanye West, Graduation

TONY 1. White Stripes, Icky Thump 2. The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible 3. Kanye West, Graduation 4. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 5. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 6. Dropkick Murphys, The Meanest of Times 7. Polar 59, Just for the Hell of It One More Time 8. The Narrow Stairs , Hands on the Wheel 9. The Killers, Sawdust 10. Radiohead, In Rainbows

ROCKSTEADY74 1. The Clash, The Singles 2. Pela, Anytown Graffiti 3. The National, Boxer 4. Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals 5. Beirut, The Flying Club Cup 6. The View, Hats Off to the Buskers 7. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend 8. Peter Bjorn and John, Writer's Bloc 9. The Blakes, The Blakes 10. Avett Brothers, Emotionalism 11. The Good, the Bad and the Queen, [ST] 12. Betty Davis, Betty Davis 13. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible 14. LCD Soundsystem, The Sound of Silver 15. The New Pornographers, Challengers 16. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 17. The Black Lips, Good Bad Not Evil 18. Dogs, Tall Stories From Under the Table 19. Broken West, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On 20. Secretary Bird, Secretary Bird 21. Band of Horses, Cease to Begin 22. Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration 23. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, 100 Days and 100 Nights 24. The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, [ST] 25. Maximo Park, Our Earthly Pleasures

HERECOMESTHESUN 1. Joanna Newsom - Ys Street Band EP 2. Coheed and Cambria - Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV : No World for Tomorrow 3. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam 4. Panda Bear - Person Pitch 5. Wu-Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams 6. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver 7. Radiohead - In Rainbows 8. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible 9. The Hard Lessons - Wise Up 10. Interpol - Our Love to Admire

PORPOISEBOY 1) Arcade Fire, Neon Bible 2) Chemical Brothers, We Are The Night 3) Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero 4) Paul Oakenfold, Greatest Hits & Remixes 5) LCD Soundsystem, The Sound of Silver 6) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder 7) Ministry, The Last Sucker 8) The White Stripes, Icky Thump 9) Queens of the Stoneage, Era Vulgaris 10) Interpol, Our Love to Admire

BCBP 1. Radiohead, In Rainbows 2. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver 3. The National, Boxer 4. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 5. PJ Harvey, White Chalk 6. The White Stripes, Icky Thump 7. Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood soundtrack 8. Ghostface Killah, The Big Doe Rehab 9. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky 10. The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

NDREDHAWK06 1. The Fratellis - Costello Music 2. Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War 3. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga 4. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare 5. New Pornographers - Challengers 6. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 7. Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace 8. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder 9. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High 10.Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion

ROMULOX 1) Animal Collective � Strawberry Jam 2) LCD Soundsystem � Sound of Silver 3) The National � Boxer 4) Radiohead � In Rainbows 5) Daft Punk � Alive 2007 6) Justice � Cross 7) Dan Deacon � Spiderman of the Rings 8) Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew � Spirit If... 9) Of Montreal � Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? 10) Panda Bear � Person Pitch 11) Beirut � The Flying Club Cup 12) Okkervil River � The Stage Names 13) Liars � Liars 14) Akron/Family � Love Is Simple 15) The Arcade Fire � Neon Bible 16) Battles � Mirrored 17) Devendra Banhart � Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon 18) Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond 19) Jens Lekman � Night Falls Over Kortedala 20) Grizzly Bear � Friend EP

GMATOUS 1. Sloan, Never Hear the end of It 2. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 3. Robert Pollard, Coast to Coast Carpet of Love 4. Tragically Hip, World Container 5. The Nationals- The Boxer 6. The New Pornographers- Challengers 7. The Broken West- I Can't Go on, I'll Go on 8. Robert Pollard- Silverfish Trivia 9. Mark Knopfler- Kill to Get Crimson 10. Foo Fighters- Echos, Silence, Patience and Grace

MAX FISCHER 1. The National, Boxer 2. Okkervil River, The Stage Names 3. Dinosaur Jr, Beyond 4. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank 5. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver 6. The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible 7. The Cribs, Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever 8. Band Of Horses, Cease To Begin 9. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky 10. Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog 11. The Shins, Wincing The Night Away 12. The Bees, Octopus 13. Sea Wolf, Leaves in the River 14. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 15. Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew, Spirit If... 16. Voxtrot, Voxtrot 17. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Living With The Living 18. Max�mo Park, Our Earthly Pleasures 19. The Besnard Lakes, The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse 20. Minus The Bear, Planet of Ice

NDTERP 1. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Magic 2. Kenin, In Place 3. Dropkick Murphys, The Meanest of Times 4. Bon Jovi, Lost Highway 5. Chris Cornell, Carry On 6. Bone Thugs, Strength & Loyalty 7. Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace 8. Genesis, Love Over Europe 2007 9. Norah Jones, Not Too Late 10. Carbon Leaf, Love, Loss, Hope & Repeat

IRISHTED 1. White Stripes, Icky Thump 2. Maximo Park, Our Earthly Pleasures 3. Ted Leo, Living With the Living 4. Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City 5. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible 6. Kanye West, Graduation 7. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Ever Sank 8. The View, Hats Off to the Buskers 9. Dropkick Murphys, Meanest of Times 10. Aesop Rock, None Shall Pass 11. Bruce Springsteen, Magic 12. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 13. Go! Team, Proof of Youth 14. Against Me!, New Wave 15. Dinosaur Jr., Beyond

RANDALGRAVES 1.) Ian Brown, The World is Yours 2.) Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 3.) Interpol, Our Love to Admire 4.) Dinosaur Jr, Beyond 5.) Radiohead, In Rainbows 6.) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Baby 81 7.) The National, Boxer 8.) White Stripes, Icky Thump 9.) Kaiser Chiefs, Yours Truly, Angry Mob 10.) Wilco, Sky Blue Sky

NDLARRYJ 1. Sunset Rubdown � Random Spirit Lover 2. Panda Bear - Person Pitch 3. Okkervil River - The Stage Names 4. Interpol - Our Love to Admire 5. The Arcade Fire � Neon Bible 6. Menomena - Friend and Foe 7. NIN - Year Zero 8. Animal Collective � Strawberry Jam 9. Handsome furs - Plague Park 10. Kings of Leon - Because of the Times

SPIRALSTAIRS 1. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 2. Battles, Mirrored 3. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Living with the Living 4. Daft Punk, Alive 2007 5. LCD Soundsystem, Sounds of Silver 6. Radiohead, In Rainbows 7. M.I.A., Kala 8. Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha 9. Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends 10. Justice, Cross 11. Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala 12. Dr. Dog, We All Belong

BLAZESBOYLAN 1. The National, Boxer 2. Bloody Hollies, Who to Trust, Who to Kill, Who to Love 3. Pinback, Autumn of the Seraphs 4. Dropkick Murphys, The Meanest of Times 5. The Twilight Sad, Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters 6. Battles, Mirrored 7. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible 8. Besnard Lakes, The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse 9. Pelican, City of Echoes 10. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead . . . 11. Centro-matic, Operation Motorcide EP 12. Grinderman, Grinderman 13. Stars of the Lid, And the Refinement of Their Decline 14. Grizzly Bear, Friend EP 15. Feist, The Reminder 16. Menomena, Friend or Foe 17. Art Brut, It�s a Bit Complicated 18. Band of Horses, Cease to Begin 19. Frog Eyes, Tears of the Valedictorian 20. Future of the Left, Curses

BUCK MULLIGAN 1. Band of Horses, Cease to Begin 2. Jason Isbell, Sirens of the Ditch 3. Dropkick Murphys, The Meanest of Times 4. White Stripes, Icky Thump 5. Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, Raising Sand 6. The View, Hats off to the Buskers 7. Ryan Adams, Easy Tiger 8. Radiohead, In Rainbows 9. Arctic Monkeys, Favourite Worst Mightmare 10. The National, Boxer

PAPAL451 1. The National, Boxer 2. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 3. Radiohead, In Rainbows 4. Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City 5. The Shins, Winching the Night Away 6. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver 7. Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam 8. Voxtrot, Voxtrot, 9. Beirut, The Flying Cup 10. Fujiya & Miyagi, Transparent Things

JDINPORTLAND 1. Joe Henry, Civilians 2. Mary Gauthier, Between Daylight and Dark 3. Bruce Springsteen, Magic 4. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black 5. Bettye Lavette, The Scene of the Crime 6. Sharon Jones, 100 Days, 100 Nights 7. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 8. The National, Boxer 9. Casey Neill, Brooklyn Bridge 10. Steve Earle, Washington Square Serenade

BOB LOBLAW 1. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible 2. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band 3. Band of Horses, Cease to Begin 4. Bloc Party, Weekend in the City 5. White Stripes, Icky Thump 6. Ted Leo, Living with the Living 7. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank 8. Foo Fighters, Echoes Silence Patience & Grace 9. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky 10. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 11. Kanye West, Graduation 12. Lupe Fiasco, Lupe Fiasco�s The Cool 13. The National, Boxer 14. The Killers, Sawdust

IRISHVOL 1) Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 2) The National, Boxer 3) Superdrag, Changin� Tires on the Road to Ruin 4) The White Stripes, Icky Thump 5) Wilco, Sky Blue Sky 6) Dinosaur Jr, Beyond 7) Jason Isbell, Sirens of the Ditch 8) The Bloody Hollies, Who to Trust Who to Kill Who to Love 9) Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, 100 Days 100 Nights 10) Kings of Leon, Because of the Times 11) The Shins, Wincing the Night Away 12) Band of Horses, Cease to Begin 13) Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 14) Foo Fighters, Echoes Silence Patience and Grace 15) New Pornographers, Challengers

TUBES 1. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible 2. Ted Leo + Pharmacists, Living With the Living 3. Okkervil River, The Stage Names 4. The National, Boxer 5. Dinosaur Jr., Beyond 6. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 7. Band of Horses, Cease To Begin 8. The New Pornographers, Challengers 9. The Shins, Wincing the Night Away 10. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 11. Feist, The Reminder 12. Bruce Springsteen, Magic 13. Lucinda Williams, West 14. Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace 15. Tegan and Sara, The Con 16. Radiohead, In Rainbows 17. The Apples in Stereo, New Magnetic Wonder 18. Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight 19. Bloc Party, A Weekend in the City 20. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder

TEX29 Travis - The Boy With No Name Radiohead - In Rainbows Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter Hard Fi - Once Upon A Time In The West Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Aqualung - Memory Man

BEER30LIGHT 1.) LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver 2.) Radiohead - In Rainbows 3.) Arcade Fire - Neon Bible 4.) Daft Punk - Alive 2007 (it counts) 5.) Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 6.) Kanye West - Graduation 7.) Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 8.) The National - Boxer 9.) Justice - Cross 10.) Jay-Z - American Gangster 11.) Battles - Mirrored 12.) Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends 13.) Band of Horses - Cease to Begin 14.) White Stripes - Icky Thump 15.) Iron and Wine - The Shepherd's Dog 16.) Ghostface Killah - The Big Doe Rehab 17.) Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace 18.) The Field - From Here We go to Sublime 19.) Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City 20.) Simian Mobile Disco - Attack Decay Sustain Release

SLAINTE JOE 1. Jason Isbell, Sirens of the ditch 2. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 3. The Thrills, Teenager 4. Dinosaur Jr., Beyond 5. Avett Brothers, Emotionalism 6. Joe Henry, Civilians 7. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Magic 8. Dr. Dog, We All Belong 9. Art Brut, It's a Bit Complicated 10. Lyle Lovett & His Large Band, It's Not Big It's Large (a sentimental choice) 11. The Shins, Wincing the Night Away 12. Lucinda Williams, West

JLIEBS 1. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 2. Bruce Springsteen, Magic 3. Brad Paisley, 5th Gear 4. Ryan Adams, Follow The Lights (EP) 5. The Shins, Wincing The Night Away 6. The National, Boxer 7. Elliot Smith, New Moon 8. Feist, The Reminder 9. Travis, The Boy With No Name 10. Okkervil River, The Stage Names

FIGHTONFORMORRISSEY

  • "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga", Spoon
  • "The Opposite Side of the Sea", Oren Lavie
  • "Leaves in the River", Sea Wolf
  • "Memory man", Aqualung
  • "Armchair Apocrypha", Andrew Bird
  • "Sound of Silver", LCD Soundsystem
  • The Darjeeling Limited soundtrack
  • "Challengers", New Pornographers
  • "In Rainbows", Radiohead
  • "Neon Bible", Arcade Fire
  • "Today is Tonight", the Changes

NDBK32 10. Eddie Vedder, Into The Wild Soundtrack 9. Brandi Carlile, The Story 8. Mika, Life In Cartoon Motion 7. Bruce Springsteen, Magic 6. Okervill River, The Stage Names 5. The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible - 4. Josh Ritter, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter 3. Maximo Park, Our Earthly Pleasures 2. The National, Boxer 1. Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala

BROTHERS Okkervil River, The Stage Names Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga The Breakup Society, Nobody Likes A Winner Dinosaur Jr., Beyond Bruce Springsteen, Magic Menomena, Friend and Foe Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends Apples in Stereo, New Magnetic Wonder Cool Kids, (no album -- just what I have heard on-line) M.I.A., Kala New Pornographers, Challengers Black Francis, Bluefinger The National, Boxer Band of Horses, Cease to Begin Grinderman, Grinderman Art Brut, It�s a Bit Complicated Radiohead, In Rainbows Bright Eyes, Cassadega Wilco, Sky Blue Sky Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

FINAL FLANNER 1. The New Pornographers, Challengers 2. Bloc Party, Weekend in the City 3. The National, Boxer 4. Various Artists, Juno Soundtrack 5. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible 6. Shins, Wincing the Night Away 7. Band of Horses, Cease to Begin 8. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 9. Bruce Springsteen - Magic 10. Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

VEGETABLE LASAGNA 11. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam 10. Pandabear - Person Pitch 9. Okkervil River - Stage Names 8. Dr. Dog - We All Belong 7. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse 6. Iron & Wine - Shepherd's Dog 5. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible 4. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha 3. Radiohead - In Rainbows 2. The National - Boxer 1. Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew - Spirit If...

CALMERTHANYOUARE 1. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible. 2. The National - Boxer. 3. Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. 4. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away. 5. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. 6. Radiohead - In Rainbows. 7. Okkervil River - The Stage Names 8. Kanye West - Graduation. 9. Sea Wolf - Leaves in the River. 10. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin.

NAUGHMAN 1. Icky Thump, White Stripes 2. Sirens of the Ditch, Jason Isbell 3. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon 4. Kala, M.I.A. 5. Desire, Pharoahe Monch 6. Beyond, Dinosaur Jr. 7. Sound of Silver, LCD Soundsystem 8. American Gangster, Jay-Z 9. Wild Mountain Nation, Blitzen Trapper 10. Boxer, The National 11. Hats Off To The Buskers, The View 12. Friend and Foe, Menomena 13. I'll Sleep When You're Dead, El-P 14. Neon Bible, Arcade Fire 15. Graduation, Kanye West 16. Andorra, Caribou 17. Turn The Lights Out, The Ponys 18. Dressed Up For The Letdown, Richard Swift 19. The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, The Besnard Lakes 20. Night Falls Over Kortedala, Jens Lekman

THEJET403 1. Jay-Z - American Gangster 2. The Broken West - I Can't Go On, I'll Go On 3. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 4. Lupe Fiasco - The Cool 5. Radiohead - In Rainbows 6. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank 7. Talib Kweli - Ear Drum 8. The Bees - Octopus 9. Kanye West - Graduation 10. The National - Boxer 11. The Last Goodnight - Poison Kiss

MR.NATURAL 1. Centro-matic, Operation Motorcide 2. Robert Pollard, Coast to Coast Carpet of Love 3. Dinosaur Jr., Beyond 4. Aretha Franklin, Rare and Unreleased Recordings 5. The Broken West, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On 6. Joe Henry, Civilians 7. Secretary Bird, Secretary Bird 8. Jason Isbell, Sirens of the Ditch 9. Neil Young, Chrome Dreams II 10. The Aliens, Astronomy For Dogs 11. Sharon Jones, 100 Days, 100 Nights 12. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky 13. Band of Horses, Cease to Begin 14. White Stripes, Icky Thump 15. Glenn Mercer, Wheels in Motion 16. The A-Sides, Silver Storms 17. The Takeovers, Bad Football 18. Foo Fighters, Echoes Silence Patience and Grace 19. David Kilgour, The Far Now 20. Sparkle Motion, Sparkle Motion 21. Voxtrot, Voxtrot 22. Black Francis, Bluefinger 23. The Shins, Wincing the Night Away 24. Radio Moscow, Radio Moscow 25. The Thrills, Teenager

DILLON1998 1. White Stripes - Icky Thump 2. Spoon - GaGaGaGaGa 3. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible 4. Springsteen - Magic 5. Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger 6. Kanye West - Graduation 7. Bloc Party - Weekend In the City 8. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Ever Sank 9. Shins - Wincing The Night Away 10. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

FOURLEAFDOMER 1. Live from Massey Hall 1971, Neil Young 2. Washington Square Serenade, Steve Earle 3. Magic, Bruce Springsteen 4. Chrome Dreams II, Neil Young 5. All the Lost Souls, James Blunt 6. Rare and Unreleased Recordings, Aretha Franklin 7. Children Running Through, Patty Griffin 8. Raising Sand, Robert Plant with Alison Krauss 9. West, Lucinda Williams 10. Valentine, The Hiders

ND05VA 1) The Cool - Lupe Fiasco 2) Still Feels Good - Rascal Flatts 3) B.A.R.S. - Cassidy 4) It Won't Be Soon Before Long - Maroon 5 5) Graduation - Kanye West 6) Finding Forever - Common 7) Minutes to Midnight - Linkin Park 8) The Meanest of Times - Dropkick Murphys 9) Daughtry - Daughtry (I know, I know, it's a guilty pleasure) 10) Eardrum - Talib Kweli 11) Let It Go - Tim McGraw 12) Luvanmusiq - Musiq Soulchild 13) Indiana - Jon McLaughlin 14) Infinity on High - Fall Out Boy 15) Shock Value - Timbaland

Backroom Top 10 of 2006

Well, here they are, the top vote-getters in the Fourth or Fifth Annual Backroom Music Poll. Below you will find listed all the discs that garnered 2 or more votes AND 20 or more points. As explained earlier, I took the individual lists and assigned points in inverse order of ranking, i.e., the top disc on a list of 20 was given 20 points. In a subsequent post, I will include all the individual lists, and in another post, I will give the onesies and twosies. The twosies can be particularly useful in finding posters with similar overall tastes, especially if you overlap on two or more of them, as I usually do with Rocksteady74, JD in Portland, Irishvol and Naughman. Thanks, everyone, for joining in.

1. The Hold Steady - Boys & Girls in America, 17 votes, 155 points, 9.1 pts per vote... Broad, broad support among former (and not a few present) Catholic teenage delinquents for this poor-man�s Randy Newman squawking about same. In his world, using �party� as a verb is still very much in style. You�re all sick of me saying �I don�t get it�, but...

2. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain, 14 votes, 143 points, 10.2 pts per vote... Despite the title, this is NOT kid-friendly. It�s all about wolves, vampires, killers, maybe wolf vampire killers too. Scary, dense, and pretty freaky. You know, more like the Count than the Cookie Monster. Not that that�s a bad thing...

3. Band of Horses - Everything all the Time, 15 votes, 133 points, 8.9 pts per vote... Shins substitute polled almost like the real thing! Although it�s very likeable on its own merits, there�s no denying the �Shins coattails� effect in Backroom polling.

4. Built to Spill - You in Reverse, 14 votes, 125 points, 8.9 pts per vote... Very catchy, albeit long, solo-filled rock songs make up this high-quality effort that proves Martsch and Co. are still going strong.

5. The Thermals - The Body, the Blood and the Machine, 9, 103, 11.4 pts per vote... If you crank one album this year, let this be it. Crank it up, okay? Whether you agree with his anti-establishment rants or not, just crank it up.

6. Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery, 7, 71, 10.1... Another platter of terrific rock songs from prolific Texas genius Will Johnson. He�s channeling his South San Gabriel Pink Floyd influences back into Centro-matic and this is perhaps their strongest one yet.

7. Gnarls Barkley � St. Elsewhere, 8, 60, 7.5... Cee-lo is a terrific singer and benefits from this collaboration with Dangermouse. This album gained tremendously wide acceptance among music lovers of every ilk. Every ilk, no kidding! The indie kids, the jaded hipsters, the urbanites, the suburbanites, all found something to like here.

8. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers, 9, 59, 6.6... In the title song, Jack White utters the line �tired of ripping myself off�. I laughed, because one of the things I liked best about this disc is that he�s not tired of ripping Robert Plant off. I really like the harmony vocals with Brendan Benson, too. The impression I have gathered is that, whatever your first impression, this album repeats rewarded listening.

9. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, 6, 54, 9... What a voice, and she�s maturing into quite an artist. I suspect she�ll continue to gain mainstream acceptance... the voice is pretty much irresistible.

10. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury, 6, 50, 8.3... This is rap, right? Good rap, apparently.

11. Black Keys � Chulahoma, 5, 49, 9.8... And this was the EP they put out, just to keep us interested while they worked on the album. Junior Kimbrough�s wife kind of says it all on track 7.

12. M. Ward - Post War , 3, 49, 16.3... The move to include a full band probably entailed the risk of pissing off the folkie/indie purists, but the results speak for themselves. Highest pts per vote in the entire Backroom Music Poll. I think that means several people liked it a LOT.

13. Decemberists - The Crane Wife , 6, 48, 8

14. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale , 4, 47, 11.8

15. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not , 7, 45, 6.4

16. Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope , 4, 45, 11.3

17. The Roots - Game Theory, 5, 44, 8.8

18. Bob Dylan - Modern Times , 3, 44, 14.7

19. Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon - , 4, 42, 10.5

20. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped , 5, 40, 8

21. Islands - Return to the Sea , 4, 40, 10

22. Black Keys - Magic Potion , 6, 39, 6.5

23. Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives , 5, 37, 7.4

24. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass - , 5, 37, 7.4

25. Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways , 3, 37, 12.3

26. Los Lobos � The Town and the City, 3, 37, 12.3

27. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies , 4, 34, 8.5

28. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar , 3, 34, 11.3

29. Girl Talk - Night Ripper , 3, 34, 11.3

30. Robert Pollard - Normal Happiness - , 3, 33, 11

31. Wolfmother � Wolfmother , 7, 32, 4.6

32. The Keene Brothers � Blues and Boogie Shoes, 2, 32, 16

33. Beck - The Information , 6, 31, 5.2

34. Lucero - Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers - , 3, 31, 10.3

35. Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions , 5, 30, 6

36. Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - The River In Reverse , 3, 30, 10

37. Sunset Rubdown � Shut Up I Am Dreaming , 3, 30, 10

38. Sparklehorse - Dreamt For Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain , 4, 29, 7.3

39. Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse , 6, 27, 4.5

40. Robert Pollard - From a Compound Eye , 3, 27, 9

41. Rosanne Cash - Black Cadillac , 2, 27, 13.5

42. Solomon Burke - Nashville , 3, 26, 8.7

43. Joseph Arthur � Nuclear Daydream, 2, 26, 13

44. Snow Patrol - Eyes Open , 4, 25, 6.3

45. Cat Power - The Greatest, 3, 25, 8.3

46. Belle and Sebastian � The Life Pursuit , 5, 24, 4.8

47. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones , 5, 24, 4.8

48. Ryan Adams � 29 , 4, 23, 5.8

49. Ray LaMontagne - Till the Sun Turns Black , 2, 22, 11

50. Magnolia Electric Company - Fading Trails , 3, 21, 7

51. Mastodon - Blood Mountain , 3, 21, 7

52. Thom Yorke - The Eraser , 3, 21, 7

53. Human Television � Look at Who You�re Talking To, 2, 21, 10.5

54. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam , 4, 20, 5

55. Mogwai � Mr. Beast , 2, 20, 10

56. The Lemonheads - The Lemonheads , 2, 20, 10


INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS:

Bbill99

  • Tom Waits - Orphans
  • Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
  • Van Morrison - Pay The Devil
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
  • Solomon Burke - Nashville
  • Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist
  • G. Love - Lemonade

MosJeffinately

  • Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
  • Irving - Death In The Garden, Blood On The Flowers
  • Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon
  • The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, And The Machine
  • Man Man - Six Demon Bag
  • TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives [EP]
  • Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
  • Girl Talk - Night Ripper
  • Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
  • White Whale - WWI
  • Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block
  • Beck - The Information
  • Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
  • Built to Spill - You In Reverse
  • Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
  • Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
  • Magnolia Electric Co. - Fading Trails
  • The Rapture - Pieces of the People We Love
  • Cursive - Happy Hollow

Fourleafdomer

  • Bob Dylan - Modern Times
  • Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All the Roadrunning
  • Dixie Chicks - Taking the Long Way
  • The Little Willies - The Little Willies
  • Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  • Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Ray LaMontagne - Till the Sun Turns Black
  • Keb Mo - Suitcase
  • Van Morrison - Pay The Devil
  • Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
  • Calexico - Garden Ruin
  • John Mayer - Continuum
  • Kasey Chambers - Carnival
  • Neil Young - Living With War
  • Ryan Adams � 29

Romulox

  • Beirut Gulag Orkestar
  • The Hold Steady � Boys and Girls In America
  • TV on the Radio � Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Mogwai � Mr. Beast
  • Sunset Rubdown � Shut Up I Am Dreaming
  • Band of Horses � Everything All The Time
  • Clipse � Hell Hath No Fury
  • The Exploding Hearts � Shattered
  • Joanna Newsome � Ys
  • The Knife � Silent Shout
  • Islands � Return to the Sea
  • Junior Boys � So This Is Goodbye
  • Sonic Youth � Rather Ripped
  • Peter Bjorn and John � Writer�s Block
  • Belle and Sebastian � The Life Pursuit
  • Liars � Drum�s Not Dead
  • Yo La Tengo � I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
  • Califone � Roots and Crowns
  • Camera Obscura � Let�s Get Out Of This Country
  • Built To Spill � You In Reverse

RandalGraves

  • The Charlatans UK - Simpatico
  • My Morning Jacket - Okonokos (Live)
  • Neil Young - Living With War
  • Eagles of Death Metal - Death by Sexy
  • Jet - Shine On
  • Built to Spill - You in Reverse

Irishted

  • The Hold Steady � Boys and Girls in America
  • The Roots � Game Theory
  • Wolfmother � Wolfmother
  • Gnarls Barkley � St. Elsewhere
  • Goldfrapp � Supernature
  • The Strokes � First Impressions of Earth
  • Arctic Monkeys � Whatever People Say I Am, That�s What I�m Not
  • TV on the Radio � Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Black Keys � Magic Potion
  • Secret Machines � Ten Silver Drops

NDChavez

  • Mastodon - Blood Mountain
  • Beck - The Information
  • Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
  • Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist
  • Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
  • Gov't Mule - High & Mighty
  • Neil Young - Living With War
  • Los Lobos - The Town and the City
  • Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Blazesboylan

  • TV on the Radio -- Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Mastodon -- Blood Mountain
  • The Thermals -- The Body, The Blood and The Machine
  • The Hold Steady -- Boys and Girls in America
  • Darker My Love
  • Twilight Singers -- Powder Burns
  • Centro-matic -- Fort Recovery
  • Wolfmother
  • Isis -- In the Absence of Truth
  • The Big Sleep -- Son of the Tiger

Papal451

  • ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - So Divided
  • Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
  • Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things
  • Lily Allen - Alright, Still
  • Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
  • Thom Yorke - The Eraser
  • TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives
  • Voxtrot - Your Biggest Fan
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones

Rocksteady74

  • Joseph Arthur, Nuclear Daydream
  • TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Silversun Pickups, Carnavas
  • Built to Spill, You in Reverse
  • The Thermals, The Body, the Blood, and the Machine
  • Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
  • Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
  • Decemberists, The Crane Wife
  • Human Television, Look at Who You're Talking
  • Long Winters, Putting the Days to Bed
  • Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped
  • Various Artists, Jamaica to Toronto
  • Dirty Pretty Things, Waterloo to Anywhere
  • Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
  • Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther
  • The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls Together
  • Voxtrot, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives
  • Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock and Roll
  • Tullycraft, Disenchanted Hearts Unite
  • Essex Green, Cannibal Sea

Officer Tim McCarthy

  • M. Ward - Post-War
  • Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
  • Four Tet - Remixes
  • The Roots - Game Theory
  • The Gourds - Heavy Ornamentals
  • Cansei de Ser Sexy - eponymous
  • Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
  • Los Lobos - The Town and the City
  • Various - Voices from the Frontline
  • Rosanne Cash - Black Cadillac
  • Aphex Twin - Chosen Lords
  • Hot Chip - The Warning
  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
  • The Raconteurs -Broken Boy Soldiers
  • The Rapture - Pieces of the People We Love
  • Mos Def - True Magic
  • Herbert - Scale
  • Willie Nelson - Songbird
  • Bent Fabric � Jukebox

Irishvol

  • Lucero - Rebels Rogues & Sworn Brothers
  • Built to Spill - You in Reverse
  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Bobby Bare Jr. - The Longest Meow
  • Black Keys - Magic Potion
  • Solomon Burke - Nashville
  • TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Black Keys - Chulahoma
  • Centro-matic - Fort Recovery
  • Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - The River In Reverse
  • Cat Power - The Greatest
  • Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse
  • The Lemonheads - The Lemonheads
  • The Walkmen - Pussy Cats Starring the Walkmen
  • The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers

GMatous

  • Robert Pollard - From a Compound Eye
  • Robert Pollard - Normal Happiness
  • The Keene Brothers - Blues and Boogie Shoes
  • Centro-matic - Fort Recovery
  • The Thermals - The Body, the Blood and the Machine
  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Band of Horses - Everything all the Time
  • Lucero - Rebel Rogues and Sworn Brothers
  • Decemberists - The Crane Wife


Tex29

  • Elbow - Leaders of the Free World
  • Richard Ashcroft - Keys to the World
  • Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
  • Kasabian � Empire


Tubes

  • Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
  • The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
  • Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  • Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
  • TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
  • Mates of State - Bring It Back
  • The Black Keys - Magic Potion
  • The Format - Dog Problems
  • Built to Spill - You in Reverse
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
  • Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
  • Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
  • Wolfmother
  • Beck - The Information

