December 27, 2006
Number Ones That Never Were:
Best of 2006 Edition
Excerpted from last year's post:
When I was growing up, before the heady days of FM Radio, I had four major sources that contributed to my musical education:
01) My father’s vast collection of Big Band, Jazz, Show Tunes, Frank Sinatra and Novelty Records (one of my personal childhood favorites, Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax," was perfect for running around the house like an idiot); 02) My two older brothers’ combined record collection (the usual suspects: Beatles, Stones, Iron Butterfly); 03) Sixties TV (Ed Sullivan, Hulllabaloo, Where the Action Is and Happening (both featuring Paul Revere & the Raiders), American Bandstand; and 04) WABC-AM, New York.
The last one perhaps had the most profound and perverse affect on my musical tastes. Back in the sixties, Top 40 radio was unbelievably eclectic. Just take a look at this list from 1965:
1. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones
2. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch), Four Tops
3. Wooly Bully, Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs
4. My Girl, Temptations
5. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', Righteous Brothers
6. Downtown, Petula Clark
7. Help!, The Beatles
8. Can't You Hear My Heartbeat, Herman's Hermits
9. Crying In The Chapel, Elvis Presley
10. You Were On My Mind, We Five
11. I Got You Babe, Sonny and Cher
12. Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter, Herman's Hermits
13. The Birds And The Bees, Jewel Aikens
14. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Mel Carter
15. Shotgun, Jr. Walker and The All Stars
16. Help Me, Rhonda, Beach Boys
17. This Diamond Ring, Gary Lewis and The Playboys
18. The "In" Crowd, Ramsey Lewis Trio
19. King Of The Road, Roger Miller
20. Stop! In The Name Of Love, Supremes
21. Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers
22. Silhouettes, Herman's Hermits
23. I'll Never Find Another You, Seekers
24. Cara, Mia, Jay and The Americans
25. Mr. Tambourine Man, Byrds
26. Cast Your Fate To The Wind, Sounds Orchestral
27. Yes, I'm Ready, Barbara Mason
28. What's New Pussycat?, Tom Jones
29. Eve Of Destruction, Barry McGuire
30. Hang On Sloopy, McCoys
31. Ticket To Ride, The Beatles
32. Red Roses For A Blue Lady, Bert Kaempfert and His Orch.
33. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag, James Brown and The Famous Flames
34. Game Of Love, Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders
35. The Name Game, Shirley Ellis
36. I Know A Place, Petula Clark
37. Back In My Arms Again, Supremes
38. Baby I'm Yours, Barbara Lewis
39. The Jolly Green Giant, Kingsmen
40. Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Patti Page
Could you imagine hearing so many great songs on one commerical radio station these days? It’s an almost perfect collection of pop songs (with very few exceptions). In contrast, take a look at the crap on this chart from 2003:
1. 1. Yeah!, Usher Featuring Ludacris & Lil' Jon
2. This Love, Maroon 5
3. The Reason, Hoobastank
4. With You, Jessica Simpson
5. Leave(Get Out), Jojo
6. Toxic, Britney Spears
7. My Immortal, Evanescence
8. The Way You Move, Outkast Featuring Sleepy Brown
10. Pieces Of Me, Ashlee Simpson
11. Burn, Usher
12. Meant To Live, Switchfoot
13. Hey Ya!, Outkast
14. Numb, Linkin Park
15. She Will Be Loved, Maroon 5
16. Naughty Girl, Beyonce
17. My Happy Ending, Avril Lavigne
18, I Don't Wanna Know, Mario Winans Featuring Enya & P. Diddy
19. Dip It Low, Christina Milian Featuring Fabolous
20. Here Without You, 3 Doors Down
21. Tipsy, J-Kwon
22. Turn Me On, Kevin Lyttle Featuring Spragga Benz
23. Hey Mama, Black Eyed Peas
24. Let's Get It Started, Black Eyed Peas
25. If I Ain't Got You, Alicia Keys
26. On The Way Down, Ryan Cabrera
27. Move Ya Body, Nina Sky Featuring Jabba
28. Suga Suga, Baby Bash
29. Everytime, Britney Spears
30. It's My Life, No Doubt
31. Don't Tell Me, Avril Lavigne
32. One Thing, Finger Eleven
33. Perfect, Simple Plan
34. Roses, Outkast
35. My Band, D12 Featuring Eminem
36. Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson
37. Goodies, Ciara Featuring Petey Pablo
38. The First Cut Is The Deepest, Sheryl Crow
39. One Call Away, Chingy Featuring J. Weav
Yes, I’m sure people will be listening to Hoobastank, Maroon 5 and Switchfoot 40 years from now (well, maybe some people will be forced to at Gitmo).
