Thursday, January 31, 2008


last friday, my job required me to go to a black tie awards banquet. my boss had submitted a stained glass window that i designed and fabricated and it was chosen as a nominee. he was away on a business trip so it was up to me to attend in his place. long story short, i won an award in the "residential interior specialty" category.

here's the "long story short" part:
honestly, i wasn't really that eager to go to this thing. it was cool to be nominated but i've got some introverted tendencies. i don't mingle well. i didn't expect to know anyone there short of one of my co-workers, and thus, had a cloud of awkward uncomfortability looming over my noggin.

it was a pretty swanky event (a black tie required, uber-formal sort of thing). i got there at 6:30, right when i was suppose to. the following is the first 20 minutes after i arrived.

as i pulled in, i saw a line for valet parking. mandatory valet parking, mind you. a dude ran up to my window and handed me a ticket, told me to leave it running and to "just put it in park". i did as he said and headed inside. i walked into the lobby and announced my arrival. then, i heard someone asking for the owner of the green pontiac. it was then that i was informed that i'd locked my keys inside. my car was fortified, running and blocking traffic. without a spare key, i headed to the coat room for a coat hanger and coaxed the door man to procure me a flat head screw driver and proceeded to break into my own car in a tuxedo surrounded by a hundred middle aged, well dressed strangers at an uppity country club in the suburbs. fortunately for me, i'm very good at breaking into my car. i can hit the power lock in 90 seconds or less. unfortunately for me, everyone else who witnessed my skills or knew about the situation suddenly became suspicious of my talents at grand theft auto. people 30 years older than me whom i'd never met were cracking wise about my speedy problem resolution.

i immediately made a bee line for the open bar and then, to a snack table in the center of the room. an older woman came from behind the person i was talking to and reached into a basket of crackers. our eyes met for a second and as i smiled politely, the spaghetti strap of her dress fell off her right shoulder, exposing a pair of 50 year old breasts. this was the exchange: i look up, our eyes meet, dress falls off, i glance down, she glances down, we both turn away. i slowly exit, stage left. classy.

then, later, during the dinner portion of the evening, i went up to the bar again for a rum and coke. as i was waiting in line, a couple contractors i didn't know asked how i got so good at breaking into cars. they said it in a manner as to jokingly insinuate that i'd been a car thief. with a wink and a nudge. i assumed we were having a tongue in cheek conversation so i ran with it. i told a quick story about how i grew up in a poor part of south chicago and one summer, when my step dad was unjustly arrested for tax evasion in relation to his pager business, my four brothers and i boosted cars from the police impound to make his bail and settle his debt. i told this story with what i thought was a totally obvious sarcastic tone. i even mentioned a few of my fictitious brothers by name in the story.

"my oldest brother, jermaine, went to high school with a guy who runs a chop shop."
"marlon and jackie would keep lookout."
"tito could crack the steering column and cross the wires in seconds."
"my brother michael thought he was sooo bad."
"it was easy as abc."

by the end of the little made up anecdote, when i expected a chuckle, i was met with a straight face of astonishment. i falsely assumed that all the Jackson 5 references would've made it obvious but, since it was my turn to order, i just left it at that.

sarcarm is a curious thing. it either makes you a hilarious character with a creative wit, or a lying jerk, and it all comes down to gullability.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


one time, when i was a boy, my dad offered a suggestion to help me fall asleep. my issue wasn't so much of a rebellion against bedtime but an overactive brain. dad told me i needed to stop thinking. he told me to close my eyes and think of the color black, like i'm suspended in an infinite sea of blackness. sure enough, before long, i was out.

about a week ago, i was lying in bed, exhausted and kicking the blankets in a mixture of confusion and frustration. i couldn't sleep. i closed my eyes and tried my dad's trick. as i focused on the darkness behind my eyelids, i imagined myself moving beyond the light spots that are forever in my periphery. seeking only black. mentally, i was moving forward into the endless void. i stopped thinking of black and just drifted. until it all backfired and i started thinking...

as i floated through an infinite fantasy, i thought of the quark.

an atom is, as far as we know, almost entirely empty space. a hydrogen atom is (i had to look this up) approximately 1/10,000,000th of a millimeter in diameter. the proton in the center of that atom is approximately 1/100,000th the size of the atom. the sole electron orbiting the proton is 1/1,000,000th the size of the atom. the distance between these two particles is enormous. to help grasp the scale, if an electron was as big as i am, the proton i circled would be almost 60,000 miles away.

