Saturday, October 13, 2018




2007


The talking dog has transported me to 2007 where there are no gays in Iraq. No, really, just ask that guy Ahmadinawhatchamacallit. Why don’t they name Iranian Presidents after names we can say without sounding like imbeciles, like Fido or something?

This is the year of celebrity gaffes to be sure. I mean there is Don Imus commenting on the hairstyles of African American female basketball players, then there is that crazy girl named after some city in France. Why didn’t they let her bring her fashion accessory, um, Chihuahua, to jail with her? No matter, she was only there for about five minutes anyway. Speaking of dogs, did anyone see Ellen crying how they were mistreating the family she gave her dog too? I guess Ellen couldn’t take care of the rescue herself since they don’t allow fashion accessories in restaurants. And, of course, OJ is back in the news again. I guess some things just don’t stay in Vegas after all.

But the big news event, of course, is the tragic death of Anna Nicole Smith, and it was tragic. Of course the paternity trial or, whatever that circus was, was a different story. Mommy wanted her buried in Texas while Howard Stern (no, not that Howard Stern) wanted her buried under the Meadowlands so they couldn’t find any , um, dirt. Then there was the custody trial for her daughter. Fortunately, Judge Judy wannabe Larry Seidlin orders the fathers get a paternity test on Maury. Sorry, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband; you are not the father.

And the Mitchell report discovers that there is crying in baseball after all, especially if you’re Roger Clemens and A-Rod. Poor A-Rod; now he can’t take any more of those Pez candies or he’ll be banned from baseball. What’s a quasi-celebrity to do? I think he ought to watch TV and get Lost- Don’t taze me, bro!

Well, I guess I better go with my top twenty-five of 2007. There’s some movie called 300 on. It looks like a cartoon or something. Oh, well, there’s No Country For Old Men, I guess (I know; stop with the pop references, already). What’s going on now, talking dog?...

No, don’t shave your head, Britney! Whoops, too late.



Event of the year: OJ Simpson caught shoplifting; might get the death penalty
Fad:  Who is Dannielynn’s father?
Babe of the Year: Lisa Nowak
Scandal of the Year: Tony Soprano plays Journey and everything goes black
Movie or TV show to barf to: Kate Plus 8
What we could have done without: Paris Hilton
Pet of the year: Howie Mandel


Other Tidbits: Rupert Murdoch buys Pravda, The Mitchell Report claims baseball players used Gatorade, Gordon Ramsay becomes Prime Minister, Nancy Pelosi becomes first woman manager of the San Francisco Giants, Dennis Kucinich sees a UFO, An astronaut admits she likes to wear diapers, Donald Trump marries Rosie O’Donnell, Anna Nicole Smith suitors guest on Maury Povitch, Larry Seidlin becomes a sideshow act, Bush pardons Scooby Doo, Don Imus gets nappy; gets fired, Alec Baldwin temper tantrum made public proving Kim Basinger isn’t very nice,  Larry Craig busted for soliciting an evangelist, Barry Bonds swears he isn’t taking Gatorade, Mike Vick is bitten by a Chihuahua, No gays are reported in Iran, except for its President, Don’t tase me, bro…, Britney gets a haircut.

Another exciting year is on the burner. So let’s check it out…



1)   New Pornographers- Challengers
2)  Panda Bear- Person Pitch
3)  Of Montreal- Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer
4)  PJ Harvey- White Chalk
5)  Manic Street Preachers- Send Away the Tigers
6)  Magnolia Electric Co.- Sojourner
7)  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- Some Loud Thunder
8)  Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings- 100 Days, 100 Nights
9)  Wilco- Sky Blue Sky
10)  Bright Eyes- Cassadaga
11)  Iron and Wine- The Shephred’s Dog
12)  Okkervil River- The Stage Names
13)  Devandra Banhart- Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
14)  Bjork- Volta
15)  Radiohead- In Rainbows
16)  Caribou-Andorra
17)  The Warlocks- Heavy Deavy Skull Lover
18)  Apples in Stereo- New Magnetic Wonder
19)  The Coffinshakers- The Coffinshakers
20)  Steve Earle- Washington Square Serenade
21)  The Raveonettes- Lust Lust Lust
22)  Lucinda Williams- West
23)  Spoon- Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
24)  The Coral-  Roots and Echoes
25)  Andrew Jackson Jihad- People Who Eat People Are the Luckiest People In the World

I went with the New Pornographers as my top pick this year. Basically their sound hasn’t changed that much over the years but there seemed to be something a little deeper about this particular album. I especially love Myriad Harbor, my favorite Pornographers’ song. Meanwhile, my surprise comes in at number two while Of Montreal, PJ Harvey, and the Manic Street Preachers round out my top five. The lower top ten is pretty impressive to and I have to really recommend Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings who prove that you can do retro sixties soul as well as those retro garage bands can do sixties garage. Other gems in my top twenty-five include Okkervil River, The Warlocks, an amazing Coffinshakers album (think retro sixties goth rock), and the Coral. This list is also notable for the albums that didn’t make it, mainly IckyThump by the White Stripes and Wincing the Night Away by the Shins. Both albums were some a bit disappointing to me though someone else would ultimately take this year’s prize.

