Tuesday, December 26, 2006

My Top Music of 2006

So ... I tend to hate reading other people's Top 10 lists every year but I seem to have no problem compiling my own Top 10 lists -- go figure. Actually, I shouldn't say that I have "no problem" because invariably I always have a hard time compressing an entire year of music (and movies and faux pas', etc.) into a simple list of 10. But ... I think I've come up with a list of Top 10 Albums and Songs that I'm happy with for '06 ... and here they are:

Coming in at #10 is a tie between the soundtracks to the movies Marie Antoinette and Dreamgirls:


Both movies are really brought to life by way of the music used in them and altho Marie Antoinette is really a vapid feast for the eyes, I contend that the music really goes a long way in making the audience become a part of the story. I loved the strings version of the Siouxsie and the Banshees song Hong Kong Garden and, in fact, spent a lot of time listening to not only the pop/rock songs on the soundtrack but also the instrumental songs -- something I rarely do. Dreamgirls is probably going to shock many people once they get to hear Jennifer Hudson sing And I'm Telling You ... for that song alone, the album had to make my Top 10 list.

At #9 I chose the new album by The Dixie Chicks titled Taking The Long Way:


I'm not a big Country music fan (and no, Shania Twain does not count) and I was never previously a Dixie Chicks fan (altho, I have always enjoyed the song Goodbye Earl) but I was intrigued when I heard that rock producer Rick Ruben would be producing this new album. Absent all the controversy and drama that surrounds the Dixie Chicks, this album is amazing. I really hope DC continue to make albums like this because I am definitely a new fan.

Prince's newest album 3121 comes in at #8:


The man is just 2 Funky 4 His Own Good. I'm glad that he's cooled off on the religiousy music (like his album The Rainbow Children) because I think he's at his best when he's sexy/funky. Black Sweat is just ... sex. Prince is deff the man.

The Raconteurs album, Broken Boy Soliders, is in at #7:


Jack White + Brendan Benson = L.O.V.E. The world finally got to hear how amazing a singer Brendan Benson is ... now maybe they'll go out and buy some of his solo work. I know there will be more music from The Raconteurs in our future ... I just hope we don't have to wait too long.

After taking many years off both Nina Gordon and Veruca Salt came back in 2006 with new album each. Bleeding Heart Graffiti and IV are tied for the #6 spot:


What can I say about Nina Gordon and Veruca Salt that I haven't said numerous times before. Nina and Louise Post make amazing music on their own, with their new collaborators and they just make me yearn for a day when they might come back together and collaborate again. Until then, I'll just have to enjoy the music they keep putting out cuz they keep putting out great shizz!

My Chemical Romance's new album The Black Parade gets the #5 slot:


MCR just did everything right with this album. They have been able to marry goth/rock/pop so seamlessly that you know that Jared Leto was just seething with jealousy when he heard this album. MCR just know how to write a great song and know how to package it so that they can make as many people happy as possible all at the same time. This is one album that I love listening to in its entirety.

AFI's newest album decemberunderground comes in at #4:


But, as good as My Chemical Romance is ... I think that AFI are a bit better because they've been making this sort of perfect goth/pop for years. MCR may get all the press but AFI have really been setting the standard. While some may think that MCR have "sold out" or gone "teeny bopper", AFI have managed to retain their cred.

My newest fave band is The Oohlas and their debut album Best Stop Pop is my #3 pick this year:


You know that feeling you get when you hear a band and you immediately fall in love with them? I remember when I saw The Oohlas live for the first time just shortly after I moved to LA this summer and I just honestly -- fell in love. Ollie's voice is mesmerizing on the album ... it's even sexier on stage. The Oohlas are definitely my fave new band of the year.

Morrissey's umpteenth album Ringleader of the Tormentors is my #2 album of the year:


Moz keeps cranking out the kick-ass music and I will love him forever for it.