Of course the sixties didn't have a monopoly on good music. There’s been plenty of great music over the years; you just never hear it on commercial radio anymore (unless you have satellite radio). That’s been the motivation for my Number Ones That Never Were series (see lefthand sidebar): In a perfect world, bands on the margins would be enjoying boffo record sales and people from Jabip would be singing their songs instead of “Hey Ya” (which admittedly was a fun song…the first 5,000 times I heard it).
This year, I’m presenting a Number Ones That Never Were: Best of 2006 Edition. One of the greatest things about WABC was that every year around this time they would countdown the top 100 songs of the year. I was addicted to these countdowns and would take my trusty AM radio everywhere I went so I wouldn’t miss a song (and yes, I did have a Sony Cube Radio like the one above. I also had an AM radio shaped like a baseball and one shaped like a football).
I mentioned before that WABC had both a profound and perverse effect on my musical tastes: Profound because it taught me that Dylan, The Stones, The Beatles, James Brown, The Temptations, Sam the Sham and The Beach Boys could all co-exist; perverse because that same world could also include Petula Clark, Bert Kaempfert, Roger Miller and Patti Page (and I use the term perverse with love).
So, if you click on the fabulous Sony Cube, you’ll hear my profound and perverse version of what I think commercial radio should have sounded like this year. Enjoy!
(Note: The majority of these songs, with the exception of artists like Beck and Xtina who prefer to do business with major labelage, were downloaded from the most-excellent music subscription service, emusic.)
P.S. - I'll be gone until the 6th of January so this will more than likely be the last post until then. Happy New Year!
Requiem for Christmas Trees
December 26, 2006
The Children Is Our Future:
December 25, 2006
Nothing Quite Says "Happy Birthday Jesus" Like a Pair of Giant Underpants
Hope y'all had a merry one.
-Krup (and nephew Will)
December 24, 2006
Are You Ready for Santa?
(Better douse that fire before you go to bed tonight.)
And, just in case you can't find any decent holiday programs on the tube tonight, here's a couple of classics:
December 23, 2006
A Dreary* Saturday Christmas Double Feature!
Plus a cartoon:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians
It's a Wonderful Life
*Trust me, it's dreary in Jersey. Unseasonably warm, but dreary.
Update: The sun's coming out! Get off the computer and get outside (these movies will be here when you get back)!!!
December 22, 2006
The 57th Annunal Six Degrees Traveler Holiday Music Extravaganza!
From the Six Degrees Records website:
The new installment of Six Degrees' weekly internet radio broadcast is now up on i-Tunes' Radio Section (Under the Eclectic or Electronica headings) or at live365.com.And best of all, it's FREE!
We are also now on Jazz Iz Radio at jazzizradio.com
On this week's edition of Six Degrees Traveler we bring you our third annual Holiday Music Special presented by our special guest host Krup (the undisputed king of eclectic holiday tunes). This is not your typical holiday music show. I REPEAT- THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL HOLIDAY MUSIC SHOW! Krup rocks X-Mas Traveler style with an insane collection of rarities, mash ups, remixes and rockers both old and new.
Check out the full playlist at sixdegrees.com.
Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire
(Click to watch)
A horrifying holiday reminder from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (h/t: WFMU's Beware of the Blog).
December 21, 2006
December 20, 2006
George Lays Out The Case For His Own Impeachment
...if not having a clue as to what you're talking about and being arrogant about it at the same time were impeachable offenses:
(Click to watch)
December 19, 2006
A Semi-Reverent Tribute to the Late Joseph Barbera
(by way of John K.)
Hanna-Barbera WAS my childhood. Although I preferred the more sophisticated Warner Bros. cartoons (Bugs, Daffy, etc.), I could not escape the sheer volume of entertainment provided by the H-B empire: Yogi, Quick Draw McGraw, Jonny Quest, Huckleberry Hound, Magilla Gorilla, Top Cat, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, etc.
More recently, Hanna-Barbera became a huge part of my adulthood thanks to the Adult Swim show that started it all, Space Ghost: Coast to Coast:
So, thank you Joe (I think) and R.I.P.. Take it away John:
December 17, 2006
+ Expiration Date = U2:
It's sad to say, but after their last two albums and now this piece of crap, U2 have officially joined bands like R.E.M. in the "we-simply-don't-matter-anymore" pile (try as they might).