these aren't even the smallest parts. they're made of smaller things. enter the quark.

the behavior of both atoms and galaxies are fairly similar. at least when you break it down to its simplest. the electron spins around the nucleus like the moon around the earth. like planets around our sun. like our solar system around the center of our galaxy. like our galaxies around yada, yada, yada... and on and on and on. there isn't a whole lot of difference between the big bang and the splitting of an atom, short of scale.

so, if we were all quarks, we couldn't comprehend something larger than an atom. it would be like how we can't comprehend something larger than the universe.

what if the universe, the biggest thing we can imagine, is actually like the atom - a finite piece of a much bigger puzzle that's simply too grand for our scope?

what if the we're just quarks hitching a ride?

i'm sure that any intellectual analysis of this idea of absurd insignificance would crumble it to it's foundation. i see holes in the logic already. i can't claim to be a scientist or a mathematician or a physicist. just a guy lost in a tangent of thought. still, the notion perplexed me for hours as i lay in my tiny bed, in my tiny room, trying to think of black.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


everyone probably knows at least one person who could be classified as a 'hipster' or a 'scenester'. its a shame because the word itself sounds positive, yet it seems to have mostly negative connotations. i could define the type in my own words, but i think this compilation of definition from says it best:

Listens to bands that you've never heard of
. Probably tattooed. Definitely thinks they're cooler than you. Drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon or other cheap canned beer. Often complains. Always denies being a hipster. Probably spends a great deal of their money to look like they don't have any. Pretentious, General snobbery. Either cuts their own hair or has a friend do it and dyes it frequently. Has a closet full of clothing from Urban Outfitters and/or thrift stores but usually wears same three things over and over (most likely a very tight black pants, scarf, and ironic tee-shirt). Addicted to coffee, cigarettes (Parliaments, Kamel Reds, Lucky Strikes, etc.), and possibly cocaine. Claims to be in a band. Always on the list. Majors or majored in art or writing. Name-drops. Someone who rejects the established culture and everything corporate and mainstream

anyway, i was having a discussion about the subject with a friend of mine recently. he called me a hipster as a compliment because i told him about a bunch of bands that i'd been listening to lately that he hadn't heard of. to some extent, i guess i am a little bit of a hipster. i do listen to a lot of indie music and watch a lot of independent films. i did major in art, do a fair amount of thrift store shopping and drink tons of coffee. i wouldn't consider myself snobby, though. or "too cool". it used to just be a person who's into the indie culture. now its a categorical persona, and not exactly a favorable one.

that reminded me of a video i'd seen a while ago about the "hipster olympics". i thought i'd track it down again and post it for you. its a pretty funny video about a fictitious competition in williamsburg, brooklyn. enjoy!

... + a deleted scene ...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


i'd read this years ago, but a friend of mine from college sent out this updated version with a politicized twist. i thought it was pretty thought provoking, even though some of the math is a little off. i've listed corrections and a couple other fun facts at the end.

the word "billion" is spouted out so often, its magnitude is lost. just some things to ponder...

A billion seconds ago it was 1959

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age

A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division...

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu, is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number, what does it mean?

A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528
B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.
C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.Washington, D.C..

HELLO!!! ... Are all your calculators broken??

List of taxes

Accounts Receivable Tax,
Building Permit Tax,

CDL License Tax,

Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax
Fishing License Tax,

Food License Tax,

Fuel Permit Tax,

Gasoline Tax,

Hunting License Tax,

Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax,

IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax),

IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax),

Liquor Tax,

Luxury Tax,

Marriage License Tax,

Medicare Tax,

Property Tax,

Real Estate Tax,

Service Charge Taxes,

Social Security Tax,

Road Usage Tax,

Sales Taxes,

Recreational Vehicle Tax,

School Tax,

State Income Tax,

State Unemployment Tax,

Telephone Federal Excise Tax,

Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax,

Telephone Federal,
State and Local Surcharge Tax,

Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax,

Telephone Recurring & Non-recurring Charges Tax,

Telephone State & Local Tax,

Telephone Usage Charge Tax,

Utility Tax,

Vehicle License Registration Tax,

Vehicle Sales Tax,

Watercraft Registration Tax,

Well Permit Tax,

Workers Compensation Tax.

