Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has a great, safe evening, whether you're spending it in a drunken haze (as I've so often done) or doing something low-key and what the kids would call "lame" (as I'm doing this year). I'll be with my dad and one of my niecelings, vegging out to the Twilight Zone marathon, and that's perfectly fine with me.

To put the cap on 2010, here is a fun little Facebook app I heard about from Brahm (one of my new favorite bloggers) that combines a handful of status updates from the year into a handy little collage. Enlarge to witness my randomness.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Year in Entertainment

Now that I've given you a year-end review of what really matters (music—in album and single form—and hot men) and some things that don't (memes), it's time to take a look at what the rest of the entertainment world had to offer.

Live Music
I don't see nearly as many concerts these days as I used to, back when ticket prices weren't outrageous. However, I did manage to catch a few shows this year.

The Best: Gorillaz at Madison Square Garden, NYC, October 8. Ah, it was wonderful to finally see Damon Albarn in the flesh, even if I wasn't in his lap as I had requested. Damon looked and sounded lovely and the set was packed with great tunes and special guests. The best part of all was that, thanks to a friend, I didn't even pay for the ticket, which would have normally cost a pretty penny. Actually, no...the best part may have been the discovery of MSG's awesome plastic beer mug with the pretzel rod-holder handle (captured here by another Gorillaz fan, along with some other great shots of the show). Yeah, I took two of those babies home.

The Rest:
Norah Jones at St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn, January 27
John Hiatt at Carnegie Library Music Hall, Pittsburgh, March 10
Lollapalooza at Grant Park, Chicago, August 6
Brendan Benson/The Posies at Mr. Small's Funhouse, Pittsburgh, November 11

I watch too much TV in general, yet somehow have managed to miss all the cricially acclaimed shows, like Breaking Bad and The Good Wife. I no longer have pay channels, so I simply can't watch biggies like True Blood and Dexter. But I also prefer comedies and garbage TV to dramas. Not that I don't enjoy any dramas...I do like Mad Men, but I've only seen up through Season 2 because I just kept forgetting to watch it. I'll have to start Netflixing it, but it's going to have to wait until I'm done with LOST, which I avoided during its entire run and am now obsessed with. I'm in the middle of Season 5 and it's blowing my mind, yo.

The Best: Community. If you watch it and have the ability to laugh, I don't see how this could even be up for debate. There is no other comedy on TV now (not even my beloved It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) that is this consistently laugh-out-loud funny. I think it's getting shafted (ratings and popularity-wise) being the lead-off show in NBC's stellar Thursday night lineup (well, it will be stellar once they get rid of Outsourced and bring Parks and Recreation back) because it should really be in the clean-up spot. I find that, while The Office and 30 Rock still crack me up, they're always like an anti-climax to the orgasmic hilarity of Community. Whenever I have to DVR everything, I always save it for last.

And because I know someone will mention it, I should just tell you right now that I've never seen Modern Family. Oh, I know, I's better than puppies farting rainbows. I'll get around to checking it out eventually.

The Rest: 30 Rock, The Office, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (an uneven season with some gems—see my Starpulse recaps), Glee, The Soup, Project Runway (despite crowning the worst winner ever—again, see my Starpulse recaps), Top Chef and Cash Cab (best game show EVER).

The Best of the Worst: Married to Rock. I'm sorry, but I can't look away from this show. How can you not be amused by Steve Stevens' wife and marvel at the level of Perry Farrell's p-whippedness? Also, hello? Duff McKagan!

I didn't go to the theater much. Since Netflix came into my life, I don't see the point.

The Best: This is a toughie, but I guess the two Leonardo DiCaprio mindbenders cancel each other out and Toy Story 3 comes out on top. It only seems fair, since I nearly peed myself with excitement when I first saw the teaser for it last year. And while the movie didn't end up the best of the Toy Story series (I still love Part 2 the most), it's a perfect ending (maybe?) and a beautifully-made film. It's definitely the most adult-themed installment of the franchise. That's why the overwhelming majority of those you heard blubbering in the darkened theaters were over 25.

The Rest: I'll have to do this a little differently than the other categories, by giving each movie I saw this year a grade. (I think these are in order of release, if Wikipedia can be trusted.) The ones I saw in the theater (or drive-in, in at least one case) are in red.

