By BEN WESTHOFF
1. Worst Album: Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
This cerebral garbage entertained about 100 people, none of whom didn’t either live in Canada or work as a music critic. Speaking of critics, it’s hard to agree with Sasha Frere-Jones about anything, but he was right that Arcade Fire lacks soul. This is true in both the musical and metaphysical senses.
2. Worst Single: Bow Wow & Omarion, “Girlfriend”
Worse than Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” and much worse than ‘N Sync’s “Girlfriend,” this slow, pandering drivel is the kind of thing that makes you wish Bow was still a pup and Omarion was still with B2K.
3. Worst Wu-Tang Clan Song: “Sunlight.”
Wu’s new album is amazing, and I support RZA’s production on it, but on “Sunlight” he falls off the deep end. And as you play all day like the grasshopper who work and toil like armies of ants carrying stones of soil, he chants in a series of run-on sentences, building a home for themselves and storing food. At night we praise Allah and adore the moon in sync like the flow of the Nile, the growth of a child. Cool!
4. Worst Concert: White Williams
White Williams tries his hardest to avoid melody in his songs, and in his concerts he tries his hardest to avoid playing music. This was the case, at least, at his December 10 show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom, in which Williams’ inane, hipster banter dominated the set. During long pauses between songs, we were treated to views of (what I believe was) his MySpace page.
Top 10 Records for 2007 by Billy Smith of Roman Numerals, Olympic Size and DJ Say10 fame.
Von Sudenfed, Tromatic Reflexxions (Domino)
LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver (DFA)
Battles, Mirrored (Warp)
Cornelius, Sensuous (Ever Loving)
Angels of Light, We Are Him (Young God)
Earth, Hibernaculum (Southern Lord)
Efterklang, Parades (Leaf)
Republic Tigers, S/T EP (Chop Shop)
Chromatics, Night Drive (Italians Do it Better)
Various Artists, Brazil 70: After Tropicalia -- New Directions in Brazilian Music in the 1970's (Soul Jazz)
By NADIA PFLAUM
Here, in no real order, are the ten songs of this year that make me want to cut off my face:
Gym Class Heroes, “Cupid’s Chokehold.” Their “sample” of Supertramp was actually just wholesale theft of a good chorus, plus rewritten lyrics so repugnant that I bet they actually penned them themselves.
J. Holiday, “Bed.” It’s not because of the chorus that sounds like he’s crying. It’s these lines, spoken to a girl: My angel, this is wonderful/Thanks for lettin’ me bless ya/ Come down, fly, right, drift back into heaven. The only reason a dude should ever talk like that in bed is if he digs being slapped.
Fergie, “Big Girls.” At least in this one she’s not just stealing the best part of a JJ Fad song. Here she sings, I need to be with myself and center, clarity, peace, serenity, which are sentiments she probably ripped off a poster of a waterfall hanging in a dentist’s waiting room.
Akon, “Sorry, Blame it on Me.” This song is supposed to be an apology for Akon’s famous dry-humping-of-an-underage-girl-onstage incident. But the song lyrics basically say that he’s not sorry and that it was the club’s fault for letting the girl in. Since when is pop music for weasely non-apologies? That’s what politics are for.
6. Timbaland and Nelly Furtado, , “Give it to Me.” Best misheard lyrics ever: “I’m Miss International, got bank up to my taco.” Unfortunately, according to the lyrics on hiphopdx.com, she’s really singing, Amnesty International got Bankok to Mantauk on lock. What? Anyway, the real reason this song is on this list is because the radio WORE IT OUT.
By CHRIS PACKHAM
Facts about U2’s mononymous front-man, Bono:
-- Bono is the founder and celebrity hood ornament of the (PRODUCT)RED campaign to expand opportunities in poverty-ravaged African countries and to combat the spread of diseases such as malaria and AIDS.
-- Bono is only four inches tall.
-- Bono was hatched from a pheasant egg and washes his tiny face in a sink made from a nutshell.
The (PRODUCT)RED campaign fights poverty in Africa by harnessing the greatest strength of the Western world, which is shopping for useless shit. So far, the project has consisted of the distribution of red-colored luxury products like iPods and Armani wristwatches.
Now, the campaign is finding expression in the medium of Hallmark greeting cards. So, (Happy Secretary’s Day)RED, impoverished people of the earth. As (PRODUCT)RED moves beyond its former glam mandate into the realm of things your mom might buy – we’re thinking Hallmark Cards, Hummel figurines and Osh Kosh B’Gosh jeans with elastic waistbands – Bono came to Kansas City very quietly last week to congratulate Kansas City’s favorite rich-spoiled-brat-held company on its new enterprise in the manufacture of philanthropic birth announcements.
