Tonight we ring in a new decade that will, hopefully, be full of great music. But before we say hello to the...uh...Tens (boy, we need a better name than that for the new decade — someone think of something quick), let's take a look back at the tunes that helped get me through the Naughties.
I must preface this list by explaining that it's probably not THE MOST ACCURATE representation of my favorite songs of the last ten years. But the problem I ran into when making this list (besides the huge headaches and heartburn) was that the bulk of the songs I picked were coming from the last two or three years. (Probably because my attention span isn't what it used to be.) Since I wanted to highlight what was good about each year without giving myself more gray hairs than I already have, I had to impose some rules.
Rule #1: All songs had to have been released as singles. It doesn't matter if they charted or were only released in the UK; as long as they were singles, they were eligible. (The non-singles I mourned for most were The New Pornographers' "The Bleeding Heart Show" and Pearl Jam's "Thumbing My Way." Let's all bow our heads in remembrance of these fine songs.)
Rule #2: Only one song per artist per year allowed. Obviously, Pearl Jam is going to show up on this list more than once, but they can only be represented by one song in each year that they had an eligible single.
Rule #3: The third rule is more of general method for selecting songs. I wanted a fair representation of each year between 2000 - 2009, so I picked my five favorite singles from each year, ranking each group of five in order of preference. Then I ranked all the #1s, all the #2s, etc. until I came up with the final ranking order.
Like I said, this isn't a perfect science, but it was the easiest way I could think to take on an entire decade of music. And if someone gave me a CD with these 50 songs on it, I'd be pretty happy.
50. "Without Me," Eminem (2002)
49. "Get The Party Started," Pink (2001)
48. "Hey Ya!," Outkast (2003)
47. "Take Your Mama," Scissor Sisters (2004)
46. "Parallel World," Glenn Tilbrook (2000)
45. "Here It Goes Again," OK Go (2006)
44. "Electric Feel," MGMT (2008)
43. "Soul Meets Body," Death Cab For Cutie (2005)
42. "Bad Romance," Lady Gaga (2009)
41. "What Goes Around...Comes Around," Justin Timberlake (2007)
40. "Fix It," Ryan Adams and The Cardinals (2008)
39. "Hands Clean," Alanis Morrisette (2002)
38. "Black Sweat," Prince (2006)
37. "Glad Girls," Guided By Voices (2001)
36. "Beautiful Day," U2 (2000)
35. "Harder To Breathe," Maroon 5* (2003)
34. "The One I Love," David Gray (2005)
33. "Formed A Band," Art Brut (2004)
32. "1234," Feist (2007)
31. "Whole New Way," The Horrors (2009)
30. "The Rising," Bruce Springsteen (2002)
29. "World Wide Suicide," Pearl Jam (2006)
28. "New York, New York," Ryan Adams (2001)
27. "Mixed Bizness," Beck (2000)
26. "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise," Duran Duran (2004)
25. "Messing With My Head," Tinted Windows (2009)
24. "Crystal Village," Pete Yorn (2003)
23. "I Never," Rilo Kiley (2005)
22. "Chick Lit," We Are Scientists (2008)
21. "Let's Dance To Joy Division," The Wombats (2007)
20. "I Am Mine," Pearl Jam (2002)
19. "Evil Urges," My Morning Jacket (2008)
18. "The Funeral," Band Of Horses (2006)
17. "Since U Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson (2005)
16. "Light Years," Pearl Jam (2000)
15. "Somebody Told Me," The Killers (2004)
14. "Bootylicious," Destiny's Child** (2001)
13. "Pain Killer," Turin Brakes (2003)
12. "Breakin' Up," Rilo Kiley (2007)
11. "Just Breathe," Pearl Jam (2009)
10. "You Said Something," PJ Harvey (2001)
9. "Stop Crying Your Heart Out," Oasis (2002)
8. "Shiver," Coldplay (2000)
7. "Out Of Time," Blur (2003)
6. "Valerie," The Zutons (2006)
5. "Feel Good Inc.," Gorillaz (2005)
4. "Use Somebody," Kings Of Leon (2008)
3. "Kiss Of Life," Supergrass (2004)
2. "Song Away," Hockey (2009)
1. "I'll Stick Around," Arckid (2007)
*The one and only good song this band of douchebags ever put out.