  • Frozen: B-
  • Shutter Island: A-
  • The Ghost Writer: B-
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: B
  • Date Night: C
  • After.Life: C
  • Sex and the City 2: D+
  • Grown Ups: C
  • Inception: A
  • Paranormal Activity 2: C

Duhhhhhh. This is, um, like my leastest literate year ever in forever and stuff. *sigh* I don't know what my problem is. Sometimes I get in these grooves where I read constantly and then sometimes I just don't feel like reading and the next thing I know, I've gone a whole year without reading anything more substantial than Entertainment Weekly. My BFF gave me Rob Sheffield's Talking to Girls About Duran Duran this summer, so that will probably be the first book I read when I turn my brain back on and stop drooling. One I won't be reading? Probably the one Nicole Richie wrote.

Other Good Stuff
  • Jimmy Fallon's Glee-tastic Emmy-opening performance of "Born to Run"
  • Betty White's comeback
  • American Idol, from a purely snarky standpoint
  • Kara DioGuardi's firing
  • The rise of Conan

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Top 25 Singles of 2010

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, ridicule and/or the obligatory "I can't believe x ranked higher than y" or "How could you forget [horrible noises] by [over-glorified über-indie hipster band of the moment]" comments. Have at it, monkeys.

Since this year was overflowing with great music, I've expanded my usual Top 20 list to a Top 25 and reinstated the "only one song per artist" rule.

And now, without further ado, here are the best singles of 2010!

25. World Sick
Broken Social Scene (from Forgiveness Rock Record)
Making a song about how fed up you are with the world's shit not sound preachy can be tricky business. Making a wall of five guitars sound melodious and uncluttered is even harder. And making a nearly seven-minute-long song seem just long enough has gotta be extremely tough. But somehow BSS easily manages all of these things.

24. The Mighty Sparrow
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (from The Brutalist Bricks)
This song just rocks, plain and simple. And for some reason, Ted's voice at the beginning reminds me of Cameron Frye trying to sound like Sloane Peterson's dad. "When the cafe doors exploded...Call me sir, goddammit!" Maybe it's just me, I don't know.

23. Fool's Day
Blur (non-album single)
OK, so this song wouldn't make my Top 25 Blur songs, but after seven years with no new songs, it was nice to be reminded that they've never officially broken up. I stick by my original assessment of it, that it's a "sweet, lovely, poppy song that seems to be quite literally about Damon Albarn's everyday life (in which I would love to spend just one day) and the band getting back together to record this song."

22. All You Need Is Now
Duran Duran (from All You Need Is Now)
Upon hearing the news that the Double D was releasing a new album, my squealy reaction was one only dogs, dolphins and 13-year-old girls could hear. They just managed to drop this single in under the wire and OF COURSE it made my list. It's vintage Duran. (Thank you, Mark Ronson, for wiping away all the slickness that Justin Timberlake tried to smear all over my boys.)

21. Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)
The Wombats (from This Modern Glitch)
Here's another band of Brits I was happy to hear are releasing a new album in 2011. It should be no surprise that I love these guys, as they owe quite a bit to both Duran Duran and Blur for their sound. "Tokyo," the first single, is a catchy, synth-laden dance hall track you might expect from Duran while a promised single, "Jump Into the Fog" (previously offered as a free download on the band's official website) borrows a bit from both bands.

20. Tiny Light
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (from Grace Potter & The Nocturnals)
A nice mix of pop, rock and blues from a critically acclaimed album that turned out to be quite a letdown. This truly is the one tiny, shining light on the record, which is full of boring "I'm a sexy chick rocker" crap, especially the abysmal second single, "Ooh La La." (Never EVER to be confused with Goldfrapp's awesome jam of the same name.)

19. O.N.E.
Yeasayer (from Odd Blood)
I never go dancing anymore, but this is the kind of song that makes waiting on line for a half hour to pay a $10 cover to jam myself into a sweaty club that doesn't actually provide enough room to dance sound like a good idea.

18. Sea Change
Turin Brakes (from Outbursts)
This British duo isn't all that extraordinary, but they always manage to put out one song that really grabs me every time they release a record. (Their 2003 single "Pain Killer" was one of my favorite songs of the decade.) This one sounds like a lost track from Rumours or Tusk. So much so that these guys should really be paying Lindsey Buckingham royalties.

