Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Blueprint 3?!? Could it be...

DJ Clue's latest mixtape includes a new Jigga joint, "Ain't I," on which Clue proclaims that the song will be featured on...wait for it... The Blueprint 3. The song's backdrop, courtesy of Timabland, is typical Tim: sublime, futuristic funk sound, the perfect launching pad for Jay-Z to go all Jay-Z on our asses. Yeah, it's pretty hot, and given the dopeness of American Gangster, the idea of The Blueprint 3 makes me giddy.

Jay-Z - Ain't I

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Coldplay Update-ish

Well it looks like Coldplay's 4th studio album will not be called Prospekt. Coldplay's official online editor said that the name did have relevance to the album but it was just fan speculation that led to the album title.

Looks like we jumped the gun a little bit...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What a Brilliant Plot

This is quite possibly one of the funniest news story I've ever read.

Now I know what Big Man does when he's not hiding in cupboards.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Record Review: Vampire Weekend: s/t

The New York band's debut full-length finally hits stores...and it's very good. The band's self-described "Upper West Side Soweto" style isn't the next great step for mankind, but is distinct and colorful nonetheless, and given the onslaught of incredible lively, infectious pop songs, the originality matters little anyway.

Rating: 4/5

Do you know what the Strokes, the Vines, the Hives, and the White Stripes have in common? Very little, actually, whether sonically, geographically, or otherwise. Of course, the music press labeled them all “garage rock revival” and the casual modern rock listener followed suit, tossing the bluesy duo from Detroit (who, ya know, had two albums under their belt already) and the Velvet-y post-punks from New York into the same pile. Okay, so they had a bit more than “very little” in common, but the hype machine smothered the distinct differences between them.

Of course, then mp3 blogs exploded, everyone learned to “rapidshare” and “megaupload,” and social networks starting launching artists (Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen) into stardom (well, at least onto the front cover of NME). This is story of how a group of 20-something Columbia students with no official albums becomes one of the most blogged-about bands around, trumpeted by the hype machine as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

So, does the latest It band live up to the buzz? Yes and no (kind of anticlimactic, apologies). They’re not God’s gift to mankind or anything, but man oh man, can they write pop songs or what. Their debut album packs one exuberantly catchy gem after another, showcasing an immediately likeable band with a good deal of talent, a sharp, realized sound, and, ultimately, no real downside.

The thing is, nothing here hints at a tremendous upside, either. We’d be na├»ve to suggest that somehow Vampire Weekend has pioneered the next frontier of indie rock, however fresh and distinct their style may be. For those listeners whose iPods play Radiohead on a non-stop loop (which, at times, includes me), Vampire Weekend’s incorporation of African-influenced styles into their music may seem like a revelation, but like Columbus didn’t discover America, VW aren’t inventing the wheel here, simply rolling it another direction.

Despite the Afro-centric element of the band’s sound, Vampire Weekend are, pure and simple, an indie rock band at heart. Think Hot Hot Heat if they grown up on soukous music instead of XTC, or Spoon if they spent time dancing the kwassa kwassa instead of getting slanted and enchanted (that second one was kinda bad :) ). Of course, this isn’t a bad thing by any means. Any way you slice it, this thing kicks ass. Massive pre-release buzz automatically leads to the “do they deserve it?” comparative analysis, but, with or without preconceived notions, it’s near impossible to resist the zesty, frolicking guitar licks, jubilant melodies, and propulsive grooves of Vampire Weekend’s addictive full-length.