**Oh, I am dead serious. Don't even start.
Hilarious photo by Jinjin Sun, Yale Herald.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tonight we ring in a new decade that will, hopefully, be full of great music. But before we say hello to the...uh...Tens (boy, we need a better name than that for the new decade — someone think of something quick), let's take a look back at the tunes that helped get me through the Naughties.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The suspense is over! Actually, if you're able to see the voting results over there on the right, there is no suspense at all. You know darn well who is 2009's Firecrotch. Although it seemed that his three Firecrotch of the Month awards guaranteed him the win, this election was no walk in the park for Words Words Words. Jon and Skyler's Dad gave him quite a run for his money, proving that either they have much larger fanbases than we all thought, or they each disregarded that "no stuffing the ballot box" rule that I imposed at the beginning of voting.
Whatever the case, it was an interesting race, but the three-peater with the three-peated moniker emerged victorious. So congrats, WWW. Your crotch burned brighter and longer than everyone else's this year. Be proud. But don't stare directly at it. And whatever you do, don't try to put balm on it. That will just make it worse.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Sorry, music fans, my Best Songs of the Decade list won't be up until later this week. I finally picked the songs (and had to eventually just stop second-guessing myself) but I still haven't put them in order yet, and I also have no music files since I'm in Pittsburgh for the holidays. It's going to be a list of 50, so I'm not going to post every mp3, but I wanted to post at least the top song from each of the last ten years. Soooo...all you need is just a little patience.
Friday, December 25, 2009
I hope you're all having a great holiday!
In lieu of this week's Forgotten Classic Video, please enjoy a Pop Eye holiday tradition. Click the cute (and yummy) cookie below to view THE. BEST. CHRISTMAS. COMMERCIAL. EVER. (Brought to you by the restaurant chain with THE. BEST. POTATO SOUP. EVER.)
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Before you get on with your tree-trimming or dreidel-spinning or candle-lighting or grievance-airing or whatever "ing" that Pagans do, take a minute to pour a drink and toast Eddie Vedder, who turns 45 today. Even though he had the nerve to get engaged to someone who's not me this year, I still love him. Santa has failed to bring him to me for about 18 years now, so I guess I'm kind of used to the disappointment.
If you're not sure why you should praise this man (you know, if you're one of those people who doesn't value good looks and incredible talent), take a look at last year's Veddermas post, in which I list the numerous similarities between Eddie and The Big J. It's an eye-opener.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
It's that time of year again when we music-loving bloggers offer up our favorite songs of the year and open ourselves up to praise and/or ridicule.
If you're a hipster expecting to see Animal Collective somewhere in the Top 3, let me save you some time. Stop reading now, and go hit yourself in the head repeatedly with a hammer. Seriously. Because those guys are awful. Really. It's time to stop letting Pitchfork run your life.
The only rule for my list is that a song had to be released as a single to be included. (I may have slightly bent, but never completely broke, this rule a couple of times.)
Now, without further ado, here is my Animal Collective-less Top 20 of 2009:
20. No You Girls
Franz Ferdinand from Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Come on, it's Franz Ferdinand. This is yet another perfect song for going to an awesome gay bar, getting loaded, and dancing the night away with some really hot guys. Now, will someone please take me to an awesome gay bar? Please??
Glenn Tilbrook & The Fluffers from Pandemonium Ensues
Glenn's third solo album is definitely my least favorite, but there are a few bright spots, including this gem of a first single. Glenn's golden voice beautifully brings to life the cute, obviously very personal lyrics about undying love in a long relationship.
18. Love Sex Magic
Ciara (w/Justin Timberlake) from Fantasy Ride
I first heard this song on an episode of So You Think You Can Dance and couldn't get it out of my head for, like, a month. If you're turning up your nose at this one, well, you'll probably hate the rest of my list. Quite a bit of pop this year.
17. Dream City
Free Energy from Stuck on Nothin'
Even if you've never heard of this band, you'll probably recognize the opening riff of this tune from those ubiquitous Flipvideo commercials. Great '70s-inspired garage rock. I have no idea what is going on with these guys. Apparently, they're still touring but this fabled album has yet to see the light of day.
16. You Belong With Me
Taylor Swift from Fearless
I am NOT a Taylor Swift fan. I don't think she's a very good singer, and I've just never quite understood all the fuss about her. (And she kind of looks like a muskrat, but that's not really important.) However, as much as I don't want to like this song, I have to. It's too good. I just hope Kanye doesn't barge in and start blathering about how Beyoncé had one of the best singles of 2009. Cool your jets, Gay Fish...Beyoncé has a higher spot on the list.