We’re not 100% sure what happened at the event, so we’re just going to go ahead and claim that Bono danced like this:
As a service to area shoppers, The Pitch offers the following reviews of (PRODUCT)RED consumer goods:
Hallmark Greeting Card. One of the (HALLMARK)RED cards. Outside, it says, “Wishing You a Day.” Inside, seemingly as a kind of afterthought, it says, “Made for Dreaming.” According to the (HALLMARK)RED Web site, it electronically bleeps “Over the Rainbow” when you open it. Wish your favorite couple congratulations on the occasion of their gay marriage while simultaneously alleviating famine and disease a world away.
Playlist includes Red Sovine, Simply Red, and the Red Elvises. HAHAHAHA! As a service to the color-blind, all three tracks plus the (iPOD)RED conform to the accessibility regulations stipulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(HEALTHY WHITE BABY)RED
Weighs 12 pounds, portable, easily stowed in vehicle while shopping or dining in restaurants. Responds to shaking with reduction in excitability. NOTE: Do not shake. All babies delivered with certificate of authenticity and individually numbered by the Social Security Administration.
(ARMANI)RED Inspi(red) Wristwatches
Stylish and impeccably designed, they make pulling out your cellphone to check the time obsolete – just look at your wrist, which is the bendy section between your arm and the hand you’re using to draw a heart over the “i” in your signature inside this Hallmark card:
Outside, it says, “You’re Always a Bright Spot in My Day.” Inside, as a reminder to the character played by Guy Pearce in Memento of what he just read two seconds ago, it says, “Always.”
While we here at The Pitch have been Photoshopping "Free Mustache Rides" shirts on everyone and their mother to commemorate the end of Kansas AG Paul Morrison's career, the folks at the Wichita Eagle are a bit more mature. They made a holiday-themed music video.
Robert Moore, host of Sonic Spectrum on 96.5 FM the Buzz, presents his list of the ten best albums of the year, with honorable mentions after the jump.
ROBERT MOORE'S BEST ALBUMS OF '07
Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala
Devendra Banhart, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Field Music, Tones Of Town
Eleni Mandell, Miracle Of Five
Various Artists, David Shrigley's Worried Noodles
Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity
Shocking Pinks, Shocking Pinks
The Magik Markers, Boss
Angels of Light, We Are Him
The Len Price 3, Rent A Crowd
Record Bar co-owner (and Roman Numerals member) Steve Tulipana said that not only could he make a list of the 10 best shows that went down at his venue this year but also the 10 best shows that no one attended. We said OK, do it. He did.
TOP 10 BEST SHOWS AT RECORDBAR 2007
Old Time Relijun
TOP 10 BEST SHOWS THAT NO ONE SAW AT RECORDBAR
Well, a few very lucky people did.
The Oh Sees
West Indian Girl
Bob Log III
Love Like Fire
Follow the jump to see Steve's best-album list.
By BERRY ANDERSON
A couple of songs into the set, Jeff Pickman, guitarist for Action Figure proclaimed, “This place Crosstown Station kicks ass!”
He is right… It kicks ass in that squeaky-clean, new-place kind of way.
Scoring major points for sound quality, general stage appearance, and superfriendly staff (when was the last time a bartender called you “Love”?), downtown’s newest music venue/nightclub/bar opened this weekend to near-capacity crowds. Though I missed out on Friday night’s California Voodoo (covering all of Widespread Panic’s greatest jams), I threw down seven dollars to see what all the hype was about behind that tastefully done southfacing mural.
The evening’s bill included Lawrence’s genre-bending Volunteers, the powerpop foursome Action Figure, and sensitive balladeers Carmine Red. I arrived early enough to find myself in the midst of a complete sausagefest on both sides of the bar. I gravitated towards co-owner Melissa Mitchell, who was sitting at the end of the bar going through what appeared to be job applications. Would the hiring of hot “rock” chicks to open assloads of Bud Light bottles be in CtS’s near future?
By CRYSTAL K. WIEBE
Tonya Harding warms up to customers at Grinders.
Bad girl figure skater-turned-boxer Tonya Harding came to town last Friday to sign autographs at a mixed martial arts fighting event. Before she headed to the National Guard Armory in Kansas City, Kansas, she agreed to have a beer with me at Grinders. She showed up wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word “Redneck.” Here are some highlights from our conversation.
I heard you partied down in Kansas City last night.
We just went to a friend’s restaurant and bar and had dinner and then had a few drinks and I signed a few autographs for some people.
Did people recognize you?