Biggest Surprise-  Panda Bear- Person Pitch

We’re now in the era of the Dream Pop Psychedelia, much of it being based in Baltimore which, strangely enough, happens to be my hometown. Panda Bear (no, not his real name) was in fact a member of Animal Collective, perhaps the first Baltimore band to break through in the indie scene. Panda Bear’s material isn’t unlike his main band, but it somehow seems clearer, more concise. Anyhow, I ended up liking it so much, it just missed being my album of the year.

Biggest Disappointment-  Paul McCartney- Memory Almost Full

Yeah, okay, so I shouldn’t be expecting much from a sixty-five year old legend, but then again, he did do Flaming Pie at fifty-five and Neil Young can still crank them out at age ninety or however old he is now. Anyway, this is a disappointment for one reason- Heather Mills. Paul, I love you, but you don’t do primal scream as well as Lennon. I guess Paul does fare better when he’s writing silly love songs and not moaning over his failed marriage.


Honorable Mention- The Dropkick Murphys- The Meanest of Times, Modest Mouse- We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, Animal Collective-Strawberry Jam, Neil Young- Chrome Dreams II, Rilo Kiley-Under the Blacklight


Stinker of the Year-  Gummibar- I Am Your Gummybear.

What do you get when you mix those guitarish vocals you get from those popular hip hop artists with a children’s cartoon character? A stroke.

Yeah, it’s pretty annoying. No doubt Gummibar is popular with three year olds. Actually I think three year olds would probably get a stroke too. Maybe they made Britney Spears listen to Gummibar and drove her to shave her head. He does a cover of Touch Me, which I’m sure softens the hearts of child protective services everywhere. Catch the Buj Buj Polka and Do You Think I’m Sexy (not the Rod Stewart cover). Here come Child Protective Services, Gummi.


And with that, I’ll make my exit before I get molested. See you next time.



Monday, October 8, 2018




2006



Ha, ha, that Olbermann cracks me up.

I’m now transported to the year 2006 where it’s midterm elections and Rush is foaming at the mouth. He even invents a dance called the Michael J. Fox. It works because it helps blow the election for his party. What an inconvenient truth.

It’s the year of something they call YouTube. Now you don’t have to submit a video of making a fool out of yourself to America’s Funniest People. Now you can look like a moron, or make someone else look like a moron, on the internet. We’ve come a long way since Rodney King, baby.

The Crocodile Hunter was forced to accept a teaching post in Australia which is odd since he was already in Australia. Bad sting ray! They demote Pluto to a buck private because he peed on Mickey’s rug. I didn’t know Mickey Mouse wore a toupee. Donald and Rosie don’t like each other. Okay, play nice, you two; it’s not like Donald is going to be President or something.

Mel Gibson is in hot water because he called a cop a Jew or something. The cop’s not even Catholic for Pat Robertson’s sake. Anyway, Mel’s pissed because Murtaugh wouldn’t bail him out. That and his movie career is tanking. They’ve got this show called fear factor where you have to do silly things to win a bike or something. And James Frey makes a fool out of Oprah. Shame on you, Jimmy, you’re the Weakest Link… goodbye!

Oh, and they executed that bad boy, Saddam. It was very clean; it was hardly botched at all, trust me.

Okay well I’m going to check out Myspace while Hannah Montana is on. I’m not going to act like a desperate housewife, honest.

And don’t forget to apply it to the forehead. Don’t you people know anything?


Event of the year: the Vice President mistakes a lobbyist buddy for a deer.
Fad: Bicyclists doing steroids
Babe of the Year: John Mark Karr
Scandal of the Year: Radical Muslims freak out when cartoons depict the prophet, Garfield.
Movie or TV show to barf to: Dog the Bounty Hunter
What we could have done without: Head On commercial (Apply directly to the forehead)
Pet of the year: Pluto


Other Tidbits: Kramer gets a little racial, Mel Gibson becomes a Jew, Rush Limbaugh mocks Alex Keaton, blows midterm elections, Donald Trump buys YouTube, Pluto declared a state, Saddam Hussein shares a cell with Charles Manson, Bin Laden gets a reality show, Mark Foley is ratted out as a Republican, Dan Rather retires to become REM’s drummer, Zidane is a hard head, Jon Benet Ramsey murder is solved; Colonel Mustard did it in the study, The Crocodile Hunter killed by a butterfly, Sean Hannity is waterboarded and is declared the weakest link- goodbye.

So here we go with another exciting chart. So, let’s get on with it…





1)  The Decemberists- The Crane Wife
2)  Neko Case- Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
3)  Grandaddy- Just Like the Fambly Cat
4)  Bruce Springsteen- The  Seeger Sessions
5)  Sybelle Baier- Colour Green
6)  Tom Petty- Highway Companion
7)  Gnarls Barkley- St. Elsewhere
8)  Johnny Cash- American V: A Hundred Highways
9)  Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins- Rabbit Fur Coat
10)  Beach House- Beach House
11)  Camera Obscura- Let’s Get Out of This Country
12)  Of Montreal- The Sundlandic Twins
13)  The Raconteurs- Broken Boy Soldiers
14)  M Ward- Post-War
15)  Belle and Sebastian- The Life Pursuit
16)  Cat Power- The Greatest
17)  The Black Keys- Magic Potion
18)  The Black Angels- Passover
19)  Beck- The Information
20)  Sparklehorse- Dreamt For Light Years In the Belly of a Mountain
21)  Muse- Black Holes and Revelations
22)  Gomez- How We Operate
23)  The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Show Your Bones
24)  Howling Bells- Howling Bells
25)  Pernice Brothers- Live a Little


It was close as who to go with as the top spot. I did expect it to be The Crane Wife, the Decemberists’ best effort, but I was very impressed with Neko Case’s gem as well. In the end, I went with the Crane Wife but I could have gone with Fox Confessor just as well. Grandaddy has a strong showing while Springsteen comes up with his best effort, a fond homage to Pete Seeger, since Nebraska. My surprise rounds out the top five. I could go for anything in my lower ten but I’ll especially recommend Johnny Cash, Jenny Lewis, and Beach House. Gems in my top twenty-five include Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs who do prove to be able to make a great album. Also have to shout out to the Howling Bells.