Lily Allen from It's Not You, It's Me
Lily Allen was always one of those people I thought I'd probably smack if I ever met her in person. But then I heard this song and now I kind of want to high-five her and buy her a drink...or ten. As a thirtysomething single, it's become something of an anthem. Anything I say about this tune is going to pale in comparison to the perfect chorus, so chew on this: It's sad but it's true how society says her life is already over/There's nothing to do and there's nothing to say/'Til the man of her dreams comes along, picks her up and puts her over his shoulder/It seems so unlikely in this day and age.
14. Where Did All The Love Go?
Kasabian from West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
OK, so I'm getting sick of all of these great UK bands somehow remaining hidden from most of the US. From what I've heard of them so far, Kasabian seems to be a throwback to the Madchester scene without sounding dated. Can't wait to dig deeper into their catalog.
Phoenix from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Every year needs one, and this upbeat tune was 2009's "feel-good song of the summer!"
12. I Do Not Hook Up
Kelly Clarkson from All I Ever Wanted
It was nice to see Kelly return to pop form after nearly killing her career by bad-mouthing the evil Clive Davis and releasing the 2007 dud My December. I was probably one of the few people who actually quite liked and appreciated that album but still, belting out hooky, quasi-rock bubble gum tunes is what this gal does best. And even though "My Life Would Suck Without You" seemed poised to be THE hit from her "comeback" record, this Katy Perry cast-off is even more irresistible. I kind of hate to admit it, since it was co-written by Kara DioGuardi, but I guess every mountain of shit has a diamond buried in it somewhere. (Or some other phrase that's more apt and eloquent.)
11. Sweet Dreams
Beyoncé from I Am...Sasha Fierce
Like last year, I hate to give Beyoncé yet more attention, but this single (from her 2008 album that just keeps going and going and going) is just too catchy to deny.
10. Never Forget You
Noisettes from Wild Young Hearts
Most of this album— a great mix of pop, rock, dance, blues, and soul— is terrific, but it's this '60s girl group-style single that I found myself singing out loud just about everywhere. I've never really been won over by Amy Winehouse and Duffy and the cavalcade of British faux-soul singers that have crawled out of the woodwork over the last few years, but Noisettes' Shingai Shoniwa is the real deal.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs from It's Blitz!
I've seen Yeah Yeah Yeahs on a lot of other year-end lists, but most often they've made it with their other single, "Heads Will Roll." I really like that song too, but I first heard "Zero" when the band performed on SNL and was surprised by how much I loved it, since (other than loving "Maps" like everyone else) I'd never been a huge fan of their music. So, I guess I have a soft spot for it.
8. Old White Lincoln
The Gaslight Anthem from The '59 Sound
Technically, this was released as a single in December 2008, but the first time I heard it was at the beginning of the year, so I'm including it. Why are guys from New Jersey so good at writing the best driving songs? I guess there's nothing else to do in Jersey but drive around, looking for a way out.
7. Heavy Cross
The Gossip from Music For Men
Never heard of this band before this year, but I became completely addicted to this song's very Yazzy feel. Unfortunately, when I listened to some more of their stuff, I discovered that I wasn't able to bear much more than "Heavy Cross." (nyuk nyuk)
6. Bad Romance
Lady Gaga from The Fame Monster
I tried for a really long time to fight her, but I finally gave in to Lady Gaga this year, and I'm sure that was the right decision. A lot of people assume that she's just another pop tart, but those people are obviously just making that assumption based on her popularity and glossy, perfectly crafted pop tunes. But she can actually sing (oh my!), writes her own stuff (Good Lord!), and is bringing back the weird musical spectacle that folks like (early) Madonna, Queen, and Alice Cooper did so well. And I love the drama of songs like this one and "Paparazzi." I'm just praying for the day that she teams up with Jim Steinman.
5. Whole New Way
The Horrors (non-album single)
I had never heard of this British Joy Division-ish band until this year, when I read that they were working with my Number Four Man, Damon Albarn, on the upcoming Gorillaz record. I decided to check this song out after learning that it was mixed and recorded by Damon at his 13 Studios. Clearly, everything Damon touches turns to gold.