Just try to get the opening guitar of “A-Punk” or “Byrn” out of your head, or try to keep yourself from singing “Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?” The insatiably catchy songs here are the driving force, most of which you have likely already heard on the widely circulated Blue CD-R. In fact, the only change here is the dumping of the solid “Boston” for the, um, equally solid “M79” and “I Stand Corrected.” (No great seismic shift, either positively or negatively)

Vampire Weekend don’t try to be something they’re not, instead, fortunately, playing to their strengths, throwing in slight curve balls (the harpsichord and strings on “M79,” the synths on “One (Blake’s Got a New Face)”) but always sticking to their winning peppiness. Time will tell whether they can take their relatively basic sound to greater heights, but for now, Vampire Weekend, one of the first exceptional albums of 2008, will more than suffice.
Buy: Amazon

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Juicy Fruit Made One Hell of a Funny Commercial

This is kind of random, but I recently remembered a Juicy Fruit commerical from a few years back that I found hilarious at the time and, well, I still find it hilarious. Maybe I'm completely out of my mind (not unlikely) but I just can't stop laughing at the final scene in this ad:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jack's Mannequin New Album

This is something that I've wanted to post for a while but I never really got around to it.

On April 22, Jack's Mannequin will be releasing their second album "The Glass Passenger". This record will include some new material as well as "classic" Jack's Mannequin songs that never made it on "Everything In Transit". The link at the bottom could explain things better than I ever could so if you are at all interested I would definitely check it out.

Record/Movie Review: There Will Be Blood



Dissonance, startling fucking dissonance; character, color, music. To paraphrase the poet Keats, the quality of art is dependent upon the level of the intensity, and There Will Be Blood is goddamn intense. Daniel Day Lewis turns in one of those performances that turns you inward, taking all the darkness within the viewer and throwing it to the wind. There Will Be Blood is an examination of the character of Daniel Plainview, an self-proclaimed oilman whose absolute nihilism can be drawn to the ultimate nihilist, Shakespeare’s Iago. Lewis is the type of actor whose character consumes him, and in turn consumes us. In the films opening montage Plainview doesn’t say a word, but proves unsettling and powerful nonetheless through body language alone.

Radiohead multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood's musical backdrop, which is excellent as a stand alone album, sounds nothing like a typical string score, and attacks with as much provocation as Day Lewis, turning Anderson’s bleak western landscapes into something even more sinister and evocative. Greenwood’s work relies on space and dissonance, as does Anderson’s film making, adding to the feeling that we're watching some great darkness unfold slowly in some spatial abstraction, or perhaps sinking into the ocean of oil beneath the sun-baked prairie on which Plainview works.

Anderson and Day Lewis have made a character that decays from the inside out, but in a complex manner. Thus, Blood plays out in cold, thrilling tension, but, at the same time, you can’t just quite possess exactly what’s going on. Paul Dano plays the theatrical young preacher Eli Sunday, who possesses enough fervor to stand in the way of the honest Iago, who has enough greed to drown heaven in it. However, Sunday, on his most basic level, exhibits a self serving notion of religious devotion just as empty as Plainview’s unquenchable need for conquest, making Sunday an intriguing, well-developed foil.

Such character development in Blood intense, beautiful, and unsettling, and proves that through the examination of humanity's bleakness, film retains the devastating power to unnerve and challenge. When Day-Lewis uttered his last line and the film ended, I smiled, because I had spent two and a half hours consumed with Anderson’s dissonance, with Greenwood’s dissonance, and I knew I had just seen something brilliant, powerful. (And the last line was funny)

-Matt Gasda

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

They Still Got It 4 Cheap: New Clipse

I really didn't need to tell you this is the new Re-Up Gang joint, because titling a track "06 20k Money Making Brothers on the Corner" can really only mean one thing: our favorite crack-rapping duo is back. The third We Got It 4 Cheap mixtape is on the way, and this is our first taste of what Malice and Pusha T have been cooking up in the kitc...sorry, studio. And the material is (gasp!) fuckin' awesome.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

R.I.P. Heath Ledger

The 28-year-old, Oscar-nominated actor was found dead in a Lower Manhattan apartment, of a possible drug overdose. He was perhaps best known for his performance in critically-acclaimed Brokeback Mountain, as well roles in major films like A Knight's Tale and Monster's Ball. He also plays The Joker in The Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins, to be released in July. Details are sketchy at this point, but one way or the other, R.I.P. Heath Ledger.