And my #1 album of the year is comes from Kelis, Kelis Was Here:


This album is by far the most solid album that was released this entire year. Every single song is a damn hit. I love that Kelis went from being a backup singer, to making everyone fall in love with her with Milkshake and then comes out with a completely solid album from beginning to end. I never tire of listening to this album ... in fact, I'm gonna go listen to it again as soon as I'm finished typing this. She is the definitely bomb and put out my absolute favorite album of the year.

Honorable mention goes to Tori Amos for releasing her box set of rarities and new tracks A Piano: The Collection:


Sure this box set is made up of mostly released material but the new tracks are soooo good. We finally get to hear Zero Point after hearing about it for so many years. I am very much looking forward to a new Tori Amos album in 2007 ... so til then, this box set will keep me very happy in the meantime.

The Top Songs of 2006:
  1. Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado with Timbaland: David and I got to hear this song for the first time ever, anywhere when Nelly Furtado debuted the video on TRL. Ever since that day I don't think a day has gone by since that I haven't hummed or sang along to that song. It was deff the song of the year for me.
  2. SexyBack - Justin Timberlake: But, SexyBack is a close second. EVERYONE loved this song for at least a month after it came out. Don't lie, you know YOU did too.
  3. Hips Don't Lie - Shakira with Wyclelf Jean: There is something about how you can't understand most of what Shakira is singing in this song but the chorus is sheer perfection. Try listening to this song in the car and I dare you not to dance in your seat.
  4. Buttons - Pussycat Dolls with Big Snoop Dogg: Maybe my unofficial song of the year? It's a little trashy but totally fun ... and definitely worthy of being my theme song on My Space.
  5. My Humps - Black Eyed Peas & Fergalicious - Fergie: Love it or hate it everyone knows the words to My Humps ... and then Fergie comes back later in the year with her own solo album and drops another great catchphrase song. I think she sold her soul to the Devil in order to keep coming up with these infectious songs -- at the very least we can shamelessly enjoy them.
  6. Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray: Are The Fray the new Coldplay? I really hope not because I really like these guys. Over My Head got completely stuck in my head and I love singing it outloud in the car.
  7. Move Along - All-American Rejects: I remember the first time I heard this song on the AAR album and I KNEW it was going to be a huge radio hit. Pop perfection with a tiny piano bridge + children's chorus ... Love.The.Song.
  8. Gold Digger - Kanye West with Jamie Foxx: This was the SexyBack before SexyBack came out. This song still gets all the asses out on the dancefloor. It prolly has the best lyrics of any hip-hop song I've heard all year.
  9. Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs: Brendan Benson is the shit. The end.
  10. Sorry - Madonna: C'mon ... prolly the best pop song of the year? Madonna knows a hit when she writes one.


The end.

I'm Boss-y

Welp, it's the Day after Xmas so pretty much 99.9% of the human population is out at the stores today waiting in very long lines to return the things that loved ones gave them as Xmas gifts yesterday. You gotta love Xmas. Before we get to the day's goss, I want to wish a Happy Boxing Day to those of you who celebrate the holiday (big ups to my Canucks) and a Happy Kwanzaa to those of you who celebrate that holiday. Okay ... let's get to it ...

In their ceaseless effort to save the world from utter and complete destruction, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt spent Xmas in Costa Rica chillin' with the refugee children there. Here are a few pictures of our very own real-life Superheroes Brangelina bringing the Xmas cheer to the Costa Rican refugees:



Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have spent their year helping others, and they didn't take a break on Christmas Day. The couple spent Monday handing out gifts to refugee children in the Costa Rican capital San Jose. "We had a wonderful Christmas both with the Costa Rican people and the Colombian refugee families we met," Jolie said in a statement. Her visit was part of her work as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. About 11,500 refugees have come to Costa Rica, most of them from Colombia, where an armed conflict between leftist guerrillas, soldiers and paramilitary forces has forced them to flee, says the UNHCR. All told, an estimated 3 million Colombians have been forced from their homes ... In San Jose, Jolie and Pitt dropped in on several small businesses established by refugees thanks to UNHCR economic initiatives. They also talked with young refugees, learning about the problems they and their families have faced. "It's been sad for me to hear so many negative stories that show confusion between refugees, who are the victims of the conflict, and some criminal elements," Jolie said ... Holiday visits with the underprivileged has become something of a tradition for Pitt and Jolie. In 2005, they spent their first Thanksgiving together aiding earthquake victims in Pakistan. That same holiday this year, before visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Jolie paid an unannounced visit to son Maddox's birth country, Cambodia, where she pledged to aid conservation efforts. But of course, we would expect no less from the supercouple. It is quite extraordinary that this insanely famous, insanely wealthy couple consistently choose to celebrate the holidays in service to the less fortunate people of the world. While other celebs are sunning themselves in Hawaii, St. Barts, etc., Brangelina are doing charity work in Costa Rica. It is quite admirable if I do say so myself. [Source]