4. Messing With My Head
Tinted Windows from Tinted Windows
A group consisting of Taylor Hanson (Hanson boy wonder), Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne bassist/genius songwriter), James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins guitarist) and Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick drummer) seemed too bizarre to be real, let alone capable of putting together a good record, but that's exactly what they did. The first single, "Kind of a Girl" was super-catchy pop fizz, but it was this Cheap Trick-esque tune (possibly a promo instead of a true single) that really won me over. I got to see the band live this summer and it was a great show. And Taylor Hanson...yum. He done grew up real good.
3. The Fixer
2. Just Breathe
Pearl Jam from Backspacer
I was going to try to impose the "only one song per artist" rule this year, but there was no way that was going to happen in a new Pearl Jam album year. Anyway, I blew that rule last year with Kings of Leon so it's not like I'm upholding any great tradition. Both of these songs are fantastic, so I had a bit of a time deciding which one I liked slightly better. Although I love the energy of "The Fixer," the beauty of "Just Breathe" pushed it into second place. Eddie, did I say that I need you? Did I say that I want you? I'm sure I have...ad nauseam.
1. Song Away
Hockey from Mind Chaos
My roommate introduced me to this band a few months ago, and after hearing about the first four notes of this song, I had a feeling it would be my NEW FAVORITE SONG EVAH. It's basically what would happen if Bruce Springsteen decided to make a dance record—it's "a truthful song over an '80s groove" and it is fab-u-lous.
By the way, aside from celebrating great music, this post is a rather significant one in the history of The Pop Eye. It's my 1,000th post! Thanks for sticking around and reading all this time!
And don't forget...support the artists who made 2009 great by purchasing their music!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Since Christmas is almost here, I wanted to post these old Centaur Productions videos from the '50s that my readers in Chicago are sure to remember. I never saw these when I was a kid growing up in Pittsburgh, but I used to see them every year when I was going to college in Indiana, PA. They always aired on the Altoona/Johnstown station, WJAC. They also air on Chicago's WGN, which a lot of people around the country get in their cable packages, so several of you non-Midwesterners and non-Pennsylvanians may have seen these, too.
Fix yourself a nice cup of hot chocolate and enjoy "Suzy Snowflake," "Hardrock, Coco & Joe," and "Frosty the Snowman."
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Many crotches burned brightly in 2009, but the time has come to name Firecrotch of the Year. And that decision will be left up to YOU!
Does Words Words Words' impressive three-peat guarantee him the title (as it did for Pistols last year)? Or what about The Imaginary Reviewer, who was a frequent runner-up in addition to being March's winner? Or maybe you think it's only fair that a real firecrotch like Red takes home this honor? Or maybe you'll just vote for the candidate with the best stimulus package, if you know what I mean.
To vote for your favorite Firecrotch, please review this year's winning entries:
Catherinette Singleton: April
Skyler's Dad: June
The Imaginary Reviewer: March
Words Words Words: February, May, October
Once you've made a decision, cast your vote by checking off your favorite's name on the ballot in the far sidebar. Please, no stuffing the ballot box. This ain't the Drysdales. (Ooh, those sour grapes taste like burning!)
Voting will remain open until December 27, and the winner will be announced on December 28!
Yup, this is one of those posts where I encourage you to read shit that I've spewed in other dark corners of the Internet. Don't make a big deal about it, okay? It's so easy to click a link, and it feels so good.
First up is something of a decade-in-review list that I compiled for Celeb Love, so it focuses on the biggest sex/love/relationship stories of the '00s. Of course, all your favorite portmanteau-ish couples are represented: Brangelina, Bennifer, TomKat, Robsten, and more, along with other weirdos like Britney, Anne Heche, that adult diaper-wearing astronaut, and...wait for it...wait for it...Jon and Kate Gosselin! (Boo-yah! I'm earning my Drysdale now, bitches.)
Next is a little Starpulse interview that I did with my favorite Project Runway Season 6 contestant, Shirin Askar. You remember Shirin, right? She was one of several much more talented designers who were unfairly auf'd when the judges decided to indulge their morbid curiosity and allow crybaby Christopher to stick around for several weeks past his expiration date.
Go forth, read, and comment. Also, if you have a Yahoo account, be a (rein)dear and Buzz that Celeb Love piece up!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Hello, dear readers. Sorry I haven't posted since Sunday.
