Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Don't Care How "Trendy" This Seems

But I have a serious man crush on Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend. He's just an incredibly stylish, good-looking man.


iTunes Celebrity Playlists

So I've been trolling the iTunes celebrity playlists looking for people that I could conceivably get along with. Here's what I've discovered:

Danny Boyle (director, 28 Days Later, Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) has incredible taste in music, as does Rainn Wilson (The Office).

Kat Dennings has better taste than Michael Cera, and seems more clever too.

The Daily Show Correspondents listen to pretty crappy music, as does the entire cast of Entourage except, weirdly, Adrien Grenier.

Mike Myers is a Neutral Milk Hotel fan. Who knew?

Carlos Mencia is an ass, officially in every way now.

Vince Vaughn listens to a lot of country, but like cool country, old Merle Haggard stuff.

Alan Cumming (probably best known as Nightcrawler from X-Men 2) likes "No Diggity" by Blackstreet because it makes him think of bending girls over and slapping their asses, "in an ironic, modern-man sense of course."

Jason Bateman likes Belle and Sebastian and Pixies!

Wes Anderson has a predictably awesome list; so does the Schwartzman.

Zefron and V-Hudge have terrible taste, and can only name like five songs between them. I can't say I'm surprised.

Jason Lee's isn't bad.

John Cusack's list inexplicably has Bob Hope on it, and two Gnarls Barkley songs. And on that note, I haven't really listened to The Odd Couple, but Gnarls' first album, St. Elsewhere was unjustly overlooked. Skip "Crazy" and check out "Just a Thought," and you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, I'm over that. I just thought it was a fun diversion. Nighty-night and all that.

A Wild and Crazy Guy

I've always had some mixed feelings for Steve Martin. The Jerk is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, and from what I've heard of his early stand-up and SNL work, he was sort of a genius. Plus, he was often on The Muppet Show, which is awesome. But nowadays...Cheaper by the Dozen? The Pink Panther? These aren't just bad; given who made them, they're embarrassing.

However, Steve Martin is also an author. Sometimes his books become movies that are better than they should be (Shopgirl), and sometimes they do not (all of the other ones). His most recent, though, is his memoir Born Standing Up, a lucid and clever account of his early years, from his being a Disneyland employee on up to The Jerk and beyond. In reading, I realized something: this is where Steve Martin's been. It's like he's sleepwalking through the movies he's in and pouring all of his talent onto the printed page. A few excerpts:

"[Mitzi, my girlfriend] had been swept away by director John Frankenheimer, who, twenty years later, tried and failed to seduce my wife, the actress Victoria Tennant, whom he was directing in a movie. Mitzi was simply too alluring to be left alone in a foreign country, and I was too hormonal to be left alone in Hollywood. Incidentally, Frankenheimer died a few years ago, but it was not I who killed him."

"I learned a lesson: it was easy to be great. Every entertainer has a night when everything is clicking. These nights are accidental and statistical: Like lucky cards in poker, you can count on them occurring over time. What was hard was to be good, consistently good, night after night, no matter what the abominable circumstances."

I could find more, but I won't. I'll simply urge you to read it, because it's a quick read, and it's hilarious, and it's poignant, and it's oh-so-worth it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Top 20 Albums of 2008

Well crew, here it is. The top 20 list. I don't think I'm going to include blurbs on this one like last year's, if only for the sake of time, but we can discuss it in the comments section if you really want.


20. Saint Dymhpna by Gang Gang Dance.

19. Flight of the Conchords by Flight of the Conchords.

18. Hold On Now, Youngster... by Los Campesinos!

17. Attack & Release by the Black Keys.

16. The Bake Sale by the Cool Kids.

15. Modern Guilt by Beck.

14. Songs in A and E by Spiritualized.

13. In Ghost Colours by Cut Copy.

12. Santogold by Santogold.

11. Remind Me in 3 Days... by the Knux.

10. Oracular Spectacular by MGMT.

9. Feed the Animals Girl Talk.

8. Saturdays = Youth by M83.

7. Volume One by She & Him.

6. For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver.

5. Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend.

4. Dear Science by TV on the Radio.

3. Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes.

2. Nouns by No Age.

1. Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel by Atlas Sound.

So there you go, peoples! Discuss!

It's Been a While

But I'm back, again, to blog it all up, freestyle.

I want to make this a noteworthy post though, so...

The new Animal Collective album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, has leaked, and it's damn good. It's...dancier than earlier Animal Collective, but still obviously an AC record. I agree with what Stereogum had to say about it; it's time to start handicapping year-end Best of 2009 lists.

I had a link to it here for you, but I've been asked to remove it. Sorry guys.

my own Best of 2008 list will be coming soon.