Tapes 'n Tapes Reveal Album Details

Woo-hoo! It's called Walk It Off, and doesn't drop until April, by which time Barack will have dominated Hillary on Super Tuesday, the Giants will have won the Super Bowl (27-24), and a huge chunk of my class work will be completed. Yeah, its kind of a long wait, but its coming nonetheless, and includes a song named after George Michael, and another called "Hang Them All" (perhaps a pro-Michael Vick/Huckabee's son anthem?) Head here for the full Pitchfork interview.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wise words from Mr. Plant

According to British newspapers, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin was badmouthing Radiohead over the weekend. maybe he was drinking...he still brought up a good point when he called Radiohead "rhyming crap."* Touche Mr. Plant...

He also compared Red Hot Chili Peppers to a nursery rhyme.

I know everyone will be unaffected by this news. It doesn't carry the usual weight of my Coldplay updates. I just thought it was funny

Martin Luther King Jr.

Songs for Martin Luther King, Jr.

Favorite Martin Luther King quote: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny." (Letter From a Birmingham Jail)

Wow. The man could write.

Sam Cooke - A Change is Gonna Come
Bob Dylan - Blowin' in the Wind
U2 - Pride (In the Name of Love)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Music: Tall Firs, Grand Archives, The Field

More new good tracks I came across, ones that will have to do until artists start releasing actual albums again. January is always so musically depressing. Anyway....

Tall Firs - Hairdo

This one is off of Too Old to Die Young, the band's forthcoming album. Tall Firs are on Thurston's Moore's Ecstatic Peace! record label, and the band sort of has a folk-oriented Sonic Youth thing going on. First heard them last year through the song "The Woods" on a South by Southwest festival promo, which kicked ass, so I jumped on this one when I saw it over on Paper Thin Walls.

Grand Archives - "Miniature Birds"/"A Setting Sun" (stream)

Anticipation is building for Grand Archives' self-titled debut (on Sub Pop, February 19), the band fronted by ex-Band of Horses/ex-Carissa's Wierd member Mat Brooke. Last year, we got a few stellar demos (posted below) of calm (save for the back half of "Torn Blue Foam Couch"), harmonious indie pop, and these two are just as good, despite taking the sound in a bit more country-tinged direction. Particularly strong is the whistling/harmonica hook on "Miniature Birds"...addictive, I must say.

Grand Archives - Sleepdriving

Grand Archives - Torn Blue Foam Couch

Grand Archives - George Kaminsky

The Field - Sound of Light EP

First off, clarification: this thing is an hour long, so calling it an "EP" is, you know, completely ridiculous. Of course, that has no bearing on the music, which is really quite fantastic. Opener "Morning" suggests a simple rehash of From Here We Go Sublime's winning formula, thriving on the alternating-octave synth trick (listen to it, you'll know what I mean) that worked wonders previously. Still, after the first ten minutes, I got a little tired of it all, which made the invigorating second track, "Day," that much tastier. Certainly sounds like the loop-obsessed The Field of old, but, I don't know, it sounds more fun, more alive, more dynamic...bounding forward instead of just gliding by. "Evening" and "Night" close the record out, two more precise, shimmering electronic arrangements that probably go a bit too long but burst with energy and freshness nonetheless. This one is i-Tunes only, which sucks, but go and download anyway if you were a fan of From Here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sally Shapiro...EMERGES!

Though not as much as I would like. She and producer John Agebjorn hit Ontario on March 4, New York on March 7, and Chicago on March 9. Please, if you live in one of those cities, go to the show and symbolically represent my love to Sally. Why she won't come to eastern Pennsylvania confounds disco in Philly, I guess :( Anyway, its good that she's finally touring, and we soon may have her true identity :)

Sally Shapiro - He Keeps Me Alive

Some Rants, Some Musings, Some Thoughts

Pie contributor Andrew Stone sounds off on a couple albums we overlooked during our list of most anticipated 2008 albums, the suckiness of the Academy Awards, and the (hopefully) forthcoming clash of titans (Favre v. Brady).