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom could stay home and raise the kids.
CORRECTIONS: i guess that either these facts were calculated in 1990 or the mathematician forgot a remainder somewhere.
  • a billion seconds is a little over 31 years, which would be 1976.
  • a billion minutes ago would be the year 105 AD, a little after biblical times.
  • most interestingly, we spend a lot more money now, so a billion dollars would be spend by our government in almost a third of the time, about 2 hours and 45 minutes. we spent 2.8 trillion in 2007.
  • 2.8 trillion $1 bills, lain end to end, would circle the globe 1,000 times.
  • 4.5 billion years ago, there was a big bang.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


as you may well know by now, Radiohead's newest album, In Rainbows, shook up the music world even before its release. though their website claimed they were in the studio working on new material, no one knew when a new album would come out. then, seemingly out of the blue, it was announces in a blurb on their website that the album was finished and would be available in 10 days. there was a link to pre-order the downloadable album or the tangible Discbox (the album on CD and on vinyl with and additional CD and record of 8 bonus tracks, and books of lyrics, artwork and photos). the price for downloading the albums was whatever the customer deemed appropriate, be that 200 pounds or 2 pence (they're British, after all). they reversed the roles the music industry had imposed. the people had the power for a change.

this isn't the kind of album bands typically give away. its not live recordings of old songs. its not official, band sanctioned bootlegs. In Rainbows is well refined, studio polished, and in my opinion, the first album to truly rival their best effort to date, OK Computer. i've already put this set of songs at the top of my list for the best of 2007, so instead of a general summary, i'm reviewing each track as i re-listen to them.

"15 STEPS"
the opening track has almost universally stood as the respective album's mission statement. no exception here. track one breaks forth with a produced beat like a steam engine clamoring down the tracks. after the first few lines are belt out in a clean, passionate way only Thom Yorke can achieve, the beat transforms its tone and you realize its Phil Selway's drum kit keeping time. a lilting guitar melody kicks in. scales of bass like a descent down a flight of stairs. there's hand claps and a few shouts from a children's choir. an ondes martenot can be heard sweeping slowly across the speakers (though this won't be the last time). you can hear most of their past album's strength culminating in one song. the fitful electronica and rhythmic breathing here are the most overt references to Kid A found anywhere on here.

a bone shaker. there hasn't been a song this raw and amped up since The Bends. this could be the song that old fans latch onto after turning their backs when they veered towards techno or just became too artsy for their alt rock tastes. the vocals are aggressive to hear yet their content is full of fear and remorse. then blammo, after 2 minutes of noisy, heavily distorted guitar rock, it takes an acoustic break. maybe "i've no idea what i am talking about".

i was jazzed to finally hear this completed and mastered. this has been one of my favorite b-sides for nearly a decade. the song itself had popped up in their live shows since the late1990's. i'd known it with the title "Big Ideas (Don't Get Any)", so even though i'd known the track listing before i heard the album, i was still surprised by it. "Nude" is pretty & soft, especially in contrast to "Bodysnatchers", like a sad little lullaby from a really pessimistic dad.

this is becoming one of the standout songs for me. i absolutely love the way its arranged in 3 distinct movements. they'd done it before with the epic "Paranoid Android" (they credited the inspiration of that to John Lennon's "Happiness Is A Warm Gun"). lovely electric guitar plucked arpeggios dance atop the tapping of a snare drum as singing slowly builds and harmonies gradually accompany. distant wailing comes in as everything continues to get louder and louder until it all drops out except for Thom and a bubbling melody. then it snaps, the entire band seems to dive into the center of the ocean and finish the song the the best last minutes ever.

warm and sad. while you'd think its a love song, and it almost is, i think its really about being discarded. it begins very minimal and slowly adds layers on top of bobbing, low register hums. i read that Jonny Greenwood attempted to recreate the white noise of a live show in the studio by arranging a large string orchestra to simultaneously play each note on a scale. plinking toy piano comes in with the fuzz sounds as Thom breaks down in a crescendo of splashy symbols and moans.

this song is probably from the mind of guitarist Jonny Greenwood. his talent for arranging strings is coming out more with every release. he's focused on it with soundtracks to Bodysong and (the much anticipated!) There Will Be Blood. both are side projects that he composed without his band mates. this song is sung with haste like talking with an good ear for music. its got a different feel and delivery. i'm curious about the title, too.