No, I take that back. I'm not sorry at all! I mean, first of all, I gave you all an assload of holiday music in my last post. And secondly, it's not like you caaaare if I'm here or not. If you did, you would have made certain that I was named Blogger of the Year. Harrumph. Well, you know what? I'm going to keep blogging anyway! I'm going to make the next year of your lives a living hell!
I'm sorry. I take that back. That wasn't me talking. It was my uterine polyps. Yep, Santa finally brought me some! Supposedly, they don't really do anything but I've been having little outbursts lately, so I'm starting to think that they're actually full of rage.
Okay, okay. Let's just start this whole thing over. First I try to lay a guilt trip on you people and then I go on a weird tangent about my lady parts. This is not what Christmas is all about. At least I don't think so.
I suppose I should give thanks to all the voters for the Drysdale Award that I did win: Blog With the Most Posts About Jon or Kate Gosselin. Since I've only had two (and the first one doesn't really count, since I only mentioned them to explain how I was vowing to never cover them and refused to even use their real names), I guess that means that either my opponents didn't try very hard or the voters are all very big fans of irony. Or none of you actually read my blog. Whatever the reason, I won something, and Grant Miller (the Blogosphere's crush) knows my name. All in all, I'd say this is shaping up to be about the 27th best Christmas I've ever had.
And now, to make our season even brighter, here is the classic MADtv skit, "Raging Rudolph." (Note: this is not at all a veiled threat about what will happen to all of you if I lose that Blogger of the Year award again next year.)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Last week's Sonic Sunday was devoted to the short list of my personal favorite holiday songs, so this week I'm posting a bunch more tunes. There should be something for everyone here!
I originally planned on posting three weeks' worth of Christmas tunes but then realized that I need to squeeze in my Best of 2009 and Best of the Decade playlists before the year is up, so you're getting all the Christmas songs now. No need to wait until the 25th to open; tear into 'em now!
"2000 Miles"- The Pretenders
"A Great Big Sled"- The Killers
"A Marshmallow World"- Los Straitjackets
"All I Want for Christmas Is You"- Mariah Carey
"Another Rock and Roll Christmas"- Gary Glitter
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"- Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone
"Blue Christmas"- Elvis Presley
"Candy Cane Children"- The White Stripes
"Christmas All Over Again"- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
"(Christmas) Bells of St. Ignatius"- Wormburner
"Christmas in Hollis"- Run-DMC
"Christmas Vacation"- Mavis Staples
"Christmas Wrapping"- The Waitresses
"Do They Know It's Christmas?"- Band Aid
"Everybody Loves Christmas"- Eddie Money
"(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With the Bag"- Brian Setzer
"Father Christmas"- The Kinks
"Happy Xmas (War is Over)"- John, Yoko & The Plastic Ono Band
"Here Comes Santa Claus"- Gene Autry
"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"- John Cougar Mellencamp
"I Wish It Was Christmas Today"- Julian Casablancas
"I'll Be Home for Christmas"- Aimee Mann
"Is This Christmas?"- The Wombats
"(It Must've Been Ol') Santa Claus"- Harry Connick, Jr.
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"- Andy Williams
"Jingle Bell Jamboree"- Keb Mo
"Last Christmas"- Wham!
"Little Saint Nick"- The Beach Boys
"Mele Kalikimaka"- Bing Crosby
"Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)"- The Ramones
"Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy"-David Bowie & Bing Crosby
"Rock and Roll Christmas"- George Thorogood & The Destroyers
"Snoopy's Christmas"- The Royal Guardsmen
"Step Into Christmas"- Elton John
"The Christmas Song"- Owl City
"The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)"- Nat King Cole
"This Christmas"- Donny Hathaway
"Up on the House Top"- Jackson 5
"What Christmas Means To Me"- Paul Young
"White Christmas"- The Drifters
"Winter Wonderland"- Phantom Planet
And let's not forget our Jewish friends...
"The Chanukah Song"- Adam Sandler
Friday, December 11, 2009
Well, kids, the fifth season of Sunny is over and it was a doozy. Be dears and go on over to Starpulse to tell me how much you cherished my recaps these last few months. If you don't, I might have to make a call to a close personal friend of mine by the name of Claus. And he'll make sure you get what you deserve.