So this is the New Year? Yes, yes it is. And as is such, let's discuss what some of your (ok, my) favorite bands have on tap for this year, plus some shit that's just on my mind. Here's the rundown.

Franz Ferdinand- shortly after telling Rolling Stone that their third album would be "more dance than rock", it was revealed that the album would see the light of day sometime in Fall of this year. The current distribution of dance and rock remains unknown, but I'm betting somewhere along the lines of a 60/40 split.

Vampire Weekend- now that I've had a chance to hear the entirety of the full-length debut, I can safely say that this is a band worthy of your ears, if not your neck (vampire joke... eh...). Don't fully believe the hype though, for even though they're in fashion now, they may have about as much staying power as, say, a Hot Hot Heat.

Midlake- a close source* tells me says they're hard at work to the follow up of their tragically beautiful, criminally underrated sophomore album, The Trials of Van Occupanther. While we'd be foolish to expect another"Roscoe," a group of ten "Head Home"s would be more than welcome.

My Morning Jacket- as reported by, My Morning Jacket's follow-up to Z is set for a June 10th release. Hopefully, all of the unexplained questions will be answered, such as the fate of Dondante, who the wonderful man really was, and whether he was saying "let the fetus rock" in "Lay Low."

Academy Awards- what an unbelievably sucky year 2007 was for movies, and with the writer's strike only worsening, don't expect 2008 and 2009 to be much better. Of the three best movies of the year (No Country For Old Men, Sweeney Todd, and Knocked Up)**, only No Country is sure to get Oscar recognition. Don't believe the hype behind Golden Globe-winning Atonement, a romance story so thin I developed tears of weariness, not empathy. At least this summer's blockbusters look ready to live up to the hype, with the Batman sequel and a new Daniel Craig Bond flick both looking good.

Super Bowl Pick- Pats 27, Packers 17

*shocking as it may seem, no (personal) source actually exits

**these three films are not the collective favorites of the Pie staff, particularly due to the omission of Ratatouille, a personal favorite of mine and Zack's.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stephen Malkmus & Jicks Leak Has Arrived!

Okay, so I'll admit, I haven't even made it halfway through the Jicks' new album Real Emotional Trash yet, but I'm already impressed. The album is dripping with Malkmus, if that makes sense. So far it appears to be giving him an outlet to indulge his jam-band tendencies, which with Malk is definitely a good thing. I'll have to save my judgements for later, but having gotten through 5 songs, I can safely say that this record is definitely worth the time for any Stephen Malkmus/Pavement fans out there. Real Emotional Trash comes out March 4 on Matador.

Stephen Malkmus & Jicks - Hopscotch Willie

Coldplay Update!

The long awaited fourth album of everyone's favorite band (your favorite band is Coldplay in case you were wondering) is apparently only a few months away. According to XFM and NME, Coldplay will be releasing 'Prospekt' on May 19th although this has yet to be confirmed. This news contradicts the latest reports that Coldplay was possibly holding out on their lable EMI. With a runtime of 43 minutes 'Prospekt' will reportedly include this track list:

'Famous Old Painters'
'Glass of Water'
'Cemeteries of London'
'Violet Hill'
'Poppy Fields'
'Rainy Day'
'Prospekt's March'

I'm counting down the days and I'm sure all you readers have marked your calenders for this historic event.
I pray Brian Eno didn't screw this up.

U-God Suing Wu-Tang's Record Label?!?

Yes indeed, according to, U-God is in fact suing Wu Music Group (a subsidiary of Universal) for "failure and/or refusal to fulfill its financial payment obligations." Those payments amount to $170,000, according to Mr. God, whose is best known for failing miserably on every Wu-Tang track he has ever appeared on. Lowlights include his Wu-Tang Forever solo track "Black Shampoo" and his 8 Diagrams Cappadonna colab "Tar Pit." Of course, that's just the bottom of the barrel, and you can catch a painfully boring verse on many a Wu track, including, unfortunately, much of the Wu-Tang's divisive new record (which is perhaps one of the reasons the album is so divisive to begin with). So, yeah, he's suing Wu Music Group, and I wish him luck, I guess.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Record Review: The Magnetic Fields: Distortion

The beloved indie rockers return with their eighth record, and their first since 2004's i. Though the band bury their pop hooks under a layer of noise this time around, the songs themselves follow the traditional Magnetic Fields' pattern, often to boring and predictable ends.