17. The Sound of Sunshine
Michael Franti & Spearhead (from The Sound of Sunshine)
I say it every list: every year has to have one and this was 2010's "feel-good song of the summer!"

16. Giving Up the Gun
Vampire Weekend (from Contra)
And here's another feel-good song. You know, I was never a fan of this band. I remember seeing them on SNL when they released their first album and wondering what the hell all the hype was about. It just sounded like a bunch of kids banging on shit in an alley to me. But there are some really catchy songs on Contra. Of course, these guys should be paying Paul Simon royalties for a lot of them (including this one). Still, derivative or not, I actually prefer this album to Graceland.

15. Alive
Goldfrapp (from Head First)
I already waxed poetic over the "Xana-super-duperness" of the new Goldfrapp record in my Best Albums So Far post, so I won't continue to blather on about it. But wow, I really need to start roller skating again.

14. Hurricane J
The Hold Steady (from Heaven is Whenever)
As with Vampire Weekend, I was never a fan of these guys during all the time they were being showered with praise from every angle, but this new album totally won me over. (I may have to go back and give their catalog another chance.) This is just one of many great anthemic tunes that begs to be belted out. Also, I like to think that this song was at least partly inspired by the classic Rex Smith TV movie, Sooner or Later.

13. Clear Skies
Keane (from Night Train)
I guess Keane has kind of a wussy reputation, but I don't care what anyone says. This is a great song. There are hand claps. And you all know (or you should) how I feel about hand claps. There may be some cowbell too. I swear I hear it.

12. Teenage Dream
Katy Perry (from Teenage Dream)
I guess this is the only bona fide Top 40 "bubblegum" pop song on the list, but it totally deserves to be here. Groan all you want, but you're probably singing the chorus RIGHT NOW. When "California Gurls" came out, I didn't think Katy could ever top its catchiness, but then she totally did with the very next single. However, the third time was not even more charming. If I ever hear that stupid "Firework" song again, I'm going to blow something up with an M-80.

11. Bloodbuzz Ohio
The National (from High Violet)
I won't pretend to understand what the hell this song is about (being carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees?) but I do GET it. It's like Bruce Springsteen, (old) INXS and Joy Division jumped into one of those telepod thingymadoos, got fused together and created something super-cool.

10. Crash Years
The New Pornographers (from Together)
How can you hear Neko Case's voice and not want to put her on a list of things that are good?

9. Burning the Bowery
Jesse Malin & The St. Marks Social (from Love it to Life)
I really fell in love with this album quickly, but I have to admit that the honeymoon is coming to an end. I still like it; I'm just not sure it's as great as I first thought. I stick by this single though. It's Bruce Springsteen after kicking those other guys out of the pod and inviting Ryan Adams in.

8. No Tears to Cry
Paul Weller (from Wake Up the Nation)
I love The Modfather, so I was pretty sad that I found his album disappointing overall. But this song is one of his catchiest yet, with blue eyed soul dripping from every note.

7. The Ghost Inside
Broken Bells (from Broken Bells)
I am such a sucker for a dude with a good falsetto. And I never expected to hear one from James Mercer, but he gets all Prince up in this bitch. Oh, and there are lots of hand claps to keep me (and you) happy.

6. Do You Love Me?
Guster (from Easy Wonderful)
Speaking of great falsetto and happy happy hand claps, there are plenty (along with some great chimes and doo-doo-doos) in this jangly power pop masterpiece. I keep wondering if I should have placed it higher.

5. On Melancholy Hill
Gorillaz (from Plastic Beach)
I think I've talked about this song here more than any other song released this year, so I don't know what there is left to say. Gorillaz released a slew of other amazing singles in 2010: "Stylo," "Superfast Jellyfish," "Rhinestone Eyes" and "Doncamatic," making picking just one a difficult task. But the '80s synth here just makes me feel all warm inside, and Damon singing a straight-up love song is too irresistible. I like to put on my headphones and imagine that we're propelling our way through the plastic sea in our little submarine, manatee-watching when we're not snuggled together drinking tea. Yeah, I need a date.