Keenan04

  • Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
  • Pete Yorn - Nightcrawler
  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Built To Spill - You In Reverse
  • Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
  • Oh No! Oh My! - self-titled
  • Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
  • Jack Johnson - Sing-A-Longs & Lullabyes
  • Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
  • Ben Folds � Supersunnyspeedgraphic

Ndbk32

  • The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
  • Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
  • Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
  • The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
  • Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris - All the Roadrunning
  • Johnny Cash - American V
  • Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
  • Beck - The Information
  • Black Keys - Magic Potion

Slainte Joe

  • The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
  • Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
  • Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
  • Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, The River in Reverse
  • Black Keys, Chulahoma
  • Robert Pollard, From a Compound Eye
  • Van Morrison, Pay the Devil
  • Drive-By Truckers, A Blessing & a Curse
  • Golden Smog, Another Fine Day

Buck Mulligan

  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse
  • Ryan Adams � 29
  • Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
  • Wolfmother
  • Jon Auer - Songs From The Year of Our Demise
  • Eric Matthews - Foundation Sounds
  • Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
  • The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

NDFlanner

  • The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Umphrey�s McGee � Safety in Numbers
  • Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways
  • Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
  • Ray LaMontagne - Till the Sun Turns Black
  • Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
  • John Legend - Once Again
  • Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
  • Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
  • The Killers - Sam's Town
  • Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  • Neil Young - Living With War
  • Matisyahu - Youth
  • KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope
  • Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
  • Christina Aguilera - Back to Basics

Airbarto1

  • Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor
  • k-os - Atlantis
  • The Roots - Game Theory
  • Justin Timberlake - FutureLove/SexSounds
  • Nas - Hip Hop is Dead
  • John Legend - Once Again
  • John Mayer - Continuum
  • The Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
  • The Game - The Documentary
  • Ghostface - Fishscale


KzooIrish

  • Band of Horses- Everything all the Time
  • Yo La Tengo - I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass
  • Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
  • Grandaddy - THe fambly cat
  • Built to Spill- You in Reverse
  • Destroyer- Destroyer's Rubies
  • Grizzly Bear- Yellow House
  • Man Man - Six Demon Bag
  • Sparklehorse- Dreamt for Lightyears in the belly of a mountain
  • Those Transatlantics - Knocked out

Bcbp

  • Thom Yorke - The Eraser
  • Tool - 10,000 Days
  • Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
  • The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Wolfmother
  • Beck - The Information
  • Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
  • Sparklehorse - Dreamt For Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
  • Built to Spill - You in Reverse
  • The Roots - Game Theory

Ndlarryj

  • Islands, Return to the Sea
  • Professor Murder, PM Rides the Subway
  • Girl Talk, Night Ripper
  • TV On The Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Thom Yorke, The Eraser
  • Mates of State, Bring it Back
  • Grizzly Bear, Yellow House
  • Sunset Rubdown, Shut Up I Am Dreaming
  • Band of Horses, Everything all the time
  • Sufjan Stevens (tie), The Avalanche & Songs For Christmas

Wilde silas

  • Carbon Leaf - Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat
  • Needtobreathe - Daylight
  • Switchfoot - Oh! Gravity
  • Guster - Ganging up on the Sun
  • Ty Tabor - Rock Garden
  • Jars of Clay - Good Monsters
  • Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist
  • Sigur R�s - Saeglopur
  • Mastodon - Blood Mountain
  • Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae

Mikeman

  • Bob Dylan - Modern Times
  • The Weepies - Say I am You
  • Josh Rouse - Subt�tulo
  • Five for Fighting - Two Lights
  • Ray Davies - Other People Lives
  • Bob Seger - Face the Promise
  • Tim O'Reagan - Tim O'Reagan
  • Elan - Together as One
  • Ryan Adams - 29
  • Tom Petty - Highway Companion
  • Peter Mulvey - The Knuckleball Suite
  • Glen Phillips - Mr. Lemons
  • Jeffrey Foucault - Ghost Repeater
  • Teddy Thompson - Separate Ways

Spiral stairs

  • TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Girl Talk - Night Ripper
  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Magnolia Electric Co. - Fading Trails
  • The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, and The Machine
  • Margot and the Nuclear So and So's - The Dust of Retreat
  • M. Ward - Post War
  • Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
  • Mission of Burma - Obliterati
  • The M's - Future Women
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
  • The Duke Spirit - Cuts Across the Land
  • Bound Stems - Appreciation Night
  • Jason Molina - Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go
  • Professor Murder - Professor Murder Rides the Subway

AugustaIrish

  • Ben Kweller
  • Phoenix
  • Ryan Adams
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Decemberists
  • Gnarles Barkley
  • John Mayer
  • The Raconteurs
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Ben Folds

Irishlaw

  • Built to Spill - You in Reverse
  • Tapes 'N Tapes - The Loon
  • Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
  • The Thermals - The Body, the Blood, and the Machine
  • Magnolia Electric Company - Fading Trails
  • Figurines - Skeleton
  • Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
  • The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off
  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives

Naughman

  • Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine
  • Ghostface - Fishscale
  • Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
  • The Hold Steady - Boys & Girls in America
  • Eagles of Death Metal - Death By Sexy
  • TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Lucero - Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers
  • Twilight Singers - Powder Burns
  • Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery
  • The Annuals - Be He Me
  • The Black Keys - Chulahoma
  • Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon
  • Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
  • The Black Keys - Magic Potion
  • The Roots - Game Theory
  • And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - So Divided
  • Robert Pollard - Normal Happiness
  • Lily Allen - Alright Still
  • Wolfmother - Wolfmother
  • Beirut - Gulag Orkestar

MTIrish

  • These Arms Are Snakes "easter"
  • Big Sir "und die scheibe andert sich immer"
  • Some Girls "heavens pregnant teens"
  • Morrissey "ringleader of the tormentors"
  • The Kooks "inside in, outside out"

Ollie McClellan

  • Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Built to Spill - You in Reverse
  • Prince - 3161
  • Black Keys - Chulahoma
  • Beck - The Information
  • Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery
  • Lemurs - Lemurs
  • Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome - Seegar Sessions
  • TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Yo La Tengo - I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass

Francisco Brothers

  • Islands - Return to the Sea
  • The Thermals - The Body, the Blood, and the Machine
  • Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
  • Pavement - Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition
  • Built to Spill - You in Reverse
  • TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
  • The Minus 5 - The Minus 5
  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Steve Wynn & Miracle 3 � Tick� Tick� Tick
  • Tapes 'N Tapes - The Loon
  • Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
  • Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
  • Richard Buckner - Meadow
  • Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
  • Cat Power - The Greatest

Keenan02

  • Damien Rice, 9
  • Regina Spektor; Begin to Hope
  • Augustana; All the Stars and Boulevards
  • Muse; Black Holes and Revelations
  • Arctic Monkeys; Whatever People Say...
  • The Damnwells; Air Stereo
  • Band of Horses; Everything All the Time
  • Snow Patrol; Eyes Open
  • Brandtson; Hello, Control
  • Gomez; How We Operate
  • Carbon Leaf; Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat
  • Wolfmother
  • Belle & Sebastian; The Life Pursuit
  • Calexico; Garden Ruin
  • Drive-by Truckers; Blessing and a Curse
  • Keane; Under the Iron Sea

Steedle

  • Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives
  • Voxtrot - Raised by Wolves
  • Voxtrot - Your Biggest Fan
  • Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
  • Built to Spill - You in Reverse
  • The Changes - Today Is Tonight
  • French Kicks - Two Thousand
  • Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock and Roll
  • The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
  • Flaming Lips - At War With the Mystics
  • Islands - Return to the Sea
  • Decemberists - The Crane Wife
  • Sondre Lerche and the Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
  • Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
  • Aloha - Some Echoes

Mr.Natural

  • The Keene Brothers � Blues and Boogie Shoes
  • Built to Spill � You In Reverse
  • Centro-matic � Fort Recovery
  • Los Lobos � The Town and the City
  • Robert Pollard � Normal Happiness
  • American Princes � Less and Less
  • The Black Keys � Chulahoma
  • Johnny Cash � American V: A Hundred Highways
  • Lemonheads � The Lemonheads
  • Sparklehorse � Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
  • Rhett Miller � The Believer
  • Robert Pollard � From a Compound Eye
  • Richard Buckner � Meadow
  • The Raconteurs � Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Jon Dee Graham � Full
  • The Black Keys � Magic Potion
  • Human Television � Look at Who You�re Talking To
  • Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 - Tick� Tick� Tick
  • Drive-by Truckers � A Blessing and a Curse
  • Joseph Arthur � Nuclear Daydream
  • The Thermals � The Body, the Blood and the Machine
  • Calexico � Garden Ruin
  • Mogwai � Mr. Beast
  • Mission of Burma � The Obliterati
  • Radio Birdman - Zeno Beach

JDinPortland

  • M. Ward, Post-War
  • Cat Power, The Greatest
  • Elvis Costello/Allen Toussaint, The River in Reverse
  • The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
  • Rosanne Cash, Black Cadillac
  • Bob Dylan, Modern Times
  • Centro-Matic, Fort Recovery
  • Solomon Burke, Nashville
  • Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  • Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome The Seeger Sessions
  • Alejandro Escoveda, The Boxing Mirror
  • Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped
  • Sparklehorse, Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
  • Fernando, Exit to Follow
  • The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
  • TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Josh Ritter, The Animal Years
  • Drive By Truckers, A Blessing and a Curse
  • Pete Droge, Under the Waves
  • Neil Young, Living With War



Backroom Top 10 of 2005

Here they are, the top 75 (or so) vote-getters in the 2005 Backroom Album Poll, along with my ridiculously biased comments. My apologies in advance to fans of the bands I don't "get". I think the vote totals speak for themselves and reveal my pettiness and paucity of imagination for all to see. As I've said elsewhere, I shouldn't knock Sufjan and Brighteyes...variety is what makes independent music what it is. Without the relative success of artists like those, I can't imagine anyone would be willing to pay my heroes Will Johnson (Centro-Matic, South San Gabriel), Matt Harris, Mike Drake (Oranger) and John Dufilho (Deathray Davies) to record their own quirky brand of rock. So rock on, brothers. Or folk on, whatever grabs you...

All posters were invited to send in their top 25 (or whatever) cd's of 2005. I awarded 8 points for first place, 5 for 2-5, 4 for 6-10, 3 for 11-15, 2 for 16-20 and 1 for 21-25. I imposed very few limitations, but things like reissues and live albums of previously released material tend to limit themselves, so I single them out at the end of the poll.

I think the real value here is to look for items on your list that only got two or three votes, and look at the lists of the individuals who also voted for ‘em. I've found some new favorites that way in the past... I appended the individual ballots to the end of the list (sorry about all the commas, there's got to be a better way to do this and maybe I'll discover it by next year).

Here's the list:

1. Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, 15 votes, 88 points. One of those albums that reveals its greatness with dedicated and repeated listening. I'm not saying it's as great as something like Exile on Main Street. I'm not saying it's not, though. I always wonder if a "new" album will stand the test of time. I am usually pretty sure albums by folks like Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and Tom Waits will. I'm ready to add E to that short list.

2. Bloc Party, Silent Alarm, 16 votes, 71 points. This record reminds me of Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights... I don't think it's quite that good, but many here obviously think it is. Irishted can't stop raving about the drummer. Well, he's right. That guy can play.

3. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, 16 votes, 70 points. I was able to get past the quirky voice and into the guitars, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I wouldn't call this the third best album of the year, but it was pretty refreshing and it wound up being a lot of people's favorite. Pitchfork remains pretty proud of itself...

4. My Morning Jacket, Z, 17 votes, 69 points. These guys have become a fixture among this crowd, haven't they? Note that they lead the poll in "votes". I found this record a bit more "Stonesy" than their previous two, and just as great in its own way. Jim James has become pretty darned reliable.

5. White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan, 12 votes, 60 points. Here is where I start to have some problems with the voting. In the interest of accuracy, I must report that many people seemed to like this record. In the interest of honesty, I must ask "Why?" The song about the nurse is one of the most awful ones I've ever heard on a supposedly great rock record.

6. The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday , 11 votes, 60 points. Mr. Finn is a genuinely entertaining dude, and he's backed by a terrific rock band. He's bright, insightful, sardonic, funny as hell... I get Randy Newman vibes. Anybody else?

7. Spoon, Gimme Fiction, 12 votes, 50 points. I see the appeal, I really do. I just find their music too repetitive. And I realize I'm the odd man out. It's not as though I haven't tried. I spent my own money on two different Spoon albums, Girls Can Tell and this one. Maybe it's just too cool for me.

8. Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning , 10 votes, 47 points. I liked the Desaparecidos album. Does that get me off the hook for not "getting" this one? I didn't think so.

9. Sufjan Stevens, Illinois , 9 votes, 43 points. What state is next? Your guess is as good as mine, though rumor has it he was seen transcribing Bobby Knight's Purdue locker room rant into stanza form...

10. Beck, Guero , 10 votes, 42 points. Old Reliable... this was a pretty good record, though I found it a bit of a step down from Sea Change.

11. New Pornographers, Twin Cinema, 10, 39

12. Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have Had It So Much Better , 8, 32

13. Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary , 7, 32

14. Kanye West, Late Registration, 7, 28

15. Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust , 7, 27

16. Wilco, Kicking Television , 5, 26

17. Calexico/Iron & Wine, In the Reins , 4, 20

18. Ben Folds, Songs for Silverman , 3, 20

19. Neil Young, Prairie Wind , 5, 19

20. Sharon Jones & Dap Kings, Naturally , 5, 18

21. Trail of Dead, Worlds Apart , 4, 18

22. Magnolia Electric Co, What Comes After the Blues , 4, 17

23. The Decemberists, Picaresque, 4, 17

24. Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang, 5, 16

25. Crooked Fingers, Dignity and Shame , 4, 16

26. Death Cab for Cutie, Plans, 4, 16

27. Minus the Bear, Menos El Oso, 4, 16

28. Sleater-Kinney, The Woods , 3, 16

29. South San Gabriel, The Carlton Chronicles, 3, 15

30. Deathray Davies, The Kick and the Snare, 4, 14

31. Oranger, New Comes and Goes, 4, 14

32. Silver Jews, Tanglewood Numbers , 4, 14

33. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl , 4, 13

34. Stars, Set Yourself on Fire , 4, 13

35. Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene , 3, 13

36. Idlewild, Warnings/Promises , 2, 13

37. Kaiser Chiefs, Employment, 4, 12

38. Clem Snide, End of Love , 3, 12

39. Common, Be , 3, 12

40. Ryan Adams, Cold Roses , 3, 12

41. Bettye Lavette, I've Got My Own Hell To Raise , 2, 12

42. Josh Rouse, Nashville , 2, 12

43. Doves, Some Cities , 3, 11

44. Gorillaz, Demon Days , 3, 11

45. Ryan Adams, Jacksonville City Nights, 3, 11

46. Sigur Ros, Takk , 3, 11

47. The Bravery, The Bravery , 3, 11

48. Kings of Leon, Aha Shake Heartbreak , 3, 10

49. LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem , 3, 10

50. Brendan Benson, The Alternative to Love , 2, 10

51. Danger Doom, The Mouse and the Mask , 3, 9

52. High Dials, War of the Wakening Phantoms , 2, 9

53. Hot Hot Heat, Elevator , 2, 9

54. Maximo Park, A Certain Trigger , 2, 9

55. Bob Mould, Body of Song , 2, 8

56. Brazilian Girls, Brazilian Girls , 2, 8

57. Caribou, Milk of Human Kindness , 2, 8

58. Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Come On Back, 2, 8

59. Lucero, Nobody's Darlings, 2, 8

60. Okkervil River, Black Sheep Boy , 2, 8

61. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Face the Truth , 2, 8

62. The National, Alligator , 2, 8

63. Marah, If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry, 3, 7

64. Go! Team, Thunder Lightning Strike, 2, 7

65. Nada Surf, The Weight is a Gift, 2, 7

66. Robbie Fulks, Georgia Hard , 2, 7

67. Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine , 2, 6

68. Frank Black, Honeycomb, 2, 6

69. Jack Johnson, In Between Dreams , 2, 6

70. M83, Before Dawn Heals Us, 2, 6

71. Matisyahu, Live at Stubbs, 2, 6

72. Rosco Gordon, No Dark in America , 2, 6

73. Soundtrack of Our Lives, Origins Vol. 1 , 2, 6

74. Sun Kil Moon, Tiny Cities , 2, 6

75. Various Artists, I Believe to My Soul, 2, 6

76. Teenage Fanclub, Man-Made, 2, 5

REISSUES, SOUNDTRACKS, ETC.:

  • Various Artists, Scratchy Sounds: Ska, Dub Roots & Reggae Nuggets
  • Lee Perry, I Am The Upsetter: The Story of Lee "Scratch" Perry
  • Prince Far I, Silver & Gold 1973-1975
  • Bob Dylan, No Direction Home (Bootleg Series #7)
  • Various Artists, I Believe to My Soul
  • Various Artists, Cold Heat: Heavy Funk Rarities, Vol. 1: 1968-1974

INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS:

MR.NATURAL,

  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Dwight Yoakam, Blame the Vain
  • Lockgroove, Settle Right Down
  • John Dufilho,
  • South San Gabriel, The Carlton Chronicles
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Naturally
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Teenage Fanclub, Man-Made
  • High Dials, War of the Wakening Phantoms
  • Oranger, New Comes and Goes
  • Ash, Meltdown
  • Deathray Davies, The Kick and the Snare
  • Magnolia Electric Co., What Comes After the Blues
  • Lucero, Nobody's Darlings
  • Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Come on Back
  • Rosco Gordon, No Dark in America
  • Frank Black, Honeycomb
  • Marah, If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry
  • Ponys, Celebration Castle
  • Matisyahu, Live at Stubbs
  • New Estate, Considering...
  • The Bats, At the National Grid
  • Various Artists, I Believe to My Soul
  • The High Strung, Moxie Bravo
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah,

IRISHTED,

  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • Soundtrack of Our Lives, Origin 1
  • Maximo Park, A Certain Trigger
  • Kanye West, Late Registration
  • Bob Mould, Body of Song
  • Beck, Guero
  • Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better
  • Hot Hot Heat, Elevator
  • The Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang
  • Redwalls, De Nova
  • The Bravery, The Bravery
  • Stereophonics, Language. Sex. Violence. Other?
  • Hellacopters, Rock & Roll Is Dead
  • Kings of Leon, Aha Shake Heartbreak
  • New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl
  • Dandy Warhols, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars
  • Black 47, Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes

SCOTTNDFAN,

  • Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Animal Collective, Feels
  • Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary
  • Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake
  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
  • LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem
  • Lightning Bolt, Hypermagic Mountain
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Thunderbirds are Now!, Justamustache
  • M83, Before Dawn Heals Us

STEEDLE,

  • matt pond PA, Several Arrows Later
  • South San Gabriel , The Carlton Chronicles
  • Okkervil River , Black Sheep Boy
  • Mountain Goats, The Sunshine Tree
  • Oranger, New Comes and Goes
  • Minus the Bear, Menos el Oso
  • Silver Jews, Tanglewood Numbers
  • The Decemberists, Picaresque
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm

STANFORDDOMER,

  • Idlewild, Warnings/Promises
  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl
  • Common, Be
  • Trail of Dead, Worlds Apart
  • Deathray Davies, The Kick and the Snare
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Kanye West, Late Registration
  • Sleater-Kinney, The Woods
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Gorillaz, Demon Days
  • The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • stellastarr*, Harmonies For The Haunted
  • Beck, Guero
  • The Go! Team, Thunder Lightning Strike

OFFICER TIM MCCARTHY,

  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Bloc Party (and friends), Silent Alarm Remixed
  • The Bad Plus, Blunt Object: Live in Tokyo
  • Four Tet, Everything Ecstatic
  • Brazilian Girls, Brazilian Girls
  • The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • Matisyahu, Live at Stubb's
  • Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Naturally
  • Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake
  • Prefuse 73, Surrounded by Silence
  • The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity
  • Snow Patrol, The Trip Vol. 4
  • Thelonius Monk & John Coltrane, Live at Carnegie Hall
  • Ladytron, Witching Hour
  • LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem
  • Willie Nelson, Countryman
  • Engineers, Engineers
  • Toby Keith, Honkytonk U

IRISHVOL,

  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Lucero, Nobody's Darlings
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • Bob Mould, Body of Song
  • Clem Snide, End of Love
  • Frank Black, Honeycomb
  • Rosco Gordon, No Dark in America
  • Kings of Leon, Aha Shake Heartbreak
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah,
  • Deathray Davies, The Kick and the Snare
  • Sharon Jones & Dap Kings, Naturally
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Hubert Sumlin, About Them Shoes
  • Spinto Band, Nice and Nicely Done
  • Crooked Fingers, Dignity and Shame
  • Oranger, New Comes and Goes
  • Nada Surf, The Weight is a Gift

SPIRAL STAIRS,

  • Magnolia Electric Co, What Comes After the Blues
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Impossible Shapes, Horus
  • Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Broom
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction
  • Sleater-Kinney, The Woods
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Silver Jews, Tanglewood Numbers
  • Caribou, Milk of Human Kindness
  • Edan, Beauty and the Beat
  • Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene
  • The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Armed Love
  • Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary
  • Beak, I Have Friends and I'm Not Afraid to Use Them

NDANA JONES,

  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Crooked Fingers, Dignity and Shame
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Naturally
  • The Blue Van, The Art of Rolling
  • Kings of Leon, Aha Shake Heartbreak
  • The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • The Decemberists, Picaresque
  • I Am Kloot, Gods and Monsters
  • Calexico/Iron & Wine, In the Reins
  • The White Stripes, Get Behind Me
  • Little Barrie, We Are Little Barrie
  • Marah, If You Didn't Laugh
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Clem Snide, End of Love
  • Eddie Spaghetti, Old No. 2
  • Constantines, Tournament of Hearts
  • Supergrass, Road to Rouen
  • The Rosebuds, Birds Make Good Neighbors
  • Magnolia Electric Co., What Comes After the Blues
  • Sun Kil Moon, Tiny Cities
  • Silver Jews, Tanglewood Numbers
  • Sigur Ros, Takk
  • Danger Doom, The Mouse and the Mask
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction

FRANCISCO BROS,

  • The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • Silver Jews, Tanglewood Numbers
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction
  • Walking Concert, Run to Be Born (2004)
  • Clem Snide, End of Love
  • Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
  • Neil Young, Prairie Wind
  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Frames, Burn the Maps
  • Stephen Malkmus, Face the Truth
  • Oranger, New Comes and Goes
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Rolling Stones, Bigger Bang
  • System of a Down, Mezmerize
  • Beck, Guero
  • Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust

ROCKSTEADY74

  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • The High Dials, The War of Wakening Phantoms
  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Lee Perry, I Am The Upsetter: The Story of Lee "Scratch" Perry
  • Rogue Wave, Descended Like Vultures
  • Maximo Park, A Certain Trigger
  • The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • Various Artists, Scratchy Sounds
  • Nic Armstrong & the Thieves, The Greatest White Liar
  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
  • Spoon, Gimmie Fiction
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Okkervil River, Black Sheep Boy
  • Stars, Set Yourself on Fire
  • The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • Prince Far I, Silver & Gold 1973-1975
  • The Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary
  • Silversun Pickups. Pikul ,
  • Jack Johnson, In Between Dreams
  • Teenage Fanclub, Man-Made
  • The Bats, At the National Grid
  • matt pond PA, Several Arrows Later
  • The Wedding Present, Take Fountain
  • The Kaiser Chiefs, Employment

MIKEMAN

  • Josh Rouse, Nashville
  • Ryan Adams, Cold Roses
  • David Gray, Life in Slow Motion
  • Bob Dylan, No Direction Home (Bootleg Series #7)
  • Girlyman, Little Star
  • Josh Joplin, Jaywalker
  • Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust
  • Glenn Phillips, Winter Pays for the Summer
  • The Wallflowers, Rebel Sweetheart
  • Neil Young, Prarie Wind
  • Van Morrison, Magic Time
  • Ryan Adams, Jacksonville City Nights

JD IN PORTLAND

  • Bettye Lavette, I've Got My Own Hell To Raise.
  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • Various Artists, I Believe to My Soul
  • Richmond Fontaine, The Fitzgerald
  • Wilco, Kicking Television
  • Chocolate Genius Inc., Black Yankee Rock
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • John Doe, Forever Hasn't Happened Yet
  • M. Ward, Transistor Radio
  • Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Exploration
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl
  • Neil Young, Prairie Wind
  • Graham Parker, Songs of No Consequence
  • Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction
  • Steve Dawson, Sweet is the Anchor
  • Son Volt, Okemah and the Melody of Riot
  • Robbie Fulks, Georgia Hard
  • North Mississippi All Stars, Elecrtic Blue Watermelon

BRANDYWELLS

  • The Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Robbie Fulks, Georgia Hard
  • Wilco, Kicking Television
  • Calexico/Iron & Wine, In the Reins
  • Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene
  • Beck, Guero
  • New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Earlimart, Treble and Tremble

DILLON1998

  • Bright Eyes, Wide Awake It's Morning
  • White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • Beck, Guero
  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinoise
  • Wilco, Kicking Television
  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • The Go! Team, Thunder Lightning Strike
  • Kanye West, Late Registration
  • The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have it So Much Better

ROCKET7

  • Carbon Leaf, Indian Summer
  • James Blunt, Back to Bedlam
  • Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust
  • Amos Lee, Amos Lee

MOSJEFFINATELY

  • Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Wilderness, Wilderness
  • Lou Barlow, Emoh
  • The Boy Least Likely To, Best Party Ever
  • Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better
  • Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Face the Truth
  • Danger Doom, Danger Doom
  • Minus the Bear, Menos El Oso

BLAZESBOYLAN

  • Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • The National, Alligator
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Greg Dulli's Amber Headlights
  • Crooked Fingers, Dignity and Shame
  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations

FINAL FLANNER

  • Ben Folds, Songs for Silverman
  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
  • Beck, Guero
  • Weezer, Make Believe
  • The Decemberists, Picaresque

PLAXICO

  • Eels, Blinking Lights
  • Saxon Shore, The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore
  • Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary
  • The Bravery, The Bravery
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Hammock, Kenotic
  • LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem
  • Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have Had It So Much Better
  • Brazilian Girls, Brazilian Girls
  • M83, Before Dawn Heals Us
  • The National, Alligator
  • Minus the Bear, Menos el Oso
  • Stars, Set Yourself on Fire
  • Kaiser Chiefs, Employment

ARSENAL

  • Ben Folds, Songs for Silverman
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Hot Hot Heat, Elevator
  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
  • Kanye West, Late Registration
  • Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust
  • White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • Jack Johnson, In Between Dreams
  • Trail of Dead, Worlds Apart
  • The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • Calexico/Iron & Wine, In the Reins
  • Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better
  • Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah,
  • Gorillaz, Demon Days
  • Audioslave, Your Time Has Come
  • Foo Fighters, In Your Honor
  • Rolling Stones, Bigger Bang
  • Death Cab for Cutie, Plans
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction

GMATOUS

  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • South San Gabriel, The Carlton Chronicles
  • Neil Young, Prairie Wind
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction
  • Doug Gillard, Salamander

GLOVEND

  • New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction
  • Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
  • Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
  • Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust
  • Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better
  • Kanye West, Late Registration
  • Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Cold Roses
  • Richard Buckner and Jon Langford, Sir Dark Invader vs. the Fanglord
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah,
  • The Bravery
  • Marah, If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry

SHADYIRISH

  • Black Mountain, Black Mountain
  • Brendan Benson, The Alternative to Love
  • Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
  • The Magic Numbers, The Magic Numbers
  • Nickel Creek, Why Should The Fire Die?
  • The Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang

NAUGHMAN

  • Hold Steady, Separation Saturday
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, s/t
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction
  • Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary
  • Clipse, We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2
  • Kanye West, Late Registration
  • White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • Sage Francis, A Healthy Distrust
  • New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • Caribou, The Milk of Human Kindness
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Beck, Guero
  • Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
  • eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Common, Be
  • Doves, Some Cities
  • MIA, Arular
  • Sharon Jones & Dap Kings, Naturally
  • Fannypack, See You Next Tuesday

SLAINTE JOE

  • Hayes Carll, Little Rock
  • New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • Portastatic, Bright Ideas
  • Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Come On Back
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Bettye LaVette, I've Got My Own Hell To Raise
  • Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell, Begonias
  • The Deathray Davies, The Kick and the Snare

NDFLANNER

  • White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • Coldplay, X&Y
  • Billy Corgan, TheFutureEmbrace
  • Death Cab for Cutie, Plans
  • Common, Be
  • Ben Folds, Songs for Silverman
  • Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust
  • Kanye West, Late Registration
  • John Hiatt, Master of Disaster
  • The Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang

THE TWERP

  • The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Brendan Benson, The Alternative to Love
  • Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have it So Much Better

KNUTESTEEN

  • Wilco, Kicking Television
  • Eels, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
  • Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
  • My Morning Jacket, Z
  • Doves, Some Cities
  • Kraftwerk, Minimum-Maximum
  • Kaiser Chiefs, Employment
  • Bruce Springsteen, Devils and Dust
  • Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better

PAPAL451 bloc party, silent alarm nada surf, the weight is a gift sigur ros, takk arcade fire, funeral death cab for cutie, plans trail of dead, worlds apart the von bondies, pawn shoppe heart doves, some cities ryan adams, jackson city nights danger doom, the mouse and the mask

NDLARRYJ, Architecture in Helsinki, In Case We Die Beck, Guero Clap Your Hands Say Yeah , Eels, Blinking Lights Gorillaz, Demon Days Josh Rouse, Nashville Stars, Set Yourself on Fire Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary Louis XIV, The Best Little Secrets are Kept NIN, With Teeth

NDTRUMPET, Iron & Wine/Calexico, In the Reins Sun Kil Moon, Tiny Cities Minus the Bear, Menos el Oso Sigur Ros, Takk Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Magnolia Electric Co, What Comes After the Blues New Pornographers, Twin Cinema Iron & Wine, Woman King My Morning Jacket, Z Death Cab for Cutie, Plans

IRISHNC12, Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday Beck, Guero Bright Eyes, Digital Ash for a Digital Urn White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan Kaiser Chiefs, Employment Sufjan Stevens, Illinois Wilco, Kicking Television Soundtrack of Our Lives, Origins Vol. 1 My Morning Jacket, Z Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl Neil Young, Prairie Wind Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine New Pornographers, Twin Cinema Clap Your Hands Say Yeah,

CHAPEL HILL IRISH, Spoon, Gimme Fiction My Morning Jacket, Z Bloc Party, Silent Alarm Watchers, The Dunes Phase Idlewild, Warnings/Promises Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Cold Roses Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Jacksonville City Lights Kathleen Edwards, Back to Me Sufjan Stevens, Illinois Crooked Fingers, Dignity and Shame Stars, Set Yourself on Fire The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan

OLLIE MCCLELLAN, Sleater-Kinney, The Woods The Duhks Beck, Guero Spoon, Gimme Fiction Broken Social Scene The Decemberists, Picaresque The Faint, Wet From Birth John Prine, Fair and Square Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning Clap Your Hands Say Yeah,



Backroom Top 10 of 2004

I present to you the top vote-getters in the 2004 ND Nation Album Poll. I awarded 10 points per first place vote, 8 for all others ranked 2-5, 6 for albums ranked 6-10, 4 for 11-15, and 2 for 16-20. There are exactly 50 albums which garnered more than one vote from Backroomers. I also will submit the individual lists for entry in the Almanac; if you see that one of your favorites got only two or three votes, look up the others who dug it and see if there are treasures on their list to be had. One observation: This year's list is a little, uh, whiter than last year's.

1. Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, 120 points, 16 mentions. Containing likely song-of-the-year medalist "Float On", this album offered some of the most bracing rock sounds in a year full of them. Isaac Brock doesn't follow a lot of rules, but with his talent, he gets away with it for the most part.

2. Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand, 112 points, 16 mentions. They're Scottish, right? Or Welsh? I liked them pretty well, but to be completely honest, I don't think they rock as hard as the Hives, Interpol or any number of unknown American garage-rock bands (Dirtbombs, High Strung, Reigning Sound, Sights)� but everybody else seems to like them. Go for it, dude.

3. Ted Leo & Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets, 96 points, 13 mentions. Which Notre Dame alum had the biggest 2004? Ted Leo or Charlie Weis?

4. Wilco, A Ghost is Born, 88 points, 12 mentions. In my opinion, they have outdone Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by a mile. I know Tweedy's recycling influences pretty shamelessly (Crazy Horse guitar workouts, Neu synth/drum machine jams), but you know what? It's not who you steal from, but how good you are that counts. Wilco is very good; maybe their strongest effort to date.

5. Arcade Fire, Funeral, 82 points, 11 mentions. This record came out of nowhere in late fall to knock a bunch of really great records down the list. It's a rare record that both grabs you with its catchiness and grows on you with its richness and lyrics. Here's one.

6. Interpol, Antics, 64 points, 9 mentions. No sophomore slump for this band, reputed to be one of the hardest-working in the business. It's funny to me that they're almost exactly half as popular as Franz Ferdinand. I think if this was the debut and FF was the followup effort, the positions would be exactly reversed.

7. Black Keys, Rubber Factory, 66 points, 8 mentions. Believe the hype, and don't believe the conventional wisdom (most often true) that skinny white kids can't play the blues. They play the blues, all right. They chew them up and spit them out in chunks.

8. Killers, Hot Fuss, 58 points, 8 mentions. One of a plethora of very good postpunk rock bands to arrive in 2004 (see Ferdinand, Franz and Fire, Arcade), these guys got the benefit of an appearance on the soundtrack to The O.C. (Some TV show all the kids watch)

9. Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose, 50 points, 8 mentions. Jack White produced the album with his trademark Led Zep-blues-meets-grunge sound, but Loretta wrote all the songs and proved she still has the chops to hold her own with a bunch of rock players half her age.

10. U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, 52 points, 7 mentions. Hey! How the hell did this get on here? I thought we only liked "critics' darlings"? Blame it on Steve Jobs, I guess.

Rounding out the top 50 11. Kanye West, The College Dropout, 50, 7

12. Walkmen, Bows + Arrows, 44, 7

13. Guided by Voices, Half Smiles of the Decomposed, 46, 6

14. Drive by Truckers, The Dirty South, 44, 6

15. Brian Wilson, Smile, 40, 6

16. Elliott Smith, From a Basement on the Hill, 38, 6

17. Snow Patrol, Final Straw, 34, 6

18. Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days, 34, 5

19. Richard Buckner, Dents and Shells, 34, 4

20. Garden State, Soundtrack, 30, 4

21. The Streets, A Grand Don't Come For Free, 30, 4

22. TV on the Radio, Desperate Youth Blood Thirsty Babes, 28, 4

23. Tift Merritt, Tambourine, 24, 4

24. Willie Nelson, It Always Will Be, 14, 4

25. Prince, Musicology, 24, 3

26. Thermals, Fuckin A, 24, 3

27. Ponys, Laced With Romance, 22, 3

28. Old 97's, Drag It Up, 20, 3

29. Stereolab, Margarine Eclipse, 20, 3

30. Umphrey's McGee, Anchor Drops, 18, 3

31. Rockfour, Nationwide, 16, 3

32. Elvis Costello, Delivery Man, 14, 3

33. Beastie Boys, To the 5 Boroughs, 18, 2

34. Jim White, Drill a Hole in that Substrate and Tell Me What You See, 18, 2

35. Green Day, American Idiot, 16, 2

36. Five for Fighting, The Battle for Everything, 14, 2

37. Jim Lauderdale, Headed for the Hills, 14, 2

38. Los Lobos, The Ride, 14, 2

39. Pinback, Summer in Abaddon, 14, 2

40. Allison Moorer, The Duel, 12, 2

41. Johnathon Rice, Untitled EP, 12, 2

42. Marah, 20000 Streets Under the Sky, 12, 2

43. Mission of Burma, OnOffOn, 12, 2

44. Rogue Wave, Out of the Shadow, 12, 2

45. Sonic Youth, Sonic Nurse, 12, 2

46. Unicorns, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?, 12, 2

47. Xiu Xiu, Fabulous Muscles, 12, 2

48. Zero 7, When it Falls, 12, 2

49. David Kilgour, Frozen Orange, 8, 2

50. Tom Waits, Real Gone, 8, 2

And here are all the entries...

STANFORD DOMER Black Keys, Rubber Factory Social Distortion, Sex Love and Rock & Roll The Killers, Hot Fuss Los Lobos, The Ride Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Los Lonely Boys, Los Lonely Boys Wilco, A Ghost is Born Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose Interpol, Antics Snow Patrol, Final Straw

NAUGHMAN The Arcade Fire, Funeral Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose Walkmen, Bows + Arrows Black Keys, Rubber Factory Drive-By Truckers, The Dirty South Kanye West, The College Dropout Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Guided By Voices, Half Smiles of the Decomposed Foreign Exchange, Connected TV on the Radio, Desperate Youth Blood Thirsty Babes Secret Machines, Now Here is Nowhere Ghostface, Pretty Toney Album The Libertines, The Libertines Rockfour, Nationwide Neko Case, The Tigers Have Spoken

SCOTTNDFAN, Arcade Fire, Funeral Modest Mouse, Good News For People Who Like Bad News Interpol, Antics Pinback, Summer in Abaddon Wilco, A Ghost is Born !!!, Louden Up Now Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days Blonde Redhead, Misery is a Butterfly Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Xiu Xiu, Fabulous Muscles Elliott Smith, From a Basement on the Hill Sonic Youth, Sonic Nurse Franz Ferdinand, S/T Unicorns, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? Walkmen, Bows + Arrows

IRISHNC12 Modest Mouse, Good news For People Who Love Bad News Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Black Keys, Rubber Factory Elliot Smith, From a Basement on the Hill The Streets, A Grand don't come for free Willie Nelson, It always will be Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose Interpol, Antics Green Day, American Idiot The Killers, Hot Fuss

MR.NATURAL Guided by Voices, Half Smiles of the Decomposed Black Keys, Rubber Factory Richard Buckner, Dents and Shells Will Johnson, Vultures Await Jim Lauderdale, Headed for the Hills Wilco, A Ghost is Born The Arcade Fire, Funeral The Ponys, Laced With Romance Rockfour, Nationwide Los Lobos, The Ride Matthew Sweet, Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu Allison Moorer, The Duel Anders Parker, Tell It to the Dust Mark Lanegan Band, Bubblegum Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News David Kilgour, Frozen Orange Richmond Fontaine, Post to Wire Willie Nelson, It Always Will Be Tom Waits, Real Gone Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose The Features, Exhibit A Preston School of Industry, Monsoon Human Television, All Songs Written by Human Television McLusky, The Difference Between You and Me Is That I'm Not on Fire Mission of Burma, Onoffon

IRISHTED Black Keys, Rubber Factory Killers, Hot Fuss Say Anything, Say Anything Is A Real Boy Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Prince, Musicology Arcade Fire, Funeral Velvet Revolver, Contraband Walkmen, Bows + Arrows Kanye West, The College Dropout

NDGLOVE Richard Buckner, Dents and Shells Black Keys, Rubber Factory Killers, Hot Fuss Arcade Fire, Funeral Garden State, Soundtrack Steve Earle, The Revolution Starts Now Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days Wilco, A Ghost is Born Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Elliott Smith, From a Basement on the Hill

IRISHTEXAN Sloan, Action Pact Pedro the Lion, Achilles Heel Rogue Wave, Out of the Shadow Stereophonics, You Gotta Go There to Come Back U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Mason Jennings, Use Your Voice Wilco, A Ghost Is Born O.A.R., 34th & 8th Modest Mouse, Good News... Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days DJ Danger Mouse, The Grey Album Ted Leo, Shake the Streets Five for Fighting, The Battle for Everything Elvis Costello, Delivery Man Willie Nelson, It Always Will Be

MIKEMAN Five for Fighting, The Battle for Everything Ike Reilly Assassination, Sparkle in the Finish Bob Dylan, Bootleg Series 6: Concert at Philharmonic Hall Elliott Smith, From a Basement on the Hill Grey Delisle, Graceful Ghost U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Brian Wilson, Smile

HALMAN Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News Interpol, Antics Talib Kweli, The Beautiful Struggle Tortoise, It's All Around You Stereolab, Margarine Eclipse

IRISHVOL Wilco, A Ghost is Born Black Keys, Rubber Factory Bobby Bare Jr, From the End of Your Leash Drive-By Truckers, The Dirty South Allison Moorer, The Duel Kanye West, The College Dropout Jim Lauderdale, Headed for the Hills Interpol, Antics Old 97's, Drag It Up Arcade Fire, Funeral Guided By Voices, Half Smiles of the Decomposed Tift Merritt, Tambourine Elvis Costello, Delivery Man Umphrey's McGee, Anchor Drops Marah, 20000 Streets Under the Sky Muse, Absolution Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Snow Patrol, The Final Straw Features, Exhibit A

THE TWERP Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News Black Keys, Rubber Factory Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Kill Bill 2, Soundtrack Garden State, Soundtrack U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

DILLON1998 Wilco, A Ghost is Born Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News Guided By Voices, Half Smiles of the Decomposed Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Kanye West, College Dropout Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand

FRANCISCO BROTHERS Breakup Society, James at 35 Unicorns, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Thermals, Fuckin A Drive-By Truckers, The Dirty South Tom Waits, Real Gone Wykantaug Monks, [tanks] (EP) Arcade Fire, Funeral Wilco, A Ghost is Born Midgetmen, High Life

ROCKSTEADY 74 The Ponys, Laced With Romance The Futureheads, The Futureheads The Libertines, The Libertines Arcade Fire, Funeral Snow Patrol, The Final Straw Joseph Arthur, Our Shadows Will Remain Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand David Kilgour, Frozen Orange Human Television, All Songs by Human Television TV on the Radio, Desperate Youth Blood Thirsty Babes Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Like Bad News Dogs Die In Hot Cars, Please Describe Yourself Rogue Wave, Out of the Shadow Camera Obscura, Underacheivers Please Try Harder Citizen Cope, Clarence Greenwood Recordings

ODDBALL Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Interpol, Antics Garden State, Soundtrack A.C. Newman, The Slow Wonder Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News Elliott Smith, From a Basement on the Hill Walkmen, Bows + Arrows Killers, Hot Fuss Streets, A Grand Don't Come For Free Snow Patrol, The Final Straw Green Day, American Idiot Citizen Cope, Clarence Greenwood Recordings Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days Kanye West, The College Dropout Keane, Hopes and Fears

OFCR TIM MCCARTHY Madvillain, Madvillainy The Go! Team, Thunder Lightning Strike The Bad Plus, Give Fila Brazillia, The Life & Times of Phoebus Brumal / Dicks Interpol, Antics Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose Arcade Fire, Funeral Brian Wilson, Smile Eagles of Death Metal, Peace Love Death Metal Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters William Basinski, Disintegration Loops V/A, Pathe 100: The Original Shanghai Divas Tim Deluxe, The Little Ginger Club Kid The Black Keys, Rubber Factory Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Willie Nelson, It Always Will Be Jason Forrest, The Unrelenting Songs of the 1979 Post Disco Crash Amp Fiddler, Waltz of a Ghetto Fly Savath & Savalas, Manana Toots & the Maytals , True Love

JAMESON Ted Leo, Shake the Streets Modest Mouse, Good News Marah, 20000 Streets Under the Sky The Killers, Hot Fuss The Hives, Tyrannosaurus Hives Richard Buckner, Dents and Shells Wilco, A Ghost Is Born Old 97's, Drag It Up Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous

NDMANORITE Modest Mouse, Good News... Kanye West, College Dropout Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose The Streets, A Grand Don't Come For Free Wilco, A Ghost Is Born Brian Wilson, SMiLE Snow Patrol, Final Straw Elliot Smith, From a Basement on the Hill The Fiery Furnaces, Blueberry Boat The Walkmen, Bows and Arrows The Samples, Black and White Air, Talkie Walkie Jay Farrar, Stone Steel & Bright Lights Stereolab, Margerine Eclipse Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand

FINAL FLANNER Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Beastie Boys, To the 5 Boroughs

FOFM Richard Buckner, Dents and Shells Sonic Youth, Sonic Nurse Earlimart, Treble & Tremble Nick Cave, Abbatoir Blues Jim White, Drill a Hole in that Substrate and Tell Me What You See Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Stereolab, Margerine Eclipse Zero 7, When it Falls Johnathon Rice, Untitled EP Tift Merritt, Tambourine

GMATOUS Guided By Voices, Half Smiles of the Decomposed Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Robert Pollard, Fiction Man Thermals, Fuckin A Arcade Fire, Funeral Rockfour, Nationwide Drive-By Truckers, The Dirty South Von Bondies, Pawn Shoppe Heart

MT IRISH Morrissy, you are the quarry The Ponys, laced with romance Felix da Housecat, devin dazzle and the neon fever The Streets, a grand don't come for free These Arms Are Snakes, The lion sleeps TV on the Radio, desperate youth bloodthirsty babes The Killers, hot fuss Franz Ferdinand, s/t VHS or Beta, night on fire Snow Patrol, final straw

JACKSDADDY Beastie Boys, To the 5 Boroughs Wilco, A Ghost is Born Old 97's, Drag It Up Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News Musicology, Prince Black Keys, Rubber Factory Danger Mouse, The Grey Album Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose Kanye West, The College Dropout Brian Wilson, Smile

JD IN PORTLAND Jim White, Drill a Hole in that Substrate... Brian Wilson, Smile Camper van Beethoven, New Roman Times Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Blues Guided by Voices, Half Smiles of the Decomposed Elvis Costello, Delivery Man R.E.M., Around the Sun Ellis Hooks, Uncomplicated Drive by Truckers, The Dirty South Chris Stamey, Travels in the South

BNGFAN Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News Umphrey's Mcgee, Anchor Drops Garden State, Soundtrack

BLUEFIELD Green Day, American Idiot Brian Wilson, SMiLE The Grateful Dead, The Closing of Winterland Drive By Truckers, The Dirty South U2, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

TBSONE Kanye West, The College Dropout U2, ...Atomic Bomb Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Linkin Park/Jay-Z, Numb/Encore Gretchen Wilson, Here for the Party

FERNDOG Prince, Musicology Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand The Killers, Hot Fuss Tift Merritt, Tambourine Starsailor, Silence Is Easy Iron & Wine, Our Endless Munbered Days Interpol, Antics Keane, Hopes & Fears

SPIRAL STAIRS TV on the Radio, Desperate Youth Bloodthirsty Babes Wilco, A Ghost is Born Interpol, Antics Walkmen, Bows + Arrows Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Mission of Burma, OnOffOn Umphrey's McGee, Anchor Drops Aloha, Here Comes Everyone Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand Xiu Xiu, Fabulous Muscles Beak, Amoral Mayor Earwig

BLAZESBOYLAN Ted Leo & Pharmacists, Shake the Sheets Arcade Fire, Funeral Thermals, Fuckin A Mclusky, The Difference Between You and Me is I'm Not On Fire American Music Club, Love Songs for Patriots Walkmen, Bows & Arrows Pinback, Summer in Abaddon Blue Nile, High Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News Mission of Burma, OnOffOn



Backroom Top 10 of 2003

Here are the top ten vote-getters. I gave 4 points for first place, 3 for 2nd or 3rd, 2 for 4th-6th, and 1 for 7th-10th.

1. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves. Great throwback album gives you that blacklight poster feeling again. 11 mentions, 30 points, 2 first place votes.

2. Outkast, Speakerboxx/The Love Below. Massive quantities of catchy beats and rhymes, and enough quality to top several lists. 7 mentions, 24 points, 4 first place votes.

3. Warren Zevon, The Wind. Did he record his best album on his deathbed? That "Knocking on Heaven's Door" is pretty haunting, but it's also a great cover of a great song. 8 mentions, 21 points, 2 first place votes.

4. The Jayhawks, Rainy Day Music. Seems like a return to form for this durable alt/country band. I think their touring the last couple of years has helped raise awareness… 7 mentions, 19 points, 1 first place vote.

5. Robert Randolph, Unclassified. I guess I need to get this record. Hard to argue with the company it’s in on this chart… 5 mentions, 17 points, 3 first place votes.

6. The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow. Mercer’s songwriting skills have grown since “Oh, Inverted World”. The songs are subtler, the lyrics are more discernible (and better). No sophomore slump here… 8 mentions, 16 points, 2 first place votes.

7. Radiohead, Hail to the Thief. “Fear of Rock” retains a spot in the top ten. I am unqualified to comment on this record. Others’ comments welcome… 7 mentions, 16 points, 1 first place vote.

8. Guided by Voices, Earthquake Glue. If you put together all the votes for the FIVE GbV titles in the survey, plus the votes for Lifeguards and Robert Pollard’s Motel of Fools, they might be #1. But I’d rather have the quantity than have him try to distill his magic… 5 mentions, 16 points, 2 first place votes.

9. Ted Leo & Pharmacists, Hearts of Oak. Great breakout year for Notre Dame’s most visible indie rock graduate. Oh, what’s that? He’s the ONLY indie-rock graduate? Doesn’t lessen the accomplishment a bit… 5 mentions, 13 points, 1 first place vote.

10. (tie) Centro-Matic, Love You Just the Same. Mr.Natural is happy he talked enough of you into buying this to vote it into the top ten. All the rest of you, what are you waiting for? Pure rock enjoyment, that’s what! 5 mentions, 12 points, 2 first place votes.

10. (tie) New Pornographers, Electric Version. Super-catchy power pop from Canadian indie supergroup. The song “The Laws Have Changed” is the one that pulls it all together for them, with Neko Case’s spectacular vocals… 5 mentions, 12 points, 1 first place vote.

10. (tie) Joe Strummer, Streetcore. As Rocksteady 74 said, “Sympathy vote? Who cares!” Another artist who had been doing some of his greatest work nearly 30 years after his first… 5 mentions, 12 points, 0 first place votes.

Poster whose top 10 most closely resembled the Backroom's Top 10: Tie, GMatous, Naughman and Irishvol, each with 5.

Poster whose top 10 had the least in common with the Backroom Top 10: Tie, Final Flanner and Domer 05, each with 0. They may be the prophets in the wilderness, or maybe they should just get in step…

Recommendations for cd's none of you mentioned, but made my top 20:

Caitlin Cary, I'm Staying Out. I think every one of you would like this. She's a terrific country singer, and her songwriting is improving (it was already pretty damn good). Songs about living, loving and being a grown-up... if you like that about Springsteen and Zevon, she's in that class, as far as I'm concerned. One review I read this year compared her work to the post-Whiskeytown work of Ryan Adams and came to the conclusion that he had received undue credit for the greatness of that band...

Matthew Ryan, Regret Over the Wires. I wish he could get a deal with a label for more than one album. He just released his first material in Britain (after four albums in the US). Talk about your undiscovered treasure! Really, any of his records will do the trick. The quality of songwriting and playing is uniform. RIYL: Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, Bob Dylan.

Deathray Davies, Midnight at the Black Nail Polish Factory. Dumbest title for a great album of 2003. Power pop with a grunge aftertaste. Dallas' little secret. Help let it out... RIYL: The Wrens, The Promise Ring, Fountains of Wayne with more of an edge.

Thanks very much for voting; I enjoy reading your comments and discovering new stuff through you all.

Here are all the entries...

Mr.Natural 1. Centro-Matic, Love You Just the Same 2. Guided by Voices, Earthquake Glue 3. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves 4. The Wrens, Meadowlands 5. Caitlin Cary, I’m Staying Out 6. Calexico, Feast of Wire 7. Crooked Fingers, Red Devil Dawn 8. Dwight Yoakam, Population: Me 9. Cat Power, You Are Free 10. The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow

Irishted 1. Robert Randolph & Family Band – Unclassified 2. White Stripes – Elephant 3. Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea 4. Warren Zevon, The Wind 5. A.F.I. - Sing the Sorrow

Jameson 1. Outkast, Speakerboxx/The Love Below 2. Radiohead – HTTF 3. The New Pornographers - Electric Version 4. Ted Leo and the Rx - Hearts of Oak 5. $.50 get rich or die tryin' (had to list it)

Spiral Stairs 1. Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Hearts of Oak 2. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves 3. Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher 4. New Pornographers - Electric Version 5. The Rapture – Echoes 6. Songs:Ohia - Magnolia Electric Company 7. The Bad Plus - These Are The Vistas 8. Super Furry Animals - Phantom Power 9. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People 10. Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

ND Trumpet 1. Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium 2. Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers 3. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief 4. Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway 5. Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress 6. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts 7. Ted Leo - Hearts of Oak (my copy is autographed!) 8. The Wrens - The Meadowlands 9. The Libertines - Up the Bracket 10. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves Dillon1998 1. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief 2. Zwan - Mary, Star of the Sea 3. Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below 4. Wilco - More Like the Moon

hobbs 1. Outkast, Speakerboxx/The Love Below 2. Wyclef Jean - The Preacher's Son 3. Pearl Jam - Lost Dogs 4. Warren Zevon, The Wind 5. The Wrens - The Meadowlands 6. Radiohead - Hail to the thief 7. The Kills - Keep On Your Mean Side 8. The New Pornographers - Electric Version 9. The Roots - Phrenology 10. Lou Reed - The Raven

The Twerp 1. White Stripes, Elephant 2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell 3. The Kills, Keep on Your Mean Side 4. The Shins, Chutes too Narrow 5. Linkin Park, Meteora 6. Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism 7. Stellastarr, Stellastarr 8. Jet, Get Born 9. Grandaddy, Sumday 10. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Hearts of Oak

Francisco Brothers 1. New Pornographers - Electric Version 2. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves 3. Cat Power - You Are Free 4. Outkast, Speakerboxx/The Love Below 5. Sumday - Grandaddy 6. Drive By Truckers - Decoration Day 7. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow 8. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Pig Lib 9. Beulah - Yoko 10. Thermals - More Parts Per Million

Final Flanner 1. Guster - Keep it Together 2. Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea 3. GBV - Human Amusements at Hourly Rates 4. Dave Matthews - Some Devil 5. Jack Johnson - On and On 6. Ben Harper - Diamonds on the Inside 7. Mighty Wind Soundtrack

GMatous 1. Earthquake Glue - Guided By Voices 2. Demons and Painkillers - Guided by Voices 3. Mist King Urth - Lifeguards 4. Love You Just the Same - Centromatic 5. Electric Version - New Pornographers 6. King Me - Visqueen 7. The Wind - Warren Zevon 8. It Still Moves -My Morning Jacket 9. Strays - Jane's Addiction 10. Post Punk X-Man - GBV short song compilation

Irish Cavan 1. The Wind -- Zevon 2. Strays -- Jane's Addiction 3. The Raven -- Lou Reed 4. Nocturama -- Nick Cave 5. Hail to the Thief -- Radiohead 6. What's Wrong with this Picture -- Van Morrison 7. Everything Must Go -- Steely Dan 8. Greendale -- Neil Young 9. Up the Bracket -- Libertines 10. Just an American Boy --- Steve Earle

Irish Texan 1. The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow 2. The Jayhawks, Rainy Day Music 3. The Stills, Logic Will Break Your Heart 4. Sun Kil Moon, Ghosts of the Great Highway 5. Dwight Yoakam, Population: Me 6. Warren Zevon, The Wind 7. The Thorns, The Thorns 8. Los Lonely Boys, Los Lonely Boys 9. Explosions in the Sky, The World Is Not a Cold Dead Place 10. Lyle Lovett, My Baby Don't Tolerate

FOFM 1. Damien Rice, O 2. Jayhawks, Rainy Day Music 3. Jet, Get Born 4. Joe Strummer, Streetcore 5. Liz Phair, Liz Phair 6. Shins, Chutes Too Naroow 7. Postal Service, Give Up 8. Longwave, The Strangest Things 9. Radiohead, Hail to the Thief 10. Wheat, Per Second, Per Second, Per Second... Every Second

Bluefield 1. Unclassified - Robert Randolph and the Family Band 2. Ryan Adams - Rock n Roll 3. Steve Winwood - About Time 4. Derek Trucks Band - Soul Serenade 5. Jet - Get Born 6. Led Zeppelin - How the West Was Won 7. Soulive (Live) 8. On The Beach - Neil Young (first released on CD in '03) 9. Steely Dan - Everything Must Go 10. Javon Jackson - Easy Does It

Domer 05 1. The Beatles - Let it Be... Naked 2. Dave Matthews - Some Devil 3. Toby Keith - Unleashed 4. Led Zeppelin - How the West Was Won 5. Fleetwood Mac - Say You Will 6. Three Doors Down - Away from the Sun 7. Guster - Keep it Together 8. Barenaked Ladies - Everything to Everyone 9. Evanescence - Fallen 10. A Perfect Circle - Thirteenth Step

JD in Portland 1. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves 2. Warren Zevon, The Wind 3. The Jayhawks - Rainy Day Music 4. Joe Henry - Tiny Voices 5. Kathleen Edwards - Failer 6. Drive By Truckers - Decoration Day 7. Joe Strummer - Streetcore 8. Tim Easton - Break your Mother's Heart 9. The Thorns 10. Paul Westerberg - Come Feel Me Tremble

Blazesboylan 1. Centro-Matic -- Love You Just the Same 2. Deftones 3. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves 4. Jayhawks -- Rainy Day Music 5. Mark Olson -- December's Child 6. Dropkick Murphys – Blackout

Tbsone 1. Outkast, Speakerboxx/The Love Below 2. Ted Leo, Hearts of Oak 3. Chevelle, Send the Pain Below 4. 50 Cent, Get RIch or Die Tryin 5. Jay Z, the Black Album 6. The Roots, Phreneology 7. Radiohead, Hail to the Thief 8. Coldplay, Rush of Blood 9. Linkin Park, Somewhere I Belong 10. Kenny Chesney, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems.

Irishvol 1. Robert Randolph - Unclassified 2. The Thorns 3. Outkast, Speakerboxx/The Love Below 4. Buddy Guy - Blues Singer 5. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves 6. North Mississippi All-Stars - Polaris 7. Jayhawks - Rainy Day Music 8. Ben Harper - Diamonds on the Inside 9. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow 10. Paul Westerberg - Come Feel Me Tremble

Rocksteady74 1. Shins, Chutes Too Narrow 2. Joe Strummer, Streetcore (sympathy vote? who cares?) 3. Wrens, The Meadowlands 4. Ballboy, A Guide to the Daylight Hours 5. Mull Historical Society, Us 6. Belle and Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress 7. The Long Winters, When I Pretend to Fall 8. Crooked Fingers, Red Devil Dawn 9. Guster, "Keep it Together 10. Tie: Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism; and The Postal Service, Give Up

Cash 1. Earthquake Glue, Guided By Voices 2. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves 3. Live at the Wheelchair Races, Guided By Voices (It counts) 4. Hearts of Oak, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 5. Motel of Fools, Robert Pollard 6. Red Devil Dawn, Crooked Fingers 7. Mist King Urth, Lifeguards 8. Magnolia Electric Company, Songs:Ohia 9. Love You Just the Same, Centro-Matic 10. Meadowlands, The Wrens

Drmurray 1. Warren Zevon, The Wind 2. Joe Strummer: Streetcore 3. Buddy Guy: Blues Singer 4. Ben Harper: Diamonds On The Inside 5. Robert Randolph: Unclassified

Brandywells 1. Greg Trooper: Floating. 2. Joe Strummer: Streetcore 3. Warren Zevon, The Wind 4. Jayhawks: Rainy Day Music 5. The Strokes: Room on Fire

Naughman 1. Outkast, Speakerboxx/The Love Below 2. Decoration Day, Drive-By Truckers 3. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves 4. The Black Album, Jay-Z 5. How the West Was Won, Led Zeppelin 6. Earthquake Glue, Guided By Voices 7. Thickfreakness, The Black Keys 8. Chutes Too Narrow, The Shins 9. Love You Just the Same, Centro-Matic 10. Fever To Tell, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

RJD 1. JayHawks-Rainy Day Music 2. The Incredible Soul Collection-2CDs 3. Robert Randolph- Unclassified 4. Van Morrison-What's Wrong with this Picture 5. Guided by Voices – Human Amusements at Hourly Rates 6. The Black eyed Peas - Elephunk 7. Franky Perez-Poor Man's Son 8. Dylan Reissues 9. Beatles - Let it Be Naked

Slainte Joe 1. My Morning Jacket, It Still Moves 2. Gillian Welch - Soul Journey 3. GbV - Earthquake Glue 4. Lyle Lovett - My Baby Don't Tolerate

Back Room Cookbook

(be sure to indicate your handle when submitting a recipe)

Grilling

Giggity Ribs

Soak ribs, either pork or beef (recommendation: pork baby back ribs), overnight in ginger ale in the fridge (should be close to 100% covered by liquid). The overnight soak is the subject of Back Room controversy, as some believe it has no effect on the end product.