Rating: 3/5

I’m really not the biggest Magnetic Fields fan, but even I can’t deny 69 Love Songs its place as one of the classic indie rock albums of the 1990s. Bloated as the album was (I mean, its 69 songs), the often sarcastic lyrics were amusing, the melodies memorable, and, while the band was intermittently dramatic and light-hearted, the whole thing seemed to come together under one grand scheme, all in the name of love. Outside of Love Songs, I really haven’t been that impressed by Fields’ work, and Distortion is no exception.

Certainly, Distortion is a pleasant, listenable pop record. Stephen Merritt and (I think) Claudia Gonson provide mildly catchy hooks and ironic lyrics over fuzzy guitar, crafting an album significantly noisier (though not necessarily louder) than i, the band’s 2004 effort. As on i, the synths that characterized Magnetic Fields’ early work are absent here, but this time around distorted guitar (from where the album title came, presumably) takes center stage in place of the acoustic guitar and lush cello stylings of Distortion’s predecessor.

On its face, this record should succeed, as the band maintains its traditionally strong qualities while shifting the basic sonic blueprint. However, things just don’t click into place, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Stephen Merritt’s tongue-and-cheek, lovesick lyrics grow more and more tiresome over the course of the album. Yeah, such lyrics are his MO, but 69 Love Songs essentially quenched my thirst for such sarcasm once and for all. So, when Merritt, on “Too Drunk Too Dream,” croons, “You, you heartless bastard / You’re my one and only,” I’m left saying “yeah, yeah” instead of smiling the way I still do when I listen to Love Songs’ darkly humorous “Oh, Yeah.”

Perhaps I could stomach the lyrical redundancy if the album was more musically varied, but track after track features the same noise pop sound. Where Love Songs’ eclectic styles brought fresh life to each love-obsessed track, Distortion’s sonic repetition leads to a monotonous listen, one where each song blends into the next, only the very best standing out.

That being said, “the very best” is actually quite entertaining. Even without considering its chuckle-worthy title, the much-blogged, mostly instrumental “Three Way” kicks thing off effectively, with a memorable lead guitar line snaking along over the general noise behind it. The melody of “Xavier Says” is irresistible, as is that of “Please Stop Dancing,” a song further enhanced by the perfect back and forth between the Fields’ two singers.

Of course, there are ten more tracks, and most of them just don’t do it for me. Odds are, however, if you are big a Magnetic Fields fan, you’ll like this one from start to finish. Take a listen:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Radiohead is Coming to a Venue Near You!

That is, if you live in....

Los Angeles
New York
San Diego
San Francisco
Santa Barbara
St. Louis
Washington, DC

No actual dates or locations as of yet, but they're coming, folks. And its environmentally safe or something, too, as Radiohead are apparently working with environmental group Best Foot Forward to reduce the carbon emissions on the forthcoming tour.

Radiohead - True Love Waits

Monday, January 7, 2008

When Does Krug Get a Take Away Show?

I'm a little behind here, but it was merely a few days ago that the new Handsome Furs Take Away Show was released. For those of you who don't know, Take Away Shows are these amazing videos where they take bands and make them play live on the streets of a city (generally Paris), usually with unconventional instruments or arrangements. For the Furs videos, they performed Dead and Rural and The Radio's Hot Sun. The latter is particularly beautiful. They were recorded on the streets of San Francisco, both videos are amazing, I don't think you need any more description from me, just click on the link below.