In Spain, Penelope Cruz was honored by the city of Zaragoza for her voluntary efforts for the Expo Zaragoza 2008. Here are a couple pictures of Penelope with her pretty silver medal and her fugly-ass outfit:



Photo credit: Splash News

I have no idea what the Expo Zaragoza 2008 is but I'm sure receiving the silver medal is quite an honor ... which is why I'm so surprised that Penelope decided to dress like this. Not only is the sheer shirt tacky but it's very unflattering ... especially with that scarf! Seriously Penelope ... you're too damn hot to be going out in public lookin' like this ... don't make them take that medal away from you. [Source]

Paris Hilton has relocated with her cast of sidekicks to the lovely, tropical isle of Hawaii. Here are a few pictures of Paris with her greasiest of cohorts Brandon Davis doing a little shopping on the island of Maui:



Photo credit: Splash News

See, Paris Hilton in Hawaii is like Paris Hilton in LA except her tan is prolly a wee bit more natural. [Source]

Brooke Shields got a little lift from her hubby Chris Henchy after they had a nice dinner in NYC together this weekend:



Photo credit: Splash News

It's nice to see a couple so in love that they still like to play around like this ... even at the risk of obtaining a herniated disc. [Source]

Nicole Kidman was snapped leaving the Belvoir Street Theater in Sydney, Australia after seeing the musical Keating which she saw with her sister ...



... unfortunately, I think her husband Keith Urban was otherwise occupied. It would be really sad if their marriage pooped out before the year ended :( [Source]

Ashley Parker Angel has shorn his long locks after securing the role of Link Larkin in the Broadway production of Hairspray the Musical. Here is a new picture of Ashley with his babymama Tiffany showing off his new Link-look:



Ashley broke the news himself on his official My Space profile: I am excited to announce that starting in mid-January 2007 I will be starring in Hairspray on Broadway!! I will be playing the role of Link Larkin. At a very young age I discovered my love of performing through the experience of live theatre so I am totally thrilled to be moving to New York and getting back to my roots!! This new direction has made me feel inspired in a way that I have not felt in a long time. Now that's not to say I haven't enjoyed having my own MTV show in 2006 as well as recording my solo album "Soundtrack To Your Life" its just that there is still much more I feel I want to accomplish!! This last year has brought me much success and I expect 2007 to be even better. Um ... yeah ... well, scoring a role in a Broadway show like this is pretty huge and I'm sure Ashley Parker Angel will have just as much success as Ashlee Simpson did on her first stint as a theater actress in Chicago the Musical. I'm bummed that Ashley had to cut his amazing hair but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do in show business. Best of luck APA ... don't screw it uppppppp. [Source]

Gus Van Sant was arrested for drunk driving early last Thursday morning and here is his charming mug shot -- which we can add to the other lovely mug shots that came out earlier this year:



Sgt. Brian Schmautz, Portland Police Bureau spokesman, said Van Sant, 54, was arrested at 1:48 a.m. Thursday. A breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.19%, Schmautz said. That's more than twice the state limit, 0.08%. An officer saw that the headlights on Van Sant's vehicle weren't on, Schmautz said. Van Sant, who lives in Portland, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, smelled of alcohol and failed the sobriety tests, Schmautz said. Calls to his film company seeking comment were not immediately returned. Yikes! Twice the legal limit. Why don't rich people who like to drink get people to drive them around? It's so unfortunate that this sort of reckless behavior continues to occur. Even after it appears that Prison Break star Lane Garrison was responsible for the death of a teen due to drunk driving people still won't learn the lesson. Maybe it's time that celebs stop getting punished with community service and start getting punished with jail time. [Source]