Cover with foil and bake ribs, still in ginger ale, for 4 hours at 350 degrees (folks in Back Room recommend using disposable foil baking pans and placing them on cookie sheets for stability).

Remove from ginger ale carefully (they'll be slough-off tender) and refrigerate for at least four hours to help them solidify before grilling. Rudy36 recommends giving them a preliminary coating of BBQ sauce at this point, while they're still hot.

Grill over med-high direct heat for about 10 minutes a side, slathering with a good BBQ sauce. I like my sauce slightly caramelized and the rib tips and edges blackened--you can grill to taste.

Remove from heat, gorge, repeat as necessary.

Disclaimer--named for poster who originally brought the recipe to the masses, Giggity_Giggity. He freely admits that the recipe was stolen from his brother, who in turn stole it from a family friend, but welcomes the granting of naming rights.

Rudy36 Ribs

Home recipe: Same as Giggity's except before I put the ribs in the pans, I give them a light dusting of Famous Dave's Rib Rub. Also, I don't soak the ribs overnight, I simply cut the slabs in half or thirds, dust with rub, place in foil pans, and fill with good ginger ale. I only bake them for 3 1/2 hours as well. Once I remove the ribs from the oven, I take them out of the ginger ale and coat them gently with Sweet Baby Ray's Original Barbecue Sauce before placing them in gallon sized Ziploc bags for at least 24 hours. I then throw them on a hot grill, meat side down first, and coat again with barbecue sauce. I flip after about 4 minutes and coat the meaty side with barbecue sauce, but not too thick. That's about it.

For Tailgating: I do the same as above, but cut the ribs into either 2 or 3 bone segments to make them easy to eat. Because this also makes them more fragile, I only bake them for 3 hours. I remove the pans from the oven and then work as quickly as possible to get all of the ribs out of the ginger ale. The longer they stay in there, the easier they fall apart. I again do everything above, pack all of the rib segments in gallon sized Ziploc bags and ice them down in a cooler for transport, but only after they've been in a refrigerator for at least 12 hours to firm up.

To serve at the tailgate I use small foil pans and the disposable steam table trays. Works out very well.

(Note: I think it's important that the ribs have to go in the refrigerator first. If you try to put them straight in a cooler with ice, they will probably break apart to create a big bag of pulled pork.)

Beef

Asian Grilled Flank Steak

Serves 2-4

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 pound flank steak

In a pan, combine soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar and pineapple juice. Simmer 15 minutes and set aside to cool.

Marinate steak in the sauce for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Grill, or broil until desired level of doneness. Boil/reduce remaining marinade and use it as a sauce.

Submitted by: tex29

Steak:

slightly chilled steak, brushed with olive oil, add a touch of fresh ground pepper and some kosher salt Use a seriously preheated and clean grill, 5 mins per side (obviously this will depend on your cooking temp and preferences). Serve with baked potato and Red Hook IPA.

Grilled Steak Sandwich 

I second the motion in talking with the butcher and getting a good cut from him. Also, keep in mind what your favorite boneless cut of steak is as well. For me the bottom line is that you want a mostly lean cut, but you still want some fat for the flavor, just make sure that the fat is mostly even down the long end of the steak. You don't want to bite in to one end and get all fat, but you do want some fat there. You will proabably want them a bit (1/2 to 1/4 inch all the way around) bigger than the bun because there will be some shrinkage during grilling (which is totally unavoidable). By getting it a bit bigger than the roll you'll find the final product to be a good fit. I like a thick juicy steak on my sandwiches, but you can go overboard. Don't make it too thick. I'd say go with a good rule of thumb and actually have it about as thick as your thumb width (keep in mind I have have big 'ole meathooks). For those folks with smaller hands perhaps the thickness of your lower thumb/palm? If you go too thin you'll risk getting something that will look and feel like a shoe insert, too thick and you get a bloody hockey puck (burnt outside, rare inside).

I recomend charcol if you can use it. The key with charcol is to not use lighter fluid if you can help it. If you do use lighter fluid and are a bit of a pyro and want a quick start and use a ton (like I used to), be sure you give it plenty of time for the fluid to burn off (nobody likes their steaks tasting like jet fuel). Resist the temptation to stir the coals out of your pryamind until they're all white hot (and even then wait 5 more minutes to be sure). Unless you are cooking the ole 76er most steaks don't need a ton of heat and time to cook. If you have no choice but to use propane (and propane accessories), light the gril and crank it up to high for a good 5-10 minutes to get things good and hot, turn it down to a medium/low setting for another 2-3 then toss the meat on. The reason for the high heat setting early on is to clean off any previous bbq you may have left behind from the previous use. Even if you maintain a clean grill and scrub it down after every use, you still have some old flavor behind, but you can cook some of that off with that high heat setting.

Ok so you got the steak and you got the heat, now let's talk flavor. There is a ton of ways to spice up your meat, so if you have something you like or somebody has some sort of secret sauce that you want to use, go with it. My choice is normally to get good meat to start with and go light on the seasoning as I think the meat should be good enough that I don't need to mask it's flavor with funky spices. But then again I grew up on a farm and was spoiled with some high quality beef for a long time. Anyway, my personal favorite mix for seasoning is as follows (again I suggest starting out light on the seasoning until you have a mix that you like): Lea & Perrins (sp?) worchestershire (sp?) sauce, McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning (or any Montreal Steak Seasoning), and a bit of Lawry's season salt. If it is possible to season the steaks overnight do so, even if it is a few hours in the morning try to do so, but also try not to let it soak for over 18 hours as it can get to be overkill. If you are planning on doing this at a tailgate (which I suspect you are), try to season the steaks flat in a tupprware container. If you are just buying everything at the store, tossing it in the cooler and then tailgating I suggest doing the following. Buy all of seasoning and steak at the store along with some ziplock baggies. Before you toss the steak in the cooler in the parking lot, take a few minutes to season the steaks on the spot and toss them into the baggies (1 or 2 to a baggie unless it isn't economical). Then put them into the cooler trying again to keep the steak as flat as you can for maxiumum coverage of your seasoning.

If can really go all out on this you may want to consider getting a bit of butter with some garlic salt to put on the buns and then toast them, but that is a bit of personal preference there. I also forgot to mention above that once you get the meat on the grill if you want to shake on a little extra Lawrey's or Montreal Steak Seasoning you should do so early or after the first flip, but I'd refrain from adding anything once you get things going as it doesn't have a chance to really cook in much and makes the final product gritty.

Submitted by OITLinebacker

Poultry
Grilled Turkey

This is the base recipe and can be changed and adapted many ways - for instance I have done one with a southwest flair with cilantro and cumin and cayenne etc - and used mesquite instead of hickory - have fun with it.

Also - play with the amounts of the ingredients based on the size of your turkey. This is for one in the 10-12 lb range.

Buy a fresh or thaw your turkey - remove crap from inside (gibblets, neck, etc) - rinse and pat dry.

Combine 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup salt - rub all over inside of cavity and outside of turkey

Place turkey on the grill for about 30-40 minutes or until it begins getting nice "browning" all over.

Now is good time to talk about your grill...The preferred method is on the Weber. Place a foil pan full of water on the grate where your coals go in the center. On either side you will want between 20-30 briquettes going - and place your soacked hickory chips/chunks directly on the coals.

If you are using a gas grill - again - place foil pan full of water below where you will place your turkey. You can also get some smoke going by placing your chips in another foil pan (dry) on the coals as well.

Now - after turkey is browned up you will apply the wet rub.

Add to the oil/salt mixture

  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coarse ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley

mix together - you want a paste like consistency - if it is too thin - continue to add more salt and pepper in even proportions - and a little more parsley or whatever aromatic you choose.

Spread that mixture all over the bird - it will look like someone dragged the thing through the dirt - relax - it's chock full of goodness and will harden up into a crust which helps keep the thing really moist.

At this point - you are pretty much done. I like a lot of smoke on my turkey so i keep adding hickory too the coals when I notice the smoke thinning. You will also need to add charcoal from time to time to keep your heat regulated. Be sure and keep an eye on the water pan - if you are using a gas grill - it will evaporate and you will have to add more.

Turkey is done - when the red thingy pops - or when your meat thermometer says so. Peel off the pepper crust and carve that sucker up - its great hot - or will make a fantastic turkey sandwich.

Submitted by: cujaysfan

Everything else

Appetizers

Pig Candy (courtesy of Buck Mulligan)
  • 1 lb. bacon – not thick sliced or peppered
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • chili – chipotle, cayenne or ancho (to taste)

The oven doesn't get preheated, so don't worry about that. Start with a cooling rack that fits inside a cookie sheet/half sheet pan, and lay on the bacon in a single layer as tightly as you can. It will shrink up a lot, so just make sure it's not overlapped. Then place the pan in the oven and turn it to 400 degrees F.

I turn down the oven once it reaches 400 degrees. I take the pan out of the oven, turn it down to 350 degrees F, and somewhat carefully layer the sugar/chile onto the bacon.

Once it's on the bacon, I just smooth it out a bit. I like to put a good amount on each slice of bacon as it will melt off quite a bit, and I want to be sure to have plenty left on the bacon. Once the sugar is on the bacon, I put it back in the oven, turned 180 degrees from how it started. I then start my timing; every 4 minutes, I turn the bacon again, checking doneness. I like my bacon crisp, but even if you prefer yours less crisp, it needs to be crispy for this. I also turn on my overhead vent, as things start to smoke after a while.

I cooked this in the oven, but it can also be done on a grill or hot smoker. Once the bacon is crispy, I remove the pan from the oven and turn off the oven. Even if I'm doing another pan, I turn it off to let it cool somewhat before the next batch.

I immediately remove the bacon from the cooling rack onto paper towels so that it doesn't stick to the cooling rack. If I'm doing more, I wipe off all the grease and melted sugar and start all over.

Total time for this is approximately 25 minutes, though your oven could cause things to cook a bit faster or slower. The 350 degree setting is used so that the sugar doesn't burn.

How does this become an appetizer? Pig Candy is great all on its own, but put it on a festive platter with sliced pears and brie, or figs and cheddar, or all of the above, and you'll have a high-class appetizer that's a bit different than anything other people may be bringing to the party.

Doug's editorial note: It's probably a good idea to line the baking sheets with foil to make cleanup easier – cooking times might be increased, but the mess is significant. Also, I think turning every 4 minutes is overkill. After putting the sugar mixture on, I put the bacon in the oven for about 20 minutes without turning them and it's turned out fine for me.

Submitted by: ndtiger

Bacon Wrapped Breadsticks with Parmesan
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt or powder
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 24 (4 1/2-inch) long sesame breadsticks (1 package)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine the Parmesan with garlic salt and set aside. Cut the bacon slices in half so they are approximately 5-inches long. Wrap each bread stick with 1 slice of bacon, starting at 1 end and ending at the other. Place wrapped bread sticks on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 15 minutes or until bacon is browned. Remove from oven and immediately roll bread sticks in cheese mixture. Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Submitted by: novusordo0205

Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Frank's Hot Sauce
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 (16-ounce) bottle blue cheese salad dressing (or ranch dressing if you prefer)
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack or a combination

In a large saucepan, boil the chicken in water until cooked through (about 15 minutes), drain and shred with two forks. (Option: Bake chicken breasts at 350 degrees for 30 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 13-by-9-inch baking pan, combine the shredded chicken meat with the hot sauce, spreading to form an even layer.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream cheese and blue cheese dressing, stirring until smooth and hot. Pour the mixture evenly over the chicken. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, then sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Submitted by: goirishgo

Crab and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 3 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. crab meat (or three 2.5 oz. pouches - the pouches are not bad at all and very convenient)
  • 14 oz. unmarinated artichokes, drained and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions: Combine mayonnaise and softened cream cheese. Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Bake in a 9-inch pie pan for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Optional: additional parmesan on top of the mixture, chives, fresh parsley, green onions. This stuff is great if you need to bring an appetizer to a party. Serve with whatever crackers you like. I've always had a thing for plain, old Wheat Thins, but pita or bagel chips would also work nicely. The recipe comes from my former hairstylist - a ripped German woman who rode a Harley.

Submitted by: Steedle

davemc53's signature egg rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage ( cabbage is the main part of mixture)
  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 1 can bean sprouts
  • 2-4 butterfly pork chops (ground) Don't buy ground pork- it's not at all the same.
  • ½ cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • AND THE SECRET INGREDIENT :Peanut butter (seriously) ½ to ¾ cup. Add it after draining the mixture.
  1. Buy eggroll wrappers (usually in veggie section at supermarket).
  2. I like grinding my own pork in a food processor. Grind it fairly fine.
  3. Get cooking container ready.
  4. Cut Cabbage and the rest of the veggies by hand. Cabbage should be cut in “shreds” as thinly as possible. The rest of veggies just chop, but not too finely. Bean sprouts leave whole.
  5. Saute all ingredients in a wok or large frying pan or Dutch oven until just tender. Add spices and teriyaki sauce while sauteing.
  6. Drain completely. Add secret ingredient (see above).
  7. Roll in wrappers (per instructions on wrapper bag).
  8. Deep fry until slightly brown. If you are making a large batch, keep warm in low oven. When reheating leftovers, never nuke in microwave – always reheat in a 250-300 oven. This can also be served as a main dish.
  9. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at davemc53@mchsi.com. Enjoy!

Submitted by davemc53

Figs with Goat Cheese, Pecans and Bacon

Original recipe yield: 12 stuffed fig halves.

Ingredients:

  • 6 figs, halved
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  • 3 slices bacon, cut in half

Directions:

  • Preheat the broiler.
  • Stuff fig halves with goat cheese. Press pecans into the cheese. Wrap each stuffed fig half with half a slice of bacon, securing with toothpicks.
  • Arrange on a medium baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes, or until bacon is evenly brown and crisp and goat cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

http://appetizer.allrecipes.com/az/FigswithGtChsPcnsndBcn.asp

Submitted by: Final_Flanner

Mango-Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3 ripe mangos (should give under gentle pressure but not be too soft), peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. fresh, grated ginger (or you can find prepared ginger in these things that look like toothpaste tubes in the produce section)
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. fresh, chopped cilantro
  • juice of 2 to 3 limes
  • 1 to 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced finely
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

This recipe is fruity in more ways than one, but you will score points for making it, and it is really, really good. Note that it is kind of up to you how spicy you want it or how much you like ingredients such as cilantro and ginger. I typically eat it with blackened shrimp or fish, perhaps as fajitas or quesadillas. It's better if you cool it down in the refrigerator for a few hours and let the flavors meld before serving it. One final note: I wouldn't recommend making this without first learning how to cut up mangos. They are foxy beasts.

Submitted by: Steedle

"Crack" Party Mix

What You Need: -bag of Bugles -bag of cheddar flavored goldfish -1/2 bag of oyster crackers -1/2 box of ritz stix -1/2 box of Wheat Thins -1/2 box of Cheeze It -bag of pretzel sticks -peanuts (optional) -bottle of butter flavored cooking oil Orville Redenbacher's Popping & Topping Popcorn Oil Butter Flavor 12 fl oz -2 packs of Hidden Valley Ranch (dry mix)

Cooking Directions Mix snack ingredients, together in large container. The container has to be big enough to shake the mix well. Pour the oil evenly over the top of the mix. Shake well. Add 2 packs of dressing evenly. Shake well. Spread over cookie sheet and bake at 250 for 30 minutes

Beverages

Donna's Colorado Bulldog
  • splash of Jagermeister in the bottom of a plastic, ice-filled cup
  • 1 shot vanilla vodka
  • 1 shot coffee liqueur (i.e. Kahlua)
  • splash of milk or half and half
  • top 'er off with Coke

It tastes a bit like a root beer float. If you want to make the non-Linebacker version, leave out the Jager and use plain vodka.

Submitted by: Steedle

Espresso Martini
  • 1 jigger freshly pulled espresso
  • 1 jigger vanilla vodka
  • 1 jigger Kahlua or other coffee flavored liquor

Chill a martin glass in freezer.

Mix espresso, vodka and Kahlua over ice in cocktail shaker. Shake until well frothed. Strain contents into martini glass.

Submitted by: FONToKNOW

Iced Frappe
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold water
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

In a blender combine water, instant espresso and sugar. Blend until frothed. Pour over ice into a tall glass. Top with cold milk.

This drink may also be made in an iced cocktail shaker (shake about 30 seconds) and pour over ice.

Submitted by: FONToKNOW

Irish Creme
  • 1 3/4 cups Irish whiskey
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c. (1/2 pint) whipping or light cream
  • 4 eggs (We use the liquid eggs that have been pasteurized.)
  • 2 T. chocolate syrup (like you put on ice cream)
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. almond, if desired

In 6-cup blender at low speed, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator up to one month. Stir or shake before serving. From Slainte Joe or dbldomer7375.

Coffee

I think there are rules for brewing coffee at home that everyone should know. Once you've had properly brewed, fresh-ground coffee, you'll never go back to freeze-dried Folgers crap.

  1. Only use freshly ground, whole bean coffee. I prefer a slightly darker roast, my wife prefers a milder roast. We compromise with a nice Italian roast, usually, but right now we're drinking a Costa Rican Tarrazu. It's delicious.
  2. Store beans in an airtight container at room temperature, as cujays said below. Do not freeze, as freezing robs the beans of moisture once they are defrosted.
  3. Brew coffee using hot water. Hot water extracts more of the oil from the coffee bean, and will give you a much better flavor as a result. Purchase the Bunn home coffee maker with the heated reservoir. It runs between $100 - $150. If you can't afford the Bunn, then get a French press.
  4. Do not use a coffee maker with a timer that you can set to have coffee made when you wake up. Doing so usually means that you're griding the beans the night before, and leaving them in the filter basket. Overnight, they lose a lot of their moisture.
  5. Always clean your coffee pot and filter basket before brewing another pot. Occasionally was the pot, filter basket, and spray head in the dishwasher with a little bit of bleach. Coffee beans are proteins, after all, and cold coffee or coffee residue left to sit at room temperature will grow mold faster than you can believe. This is the problem in most offices where the coffee tastes like crap because nobody has cleaned the pot in the morning before brewing the next batch.
  6. Use only cream or milk in your coffee, rather than the non-dairy creamers...especially the flavored kinds. The reason people like flavored, fat-free, non-dairy creamers is because they hide the true flavor of the coffee they are drinking, which is usually stale because they haven't followed one of the rules above. Freshly ground and brewed whole bean coffee tastes delicious on its own.

I tell these rules to people at my office all the time. My dad is a branch manager for a coffee company, so I've been "trained" ever since I was a kid on the proper way to make coffee.

-treisle

Breakfast

the best Pancakes you'll ever have
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 stick melted butter (can substitute canola oil)

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Beat eggs in separate bowl. Add milk and melted butter to eggs and mix. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix briefly. Batter should be lumpy.

Heat skillet to 325 to 350 degrees. Pour batter onto skillet in 4-6" circles. Cook until bubbly then flip pancake and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.

Submitted by: bk


Buttermilk Pancakes (allegedly IHOP's recipe)
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a blender or mixer combine all ingredients until smooth. Cook on lightly oiled skillet or griddle.

Submitted by: 105Marquette

Desserts

Cobbler

Filling:

  • 6 cups sliced fruit or berries
  • 3T flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 3T (1 1/2 ounces) butter

Stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Toss gently with the berries and pile the fruit into a buttered baking dish. Dot with the butter.

Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1T baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Cut the butter into 1 inch cubes. Cut into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

Add the milk and egg to the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Drop by tablespoons over the fruit, leaving openings around the batter.

Place in the oven with a sheet pan under the dish to catch juices. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until juices are bubbling and crust is golden.

Submitted by: tex29

Molten Chocolate Cake
  • 5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Makes six

Preheat oven to 450�F. Butter six 3/4-cup souffle dishes or custard cups. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted. Cool slightly. Whisk eggs and egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Whisk in sugar, then chocolate mixture and flour. Pour batter into individual baking dishes (pyrex custard dishes work well), dividing equally. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Bake cakes until sides are set but center remains soft and runny, about 11 minutes or up to 14 minutes for batter that was refrigerated. Run small knife around cakes to loosen. Immediately turn cakes out onto plates. Spoon sauce around cakes. Serve with ice cream.

Submitted by: FONToKNOW

Grandma Stanwyck's Whoopie Pies	 
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 c flour
  • 6 T baking cocoa
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 c milk (soured by adding 1 T vinegar)
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 c confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

Cream together 1/2 c shortening, 1 c sugar and yolks. Combine in a flour sifter: flour, cocoa and baking powder. Mix vanilla and sour milk with creamed mixture. Add sifted dry ingredients gradually and mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 5-8 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Filling: Beat egg whites, shortening and salt until frothy. Beat in confectioners sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Spead between cooled cookies.

Submitted by: GailStanwyck

Pasta

domer_mq's Pasta Surprise

Serves: A small army.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Bow Tie Pasta or Rigatoni
  • 2 Jars of really heavy meat sauce
  • 1 brick of Fresh Mozarella Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Turkey Smoked Sausage Length
  • 1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 lbs hamburger
  • 1 brick Pecorino Romano Cheese, shredded


Directions:

Begin boiling a large pot of water. Salt water heavily.

Cut up smoked sausage into small rounds, and throw into large pan over medium heat. Browning pieces. Once brown, remove from pan and place on paper towel. Do not drain pan.

Next, throw hamburger into pan, and brown. Once browned, drain most of the grease and combine sausage and beef in pan to sit together over low heat.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook as instructed by box that once contained the pasta.

Add 2 jars of sauce to pan containing beef and sausage and continue to warm over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add pepper flakes to taste.

When pasta is finished, drain in colander. Then place half the pasta into a lage baking dish (the larger, the better, at least 9X13).

Layer 1/3 of cheese over pasta, and then one half of sauce.

Layer 2nd half of pasta, 2nd 3rd of Cheese, and remaining sauce. Finally, top off with all remaining cheese.

Throw it all in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes until it's all ooey and gooey.

Enjoy with 10 friends or by yourself for the next 16 days.

Salads

Grilled Lemon and Oregano Shrimp with Greek Summer Salad

Serves 6

Grilled Shrimp:

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon, cut in half and juiced
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, and deveined

In a blender, or with the blade running on the food processor, drop the garlic in through the feed tube. Add the oregano, salt, pepper, oil and lemon juice. In a non-aluminum bowl, pour marinade over shrimp and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Double thread the shrimp onto metal skewers (skip if you aren't grilling on open grill, i.e. Forman or grill pan).

Preheat the grill to medium hot and oil the grill racks well. Remove shrimp from marinade and grill until just barely cooked through, turning only once, approximately 2 to 4 minutes. Cool to room temperature before placing atop the salad.

Salad Dressing:

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground peeper
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together all ingredients except the oil. While whisking, drizzle in the oil. Set aside to rest and improve flavor.

Salad:

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, cut washed, spun dry and refrigerated
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled, cut lengthwise and sliced thinly crosswise
  • 2 bell peppers, cored and sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 2 Persian or Japanese cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Toss the lettuce, onion, peppers, cucumbers and olives together with just enough dressing to lightly coat everything/ Refrigerate until ready to use. Sprinkle the feta over the salad and arrange the grilled shrimp on top.

Submitted by: tex29

Soup and Chili and Jambalaya

OGerry's Chili

Ingredients:

  • 4 or 5 slices of bacon, diced
  • � lb hot Italian sausage, cut into � inch pieces
  • � lb or so of ground chuck
  • onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 smallish sweet peppers (green, red, orange, or yellow)
  • 2 or 3 jalapenos or hotter peppers
  • couple teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • couple teaspoons of chili powder
  • � teaspoon dry mustard
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes of tomatoes
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained

Brown bacon strips and tear into smaller pieces. Brown sausage and ground chuck with the onion. Drain. Toss all ingredients in a Crock-Pot and cook on low for 8 to 14 hours.

This is just a base. No two of my chilies have been the same. You have to know the purpose of a chili to judge its virtue. I aim to make something that burns like purgatory, but has a sweet, full taste with lots of meaty goodness. The ideal would have people in tears, swallowing the pain, but happily filling up their bowls for more. To that end, sometimes I substitute a can of rinsed down baked beans for one the normal cans, or I simply add in some brown sugar. That helps with the sweetness. If the crowd you're serving is used to hot food, you could substitute an habanero pepper or something similar for a jalapeno. If they have no nads, just use two jalapenos.

Other possible ingredients:

  • Fresh tomatoes, diced
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Frank's Hot Sauce
  • Asian cock sauce
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Sherry
  • Brandy
  • Brown sugar

I am sure others could add to this list. Fresh ingredients are always preferable to canned and bottled, but I usually make a compromise with convenience and mix in some lesser with the better.

Submitted by: OGerry

DomerJD's Chili
  • 8oz bacon (about 8 strips), chopped
  • 4lb chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 5 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped up
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 6 fresh corn tortillas
  • 3 cans of kidney beans
  1. Get out a 12" pan
  2. Cook the bacon. Reserve the bacon grease. Put the cooked bacon in the crockpot
  3. Brown the meat- half at a time, each in 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease. Put it in the crockpot.
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp of bacon grease, add the onion, jalapenos, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Mix it up and cook it until the onions start to soften, then add the tomatoes, chipotles and sugar. Bring to a boil. Put it in the crockpot.
  5. In a microwave safe bowl, heat up the corn tortillas and 1 cup of the chicken broth until the tortillas soften (about 1-3 minutes). Blend in a food processor until smooth. Add it to the crock pot and mix it in.
  6. Add the three remaining cups of chicken broth to the crockpot and mix them in.
  7. Cook on low for 9-10 hours (preferred) or on high for 6-7 hours.
  8. Add the kidney beans during the last hour of cooking.
  9. Serve with sour cream and cornbread.
Cosmickid's Chili

Loose directions. I typically will make this a day ahead of time and then let it sit in the fridge overnight. I�ve found that you need that time to let the meat and beans absorb the spices and add greater depth to the flavor.

When it says �tbls� and �tsp�(aka tablespoon and teaspoon), they are typically big, rounded scoops.

Ingredients: 6lbs. ground meat (anything: beef, turkey, pork, sausage, etc. My last batch featured 3lbs ground beef and 3 pounds �Hot and Zesty� sausage) 2 large onions, chopped (pick your favorite, I like one sweet and one red) 1 each green, yellow, red bell pepper, chopped 6 14 oz cans Italian stewed tomato � jar sliced jalapeno, chopped 2 tbls chopped garlic 5 tbls brown sugar 4 tbls chili powder 2 tbls cumin 2 tbls paprika 2 tbls of mixed dried herbs (oregano, basil, etc�.I just buy a jar of mixed stuff) 1 tsp cayenne pepper A few sprinkles of crushed red pepper A few shots of Tabasco 2 tsp each salt and pepper 2 bottles of Heineken 6 � 14oz cans of beans (red, white and black) WELL DRAINED � very important

Directions: brown the meat and drain. While the meat is browning, chop the onions and peppers. Put the onion and peppers in first and mix those up with the meat and let them simmer while you start to gather and measure the spices.

Add all of the tomato, spices and beer. Mix again. Bring to a light boil, and then add the beans. Simmer uncovered for at least an hour, cover and remove the from the heat to let the pot cool for a while before putting in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, pull out the chili and heat a little bit up in the microwave so you can taste a sample with fresh taste buds. You can then decide what you might want to add. Examples: more spices, jalapeno, cayenne pepper, season salt, bloody mary mix, etc. That�s the fun part. Add whatever goodies you desire, mix, reheat and you are good to go.

And you have to have Fritos�s. Plus, if it is too spicy for some, have shredded cheddar and sour cream on hand as the dairy will take some of the heat out.

Submitted by: Cosmickid

DillonFightSong's Turkey Chili
  • 3 cans (28 oz.) plain diced tomatoes, drained
  • 5 cans (12 oz.) beans, drained (I usually use at least 1 can of pinto bean paste. It helps the texture. Other options are black bean, butterbean, or different colored kidney beans.)
  • 1 lb. frozen corn
  • 2 lbs. peppers , chopped (use less than 1 lb. jalapeno; use poblano or cubanelle for the rest)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 lbs. ground turkey (99% lean tends to dry out. I recommend 95% or less.)
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder
  • 1/2 - 1 cup brown rice (optional)

1) Combine broth, tomatoes, beans, corn, peppers, and onions into pot and set on medium-low.

2) In a separate pan, brown the turkey with a little bit of oil, sprinkling liberally with cumin and chili powder. When the turkey is cooked through, drain it and throw it into the pot.

3) (optional) Follow directions to cook the brown rice. Drain and throw into pot.

4) Stir occasionally. Cook to desired consistency.

Other, more labor-intensive, options include:

a) browning the peppers and onions in a separate pan before throwing into pot, or roasting peppers in the oven; and

b) using the broth to cook the brown rice, then adding to the pot.

Submitted by: DillonFightSong

Guinness Stew
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1 cup Guinness(I prefer the draft cans.)
  • 1 turnip or parsnip sliced
  • 2 or 3 onions cut in 1/8's(This is about size of the onion and how much you like onion.)
  • 4 decent sized potatoes cubed
  • 4 carrots sliced
  • 2 lbs of stew meat(beef or lamb)
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp thyme dry/ 2 tsp if fresh
  • 1 clove of garlic

Heat 2 tbs of vegetable oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Dredge the meat in flour and brown. Remove meat from the pan and deglaze pan with 1/4 cup of broth. Remove pan from heat. Add meat, vegetables and spices to the pot. Add salt and pepper. Pour remaining broth and Guinness into pot and stir.

Cover and cook over low-medium heat or in a 300F oven for 1.5 - 2 hours or until the meat is tender(It will be done a bit faster on the stove). Stir occasionally and add broth if necessary.

Serves 4 to 6

Submitted by: cujays96

Tomato and Lentil Soup (from Cooking Light)

My only addendum here is that I usually add crushed red pepper flakes instead of cooking it with a dried red chile, then removing it. I usually add some more vinegar when I plate the soup and am adding the feta, too. I swear, this tastes good and is well-seasoned, and I didn't even really think I liked lentils. It also keeps pretty well provided that you don't overcook the lentils on the first pass.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 dried red chile pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; cook 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add water, dried lentils, 1 tablespoon dill, bay leaves, chile, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon dill, vinegar, salt, and black pepper; discard bay leaves and chile. Sprinkle with cheese.