Biggest Surprise- Sybelle Baier- Colour Green.

I had a few surprises on this list from Jenny Lewis to Camera Obscura to even Neko Case.

But I went with someone most people probably haven’t heard of. I stumbled upon this album on Youtube a couple years ago and it’s one of the most beautiful folk albums I ever heard. Originally recorded on a reel to reel in the early seventies, he son gave copies to family members  and friends thirty years later, and one friend submitted it to Orange Twin, who released it in 2006 (source: Wikipedia). Anyhow, as the best folk seems to be, it is quite haunting.

Biggest Disappointment- Flaming Lips- At War With the Mystics

This was the first Flaming Lips album after their legendary Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. I guess you call it their Magical Mystery Tour to the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper but this was a four year gap. Now instead of wonderfully quirky, the Flaming Lips are just weird. Too bad.


Honorable Mention- Neil Young- Living With War, Black Heart Procession- The Spell, The Roots- Game Theory, Band of Horses- Everything All the Time, Drive By Truckers- A Blessing and a Curse.


Stinker of the Year-  666Satanic Army666- Praise Him

No it’s isn’t a gospel album. Actually it’s not even an EP which is how it’s advertised. Of course they are praising the goodness of Lucifer himself, Donald Rumsfeld. Okay, so it’s not about Donald Rumsfeld. You know that because the flip side is Rise the Banners of Satan. Falwell and friends have nothing to worry about though. This album is the smoothest sounding piece of work since Metal Machine Music. And these guys weren’t even having bad contract negotiations.


Well, only eleven more of these you go. I hope I cover all the albums I  think I would have liked. In any event, I’ll see you next time.




Monday, October 1, 2018




2005


You can come out of the closet, Tom.

Boy what a year Tommy had. He jumps on some woman’s couch, then he tells off Matt Lauer, and then he gets mad because some cartoon is making fun of him. Chef is mad too because he’s leaving the South Park. Great, who’s going to make all those delicious school lunches now.

Yes, this is the year Scientology is accepted as the greatest religion in the world, that is, if you’re a Scientologist. Don’t go on the Sea Org though; I hear they make you swab the deck.

Michael Jackson’s on trial. He shows up in his pajamas and dances on cars. I think he’s trying to get a section eight. Maybe he thinks he’s Klinger and is still in Korea. Someone ought to grab him by the nose; on the other hand, maybe he shouldn’t.

They bring some baseball players to sign autographs and for Rafael Palmeiro insisting he did not have sexual relations with that woman or something like that. Nah, he was just doing steroids. They solved the BLT murders in Kansas. And don’t you love Phil Spector’s hair?

The big story though has to be the largest swimming pool ever built down in New Orleans. Boy that Katrina is generous. Kanye doesn’t think so though because he announces that George Bush doesn’t like black people. Well, that’s one way to stop these celebrity begathons every time there’s a major disaster. Maybe he should go on PBS.

Well, I guess it’s time to review my top twenty-five of 2005. Helluva job, Brownie, uh, talking dog (woof).

Event of the year: Pope John Paul II dies, replaced by Pope Benedict Arnold
Fad: Sailing on Bourbon Street
Babe of the Year: Mr. Garrison (South Park)
Scandal of the Year: Lance Armstrong wins Wimbledon, denies taking Gatorade
Movie or TV show to barf to: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl
What we could have done without: Natalie Holloway reports
Pet of the year: Crazy Frog

Other Tidbits: Brownie does a hell of a job before he’s forced to quit, Sean Penn wins the America’s Cup in the New Orleans flood, Kanye West announces George Bush doesn’t like Mike Myers, the BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) Killer captured, Terry Schiavo feeding tube removed, makes a full recovery, Michael Jackson dances on a car in his pajamas, Bird Flu affects birds, prisoners go on hunger strike at Guantanamo, McDonalds budget increases, Martha Stewart bakes a cake- in jail, Baretta found not guilty; returns to his pet parrot in Hell Town, Rafael Palmerio insists he did not have sex with that woman- Monica Lewinsky, he is later suspended for having sex with that woman…, Runaway Bride is not a Pretty Woman, Deep Throat revealed as Linda Lovelace.