Yeah, yeah. And the owner announced that I was there and that I had pictures and if they wanted one they could come get it.
Do you remember what the restaurant was called?
I don’t remember. Sorry. I was just the passenger in the car and so I just went where they took me. But I remember it was a Mexican restaurant and they had really, really good food. [Her handler revealed later that it was Dicarlo’s Mustard Seed.]
What’s your poison of choice?
I don’t like to talk about that.
But [referring to what she ordered], you like Coors, don’t you?
I like to drink beer. I mean if I say one kind, another kind, whatever. You don’t say names of what you like. You just say I like beer.
That leaves you open to an endorsement deal, right?
Well, you never know.
How do most people react when they recognize you? Are they cool?
People are really cool. They want to come up and shake my hand or at least say hi. A lot of people want to get my autograph. I mean, it’s really cool. Without the support of the people, where would I be? You never know.
[At this point, the waitress brings the beer. Tonya says she doesn’t need a glass.]
What have you been doing today?
Just watching TV, watching the weather reports. Because I leave first thing in the morning. But I love snow. I absolutely love snow, so I’m looking forward to it coming in tonight.
Do you get hit on a lot?
Yeah. Do you get guys coming on to you?
Oh, uh uh. I mean, not that I know of anyway. I mean, I don’t know, I don’t pay attention to that. Most people just want my autograph or come and say hey while I’m watching the news or something.
In your career, you’ve continued to get out and be in the spotlight. I’m not sure if everyone would have necessarily kept doing that.
Well, you know, I don’t necessarily go out to get in the spotlight or anything like that. People tend to put me in the spotlight a lot of times. I really like my privacy and my private life, but I guess I do put myself out there for like doing these events and everything… Like when I go to the boxing matches, I can learn from what I watch. And doing the exhibition boxing; that helps pay the bills. Not a lot, but it helps pay a little bit of them.
[As Tonya talks about why she got into boxing, the guy in the photo at right comes up to the table and asks her to sign a T-shirt. “Sure,” she says. “See what I mean?”]
What are you working toward now?
Just trying to succeed in anything that I do and be successful. For all of the naysayers or negative people out there, the best revenge is success. So, I look toward success every day. Even if I haven’t accomplished total success, I feel successful myself. I feel good about me. And I do look forward to every single day.
A lot of the people at the office wanted me to bring you back for our Friday happy hour.
[Laughs.] Well, if I didn’t have anything else to do, I would.
Is this the kind of place that you’d hang out in back home?
Um, not in this kind of neighborhood. I mean I don’t really go out and hang out too much or anything. I might go out to the bowling alley and see my girlfriends that work there and maybe bowl or something. Go to the local pub down the road or something maybe once every few months or something to say hello or maybe listen to music. Other than that, I’m a home girl. I like sitting out in the front yard by the fire pit having a fire. If it’s raining, you put a tarp up. If it’s not, you’re out there sitting by the fire and listening to the radio and drinking beer, you know, and having friends over. That’s the type of person I am.
What’s the proper way to take a punch?
I really don’t know how to say anything like that. I’m a professional boxer, I’m not a fighter. My hands are lethal weapons. If somebody touches me, I can’t touch them back. There’s nothing I can do about that.
I was tooling around on your Web site…
The one with the fantasy stuff?
The only thing, I don’t actually have a Web site … TonyaHarding.com is not mine. I’ve tried to have it shut down for many, many years. So, please, please, people go to that, what is it – what is it that one? It’s not Yahoo. [Her handler says “YouTube.”] YouToo. Go to YouToo and just type in Tonya Harding. It shows me actually skating.
By ANDY VIHSTADT
Those of you waiting on a full-scale reunion tour from Led Zeppelin should find something else to obsess about in 2008. According to Robert Plant’s site , he and Alison Krauss are launching a European tour in May with US dates to follow. In the meantime, here’s the setlist and a couple of vids from last week’s one-off show in London, at which scalped tickets reportedly fetched as much as $168,000 a pair. You investors out there might want to pick up a few shares in eBay.
Good Times Bad Times
In My Time of Dying
For Your Life
Trampled Under Foot
Nobody’s Fault But Mine
Since I’ve Been Loving You
Dazed and Confused
Stairway to Heaven
The Song Remains the Same
Misty Mountain Hop
Whole Lotta Love (Encore 1)
Rock and Roll (Encore 2)
“Stairway to Heaven”
As an added bonus, here’s DJ Z-Trip and Galactic taking on “Custard Pie.”
Z-Trip and Galactic: “Zed Tripplen” MP3
More soothing musical injections after the jump.
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