this track is so organic and alive. it reminds me how different this album is in tone compared to the cold isolation of their recent work. instead of the digital blips and whirls of the past, every little noise sounds like something real. an empty steel barrel being hit. hands clapping. a choir of voices harmonizing. tambourines and formally dressed violinist violining.the best thing about this song is you feel its presence and the space it occupies. its a standout track and i believe, the song being pushed as the album's single.

this is my least favorite track. its not that its bad. i could see this as being one of my favorites if on another CD and by another band. it just seems a little simple in comparison to the rest and it doesn't seem to really go anywhere over it's 5 and a half minutes. he even sounds a little Bono-esque at times. they usually have an instrumental track on each album to change the mood or act as an interlude so i pass this off as that, even though it has words. it is notable for containing the most uncharacteristic Thom Yorke lyric: "I don't want to be your friend / I just want to be your lover."

maybe my favorite song. at least for now. its energetic and powerful without putting pedal effects on guitars or focusing on a throbbing bass line of digital wizardly. its clean and fervent with great guitar work. it starts fast and keeps growing like a roller coaster if you could get on at the top of the first loop-dee-loop and start there. i really love when Thom sings with all he's got. he pulls the stops a few times on this album and with the best results here, and he only gets better with as the song evolves. vocally, he covers almost his whole range and with a lung testingly great ending.

i'd seen a clip on youtube of Thom Yorke playing this song solo on the piano. it was beautiful in its simplicity and stirring in its message. i'd also heard live versions in which there's more of a change across the song until a free for all jam out at the end. when i first heard this version on In Rainbows, i was initially a little disappointed by how stripped bare it was. its growing on me though and i think its a wonderful closer in its context. Radiohead usually ends with a slow song and this is certainly that. the metronomic thump seemed off at first, but as its a song about leaving something behind once you've gone to the great beyond, it sounds more like a slow heartbeat and the multi-layered vocals are pretty angelic.

the actual CD version of the album became available about a week ago.if you haven't already downloaded it, you can link to it on by clicking the banner at the top of this post. do it, now!

...and, for a lovely pairing of the audio with the visual...

"a film with radiohead in it"

this was webcast on Radiohead's wedsite (DEAD_AIR/SPACE) on new year's eve. they play every song from the In Rainbows album. its 52 and a half minutes long and worth every one of your precious seconds.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


"witness protection"

a waning winter's soft reflection
shows the ceilings of protection
swiftly caving in
a spectacular disaster
the shields could not drop faster
stepping back and giving in.

the archers have evacuated
and tower guards have drifted off to sleep
armor doesn't fit your skin
the front door's latch is broken in
and all the hallways run a bit too deep

you have shattered all the windows
and released all of the shadows
weary minds have sown
echoes of old conversations
no use for expectations
the known turns to the unknown.

there's a possibility in chance
there's also risk of sifting through debris
only victors face the doubt
walls that can keep everything out
are the same that never set you free

Thursday, January 3, 2008


i vividly remember a conversation i shared with a couple of my room mates during my sophomore year of college. we were sitting around late at night listening to the newest Tool CD and discussing how much music had changed, almost exponentially, since our parents were our age. how different genres branched off into sub genres and sub genres of sub genre until entirely new types of music were born. my grandparents didn't grow up with rock and roll. my parents knew nothing about hip hop or turntablism or heavy metal. we sat there and wondered if it was possible for any of us to reach an age when the musical styles of the young was obnoxious noise to our ears.

i've thought about this from time to time over the years. i think i now understand how this generational gap can occur. i'll use the fictitious "George" as the example to my theory.

let's say George grows up listening to the music his parents liked. lots of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. in high school, George starts spending time riding around in his friends cars. various 8 tracks introduce George to The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Elvis Presley. then, George's cool order brother comes home from college with a Led Zeppelin t-shirt and a handful of Pink Floyd records.

George heads off to a higher education and meets new people who all have their own tastes and take George to concerts to hear groups he'd never heard before. George's room mate plays synthesizer for a prog-rock band. his girlfriend loves angst ridden, acoustic guitar playing, female singer songwriters.

