Best Of 2004

These are my top-ten lists for 2004... except that none of them have ten items.


Marcona almonds: these are big spanish almonds.  I get them at Wegmans, they come in a little plastic container with a little bit of canola oil and sea salt.  I guess they’re just nuts, but they are delicious.

UTZ Pub Mix: "A Savory Blend of Crunchy Snacks."  Also known as "Phat Mix" in some quarters.  I didn’t used to like this when my brother Brian would get it by the pound from snack vendor stands at malls etc, but this UTZ version is really good.  Anyway, from the bottom label, it consists of: Honey Mustard & Cheddar Cheese Twistix, Worcestershire Rye Chips, Honey Roasted Sesame Chips, Oriental Rice Crackers, Pretzel Stix, Nacho Bagel Chips.

Wegmans "Famous Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies."  Just what it says -- little chocolate chip cookies that are so good they are (or should be) famous.  They are soft.  (This is actually from 2002 but I didn’t do a best-of list then, so shut it.)

Wegmans Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips.  Sorta soft.  These might be my favorite cookies of all time.  Also a 2002-debuting item.

Moose Munch: carmel popcorn, some of which is chocolate-covered, and also including nuts (cashews and walnuts depending on where you get it).  Quite possibly the overall best sweet snack of all time.

Albums: an asterisk (*) indicates an album that wasn’t actually released in 2004, but I didn’t find out about it or get it till 2004.  These are in no particular order.

Taking Back Sunday / "Where You Want To Be" / indie|screamo

Emery / "The Weak’s End" / hard rock|indie|screamo

Jimmy Eat World / "Futures" / modern rock|indie

Straylight Run / "Straylight Run" / indie|dual-vocals-male+female

Pigeon John / "Pigeon John is Dating Your Sister" * / rap|hip-hop|not gangsta|not evil

The Alpha Conspiracy / "Aura" / ambient|techno|IDM, maybe somewhat dance

Telefon Tel Aviv / "Map of What is Effortless" / ambient|techno|IDM, but not dance

Freemartin / "An Escape Seems Appropriate" / fast pop-punk|indie

My American Heart / "My American Heart" / modern rock|indie|screamo

Rainer Maria / "Long Knives Drawn" * / indie|rock|female vocals

Beth Orton / "Daybreaker" * / semi-folksy pop|female vocals

The Early November / "The Room’s Too Cold" * / indie|pop-punk|acoustic

The Starting Line / "Say it Like You Mean it" * / pop-punk|indie

Best of the best:
posted image Kim, of course  ( :

Posted by Anthony on 9 replies


01. Jan 4, 2005 at 11:46am by kaiser:

Dude, what about those cheesy poof corn things from Wegmans?  Those things were deliciously stale as soon as they were opened.  Their consistency still makes me cringe.

02. Jan 4, 2005 at 08:27pm by Mike:

Crap, you beat me on the music list.  Just got done with my Most Loathed Movies of 2004 list so I probably won’t be getting to music until tomorrow at earliest.

Oh yeah, and those Wegman’s cookies are awesome.  I’m disappointed by the omission of Chex Mix on the snack list, but I’m hoping that’s just some sort of an oversight.

03. Jan 4, 2005 at 08:52pm by Anthony:

Well I knew about Chex Mix long ago, so it wouldn’t make it on the 2004 list.  (Well, that, and I’m just not that crazy about Chex Mix.)

Your Loathed-Movies list is great.  I’m not as big of a movie buff as I am for music so it would take me some effort to come up with a list.  But I’m with you on Troy.  It was just so long and so... terrible and overly-dramatic.  My favorite scene was near the beginning, after Brad Pitt’s mom tells him about going off to war and dying, he turns away and looks out over the ocean, and they cue up the dramatic-deep-thought music, and his hair is blowing in the wind, and then you throw up because GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK.

I have mixed feelings about The Day After Tomorrow.  ...  OK, actually, I posted about it when I saw it, and I just went back and re-read the post.  Funnily enough, at the end I mention how Troy will probably be just another "give me a break" Brad Pitt movie.  I am so on.

04. Jan 4, 2005 at 10:23pm by Mike:

Actually, I had Chex Mix like 5 years ago and wasn’t wild about it until now.  Go figure.  To be honest, I was pretty impressed with the music list.  Impressed in that I only knew of like half the bands you listed.  I’ll probably check some of the others out.  I had a really rough year music wise in 2004.  I have a feeling I’ll remember it more for Good Charlotte ruining my life than Jimmy Eat World rocking it.

Finally, I read your Day After Tomorrow review and I agree that Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal should just give up and become the same person.

05. Jan 6, 2005 at 12:41am by Anthony:

Sweet.  Since you seem to be a pretty big punk fan, definitely check out Freemartin, TSL, and TEN.  They all have music on their websites at the links above.  All their online tracks are worth checking out but these are my favorites:

Freemartin: Hanover Park

The Starting Line: Best of Me

The Early November: Baby Blue

All three bands are really catchy and I’d be surprised if a pop-punk fan didn’t love them.  Freemartin have the added bonus of being disgustingly good at their individual instruments.  The drummer is so good it makes my head explode.

06. Jan 7, 2005 at 08:34am by kaiser:


you gotta find a way to use Launchcast.  I’ve been discovering all those bands that way.  I love it.  I never heard of Hawthorne Heights, The Early November, The Starting Line.

Also check out Slightly Stoopid (punk-punk band), Sleater-Kinney (punky girl band), Tegan and Sara (punky girl band), Le Tigre (punky girl band), River City Rebels (punk-punk band), Pillar (alt-metal christian), Emery ("melodic hardcore"), Q and Not U (just plain fun), Ben Kweller (unique acoustic solo and great live show (played "ice ice baby" acoustic)) and From Autumn to Ashes (Alternative).

07. Jan 7, 2005 at 09:31am by Anthony:

Dude, Emery is the second album in my list above.  Come on.

I also listen to Pillar & Hawthorne Heights, and am a huge Q&!U fan.  I’ve heard Tegan and Sara but don’t like them, and in general girl punk is bothersome to me.  I know I’ve checked out FATA at some point but wasn’t into them for some reason, I don’t remember why.

08. Jan 8, 2005 at 05:18pm by Solution_9:

I saw FATA when they played with Killswitch Engage and let me just say that there drummer will astound you. I really like there music. There new album is quite different, or so it sounds like to me. I think its more emo/poppy then there older more hardcore albums.

I read your posts about your favorite bands Anthony. I checked some out and that day I went out and bought the Emery CD. I love it. So good!

I also bought the Breaking Pangaea CD. Its from the singer from TBS, and the drummer from Straylight Run. I love both these bands, but together, i never liked them at all. The 2 different types of music dont blend in together that well.

09. Jan 11, 2005 at 07:58am by Anthony:

Awesome, glad you like Emery.  That CD just blows me away.

I feel the opposite way about Straylight Run and Breaking Pangaea -- I love SR, but never really liked BP.  I checked them out again after getting into SR but still just didn’t like their music.

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