Oh do we have some tidbits to serve this year. And without further adieu…





1) Sufjan Stevens- Illinois
2)  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
3)  New Pornographers- Twin Cinema
4)  Okkervil River- Black Sheep Boy
5)  The Like- Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?
6)  My Morning Jacket- Z
7) The Decemberists- Picaresque
8)  Pernice Brothers- Discover a Lovelier You
9)  Bright Eyes- It’s Wide Awake It’s Morning
10)  White Stripes- Get Behind Me Satan
11)  Elbow- Leaders of the Free World
12)  Neil Young- Prairie Wind
13)  Aimee Mann- The Forgotten Arm
14) The Warlocks- Surgery
15)  The King Khan and BB Show- The King Khan and BBQ Show LP
16)  Enya- Amarantine
17)  Devendra Banhart- Cripple Crow
18)  Spoon- Gimme Fiction
19)  Nada Surf- The Weight is a Gift
20)  Fruit Bats- Spelled in Bones
21)  The Coral- The Invisible Invasion
22)  M Ward- Transistor Radio
23)  Animal Collective- Feels
24)  Beck- Guero
25)  Gorillaz- Demon Days


This is the year Sufjan Stevens breaks through with his classic, Illinois. It’s a beautiful, albeit sometimes morbid collection of songs. Maybe I should have my head examined as my favorite song on the album is John Wayne Gacy, freaky. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was an indie sensation this year and, indeed, this album really is great listening. The New Pornographers, Okkervil River, and my surprise round out the top five. Gems in the top ten include the Decemberists, Pernice Brothers, and Bright Eyes. Gems in the top twenty-five include The Warlocks, The King Khan and BBQ Show, Nada Surf, and the Fruit Bats. Not mentioned but near misses include the Eels with Blinking Lights and Other Revelations and Sheryl Crow’s Wildflower.


Biggest Surprise-  The Like- Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?

I’m actually a big fan of the Like’s next album, released five years later, but I was reading that their first album wasn’t all that great. Boy, were they wrong. This album speaks very much to me. While this isn’t as retro as Release Me will be, it is nonetheless a perfect piece of girl pop and I’m not talking about Britney Spears type of pop. This is an actual band and it’s a cool blend of sixties influences that sounds quite modern.


Biggest Disappointment- Depeche Mode- Playing the Angel

Okay, so this isn’t an especially bad album; it isn’t even Depeche Mode’s worst album. But I guess I am still waiting for the next Violator and this one isn’t it.


Honorable Mention-  Wezzer- Make Believe, LCD Soundsystem- LCD Soundsystem, Sigur Ros- Takk, Mercury Rev- The Secret Migration, The Raveonettes- Pretty in Black


Stinker of the Year-  Crazy Frog- Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits

Did you know Crazy Frog was once a member of the Chipmunks? Okay, so he wasn’t, but he certainly knew how to drive you crazy. The Crazy Frog is coming and you better run. It doesn’t help that one of the tracks is Who Let the Frog Out. Now was that clever or not? Okay, not. Maybe Bush should have tortured Brownie with this album for screwing up the Katrina recovery.


I better go before Crazy Frog catches me. Yep, better run fast. See you next time.




Friday, September 28, 2018




2004


Hello, the talking dog has transported me to 2004 and I’m talking to you from the Abu Ghraib hotel. It’s a beautiful five star prison, er, palace. The guests are treated exceedingly well. They get to roam the halls naked and get to have unmentionable sexual acts performed on them. They even get to meet some friendly dogs. And it’s all in pictures so they have a souvenir when they return home. The US Army is so kind.

They found the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. No, really, there were warehouses full of pea shooters and, even worse, slingshots. Wow, I feel so much safer now.

That John Kerry. They keep swift boating him, whatever that is. At least he’s reporting for service in what has to be the most heartwarming moment since Dukakis drove a tank. Some guy named Howard likes to scream a lot. Napoleon Dynamite… wait, he isn’t running for President, never mind.

We have trials galore this year. I think they want Scott Petersen to pose for Playboy and sign with Death Row records or something. Martha Stewart has to go to jail (okay, no more good thing jokes, sheesh!), That Ashlee Simpson really lip syncs well, and that Ken Jennings won’t let anyone win anything, bad sport!

Gotta go; I just spotted a new bird. I think they call it a Halliburton.

And stop exposing my nipples, Justin!

Event of the year: Washington attacked by a fleet of Swift Boats
Fad:  MTV Shocking moments on CBS
Babe of the Year: William Hung
Scandal of the Year: Ross and Rachel get divorced
Movie or TV show to barf to: American Idol
What we could have done without: Bob Dylan doing a Victoria’s Secret commercial
Pet of the year: Lynddie England

Other Tidbits: Scott Petersen avenged by Laci Petersen’s unborn son, Dan Rather gets punk’d by Kenneth, Weapons of Mass Destruction found in Nevada, Babe Ruth wins the World Series for the Red Sox, George Steinbrenner fires Billy Martin, John Kerry declared fit for duty at Burger King, The DC Sniper guilty of sniping, Richard Nixon convicted in Nipplegate, Martha Stewart declares getting arrested wasn’t a good thing, Elton John comes out as a metrosexual, Pete Rose admits gambling in poker and wants his job back, Howard Dean gets excited in Iowa and drops out of High School, Donald Trump accidentally fires himself, Ronald Reagan recovers from Alzheimer’s, Kobe Bryant accused of raping a beaver, Meet the Fockers triggers Fockermania.