How Do You Spell Lame?
December 15, 2006
(Click the menorah to listen to a special Hanukkah song)
(Mel Gibson menorah courtesy of NPR.)
Toast Approves Too!
We Have Achieved Tree
...and it's a big mofo:
(Once again, Wahoo approves.)
December 13, 2006
The Krup "2006" Christmas Mix
Just in time for Hanukkah:
(Click to listen)
Some of you out there (and you know who you are) may be saying, "Hey, isn't this last year's mix?" Well, yes and no. You see, for almost two decades, yours truly has been sending out Christmas Comp CDs (or Mix Tapes during the pre-digital age) to special F.O.K.'s (friends of Krup's). Past comps include Let's Put the Krup Back in Christmas, Trent Lott's White Christmas and my personal favorite, Do Jews Hear What Goys Hear.
So yes, indeed, this was last year's CD -- but not last year's blog mix (see the "Holiday" tree on the left hand column). Delaying the online mix one year enables the special F.O.K.'s to feel truly special when they receive their CD in the mail. For most of you out there in the blogosphere, this mix will therefore seem "new."
However, if you're reading this blog, that means that you are all now my new special little F.O.K.'s so I feel obligated to throw you a bone. Therefore, beginning next week, I'll be hosting the 57th Annual Six Degrees' Traveller Radio Show Holiday Extravaganza, featuring many songs that will appear on this year's CD. Simply click the Six Degrees Records logo below to go to the Six Degrees channel on live365.com (or go to iTunes where you'll find the show under the Electronica and/or Eclectic categories). Oh, and did I mention it's FREE?
But wait! There's more!!! The fantabulous DJ Riko has just released his 2006 Christmas mix. Click below and begin the holiday season with fresh ears:
A Very Special Episode of "Scrubs"
(Click to watch)
Not originally intended for public consumption (it was made for a Christmas party), the cast of Scrubs lend their voices to a reworking of the holiday classic. If you're not watching Scrubs on Thursday nights (or in syndication), you should be.
(H/T to freakgirl)
For the (non-Scrubs) alternate ending, click here (H/T to Chris T. over at WFMU's Beware of the Blog).
Neither clip is terribly SFW and both are probably just a wee bit offensive...
Jon Stewart, madder than hell, channels Howard Beale and, once again, bids adieu to Donald Rumsfeld (who should be rotting away in some Abu Ghraib-like prison but instead will be dividing his time between his five homes*):
*From Vanity Fair's Neo Culpa:
As we leave the restaurant together, (Kenneth) Adelman points to an office on the corner of Washington's 18th Street Northwest where he and Rumsfeld first worked together, during the Nixon administration, in 1972. "I've worked with him three times in my life. I have great respect for him. I'm extremely fond of him. I've been to each of his houses, in Chicago, Taos, Santa Fe, Santo Domingo, and Las Vegas. We've spent a lot of vacations together, been around the world together, spent a week together in Vietnam. I'm very, very fond of him, but I'm crushed by his performance. Did he change, or were we wrong in the past? Or is it that he was never really challenged before? I don't know. He certainly fooled me."
December 10, 2006
Just How Badly Did Bush & Co. F*ck Up in Iraq?
From the article Neo Culpa in the latest issue of Vanity Fair:
James Woolsey, another Defense Policy Board member, who served as director of the C.I.A. under President Clinton, lobbied for an Iraq invasion with a prodigious output of articles, speeches, and television interviews. At a public debate hosted by Vanity Fair in September 2004, he was still happy to argue for the motion that "George W. Bush has made the world a safer place." Now he draws explicit parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, aghast at what he sees as profound American errors that have ignored the lessons learned so painfully 40 years ago. He has not given up hope: "As of mid-October of '06, the outcome isn't clear yet." But if, says Woolsey, as now seems quite possible, the Iraqi adventure ends with American defeat, the consequences will be "awful, awful.… It will convince the jihadis and al-Qaeda-in-Iraq types as well as the residual Ba'thists that we are a paper tiger, and they or anybody they want to help can take us on anywhere and anytime they want and be effective, that we don't have the stomach to stay and fight."Read the whole thing, if you have the stomach...
Professor Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, yet another Defense Policy Board member and longtime advocate of ousting Saddam Hussein, is even more pessimistic: "People sometimes ask me, 'If you knew then what you know now, would you still have been in favor of the war?' Usually they're thinking about the W.M.D. stuff. My response is that the thing I know now that I did not know then is just how incredibly incompetent we would be, which is the most sobering part of all this. I'm pretty grim. I think we're heading for a very dark world, because the long-term consequences of this are very large, not just for Iraq, not just for the region, but globally—for our reputation, for what the Iranians do, all kinds of stuff."