4. Everlasting Light
The Black Keys (from Brothers)
Ahhhh, more falsetto (and the all-important hand claps) from an unexpected source—this time it's the sex-tastic Dan Auerbach, whom, admittedly, I would not find nearly as sex-tastic if not for his guitar and vocal prowess. I had a hard time picking between this song and the sex-tastic "Tighten Up," but the falsetto won in the end. Oh, and because I feel like saying it one more time, "sex-tastic."

3. Fuck You!
Cee Lo Green (from The Lady Killer)
I can't stand hearing the cleaned-up version of this song (just because I hate when the radio and/or "the man" butchers perfectly good tunes), but if it hadn't originally been written with obscenities, I think it would still have been just as popular. This song is universally-liked, right? I don't know anyone who doesn't like it. Or maybe I just don't want to.

2. Laredo
Band of Horses (from Infinite Arms)
This song narrowly missed the top spot. There was just another song that grabbed me tighter. (You're almost there!) But hey, Band of Horses shouldn't feel too bad because their album was the best of the year. Can these guys be hugely famous now, please? What more do they need to do? All get bowl haircuts and throw more "babys" into their songs?

1. Bushwick Blues
Delta Spirit (from History from Below)
You know, I considered moving to Bushwick once. (It's one of the few NYC neighborhoods where the rent is NOT too damn high. But the rapist to regular guy ratio probably is.) My old roommate wasn't having any of it, so we never did move. I guess I can thank him for that. Aaaanyway...the first time I heard this song, I thought, "Wow, this could be my favorite of the year," and I never did change my mind. I'm a sucker for songs about New York and tales of doomed love, so what more could I want? I guess maybe some hand claps, but I can't be so picky when faced with such a great tune.

Honorable mentions: "Amongst the Waves," Pearl Jam; "Baby Lee," Teenage Fanclub; "Boy," Ra Ra Riot; "Clap Your Hands," Sia; "Rules Don't Stop," We Are Scientists; "Young Blood," Norah Jones

It may shock some of you that Eddie Vedder's solo tune from the Eat Pray Love soundtrack, "Better Days," didn't make my list. I swear it has nothing to do with him getting married this year. He's just capable of writing much better songs. That one was just average.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hi, kids! Was Santa good to you this year? Or did he just eat all of your cookies, knock up your daughter and leave a couple of scratch-off tickets under your tree?

Well, if you are feeling a little shortchanged, BeckEye Claus has a little gift for you. Last year, I parked a sleigh full of Christmas tunes (and some personal favorites) on my blog, from which many of you grabbed plenty of goodies. If you didn't get any (or enough) last time, never fear. I've loaded up the sleigh again for your musical enjoyment!

For those of you who took home a virtual sack of tracks last year: you should definitely take another peek inside BeckEye's magic sleigh. You might just spot a few new tunes this go-round.

Clicky quickly! The sleigh will be empty tomorrow!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Veddermas!

A very Merry Veddermas to everyone! I hope you're all drinking many bottles of wine in celebration of our musical saviour, born on this day 46 years ago.

Yes, I'm still observing Veddermas, even though Eddie decided to get married this year. TO A MODEL. Not very godlike, if you ask me. Well, it's exactly what that crazy bastard Zeus would do, but none of the top gods would. Then again, they're not exactly chick magnets...the Christian God is a single dad, Allah has a violent streak, Krishna has too much of a Big Love thing going on, Jah's stoned all the time and Buddha...well, he's not even really a god. I mean, if he were, I'm sure he would've given himself some hair and tight abs.

So, what was my point? I don't know, but I should probably just wish you all a Merry Veddermas one last time and end this post before someone declares a holy war on my blog. I think I'm still on a few "lists" due to my Eddie/Jesus comparison a couple of years back.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Firecrotch of the Year

The suspense is over! And, even though the poll results are visible, this year's announcement really is suspenseful because the voting ended in a tie!

Of course, this puts me in the rather uncomfortable position of having to break the tie with my own vote. I tried to get some advice from firecrotch expert Brandon Davis but, when I called, I was told he was at the doctor getting his oil changed. It's a lengthy, complicated process and I just didn't have the time to wait. So, the decision fell completely on my shoulders.

So who will it be? Words Words Words or McGone?? McGone or Words Words Words??