Cash's Jambalaya Recipe

Ingredients:

  • about 5 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 pack of smoked sausage (cajun if possible - I found some knock-offs here that aren't bad), sliced or cubed.
  • 1 large onion, diced (red, yellow, or white will do)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced (1 1/2 to 2 if smaller)
  • ~4 stalks of celery, diced
  • ~2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups of white rice
  • ~ 1/2 cup of worcestershire sauce
  • 6 cups of chicken broth (if you're using bouillion cubes or equivalent, make it a little more concentrated than directions suggest; e.g., 8-9 cubes for 6 cups)
  • salt and pepper, Tony Chachere's optional
  • olive oil

Note: The lid stays off of the pot throughout the entire cooking process until you're done.

Directions:

1. Put a large, preferably heavy pot (a dutch oven or cast iron pot is ideal) on medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom completely.

2. Salt/pepper/Tony's both sides of the chicken thighs, and put them in the pot. Let one side get a good golden brown crust, then flip and do the same for the other side, then remove. If the chicken isn't cooked all the way through, it's OK. You'll cook it more later. Set the chicken aside. It will need to be cut into bite sized pieces before going back in.

3. Right after taking the chicken out, add the diced onions and sprinkle them liberally right away with salt/pepper and/or Tony's. Stir regularly making sure not to let the onions burn. You can add a little olive oil if there's not enough left over from the browning of the chicken thighs.

4. Once the onions are good and soft/translucent, add the garlic, red bell pepper, and celery. Add a little more salt/pepper/Tony's. Stir regularly again as before. Cook about 5-10 minutes more again making sure not to let the veggies stick and burn.

5. Once all the vegetables are good and soft, add the diced chicken and sausage and stir them in for a minute or so. Then add the rice and stir for another 30 seconds or so.

6. Add the worcestershire sauce and about half of the chicken broth and stir well. Allow the liquid to come to a good boil. From here on out, you need to be stirring well every minute or two because you're still cooking with medium-high heat and you really don't want stuff to stick too much or it will burn.

7. As the liquid starts to boil off, add about half of what remains of the broth and stir regularly some more. You'll have to repeat this with the last of the chicken broth. As the rice becomes close to fully cooked, reduce the heat gradually and keep stirring. When just a little liquid remains in the jambalaya, turn the fire off, stir well, and cover the pot.

It's done. For best results, let it sit in the pot more than 30 minutes, but this is hardly essential. Sometimes I sprinkle in sliced scallions at the end for color more than anything else, but this is essentially superfluous.

The worst part about this recipe is that it requires your attention be on stirring up the boiling pot for a good 20 minutes or more straight. But it's worth it.

Last thing: the quality of the sausage makes all the difference. I've found Savoie's sausage once here in Nashville and that's optimal, but some of the more national brands will make what they call "andouille", but actually tastes to me nothing like real andouille. Luckily, it does taste most like a good cajun smoked sausage, which is what you need. I used Johnsonville's version the other day and it worked fine.

Enjoy. (Posted in the BR by Cash 4/27/10)

Vegetables

Corn-on-the-cob with Lime-Chive butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper Sugar (optional)
  • 8 ears of corn

Mix first 7 ingredients in medium bowl. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

To boil corn: Bring large pot of water to boil; add pinch of sugar, if desired. Husk corn. Add corn to pot. Return water to boil and cook corn 4 minutes. Drain corn and serve immediately with lime-chive butter.

To grill corn: Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Remove all but the innermost husks from corn. Fold back inner husks and remove corn silk. Rewrap inner husks around corn. Grill until husks are slightly charred and corn is tender, turning often, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately with lime-chive butter.

Submitted by: FONToKNOW

Mustard-Roasted Potatoes
  • 2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the potatoes and onions into still relatively large pieces. Combine olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper and coat potatoes and onions evenly (you can do this either on the baking sheet you are going to use or in a plastic bag - I opt for the latter). Bake on a baking sheet for about an hour, tossing the vegetables occasionally, until golden brown. Garnish with chopped parsley and more salt, if desired.

Submitted by: Steedle


Dinner

Pork Butt Meets Crock Pot (Thanks to a number of BR denizens)

The basics:

  • Put bone-in Boston pork butt in crock pot.
  • Add one bottle of barbeque sauce.
  • Set temperature to low.
  • Allow to cook all day.

Variations:

  • Add 1/2 can of Coke.
  • Add 1 sliced onion to the bottom (and even top) of the crock pot.
  • Save some additional BBQ sauce for slathering on the pork after cooking.
  • Reduce the cooking liquids to add on the pork after cooking (although this will have a lot of leftover fat that may need to be removed).


LondonDomer's Cajun Sweet Potato Hash

Need: 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or turkey sausage, for breakfast) 1 large sweet potato, diced 1/2 large onion, diced 1/2 large bell pepper, diced 1/2 tbl spoon garlic, minced Cajun Seasoning Salt Pepper Olive oil

In one skillet, combine ground beef with minced garlic. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.

In another pan, heat up some olive oil. Once it's hot, combine sweet potato, bell pepper, and onion. Season with your favorite cajun spice (I use the generic grocery store one), fresh cracked pepper, and sea salt. Cook until potato is browned.

Drain the beef, add to the sweet potato, and mix it up. Save some for the next morning at which point you can fry up an egg and put it on top - it's really, really good. For the breakfast version, you can also swap the lean beef for turkey sausage.

That is all.

Back Room Restaurant Guide

Remember to use this format:

Restaurant:
  • Location:
  • Style:
  • Price Range:
  • Why you like it:
  • Submitted by:

Web Sites

Alabama

Birmingham

The Purple Onion
  • Location: Birmingham, AL (several locations in the metro area)
  • Style/Cuisine: Mediterranean Grill, also serves burger/fries type stuff.
  • Price Range: $5-$10/person
  • Why you recommend it: Excellent pita wraps, which are even better when served at 2:30 am.
  • Submitted By: TerramarIrish

Mobile

Wintzell's Oyster House
  • Location: Downtown Mobile, West Mobile on Airport Blvd, and across the bay in Daphne
  • Style/Cuisine: Seafood/Oyster Bar
  • Price Range: $10-$25/person, not including drinks
  • Why you recommend it: If you're in Mobile and you like oysters, this is absolutely the place to go. Lots of fresh, local seafood. Especially recommend the downtown location. The decor (walls full of old man Wentzell's sayings) is entertaining too.
  • Submitted By: TerramarIrish

Oxford/Anniston/Talladega

Zach's
  • Location: Oxford, Alabama; approximately 10 miles from the track at Talladega
  • Style/Cuisine: Steaks
  • Price Range: $25-35 a person, not including drinks
  • Why you recommend it: There's not a whole lot near Talladega. Zach's, from the outside, looks like a dive, but once you try one of their steaks, you'll be sure to think otherwise. Great food, friendly people, if only they would get rid of the poster of the sack by University of Alabama on ND, the place would be wonderful
  • Submitted By: NDDL2004


Arizona

Scottsdale

Italian Grotto
  • Location: SE corner of Scottsdale Rd and Main St. (Old Town)
  • Style/Cuisine: Italian/Seafood
  • Price Range: $15-35/person, not including drinks
  • Why you recommend it: Not one of the most noted places in Scottsdale, but worth giving a try. Right in the middle of Old Town Scottsdale. Excellent food. Friendly, attentive staff. Reminded me of one of the little Italian places back East.
  • Submitted by: Bonz


California

Los Angeles

Yabu
  • Location: La Cienega at Melrose
  • Style: Sushi
  • Price Range: $30-$35
  • Why you like it: This is an awesome spot for those who like great sushi without the pretension of a place like Katana or Koi. The atmosphere is nice, but not too flashy, and the service is good. The menu is reasonably priced and the food is delicious. I highly recommend an appetizer of crispy spicy tuna rolls. The fresh water eel and yellow tail sushi are also excellent. All in all, it's a great value.
  • Submitted by: tex29
La Serenata Gourmet
  • Location: 10924 W. Pico Blvd. (Pico at Westwood)
  • Style: Mexican
  • Price Range: $25 per person
  • Why you like it: This is an awesome spot for Mexian food. I say Mexican, but it is definitely a fusion of other cuisines as well. For example, I had the asada empanadas (which I believe are South American and not Mexican)...anyway, they were awesome. I also sampled a spicy grilled shrimp dish (one of the specials for the evening) which was simply fantastic. It might be the most delicious shrimp dish I've ever had. The side of rice was great and the homemade corn tortillas were delicious. All of the food was elegantly plated. The pricing was reasonable, it wasn't too noisy or crowded and they take reservations. I just thought it was a terrific dining experience. Highly recommended.
  • Submitted by: tex29

Laguna Niguel

Savannah Chop House
  • Location: Laguna Niguel, CA
  • Style/Cuisine: American Grill with Southern Flair
  • Price Range: $12-$28
  • Why you recommend it: Super wine list, best martini bar in the area, wonderful atmosphere -- outside ocean view seating with Piano, try the Maryland Crab cakes.

Pasadena

Parkway Grill
  • Location: Pasadena, CA
  • Style/Cuisine: California with organic vegetables grown on site
  • Price Range: $25-60/person (with one glass of wine)
  • Why you recommend it: Excellent wine list; fresh fish, game, and vegetables; executive chef not afraid to experiment; other than the Ritz Carlton, the finest food in Pasadena.

San Diego

Nicky Rottens[3]
  • Location: Gaslamp (Downtown) near the corner of 5th Ave. & Market
  • Style: Bar & Burger Joint
  • Price Range: $8-$12 food + $4 beers
  • Why you like it: Nicky Rottens delivers the best hamburger I've ever had. A solid piece of kobe beef on a sesame seed bun, the burgers range from basic (BLT) to Texan (BBQ) to Californian (Avocado) come loaded with shredded lettuce, tomato, thin red onion and the special "Rotten" sauce. The huge burger is wrapped in paper and served in a basket, with about a half pound of perfectly seasoned fries, not too thin, not too thick. Soft drinks are served in 32 oz. cups, but if you are in the mood for a beer, I recommend a Southern California's finest micro, a pint of Stone Pale Ale [4]. If you're ever in town, let me know (email: havasuking(at)gmail.com). I'd love to meet up for your first lunch at Nicky Rottens!
  • Submitted by: Jack Daniels

San Francisco

Gary Danko
  • Location: San Francisco
  • Style/Cuisine: California
  • Price Range: $55-75 (fixed-price menu)
  • Why you recommend it: Best California food in the City
Harris Steakhouse
  • Location: San Francisco
  • Style: Steakhouse
  • Price Range: $30-60
  • Why you recommend it: Good, hearty steakhouse in a City more known for nouveau food and eclecticism; try the house martini - brought to you in a cruet packed in ice in a small barrel.
Slanted Door 
  • Location: San Francisco (South Beach)
  • Style/Cuisine: Asian
  • Price Range: $60 per person including wine/beer
  • Why you recommend it: I don't know if it is truly considered Asian Fusion or not but I do know that every dish was completely unique. There wasn't a bottle of soy sauce to be found.

Colorado

Boulder

Full Moon Grill
  • Location: Folsom between Arapahoe and Canyon, next to McGuckin
  • Style/Cuisine: Northern Italian
  • Price range: Entrees $20-$30, cheaper for lunch
  • Why you recommend it: Excellent food, arguably the best in Boulder at that price range
  • Submitted by: nedhead
Gold Hill Inn
  • Location: Gold Hill. Take Canyon till the turnoff a couple miles out of town. Can also take Mapleton
  • Style/Cuisine: American
  • Price range: Fixed-price, $30
  • Why you recommend it: Open May-October. Hearty food with large portions. Save room for dessert. The unique atmosphere is the reason to go - it sends you 100 years back in time. They have bluegrass shows a several times each month. Before/after dinner, head up the hill just east of town for a beautful panorama of the Indian Peaks to see the sun set or the full moon shining on them.
  • Submitted by: nedhead
Mountain/Southern Sun
  • Location: Mountain Sun is on Pearl around 16th. Southern Sun at Broadway and Table Mesa
  • Style/Cuisine: Brewpub
  • Price range: $8-10 entrees
  • Why you recommend it: Quintessential Boulder. Food and beer are good, though the beer is a bit hoppy. Mountain Sun is smaller and hippie-er. Good place to go and kick back some beer.
  • Submitted by: nedhead

Denver

Red Square
  • Location: Writer's Square, which is bordered by 15th St, 16th St, Lawrence, and Larimer
  • Style/Cuisine: Russian, European, American
  • Price Range: About $50 for apps, dinner, and drinks
  • Why you recommend it: Excellent food. Wild Boar Chops, Halibut, and Ribeye are all recommended. Pelemini for appetizer. Red Square flavors their own vodka on site. The strawberry is excellent. Full vodka menu as well. Casual attire, very friendly staff.
  • Submitted by: Denver95
Del Frisco's
  • Location: Orchard Rd., just east of I-25
  • Style/Cuisine: Steakhouse
  • Price Range: Expensive, 2nd mortgage
  • Why you recommend it: People travelling to DTC who are not concerned about budget. Excellent food.
  • Submitted by: Denver95
Bistro Vendome
  • Location: Larimer St, between 14th and 15th St, East side of street, hidden back off the street front
  • Style/Cuisine: French, European
  • Price Range: $50+/- for dinner and drinks
  • Why you recommend it: Excellent food. Excellent place to grab brunch in Denver.
  • Submitted by: Denver95
Rioja
  • Location: Larimer St, between 14th and 15th
  • Style/Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Price Range: $50 - $75 for dinner and drinks
  • Why you recommend it: Great food, good wine list. Prosciutto wrapped mozarella app is excellent, as is most of their food. Very reasonable for the quality of food and service
  • Submitted by: Denver95
Buckhorn Exchange
  • Location: 1000 Osage St. ~5 blocks south of Colfax near downtown
  • Style/Cuisine: Western/Wild Game
  • Price Range: ~$70 with drinks
  • Why you recommend it: If you like wild game, and a very unique atmosphere, go here. If you are just looking for a steak, it is overpriced for what you get. It is the oldest bar in Colorado. Definitely worth a drink.
  • Submitted by: Denver95

Morrison

The Fort
  • Location: Highway 8, just north of 285 (South of Morrison)
  • Style/Cuisine: Western/Wild Game
  • Price Range: ~$70 with dinner and drinks
  • Why you recommend it: Very similar to Buckhorn Exchange, except the food is better. Unique setting (check out the website). Avoid the Trader's whiskey.

Connecticut

Farmington

Apricot's
  • Location: Route 4, Farmington, CT
  • Style/Cuisine: American
  • Price Range: $50 per person including drinks (or $30 - see below)
  • Why you recommend it: Well prepared food that combines traditional American fare with overtones from French, Asian and Italian cuisine. Great service, and if not in the mood for formal dining the downstairs area is bar/casual, with essentially the same menu at cheaper prices. Good wine list. Seasonal menu, but some standards (like the crabcake appetizers)
  • Submitted by: ProfKid93

Georgia

Atlanta


Restaurant: Antica Posta
  • Location: Buckhead (East Paces Ferry Rd.)
  • Style: Tuscan
  • Price Range: $50-75 per person, depending on wine
  • Why you like it: Best Tuscan food in Atlanta. Good wine list. Must try the Osso Bucco.
  • Submitted by: Jimbo Irish


Restaurant: Di Paolo
  • Location: Roswell (Holcomb Bridge Rd.)
  • Style: Northern Italian
  • Price Range: $35-50 per person, depending on wine
  • Why you like it: Very good pasta dishes, and make their own fresh mozzarella on site. Try the duck lasagna. Very good stuff. The food here reminds me of one of my favorite restaurants in Italy (Botega del Vino in Verona). Consistently voted the top Italian restaurant in Atlanta.
  • Submitted by: Jimbo Irish


Restaurant: South City Kitchen
  • Location: 2 locations; Midtown and Vinings
  • Style: Southen favorites meet modernization
  • Price Range: $25-$35 a person, not including drinks
  • Why you like it: South City Kitchen has taken Southern food and given it a little kick with a modern flair. Their fried green tomatoes and buttermilk fried chicken are very tasty, but you can't go wrong with hardly anything on their menu.
  • Submitted by: NDDL2004


Restaurant: Rathbun's
  • Location: Five minutes east of downtown - Inman Park (Corner of Krog and Edgewood in StoveWorks Building)
  • Style: Modern American
  • Price Range: $50-100 per person, depending on wine
  • Why you like it: Rathbun's has a diverse menu, highlighting seasonal ingredients. Seafood is extraordinarily fresh and expertly and creatively prepared. Steaks/game/poultry are prepared with superb cuts. (Chef Kevin Rathbun also runs a well-received steakhouse nearby that I have not yet visited.) California, Washington, and South American wines dominate the well-matched wine list. Very vibrant atmosphere--as the name of its building suggests, it is a former industrial site. Can be noisy, particularly on Friday evenings. The bar attracts a younger crowd, with no shortage of beautiful people. This is one of the hottest restaurants in Atlanta. Highly recommended. www.rathbunsrestaurant.com
  • Submitted by: buffaloirish


Restaurant: Bacchanalia
  • Location: Midtown Atlanta (near Howell Mill and 14th)
  • Style: Modern American (Southern influence)
  • Price Range: $100 or more per person, depending on wine
  • Why you like it: This is the premier fine dining restaurant in Atlanta for people under 50 (and should be for those over 50!). Expect expert presentation and preparation. Menu typically features seasonal organic vegetables, seasonally available seafood, wild or free-range poultry/game. Bacchanalia is nestled in a former warehouse district, adjoined to Star Provisions (wine, cheese, butcher, etc.) shop. Bacchanalia's prix fixe menu is my recommendation, but you probably can't go wrong here. The wine list is one of my favorite in Atlanta, for the variety and options at various price points. Their sommelier is helpful, too, and he'll pair wines by the glass for each course if you wish. The staff is approachable, knowledgeable and unintrusive. Atmosphere reeks of indulgence, if that makes any sense (well-placed drapery; huge windows and soft lighting). But it is as comfortable and inviting a fine dining restaurant as any I have seen. In my opinion, this restaurant compares favorably to the finest restaurants in Northern California. www.starprovisions.com
  • Submitted by: buffaloirish


Restaurant: Harold's Barbecue
  • Location: Downtown Atlanta (171 McDonough Blvd., take University Dr. Exit off I-75/85--Mapquest this, because it is a rough part of town)
  • Style: Barbecue
  • Price Range: $10-15 per person
  • Why you like it: Harold's is the barbecue joint in town. It is still family owned-and-operated after 60 years. When the legislature is in session, it's a who's-who of Georgia politics (not necessarily a selling point). They are best known for brunswick stew, and pork barbecue (ribs and butt). Their ribs are so-so (spares/St. Louis trimmed) but their chopped pork butt and stew are still top-notch. Best of all--you leave smelling like hickory smoke.
  • Submitted by: buffaloirish


Restaurant: Agave
  • Location: Downtown Atlanta (on Boulevard SE, just north of the intersection of Boulevard and Memorial Dr.)
  • Style: Southwestern
  • Price Range: $25-45 per person, depending on wine
  • Why you like it: Agave features southwestern-influenced food. Lots of pork, beef, and chicken with chile-based sauces on the menu. I have yet to try an entree (except the crawfish pasta) that wasn't very good. Seafood oWine list is well-matched to the menu (lots of robust red wines on the list--tempranillos/mouvedres/grenache/zinfandels, etc.). Also, not surprisingly, they have an extensive tequila and margarita list. Hip atmosphere, younger, neighborhood crowd. Owner is a friend and good guy. One of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta at this price point. www.agaverestaurant.com
  • Submitted by: buffaloirish


Restaurant: Floataway Cafe
  • Location: Atlanta (between Emory U. and Morningside; a little tough to find--1123 Zonolite Rd, Suite 15)
  • Style: Modern American (mediterranean/french influence)
  • Price Range: $30-50 per person
  • Why you like it: I'd characterize Floataway as Bacchanalia-light (see above regarding Bacchanalia)--it is owned and operated by the same owners. They have a nice little pizza menu (the thin-crust numbers) and a limited but well-conceived appetizer list. Entrees present a variety of beef/poultry/fish options, all accompanied by locally-grown fresh produce. Great, under-appreciated spot. The service can be uneven and sometimes a bit haughty for my tastes. Good date place. www.starprovisions.com
  • Submitted by: buffaloirish


Restaurant: Cafe Efendi
  • Location: downtown Alpharetta, 37 Roswell Street
  • Style: Mediterranean (owners are Turkish)
  • Price Range: about $15 per adult for dinner, lunch is $7 to $9 per person including tax and drink
  • Why you like it: Excellent service and value, nice setting, outstanding Mediterranean food. Take the safe route with the likes of a gyro or shish kebab or try one of the specialties of the house. Get an order of hummus or baba gannuj for the table as an appetizer. It's okay to bring your kids.
  • Submitted by: Max Fischer


Restaurant: Veni Vidi Vici
  • Location: Midtown (14th and Spring)
  • Style: Tuscan
  • Price Range: $50-75 per person, depending on wine
  • Why you like it: Varied (Northern) Italian menu, in an upscale environment. Run by the venerable Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, VVV is upscale, without the old-school white tablecloths, etc. Good wine list, though limited by-the-glass selections. Nice selection of sliced cured meats and fine cheese selections. Wood-grilled fish and other wood-oven specialties are well prepared, though some of the entrees are a little heavy-handed. Attentive service, though not as knowledgeable as some staffs. Last visit 12/30/2008.
  • Submitted by: buffaloirish



Restaurant: Pure Taqueria
  • Location: downtown Alpharetta, 103 Roswell St
  • Style: Mexican, full tequila bar
  • Price Range: $10-15 a person
  • Why you like it: Cool location, formerly a gas station, blend of hipness and deco. Safe bets are the pulled pork Cuban or my favorite, the exotic burrito Americano (steak burrito), but they have plenty of authentic dishes, like posole. Good queso, if you're looking for an appetizer. Kids are welcome.
  • Submitted by: Max Fischer


Restaurant: JCT Kitchen & Bar
  • Location: West Midtown (Howell Mill Rd. at Huff Road)
  • Style: Upscale Southern
  • Price Range: $50-75 per person, depending on wine
  • Why you like it: Like South City Kitchen (mentioned above, this is another upscale southern restaurant. It has a very cool atmosphere, but the food is somewhat uneven (several dishes are too heavily salted for my taste). Appetizers, salads and desserts are more consistently executed and are the highlight here, and the upstairs bar is hip and fun, with live music on the weekends. So-so wine list, but they have a number of traditional and creative creative cocktails that are worth a try. Last visit 2/2009.
  • Submitted by: buffaloirish

Illinois

Chicago

Porpoiseboy's Chicago Prole Food Tour de Force
  • Chicken Tang Pizza at Yak-zie's Bar and Grill - Buffalo style pizza, sprinkled with crack. I usually order some wings, too.
  • Italian Beef and Cheese Fries at Portillo's - If you like spice like me, add some hot giardiniera to the Italian Beef.
  • Lobster at Geja's - This is probably the most high-brow part of the tour. You may have experienced pretty dry lobster at some restaurants. You won't get that at Geja's. Geja's is a fondue joint, so you cook the lobster in a small pot of hot oil right at your table. The lobster is fantastic - you never get a dry piece. I highly recommend enjoying with one of Geja's great White Burgundy selections.
  • Cheese Burger at Boston Blackies - Boston Blackies does a good job of keeping things simple, but good. If you are not in the mood for a burger, I also recommend the chili. It comes in a large, edible deep fried flour tortilla bowl, like those used for taco salads.
  • Chicken Fried Steak and Mac & Cheese at Stanley's - Mmmmm....comfort food.... I usually enjoy this meal with Newcastle, which at Stanley's comes in large bottles.
  • Gyros at the Athenian Room - Gyros, for those not in the know, are pieces of grilled, sliced heaven, served on a pita with onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce. The best gyros have the meat shaved off a huge slab of meat that turns on a spit all day, getting cooked to perfection. The meat is a top secret combination of beef, lamb, and sweet, sweet flavor!
  • Chocolate Chip Pizza at Lou Malnati's - This is the tour's only dessert item. They throw chocolate chip cookie dough in a pizza pan, bake it up leaving it a tiny bit undercooked, serve it hot topped with some ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup. Oh, daddy!
  • Queso Fundido with skirt steak at The Twisted Lizard - Queso fundido is baked cheese. They add some skirt steak and serve it to you right out of the oven. If you touch the platter, you'll scar yourself, it's so bloody hot! Scoop some onto a tortilla and enjoy with your favorite cerveza or margarita!
  • Pepperoni and Garlic Pizza at Pequod's - Pequod's deep dish pizza is great, but for this one I recommend their thin crust. You'll thank me.
  • Pastrami Reuben and a bowl of Kreplach at Ada's Deli - Their Reubens are served open-faced. The rye bread is grilled to perfection, the sour kraut is perfect, the Swiss cheese is fantastic - very close to the perfect sandwich. Also, make sure to start off with a bowl of Kreplach.
  • Guacamole and chips at Adobo Grill - At Adobo they make the guacamole in front of you, so it is not getting any fresher. They let you dictate whether it is spicy or not, too. Go spicy and have a Negra Modelo ready to help you enjoy one of Chicago's best appetizers.
  • A big, fat, sloppy sandwich from Perry's Deli - Perry's has the best roast beef in Chicago, great turkey, pastrami, corned beef, you name it. They have real Russian Dressing (not Thousand Island), and they make sandwiches the size of Utah. A tip for you tourists, don't use your cell phone there!
  • Tiger Cries at Siam Rice - Siam Rice is a Thai place, Tiger Cries is their marinated steak platter, served with a very spicy sauce on the side and some sticky rice. Welcome to flavor country!
  • Mediterranean Bread at Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co. - Another of the best appetizers in Chicago. It's a flatbread, seasoned to perfection. You'll like their pizza and/or grinders, too, and you won't leave hungry!
  • Philly Cheese Steak from Philly's Best - I order a Philly on garlic bread with Cheese Whiz and hot peppers on the side. Philly's Best gets its meat flown in from Philly, so it's a great option if you don't have easy access to Pat's. You can order Tasty Kakes from there, too!
  • Fish & Chips at The Duke of Perth - Chicago has a number of good places for fish & chips, but go to the Duke. They have some great beers on tap, too - choose a Belhaven.
  • The Sweet Heat Pizza from Brick's Pizza - Not a Chicago-style pizza, this thin-crust pizza comes with chicken, bacon, bbq sauce, jalepenos, red onions, and love.
  • A Poboy and Gumbo at Heaven on Seven - I'll leave the selection of which Poboy up to you. I've had the Oyster, Soft Shell Crab, Southern Fried Chicken, Shrimp, and Crawfish Poboys there - all are great. If you go, you HAVE to try the Gumbo!!!
  • Double Cheese Borger at The Billy Goat Tavern - Cheeborger, Cheeborger, Cheeborger! Yeah, it's touristy, but their rolls are good and they let you throw unlimited amounts of pickles on your burger. Go to the original under Michigan Avenue.
  • Chorizo Tacos with everything at Allende - Chicago is a great place for burrito joints! You'll have a hard time finding a bad one. Chorizo quality will vary a bit from place to place, though, so I'll vouch for Allende. I actually go there even when I am not drunk, too!
  • Double Pepperoni Chicago-style Stuffed Pizza from Art of Pizza - Pure pizza heaven.
Bella Notte 
  • Location: 1372 West Grand, Chicago
  • Style/Cuisine: Italian (blend of Tuscany and Mediteranean)
  • Price Range: mid level price range - $12-20 entree
  • Why you recommend it: great authentic ilatian food, good price and not many tourists - good place for a date.
North Pond 
  • Location: 2610 N. Cannon, Chicago - In Lincoln Park
  • Style/Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Price Range: $40-50 per person, drinks not included.
  • Why you recommend it: Arts & Crafts building in a fantastic setting, within Lincoln Park. Definitely worth the extra cost.
Wishbone 
  • Location: 1001 W. Washington, Chicago
  • Style/Cuisine: Southern Reconstruction Cooking
  • Price Range: $10-20 per person
  • Why you recommend it: Nobody else serves catfish, crab cakes, and/or bean cakes with eggs. The coffee is strong and the Bloody Marys are stronger.
Davis Street Fish Market 
  • Location: Davis and Hinman, Evanston, IL
  • Style/Cuisine: Seafood
  • Price Range: $40-50 per person, maybe more if you drink a lot.
  • Why you recommend it: Variety of outstanding fish entrees, variety of preparation methods. The food is elegant, but the atmosphere is casual. Good appetizers, good side dishes.
Mia Francesca 
  • Location: 3311 N Clark St (near the corner of Clark and School)
  • Style/Cuisine: Italian
  • Price Range: $30-40 per person, maybe more if you drink a lot.
  • Why you recommend it: Great atmosphere and great food.
  • Submitted by: HTownND
Uncommon Ground
  • Location: 3800 North Clark Street
  • Style/Cuising: Laid Back Coffee Bar/Music Joint
  • Price Range: $15-20 per person
  • Why you recommend it: Good food. Big plates. Great hot chocolate served in bowls. Interesting, rotating artwork. Good local music scene. Very comfortable.
  • Submitted by: domer_mq
R.J. Grunts
  • Location: 2056 N. Lincoln Park West
  • Style/Cuisine: Late 60s to Mid 70s Inspired Burger Joint
  • Price Range: $6-10 per entree
  • Why you recommend it: Not the biggest, but possibly the best burger in town. If you've never been, go and order a milkshake. The waitress will ask if you've been before (if she doesn't recognize you). And then the manager will come over and comp your milkshakes. Best milkshake in the city, no doubt.
  • Submitted by: domer_mq
Bin 36
  • Location: 339 North Dearborn at Marina City
  • Style/Cuisine: American
  • Price Range: $100-150 per couple with wine pairings per course
  • Why you reccomend it: It's all about the wine here. The place has a philosophy about showing people that you don't have to shell out a fortune for a good wine. The food is excellent. Nothing too novel about it, just well executed. With each food selection the menu suggests one or two different wines. Go by the glass here and experience the great pairings. Great service too.
  • Submitted by: domer_mq
Penny's
  • Location: 950 W. Diversey Pkwy
  • Style/Cuisine: Americanized Thai
  • Price Range: $6-10 per person
  • Why you reccomend it: Perfect for quick take out or casual dates. Quick and friendly service. Consistently good food. Try the Hot Pepper Noodle with Beed and wash it down with a Thai Iced Coffee.
  • Submitted by: domer_mq


Tarascas
  • Location: 2585 N Clark St
  • Style/Cuisine: Mexican

Price/Range: $10-15 per plate

  • why you reccomend it: Huge margaritas, nice selection of Tequila, quick service, and consistently good food. This place sticks to the standards, doesn't venture into Frontera territory.
  • Submitted by: domer_mq

Brazzaz

  • Location: 539 N. Dearborn
  • Style/Cuisine: Brazillian Steakhouse

Price/Range: $50 per person / $20 for lunch (all you can eat)

  • why you reccomend it: Fantastic selection of meats, all cooked to perfection. Great salad bar. Service was outstanding. Waiter even left us a tip - in the form of a $25 gift card.
  • Submitted by: mayo
M. Henry 
  • Location: 5707 N. Clark, Chicago
  • Style/Cuisine: "New American" - local, sustainable and organic
  • Price Range: mid level price range - $8-12 per entreee (brunch)
  • Why you recommend it: Just great quality ingredients and preparation. Low key feel. Kids welcome. My favorite Chicago brunch.
Lao Sze Chuan 
  • Location: 2172 S. Archer (New Chinatown Square - west end)
  • Style/Cuisine: Szechuan (spicy!)
  • Price Range: cheap - Almost all entrees under $10
  • Why you recommend it: I'm embarrassed for you and your entire family if you live in Chicago and haven't been here. The best.