Edited series of David Caruso one-liners from CSI: Miami. Clearly the work of a man acting for an audience of one: Himself.
Over a Half Century On and It Can Still Make Us Laugh
However, I can't say the same for what's between the covers (sample: "Groin's Anatomy") but I'm glad to see that the Usual Gang of Idiots are still at it.
The Fighting First Family
"How the Bush family's recruitment-eligible generation is winning the war against Godless Islamunistofascists."
December 09, 2006
Nothing To Gloat About
I remember marching down Broadway back in March of 2003 to protest the brand new war in Iraq and thinking, "I'm not going to change anything but at least I can help show the rest of the world that America is not completely made up of gung ho, war-mongering, idiot cowboys" (or thoughts to that effect).
Later that day, my wife and I had to endure the rantings of one of our local firefighters -- a nice enough guy but a bit of a lunkhead: "Can you believe those idiots today on Broadway?!?!" Having more or less learned my lesson one drunken evening back in college (never, EVER pick a fight with someone who has a small brain but who is physically twice your size), I kept my mouth shut, even though I knew I was 100% right. Not very brave but also not stupid.
However, there were other brave souls out there who stuck their necks out and spoke out about this criminal war even though they were potentially putting their careers in jeopardy. Billions of dollars and thousands of lives later (including 2,928 American soldiers), all of us who opposed this wrong-headed war can now safely say we were right. But that is certainly nothing to be happy about.
Paul Krugman, in yesterday's New York Times, paid tribute to just a few of the men and women who refused to keep their mouths shut. Here is the article, in it's entirety (since it's behind the Times' wall of payment):
They Told You So
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Shortly after U.S. forces marched into Baghdad in 2003, The Weekly Standard published a jeering article titled, “The Cassandra Chronicles: The stupidity of the antiwar doomsayers.” Among those the article mocked was a “war novelist” named James Webb, who is now the senator-elect from Virginia.
The article’s title was more revealing than its authors knew. People forget the nature of Cassandra’s curse: although nobody would believe her, all her prophecies came true.
And so it was with those who warned against invading Iraq. At best, they were ignored. A recent article in The Washington Post ruefully conceded that the paper’s account of the debate in the House of Representatives over the resolution authorizing the Iraq war — a resolution opposed by a majority of the Democrats — gave no coverage at all to those antiwar arguments that now seem prescient.
At worst, those who were skeptical about the case for war had their patriotism and/or their sanity questioned. The New Republic now says that it “deeply regrets its early support for this war.” Does it also deeply regret accusing those who opposed rushing into war of “abject pacifism?”
Now, only a few neocon dead-enders still believe that this war was anything but a vast exercise in folly. And those who braved political pressure and ridicule to oppose what Al Gore has rightly called “the worst strategic mistake in the history of the United States” deserve some credit.
Unlike The Weekly Standard, which singled out those it thought had been proved wrong, I’d like to offer some praise to those who got it right. Here’s a partial honor roll:
Former President George H. W. Bush and Brent Scowcroft, explaining in 1998 why they didn’t go on to Baghdad in 1991: “Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.”
Representative Ike Skelton, September 2002: “I have no doubt that our military would decisively defeat Iraq’s forces and remove Saddam. But like the proverbial dog chasing the car down the road, we must consider what we would do after we caught it.”
Al Gore, September 2002: “I am deeply concerned that the course of action that we are presently embarking upon with respect to Iraq has the potential to seriously damage our ability to win the war against terrorism and to weaken our ability to lead the world in this new century.”
Barack Obama, now a United States senator, September 2002: “I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”
Representative John Spratt, October 2002: “The outcome after the conflict is actually going to be the hardest part, and it is far less certain.”
Representative Nancy Pelosi, now the House speaker-elect, October 2002: “When we go in, the occupation, which is now being called the liberation, could be interminable and the amount of money it costs could be unlimited.”
Senator Russ Feingold, October 2002: “I am increasingly troubled by the seemingly shifting justifications for an invasion at this time. ... When the administration moves back and forth from one argument to another, I think it undercuts the credibility of the case and the belief in its urgency. I believe that this practice of shifting justifications has much to do with the troubling phenomenon of many Americans questioning the administration’s motives.”
Howard Dean, then a candidate for president and now the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, February 2003: “I firmly believe that the president is focusing our diplomats, our military, our intelligence agencies, and even our people on the wrong war, at the wrong time. ... Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms.”
