Tuesday, December 25, 2007

multiple O's with 1 in front of them (yes it was cheap and easy, of course i went for it) :: musical edition

i was originally going to start this final entry of 2007 with 'omg srsly wtf y'all, where did 2007 doth go?' but then i realized, holy shit- 2007 has been an epic year. i dunno about the rest of you, but this past collection of 365 days has been nothing short of extraordinary- not that anything earth shattering happened, mind you. i didn't grow up or grow a set, man up or branch out. nobody i know kicked it, a few got married and spawned, and some made offers on houses; we're growing up but not losing our dumb and young sensibilities.

truly, i'm not gonna lie guys. i've met some amazing people this year, gone through some batshit crazy transitions, and despite not trying or meaning to, have changed who i am as a person. but i know that as b, the snarktastic blogstress, you are expecting at least a modicum of bitchery and listings of 10, so i will keep the existential ponderings for my lj or myspace or what the fuck ever, because this particular entry of wordage and babble is about something we can all agree on, bc for the most part, we all have ears*:

music. say what you will, but 2007 was a fucking amazing year sonically. any set of 12 months that comes complete with reunions of rage against the machine *and* the spice girls, new albums from NIN and radiohead, the latter being released online only and for what *you* wish to pay out of your pretty pocket, and the complete sonic meltdowns despite musical bolsterings of amy winehouse and little miss b spears = awesome. and, okay. much to the obvs, i'm not gonna even start pretending to know everything or anything about music. i've dabbled with songwriting and slapdashery of microphone abuse, and at one point used to crave writing for the big guns at spin, relishing the thought of reviewing tunes for money. but no more. i realize it's totally subjective, and quite frankly, i'm fine with that. also, i love spin for giving me two free subscriptions this year with my coachella and vegoose tickets, but for fuck's sake, they are so pretentious that i really will only read it for free and for what it's worth, those concert tickets were so expensive anyway that 12 magazines is the least i could get out of it for free. also, stop making up band names. i swear, spin. you're just making shit up to make yourselves sound more awesome. cut it out. nobody cares.

um, right. this was at one point about my favorite music of the year. let's hop back to it. so, i did not hear arcade fire at coachella, or manage to find the aural time for spoon's 2007 offering. i loathe justin timberlake and couldn't give a damn about the motherfucking killers or she wants revenge. i'm not gonna lick rolling stone's bunghole and even pretend for a millionth of a second that my opinion matters or that i know what's up. my ears are unsophisticated and ragged, and truth be told i'd probably love a rollicking two-minute pop tune more than a seven-minute masterpiece by some rock legend everyone's worshiping post-cbgb destruction. blah blah blah. shut up. it's called taste because it's personal, not because it's forced. also, i'm slightly defensive. some find it charming.

anyway, here. have the first in a three-part entry, and stay tuned (or not, i know all the planet save for one or two of you is tuned out anyway) for the second and third entries coming before the year is out. hopefully. i mean, not that punctuality matters anyway. actually it might, considering one of my christmas gifts was an alarm clock, but, details. anyway, this collection is thusly and enigmatically entitled:

my ten favorite songs of the year, my ten favorite albums of the year, and my ten favorite musical moments of the year, because 2007 was awesome, and this is how i'm sending it out in style, bitches

first things first: ten awesome songs that own on their own, album or no album, and these are in no particular order, i'm too gd lazy for that sort of craziness:

(oh and ps, where available, youtubey goodness of videos and/or just plain songs have been provided, bc i'm nice to you bastards)

1. say --john mayer
(click this thingey to see the video, but mostly hear the song)
yeah. okay. fine. this pretty much outs me as a sentimental bastard, as much as i try to hide behind cursing, cheap tricks and asshattery. this song is just beautiful. it's strong and comforting, it's got a string section that turns me to jelly, and john mayer is not telling anybody that her body is a wonderland. it is four minutes so full of solid truthiness that i don't care if it treacles out at the end: say what you need to say. amen, whitey whiterson soul brother, amen.

2. sober --kelly clarkson
(le click for le song)
say what you will about miss clarkson (i'll go ahead and say it: 'my december' = not as good as it could have been. yeah i said it, you wanna fight?), but this song is perfection. maybe it's due to our inherent ability to see so much of humanity in the lyrics, or that my idiotic self can identify with a verse in some noble, fucked up way. maybe we like songs with repetetive choruses, however vigilant and strong they may be. whatever the case may be, this song is my top-played on itunes and it is with reason. it is stone and mortar resolve fashioned out of nothing but hope. call me crazy, but i love hanging on the wire like that. this song is just as it sounds: soft, but strong. scared, but dignified. sobriety optional. (though probably helpful, because i learned this year that hangovers suck balls.)