Take Away Shows

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Fighting In a Hotel: The Shins' Marty Crandall (and Girlfriend) Arrested for Domestic Assault

According to Pitchfork, on Friday night, January 4, The Shins' Marty Crandall and girlfriend (former Next Top Model contestant) Elyse Sewell was arrested following a physical altercation in a Sacramento hotel. Read Sewell's LiveJournal account of the situation here, via Pitchfork, an account that details some objectionable behavior by the Sacramento police, but one of the cops allegedly made a comment about Tyra Banks that was kind of amusing, I have to say. Both Crandall and Sewell winced the night away in 'mento jail, and are awaiting a court date in the coming week.

The Shins - Fighting in a Sack

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New Music: Times New Viking, The Helio Sequence, Panda Bear

Beloved lo-fi rockers Times New Viking are now on Matador, but not much has changed. They may even be recording their songs with a lower degree of fidelity, if that's possible. The band just posted "Drop Out" on their MySpace, the third song off of their forthcoming Rip It Off LP (out January 22). Pretty catchy, though likely too fuzzy for many fans
For the other two tracks off of Rip It Off, head here.

Sub Poppers The Helio Sequence return January 29 with Keep Your Eyes Ahead, and the title track is really quite addictive.

Not sure exactly how new this next one is, but I think it was just premiered recently. Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear, aka the artist behind Pitchfork's 2007 album of the year and one of HowsThePie's top ten albums of 2007, cut this one loose during a radio session in Ma Fama, Portugal, and, you know, it's Panda Bear, so you should listen to it.

Music Sounds Worse Than It Used To...and Not Just Because Soulja Boy is Making It

Read this, courtesy of Rolling Stone. According to RS, music engineering and mastering in 2007 sucks compared the old school stylings. Fascinating. Includes a quote from Bob Dylan:

"[Modern albums] have sound all over them. There's no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like — static."

If Dylan says so, it's true.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Ten Most Anticipated Albums (for now) of 2008

Just a few forthcoming records HowsThePie is stoked about. Most of these may not be worth two shits come the year-end lists (sorry to be mentioning 2008 end-of-year lists already, but best-of lists are like presidential elections), and I have excluded a couple not-yet-released albums that I may have already heard (cough, Beach House, cough). Certainly, though, a couple of these may very well rank among the year's elite:

1. Artist: My Bloody Valentine

Album: N/A

Just-for-Fun Fake Title: Loveless II: Flava of Loveless

When this one drops, the iPod headphones may literally not leave my ears for like week straight (outside of class, of course). You can count on one hand the albums released the during the post-Loveless age of equal or greater anticipation. I'd put In Utero there, probably both OK Computer and Kid A, but few others.

2. Artist: Wolf Parade

Album: N/A

Just-for-Fun Fake Title: Forgiveness By the Queen Mary

Now that both Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs have been exposed through their Pitchfork snubbings, we finally realize who the real mastermind behind Wolf Parade is. Step forward, Dante.

3. Artist: Raekwon

Album: Only For Built 4 Cuban Linx II

He apparently told that the record is "damn near 200 percent done," but, you know, I've been waiting a couple years and still don't have it. One way or another, I become quite giddy considering the sequel to one of the greatest rap albums of all time.

4. Artist: Of Montreal
Album: Skeletal Lamping

Kevin Barnes has already said that this album is going to be very different from Hissing Fauna. Then again, Hissing Fauna is quite different from most things already.

5. Artist: Destroyer

Album: Trouble in Dreams

I’m calling it: This is the one where Bejar finally brings out the falsetto.

6. Artist: Be Your Own Pet

Album: Get Awkward

Thurston Moore's (and my) favorite teenage punk band return in March with the follow-up to their gloriously fun, raucous self-titled debut.

7. Artist: Stephen Malkmus

Album: Real Emotional Trash

It feels weird putting this into writing, but this is may be the follow-up to the best album Malkmus has done since Wowee Zowee.