We have a solid bunch of albums this year. So let’s give it a whirl…




1)  Elliott Smith- From a Basement On a Hill
2)  PJ Harvey- Uh Huh Her
3)  Steve Earle- The Revolution Starts Now
4)  Sufjan Stevens- Seven Swans
5)  Loretta Lynn- Van Lear Rose
6)  Tom Waits- Real Gone
7)  Rilo Kiley- More Adventurous
8)  Brian Wilson- Smile
9)  Marianne Faithful- Before the Poison
10)  Modest Mouse- Good News For People Who Love Bad News
11)  Wilco- A Ghost Is Born
12)  Iron and Wine- Our Endless Numbered Days
13)  The Roots- The Tipping Point
14)  Of Montreal- Satanic Panic in the Attic
15)  Saul Williams- Saul Williams
16)  The Black Keys- Rubber Factory
17)  Manic Street Preachers- Lifeblood
18)  Blonde Redhead- Misery is a Butterfly
19)  Air- Talkie Walkie
20)  Devendra Banhart- Rejoicing in the Hands
21)  REM- Around the Sun
22)  Madvillain- Madvillany
23)  The Sadies- Favourite Colours
24)  The Walkmen- Boys and Arrows
25)  Todd Snider- East Nashville Skyline

In a way, this is kind of a sad year, at least at number one. From a Basement On a Hill is Elliot Smith’s posthumous album. It’s also his best in my opinion. PJ Harvey is at her punkish best while Steve Earle, Sufjan Stevens, and my surprise round out my top five. Actually there are a few surprises on this list including Marianne Faithful in the top ten. I also really liked Tom Waits and Rilo Kiley. Gems in the rest of my top twenty-five include Iron and Wine, the Roots, Saul Williams, Blonde Redhead, and the Sadies.

Biggest Surprise-  Loretta Lynn- Van Lear Rose

This album was certainly highly acclaimed at the time and deservedly so, but I’m not a big country fan in general outside of Johnny Cash and Steve Earle. Of course, this is right after Cash’s American Recordings renaissance and she was being produced by Jack White of all people.

And he is certainly all over the album, but it’s Lynn’s straight forward vocals that compliment the musical arrangements that make this album. It’s certainly one of those pleasant surprises.

Biggest Disappointment- Gomez- Split the Difference.

To be fair, 2004 isn’t a year of many great disappointments and in just about any other year, I probably wouldn’t rate this album as such. But it is a step down from the previously monster efforts these guys came up with, so, yeah, this album falls a little short for me. It is listenable at least.


Honorable Mention-  Guided By Voices- Half Smiles of the Decomposed, Sam Phillips- A Boot and a Shoe, Gravenhurst- Flashlight Seasons, The Drive By Truckers- The Dirty South, The Libertines- The Libertines


Stinker of the Year-  (Tie) William Hung- Hung For the Holidays, Robert Downey, Jr.- The Futurist

And of course he (Hung) starts off with Deck the Halls which is about as politically incorrect as those Chinese guys in A Christmas Story. Mercifully, the album only lasts eighteen minutes. At least William was in on the joke.

And then there is Robert Downey, Jr. (No relation to Morton Downey, Jr.). He was trying to make a comeback after his, um, meltdown. Actually, he’s done quite well in the years since, but first he had to embarrass himself with this gem of coal. He looks cool in that commercial too. Actually he looks a little sad, kind of like that time when he lip synced Elton John in that video. Well, now he’s Iron Man, so I guess there is redemption after all.


Well, I have to say this was an interesting year. Well, I guess we’ll see what’s in store for 2005 but you’ll have to wait till next time. See you then.




Monday, September 24, 2018




2003




I’m now transported into the year 2003. I’m in shock and awe. We won the war in Iraq, we killed Saddam’s sons, and we finally captured Saddam. Boy, he should take a bath sometime, bleh! I got a ride in the Bloommobile, I found out French Fries were made in some country called Freedom. I bet Ronald McDonald is pissed. And now the Homeland is secured. Isn't that what they called Russia once or something? Oh, and don’t forget to buy a Dixie Chicks record so you can burn it. How dare she say she’s ashamed of our President, Bill Clinton? I dare her to say that in Texas. Don’t you love it when people defend freedom of speech by persecuting those who exercise their freedom of speech? Ah. America. I think Natalie Maines and Toby Keith should get married. Don’t they make a cute couple?

And the new normal isn’t so bad. Scandals are once again dominating the news. MTV has manufactured yet another ‘shocking moment.’ You want to have a real shocking moment? Bring Howard Stern back naked. That will make people barf.

They recalled a bunch of cars in California. Oh, yeah, they recalled the Governor too. Hasta La Vista, baby. Yeah, they elected an actor again. What is it with California and actors? First it’s Reagan and now it’s the Terminator. When are they going to elect a rock star? Neil Young for governor!

Martha Stewart is in trouble; I guess that isn’t a good thing. Phil Spector is in trouble too. He ‘accidentally’ shot some girl because she didn’t like the way he produced Let It Be or something. Either that or he was just whacked out. And, no, I’m not going to live with Michael Jackson. And did you know Diana Ross drinks? She drives too. Actually the talking dog drinks too. You know you’re lactaid intolerant, talking dog!


Uh, oh, I better go. That two headed alien called Bennifer is calling me. Please don’t Kill Bill.