Indiana

South Bend

The Carriage House
  • Location: South Bend
  • Style/Cuisine: International
  • Price Range: $$$-$$$$
  • Why you recommend it: Intimate dining room in a converted 19th century church. Attentive, yet not obnoxious, servers. Inventive specials coupled with a solid to excellent regular menu. Best wine list in the county, maybe even the state. And desserts. Impossible to pick between the double cherry pie with lattice crust, their apple crumb pie, their four layer cake frosted with white mousse and covered in fresh strawberries, or their mint chocolate chip cheesecake. An excellent alternative to the LaSalle Grill or The Summit Club for fine dining in the South Bend area. Great for special occasions, taking your out of town parents, corporate recruiting, or just looking for a great meal.

Submitted by: FONToKNOW

CJ's Pub 
  • Location: South Bend, downtown
  • Style/Cuisine: pub grub
  • Price Range: cheap
  • Why you recommend it: the waffle fries, the cheap beer, but most of all -- the burgers. Best burger in South Bend, and possibly the world.
Noodle Alley

If I had to guess, I would say this place is the most likely to be run either by someone who is not Thai, or a restaurateur. The place is nicer than the other two, and they seem to care more about "plating" (whatever the hell that is). Finally, the food just seems to be geared a little more towards American eaters. Maybe that's why I like this the best (narrowly) of the three (which would make me pretty lame, huh? As mentioned in the other thread, they don't really seem to know what "spicy" is. In fact if I remember correctly, they have a little blurb on their menu saying that the number of chili graphics next to a particular dish indicates how hot that dish is. But no dishes have more than one chili graphic. When you do order something that is traditionally spicy, they ask you if you want it spicy or not. Saying "Yes" has no apparent effect. They seem to use a lot of coconut milk in their green curry, and I don't really remember a strong flavor from kafir leaves, both of which I like. Price, from memory, seems to be middle of the road, or possibly right on a par with Bangkok.

Bangkok

The restaurant itself is nothing special (someone mentioned they pretty much just moved into the former Chinese restaurant without much of a change). The fish tank was a catch 22. I actually enjoyed watching so many little fish swim around, making different patterns and designs. Much more enjoyable than two or three big lazy fish. However, either the owners are on a nature kick, or they don't like cleaning fish tanks. As far as hot goes, the gentleman asked how spicy I wanted it. Thinking of Noodle Alley, I just said "Yes." He countered with "One to five." These words, combined with his delivery, gave me pause. I decided to go middle of the road - being my first time eating there, I wanted to make sure I could still taste the curry itself and give it a proper evaluation. Three was exactly what you would expect a three to be, leading me to believe that if you ask for a five, you will get something that will light you up. Their green curry is outstanding. They don't use much coconut milk, and I'd be surprised if they used any kaffir leaves at all. So pretty much what you have left is a nice, strong curry flavor. This place is either the most expensive, or about the same as Noodle Alley.

Cambodia Thai

This is the most "diner"-ish of the three - plain dining area on a par with Bangkok, with a someone more lunch-friendly price tag. It's been a while since I ate there, and I don't really remember anything at all about the spicy part of things - whether they asked about it, or whether the curry was in fact spicy. The two big things I remember about this place, both of which put it number three in my book, are a strong taste of kaffir leaves, and a large pond of what I assume was fish sauce floating on the top of my curry. I could not get this stuff to mix in with the curry, so I ended up spooning it off. Maybe this is authentic. But neither of the other places served their curry like that, and I've made Thai curry myself that mixed up just fine. Those negatives aside, the flavor of the curry was great, and I would recommend it to anyone (who didn't want to make the extra drive to Mishawaka).

Siam Thai

This is a much nicer, and more expensive, place than the other three. This was the first place I went to, and to be honest I can't really remember much about it. Which tells me that it was fairly forgettable.

Indian

Finally, ndirish13 also asked for recommendations on Indian food. There are two that I know of (there was one just north of Edison on Grape, but I believe it changed its ethnicity). The one in the old Martin's shopping center at Grape and McKinley (Taj Indian) may not even be open any more, I'm not really sure. They had a fire about five months ago. I ate there once. Once. I almost wrote Indian food off, until someone who is apparently very into Asian food in general gave me a very strong recommendation to try the one on Edison (same shopping center as Frick's Driving School and one of the King Gyros). I haven't been there to try it yet. FWIW comments on Google do not seem to concur with the recommendation I was given.

Thai and Indian restaurants submitted by: SuperiorSafe

Indianapolis

In the heart of the city, you have lots of options.

Downtown Gamewatch options:

1) Coaches Tavern - 28 s. Pennsylvania Street. ND Alumni Club gamewatch site.

2) MacNiven's - 339 Massachusetts Avenue. A Scottish pub with authentic food, including haggis. Excellent beer selection - lots of stouts, porters, ales from the US and Europe.

3) Champps - 49 West Maryland Street. Chain sports bar with decent food and drink selection, lots of TV's. Located at Circle Center.

4) The Claddagh - 234 Sourth Meridian Street. Chain Irish Pub, good food, good beer.

5) Champions Sports Bar - 350 West Maryland Street. In the Marriott downtown.

7) The Elbow Room - 605 North Pennsylvania Street. Pub food, good beer selection, cozy.

Downtown Dinner Recommendations

1) Dunaway's Palazzio Ossiegeno - 351 South East Street. Simply the best in downtown dining. Great wine list, great atmosphere, great food. Expensive.

2) St. Elmo's - 127 South Illinois Street. The traditional steak place. The shrimp cocktail is famous. Good wine list, good service, good if you like steaks. Harry and Izzy's (153 South Illinois) is their spinoff restaurant with more selections and is located 1/2 block south.

3) R Bistro - 888 Massacusetts Avenue. Located at the extreme north end of Mass Ave, the chef changes the menu weekly and uses local growers. Good wine list, creative menus, and a very cozy atmosphere. My personal favorite for downtown dining.

4) Scholar's Inn (725 Massachusetts Avenue) and Agio (635 Massachusetts Avenue) are also good spots for Mass Ave dining.

5) The Rathskeller (401 East Michigan Street) is on the corner of Mass Ave and Michigan St. It serves German food, has a great beer selection, and the outdoor Biergarten and Bandshell are great fun. One of my favorites for the atmosphere, beer, and fun.

6) Good chain restaurants are as follows: The Oceannaire, Palomino's, Morton's, Shula's, Capital Grille, McCormick and Schmick's, PF Chang's.

8) Danielli Restauruant (123 South Illinois Street) is a 4 Diamond restaurant servinc American and Continental cuisine. Located in the Canterbury Hotel.

7) If you want more casual food, I'd recommend Bazbeaux's Pizza (334 Massachusetts Avenue). Great pizza, funky atmosphere, good service. There is also Yats (659 Massachusetts Avenue), which is cheap and good. $6 will get you a combo platter of Jambalya and Etouffee with a soda. It's not Louisiana spicy, but it's authentic and good.

Bar/Pub Options:

1) The Claddagh, MacNiven's, or the Rathskeller are great after dinner options. In addition, the Chatterbox on 435 Mass Ave has live jazz every night and has a nice atmosphere.

2) The Slippery Noodle Inn (372 South Meridian Street) is a great blues bar on South Meridian near the Dome. Great music and fun atmosphere.

3) For a swanky, hip, "Acrossian" experience, Subterra Lounge, Six Nightclub, or Nicky Blaine's are options.

Terre Haute

M. Moggers Brewery
  • Location: 908 Poplar St.
  • Style/Cuisine: Upscale pub food. Steaks, sandwiches and the like
  • Price range: $10-25 per person
  • Why you recommend it: Good food and the interior of the bar is beautiful. You can also get Champagne Velvet beer, a microbrew that is native to Terre Haute

Massachusetts

Brewster

Brewster Fish House
  • Location: Route 6A in Brewster
  • Style: Generally fish, with limited game and steaks
  • Price Range: $25-40 (with a glass of wine)
  • Why I recommend it: Good fish, better atmosphere; no reservations, so plan your dinner for about 5:30 or risk being shut out; small but well-stocked bar, and they pour heavy to ease the sting of the wait; once seated, good staff and a great menu with both classicly prepared fare and food for the more adventurous.

Cambridge

Midwest Grille
  • Location: Inman Square
  • Style: Brazilian Barbecue
  • Price Range: $22.95 per person plus drinks; Under $80 for a couple
  • Why I recommend it: Meat! This place is great. Here's how it works. You sit down, the waiter comes and takes your drink order. You then sit there while waiters come by with spits of meat fresh from the grill pit. They had beef sirloin, pork loin (best I've ever had), lamb, kielbasa, and I think chicken - I was a little cross-eyed after eating that much. You eat as much as you want. There is also a "buffet" of side dishes, so you're not just sitting there eating meat. (Web site www.midwestgrill.com explains it all)
  • submitted by: pmcdnd96

New York

New York

Birricchino
  • Location: 260 W. 29th St (corner of 8th Ave) 212-695-6690
  • Style/Cuisine: Italian
  • Price: $30+
  • Why you recommend it: Small and Friendly Spot just 4 blocks from the Garden. The sausages there are out of this world. Check out the Rigatoni with Sundried Tomatoes. I guarantee you will come back here every time you go to the BET.
Union Square Cafe
  • Location: 21 E. 16th St.(bet 5th Ave and Union Sq.) 212-243-4020
  • Style/Cuisine: New American - Run by one of the best chefs in NYC. Voted Most Popular Restaurant in NYC
  • Price: $60+
  • Why you recommend it: Eating here during the 1st and 2nd sessions of the first day of the BET is tough but you can do it. There are two ways to do this; a.) eat at the bar- food is the same- service is the same - and your waiter/bartender doesn't disappear. b.) make reservation early and have a nice leisurely meal that you will rave about for the next six months. The Tuna dish or Lobster Pie(think Shepard's Pie with Lobster) are great picks
Virgil's Real BBQ
  • Location:152 W 44th St (btw Broadway and 6th Ave.) 212-921-9494
  • Style/Cuisine: Ribs and BBQ
  • Price: $30+
  • Why you recommend it: Excellent BBQ, quick service, Cold Beer. What more could you want? I know this place is not Lee's BBQ of South Bend but you will be impressed. The serving are huge, considering this is a NYC restaurant.
Tupelo Grill
  • Location: 1 Penn Plaza (33rd St btw 7th Ave and 8th Ave.) 212-760-2700
  • Style/Cuisine: Think TGI Fridays with Style, excellent pre-game meal
  • Price: $45+
  • Why you recommend it: Good location, right at the Garden.
Moran's Chelsea
  • Location: 146 10th Ave (corner of 19th St.) 212-627-3030
  • Style/Cuisine: Upscale Irish Pub, seafood and steak menu
  • Price $42
  • Why you recommend it: Three reasons: Ambiance of Waterford Crystal and Tiffany Lamps. Blazing Fireplaces. Location (only 14 blocks away from Madison Square Garden.)
Gallagher's
  • Location: Manhattan -- 53rd and 8th
  • Style/Cuisine: Steakhouse
  • Price Range: $40 per person -- appetizer, main course, side, glass of wine or beer.
  • Why you recommend it: The best little-known steakhouse in NYC, that is just as good as Peter Luger, Sparks, or Smith and Wollensky's. HUGE portions and blue-collar setting.
Maya
  • Location: 64th and 1st
  • Style/Cuisine: Mexican/Mayan
  • Price Range: $60 per person
  • Why you recommend it: Best Mexican restaurant in the city. Includes traditional Mayan fare to make Mexican food unlike most any you've had before. Food's amazing and if you're going with friends there are plenty young latinas to hit on. But at the same time, if you're going with your girlfriend or wife, it is very romantic.

Ohio

Cincinnati

Montgomery Inn
  • Location: Montgomery, downtown Cincinnati
  • Style: American
  • Price range: $25 per person plus drinks
  • Why I recommend it: Best ribs around these parts. They also have very good other entrees, but I haven't tried them. I can't force myself to NOT get the ribs. Go to www.montgomeryinn.com.
  • Submitted By: CincySubDomer


The Precinct
  • Location: Columbia Tusculum (Columbia Pkwy & Delta. Ave)
  • Style: Steakhouse
  • Price range: $30-40 per person plus drinks
  • Why I recommend it: For the money you won't find a better steak. You may not find a better steak anywhere, period. Get the Freddie Salad with your dinner.
  • Submitted By: ElCortez01

Columbus

Betty's
  • Location: N. High St(Short North)
  • Style: American
  • Price range: $8 - 15
  • Why I recommend it: Pictures of pinup girls everywhere. Why else would it be called Betty's? The meatloaf is always good. The black bean hummus is the best appetizer in the joint. Other entrees are good. 10 different beers on tap. PBR is the lone mass produced American beer available on draft.(The owner has some lover affair with PBR.) Be prepared to wait unless you get their early for lunch or dinner. It is pretty small - seats about 50.

Submitted by: cujays96


Thurman Cafe
  • Location: German Village on Thurman Ave.
  • Style: American
  • Price range: $8-10
  • Why I recommend it: Best burgers in town. They are HUGE!

Submitted by: smcchick

Tennessee

Knoxville

 Regas
  • Location: Old City/Downtown area
  • Website: http://www.thechophouse.com/regas_index.html
  • Style: Steaks
  • Price Range: $25 - $40 per person plus drinks
  • Why I recommend it: One of the few "fine dining" places in Knoxville. The chops are great, and the Red Velvet Cake is the best I've ever had.
  • submitted by: irishvol

Memphis

 Paulette's
  • Location: Midtown
  • Style: French/Intercontinental
  • Price Range: $30 per person plus drinks; $100 or so for a couple
  • Why I recommend it: Fantastic stuff all the way around. I always get the Brochette of Chicken. The Filet Paulette is also good. I've eaten there for nearly 20 years and the consistency is unbelieveable. Popovers with strawberry butter are a signature of the place. Fantastic desserts and a superb wine list.
  • submitted by: rknsaw
 Germantown Commissary
  • Location: Germantown
  • Style: BBQ
  • Price Range: $5 - $15 per person
  • Why I recommend it: Great out-of-the way BBQ. More of a "smoky" flavor than the others. A little hole-in-the wall in a good part of town - you don't find that too often in Memphis
  • submitted by: irishvol
 Spindini
  • Location: Downtown (South Main Arts Dist.)
  • Style: Italian
  • Price Range: $20-30
  • Why I recommend it: Judd Grisanti is the chef and proprietor. The Grisanti name in Memphis carries a lot of weight with the locals as Ronnie, Frank and the late John Grisanti have given Memphis wonderful eateries for decades. Spindini has standard fare (pizzas, spaghetti, lasagne etc.) and more eclectic choices as well. Fantastic wine menu and short trolley ride to Beale St.
  • submitted by: rknsaw
 Kudzu's
  • Location: Downtown/Med Center (603 Monroe Ave)
  • Style: Pub Grub, burgers, cheese steaks, etc.
  • Price Range: $5-12 per person
  • Why I recomment it: I'm biased. My family owns it. However, we've got alot of really good food on the menu and a great selection of bottled beer, along with Guiness, Harp and Michelob Amberbock on draft. I'd put our cheeseburger up against any burger in the country. Stop by and say hello to my family, as there is a 99% chance one of us will be there at all times.

Nashville

  Mojo Grill/Broadway Brewhouse
  • Location: Midtown off Broadway, near Vanderbilt
  • Style: Cajun influence
  • Price Range: $7-$15 for most dishes
  • Why I recommend it: The restaurant equivalent of a mullet--business in the front, party in the back. An eclectic blend of American, Mexican and Cajun-style plates on the cheap. Perfect for lunch, or a sweltering summer night dinner. Test drive the Cajun Burrito. Atmosphere is great--huge porch in the front, and wood-decor brewhouse around the back with 30-40 beers on tap, darts, shuffle-board table and Golden Tee. Must try the Yazoo ESB when you go.
  • submitted by: Cherith Cutestory
  The Loveless Cafe
  • Location: West of town - Hwy 100 at the Natchez Trace Pkwy
  • Style: Good Ol' Home Cookin'
  • Price Range: $5-8 for breakfast, $8-15 for supper
  • Why I recommend it: It's what one thinks of when one thinks of Southern cookin'. It's might not be the best, but it's a fantastic trip back in time in a great atmosphere. Big breakfasts (served all day) - including biscuits and 4 types of gravy. Fried chicken, fried catfish, and fried okra - if you've got all three, there's a good chance it's a good Southern meal.
  • Website: http://www.lovelesscafe.com/
  • submitted by: irishvol

Texas

Austin

Wink
  • Location: 1014 North Lamar, Ste. E Austin, TX 78703
  • Style/Cuisine: Fine Dining
  • Price Range: $20-$25
  • Why you recommend it: Great food, great wine list, incredible service. The menu changes daily as it depends on season and what is fresh on the market. The restaurant has a very intimate atmosphere as it consists of only about 20 tables.
  • Submitted by: NDEE01
Fonda San Miguel
  • Location: 2330 W North Loop Blvd, Austin, TX
  • Style/Cuisine: Mexican
  • Price Range: $20 average per entree
  • Why you recommend it: Excellent Mexican food, with a great variety of dishes. Much more authentic than the Taco Cabana at the corner. Good Margaritas and great ambiance.
  • Submitted by: HTownND
Salt Lick BBQ
  • Location: 18001 FM 1826, Driftwood, Texas 78619
  • Style/Cuisine: Texas BBQ
  • Price Range: $10-$15 (Cash Only)
  • Why you recommend it: All you can eat BBQ. Some of the best pork ribs in the region as well as tasty brisket and sausage. It's also B.Y.O.B. And as a tip: don't eat the sides. Even though they're great, it's just a vile ruse to fill you up before the mountains of meat are delivered.
  • Submitted by: NDEE01

Washington, DC

Zaytinya
  • Location: 701 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC (www.zaytinya.com)
  • Style/Cuisine: Eastern Mediterranean (Mezze, or small plates)
  • Price Range: $50-$75
  • Why you recommend it: It is a great place to go with a group or a small party because you can share a huge variety of plates. The chef, Jose Andres, is a master of the small plate and this concept is perfect for this type of cuisine. The wine selection is very unique as well because I think it is exclusive to the region - not a California Cab or Bordeaux on the list - and we enjoyed the Greek red that was recommended. If you are looking for something different in the District, this is a great place.
  • Submitted by: Albie

Wisconsin

Milwaukee

Coquette Café 
  • City: Milwaukee, Downtown, Third Ward
  • Style: Casual French Bistro
  • Price Range: Entree $10-$20
  • Why you like it: A great restaurant with a great chef, Sandy D’Amato. The Soupe � l'Oignon is excellent. The Coquette Café also has an excellent selection of French Provincial Wines as well as great monthly and daily specials. If you had a French Grandmother, this is the kind of food she would make. Also, Boodles Gin is on hand for that perfect martini.

China

Hong Kong

Hutong
  • Location:
  • Style/Cuisine:
  • Price Range:
  • Why you recommend it:
  • Submitted By: TripleDomer
La Terrasse
  • Location: Soho (19 Old Bailey St., Central) / http://www.laterrasse-soho.com
  • Style/Cuisine: French
  • Price Range:
  • Why you recommend it: Relaxed wine bar/restaurant.
  • Submitted By: TripleDomer

Japan

Tokyo

Andy's Shinhinomoto
  • Location: Yurakucho (south end of JR Yurakucho St. underneath the tracks, about 2 blocks south of Bic Camera) / reservations needed - call 03-3214-8021, ask for upstairs
  • Style/Cuisine: Itzayaka
  • Price Range: 1,200 - 2,200
  • Why you recommend it: Typical Japanese pub food, served in a dive popular with Japanese and expats.
  • Submitted By: TripleDomer
Junkadelic
  • Location: Akasaka (2-21-2 #102 Daini Murashima Building)/ http://www.junkadelic.jp
  • Style/Cuisine: Mexican
  • Price Range: 800 - 1,800
  • Why you recommend it: Average Mexican food, which is hard to find, in a very casual setting.
  • Submitted By: TripleDomer
Tonta Club
  • Location: Yurakucho (underneath the tracks, behind the Imperial Hotel, red sign with white lights around it)
  • Style/Cuisine: Yakitori
  • Price Range: Large beers ¥800, skewers from ¥120; cash only.
  • Why you recommend it: Perfect salaryman grub/watering hole.
  • Submitted By: TripleDomer
Toufuya Ukai
  • Location: 4-4-13 Shiba-koen (underneath Tokyo Tower)/ http://www.ukai.co.jp
  • Style/Cuisine: Tofu kaiseki (menu changes nightly, tofu may be in a few or all courses)
  • Price Range: Lunch - 5,500 - 6,500 / Dinner 8,400 - 12,600
  • Why you recommend it: Fantastic setting (Edo-style with views of Tokyo Tower), excellent food, reasonable prices.
  • Submitted By: TripleDomer

Back Room Quaffers' Guide

Back Room Bar List

Vodka

Top Shelf

    Armadale (Scotland)
    Belvedere (Poland)
    Chopin (Poland)
    Ciroc 
    Effen (Holland)
    Grey Goose (France)
    Jean-Marc XO (France) $$$$$
    Jewel of Russia
    Ketel One (Holland)
    Stolichnaya (Russia)
    Stoli elit (Russia) $$$$$
    Vox (Holland)

Trendy/Regional

    Amazon Rain Forest (South America)
    Blue Ice Potato Vodka (Idaho, $20)
    Boru (Ireland)
    Hangar One (San Francisco)
    Imperia (Russia)
    Kalashnikov (Russia)
    Krolewska (Poland)
    Level (Sweden)
    Rain (Indiana) – I kid you not
    Russian Standard 
    Shaker’s Rye (Minnesota)
    Ston (Estonia)
    Tito’s (Texas)
    Van Gogh (Holland)
    Wyborowa (Poland)
    Zyr (Russian)

Best Value

    Finlandia (Finland) 

For mixing only

    Absolut
    Skyy
    Smirnoff

Most Overrated

    Grey Goose (France)

If you are a college student making jello shots

    Popov

Links

    http://www.slate.com/id/2106004
    http://www.forbes.com/foodwithwine/2004/07/28/cx_np_0728feat.html
    http://www.shakersvodka.com/main/articles/latimes_12_22_04.html
Gin
  • Tanqueray No. Ten
  • Hendrick's
Scotch

Laphroaig, Balvenie, Oban, Talisker, Dalwhinnie,

Whiskey

Bushmills, Jameson, Redbreast

Rye

Van Winkle

Bourbon

Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Elijah Wood, Four Roses, Early Times, Maker's Mark

Rum
  • Don-Q
Sake

Bishonen ("Brilliant Boy")

SBDomer's South Bend Pub Tour

The official SBDomer South Bend Pub Tour is designed to be easily walkable and include a wide range of venues. The tour has a little something for everyone, but starts off at the higher class places downtown and generally gets a little less so as the tour progresses. You can skip 3 through 6 if you're not in the mood or not dressed for a classier joint.

All of these establishments except the last ones are on and around one city block, bordered by LaSalle, Main, Washington and Michigan Streets. This tour works great on the Friday of a home football weekend, but also works well enough on any other Wed - Sat night.

1. Sean O'Casey's - Marriott Hotel, NW corner of Colfax and St. Joseph - Irish pub located across the street from the College Football Hall of Fame. Indoor/outdoor seating in a bar designed and constructed in Dublin and shipped to South Bend. All of the usuals you'd expect on tap and on the shelf, and usually draws a good crowd on home football weekends. Stop in after a visit to the College Football Hall of Fame. This is a fine place to start a football Friday if you skip the pep rally. Watch the CFHoF Flag Football tourney from the deck.

2. Football Fridays Block Party - parking lot south of and adjacent to the Hall of Fame - Live music, food, beer, mixed drinks and wine from 6 to 9 pm on Irish home game Fridays. A huge tent (heated in cold weather) is erected over the stage area. This is a great place to fill the gap between the pep rally and the time the local bars start to get going. Licensed Notre Dame and visiting team apparel is on sale in case you didn't bring the right clothes from home for our unpredictable weather. This event only happens on the Friday night of home football weekends. Ask for me at this event for updates on things going on downtown. [No party Navy or UConn weekends]

3. Club Noma - walk N on Michigan - Asian fusion restaurant in back and funky martini bar in front. Same ownership as Siam and Say Cheesecake on N. Main St. It's located in the old Senor Kelly's location, and you will be overwhelmed by the upscale, hip urban feel of this nightspot. Enjoy watching the crowds stroll by on Michigan St. as you sip an exotic and luxurious cocktail. Sparse crowd early, picks up steam late.

4. Trio - walk N on Michigan - (Pass up McCormick's for now - we'll get back to it later when it's busier) This is our newest downtown bar/restaurant, with the restaurant on the left and jazz bar on the right. The owners are jazz musicians, so there is an emphasis on live jazz that draws a great crowd.

5. The Vine - walk N on Michigan - The Vine is our local wine bar/restaurant, in its second location after a very successful start-up near the Hall of Fame. The bar area is small, but a good place for a quiet stop on the tour. Popular on the distaff side, especially for middle-aged Granger mommies. Reasonable selection of beer, mostly in bottles, full dinner menu available.

6. Club LaSalle - walk W on Colfax - This is on the third floor above LaSalle Grill. It's our brick wall, cigar bar, couch-filled jazz club nightspot. Great place to relax and get a tremendous appetizer or light meal. A favorite Thursday and Friday night spot for celebrities in for football weekends or other events. Smithwick's on tap, accompanied by a fine selection of top shelf liquor.

7. Madison Oyster Bar - walk W on Colfax, cross Main, walk S on Main - You may remember a place by this name near the East Race. The only thing this shares with that is the name. The first floor is one of those long-bar, narrow room neighborhood type joints. Top-notch bar food and reasonable beer selection. Don't miss the cool third floor. It has pool tables up there for early evening but is better later when the crowd fills the room.

8. Fiddler's Hearth - walk S on Main - This is our public house. A good place to spot young Irish dancers or local bands playing Irish folk music. Plenty of good beer and food from the British Isles available. Its true character is not apparent on crowded football weekends when it's tough to get served, but at other times a relaxing and pleasant place to pass the time with friends and family (kids welcome).

9. BW-3 - walk S on Main, cross Main, E on Washington - You probably have one of these in your town. The only "chain" in the group. Skip it if you want local or authentic places, or stop in for lots of televisions, wings and a decent selection of draft beers.

10. McCormick's - N on Michigan - Now it's time to circle back around to McCormick's. This is still the nasty dive you remember from your college days, surly bartenders and all, although it has been expanded. It has no redeeming qualities other than large cheap beers. A true classic and worthy of a stop toward the end of any self-respecting pub tour.

At this point you have a choice to make - Club Fever or Corby's

11. Club Fever - walk S on Michigan, cross Washington, cross Jefferson, turn left at the alley just past the State Theater marquee - This is the massive, dark, loud, live or dj music party-'til-you puke watered-down well drink crazy sticky-floor bar that every college town has. Popular with ND students for all the usual reasons, and a fun place for younger-skewing visitors.

    OR

11. Corby's - walk N on Michigan, E on Colfax, over the river, over the East Race, N on Niles to LaSalle - No this is not THE Corby's, formerly located at the fabled Five Points intersection, but it IS the Corby's featured in Rudy. As over-crowded, loud, drunken, dirty and shameless as any truly great college bar could hope to be. If you go in for that kind of scene, you'll love it here. Outdoor tents expand capacity during football season. A zoo on football weekends.

That last walk to the last stops is not as long as it sounds (about 3-4 blocks each), but it's not as short as the other walks on the tour - I just can't, in good conscience recommend that you drive at this point. We don't have roaming cabs in South Bend, but if you make it through this pub tour in one piece, keep these numbers handy: Yellow Cab (574) 233-9333, Checker Cab (574) 288-7777

Have fun in downtown South Bend and don't forget to tip your bartenders and servers.

