Thursday, December 28, 2006

This Is The List That Rocks

The City Paper unveiled its list of the Top 21 albums of 2006 today based on careful calculations from staff picks (click #16 for my review of Belle and Sebastian's The Life Pursuit). As good as the list is in print, it’s even better online. I’ve already wasted the better part of an hour clicking on the wonderful Databot Listamatron. I love this thing! With a single click, it shows me that no other critic even considered Mastodon worthy of mention.

The Bloody Knee Jerk Albums of the Year List
1. Mastodon, Blood Mountain
2. Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
3. Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit
4. Wolfmother, Wolfmother
5. Artic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
6. The Decemberists, The Crane’s Wife
7. Islands, Return to the Sea
8. The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
9. Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You, and I Will Beat Your Ass!
10. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere

The Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America tops the CP list (#8 above), but other than Gnarls Barkley (#10, both lists), none of my choices resonated strongly enough to make the top 10. Three of my choices made the top 21, which speaks to the diversity of the critics and my list. As any good critic knows, there's a world of difference between studio and stage, so even though I ranked Wolfmother's album ahead of the Hold Steady this year, I was at the North Star for the Hold Steady and not the Electric Factory for Wolfmother on November 21, 2006. That said, both bands turned in fantastic performances at Lollapalooza in August.

Mastodon’s Blood Mountain reigns as my pick for album of the year because it’s been a long time since an album’s had me running around the room making train noises and ramming my head into the wall. Blood Mountain kicks so much ass that I couldn’t justify denying it top billing on my list just because Mastodon left Philly off their tour. Relapse Records (Mastodon’s label) is based in Upper Darby with a store just off South Street, and the band still skipped us. Unconscionable. Nonetheless, great music will prevail and I’m proud to say that I was the only reviewer putting Blood fuckin’ Mountain on my list, and number 1 to boot (black steel-toe, to the head).

It is impossible to hear every record released in a given year. I missed the Art Brut boat in 2005. Bang Bang Rock N Roll was released stateside in 2006, but putting it on my list would be akin to breaking my hip (Ha!), and I fear the wrath of Pelusi. Likewise, I only picked up Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury CD last week (after CP polls were closed). Holy shit, this is a fine piece of work. Maybe I’m crazy, but I would rank it #4, which means that Gnarls gets bumped.

It’s a top 10 list, not a top 100 list, so the following albums although quite good, didn’t make the cut: Ghostface Killa, Fishscale; Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope; Cat Power, The Greatest; M Ward, Post War; The Flaming Lips, At War with the Mystics, and 80 albums I’m forgetting. Cat Power’s album is amazingly beautiful, but my approach to these end-of-year lists precludes me from including it because I rarely have the desire to listen to it. It collects dust along with 88% of my CD collection, and I skip its songs when they come up on my iPod (although I don’t go so far as to remove them). Pretty songs put me to sleep.

It’s A Material World Award
Tool, 10,000 Days
Regardless of the quality of the music inside, the packaging on a Tool album is always a work of art. Be it the magic motion inserts on Aenima, the multi-layered psychedelic medical booklet for Lateralus, or the fold-out viewfinder on 10,000 Days, thes artwork is innovative, visually stunning, and recalls classic LP covers, such as the zipper on the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers and the wheel on Led Zeppelin III. Using the compact disc format to its full artistic potential is one way to discourage illegal downloading, and downloading in general.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Attention Chief Wiggum

Upcoming Philadelphia events:
Jan. 18, Bob Seger at the Spectrum
Jan. 19, Bob Saget at the Tower Theater

Fans of The Simpsons will recall the hilarious conversation between Lisa and Chief Wiggum in which he mistakes Bob Saget tickets for Bob Seger tickets. Mercy.

Worst. Post. Ever.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Ad It Up

Last Monday during Monday Night Football, two ads aired in succession that got me thinking.

The first ad was a postmodern piece for Sony's Playstation 3. It shows the product having a supernatural effect on a doll. What does it mean? Who cares? The ad doesn't have to make sense to sell this gaming console. Hell, Sony probably doesn't even need advertising to sell out this gaming console for Christmas. They could put a turd in a box, mark it PS3 and well...

The second ad took a more classic approach. It featured an iconic hero, a recognizable theme, and played to our love of the underdog. Yes, it was an ad for Rocky Balboa. Haters out there will put this movie down, but it can be argued that Rocky's done more good for Philadelphia in the past 30 years than anyone not named Rendell, Schmidt, or (person to be determined).


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Merry Lex-Mas: Let Them Eat Brakes

This Lexus commercial really bugs me.
Who are these suckers pulling their lawn chairs up to the curb outside this suburban McMansion to share the joy of a yuppie Christmas?
The poor? The hungry?
The huddled masses yearning to breathe free SUV exhaust?
Joy to the world.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peter Boyle, RIP: 1935--2006

The world bids farewell to La Salle University's most famous non-athlete graduate.
Peter Boyle died today at the age of 71.
Recommended viewing: Taxi Driver, Young Frankenstein, or that really excellent episode of The X-Files. Unable to find any of those titles, pick something else from the man's stellar resume.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Toast at Your Wake

See you in hell, teetotalers! I'll tip my 40 on your grave when I'm 150.
Oh wait, there's a moderation clause. Damn.


Monday, December 11, 2006

She Likes COLD Beverages

Woman in St. Louis kills her 70-year-old husband because he gave her a warm beer.
Damn, that's cold blooded.
Still, he should have known at his age not to give his best gal a warm beer. It doesn't matter that the electricity was out; a true player always has a bucket of ice on hand (or hoofs it to the 7-11) for just this kind of situation. Word.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Philadelphia Sixers: Don't Trade Iverson

So the Sixers are the only winter sports team in this town that hasn't won 6 games yet.
Now they're going to trade Allen Iverson.
I have nothing to add except: Don't trade your best player, you morons!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mastodon Fails to Rock Philly

Mastodon hates Philadelphia. There can be no other explanation for why there's no Philly date on their upcoming tour.

I was going to rank Blood Mountain in my Top 10 albums of 2006, but now I just don't know.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Are You Ready for Some Reading?

TV Guide is no longer just for TV listings and fanatics of "The Guide."

The Guide's weekly Monday Night Football blog by Philly talent Keith Presnall is essential Tuesday reading (and not just for the references to Chuck D, Stone Cold, and Dee Snyder).


Until Then, You're Not Right!

My beloved, 2006 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals have been selected to play in the first Civil Rights Game on March 31, 2007 in Memphis.

Their opponent? The Cleveland Indians.

Nothing like celebrating the civil rights movement while offending Native Americans.

If only I knew how to insert an MP3 of Atom and His Package's "If You Own the Washington Redskins, You're a Cock" here.