3. quiero --alejandra alberti
(click for musical goodness)
i have no idea who this girl is, or what the frick she's saying. she could be telling us all that the apocalypse is surely mounting, but she seems happy about it, so i'm sold. this breezy little thing was a free download on itunes sometime in the spring and oh my god, it's adorable. it's like the charmin puppy of free songs. wait. charmin uses bears, doesn't it? who uses that little puppy- cottonelle? oh who gives a flying fuckling- point is, this song is quirky happy spanish pop in a bottle three and a half minute bottle. try not to love it.

4. dignity --hilary duff
(press this thing if you want to hear the awesome.)
oh, the duffster. not gonna shit you guys, i love her. (in case you haven't figured it out in months prior, or even further up in this post, i have absolutely no shame. just making sure that's out there.) i have a not-so-secret adoration for her remixes, and i always take 'metamorphosis' with me when i go to the gym. (hahahahah. that makes it sound like i go to the gym. hee.) but 'dignity' is grown-into-her-veneers hilary. it. is. awesome. it's slick, bitchy, and so damn true. it's not news when you've got a new bag, and it's not news when somebody slaps you. eat it, lindsay/paris/britney/whoever. even if you don't dig on the duff, give this song a listen. it's a hilarious yet oh-so-true send-up of the obsessive tabloid era we live in. plus it is ever so danceable, and that's obviously the important part.

5. all my heroes are weirdos --!!! (chk chk chk)
(i dunno, my heroes are relatively well-balanced, but click here to judge for yourself.)
this song is the weirdest little hybrid i've ever met. it makes you want to mosh and headbang while at the same time making you wish you could just space out under the sky and stare at cloud shapes. it is quite possibly a shape-shifting amoeba of a song, with sparse lyrics and a drumbeat that hops all over the place, percussion-heavy and guitar-lite...but it's badass. there is no denying. don't hurt yourself, you've never heard of these guys (i only know of them via coachella and having no show to go to during the 4:00 hour so i settled and damn am i glad i did), but at least give this tune a whirl.

6. girlfriend --avril lavigne ft. lil' mama
(for the record, i covet the pink 'stang in this video. someone get it for me.)
oh come on, you knew i was gonna throw some avril into the mix here. and while the original version of this song is absolutely pitch-perfect pop, the remix is stellar in a box of super. it is a sonic equivalent of caffeinated schnapps, and by that i mean it is impossibly juvenile and non-threatening at first, and then completely spastic and wall-bouncing for the duration. lil' mama wins at raptastic rapid fire, and yanks control from little miss lavigne (well, i guess it's mrs now, but, whatever) for every verse (and if you're as whitey whiterson as i am, you totally know all the lyrics and can actually, uh, 'sing' along. remember what we talked about? no shame. that's right.) but the glory of the schoolyard stomp chorus and bridge belongs purely to the obnox canadian in an absolutely perfect remix adaptation type thingey. no, really. give it a whirl. you like it. i promise. and if not, too bad, you already listened and i won.

7. you give me something --james morrison
(you know you want to hear the fabulousness of soulful ambiguity.)
i know. what the shit am i doing with a love song in this little mix tape of sorts? well, fuck off. listen to the lyrics first of all- it is an *ambivolent* song about *potential* love. this is exactly the kind of song my heart would sing if it were capable of potentially adoring the crap out of somebody. it boils down to 'well, i can't quite guarantee you anything, but...uh...i kinda like you. i might love you. but don't push me. i'm scared. but don't run away goddammit.' plus, dude's voice is hot, and the horn section is gloriously sweeping. it's basically an epic love song for the undecided and emotionally withholding. and that is why it's on this list goddammit.

8. becoming insane --infected mushroom
(press here to become insane along with the rest of us)
this is quite honestly one of the best album-opening tracks i've ever heard. it's killer. it builds so perfectly, from eastern strings to backbeat to layer upon layer to vocals to smashing guitar to all hell breaking loose. it's a romping good time through the limbic system, y'all. i can't elaborate on it much more than that except to say it's infected goddamn mushroom, so why would it be anything less than awesome? exactly.

9. work that --mary j blige
(work it out ladies. or gentlemen. i don't discriminate.)
okay. try to overlook the fact that it was used in an itunes commercial, and ignore its inevitable fate as the new standard in 'makeover montage background jam' in any movie featuring anne hathaway or a sassy black lady- this song is just pure goodness. it's solid. it's not overly busy, but it's bouncy. it's strong with a 'be yourself' vibe but it's not saccharine crap. i mean, seriously guys. it's the blidge. she can do no wrong.