The winner of the most coveted award in all of blogdom is...McGone!

Congrats, McGone. Even though your blogfire went out long ago, your man bush still burns.

Sorry, WWW. I just thought McGone's winning quotes were funnier overall. His January quote is still one of my absolute favorites. And you won last year, bitch, so stop crying. And put down the gun.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sonic Sunday: The Rest of 2010's Best Albums

And now, the continuation of my July post, The Best Albums of the Year...So Far. Just to jog your memories, the first five albums on the list were:

  • Infinite Arms, Band of Horses
  • Broken Bells, Broken Bells
  • Head First, Goldfrapp
  • Plastic Beach, Gorillaz
  • Together, The New Pornographers
There were also some "honorable mentions," so if you want to see those, please check out the whole post. I'd just like to correct something, though: I take back my honorable mention for Paul Weller's Wake Up the Nation. While I love Paul and think he had one of the best singles of the year (more on that next week), the entire album turned out to be rather disappointing. I think I hastily gave it a nod because the few songs I heard at that point were pretty good and I was just excited that Paul had something new out.

The first five (as well as this five) were in alphabetical (by artist), not preferential, order. But as it happens, that gorgeous Band of Horses album is my absolute favorite of the year. If you don't own it yet...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Here now are the rest of the best albums of the year:

Brothers, The Black Keys

As you might remember from my Lollapalooza post, I wasn't even familiar with The Black Keys until I caught their set at Lolla this year. They left a huge impression on me (I believe I described their live show as a "face-melting, ovary-exploding sonic blast"), so I immediately picked up this album and as much of their older stuff as I could get my hands on.

Listen to "Tighten Up."
Other choice cuts: "Everlasting Light," "The Only One," "Ten Cent Pistol"

The Lady Killer, Cee Lo Green
Like everyone else in the world, I became instantly hooked on Cee Lo's bubbly single, "Fuck You!," a song that, despite its title and F-bomb laden chorus, managed to become a mainstream hit. (Of course, if I never hear it again on the radio it will be too soon, because the sanitized version really needs to, well, fuck off.) I bought the entire record based on the strength of that one amazing song, cringing all the while in anticipation of this being yet another case of one gem tucked into a sea of filler. However, I'm happy to report that The Lady Killer is an absolute delight. While no other track can touch "Fuck You!" (and no one could really expect that), the record is full of Motown throwbacks and sexy soul numbers, making it an ideal companion for driving, dancing or you-know-whatting. And despite my slight aversion to covers, Cee Lo's unexpected R&B reworking of Band of Horses' "No One's Gonna Love You" really knocked me out.

Listen to "It's OK."
Other choice cuts: "Fuck You!," "Wildflower" "No One's Gonna Love You"

Heaven is Whenever, The Hold Steady
I have never liked The Hold Steady. But because all the cool kids (and even some of the uncool ones) talked incessantly about how great they were, I tried to get into them. After giving them several chances, I still JUST. DIDN'T. GET. IT. Then, of course, the praise started up again when they released Heaven is Whenever, but I staunchly refused to listen to any of it. So, imagine my surprise when I was grooving along to an unknown song one day on my beloved WYEP and the DJ said it was something new from The Hold Steady. OK, so one song was decent. It was probably a fluke, right? No. After hearing about 3-4 songs from this record, I had to begrudgingly admit that it sounded pretty damn good. And then once I bought it, there was no longer anything begrudging about my love for it. It's just a fantastic album. Craig Finn's voice doesn't even annoy the hell out of me on this go-round. I don't know what they're doing differently, but I hope it continues.

Listen to: "Our Whole Lives."

Other choice cuts: "Hurricane J," "The Weekenders," "Soft in the Center"

Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, Bettye LaVette
As I mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of cover songs. So, normally, I would never give a whole album of covers such high praise, but Bettye's latest—an homage to some very deserving Brit Rockers—is worthy. Sure, some songs work better than others; the "All My Love" cover kind of rubs me the wrong way, but that could just be because I'm a giant Zeppelin freak. But the tracks that do work (and that's the bulk of them) are fantastic. The first of these songs that I heard (aside from her stunning version of "Love Reign O'er Me," which she performed at the Kennedy Center Honors a couple of years ago) was the cover of Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy," which is so perfectly transformed that I didn't even recognize it.

