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
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.