George gets his bachelor's degree and starts a promising career at a computer software corporation. most of his new colleagues are stern workaholics, but he makes a few friends on his floor. they go out for drinks every few weeks. maybe a movie or a small club here or there.

a few years pass before George meets "Jane", the sassy new receptionist across the street. a burning love affair is sparked and George spends most of his free time with Jane, only having time to meet up with work chums one friday a month. Jane and George move in together and their music collections merge. shortly afterward they get hitched and then, whoops, Jane's knocked up. George receives a much deserved promotion to district manager on baby "Judy's" 3rd birthday. with a stressed out young wife, a hyper-active toddler and a demanding full time career, George rarely finds the time to see many of his old friends.

15 years pass. baby Judy (who prefers Judith now) grows into a young woman and moves to california to pursue an acting career. Jane starts taking yoga classes three times a week and joins Oprah's book club. George suddenly has time on his hands.

he's quickly disenchanted by the bands he starts noticing on popular radio stations and late night talk shows and begins to feel extremely frustrated with the music of these modern times. unable to find similarities between Mick Jagger and Trent Reznor, George rejects new music entirely and sticks with his tried and true favorites.

unbeknownst to our hero, this dramatic change wasn't instantaneous. its was a slow progression. as his circle of friends got smaller and less diverse, so to did his exposure to new trends. he'd stopped paying attention to the directions that music was moving in. the forward movement of his musical tastes stagnated on the back burner while he settled down. it metamorphasized into a whole new beast behind his back.

so here's my theory...

musical tastes are directly connected to the size and importance one's social life. test it out. scientifically. ask anyone what their favorite band is. the release date of that band's best album = the peak of that person's social network. the bigger the gap between then and the present, the smaller the importance of having a social life. if the band's peak predates that person's adolescence, their social height was reached in or before 10th grade. if its a current band, they're still climbing the ladder.

sidenote: i wonder what music could possibly sound like when kids classify Radiohead and Bjork and Aphex Twin as "old fogey music". drop a comment if you have any speculation. i can't fathom it.

...the future?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


what's a "best of..." post with out an obligatory "worst of..." post? usually, when i do write a review, it's with the notion of a purposeful recommendation. when something great happens, i want to share it. i'm a giver like that. if you hop back through the archives, you'll notice that there aren't really any downright negative critiques. typically, i don't want to discourage you from seeing or doing or listening to something simply because i didn't care for it. different folks like different strokes. unless its totally horrendous, i think just about everything deserves a chance.

ALMOST everything...

  1. Anna Nicole Smith's Death - this was the top story for literally months. i'd bet that at least 75% of Americans know not only that she died, but the whole story behind it and the subsequent legal battle for custody of her baby. you know who else died this year? Merv Griffin, Lady Bird Johnson, Marcel Marceau, Luciano Pavarotti, Kurt Vonnegut, & Ingmar Bergman. compare what you know about these six individuals with what you know about Anna Nicole. you can thank your local anchorman for that.
  2. Paris Hilton's Month In Jail - this received the same amount of coverage i would expect if a president was caught on CCTV murdering a hobo for his bottle of mad dog 20/20.
  3. The Self Destruction of Lindsay Lohan - one week out of almost every month was devoted to Ms. Lohan's idiocy. i think she got busted with coke 5 times, a handful of D.U.I.'s, an eating disorder or two, and caused at least 10 car crashes. fortunately, she did the right thing and went to rehab about 20 times.
  4. The Self Destruction of Britany Spears - from a teen pop sensation to a chubby, lip synching, madonna kissing, twice divorced, cheetos stained, panty-less, unfit mother. we all saw it coming.
  5. Senator Craig Touches A Guy's Foot - that makes him gay. or it doesn't. either way, the sexual preference of an obscure congressman became the most important thing in the nation for a good month.
  6. All News American Idol Related - probably the most unnecessary journalism. the show is on 5 days a week. every news program reports on it before, during and after the season and every contestant appears on every morning talk show after they're booted off.
  7. O.J. Simpson's Robbery - i think his recent robbery arrest is just getting press because his murder trial went virtually unnoticed.
i've posted about the sad state of affairs within american journalism on several occassions in the past. if you're looking for more ranting on the subject, look no further than here or here .
  1. Rush Hour 3 - Rush Hour 1: an urban black cop teams up with a chinese martial arts detective. catch phrases and testicle injuries ensue. Rush Hour 2: an urban black cop teams up with a chinese martial arts detective again. this time though, catch phrases and testicle injuries ensue. Rush Hour 3: the stunning climax to the trilogy finds a chinese martial arts detective teaming up with an urban black cop. are there plenty of catch phrases and testicle injuries? you betcha!
  2. Shrek The Third - the first Shrek was an original premise with a skewed perspective on beloved fairy tale lore that showed that an animated movie aimed at Children could be just as entertaining for grown ups, too. the second movie had some good moments and introduced a lot of new characters. The third was rushed, less clever, much less humorous, and obviously put out simply to make money by exploiting its earlier profits. i saw it and i can't really remember anything about it.
  3. Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem - i guess the producers, in an attempt to recoup their losses from the ridiculously lame and box office busting Alien Vs. Predator, decided to make another. the weirdest thing is that the only people who would have any desire to see this new movie are the superfans of the original alien and predator movies. they're rewarded by a script written by someone who apparently hasn't seen any of those flicks.
  4. Live Free Or Die Hard - if for no other reason, because Bruce Willis is one yippee kie yah away from shattering his hip.
  5. Hannibal Rising - the scariest things about Silence of The Lambs were Anthony Hopkins portrayal and the mysterious fear he instills on all the characters who encounter him. your imagination makes him frightening. the newest in the steep decline of the stories has no Anthony Hopkins and tells way to much story.
  6. Spider Man 3 - the amazing special effects team didn't return for the 3rd installment. They overdid it with the villains and drew out to nearly 3 hours. the plot was stuffed full of boring story lines and Venom was kind of a pansy. after the escalating success of the first 2, they had to do a third. unfortunately, they didn't have another one in them.
  7. Transformers - attention Michael Bay (you, too, George Lucas): stop soiling my childhood memories.
i'm basically anti sequel all around. the decision to green light a sequel usually comes from the executives who own the rights to the original hit, not the creative team responsible for it. they'll sully the name if they think it's enough to get people into theaters. they're not concerned with quality. there have been good sequels, but generally, its just lazy film making. with the exception of The Lord Of The Rings saga, a good writer and a good director will encapsulate everything in one film. any more is just money grubbing.