Back Room Beer List

  • Abita Abita Brewing Co., New Orleans, LA
  • Alpha King Pale Ale -Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN
  • Anchor Steam -Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, CA
  • Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale -Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boonville, CA
  • Arrogant Bastard -Stone Brewing Company, San Marcos, CA
  • Avec Les Bons Voeux -Brasserie Dupont, Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium
  • Aventinus Weizenbock - Weissbierbrauerei, Kelheim, Germany
  • Bar Harbor Brown Ale -Bar Harbor Brewing Co., Bar Harbor, ME
  • Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA -Bear Republic Brewing, Healdsburg, CA
  • Bells Amber -Kalamazoo Brewing Company, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Bells Oberon -Kalamazoo Brewing Company, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Bells Special Double Cream Stout -Kalamazoo Brewing Company, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Bishop's Finger -Shepherd Neame Ltd., Faversham, Kent, United Kingdom
  • Bitburger -Bitburger Brauerei, Bitburg/Eifel, Germany
  • Boulevard IPA -Boulevard Brewing Company, Kansas City, MO
  • Boulevard Wheat -Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City, MO
  • Brooklyn IPA -Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY
  • Brooklyn Pilsener -Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY
  • Caffrey's -Thomas Caffrey Brewing Co., Belfast, County Antrim, United Kingdom
  • Chimay Grand Reserve -Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont, Baileux Chimay, Belgium
  • Cottonwood Endo IPA -Carolina Beer & Beverage, Mooresville, NC
  • Cottrell -Cottrell Brewing Co. Pawcatuck, CT
  • Dark Lord Imperial Stout -Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN
  • Delirium Tremens -Brouwerij Huyghe, Melle, Belgium
  • Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA -Dogfish Head Craft Brewing, Milton, DE
  • Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA -Dogfish Head Craft Brewing, Milton, DE
  • Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA -Dogfish Head Craft Brewing, Milton, DE
  • Dogfish Head Aprihop -Dogfish Head Craft Brewing, Milton, DE
  • Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre -Dogfish Head Craft Brewing, Milton, DE
  • Dominion Oak Barrel Stout -Old Dominion Brewing Co., Ashburn, VA
  • Dreadnaught IPA -Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN
  • Duvel -Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV, Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium
  • Fantome -Brasserie Fantome, Soy, Belgium
  • Fat Tire -New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO
  • Fuller's ESB -Fuller Smith & Turner PLC, London, United Kingdom
  • Geary's Hampshire Ale -Geary's Brewing Co., Portland, ME
  • Gonzo Imperial Porter -Flying Dog Brewing, Denver, CO
  • Goose Island 312 -Goose Island Brewing, Chicago, IL
  • Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale -Great Lakes Brewing Co., Cleveland, OH
  • Gulden Draak -Brouwerij Van Steenberge, Ertvelde, Belgium
  • Gumball Head -Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN
  • Harpoon IPA -Harpoon Brewery, Boston, MA
  • Henry Weinhardt's Private Reserve -Weinhardt's Brewery, Portland, OR
  • Hobgoblin Ale -Wychwood Brewing Company, Witney, United Kingdom
  • Hoegaarden -Brouwerij van Hoegaarden, Hoegaarden, Belgium
  • Hofbrau Oktoberfest -Hofbrau, Munchen, Deutschland
  • John Courage -Scottish Courage Ltd., Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Jolly Scot - Appalachian Brewing Co., Harrisburg, PA
  • Karl Strauss Amber Lager, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
  • Karl Strauss Downtown After Dark Brown Ale, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
  • Karl Strauss Endless Summer Light, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
  • Karl Strauss Oktoberfest, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
  • Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
  • Karl Strauss Stargazer IPA, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
  • Karl Strauss Windansea Wheat Hefeweizen, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
  • Karl Strauss Woodie Gold, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
  • Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Lexington, KY
  • La Fin Du Monde -Unibroue Brewing, Quebec, Canada
  • Lagunitas IPA -Lagunitas Brewing Co., Petaluma, CA
  • Lobster Ale -Belfast Brewing Company, Belfast, ME
  • Mack and Jacks African Amber -Mac and Jack's Brewery, Redmond, WA
  • Magic Hat #9 -Magic Hat Brewing Company, Burlington, VT
  • Matilda Bay Redback -Matilda Bay Brewing Company, Freemantle, Australia
  • Maudite -Unibroue Brewing, Quebec, Canada
  • McKenzie Vuuve XXxXX -McKenzie Brewhouse, Glen Mills, Philadelphia, PA
  • Medalla -Cervezeria India, Mayaguez, PR
  • Mendocino Red Tale Ale -Mendocino Brewing Company, Ukiah, CA
  • Milwaukee's Best -Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
  • Milwaukee's Best Light -Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
  • Nutcracker Ale -Boulevard Brewing Company, Kansas City, MO
  • Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout -North Coast Brewing Company, Fort Bragg, CA
  • Old Speckled Hen -Morland Brewery, Suffolk, United Kingdom
  • Oldenburg Pious Pale Ale -Oldenburg Brewing, Fort Mitchell, KY
  • Ommegang Abbey Ale -Ommegang Brewing Company, Cooperstown, NY
  • Orval -Brasserie d'Orval S.A., Villers-devant-Orval, Belgium
  • Otter Creek Copper Ale -Otter Creek Brewing, Middlebury, VT
  • Pilsener Urquell -Plzensky Prazdroj, Plzen, Czech Republic
  • Piraat Triple IPA -Brouwerij Van Steenberge, Ertvelde, Belgium
  • Purple Haze -Abita Brewing Co., New Orleans, LA
  • Redhook ESB -Redhook Ale Brewery, Woodinville, WA
  • Rogue Uber Pilsener -Rogue Brewing Company, Portland, OR
  • Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout -Samuel Smith Old Brewery, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
  • Schneider Weiss -G. Schneider & Sohn, Kelheim, Germany
  • Session - Full Sail Brewing Co., Hood River, Oregon
  • Shephard Neame Spitfire -Shepherd Neame Ltd., Faversham, Kent, United Kingdom
  • Shiner Blonde -Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, TX
  • Shiner Bock -Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, TX
  • Shiner Bohemian Black Lager -Spoetzl Brewer, Shiner, TX
  • Shiner Kolsch -Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, TX
  • Sierra Nevada IPA -Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA
  • Sleeping Bear -Traverse Brewing Co., Traverese City, MI
  • Smithwicks -Guinness Ltd., Dublin, Ireland
  • Smuttynose IPA -Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, NH
  • Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale -Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, NH
  • St. Arnold's -Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Houston, TX
  • St. Bernardus ABT 12 -Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV, Watou, Belgium
  • St. Stan's Amber Ale -Stanislaus Brewing Company, Modesto, CA
  • St. Therese's IPA -Highland Brewing Co., Asheville, NC
  • Stella Artois -InBev Brewery, Leuven, Belgim
  • Stone Ruination IPA -Stone Brewing Company, San Marcos, CA
  • Storm King Imperial Stout -Victory Brewing Company, Downington, PA
  • Stratopramen Lager -Stratopramen Brewery, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Stroh's -Pabst Brewing Company, San Antonio, TX
  • Sucker Pond Blonde -Unknown
  • Sweetwater 420 -Sweetwater Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA
  • Tennessee Cream Ale -Bosco's, Memphis, TN
  • The Reverend -Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, CO
  • Thiriez Blond -Brasserie Thiriez, Esquelbecq, France
  • Thiriez XXtra -Brasserie Thiriez, Esquelbecq, France
  • Three Philosophers -Ommegang Brewing Company, Cooperstown, NY
  • Traquair House Ale -Traquair House Brewery, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, United Kingdom
  • Traquair Jacobite Ale -Traquair House Brewery, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, United Kingdom
  • Turbo Dog -Abita Brewing Co., New Orleans, LA
  • Upland Pale Ale -Upland Brewing Co., Bloomington, IN
  • Victory Hopdevil -Victory Brewing Co., Downington, PA
  • Victory Prima Pils -Victory Brewing Co., Downington, PA
  • Victory Storm King Stout -Victory Brewing Co., Downington, PA
  • victory Whirlwind - Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, PA
  • Wachusetts Black Shack Porter -Wachusetts Brewery, Wachusetts, MA
  • Wachusetts Hex Nut Brown -Wachusetts Brewery, Wachusetts, MA
  • Wachusetts IPA -Wachusetts Brewery, Wachusetts, MA
  • Weihenstephan Hefe Weiss -Brauerei Weihenstephan, Freising, Germany
  • Yuengling Lager -Yuengling Brewery, Pottsville, PA

Vannie's Margaritas

It is important to get yourself a decent margarita mix. I buy mine fresh from a local restaurant because the stuff that is carried in most stores is terrible. You can try to create your own mix if you want to experiment, but most people don't want to risk ruining some fine tequila during the trial and error phase. If you have to buy a mix from a store, stay away from the stuff with high sugar content. It ruins the taste and may lead to a sharp hangover or a sour stomach. A mix that is too acidic or full of preservatives cannot compare to one made with fresh ingredients, but after the third or fourth drink you may not give a shit.

As for tequila, Jose Cuervo Anejo and Herradura are very good, Patron is even better. Cuervo Gold is for amateurs but it works on the in-laws. There are many brands of fine tequila and I can't mention them all. I'm working really hard at trying to taste them though.

With those precautions, try this recipe:

  • 12 ounces of margarita mix
  • 4 ounces of tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces of Triple Sec
  • 1 1/2 ounces of Grand Marnier
  • splash of orange juice
  • 2 1/2 cups of semi-crushed ice (not too fine or slushy)

Take a lime wedge and moisten the rim of the glass. If you want to add salt to the rim, do it now. Then squeeze the juice of the lime into the glass and drop in the rest of the wedge.

If you are going to use a blender, do so on the lowest setting and only for a few seconds (you don't want to liquefy the ice). Those that like their margaritas on the rocks should just shake the pitcher vigorously to ensure that everything is blended.

Another note of caution: some of you may eschew the Grand Marnier because of the cost. This is a serious mistake because it is essential to creating a smooth tasting drink. Cointreau is a viable substitute but the cost is about the same. I've also experimented with a few other exotic combinations but the above recipe is time-honored and reliable.

Happy Drinking

Jvan

Cash's Hangover Remedy

I like drinkin'. I almost never feel more than groggy the next day. I am over 30 and no longer immortal. Allow me to share some (perhaps obvious) wisdom.

1. Drink as much as you want/can and whatever you want (save methanol or ethylene glycol).

2. Space at least 30 minutes between your last drink and sleep. An hour is best. Note: This means going to bed later, not drinking less.

3. Fill a 32+ oz. cup to the brim with water and get it down any way you can. Finish it no matter what.

4. With the water, take 2 Aleve (naproxen sodium, 440 mg). 3 tabs (660 mg) is not unreasonable. Aleve has a longer half-life than ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) and therefore will carry you through the morning better. The only reason I can think of to avoid this step is if you have renal disease, in which case the drinking itself is probably doing more harm than any single dose NSAID could.

Side notes:

- If you toss your grits a lot when you drink (shut it, Andy), consider taking 75 or 150 of Zantac prior to binging.

- If you ever break out in that alcohol blush-like rash in your face/neck, take a non-sedating antihistamine before drinking. Alavert, Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec all do the trick.

You're welcome.

Cash


Back Room Guide to Home Brewing

Websites to help get started Brewing

Brew Your Own - [5]

How to Brew - [6]

Northern Brewer Homebrew Forum - [7]

Northern Brewer - [8]

Homebrewers Outpost - [9]

More Beer - [10]

Austin Homebrew - [11]

Necessary Equipment

If I had to start again I would only buy the following things and start with extract and steep special grains in your boil. If you know someone that brews all grain ditch the extract and go all grain from the start. You will be so much happier. You can make much more complex beers. Your buddy can help you set up your gear.Insert non-formatted text here

1. 6.5 gallon glass carboy. Use this for primary fermentations. $20

2. A gravity thermometer/hydrometer $8

3. A digital thermometer w/ temperature probe from Target $16. The floating one sucks and for $8 bucks more is so much better.

4. Hydrometer Test Tube with base for the gravity thermometer. It makes it so much esier to check gravity of your beer with this test tube.

5. A large turkey baster to pull out your wort for doing gravity readings. $1 from the dollar store.

6. The airlock for the glass carboy. $5

7. A funnel w/ screen so you can pour the wort into glass carboy. $4

8. Sanitizer (Iadophor) $4 to $12 depening on the size of the bottle.

9. A hop bag so you can use for your specialty grains/hops.

10. This is where I will differ with everyone else. Buy the 1 liter flip top brown growlers right from the start (24 total.). It is so much easier bottling large flip top bottles than cleaning and sanitizing 50+ 12 ounce bottles. Also, if even you go all grain later, having these bottles are great because you may make a big robust beer that you want to age/bottle anyway. Then again, drinking beer to save bottles is a noble task. Don't buy beer bottles that are clear. They have to be brown bottles.

11. Buy the siphon pump/auto siphon. It makes siphoning so much easier. $11

12. Bottling bucket with all the gear. $25.

13. If you don't have a large pot (2.5 gallon minimum) go to Walmart and buy one of those cheap enabled pots. $15 bucks. If you already have a large pot even better.

14. If you can, buy a turkey deep fryer. The pots are normally 30 qt pots and gets you outside and prevents ruining your kitchen from boil overs. Also, the more wort you can boil the better the beer. $50 from your local sporting goods store.

15. If you buy the turkey deep fryer then spend the money and buy a copper immersion cooler. You can make one yourself and save a few bucks from Home Depot. $30. If you only boil half the wort and plan on adding water ditch this step. You will still make some good beer by doing it this way.

General Instructions
Recipes
Jurassic's '88 Imperial IPA [12]
Giggity's Irish Stout

This is an easy recipe that delivers great results. Very smooth, very dark, and a little bit of a hop bite to counterbalance the dark grain flavor. No need to start brewing out of canned kits--start immediately with partial mash/partial extract brewing. It's 5x better beer and much more interesting.

In addition to the usual homebrewing equipment (buckets, bottles, etc) you're going to need the following:

-6lbs light liquid malt (bulk or canned, doesn't matter) -.5lb Munich Malt -.25lb Torrified Wheat -.5lb Chocolate Grain -.5lb Roasted Barley -.5lb Crystal Grain -1oz Northern Brewer hops (bittering #1) -.75oz Perle hops (bittering #2) -#1084 Wyeast Irish Ale yeast -large muslin sack (looks like gauze; holds grains for steeping)

Notes: -All grains must be crushed. A homebrew shop that sells bulk grains will have a mill or will crush for you. -Also, if your municipal water sucks (too much chlorine, etc) it's worth the extra $5 to buy 5 gal of spring water from the grocery store. -I put about 6 32oz plastic cups 3/4 full of water in the freezer overnight before brewing. I use this to cool down my wort since I don't have a wort chiller. This is easier than waiting 4 hours for the stuff to get to room temperature. -Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. -Consider a yeast starter (see brewing books or websites for details). Either way, pop the Wyeast pack when you start brewing so it has time to swell and get going.

The recipe:

1. Put all your crushed grain in the muslin sack. In a big-ass stainless pot, bring at least a gallon of H2O to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat, add the grain, and cover. Let steep for 30 minutes, then remove the grain (let the water drip out, but don't squeeze the bag) and discard.

2. Bring that grain water back to boiling (you may add some more water if your pot is big enough--the more water you can use the better, BUT WATCH OUT FOR BOILOVERS). Add the Northern Brewer hops and boil for 20 minutes. Add the liquid malt, stirring constantly to avoid scorching, and bring back to a boil. Add the Perle hops and boil 20 more minutes, then remove pot from heat.

3. Place a couple gallons of water in your fermenting bucket. Pour the wort in slowly to avoid burning the crap out of yourself, then add additional water to the 5gal mark (add ice as well if you're following my hint above). Stir gently with a sanitized spoon. When the wort reaches 75-78 degrees, pitch your yeast and stir vigorously. Put the fermenter in a 70-75 degree area off the floor (I find phone books work well for this) and let it sit for 7-14 days.

Note: With a beer this dark a secondary fermenter is unnecessary. However, I rack to a secondary to clear some of the 'grit' and hop dust; I do this after one week and then let it sit for another week (14 days in all).

4. Bottle or keg as usual. This beer has always gotten a bit better after about 6 weeks in the bottle, but should definitely be enjoyed within 4-6 months of bottling if stored properly. Can't vouch for freshness thereafter as it's never lasted beyond 4 months in my house.

Closing notes: -My SG readings have always started around 1.044-1.049; ending gravity has been between 1.007-1.010). -Post any questions and I'll get back to you shortly. I'm a long-time amateur homebrewer and can help with anything--not just this recipe. For uber-advanced homebrewing, though, I'm not your man (CJ's Burger is the poster with the most knowledge that I'm aware of). -This beer goes very well with ribs, of course. Try it out.

Travel Tips

Cheap Airfare

Here's an awesome site for getting great deals on travel. It's a message board where people post the lowest they've been able to successfully bid on travel at sites like pricline.com. You can look up the lowest prices people have received and use that as a starting point for your bidding.

http://www.biddingfortravel.com

When making your reservations, don't forget to check your seat assignments at:

http://www.seatguru.com

For any questions regarding frequent flyer programs visit the forums at:

http://www.flyertalk.com

Business Travel

Luggage and Packing

  • Wheels are good.
  • If it isn't too cumbersome, and especially if you have connecting flights, consider carrying it on.
  • If you're checking your bags, carry on your toiletries, a change of clothes, and any prescriptions you might need in the event that your luggage is lost.
  • Bring your own alarm clock.
  • Roll up all of your articles of clothing (except dress shirts) to prevent wrinkling and save space in your bag.
  • Pack a shirt for each day, but you only need two or three pairs of pants for a given week.
Acceptable rental car

Flying

  • There are far fewer flight delays in the morning. Friday evening is probably the worst.
  • Try to stick to one airline in order to rack up points and reach an elite level: priority in lines, free first class upgrades, bonus miles, discounts on airport club room memberships, protected on flight cancellations
  • Consider joining airline club rooms like United's Red Carpet Club and Delta's Crown Room to avoid airport terminal proles.
  • Book online on the airline companies' web sites, which may also mean additional bonus miles.
  • Airbus makes baby Jesus cry.

Rental Cars

  • Become a premium member for better cars, better service, and shorter lines: Hertz Number One Club, Avis Wizard (ask for Preferred), National Emerald Club
  • The cheaper, the better. If your company is paying for it, they don't want you to spend a lot. If your client is reimbursing you, they expect you to be reasonable with your expenses. An exception might be if you are expected to entertain people.
  • Hertz is the best. Avis is good. Budget is bad to very bad.
  • Book online on the rental car companies' web sites.

Hotel

  • Locate them using sites like Orbitz and Travelocity.
  • Hilton, Marriott, and Holiday Inn have good frequent stay programs.
  • Never stay at Best Western.
Relaxing evening fare

Entertainment

  • Books: Some run-of-the-mill, grocery store smut will do. Or something about empowering yourself.
  • DVDs: Bring them to watch in your hotel room because you won't get comped for the porn. The dumber, the better. Now is not the time to try to understand what people like about Terrence Malick.
  • iPod: Pack it carefully. As far as video, look into television series available for download such as The Office, The A-Team, and Knight Rider. Consider ripping a Pimsleur language CD to your mp3 player for your personal edification. If you have the means, Bose or Sennheiser noise reduction headphones are very choice.
  • Chamber of Commerce web site: If you're staying in a rural or remote area, find the official town web site for restaurants, hotels, and other areas of interest.
  • Exercise: I don't recommend this, but it's something to do without leaving your hotel.

Bonus Points

  • Milk your frequent flyer, frequent stay, or cashback programs.
  • If you're only going to be home for one day anyway, consider staying through the weekend. If you decide to stay the weekend, see what is in a three or four-hour drive of where you starting
  • Consider making a dry run to the location of your client site or venue if you are in town a day early.
  • When things go wrong with your travels, be polite, patient, and flexible. People will be much more likely to want to help you.

Submitted by: Steedle 16:55, 1 April 2006 (EST)

Las Vegas

Add your reviews of Las Vegas hotels, casinos and poker rooms, restaurants, shows, clubs, other attractions, and general tips on how best to "do" Vegas here.

Cheapovegas (http://www.cheapovegas.com/index.php) is a good source of reviews for every casino/hotel, including rooms, restaurants and general atmosphere.

San Francisco / Napa Valley

San Francisco

  • The Golden Gate Bridge is a wonderful place to visit and walk out onto (take a jacket and a hat). Other places that I would suggest you visit are the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park (especially interesting when the fog rolls in), and the museum at the Legion of Honor. I used to go to the museum to sit and look at the Maxfield Parrish paintings on display there.

Get on Rt 1/US-101 going north towards Saulsalito. Go over bridge. By far the best view of the city and bridge you can get. It's the first or second left once you cross the bridge from sf, you'll drive up for a bit and then there should be some parking. You can walk out just above the bridge, it's an amazing view.

Get off at Saulsalito Lateral (Business), but make left onto Bunker Rd immediately after getting off Rt 1/US 101.

Follow the signs, drive up the mountain and you will have incredible views of San Fran, the bridge. the bay and the ocean.

A solid place is the Buckeye Roadhouse (at the split of Rt 1/US 101) just north of Sausalito. It is a cool spot with excellent food.


  • Truthfully after landing I rent a car and head over via Sharps Park Road then up HWY 1 to Skyline Blvd. to the Cliff House. It's about a 20 minute attraction yet has a remodeled bar and restaurant (the Bistro, NOT Sutro). After Cliff In drive thru the Presidio then head to the wharf for an hour or so. A quick stop by the Buena Vista then out to the Golden Gate.

  • Point Bonita late in the afternoon or Sunset is a must maybe dinner in Sausalito at night if it's clear to get an amazing view of the Skyline.

  • If you just have the afternoon and have never been to San Francisco, I'd recommend Fisherman's Wharf and Lombard Street (world's most crooked street).

At Fisherman's Wharf, you have shopping (you can see a ton of seals hanging out by Pier 39), street entertainers, and restaurants. I would recommend walking to the opposite end of Fisherman's Wharf to Ghirardeli Square, where you can get great ice cream desserts (or chocolate). You could also go to Alcatraz from fisherman's wharf but it may take too much time if you just have the afternoon. You can also see the Golden Gate Bridge from there if you do not want to actually go to the bridge.

Lombard Street (really just the one block east of Hyde Street) is very famous as it is a very windy road. You can drive down the street or you can walk up and down the stairs at the side. You can take a cable car from Fisherman's Wharf up Hyde Street and get off at Lombard Street. Since it is the top of a hill, you will also be able to take pictures of Coit Tower from there and the skyline of San Francisco with the Transamerica Building (the pyramid building).

You could rent a car if you want to drive down Lombard Street but you can get to Fisherman's Wharf and Lombard Street by cable car. The BART does go from SFO airport to downtown. You can catch a cable car from downtown that will take you to Fisherman's Wharf. Also, Friday afternoon is not usually that bad for commuting as a lot of people tend to take Fridays off.

Also, I did find that riding a cable car was fun, even though it's exceptionally touristy. Definitely not something you need to do more than once, but if your wife's never done it, it's not a terrible way to get from Point A to Point B.


  • My wife and I landed at SFO and rented a car. We headed out towards the Cliff House. The beach is just south of Cliff House and there’s a park, with lots of trails. The park is nice, just for the view. Maybe take lunch out there.

From the park, we went to the Golden Gate Bridge Park on both sides. We didn't walk the bridge but you can. On the north side, we drove up the mountain to Point Bonita. That’s a great view, but it was unbelievably clear the day we were out there.

Some of my friends went out to Alcatraz, and they recommended it.


  • Marina District in SF, Take the ferry to Tiburon in the morning. Go to Sam's right near the marina and have a bloody mary overlooking the SF skyline. Ferry back and then walk through the Marina district, along Chestnut Street. Have lunch at Pacific Catch - terrific fresh fish with an Asian flair, very casual, noodle bar style. Dinner at Zushi Puzzle (Lombard and Buchanan) - best sushi I've ever had - sit at the bar and meet Roger the owner/chef (need a rez for the bar). If you don't like sushi, another dinner place - Plumpjack Cafe for French/American fare (need a rez) - BYO from their wine store next door. For a nightcap, California Wine Merchants - also on Chestnut for a cool wine bar or walk up the hill to Balboa Cafe - a fun bar.

  • Just a couple restaurant recs in SF:

Kokkari, fantastic greek food at very reasonable prices. Maybe my favorite greek restaurant I've been to anywhere except Greece. Perbaco is very good italian, get the pork chop, wow.


  • In SF make a round trip from the world famous Buena Vista. They have excellent breakfasts there. It's at the end of one cable car line. Take the line to Union Square and return. Get off on the return at Lombard Street. Walk down and enjoy the walk, the gardens, the neighborhood etc. This is a must. Then walk back to Fisherman's Wharf and just walk, Giaradelli, etc. End up at the Buena Vista for Sierra Nevada on tap or the famous Irish coffees. Consider eating at Scomas, a short walk. It's very good - primarily a seafood place.

Napa

  • St. Supery - Ask to taste the Dollarhide Cabs

Peju Province - Next to St. Supery. Very nice blends.

Cosentino - They can be generous with tasting. Eat lunch at Mustards grill next door.

Domaine Chandon - Great property, if you like sparkling wine.


  • Out in Napa, we stayed at the Bel Abri bed and breakfast (http://www.belabri.net/). Breakfast is delivered to your room every morning and they have wine every evening. It’s a nice place, and cheaper than most places you'll find in Napa. You can make your reservations through their website.

We went to two wineries, the Black Stallion and I can't remember the other one (it had an ancient greek theme). The wines weren't that great at either but the money spent on landscaping made it picturesque. There are so many wineries out there, everyones probably got a favorite and a motive for recommending one over the other.

We walked around downtown Napa, towards the bend in the river, which was okay, nothing spectacular. When we were out there, a lot of flowers were in bloom and my wife enjoyed seeing everyone's yard in Napa In Napa, we ate a restaurant called The Pearl. I had the roast duck, which was good. It's probably tough to go wrong with any restaurant in the area.


  • Stag's Leap District in Napa. Stag's Leap Winery and Robert Sinskey - I could stay at those 2 places all day.

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is nearby on Silverado Trail, with its claim to fame: winning the 1976 Paris tasting for red wine.

From the linked article at their site: "The unthinkable happened. Winiarski's 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon - his first vintage produced with grapes from vines a mere three years old - was judged the best. The Cabernet had bested four top-ranked Bordeaux, including first-growths Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion. The 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from California bested its French counterparts."

http://cask23.com/1976tasting.htm


  • I've been to Napa 3 times and have some favorites as far as wineries go. I'll second the drinks at the Carneros in firepit, the restaurant there is pretty good too.

For wineries, if you are looking for a longer tour/tasting my favorite is Jarvis. All inside a cave, and you get a lot of great wines. It was one of the first ones I visited and no one has topped it yet.

Jarvis is pretty cool. The tour is about an hour and runs $40/person. I kind of feel like one tour is enough, but this would be a good one.

Joseph Phelps is also very good, they have seminars you can sign up for. We did a blending seminar where they give you barrel samples and pipettes to see if you can mix anything as good as their Insignia blend. Farther north Schramsberg has a very cool cave tour and is interesting if you want to learn about making sparkling wine.

Quick hit wineries with good wine and fun tasting rooms I like Plumpjack, Miner, and Artessa (artessa is on the way to SF in carneros, but has beautiful views of the valley below it).


  • With regards to Napa, forget trying to hit too many wineries, not enough time. Get over on the Silverado Trail where there is less traffic - people. Drive up to around Rutherford Hill and work your way back just hitting 3-4 places - Cliff Lede, Silverado, Clos Du Val. From Rutherford Hill you can even bop over to 29 and hit well known ones - BV, Beringer, etc. A few miles out of Napa west on 12 (121) there is Domaine Carneros. It sits up on a hill with great views you can't miss it. Finish there with a flight of different champagnes and a cheese, nut fruit plate a watch the sun go down on the outside deck.

An option instead of Napa is to take 101 up to Healdsburg and the Russian River area. It's a neat little town with a nice square and tasting rooms all around the square. We ate in some little Italian place right on the square. You will not regret a visit to this little town in the middle of wine country.

My favorite place in wine country. Much less crowded and more laid back than most of Napa or Southern Sonoma counties. Plus, they have great Zin!


  • Silver Oak- Their new tasting room is nice and it is a quick stop.

Nickel & Nickel- Awesome tour, great Cabs, reservation needed.

Joseph Phelps- IMHO the most beautiful views of the places that I have been. Insignia is part of the tasting.

Heitz- Great wines and the tastings are FREE!

Chimney Rock is next to Stags Leap, it’s a nice too.

Chateau Montelena- great wines, great property.

Oakville Deli to pack a lunch.

I enjoyed Merryvale, Miner, and August Briggs as well.


Get a drink here (link) at the firepit... nice and relaxing.



Napa Valley questions

by ACross (06/09/2009 11:32:21) [ cannot delete ] [ Edit ] [ Return to Board ] [ Ignore Poster ] [ Report Post ] [ Highlight Poster ] [ Reply ]

I may be heading there this summer. I've never been before.

I'm not inclined to shell out the $600 per night for Auberge or Calistoga Ranch. I also have no interest in quaint "bed and breakfast" inns. I see there's a new Westin. It looks OK, sort of generic and nondescript, but it's in downtown Napa. Any other recommendations?

I have particular taste in wine and I am not interested in "winery tours". I would like to visit some wineries for tastings, which I call "drinkings", because I do not spit and fully intend to be drunk.

So, I'm not interested in tourist-friendly large wineries or small-time producers. I am interested in visitng the following based solely on the qualit of wine. If anybody has any experience with any of these, please advise:

Paul Hobbs (ND grad) Staglin Bryant Family (I have a pretty good connection here) Peter Michael Pride Spottswoode BV Chateau Montelena David Arthur Chateaa St. Jean Beringer Pahlmeyer Heitz

Also, how much is a car service for a day?


Healdsburg, Healdsburg, Healdsburg by dulac89 (06/09/2009 22:14:23) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

I went to Napa once. On the last day we went up to Healdsburg and the surrounding areas. Will never go anywhere else. Been there three times, and I have yet to even hit half of the wineries within a short drive.

Swine89 and the others recommending that area know what they're talking about. The quality of wine is Sonoma is every bit that of Napa, and some would argue better these days.

Go to Healdsburg, stay at the Grape Leaf Inn (www.grapeleafinn.com) or Hotel Healdsburg (hotelhealdsburg.com). Spend day one driving up Dry Creek Valley, spend the next day driving down Russian River Valley, spend the third day up in Alexander Valley, drinking world class wine. The grounds and private tasting room at Ferrari-Carrano is spectacular (as are the reserve wines they pull out for you). At the end of the day, return to your B&B, walk to several first class restaurants (Cyrus and Zin) among others, wake up the next morning and repeat. Heaven on earth.

Or you can go to Napa, get good wine that you are enjoying with 100s of others at a time, and also replace your drill bit at Home Depot and buy sneakers for the kids at Target in between wineries. Your choice.

I agree with Swine, however. I should stop recommending Healdsburg. Most people are skeptical, and I'd rather keep this paradise crowd free. Based on a vacation post earlier this year, my wife by graNDfan (06/14/2009 20:48:51) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

did some research on Healdsburg. We are going in October plan to spend our days just as you have laid out. It can't get here quick enough..... A place to stay and some wineries to visit. by 528 Flanner (06/09/2009 15:57:17) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

The Harvest Inn is a very nice place with some local charm at a price point near the Westin.

Somewhat more obscure wineries to visit might be Duckhorn, Matanzas Creek (Sonoma), Groth, Anderson's Conn Valley, Silver Oak Cellars, and BR Cohn (Sonoma).