Event of the year: Britney kisses Madonna in what is described as shock and awe
Fad:  Most Wanted Iraqi Playing Cards
Babe of the Year: Natalie Maines
Scandal of the Year: McDonalds criticized for super sizing freedom fries.
Movie or TV show to barf to: From Justin to Kelly
What we could have done without: The Bloommobile
Pet of the year: Anna Nicole Smith

Other Tidbits: Dixie Chicks insult George Bush and Americans use their freedom of speech to attack their right to freedom of speech, US invades Iraq because why not, Saddam Hussein captured and needs a shave, Nikki tells a telemarketer not to call her again, Chuck Norris becomes a sky marshall, California recalls Gary Davis and elects Gary Coleman, Jessica Lynch becomes a pin up model, SARS causes shock and awe in Asia, The RIAA sues little girls because they’re mean, Joe isn’t a Millionaire, Everyone says Simon Cowell is a nice guy, Americans deny gays rights but love Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Bennifer decides to come out as a ferret.

Well, while were wondering when the boys are coming hope since the mission has been accomplished , let’s see what we have in my top twenty-five…



1) The Shins- Chutes Too Narrow
2)  New Pornographers- The Electric Version
3)  My Morning Jacket- It Still Moves
4)  Sufjan Stevens- Michigan
5)  White Stripes- Elephant
6)  The Black Keys- Thickfreakness
7)  Muse- Absolution
8)  Grandaddy- Sumday
9)  Drive By Truckers- Decoration Day
10)  Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- Nocturama
11)  The Unicorns- Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone
12)  The Decemberists- Her Majesty the Decemberists
13)  Radiohead- Hail To the Thief
14)  Cat Power- You Are Free
15)  Okkervil River- Down the River of Golden Dreams
16)  Gillian Welch- Soul Journey
17)  Guided By Voices- Earthquake Glue
18)  David Bowie- Reality
19)  Mogwai- Happy Music For Happy People
20)  M Ward- The Transfiguration of Vincent
21)  Manitoba- Up In Flames
22)  Lucinda Williams- World Without Tears
23)  Rufus Wainwright- Want One
24)  Pernice Brothers- Yours Mine and Ours
25)  Ben Harper- There Will Be a Light

Things tail off a little after a great period in the late 90’s early aughts but it nevertheless is a good year for music. The Shins lead the parade with their best effort, followed by another super album by the New Pornographers. My Morning Jacket apes Neil Young as well as anybody while Sufjan Stevens, one of my present favorites, and the White Stripes round out my top five. Gems in my top ten include another favorite in the Black Keys, a surprisingly good Muse album, and the Drive By Truckers. Other albums in my top twenty-five I really enjoyed include the Decemberists, Gillian Welch, Mogwai, Rufus Wainwright, and Ben Harper

Biggest Surprise-  The Unicorns- Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone.

And yes, the album is every bit as quirky as the title; and that is its charm. I didn’t know what to expect from this album as weird music can go either way for me. This one happened to have been done extremely well. I always enjoy the different and this one rates right up there.

Biggest Disappointments- M83- Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Fever To Tell

If Metallica wins my stinker of the year award, M83 has to be the runner up. Usually, my disappointment tends to be an album I expected to like that turns out to be mediocre. In this case, this goes to an album I expected to be listenable and turned out to be godawful. I mean, this is almost like heavy metal new age if there is such a term. No, it’s not heavy metal at all but I can’t think of a better analogy. Basically, the album bores me to tears; I couldn’t even finish listening to it.

I also have to mention the Yeahs Yeah Yeahs who I expected to really like. Date With the Night is a boss track. Unfortunately, the rest of the album sounds more like a lot of noise and Karen O wailing unmercifully like she’s the second coming of Yoko Ono. Will say M83 is worse however,


Honorable Mention-  The Dears- No Cities Yet, Belle and Sebastian- Dear Catastrophe Waitress, The Coral- Magic and Medicne, Brian Jonestown Massacre- … And This Is Our Music, Travis- 12 Memories

Just Missed- Sun Kil Moon- Ghosts of the Great Highway


Stinker of the Year-  Metallica- St. Anger

I remember how this got hyped on VH-1 like this was the greatest album since Led Zeppelin IV. Maybe this should really be my disappointment of the year but, then again, I’m not really a Metallica Fan. Some of these songs sound like they keep hitting a pebble on the record (don’t you hate it when you get those?). Of course, this is after Lars Ulrich infamously played the Grinch with his fans concerning Napster. So you get Gertie’s stinker award, so there :p:


Well I guess I better go before the rabid Metallica fans catch me. Hey, at least I didn’t pick on Insane Clown Posse… yet :D.

See you next time.



Friday, September 14, 2018





2002


The talking dog has transported me to 2002. What a depressing year. Now I can’t even take a pee because if I do, the terrorists win. I guess that explains why President Junior is getting everyone in a lather over that mean guy in Iraq. Well, if we do have a war (again), at least no child will be left behind.

You don’t want to go to DC this year. Some angry white man is running around shooting people for no reason. What do you mean the shooter is black? Okay, then, some angry black man is running around shooting people, him and his boy wonder, Pinky, or whatever they call him.

Some guy named Trent did a whoopsie after he implied he liked to go back to the good ol’ days of colored bathrooms. Boy did he get in trouble. It was even worse when he showed up on Jesse Jackson’s favorite channel to redeem himself… HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Hey, did you hear all those rolling blackouts in California were a way to make some multi- millionaires rich? Well, you need a lot of money when you’re addicted to Lay’s potato chips. Anyway, now they’re in real big trouble. Hope he has a good lawyer, is Mark Geragos available?