"The Gang Reignites the Rivalry"
Remember in "The Nightman Cometh," when Charlie told the gang that he wrote a musical? Dennis and Mac wanted to know who they were "doing it versus," and Dee wanted to know "whose face they were gonna rub it in." They were pretty bummed to find out that it wasn't that kind of thing. And why not? After all, the gang is expert at cultivating pointless rivalries, even if they ignorant of their own abilities to create enemies wherever they go.
But there is nothing unintentional about their rivalry with the staff of Molly's Bar, against whom they competed in Flipadelphia (a giant flip-cup contest, of course) ten years ago. After they poisoned their opponents (not enough to kill, just make them really sick), the gang was banned from the game. But the ban has been lifted and it's Flipadelphia time again, so the gang wants to…well, do exactly what the episode title says. Problem is, Molly's has changed, as has the owner, Art Sloane. He's done something the Paddy's gang would never dream of - he grew up. So even after the gang descends upon the newer, classier Molly's and wreaks havoc (manhandling customers, urinating behind the bar, that sort of thing), Art still refuses to compete in the childish flip-cup competition.
The gang just assumes that they'll wear down Art eventually, and continues to plan for the big game...Continue on to Starpulse for the full recap!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Hmm, how can I make up for forgetting to post a video last week? How about a little magic? Yay! Everyone likes magic!
Up first is Pilot with a little 1974-style "Magic."
And next is America with their 1982 hit, "You Can Do Magic." They're talking to YOU, you know.
And now, for my next trick: I guarantee that one or both of these songs will be lodged in your head all damn day! Ta-daaa!
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Hopefully, you all aren't sick of Christmas music already because I'm stuffing your stockings with three volumes of very special Christmas Sonic Sundays over the next few weeks!
This week, I'm offering up 15 of my personal favorite holiday tunes, which means no Kenny G! Hooray! (Note: I posted some of these a few years ago, so I may just use some of the same descriptions. I'm allowed to plagiarize myself, right?)
1. "A Fairytale of New York," The Pogues and Kirsty Macoll - It's a Christmas song. It's a St. Patrick's Day song. It's both! What could be better??
2. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," U2 - A lot of people prefer the Darlene Love original, which I also love, but I really dig U2's cover. Maybe it reminds me of a time when U2 were a great rock band and not the complacent cash cows that they are now. (Start the crazy U2 fan backlash now!)
3. "Christmas Bop," T. Rex - As I mentioned a couple of years ago when I posted this, it may be the only holiday tune that references silk jeans and space shoes. And it's fabulous. Crazy that it took a Jewish guy to write one of the world's most fun Christmas tunes.
4. "Christmas Day," Squeeze - I didn't love this song the first time I heard it, but it's so bizarre that it grew on me pretty quickly. It's kind of a funny, new wave-y look at Mary and Joseph's saga set in modern times. It's also about how Christmas wouldn't be the same without important stuff like aftershave.
5. "Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You," Billy Squier - This has been my favorite holiday song for as long as it's been around. I don't think anyone can beat it.
6. "Happy Holidays/The Holiday Season," Andy Williams - Andy is the King of Christmas, and this is one swingin' tune. Probably the only Christmas song that includes the phrase "whoop-dee-do."
7. "Jingle Bell Rock," Bobby Helms - A classic that's been covered a million times, but nothing beats Helms' original.
8. "Merry Christmas Song," INXS - A rare, original Christmas song that was distributed as a 7" fan club single back in 1982. It was written and performed by Kirk Pengilly.
9. "O Holy Night," Sufjan Stevens - This is my favorite traditional/religious Christmas song. I've never been a huge Sufjan fan, but I really love what he's done here. This song is usually belted out by power singers like Celine Dion and Martina McBride, so there's just something really understated and lovely about Sufjan's version. And you've gotta love that banjo.
10. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," Brenda Lee - Much like Bobby Helms' "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," this song has been covered a million times, but no one will ever beat Lee's version.
11. "Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)," Elvis Presley - If Elvis were still alive today, he would probably change this to "Santa Bring My Baby Back Baby Back Baby Back Ribs." (That's a repeat, but that joke still makes me laugh because I'm simple.)
12. "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," Bruce Springsteen - The Boss made it cool for rockers to cover Christmas classics, and his is still the best one of all. I once got to hear him do it live and it was quite a thrill!
13. "Sleigh Ride," Harry Connick, Jr. - Best version of this song EVER. Those horns are just fantastic.