   * Click here for link

A note on Hobbs and car service by Rockbrig97 (06/09/2009 14:49:27) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

First, they only do tastings with tours, and they only do tours for those on the mailing list. Join now...and call ahead. The tour is pretty short, but the tasting is more of a "let's talk about the wine" setting.

Second, they're not very close to the heart of Napa...I incorporated it into my trip through Dry Creek Valley. It's in the Russian River Valley. Most of your list is not nearby.

Finally, call around on car service. Most ran a few hundred bucks for the day. They varied significantly, however. Good stuff by domerforlife (06/09/2009 14:45:26) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Pride - out of the way, but worth it. The views from the Spring Mountain area are great. Also, while you're up there, Smith-Madrone is right there and make an excellent Reisling and their cabs are great as well.

Heitz - very good cabs.

I would also throw Duckhorn on your list, as well as Rutherford Hill - outstanding Merlot.

The others on your list are good as well, but the above are some of my favorites. Enjoy! No V. Sattui rec. yet? by Bill Hickey (06/09/2009 14:44:47) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Am I out of touch? V. Sattui - beautiful setting but not so great wine... by project37 (06/09/2009 15:01:42) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

V. Sattui was our first stop when we arrived in Napa Valley. We were there at lunch time. Great place to grab a picnic lunch and a reasonable bottle of wine, but overall their wine isn't all that great. The deli however, was fantastic. I don't think ACross would like it. by smcchick (06/09/2009 14:53:17) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Too touristy. He would take one look at the picnic tables and spit in their general direction. In fact he might even throw over the wine barrels and force the wine down someone's throat and ask them if they are sure they liked it.

I on the other hand did like it because I could buy a good cheese, a glass of wine, and sit out looking over the hills. Thanks for the visual by Bill Hickey (06/09/2009 16:39:22) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

It has been Quite some time since I was there - at least 15 years. I do still enjoy their Madeira though - guess I need to upgrade. My List - hit most of these last fall by project37 (06/09/2009 14:23:54) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Elizabeth Spencer (right across the street from BV) Duckhorn Joseph Phelps Rudd (near Silver Oak) Bremer (excellent setting up on the hill) Frank Family (free tastings/drinkings)

Beringer is tourist friendly. by smcchick (06/09/2009 13:49:55) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

They have a nice tour of their winery, but it is large groups of people walking around to each part. I don't know that it would interest you. Their wine tasting room seemed more to be a gift shop than anything else.

I did not stop at any of your other places, but I did like Freemark Abbey. They were in Napa along the main road. I know they are now owned by Kendell Jackson, but it doesn't seem that they have changed anything. It was more of a intimate tasting room. The guy who led us on tasting different wines was very knowledgeable about the wine and the history of the winery. The problem with other wineries is that they hire just anyone to pour the wines and they know nothing. (it is literally a temp job)

If anything, go to Napa and Sonoma for the scenery, it is beautiful out there. You might visit Guinness McFadden, ND-'60 & by ProV1x (06/09/2009 13:35:51) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

classmate at McFadden Vineyard in Potter Valley. He grows 1500 acres of prize winning organic grapes and has a winery and tasting room. Great guy, and yes, that's his real name. I have one recommendation by NDDL99 (06/09/2009 13:30:28) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

If you want to drink wine, and you want to drink more than just 5 small tastes (I know I do), then get a handful of complementary "VIP passes" for wineries in your area from your hotel. These are free. Some of them entitle you to at least a couple more glasses. Others entitle you to try better wines. Others do so much more. Some of them are useless or allow you to buy a Rubicon Estate T-shirt or something; throw them out. But, in general, these passes open up new worlds of opportunities that a $15 tasting fee cannot touch.

For example, go to Ledson on Sonoma Highway. They have excellent reds there of all varieties. But before you go, get a complimentary VIP pass. With that VIP pass, I tried in excess of 15 different wines at prices ranging from $40/bottle to $120/bottle. Nothing was off limits. The ladies next to me gawked at my ability to put away endless quantities of vino, and asked why they only got 5 glasses while I just kept drinking for an hour while perusing the deepest, darkest corners or their reserve list.

   * Click here for link

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars by heyder (06/09/2009 13:29:21) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

is one of 7 or 8 I've visited. They won the 1976 Paris Tasting in the "red" category. The tasting for their higher end wines costs, but I think it was worth it. It's $30 for their "Estate" tasting, $15 for their "Napa" tasting.

   * Click here for link

Prager by ckdexterhaven (06/09/2009 13:27:59) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

If you like port.

   * Click here for link

Spottswoode has an ND connection by dialadown (06/09/2009 13:16:17) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Owner's daughter is a '94 grad I believe. "...I'm not here to f*ck your mouth, Andy..." * by cujaysfan (06/09/2009 14:34:51) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

"This is a nice limo." * by Buck Mulligan (06/09/2009 15:04:52) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

If she's single maybe she can give a private tour for ACross * by DMMD (06/09/2009 13:19:57) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

sorry by dialadown (06/09/2009 13:32:21) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Slight correction. It's the daughter-IN-LAW of the owner. Married to Mike Novak, M.D.? * by ACross (06/09/2009 17:16:50) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

This is good timing by El Kabong (06/09/2009 12:54:30) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

The family and I will be there over Thanksgiving, was looking for some lists. Beaulieu Vineyard - Reserve Tasting by Matty96 (click here to email the poster) (06/09/2009 12:53:11) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

If you are interested, I'd be happy to arrange a VIP tasting/drinking for you at BV that will let you quaff some of the good stuff (Georges de Latour, Tapestry, BV Clone 4 and Clone 6, etc.) for gratis.

Discounts in the BV wine shop too.

Email enclosed. Does this apply only to ACross? by 11thFloorGrace (06/09/2009 13:53:58) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

I'm heading out there at the end of July for my 40th and was just starting to put together a list of wineries to visit. You might like one of the Del Dotto tastings (see the link). by Cliffy (06/09/2009 12:27:38) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

You may also like Cakebread or Joseph Phelps.

Beringer is really touristy. Ditto BV.

   * Click here for link

Phelps is nice, but I think you have to make an appt. * by 11thFloorGrace (06/09/2009 13:55:23) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

I always knew you were a swallower * by CalNaughtonJr (06/09/2009 12:26:46) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Jarvis, Plumpjack, Grgich Hills, S. Anderson, Frog's Leap by buffaloirish (06/09/2009 12:23:29) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

We visited all these several years ago. S. Anderson is worth a stop for sparkling wine. Frog's Leap was a very laid back experience--they gave us a bottle of wine and said we could wander their grounds.


These are the correct answers by DMMD (06/09/2009 12:23:03) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Lodging: Napa Valley Lodge -- well located, simple fits the bill as a place to crash after a wonderfully debaucherous day of drinking

Wine tasting:

You have listed some of the main ones, but I would add these:

    • Karl Lawrence -- It's a barrel tasting. You may have to be on the list, but with the recession, I would imagine they would accomodate. The tasting occurs directly behind the BV tasting room. Ric Henry will likely be the salt of the earth space cadet who gives you the private tasting. Great guy, but spacey.
    • Neal Family -- They grew grapes for everyone for over a generation and then finally decided to sell their own.
    • Schramsberg -- Sparkling White. I guarantee you will like their tour. They talk about their history with Richard Nixon and him bringing their sparkling to China when he made his historic trips as President. It's now on the White House rotation.
    • Taittinger (sp?) -- another excellent sparkling wine. Great place to end your day of tasting. Vineyard sits on the top of the a hill in the southern part of the Napa vineyards. Just a nice relaxing close on their patio.
    • Heitz will be nice, especially if it is still free (it was one of the last in Napa to stay free).
    • Skip Beringer. Just not what it used to be.
    • BV is about as run of the mill as it gets. Nothing bad, nothing great. But it's right behind Rutherford Grill in the heart of the main Napa winery corridor (Mondavi, Opus One, Peju, Cakebread, Coppola, Satui, Franciscan, Heitz) so it's easy to get to.

Note:

    • Pride is WAY out of the way. Be prepared.
    • Spottswoode way off the beaten path as well. Near Pride maybe (but honestly, nothing is near Pride).
    • Staglin -- just get your reservation in.

A GREAT restaurant towards Pride is Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. Had the best medium rare steak for lunch in my life there.

Take a drive along the Silverado trail (instead of 29) and just check out any of 5 dozen wineries you pass by (note: Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in on the road towards the southern end of the wineries and I guarentee you will drive past it your first time if you are coming from the north).

Enjoy. Seconded on the Silverado Trail. Beautiful drive. * by Marine Domer (06/09/2009 15:24:22) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Thanks and a follow-up by ACross (06/09/2009 12:38:52) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Are Pride, Staglin and/or Spottswoode near Bryant Family? Edit: OK, you made me look it up by DMMD (06/09/2009 12:45:28) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

None of the named wineries: Pride, Staglin, Bryant Family nor Spotteswoode are "near" each other. I recall each one being "off the beaten path" although with the odd way the Napa wineries are clustered together, you could make the argument that you could include Bryant, Spottswoode and Pride as part of a grouping north of the main Oakville/Rutherford clusters of wineries. I recall Staglin being more central and closer to the previously named wineries: BV, Mondavi, etc.

Also add Schrader to your list of elite wineries if you can visit. Making some of the very best juice in all of Napa these days.

HERE ARE EDITED COMMENTS: Bryant Family is near David Arthur and Colgin on the eastern side of the county (definitely off the beaten path)

Chateau Montelena is near Cuvaison, Schrader and sort of near Schramsberg in the far north of the county in Calistoga.

Pride is near Sherwin Family, but there is a reason why Pride sells shirts that say “I survived the drive to Pride” or some such at the top of the mountain.

Spottswoode is near Realm, Louis Martini and Heitz much closer to civilization (Southern end of St. Helena)

Staglin is in the heart of Oakville near Mondavi, Cakebread et al.

I recommend every one of the above named wines (Mondavi excepted...so sad) Heitz was still free in October * by bigjinx74 (06/09/2009 12:26:47) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Silverado Resort by burknd05 (06/09/2009 12:09:46) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

It is a little outside of Napa, but is a very nice resort. It has two excellent golf courses (both RTJ), and hosted a PGA event for 20+ years.

What are your dining plans for the trip? Yountville has an inordinant amount of fantastic resaurants if you've never been there. There are three of Thomas Keller's - FL, Bouchon and Ad Hoc. We didn't make it to Ad Hoc, but the other two were exceptional. Bistro Jeanty and Bottega were also very good.

   * Click here for link

If you stay at the Westin by bigjinx74 (06/09/2009 12:03:18) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

You definitely want to dine a La Toque. Fantastic

Far Niente

Nickel & Nickel (Opus One is next to them)

Joseph Phelps

Heitz has a free tasting room

Miner

If you see Louis Martini, go in to see if they have any Monte Rosso Cab Franc remaining, it is superb.

Silver Oak is quick and great

Camus

Cakebread

Rubicon Yep, I was in Napa a week and a half ago..... by Marine Domer (06/09/2009 13:03:59) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

The one winery a local wine lover mentioned that's not on your list is Rombauer. The linked site has some pretty good info, and a good map.

   * Click here for link

I visited Rombauer about a month ago and recommend it. by SnowBowl (06/09/2009 15:08:56) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

It was an beautiful setting with knowledgable employees and excellent Zinfandel. We went there on a recommendation for good Chardonnay, but all the wines we tried were very good. This is a superb list * by FONToKNOW (06/09/2009 12:08:54) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

You wont be disappointed here by mitquinn (06/09/2009 11:56:47) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Go to the Mayo Family Winery. Book a group tasting in the reserve room. Each 'drinking' is complimented with a pairing of gourmet food. It is fantastic to say the least. The owners are usually there pouring the glasses and giving the full run down of each wine. Jeff the son is a USC grad who likes to talk.

   * Click here for link

Good call, thanks by ACross (06/09/2009 11:58:41) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

I like their wines. I might try to see A. Rafanelli too Make an effort to go to Rafanelli. You won't be disappointed * by Grace91 (06/09/2009 12:43:52) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

I wasn't that impressed with A. Rafenelli by 11th Floor Grace (06/09/2009 22:20:03) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Maybe it was because the one wine I wanted to try (Zin) they weren't tasting that day, but the gentleman in the tasting room was quite full of himself and I didn't really like any of the wines they had open for tasting. Kunde Estate is across road from Mayo by mitquinn (06/09/2009 12:12:13) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Its decent... actually had one of the best chardonnays there, which I dont find myself enjoying too often. Very bold and spicy. car service by little ticket (06/09/2009 11:47:22) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

We were quoted $75/hr for a town car, 3 hour minimum, not counting tax and gratuity. Here's a decent car service option by 11thFloorGrace (06/09/2009 14:01:53) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Was just looking into this myself. $50/hr for 3 person sedan, $60/hr for 6 person limo.

   * Click here for link

Napa is "Notre Disney'esque"... go to the Dry Creek & by Jurassic (06/09/2009 11:46:15) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Russian River Valley's. Hell, head up to the Anderson Valley, and partake in Cali's youngest appellation.

Unless your specifically into all that is touristy and trendy about Napa. Don't get me wrong, it's nice, and there are same great wineries, but those other regions have more of a uniqueness about them. I'm far more interested in the quality of the wine than the by ACross (06/09/2009 11:53:39) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

setting. I'm not interested in quaintess or scenery or beautiful views or serenity if that means drinking wine that is less than outstanding. I want to drink good wine and get drunk. You're going to drink spectacular wine regardless by dulac89 (06/09/2009 22:22:47) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Whether you choose Napa or Sonoma, if you choose right and at times are willing to fork over a little coin, you will drink world class reserve wines, most of which are only available at the winery. Many of the top wines are winery only, and only available for purchase directly from them (or from their wine clubs). If you want to drink good wine and get drunk, you will be able to do that regardless. The difference is that in Sonoma you will be doing it with smaller groups (many of the "off the beaten path wineries you may be the only ones there), among more beautiful scenery, and generally in a more personalized manner.

Also, you will want to join wine clubs. You get amazing discounts on reorders, and having that box show up every month from a different winery is spectacular. Most of the wines they send out are their best. Wait until the end of the trip to sign up though, there are so many that are really good that you want to truly pick your favorites. I wasn't talking about scenery, I was talking about by Jurassic (06/09/2009 15:17:00) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

uniqueness of wines. Outstanding ones to be specific. Sonoma County takes offense. by 89Swine (06/09/2009 13:41:03) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

There are about 150 wineries within a 45 minute drive of Healdsburg. The region encompasses three appellations: Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley. It's wine drinking for people who like to drink wine. I'm sure even the most discriminating wine connoisseur can find enough to keep himself busy for a few days.

Some of the more notable names: Silver Oak, Jordan, Ferrari-Carano, Gary Farrell, Simi, Stryker Sonoma, Murphy-Goode.

The Paul Hobbs Winery is in Sebastopol which is in Sonoma County. Understood by ACross (06/09/2009 14:30:38) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

I didn't mean to imply that Sonoma was for proles.

Peter Michael and Chateau St Jean are on my list too.

I'll be there 3 days, I'll probably limit it to 2 per day. Definitely hitting Bryant Family and Paul Hobbs.

Matty96's gracious offer will likely have me barfing indigo at BV on of the days.

With I'd like to hit Sonoma on one day, Rafanelli and one or two others.

Thanks all. Sonoma by little ticket (06/09/2009 14:57:50) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Cafe La Haye: http://cafelahaye.com/index.php?_page=menu (reservations can be a challenge)

On the way back to Napa, grab a drink at the Farm at Carneros Inn: http://www.thecarnerosinn.com/thecarnerosinn/restaurant_farm.aspx Healdsburg area is heaven on earth * by 11thFloorGrace (06/09/2009 13:56:39) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Y'know, everytime someone starts one of these by 89Swine (06/09/2009 14:19:24) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

where-should-I-go-in-CA-wine country threads, somebody invariably pipes up with Healdsburg. But then that suggestion usually gets ignored or overrun with all the places you must go in Napa. I mean, look at us down here at the bottom of the thread, so quickly dismissed.

Well, I'm tired of recommending Healdsburg. It IS heaven on earth and if people don't want to go, fuck 'em. Let them go to Napa and push their way past Harry and Louise from Ohio with their matching Eddie George gameday jerseys (home and away) for a tasting. Let them ALL go to Napa --the Ikea of wine country. The more yahoos in Napa the fewer infringing on the beauty and tranquility of Healdsburg.

As was explained to me by a friendly citizen in the town square, Healdsburg is what Napa was like before everyone went there. I'm going to drink wine, not to look at scenery * by ACross (06/09/2009 20:38:17) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

I hear you. by 89Swine (06/09/2009 21:23:09) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

We weren't clear enough. Screw the scenery, quaint town, excellent restaurants, and laid-back, friendly people.

The Healdsburg region is home base for tasting some of the best wine produced in the United States of America.

   * Click here for link

Ridge Lytton Springs is up that way by heyder (06/09/2009 16:17:05) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

and was a good place to visit. We thought Simi was so-so. Chateau Souverain was bought out by Coppola who dropped "Chateau" from the name, closed the lovely building (and restaurant) and opened a tasting room in Healdsburg early last year.(link)

   * Click here for link

Amen to that. * by Jurassic (06/09/2009 15:17:50) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Best comment by dacoduhdumber (06/09/2009 14:48:47) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

ever. I always cringe when people ask me where to go in Napa. If they annoy me, i send them up 29. I would feel bad sending the masses of morans to Dry Creek Valley. Although, the Silverado Trail does have some redeeming qualities. Since you appear to be hitting some oldies by FONToKNOW (06/09/2009 11:44:07) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

I'd consider throwing Charles Krug into the mix. Can you recommend some newer, high end wineries? * by ACross (06/09/2009 11:47:21) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Darioush was founded in 1997 by heyder (06/09/2009 19:46:19) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

I haven't been to the winery, but was very impressed with their cab. The place is at the southern end of the Silverado Trail, a good starting point for a Napa tour.

Darioush Khaledi, a man passionate about fine wines founded Darioush in 1997. Khaledi grew up in Iran's Shiraz region, a wine-growing region until the Islamic revolution.

   * Click here for link

Not so new, but Grgich Hills by FONToKNOW (06/09/2009 11:54:51) cannot delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Plumpjack has a nice tasting as well. Two good calls, thanks. * by ACross (06/09/2009 11:56:38) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Be sure to dress appropriately. by MICKYNDS (06/09/2009 11:39:12) Delete | Edit | Return to Board | Ignore Poster | Highlight Poster | Reply to Post

Black polo shirts are optional.

Back Room Relationship Advice

How to move out of the "Friend Zone"

These are the steps that have twice proved successful for Lavery. Posted without permission ~ S---Alley2


Gents, we've all found ourselves in that awful role: the friend.

I don't know of any advice I've ever given that I'm more confident of than what I'm about to give you. Others below have given variations that I agree with.

I've done the "lay it on the line" thing, where you tell her your feelings and that he's no good for her. WRONG!

I've done the "just hang around thing" where you are there, act like the perfect guy and make no move, figuring she'll eventually come to her senses. WRONG!

I've converted two girls successfully from friends who were dating schmucks into girlfriends of mine. Both times, the same way worked perfectly. I've had one friend of mine who had the discipline to do it and it worked for him too. The steps:

1) Always be yourself. If you're the funny guy or the interesting guy or whatever...continue to be that. Always show your good side to her. Never allow her to see you down, or sad or pouting or anything negative. You're in constant comparison to the guy she's dating now.

2) Become the busiest person she's ever known. Don't make it obvious. If you spend a lot of time with her right now, phase her out slowly. Always have a great excuse. And here is the KEY...always tell her very sincerely that you wish you had more time for her. You can act as if it's pissing you off that you can't go with her to a company party on Saturday and be her pretend date. If she figures out what you're doing, she'll be pissed at you. You can't let her figure it out.

3) Date someone else. It doesn't matter who although dating someone you actually like and think is attractive is the best option. The important thing is that instead of being Mr. "I"m available every Friday night and probably will be for the foreseeable future" you're now Mr. "Cool guy that she likes but could be slipping away."

4) When you do spend time with her, you likely are tied at the hip. In the future, agree to see her once in a while (no more than once a week). WHen you do, you must start to pay more attention to other people in the room. Not just the girls. Leave her to talk to the guys in the room. Give the signal that while you like her, she's not the center of your universe. This can be tough to pull off if she IS the center of your universe. Just realize that your feelings for her are your biggest enemy. You've got to be the completely charming guy who is not trying to hit on her.

5) Don't call. Let her call you until she brings up the fact (and she will) that "You never call me anymore!". Act surprised as if you hadn't realized it. Promise to make a better effort to keep up your part of the friendship. Once she's called you on it, start calling her when you have only 5 mins to talk. Or when other people are clearly with you. In all cases, always be interesting and let her know you really wish you had more time and hope she's doing great.

6) Never bag on the boyfriend. If she bitches to you about him, make excuses for him. If she hints that she might dump him SHE'S SETTING A TRAP. She wants to see if you are excited about her dumping the boyfriend. She's testing to see if her safety net will be there. Make sure she knows that it won't be. No matter what (unless he's abusive of course), do not side with her against the jackass boyfriend. Say things like, "Well, that's strange behavior, but you know that Tom loves you so there must be some sort of explanation."

I've had people rail on the above as game playing and I suppose it is. The bottom line is to get her to see you in a different light. You cannot allow her to have her cake and eat it too. You're completely available to her, but not as a second choice.

Explaining things to her will never ever work. It just doesn't. She already suspects or knows that you like her. You can't debate yourself into having a girlfriend. She has to pursue you.

If you follow the above and you are truly the right guy for her, it will work.



Back Room Dorm List

Please refer to the Back Room Dorm Guide

Other Alma Maters

Feel free to add additional alma maters (including degrees from other institutions) here.

Undergraduate

United States Military Academy

IRISH_6

The University of Toledo

sec21atlanta

The University of Texas at San Antonio

ndfredo

The University of Texas at Arlington

Daviehamsufferer97

The University of Arizona

AZDomer

Arkansas State University

rknsaw

Bowdoin College

irishlaw2010

Bowling Green State University

tex29

Brown University

coalcracker

California State University-Fullerton

Jack Daniels

University of California-Irvine

SoCaliDomer

Tony

Creighton University

cujaysfan

cujays96

College of the Holy Cross

IrishCrusader

University of Dayton

WNYIrishFan

JGed07

DePaul University

tkoui

Depauw University

jakeDC

Dickinson College

Slotts

Duquesne University

hgp-duq-nd

Georgetown University

GU82ND4ever

FormerIrishHoya

George Washington University

SwissIrish

Indiana University

SBDomer "Pour it on, Mighty Hoosiers"

JoeJackTalcum

Indiana University -- South Bend

HowardRoark

LoR

BacTien

Kutztown University

RustyGriswold

Loyola College in Maryland

Camdenyards

Marquette University

Nitschke

Miami University -- Oxford, OH

MiamiOH_IrishFan

WarlieCheis

RedHawkDomer

Ohio University

Jurassic

the dirty Ohio State U

This school is for dirty hilljacks

The Pennsylvania State University

Altoona Irish

University of Kentucky

ndmarley

University of Tennessee

irishvol


University of California - Santa Cruz

ScottNDFan

University of Scranton

IrishinScranton

University of South Alabama

TerramarIrish

University of Southern Indiana

NDDreamer

Saint Joseph's College, Indiana

fwNDfan

Saint Louis University

MemphisSub

Saint Mary's College - Notre Dame, IN

ndirishfan

URwhatUR

Texas A&M University

Trixie

Villanova University

the hibernian

Virginia Tech

VTND

Washington University St. Louis

XNDX

Wittenberg University

emd811 ndtiger

University of New Mexico

Vegas Johnny

Frostburg State University

usaf_irish

University of Central Oklahoma

dallas_subway

Quinnipiac University School of Law

NDMainiac

Youngstown State University

jakam31

Graduate

Ave Maria School of Law

GoIrishBeatTrojans

Duke University

Ollie McClellan

Emory University

irishvol

Milhouse

Fairmont State University College of Education

jakam31

Fordham Law School

Flann

George Mason University

maniactranspodriver

Georgetown University

Oldomer

Goshen College

davemc53

Indiana University

fwNDfan

HCCDillonite07

Johns Hopkins University

Cartwright

Lehigh University

ND1gal

Lenoir-Rhyne College

thersh

New York University

3rdSt

Northwestern University (Kellogg)

JoeJackTalcum

Ohio University

vitadulcedospes

Old Dominion University

John88

Purdue University

mikeman

Rockhurst University

URwhatUR

Rutgers University

thecontrarian

Stanford University

The Irish Cardinal

Vernkupp

SnowBowl

Texas A&M University

Trixie

Mickey

Tufts University

SoCaliDomer

UCLA School of Law

ShermanOaksND

University of Chicago

ditka03

CBR

Kbyrnes

Maroon_DBQer

University of Maryland

mintirish - current student

University of Miami

TonyHighFives

University of North Carolina

goirish89

University of South Florida

Irish88

Revue Party

47Bolcar

University of Virginia

IrishThinclad

Villanova University School of Law

mooneytostle

Diddy

Wake Forest University

San Pedro

Military Service

NDN Posters who have served, or are serving currently, in the Military. Thank you for your service. God bless you and God bless America.

1/4Dog-----USAF/437th MDG/08-pres/0-3

88_92WSND's Uncle-----My uncle retired as a senior chief, having done an entire career in nuclear subs (and nuke schools)

Aces

ADDER3-1

addison clark-----Sgt. E-5 Army 66-69 Vietnam 68-69 Cu Chi

AirborneIrish

Allons-----Army; 11th ACR, 82d ABN.

ArasEra-----USAF 68-72, Vietnam 69-70, Bien Hoa, Tan Son Nhut, Fire Support Base Buttons, Phouc Vinh, Xuan Loc, Crew Chief on 0-1 Bird Dog (Forward Air Control)

Bac Tien's #1 son-----USAF. Presently w/KANG 161st Intelligence Squadron

Bac Tien-----USAF, 68-69, HQ 7th AF, Tan Son Nhut AB, Saigon.

Band Alum 66-----US Army, 525th MI Gp RVN '66-'67; USAR until '94.

BeijingIrish-----USN, 69-71, Saigon, Ca Mau Peninsula, Ca Mau Province, Ben Luc, Long An Province, and Gulf of Tonkin (USS Horne).

Bluntschli-----Navy 89-94. NAS BDA and USS Whidbey Island.

Bullhauler-----USAR, 101st ABN DIV, RVN 69-70, 1LT

chico15-----USN/USS Alabama/96-01/LT

cubbietax-----7 Years Navy JAG

dallas_subway-----ARNG 45th Infantry 6 Yrs - E6

diegoirish-----USN, O-6, CO 3 different commands

DoubleDomer0307-----Future Army wife; I'm damn proud of my soldier (MAJ MI, ND '01, '10MBA).

dulac98-----Navy

FightingIrishRadio-----USN, 69-70, Yankee Station (USS Kearsarge and USS Constellation).

foxrocks-----1LT, USA, Army Security Agency, 1967-69

GoDomers-----USN and USN Reserve (current)

goldcoastdomer-----USAF

gos-----Vietnam

GraniteBayDomer-----USN Reserve

Grease-----USN: 1995 to present; Currently in Air Operations onboard USS George H.W. Bush in the Middle East (11/11/11)

Griffin-----USN 91-93 Operation Desert Storm

IndianaIrish

Irish boiler96-----US Navy, VQ-1 NAS Guam, 89-94

Irish6

Irish72-----LT. USN; Dental office at Parris Island, '76-'78

Irish96-----Army Major, Military Police, 96-Present; Iraq and Afghanistan veteran.

IrishinSF

IrishinVA-----Marines, 22 years (Both sons and son-in-law are in Marines)

IrishJoeinnc-----Army

IrishScout

Jarheadvet-----Marines

John88-----Navy Submariner 1988-Present. USS SAM HOUSTON, USS SILVERSIDES, USS NEBRASKA (GOLD), USS COLUMBIA, USS HONOLULU (CO)

Lazarus-----US Army

LilBart-----United States Army (Active Duty: 1998 - 2002; Reserves 2002 - present)

LoR-----Marines

LoungeTroll-----Army(Cav);1/C/7-10 CAV, 1BCT, 4ID;2007-Now;1LT -

Lutt

maniactranspodriver----USAF 1994-98

MarineDomer-----Marines

Marble Rye-----U.S. Navy- tin can sailor- USS Turner Joy DD951 and USS Berkeley DDG15; 1969-1971- WestPac

Mickey-----Navy (1988-1995) Primarily at Naval Reactors for my last 5 years of service

NavyJoe-----Navy

ND1gal's Brother-----USAFA Class of 1996

ND64-----USA, Summer 67, Subic Bay, Da Nang, Cam Ran Bay, Vung Tau, and Long Bien.

nd65usn06cfp-----USN, 68-69, Operation Market Time along the coast of South Vietnam (USS Fletcher)

NDuffer-----Currently spending the year in Kabul, NTM-A/CSTC-A (currently = November 2011)

NDinJapan-----USAF/86-07/E-7

NizzleBoPeep-----Marines

Novadamer-----USMA 82, US Army Officer, 82-89

OGerry-----Navy

OITLinebacker-----BCT USAFA 1997

Oldomer #1 son (an ND grad)

Oldomer-----USAF, 69-70, HQ 7th AF, Tan Son Nhut AB, Saigon.

plaid_pants-----USS Ohio SSBN 726 Blue; Back when she was still a boomer 1995-2000.

RockyBlier

SanBarIrish-----US Marine Corps

SgtK-----Sgt USMC: Okinawa, Camp Pendleton. 2002-2006

SgtK  Brother-----Captain USMC: Cherry Point. 2002- present.

Slotts-----U. S. Navy, 1985 - 1990. Russian Linguist.

sluredandstumbly-----Army/Captain, Medical Service Corps/XVIII Airborne Corps/Fort Bragg/1983 - 1987

so_it_goes-----Navy, Commissioned 6/70

SorinUMOC-----USAF: LtCol 94-07 Physician

TedWilliamsHead

THC-----ARMY 67-69; LRRP 1st CAV

tsl4264-----U.S. Army JAGC, 1979-1986

TWO-----Lt. USNR San Diego Naval Training Center 1971-73 Dental Officer.

US Army Major Dillon76 former Dillon Hall president

usaf

wetbird's grandson-in-law

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