The TV has all these cool shows. I mean there’s American Idol… I want to be on American Idol. I can sing, really. I hear I can make Simon Cowell plead for mercy. Now that would be something. There’s also the Anna Nicole Show. I wonder if she’ll have guests like Shecky Green. And then there is that commercial for Johnny Walker Lindh. What, you mean they’re not supposed to advertise hard liquor on TV? Ah, he’s just a dumb kid, anyway, really dumb.

Well here is my top twenty-five of 2002. And don’t forget to keep an eye on that Axis of Evil, Iraq, North Korea, and Massachusetts.

Ted Williams is alive, alive!!!


Event of the year: The DC Sniper revealed to be Merv Griffin
Fad: Saber Rattling
Babe of the Year: Lara Croft
Scandal of the Year: Children are left behind at McDonalds
Movie or TV show to barf to: Celebrity Boxing
What we could have done without: Fox News (We report, we decide)
Pet of the year: Michael Moore

Other Tidbits: The Queen celebrates 50 years as the Pope, President Bush announces the Axis of Evil as Iraq, North Korea, and San Francisco, Enron named most scrupulous company of the year, To stop terrorism, the Department of Parks is created, Israeli commandos keep Yassar Arafat in a box, The Mars Odyssey finds water in Michigan, President Bush survives assassination attempt by a pretzel, Darth Vader tells Frodo he is his father, Michael Jackson shows everyone his blanket, Anna Nicole Smith wins American Idol, Eminem is beaten up by Triumph the Wonder Dog, Rosie O’Donnell announces she’s still a little teapot short and stout, Scott Stapp announces he’s bigger than the Beatles, Nickleback sent to outer space on a goodwill mission- or so they say. Weird Al Yankovic announces he’s still weird.

Well, I’m not weird, right? Okay, let’s go with it shall we?...





1)  Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2)  Flaming Lips- Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
3)  Johnny Cash- American IV: The Man Comes Around
4)  Steve Earle- Jerusalem
5)  Mountain Goats- All Hail West Texas
6)  David Bowie- Heathen
7)  George Harrison- Brainwashed
8)  Beth Gibbons/ Rustin Man- Out of Season
9)  Gomez- In Our Gun
10)  Bruce Springsteen- The Rising
11)  Bright Eyes- Lifted Or The Story Is In The Soil
12)  Black Heart Procession- Amore Del Tropico
13)  Decemberists- Castaways and Cutouts
14)  Neko Case- Blacklisted
15)  Spoon- Kill the Moonlight
16)  Okkervil River- Don’t Fall In Love With Everyone You See
17)  Of Montreal- Aldhils Arbortorium
18)  Guided By Voices- Universal Truths and Cycles
19)  Tom Petty- The Last DJ
20)  Aimee Mann- Lost In Space
21)  Apples in Stereo- Velocity in Sound
22)  Frank Black and the Catholics- Black Letter Days
23)  Rilo Kiley- The Execution of All Things
24)  Wovenhand- Wovenhand
25)  The Warlocks-Phoenix

This turns out to be a great year as I have a handful of near misses that couldn’t quite make honorable mention. In the meantime, Wilco gets the gold this year with their brilliant Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It edges out the eccentrically beautiful Yoshimi while Johnny Cash’s swan song of sorts (he passes away next year), Steve Earle, and my surprise round out the top five. I love the following three as well as David Bowie makes a great comeback, imo, and George Harrison comes up with a great swan song of his own. I also would highly recommend Beth Gibbons of Portishead with one of my favorite folk albums in a long time. As for the rest of my twenty-five, I could argue all of them are gems but I especially was surprised with the Black Heart Procession, Neko Case, Frank Black, and Rilo Kiley. There are a bunch of albums that I call near misses and aren’t mentioned here. Of those I would rate Songs Of the Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age the best of the rest.

Biggest Surprise-  Mountain Goats- All Hail West Texas

Now I kind of like the Mountain Goats, but I never expected to see them in my top five and yet, this great piece of acoustic work does just that. It’s not especially polished, which has always been their style. It’s really more John Darnielle than anything else but a band they are nonetheless. As for the album, it’s kind of what folk should sound like in the 21st century. I just love the earthiness of the entire album and, of course, the great song selection.


Biggest Disappointment- The Roots- Phrenlology

Okay, first a disclaimer. Except for a few artists, I’m not really a big fan of hip-hop. The Roots though are one of the exceptions and it is because of the one song on this album that I especially like, The Seed 2.0. Unfortunately, I can’t get into the other tracks as much and I even had to switch to another album somewhere late in the album. I imagine hip hop fans will love the album but I just couldn’t get into it.


Honorable Mention-  The Black Keys- The Big Come Up, Iron and Wine- The Creek Drank the Cradle, Pedro the Lion- Control, Board of Canada- Geogaddi, Elvis Costello- When I Was Cruel


Stinker of the Year-  Corey Feldman- Former Child Actor

And he didn’t even get any help from his buddy, Michael Jackson. Well, at least he didn’t go the Disney sounding pop route. It’s supposed to be heavy metal which, compared to Pat Boone’s metal album, I guess it was. Listen to Jingle Bell Rock and happily vomit.


So we’re past our first year into the new normal. Stay tuned for next year when a shark eats Vice President Darth Vader. See you then.




Monday, September 10, 2018



2001


The talking dog has transported me to the year 2001 where everyone has gone mad. They’re going after this guy who had an affair with his intern who was murdered. He won’t talk to anybody because he wants to get re-elected or something. He thinks he’s a suspect, only he’s not; he’s just weird.