14. "Someday at Christmas," Pearl Jam - A cover of the Stevie Wonder classic that was introduced to me a while back by Beth. I never knew of it before then because I endlessly procrastinated about joining the Pearl Jam fan club. (Finally joined this year - woo hoo!) I love this version even better than the original. (Surprised? No? Didn't think so.)
15. "The Wassailing Song," Blur - This is a super-rare recording of a traditional song (not the "figgy pudding" one) that was given out as a free 7" promo at one of Blur's early gigs. I wish I could say I'd been there, but no such luck.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Now that Project Runway is over, I'm only doing It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia recaps for Starpulse and, sadly, its season wraps up next week. But before you know it, it will be American Idol time! So, read about some quality TV while you still can...
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "Mac and Charlie Write a Movie"
As if I wasn't already bummed out enough about the Sunny season coming to a close next week, they had to go and blast me with the best episode of the year last night, making the impending Sunny-less winter that much harder to take.
Things start with Mac and Charlie relaying a story to Dennis (who is too preoccupied with his new touch-screen phone to really care) about how they got trapped in a parking garage stairwell and thought they were being stalked by killer, who turned out to be a security guard instead. The guys decide to use what they think is a knack for storytelling to write a movie after Dee shows up and announces that she's going to be a "featured actress" in an M. Night Shyamalan film. When Frank asks, "What's an M. Night?" Charlie describes the filmmaker's signature twists like how, in The Sixth Sense, "that dude with the hairpiece was Bruce Willis the whole time."
Sensing an opportunity, Frank tries to convince Dee to take him on as her agent, but she rebuffs him with, "You are abusive and smell like warm meat." And that's not just an off-the-wall insult - Frank has actually taken to toting around greasy sausage links in his front shirt pocket. Coming from anyone else, that would be fairly repulsive, but we're talking about Frank here. This is one of the least disgusting things he's ever done.
Mac and Charlie start brainstorming ideas for their movie, and decide that they should follow the Hollywood trend of staging a comeback for a slumping, underrated actor. And who is the most underrated actor of all-time? Why, Dolph Lundgren, of course...Continue on to Starpulse for the full recap!
The final caption contest winner of the year is Jon of Extraneous Kickassery! Jon, you may want to change the name of your blog to Extraneous Firecrotchery, at least for the rest of the month.
Or just proudly display this badge. Whatever.
The runners-up this month are...all of you! Even those of you who didn't enter! See how nice I am? Now go vote for me as Blogger of the Year. For some reason, I'm still not in first place. I really don't understand how that could be.
And speaking of democracy in action, stay tuned for the Firecrotch of the Year election, coming soon. I'll let Jon bask in the glow of his burning brillo for a little while longer though.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Like the goop that's always accumulating in the corners of our eyes, the following items are curiously fascinating:
It's Hard In The PGA For A Pimp. - Oh, Tiger Woods. You dawg. Thanks for reminding us that money is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Seriously. In the real world, there would be no way that such an unattractive bore could land a hot Nordic model and get down with OPP wherever and whenever he wanted.
Yo, Mallory! Your Mom's A Lesbian. - Meredith Baxter, best-known as the patron saint of "television for women" and Family Ties' Elyse Keaton, came out as a lesbian recently. At 62, the actress said she only discovered her true sexual identity seven years ago, and that before then the possibility that she might be a fan of the pootie never crossed her mind. Well, good for Meredith for figuring her shit out. And good for me, as I am super excited for the inevitable Lifetime movie, Mother, May I Sleep With Dana?
Adam Lambert Discovers That Getting Blackballed Isn't As Fun As It Sounds - ABC continues to cancel Adam's scheduled appearances, including a spot on Jimmy Kimmel Live and a performance on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. He shouldn't feel too bad, since no one watches either of those shows anyway. He's trying to play nice by telling fans not to blame ABC because the cancellations are because of "FCC heat," but that's most likely a lie since both of those shows are taped and could easily be edited, should he decide to blast middle America with more radioactive gay-ma rays. I can't even tell you how bored I am with all of this now. ABC needs to get over their issues and Adam needs to figure out what he was doing on American Idol that made people love him and get back to doing it again. Or maybe Adam should just smack a bitch and ABC would love him again. It worked for Chris Brown.
Quarterbacks Make The Darndest Faces - Just when you thought that nothing would be as funny as that famous picture of Phil Rivers, along comes a fantastic shot of pretty boy Tom Brady. Who wins?