We should honor these people for their wisdom and courage. We should also ask why anyone who didn’t raise questions about the war — or, at any rate, anyone who acted as a cheerleader for this march of folly — should be taken seriously when he or she talks about matters of national security.
Tom Waits: Uncut
The Daily Show has given in to the pressure of Krup (at least in my mind) and is now featuring Tom's complete performance. Glory be:
December 08, 2006
Yes, Everywhere It's Christmas
The blogosphere is exploding with Christmas (or "Holiday") posts featuring a virtual feast of free music. You need look no further than PCL Link Dump:
(Click for link)
...but, if you must, you can go to DJ Riko's website for his excellent mixes:
(Click for link)
...plus, our old pal Freakgirl is posting a new "Holiday" tune (almost) everyday until Christmas as part of her Holiday Music Spectacular:
(Click for link)
...and, of course, yours truly will be posting his latest mix of Merry Mayhem within the next few days. In the meantime, enjoy the above as well as my mix from last year:
(Click for Part 1)
(Click for Part 2)
The Top 50 Videos of 2006
The NY Post: In Lockstep with the American People
Meanwhile, back in reality: 60% of Americans favor withdrawal in 6 months and 71% favor withdrawal within 2 years.
December 07, 2006
"A Washington Inside Job"
Russ Feingold on the Iraq Study Group (via Atrios):
"The fact is this commission was composed apparently entirely of people who did not have the judgment to oppose this Iraq war in the first place, and did not have the judgment to realize it was not a wise move in the fight against terrorism. So that's who is doing this report. Then I looked at the list of who testified before them. There is virtually no one who opposed the war in the first place. Virtually no one who has been really calling for a different strategy that goes for a global approach to the war on terrorism. So this is really a Washington inside job and it shows not in the description of what's happened - that's fairly accurate - but it shows in the recommendations. It's been called a classic Washington compromise that does not do the job of extricating us from Iraq in a way that we can deal with the issues in Southeast Asia, in Afghanistan, and in Somalia which are every bit as important as what is happening in Iraq. This report does not do the job and it's because it was not composed of a real representative group of Americans who believe what the American people showed in the election, which is that it's time for us to have a timetable to bring the troops out of Iraq."
"Stay Awake! Don't Close Your Eyes!!!"
Scary Mary: Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You.
December 05, 2006
It's the Christmas Season. Keep Yer Chin Up.
"You're Older Brother is an Idiot!"
For 5 Years, We Were All Bush
(well, at least half the country was)
When the president persists in talking about staying until “the mission is complete” even though there is no definable military mission, let alone one that can be completed, he is indulging in pure absurdity. The same goes for his talk of “victory,” another concept robbed of any definition when the prime minister we are trying to prop up is allied with Mr. Sadr, a man who wants Americans dead and has many scalps to prove it. The newest hollowed-out Bush word to mask the endgame in Iraq is “phase,” as if the increasing violence were as transitional as the growing pains of a surly teenager. “Phase” is meant to drown out all the unsettling debate about two words the president doesn’t want to hear, “civil war.”
When news organizations, politicians and bloggers had their own civil war about the proper usage of that designation last week, it was highly instructive — but about America, not Iraq. The intensity of the squabble showed the corrosive effect the president’s subversion of language has had on our larger culture. Iraq arguably passed beyond civil war months ago into what might more accurately be termed ethnic cleansing or chaos. That we were fighting over “civil war” at this late date was a reminder that wittingly or not, we have all taken to following Mr. Bush’s lead in retreating from English as we once knew it.
It’s been a familiar pattern for the news media, politicians and the public alike in the Bush era. It took us far too long to acknowledge that the “abuses” at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere might be more accurately called torture. And that the “manipulation” of prewar intelligence might be more accurately called lying. Next up is “pullback,” the Iraq Study Group’s reported euphemism to stave off the word “retreat” (if not retreat itself).
In the case of “civil war,” it fell to a morning television anchor, Matt Lauer, to officially bless the term before the “Today” show moved on to such regular fare as an update on the Olsen twins. That juxtaposition of Iraq and post-pubescent eroticism was only too accurate a gauge of how much the word “war” itself has been drained of its meaning in America after years of waging a war that required no shared sacrifice. Whatever you want to label what’s happening in Iraq, it has never impeded our freedom to dote on the Olsen twins.
December 02, 2006
The 1994 Academy Award Winner for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
...the F'ing Short Version:
(NSFW unless you work with sailors)