The lights keep going out in California because some guy eating Lays keep draining the power. They finally execute the jerk that bombed that building in Oklahoma. Then they want to try his partner again because they want to kill him too. He gets the same life without parole though. They should send Tony Soprano after him.

And we’re being invaded by sharks. Yeah, there was one sighted off the coast of Utah and he’s bigger than Jaws. Oh, my god! We’re all going to die. Keep the sharks the way from me, please, I need to know what to do in case of a shark attack. Help, help…HALP!!!!!.... oh great, what’s that on TV now?...






Oh, s***!







( Drawing by Bloominglove at Deviantart.com)


Event of the year:  Sharks are seen off the coast of Nebraska eating Gary Condit
Fad: Anthrax
Babe of the Year: Shrek
Scandal of the Year: College Student super glues his hand to his penis
Movie or TV show to barf to:  The 700 Club
What we could have done without: I’ll give you one guess
Pet of the year: Bin Laden

Other Tidbits: Jerry Falwell blames 9/11 on sugar fairies and Lutherans, The XFL replaces the NFL as hockey’s top league, Phil Donahue beats Bill O’Reilly up, Johnny Walker Red captured in Afghanistan, The Shoe Bomber eats his socks, Donnie Darko becomes a priest, Everyone forced to travel barefoot, Timothy McVeigh eaten by wolves, the Leaning Tower of Pisa falls asleep, Enron is a bunch of greedy bastards, Baby Powder discovered by Tom Brokaw’s secretary, Milosevic arrested for being a jerk, Napster closed down, reopens as a McDonalds, President Bartlett orders an airstrike on Qumar and solves the Kennedy Assassination. Hillary Clinton says cancellation of Baywatch is a right wing conspiracy, Tony Soprano crashes Monica and Chandler’s wedding, Al Gore grows a beard, loses Cuban election.

This is another pretty neat year for me. I’m getting older now so my taste are getting a little more refined.  But I should have discovered some pretty interesting stuff too by now, so let’s see what we have…




1)  White Stripes- White Blood Cells
2)  Sparklehorse- It’s a Wonderful Life
3)  Radiohead- Amnesiac
4)  Manic Street Preachers- Know Your Enemy
5)  Death Cab For Cutie- The Photo Album
6)  Weezer- Weezer (the Green Album)
7)  Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci- How I Long To Feel That Summer In My Heart
8)  Mercury Rev- All Is Dream
9)  Travis- The Invisible Band
10)  Bob Dylan- Love and Theft
11)  The Circulatory System- The Circulatory System
12)  Built To Spill- Ancient Melodies of the Universe
13)  Spoon- Girls Can Tell
14)  The Shins- Oh Inverted World
15)  Microphones- The Glow, Pt. 2
16) Dirtbombs- Ultraglide in Black
17)  Kristin Hersh- Sunny Border Blue
18)  Guided By Voices- Isolation Drills
19)  Of Montreal- Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies
20)  Sam Phillips- Fan Dance
21)  Pernice Brothers- The World Won’t End
22)  REM- Reveal
23)  Air- 10 000 Legend
24)  My Morning Jacket- At Dawn
25)   I Am Kloot- Natural History

The quality of albums still remains high as there are some pretty decent ones that don’t make my list or honorable mentions. The White Stripes really break through this year and White Blood Cells tops my list. They’re closely followed by Sparklehorse and Radiohead with their best since OK Computer (I don’t think Kid A is as good, so sue me). The Manic Street Preachers and Death Cab For Cutie round out my list. Gems in my Top Ten include a surprising Weezer album, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, and a nice effort by Bob Dylan who still has it. Other gems in my top twenty-five include the Circulatory System, the Shins, my surprise, the Dirtbombs, Sam Phillips, Air, and I Am Kloot, which was also something of a surprise for me.

Biggest Surprise- The Microphones- The Glow, Pt. 2

I wasn’t very impressed with the Microphones earlier efforts so I was pleasantly surprised to hear this gem. It’s certainly pretty low-fi and the singer is even off key at times, but that’s really the charm of this album. The melodies are good and it’s a damn good piece of psychedelia in my opinion. This could have worked in the late sixties.

Biggest Disappointment- Brian Jonestown Massacre- Bravery, Repitition, and Noise.

Don’t get me wrong; this is not a terrible album, but except for a track or two, this album kind of falls flat for me. I’m a big fan of a lot of their stuff so I guess I was hoping for something a little better. As it is, the album is listenable, but really nothing especially noteworthy, kind of unusual for BJM.


Honorable Mention- Gorillaz- Gorillaz, Rufus Wainwright- Poses, Live- V, Lucinda Williams' Essence, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' No More Shall We Part


Stinker of the Year-  Nickelback- Silver Side Up

And here we go with the album that established Nickleback as the most boring band on the planet. I mean people love these guys. Why? I don’t know. Maybe there are more masochists than we thought. Yeah, that’s it. Perverted guys like to be tied up in the bedroom and forced to listen constantly to How You Remind Me. I heard it was also used in lieu of water boarding because it was more effective. I better turn them off before I turn into a babbling idiot--- oops, too late :D.

So here we are. Welcome to the new normal. At least the music is still good so we’ll see you next time when we cover 2002.