Listen to: "It Don't Come Easy."
Other choice cuts: "Love Reign O'er Me," "Nights in White Satin," "Salt of the Earth"

Love it to Life, Jesse Malin & The St. Marks Social
While I think Jesse is a good songwriter (palling around with Bruce Springsteen and Ryan Adams has gotta be good for something), he's never been able to keep my interest for more than a few songs. (It may have something to do with his clothespin-on-the-nose style of singing.) However, his first single "Burning the Bowery" really won me over, so I checked out the album's song samples on Amazon. It didn't take me very long to decide to buy the whole thing. This record certainly isn't going to change the world (or even the roots rock/alt-country world) but it will make your morning commute totally bearable.

Listen to: "All the Way from Moscow."

Other choice cuts: "Burning the Bowery," "St. Mark's Sunset," "The Archer"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Hotties of 2010

I've done a few of these "hot lists" before and, if you're a long-time reader, you might be aware that I can sometimes be fickle or just downright forgetful. Therefore, I've decided to honor hotness on an annual basis. See, I might still love Jeremy Sisto and Hugh Jackman, but where were they this year? Who knows? If they couldn't be bothered to strut their stuff, then I can't be bothered to publicly salivate over them.

One thing: since I don't anticipate my Top 4 ever changing, rather than bore everyone by putting them on every year's list, I've decided to canonize them. As the Patron Saints of Hotness, St. John, St. Eddie, St. Ewan and St. Damon will watch over my anointed ones, helping them pray to the Gods of Good Looks for continued blessings.

And Top 10 Hotties of 2010!

1. Jonathan Groff
The best thing Glee ever did was get this yummy young Broadway star to guest in the latter half of its first season. The worst thing it ever did was not offering him a full-time gig he couldn't refuse. But I've heard that he's definitely coming back this season, so there's that to look forward to. (It just better not be for, like, one episode in which he gets five lines.) And because I can sense that someone is going to leave me a comment that he's gay: I KNOW. What's your point?

2. Joe Manganiello
I've had the hots for Joe since his bit part as Mary Jane's jerkoff boyfriend in Spider-Man, a role that not many people seem to remember him for. Now, with his new role as a werewolf on True Blood (which I can't watch because I no longer have HBO), he's finally becoming a household name. I've never been a fan of facial hair beyond a little sexy scruff, but this guy makes all that fur look good. Sadly, even though he's from Pittsburgh, I never had the pleasure of running into him around town. Just my luck.

3. Joel McHale
Snark is sooo sexy. Not only has Joel made The Soup required viewing, but he's also partly responsible for making Community the funniest show on TV. (I'll be talking more about that next week.)

4. Jon Hamm
Yes, Jon is impossibly handsome, but that alone doesn't necessarily make a sexy guy. That he's also extremely funny and seemingly down-to-earth? Well, that just makes his existence completely unfair. Hey, did I ever tell you guys that I had a dream fairly recently about Joel McHale AND Jon Hamm, in which I didn't have sex with either one? Boy, did I ever wake up pissed off.

5. Charlie Hunnam
I've never watched Sons of Anarchy, even though I've heard tons of great things about it. But when I recently discovered that one of the main characters is played by the same adorable Heath Ledger-esque Brit who played Lloyd on Undeclared, I vowed to try to catch the show one of these days. Until then, I'll just pray that Charlie shaves off that scraggly flesh beard. I won't hold my breath though, because his show's in no danger of being canceled, and I guess no one would take a clean-shaven biker very seriously.

6. Jason Sudeikis
Easily the funniest guy on SNL, Jason could almost be Joel McHale's less sarcastic, nicer cousin. He's just plain adorable, whether he's dancing backup to "What's Up With That," being an "A-hole," turning up as the long-forgotten 4th gang member on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or sweetly defending girlfriend January Jones' atrocious Emmy night dress.

