Stand absolved behind your electric chair. Dance.
Well, it's the last post of 2006, so I'd thought I'd do the British magazine thing and take a look back at the Heroes and Villains of 2006... are you tired of the lists yet? Last one. For awhile. I promise.
05. Geoff Emerick
I might seem some 30 - 40 years late in bestowing this accolade being as that the guy who engineered the likes of Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the White Album and Abbey Road amongst scores of other great artists may have all his biggest glories behind him, but his memoir of recording the boys, Here There and Everywhere did two amazing things this year: gave fans and anyone with a passing interest alike backstage access to the making of some of the greatest music ever recorded, and gave fans a reason to buy YET ANOTHER Beatles book. It's so good, in fact, it should be one of the only Beatles books you ever need to own.
04. Paul Weller
Nothing new this year, apart from a live album, a so/so single and the announcement that we'll all be fortunate enough to have YET ANOTHER career retrospective, but Weller took home the 2006 Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award at the start of the year, and celebrated it in January by torpedoing past recipients and other Brit nominees at the suggestion that he might want to do a duet with James Blunt to celebrate:
On James Blunt
"I'd rather eat my own sh*t than duet with him."
On Bob Geldof
"Bob Geldof. What’d he win it for? Can’t be for his music, man. I mean, if it’s for his charity work in Africa then you can’t knock it, but Boomtown Rats, f*ck off."
"The whole thing of Bono becoming the Pope - what the f*ck’s all that about? Pseudo-American rubbish."
"F*cking horrible man. Not my cup of tea at all. F*cking rubbish. No edge, no attitude, no nothing."
On David Bowie
"Wrong! I like about three records of his. The rest of it’s pish."
Couldn't have said it better myself, mate.
03. Aaron Sorkin
Sure, we all continued to watch The West Wing after he left, but only because we'd grown so attached to the characters. We missed the humor, and every Sorkin-less episode had drama turned up to 11 where comic relief would usually step in, meaning a formidable heart attack for the viewer at every commercial break, but by God's good grace, he returns to NBC with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the best new show on television, a great reason to continue watching Bradley Whitford and the best role I've seen Matthew Perry in. Kudos.
02. Chicago Cubs
Sure, they were again decimated by injuries and finished with the worst record in the National League, but no sweeter moment in baseball came this season than when Michael Barrett punched A.J. Pierzynski right in the face. Cubs fans everywhere are speculative about the money they've spent in the past few months to acquire Alfonso Soriano, Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis in addition to retaining the likes of Aramis Ramirez - especially as every true Cub fan knows it's going to be millions of dollars for weeks-months on the DL, but... at least it shows they're trying. I'm excited for April already.
01. Kula Shaker
Maybe I'm biased with my non-sexual crush and all, but no better news befell my ears this year than the news that Kula Shaker had reformed, released an iTunes exclusive EP of new material (all of which rocked) and were hard at work on their third studio album. British TV recently did a special on the band's career/Crispian's muses, which some AWESOME soul has upped the entirety of to YouTube. I reccommend watching, because besides being a great interview with the object of my non-sexual desire, FOUR new songs are featured! Something big to look forward to in '07, though all fans know that "Crispian time" will probably mean the album's out by 2012.
Part I // Part II // Part III // Part IV // Part V // Part VI // Part VII
05. Time Magazine
Surely the easiest cop out of the year in naming it's person of the year as YOU -- more due could've been given to the nerds (God bless them) who launched YouTube and the like -- Time decided instead to massage our own collective self-esteem a bit, despite the fact that in a year when the vice president shot a man and the president subverted almost every turn in the Bill of Rights in turning Iraq into even more of a debacle, WE only speculated about how nice it would be to impeach him, and as of December 29, all still lazily agree that two more years of this sh*t can't be THAT bad... can it?
[Ed. note - sorry, I promise that's the most political I'll ever get here]
04. Noel Gallagher
I despise blatant hypocrisy, and being a huge, huge Oasis fan it pains me to say this, but the guy reverted on two of his biggest stands this year. I'll never be able to watch the end of the Live Forever documentary again when Noel talks about how Oasis will never sell out, because I know I'll turn the DVD off and see AT&T using "All Around the World," and after years of professing how there'd never be a greatest hits OR best of until it was "done and dusted," the Stop the Clocks retrospective was released November 21. Bastard. However, he did do a badass acoustic tour to promote the album and this and this alone is enough to make me forgive and forget.
03. Gnarls Barkley
While I can respect them for covering the Doors' "Who Scared You" (big time cool points), the fact of the matter is that "Crazy" was the most overplayed and terribly, terribly overrated song of the year. Are they as bad as any of the other forced pop confectionaries that were launched into our soundsystems this year? Well, there were worse, but every year one song gets played too much, and this was it. The fact of the matter is I'd rather listen to Lily Allen. And would do so happily.
02. Lou Diamond Phillips
Every year this guy gives me a new reason to add to my already incalculable hatred for him.
01. Britney Spears
I never liked her in the first place, but the whole divorce-that-everyone-saw-coming has blown up in her face (and hopefully to a point of no return), as she decided to celebrate her newfound freedom by partying with Paris Hilton to all hours of the night and showing her lady parts to paparazzo to a nauseating degree, all the while seemingly forgetful of the fact that she has two young children at home. Good mom.
So there you have it, the good and the bad by my guesstimation, which I guess means that 2006 wasn't really too bad after all. Here's a New Year's Prayer for you all:
Jeff Buckley - New Year's Prayer
Taken from Jeff's sessions in Memphis with Tom Verlaine that were to comprise the follow up to Grace, fair evidence has been given that Jeff was going to scrap all of it and start over (as he was prone to do). He never got the chance though, drowning in the Mississippi River in 1997 and leaving behind only these remnants for the 2nd album. Needless to say, this is a pretty amazing Eastern-influenced track and appeared on the posthumous compilation Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk. Feel no shame for what you are, people.
See you next year.