fun fact: the 7 most successful movies this year were sequels (if you count Transformers, which is more of a remake, and even further away from the realm of creativity).

  1. Daughtry's "Daughtry" - this was deemed "the best album of the year" as far as sales. 3.5 million copies nationwide. it got 4 grammy nominations, received 3 American music awards & it won 10 Australian music awards (the ceremony's new record holder). the music is trite, to say the least. the band itself was formed by the record label. its just another formulaic, by-the-book offering created by a record labels board of directors. the dude came in 4th on american idol, for the love of god. 4th! i think that if american idol decided to only allow housepets to audition for the next season, the top 5 finalist would all go triple platinum.
  2. "High School Musical 2 Soundtrack" - this isn't that horrible as long as you've never seen another musical or ever heard a song before.
  3. Fergie's "The Dutchess" - i swear this is music targeted for the profoundly mental handicapped. she does a lot of spelling over really boring loops. its more brilliant work from the gal that gave us such lyrical gems as "I'm a get, get, get, get you drunk/ Get you love drunk off my hump/ My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump/ My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps".
  4. "Hannah Montana Soundtrack" - this 13 year old daughter of a one hit wonder country singer has mothers shelling out thousands for her live shows. is that really the investment you want to make for your child? when i was 12, all the girl i knew would have chopped off a finger to see the New Kids On The Block. those who actually did are now moderately embarrassed about it.
  5. Gwen Stefani's "The Sweet Escape" - how to make a gwen stefani album: first, push any preset rhythm button on your $10 casio keyboard. come up with 2 grammatically incorrect sentences (try to incorporate slang and profanity if possible). chant the sentences to the beat and randomly spell words that have nothing to do with anything. repeat about 50 times. make a billion dollars (that shit is b-a-n-a-n-a-s)
  6. Nickelback's "All The Right Reasons" - these guys exhibit the kind of musical vision once reserved only for pre-teen garage bands.
  7. "Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 23" - could it possibly be as good as volumes 1-22? maybe. the real question is, do you have enough ritalin on hand to make it through all 16 tracks of repetitious dance club rap and bubblegum pop? check your medicine cabinet.
all of these albums ranked in the top 20 grossing albums of 2007. the past 365 days brought us some of the best music from some of the best artists in recent years, and the only one of my picks to even break billboard's top 200 was The Shins' "Wincing The Night Away" at #122.