7. Leonardo DiCaprio
So, Leo may have made a lot of people's "hot lists" over the years, but I would have never put him on mine. I mean, I always thought he was an attractive enough guy, but I just never saw what all the fuss was about. However, I really started to become a Leo fan after seeing his amazing performance in Revolutionary Road. And when I saw Shutter Island in February, I felt a tingling that I never felt while watching one of Leo's movies before. Turns out most of the tingling was in my neck and lower back because we got to the theater late on opening weekend and ended up having to sit in the dreaded front row. But still, about 1/3 of the way into the movie, I turned to my roommate and whispered, "I don't know if it's because his face is 10 stories tall or what, but I am finding him exceptionally hot in this movie." As someone who felt much the same way I did about Leo, she was amazed to find that she was thinking the same thing. I don't know what happened...maybe Leo just wears crazy really well.

8. Matt Bomer
Matt's the second gay on my list (come on, did you really think any man this pretty would be straight?) and the second with ties to Pittsburgh. Although he's from Texas, he graduated from CMU. He went there before I moved to New York, so it's not really fair that I never saw him around town either. (Believe me, I would have never left if I'd been spending my days chilling with Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer. "Chilling" being code for something much, much dirtier.) And Matt's the third guy on my list who stars on a well-received TV show (two, actually: White Collar and Chuck) that I've never seen. I really need to reassess my viewing schedule.

9. Mark Sanchez
While I don't care at all about the New York Jets (I'm only concerned with the Steelers beating them this weekend), I do enjoy watching their QB move around the field. Also, I'm so glad that there's another dreamboat in the league to take some of the attention away from Tawmmy Brady and Wes Welkaah.

10. Johnny Iuzzini
I don't know what it is I like about this guy. Is it the insane pompadour? Is it the resemblance to Chris Parnell? Is it his way with pastries? Is it that he's most likely gay? Whatever it is, it made me watch Top Chef: Just Desserts, even thought it wasn't nearly as enjoyable as the original Top Chef.

Honorable mentions: Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Dan Auerbach, Ian Somerhalder, Tom Hardy and Chris Hemsworth.

Oh, and while we're on the subject of hot stuff, don't forget to vote for Firecrotch of the Year! You only have until midnight on Sunday 12/19 to cast your ballot! Check out all of the contenders here, and then vote in the poll in the far sidebar.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The 7 Worst Christmas Songs

I know a lot of you grinches out there hate Christmas music in general, but I love it. The vast majority is pretty awesome. But there are some songs that make me want to jam boughs of holly through my ear canals. Hence, this post.

So, why only seven? Why not 10 or 15 or 20? Uh, because why would I want to subject myself to thinking about that many P.O.S. songs? These seven are plenty to fill my head with dreams of war on earth and ill will to men.

"Silent Night," traditional - I know. I'm going to Hell. But seriously, this song is sooooo boooooring. Not even the greatest singer in the universe could make this enjoyable. I know it's supposed to be very holy and all that good stuff, but come on! "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing" is peppy. What about "Joy to the World?" The tempo takes nothing away from the holiness. And then there's my favorite religious carol, "O Holy Night." Yes, still rather pious but it has some oomph to it. Perhaps what's really ruined "Silent Night" for me is my yearly trip to church for the midnight service, during which the tone deaf congregation is invariably forced to drone through this song.

Shame on these owners for torturing their adorable dog this way.

"Christmastime," Smashing Pumpkins - Seriously, who thought this was a good idea? I'm sorry, but I can't accept a Christmas song from a guy who looks like Nosferatu and sounds like someone's soul dying.

"Back Door Santa," Clarence Carter - Speaking of bad ideas...hey, what says Christmas more than anal sex? Apparently, Bon Jovi thought, "nothing," as they chose to cover this for the first A Very Special Christmas CD. Because what says the Special Olympics more than anal sex?

"Christmas Griping," R.E.M. - I like R.E.M., so I usually choose to forget this rambling set to music exists. I guess they thought this would be really alternative and cool and funny, but it's none of those things. Unless "alternative" in this case means "the opposite of something tolerable."

"Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas," John Denver - Please Daddy, get drunk and smash that kid's record player.

"Wonderful Christmastime," Paul McCartney - I don't think there's another song out there that fills me with as much utter, irrational rage as this one does. I can't even put my finger on why I hate it so much. It's just an awful, terrible, repulsive, egregious song.