10. let me in --hot hot heat
(click for your final song, aren't you glad it's over? shut up, you love it.)
i could listen to this thing over and over. in case you haven't figured out that my ears are suckers for orchestral sections, strings, and big dramatic punch-up choruses, well, then you obviously don't know me and you make me feel insignificant and why do you have me when i show you NOTHING BUT LOVE. anyway, this is just a kickass rock pop song. that's all there is to it.

and that's that, so far as individual songs are concerned. clearly it's good i decided to avoid writing for music's sake. but like (insert bad analogy of someone repeating unfortunate behavior despite emotional, psychological, or societal ramifications that should totally convince them not to but it never does because hyoomans r dum) .... (i don't know either), i do it anyway.

*if you actually don't have ears, well, for crap's sake how i was supposed to know, i've never met you. stop assuming i can see your general cranial shape and appendages. that's just self-absorbed. good day to you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

10 really unfortunate names

in the anonymous position i work dutifully for an unnamed employer that does nothing interesting whatsoever, there are occasionally things worth mentioning that crop up from time to time. most of my shennanigans do not make the cut, such as pratfalls, jokes about disco pants and burritos, and the really hot guy who doesn't even know my name. but today, my friends, it's time to show you ten of the things that do warrant an interwebby shout-out:

baaaaad names.

that's right. those of you who know me eye are elle (irl, duh.) know that i glee from an unfortunate namings. it's just...i mean...why? why would you saddle a child with a moxie crimefighter, audio science, or blanket, when you could just name them, well, anything that is not moxie crimefigher, audio science or blanket? well, the mothers of these poor saps must have had the epidurals inserted into their brain stem instead of spinal cord, and the fathers perhaps drunk off one too many 'it's a boy!' congratulatory beers from the guys at work. i cannot fathom any other reason for these monikers. it has rendered me quite baffled.

anyway, in my day-to-day job as a regular person with a regular job, i file a lot of paperwork for a lot of people. (no really, a lot. we got 7,000 pieces of it in the mail on monday alone.) after four months working the grind, i've come up with a list of my ten favorite suckers, whom i will judge purely based upon their name. behold:

ten names that would have me saving up my birthday money since, well, birth, so that i could go down to the courthouse and pony up the $180 to legally change my name once i hit 18, because for fuck's sake, these are not names, they are embarassments, or if i'm marrying into the name, would make me basically *not* marry into it because, just, no. i love you, dearest, but let's create a new name from a random draw of the scrabble tiles, be serious:

1. so-and-so tidd-lard
wait. what? having a bizarre first last name wasn't enough, so you doubled-up and went with 'lard'? holy shit. y'all, i think we have the new definitions of both 'true love' and 'masochism.' i didn't even know you could be *named* after a fat, but, shows what i know. you know what i want? i want a bacon-lard union. or maybe lemon-lard, because that's just culinarily amusing. or maybe burger-lard. oh, the possibilities are endless, and yes, i'm going to think of many of them. my job is boring, you see.

2. such-and-such verewolf-butkiss
wait- how are EITHER of these names? verewolf? really? should i be wary of you at full moons? and should i be wary of your significant other, who clearly sucks up to anybody who'll give out a free lunch? wow, it's a miracle that you two lived past junior high school, what with the teasing. it's also probably just kismet that you found each other and will probably birth many a lupine, butt-kissing baby. this is the glory of marriage folks. entertainment for us.

3. long phat dong
alright, i'm cheating with this one, as it was the find of my boss, but, um. okay. thank you, korea, for your names that just don't translate over here in the us of a. thank you so very, very much.

4. joy loser and randy winner
these people aren't married and probably don't even know each other, but i grouped them as a twofer because i filed their paperwork one right after the other, and thought that they would make the most darling couple, who could get a kicky little house in the country and call it 'happy medium estates.'

5. zsa-zsa cherry
believe it or not, her occupation was listed as a teller, and not a stripper or palm-reader.

6. stephen outhouse
do you think he draws that little half-moon outhouse symbol next to his signature? i mean, i totally would. you've gotta be preemptive with that kind of unfortunate luck. make fun of it first, or everybody is totally gonna own you. and then you'll have no self esteem due to the constant mockery, you'll bottom out, fail your classes, get a crap job, and lo, you will actually *be* cleaning toilets. and nobody wants that, except for perhaps the creators of the rejected characters parade that conan does every now and again.

7. cynamon hellpap
this is, apparently, the buxom, take-no-prisoners villain of a gynecological horror/thriller. i could make an 'open everywhere' and/or 'wide release' joke but quite frankly that's a little too low-brow even for me. oops, i did it anyway.

8. james demon thomas
clearly this kid's otherwise sane mother was in labor with him for approximately two months.

9. the malaise law firm
i don't know about you guys, but i'm taking my business to the feeling-slightly-better-about-it firm across the street. dunno why. i just have a feeling, here.

10. the lynch-belch law firm
okay fuck it. i sat here for like 10 minutes trying to think of a different way to explain why this is funny, and then i realized well jeez, i'm dumb. pure comedy speaks for itself. the end.

now be thankful your name is normal and shut up. and bring me a cookie.