8. Artist: Silver Jews

Album: Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

Fortunately, David Berman has gotten his life together, and seems to be happier now than ever before. He also seems to be as satisfied and excited about the Jews' new record as he has ever been about one of his albums. If he tops American Water...boy oh boy. Read it about here.

9. Artist: Tapes 'N Tapes
Album: N/A

Indie rock darlings return later this year with the follow-up to their catchy '06 debut The Loon. We're all holding our breath for "Omaha (Pt. II)."

10. Artist: Coldplay
Album: N/A

Just-for-Fun Fake Album Title: Another Green Eye
Chris Martin's sense of Britpop drama with Brian Eno's artistic vision? This could be a trainwreck or a materpiece, though it will likely be neither. I expect the band's best record yet, and one that could catapult them out of the hipster doghouse.


Death Cab will be return in a few months with a "really weird" record, according to Chris Walla. I'm still waiting for a new fuckin' Postal Service record, however, so I'm kinda losing patience with Ben Gibbard.

Due to its awkward release date (December 18), the excellent Lupe Fiasco's The Cool sort of slid under the critical radar, but nonetheless, it isn't unlikely that we may see the 2008 release of Lupe's "final" release LUPEnd. If we don't, odds are we'll see the CRS record instead.

There were some buzz last year about both a new Built to Spill album and the Modest Mouse/BtS covers disc. Either would be nice, but with BtS's eternal tour, who really knows?

Broken Social Scene will apparently present founding member Brendan Canning to the eager public. Though, fingers are crossed for Broken Social Scene Presents: The Whole Band in 2009.

A final few (speculative) possibilities: Franz Ferdinand, Madvillain, Cannibal Ox, The Avalanches, Nas, MF Doom & Ghostface, The Hold Steady, Islands, and Animal Collective (who already seem to have an album's worth of new material, and plan to record "early" in 2008).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

'07 Asshole of the Year

Sorry, a bit later on this one than planned, but choosing the biggest asshole of 2007 takes some time. There was an extensive exploration of the asshole-ness of each nominee, including a high profile bipartisan commission evaluating each asshole. OK, so it was essentially me deciding which man or woman acted in the most objectionable, irritating, and infuriating way during the past year. As the picture suggests, I chose one Mr. Michael Vick as 2007's biggest asshole, but he certainly had some competition:

Michael Vick: Remember a couple months ago when we thought Vick's flipping off the crowd and taking pot onto the plane was big news? Yeah, well, things done changed. One of the saddest downfalls of a pro athlete in recent memory. This is funny though:

PETA: A close second to Vick. I don't have a problem with animal rights' protests, but chill the fuck down, PETA.

Barry Bonds: Cheating asshole of the year. Embarrased the game of baseball, treated everyone like assholes along the way. Of course, he, uh, didn't kill any dogs.

Lil' Wayne: World's greatest rapper? World's most omnipresently annoying musician, more like it. Some critics love him, but that southern, crawling drawl gets on my nerves. Particularly when he's on, like, every single hip-hop song this year, including the worst track on both American Gangster and Graduation.

Voldemort: SPOILER ALERT. This is one mean motherfuckin' wizard. He got taken down by Harry at the end, but I had to tolerate 700 pages of his evil deeds prior to his inevitable death. R.I.P. Lupin and Tonks.

Alberto Gonzales: Why is he nominated? I don't recall. Maybe Ashcroft told me to when I visited him in the hospital.

Isiah Thomas: Such an asshole. Between the sexual harassment controversy and the Knicks' sucking, I wouldn't mind if 'ol Isiah just went away for a while.

EMI executives: Don't fuck with Radiohead. Just don't do it.

Elizabeth Hasselback: Kind of a perennial nominee. She just annoys the hell out of me. New Year's Resolution: annihilate The View.

OJ Simpson: My bad, he doesn't belong here...he just wanted his shit back. No AC this time around, though.
Chuck Norris: That damn Huckabee ad. Good 'ol Walker Texas Ranger has officially become too self-referential.

Don Imus: Succeeds Michael Richards as racist of the year.