Madonna has posted an update on her official website on her upcoming clothing line called M by Madonna for H&M:



Even tho pretty much no one bought her track suit line from H&M this year it's good to see that Madonna is proceeding undaunted. I'm interested to see what this line will look like and I can't wait to see the photos. Does this woman ever take a break from working? [Source]

Hey you Crocodile Hunter fans! The day you have been waiting for his finally here! Now you can own your very own Talking Steve Irwin Doll for the low, low price of only $22!



In honor of the late Irwin's dedication to nature conservation and education and his love of animals, Wild Republic, the nature brand of K&M International, has teamed up with the Irwin family and the Australia Zoo to bring a new line of toys to the USA. Among the line's 39 products: an Irwin figure ($22) that spouts Steve's trademark phrases — "Crikey!" among them, no doubt — play sets and plush toys. They will be unveiled at the International Toy Fair Feb. 11-14 in New York. Well, I suppose the Crocodile Hunter is worthy of immortalization as an action figure ... besides, you didn't think we were gonna get off that easy not have to hear him say "Crickey!" any more, did you? [Source]

Ryan Phillippe and Channting Tatum are costaring together in a new movie for '07 called Stop-Loss ... here are a couple of stills from that movie:



Yeah ... Ryan and Channing the same movie ... with a military theme of some sort ... sounds like it's right up my alley. Bring on the shower scenes :) [Source]

Kiefer Sutherland is on the cover of the new issue of Men's Vogue magazine:



Yeah, apparently he was some rodeo champ before he became MY HERO on the show 24 or something like that? For some reason, I can't really picture Jack Bauer ropin' little doagies on horseback but I guess there really isn't anything that Jack Bauer can't do. The new season of 24 is just a few weeks away and I.CAN'T.WAIT! Bring on that 4-hour season premiere!! [Source]

Speaking of my Heroes, Ali Larter is featured in the new issue of Giant magazine looking sexy as hell:



She's got a little Liz Phair sexiness going on which I really, really like. It's funny what one hit TV show can do for a person's popularity. Seemingly overnight, Ali has gone from that freaky girl in Final Destination to the hottest Hero on NBC. Not too shabby. [Source]

And finally, here are a few pictures of Holly Valance's photo spread in the new issue of Australian In Style magazine:



I just love her! Enjoy! [Source]

Les News:

I hope all y'all had a great Xmas ... I had a pretty fly one, myself. I spent most of Xmas Eve with my parents and ended up chillin' with Sarah, Mark and Reggie all night long. We ended up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and then spent a few hours flipping back-and-forth between eps of Jackass and Cops. Yeah ... I'm totally serious. But in our defense, there was alcohol involved.

Yesterday I was invited for Xmas dinner with Sarah's family and ended up spending much of the evening and night partying with them. They're such great people, I always have a great time hanging out with them. I feel very lucky to have them as a second family.

Today my parents and I are doing a nice dinner of our own before I make my way out to Ben & Sam's for their Xmas party. BUT before I jet off I have to send lots of love to my dear David for my first of many Xmas presents this year:



Wee! I love my new Hugo Boss calfskin (I eat meat, I wear leather, I do not like fur) bag! Just you wait until I can reveal what David is getting from me :) I won't be able to talk about it until we get to Las Vegas this weekend ... but one of his gifts is a doozie!

And I guess that is all ... I am out.

BTW: This week is when I do my Year-End Wrap-up posts ... in a bit I'll post my Top 10 Albums and Songs of the Year and tomorrow I'll do my Top 10 Movies and TV shows of the Year. For the rest of the week I'm planning on going thru all the arrests, hook-ups, break-ups, babies, etc. AND all the Spederline drama and the various crotch shots that we got to enjoy all 2006-long. Stay tuned!