Monthly Archives: December 2007

I never really cared for JoJo

Until I saw this:

“I am so over celebrities behaving atrociously, and the media and the paparazzi following them everywhere, not giving them a moment’s peace, and glamorizing their bad behavior. I am tired of all the celebrities (who will remain nameless) who drink and drive, do drugs, bed hop, and act like people without intelligence, respect for themselves or others, or morals, and all the headlines and tabloid shows, which talk about them endlessly. It is time to stop glamorizing trashy behavior, like we see in many music videos, where the women take off their clothes and act like bubbleheads and strippers. I am so over men demeaning the women and the women allowing it. It is time to stop “dumbing down” the women, and time for celebrities to behave with dignity, intelligence, and respect for themselves and others. After all, many people look up to celebrities, and there are a lot of young people who emulate their behavior.” (my emphasis added)

Wow, my thoughts exactly, expressed by a 17-year-old pop singer. Who woulda thought? Maybe she’s into Feministing (aka the best blog ever) too!

PS – The jist of this article is that the biggest things that people are “so over” this year are:

1. Britney Spears.

2. George Bush.

3. Britney Spears.

4. Hearing about baseball players and steroids.

5. Britney Spears.

Best video of the year?

My roommate Ben (he’s the fiercely determined one in the hooded sweatshirt) demonstrates his incendiary mandolin skillz. And he’s got a sick bluegrass band – the Stillhouse Jammers. Check ’em out here. Or here. ORRRR at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, which I will be attending this February.

This is what we talk about when we talk about “Best Of.”

I posted this on OTD yesterday:


We were gonna post a Journey video but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it.

Oh, listmania, you’re like Paris Hilton holding a plate of Oreos: contradictory, slightly off-putting, and yet fascinatingly addictive. Just when we think we’re listed out, we find ourselves reading another one, and nodding enthusiastically or wondering why anyone thinks the new Band of Horses album is Top 10-worthy. The best list-related reading of the week is undoubtedly Slate’s ongoing documentation of a musical conversation between Robert Christgau, Jody Rosen, and Ann Powers. If you’ve got an hour, it’s worth reading through, but if not, here’s our favorite part: On Sunday Rosen praised Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” as the song of the year, thanks to boosts from The Sopranos and drunken karaoke-ing college kids across the US (Rosen notes that “Don’t Stop Believin’” wasn’t critically acclaimed in 1981, leading him to deduce “There’s a “Don’t Stop Believin'” of 2007 out there somewhere; it’s probably some Nickelback song. Or maybe it’s Mims”). Powers agreed (“Journey is so relevant now”), and just our heads began to spin Christgau verbally smacked some sense into everyone, via his post on Monday: “Journey sucks. They sucked in 1981, they’ll suck in 2033, and they suck now. Who gives a fuck what Tony Soprano thinks?” Xgau, we love you, even though we have no idea how Soulja Boy’s Souljaboytellumdotcom ended up on your Top 30 albums of ‘07 list.

List-related blog item #2: Flipping through our roommate’s copy of Blender recently and we spotted Animal Collective’s Strawberry Jam at number 90 of the mag’s list of the 100 Greatest Indie-Rock albums Ever. “Way to go AC!” we thought. We might’ve picked Feels instead, but whatevs. Then we checked out Blender’s Best 25 Albums of 2007 and, amazingly, Animal Collective is not on there. Like, at all. WTF? Is Strawberry Jam so great and influential that we’re supposed to just feel it’s presence on there? Or is this a reality check that these lists – all of them, not just Blender’s – are kinda BS because (duh) it’s all a matter of (sometimes dissenting, even at the same publication) opinion. We’re not pointing fingers here – we just put the finishing touches on our best album lists, look for ‘em on the Internets soonish – but maybe Slate’s got the right idea in turning listmania into a friendly debate about musical happenings within the past year, rather than a set-in-stone, these are the best albums period, kind of thing. Or maybe that’s what Idolator’s comment section is for.

So now, my own best of list, which is in no way set in stone – in fact, I spent weeks debating it, and am still not positive about my choices. But, deadlines demanded I make a decision – you can also find the list, along with other Phoenix-contributor Top 10’s, here.

A few stipulations: 1) These are not in any order, 2) I’m counting Peter Bjorn and John’s Writer’s Block as 2006, even though Rolling Stone doesn’t think so, and 3) I would’ve put Grizzly Bear’s Friend EP, which I simply adore, on the list in a heartbeat if EPs were allowed.

THE TEN:

M.I.A. – Kala
Deerhoof – Friend Opportunity
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals
Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer?
Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes A re the Dark Horse
LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha

This was inevitable.

This video is sooooo last year, but I love it anyway.

It’s that time of year again – attack of the “Best Of” lists!!! They’re everywhere. I would boycott except it gives me this nice sense of organized closure to wrap up everything I’ve listened to this year into one neat list. Official list (and mp3’s! hooray!) to come soon…

More ranting about abstinence only insanity.

 

Is that a condom, Hillary? Are you over 20 and married?

Yesterday, I listed three quote-supported reasons why I love Josh Homme. Today, three quote-supported reasons why I loathe strongly disagree with Robert Rector, a senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, and the Bush Administration’s abstinence-only policy, from this NYT piece, which reports that teenage birth rates are on the rise for the first time since 1991:

Reason #1: Absolutely zero understanding of women.

“Robert Rector, a senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, said that blaming abstinence-only programs was ‘stupid.’ Mr. Rector said that most young women who became pregnant were highly educated about contraceptives but wanted to have babies.”

Reason #2: Absolutely zero understanding of young people in general.

“We should be telling them that for the well-being of any child, it’s critically important that you be over the age of 20 and that you be married,” he said. “That message is not given at all.”

Bonus points to the White House, who cowered away from reporters and “did not respond to requests for comment” on this enormously expensive failure of a plan.

Twelve by 12.

twelvesmall.jpg

Twelve film makers + one tree + 10 minutes each + 1 year = one crazy movie

“Lighten up” Monday reading.

Courtesy of ICHC:

Courtesy of Radiohead (and Will):

Hello,

Just to let you know…

Your “In Rainbows” discbox has now left w.a.s.t.e. in the UK

You can expect delivery of your discbox in the following estimated times.

UK 1-8 days

Europe 1-14 days

Rest of World 5-18 days

Wherever possible (especially to customers in the USA), we’ve sent these by road and sea.

December is a busy time of year for postal services globally, so please be patient.

We thank you for your custom and hope you enjoy your discbox when you receive it.

Best wishes.

us @ w.a.s.t.e.