"The Christmas Shoes," NewSong - Now, I can put my finger on why I hate this one: IT'S NOTHING BUT MANIPULATIVE DRECK. Honestly, in real life, that stupid kid would be nothing more than a con artist who doesn't even know his mother. He dupes working stiffs suffering from Christmas guilt into buying him moderately-priced shoes, which he then passes off as Louboutins and sells them out of his trunk at "sale prices" of like $400.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vote For Firecrotch of the Year!

Many crotches burned brightly in 2010, but the time has come to name Firecrotch of the Year. And that decision will be left up to YOU!

To vote for your favorite Firecrotch, please review this year's winning entries:

Boonie S: October
Catherinette: March
Cormac Brown: July
Ed: August
Flannery Alden: June
Gwen: November
McGone: January, April
Scope: May
The Real Johnson: September
Words Words Words: February, December

Is it a horse race between the two two-time champs, McGone and Words Words Words? Do Flannery and Gwen's runner up captions in other months add to their Firecrotch cred? Did someone else's flash of one-time brilliance win you over? Or will you just vote for whoever offers to send you Christmas cookies?

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.

Voting will remain open until December 19, and the winner will be announced one week from today, on December 20!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Caption Crotch-test Contest #41: The Finale, Pt. II

Two amorous brown bears roll their eyes as they are reminded that Kardashians only date black bears.

And with that, Words Words Words puts my caption contest to bed. Thanks to all of you who suck at captioning, because I love reading your entries and calling you lamewads behind your backs. But mostly, thanks to those of you who brought the funny. May your crotchfires rage against the dying of the light, forever and ever amen.

This month's runners up are:

Because I'm so happy to see him again (and, of course, it's apt): "We were wondering what to do with those unsold copies of 'Kardashian Konfidential,' and Charmin's offer was too good to be true!" - The Imaginary Reviewer

Because there's gotta be a moral in there somewhere: The Charmin Bears discuss whether Kim's ass is too small, too big, or just right. - Words Words Words (yeah, him again)

Because I constantly need to be reminded of the Pope's faith: "Is The Pope Catholic? Do two bears tag team Kim Kardashian in the woods?" - Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Because I want to believe there really is a Whoreville: Embarrassingly, as he took the stage to present her with the key to the city, the mayor of Whoreville realized he had worn the same thing as Kim's date. - The Real Johnson

Coming soon: Cast your ballot for Firecrotch of the Year!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

2010: The Year in Memes

(Click to enlarge.)

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Internet Sensations of 2010

And already the "Best Of" crap starts. As promised!

I thought about doing a Top 10 or Top 5 list of this year's Internet sensations but, being the cyber-supernovas that they are, most of them are usually forgotten after a few months. Instead, I'm going to honor the two Internet stars that are still burning brightly in our universe, and who have the best chance of some day turning up as the answer to a question in Trivial Pursuit or—gasp—maybe even Jeopardy!

#2 - Bear Vasquez, aka Double Rainbow Guy
How many of us can say we've seen a double rainbow? Hmm, not too many, right? Well, how many of us can say we've seen a video of a double rainbow while an unseen dude orgasms/cries/loses his mind over it? I'm betting all of your hands went up. While we still might not know what it means, one thing is for sure: it's so intense.

These days, thanks to the brilliant bastards at Auto-Tune the News, every great Internet sensation gets their own Auto-Tuned song, and I've already decided that the "Double Rainbow" song will one day be my wedding song. And this may partially explain why no guy has asked me to marry him yet.

#1 - Antoine Dodson
Attempted rape is no laughing matter, but somehow this flamboyant Alabama man made it so. Reporters invariably choose the strangest people to interview, and not one to let the media down, Antoine gave probably the greatest "eyewitness account" in TV news history.

Antoine quickly (and smartly) cashed in on his newfound fame and, based on his website and other TV/Web appearances, he seems like a totally cool guy. I'd love to hang out with him. As long as it's not in Lincoln Park, 'cause, well, you know.

And if Antoine's interview itself wasn't good enough, the subsequent "Bed Intruder" song turned out to be better than half the crap on the radio.

Make your own bid for Internet stardom by entering my most recent (and final) caption contest!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Caption Crotch-test Contest #41: The Finale, Pt. I

Well, this is it, kids. Last caption contest. Last chance to feel that familiar burning in your loins. Make it good. Make me proud.


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

My photo
I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine